William Bovill English lawyer politician and judge. Middle Temple Solicitor General. MP for Guildford. Vanity Fair antique print published 1870.
William Bovill English lawyer politician and judge Vanity Fair antique print. Sir William Bovill PC, FRS (26 May 1814 – 1 November 1873) was an English lawyer, politician and judge. He served as Chief Justice of the Common Pleas between 1866 and his death in 1873. On leaving school, Bovill did not go to university but was articled to a firm of solicitors. He entered the Middle Temple and practised for a short time as a special pleader below the bar. He was called to the bar in 1841 and joined the home circuit. His special training in a solicitor’s office, and its resulting connection, combined with a thorough knowledge of the details of engineering, acquired through his interest in a manufacturing firm in the east end of London, soon brought him a very extensive patent and commercial practice. Bovill became a Queen’s Counsel (QC) in 1855, and on 28 March 1857 was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Guildford. In the House of Commons, he was very zealous for legal reform, and the Partnership Law Amendment Act 1865, which he helped to pass, is always referred to as Bovill’s Act. In 1866, he was appointed Solicitor General, an office which he vacated on becoming Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in succession to Sir William Erle in November of the same year. Vanity Fair was a British weekly magazine published from 1868 to 1914. Subtitled “A Weekly Show of Political, Social and Literary Wares”, it was founded by Thomas Gibson Bowles, who aimed to expose the contemporary vanities of Victorian society. A full-page, colour lithograph of a contemporary celebrity or dignitary appeared in most issues, and it is for these caricaturesthat Vanity Fair is best known then and today. Subjects included artists, athletes, royalty, statesmen, scientists, authors, actors, soldiers, religious personalities, business people and scholars. More than two thousand of these images appeared, and they are considered the chief cultural legacy of the magazine, forming a pictorial record of the period. This image is by Carlo Pellegrini (“Singe” and “Ape.”)