Charles Viner was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England in 1678. He studied law at Oxford although he never qualified or practiced law. Between 1741 and 1756 he wrote and published the 23 volume abridgement of English law titled A General Abridgement of Law and Equity.

Having spent over half a century at Oxford while dedicating his life to the study of English law, he bequeathed a sizeable estate to the University of Oxford (it is said that the success of a series of lectures on English law by William Blackstone convinced Viner that it was appropriate to establish a Chair in English Law at Oxford; Blackstone would become the first appointee to the chair). This estate was used to establish the Vinerian Chair of English Law. His personal law library was also bequeathed to the University and is now housed at the Bodelian Law Library at Oxford.

Charles Viner passed away on June 5, 1756.


  • listing for Viner, Charles at (URL last accessed 2002/10/15
  • the Xrefer listing for Viner, Charles (1678-1756) located at (last accessed 2002/10/15)
  • the web page titled Blackstone:Commentaries: Book I Part I, Section I located at (last accessed 2002/10/15)
  • the web page titled Bodelian Law Library - Special Collections located at (last accessed 2002/10/15)
  • the web page titled Sir William Blackstone: Biography of Sir William Blackstone located at (last accessed 2002/10/15)

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