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the Hill, on the other Side Putney, when he was overOn bis Way re- taken by Sir Jobn Norris, one of the ceives a comfort- Gentlemen of the King's Bed-chamber, able Message from who dismounted his Horse, saluted
his Eminence in his Majesty's Name, and addressed himself upon his Knees as follows, “ That he was sent Express to assure him, that he
was as much in the King's Favour as ever : That “ this Disgrace was only to serve a Turn, and please “ some fort of People; bidding him be of good Cou
rage, MEMOIRS of the LORD CHANCELLORS, &c. • some Votes : And by him be- of the greatest Masters of his
gan the Practice of buying of Profession, at his first Appear• Men, in which hitherto the • ance in it. Though he made
King had kept to strieter Rules. 'a regular Progress through the • I took the Liberty once to • several Honours of the Long
complain to the King of this · Robe, he was always looked • Method. He said, He hated.it upon as one who deserved a
as much as any Man could do: superior Station to that he * But he saw it was not possible, was poffeffed of, till he ar
considering the Corruption of the rived at the highest Dignity Age, so avoid it, unless he would ' to which those Studies could
endanger the whole.” However, • advance him. He enjoyed, such was the Fate that attended ? in the highest Perfection, two Sir John, that he was expelled • Talents, which do not often the House for Corruption, tho' meet in the fame Person, the he continued Master of the Rolls greatest Strength of good Sense, till his Death. These Commif- • and the most exquisite Taste fioners held the Seal until of Politeness ; without the first
March, when it was 1693.
Learning is but an Incumcommitted to the Care of • brance, and without the last the great Sir John Somers, Knt. ' is ungrateful. My Lord Sowith the Title of Lord Keeper, mers was Master of these two who was afterwards created Lord Qualifications in fo eminent Somers, and declared Lord Chan- a Degree, that all the Parts cellor ; of whom the very inge- of Knowledge appeared in nious Mr. Addison, in a Paper call- « him with such an additional ed the Freeholders, gives us this Strength and Beauty, as they Character. · That unwearied Di- want in the Possession of others. ligence, which followed him • If he delivered his Opinion of
through all the Stages of his a Piece of Poetry, a Statue, • Life, gave him such a thorough or a Picture, there was some .
Insight into the Laws of the thing so just and delicate in • Land, that he passed for one "his Observations, as naturally
rage, for, as his Majesty was able, so he was will
ing, to make good all his Losses.” The Cardinal, being surprized at this joyful News, directly got off his Mule, and, falling also upon his Knees in the Highway, gave Thanks first to God, and next to the King, in Words that were scarce to be expressed in the Manner they were uttered; then, taking off his Hat, made fresh Protestations of Gratitude to his Sovereign : After which, both arising, they mounted and rode towards Esher. As they con
versed from CARDINAL WOLSEY's Time. . produced Pleasure and Affent • best Writer of the Age in which o in those who heard him. His • he lived. This noble Lord, "Solidity and Elegance, im- ' for the great Extent of his • proved by the Reading of the Knowledge and Capacity, has • finest Authors, both of the • been often compared with the • learned and modern Lan- • Lord Verulam, who had also
guages, discovered themselves been Chancellor of England. s in all his Productions. His Ora- • But the Conduct of these two • tory was masculine and per- extraordinary Persons, under
fuafive, free from every thing " the same Circumstances, was trivial and affected : His Stile
vastly different They were • in Writing was chaste and pure, • both impeached by a House « but at the same time full of • of Commons: One of them, Spirit and Politeness, and fit as he had given juit Occasion
to convey the most intricate • for it, funk under it, and was • Bufiness to the Understanding “ reduced to such an abject Sub. « of the Reader, with the utmost • mission, as very much dimi.
Clearnefs and Perspicuity. And • nished the Luftre of so exalted • here it is to be lamented, that a Character. But
Lord < this extraordinary Person, out • Somers was too well satisfied ! of his natural Aversion to vain • in his Integrity, to fear the ! Glory, wrote several Pieces, • Impotence of an Attempt up
as well as performed several on his Reputation; and, tho 6. Actions, which he did not as- • his Accusers would gladly have • fume the Honour of; though • dropped their Impeachment,
at the same time so many he was instant with them for • Works of this Nature have • the Prosecution of it, and
appeared, which every one has I would not let that Matter rett • ascribed to him, that I be- • till it was brought to an Iffue: • lieve no Author of the greatest
. For the same Virtue and . Eminence would deny my • Greatness of Mind, which • Lord Somers to have been the gave him a Disregard of Fame,
versed on the Way, Mr. Norris pulled out a Gold Ring set with a very rich Stone, which he presented to the Cardinal in the King's Name, in Token of his recovered Friendship. This Wolsey might easily take as a strong Confirmation that the King's Displeafure was not real, but only assumed ; for he well knew the Ring, it being one of thofe Tokens usually sent him, when his Majesty desired any thing should be
MEMOIRS of the LORD CHANCELLORS, &c. • made him impatient of an un- • Wright was fallen under a high « deserved Reproach.".
• Degree of Contempt with all This Year Sir Nathan. • Sides; even the Tories, though 1700. Wright was appointed he was wholly theirs, despising Lord Keeper. Bishop Burnet says, him: He was sordidly covetous, * It was Term-time (when Lord ? and did not at all live suitable to • Somers was removed) fo a Va. that high Poft.'
We can• cancy in thatPoft putting Things not help saying, we think the « in some Confusion, a tem- Bishop has been full free with
porary Commission was granted Sir Nathan's Character. • to the three Chief Judges, to The latter End of O&.
judge in the Court of Chan- William Cowper, Efq; luc 1705, cery ; and after a few Days ceeded him; who, the Beginning • the Seals were given to Sir of May, 1707, was created a • Nathan Wright, in whom there Peer, and declared the first Lord • was nothing equal to the Pott, High Chancellor of Great Bris • much less to him who had late- tain upon the Union of the two ly filled it.
