Thomas Denison

British judge (1699–1765)

Sir Thomas Denison (1699 - September 8, 1765) was a British judge.


  • A serjeant is a soldier with a halbert, and a drummer is a soldier with a drum.
    • Lloyd v. Wooddall (1748), 1 Black. 30.
  • In case of private jurisdictions, the Court has inclined not to intermeddle.
    • The King v. Bishop of Ely (1750), 1 Black. Rep. 58. If it be a matter
  • "None shall be disseised of his freehold" (Magna Charta).
    • Quoted by Denison, J., Rex. v. Inhabitants of Aythrop Rooding (1756).
  • The point now before us is a settled case, and therefore there is no need to enter into arguments about it.
    • Rex v. Jarvis (1756), 1 Burr. Part IV. 154.
  • The custom of the city of London is a matter of fact.
    • Rex v. Davis (1758), 1 Burr. Part IV. 641.


  • To the memory of Sir Thomas Denison, Knt., this monument was erected by his afflicted widow. He was an affectionate husband, a generous relation, a sincere friend, a good citizen and most importantly an honest man. Skilled in all the learning of the common law, he raised himself to great eminence in his profession; and showed by his practice, that a thorough knowledge of the legal art and form is not litigious, or an instrument of chicane, but the plainest, easiest, and shortest way to the end of strife. For the sake of the public he was pressed, and at the last prevailed upon, to accept the office of a judge in the Court of King's Bench. He discharged the important trust of that high office with unsuspected integrity, and uncommon ability. The clearness of his understanding, and the natural probity of his heart, led him immediately to truth, equity, and justice; the precision and extent of his legal knowledge enabled him always to find the right way of doing what was right. A zealous friend to the constitution of his country, he steadily adhered to the fundamental principle upon which it is built, and by which alone it can be maintained, a religious application of the inflexible rule of law to all questions concerning the power of the crown, and privileges of the subject. He resigned his office February 14, 1765, because from the decay of his health and the loss of his eyesight, he found himself unable any longer to execute it. He died September 8, 1765, without issue, in the sixty-seventh year of his age. He wished to be buried in his native country, and in this church. He lies here near the Lord Chief Justice Gascoigne, who by a resolute and judicious exertion of authority, supported law and government in a manner which has perpetuated his name, and made him an example famous to posterity.
    • Memorial inscription, reported in Edward Foss, The Judges of England, With Sketches of Their Lives (1864), Volume 8, p. 266-268.
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