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Some Reflections thereon.
We fee no great Matter in Dr. Fiddes's long fuppofititious Difquifition on the Cardinal's kneeling in the Dirt, &c. (See p. 472, in his Life of the Cardinal) no more than in Mr. Salmon's Obfervations on the Doctor, in his Hiftory of Henry the VIIIth. Though we cannot fuppofe he was really
from CARDINAL WOLSEY'S Time.
created Earl of Macclesfield; being allowed by all a Nobleman of great Abilities. Whilft his Lordship prefided in this Court it was discovered that much of the Suitors Money was mifapplied, infomuch that fome of the Officers, as it afterwards appeared, were unable to make good the Sums. committed to their Truft by the Court; though often brought there, not by the Choice of the Parties concerned, but by the Compulfion of the Court, under the Pretext of better
and fined 30,000l. which he paid; and the Money, by his late Majefty K. George the It's Direction, was applied towards making good the Deficiency occafioned by the Officers Infolvency. However, we cannot omit here to give Mr. Collins's Character of his. Lordship; The Earl, as a Hufband, a Parent, and a Mafter, was truly beloved by every one ⚫ who stood in thofe Relations to wards him. His Speeches on publick Affairs, and in his ju
Security. This drew on an In-dicial Capacity, fhewed both
quiry firft before the King and Council, next in the Honourable Houfe of Commons, which produced an Impeachment against. the noble Earl; and, to encourage fuch of the Mafters in Chancery, who had purchased their Offices, to make a Difcovery touching what they had paid for the fame, an A&t paffed to indemnify them from the Forfeitures incurred by the Statute made in Edward the VIth's Time. In fhort, the Earl was tried at the Bar of the Houfe of Lords, upon the Impeachment, found guilty,
his Learning and Eloquence, and he favoured all Defigns tending to the Advancement of Learning. No Man ferved his Friends more readily, and chearfully; and they found in him a moit agreeable, innocent, and inftructive Companion. He was a fincere and faithful Member of the Church of England, conftantly frequenting its Affemblies, and joining in all its Of'fices with a juft Sense of Reli'gion, and an exemplary Piety. To thofe Supports it was owing, that, when he apprehended the • Ap
+ See the Speech of the Right Hon. Arthur Onflow, Efq; on the Trial of the Earl of Macclesfield.
in the Dirt, or on his Knees, scarce two Minutes, what a Pother have Bishop Burnet, Rapin, and others, made about it, and at last fettled nothing. And fuppofe MEMOIRS of the LORD CHANCELLORS, &c. Approach of Death, he prepared himself for it with as ⚫ much Calmness and Compofure as for a Journey: And, ⚫ having received the holy Communion, in the Company of his Relations, Friends, and Servants, he took his laft Farewel of them ferious and unmoved; fetting them a Pattern of dying, as he had always done of living, like a true Chriftian. Upon his Lordship's Death he was fucceeded in Honour and Eftate by his Son the prefent Right Hon. George Earl of Macclesfield.
Upon the E. of Macclef $725. field's refigning the Great Seal it was, in Jan. committed to the Care of Sir Joseph Jekyll, Mr. Juftice Raymond, and Mr. Baron Gilbert, with the Title of Lords Commiffioners. Their Lordships, as was confiftent to the great Truft, immediately fet about reforming the Abuses that had crept into this Court, and the Mafters in Chancery chearfully affifted their Lordships in this ufeful Work, and readily obeyed fuch Orders as were thought requifite for the better fecuring the Suitors Money and Effects, particularly one, bearing Date the 26th of May, 1725, whereby their Lordships ordered, That all the Moneys, Securities, &c. belonging to the Suitors of the Court, in the Hands of the • Mafters, fhould be carried into the Bank; and that the Ma
fters fhould forthwith pass and fettle their Accounts.' Whereby it foon appeared, if fome further Provifion was not made, for the Relief of the Suitors, befides the 30,000l. paid by the Earl of Macclesfield, many of them would be greatly reduced, who were Widows and Orphans, and in some Cafes their All depending; which might bring the Dignity of the Court into Difefteem, if not a a Reproach on the Conftitution. This put the Parliament upon taking the Matter into their ferious Confideration, which had this Iffue, an A& paffed, 12 George I. entitled, An Act for the Relief of the Suitars of the Court of Chancery.
