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A.D. 1686–90. RESOLVES TO GO TO THE BAR. O

the jury, have won verdicts which they lost; that he was likewise hurt by the distance at which he was in public kept by all members of the superior grade of the profession, while some of them were intensely civil to him in private; that he thought it hard, having with great labour prepared a case of popular expectation so as to insure victory, another should run away with all the glory; that he measured himself with those who were enjoying high reputation as advocates and had the prospect of being elevated to the bench ; that, possessing the self-respect and confidence belonging to real genius, he felt himself superior to them; and that he sickened at the thought of spending the rest of his days in drawing leases, in receiving instructions from country bumpkins to bring foolish actions, in preparing briefs, and in making out bills of fees and disbursements which any discontented client might tax before the Master. Whatever his train of feeling or of reasoning might be, he soon resolved that he would quit his position of an attorney for that of a barrister. Not having been at any public school or resided at a university, and having started in life so very early on his own account, he was still quite a young man when he had laid by enough decently to support him for some years to come. Instead of going on to accumulate a large fortune, which was easily within his reach, he nobly put all to hazard, that he might invest himself in the long robe. He is said to have had that presentiment of future greatness which sometimes springs up under very adverse circumstances, and leads to victory over all obstacles. He accordingly renounced his profitable business as an attorney at Derby, and removed to complete his terms as a student of law in the Inner Temple. I regret exceedingly that I can find no particulars whatever of the next period of his life; and I am quite ignorant of the course of study he pursued, and the companions with whom he associated. That he was very diligent, we need not doubt—still mingling professional acquirements with an attention to more liberal pursuits. Some have supposed that he now fixed himself at Cambridge, but no trace of him can be found in the books of Trinity College after his admission in 1685, and there seems great reason to doubt whether he ever revisited this celebrated seat of learning. Yet, when he became Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, his flatterers, while they discovered that he was descended from “Reginald Le Parker,” who had accom

panied Edward I., when Prince of Wales, to the Holy Land, asserted that he had gained great academical distinction on the banks of Cam. Thus wrote Eusden, the Poet-laureat—expecting a good sinecure in the Court of Chancery :

“Prophetic Granta, with a mother's joy,
Saw greatness omen'd in the manly boy,
Who mad'st her studies thy belov’d concern,
Nor could she teach so fast as thou couldst learn.
Still absent, thee our groves and muses mourn,
Still sighing echoes the sad sound return ;
And CAM, with tears, supplies his streaming urn.”

Parker was called to the bar on the 24th day of May, 1691." And doubtless he began his new career with greater advantages—with a far better chance of getting on —than if he had been the younger son of an earl, and had taken a high degree at Oxford or Cambridge. Many attorneys and attorneys’ clerks, whom he had known on a footing of familiar intimacy, were now desirous of pushing him forward; and from his former experience he was, when consulted, better able to assist them in the conduct of suits than barristers who, after graduating at the University, had merely gone through the usual curriculum at Lincoln's Inn or the Temple. The danger is, that a man who begins with the less liberal department of forensic procedure may not be able to enlarge his mind so as to perform the duties of a great advocate, and that when pleading before a special jury, or at the bar of the House of Lords, he may dwell earnestly on small and worthless points. This may be the reason why, with splendid exceptions, attorneys turned barristers are generally unsuccessful. But it is quite certain that, whatever was Parker's course of study, he acquired a profound and scientific knowledge of the most abstruse branches of the law—that he rendered himself a most accomplished jurist, and that he became a consummate advocate. His progress at the bar was rapid and steady. Of course he chose the Midland Circuit, and in a few years he was at the head of it. Yet he passed others without exciting envy or ill

A.D. 1691.

Willus Farrer, Arms Maij Anno Dñi 1691, &c. Sob DIIe Regine Thesaurarius ibm. “At this parliament, Mr. Thomas Parker (and others) are called to the Bar, and to be utter Barristers of this Society.”

