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LORD CAMPBELL'S LIVES OF THE ENGLISH CHANCELLORS.
D The immediate successor of Lord Hardwicke * George III. made a good story, which he used to was Robert Henley, Lord Northington, descended tell for the rest of his reign, of whiat passed between kim of an ancient family of Somersetshiro gentry. and his Chancellor on this occasion. I asked him,' said: Henley was educated at Westminster school, should be abolished?' 'Sir,' answered he, that I may
his Majesty, bis reason for wishing that these sittings studied at Oxford, and there acquired that be allowed comfortably to finish my bottle of port altor taste for strong potations, which he retained dinner ; and your Majesty, solicitous for the happiness: through life. Gout is the natural attendant of of all your subjects, I hope will consider this to be reason;
sutticient.' port; and the venerable Chancellor Northington, when hobbling through the House of Lords in his The successor of Lord Northington was Lord latter years, might be heard to mutter, “ If I had Chancellor Camden, one of " the brightest orna-; guessed that one day these legs were to carry a ments” of the legal profession, and a consistent, Chancellor, I would have taken better care of pure Whig, when whiggery was more than a mere: them when a lad.” As a lad he was gay, gal- name. But the life of this eminent lawyer and lant, joyous. Bath was then the most fashionable statesman has been so recently and ably given to place of resort of the smart young barristers in the world by Lord Brougham, that we take for their holidays ; and there the convivial, rattling, granted it is familiar to most of our readers. It reckless, Councillor Henley, formed a romantic not, we could have drawn from no more instrueu! attachment, which, though unpromising at first, tive biography in the entire series of the Lives' turned out much better than romantic attach- of the English Chancellars. We have already ments sometimes do :
noticed Lord Campbell's faith in the early disei-i “ The newly-married couple started with but slender pline of hard circumstances; and in every young Their first residence was a small house in Great
man being left to fight his own way. Charles, James Street, Bedford Row, where they lived for three Pratt, Earl Camden, by the death of his father,"; years very quietly, but very contentedly, in a style conge, when he was only ten years of age, was left with nial to the simplicity of their tastes. After he became Lord Chancellor, and Lord-Licutenant for Hampshire, both he
a patrimony barely sufficient to educate him; and and his wife would often look back with pleasing recolleo his judicious mother early impressed upon the tion from the Grange and Grosvenor Square to the free- affectionate boy's mind, that he must owe all to dom and frugality of their early establishment near Bedford his own exertions. His future success and emiRow, where a leg of mutton lasted them three days the first day hot, the second day cold, and the third day nence are, therefore, not unjustly ascribed by Lord. hashed.'
Campbell mainly to being cut off from all expecWe should have liked to quote this Chancel- tation or chance of obtaining, through his father, lor's judgment in a case of religious imposture, the Lord Chief Justice, some sinecure appointwhere a weak-minded single lady was made the ment which might have doomed himn for life to: dupe of a hypocritical knave, who aspired to be the inglorious idleness and eventual obscurity. founder of some new and nameless sect, and who
* Sweet are the uses of adversity," obtained from the infatuated woman, besides, large in the estimation of our legal biographer, and yet sums of money; a deed of gift, which, when they may be pushed too far. In the course of this come to her senses, the lady wished to have can- Life, Lord Campbell stumbles upon a letter of celled, and which was cancelled. In concluding Camden's, which must have nearly touched our his deliverance and judgment in this infamous Irish ex-Chancellor. A question had then arisen, case, the Chancellor, who had eulogised sincore whether an Irish or an English lawyer should dissenters, said
hold the Great Seal of Ireland--the very ques“He secured a part of her fortune, by lighting up in her tion discussed, or rathor clamoured about, in rciabreast the flame of enthusiasm ; and, undoubtedly, he tion to Lord Campbell himself. Lord Camden hoped in due time to secure the whole, by kindling stood for the English lawyer being appointed, and another fame, of which the female breast is so suscep assigns reasons, public and private, which are tible ; for the invariable style of his letters is, 'all is to $c completed by love and union.' Let it not be told in quite convincing, and such as ought to influence the streets of London, that this preac'sing sectary is only future administrations in filling these high apdefending his just rights. I repeat, let not such men bo pointments. persecuted, but many of them deserve to be represented The unfortunate Charles Yorke, for a few in puppet skows. I have considered this cause, not hours Chancellor, is, probably from feelings of merely as a private matter, but of public concernment and utility. Bigotry and enthusiasm have spread their tenderness which arise from his melancholy fate, baneful influence amongst us far and wide, and the un- a very great favourite with his biographer. He happy objects of the contagion almost daily increase.”
