The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Biography

George William Wilshere Bramwell, 1808-1892

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1808.06.12
Place of Birth: Finch Lane, Cornhill
Date of Death: 1892.05.09
Place of Death: Holmwood, near Edenbridge


George William Wilshere Bramwell, Baron Bramwell of Hever, was a barrister, judge and Lord Justice. He was the eldest son of George Bramwell (1773-1858), a partner in the banking firm of Dorrien, Magens, Dorrien and Mello. In 1830 he married his first wife, Mary Jane, the daughter of Bruno Silva. They had two daughters. She died in 1836. In 1861 he married his second wife, Martha Sinden, who died in 1889.


Bramwell, a pupil of Fitzroy Kelly, was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in May 1838. In 1850 he was appointed a member of the Common Law Procedure Commission, resulting in the Common Law Procedure Act of 1852. In 1851 he was made a Q.C., and in 1853 he served on a commission resulting in the Companies Act of 1862. In 1856, upon the resignation of Baron Parke, he was appointed to the Court of Exchequer and was knighted. He gained a formidable reputation as a judge. From 1876 until his retirement in 1881, he held the office of Lord Justice in the newly established Court of Appeal. On retirement, he was created a peer and sat in the House of Lords. He published letters in newspapers under the initial 'B.' He was an anti-temperance campaigner.


Mason, Edward, Bramwelliana; or the Wit and Wisdom of Lord Bramwell, 1892; Fairfield, Charles, Some Account of George William Wilshere, Baron Bramwell of Hever and his Opinions, London, 1898; Dictionary of National Biography Online, Oxford, 1997.