June the 21st, the Great Seal was committed 1725. to Lord Chief Juftice King, with the Title of Lord Chancellor who, on the 4th of Nov. made an Order greatly for the Benefit of the Suitors of the Court, and foon afterwards an Act paffed, 12 Gea. I. entitled, An Act for the better fecuring the Moneys and Ef fects of the Suitors of the Court of Chancery; wherein the Order made by his Lordfhip was verbatim fet forth and confirmed.
The Provifions which the Par liament made for the Relief of the unhappy Suitors were fuch as intirely anfwered the End propofed, and gave univerfal Content to the Nation in general; and for their further Eafe an Act
pofe it were determinable, which we do not fee it is, whether he was religioufly refpectful to the King as the Lord's Anointed, or fond of being again car
from CARDINAL WOLSEY's Time. lately paffed, to exempt the Sui ters, endeavours to prove, That tors from paying the Accomptant the Mafter of the Rolls was no General Fees on his Reports, for Judge, either in Law or Equibringing their Moneys, &c. in- ty; but what Judicial Power to the Bank, or receiving them. he could lawfully exercise was therefrom, pursuant to fuch Or- 'by being one of the XII Maders as the Court fhould make 'fters of Chancery, or by Virfrom time to time. 'tue of the King's Commiffion." During the Time his Lord- The Controverfy being drawn fhip prefided in this Court a to this Length, in order to prevent Difpute arose, Whether the Mafter any Inconvenience to the Publick, of the Rolls had a Judicial Autho- an A&t paffed, 3 George II. entitled, rity to hear Caufes in the Abfence of An Act to put an end to certain the Lord Chancellor, without a Com- Difputes, touching Orders and Demillion? -This Matter was in- crees made in the Court of Chan troduced to the Publick in a Book cery, printed in Trinity Term, 1726, under the Title of The Hiftory of the Chancery, wherein the Author afferts, That his Honour ⚫ could not hear Caufes in Court ⚫ without a Delagation from the Chancellor, unless by Commiffion. An Answer to this was published, entitled, A Difcourfe of the Judicial Authority belonging to the Office of the Mafter of the Rolls; wherein the Author affirms, That the Mafter of the Rolls could hear Caufes, and ⚫ make Orders in Chancery, by Virtue of his Office, without any special Commiffion: And, in Support of his Argument, fets forth many Cafes. This produced another Piece by way of Reply, faid to be wrote by one of the Mafters of the Court, entitled, The Legal Judicature in Chancery flated; and herein the Gentleman, among other Mat
in which was recited, That whereas divers Questions and Difputes had arifen, touching the Authority of the Master of the Rolls in the High Court of Chancery, for putting an end to all Disputes concerning the fame, it was enacted, That all Orders and Decrees made by the then prefent Mafter of the Rolls, or any of his Predeceffors, or any thereafter to be ⚫ made by the faid Master of the Rolls, or any of his Succeffors, (except fuch Orders and Decrees as fhould be made only by the Lord Chancellor, &c.) fhall be deemed and taken to be valid Orders by the faid Court, fubject nevertheless to be difcharged, revoked, or altered by the Lord Chancellor, &c. And that no fuch Order or Decree should be inrolled, till the ⚫ fame be firft figned by the Lord Chancellor, &c. Pp 2
reffed by his ungrateful Master, or rejoiced with the Thoughts of his Troubles being at an End, what great Perfonage is there that may not eafily drop into
MEMOIRS of the LORD CHANCELLORS, &c.
Lord King held the Seal until the Year 1733, and died the 22d of July, 1734. The Infcription on
the Monument erected to his Memory relates these further Particulars of his Lordship.
