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“Charles I. demanding the Surrender of standing as a little boy by his mother's the Five Members in the House of Com- side, and looking up to ber with tender,
," added greatly to his reputation. smiling earnestness, and said to his The latter picture had no fewer than fifty- daughter, “See, my dear, the difference eight likenesses, taken from original con- between me here and there." temporary portraits lent to him by their Copley was educated at Dr. Horne's owners, or studied in the country-houses school, at Chiswick, and entered Trinity where they were preserved. “The Death College, Cambridge, in 1790. Over-conof Chatham," and what is perhaps his fident in his fine memory and in his quickmasterpiece “ The Death of Major ness of perception, he put off too long the Pierson "
are in the National Gallery. preparation for honors, and had to make We have dwelt long enough on the up for lost hours by working late into the struggles and successes of the elder Copley night under the stimulus of strong tea and to show the rare talent and industry which with wet bandages on bis head. He came he devoted to his art. We must turn now out, however, in 1794, as second wranto bis more famous son. After living for gler, and second Smith's prizeman. “ Pera few years in Leicester Fields, the family haps,” he said, in the letter to his friends moved to a small but commodious house, which told the result,“
you will be disNo. 25, George Street, Hanover Square. contented that I am not first, but my Here the painter died in 1815; here also health was my only enemy." his son, the lord chancellor, died in 1863. he was elected Fellow of Trinity College, When Lord Lyndhurst married, he pro. and this gave him an income of about vided a home for his mother and sister at £150 a year during the early struggles of Hanwell, eight miles away, and this served his profession. as a summer residence for bimself and his Before he finally settled down to his wife, his mother and sister meanwhile life-work, he paid a visit to America. His moving to George Street. When he be- father had a small property at Boston, came lord chancellor he would not desert called the Beacon Hill Estate. It was the family home. He bought the next only twelve acres, but its value as building house and employed his talent as an archi. land was great, and young, Copley having tect in superintending all alterations ne obtained from his university the appointcessary to throw the two houses into one. ment of travelling bachelor for three years,
Lord Campbell said that Lyndhurst sup with a grant of £ 100 a year, went to see pressed his lineage in the peerages, and whether he could secure the property that the account of himself which he sent which had been imperilled by his father's to them seemed " to disclose a weakness, removal to England. He found that acthat he was very unreasonably ashamed cording to American law his father was of his family.” Nothing could be further an alien, and agreed to a compromise, by from the truth. Burke's " Peerage"gives which he resigned all claim to the estate his father's name and profession, and it is on payment of £4,000. From Boston he well known that the old family home in wrote to his mother: "The better people George Street was full of his father's pic- are all aristocrats. My father is too rank tures, which the chancellor delighted to a Jacobin to live among them.” A few show to bis visitors. He was proud of months later he says: “I have become a his family and of his father's fame in his fierce aristocrat. This is the country to profession. It would, indeed, be hard to cure your Jacobios. Send them over and find a son more devoted than Lord Lynd- they will return quite converted. The hurst. Lyndhurst and Brougham, the two opposition here are a set of villains.” great law lords of the century, who shared Such passages should be remembered in the honors of Parliamentary debate for so considering the charges made against many years, were conspicuous by their Lyndhurst in after years, of deserting his family affection. Brougham's love and principles to obtain political influence and reverence for his mother are too well preferment. He had serious thoughts of known to need comment here. Lyndhurst buying a good tract of land and settling was equally unselfish and devoted. The down in America, but all such schemes famous “ Family Picture” which his fa. were soon aba oned, and by the middle ther painted of himself, his wife, and chil. of 1797 he was again in England. Travel dren, a few