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Sir William Reynell Anson, 3rd Baronet PC (14 November 1843 – 4 June 1914) was a British jurist and Liberal Unionist politician.[1]

Anson was born at Walberton, Sussex, the eldest son of Sir John William Hamilton Anson, 2nd Baronet, and his wife Elizabeth Catherine (née Pack). Educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, he took a first class in the final classical schools in 1866, and was elected to a fellowship of All Souls in the following year. In 1869 he was called to the bar, and went the home circuit until 1873, when he succeeded to the baronetcy. In 1874, he became Vinerian reader in English law at Oxford, a post which he held until he became, in 1881, Warden of All Souls College.

He identified himself both with local and university interests; he became an alderman of the city of Oxford in 1892, chairman of quarter sessions for the county in 1894, was Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University in 1898–1899, and Chancellor of the Diocese of Oxford in 1899. In that year he was returned, without opposition, as MP for Oxford University in the Liberal Unionist interest, and consequently resigned the vice-chancellorship.

In Parliament, he preserved an active interest in education, being a member of the newly created consultative committee of the Board of Education in 1900, and in 1902 he became Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education, a post he held until 1905. Anson was made a Privy Counsellor in 1911.

He took an active part in the foundation of a school of law at Oxford, and his volumes on The Principles of the English Law of Contract (1884, 11th ed. 1906), and on The Law and Custom of the Constitution in two parts, "The Parliament" and "The Crown" (1886–1892, 3rd ed. 1907, pt. 1 .vol. ii.), are standard works.[2]

Anson died in June 1914, aged 70. He never married and was succeeded in the baronetcy by his nephew Denis.


External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
John Richard Magrath
Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University
Succeeded by
Thomas Fowler
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Gilbert Talbot
Sir John Mowbray
Member of Parliament for Oxford University
John Gilbert Talbot, 1899-January 1910;
Lord Hugh Cecil January 1910-1914

Succeeded by
Rowland Prothero
Lord Hugh Cecil
Political offices
Preceded by
New office
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education
Succeeded by
Thomas Lough
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John William Hamilton Anson
(of Hatch Beauchamp)
Succeeded by
Denis George William Anson


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