Roy Bean

Also found in: Legal, Wikipedia.
Judge Roy Bean
BirthplaceMason County, Kentucky, USA
Justice of the Peace; Saloonkeeper

Bean, Roy,

c.1825–1903, legendary American frontier judge, b. Mason co., Ky. He left Kentucky in 1847 to seek his fortune in California. Soon, however, he was managing a trading post in Chihuahua, Mexico. In 1849 he was chased back into U.S. territory for cattle rustling. During the Civil War, Roy Bean aided the Confederate cause by joining a band of lawless irregulars. After the war he followed the construction camps of the Southern Pacific RR as a saloonkeeper and gambler. In 1882, Bean settled at the Texas camp of Vinegaroon, had it renamed Langtry (for the English actress Lillie LangtryLangtry, Lillie,
1853–1929, English actress, b. Jersey, Channel Islands; known as the Jersey Lily. One of the first English women of elevated social rank to go on the stage, she made her debut at the Haymarket theater in 1881 after her husband, a diplomat, failed
..... Click the link for more information.
), named himself justice of the peace (to which he added the title "the law west of the Pecos"), and set up court in his saloon, the Jersey Lily. He there began to dispense justice with the aid of one law book and a six-shooter. As a judge, Bean rendered arbitrary and unorthodox decisions, usually tempered with wit and common sense.


See biographies by C. L. Sonnichsen (1943, repr. 1953) and E. Lloyd (rev. ed. 1967).

Bean, “Judge” Roy

(?1825–1903) frontier figure; born in Mason County, Ky. He left Kentucky for California in 1847, and seems to have spent the next 15 years in such enterprises as goldseeking and cattlerustling. He joined a band of Confederate irregulars during the Civil War and then followed the railroad construction crews as a saloonkeeper and gambler. In 1882 he settled in the Texas camp of Vinegaroon; he had it renamed Langtry after his idol, the English actress Lillie Langtry, then set himself up as justice of the peace, "the law west of the Pecos." Holding court in his saloon, "The Jersey Lily," he threatened to use his six-shooter to enforce his notion of justice. In 1898 he gained national attention for staging a boxing match on a sandbar in the middle of the Rio Grande (to avoid the ban on boxing in Texas), featuring the heavyweight champion, Bob Fitzsimmons.
References in periodicals archive ?
The three-level, 16,000 s/f former City Sports location was leased to two separate restaurant tenants, Tsuru Ton Ton and Judge Roy Bean Public House.
Jack Skiles, author of a book on Judge Roy Bean, on the contradictory legacy of the quintessentially West Texas lawman
4, festival goers will enjoy the new exhibits, a Heritage Tour, and free movie screenings of The Killers and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean showing at 10am and 2pm respectively.
A wandering cowhand crosses swords with Judge Roy Bean and is drawn into a conflict between settlers and Texas cattlemen in the 1880s 1940 ?
Now fifteen years later, employed as a deputy for Judge Roy Bean in Texas, Cole receives a personal summons from Judge Parker.
A The earliest film about Roy Bean, outlaw turned Justice of the Peace, appears to be The Westerner in 1940.
Then came movie judges Dredd (3) and Roy Bean (2) followed by one vote each for "Judge Whopner," Judge Judy and Judge Reinhold.
JUDGE ROY BEAN is certainly a big wig among this season's novice hurdlers - and the six-year-old looks nailed on for another success at Navan.
Edward O'Grady and jockey Andrew McNamara managed a short-priced brace through Judge Roy Bean and Osana.
At the time that looked a hot race with the likes of Limestone Cowboy and Judge Roy Bean in the line-up, but it has not really worked out that well.
His voice is similar to that of the unobtrusive narrator in John Huston's film The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)--about which Flogstad has written with admiration in the title essay in Loven vest for Pecos (1981; The law west of the Pecos)--and the novel's temporal structure, too, is similar to that of Huston's film, as a story from a somewhat romanticized past is followed by a coda through which its major lines are continued into a period of decisive historical change.