Sir Paul James Duke Coleridge
Current position held:
Founder and Chairman at the Marriage Foundation in United Kingdom
(together with his two sons, a Vicar and an Accountant and Sir Mark Hedley, Chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of Liverpool and a retired High Court Judge)
(Former Judge of the High Court (Family Division) at the Royal Courts of Justice)
Date of birth and family:
30 May 1949
Parents: Major James Bernard Coleridge (born 9 May 1919 – died 1991), son of Paul Humphrey Coleridge and Margaret Frances Giffard, married to Jane Eveline Giffard, daughter of Campbell Walter Giffard (died 30 December 1960) and Ethel Miriam Albu (born 14 February 1892 – died 23 December 1941) on 30 March 1946; Major James Bernard Coleridge was educated at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey, England, and fought in WWII gaining the rank of Major in the service of the Royal Signals following being educated at King’s College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England; see siblings below.
Grandfather (father’s side): Paul Humphrey Coleridge (born 17 February 1888 – died 23 May 1955), son of Hon. Stephen William Buchanan Coleridge and Geraldine Beatrice Lushington, married to Margaret Frances Giffard, daughter of George Campbell Giffard on 27 June 1914; gained the rank of Captain in the service of the 16th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters; fought in WWI and WWII; decorated with the award of the Military Cross and invested as a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects; he had 5 children Anthony Duke Coleridge (born 18 June 1915 – died 31 January 2000), Major James Bernard Coleridge (born 9 May 1919 – died 1991), Francis Stephen Coleridge (born 30 December 1920 – died 1992), Paul Michael Coleridge (born 30 June 1923 – died 19 December 1923), and Helen Bridget Coleridge ( born 19 March 1928 – 29 April 1928).
Great-grandfather (father’s side): Hon. Stephen William Buchanan Coleridge (born 31 May 1854 – died 10 April 1936) son of John Duke Coleridge, 1st Baron Coleridge of Ottery St. Mary and Jane Fortescue Seymour; attended in 1873 at Trinity College, Cambridge University, Cambridgeshire, England; graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1877 and a Master of Arts in 1880; admitted at the Middle Temple on 8 July 1875 and then on 5 May 1882 as a merchant at Sussex Square; called to the bar in 1886; was Private Secretary to his father Lord Chief Justice of England from 1884-1890 and Clerk of Assize for the South Wales Circuit in 1890; held a number of positions at various organisations; known for his determined opposition to modern methods of biological study; married twice, first to Geraldine Beatrice Lushington on 5 April 1879 and second to Susan G. J. Stewart on 8 July 1911; practicing barrister, artist and author; had 3 children John Duke Coleridge (born 10 November 1879 – died 9 September 1934), Guy Lushington Coleridge (born 15 April 1884 – 28 October 1941), and Paul Humphrey Coleridge (born 17 February 1888 – died 23 May 1955).
Great-great grandfather (father’s side): John Duke Coleridge, 1st Baron Coleridge of Ottery St. Mary (born 3 December 1820 – died 14 June 1894) son of Rt. Hon. Sir John Taylor Coleridge and Mary Buchanan; educated at Eton College, Windsor, Berkshire, England and Balliol College, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England; admitted to the Middle Temple in 1846 and became Barrister-at-law; held the office of Recorder of Portsmouth from 1855 to 1866; held the office of Bencher of the Middle Temple in 1861; became Queens Council in 1861; became a Member of Parliament (Liberal) for Exeter from 1865 to 1873; held the office of Solicitor-General from 1868 to 1871; held the office of the Attorney-General from 1871 to 1873; invested as a Privy Counsellor in 1873; was given the name on 10 January 1874 of 1st Baron Coleridge of Ottery St. Mary, co. Devon; awarded in 1877 with the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law by Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England; held the office of Lord Chief Justice from 1880 to 1894; stayed in office until his death; married on 11 August 1846 first wife Jane Fortescue Seymour, daughter of Reverend George Turner Seymour and Marianne Billingsley; married on 13 August 1885 second wife Amy Augusta Jackson Lawford, daughter of Henry Baring Lawford; had 4 children Hon. Mildred Mary Coleridge (born 1847 – died 14 Jan 1929) and known for her public raw with her father over her marriage on 24 June 1885 to Charles Warren Adams which resulted in letters now published, Bernard John Seymour Coleridge 2nd Baron Coleridge of Ottery St Mary (born 19 August 1851 – died 24 September 1927), Hon. Stephen William Buchanan Coleridge (born 31 May 1854 – died 10 April 1936) and Hon. Gilbert James Duke Coleridge (born 15 February 1859 – died 6 November 1953).
