Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση
[ocr errors]

P. 32.


[ocr errors]

to perform menial offices of this nature. In the rect the law studies of his Lordship's sons; latter event, he would have been somewhat re- as, however, he had but one son, who never strained from any active resistance to the petly followed the law as a profession, this statetyranny of Mrs. Salkeld, by which her ire might have been roused to a degree dangerous 10 a de- ment seems very doubtful. It is, neverthependant on her husband's generosity or favor.”

less, certain, that an acquaintance was about this time formed between Lord Mac

clesfield and Mr. Yorke, which resulted in Those disposed to foretell future events a firm and life-long friendship, and proved from present occurrences, may look upon a most fortunate circumstance for the young the carrots and turnips borne in the coach lawyer. with young Yorke, as foreshadowing the

On the 27th of May, 1715, Mr. Yorke mace and seals which were to occupy a sim- was called to the bar, being then in his ilar position in after life.

twenty-fifth year. On commencing pracMr. Harris gives a letter from the Wim- tice, one of the earliest causes in which he pole MSS., written by Mr. Charles Yorke, was engaged was that of the King against the Chancellor's second son, in which the Dorrell and others, for endeavoring to fact, of his father's having been articled to raise the Pretender's standard at Oxford Mr. Salkeld at all is doubted. The writer and Bath ; in this cause he was employed states explicitly that his father resided in by the Crown as junior counsel, and the inthat gentleman's house, and under his care, dictment was drawn by him. From this until he was twenty years of age, when he time his practice and reputation rapidly inwas entered a student of the Middle Tem- creased, so as to excite the jealousy of the ple; but that he always understood “he older barristers, and give rise to various was never articled to him as a clerk, nor tales turning upon the undue favor shown acted in that capacity.” The question of for his protégé by Lord Macclesfield. Mr. the clerkship is, after all, one of no impor- Harris observes that it has been asserted tance ; it seems, at all events, certain, that

That Yorke was at first so far dependent on Mr. Salkeld was so well pleased with young the countenance of Lord Macclesfield, ihat when Yorke's application, and so persuaded of the latter was promoted to the Chancellorship, the his abilities, as to have advised his enter- former abandoned his practice in the King's Bench ing the Temple with a view to practising and removed into the Court of Chancery. Perat the bar.

haps the correciness of both these stories, which Mr. Yorke continued to reside at Mr. have been reiterated by Lord Campbell in his

• Lives of the Chancellors,' may te best judged of Salkeld's, even after he had entered the by the fact, which appears on reference io the reTemple, up to the year 1710, when he took

ports before cited, that though Mr. Yorke's name chambers in Pump-court. Here he is sup- does not once occur in the cases tried in the King's posed to have written the paper in the Bench while Lord Macclesfield presived there, yet

Spectator' of April 28, 1712, bearing the the very term that his Lordship was promoted to signature of Philip Homebred, which is the Chancellorship, Mr. Yorke is mentioned as generally attributed to him.

being engaged in the Court of King's Bench in the

first case in which the name of the counsel conIt has generally been stated that Mr. ducting it is recorded, being that of Brake v. TayYorke's first start on his successful career lor, already alluded 10, as also in the two followwas due to an intimacy formed with Mr. G. ing cases; and from that period his practice in the Parker, only son of Lord Chief Justice King's Bench was evidently large and increasing.” Macclesfield, who was a fellow student of --p. 77. the same inn of court as Yorke. Mr. Har- Mr. Salkeld's extensive connexion and ris supposes this to be an error, and thinks practice were undoubtedly instrumental in it more probable that Yorke was introduced advancing the progress of Mr. Yorke; but, to bis Lordship’s notice by Mr. Thomas as Mr. Harris justly observes, neither the Parker, nephew to Lord Macclesfield, and advantages to be derived from that gentlea colleague with Yorke at Mr. Salkeld's. man's friendship, nor the favor of Lord With this gentleman Mr. Yorke maintained Macclesfield, could do more than present a strict intimacy through life, and proinoted opportunities for distinguishing himself, him in acknowledgment of the favors he which would have been of no avail had Mr. had previously received from his uncle. It Yorke been deficient in ability to take adhas been said in Campbell's ' Lives of the vantage of them. And in continuation :Chancellors,' and other works, that Mr.

