Search the Collection
Robert Monsey Rolfe, Baron Cranworth (1790-1868), Judge
Sitter in 11 portraits
Rolfe twice served as Lord Chancellor of the United Kingdom. Having trained in the law, Rolfe was called to the Bar in 1816. He entered Parliament as an MP in 1832 until he was appointed Vice Chancellor and raised to the peerage as Baron Cranworth in 1850. Two years later he became Lord Chancellor in Lord Aberdeen's coalition ministry. Cranworth was not reappointed when Palmerston returned to office in 1859, but in 1865 he accepted the office for a second time, and held it until the fall of the Russell administration in 1866. Just nine days before his death in 1868, he passed judgement in the case of Rylands v Fletcher, one of the most famous cases in English legal history.