blackstone, William

Blackstone, Sir William (1723-1780) British Legal Theorist: Blackstone studied at Oxford and Middle Temple, and was admitted to the English bar in 1746. He became a law professor at Oxford, sat in Parliament, acted as Solicitor General to the Queen, and was a Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. His Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-9), which grew out of his lectures at Oxford, were popular in both England and America. In the Commentaries, Blackstone was able to make the complexities of common law accessible to non-specialists, and the book served as the basis for legal education in the United States almost until World War II.