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pored over his law-books day and night." It was at this period that he became acquainted with Horne Tooke and Dunning, with whom he used to dine, in vacation-time, at a cheap eating-house near Chancery-lane. From Dunning, at a later period, he derived some advantages beyond the wit and wisdom with which we may suppose these meagre dinners were enriched. Discerning those "extraordinary merits as a lawyer" which had through years of hope deferred" escaped all other eyes, Dunning soon put them to a profitable use by giving Kenyon occupation as his fag :

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"With most wonderful celerity," we are told, "he picked out the important facts and points of law which lay buried in immense masses of papers, and enabled the popular leader to conduct a cause almost without trouble as well as if he had been studying it for days together, and many hundreds of opinions which Dunning had never read were copied from Kenyon's MS. by Dunning's clerk, and signed by Dunning's hand."

This serious labour was indeed without direct remuneration, but it gradually became known in the profession, and Kenyon soon became engaged in a large and lucrative practice of his own as chamber-counsel. Services of a somewhat similar character which he afterwards rendered to Lord Thurlow, were rewarded by the Chief Justiceship of Chester,-to which, besides honour in his own county, a handsome salary was annexed. The overbearing Thurlow, who had helped him to this first elevation, continued ever afterwards his powerful and faithful friend. To that friendship Kenyon was indebted for a seat in the House of Commons, and for the successive offices of Attorney-General and Master of the Rolls; whilst the high character which he won for himself in the esteem of Pitt induced that minister to promote him, when a vacancy was made by Mansfield's resignation, to the Chief Justiceship of all England. On the day that he was sworn in he was created, by letters patent under the Great Seal, Baron Kenyon of Gredington, in the county of Flint. Between this crowning honour and his earliest emergence into office only eight years had intervened.

The account of the concluding portion of Lord Kenyon's life is very agreeably written. Lord Campbell intersperses in his narrative a goodly store of those entertaining anecdotes-pointed, sometimes, with jest and gibe, and sometimes pregnant with instruction-which have more than once made the life of a busy lawyer a book of deepest interest, as well as rare amusement. We have only room for his Lordship's pleasant memory of a first visit to that court in which he now presides. He says,

"I now come to a trial at which I was myself actually present-the prosecution of Hadfield for shooting at George III. On the 28th of June, 1800, being yet a boy, for the first time in my life I entered the Court of King's Bench, and with these eyes I beheld Lord Kenyon. The scene was by no means so august as I had imagined to myself. I expected to see the judges sitting in the great hall, which, though very differently constructed for magnificence, might be compared to the Roman Forum. The place where the trial was going on was a small room enclosed from the open space at the south-east angle, and here were crowded together the judges, the jury, the counsel, the attorneys, and the reporters, with little accommodation for bystanders. My great curiosity was to see Erskine, and I was amazingly struck by his noble features and animated aspect. Mitford, the Attorney-General, seemed dull and heavy; but Grant, the Solicitor-General, immediately inspired the notion of extraordinary sagacity. Law looked logical and sarcastic. Garrow verified his designation of the tame tiger.' There were five or six rows of counsel, robed and wigged, sitting without the bar,-but I had never heard the name of any of them mentioned before. I was surprised to find the four judges all dressed exactly alike. This not being a saint's day, the Chief Justice did not wear his collar of SS to distinguish him from his brethren. There was an air of superiority about him, as if accustomed to give rule, but his physiognomy was coarse and contracted."

In one or two particulars, besides his excellence of conduct and his knowledge of the law, some of Lord Kenyon's successors on the bench might have done well to imitate him. Here is one :

"He recommended that fashionable gaming establishments should be indicted as common nuisances, adding this threat, which is said to have caused deep dismay: 'If any such prosecutions are fairly brought before me, and the guilty parties are convicted, whatever may be their rank or station in the country, though they may be the first ladies in the land, they shall certainly exhibit themselves in the pillory.'

A more amiable manifestation of his conscientiousness in the discharge of duty is recorded in the following passage. Lord Campbell says,

"I ought gratefully to record that he was very kind to the students who attended the courts. I cannot say that I ever heard (with one exception) of his inviting any of us to dinner, but I have a lively recollection that, our box being near the bench at Guildhall,—while the counsel were speaking he would bring the record to us, and explain the issues joined upon it which the jury were to try."

The latter days of Lord Kenyon's life were saddened by a great bereavement. His eldest son-a promising young man, whom he loved with the strong love of his affectionate nature-was taken from him by death; and we may well imagine the agony inflicted on him by this loss from his pathetic exclamation as he gazed into the tomb,-" There is room enough for both!" Within a few months they were both there.

