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delivery. But while we regret what we have lost, we learn to value what we have saved from the ravages of time, and to respect those who, in preserving these precious reliques of the wisdom of our ancestors, though they have not been able to hand them down to us with all their living freshness, have yet given us a faithful abstract of their excellence. More we could not expect from them, and perhaps, in general, ought not to desire; since in the variety of cases which have been reported, it would have been, in many instances, imposing a laborious task upon the student to have left him to extract the essential points of the case from the luxuriant abundance of illustrations with which the eloquence of a Mansfield or a Camden might bave enriched their opinions, in that anxiety which they so often displayed to convince those whose interest made them słow to persuasion, and to render even the losing party satisfied that justice was done, and that the spirit of truth guided their decisions. This aim we see also throughout the opinions of Lord Chief Justice Wilmot: and we have remarked it in other eminent characters of the present day. Judges of this class are not content with declaring the law as it is, but they wish

would give only an estate for life, yet it is plain the testator did not think so; for if he had, it was quite unnecessary and nugatory to have inserted the restrictive words for life. This is therefore one decisive mark drawn from the will itself, to shew that when the tes. tator meant to give an estate for life, he said so; and consequently, that when he gave the thing generally, he did not mean an estate for life only: and indeed I believe all men, unacquainted with the law, when they mean a restriction they express it; 'and wben they give the thiog generally, they mean the absolute property of the land, as much as of a personal chattel , and the custom of devising which prevailed antecedent to the 32d Hen. VIII., and was a relic of the Saxon law, was to devise the lands ut bona et catalla *. Another circumstance of intention is limiting the estate over upon the first devise, where it is expressly given for life, and making no limitation over upon the second; indeed he might intend to limit a remainder over on one estate, and not on the other, and therefore this alone would not be sufficient to warrant the inference of a different intention; but, it still strengthens the other evidence, and acts as an auxiliary proof of the intention. But the most material passage in the will, from whence I collect the intention, is the condition of paying the annuity to Elizabeth Burcham."Wilmot's Opin. p. 234.

• The omission of this reference to customary devises is a defect in the se port of Burrow, which, in other respects, is very faiikliul, - Revieuer,

also to satisfy the suitors that justice and law are the same thing. They review every argument with fairness; they consider the strong points on each side of the case with candour; and they never elude them with sophistry, or pass them over with neglect; but meet them with the full and explicit answer which they require. This is in the true spirit of justice; and though it may add to the labour of the Judge, it increases also the sanctity and honour of the judicial character, which stands no where higher than in this country.

On this subject we perhaps should dwell too long, were we to indulge our own feelings. Our readers will pardon us if we have already passed the due limit of a review ; but we felt that we had received a treat in the opening of our career, which we do not often expect, since the remains of judicial eloquence are few. We refer our readers to the work itself, to confirm all that we have said of it. And in coneluding, we can only wish, as we have mentioned the venerable name of Mansfield, that it may be, though we fear it is not, in the power of the noble lord who inherits his title, to afford us a treat of a similar kind *, and give to the world, from the notes of that great Judge himself, a few lasting specimens of that eloquence which adorned the judgment seat of this kingdom for upwards of thirty years, and rendered him the delight and ornament of the age in which he lived.


• If it were ever the practice of this great Judge, whose eloquence was as ready as it was elegant and convincing, to prepare a written copy of his judgments, it is probable they were all lost, when his library was burnt by the rioters in 1780,

† From 1756 to 1788.


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WE trust that our readers will concur with us in opinion,

that we shall confer a very important service on the profession by allotting part of the Law Journal to the insertion of Biographical Memoirs of distinguished Law

It has often been lamented, that a digested series of legal Biography has never been collected. °Such a work would, indeed, be not only curious and acceptable to the profession at large, but inust afford most useful information to the student, who would thus have presented to his immediate view the lavours and difficulties through which the illustrious sages of the law rose to the highest honours of the country. It would shew him, that talents, without unremitting and well-directed exertions, will not accomplish the end, which all, who are embarked in an honourable profession, must desire; and it would also present the most unvaried system of inflexible integrity, of which the juridical annals of any country, ancient or modern, can boast. It would excite the most inspiring emulation, and exhibit the most instructive wisdom.

We shall endeavour, as far as lies in our power, to remove the deficiency *, and we now present to our readers some account of LORD KEEPER Coventry. The author of the following Memoir was evidently a cotemporary of this great lawyer, and although his diction is obsolete, we have preferred presenting it in its original form, rather than attempt to give it a more polished appearance, which might only weaken its force and impair its authenticity:We have supplied, by the addition of notes, the explanatory information which appeared necessary, as the Memoir is not sufficiently particular in dates, or the statement of facts, to be in all points satisfactory,

• For this purpose

we shall be happy to receive from our readers the communication of any materials which it may be in their power to afford us. Many curious documents must, without doubt, be in the possession of the descendants of those who have in former times attained to the dignity of the bench, and in a series of legal biography, those also who have been greatly eminent at the bar ought not to be omitted.

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Late Lord Keeper of the Great SBALE of England,

Some notable Observations in the Course of his Life and

ultimum vale to the World. *

To trace him in the beginnings and first exposition, hee was the

sonne of a judge f and of the Common Pleas, a gentleman by birth and education. The acquirings of his father in the progresse of his profession (as it seemes) were not much, and in that accesse (as I may call it), which commonly men of the law (attaining to that dignitie) leave to their heires in the new erection of a family. Wherefore I conceive it probable, that the sonne did not declyno that profession wherein the father concluded, but began there to buyld on that foundation, where himselfe had made his first approaches.

He was of the inner house of court i, and noe soonere by an indefatigable diligence in study attained the barr, but he appeared in the lustre of his profession above the common expectation of men of that forme, which he made good in the manifestation of his exquisite abilities soe soone as he came to plead. For the orator

Copied from an original manuscript. + Thomas Coventry, the father of the Lord Keeper, was born in 1547, and was educated at Baliol College, where he took a degree of Batchelor of Arts, in 1565. He afterwards entered as a student of the Inner Temple, and in the 38th year of queen Elizabeth's reign was chosen autumn reader of that house; but a great plague then reigning in London, his readings did not commence until the Lent following. On the 17th of May, 1603, (1 Jac. I.), he was sworn serjeant at law, having been elected to that degree by queen Elizabeth ; and in 3d Jac. I. was appointed king's serjeant, and, in the same year, one of the justices of the court of Common Pleas, in which post he continued until bis death, which happened on the 12th of December, 1606.

1 Lord Keeper Coventry was born in 1578, and at the age of fourteen became a gentleman commoner of Baliol College, Oxford, where he continued three years, and was then entered a member of the Inner Temple. In 14 James I. be was chosen autumn reader of that society ; and on the 17th of November, of the same year, was elected recorder of the city of London. On the 14th of March following he was made solicitor-general, and received the fronour of knighthood two days afterwards at Theobald's. He was appointed pttorney-general by King James I., in the 18th year of his reiga.

at the barr hath much the start of a chamber-man, but he was in utrumque paratus, and here hee first began to grow into the name of an active and pregnant man,

Hlce marryed and interred his first love in the fruyt of his primogenitus, now surviving, a baron and peere of the realme. His wite expiring, hee plighted his faith to the cittie (for he became recorder by a publique suffrage and suite of the citizens), and espoused for his second wife * the widow of a citizen, lovely, young, rich, and of good fame, in whom he became the father of many hopefull children of either sexe; all married richly in his life, or left in the waye of a noble substance. Wee may represent his happiness in nothing more than in this, that London had first given him the handsell of a place both honorable and gainefull, together with a wife as loving, as himself was uxorious, and of that sort which are not unaptly styled housewives; soe that these two drew diversely, but in one way, and to one and the selfe same end, hee in the practice of his profession, shee in the exercise of her domestic: for they that knew the discipline of his bouse averr, that hee waved that care as a contagious distraction to his vocation, and left her only (as a helper) to manage that charge, which best suyted to her conversation.

The next stepp of bis, however, was in the service of the late king of ever blessed memorie, as his solicitor, and successively his attorney-generall, both places of trust and of great income; peither did he then leave the cittie, or the cistię desert him, for by the marriage of his eldest son there † (the now baron) hce hcaped up to his other acquisitions a bulke of treasure of no common summe, and leaving it so, that it may well fall into the question, whether he was more beholden to the cittie, or the cittie to him; or thus, whether more may be attributed to his fortune than merit. More over, they ascribe much to the blessing of his house, that they both

• His first wife was Sarah, daughter of Edward Sebright, of Best ford, in the county of Worcester, and sister to Sir Edward Se. bright, by whom he had issue Thomas, his successor. By his second wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Aldersey, of Spurstow, and widow of William Pitchford, Esq. of the city of London, he had four sons and four daughters. Sir John Coventry, the eldest son of this second marriage, was the person upon whom the violent and inhuman outrage was committed by Sir Thomas Sandys, and three others, at the instigation of the Duke of Monmouth, for words spoken in the House of Commons, and which occasioned the act of parliament " for preventing malicious maiming and wounding," since called the Coventry Act. Elizabeth, the youngest daughter, was married to Sir John Packington, and is said to have been the author of The Whole Duty of Man.

+ Thomas, the second Lord Coventry, married Mary, daughter of Sir William Craven, Knight.

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