Wright was a Kingdoms. • Zealot to his Party, (Tories] Ox. the 19th, Sir Si• and was become very excep- mon Harcourt, Knt. was
1711. * tionable in all respects. Mo- constituted Lord Keeper ; and
ney, as was said, did eve- some Months after was made
rything with him ; only in Chancellor, and created a Peer • this Court, I never heard him by the Title of Lord Hara
charged for any thing but court. great Slowness, by which the
The Character given of him Chancery was become one of by the late Queen, in the In• the heaviest Grievances of the troduction to the Patent for cres • Nation.'
ating him a Peer, is this, There In 1705 Wright was dismissed
• is nothing in which we more from his Poft of Lord Keeper. willingly exercise that Royal Upon this the Bishop concludes Authority, which God has en's his Account of him thus. • trusted us with, than by 're
done with singular Care and Expedition. The Cardinal therefore, as he was considering what Return he should make Sir John, the Messenger of so much good News, excused himself upon Account of his present Condition ; but, taking a Gold Cross from about his Neck, in which a piece of the Holy Cross (as it was said) was inclosed, he bestowed it on him as a perpetual Remembrance of his Service. Then,
from CARDINAL WOLSEY's Time. warding true Merit and Virtue, diminished by the Fury of the and advancing to all suitable • Civil Wars, but not in his Dignity Men who have merit- Glory, which, being acquired ed well of us, and whose An- by military Valour, he, as a cestors have been remarkably Lawyer, has advanced by the famous in their Generation : · Force of his Wit and Eloquence : Among those, none is more « For we have understood, that
conspicuous than our well-be- • his Faculty in Speaking is so • loved and very faithful Coun- • full of Variety, that many • fellor, Sir Simon Harcourt, Knt. « doubt whether he is fitter to • Keeper of our Great Seal manage Causes in the lower • Gentleman recommended to • Court, or to speak before a
us by a long Descent of Pro- 6 full Parliament; but it is unagenitors of very ample For- nimously confeffed by all, That tunes, and renowned for their
among the Lawyers he is the warlike Actions ever since the most eloquent Orator, and
among • Norman Times; one of whom, • the Orators the most able Lawa • for his Bravery fignalized un- ' yer. To this Praise of his Elo#der the Standard of Edward quence he has added those
the IVth, was made Knight of domestick Virtues, Magnani• the Garter : Another, fighting mity and Fidelity, supported
couragiously against the Irish · by which he has resolutely • Rebels, in the Cause of his persevered in maintaining the
royal Master, King Charles the «Cause he had undertaken, and « Ift, the best of Princes, was sin despising Danger ; and has
the first Englishman that fell keptthe Engagement of Friend• à Sacrifice to their Fury. Nor • ship, whether in Prosperity or « is there one of all that Race, • Adverfity, sacred and inviolar i descended from such noble An
<ble. Whom therefore, fur< cestors, who has not been emi- • nished with such great Endowe o nent for his Love to his Coun- « ments of Mind, and all Clients try,
and Loyalty to his Prince. having wished for to defend • He suffered, indeed, in his pa- • their Causes, not without Rea• ternal Inheritance, which was son, We preferred to be ope of
bethinking himself of what would be acceptable to the King, he sent him his Fool, Patch, whom six of his tallest Yeomen were scarce able to conduct, so great a Reluctance he had to part with his old Master ; but with this Present the King appeared very much pleased.
We MEMOIRS of the LORD CHANCELLORS, &c. • our Counsel at Law, whom Whereupon the Lord
we a second time called to be Cowper was a second time 1741. • our Attorney General, which appointed Lord High Chancellor, • Office he had once before suf- (and was the only Chancellor that • tained with Honour, as far as held the Seal twice) who was • it was thought convenient; created Earl Cowper.
whom lastly, since we perceiv- This is his Character from Mr. • ed all thole Things were in- Collins. · In all his Stations he act
ferior to the Largeness of his • ed with strict Integrity ; and it
Capacity, we have advanced ' is to his great Honour that he • 10 the highest Pitch of Foren- • refused the New-years-gifts, ' fical Dignity, and made him • (which former Lord Chancel, • fupreme Judge in our Court of lors received from the Council)
Equity, where he still conti- • thinking it an ill Precedent, nues to deserve higher of us, • tending to Corruption. He
and of all good Men; and is • had a graceful Person and win• so much a brighter Ornament ning Aspect ; and all his • to his Province, as it is more • Speeches were delivered with • honourable than the rest he has that Eloquence, learning and gone through. He daily dif
Judgment, as made him unipatches the Multitude of Suits
• versally applauded, and shewed in Chancery, he removes the • he had no Superior in the Know• Obstacles which delay Judge · ledge of the Law, or any other ' ment in that Court, and takes * Subject he applied himself to.' special Care that the successful
His Lordship died in Herto • I'lue of an honest Cause should fordshire, on the 13th of Oet, • cost every Plaintiff as little as
1723, was succeeded by his may be; which Things, as eldest Son William, now Earl
they are very grateful to us, Cowper, who married on the « honourable to himself, and 27th of June, 1732, the Lady « beneficial to the Common- Henrietta, youngelt Daughter of wealth, we think deserving of the Right Hon. Henry the pre
higher Reward. Therefore, sent Earl of Grantham, by whom • &c. But, upon the Accession he hath Issue one Son and of King George the Iit, his Lord Daughter. ship was removed from his high May the 12th, the Lord Station ---See some Account of his Parker was declared Lord 1718. Lordship's Family, Vol.II.p. 283. Chancellor, and was soon after