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any of the
Justice"--and quotes “Sydney Smith” who wrote was known to Lord Campbell in his professional thus “ This absurdity of attributing the high price capacity; and his part of this volume is fuller
; of corn to the combinations of farmers, and the than Lord Kenyon’s. Law was a Bishop's son, dealings of middle men, was the common nonsense educated at Cambridge, intended for the Church, talked in the days of my youth.”
who went to the bar on his own suggestion. He Although these days are past, this same was born at Salkeld, a parish in the north of sense” has again become common; and journalists England, on the 16th November, 1750. He was ascribe the high price paid for corn in this coun.
educated at the Charter House, before he entered try, during the last three or four years, to the at Cambridge; where he attained the reputation successful combinations of farmers and middle- of being a good classical scholar, and carried off men." We don't propose to punish the trade, the first medal in one year; but his biographer although the immediate consequence of their acknowledges that his written compositions, whe. operations are not doubtful, while the more remote ther in Latin or English, were never remarkable results may tend to equalise prices over space and either for lucid arrangement or purity of style ? time; yet a greater personage
He was a fair speaker, not certainly eloquent, but puisne judges also had prejudices on the sub- impressive ; and he attained an extensive acquaintject. The author of "Rasselas,” in the fairy story ance with English law; yet, except for his conof the “ Fountains," makes the chief of the faries nexion with Warren Hastings, we know of nothing in Plinlimmon, Lady Lilinet of the Blue Rock, in Mr. Law's career to distinguish him peculiarly, confess among other indiscretions of her ignorance, and Lord Ellenborough's legislative history is and her yonth, thst "I dissipated a mist which associated only with the recollection of some assumed the form of a town, and was raised to criminal laws, now long out of date. He left decoy a monopoliser of corn from his way to the Cambridge and entered himself of Lincoln's-inn, next market.”
in 1749, and he became a pupil of Mr. Wood, We cannot say that Lord Campbell has flattered who was the special “special pleader” of that Lord Kenyon. Some of the biographer's anec- time-concerning whom and Loru Mansfield, the dotes, as at page 85, are not in very good taste, biographer tells a joke of small dimensions. . Wood although they may be suitable to the society of had bought a borse, and when he wanted the horse Westminster Hall; the Chief Justice should know,
him the beast demurred, and, like many the repetitions of the story of Lord Kenyon's other bad animals, preferred the town to the single handkerchief, and how he came by it, and country. Thereupon Wood brought an action for several other matters of the same kind, are not compensation against the former owner ; and Lord indicative of good authorship. By his parsimonious Mansfield, on trying the case, said, habits Lord Kenyon, we are told, died rich; yet,
Who would have supposed that Mr. Wood's horse would Lord Ellenborough, who was not parsimonious, have demurred when he ought to have gone to the country. died equally rich, or nearly as wealthy in money And the author adds,and property, while he had secured a sinecure office, worth £7000 annually for his son; but we
Any attempt to explain this excellent joke to lay gents
would be vain, and to lawyers would be superfluous. read no reproach of Lord Ellenborough on that account. The former Chief Justice was a very We beg bis Lordship’s pardon, but, belonging rugged Tory, desperately opposed to changes, to the misera plebs contribuens—as Lord Kenyon regular in his personal habits, simple to a fault in might have said—to the support of lawyers, we his style of living, attached warmly to his family, quite understand his joke; and it is not a very honest and upright in the discharge of his judicial excellent one-- -not a bit cleverer than many others duties; and many of his defects arose from his re- that people hear half a dozen of in a day in common stricted education, which he did not attempt to im- | life—and scarcely ever repeat them. How dull is prove, because he would thus have acknowledged Westminster Hall, where such things live for half the necessity of some change. Lord Kenyon died a ceatury. in 1802, six months after he had buried bis eldest Mr. Law, like Mr. Kenyon, lived for many son, with the sorrowful remark over the open years upon his opinions, but the former wrought tomb, “it is large enough for both”—the last under the Bar, and was not even called upon to refuge of an extremely successful life—for in his practise. His answers to cases were cheap, and day, and with his parts, although he was a quick they were clear, and thus far good; so that he and ready lawyer, conversant with all the works derived a large income from hard work, and had on English law that he could read, few men, if pupils who brought him fees of one hundred gui. any, had been more fortunate than the heir of neas a-year, for permission to copy his papers. He Bryn and Gredington, which became his property attained thus an intimate knowledge of law; and by the death of his elder brother as his own, and rendered almost certain his success at the bar when enlarged estates, from the same cause, descended | he decided to enter the more public paths of his to his second son, who, with them, inherited his profession, to wbich he was called in 1780, eleven father's political principles. He died in 1855, years after he had entered at Lincoln's-inn. His thirty three years after the founder of the family.