Best known to have “initiated, drafted and carried through the House of Commons when he sat in that assembly as member for Exeter a Bill emancipating married women from the cruel conditions of servitude whereby their own earnings could legally be taken from them by their husbands. This was the first of a series of wide-minded Acts of Parliament which established the position of women as no longer the mere chattels of their male relatives.”
Best known for:
- – the famous libel case between his son-in-law Adams and his son Bernard which led to two celebrated libel actions won by Adams while he was serving as Lord Chief Justice.
- – leading case and judgment (the trial arising from the Royal Baccarat Scandal) in Gordon-Cumming v Wilson and Others (1891)
Best known for his two books: “An Instinctive Criminal” and “Eton in the Seventies”.
Great-great-great grandfather (father’s side): Rt. Hon. Sir John Taylor Coleridge (born 9 July 1790 – died 11 February 1876) son of James “the Colonel” Coleridge and Frances Duke Taylor; married on 7 August 1818 Mary Buchanan, daughter of Reverend Gilbert Buchanan and Frances Reed; educated at Eton College and University of Oxford; graduated with a Doctor of Civil Law; worked at Southampton Buildings and Middle Temple; joined the Western Circuit; became a Judge at the Court of the King’s Bench in 1835 and served for 23 years; member of the Privy Council; edited in 1825 the famous Commentaries by the 18th-century British jurist Sir William Blackstone; had 3 children Alethea Buchanan Coleridge (born 1826 – died 30 March 1909) married to Rt Rev John Fielder Mackarness (Bishop of Oxford), John Duke Coleridge – 1st Baron Coleridge of Ottery St. Mary (born 3 December 1820 – died 14 June 1894) and Reverend Henry James Coleridge (born 20 September 1822 – died 13 April 1893).
Great-great-great-great grandfather (father’s side): James Coleridge (born 3 December 1759 – died 10 January 1836) son of Reverend John Coleridge and Anne Bowden; married on 28 February 1788 Frances Duke Taylor, daughter of Bernard Frederick Taylor and Frances Duke; gained the rank of Captain in the service of the 6th Foot; gained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in 1809 in the service of the East Devon local militia; held the office of Justice of the Peace for Devon; had 6 children Frances duke Coleridge (born 1764 – died 1838), Reverand James Duke Coleridge (born 13 June 1789 – died 26 December 1857), Rt. Hon. Sir John Taylor Coleridge (born 9 July 1790 – died 11 February 1876), Francis George Coleridge (born 25 December 1794 – died 26 August 1854), Henry Nelson Coleridge (born 25 October 1798 – 26 January 1843), and Reverend Edward Coleridge (born 11 May 1800 – died 18 May 1883).
Great-great-great-great- great grandfather (father’s side): Reverend John Coleridge (born 21 January 1719 – died 1781) son of John Coleridge who lived in Crediton, Devon, England; married on 24 May 1743 first wife Mary Lendon and on 1753 Anne Bowden; was the Vicar of Ottery St. Mary, Devon, England; was a well-respected vicar of the parish and headmaster of Henry VIII’s Free Grammar School at Ottery; had 5 children Reverend Edward Coleridge Clerk of Ottery St Mary Devon, Reverend George Coleridge (born 1764 – died 12 January 1828), James Coleridge (born 3 December 1759 – died 10 January 1836), Luke Herman Coleridge (born 18 October 1765 – died 1790), Samuel Taylor Coleridge (born 20 October 1772 – died 25 July 1834) English poet, critic and philosopher co-founder with William Wordsworth of the Romantic Movement in England.
Siblings: Susan Margaret Ethel Coleridge (born 24 May 1947) married in 1970 to Peter John Cunard having 3 children Nicholas Peter Cunard (born 30 October 1971), Sebastian James Cunard (born 29 December 1972) and Catherine Jane Cunard (born 27 November 1976); and Lucy Veronica Coleridge (born 1 July 1954) married in 1977 to Stuart John Selleck having 3 children Samuel George Selleck (born 1978), Georgina Jane Selleck (born 1980) and Leo James Selleck (born 1986).
