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William Ebenezer Grigsby

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Dr. William Ebenezer Grigsby (3 April 1847 - 11 August 1899) was a jurist and local politician.

Born in Chelmsford, Essex, he was the son of of David Grigsby, a schoolmaster and Congregational minister and his wife Catherine (or Kate) née Savell.[1]

Following education at Chelmsford Grammar School he studied law: he received a BA from the University of London in 1866, an MA from the University of Glasgow in 1867, and a Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) degree from Baliol College, Oxford in 1873.[1] From 1874-1879 he was professor of Law at the University of Tokyo.[1] He returned to England and the University of London where he graduated as a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 1879 and a Doctor of Laws (LLD) in 1880.[2] He was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1881,[1] and was the author of a number of books on law.

When the first elections to the London County Council were held in January 1889, Grigsby, by then resident in Holloway, was nominated a candidate by the Liberal-backed Progressive Party to contest the Islington North division.[3] He was comfortably elected along with his party colleague, William Coulson Parkinson.[4] He was re-elected in 1892.[5]

At the general election of 1892 he was chosen by the Liberal Party to contest the Chelmsford constituency, but failed to be elected.[1] In November 1893 he resigned from the London County Council on his appointment as a district judge in Cyprus. The appointment was somewhat controversial, as it was alleged by the Conservatives that he was the director of a company that had been forced into receivership by reckless trading.[6]

He died suddenly in Cyprus in August 1899, aged 52, leaving an estate worth £1,000.[7][8]

Some information on the University of Glasgow page [1].


  • The Legacy of Iyeyasu (1874) [2]
  • Commentaries on Equity Jurisprudence (with Joseph Storey) (1884)[3]
  • The Medjellè or Ottoman Civil Law. Translated into English (1895) [4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The Election Campaign in Essex, The Essex Standard, West Suffolk Gazette, and Eastern Counties' Advertiser, 2 July 1892, p.5
  2. Graduate Record for William Ebenezer Grigsby (University of Glasgow)
  3. London County Council. The Nominations. The Morning Post, 10 January 1889, p.2
  4. The County Councils - London Polls, The Times, 18 January 1889, p.9
  5. The London County Council Election, The Times, March 7, 1892, p.10
  6. Hansard . Questions, Commons Sitting 30 November 1893 (HC Deb vol 19 cc94-5)
  7. The Morning Post, 2 September 1899, p.5
  8. Society and Personal Notes, The Essex County Standard West Suffolk Gazette, and Eastern Counties Advertiser, 24 November 1900, p.6

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