was undoubtedly an accomplished seholar, and Lord Northington was a favourite with George an amiable man, though without any of those raro III., and the first request which he made to the elements which constitute the GREAT MAN. He young sovereign, the king himself used to tell had obtained the office of Solicitor-General during with glee to the end of his reign. It was that the reign of George II., and, on the accession of the evening sittings of the Chancery Court might George III., was continued in it; and as Attorbe discontinued on Wednesdays and Fridays; so ney-General became the prosecutor of Wilkes. that the Judge might have a little more leisure He subsequently, on the threatened disruption of for social enjoyment.
parties, resigned his place; but on the formation
of the first Rockingham administration, again
* Wednesday, 17th Jan., 1770. resumed his former office. And now we give way
• Mr. Yorke's refusal is of moment; and I can to Lord Campbell, who says all that he can for readily believe it, from my opinion of his prudence and this unhappy man, whose misfortunes are not the embark in a rotten vessel in the middle of a tempest, to
discernment. No man with a grain of either would lees entitled to compassiou that they were the go he knows not whither. I wish our noble and amiablo consequence of his own weakness.
Chancellor had not been so candid as to drag the Great
Seal for one hour at the heels of a desperate minister, * Although Charles Yorke had been professedly in after he had hawked it about with every circumstance of opposition since the last resignation of his office of At- indignity to the holder of it.' torney-General in July, 1766, he was supposed at times ' But before these characters were traced, the pruto have coquetted with the ministry, but latterly' he had dence and virtue of Charles Yorke had been overpowered. allied himself more closely with the Rockingham Whigs. | The ministers had abandoned all hope of gaining him, and His elder brother, the second Earl of Hardwicke, was a
were thinking of pressing the Great Seal on Sir Eardley most zealous member of that party. After Lord Cha- Wilmot or De Grey, the Attorney-General; but the King tiam's resuscitation, which followed his resignation, the himself, without consulting them, with great dexterity and two sections of the Whig párty were reconciled, and energy, made an attempt—which at first seemed crowned formed a formidable opposition to the Court, now bent on with brilliant success—though it terminated so fatally. taxing America, and trampling on the liberties of the
** On Tuesday, the 16th of January, there was a levée people by persisting in the perpetual disqualification of at St. James's, and Charles Yorke thought it bis duty to Sír. Wilkes to sit in parliament. If all the Whigs were attend for the purpose of testifying his loyalty and pertrue and steady to their engagements-the greatest hopes sonal respect for the Sovereign. To his great surprise he were entertained that the illiberal members of the ca
met with a very gracious reception, and the Lord in binet might be compelled to resign--that America might waiting informed him that his Majesty desired to see him le conciliated, and that tranquillity and the constitution in his closet when the levée was over. He hardly thought might be restored at home.
it possible that the offers to him should be repeated, but With this prospect opened the session of 1770; when he resolutely determined at all events to be faithful to the Lord Chatham, having again thundered against ministerial engagements into which he had entered. Again led into corruption and imbecility, Lord Camdon made his start- temptation, he was undone.
