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A.D. 1733.

RECEIVES GREAT SEAL, AND MADE A PEER.

135

can the true solution be, that Yorke, having the first choice, preferred, as others have done, the certainty of tenure to splen. dour of present enjoyment, for he afterwards willingly resigned for the Great Seal the office which he now accepted. Some have supposed that the arrangement was the result of political intrigue, and that the descendant of the Earls of Shrewsbury by family connection triumphed over the son of the country attorney. But this is a merely gratuitous conjecture, and is at variance with Talbot's open and upright character and the cordial intimacy that now

subsisted between these rivals for honourable distinction. The probability is, that Walpole, much as he no doubt valued Sir Philip Yorke, thought that Talbot would be a still more desirable associate in the Cabinet, and would be still more useful to him presiding on the woolsack than in a court of law. In such arrangements political convenience has ever had more weight than nice considerations of judicial fitness. From a very long official career Lord Hardwicke has left a far greater reputation as a judge and as a statesman than Lord Talbot, who was so suddenly cut off when beginning to gather his fame; but, while they were running the race of glory together, the latter seems to have excited most applause, and, if his life had been prolonged, a statue would have been erected to him in the new palace at Westminster, by the side of Lord Somers and Lord Mansfield. The circumstance of their relative rank as law officers of the Crown, when the vacancies occurred, would be of small importance ; for although it has always been, considered that the Attorney-General may claim as of right any Common Law Judgeship which is vacant, the disposal of the Great Seal in earlier times was the personal act of the Sovereign, and more recently was left to the Prime Minister, who was not guided by any fixed rotation, but considered what would most conduce to the credit and strength of his government. Upon this occasion, the Attorney-General could not consider himself aggrieved with the Chiefship of the King's Bench, a Peerage, and a large addition to his salary; and the two continued cordially to co-operate in the public service without any envious or jealous sentiment arising to disturb their friendship

The Great Seal having been received from Lord King, it was delivered to Mr. Talbot as Lord Chancellor, by his Majesty George II., at a council held on the 29th of November, 1733. The same day he was sworn a Privy Councillor, and

on the 5th of the following month he was raised to the Peerage by the title of Lord Talbot, Baron Talbot of Hensol, in the county of Glamorgan.

CHAPTER CXXVIII.

CONCLUSION OF THE LIFE OF LORD TALBOT.

A.D. 1733.

An illustration was now given of the excellence of the English

practice of selecting for the Bench men of the highest

eminence at the bar, who have distinguished themselves as law officers of the Crown,-instead of following the French system of keeping the order of advocates and of judges distinct. If men are appointed Attorney and SolicitorGeneral from family interest, or from considerations of party convenience, without looking forward to their fitness for their judicial destiny, their promotion is a heavy misfortune to the public; but it is only from the long experience in the administration of justice obtained as an advocate that the public could have the advantage of such consummate Judges as Hardwicke and Talbot. Their appointment gave universal satisfaction; and as the latter was the more popular, great delight was expressed that he was placed at the head of his profession, and that the wrong formerly done to him was completely redressed.

A few days after receiving the Great Seal, the new Chancellor sat for the despatch of business in Lincoln's Inn Hall, but he was pot formally installed in his office till the 23rd of January following, the first day of Hilary Term,--when, after a most splendid procession to Westminster Hall, he was placed in the marble chair in the Court of Chancery with all the ancient solemnities.”

3 " Anno 7timo Georgii 2di Regis. 29 Nov. Charles Talbot, Esq., with the title of Lord 1733. Memorandum, that on Thursday, the Chancellor, and his Lordship was sworn in 29th of November, 1733, at the request of council at the same time; and though he sat Peter Lord King, Lord High Chancellor of at Lincoln's Inn Hall the 4th day of DecemGreat Britain, his Majesty sent to his Lord ber following, yet his Lordship was not sworn ship for the Great Seal; and about three in by the Clerk of the Crown till the 23rd of the afternoon of the same day, his Majesty January, being at Westminster Hall the first was graciously pleased to deliver the same to day of the then next Hilary Term, when his

A.D. 1734.

GRAND “REVEL” IN THE INNER TEMPLE.

137

A.D. 1734.

A grand “Revel” was given in honour of the new Chancellor by the Inner Temple,-being the last royal festivity at an Inn of Court till the visit of Queen Victoria to Lincoln's Inn, more than a century after,—when the Prince Albert, her Consort, vouchsafed to become a member of that Society, and was called to the degree of an utter barrister.