was attained chiefly in the country, and Mr. Law, subsequently Lord Ellenborough, I there in the Northern circuit, and he did not come
readily into London practice. He was rather dis- those days, from which one breathes more freely at heartened at this state of matters, when he found, the idea of having escaped. These men, whom one evening, at his chambers, " a general retainer Erskine feared and some would have us esteem and for Warren Hastings, Esq.,” with a fee of five bun- revere for their abilities, were only assassins of the dred guineas. It was a disgrace to England that worst kind-the murderers of character. this name should have been written “ Warren Has. In this exigency, the employment of Mr. Law tings, Esq.," least while titles are broadcast was recommended by Sir Thomas Rumbold, who among the idle or imbecile. It is the shame of the had married that gentleman's sister, and was old Whig party that the trial ever occurred. And acquaiuted with his relative's legal knowledge and to those who follow out the evidence adduced perseverance, and with his fearless intrepidity, during seven years, the whole business must appear the quality most requisite, as the trial proveddisgraceful to Sheridan, Fox, and Burke ; but for during nearly seven years Mr. Law and his especialiy to the latter, unless upon the supposition colleagues—Mr. Dallas and Mr. Plomer—had to that he lied so eloquently and long as to believe contend with the acerbity and maligoancy of the his own fictions by dint of iteration ; and died as ablest men in the Commons, and their duty was he had lived, a monomaniac upon the subject. discharged nobly and well. The trial made Mr. Great men among the Whigs of recent years have Law's fortune--not by its direct fees, but by the done justice to the memory of Warren Hastings, character and fame which it secured. when they could no longer do justice to the man. Mr. Law was a Whig, like Mr. Erskine ; but, Lord Campbell
, although he evidently feels and perhaps, not so far confirmed or initiated. The knows the right, omits the condemnation of Fox, trial of Mr. Hastings entirely separated him from Burke, and Sheridan, which they most amply de- the leaders of his party, and he became a Tory. serve from all careful historians, whenever the In 1795 he was appointed Attorney-General for topic is named. He says, indeed, at page 171– the County Palatine of Lancaster. This was all “ In truth, the cruelties of Debi Sing had been much ex
the patronage that he ever obtained from Mr. aggerated, and Mr. Hastings, instead of iustigating, had put Pitt; but when Mr. Addington accepted the a stop to them. His counsel must have deliberated long before they resolved to object to the admissibility of the evidence, premiership, in February, 1801, Mr. Law was and they were probably actuated by a dread of the prejudice named as Attorney-General. The premier honestly it might create before it could be refuted.”
warned him that his ministry might be of short Lord Campbell supplies, page 111, a very sad duration; that the leadership of the Northern reason for the selection of Mr. Law as the leading Circuit could not be resumed, and therefore that counsel of Mr. Hastings. Another name must he would not require an immediate answer. It is have occurred, then at the English bar, as the equally honourable to Mr. Law that he at once right man for the place. Did that accomplished accepted the appointment, without reckoning all and eloquent lawyer believe, with his political the chances of its permanence, adding, “I am friends, that Mr. Hastings should be sacrificed for yours; and let the storm blow from what quarter the promotion of their political interests ? We of the hemisphere it may, you shall always find believe not ; and yet the honesty and honour of me at your side." Erskine were not sufficiently strong to support him The new Attorney-General was kuighted, paid in braving the anger of a party who would have five hundred pounds for his seat in Parliamenttrampled friendship, as they bad trampled truth, seats are dearer now than they were then—and to gain a party victory.