His immediate successor in office was Lord Ellenborough-a man as unlike him in every respect but that of legal knowledge as any the profession could supply. In Ellenborough's case there was no illiterateness for Lord Campbell to bewail. If he, also, brought discredit on the bench, it was by the want of something even more important and more indispensable than the education and the habits of a gentleman. The son of a bishop, and a distinguished student both at school and college, Mr. Law went to his legal studies with every preparation his biographer could wish for duly made. He went to them, too, with a deliberate purpose to obtain one of their great prizes. With this aim in view, he shrank from none of the driest or severest labours that promised to contribute in the end to its accomplishment. Conscious of his own capacity for disputation at the bar, he had nevertheless resolution enough, in order to render success more certain, to subject himself for years to the ill-paid drudgery of answering cases, and of other irksome business of chamber-practice. When, at length, he joined the Northern Circuit, his employment was from the first considerable. But in London he was not so popular; and it was not till seven years afterwards, when the chief management of the defence of Warren Hastings was entrusted to him, that he rose, at a bound, to high forensic eminence. In that great cause, with all who were loveliest and noblest in the land for auditors, and all who were ablest in eloquence for antagonists, he proved himself in no respect unequal to the extraordinary occasion. His rare abilities were indeed made amply manifest; but so, also, was the harsh, arrogant, and overbearing disposition which abided with him both. as barrister and judge. His knowledge of the law more than once gained him a superiority which-with Sheridan, and Fox, and Burke arrayed as managers against him-neither strength of intellect nor unscrupulous boldness, though he had both in perfection, would ever have procured him. At last, after the trial had "dragged its slow length along" for eight years after he had been engaged for the defence, Mr. Law had the satisfaction to hear the acquittal of his illustrious client, and to know that his own pro



tracted task was ended. "When the trial began," says Lord Campbell, "he had little more than provincial practice, and when it ended he was next to Erskine-with a small distance between them."

Seven years after the close of this memorable cause, Mr. Law became Lord Chief Justice, with the title of Lord Ellenborough. He had in the meantime signalized himself in several important trials, and had even baffled the wit of Sheridan in a cross-examination, and got from him an admission fatal to the prisoners he befriended. He had also held the office of Attorney-General for a single year, and had rendered that year notorious by his stern and, unfortunately, successful endeavour to procure the conviction of Governor Wall-a triumph, we should apprehend, not often envied him where justice and humanity are prized.

The hardness of character which was manifested in this case, and the insolent asperity which had often marked the advocate's manner, appear in a more disagreeable intensity in the demeanour of the judge and peer. Amongst the interesting particulars which Lord Campbell has recorded of his sayings and doings in these capacities, there is more than one instance of a boisterous, bullying tone of oratory both in parliament and on the bench, of unprovoked insult both to barristers and witnesses, and of excessive and unfair severity to those who had to defend themselves before him, such as-in the words Earl Stanhope once applied to him in the House of Lords" might have been expected from Jeffreys or Scroggs." Towards the close of his life this aggressive and unmerciful spirit brought on him more than once a bitter, but not undeserved, punishment. The successive cases of Lord Cochrane, Dr. Watson, and Mr. Hone were a succession of disgraceful defeats to the Chief Justice. On the trial of Lord Cochrane, he did indeed succeed in obtaining a verdict against the defendant, but the sentence he pronounced upon him was so excessive that society, in all its ranks, was shocked by it: the House of Lords looked coldly on the Judge; the citizens of Westminster immediately re-elected Lord Cochrane as their representative in Parliament; the Crown remitted the most offensive part of the sentence; and a bill was brought into the legislature to abolish for ever a mode of punishment which it was felt that Lord Ellenborough had, in intention, shamefully misapplied. On the trial of Dr. Watson, the jury stood out against the stern endeavours of the Judge, and his countenance was seen to collapse as their foreman intimated to him that their verdict needed nothing but the form of consultation. The position of the Chief Justice was even worse on the two trials of Mr. Hone:his cruellest efforts to procure a conviction failed of their effect; he was compelled, at one part of the proceedings, to whine for forbearance from very defendant whom he had sworn to crush; and he had, at the close of each case, the mortification to hear a verdict of NOT GUILTY welcomed in a crowded court with shouts of incontrollable applause. It was the popular belief at the time that the Chief Justice was killed by these trials; and Lord Campbell corroborates that belief to the extent of bearing witness that he certainly never held up his head in public after."



Twelve months subsequently to the acquittals of Mr. Hone, Lord Ellenborough died. In a summary of his character, his biographer metes to him all due praise. "His bad temper and inclination to arrogance," we are told, are forgotten while men bear in willing recollection his unspotted integrity, his sound learning, his vigorous intellect, and his manly intrepidity in the discharge of his duty." Lord Campbell closes the biography with a selection of what he looks on as the facetic of Lord

Ellenborough-a selection in which ill-natured insolence, verging on brutality, is undoubtedly far more conspicuous than wit.

Under the impulse of a stubborn self-will, Lord Ellenborough turned aside from tempting prospects in the Church to enter on his successful struggle for the honours of the law. His successor, Lord Tenterden, was instigated by others to the same preference between the two professions. It is evident enough that Lord Ellenborough's choice was a judicious one; but in Lord Tenterden's case-prosperous as his career was--we cannot read his biography without regretting that his lot was not cast amidst the duties of the peacefuller and nobler calling, with some fine old parsonagehouse, inviting him by still and sweet seclusion to the studies he delighted in, for a dwelling-place, and, perchance, a mitre dimly visible afar off in the vista of his day-dreams.

