Document Type

Contribution to Book

Title

Hawkins, Biography, and the Law

Source Publication

Life of Johnson

Publication Date

2011

Editor

Martine Watson Brownley

Publisher

Bucknell University Press

City

Lewisburg

First Page

137

Last Page

154

Department

English

Abstract

Sir John Hawkins was an attorney at the Court of King’s Bench and the Court of Common Pleas in the mid eighteenth century, and Chairman of the Middlesex Quarter Sessions. He was also the author of a major history of English music and the first greatLife of Samuel Johnson (1787). This essay explores ways in which Hawkins’ Life of Johnson is based in legal thought, especially with regard to his understanding of Johnson’s legacy to the former slave Francis Barber, and Johnson’s legal advocacy on behalf of the condemned clergyman William Dodd.

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