William Norman Birkett, 1st Baron Birkett
, Kt, PC, QC
(6 September 1883 – 10 February 1962) was a British barrister
, judge, politician and preacher who served as the alternate British judge during the Nuremberg Trials
Birkett received his education at Barrow-in-Furness Grammar School. He was a Methodist preacher and a draper before attending Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1907, to study theology, history and law. Upon graduating in 1910 he worked as a secretary and was called to the Bar in 1913.
Declared medically unfit for military service during World War I, Birkett used the time to make up for his late entry into the legal profession and was appointed a King's Counsel in 1924. He became a criminal defence lawyer and acted as counsel in a number of famous cases including the second of the Brighton trunk murders. A member of the Liberal Party, he sat in Parliament for Nottingham East twice, first in 1923 and again in 1929.
Despite refusing appointment to the High Court of Justice in 1928, he was offered the position again in 1941 and accepted, joining the King's Bench Division. In 1945 he served as the alternate British judge at the Nuremberg trials, and he was made a Privy Counsellor in 1947. He joined the Court of Appeal (England and Wales) in 1950 but retired in 1956 when he had served for long enough to draw a pension. From 1958 he served in the House of Lords, and his speech against a private bill in 1962 saw it defeated by 70 votes to 36, two days before he died on 10 February 1962.
Described as "one of the most prominent Liberal barristers in the first half of the 20th century" and "the Lord Chancellor that never was", Birkett was noted for his skill as a speaker, which helped him defend clients with almost watertight cases against them. As an alternate judge, Birkett was not allowed a vote at the Nuremberg Trials, but his opinion helped shape the final judgment. During his tenure in the Court of Appeal he oversaw some of the most significant cases of the era, particularly in contract law, despite his avowed dislike of judicial work. (more...)
Skiddaw is a mountain in the Lake District National Park in the United Kingdom. With a summit at 931 m (3,054 ft) above sea level it is the fourth highest mountain in England (the third highest if Scafell Pike and Sca Fell are regarded as one mountain), and the lowest above 3,000 feet (910 m). It lies just north of the town of Keswick, Cumbria, and dominates the skyline in this part of the northern lakes. It is the simplest of the Lake District mountains of this height to ascend (as there is a well-trodden tourist track from a car park to the north-east of Keswick, near the summit of Latrigg) and, as such, many walking guides recommend it to the occasional walker wishing to climb a mountain. This is the first summit of the fell running challenge known as the Bob Graham Round when undertaken in a clockwise direction.
The mountain lends its name to the surrounding areas of "Skiddaw Forest", and "Back o' Skidda'" and to the isolated "Skiddaw House", situated to the east, formerly a shooting lodge and subsequently a youth hostel. It also provides the name for the slate derived from that region: Skiddaw Slate. Tuned percussion musical instruments or lithophones exist which are made from the slate, such as the Musical Stones of Skiddaw held at Keswick Museum and Art Gallery. (more...)
is the second largest lake
in the Lake District
, being approximately nine miles (14.5 kilometres) long and 0.75 miles (1,200 m) wide with a maximum depth of slightly more than 60 metres (197 ft). It is a typical Lake District narrow "ribbon lake
" formed after the last ice age
when a glacier
scooped out the valley floor and when the glacier retreated, the deepened section filled with meltwater
which became a lake. The surrounding mountains give Ullswater the shape of an elongated 'Z' with three distinct segments (or 'reaches') that wend their way through the surrounding hills. For much of its length Ullswater forms the border between the ancient counties of Cumberland