William Henry Rattigan

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Sir William Henry Rattigan (4 September 1842 Delhi – 4 July 1904 London)[1] was a British judge and Liberal Unionist MP for North East Lanarkshire.

Background and education[edit]

Rattigan was born in Delhi, India, in September 1842, the son of Bartholomew Rattigan, of Athy, Co. Kildare. He was educated at the High School, Agra, and King's College London, and was admitted to bar as a member of Lincoln's Inn in 1873. He later received a doctorate (LL.D) from the University of Göttingen.[2]

Legal and political career[edit]

Most of his legal career took place in India. He served as judge in the Chief Court of the Punjab on four occasions, was knighted in 1895, took silk in 1897 and practiced in the High court of the North Western Provinces. He was also an additional member of the supreme legislative council of India 1892-93, and member of the Punjab legislative council 1898-99.[2]

In 1887 he was Vice-Chancellor of Punjab University, from which he later received an honorary doctorate (LL.D).[2] An honorary doctorate (LL.D) from the University of Glasgow followed in June 1901.[3]

After moving back to the United Kingdom, Rattigan contested the North East Lanarkshire constituency in the general election 1900, but lost to the incumbent, John Colville. When the latter died the following year, Rattigan contested and won a by-election in for the same constituency in September 1901,[4] and held it until his death.


Rattigan married, in 1878, Evelyn Higgins, daughter of Colonel A. Higgins, CIE.[2]


  • The Roman Law of Persons, 1873
  • The Science of Jurisprudence, 1892
  • Private International Law, 1895
  • Digest of Customary Law for Punjab, 1895


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "L" (part 1)
  2. ^ a b c d "Election intelligence". The Times (36571). London. 27 September 1901. 
  3. ^ "Glasgow University jubilee". The Times (36481). London. 14 June 1901. p. 10. 
  4. ^ "No. 27360". The London Gazette. 1 October 1901. p. 6395. 


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Colville
Member of Parliament for North East Lanarkshire
Succeeded by
Alexander Findlay