City Readers Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library
Sir James Marriott (1730?-1803)
Sir James Marriott (29 October 1730 – 21 March 1803) was a prominent British judge, politician and scholar of the late eighteenth century who is best known for his service as Judge of the High Court of Admiralty, the highest court in Britain dealing with naval and maritime affairs. Although he presided over a number of important naval cases, his contribution to legal history lies principally in the publication of Formulare instrumentarum, a text on admiralty law that had a significant influence on American law in particular. For the rest of his career, Marriott was a shameless pursuer of political favour, siding with several factions both before and during his service as Member of Parliament for Sudbury between 1780 and 1784 and 1796 and 1802. He was less successful in other areas of his life: he served as a Fellow and subsequently Master at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, but quarrelled with his colleagues and rarely attended the College. He also produced a number of legal pamphlets and poems, which his biography in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography describes as "slender literary accomplishments".