His virtue ling disclosure, that for years he had absented himself cooled as his loyalty was inflamed; unable longer to from the council when the most important subjects of resist—without making any stipulations for himself, with colonial and domestic policy were debated there, because respect to pension or tellership-—he sank down on his he utterly condemned the course which his colleagues knees in token of submission ; and the King, giving him were obstinately pursuing. The total surrender of the his hand to kiss, hailed him as • Lord Chancellor of Great government depended upon whether any lawyer, of decent Britain."" character and abilities, could be found to succeed lim. Lord Shelburne, knowing this, had declared in the House
The doomed man went to the Duke of Grafton's of Lords, that the Seals would go a-begging; but he to communicate his own disgrace. A council was hoped there would not be found in the kingdom a wretch held on the following day, and Yorke was sworni so base and mean-spirited as to accept them on the conditions on which they must be offered.' This was in the he went straight from the Council Board, carry
in Chancellor. By a strange kind of infatuation, night of Tuesday, the 9th of January,
A meeting of the opposition leaders was held next ing the Great Seal along with him, to Lord Rockmorning, when they resolved that Lord Camden should ingham's, where his brother, Lord Hardwicke, and lue requested to hold the Great Seal till he should be the other Whig leaders, were assembled, to condismissed ; and that all their influence should be used to prevent any lawyer of character from agreeing to accept cert measures against that Government with which it. Simultaneously the King and his friends' deter- he was now connected. It would seem as if he mined that if Lord Camden did not voluntarily resign, he had been already under delirium :should be dismissed, and that a successor to him must be found at any price, Lord Mansfield would have been the
“He was introduced to them, and unfolded his tale. first object of their choice, but in less ticklish times he We are told that it was received with a burst of indignahad expressed a firm purpose never to exchange his tion, and that all present upbraided him for a breach of permanent office of Chief Justice of the King's Bench for
honour, Ho instantly left them, and went home, his the teeting éclat of the Chancellorship. The great effort mind sorely harassed with the severity of their reproaches. to be made was to gain over Charles Yorke, whose It was announced that very evening that he was dangersecassion would add much credit to their cause, and ously ill, and at five o'clock in the evening of Saturday, quaterially damage the Whigs. A letter was immedi- the 30th of January, three days after he had been sworn ately written to him making an overture in very general in Chancellor, he was no more. His patent of nobility torms, and in the evening of the following day a long had been made out, and was found in the room in which interview took place between him and the Duke of he died, but the Great Seal had not been affixed to it, so Grafton. The Great Seal was now distinctly offered to
that the title did not descend to his heirs. He expired in him, and when he talked of his past political connexions, the forty-cighth year of his age. A suspicion of suicide a hope was held out to him of the admission of some of immediately arose, and a controversy has ever since been his friends into the Cabinet, and of the adoption of a more
maintained on the question, whether that suspicion was liberal policy. He required time for consideration, but well founded. Fortunately, it is no part of my duty to Seened in a humour so complying that the Duke of give an opinion upon a subject so delicate and so painGrafton made a very favourable report to the king of the ful! Would to God that I could entirely avoid it! I state of the negotiation. Charles Yorke, however, hay-sliall content myself with stating the authorities on both ing stated what had passed to a meeting of Whigs at sides, leaving the reader to draw his own conclusion. In Lord Rockingham's, they pronounced the whole proceed our time, on a death so sudden occurring, a coroner's ing treacherous and deceitful; they foretold that, as soon inquest would be held, as a matter of course; but no 23 he had been inveigled to leave his party, the Court coroner's inquest was held, although it would appear that would treat him with contumely, and they prevailed upon
the body was exhibited by order of the family, to check him to give them a pledge that he would be true to them.
the circulation of the rumours which were afloat." He returned to the Premier, and declared that he posi- Lord Campbell cites numerous accounts of tively declined the Great Seal.
