Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1880 & 89

George Little QC (1815 - 1881)

 George Little was a Queen's Council Barrister and became part-time *Vice Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1871 and the first full-time Vice Chancellor in 1876.

He was born in 1815 in Blackburn, Lancashire and baptised on 29th November 1815. His parents were George Little snr (born 1780 in Blackburn, Lancashire and died December 1820 aged 40) and Margaret, nee Barton, (born 1774 at Over Darwen, Lancashire). Margaret's sister married into the Crompton family and her father-in-law was Samuel Crompton of Hall i' th' Wood, Bolton, who invented the Spinning Mule.

George had an older brother, John Little (born 16th December 1810 in Blackburn) who married Anne Ainsworth (born 1808 in Heap, Bury, Lancashire) at St John's Church, Manchester in 1838. John was an Insurance Agent in 1851, living at Broughton Lane, Cheetham, Manchester, and in 1861 he was an Agent for the Sale of House Property and Dealer, living at Church Street, Eccles. John and Anne had 4 children: Margaret Barton (born 1839 at Stockport, Cheshire), George Morris (born 1845 at Stockport, Cheshire), Samuel (born 1849 at Cheetham, Manchester) and David Ainsworth (born 1849 at Cheetham, Manchester). It would appear that George never married and was very close to his brother John and family.

George's career in the legal profession began when he was articled as a Solicitor in Manchester. He ascended to the Middle Temple in 1837, called to the Bar on 8th May 1840, became Queens Council in 1866 and a Bencher in 1867. On 22nd April 1871 he was appointed part-time Vice Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and on 18th December 1876 became the first full-time Vice Chancellor.

Very little is known about George Little QC. The Guardian of 18th July 1879 reported on the first AGM of the Record Society, held at Chetham's College, Manchester, where George Little QC was elected to its Council. The Society was formed for the publication of original documents relating to Lancashire and Cheshire.

George died on 27th January 1881 at his apartment in Chelsea, after a short illness. The Morning Post of 5th February 1881 reported, "The remains of the late Mr George Little QC, Vice Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster were yesterday interred at the Salford Cemetery. The funeral procession, consisting of a hearse and three coaches, left the house of the deceased gentleman's brother in Brunswick Street, Manchester. The body was interred in the C of E portion of the Cemetery. He was 65 years of age."

*The Vice Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is the officiating Judge of the Chancery Court (a Division of the High Court) that deals with civil disputes such as property, agreements and trusts, etc, in the County Palatine of Lancaster. This court sits three times per year, twice in Lancaster and once in Preston. In intervening periods, the Vice Chancellor may hold Special Courts in his chambers in London to make Interlocutory Orders (provisional decisions agreed by the contesting parties). One such case in 1879, (Gillibrands v Potter and Co.), undertaken by George Little, concerned access to water from the Earnsdale Brook, at Over Darwen near Blackburn.