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CHAP, doubt would have been fulfilled, had not Crabbe soon after become chaplain to the Duke of Rutland, and received pre

ferment from that liberal-minded nobleman. Thurlow, Thurlow was early in life honourably attached to an acyoJngman, complished young lady, Miss Gooch — of a respectable family crossed in in Norfolk, "but she would not have him, for she was positively afraid of him."f He seems then to have foresworn matrimony.

1 o d" ^ iS w'*h great reluctance that I proceed; but I should

Chancellor, give a very imperfect sketch of the individual and of the with little manners of the age, if I were to try to conceal that of which

censure °' *

from the he was not ashamed, and which in his lifetime, with very openly kept s^ght censure, was known to all the world. Not only while a mistress, he was at the bar, but after he became Lord Chancellor, he lived openly with a mistress, and had a family by her, whom he recognised, and without any disguise brought out in society as if they had been his legitimate children. — In like manner, as when I touched upon the irregularities of Cardinal Wolsey, I must remind the reader that every man is charitably to be judged by the standard of morality which prevailed in the age in which he lived. Although Mrs. Hervey is sometimes satirically named in the "Rolliad" and other contemporary publications, her liaison with the Lord Chancellor seems to have caused little scandal. In spite of it he was a prime favourite, not only with George III. but with Queen Charlotte, both supposed to be very strict in their notions of chastity; and his house was not only frequented by his brother the Bishop, but by ecclesiastics of all degrees,—who celebrated the orthodoxy of the head of the law,—his love of the established church,—and his hatred of dissenters. { It should

* Life of Crabbe, 101. 56.

f Her own words in extreme old age. She was married to Or. D'Urban, a physician at Shottisham, the father of the venerable Sir Benjamin D' Urban. There was a relationship between the Gooches and the Thurlows — and their intercourses being renewed, old Mrs. Gooch used to call Edward Thurlow "child," while he called her " mother." She often related that Thurlow, when Attorney General, having rode over to Shottisham to visit them, as he was taking leave, and mounting his horse, she said to him, "Well, child, I shall live to sec you Ix,rd Chancellor." His answer was, " I hope so, mother." Improved I When I first knew the profession, it would not have been endured that morals of any one in a judicial situation should have had such a domestic establishment lawyers. as Thurlow's, but a majority of the Judges had married their mistresses. likewise be stated in mitigation, that he was an affectionate Chap. parent, and took great pains with the education and breeding CLXIof his offspring. A son of his is said to have died at Cam- His k;ndbridge when about to reach the highest honours of the uni- ness to his versity. His three daughters accompanied him in all the cmldrentours he made after his retirement from office, and were in good society. Craddock relates that "one evening the Miss Thurlows being at a Hampstead assembly, in returning, were in some danger from a riot at the door, and that they were rescued by a young officer who handed them to their carriage. In consequence the Lord Chancellor calling upon him next morning to thank him, and finding him at breakfast, offered to partake of it."*—Two of them were well married. The third made a love match against his will, and though he was reconciled to her, he never would consent to see her husband.

It has been said that Thurlow was a sceptic in religion; Justificabut I do not believe that there is any foundation for this xhurlow assertion, beyond the laxity of his practice, and an occasional from thef irreverence in his expressions on religious subjects,—which, ^epficism. however censurable, were not inconsistent with a continuing belief in the divine truths he had been taught by his pious parents. A letter from him to a gentleman who had obtained a prize for a Theological Essay, and to whom he gave a living, displays great depth of thinking, and may be reconciled to orthodoxy: —

"Sir, « Oct 13. 1785.

"I return you many thanks for your Essay, which is well composed, notwithstanding the extent, difficulty, and

The understanding then was, that a man elevated to the bench, if be had a mistress, must either marry her or put her away, For many years there has been no necessity for such an alternative. — The improvement in public morals, at the conclusion of the 18th century, may be mainly ascribed to George III. and his Queen, who, though being unable to lay down any violent rule, or to bring about any sudden change, they were obliged to wink at the irregularities of the Lord Chancellor — not only by their bright example, but by their well-directed efforts, greatly discouraged the profligacy which was introduced at the Restoration, and continued, with little abatement, till their time.

* "An anecdote introduced to prove that Lord Thurlow could be a courteous nobleman, as well as an affectionate parent."—Crad. i. 75.

VOL. V. UD

CHAP, delicacy of the subjeot. The mode of future existence is not Clxi. delineated to the human mind; although the object is presented to their hope, and even recommended to their imagination. Upon this, the humbler, perhaps, the safest reflection seems to be, that human sense is capable of no more, while perfect Faith is recommended. Is it not dangerous to insinuate, that sensible conviction might lessen the importance of worldly concerns too much? (p. 23.)