He was born in the City of Exeter of worthy and fubftantial Parents:
He applied himself to his Studies in the Inner TEMPLE;
Added the most extenfive Learning, Theological and Civil. He was chofen a Member of the House of Commons in the Year 1699 ; Recorder of the City of London, in the Year 1708; Made Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, 1714; On the Acceffion of King GEORGE I.
Created Lord KING, Baron of OCKHAM;
And raised to the Poft and Dignity of Lord High Chancellor of GREAT BRITAIN, 1725.
Under the Labour and Fatigues of which weighty Place, Sinking under a paralytick Difeafe, he refigned it, Nov. 29th, 1733. And died, July 22, 1734, Aged 65.
A FRIEND TO TRUE RELIGION AND LIBERTY.
He was fucceeded in his Honour and Eftate by the prefent Right Hon. John Lord King, his eldest Son.
Nov. the 29th, the Seal 1733. was delivered to the great Ld. Talbot, with the Title of Lord Chancellor. During his Time two different Pieces, befides thofe we have mentioned, were published, relating to the Original of this Court; the one in the Year 1735, entitled, An Historical Effay of the Jurifdiction of the Court of Chancery, with fome Incidents of the o
ther Courts; the other, The Furif diction of the Chancery, as a Court of Equity, researched. The laft Author, after he has spoke of the Original of the Court, and the Acts of Parliament, as he thinks, that established it, fays, It may be affured and concluded, that the Root and Original Autho⚫rity of the Chancery, as a Court of Equity, is not occult; nor, like the Head of the Nile, un'difcoverable; nor is founded on any antient Prescription Time out of Mind used; nor upon
the like Extafy on experiencing fuch a Turn of Fortune as he had done. Why may not the Reader judge for himself after the Facts are fairly related, without fo much Preaching about them?
from CARDINAL WOLSEY's Time.
any unwritten Law or Cuftom, but on Acts of Parliament.' Lord Talbot held the Great Seal to his Death, whofe Character we cannot better fum up than in Mr. Collins's Words, in his British Peerage: In his ⚫ judicial Capacity he fhewed his great Learning and Knowledge of the Law, with an unbiaffed Integrity; and none in his Station was ever more esteemed whilft living, or died more univerfally lamented. He behaved with the greatelt Honour in every Act of Life, being Mafter of all thofe Virtues that make a great and good Man confpicuous.' His Lordship's Dignity and Eftate defcended to the Right Hon. William Talbot, his fecond Son.
Upon the 21st of Feb. 1736. his Lordship was fucceeded by the prefent Right Hon. Philip Lord Hardwicke, with the like Title of Lord High Chancel lor, who has particularly diftinguifhed himself in fupporting the Liberty of the Prefs, by protecting the legal Right to Copies. A recent Inftance we have of his Lordship's (together with the Advice and Affiftance of the Right Honourable William Fortescue, Efq;
Master of the Rolls, and the reft of the Hon. Commiffioners appointed for that Purpose) well governing the Court of Chancery, and their tender Regard to the Rights of the Suitors thereof, by the printed Orders and Tables of Fees, throughout the refpective Offices, published in January 1743.
To conclude, it is evident, that Cardinal Wolfey's Conduct and Behaviour in the high Office of Lord Chancellor, were the Cause of greatly raifing the Reputation of the Chancery; and that by the Legiflature's interpofing, and the good Orders and Regulations made of late Years in the Proceedings of this Court, for the Eafe of the Suitors, are fuch, that the Properties lodged therein were never fo well fecured and taken care of
fince Cardinal Wolfey's Time : And the whole Nation cannot but acknowledge, that we are much indebted to the late and prefent Chancellor for feveral of the Benefits now enjoyed, whofe great Abilities and faithful Discharge of this important Truft, as Keepers of the King's Confcience, will be the Means, we make no doubt, of transfering their Names to Pofterity with the highest Regard.