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without being Chancellor.* During this interval, it is related CHAP, that Walpole, resisting some of Hardwicke's demands, said to CXX him by way of threat, —" I must offer the Seals to Fazakerly." "Fazakerly!" exclaimed Hard wicke, "impossible! he is certainly a Tory! — perhaps a Jacobite!" "It's all very true," coolly replied Sir Robert, taking out his watch, "but if by one o'clock you do not accept my offer, Fazakerly by two becomes Lord Keeper, and one of the stanchest Whigs in all England." The bargain was immediately closed, and Lord Hardwicke was contented with the promise that the next Tellership should be bestowed upon his son.
Sir John Willes, the Attorney General, being provided for Lord by being made Chief Justice of the C ommon Fleas, and it Qianceii0r. being settled that Lee should be Chief Justice of the King's Bench, and that Sir Dudley Ryder and Sir John Strange should be the new Attorney and Solicitor General, — on the 21st of February the Great Seal was delivered to Lord HardWicke, with the title of Lord Chancellor. However, he continued Chief Justice of the King's Bench till the commencement of Easter Term, and on the first day of that Term, after a grand procession to Westminster Hall, attended bySir Robert Walpole and many of the nobility, having been sworn in and transacted business in the Court of Chancery, he went into the Court of King's Bench, and there delivered
* " Feb. 10 The Lord Chancellor being absent, the Lords were informed by
the Duke of Newcastle that his Majesty had been pleased to grant a commission under the Great Seal to Philip Lord Hardwicke, Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Kind's Bench, to supply the room and place of Lord Chancellor in this House." The commission being read, was found to authorise him "from time to time to use and supply the room and place of Lord Chancellor of Great Britain in the Upper House of Parliament, amongst the Lords spiritual and temporal there assembled, during the absence of our right trusty and well-beloved counsellor Charles I^ord Talbot, &c. from his accustomed place in our said Upper House of Parliament, and then and there to do and execute all such things which our said Chancellor of Great Britain, using and supplying the said room and place, should or might do in that behalf," &c.
"Feb. 1 1 The Lord Hardwicke sat Speaker by virtue of his Majesty's
commission." On the 11th the house was adjourned to the 16th.
"Feb. 16.—The Lord President signified to the House that the Lord Chancellor being dead, his Majesty had been pleased to grant another commission under the Great Seal to the Lord Hardwicke to supply the room and place of the Lord Chancellor or Lord Keeper of the Great Seal in this House during bis Majesty's pleasure." This is the irregularly scaled commission. On the 21st Feb. Ixird Hardwicke sat as Lord Chancellor.
a judgment in a case which had been previously argued, — so that he had the glory of presiding on the same day in the highest civil and the highest criminal Court in the Kingdom.*
* " Geo. II., 14th Feb. 1736-7. Memorandum—that on Monday, the 14th day of February, 1736-7, Charles Lord Talbot, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, departed this life; and, on the evening of the same day, the Great Seal was delivered by the Duke of Newcastle to his Majesty, who kept it in his custody till Monday, the 21st of the same month of February, during which time there was nothing sealed but a commission appointing Philip Lord Hardwicke Speaker of the House of Lords during pleasure; and, on the said 21st of February, his Majesty was graciously pleased to deliver the Great Seal to the aforesaid Philip Lord Hardwicke, with the title of Lord Chancellor, who was sworn at the same time in Council, and took his place accordingly; and his Lordship sat in Lincoln's Inn Hall during the Seals after Hilary Term, but he was not sworn in Westminster Hall till the 27th day of April, 1737, being the first day of the then nest Easter Term, wheri his Lordship took the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and the oath of office, the Master of the Rolls holding the book, and the deputy clerk of the Crown giving the oaths. After which, the Attorney General moved that the oath might be recorded, but his Lordship did not take the oath of abjuration till another day, in the King's bench." — Roll, 1727—1760.
CONTINUATION OF THE LIFE OF LORD HARDWICKE TILL THE
I Am sorry to be obliged to begin my account of Lord Chap. Hardwicke, as Chancellor, by reprobating that conduct CXXXIwhich his indiscriminate admirers have justified, and which A .j 27 some moderate men have attempted to palliate. 1737.