entered the House of Commons on the 2nd March, Although Mr. Law had not thought of this retainer, more 1801. He began his legislative life ominously, than of being made Archbishop of Canterbury, some of his by proposing a bill for continuing martial law in friends had been engaged in a negotiatiou for securing it for Ireland, which was carried with a great majority. him. Hastings himself was naturally desirous that he should be defended by Erskine, who had acquired so much
Next he passed a measure for the suspension of renown as counsel for Lord George Gordon, and who had the Habeas Corpus Act in England. The death loudly declared his own personal conviction to be that the ex- of Lord Kenyon occurred opportunely for the Governor-General deserved well of his country. But as the liberties of the country in the next year, as nobody impeachment had become a party question, and was warmly
can now say how far the Attorney General might supported by the leaders of the party to whom Erskine belonged, although he was not then a member of the House of have gone in law-making if, in April of 1802, he Commons, he reluctantly declined an engagement in which had not been appointed Chief Justice, with a his heart would have prompted the discharge of his pro- peerage. fessional duties, and by which he might have acquired even a still greater name than lie has left to posterity. He knighthood, he prosecuted Governor Wall with bis
While the Attorney-General remained in his declared he would not have been sorry to measure swords with Burke, who, in the House of Commons, had attacked
accustomed bitterness, and the unfortunate man him rather sharply and successfully. “In Westminster Hall,” was hung to gratify popular vengeance, for the said he, “I could have smote the antagonist hip and thigh.” ministry could not resist a mob in passion, But Erskine could not for a moment endure the idea of although, and, indeed, because they crushed coming into personal conflict with Fox and Sheridan, whom he loved as friends, whom he dreaded as rivals, and with popular rights, and were in some measure comwhom, on a change of Government, he expected to be associa pelled to let the people go wrong in such little ted in high office.
matters as the life of a man who had only The passage proves the corruption of party in been the governor of a small African island.
Lord Ellenborough's judicial career was greatly view of its meaning, “Everybody," he said, aided by the high attainments of the other judges “ knew the supposed story of Romulus. He disassociated with him. We forget often how near appeared, and his death was supposed to be the we have lived to absurd and wicked practices in effect of assassination.” The jury followed the this island. The actual slavery of the mining direction of the judge, and found Pellier“ guilty;" population was not annulled by law until the last but, owing to the commencement of hostilities with century had almost been measured out. In the France, the defendant was never called up for second year of the present century, a person named sentence. Richard Thornton was tried at Warwick. for the In 1806 the Chief Justice joined the “All the murder of Mary Ashford. He was acquitted, but Talents "Government, as a Cabinet Minister unatthe case was brought by her brother William tached, and without salary. An effort was made Ashford, into the Court of King's Bench. in both Houses of Parliament to pass a resolution Thornton refused to plead except by claiming against including the chief criminal judge of the trial by battle, and taking bis gauntlet from his land in a party Government; but in both houses right hand, cast it on the floor in token of defiance, the motion was defeated by large majorities. Mr. like some knight of the olden time, and demanded Percival, who was Attorney-General under the bis right of combat. The request was argued previous Government, used his influence privately upon before Lord Ellenborough, who was obliged with the Chief Justice in the hope of persauding to decide that, by the law of England, as it him to resign his empty honour ; but the attempt exised then, Thornton was entitled, at that stage, to only led to a coldness between them. The Chief trial by battle. The appellor (Ashford) being a
a Justice followed his friend, Mr. Addington, into the much weaker man than the appellee, declined the unfortunate Cabinet, and he probably would not combat; and thus one probable scandal was have adopted that course except to support the prevented.
