William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, PC, SL was a British barrister and judge noted for his reform of English law. Born to Scottish nobility, he was educated in Perth, before moving to London at the age of 13 to take up a place at Westminster School, he was accepted into Christ Church, Oxford, in May 1723, graduated four years later. Returning to London from Oxford, he was called to the Bar by Lincoln's Inn on 23 November 1730, gained a reputation as an excellent barrister, he became involved in politics in 1742, beginning with his election as a Member of Parliament for Boroughbridge, now in West Yorkshire, appointment as Solicitor General. In the absence of a strong Attorney General, he became the main spokesman for the government in the House of Commons, was noted for his "great powers of eloquence" and described as "beyond comparison the best speaker" in the House of Commons. With the promotion of Sir Dudley Ryder to Lord Chief Justice in 1754, he became Attorney General, when Ryder unexpectedly died several months he took his place as Chief Justice.
As the most powerful British jurist of the century, Mansfield's decisions reflected the Age of Enlightenment and moved the country onto the path to abolishing slavery. He advanced commercial law in ways that helped establish the nation as world leader in industry and trade, he modernised the English courts system. For his work in Carter v Boehm and Pillans v Van Mierop, he has been called the founder of English commercial law, he is now best known for his judgment in Somersett's Case, where he held that slavery had no basis in common law and had never been established by positive law in England, therefore was not binding in law. Murray was born on 2 March 1705, at Scone Palace in Perthshire, the fourth son of the 5th Viscount of Stormont and his wife, Margaret, née Scott, one of eleven children. Both his parents were strong supporters of the Jacobite cause, his older brother James followed "The Old Pretender" into exile; the Jacobite sympathies of Murray's family were glossed over by contemporaries, who claimed that he had been educated at Lichfield Grammar School with many other members of the English judiciary.
This was incorrect, as Murray was educated at Perth Grammar School, where he was taught Latin, English grammar, essay writing skills. He said that this gave him a great advantage at university, as those students educated in England had been taught Greek and Latin, but not how to write properly in English. While at Perth Grammar School, it became apparent that Murray was intelligent, in 1718, his father and older brother James decided to send him to Westminster School, as James knew the Dean, Francis Atterbury; the distance from Perth to London was around 400 miles, the journey took Murray 54 days. Murray flourished at Westminster and was made a King's Scholar on 21 May 1719. After an examination in May 1723, Murray was accepted into Christ Church, having scored higher in the examination than any other King's Scholar that year, he was admitted as a commoner on 15 June 1723, matriculated on 18 June. His older brother James was a barrister in Scotland, his family decided that a career as a barrister was best for Murray.
The Scottish Bar at the time was overcrowded, which made it difficult for a young barrister to build a reputation, yet qualifying for the English Bar was expensive. Thanks to the patronage of Thomas Foley, 1st Baron Foley, who gave Murray £200 a year to live on, Murray could afford to study at the bar, became a member of Lincoln's Inn on 23 April 1724. After George I died on 11 June 1727, Murray entered and won a competition to write a Latin poem titled "The Death of the King", his actions were seen as a show of support for the House of Hanover and the political status quo, something odd considering the strong Jacobite sympathies of his family. He did this because, having no private income, he wished to secure patronage to help him advance politically. Another entrant was William Pitt, a constant rival to Murray until Pitt's death in 1778. There is little information about Murray's time at Oxford, he became fluent in Latin, translating Cicero's works into English and back into Latin. He gained his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1727, travelled to London to train as a barrister.