years after his return from the had enlarged bis views and bound him to Continent, was a favorite with Lord Lynd. the land of his birth by many warm ties hurst all his life. It hung in his dining; of friendship. room, and as he was dying he pointed The serious business of life was now from his bed to the picture of himself, before him. He took his M.A. degree, and attended the chambers of Mr. Tidd, of silk lace and cotton lace, not lace made the famous special pleader. The next of a mixture of silk and cotton. Copley six years were full of struggles. His took objection to the indictment on this business as a special pleader was not ground, the judge sustained his objection, sufficient to maintain him, and his fellow and thus, by what seems little better than ship would expire in 1804, unless he took a piece of sharp practice, the prisoner was orders and entered the Church. He en- acquitted. The barrister became the hero tertained serious thoughts of abandoning of the hour in Nottingham, and from that. the law, but his father entreated him not time he never wanted briefs when he to throw away the labor of so many years, came to the town. On such a thread hung and be yielded. The war with France, Copley's fortunes. which had again broken out, made that a From this time the barrister became time of high prices and great depression the stay of his family. He was made serin trade. The father's commissions were jeant-at-law the following year, and two falling off, so that he could not assist his years later, when his father died, leaving son, and it was useless to be called to the his house heavily mortgaged, and conbar with no funds to go on circuit, or to siderable sums of money due to creditors, maintain himself till business flowed in. he came to live with bis inother and sister
In his trouble his father wrote to Mr. at George Street, and as soon as possible Green, an American merchant who had paid every penny of his father's debts. married his eldest daughter in 1800, and How much he had brightened the closing asked the loan of £1,000 to enable the years of his father's life, and with what young lawyer to make his start in life. confidence the whole family circle reThis belp was instantly given, and Copley garded him in this great trial, may be seen was called to the bar on June 18, 1804. from his mother's words: He had no local connection with any part of England to guide his choice of a cir- My son has of late years advanced all that cuit and give him hope of support, but he he could spare, beyond what was necessary for selected the midland circuit and the Lin his own immediate subsistence, and has not colosbire and Nottingbamshire sessions.
been able to lay up anything ... it is impos
sible to express For four or five years he had his full share
the happiness and comfort that
we experience from so kind and affectionate a of struggle and disappointment.
friend. My husband blessed God, at the mother speaks in her letters of this “ter- close of his life, that he left the best of sons rible, uphill profession;”. but at last the for my comfort, and for that of my dear Mary, clouds lifted, and by the year 1810, she the best of brothers. writes to her daughter: "I am sure you will join your thanks with mine to heaven With such a letter before him the reader for the blessing we receive from his good will know how to value Lord Campbell's character, conduct, and success in his words in describing Copley's forensic profession."
eloquence: it was “ wonderfully clear and While the son was rising steadily at the forcible; but he could not make the tenbar the father's difficulties were increas. der chords of the heart vibrate, having ing. His reputation stood as high as nothing in unison with them in his own ever, and his hands were never idle, but bosom." the poverty of the country left po money Serjeant Copley was conspicuous durfree for purchasing pictures. The unset. ing these years for his great attention to tled state of affairs, however, gave young his briefs. How far he was from being Copley his first great rise in his profes- the slovenly advocate that Campbell repsion. He held a brief at Nottingham, the resents, one incident will show. centre of the “ Luddite ” movement, for a engaged in March, 1816, for the desendant, warehouseman, who had sent threatening Mr. Moore, of Nottingham, in an action ing letters to his employer, announcing brought against him for infringing a that "fifty of his frames should be de. patent for a spinning-jenny used in the stroyed, his premises burnt, and himself manufacture of lace.
