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few specimens preserved in that work, it would certainly be hazardous to attempt drawing any general conclusion, either as to his general ability or the responsibility that attaches to him. Horace Walpole says of him, that he had no knowledge whatever of foreign affairs, but what was whispered to him by the duke of Newcastle; and from another quarter we learn that the duke of Newcastle never took a single step without the advice of his most trusty counsellor, lord Hardwicke. It is probable that neither of these accounts is strictly correct. With regard to domestic policy, the principal measures that are supposed to belong entirely to the lord chancellor are, the bill for the abolition of heritable jurisdictions in Scotland, 1747; the act for the naturalization of the Jews, and the marriage act, both passed in 1753. The first of these was framed for the purpose of diminishing the feudal power of the chiefs and great landholders of Scotland, which had been found too dangerous in the recent rebellion. The chancellor introduced it at first into the house of lords; but it was there objected that as compensations were to be granted, it came within the rules of a money bill, and must, consequently originate with the commons. It was accordingly sent thither, and passed, though not without considerable opposition. That which it encountered in the house of lords was comparatively trifling, and it was carried without a division. Lord Hardwicke's manuscript notes of the debate have been preserved, and have furnished the account of it given in the fourteenth volume of Hansard's Parliamentary History. The measure itself was a prudent one, and well justified by reasons of policy. Of the two acts passed in 1753, that for the naturalization of the Jews excited so much clamor among all ranks and classes, that the ministry easily consented to repeal it in the following session. To have proposed an act calculated to promote religious toleration, and to remove civil

disabilities imposed on account of religious faith, does much more credit to lord Hardwicke, than the facility with which he yielded to the popular outcry against it. As to the act for the prevention of clandestine marriages, the existence of such abuses as are enumerated in it is sufficient proof that some legislative enactment of the kind had long been wanting; and whatever may be the intrinsic merits of the statute, it is certain that he who conceived and brought it forward rendered a very signal service to the country. It may be instanced as an almost ludicrous example of the misrepresentation to which the motives of men in public life are liable, that lord Hardwicke was reported to have brought the subject before parliament, chiefly, if not solely, with the view of taking an effectual precaution against improvident marriages among his own family. On the death of Mr. Pelham and the subsequent appointment of his brother, the duke of Newcastle, to be prime minister (in the spring of 1754), among other promotions which took place, was that of the lord chancellor to a higher rank in the peerage. He was created earl of Hardwicke and viscount Royston. It may appear somewhat extraordinary that these dignities were not conferred at an earlier period than when he had filled the eminent station of chancellor upwards of seventeen years. It is certain that the king was willing to confer it much sooner, and it is believed that a proposal to that effect was more than once made to him by the ministry; but either lord Hardwicke was till then averse from a higher elevation, or he thought fit to yield unresistingly to that species of influence, against which many other wise men, including Socrates himself, have found it a vain and hopeless task to contend. Lady Hardwicke's consent could not be obtained. Her ladyship was a woman of most exemplary prudence, and, conscious, no doubt, of her eminent capacity for the management of her family concerns, she suffered no one else to interfere with them; not even her lord himself, who, as she used to remark, was indebted to her for his reputation as chancellor, inasmuch as by taking especial care to keep his mind entirely free from household cares, she enabled him to give up its undivided energies to the duties of his official situation. Among the many praiseworthy qualities she displayed in the discharge of the functions she took upon herself, there was none more conspicuous than that of severe economy, a quality which indeed she carried to such a pitch, that most persons chose the word parsimony to convey an idea of it. Now, if she practised this virtue with regard to the most trivial of her household concerns, it was not to be supposed she would neglect to exert it in an affair which mothers are wont to consider a very important one, namely, the marriage of her daughters. So long, she used to say, as they were simply the misses Yorke, no suitors who might solicit the honor of their alliance would think of insisting upon a larger fortune than ten thousand pounds; but if they became lady Elizabeth and lady Margaret Yorke, no less a sum than twenty thousand would probably be expected. Accordingly, their father, who was of a character to appreciate such reasoning as this, was forbidden to aspire to the honors of an earldom until such time as the young ladies should become wives. The eldest being at length married to the celebrated navigator, lord Anson, and the youngest to a son of sir Gilbert Heathcote, all impediments to his promotion were removed. This new accession of rank, however, could add nothing to the extent of his weight and influence in the house of lords, which is said to have exceeded that of any other nobleman in the kingdom. His high personal character, his eminent station, and his intimate relations with the prime minister, were of themselves sufficient to command for him no ordinary degree of respect and consideration. It is to be wished he had never descended to employ for the same purpose other means less worthy of him; but it is too well known, that, with little regard to justice or fair dealing, he used all the arts of intrigue to prejudice those who might divide, and consequently lessen, his authority. Thus it was his favorite design (for obvious reasons) to remain the only law lord, so that an appeal from the court of chancery to the peers might be simply an appeal from lord Hardwicke in Lincoln's Inn hall to lord Hardwicke in the house of lords. To effect that object, no exertion was spared to exclude from the peerage, either altogether or as long as might be possible, such men as Parker, Lee, Ryder, and Willes. Against the latter, indeed, who had entered upon his professional career about the same time with himself, he is said to have entertained a rooted and implacable jealousy, which, if the story related of him be true, he took an early opportunity of gratifying at the expense of every principle of honor, by relating to lord Macclesfield the substance of a private conversation in which Willes had spoken of him with disrespect. It is but fair to remark, however, that such a transaction as this is represented must necessarily have been of so private a nature, that it is easy to conceive the possibility of false rumors being generally circulated with regard to it; and that so serious a charge should not be admitted without the strictest evidence of its truth. Some obloquy has been cast upon lord Hardwicke because he disposed of the church patronage belonging to his office with a view rather to increase his own political influence, than to forward obscure merit or to further the interests of religion. This accusation is undoubtedly just; but whether the fault be a very venial or a highly criminal one, is a question likely to be decided by different persons in very different ways: no one, at all events, will deny that it is a very common one. That he did not bestow a large portion of the emoluments that were in his gift as the rewards of literary merit, if it be a fault at all, is one not likely to escape being exaggerated. There is no class of persons more jealous of what they conceive to be a slight upon their calling than men of letters; and as they are commonly the directors of public opinion, an unfavorable impression is often widely circulated against men, whose chief crime is that of having offended their fraternity by some real or fancied neglect. Lord Hardwicke has not altogether escaped the lot of those whose reputation has the misfortune to fall under this sort of censure. It has been imputed to him as a crime, that he took away from the poet Thomson the place of secretary of briefs, which had been given to him by lord Talbot. The fact is, that he did not absolutely take it away. It became vacant on the appointment of a new chancellor, and Thomson was either too proud or too negligent, to solicit a renewal of the charge for himself, though a considerable time was suffered to elapse before it was disposed of, probably with the design of affording him every opportunity of making known his wishes on the subject. Lord Hardwicke's treatment of Dr. Birch seems also to have been somewhat misrepresented. That very worthy and laborious man of letters had been tutor to his son, Charles Yorke, who took upon himself to recommend him for preferment: “From my own acquaintance with him,” he writes (1741,) “I can only confirm the general character he bears of being a clergyman of great worth, industry, and learning, subsisting at the mercy of booksellers and printers, without any preferment but a small living in the country, which will scarce keep a curate. He is a person of excellent heart as well as head, and by his diligence and general knowledge in most parts of learning, may be made extremely useful to the public.” The immediate reply to this letter was an offer of a living in Wales of the value of thirty pounds a year, which Dr. Birch declined accepting. The amount certainly was inconsid

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