I have related how Lord Chancellor Talbot, from his ad- Censure on miration of the genius of Thomson the poet, and from per- Hardwicke sonal kindness for him, had rescued him from the penury and f°T J"*condependence, then the fate of men of letters, by appointing him Thomson, "Secretary to the Briefs." This was an office in the Court the P°ctof Chancery which, in strictness, was held only under the Chancellor making the appointment, but the holder of which was generally continued in it by the succeeding Chancellor. Of all the cases ever known, Thomson's is the one where it might have been expected that the usage of confirmation would have been most eagerly adhered to.* The author of the Seasons was not only a man of genius, and most amiable in his private character, but he was warmly attached to the Whig party, and had essentially promoted its interests by his writings. He had received the office, on which he was entirely dependent, from the colleague and personal friend of the present Chancellor, as a reward for his public services, as well as for his attachment to young Talbot with whom he had travelled, and to whose memory he had offered a touching tribute of applause.
I give the most mitigated account I can find of the affair — in the words of Dr. Johnson,— who disliked Thom
* There are several such offices held under the Attorney General. When I was first appointed to that office in 1834, I had the usual applications to be continued in them, which of course were granted. When I was re-appointed in 1835, I intimated that such applications were unnecessary; and my successors, Sir Frederick Pollock, Sir William Follett, and Sir Frederick Thcssiger, have behaved in the same spirit.
CHAP, son, as a Scotsman, as a Whig, and as the author of cxxxi. „ Ljberxy)" and was willing to cast blame in this affair upon him, rather than upon the Chancellor. After stating the poet's appointment to his office by Lord Talbot, he thus proceeds: —" Thomson now lived in ease and plenty, and seems for a while to have suspended his poetry; but he was soon called back to labour by the death of the Chancellor, for his place then became vacant; and though Lord Hardwicke delayed for some time to give it away, Thomson's bashfulness or pride, or some other motive, perhaps not more laudable, withheld him from soliciting; and the new Chancellor would not give him what he would not ask. He now relapsed to his former indigence; but the Prince of Wales was at that time struggling for popularity, and by the influence of Mr. Lyttleton professed himself the patron of wit; to him Thomson was introduced, and being gaily interrogated about the state of his affairs, said, 'that they were in a more poetical posture than formerly,' and had a pension allowed him of one hundred pounds a year." *
One cannot without indignation think of a man in Lord Hardwicke's situation seeking to subject Thomson to the humiliation of asking a favour, when it might naturally have been expected that his continuance in the office of secretary would have been spontaneously and earnestly pressed upon him. Even Mr. Salkeld's "gratis clerk" had shown some degree of pride, and disliked carrying home cabbages from Covent Garden, and oysters from the fishmonger's! An attempt has been made to praise Lord Hardwicke as a patron of literary merit, because he afterwards obtained a pension from the public purse for Mallet as a reward for his pamphlet against Admiral Byng; but, says a contemporary, "let it be recollected that the same man, on his succeeding Talbot as Lord Chancellor, deprived Thomson, a poet and patriot of the first class, of the place of Secretary of Briefs, which had been given him by his predecessor, and was the poor poet's only subsistence and support." f Although Lord Hardwicke always took care not only to have the law
* Dr. Johnson's Life of Thomson. f C'ooksey, SG.
on his side, and was generally solicitous to have something CHAP,
We are now to see him in his glory as an Equity Judge. L°rd Although he by no means distinguished himself in framing as an 1 L L laws to be enacted by Parliament — viewed as a magistrate j iduity sitting on his tribunal to administer justice, I believe that his fame has not been exceeded by that of any man«n ancient or modern times; and the long series of enlightened rules laid down by him, having, from their wisdom, been recognised as binding on all who have succeeded him, he may be considered a great legislator. His decisions have been, and ever will continue to be, appealed to as fixing the limits, and establishing the principles of that great juridical system called Equity, which now, not only in this country and in our colonies, but over the whole extent of the United States of America, regulates property and personal rights more than the ancient Common Law.
The student, animated by a generous ambition, will be Foundation eager to know whence this great excellence arose?—Like excellence!' every thing else that is valuable—it was the result of earnest and persevering labour. A complete knowledge of the common law was the foundation on which he built. This he had gained not only by reading but by circuit experience, by continuing frequently to plead causes in the King's Bench and Exchequer while he was Attorney General, and by presiding above three years in a common-law court. Having been initiated in Chancery practice during his clerkship with Mr. Salkeld, he had read attentively every thing to be found in the books connected with equity, and he had actually been a regular practitioner in Chancery during the whole of the Chancellorships of Lord Macclesfield and Lord King. He now revived his recollection of that learning by again going over the whole of it as if it had been new to him; and he obtained MS. notes of such of Lord Talbot's decisions as were