The case was very and one of his leading assistants should important, and as Copley could not fully be made personal examples of.” The understand from his brief the points on evidence was clear, and there could have which the action turned, he took the mail been no possibility of escape had not for Nottingham one evening. Next day Copley found a flaw in the indictment. he called on his client, and asked to see It described Messrs. Nunn and Co. as the machine in motion. Mr. Moore was “proprietors of a silk and cotton lace delighted at such evidence of zeal, but his manufactory.” They were manufacturers first impressions wore off when he had
spent a considerable time in explanation half the next. This absurd story, which without eliciting a single word from his accuses Copley both of utter blindness to visitor. At last he stopped with the ex. his own interest at a crisis of his fate, clamation : "What is the use of talking to and of gross carelessness as to the life of you? I have been trying this half hour bis client, is effectually disproved by the to make you understand, and you pay me report of the trial, which shows that no heed!” Copley had been quietly Weatherell's speech was finished in one thinking out the points of resemblance day, and gives not the slightest hint of between this machine and that from which any such pause in it as the reviewer deit was said to have been borrowed. “Now, scribes. listen to me,” he said, and the astonished The ability he had shown in the Spa manufacturer not only found that Copley Fields case was so conspicuous that the had mastered every technical detail of the crown took care to secure Copley's sermachinery, but saw him take his seat at vices, and when the next State Trial was the frame and turn out a perfect sample held at Derby he appeared as one of the of the net lace. He returned at once to counsel for the prosecution. Of course, London, where his lucid exposition of the bis enemies now charged him with being working model shown in court and his a traitor to his old views. His successful closely knit argument easily won the ver- pleading for the Luddites had made him dict for his client.
the hero of the hour at Nottingham; his The trial of the Spa Fields conspirators share in the acquittal of the Spa Fields first brought Serjeant Copley under the conspirators had caused the populace of notice of government. These conspira. London to wear ribbons at their buttontors were contemptible enough, and would holes, stamped with the words “Copley have been severely punished if they had and Liberty." These incidents lent some been charged with a misdemeanor, but color to the charges, but every one is the government put them on their trial aware that, whatever his personal views for high treason, and their counsel were may be, an advocate is bound to do his able to secure their acquittal from this best for his client, and Weatherell, who charge. Mr. Weatherell had undertaken was Copley's leader in the Spa Fields the defence of two of the men, on condi- trial, was himself an ultra Tory. tion that Copley should be associated with In March, 1818, Copley took his seat in him. He acted wisely in seeking such a the House of Commons for Yarmouth colleague. Lord Campbell heard Copley's (Isle of Wight). Lord Liverpool had sug. speech, and considered it “one of the gested that he should enter the House, ablest and most effective ever delivered and Campbell says that the seat was in a court of justice.” It missed no weak offered with the clear, reciprocal underpoint in the evidence against the prison- standing that the convertite was thence. ers; it overlooked no favorable argument; forth to be a thick and thin supporter of and it had a glow of impressive earnest the government, and that everything in ness which added greatly to its power. the law which the government had to beThe jury returned a unanimous verdict of stow should be witbin his reach," and that not guilty in the case of the first conspira. Copley, "like another Regulus, braved the tor who was put on his trial, and the odium, the animadversions, the sarcasms, attorney.general immediately withdrew the and the railleries which would follow charge against the rest.
this notorious case of “ratting.' Sir Theodore Martin effectually dis- statements are thoroughly disproved by proves the story told in the Edinburgh the new biography: Mr. Hayward says Review (April, 1869), that Copley relied that “no one who knew Copley after his implicitly on Weatherell's occupying two entrance into public life could discern a days with his speech in defence; and, trace, a sign, a feature of the democrat. with the habitual indolence of his nature, The Ethiopian must have changed his put off preparing himself to follow until skin and the leopard his spots." The he should becoine aware of the ground government, doubtless, was fully aware of over which his leader bad travelled. Per-Copley's general willingness to support dition, so the story went, stared him in the their policy; and he must have known face when Weatherell sat down abruptly that there was prospect of high promotion after two hours of rambling talk. Copley before him, but there was no such agreewas just about to rise in utter unprepared- ment as Campbell describes. In the heat ness and leap into the gulf, when his of party struggles Copley was charged leader jumped up again and went on de. with unfaithfulness to his early political claiming for the whole of that day and views, but he always challenged his ac.
