The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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William Ventris Field, 1813-1907

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1813.08.21
Place of Birth: Fielden, Bedfordshire
Date of Death: 1907.01.22
Place of Death: Bognor


Sir William Ventris Field, Baron Field of Bakeham, was a Judge of the High Court of Judicature in the Queen's Bench Division. He was second son of Thomas Flint Field. In 1864 he married Louisa Smith, the daughter of John Smith. She died on 24 May 1880, without children.


Field began his career in Exeter in the office of the solicitors Terrell, Barton and Smale, and then with Picre and Bolton at Lincoln's Inn. In 1843 he became a member of the firm of Thompson, Debenham and Field at Salters' Hall Court, E.C. In 1843 he became a student of the Middle Temple, and of the Inner Temple in 1846, and was called to the bar in 1850. In February 1864 he was appointed a Queen's Counsel, and in April of the same year was elected a bencher of his Inn. In February 1875 he was appointed by Lord Cairns as Judge of the High Court of Judicature in the Queen's Bench Division.

He tried many important cases including Dobbs v. the Grand Junction Waterworks Co. in 1883, Sharpe v. Wakefield and Dalton v. Angus, as well as Whistler v. Ruskin in 1878. He retired from the bench in 1890, and was created a peer, being given the title of Baron Field of Bakeham near Staines, Middlesex.


H. S., 'Sir William Ventris Field', 1912, Dictionary of National Biography Online, Oxford, 1997 (accessed 8 August 2003).