It would require the pen of a Dugdale to do justice to such scenes, but the following not ungraphic account of the “Talbot pageant” has been transmitted to us :

“On the 2nd of February, 1733–4, the Lord Chancellor came into the Inner Temple Hall about two of the clock, preceded by the Master of the Revels, Mr. Wollaston, and followed by the Master of the Temple, Dr. Sherlock, Bishop of Bangor, and by the Judges and Serjeants who had been members of that House. There was a very elegant dinner provided for them and the Lord Chancellor's officers; but the barristers and students of the house had no other dinner provided for them than what is usual on GRAND Days; but each mess had a flask of claret besides the common allowance of port and sack. Fourteen students waited at the bench table, among whom was Mr. Talbot, the Chancellor's eldest son, and by their means any sort of provision was easily obtained from the upper table by those at the rest. A large gallery was built over the screen, and was filled with ladies, who came for the most part a considerable time before the dinner began; and the music was played in the little gallery at the upper end of the Hall, and played all dinner time. As soon as dinner was ended the play began, which was Love for Love,' with the farce of The Devil to Pay.' The actors who performed in them all came from the Haymarket in chairs, ready dressed, and (as it was said) refused any gratuity for their trouble, looking upon the honour of distinguishing themselves on this occasion as sufficient. After the play, the Lord Chancellor, Master of the Temple, Judges and Benchers entered into their parliament chamber, and in about half an hour after came into the Hall again, and a large ring was formed round the fire-place (but no fire or embers were on it). Then the Master of the Revels, who went first, took the Lord Chancellor by the right hand, and he by his left took Mr. Justice Page, who, joined to the other Judges, Serjeants and Benchers present, danced or rather walked 'round about the coal fire,' according to old ceremony, three times, during which they were aided in the figure of the dance by Mr. George Cook the prothonotary, then sixty; and all the time of the dance the ancient song, accompanied with music, was sung by one Toby Aston, dressed in a bar gown, whose father had been formerly Master of

Lordship took the oaths appointed to be taken holding the book, and the Clerk of the Crown by the 1st of William and Mary, and the oath giving the oaths."-Roll, 1727-1760. of Lord Chancellor, the Master of the Rolls

the Plea Office in the King's Bench. When this was over, the ladies came down from the gallery, went into the parliament-chamber, and stayed about a quarter of an hour, while the Hall was being put in order. Then they went into the Hall, and danced a few minuets. Country dances began at ten, and at twelve a very fine collation was provided for the whole company, from which they returned to dancing, which they continued as long as they pleased, and the whole day's entertainment was generally thought to be very genteelly and liberally conducted. The Prince of Wales honoured the performance with his company part òf the time; he came into the music incog. about the middle of the play, and went away as soon as the farce of walking round the coal fire' was.

over."

t"Wynne's Eunomus. Notes." A news and shortly afterwards the Queen, with Prince paper of the day says, “ The ancient ceremony Albert, attended by four of the ladies in wait. of the Judges dancing round the coal fire' ing, and certain high officers of her housewas performed with great decency."

hold, arrived. The party came in five private As these festivities in the Inns of Court are carriages, attended by a body of the Life not only closely connected with the history Guards; and soon in the Hall the National of the Law, but possess permanent interest as Anthem was heard. Her Majesty immediillustrating the manners of the age, I will ately entered, passing up the middle of the here insert, from the records of our Society, Hall, leaning on Prince Albert's arm, and the official record of Queen Victoria's visit on preceded by the Treasurer walking backthe occasion of the opening of the New Hall wards, and amidst loud and hearty cheering of Lincoln's Inn in the year 1845. After de. Her Majesty walked to the library, followed scribing an audience with which the Treasurer by her ladies, the Cabinet Ministers, Officers and two other Benchers were honoured to of State, and the Benchers, who came two and invite her Majesty and her Royal Consort, two, according to the date of their election to her Majesty's gracious intimation that they the bench. would be present at a “déjeûner" on the "The Queen wore a blue drawn silk bonnet 30th of October, and the preparations made with a blue feather, a dress of Limerick lace, to receive them,-it thus proceeds:

and a scarlet shawl with a broad gold edging. “The Queen's Counsel wore their silk “In the Library, the Queen, seated on a gowns, and the long full-bottomed wig. Lord chair of state, held a levee, and received an Cottenham, Lord Campbell, and the Speaker address from the benchers, the barristers wore their black velvet court dresses; the represented by the four seniors, and the stuthree Vice-Cbancellors their full dress, Judges' dents or fellows, two of whom were also wigs, and Lord Bexley his blue and gold offi- present. The address was read by the Treacial dress, as a former minister of the Crown. surer to the Queen, on his knee, and was as

“At the top of the Hall a table was placed follows:upon the dais for the Queen, his Royal Highness Prince Albert, and the other guests who