cuser promptly, and said that before the The new solicitor-general spoke very time of his entrance into the House he bad little in Parliament during the first year never belonged to any political society or or two he sat there. Whatever work he been in any way connected with politics. had to do as law adviser of the crown was
In the beginning of 1819 he was ap- done well; but Copley's early career is pointed king's serjeant and chief justice a great contrast to Brougham's. Copof Chester; in June of the same year he ley made his fame outside the House; was made solicitor.general. The tide of Brougham, by his audacity and eloquence official promotion which was to bear him in Parliament, raised himself in his proto the highest legal honors had now fairly fession. Copley's brilliant success in deset in. This year, so memorable for the feating Colonel Macirone's action for beginning of Copley's official life, was also £10,000 against Mr. John Murray on acmarked by his marriage to "a lady of count of the severe criticisms of his conbrilliant qualities of mind and great per duct in the Quarterly Review, was the sonal attractions." She was the widow of town talk at the end of 1819. Macirone's Lieut.-Col. Charles Thomas, of the Cold counsel foolishly quoted from a book pubstream Guards, who had been killed at lished by the colonel, and thus Copley Waterloo six weeks after his wedding. was able to bring this book into evidence, Mrs. Thomas was only twenty-four at the and establish all the reviewer's charges time of her second marriage. Her bril. by the plaintiff's own words. The part liant social gifts fitted her to take the which he took next year in the Cato Street place in society which her husband's offi- prosecution still further increased his cial position opened, and the marriage high reputation as an advocate. was fortunate in every respect.
But the “ battle of giants” was the trial Copley was himself fond of society. He of Queen Caroline. Brougham conducted was a good dancer and a brilliant talker, the queen's cause with a resource and so that he was in great request for balls audacity which are unequalled in the hisand evening parties; but when he found tory of the English bar. His position bis work at the bar increase he gave up was beset with difficulties. The king was these pleasures because they interfered against him, and the queen's imprudent with his profession. Campbell's sneer conduct on the Continent greatly strengthabout Copley, en he became serjeant. ened the charges against her; but at-law, implies that he had been bent on Brougham's courage never flagged, and pleasure to the neglect of duty. “ Accord. he earned “immense glory and popularingly he was coifed and gave gold rings, ity” by his defence of her Majesty. Copchoosing for his motto “Studiis vigilare ley also won great praise from his share severis,' which some supposed was meant in the conduct of the prosecution. His as an intimation that he had sown his wild cross-examinations showed rare skill – oats, and that he was now become a plod." that of Flynn " (as Denman, one of the der.” No one knows what these wild oats queen's counsel, said) “restored a lost were; but every one who reads the home cause.” The solicitor-general's courtesy letters of this period will see how dili.and calmness of demeanor, the fine judi. gently Copley prepared for all his cases, cial temper which he preserved through. and sought to master the science and out the trial, and the clearness and vigor practice of his profession.
of his argument, won him the highest There is no doubt that the solicitor- praise, and exempted him from the obloquy general knew how to make the best of his which was so generally heaped upon the handsome person and fine manners. He managers of that painful case. always dressed more like a dashing cav- In January, 1824, Sir Robert Gifford alry officer than a judge. It is said that was appointed chief justice of the com. the chancellor, Lord Eldon, was shocked mon pleas, and Copley succeeded him as by the fashionable dress and smart cabrio- attorney-general; two years later he was lét in which Copley used to drive about made master of the rolls, with an income the streets with a tiger behind him, and of £8,000 a year; and eight months later asked his son what people would have still, on the 30th of April, 1827, the great said had they seen him drive about in that seal was delivered to him, and he was way when he was solicitor-general. Lord raised to the peerage as Lord Lyndhurst. Eldon's son did not share his father's He had now attained the highest object horror, and answered: “I will tell you, of a lawyer's ambition. He was three father, what they would have said. “There times chancellor, and for more than thirty goes the greatest lawyer and the worst years was supreme in the House of Lords. whip in all England.""