" This refusal caused great joy among the Whigs, and the melancholy circumstances attending the death news of it being sent to Hayes, where Lord Chatham of Charles Yorke; but the impression that he then was, he thus wrote:
died by his own hand is ineradicable, In the
consternation produced by the event, it was given "I was struck with awe and admiration at witnessing out in his household, or by the servants and the scene I have feebly attempted to describe ; and I physician, that he had been seized with violent with whom I afterwards chanced to converse, entertained
found that any of Thurlow's surviving contemporaries, cholic, and again that he had burst a blood-ves- the highest opinion of what they denominated his gigansel. We should like to learn something of the tic powers of mind.' I must confess, however, that my remorse of the great personage by whose blandish- recent study of his career and his character has eonmonts the unhappy man was betrayed; but here siderably lowered him in my estimation, and I have come
to the conclasion that, although he certainly had a very history is silent; and the king most probably con- vigorous understanding, and no inconsiderable acquiresidered himself the aggrieved person from the ments—the fruit of irregular application-he imposed inopportune loss of his hard-won Chancellor. by his assuming manner upon the age in which he lived'
The common-place Chancellor Bathurst is -and that he atferds a striking illustration of the French hardly worth the pages. thrown away upon the maxim—'on vaut ce qu'on veut valoir.' duil and even tenor of his life. It is relief to
We are tempted here, after Henry Cowper, to escape from its monotony to the dramatic opening
exclaim, “ CAPITAL, CAPITAL!" 0! would some of the career of Thurlow, a Chancellor who, what- power only give contemporaries the same quick, ever were his demerits, lacked not strong and dis- clear sight--the same faculty of accurate discerna tinctive personal lineaments, harsh and rugged as
ment and measurement which posterity is sure to
attain! they might have been. Hitherto the Chancellors had either been discovered, by their biographer,
Thurlow was the son of a clergyman of the obscurely, through broken rays of glimmering an
county of Norfolk, and his grandfather had also tique light, or examined through the spectacles of been a country parson. This Chancellor escaped books and manuscripts ; but a new era is reached, the almost universal weakness of looking farther and Lord Campbell warmly exclaims
back for that noble or gentle ancestry, which - With these eyes have I beheld the lineaments of every diligent inquirer is sure to find, or invent:Edward, Lord Thurlow; with those ears have I heard the “ He had a just contempt for the vanity of new men deep tones of his voice.
pretending that they are of ancient blood, and some one “Largior hic campos ather et lumine vestit
attempting to flatter him by trying to make out that be Purpureo; solemque suum, sua sidera norunt.' was descended from ThurloE, Cromwell's secretary, who Thurlow had resigned the Great Seal while I was still a
was a Suffolk man. Sir,' said he, there were two child, residing in my native land; but when I had been Thurlows in that part of the country who flourislied about entered a few days a student at Lincoln's Inn, it was
the same time. Thurloe the secretary, and Thurloe the rumoured that, alter a long absence from parliament, he carrier. I am descended from the last.' Nor could be was to attend in the Ilouse of Lords, to express his opi- boast of hereditary wealth, for his father's livings were mion upon the very important question, Whether a divorce very small, and there were several other children to be bill should be passed on the petition of the wife, in a case
reared from the scanty profits of them. Yet, perhaps, where her husband had been guilty of incest with her bis situation by birth was as favourable as any other for sister ?'—there never hitherto having been an instance of fucure eminence. Being the son of a clergyman, be a divorce bul in England, except on the petition of the escaped the discredit of being 'sprung from the drogs of husband for the adultery of the wife. When I was ad
the people,' and he had as good an education as if he had mitted below the bar, Lord Chancellor Eldon was sitting been heir to a dukedom. For his position in society, and on the woolsack ; but he excited, comparatively, little in- for his daily bread, he was to depend entirely on his own terest, and all eyes were impatiently looking round for exertions. Ilis father used to tell his sons betimes, that him who had occupied it under Lord North, under Lord he could do nothing for them after he had launched them Rockingham, under Lord Shelburne, and under Mr. Pitt.