“Most Gracious Sovereign, accompanied the Queen, the benchers and the "We your faithful subjects, the Treasurer preacher of the Inn; and then, transversely, and Masters of the Bench, the Barristers and four tables reaching to the bottom of the Hall Fellows of the Society of Lincoln's Inn, inwere devoted to the Bar and such of the stu treat your Majesty's permission humbly to dents as attended,

testify the joy and gratitude inspired by your “The band of the Coldstream Guards at august presence. The edifice in which, under tended, and played during the time her Ma- such happy auspices, we are for the first jesty was in the Hall.

time assembled, is adorned with memorials of “ All the benchers being assembled, and the many servants of the Crown, eminent in hour of arrival drawing nigh, the procession their talents, their learning, and their intefor receiving her Majesty, headed by the Trea- grity. To the services as recorded in history surer, made its way down the Hall, and placed of these our distinguished predecessors, we itself at the south-east entrance of the Hall, appeal in all humility for our justification in

A.D. 1733–37. HIS GREAT MERIT AS AN EQUITY JUDGE. 139

As an Equity Judge, Lord Talbot exceeded all the high expectations which had been formed of him. In my long

aspiring to receive your Majesty beneath this “. I sincerely hope that learning may long roof.

flourish, and that virtue and talent may rise « • Two centuries have nearly passed away to eminence, within these walls.'” since the Inns of Court were so honoured by

A chair was placed for the Prince on the the presence of the reigning prince. We can- left of her Majesty; he did not occupy it, but not, therefore, but feel deeply grateful for a remained standing. mark so conspicuous of your Majesty's con “ The above address, and its answer, havdescension, and of your gracious regard for ing been read, the Treasurer was knighted; the profession of the law.

and his Royal Highness Prince Albert was ". It is our earnest desire to deserve this

invited to become a member of the Inn, to proof of your Majesty's favour, by a zealous

which he at once agreed, and the admission execution of the trust reposed in us, to guard book being handed to her Majesty and Prince and maintain the dignity of the Bar of Eng- Albert, they were graciously pleased to sign land.

their names therein, as also did the following “. In our endeavours to this end, we shall

persons :— The Lord Chancellor, the Duke of but follow in the course which it has been Wellington, the Marquis of Exeter, the Earl your Majesty's royal pleasure to pursue of Aberdeen, Lord Liverpool, the Earl De Signally bas your Majesty fostered the inde.

La Warr, the Earl of Jersey, the Earl of Hardpendence of the Bar and the purity of the wicke, the Earl of Lincoln, Lord George LenBench, by distributing the honours which nox, Sir James Graham, the Honourable you have graciously bestowed on the profes- Colonel Grey, the Honourable Captain Alexsion among the members of all parties in the ander N. Hood, Colonel Bouverie, and Captain State.

Francis Seymour. “ • Permit me also, most gracious Sovereign, “ The ceremony being over in the Library, to offer your Majesty our sincere congratu- her Majesty, accompanied by the above lations on the great amendments of the law party, then proceeded to the Hall. Grace which have been effected since your Majesty's being said by the chaplain, the assembly accession to the throne throughout many por- received the permission of the Queen to be tions of your vast empire.

seated; her Majesty, occupying a chair of “The pure glory of these labours will be

state with a canopy, partook of the refreshdear to your Majesty's royal heart; for it ment provided, appearing pleased and well arises from the welfare of your subjects. contented.

“That your Majesty may long reign over On the right of the Queen sat Prince a loyal, prosperous, and contented people, is Albert; next to his Royal Highness the Lord our devout and fervent prayer to Almighty Chancellor, then came the Duke of WellingGod.'”

ton, and then the Earl of Aberdeen, and then “The following reply, which her Majesty Lord Cottenham. received from Sir James Graham, was then “On the left of her Majesty sat the Trearead:

surer, Sir Francis Simpkinson, and then one of «•I receive, with cordial satisfaction, this the ladies in waiting ; next the Earl of Harddutiful address. My beloved Consort and I wicke and Lord Campbell. At the end of the have accepted with pleasure your invitation, banquet, which lasted about half an hour, for I recognise the services rendered to the grace was again said; and then the Treasurer, Crown at various periods of our history by having received permission from her Majesty distinguished members of this Society; and I to propose a toast, proposed the health of her gladly testify my respect for the profession of Majesty the Queen, who had that day bothe law, by which I am aided in administer. noured them with her Royal presence.' This ing justice, and in maintaining the preroga was responded to with plaudits.

After some tive of the Crown and the rights of my people. minutes, the cheering having subsided, the

"" I congratulate you on the completion of Treasurer stated that his Royal Highness had this noble edifice; it is worthy of the memory that day become a member of the Inn, and of your predecessors, and the station which begged, with the permission of her Majesty, you occupy in connection with the Bar of to propose the health of their new member England.

* His Royal Highness Prince Albert.' This

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