Talk:William Blackstone

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Good article William Blackstone has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 26, 2011 Good article nominee Listed
Did You Know


Not sure if anyone cares, but I'm related to William Blackstone, and share his surname. Unfortunately I don't (presently) know enough to contribute much useful to this article; you'd probably get more information on the subject out of a lawyer. One day, though, I may get the chance to learn more about him.

I added the trivial tidbit about Blackstone being mentioned in literature. I remember being surprised to see the name in Moby Dick; I've seen him mentioned elsewhere, too. Not sure this is really appropriate for an encyclopedia article; if someone wants to pull it out, I won't be offended. Jdavidb 18:42, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I don't mind it being there, and it certain helps to underscore the echoing effects of Blackstone, both during his life and long after. If you could flesh out exactly the reference made, that would be even more interesting, although I don't know how well that would fit into the main article. If it doesn't fit, put it here at least. :) Ari 05:08, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

He's also mentioned in To Kill A Mockingbird (in fact, that's why I came to this article; he was mentioned and I didn't know who he was) --Eel 07:55, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Your not the only relation of his on Wiki - I'm his 1st Cousin - 7 times removed. --BMR789 09:43, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

In my pre-law and US Gov classes, Blackstone's Ratio was name we gave for the "Better ten criminals go free than one innocent man be convicted." I've updated the page to reflect that. SHARPER 13:27, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Blackstone's anti-Catholicism[edit]

I removed this phrase:

. . . a charge very similar to that repeatedly leveled at Jews throughout history.

The analogy seems inappropriate. To my knowledge, the Jews have never had a Pope or a comparable leader; and at least in Blackstone's day, the Jews did not have a foreign government either. Smerdis of Tlön 13:41, 20 April 2006 (UTC)


With better sourceing and formatting this could easily make it to GA. Aboutmovies 21:17, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 04:36, 10 November 2007 (UTC)


Please provide the pronunciation in IPA. Ad hoc pronunciations are deprecated in Wikipedia. "Blexstun" is highly ambiguous (for example, it does not indicate which syllable is pronounced, suggests a double /s/ and suggests the final syllable is pronounced like the word "stun"). At a guess, /ˈblɛkstən/ is the intended pronunciation, but I have no idea whether this is the case. — (talk) 17:40, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

How can we possibly verify contemporary pronunciation of Blackstone's name, especially when no sources are cited? ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wprest01 (talkcontribs) 11:03, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:William Blackstone/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Ajbpearce (talk) 00:08, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

In (probable) anticipation of you finally succeeding at RFA, I thought I would check for inevitable Ironholds GAN's and go through one as a congratulations.

  • This GAR does not appear to have progressed since 4 January 2011. Is work still ongoing? I would be happy to take over the review if the original reviewer has encountered difficulties. Leave me a message at my talk page if you would like me to step in. - DustFormsWords (talk) 00:52, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

New Reviewer - DustFormsWords[edit]

Reviewer: - DustFormsWords (talk) 05:09, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

  • I have been invited by Wizardman to take over this review given the apparent unavailability of the initial reviewer. My initial impression is that the article should be able to be quickly passed with minor improvements, but I will conduct a full GAR tomorrow to make sure this is the case and let you know when I am ready for responses (It's too late in my local day to start now.) Thank you for your patience. - DustFormsWords (talk) 05:09, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
  1. Well written:
    (a) the prose is clear and concise, and the spelling and grammar are correct; Green tick.svg
    The prose is clearly written, concise, and very readable. I have not detected any errors of spelling or grammar.
    (b) it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation. Green tick.svg
    This article complies with the manual of style for lead sections, layout, 'words to watch and list incorporation. The manual of style for fiction does not apply to this article.:
  2. Verifiable with no original research:
    (a) it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline; Green tick.svg
    All references appear in the section "References".
    (b) all in-line citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines; Green tick.svg
    All facts making extraordinary claims or which are likely to be challenged are sourced to reliable sources through the use of inline citations.
    (c) it contains no original research. Green tick.svg
    The article does not appear to contain any original research.
  3. Broad in its coverage:
    (a) it addresses the main aspects of the topic; Green tick.svg
    The article appears to be appropriately broad in its coverage.
    (b) it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style). Green tick.svg
    The article does not appear to go into unnecessary detail.
  4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without editorial bias, giving due weight to each.Green tick.svg
    As far as I am able to tell, all relevant viewpoints on this topic are represented by the article.
  5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.Green tick.svg
    The article does not appear to be the subject of rapid changes, edit wars, or ongoing disputes.
  6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
    (a) images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content; Green tick.svg
    All images appear to have valid legal rationales.
    • I'd note in passing (not necessary for GA and maybe not for FA) that File:Cavalier d'eon p. 608a.jpg is incorrectly labelled as the "own work" of the uploader. However the rest of that file's rationale makes its legal status and source clear.
    (b) images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions. Green tick.svg
    Images are relevant to the topic and are appropriately captioned.

