Roland Vaughan Williams



Sir Roland Bowdler Lomax Vaughan Williams (31 December 1838 – 8 December 1916) was an English lawyer and judge. From 1897 to 1914 he was a Lord Justice of the Court of Appeal. He was an authority on the laws of bankruptcy, and wrote a book that remained the standard English work on the subject for many years.

Life and career

Vaughan Williams was born in
Kensington Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in the West of Central London. The district's commercial heart is Kensington High Street, running on an east–west axis. The north-east is taken up by Kensington Garde ...
, London, the fifth son of the judge Sir Edward Vaughan Williams and his wife, Jane Margaret, ''née'' Bagot. Among his brothers was Arthur, who became a clergyman and was the father of the composer
Ralph Vaughan Williams Ralph Vaughan Williams, (; 12 October 1872– 26 August 1958) was an English composer. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over ...
. He was educated at the
Westminster School (God Gives the Increase) , established = Earliest records date from the 14th century, refounded in 1560 , type = Public school Independent day and boarding school , religion = Church of England , head_label = Head M ...
Christ Church, Oxford Christ Church ( la, Ædes Christi, the temple or house, '' ædēs'', of Christ, and thus sometimes known as "The House") is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. Founded in 1546 by King Henry VIII, the college is uniqu ...
, graduating in the year 1860."Williams, Rt Hon Sir Roland Lomax Bowdler Vaughan"
''Who Was Who'', Oxford University Press, 2014 retrieved 10 October 2015
Vaughan Williams was
called to the bar The call to the bar is a legal term of art in most common law jurisdictions where persons must be qualified to be allowed to argue in court on behalf of another party and are then said to have been "called to the bar" or to have received "call ...
in 1861 and was a
barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks include taking cases in superior courts and tribunals, drafting legal pleadings, researching law and givin ...
Lincoln's Inn The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. (The other three are Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Gray's Inn.) Lincol ...
. In 1870 he published ''The Law and Practice of Bankruptcy'', a work that was for many years the standard English authority on the subject. He became a
Queen's Counsel In the United Kingdom and in some Commonwealth countries, a King's Counsel ( post-nominal initials KC) during the reign of a king, or Queen's Counsel (post-nominal initials QC) during the reign of a queen, is a lawyer (usually a barrister or ...
in 1889. The following year he was raised to the bench as a Judge of the
Queen's Bench The King's Bench (), or, during the reign of a female monarch, the Queen's Bench ('), refers to several contemporary and historical courts in some Commonwealth jurisdictions. * Court of King's Bench (England), a historic court court of commo ...
Division, from which he was promoted to be a Lord Justice of the Court of Appeal in 1897; he was appointed to the
Privy Council A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a state, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the m ...
at the same time. In 1906 he was appointed chairman of the Royal Commission on the disestablishment of the
Church in Wales The Church in Wales ( cy, Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru) is an Anglican church in Wales, composed of six dioceses. The Archbishop of Wales does not have a fixed archiepiscopal see, but serves concurrently as one of the six diocesan bishops. The p ...
; the success of the commission and the smooth implementation of its recommendations were largely attributable to him. In 1865 he married Laura Susannah, daughter of Edmund Lomax of Surrey after which he added her surname to his own. They had one son who survived to adulthood and two who did not.Jones, N. G
"Williams, Sir Edward Vaughan (1797–1875)
, ''Oxford Dictionary of National Biography'', Oxford University Press, retrieved 10 October 2015
Vaughan Williams died at his home in Abinger, Surrey, at the age of 77.

Notable cases

High Court

* '' Re Anglo-Austrian Printing & Publishing Union'' 8952 Ch 891, concerning recovery of assets under a misfeasance action

Court of Appeal

*'' Re Peveril Gold Mines Ltd''
898 __NOTOC__ Year 898 ( DCCCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. Events By place Europe * January 1 – King Odo I (or Eudes) dies at La Fère (Northern France) a ...
1 Ch 122, regarding the power of a shareholder to wind-up an insolvent company *'' Allen v Gold Reefs of West Africa Ltd'' 9001 Ch 656 (dissenting), on amendments to the articles of association which were not in the interests of the company as a whole *'' Krell v Henry'' 9032 KB 740, one of the "Coronation cases" relating to frustration of purpose under contract law *'' Re Yorkshire Woolcombers Association Ltd'' 9032 Ch 295, arguably his most famous judicial contribution, formulating the description of a floating charge * '' Re Atkinson'' 9042 Ch 160, on apportioning entitlements between a life tenant and remainderman in a trust *'' Hirachand Punumchand v Temple'' 9112 KB 330, relating to part payment of debts *'' Chaplin v Hicks'' 9112 KB 786, on damages for loss of chance


{{DEFAULTSORT:Williams, Roland Vaughan 1838 births 1916 deaths English barristers 20th-century English judges Members of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom Alumni of Christ Church, Oxford People educated at Westminster School, London Knights Bachelor Lords Justices of Appeal Queen's Bench Division judges English King's Counsel 19th-century King's Counsel Members of Lincoln's Inn 19th-century English judges