[Ads-l] witnesses: liars and experts.

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Thu Mar 17 17:09:32 UTC 2022

In addition to the fact that John Alderson Foote (1848-1922), who attributed the saying to Wilshere, Baron Bramwell, knew him, and quoted him more than once, here is another, earlier attribution of the liars/experts
saying (to be distinguished from the apparently later lies/statistics saying, used by C. W. Dilke and others:

The Scottish Law Review and Reports of Cases in the Sheriff ... <https://books.google.com/books?id=xpkuAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA309&dq=bramwell+%22liars+and+experts%22&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjsh_qJz832AhUlmeAKHXhcAsYQ6AF6BAgFEAI>
books.google.com › books <https://books.google.com/books?id=xpkuAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA309&dq=bramwell+%22liars+and+experts%22&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjsh_qJz832AhUlmeAKHXhcAsYQ6AF6BAgFEAI>

... to the Courts before which they appear that are worth considering : He naturally objects to Lord Bramwell's famous description of experts as filling the third place in his scale of witnesses as “ liars , d - d liars and “ experts .

Stephen Goranson
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2022 6:48 PM
Subject: witnesses: liars and experts.

The late York U. maths Prof. Peter M. Lee listed:

Bramwell, George William Wilshere, 1st Baron (1808–1892)
In “Pie-Powder”: being dust from the Law Courts collected and recollected on the Western Circuit by A Circuit Tramp [John Anderson Foote], London: John Murray 1911, page 180 we read:

Baron Bramwell was another conspicuous personality on the Bench. He it was who invented the well-known classification of pervertors of the truth—“liars, d—d liars, and expert witnesses.”

This may be what is referred to in the following three quotations:

In “The Whole Duty of a Chemist,” an unsigned article in response to an address by Prof. Wm. Odling [1829–1921], Nature, Thursday, November 26, 1885, p.74 ‘A well-known lawyer, now a judge, once grouped witnesses into three classes: simple liars, damned liars, and experts.’

Newcastle Weekly Courant, Saturday 4 April 1891, p. 3, ‘A rather eminent lawyer has been kind enough to classify witnesses as three kinds: “liars, d—d liars, and experts. Truly it would be interesting to know how he divided the lawyers.”’

Pall Mall Gazette, Friday 12 August 1889, p. 7, ‘An eminent judge is said to have expressed his opinion of paid witnesses as follows:– “There are liars, and d—d liars, and experts.”

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics - University of York<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.york.ac.uk/depts/maths/histstat/lies.htm__;!!OToaGQ!4am5EAFEnMCDhSsIsJshaqBe_edol6vtXr8yg63PnhUZo6f0FV-KvWUj0sbt5Sdp$ >
Link to Departmental home page. Link to History of Statistics pages Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics A few years ago I thought that I had successfully tied down the origin of this quotation.



Some Account of George William Wilshere, Baron Bramwell of Hever, and his Opinions. by Charles Fairfield



Might he have been a coiner?


Stephen Goranson

Stephen Goranson's Home Page<https://people.duke.edu/~goranson/>
Stephen Goranson. goranson "at" duke "dot" edu. Jannaeus.pdf. My paper on the history of Alexander Jannaeus as the Qumran- and Essene-view "Wicked Priest" and Judah the Essene as the "Teacher of Righteousness" (3 August 2005 [revised 12 January 2006]; 34 pages), "Jannaeus, His Brother Absalom, and Judah the Essene ". Dura-Europos.pdf "7 vs. 8: The Battle Over the Holy Day at Dura-Europos"

The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.americandialect.org__;!!OToaGQ!4am5EAFEnMCDhSsIsJshaqBe_edol6vtXr8yg63PnhUZo6f0FV-KvWUj0mu77mj3$

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list