Blackstone, William at English => English (The Britannica Concise) Of Explained:
British jurist. Orphaned at age 12, he was educated by his surgeon uncle and became a barrister. He served as assessor of the Chancellor's Court, took a doctorate in civil law, and concentrated on teaching law and doing legal work around Oxford. He gave the first university lectures on English common law and published a synopsis for students in 1756. He was elected to hold the first chair in common law in 1758. His classic Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-69) is the best known description of the doctrines of English law; it became the basis of university legal education in England and N. America. He also served as a member of Parliament (1761-70), as solicitor general to the queen (from 1763), and as judge of the Common Pleas (1770-80).