VIZARD, William 1774-1859. Solicitor. Vizard for whom the original Kingswood House was built in 1811-12, was a solicitor involved in one of the most sensational legal cases of his time: the divorce proceedings brought in the House of Lords by King George IV against his wife, Queen Caroline, in 1820. Vizard was the Queen’s legal adviser, while Henry Brougham (later Lord Chancellor) was one of the barristers who successfully defended her. The government had the case dropped, much to the king’s chagrin. Later on, Vizard acted for many years as adviser to the new Home Office on legal questions and was Secretary of the Bankruptcy Court. He was active in the newly-founded Law Society, of which he became President, and which possesses a portrait of him.

William Vizard spent a great deal of money improving his large Dulwich estate (67 acres at one time). He joined in local social life, becoming a member of the Dulwich Quarterly Meeting of residents, the gentlemen’s dining club, from 1812 until he returned to Gloucestershire in 1831.

Patrick Darby