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1. The Life of Lord Chancellor Hardwicke : with selections from his Correspondence,

Diaries, Speeches, and Judgments. By George Harris, Esq., of the Middle Tem

ple, Barrister-at-Law. 3 vols. London : Edward Moxon, Dover Street. 1847. 2. The Lives of the Lord Chancellors and Keepers of the Great Seal of England. By

John Lord Campbell. Second Series. Vol. V. Life of Lord Hardwicke. Lon

don : Murray, Albemarle Street. 1846. Few public men have been so much misre-consulted for some special purpose; but presented as Lord Hardwicke. By partial Mr. Harris seems to have been the first to friends, even his faults have been eulogized; refer to them with the view of gaining a and by enemies his good deeds have clearer insight into the character of the been attributed to the basest motives. Un-founder of that house;' and even with this fortunately for his fame, Horace Walpole advantage there yet remain some doubtful and Cooksey, the representatives of the points, which, from the lapse of time and latter class, have hitherto been the chief the absence of collateral testimony, Lord authorities whence the biographers of Lord Hardwicke's latest biographer has been unHardwicke have derived the principal por- able to clear up. tion of their materials ; but though Wal- The materials from wbicb Mr. Harris pole's Latred of the Chancellor, from what has drawn up the life of Lord Hardwicke, ever source it sprang, is now well under- consist of his extensive correspondence, stood, and Cooksey's accuracy, as in the both official and general, with the leading case of Lord Somers, is considered more personages of his day, as well as with the than doubtful, even Lord Campbell, with members of his own family and his personal every wish to do full justice to the subject friends ; his diaries; manuscripts of vaof his memoir, and aware that implicit rious kinds, including the notes of his reliance could not be placed upon his au- speeches and judgments, both as Lord thorities, did not possess the means of cor- Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor ; rerecting their errors. It is indeed not a ports of the state trials; and the diary of little extraerdinary that almost the only his eldest son, the second Lord Hardwicke; means of clearing away much of the uncer- besides numerous other documents and retainty enveloping the character of this cords of the highest value and interest : great man, should not have been earlier the whole of these have been unreservedly, resorted to. The archives of the house of and with the greatest liberality, placed at Hardwicke have often been advantageously Mr. Harris's disposal by the present Earl, VOL. XV. No. I.

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“unfettered by any restrictions or condi- and almost the author of the great code of equity tions as to the mode of their application.” to which his name might justly be attached; Amidst this embarras des richesses it must though of low degree, in his own lifetime his blood have been a very difficult task to select such

was mingled with that of the Campbells and the

Greys, and he established one of the most potent portions as were inost suited to the object families in the nobility of Britain. Unceasing in view: but on the whole Mr. Harris has good luck attended him throughout life; but along performed his task in a satisfactory man- with that luck such results required lofty aspiraner; and has produced a work no less in- tions, great ability, consummate prudence, thorough teresting to the general reader than to those control of temper, rigid self-denial, and unwearied who may consult it for its historical value, industry. His chief glory is, that, as a public He has judiciously allowed the great law- man, he was ever consistent and upright. Compare yer to become in a great measure his own lors, who started by making themselves formida

him with preceding and with succeeding Chancelbiographer, by printing a considerable por- ble as the ultra-zealous champions of freedom, tion of his private correspondence with his and who rose by renouncing and by persecuting own family and personal friends ; this was the.principles which they professed. He was, from previously almost unpublished, as was the boy to old man, a sound Whig; loving our mogreater part of the official correspondence. parchical form of government, but believing that

Lord Hardwicke commenced his official it exists for the good of the people, and that for career while still young, being only in his

the good of the people the prerogatives of the

crown are to be restricted, and are to be preserved. twenty-ninth year when he was made So- The heaviest charges I find brought against him licitor-general, after practising at the bar by impartial writers, are love of money, and arrofour years ; from this time almost to the gance of manner in common society. He was end of his lengthened life he continued to undoubtedly an excellent Chancellor,' says Lord take an active part in the government of Waldegrave, and might have been thought a the country. Lord Campbell gives an elo- great man, had he been less avaricious, less proud, quent and impartial summary of his career,

less unlike a gentleman.'”—p. 163. which may appropriately be here quoted. There is ground for the belief that had

Lord Campbell enjoyed the advantages so “ Notwithstanding his failings, and the censure liberally bestowed on Mr. Harris, he would to which some parts of his conduct may be liable, have seen reason to withhold, or at least to he is certainly to be considered a very eminent and mitigate, the charges conveyed in the few very meritorious personage in English history. last lines of the above quotation, which with Entering public life very early, he lived 10 a great these trifling drawbacks must be looked portant part in many of the events which distin. upon as praise of the highest description. guished ihe century in which he flourished. He had Numerous documents in the Hardwicke colheard speeches delivered from the throne by William lection go far to clear the Chancellor from III. and George III.; he had seen the reins of gov- all suspicion of an undue pursuit of riches, ernment in the hands of Gololphin and in the hands while they establish his character for geneof Pitt ; he had witnessed the rejoicings for the vic- rosity and liberality. The charge of pride tory of Blenheim and for the capture of Quebec; and an arrogant demeanor in society rest and High Church ! and with cries of Wilkes and chiefly upon the authority of Cooksey, who, Liberty? He had been acquainted with Boling. although a relative and an obliged one, broke and with Burke; he had marked the earli- seems to have imbibed certain illiberal preest burst of admiration called forth by the poetry judices against the Chancellor and his lady, of Pope and by the poetry of Churchill; he him- which more impartial testimony tends to self had been fifty years a member of the legisla. allay. Both these charges we shall have ture, holding a most distinguished station in either occasion to notice hereafter. house of parliament; he had filled various im

