About William Baliol Brett
William Baliol Brett, 1st Viscount Esher PC, QC (13 August 1817 – 24 May 1899), known as Sir William Brett between 1868 and 1883, was a British lawyer, judge and Conservative politician. He was briefly Solicitor-General under Benjamin Disraeli and then served as a justice of the Court of Common Pleas between 1868 and 1876, as a Lord Justice of Appeal between 1876 and 1883 and as Master of the Rolls. He was raised to the peerage as Baron Esher in 1885 and further honoured when he was made Viscount Esher on his retirement in 1897.
Brett was a son of the Reverend Joseph George Brett, of Chelsea, London, by Dorothy, daughter of George Best, of Chilston Park, Boughton Malherbe, Kent. He was educated at Westminster School, King's College London and at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Brett rowed for Cambridge University Boat Club against Leander Club in 1837 and 1838, then in the victorious Cambridge crew against Oxford University in the 1839 Boat Race.