The Rt. Hon. Sir George Nares  -  Judge   (1716-1786)


Portrait by Nathaniel Hone 1774

Born in Stanwell on Dec 14th 1716, the younger son of George Nares of Albury.  Educated at Magdalene College School and then admitted to New College, Oxford.  In 1737 he became a student at the Inner Temple and was called to the bar in 1741.  He appears to have practiced chiefly in the Criminal Courts, and his merit must have been conspicuous for, in 1759, he was appointed one of the King's Sargeants.  In the General Election of March 1768 he was returned to the House of Commons for the City of Oxford,  which soon afterwards chose him as its recorder.  In the fourth session of that Parliament the elevation of Mr Justice Bathurst to the office of Lord Chancellor left a vacancy in the Court of Common Pleas to which Mr Justice Nares was appointed, on the 25th of Jan 1771.  The next day he was knighted.   He was graduated a D.C.L. of Oxford University in 1773.  After filling that honourable post with great credit for more than 15 years, he died at Ramsgate in 1786. He lived, from around 1775, at Warbrook House, Eversley, Hants and was buried with his wife at nearby St Mary's Church,  where there are memorial plaques to their memories.  He was very keen that the house should remain in the family and drew up his own will which was described at the time as being "so plain and easy of execution as to be a matter of congratulation".  Unfortunately, for the house to pass on to his eldest son it required that his younger siblings surrender a small interest in the residue of the estate which the youngest daughter was not able to do as she was not of age.  This meant that, as none of the executors were prepared to sign on her behalf, that they had to apply for an order of the Court of Chancery which proved extremely expensive.  So much so that, even though the counsel employed by the executors waived his fee, the house had to be sold to meet the costs and everyone lost out.


Photo kindly sent by Andrew Webber
(Immediately recognisable in the portrait of his sons George & Edward - see their pages)

On 1 Oct 1751, he married Mary Strange, at St Mary's, Leyton, Essex.  She was the third daughter of Sir John Strange - Solicitor General to George II and, later, Master of the Rolls & a Privy Councilor.  Her mother was Susannah, the granddaughter of Edward Strong who was the mason who laid the last stone of St Paul's Cathedral (the first having been laid by his brother, Thomas, 33 years earlier).  She died, aged 55, in 1782.  Their children were Mary 1753-1797,  John b.1754,  George b.1759 and Edward b.1762,  Anne, 1764-1795, Susanna, 1765-1818 and Sophia.  There were also four other children who died very young, one of whom was born on 8 Apr 1763 and christened Elizabeth on 5 May.