Sir William Scott, Lord Stowell : judge of the High Court of Admiralty,1798-1828


Sir William Scott, Lord Stowell : judge of the High Court of Admiralty,1798-1828

Henry J. Bourguignon

(Cambridge studies in English legal history)

Cambridge University Press, 1987

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Bibliography: p. 294-299

Includes index



Sir William Scott's thirty years as judge of the High Court of Admiralty provide the basis of his reputation as the greatest of civilian (as opposed to common) lawyers. In this major study, the first for over seventy years, Professor Bourguignon analyzes his work as judge of the admiralty court in the light of the little-known, unpublished body of law which had been developed prior to his appointment. His term of office coincided with the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, and thus Scott had to bear and determine hundreds of cases involving the capture of vessels in time of war. These prize cases provided Scott with the opportunity to state and develop many aspects of the international law of war, especially the law of neutral and belligerent rights at sea. He also influenced the development of admiralty law in the cases, which he heard of private disputes concerning maritime commerce.


  • Preface
  • List of abbreviations
  • 1. Survey of English Admiralty jurisdiction: how did it vanish?
  • 2. Sir William Scott - a biographical sketch
  • 3. The law of the instance court
  • 4. Prize law: nationality - a study in detail
  • 5. Prize law - a survey
  • 6. Scott's judicial philosophy
  • 7. Scott's influence
  • Appendix
  • Bibliography of primary sources
  • Index.

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