Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Court of King's Bench

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by Thomas Carthew

Thomas Carthew (1657–1704), lawyer, was born in Cannaliggy, St Issey, Cornwall, on 4 April 1657, and baptized on 4 June 1657 at St Issey, the eldest son of Thomas Carthew (1636–1708) of Cannaliggy and Mary Baker (b. 1634) of Bodmin. If the authority of William Hals, the Cornish historian, can be trusted, he was for some time ‘in the inferior practice of the law under Mr. Trevenna, without being a perfect Latin grammarian, always using the English words for matters and things in his declarations where he understood not the Latin’ (DNB). Carthew became a student at the Middle Temple on 21 May 1683, and on 14 June 1686 was called to the bar. According to Hals he gained this early advancement ‘by a mandamus from the lord keeper North’, a relative of his wife. In April 1685 Carthew married Mary (d. 1726), daughter of John Colby of Banham, Norfolk, whose widow married Edward North of Benacre, Suffolk, who died in 1701. Mary Colby's sister married Edward North's son Edward (d. 1708), and Carthew's son eventually inherited Benacre. On 23 November 1698 Carthew was called to the bar of the Inner Temple and on 7 November 1700 became a serjeant-at-law, his sponsors being Bishop Trelawny of Exeter and the Cornish MP John Speccot. Hals prophesied Carthew's growth ‘into such great fame and reputation, that he is likely to make a considerable addition to his paternal estate’ (DNB), but on 4 July 1704 Narcissus Luttrell recorded that he was dead. He had made his will on 28 June, appointing Edward North his executor until his sons reached their majority, and leaving Anne North (née Colby) his chariot. He was buried in the Temple Church on 12 July, predeceasing his father by four years. His widow died on 15 June 1726. His son Thomas published his father's Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Court of King's Bench from 3 Jac. II to 12 Will. III in 1728, with a second corrected edition appearing in 1741.[1]

Bibliographic Information

Author: Thomas Carthew

Title: Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Court of King's Bench, from the Third Year of King James the Second, to the Twelfth Year of King William the Third

Publication Info: London, In the Savoy: Printed by E. and R. Nutt for R. Gosling, 1728.


Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy


  1. Stuart Handley, ‘Carthew, Thomas (1657–1704)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 accessed 30 May 2013