Sir Joseph William Chitty

Sir Joseph William CHITTY (1828-1899), younger son of Thomas (FORMS and ARCHBOLD) CHITTY and brother of Thomas Edward, was born 1828 May 28 and died 1899 Feb 15. At Eton he was in the Cricket XI 1844-47 (Captain in his last season); he proceeded to Balliol 1847, was Vinerian Scholar, first class Lit.Hum. 1851, Fellow of Exeter College 1852, M.A. 1854; he thrice stroked the Oxford VIII to victory, 1849-52, was President of the Boat Club 1851-2, and Captain of the Cricket XI 1848-9. He was admitted to Lincoln's Inn, 1851 Nov 15, called to the Bar 1856, and was an equity draftsman and conveyancer of 3 New Square (1859-71) and 34 Queensborough Terrace in 1871. He became a Q.C. in 1874 and a bencher, 1875 Nov 2. He was Major of the Inns of Court Volunteers 1869-77. He practised as a leader in the court of Sir George JESSEL, Master of the Rolls; became Liberal M.P. for Oxford City in 1880, a Judge of the Chancery Division 1881 Sep, was knighted 1881 Dec 7 and made a K.B. He became a Lord Justice of Appeal in1897 and a Privy Councillor.

Sir Joseph William was best known to the general public for his role for some years as Umpire of the University Boat Race. In his profession he was noted for his courtesy, geniality, patience and fairness - despite a habit of interrupting counsel - some of whom are alleged, to have referred to him as 'Mr Justice CHATTY'. He was 'the undoubted author' of the classic legal jest - 'Truth will out, even in an affidavit'. (I think I have also heard him given credit for another - though I believe in that case there are other candidates, the remark, when part of the Law Court ceiling collapsed: 'Fiat justitia, obruit caelum', 'Let Justice be done, though the Heavens fall').

He married, 1858 Sep 7, Clara Jessie POLLOCK, born 1836 Oct 27, died 1922 Jan 26, daughter of Sir Frederick POLLOCK, Bart., Chief Baron of the Exchequer, by whom he had issue three sons and two daughters:

1. Arthur John, born 1859 May 27, died 1908 Jan 6; Eton, Balliol, Lincoln's Inn, barrister; married 1893 Aug 31 Gertrude Mary CROFT, who died 1912 May 6, daughter of Sir John Frederick CROFT, 2nd Bart., of Cowling Hall, Yorks, and had issue:

i. John Graham, b.1894 Jun 23, d.1899 May 13.
ii. James Malcolm, b.1898 Apr 9?19, d.1917 Dec 1, killed in action, Grenadier Guards.
iii. Margaret Graham Hyacinth, b.1901 Jan 10, married 1925 Aug 31 Henry Macleod HAVERGAL and had issue.
iv. Violet Ada Pamela, b.1905 Oct 22.

continued ...

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Page created 29 Sept 2001 by Mike Chitty, based on the late Erik Chitty's 1975 text