Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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HUMPHREYS , JAMES ( c. 1768 - 1830 ), legal writer ;

b. at Montgomery , he was the sixth child of Charles Gardiner Humphreys , solicitor . Educated at Shrewsbury school , he was articled to William Pugh , Caerhowell, Mont. , going later to the office of a solicitor named Yeomans at Worcester . In Nov. 1887 he went to London . He became a pupil of Charles Butler and was entered at Lincoln's Inn . He was called to the Bar on 25 June 1800 and afterwards obtained a good practice as a conveyancer . In politics Humphreys was a Liberal and was friendly with Fox , Sir James Mackintosh , Sir Francis Burdett , and Horne Tooke . His chief work was Observations on the Actual State of the English Laws of Real Property, with the outlines of a Code ( London , 1826 , 2nd ed. 1827 ). This work gave him a high reputation as a legal reformer . The changes which he proposed were later adopted. Humphreys d. 29 Nov. 1830 in Upper Woburn Place , London .


  • Cambrian Quarterly Magazine (1829–33) , iii 288;
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present (1908) .


Elwyn Evans, M.A., Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959