d “Interius Templum | Parliament tent 24° Die

A.D. 1691–1704, COUNSEL IN “THE QUEEN v. TUTCHIN.” 7

will; and his brother circuiteers, acquitting him of making any improper use of the advantages he derived from the early part of his career, candidly ascribed his extraordinary success to his extraordinary merit. He was now designated the “silvertongued Parker,” and the “silver-tongued counsel.” It was some time before he had much business in Westminster Hall, but by degrees his circuit fame extended to the metropolis, and he was retained in most of the great causes which came on in the Court of Queen's Bench, sitting either in London or in Middlesex. He first attracted the attention of the public as counsel for the defendant in the great case of Regina v. Tutchin, tried at Guildhall, before Lord Holt, November 4, 1704." This was an information by the Attorney-General against the publisher of a journal called the “Observator,” for various alleged libels upon the Queen's Ministers, charging them with incapacity and an unskilful management of the navy. Parker, who was throughout life a consistent politician, had strongly attached himself to the Whigs, and had been noticed by Somers, Cowper, and the leaders of that party, as a rising lawyer. Along with Montague, the brother of Lord Halifax, he was now selected to defend their partisan. The alleged libels contained no reflection on the private characters of the Ministers, and the defendant's counsel contended that their public conduct was a fair subject of observation; but, to our surprise and mortification, we find that enlightened Judge, Lord Holt, telling the jury they were to consider “whether the alleged libels did not tend to beget an ill opinion of the administration of the government?”" The defendant was found guilty; but he was saved from punishment by an objection afterwards taken to the regularity of the jury process. Parker's argument on this question (too technical for the general reader) is most masterly, and by genuine lawyers is perused with enthusiasm." His appearance in this case acquired him such éclat that his promotion was considered certain if ever the Whigs should come into office. There was a partial change in the Administration in the following year, when, taking the degree of the coif, he was made a Queen's Serjeant, and was knighted. He gave rings on this occasion to Queen Anne and Prince George of Denmark, with the complimentary motto, “MoRIBUS, ARM is, LEGIBUs.”" From strong local connection, he had been before appointed A.D. 1704— Recorder of Derby, and at the general election, which 1710. soon followed, he was returned to parliament as member for that borough, along with Lord James Cavendish. We know that he made a most favourable impression on the House, and that he frequently took part in debate, being a terror to the High Church party, and a praise and protection to such as supported religious and civil liberty; but, unfortunately, there is not to be found the smallest fragment of any of his speeches in parliament till the impeachment of Sacheverell. Not being in the Cabinet, he is not answerable for this foolish measure. He probably regretted and condemned it, along with Somers and the other Whig lawyers; but when it was commenced, he did his best to bring it to a fortunate conclusion. He was appointed one of the managers on the part of the Commons. Burnet, giving an account of the trial, says, “Jekyll, Eyre, Stanhope, King, but, above all, Parker, distinguished themselves in a very particular manner: they did copiously justify both the Revolution and the present Administration.” I must confess, however, that I have perused the report of his two long harangues at the bar of the House of Lords on the 4th article, which was assigned to him, with considerable disappointment; and I can extract little from either of them to interest us in these times. He contended that the defendant had falsely and maliciously charged her Majesty's Administration, both in ecclesiastical and civil affairs, as tending to the destruction of the constitution. Why those who entertained such a bad opinion of her Majesty's Administration should not have been at full liberty to ex

A.D. 1704.

* 14 St. Tr. 1095.

f Some have supposed that Holt, who was a decided Whig, was subject to the weakness of a great mind, and that, to avoid the suspicion of partiality, he showed a leaning in favour of the Tory Ministers; but I believe that this doctrine was then considered to be law, and it will continue to be occasionally brought out till there is (as there ought to be) a statutable definition of the limits of free discussion.

& The admiration which has been expressed of Parker's argument on the “Distringas,” reminds me of a saying of my deceased friend DUVAL, the greatest conveyancer of his day, who being asked by me “whether the constant perusal of abstracts of title was not weary work?” answered me, “Why, it is sometimes a little dull; but every now and then one meets with a brilliant deed, which is a reward for all one's labour !!!”

h He had a few months before been made a Bencher of the Inner Temple—whether by ballot I know not:

“Interius Templum Parliament tent decimo Octavo die
Thomas Walker, Arm' Maij, 1705, &c.
Thesaurarius ibn.

“At this parliament, Mr. Thomas Parker (and others) are called to the Bench.”
He does not appear ever to have been “Reader,” or “Treasurer.”

A.D. 1710. IMPEACHMENT OF SACHEVERELL. 9

press it, we are rather at a loss to understand. But Serjeant Parker, in the name of the Commons of England, upbraids “the Doctor” for his rudeness in assailing the character of the Ministers and the measures of their government. He is rather happy in contrasting the defendant's incitements to insurrection with his doctrine of non-resistance. “Not in terms of lamentation,” said Serjeant Parker, “not as grounds of humiliation, or in a language that might become one that thought the only arms of the Church to be prayers and tears, does he assail the Government; but with all malice, bitterness, reviling, insolence,—endeavouring to raise in his auditors the passions himself puts on, and pointing out (as far as he dares) to arms and violence for a cure : On his own principles, he ought to have taught the people to do their duty, submitting wholly to the Queen and those in authority under her, and to leave the rest to God: But, following his advice, they would instantly rise in a mass, and if they did not at once restore the Pretender, they would forcibly expel from office, and utterly crush, all who, on the doctrine of resistance to tyranny, were concerned in the Revolution : Is this sermon an exhortation to piety and virtue 2 or is it not manifestly a trumpet to rebellion ? Does the preacher show his congregation their own faults that they may amend their lives, or attempt to expose the faults of the Government with a view to a forcible change? The duty of passive obedience is so warmly inculcated to cause the destruction of those who deny it : The whole discourse exhorts to insurrection, and not to submission.” He thus concluded:— “My Lords, the Commons have the greatest and justest veneration for the clergy of the Church of England, and it is with regret and trouble that they find themselves obliged to bring before your Lordships, in this manner, one of that order. But when we find Dr. Sacheverell stripping himself of all that peaceful and charitable temper which the Christian religion requires of all its professors, deserting the example of our Lord and Master, and of his holy apostles, and with rancour branding all who differ from him (though through ignorance) with the titles of hypocrites, rebels, traitors, devils; reviling them, exposing them, conducting them to hell, and leaving them there; treating every one who falls in his way worse than Michael the Archangel used Satan; despising dominion, speaking evil of dignities; like raging waves of the sea, foaming out his own shame; then labouring to sap the establishment, and railing and declaiming against the Government; crying to arms 1 and

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