in a profession. The old gentleman would then say At last there walked in, supported by a staff, a figure bent (aside) to a friend, 'I have no fear about Ned; he will with age, dressed in an old-fashioned grey coat, with fight his way in the world.” brecches and gaiters of the same stuff-a brown scratch
Of Ned's early years a few anecdotes have been wig-tremendous white bushy eye-brows-eyes still spark-handed down to us. It being known that on account of ling with intelligence-dreadful crow's fect' round his lively parts he was destined to be a lawyer, the Rev. them—very deep lines in his countenance and sirivelled W. Leach, whom he was in the habit of visiting wlule a complexion of a sallow hue—all indicating much greater very young boy, said to him one day, 'I shall tire to see senility than was to be expected from the date of his birth, you Lord Chancellor,'-and forty years after obtained as laid down in the “ Pecrage.” The debate was begun from him a stall at Norwich, and a living in Suffolk." by his Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence, afterwards At school, Thurlow was distinguished as a William IV., who inoved the rejection of the bill, on the daring, refractory, clever boy,” sure to tormcut ground that marriage had never been dissolved in this his teachers. At Cambridge he affected idleness, country, and never ought to be dissolved, unless for the but was suspected of sitting up to study when he adultery of the wife.”
Lord Thurlow took the other side, oppesed his pretended to be amusing himself. However;Royal Highness, and triumphantly. Lord Camp
“Ile eschewed the chapel and the lecture-room, and bell continues :
loved to be seen lounging at the gates of his college, or “I cannot now undertake to say whether there were graduates-or figuring in a nocturnal symposium_or
loitering in coffee-houses, then frequented by the underany cheers, but I well remember that Henry Cowper, the acting as leader of the university men in the wars between time-honoured clerk of the House of Lords, who had sat there for half a century, caine down to the bar in a fit of discipline made him familiar with impositions, confine,
'lowri' and 'gown,' His frequent breaches of academie enthusiasm, and called out in a loud voice, Capital ! ments within the college, privations of sizeings, and capital ! capital!' Lord Chancellor Eldon declared that threats of rustication. Ile rather prided himself in such he had made up his mind to oppose the measure, but punishments; and, instead of producing reformation, they that he was converted.
Vidi Virgilinin ian- led to fresh offences. He was not more celebrated for tim. I never again had an opportunity of making any his waywardness in getting into scrapes, than for the personal observation of Thurlow, but this glimpse of him talent he displayed in getting out of them.”, renders his appearanco familiar to me, and I can always imagine that I sce before me, and that I listen to the
He at length insulted the Dean of his College voice of this great imitator of GARAGANTUA.
so grossly, that “Mr. Dean' moved his expulsion;
but by the intervention of friends, the sentence Winchelsea, tried before Lord Mansfield, at Guildhall. was commuted, and Thurlow was quietly per- The leader on the opposite side was Sir Fletcher Norton, mitted to take his name off the books, and left then the tyrant of the bar, who began by treating the
unknown junior with his usual arrogance. This Thurlow the University without a degree.
resented with great spirit. They got into an altercation, under-graduate at Cambridge, he had been en- in which Thurlow had with him the sympathies of the tered of the Inner Temple ; and in the office of bar and the bystanders; and, with a happy mixture of Mr. Chapman, an eminent solicitor of Lincoln's argument and sarcasm, he completely put down his anInn, where he was placed as a pupil of law, he tagonist: The attorneys, who had smarted much under
Norton's despotic rule, were exceedingly delighted, and met another pupil, Cowper the poet, whom, we resolved to patronise the man who had shown so much may say in passing, he had neither heart to love, courage and capacity. Briefs, in cases of a peculiar nor sympathy nor congenial taste to appreciate :- character, did come in, and he was now known, and talked
of in the profession, as one supposed to be possessed of "Cowper, in a private letter written many years after, great resources, and likely, one day, to make a figure:gives this account of their studies :-'I did actually live but, still, he had few constant clients, and little regular three years with Mr. Chapınan--that is to say, I slept business. He had not credit for possessing much techni, three years in his house ; but I lived--that is to say, I cal knowledge of the law; and he did not always exhibit spent my days-in Southampton Row, as you very well that subordination which the leader expects in a junior riinember. There was I and the future Lord Chancellor counsel, and which, indeed, the interest of the client deconstantly employed, from morning till night, in giggling, mands. In short, he disdained to play second fiddle' to and making others giggle, instead of studying the law.' those whom he conceived inferior performers.'
