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life. There was yet no parliamentary allowance for Ex-chan- CHAP, cellors, and he declined the grant of a pension. But he had

been able to procure a tellership of the Exchequer and other ~ ,704 valuable sinecures for his son.

During a few years following he occasionally attended in His subhis place in the House of Lords, but he did not mix in the career"' party contests which ensued, and he was never excited to offer his opinion on either side, by the animated discussions on the Peace of Paris, on the Coalition between Mr. Fox and Lord North, on Mr. Fox's India Bill, on the Regency Question, on the French Revolution, or on the commencement of the war with the French Republic, which he lived to see.

He seems only to have spoken once after his retirement July 3. from office — in opposing a bill for the relief of insolvent Heopposes debtors—which, according to his narrow views, he considered bill for reunjust to creditors and ruinous to trade.* But it should be solvent"" recollected that such notions were then very generally enter- debtors, tained, and that Mr. Burke, by condemning imprisonment for debt, was so far in advance of his age, that he was considered a dangerous innovator, and on this ground chiefly lost his election for the city of Bristol, f

Lord Bathurst spent his last years entirely in the country, His death, and after a gradual decay expired at Oakley Grove, near Cirencester, on the 6th day of August, 1794, in the eightysixth year of his age. His remains were interred in the His fafamily vault there, and a monument to his memory was erected in the parish church, with this simple and touching inscription, which he himself had composed: —

"In Memory of Henry Earl Bathurst, Son and Heir of His cp;Allen Earl Bathurst, and Dame Catherine, his Wife. 'aph'

"His ambition was to render himself not unworthy of such


Although of very moderate capacity, he always acted a His chaconsistent and honourable part, and never having deserted

* 23 Pari. Hist. 1100.

f Even when I was Attorney General, and brought in a bill to abolish imprisonment for debt, I was only able to carry it as to mesne process, leaving cases after judgment for subsequent legislation.


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His descendants.

his principles or his party, or engaged in any unworthy intrigue to aggrandise himself—the blame cannot rest upon him that he was placed in situations for which he was incompetent.

I hope I shall not be expected to enter into any analysis of his character as a judge, as a statesman, or an orator, for in his mental qualities and accomplishments he is really not to be distinguished from the great mass of worthy men who, when alive, are only known to their families and a small circle of friends, and who are forgotten as soon as the grave has closed over them. He is praised for his temperate and regular habits, and for the dignity and politeness of his manners. In public life (as he often boasted) he made no enemies, and in private life he was universally beloved.

He remained a bachelor till forty, when he married a widow lady, who, in four years, died without bringing him any children. In 1759 he took for his second wife, Tryphena, daughter of Thomas Scawen, Esq., of Maidwell, in the county of Northampton, and by her ("besides other issue) had a son, Henry, the third Earl, a distinguished statesman, who ably filled high offices under George III. and under George IV., both as Regent and King. The Lord Chancellor Bathurst is now represented by his grandson, Henry George, the present and fourth Earl. *

Apsley * Grandeur of the Law, 70. I may be accused of hat ing omitted to mention

House what is perhaps the most memorable act in the Life of Lord Chancellor

built by Bathurst, — that he built Apsley House at Hyde Park Corner, now the town

Lord residence of the illustrious Duke of Wellington, — where stood the " Hercules

Bathurst. Pillars," the inn frequented by Squire Western.



I Now arrive at a remarkable a;ra in my history of the Chan- CHAP.

cellors. I had to begin with some who "come like shadows, CLV

so depart," and who can only be dimly discovered by a few The au_

glimmering rays of antique light. thor's ar

rival at a

"Ibant obacuri sola sub nocte per umbram." class of


The long line that followed I have been obliged to examine has°iiin,Tclf through the spectacles of books.—With these eyes have I beheld, beheld the lineaments of Edward Lord Thurlow; with these cars have I heard the deep tones of his voice.

"Largior hie campos afther ct I limine vestit

Purpureo; solcmque mum, sua sidera norunt."

Thurlow had resigned the Great Seal while I was still a Thurlow in child residing in my native land; but when I had been entered 0f Lord" hi a few days a student at Lincoln's Inn it was rumoured the vear

• 1801

that, after a long .absence from parliament, he was to attend in the House of Lords, to express his opinion upon the very important question, "whether a divorce bill should be passed on the petition of the wife, in a case where her husband had been guilty of incest with her sister ?" — there never hitherto having been an instance of a divorce bill in England except on the petition of the husband for the adultery of the wife.