statesman to whom he deemed himself indebted. Lord Kenyon, in the same circumstances, | He appears to have taken comparatively little injudging from the course which he pursued with the terest in the debates in the Peers, although he madman arraigned for attempting the life of eloquently supported the hill for the suppression George III., would have made a rule for himself, of the slave trade in 1806; and he appeared to and sought indemnity by law afterwards. Lord desert bis old friends, and vote for Lord Melville's Ellenborough, who was willing alike to fight or impeachment in the same year. He continued atspeak in a good cause, would have allowed the bad tached to the fortunes of Mr. Addington, after the law to take its course to a legal duel as its termi- breaking up of All the Talents. This party purnation. Immediately after this curious scene, an sued then the tactics of the Derby party now. act-59 George III., c. 46-passed, to abolish They attacked the foreign policy of the Government trial by battle.
upon such points as gave them the appearance of The principal trial presided over by this Chief a cheap liberalism. Lord Ellenborough said of the Justice was that of Colonel Despard and his asso- expedition against the Danish fleet that it reminded ciates, in February, 1803, for a treasonable plot. him of Colonel Despard was a gentleman who had honour
“the ill-omen'd bark, ably served the nation, and if influence could have
Built in th' eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark.” saved him, his life would have been spared; but and that the only defence of the measure, was no reasonable doubt existed of his guilt ; and formed of doctrines which he was in the habit of though Nelson and other distinguished officers in reprobating at the Old Bailey. He had not very the military and naval services spoke to his pre- patriotic notions on many points. He defended vious achievements, yet be and a number of his the treaty of peace in 1802 in all its clauses; and humble associates were sentenced to death with all he entertained a few opinions that have never the peculiarities attached in those days to the doom since wanted advocates ; although they are income of traitors. The aggravations were remitted, but patible with the dignity of the Crown, the prosColonel Despard and six of his companions were perity of the people, and the strength of the em. executed together.
pire. He considered South Africa as perfectly useLord Ellenborough also tried, in the same year, less :a criminal information filed by Mr. Percival, who
"With respect to the Cape of Good Hope, the cession of was then Attorney-General, against M. Pellier, a which is so much deplored, I say, my lords, that we are well French refugee, who was defended by Mackintosh. rid of it. There is no advantage in that post, and the ex. The information was laid at the instance of Napo- pense of it would have been so great that the country would leon Bonaparte, and assigned to M. Pellier a design
soon have complained of its retention.” of urging the assassination of Napoleon on the day He had not consulted his old client, Warren when he assumed the Imperial purple.
Hastings, on that subject; and soon afterwards the of the libel lay in the comparison of Napoleon to Cape of Good Hope was retaken, for the future Romulus, and the suggestion of a similar fate for benefit of our cotton trade, perhaps ; although the the hero of Corsica. Mackintosh contended that expense has certainly been very considerable, as the the matter was only jocular, and unworthy of pro- Chief Justice expected that it would be then. secution. The Chief Justice adopted a different We need not follow the various steps of his
career, sor, after he refused the Chancellorship, and Upon the 13th of December of the same year, he would no longer dabble directly in party politics, died, and his remains were interred, as he had it ran very closely in one groove. He occupied directed, in the cemetery of the Charterhouse. the bench as Chief Justice until 1818, through a He was a good classic and a bad English stormy period, therefore, crowded with political scholar. He could write Latin well, much better trials of deep interest; and some of them taxed than he could write English. He was fearless his failing strength. He expected, in 1817, to just, and laborious. According to the light which convict Dr. Watson of high treason; but after a was in him he was a good and a sincere man. trial of seven days, greatly to his mortification, debater he wanted temper, and could never sucand partly from the exertions of the late Sir ceed; and yet, he was sarcastic in his own Charles Wetherall and Mr. Sergeant Copley, now remarks. Baron Lyndhurst, the jury at once returned a ver- His domestic life was very happy. He had dict of "Not Guilty.”
heard of the extreme beauty of Miss Towry, who, Mr. Hone, a bookseller, was tried by Mr. we have Lord Campbell's authority for saying, had Justice Abbot in the following year, for issuing “excited admiration almost unprecedented.” The blasphemous publications. He defended himself, present Chief Justice narrates the particulars of and was acquitted. Lord Ellenborough was ill at this courtship in 1787, when Mr. Law was still home, but the tidings roused the old law lion, and
a young man, on the Northern circuit, with no he summoned his waning powers to the punish. other fortune except his professsion and his ment of Hone, and the rescue of justice. Other talents. two counts had to be tried.
