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maids, 'no Irish need apply.' But we need not say that already many Englishmen and one Scotchman have held the Great Seal of Ireland, and three natives of Scotland have been Chancellors of England-Loughborough, Erskine, and Brougham (this last being however the son of an Englishman). Lord Campbell remarks that one antique dignitary was Chancellor of England and Ireland at the same time—but this precedent is not likely to be followed. He further reminds us that another was Chancellor of England after having been Chancellor of Ireland' (vol, vii. p. 723).
We have already given italics to one of those obiter dicta which merit attention. It is to be presumed, then, that the Government have it in view to propose the amalgamation of the English and Irish bars. This may be highly desirable-but we hope Lords Cottenham and Campbell and the present much respected Irish Chancellor will see that, if the thing is to be done, it requires to be set about with grave deliberation. The English public, without dreaming of infallibility, have great confidence in ihe Benchers of our Inns of Court. Will they at once feel disposed to regard with equal confidence the authorities by whom admission to the Irish bar is regulated ? The amalgamation of the Common-law Benches in the two countries would, we suppose, form part of the same measure—and perhaps the most important part. We have often of late years heard it discussed seriously by English barristers-among whom there seems to be great difference of opinion on the subject; but we believe we may venture to say that the innovation would have the support of those English Judges (not being chiefs of courts) who at this moment rank highest in public estimation--as well as of those Irish Judges whose advice ought to have the greatest weight with the constitutional authorities of The United Kingdom. We have no apprehension that the administration of justice at an English assizes would be crippled by the introduction of an Irish Judge, and we share with our betters a strong impression that the presence of an English Judge in an Irish court would produce a salutary effect on both witnesses and jurymen—and would be beneficial, in various ways besides, to the Irish magistrate associated with him.
To come back to statistics. Since Lord Campbell stooped to that humble department, we think he might as well have presented us with one table exhibiting in a summary way the sort of pedigree and early education of the holders of the Great Seal, since the time when it came to be exclusively held by laymen. The last clerical Lord Keeper was Bishop Williams (16211625); and we shall endeavour to supply the blank as to the subsequent series :
Coventry-was the eldest son of a Judge of the Common Pleas, and heir
to a handsome fortune. Oxford. Finches
-son of an eminent barrister-one of an ancient and distinguished famille de la robe. No university mentioned either here or in
Collins. Littleton-a lineal descendant of the great Chief Justice-son of a Welsh
Judge, and heir to a good estate. Oxford. Lane-of obscure origin-neither pedigree nor place of education ascer
tained. Whitelocke-only son of an eminent and wealthy Judge of the King's
Bench. Oxford. Herbert—son and heir of a country gentleman of noble descent. Eng
lish University. Clarendon-son and heir of a considerable squire, and nephew of a Chief
Justice. Oxford. Shaftesbury-born to a baronetcy and 80001. a-year--an immense for
tune two centuries ago; an Earl and Cabinet Minister before he
became Chancellor. Oxford. Bridgeman-son to a bishop, and heir to a good fortune. Cambridge. Nottingham-son and heir of an eminent and wealthy barrister, who
was Recorder of London and brother to Lord Keeper Finch. Ox
ford. Guilford--second son of the heir to a barony—but began the world
in great poverty, and in his rise to the Seal owed little or nothing
to his birth. Cambridge. Jeffreys-younger son of a poor Welsh gentleman, who wished to bind
him apprentice to a shopkeeper. No public school nor university. Maynard-eldest son of a considerable squire. Oxford. Trevor—second son of a very poor Welsh gentleman, but nearly related
to Jeffreys. No public school nor university. Somers—son of a country solicitor. No public school nor university. Wright-son of an obscure clergyman. Cambridge. Cowper-heir to a baronet of good estate. No public school nor uni
versity. Harcourt-heir to a very honourable family, but miserably impoverished
through the civil wars. Oxford. Macclesfield—could not distinctly tell whether he had a grandfather ;'
-his father a country solicitor. No public school nor university. King—son of a provincial shopkeeper. Leyden. Talbot-eldest son of a bishop of noble descent. Oxford. Hardwicke---son of a small attorney at Dover, of respectable character,
but in very narrow circumstances.' Never at public school or uni
versity. Northington--heir to a genteel family, but the estate grievously encum
bered. Oxford. Camden--His father was a Chief
Justice, but died poor when he was only ten years of age. Cambridge. • Charles Yorke, the second son of the great Lord Hardwicke, was
born on the 10th of January, 1723, in a splendid mansion in Great Ormond-street. His father, then Attorney-General, and making a larger income than had ever fallen to the lot of an English barrister, continued near forty years afterwards to fill the highest offices of the law, accumulating immense wealth, and able to make a splendid provision for all the members of his family. Yet Charles, even under the enervating influence of a sinecure place which was conferred upon him,-from a noble love of honourable distinction, exerted himself as strenuously and perseveringly as if, being the son of a poor Scotch clergyman, who could give him nothing beyond a good education, he had depended entirely on his own exertions for his bread, and for his position in the
world.'--vol. v. p. 367. Cambridge. Bathurst-second son of an eminent politician, created an Earl, whose
coronet eventually descended to him long after he had won for
himself the Barony of Apsley. Oxford. Thurlow-son and grandson of country clergymen; could carry his
descent no higher-used to say among fine people that he believed
the founder of the family was a carter. Cambridge. Loughborough--son of a Scotch judge, and heir to a small estate.
Edinburgh. Erskine-third son of a very poor Scotch Earl; entered at Cambridge
in his twenty-sixth year; may be said to have been wholly self
educated. Eldon-younger son of a provincial tradesman. Oxford.