When I was admitted below the bar, Lord Chancellor May 20. Eldon was sitting on the woolsack; but he excited com- H?''|res, paratively little interest, and all eyes were impatiently look- and appearing round for him who had occupied it under Lord North, anceunder Lord Rockingham, under Lord Shelburne, and under Mr. Pitt. At last there walked in, supported by a staff, a figure bent with age, dressed in an old-fashioned grey coat,— with breeches and gaiters of the same stuff— a brown scratch

CHAP, wig — tremendous white bushy eye-brows — eyes still sparkling with intelligence—dreadful "crows' feet" round them — very deep lines in his countenance — and shrivelled complexion of a sallow hue — all indicating much greater senility than was to be expected from the date of his birth as laid down in the " Peerage."

The debate was begun by his Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence, afterwards William IV., who moved the rejection of the bill, on the ground that marriage had never been dissolved in this country, and never ought to be dissolved, unless for the adultery of the wife, — which alone for ever frustrated the purposes for which marriage had been instituted. His speech Lord Thurlow then rose, and the fall of a feather might "ore" bill, have been heard in the House while he spoke. At this distance of time I retain the most lively recollection of his appearance, his manner, and his reasoning. "I have been excited by this bill," said he, "to examine the whole subject of divorce, as it has stood in all periods of time, and under all circumstances. Not only among civilised heathen nations, but by the Levitical law, and by the Gospel, a woman may be put away for adultery, and the remedy is not confined to the husband. The ecclesiastical courts in this country having only power to grant a divorce a mensa et thoro, the tie of marriage can only be dissolved by the legislature; and when an application is made to us for that purpose, we ought to be governed by the circumstances of each particular case, and ask ourselves, whether the parties can properly continue to cohabit together as husband and wife? Common law and statute law are silent upon the subject, and this is the rule laid down by reason, by morality, and by religion. Why do you grant to the husband a divorce for the adultery of the wife? because he ought not to forgive her, and separation is inevitable. Where the wife cannot forgive, and separation is inevitable by reason of the crime of the husband, the wife is entitled to the like remedy. Your only objection is — mistrust of yourselves, and a doubt lest, on a future application by a wife, you should not conduct yourselves with sound discretion. Is such mistrust—is such doubt —a sufficient reason to justify a House of Parliament in refusing to put an end to a contract, all the objects of which, CHAP, by the crime of one party, are for ever defeated? By the CL%' clearest evidence, Mr. Addison since the marriage has been guilty of incest with the sister of Mrs. Addison. Reconciliation is impossible. She cannot forgive him, and return to his house, without herself being guilty of incest. Do such of your Lordships as oppose the bill for the sake of morality propose or wish that she should? Had this criminal intercourse with the sister taken place before the marriage, the Ecclesiastical Court would have set aside the marriage as incestuous and void from the beginning; and is Mrs. Addison to be in a worse situation because the incest was committed after the marriage, and under her own roof? You allow that she can never live with him again as her husband, and is she, innocent, and a model of virtue, to be condemned for his crime to spend the rest of her days in the unheard-of situation of being neither virgin, wife, nor widow? Another sufficient ground for passing the bill is, that there are children of this marriage, who, without the interference of the legislature, would be exclusively under the control of the father. Now, your Lordships must all agree that such a father as Mr. Addison has proved himself to be, is unfit to be intrusted with the education of an innocent and virtuous daughter. The illustrious Prince says truly, that there is no exact precedent for such a bill; but, my Lords, let us look less to the exact terms of precedents than to the reason on which they are founded. The adultery of the husband, while it is condemned, may be forgiven, and therefore is no sufficient reason for dissolving the marriage ; but the incestuous adultery of the husband is equally fatal to the matrimonial union as the adultery of the wife, and should entitle the injured party to the same redress."

I cannot now undertake to say whether there were any The imcheers, but I well remember that Henry Cowper, the time- ^"'""g honoured Clerk of the House of Lords, who had sat there made, for half a century, came down to the bar in a fit of enthusiasm, and called out in a loud voice, "Capital! CapiTal I Capital!" Lord Chancellor Eldon declared that he had made up his mind to oppose the measure, but that he was

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