Overview - I hate to pass an article to GA without finding at least something to improve, but I honestly can't fault this article against any of the GA. It passes all the criteria and as such I will be promoting it to Good Article. Well done to all editors involved. - DustFormsWords (talk) 22:49, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

This sentence is WILDLY wrong[edit]

"These were massively successful, earning him a total of £56,000 in 2013 terms"??? In 2013 terms, that is less than $100,000 U.S., which some modern lawyers make in a month. No sourcing. I don't have the time to tackle it at present, but this is just ridiculous. Did he get that much from his lecture series, and wasn't that in the multi-millions today? Bouldergeist (talk) 11:25, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

I'm confused; the statement is quite clearly sourced. By '2013 terms' it means 'converting the money from the 18th century to 2013 currencies, it comes to around £56,000'. You don't seem to be factoring in that the number and proportion of literate people (much less literate people with an interest in law) was far less in the 18th century than it would be today; yes, today he might have made many millions of pounds - from selling many, many more copies. If you've got a suggestion for how to rephrase the sentences, by all means, make it. In the meantime, please try not to be so hyperbolic; it needs rewriting, potentially, but currently conversions are neither "ridiculous" nor "WILDLY wrong". Ironholds (talk) 20:01, 5 June 2013 (UTC)


A dreadful article.

The article maintains that Sir William Blackstone was highly influential among the Founding Fathers - he was, but in the exact opposite way from the way the article implies. Blackstone's work was held to sum up what the Founding Fathers were AGAINST - the idea that Parliament could anything it likes (an idea that the article briefly mentions, but does not explore). This was seen as a revolt against the principles of Chief Justice Sir Edward Cook, Dr Bonham's case, and against the Old Whig Chief Justice Sir John Holt of the British "Glorious Revolution" period. One can not believe in the principles of the Bill of Rights, American or British, and believe in "Parliamentary Sovereignty", i.e. that Parliament can do anything it likes. Does the "legislature" have the right to pass "gun control" regulations or statutes suppressing freedom of speech? The tradition of the Bill of Rights says "no", the tradition of Sir William Blackstone says "yes" - his principle, that Parliament can do anything it wants, is the exact principle that the American Revolution, the Founding Fathers and so on, was AGAINST. The failure to explain this makes the article worse than useless for people seeking basic understanding. (talk) 14:27, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for your review! If you think the founders were influenced in a negative way by Blackstone's works, do provide some sources saying so. Note that the article doesn't say they agreed, just that his commentaries were (for a long time, including the period in which the mentioned individuals were learning the law) one of the primary sources of legal education - along, yes, with Edward Coke's "Reports" (his article covers that nicely). Ironholds (talk) 20:54, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:William Blackstone/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

I'm not sure that dedicating one-fifth of this article to Blackstone's anti-Catholicism is appropriate. HIs personal views on religion have had an miniscule impact on history, while his work in the legal field has been nearly revolutionary. The space dedicated to his religious views is vastly out of proportion to their importance...SM

Last edited at 16:02, 7 February 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 10:36, 30 April 2016 (UTC)