“ The grand turning point in a barrister's proYorke was recommended to Lord Maccles-fessional career,—the real change which occurs field by Mr. Salkeld, as a fit person to di-l in his condition,-is that which takes place when, from being employed because his client would be the young barrister seems to have led the useful to him, he is now employed because he is Government of the day to secure bis able thought useful to his client. From a dependent on others, he at length rises, not only into an in support in the House of Commons, and the dependent man, but henceforward he sees others expenses of his election are said to have dependent upon him. To the attainment of this been defrayed by them. The electors of ali must look forward who desire suocess in their the borough, however, seem to have been career. Until this grand point is gained, no cer- well satisfied with their new representative, tainty can exist of ultimate triumph, or even of since among the MSS. at Wimpole is prefurther advancement. **Not only did Yorke take due care to qualify him. Newcastle, the patron of the borough.

served the following address to the Duke of self by hard reading and extensive research before his call to the bar, for the successful pursuit of his “ To bis Grace, the Duke of Newcastle, profession, but when he commenced practice, he “ Lord Chamberlaine of His Majesty's household, appears to have attended all the different courts, May it please your Grace, both law and equity, and to have taken very ela- “ Wee whose names are hereunto subscribed, borate notes of their proceedings. Among his the constables and inhabitants of the borough of papers are several note-books, containing very full Lewes, baving heard your Grace's letter publickly reports of the judgments on matters of leading im- read, doe not only herein return your Grace our portance which were delivered by the different hearty thanks for the honour you have done us courts at that time, comprising several by Lord in recommending soe fitt a person as Mr. Yorke Chief Justice Parker, Lord Chancellor King, Lord to serve as one of our representatives in ParliaMacclesfield, and Sir Joseph Jekyll.”—p. 81. ment for this town for the present vacancy, butt

alsoe beg leave to assure your Grace that wee doe And herein, doubtless, consisted the se- unanimously and entirely approve of him, and cret of Mr. Yorke's success. By his own shall be ready on all occasions to shew the regard natural ability and industry he was well wee have to ihe favour your Grace has pleased to qualified to avail himself, to the utmost, of lay upon us. the opportunities for distinction which now ble servants.”—p. 91.

“ Your Grace's most obliged and obedient humrapidly poured in upon him ; and, such being the case, we need not feel surprise at In the House of Commons, Mr. Yorke the rapidity of his rise in the profession he seems to have been far more successful, as had chosen, and which excited the envy of a debater, than the generality of members those of his fellows who were less assiduous of his profession. He has been placed in or less gifted by nature.

a very moderate rank, as an orator, by Lord

Campbell and other biographers; but, as “ Yorke's success,” says his biographer, “ now Mr. Harris justly observes, from the attenappears to have exceeded even the fondest expec- tion which his speeches commanded, and tations of his friends; and Mr. Morland's doubts as to his diligence must by this time have been the care with wliich they were replied to by entirely dissipated. His early struggles in his leading members of the House, it is evident youth, his witnessing the poverty which we are that his merits as a debater and an orator iold prevailed at home, and the feeling that he were of no ordinary description, especially was himself so far dependent on the liberality of at a period when the House of Commons others, would no doubt have a powerful effect in " abounded with men of great talents and stimulating him to exertion, however indolent he distinguished acquirements.” might naturally have been. This would operate as much to drive bim on, as ambitious feelings

On the 16th of May, 1719, a fortnight would to encourage him in his career. Many of after his election for Lewes, Mr. Yorke, the most successiul lawyers have in their earliest then considered to be one of the handsomdays felt the pressure of poverty; and not a few, est men of his time, was married to the perhaps, have been largely indebted to this circum- young and beautiful widow of Mr. William stance. Lord Thurlour's advice to the friends of Lygon. This young lady was the daughter a young barrister of indolent habits, was to let of Mr. Charles Cocks, of Worcester, who is him spend all he had, then marry, and run through bis wife's fortune, after which (when no

described as “ a highly respectable, though resources remained but from his profession), he somewhat eccentric magistrate and country might hope for high success.”—p. 86.

gentleman, who had married Mary, the

eldest sister of Lord Chancellor Somers." In the year 1719, four years after his call The old gentleman is said to have deto the bar, we find that “ Philip Yorke, murred, on finding that the claimant for Esq., counsellor-at law, is chosen a repre- his daughter's hand had neither rental nor sentative of the borough of Lewes, in Sus- writings to show; and before he would sex, in the room of John Morley Trevor, consent to the match, made further inquiEsq., deceased.” The rising reputation of Tries of his brother-in-law, Sir Joseph