Lord Tenterden was born in the same condition of life as Bishop Taylor -a barber's son. A comprehensive eulogy, both of his qualities and conduct, is involved in his biographer's statement, that

"The scrubby little boy who ran after his father, carrying for him a pewter basin, a case of razors, and a hair-powder bag, through the streets of Canterbury, became Chief Justice of England, was installed among the peers of the United Kingdom, attended by the whole profession of the law, proud of him as their leader; and when the names of orators and statesmen, illustrious in their day, have perished with their frothy declamations, Lord Tenterden will be respected as a great magistrate, and his judgments will be studied and admired."

But when we learn from Lord Campbell's narrative that this uncommon elevation was achieved without the help either of influential patrons or commanding powers of intellect, by the mere strength of uniform propriety of conduct and indomitable energy of application, the example is felt to be on that account more imitable, and more worthy also of our admiration and


In no part of Lord Tenterden's career is any gleam of brilliancy to be discerned. The dull boy became, by patient industry, the finest scholar in the King's School at Canterbury; and, in his eighteenth year, won by his proficiency a vacant scholarship at Oxford. This was at the very outset of his college life, and it ushered in still better honours. Four years afterwards he enjoyed the distinction of having gained a prize for Latin poetry and for English prose, and of being elected a Fellow and appointed one of the tutors of his college; and he had also been chosen as the private tutor of a son of Mr. Justice Buller. It was by this gentleman's advice that he was induced to enter on the study of the law, and to remove, after a residence of seven years, from Oxford to the Middle Temple. In his new pursuits he exercised the same steady, all-subduing perseverance which had so well served him in his scholastic triumphs, and beginning-after an unusually short term of preparatory study, which his extraordinary application had rendered ample-to practise as a special pleader, he continued through seven years, as Lord Campbell tells us, " sitting all day, and a great part of every night, in his chambers,-verifying the old maxim inculcated on city apprentices, Keep your shop, and your shop will keep you.'

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The shop kept Abbott well, and laid moreover a solid foundation for his eminent success after he had been called to the bar. A few years only had elapsed after that event before his fees fell little short in annual amount of the most that Erskine ever had received. Nevertheless, in some particulars which are commonly held indispensable to forensic superiority, he

continued to be, to the very last, deficient. He had no self-confidence-no dexterity in cross-examining a refractory witness-no eloquence, even in his advocacy of the right-and, above all, no skill or spirit in making the worse appear the better cause. The weapons by which his honourable fame and large emoluments were won, were strict integrity, sound and extensive knowledge of the law, strong sense, terse and accurate language, and a conscientious application of his mind to every case he was engaged in. It was by these qualities that he gained the respect of the bar and the attention of the bench, and, after a toilsome servitude of twenty years, the office of a puisne judge. Two years afterwards he was promoted to the Chief Justiceship which was made vacant by Lord Ellenborough's death.

The habits which had all along predominated in the Chief Justice's nature were just those which would be sure to render him a cautious, upright, and impartial judge; and we find, accordingly, that he was, during the fourteen years in which he presided in the Court of King's Bench, conspicuous for those great judicial qualities. Lord Campbell corroborates his own convictions upon this point by the opinions of Lord Brougham and Mr. Justice Talfourd, which he quotes at very considerable length. After dwelling on the irritability to which he was occasionally subject, Lord Brougham happily describes the Chief Justice, with every trace of bygone storm dismissed,


Addressing himself to the points in the cause with the same perfect calm and indifference with which a mathematician pursues the investigation of an abstract truth, as if there were neither the parties nor the advocates in existence, and only bent upon the discovery and the elucidation of truth."

It was the boast of Curran, that the profession of the law had in his person raised the son of a peasant to the table of his Prince. But it did, we think, even more than this for the poor boy whose beginnings in the streets of Canterbury were so obscure and lowly. Five years before his death it raised him to the dignity of a Baron of the United Kingdom,—an elevation which his biographer regrets, on the ground that it associates the memories of senatorial failure with the fame of an irreproachable judge. Undoubtedly, Lord Tenterden's exertions in the House of Lords will add nothing to the honour he had earned upon the bench; but the example of that elevation will be, nevertheless, always valuable, though it were only for the encouragement it gives to labour and integrity of life. The good things unprincipled ability may gain were widely enough known; but the very different lesson which Lord Tenterden's career furnishes was still far from needless.

We cannot take our leave of Lord Campbell's third volume without a parting word, expressive of our hearty liking of the series it concludes. Much there is in it that many will dissent from and dislike; but the outspoken spirit which prevails throughout it-its abundant store of entertainment and instruction, of wit and wisdom, and its easy grace of style-will render it a work which none can weary of, or wholly disapprove. May it be long before any diligent continuator can have an opportunity of including his Lordship's own life in some future collection of "The Lives of the Chief Justices of England."

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