William Blackstone was an English judge and jurist who lived in the 18th century. He is most famous for his Commentaries on the Laws of England, a comprehensive analysis of English common law. His work was influential in the development of the English legal system and remains an important source of legal knowledge to this day.
What is the most famous quote by William Blackstone ?
No enactment of man can be considered law unless it conforms to the law of God— William Blackstone
What can you learn from William Blackstone (Life Lessons)
- William Blackstone taught that justice should be tempered with mercy, emphasizing the importance of understanding the circumstances of each case before making a decision.
- He also believed that the law should be applied equally to all, regardless of their social status or wealth.
- Finally, he believed that the law should be used to protect the rights of individuals and to ensure that justice is served.
The most genuine William Blackstone quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you
Following is a list of the best quotes, including various William Blackstone inspirational quotes, and other famous sayings by William Blackstone.
[Self-defense is] justly called the primary law of nature, so it is not, neither can it be in fact, taken away by the laws of society.
Free men have arms; slaves do not.
Man must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator.
This will of his Maker is called the Law of Nature. This Law of Nature is superior to any other. No human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.
Punishments of unreasonable severity, especially where indiscriminately afflicted, have less effect in preventing crimes, and amending the manners of a people, than such as are more merciful in general, yet properly intermixed with due distinctions of severity.
So great moreover is the regard of the law for private property, that it will not authorize the least violation of it; no, not even for the general good of the whole community.
Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws.
Trial by jury is a privilege of the highest and most beneficial nature [and] our most important guardian both of public and private liberty. The liberties of England cannot but subsist so long as this palladium remains sacred and inviolate, not only from all open attacks, ... but also from all secret machinations, which may sap and undermine it.
The husband and wife are one, and that one is the husband.
Legal quotes by William Blackstone
By marriage the husband and wife are one person in law, that is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during marriage.
The Bible has always been regarded as part of the Common Law of England.
The law, which restrains a man from doing mischief to his fellow citizens, though it diminishes the natural, increases the civil liberty of mankind.
If [the legislature] will positively enact a thing to be done, the judges are not at liberty to reject it, for that were to set the judicial power above that of the legislature, which would be subversive of all government.
That the king can do no wrong is a necessary and fundamental principle of the English constitution.
It is better that ten guilty escape than one innocent suffer.
Man was formed for society and is neither capable of living alone, nor has the courage to do it.
No outward doors of a man's house can in general be broken open to execute any civil process; though in criminal cases the public safety supersedes the private.
Quotations by William Blackstone that are scholarly and influential
The law rarely hesitates in declaring its own meaning;
but the Judges are frequently puzzled to find out the meaning of others.
Every wanton and causeless restraint of the will of the subject, whether practiced by a monarch, a nobility, or a popular assembly, is a degree of tyranny.
Herein indeed consists the excellence of the English government, that all parts of it form a mutual check upon each other.
There is nothing which so generally strikes the imagination and engages the affections of mankind, as the right of property.
Of crimes injurious to the persons of private subjects, the most principal and important is the offense of taking away that life, which is the immediate gift of the great creator; and which therefore no man can be entitled to deprive himself or another of, but in some manner either expressly commanded in, or evidently deducible from, those laws which the creator has given us; the divine laws, I mean, of either nature or revelation.
Gaming is a kind of tacit confession that the company engaged therein do in general exceed the bounds of their respective fortunes, and therefore they cast lots to determine upon whom the ruin shall at present fall, that the rest may be saved a little longer.
The sciences are of a sociable disposition, and flourish best in the neighborhood of each other; nor is there any branch of learning but may be helped and improved by assistance drawn from other arts.
The Royal Navy of England hath ever been its greatest defense and ornament;
it is its ancient and natural strength; the floating bulwark of the island.
Man..must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator, for he is entirely a dependent being..And, consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker's will.
And, lastly, to vindicate these rights, when actually violated and attacked, the subjects of England are entitled, in the first place, to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law; next to the right of petitioning the king and parliament for redress of grievances; and, lastly, to the right of having and using arms for self preservation and defense.
THIS law of nature, being co-eval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.
Time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary.
In all tyrannical governments the supreme magistracy, or the right both of making and of enforcing the laws, is vested in one and the same man, or one and the same body of men; and wherever these two powers are united together, there can be no public liberty.
Mankind will not be reasoned out of the feelings of humanity.
Law, in its most general and comprehensive sense, signifies a rule of action;
and is applied indiscriminately to all kinds of action, whether animate, or inanimate, rational or irrational. Thus we say, the laws of motion, of gravitation, of optics, or mechanics, as well as the laws of nature and of nations. And it is that rule of action, which is prescribed by some superior, and which the inferior is bound to obey.
To deny the possibility, nay, the actual existence of witchcraft and sorcery, is at once flatly to contradict the revealed word of God in various passages both of the Old and New Testament, and the thing itself is a Truth to which every nation in the world hath, in its turn, borne testimony, by either example seemingly well attested or by prohibitory laws, which at least suppose the possibility of a commerce with evil spirits.
The public good is in nothing more essentially interested than in the protection of every individual's private rights.
The third absolute right, inherent in every Englishman, is that of . . . the sacred and inviolable rights of private property.
Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal laws to be inviolate. On the contrary, no human legislature has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner shall himself commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture.
The most universal and effectual way of discovering the true meaning of law, when the words are dubious, is by considering the reason and spirit of it; or the cause which moved the legislator to enact it. for when this reason ceased, the law itself ought likewise to cease with it.
Until the content of a belief is made clear, the appeal to accept the belief on faith is beside the point, for one would not know what one has accepted. The request for the meaning of a religious belief is logically prior to the question of accepting that belief on faith or to the question of whether that belief constitutes knowledge.
There is nothing which so generally strikes the imagination, and engages the affections of mankind, as the right of property; or that sole and despotic dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in total exclusion of the right of any other individual in the universe. And yet there are very few, that will give themselves the trouble to consider the original and foundation of this right.
The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the holy scriptures.. are found upon comparison to be really part of the original law of nature. Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these.