Jekyll, as to the position and prospects of ly entered upon that course of prosperity the suitor. He little suspected that within which scarcely ever failed him to the close a century from the time the then ennobled of his lengthened career. house of Hardwicke would return the com- About this time was discovered a conspipliment, by furnishing, a bride for one of racy to overturn the government, in which his own descendants.*

several persons of distinction were impliIn the summer of 1718, Mr. Yorke went cated. The discovery seems to have caused the Western circuit, in which he is reported an extraordinary degree of excitement to have had his full share of business, al- throughout the country, and strong meathough the first time he had practised out sures were adopted for the suppression of of London. In the spring of the year 1720, an apprehended insurrection. Among other he had proceeded as far as Dorchester, on persons taken into custody on suspicion of the same circuit, when he was recalled to being concerned in the movement, were Dr. London by the Lord Chancellor Parker, Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester, Lord North who had bestowed on him the office of So- and Grey, and the Duke of Norfolk; but licitor-General, in the room of Sir William the prime mover and originator of the conThompson. He was sworn in on the 22nd spiracy seems to have been a barrister-atof March, 1720. On this appointment law, named Layer, who was executed at Mr. Harris has the following remarks : Tyburn on the 18th of May, 1723, for the

offence. The Bishop of Rochester was de“Great dissatisfaction is said to have been prived of his preferments and banished. In evinced, and not unjustly so, it must be allowed, the trials of the conspirators Sir Philip at the promotion of so young a man over the Yorke, as Solicitor-General, was, of course, heads of many of his seniors well able to fill the actively engaged; and in 1722 he was ocoffice; and considerable odium was in consequence excited against the Chancellor, as well as against cupied in a legal inquiry into the conduct Yorke himself ; but which the latter, by his kind of Dr. Wilson, bishop of Sodor and Man, demeanor and good bearing, managed soon to who had been imprisoned and fined by the

governor of the Isle of Man for forbidding " It cannot, however, be denied that Mr. the governor's lady to partake of the holy Yorke's extraordinary ability and rapidly increas- sacrament. The bishop appealed to the ing practice afforded, to a certain extent, an English government against these measures: apology for the Chancellor's preference of him on this occasion; and that his subsequent distinguish

a report of his case was drawn up by Sir ed success in this office supplied an ample excuse Robert Raymond and Sir P. Yorke, and for this proceeding. He who, although a mere laid before the council. The treatment of novice in his profession, was not only able to the bishop was declared unjust, and the contend with, but to overcome, in arguments of fine remitted. the first importance, Sergeant Pengelly, and the On the 31st of January, 1724, Sir P. other leaders at the bar, ought not, in fairness, on Yorke was promoted to the office of Ataccount of his youth, to have been deprived of those rewards

, io his desert of which his youth torney-General, in consequence of certain had formed no impediment. The appointment legal promotions and appointments which was legally and constitutionally vested in the then took place. Thus in less than nine Chancellor, who alone was answerable for its years from his entering the profession, Sir being properly disposed of; and no one could say Philip found himself at its head. that the choice was either a bad or a corrupt Soon after his promotion, the new Atone."-p. 99.

torney-General was engaged in the prose

cution of the notorious Jack Sheppard, and On the 2nd of April, 1720, Mr. Yorke the no less notorious Jonathan Wild. Nuwas re-elected member for Lewes ; he soon merous extracts from the public journals of afterwards received the honor of knighthood, the day relating to these celebrated characand was chosen a bencher of the Middle ters are given, and, together with others Temple. Some time previously he had relating to the lawless outrages in the mebeen elected Recorder of Dover, a piece tropolis and various parts of the country, of preferment which he prized highly, and afford a curious picture of the times. But retained through life.”

the most extraordinary of the criminal proHe may now be considered as having fair- ceedings instituted at this period, were

those adopted against Sir P. Yorke's early * The present Countess Somers being the great friend, the Earl of Macclesfield, Lord High grand-daughter of the first Earl of Hardwicke; and The present Earl Somers a descendant of old Chancellor, relative to his connivance at Master Cocks," of Worcester.

