Robert Wright, Baron Wright

Robert Alderson Wright, Baron Wright, GCMG, PC, FBA (15 October 1869 – 27 June 1964) was a British judge. A commercial barrister, he was a Justice of the High Court from 1925 to 1932, when he was directly promoted to the House of Lords as a law lord. Robert Stevens described him as "one of the few significant British appeal judges of the twentieth century."

The Lord Wright
Master of the Rolls
In office
7 October 1935 – 26 April 1937
Preceded byThe Lord Hanworth
Succeeded byThe Lord Greene
Personal details
Robert Alderson Wright

15 October 1869 (1869-10-15)
South Shields, County Durham
Died27 June 1964 (1964-06-28) (aged 94)
Durley House, Burbage, Wiltshire
SpouseMarjory Avis Bullows (d. 1980)
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
ProfessionBarrister, judge

Early life and career


Born in South Shields, Wright was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took a First and later held a prize fellowship. He was called to the bar in 1900 by the Inner Temple and practiced at the commercial bar, having joined the chambers of Thomas Edward Scrutton. He also lectured on industrial law at the London School of Economics. He took silk in 1917.

At the 1923 General election, he stood as the Liberal candidate in the Darlington constituency. The Liberals, who had not contested the seat at the previous election, were not expected to win and he came last. He did not stand for Parliament again.[1]

Judicial career


In 1925, Wright was appointed to the High Court (King's Bench Division) as a judge, receiving the customary knighthood. On 11 April 1932, he was appointed Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and was created additionally a life peer with the title Baron Wright, of Durley in the County of Wiltshire. His translation from the High Court directly to the House of Lords was unusual, and was masterminded by the Lord Chancellor, the Viscount Sankey. However, he resigned as Lord of Appeal in 1935. becoming instead Master of the Rolls, a post he held until 1937, when he was made Lord of Appeal in Ordinary again. He retired in 1947, and was appointed GCMG in 1948.

In 1945 he was the Chairman of the United Nations War Crimes Commission.[2]



As a trial judge


As an appellate judge



Coat of arms of Robert Wright, Baron Wright
In front of a Demi-Dragon Or the wings semée of Fleur-de-lis Azure a Fasces fesswise Sable
Azure on a Fess between three Eagles' Heads couped Or a Pale between two Fleurs-de-lis of the first the pale charged with a Fleur-de-lis of the second.
On either side a Pegasus Argent the Wings Or semée of Fleurs-de-lis Azure
Mens aequa [3][4]


  1. ^ British parliamentary election results, 1918-1949.
  2. ^ "Law Reports of Trials of War Criminals". Library of Congress.
  3. ^ "Wright, Baron (Law Lord) (UK, 1932 - 1964)".
  4. ^ Debrett's Peerage. 1936.
  • N Duxbury, 'Lord Wright and Innovative Traditionalism' (2009) 59 University of Toronto Law Journal 265–340.
Legal offices
Preceded by Master of the Rolls
Succeeded by