** Thurlow, while denominated a student of law,' affected the character of an idler, Ile was fond of society ;
The Douglas cause was at this period agitating without being addicted to habitual intemperance, he oc
the three kingdoms much more strongly than casionally indulged in deep potations; and, although his the Montpensier marriage stirs our times; and minners were somewhat rough and bearish, as he had Thurlow, by a curious, if true incident, was regreat powers of entertainment, his company was much tained for the appellant. His appearance in this courted by the loungers of the Inns of Court. Thus a good deal of his time was stolen from study, and he could memorable cause greatly increased his reputation wot lay in such stores of learning as Seldon and Hale, in and business ; and whether every particular of the the preceding century, who, for years together, read six story be accurate or not, it at least illustrates the tega hours a-day. But he by no means neglected prepa- manners and habits of the lawyers of the period ; nation for his profession to the extreme degree which he pretended. Ife had an admirable head for the law, with not but that a young barrister may yet be found 4 quick perception and a retentive memory, so that he at his club, if not at his coffee-house. It is thus made greater progress than some plodders who were at related : work all day long and a great part of every night. Ile aitended the remarkable trials and arguments which came of the Court of Session in Scotland, that the alleged son
According to legal tradition, soon after the decision op in Westminster Hall, and picked up a good deal of of Lady Jane Douglas was a suppositious child purchased legal knowledge while he seemed only to be abusing the at Paris, the question, which excited great interest all over counsel, and laughing at the Judges. Ile would still shut Europe, was discussed one evening at Nando's coffeehimself up for whole mornings, barring his outer door ; house
from its excellent punch, and the ministrations shen be not only would seize upon a classic, and get up of a younger daughter of the landlady-still Thurlow's the literature of the day, but make a serious attack on favourite haunt. At this time, and, indeed, when I my. Littleton and Plowden. He did go almost every evening self first began the study of the law, the modern club to Nando's coffee-house, near Temple Bar, and swaggered system was unknown, and (as in the time of Swift and and talked loud there about politics and scandal, new Addison) men went in the evenings for society to coffeepays and favourite actresses ; but if he had not taken too houses, in which they expected to encounter a particular tauch of the punch which Mrs. Humphries, the landlady, was celebrated for compounding, and her fair daughter chose to enter and offer to join in the conversation, at the
set of acquaintance, but which were open to all who served, on returning to his chambers he would read dili- risk of meeting with cold looks and mortifying rebuffs. geatly, before going to rest, till his candles turned dim in Thurlow, like his contemporary, Dr. Johnson, took great the morning light.”
pains in gladiatorial discussion, knowing that he excelled After being called to the bar in 1754, the in it, and he was pleased and excited when he found a future Chancellor made slow progress in his
large body of good listeners. On the evening in question,
a friend of his at the English bar strongly applauded the profession ; and his father beginning to tire of judgment against the supposed heir of the house of supporting for so many years a briefless barrister, Douglas. For this reason, probably, Thurlow took the Thurlow is said to have experienced great pecu- contrary side. Like most other lawyers, he had read the niary difficulties. Yet the following anecdote evidence attentively; and in a succinct but masterly state
ment, he gave an abstract of it to prove that the claimant proves too much :
was indeed the genuine issue of Lady Jane and her hus" His father had expected that fees would immediately band-dexterously repelling the objections to the claim, flow in upon him, and proposed to withdraw, instead of and contending that there were admitted facts which were inereasing, the very moderate allowance which was his inconsistent with the theory of the child being the son of sle support.