“certain venal practices touching the sale

[ocr errors]

of places of the Masters in Chancery, and at served his warmest gratitude, could not demand of the embezzlement of the money of the sui- bim the neglect of bis duiy, either public or private. tors deposited with the latter." From his A man is in honor bound to defend his friend, position as Attorney-General, it was of above all one to whom he is under obligations, course Sir P. Yorke's duty to appear as did not fail 10 do openly in the House of Commons,

against unjust attacks; and this Sir Philip Yorke leading counsel against the culprit; he, where he endeavored to procure a miscarriage of however, though with some difficulty, pre- the prosecution, by opposing a re-commitment of vailed on the government to release him the articles of impeachment, as already stated, and from the duty.

where also he vigorously repelled the personali. The Attorney-General has been severely ties of Sir Thomas Pengelly, and other private censured for the part he took in this busi- the contest, and when his friend's cause was most

enemies of the Chancellor, during the very beat of pess: the following remarks of Mr. Harris overwhelmed with odium ; but he is not bound on appear to meet the merits of the case, and all occasions 10 stand forward as his friend's supas we think, completely exonerate Sir P. porter, where he has been guilty of base and unYorke from all blame in the matter. justifiable conduct in cases in which the other had

no concern. Besides, the patronage which Lord “The conduct of Sir Philip Yorke with respect Macclesfield had bestowed on young men of merit to his friend and patron the Earl of Macclesfield, was not only no part of his otience, but formed on the occasion of his fall, has been sometimes the only substantial portion of his desence, or made the subject of animadversion ; but those who rather extenuation of ihe ill conduct of which he have censured him have not attempted to define bad been guilty. Had Sir Philip Yorke resigned exactly in what way he acted incorrectly, or to the Attorney-Generalship, and devoted himself to state what course it would have been proper for the cause of his fallen patron, he could have had him to pursue. That he did right in not allowing no chance of serving him, the facts of the case be. himself, even in his official capacity, to be em- ing clear beyond a doubt, as was also the gross ployed against this nobleman, can hardly be misconduct of Lord Macclesfield, in acting as he doubted; though had he not been so scrupulous, did. And the Attorney-General, by giving up his both excuses and precedents, and in one instance office, must have necessarily lost a large share of at least on very high authority, might have been the influence which he possessed while holding it, found for this course; and it is evident that the and which he was enabled to exert in mitigation government, by their hesitation to release bim of the efforts of the enemies of Lord Macclesfield. from this duty, did not consider that under the cir.

“On the whole, therefore, I cannot but think cumstances he should have refused to act, in his Sir Philip Yorke's conduct in this instance was capacity of Attorney-General, as the leading coun- just what it ought to have been. He refused 10 sel against the unfortunate Earl. Ought he then appear against his patron, in which he acted quite to have stood forward as the champion and de- right; although, after all, it is undeniable thai Sir fender of Lord Macclesfield, who, on such an oc- P. Yorke's merits well deserved all the favor he casion, required his assistance; and who had be obtained from Lord Macclesfield. But ibough he friended him, and even incurred much odium by could not, especially in his official position, stand the extent to which he had done this, when such forth as his friend's advocate, or the defender of patronage was of the highest importance to Yorke, his misconduct, he never hesitated, openly and at and to which he was actually indebted for his all hazards, to shelter him from unjusi obloquy or present high position ? Independently of the ano.

accusation. malous situation in which, as the first law-officer

“ The best proof, indeed, of the correctness of of the crown, he would have been placed by this this view of the case, is afforded by the behavior course, there were two great objections to it :- In towards Sir Philip Yorke of Lori Macclesfield the first place, by allowing the Attorney-General to himself, who at least would not be unduly preju. appear on behali of Lord Macclesfield, the govern- diced in favor of bis conduct here. The good ment would seem as though they desired to shelter feeling between them continued unbroken, and him; or at any rate it could not be supposed that Lord Macclesfield to the end of his days regarded they were very anxious that the charge should

him as one of his friends, and continued to corre. fully, investigated, as the case imperatively de. spond with him.”--p. 176. manded. And in the next place, connected as Sir Philip Yorke was with Lord Macclesfield, it would

That this was really the case is evident have afforded a belief, had he thus stepped out of from a letter written shortly before the his course 10 defend the Earl in such a case as death of the Earl of Macclesfield, in which this, that he had been connected with him in the he congratulates Sir Philip on the near nefarious practices of which he was accused, a prospect of the great seal being bestowed suspicion of which has never yet been hinted at by upon him, and recommending to his notice a any one. True indeed it is, that Lord Maccles. field’s patronage of Yorke, and more especially when Chancellor. The letter breathes the

person who had been in his employment his promotion of him to the Solicitor-Generalship, excited odium against the former, and may bave warmest sentiments of gratitude and friendcontributed to add fuel to the flame which was ship. Then raging against him; but this, though it de. In 1725, Sir Philip Yorke purchased the manor and estate of Hardwicke, in Giou-|lated the streets in a tumultuous manner, cestershire; and Mr. Harris mentions a but chiefly in a more harmless explosion singular epistlo among his papers, which than that of Edinburgh, the particulars of must have been addressed to him soon after which are thus recorded by Lord Hardwicke he became the proprietor of Hardwicke, in one of his legal note books. and is from a person resident in the parish, informing him that the “Vicker,” as the

