William Martin Geldart

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William Martin Geldart
Born 7 June 1870
Died 12 February 1922 (1922-02-13) (aged 51)
Occupation Jurist
Known for Vinerian Professor of English Law at Oxford, wrote Elements of English Law (1907)

William Martin Geldart (7 June 1870 – 12 February 1922) was a British jurist. A classical scholar of Balliol College, Oxford, he went on to become Vinerian Professor of English Law at Oxford and a leading jurist of his day.

Early life[edit]

Son of the Rev. Edmund Martin Geldart, he was educated at Whitgift School, Croydon; St Paul's School, and Balliol College, Oxford, where he was a scholar and in 1890 won the Gaisford Prize for Greek Verse.[1] He graduated MA in 1892.[2]


Elected a Fellow of St John's College, Oxford, in 1892, he was called to the bar from Lincoln's Inn in 1896, continuing at St John's until 1899. He was Official Fellow and Lecturer in Law at Trinity College, Oxford, from 1901 to 1909, All Souls Reader in English Law in the University, from 1906 to 1909, and a member of the Hebdomadal Council from 1905.[1]

Geldart was the author of the influential Elements of English Law (1907), still in print under the title Introduction to English Law (Oxford University Press, 11th edition, ed. David Yardley). According to one review "Geldart has over the years established itself as the standard account of English law..."[3]

The law society of St Anne's College, Oxford, is named 'The Geldart Society' in Geldart's honour, and the law library at St Anne's College is named after Geldart.[3]


He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1917.[1]


  1. ^ a b c 'GELDART, William Martin', in Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2007; online edition by Oxford University Press, December 2007 GELDART, William Martin (subscription required), accessed 18 August 2008
  2. ^ Foster, Joseph, Oxford men, 1880-1892, with a record of their schools, honours and degrees (1893) online at us.archive.org, accessed 18 August 2008
  3. ^ a b What is St Anne's Geldart Law Society? at stanneslawsoc.com, accessed 18 August 2008
Academic offices
Preceded by
A. V. Dicey
Vinerian Professor of English Law
Succeeded by
William Searle Holdsworth