It is even said that the future Chancel the French rope-dancer. Having finished his argument lør, altbough he practised a laudable economy, was ac- and his punch, he withdrew to his chambers, pleased with tually reduced to the following stratagem to procure a the victory which he had obtained over his antagonist, horse to carry him round the circuit :-He went to a who was no match for him in dialectics, and who had venhorse-dealer, and said to him that he wished to purchase tured to express an opinion upon the question without hava good roadster-price being no object to him--but that | ing sufficiently studied it. Thurlow, after reading a little be must have a fair trial of the animal's paces before he brief for a motion in the King's Bench, which his clerk eeneluded the bargain. The trial being conceded, he rode had received in his absence, went to bed, thinking no off to Winchester, and having been well carried all the way more of the Douglas cause, and ready, according to the round, but still without any professional luck, he returned vicissitudes of talk, to support the spuriousness of the the horse to his owner, saying, that the animal, notwith-claimant with equal zeal. But it so happened that two standing some good points, did not altogether suit him.' Scotch law-agents, who had come up from Edinburgh to At last, fortune smiled upon him. By some chance, he enter the appeal, having heard of the fame of Nando's, had a brief in the case of Luke Robinson y, the Earl of and having been told that some of the great leaders of the
English bar were to be seen there, had at a side-table | but of the bold, audacious, brazen, or adamantine been quiet listeners of the disputation, and were amazingly sort, Thurlow was doubly endowed. Let us see struck with the knowledge of the case and the acuteness which Thurlow had exhibited. The moment he was
him. He lost no time in making the most of gone, they went to the landlady and inquired who he was?
his silken gown.
, ! .97,7,63 They had never heard his name before ; but finding that “When Thurlow appeared in court with big silk robe ho was a barrister, they resolved to retain him as junior and full bottom wig-lowering frowns and contemptuous to prepare the appellant's case, and to prompt those who smiles successively passing across his visage as the argewere to lead it at the bar of the House of Lords. Aments or the judgment proceeded—the sohcitors could difficulty had occurred about the preparation of the case, not behold him without some secret awe, and without befor there was a wise determination that, from the magni- lieving that he was possessed of some mysterious powers tude of the stako, tho nature of the question, and the which he could bring into activity in their service.' When consideration that it was to be decided by English Law he had an opportunity of opening his mouth, he spoke in Lords, the plaidoyer should be drawn by English counsel, a sort of oracular or judicial tone, as if he had an uns and the heads of the bar who were retained-from their doubted right to pronounce the verdict or judgment in numerous avocations—had refused to submit to this pre- favour of his client. He appeared to think that his oppor liminary drudgery.
nont was guilty of great presumption in controverting any " Next morning, a rotainer in • Douglas v. the Duke of his positions, and unless his eause was desperately bad of Hamilton' was left at Thurlow's chainbers, with an (when he would spontaneously give it up) he tried to con, immenso pile of papers, having a fee indorsed upon them, vey the notion that the Judges, if they showed any dispoten times as large as he had ever before received. *
sition to decide against him, were chargeable with gross While so employed, he made acquaintance with several of ignorance, or were actuated by some corrupt motive. Bý the relations and connexions of the Douglas family, who such arts he was soou in first-rate business, and all of a took the deepest interest in the result; and, amongst sudden_from extreme poverty—in the receipt of a very others, with the old Duchess of Queensbury, the well- large income.
