Графични страници
PDF файл


What was in Thurlow's power after his Loss of Office, 610. His inadequate Per-

formance, 610. His Habits in retirement, 610. His Demeanour in the House

of Lords, 611. Progress of Hastings's Trial, 612. Thurlow complains of a

Report of a Committee of the House of Commons, drawn up by Burke, as a

Libel, 612. Burke's Revenge upon him, 612. Conclusion of Hastings's Trial,

613. Thurlow's Speech in favour of Hastings, 61:S. Acquittal of Hastings, 614.

Thurlow in Opposition, 614. Thurlow a Partisan of the Prince of Wales, 615.

Thurlow again "a Patriot," 615. He opposes the "Treason and Sedition Bills,"

615. Thurlow follows the Example of the Whigs, and secedes from Parliament,

618. Projected new Administration, with Thurlow as Chancellor, 618. The

Plan proves abortive, 618. Thurlow abandons public Life, 619. He maintains
the Equality ofall Pecr*,619. His Defence of Slavery, 620. His Appearance in the
House of Lords in 1801,621. His Delight upon the'Resignation of Pitt, 621. He
opposes the Bill for indemnifying the late Ministers, 621. He opposes the Bill
to prevent Home Tooke from sitting in the House of Commons, 621. Account
of the Formation of his Intimacy with Home Tooke, 621. Thurlow's Visits to
Home Tooke at Wimbledon, 622. Thurlow's Speech upon Clergymen being
excluded from the House of Commons, 623. Thurlow's last Speech in Parlia-
ment on the Peace of Amiens, 624. His final Retreat into private Life, 624. He
is consulted respecting the Charges against the Princess of Wales, 624. Extract

from Sir S. Romilly's Diary on this Subject, 625. Crecvery's Account of Thurlow

at Brighthelmstone, 626. Jerningham's Account of Thurlow at Brighthvlmstonc,

628. The Year 1806 fatal to great Men, 630. Death of Pitt and Fox, 630.

Death of Thurlow, 630. Sensation produced by his Death, 631. His Funeral, 631.

Character of Sir William Follett, 631. His Epitaph, 632. His Defects as a

Judge, 632. His Rudeness to the Bar and to Solicitors, 633. His Enmity to

Law Iteform, 634. His Conduct as a Statesman, 634. His Judicial Patronage,

635. His Ecclesiastical Appointment, 635. His Kindness to a Curate, 636.

His Oratory, 636. Unscrupulous Advantage taken by him of the Ignorance of

his Audience, 637. Lord Brougham's Description of his Manner of speaking in

the House of Ix>rds, 637. Another Description of him by Butler, 637. Thur-

low never an Author, 638. His classical Taste cultivated by him in Retire-

ment. 638. Translation by him from Euripides, 638. His Translation of the

"Battle of the Frogs and the Mice," 640. His Love of Novels, 641. His great

Powers of Conversation, 641. Lord Thurlow's " Sittings," 642. The Chan-

cellor and the Prime Minister, when tipsy, mistaken for Highwaymen, and

fired at, 643. Thurlow's sayings, 643. Thurlow's Treatment of Cowper, 645.

Cowper "s Letter to Thurlow, with a Copy of his Poems, 646. Thurlow's

early Promise to provide for Cowper when he became Chancellor, 648.

Cowper, though neglected, still attached to TTiurlow, 648. Thurlow's Ad-

miration of Hayley, 649. Hayley's Account of Thurlow's Kindness to him,

649. Correspondence between Thurlow and Cowper respecting the Translation

of Homer into blank Verse, 650. Thurlow's meritorious Effort to assist Dr.

Johnson, 653. Dr. Johnson's Letter to Thurlow, 651. Thurlow's Generosity

to Crabbe, 655. Thurlow, when a young Man, crossed in love, 656. When

I.ord Chancellor, with little Censure from the World, he openly kept a Mistress,

656. Improved Morals of Lawyers, S.i6. His kindness to his Children, 657.
Justification of Thurlow from the Charge of Scepticism, 657. Burke's unfair






We now come to the man universally and deservedly con- CHAP
sidered the most consummate judge who ever sat in the CXXIX-
Court of Chancery—being distinguished not only for his Character
rapid and satisfactory decision of the causes which came be- of Lord
fore him, but for the profound and enlightened principles
which he laid down, and for perfecting English Equity into
a symmetrical science. He is at the same time to be honour-
ed as a considerable statesman, co-operating powerfully for
some years with the shrewdest minister this country pro-
duced during the eighteenth century, and after the fall of
that chief being the principal support of his feeble successors
in times perilous to the national independence, and to the
reigning dynasty.

