William Pickford, 1st Baron Sterndale
|The Right Honourable|
The Lord Sterndale
|Master of the Rolls|
3 November 1919 – 7 August 1923
|Preceded by||The Lord Swinfen|
|Succeeded by||Sir Ernest Pollock|
1 October 1848
17 August 1923|
King Sterndale, Derbyshire
|Spouse(s)||Alice Mary Brooke (d. 1884)|
|Alma mater||Exeter College, Oxford|
William Pickford, 1st Baron Sterndale PC (1 October 1848 – 7 August 1923) was a British lawyer and judge. He served as a Lord Justice of Appeal between 1914 and 1918, as President of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division between 1918 and 1919 and as Master of the Rolls between 1919 and 1923.
Background and education
Pickford was born in Manchester, son of the Manchester merchant Thomas Edward Pickford and his wife, Georgina, daughter of Jeremiah Todd-Naylor. He was educated at Liverpool College and went to Exeter College, Oxford in 1867. He entered the Inner Temple in 1871, reading under Thomas Henry Baylis, and was called to the bar in 1874. Going the Northern Circuit, he had chambers in Liverpool.
As a junior Pickford appeared in the trial of Florence Maybrick. He took silk in 1893. He was made Recorder of Oldham in 1901, and then of Liverpool in 1904. He also represented the British government in 1905, in the enquiry after the Dogger Bank incident when Russia sunk some Hull trawlers.
Legal and judicial career
Pickford was appointed a judge of the High Court in 1907 and a Lord Justice of Appeal and sworn of the Privy Council in 1914. In 1916 he was chairman of the Dardanelles Commission. He was made President of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division and raised to the peerage as Baron Sterndale, of King Sterndale in the County of Derby, in 1918. The following year he became Master of the Rolls, a post he held until his death.
Lord Sterndale married Alice Mary Brooke, of Sibton Park Suffolk, on 18 August 1880. They had two daughters, Dorothy Frances Pickford (b. 1881) and Mary (Molly) Ada Pickford (b. 1884). His wife Alice died after childbirth on 5 September 1884. Sterndale's daughter the Hon. Mary Ada Pickford sat as Conservative Member of Parliament for Hammersmith North from 1931 to 1934. Lord Sterndale died in August 1923, aged 74, when the barony became extinct. He is buried at King Sterndale Church near Buxton, Derbyshire.
- Mooney, Hugh. "Pickford, William". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35525. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- The London Gazette: . 15 May 1914.
- From: 'Appendix 1', Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 10: Officials of Royal Commissions of Inquiry 1870-1939 (1995), pp. 85-8. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=16611. Date accessed: 12 August 2007.
- The London Gazette: . 15 November 1918.
Sir Samuel Evans
|President of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division
| Succeeded by|
Sir Henry Duke
Sir Charles Swinfen Eady
|Master of the Rolls
| Succeeded by|
Sir Ernest Pollock
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation||Baron Sterndale