Hitherto he had taken little known friend of Gay, Pope, Swift, and the other wits of part in politics, and he seemed in a state of great indiffethe reign of Queen Anne. When she had got over the rence between the two parties, 'associating with the memi bluntness of his manners (which were certainly not those bers of both indiscriminately—in conversation, sometimes of the vieille cour), she was mightily taken with him, and speaking for, and sometimes against the taxing of the declared that since the banishment of Atterbury, and the colonies, and sometimes censuring, and sometimes, des death of Bolingbroke, she had met with no Englishman fending the prosecution of Wilkes. Now beginning to whose conversation was so charming. She added that, feel the stings of ambition, and resolved npon political being a genuine Tory, she had considerable influence advancement, it was necessary to choose a side." JUNI with Lord Bute, the new favourite, and even with the
This side was easily chosen. It
Tarih young sovereign himself, who had a just respect for here
then own had somewhat irregularly supplanted. On this hint went. It would be more difficult for a young poliThurlow spoke, and with the boldness that belonged to tical adventurer,,or trading politician, to choose his character, said that “a silk gown would be very as: the wise—that is, the winning—side now. Thur: ceptable to him.' Her Grace was as much surprised as if he had oxpressed a wish to wear a silk petticoat-but low was elected member for Yarmouth, and Lord upon an explanation that the wished-for favour was the Campbell becomes witty on the bashful, blushing appointment to the dignity of king's counsel, in the gift modesty of his maiden speech. Ofthis speech, or of the Government, she promised that it should be con
of all his speeches, it is remarked, " he never ferred upon him. She was as good as her word.”
hesitated to resort to reasoning which he must Chancellor Northington demurred, but the have known to be sophistical; or to make a conDuchess obtained the intervention of the King, venient assertion [i.e., tell a falsehood, or assume and the Chancellor's doubts, as a matter of course, a fact], trusting largely to the ignorance of his vanished.
audience.” He was too seldom at fault in this “ In December, 1761, Thurlow boldly doffed his stuff confidence, even though his auditors were the gown for the silk-renouncing his privilege to draw law members of the House of Commons. 9 papers, or to appear as junior counsel for any plaintif'.
Dunning resigned at this period, and Thurlow In the following term, he was elected a Bencher of the Inner Temple, but it was some time doubtful whether he
was made Solicitor-General. From this time would reap any other fruits from his new rank. Rival forward, and indeed throughout his whole pablic barristers complained much, that in the seventh year career, he opposed every good measure or princifrom his call, being known for nothing except his im- ple, and defended every bad one. He attacked pertinence to Sir Fletcher Norton, he should be put over the heauls of some who might have been his father ;
the liberty of the while
S-he defended slavery
pressthe general consolation was, 'that the silk gown could he denied the rights of juries to consider the ques: never answer to him, and that he had cut his own throat.' tion of libel or no libel. Of his speech on this He himself had no misgivings ; and there were a few of constitutional point, Lord Campbell remarks:more discernment, who then predicted that he would eventually rise to the highest office in his profession.
“ It does seem astounding to us that such a speech should “In truth, his success was certain. With the respect- be delivered, and tolerated, and applauded by the minisable share he possessed of real talents and of valuable ters of the Crown after the Revolution, and in the latter acquirements, together with his physical advantages of end of the cighteenth century. It ought to be recorded dark complexion, strongly-marked features, piercing cyes,
as showing the progress of public opinion and the imbushy eye-brows, and sonorous voice, all worked to the provements of the constitution in recent times. best effect by an immeasurable share of self-confidence, is called a Tory or Conseryative Government, it would
If now offered by a law offioer of the Crown under what he could not fail. This last quality was the chief insure his being disclaimed by his leader overnight, and cause of his greatness."
dismissed from his office next morning. Lord Campbell quotes very aptly Lady Mary
But Mr. Solicitor Thurlow was so much applauded and Wortley's well-known estimate of the value of encouraged that ou Sergeant Glynn's motion soon after impudence in the rapid advancement of public he considerably exceeded his former doings; for he not
for an inquiry into the administration of criminal justice, men. It is, like action to the orator, indispensable; only proposed a severo censure upon the mover, but and with this quality, not of the pert and perking, plainly intimated an opinion that trial by jury should be