Historical Sketches of Statesmen Who Flourished in the Time of George III - Vol. 1

By Lord Henry Brougham | Go to book overview

LORD THURLOW.

THE other helpmate upon whom Gibbon paints the pilot of the state as reposing, was as different a person from Lord Loughborough in all respects as can well be imagined. We refer of course to Mr. Thurlow, who filled the office of attorney-general until the year 1778, when he took the great seal. The remains that have reached us of his exhibitions as a speaker, whether at the bar, in parliament, or on the bench, are more scanty still than those of his colleagues; for, while he sat on the bench, the reports in Chancery were on the meagre and jejune footing of the older books; and it is only over a year or two of his presiding in the Court, that Mr. Vesey, junior's, full and authentic reports extend. There seems, however, from all accounts, to have been much less lost of Lord Thurlow than there would have been of subsequent judges, had the old-fashioned summaries only of equity proceedings been preserved; for his way was to decide, not to reason; and, in court as well as in parliament, no man ever performed the office, whether of judging or debating, with a smaller expenditure of argument.

This practice, if it saves the time of the public, gives but little satisfaction to the suitor. The judges who pursue it forget that, to satisfy the parties, or at least to give them such grounds as ought to satisfy reasonable men, is in importance only next to giving them a right judgment. Almost as important is it to

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Historical Sketches of Statesmen Who Flourished in the Time of George III - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • States Men of the Times of George Iii. 1
  • George Iii. 5
  • Lord Chatham. 17
  • Lord North. 48
  • Lord Loughborough. 70
  • Lord Thurlow. 88
  • Lord Chief Justice Gibbs. 124
  • Mr. Burke. 142
  • Mr. Fox. 178
  • Mr. Sheridan. 210
  • Mr. Windham. 219
  • Mr. Dundas. 227
  • Mr. Erskine. 236
  • Mr. Perceval. 246
  • Lord Grenville. 254
  • Mr. Grattan. 260
  • Sir Samuel Romilly. 290
  • Franklin 314
  • Fredkric Ii. 320
  • Gustavus Iii. 346
  • The Emperor Joseph. 359
  • Appendix. 387
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