It has been the custom with previous biportant offices with singular ability, he had held the highest civil office in the kingdom longer than ographers of Lord Hardwicke, to represent any of his predecessors (one excepted) since the his family, at the period of his birth, as foundation of the monarchy, and with greater ap- being in very needy circumstances ; for this plause than any of his predecessors had ever opinion, however, there seems to be but a gained, or any successor could hope for; he had slight foundation. His father, at that been mainly instrumental in keeping the reigning time, was town-clerk of Dover, of itself an dynasty on the throne, by the measures which he advised for crushing a dangerous rebellion raised

important and lucrative office; in addition to restore the legitimate line; he was the great

to which he appears to have been in extenlegislator for Scotland, freeing that country from sive practice as an attorney; his connexions the baronial tyranny by which it had been imme- were evidently influential and numerous, morially oppressed; in England he was the finisher and all circumstances seem to warrant the

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conclusion that the home of the young, without any premium. For this assertion, howPhilip Yorke was one at least of comfort if ever, there appears to be no foundation. In neinot of affluence. The future chancellor, as ther of Mr. Yorke's letters does he mention Mr. appears from an entry in his own journal, without paying a premium for him, which he of was " born at Dover, the 1st day of De-course could not expect to do if he was articled to cember, 1690, and baptized the 9th day of one who was an entire stranger to him. His only the same month.” At an early age he was request 10 Mr. Meller is, to tind out for him a soplaced under the tuition of Mr. Samuel licitor of eminence and respectability, who was a Morland, a personal friend of Dr. Samuel householder, who would take his son. If Mr. SalClarke, and who then kept a school of some keld had been previously well known 10 him, or note at Bethnal Green. Mr. Morland is had acted as his agent, all these inquiries would

have been unnecessary.”-vol. i., p. 30. described as “a man of learning, taste, and great classical acquirements," and from him his pupil derived that love for classical to get his son qualified to succeed him in

However desirous Mr. Yorke might be study which he ever after retained. Two

his Latin letters from this gentleman to his

own practice and appointment, his wife pupil, after the latter had left his establish- seems not to have approved of the step,

since she is said to have " ment, show the esteem entertained for him

opposed the

proby his former instructor; and, as Mr. Har ject with considerable vehemence, declarris well observes, they

ing that she wished Philip to be put ap

serve to convey an impression that he had the highest opinion prentice to some ' honester trade, as she of his late pupil's talents, but very con- carried his point, and Philip was articled

expressed it." Her husband, nevertheless, siderable doubts of his industry and assi- to Mr. Salkeld, in whose office we are told duity ; that he felt persuaded he was capa-he applied himself to business with great ble of attaining distinction, but that he diligence, and gained the entire good will entertained very extensive misgivings as to

and esteem of his master;" though his whether he would really exert himself to

mistress seems to have thought the clerk When rather more than sixteen years well as a professional capacity. Mr. Harris

ought to be made useful in a domestic as old, Philip Yorke left Mr. Morland's school, and was articled to Mr. Salkeld, a

thus repeats an amusing anecdote related solicitor of eminence, in whose office, in by Cooksey, and founds upon it an arguBrooke Street, Holborn, were engaged ment against the received opinion that no about the same period “two future lord premium was paid with young Yorke: chancellors, a future master of the rolls,

“Mrs. Salkeld, who considered herself as his and a future chief baron. Of these were mistress, and who was a notable woman, thinking Jocelyn, subsequently Lord Chancellor of she might take such liberties with a clerk with Ireland, and founder of the titles and for whom the writer says no premium had been retunes of the house of Roden; Strange, ceived, used frequently to send him from his busiafterwards Sir John Strange, and Master ness on family errands, and to fetch in little necesof the Rolls in England; Parker, who be- saries from Covent Garden and other markets. came Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer and was entrusted with his business and cash, he

This, when he became a favorite with his master, in England; and Yorke, the subject of the

thought an indignity, and got rid of by a stratagem present memoir.”

which prevented complaints or expostulation. In This arrangement with Mr. Salkeld seems his accounts with his master, there frequently octo have been brought about through the incurred coach-hire for roots of celery and turnips tervention of a Mr. Meller, a relative of from Covent Garden, or a barrel of oysters from the Yorke family, to whom Philip Yorke the fishmonger's, and other sundries for the carthe elder applied for information and as- riage of similar dainties, indicative alike of Mrs. sistance in getting his son placed with

Salkeld's love of good cheer and the young an eminent attorney in the Common Pleas her attempted dominion. Mr. Salkeld observing

clerk's dexterity and spirit in freeing himself from for three years, that by the practice of the this, urged on his spouse the impropriety and ill. law, he may be better qualified for the study housewifery of such a practice, and thus Yorke's of it." Mr. Harris thas refutes a common device for its discontinuance proved completely sucopinion in regard to this transaction with cessful. From this circumstance, however, it may Mr. Salkeld :

surely be rather inferred that Yorke paid a hand

some premium for being articled to Mr. Salkeld, “ It has been erroneously stated that Mr. Sal- than that he was a 'gratis' clerk; as, in the forkeld was an intimate friend and the agent of old mer case, he might consider that an unwarrantable Mr. Yorke, and that he was induced to take his son | liberty had been taken with him in requesting him

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