Brougham was more eloquent than Lynd
hurst, but his gifts found their most fit- tations of the counsel on both sides. ting sphere in the Commons. Lyndhurst Never once did he falter or hesitate, and was vastly his superior in all those quali- never once was he mistaken in a name, a ties that give influence among the peers. figure, or a date.” His handsome person and courtly man. But we must return to Lyndhurst's first ners gave him an imposing air when he chancellorship. It lasted from April, was arrayed in the chancellor's robes. 1827, to November, 1830, under three His mind was of “the highest order of premiers — Canoing, Goderich, and Wel. pure intellect.” He had a deep, rich, lington. Two of the chancellor's first voice, and a command of words that came acts, in 1828, were characteristic of the with ease yet were exquisitely apt. Lynd- liberal spirit in which he dispensed the hurst despised mere rhetoric. One of his patronage of his office. He gave a comfriends, Sir Samuel Shepherd, said of missionership in bankruptcy to young him that there was “no rubbish in his Macaulay, and presented Sydney Smith mind.” Brougham, full of restless energy, to a canonry at Bristol and to the living was always in the lists. Lyndhurst only of Combe Florey, near Taunton. This stepped down to fight when some worthy recognition of merit irrespective of party cause demanded effort. He thus de reflects great credit on the chancellor. scribed his method of preparation to a His patronage was dispensed in the most friend:
conscientious manner. His enemies venBrougham says that he prepares the great
tured to accuse him of selling his Church passages in his speeches, and he weaves them patronage to add to his income, but he at with wonderful dexterity into the extempore
once produced all the papers and scattered portions. The seams are never apparent. I all such calumnies to the winds. am not able to perform that double operation. In his first chancellorship the Catholic Such an effort of verbal memory would inter. Emancipation Act was passed. Lyndfere with the free exercise of my mind upon hurst had opposed this measure for years, the parts which were not prepared. My prac. on the ground that concessions could not tice is to think my subject over and over to be made to the Catholics without danger any extent you please ; but with the exception to Protestantism and to the country. In of certain phrases, which necessarily grow out 1828, however, concession could no longer of the process of thinking, I am obliged to be withheld. Ireland was on the verge of leave the wording of my argument to the mo. ment of delivery (p. 307).
rebellion. Sir Robert Peel had long been
in active opposition to this measure, but Lyndhurst never used notes in speak. he now saw that it could not be delayed ing. During his great speech at the trial without the gravest danger. He would of Queen Caroline, Denman several times gladly have retired from office, for he challenged his accuracy, but reference to knew that he must expose himself to the the reports always showed that he was “rage of party, the rejection by the Uni. correct. When on the bench he trusted versity of Oxford, the alienation of private to his chief clerk for taking notes of evi- friends, the interruption of family affecdence, but he was always ready to sum up tions. But to refuse was impracticable." without delay, and to present the evidence The Duke of Wellington had reached the lucidly to the jury without reference to same conclusion as Peel. To leave the notes. He disliked the trouble of making matter in the hands of the opposition potes, kept no diary, and burned most of would have been dangerous, as the king's his letters; but he had trained his mem- hostility to them would have caused great ory to do the work which lesser mortals delay. Under these circumstances the trust to note-books, and his powers never government brought in their famous Cathfailed him. His judgment in the case of olic Relief Bill. " Small v. Attwood" was one of the most Lyndhurst fully shared the views of the wonderful ever heard in Westminster duke and Mr. Peel, and supported the Hall. The point at issue was the validity measure in the House of Lords. Lord of a contract for the sale of some coal and Eldon, the ultra Tory ex • •chancellor, iron mines in Staffordshire. It lasted moved heaven and earth to throw out the twenty-one days. One barrister received bill. He attacked Lyndhurst violently, a brief fee of five thousand guineas. Lynd- and the House of Lords witnessed some hurst's judgment was “entirely oral, and, sharp encounters. Eldon interrupted the without referring to any notes, he em-chancellor after one of his remarks, by ployed a long day in stating complicated asking, “ Did the noble and learned lord facts, in entering into complicated calcu know this last year?" Lyndhurst's an. lations, and in correcting the misrepresen- swer was ready." I did not; but I have