Murray married Elizabeth Finch. They did not have children and took on care of their niece, Lady Elizabeth Murray, after her mother died; when Mansfield's nephew Captain Sir John Lindsay returned to Britain in 1765 following the Seven Years' War and his assignment in the West Indies, he brought his natural daughter Elizabeth. Of half African descent, she was born into slavery in 1761, the daughter of Maria Bell, an enslaved woman. Lindsay asked Murray to take on her care and education, Elizabeth was baptized Dido Elizabeth Belle in 1766 in London. Murray's first contact when he moved to London was William Hamilton, a Scottish-born barrister, said to be the first Scot to practise at the English Bar, one of the few people, qualified to act as a barrister in both England and Scotland. Hamilton had been one of Murray's sponsors when he joined Lincoln's Inn in 1724, when Murray came to
The 116th Battalion, CEF, was an infantry battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the Great War. The battalion was authorized on 22 December 1915 and embarked for Britain on 23 July 1916. From October to December 1916 it provided reinforcements for the Canadian Corps. On 11 February 1917 it disembarked in France, where it fought with the 9th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war; the battalion was disbanded on 30 August 1920. The 116th Battalion was mobilized at Uxbridge, Ontario; the battalion had four Officers Commanding: Lt.-Col. S. S. Sharpe, DSO, 23 July 1916 – 28 December 1917 Lt.-Col. G. R. Pearkes, VC, DSO, MC, 28 December 1917 – 17 September 1918 Lt.-Col. D. Carmichael, DSO, MC, 18 September 1918 – 26 November 1918 Lt.-Col. G. R. Pearkes, VC, DSO, MC, 25 November 1918-DemobilizationThe twice-Officer Commanding the Battalion, Lt.-Col. George R. Pearkes, would go on to a distinguished political career, he retired from the Canadian Army in 1945 as a Major-General, served as a Member of Parliament, including as the Minister of National Defence from 1957 to 1960 and as the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia from 1960 to 1968.
The 116th Battalion was awarded the following battle honours: Arras, 1917–18 VIMY 1917 HILL 70 YPRES 1917 PASSCHENDAELE AMIENS Scarpe, 1918 DROCOURT-QUEANT HINDENBURG LINE CANAL DU NORD CAMBRAI 1918 Valenciennes FRANCE and FLANDERS 1917-18The 116th Battalion is perpetuated by the Ontario Regiment RCAC. Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914–1919 by Col. G. W. L. Nicholson, CD, Queen's Printer, Ontario, 1962
Soviet–Lithuanian Non-Aggression Pact was a non-aggression pact, signed between the Soviet Union and Lithuania on September 28, 1926. The pact confirmed all basic provisions of the Soviet–Lithuanian Peace Treaty of 1920; the Soviet Union continued to recognize Vilnius and Vilnius Region to Lithuania, despite the fact that the territories were under Polish control since the Żeligowski's Mutiny in 1920. It recognized Lithuania's interests in the Klaipėda Region. In exchange Lithuania agreed not to join any alliances directed against the Soviet Union, which meant international isolation at the time when Soviet Union was not a member of the League of Nations. Ratifications were exchanged in Kaunas on November 9, 1926, the pact became effective on the same day; the pact was registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on March 4, 1927. The pact was initiated by Lithuanians who sought a new direction in the foreign policy after the Locarno Treaties; the negotiations started on December 25, 1925 when People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs Georgy Chicherin stopped in Kaunas on his way to Moscow.
The negotiations were difficult as Latvia and Estonia disapproved the pact because it prevented creation of the Baltic Entente, Poland claimed that the agreement violated the Peace of Riga, Germany was wary over strengthening Lithuanian claims to the Klaipėda Region. The pact was controversial in Lithuania and its ratification by the Third Seimas on 5 November 1926 caused student protests against "Bolshevization" of Lithuania; as one of the protests was dispersed by force, it is cited as one of the reasons for the military coup in December 1926. However, the diplomats believed that keeping the dispute over Vilnius Region relevant in the European politics was worth the cost; the original pact was set to expire in five years, but on 6 May 1931, it was extended for another five years. On April 4, 1934, it was further extended to December 31, 1944. A separate convention was signed to define "aggression" on 5 July 1933; the pact was broken on 15 June 1940 with the Soviet occupation of Lithuania