Yet the task of his biographer is by no means easy. Difficulty Y Though he never said or did a foolish thing, he is not j"^TM^ it to be regarded with unmixed admiration. There were shades on his reputation which ought to be delineated. Personally, he does not much excite our interest or our sympathy. His career is not checkered by any youthful indiscretions or generous errors. He ever had a keen and steady eye to his own advantage, as well as to the public good. Amidst the aristocratic connections which he formed, he Vol. v. B

CHAP, forgot the companions of his youth; and his regard for the

'middle classes of society from which he sprung, cooled down

to indifference. He became jealous of all who could be his rivals for power, and he contracted a certain degree of selfishness and hardness of character, which excited much envy and ill will amidst the flatteries which surrounded him. To do justice to the qualities and actions of so extraordinary a person would require powers of discrimination and delineation, which I greatly fear I do not possess. However, after bespeaking the indulgence of my readers, I proceed,— resolved not to be sparing of praise, nor to shrink from censure, when I think the one or the other is deserved.

HU origin. It is curious to observe, that the three greatest Chancellors after the Revolution were the sons of attorneys, and that two of them had not the advantage of a university education. The illustrious Earl of Hardwicke was the son of a small attorney at Dover, of respectable character, but in very narrow circumstances. The family, though much reduced in the seventeenth century, is said anciently to have held considerable possessions in Wiltshire, of which county Thomas Yorke was thrice High Sheriff in the reign of Henry VIII. Philip, the father, was married to Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Richard Gibbon of Rolvenden, in Kent.* They had three children who grew up—two daughters and a son. They were glad to marry one daughter to a dissenting minister, and the other to a tradesman in a country town.

His birth. Philip the son, the subject of this memoir, was born at Dover on the first day of December, 1690. He never was

His educa- at any school except a private one, kept at Bethnal Green by a Dissenter, of the name of Samuel Morland, who is said

* Gibbon, the historian, being of this family, has given us a very pompous account of it — showing how, being settled in "the great forest of Anderida," now the Weald of Kent, they, in 1326, possessed lands which still belong to them; that one of them was "Marmorarius," or architect to Edward III.; that they had for arms " a lion rampant gardant, between three schallop-shells, argent on a field azure;" and that they were allied to Jack Cade's Lord Say and Seale, "who had most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a grammar-school, who had caused printing to be used, and, contrary to the King, his crown, and dignity, had built a paper-mill,—talking of a noun and a verb, and such abominable words as no Christian can endure to hear." — Mite. Works, i. 4.

Lord Hardwicke, when Chancellor, erected a monument to his father and to have been an excellent teacher. Here he won the good Chap.

. . • CXXIX

opinion of this worthy pedagogue, by displaying the quick

ness of parts and steady application which afterwards distinguished him through life.

When he had reached the age of fourteen, being noted as a "'cute lad," the father desired that he should be bred to his own profession of an attorney; but the mother, who was a rigid Presbyterian, very much opposed this plan. She expressed a strong wish "that Philip should be put apprentice to some honester trade;" and sometimes she declared her ambition to be that, breeding him a parson in her own religious persuasion, "she might see his head wag in the pulpit." However, her consent to Philip's legal destination He is put was at last obtained on an offer being received from Mr. Attorney. Salkeld, a very eminent London attorney, who had been many years Mr. Yorke's town agent, to take the boy as articled clerk without a fee. *

Philip Yorke, when transferred to the metropolis, exhibited a rare instance of great natural abilities, joined with an early resolution to rise in the world, supported by acquired good habits, and aided by singular good luck. A desk being assigned to him in Mr. Salkeld's office, in Brooke Street, Holborn, he applied to business with the most extraordinary assiduity, and, at the same time he

mother, with the arms of Yorke and of Gibbon impaled upon it, and with the
following simple inscription, which he composed:

"Here lieth the body of Philip Yoree, Gent.,
who married Elizabeth, the only child
of Richard Gibbon, Gent.
They had issue
three sons and six daughters,
of whom one son and two daughters are surviving.
The other six are buried near this place.
He died June 18th, 1721, in the 70th year of his age.

Here lieth also the body of the said Elizareth,
Wife of the above mentioned Philip Yorke,
who died October 17th, 1727, in the 69th year of her age.


The Gibbon arms are quartered in the Chancellor's shield in Temple Hall, and in Charles Yorke's in Lincoln's Inn Hall.

* The " Biographia Britannica" confounds this Mr. Salkeld wilh Serjeant Salkeld, author of the well-known " Reports," and erroneously supposes that Philip Yorke was sent to the Serjeant as a pupil when destined for the bar.

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »