The Province of Jurisprudence Determined and The Uses of the Study of Jurisprudence

The Province of Jurisprudence Determined and The Uses of the Study of Jurisprudence

The Province of Jurisprudence Determined and The Uses of the Study of Jurisprudence

The Province of Jurisprudence Determined and The Uses of the Study of Jurisprudence

Excerpt

John Austin was born in 1790, the eldest son of a prosperous Suffolk miller. At sixteen he joined the Army and served as a lieutenant in Malta and Sicily till 1812 when he resigned his commission to study law. He was called to the Bar in 1818 and for seven years practised as an equity draftsman in Lincoln's Inn without success, and eventually without enthusiasm. In 1819 he married Sarah Taylor, a daughter of a cultivated Norwich family and a woman of great intelligence, energy and beauty, to whom Bentham in his old age was devoted and who collected about her many of the most distinguished men of her day in France and Germany as well as in England. There was one child of the marriage, a daughter (afterwards Lady Duff- Gordon) who inherited talents and good looks from both her parents. On their marriage, the Austins became neighbours in London of Bentham and the Mills, and for twelve years lived at the intellectual centre of the movement for reform, though Austin, while remaining a convinced Utilitarian, early dissented from Bentham's political radicalism which he believed to be founded on ignorance of the lower classes, and after 1832 was opposed to the further extension of the franchise. Both Austin and his wife were Unitarians but allowed their daughter to be baptized and confirmed at the age of sixteen.

In 1826 when the University of London was founded Austin was appointed its professor of jurisprudence and spent the next two years in preparation of his lectures, mainly in Bonn where he read the newly discovered Institutes of Gaius, the Pandects, and the works of Hugo, Thibaut, and Savigny, and made friends with Niebuhr and W. von Schlegel. His opening lectures in . . .

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