William Babington (justice)

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For other people with the same name, see William Babington (disambiguation).

Sir William Babington (c. 1370 – 1454)[1] was an English lawyer and judge hailing from an old Northumbrian noble family.

He was the son of Sir John Babington.

In 1414, Babington was made a King's Attorney (Attorney General for England and Wales). Three years later, an act of parliament compelled him to accept the title of Serjeant-at-law, which he originally refused due to the expensive inauguration ceremony it required. Rising rapidly through government offices, in 1419 he was made Chief Baron of the Exchequer, the head judge of the jurisdiction exercised by the Exchequer of Pleas.

Babington was named a Justice of the Common Bench in 1420. He presided this court as its Chief Justice from 1423 until his retirement in 1436.

In 1426 he received the Order of the Bath.[1]


Sir William married Margery, daughter of Sir Peter Martell of Chilwell, Nottinghamshire.[1] They had five sons and five daughters.

The conspirator Anthony Babington was a direct descendant.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d S. J. Payling, ‘Babington, Sir William (c.1370–1454)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 accessed 11 March 2008
  • Sossna, Ralf Peter (2001). "Sir William Babington". In Michael Stolleis (ed.). Juristen: ein biographisches Lexikon; von der Antike bis zum 20. Jahrhundert (in German) (2nd ed.). München: Beck. p. 55. ISBN 3-406-45957-9. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Richard Norton
Chief Justice of the Common Pleas
Succeeded by
Sir John Juyn
Preceded by
William Lasingby
Chief Baron of the Exchequer
1420 – 1423
Succeeded by
Sir John Juyn