About this image
Thomas Denman, First Baron Denman (23 July 1779 - 26 September 1854), was born in London. His father, Thomas Deman the elder, was a renowned doctor who wrote a best selling book on midwifery. After studying at Eton and Cambridge University he became a lawyer, becoming a barrister in 1806.
In 1812 he inherited an estate in Stoney Middleton in Derbyshire, which helped his financial situation. He also held a seat as a Whig MP. For a time he lived in Alvaston.
He came to national prominence in 1820 when he represented Queen Caroline, who he called 'the most wronged and insulted of womankind.' This earned him the wrath of George IV and the future William IV. His liberal Whig views had already made him enemies, and would continue to do in the future. He also campaigned for the abolition of slavery and promoted the rights of the individual.
The highlight of his career was when he was made Lord Chief Justice of England on 9 November 1832. His seventeen years as a judge were successful, managing to gain the respect of his peers and the public with his fairness and dignity. He managed to eliminate the backlog of cases that had grown.
In 1834 he entered the House of Lords when he was created Baron Denman of Dovedale.
This image is one of a collection by the famous local antiquarian, Thomas Bateman, of Middleton by Youlgreave. (1821-1861). Bateman organized his collection by inserting them into a 4 volume copy of Lysons Magna Britannia, Derbyshire, creating a fascinating and unique illustrated record of the county. The purchase of the collection for Derbyshire Libraries was made possible by the generous bequest of Miss Frances Webb of Whaley Bridge, well known local historian, who died in December 2006.