“ July 14th, 1726. writer terms him, was just beginning to

“On this day, being ye last day ye term, a collect his tithes, and that several of the most impudent & audacious act of sedition was parishioners had resolved to resist him; in perpetrated in Westm. Hall. Abt the hour of

iwo, ye Hall being iben fullest of people, a parcel which fraudulent undertaking His Majesty's or packet contains several papers, & some sheets Attorney-General was respectfully invited of sevi Acts of Parliamt, & likewise a quantity to join. It is a pity that Sir Philip's re- of gunpowder, was laid on the steps which runs ply to this invitation has not been pre- along on ye outside of ye Chancery bar; & being served.

observed to smoke, was thrown from thence upon On the death of the king, George the ye lands place of ye stairs wch ascend to the First, in 1727, Sir Philip was re-elected for & blew up, both those cts, as well as the Com.

Courts of Chan. & King's Bench, when it fired Seaford without opposition. He had sat Pleas, being then eilis. The Hall was instantly for this borough since 1722, when he re-filled with smoke, & at ye instant, either by linquished his seat for Lewes.

means of ye explosion of ye gunpowder, or by beOn the 24th of March, 1733, died Lord ing dropped during the hurry and confusion, or most Chief Justice Raymond; and although the probably by both those ways, were dispersed great Duke of Somerset wrote several times to numbers of seditious libels in ye words and figures Sir Philip to solicit his acceptance of the

following :

«« « Wednesday, July 14, 1736. vacapt office, his appointment did not take

• By a general consent of the citizens & tradesplace until the 31st of October, when he men of London, Westmt & ye Boro' of Southwark, became Lord Chief Justice in Lord Ray- this being the last day of term, were publicly mond's stead, and on the 23rd of the fol- burnt between the hours of twelve & iwo at the lowing November he was raised to the Royal Exchange, Cornhill, at Westmr Hall, (the peerage by the title of Baron Hardwicke, of Court then silting) & at Margaret's Hall, SouthHardwicke, in the county of Gloucester ; facture of this kingdom, & the plantations there

wark, as destructive of the product, trade, & manuMr. Talbot succeeding Lord King about unto belonging, & tending to ye utter subversion of the same time as Lord Chancellor. One ye liberties & properties thereof, the five following of the first acts of the new Chief Justice, finished books or libels, called Acts of Parliamt, viz. was to bestow on Mr. Salkeld, his former -1. An Act to prohibit the sells of distilled spiritual master, " the office of Clerk of Errors in liquors, &c. 2. An Act entirely to extinguish ye the Court of King's Bench ;" on this ap- 3. An Act to prevent carriages and passengers com:

small remains of charity yet subsisting amongst us. pointment Mr Harris thus observes :

ing over London Bridge, to ye great detriment of ye Most satisfactory is it to be able to state that Boro'vf Southwark. 4. An Act to seize all inno

trade and commerce of ye City of London, & ye Lord Hardwicke took this opportunity of obliging cent gentlemen travelling with arms for their own a friend, to whom he had been at all events much Jelence, called the Smugyler's Act. 5. An Act 10 indebted in his early life. And it is the more enable a Foreign Prince to borrow £600,000 of gratifying in this case, as it atfords an aidditional refutation, if that were needed, of the charge thai money sacredly appropriated to the payment of

our debis. has been broughi against him of neglecting his old friends and early associates ;-an accusation,

God Save the King." "-p 315. which, from the numerous instances to the contrary, adduced in this history, 1 need not, how. Lord Chancellor Talbot, which took place

In consequence of the decease of the ever, hesitate to pronounce as unfounded in fact, as the attempi to fix it on Lord Hard wicke is dis on the 14th of February, 1737, the great honest and base.”—p. 262.

seal was the same day offered to Lord Hard

wicke, who, however, as he says in his About this period a wide-spread spirit of journal, “took some days to deliberate disaffection and disorder prevailed through- thereupon:" in the mean time he was made out England and Scotland. In the latter Speaker of the House of Lords until a new country, Edinburgh became the scene of chancellor should be appointed. On the the famous Porteous riots, rendered classi- 21st of February the great seal was decal by Sir Walter Scott: while in London, livered to his lordship, and he was sworn in popular discontent seems to have vented Westminster Hall on the 27th of April, itself in collecting mobs, which perambu- the first day of Easter Term; Mr. Justice

[ocr errors]
« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »