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THE

JUDGES OF ENGLAND;

WITHI

SKETCHES OF THEIR LIVES,

AND

MISCELLANEOUS NOTICES

CONNECTED WITH

THE COURTS AT WESTMINSTER,

FROM THE CONQUEST TO THE PRESENT TIME.

BY EDWARD FOSS, F.S.A.

OF THE INNER TEMPLE.

VOL. VIII.

CONTAINING THE REIGNS OF

GEORGE I., GEORGE II., AND GEORGE III.

1714—1820.

LONDON:

JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.

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THE

JUDGES OF ENGLAND.

GEORGE I.

Reigned 12 years, 10 months, and 10 days; from August 1, 1714, to

June 11, 1727.

SURVEY OF THE REIGN.

One of the most important events connected with the law that distinguished the reign of George I., was the impeachment of Lord Chancellor Macclesfield and the reform which resulted from it. The principal offence with which the earl was charged was one which had been committed by his predecessors for many generations. The sale of the lucrative offices of the Court of Chancery was a subject of notoriety, and was considered as part of the legitimate profit of its heads, and had even been in some sort recognised in parliament. Roger North (Life, 226) notices the objection which his brother Lord Guilford had to the practice in the reign of Charles II., and the reasons which induced him “ to follow the steps of his predecessors."

The chiefs of the other courts also claimed and exercised the same privilege with regard to offices in their gift. For examples it is not necessary to go beyond the Revolution, as it is certain that the practice was not first introduced at that æra, but that the judges then appointed merely pursued a system long established. And, indeed, it cannot be a

VOL. VIII.

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