We have enumerated thirty Chancellors or Lord Keepers: of these, nineteen (probably Finch also* -making twenty) had received what we call a regular gentleman's education at an English university, most of them having also been at great English schools; one had every advantage of instruction at Edinburgh in the brightest days of that university; another spent some time at a Dutch university; a third was never matriculated at any university until he had reached the maturity of manhood—had a wife and children-and had been successively an officer in the navy and the army; nine (perhaps ten) had never been at any public school or university whatever-and among these we find the splendid names of Somers, Couper, Macclesfield, and Hardwicke. The Oxford men are twelve; of one Lord Campbell does not distinguish the university; Cambridge claims only six; but the balance of late years leans to her side as to all the honours of the Law. In the earlier part of our series only one rose from obscurity to the Great Sealand the honourable but unfortunate Lane has,
Anthony â Wood somewhere remarks that it is not easy to trace the Oxonian Finches, so inany of that family had belonged to his Alma Mater. The only considerable defect in Dr. Bliss's edition of the Athenæ is the want of a good general index. Such an index, embracing both his volumes and those of Gutch, would be a very acceptable present to the student of literary antiquities.
after all, but a shadowy claim to a place in the list; he never ascended the marble chair-never tasted the sweets of its emolument. In the later period success, where there had not been the early pressure of the res angusta domi, is a very rare exception to the rule. Since the Revolution we can hardly place any in this category except Talbot and Charles Yorke-which last not only laboured in spite of wealth, but achieved greatness of his own in spite of the dangerous splendour of his father's still unrivalled fame. Cowper is but a primâ facie exception. Of our thirty Chancellors eight belonged to families previously distinguished in the English law :-five were Judges' sons—but only two of these are since the Revolution-Yorke and Camden. The Scotch Law and Bench send one-Loughborough. The Seal has been held since the same date by two sons of country parsonsWright and Thurlow—who could give them nothing but their education, and pinched themselves blue to give them that; by two sons of country tradesmen-King and Eldon; and by three sons of country attorneys - Somers- Macclesfield-Hardwicke. There can be no offence in adding the chancellors subsequent to Lord Eldon-not one of whose epitaphs, we are sure, Lord Campbell wishes to write :
Lyndhurst.—Son of a celebrated Royal Academician.- Cambridge. Brougham.-Representative of a very ancient and honourable family,
but inheriting a diminished estate. - Edinburgh. Cottenham.--Second son of an eminent physician, who rose to a
baronetcy, of which the Lord Chancellor is now heir-presumptive.
-Cambridge. of the whole 167 Chancellors on record the great majority were themselves bishops. Since the last Bishop held the seals they have been in the hands of two bishops' sons (Bridgeman and Talbot), so that in all the Church, during the reigns subsequent to James I., has sent four to the Marble Chair. Physic appears to have supplied but one, and Art-we mean the artistical profession—no more.
Of the thirty since Bishop Williams, one was already a peer-Shaftesbury: four were honourables, of whom two ul. timately inherited peerages — Guildford - Yorke - Bathurst Erskine. Two inherited baronetcies—Shaftesbury and Cowper. We need hardly remind anybody that the two highest ranks in the peerage cannot immediately produce Chancellors. The bar is not considered a field for the son of a duke or marquis-and they are in like manner excluded from the most lucrative of all the learned professions, Medicine—circumstances over which we understand some Lord Johns and Lord Charleses have occasionally, in recent pinching times, been heard to grumble. In Physic
a graceful Lord Charles (with a sweet bed-side manner') might be very formidable; and by degrees the awkwardness of the fee would be got over. As affairs go, it is somewhat rash for an earl to get himself lifted a step. How lucky for Erskine that he was not Lord Thomas ! The first movement, however, should be among the honourables. How long will they continue to think that it is anything but ignoble to be a clerk in a public office, with 1001. a-year to begin with, and no great chance of ever rising beyond a salary of 5001. or some petty commissionership or consulate ;-but that their blue ichor (owing its hue peradventure to some bed of city tin) would be contaminated by the position of a Halford or a Brodie? The awful difficulty of taking the fee has already been got over in their case. А patient's guinea could be no worse than an attorney's.
Lord Campbell dwells with just satisfaction on the high station in public esteem held by many families of Cancellarian nobility; and he has compliments in abundance for some of the living heads of such houses; but in his long list he cannot point to more than four Chancellors' sons who can be said to have at all distinguished themselves. Of these the second Earl of Macclesfield, though he attained considerable reputation as a student of the mathematics, and will always be remembered for the introduction of the New Style, appears, out of his diagrams, to have been a dull ordinary man ;—and the late Earl Bathurst, a most respectable and useful minister, never originated any great measure, nor led public opinion in any direction ;-in short, the author of the Characteristics' and Charles Yorke form the only very conspicuous exceptions to the general law. Pope includes several names of the class in his Dunciad, and then exclaims
• How quick ambition hastes to ridicule !
The sire is made a peer, the son a fool.' We suspect that if the matter were scrutinized, the general result and its rare exceptions would equally tend to the confirmation of Napoleon's opinion that men commonly owe their intellectual endowments to the mother more than to the father. Most lawyers have married too early or too late in life-a mistress for passion or a housekeeper for convenience. Lord Hardwicke, in the right prime of eight-and-twenty, made an ambitious and politic alliance, though with a very pretty woman, and all his biographers agree that she was a woman of remarkable abilities. Charles Yorke,' says our author, 'was, like Lord Bacon, most fortunate in his mother, and though he was the only genius among her sons, the least of the rest would have been a star in any other family.