Amongst many others Law came, saw, and was conquered. This being related to the enfeebled Chief Justice, his Cousidering his ungainly figure and awkward address, it energy was revived, and he swore that, at whatever cost, seems wonderful that he should have aspired to her hand he would preside in Court next day himself, so that convic. among a crowd of competitors, particularly as it was undertion might be certain, and the insulted law might be vindi- stool that she had already refused very tempting proposals. cated. Accordingly he appeared in Court, pale and hollow But he ever felt great confidence in himself, whatever he visaged, but with a spirit unbroken, and more stern than undertook ; he now said, “ Faint heart never won fair lady," when his strength was unimpaired. As he took his place and, after he had paid her devoted attention for a few weeks, on the bench, “I am glad to see you, my Lord Ellen. he asked her father's leave to address her. The worthy comborough,” shouted Bone, “I know what you are come here missioner gave his consent, having heard that the suitor for, I know what you want." “I am come to do justice," was considered the most rising lawyer in Westminster Hall. retorted the noble and learned Lord, “my only wish is to But the young lady being interrogated, answered by a decided see justice done.”—“Is it not, rather, my Lord,” said negative. Still the lover was undismayed-even, as it is Hone, " to send a poor bookseller to rot in a dungeon ?” said, after a third rebuff. At last, by the charms of his
The jury were, however, determined not to con- conversation, and by the eulogiums of all her relations, who vict. The jury, on the following day, were equally thought she was repelling a desirable alliance, her aversion
was softened, and she became tenderly attached to him. obstinate. Hone's trials were triumphs, and we The marriage took place on the 17th Oct., 1789, and cannot say that they were triumphs for “good proved most auspicious. Mrs. Law retained the beanty of matter," because his publications were bad. Still, Miss Towry,;, and such admiration did it continue to excite,
that she was not only followed at balls and assemblies, but the public received the verdict of acquittal with
strangers used to collect in Bloomsbury-square to gaze at shouts of applause. The Judge received it diffe
her as she watered the flowers which stood in her balcony. rently.
But no jealousy was excited in the mind of her husband, Bishop Turner, who was present at the trial, and accom. even when princes of the blood flattered round her. For panied the Chief Justice home in his carriage, related that many years the faithful couple lived together in uninterall the way he laughed at the tumultaous mob that followed rupted affection and harmony, blessed with a numerous him, remarking that he was afraid of their saliva, but not progeny, several of whom united their father's talents with of their bite; and that passing Charing-cross, he pulled the
their mother's comeliness. check-string and said, “It just occurs to me that they sell the best red herrings, at this shop, of any in London ; buy
Lady Ellenborough, and a family of five sons six.” The popular opinion, however, was that Lord Ellen. and five daughters, survived him. To his widow borough was killed by lone's trial, and he certainly never he left a jointure of £2,000, to each of nine of his held up his lead in public aster,
children, £15,000, and to the elder, the present The six red herrings were obviously an effort Earl of Ellenborough, the residue, and the ofice to appear cool—done for a kindred reason with of Chief Clerk of the Court of King's Bench, that which induced Burns's peasant, on Hallow- which was subsequently commuted to a payment e'en, “to whistle up Lord Lennox March”—not of £7,000 a year. He accumulated a large forthat the Chief Justice wanted courage to face tune, and yet lived in considerable style. ghost or man, but at that moment he felt humbled, We will notice the still more pleasant life of and could have introduced a bill for the abolition Lord Tenterden afterwards. The volume, as we of Westminster jurics.
have remarked with reasons, does not exhibit the Upon the 21st of September, 1818, he resigned care required by the subjects; and the printing or his seat on the bench, requesting the pension publishing department is abominably negligent, allowed to Chief Justices who have held the office for who would expect, on a costly work of this for fifteen years. The Prince Regent wrote a character, to learn from the running title, repeated friendly and long letter, on the 18th of October, page by page, that George III. was alive and on upon the arrival of Lord Ellenborough in town, the throne up to 1832 ?
THE ISLE OF MAN.
(CONTINUED FROM THE SEPTEMBER NUMBER.)