Married: Judith Elizabeth Rossiter, daughter of Hugh Trenchard Rossitier, on 3 January 1973.
Children: Alice Evelina Coleridge (born 19 September 1974); William Paul Hugh Coleridge (born 7 July 1976) and Vicar and Director at Marriage Foundation and Edward James Coleridge (born 22 October 1980) and Accountant and Director at Marriage Foundation.
Dates of employment:
1970-1985 and 1989-2000 Barrister-at-Law at Queen Elizabeth Bldg (QEB)
1985 – 1989 Int. legal advisor to Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza Lugano, Switzerland
1993 Queens Counsel (QC)
1993 – 2000 Silk
1996 – 2000 Deputy High Court Judge
2000-2013 Judge of the High Court of Justice (Family Div)
2012 – present Founder and Chairman at Marriage Foundation in the UK
2013 – present Associate Member at QEB
Justice of the High Court – 2013 was in the amount of £174,481 plus all other payments in relation to London Weighting and appropriate travelling and subsistence allowances incurred whilst on judicial business such as travel, lodging, food, conferences, dinner/events attendances etc paid in addition to the judicial salary. Ministry of Justice stated that “these are not financial gains, but allowances to defray costs legitimately incurred whilst on judicial business“. For government confirmed statistics click here.
Cranleigh School, a boarding independent school
The College of Law, in London
1970 called to the Bar Middle Temple
Best known for these law cases:
Best known for his views:
“Marriage and family breakdown is one of the most destructive scourges of our time. For that reason, I have, for some years now, been trying to raise the subject whenever I have had the chance to speak publicly on the matter. I am now convinced that it is time not only to talk but to act.”
“The Marriage Foundation was launched in a blaze of publicity by Sir Paul Coleridge at the Middle Temple on 1st May 2012. Its central theme, and stated core purpose, is to tackle the destructive effect upon children of family breakdown and a desire to reduce the number of children caught up within the court system….Every institution that is a social arrangement needs a voice. We take for granted that marriage always will carry on exactly as it always has because it’s always been there and yet on the other hand it is rubbished; people that say there’s no difference and if you’ve got a completely committed relationship what does it matter whether you get married? That’s the debate.” (Newsletter, Summer 2012 – Family Law Bar Association)
“Question: Is it better for a child to grow up with married parents in an abusive or unhappy household than an unmarried cohabiting relationship or even a single parent family with no such abuse?
Answer: No. of course it isn’t better. But that’s to argue from the general to the specific. We are absolutely not saying that the people who do bring up their children in a committed long term relationship are doing a worse job. As I said before, it just doesn’t happen very often. Nor are we saying nobody should ever get divorced. You should acknowledge divorce; we’ve been campaigning for changes in the divorce law since 1865 when you had to get an Act of Parliament to divorce. We’re not saying that people should stay in marriage for all time regardless. But we do feel people should think much longer and harder before breaking up their relationships because actually there are a great many things that can be done to prevent breakdown. I think you will find that statistically people who have gone down the repair route as opposed to the bin it route are much happier. We do think that an enormous amount can be done to help people keep their relationships together, married or unmarried.” (Newsletter, Summer 2012 – Family Law Bar Association)
Contributions to Society:
Sir Paul Coleridge, a former Senior High Court Judge at the Royal Courts of Justice, descendant of John Taylor Coleridge, son of Major James Bernard Coleridge, grandson of Paul Humphrey Coleridge, great-grandson of Hon Stephen William Buchanan Coleridge, great-great-grandson of Hon John Duke Coleridge 1st Baron Coleridge of Ottery St. Mary (former Lord Chief Justice of England) launched in 2012 The Marriage Foundation, which is a think tanks organisation promoting the institution of marriage for the good of society. A family business to promote marriage while leaving the door open to the unresolved and unstable divorce laws which continue to ruin many lives while the legal professionals are getting richer and richer.
“The controversial judge hit the headlines last year when he complained that getting a divorce is easier than getting a driving licence.” (The Huffington Post)
“62-year-old Sir Paul has been married for nearly 40 years, and recently denied his foundation will be a “cosy club for the smug and self-satisfied of middle England.” Its patrons include baroness Ruth Deech, Lord Justice Toulson and Lady Toulson, Barones Fiona Shackleton, the former personal solicitor to Prince William and Prince Harry as well as Sir Paul McCartney and Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss. ” (The Huffington Post)