Duhaime's Legal Citations

Mau. & Sel. - Maule & Selwyn's King's Bench Reports (England and Wales)

Also M. & S.

Forming part of the English Reports, Volume 173. Published from 1826 to 1830.

Of William Henry Maule (1788-1858) and William Selwyn (1775-1855), Holdsworth writes:

"Maule ... was a distinguished mathematician and classical scholar - senior wrangler in 1810, and fellow of Trinity, Cambridge, in 1811. For a year or two after his election as fellow he took mathematical pupils at Cambridge, amongst whom was Cresswell. He became a student at Lincoln's Inn in 1810 and was called to the bar in 1814. It was in his early days as a special pleader and student that he combined with (William) Selwyn (1775-1855) to compile the reports which bear their names. Though his progress at the bar was slow, his merits as a lawyer and an advocate ensured his success.

"He made his name as a commercial lawyer, and in 1833 he took silk, became a bencher of Lincoln's Inn, and was appointed counsel to the Bank of England in succession to Scarlett. In 1837, he represented the borough of Carlow in the House of Commons, and in 1839 he was appointed a Baron of the Exchequer, from which court he moved a few months later to the Court of Common Pleas. He remained a judge of that court until ill-health forced him to resign in 1855. He was then made a member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and was an effective member of it till his death in 1858.

"He was an excellent judge, combining great common sense and a dry and somewhat cynical humour with a profound knowledge of the law. 'No one,' says Veeder, 'ever had a finer sense of the anomalies and incongruities of English law. His subtle mind was balanced by good sense and entire freedom from technicality. His conversational powers were so great that he was said to have been the only man whom Brougham feared.' Mr. Justice Hawkins said of him that he was a man of great wit, good sense, a curious humour and a keen apprehension with little love of mediocrities. The memory of his dry humour is perpetuated by many tales, the best known of which is his address to a poor man convicted of bigamy after the elopement of his wife, which was a preface to a nominal sentence of one day's imprisonment....

"Selwyn (was) the father of Lord Justice Selwyn (and) was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was a distinguished classical scholar and something of a mathematician. He was called to the bar by Lincoln's Inn in 1807, took silk in 1827, and became Treasurer in 1840. Soon after Queen Victoria's marriage he was chosen to help Prince Albert in his legal studies. Besides his reports, he published in 1806-8 an Abridgement of the Law of Nisi Prius which reached a thirteenth edition in 1869.

Of Selwyn, the Dictionary of National Biography adds:

"In later life he became a chronic valetudinarian (hypochondriac), and lived in retirement at Pagoda House, Kew Boad, Kichmond, Surrey, an estate inherited from his father in 1817.... He died on 25 July 1855. His remains were interred in the churchyard of the neighbouring village of Rusthall."


  • Duhaime, Lloyd, E.R. Legal Citation
  • Duhaime, Lloyd, Legal Citations
  • Duhaime, Lloyd, M. & S. Legal Citation
  • Holdsworth, William, A History of English Law, Vol. 13 (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1952), page 429 and 437
  • Leslie, Stephen, Dictionary of National Biography, (New York: MacMillan and Co., 1888).

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