We have no earlier record of the laws and consti- keys, and other officials, proceed to the Tynwald tutiou of the Isle of Man, than that contained in Hill in procession and assist in the ceremony, the Manx Statute-book of 1422. All previous in which proclaims the new act and establishes it in the formation is doubtful. King Orry, indeed, after i legal jurisdiction of the island. his accession to the throne, granted his subjects Besides the Tynwald courts there are other the privilege of electing a certain number of courts of law, a description of which would be representatives, who seem to have been summoned, scarcely interesting to the reader. Appeals may not only to assist in the government of the state, be made from the decisions of juries to the but also to act as guarantees or hostages for the Deemster, from him to the Governor, and finally to good faith of their constituents. Sixteen of these the Queen in Council. The concurrence of the representatives were chosen for the manors, or three insular estates-i. e., the Queen in Council, Sheadings, into which the island is divided, and the Governor and Council of the island, and the eight for the Hebrides. These representatives House of Keys, must be obtained before any law received the name of “ Keys,” which may be sup- can be promulgated from the Tynwald Hill. posed to imply that they were both the guardians And while we are on the subject of law and and unlockers of the laws. The “House of legal matters, we would rewark that it is an error Keys" still exists, but it is chiefly a house of to suppose that the Isle of Man shelters criminals appeal, and a conclave for the formation of local from the laws of England. Justice finds her laws.
victims there as surely as in the British territory; During the first years of the establishment of a little delay and some additional trouble being the “Keys,” their jurisdiction was of extreme the only inconveniences. We remember an inimportance, as the laws were then verbally com. stance of this which came under our own knowmunicated to the Deemsters, and in the same ledge. The principal actors in this sad drama manner transmitted by them to their descendants. were women-women nurtured in comfort, belongIn after years there were written statutes to ing to the higher walks of life, of cultivated minds which the people could themselves refer; thus, less
-one at least of no ordinary intellect. We being left to the judgment of the “ Keys,” their remember her every word, and look, and action, legal importance became lessened.
during the painful scenes of her Manx residence. The early government of the Isle of Man was Her portrait is deeply engraven on our memory; despotic to a degree ; and in 1417 the grievances we wear the momento of her, our deep love and resulting from this despotism became so unbear. reverence, in our heart. She is too rare a creaable, that an appeal was made to Sir John ture to be appended to the fag end of a “ Tynwald Stanley, the second king of that family, for court;" we chronicle her history by itself
, and redress.
give it as its title that of which it is worthy, her He came to the island, investigated the com- own dear nameplaints, saw that they had not been preferred without reason, and finally framed a code of laws,
RUTH NEVILLE. which were ever after to be recognised as the We were two dnughters of one race, legal authority of the island. For their inaugura- She was the fairer in the face; tion and promulgation he called a court of Tynwald,
The wind is howling through turret and tree, the first held by his family.
The wind is howling through turret and tree,
They were together and she fell. Now the Tynwald Hill, where this court was held, is an artificial mound of earth, twelve feet in In the northern division of the island, situated height, two hundred and forty in circumference at far from the main road, at the foot of one of the the base. It is situated about two and a half great bills, stands a cottage of such extreme miles from Peel. This bill is dug or cut into beauty, that all who behold look and admire, and three distinct ledges of mould wbich encompass it wish it were their own domain. The “all" who entirely. These ledges are the seats, which the see it, however, are not many, for its solitude is officials," the keys,” and the clergy occupy during almost perfect. A mountain stream of some an assembly. The chair of state for the king, or depth separates it on one side from the lane during his absence for the governor, is placed on through which it is approached, while the hill the summit of this hill, which, from the conical rising immediately at the back forbids entrance or shape of the mound is only about twenty-one inspection that way. We write of events which feet in circumference. Even to the present day took place some years since, when this cottage no law is of established force until it has been was inhabited by those two of whom we have read from the Tynwald Hill. The same forms already spoken. accompany the reading of the law now as in the No beings could have been more dissimilar than days of the first conclave. The deenisters, clergy, Grace and Ruth Neville, the orphan daughters of