"Perhaps, also, the speculation is not free from danger, when improved disquisition, enriched imagination, and livelier affection are distinctly assumed, as the attainments of a state, which is to be so much changed, that it cannot be, or at least is not revealed to the human sense, (p. 12. 15. 17.)

"Perhaps more is put upon the immateriality of the soul than the negative of a thing so unknown as matter, is wortb. (p. 7.)

"The observation at the head of the next page seems to dispose of the question more solidly and piously. When the Philosopher despises a Heaven on the other side of the blue mountains, in which the company of a faithful dog makes a principal article of enjoyment, is he sure that his visions are more wise, in proportion as they are less sensible?

"Perhaps the certainty that God is good, affords a surer hope, and not less distinct.

"Your's, &c.

"Thurlow."

There seems to have been, however, a prevalent opinion among his contemporaries, that he was lax in his religious observances. Of this Burke took rather an unfair advantage during Hastings's trial. Commenting upon the arrest of a Rajah at the hour of his devotions, he said: "It has been alleged, in extenuation of the disgrace, that the Rajah was not a Brahmin. Suppose the Lord Chancellor should be found at his devotions (a laugh), — surely we may suppose the keeper of the King's conscience so employed (renewed laughter), and suppose that, while so employed, he should be violently interrupted and carried off to prison, — would it

Burke's unfair sarcasm on Thurlow's irreligion.

remove or lessen the indignity that he was not a Bishop? Chap. No! the Lord Chancellor would think of the prayers he had CLXIlost, and his feelings would be equally acute as if he wore" lawn sleeves in addition to the robes of his office, and his full-bottom wig." The reporter adds, "None were grave at this sally save the Chancellor himself, who looked like a statue of Jupiter Tonans, and cared as little for exercises of piety."

Under ostentatiously rough manners, I am inclined to be- Timrlow lieve that he preserved great kindness of disposition, and there tender^ can be no doubt that, if at last a little hardened from being hearted, long hackneyed in the ways of the world, he was naturally tender-hearted. When still a young man, he lost his favourite sister, to whom he had been most affectionately attached. I have great pleasure in laying before the reader a most feeling and beautiful letter, written by him to the physician who had attended her, and who had announced to him her dissolution after a long and painful illness.

"Dear Doctor Manning,

"I return you many thanks for your letter, which I can Letterfrom almost bring myself to call agreeable. The two last letters I death of he received from my brother, convinced me that she was not to his sisterbe saved by nature or art; and it quite harrowed me to reflect on the pain she endured. I suppose the frailty of all human things makes it a common accident: but I have brought myself to think it my own singular ill fortune to be disappointed in every thing I have ever set my heart upon. In general, it is my point to withstand any extraordinary affection for any article in life, but I forgot myself in this instance. My sister was singularly agreeable to me, and I was equally assiduous in courting her friendship and cultivating her affection. The wretched end of it is, that I never was so unhappy before.

"But it is foolish to trouble you with any more of this: I cannot omit, however, expressing my sensibility of your tenderness and attention to her, and my perfect satisfaction in your skill and care; a mighty dull and gloomy satisfaction,

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but it is all the ablest and kindest physicians can expect in so
melancholy an hour.

"I am, dear Sir, with great respect,
"Your most obliged

"and obedient Servant,

"E. Thuklow.

"Inner Temple, Friday." •

Lord Thurlow was very kind to his brothers. For one of them he obtained successively the great living of Stanhope, the Mastership of the Temple, the Deanery of Rochester, the Deanery of St. Paul's, the Bishopric of Lincoln, and the Bishopric of Durham. On a son of this brother he conferred a sinecure in the Court of Chancery, for which a compensation is now received of 9000/. a year. He provided, likewise, very amply for his other kinsmen. What more proved the goodness of his disposition was, that notwithstanding occasional gusts of passion, which they were a little afraid of, he continued to live with them all on terms of great familiarity. Soon after he was made Lord Chancellor, he addressed his clerical brother in the following terms: — "Tom, there is to be a drawing-room on Thursday, when I am obliged to attend, and as I have purchased Lord Bathurst's coach, but have no leisure to give orders about the necessary alterations, do you see and get all ready for me." The Bishop forgot to get the arms altered, and the Earl's coronet reduced to a Baron's. Afraid of a storm, be resorted to the expedient of ordering the door to be opened as soon as the carriage stopped at the house, and held open till the Lord Chancellor was seated, who having examined the interior, stretched out his hand, and most kindly exclaimed, "Brother, the whole is finished entirely to my satisfaction, and I thank you." f The same expedient was resorted to again at his return from St. James's, and by the next levee day, the carriage was altered according to the rules of heraldry.

I have already had occasion to refer more than once to Thurlow's personal appearence, and particularly to his dark

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