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learned men. An unswerving protector to Whiston, for he was a worthy divine, with all his eccentricities, the friend of Arthur Onslow, companion of Somers, patron of Joseph Butler--who, when composing the divine Analogy, in bis 26th year, received his first preferment, that of preacher at the Rolls, from the hands of Sir Joseph Jekyll he chose his intimates and connections well. By his interposition, one of the most valuable treatises of Sir Matthew Hale was rescued from neglect. A vote had passed the House in November, 1680, that the executors of Chief Justice Hale should be desired to print his manuscripts relating to the Crown Law, and it referred the task to a committee: but, that Parliament being soon after dissolved, the design dropped. Mr. Emlyn effected the desired object in 1736, and dedicated the work to Sir Joseph Jekyll, because to him it was that we, after all, are indebted for rescuing this valuable book from the obscurity wherein it had long lain.*

Tradition has preserved several interesting anecdotes communicated by him in society-among them one which Jekyll told Onslow, of Jeffries declaring to Dr. Scott on his death-bed, “whatever I did then, I did by express orders, and I have this further to say for myself, that I was not half bloody enough for him who sent me thither." The tale of Jekyll's real and intended kindness to the true-hearted but erratic Whiston is best told in his own primitive narrative.”

Soon after the accession of the house of Hanover to the throne, Sir Joseph Jekyll, that most excellent and upright Master of the Rolls, and sincere Christian, Dr. Clarke's and my good friend, had such an opinion • Life of Bp. Butler.

* Sir M. Hale's Treatise. * Wolryche's Life of Lord Jeffries. Whiston's Memoirs, vol. i.

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of us two that we might be proper persons to be made bishops, in order to our endeavouring to amend what was amiss in the Church, and had a mind to feel my pulse, how I would relish such a proposal, if it ever should be made to me; my answer was direct and sudden, that I could not sign the thirty-nine articles, to be made Archbishop of Canterbury. To which Sir Joseph replied, that bishops are not obliged to sign those articles. I said I never knew so much before; but still, I added, if I was a bishop, I must oblige others to sign them, which would go sorely against the grain with me. I should endeavour to govern my diocese by the Christian rules in the apostolic constitutions, which, as they would frequently contradict the laws of the land, would certainly expose me to a premunire, to the forfeiture of all my goods to the Crown, and to imprisonment as long as the king pleased, and this, concluded I, would be the end of Bishop Whiston."

This pious visionary relates that the dissenters, at a synod in 1719, rejected by 69 to 65, all unscriptural impositions of subscription ; “ thus, to use the words of the late excellent Master of the Rolls, the Bible carried it by 4.” His patron seems to have had a lurking kindness to dissent—to have been a decidedly low-churchman. “I introduced Mr. Chubb into the favour and family of Sir Joseph, who allowed him an annual salary, and when I thought myself obliged to inform him afterwards, that Chubb was become a sceptic, and to caution him against procuring himself a blot, by openly supporting him, Sir Joseph was not willing to believe my representation.” Poor

• Whiston's Memoirs, vol. ii.

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Whiston would not tolerate arry doxology but his own !

A spirit of over-curious speculation exposed the wife of his patron to a laughable rebuke. Lady Jekyll was one of the sisters of Lord Somers, and thinking that she must know more than any other woman, often puzzled herself and others with over-subtle questions. One day, after dinner, she said to Mr. Whiston, A difficulty occurs to me in the Mosaic account of the creation, which perhaps you can resolve me in, and it is this : since it pleased God to create the woman out of the man, why did he form her out of the rib rather than any other part ?” Whiston looked puzzled, and at length answered, “ Indeed, madam, I don't know, unless it be that the rib is the most crooked part of the body.” The old Master of the Rolls was highly delighted with Lady Jekyll's discomfiture, and exclaimed in ecstasy to his aged friend, the venerable clerical wag, “There, there, she would have it !"

When a subscription was made in 1721 for the carrying on his supposed discovery of the longitude by the dipping needle, headed by George I., £ 100, and the Prince of Wales, £50, the Lord Chancellor gave £21, and the Master of the Rolls £31.10s. Though frugal of money, Sir Joseph was not sparing for himself. He commenced building at his own charge, the present handsome residence for the Master of the Rolls, as appurtenant to the office; and George I., surpassing the munificence of the judge, advanced for its completion £5000. On his death, which took place at his seat in Hertfordshire in the autumn of 1739, it appeared that he had left his

Letters of Warburton.

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fortune towards paying off the national debt, thus preserving his generous eccentricity to the grave. The nation, however, so little esteemed his bounty, that, when the next of kin petitioned Parliament to be allowed to administer, and to divide his estate, on the plea that this testamentary disposition was the result of dotage, Parliament at once acceded to the request.

Lord Mansfield ridiculed the notion of his old brother judge beginning to liquidate the national debt, saying he might as well have attempted to stem the Thames, under the middle arch of Westminster Bridge, with his full-bottom wig. His endeavour to make a beginning would not have appeared so ridiculously forlorn, had a keen sense of patriotism and public spirit been more generally diffused. Peace to the manes of this just judge! The world would be better than it is, were there more such whimsicals to be found in it.

Holiday's Life of Lord Mansfield.

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VOL. II.

66

CHAPTER III,

With Sir Joseph Jekyll closed the proud list of distinguished lawyers, who had for the half century that succeeded the Revolution taken a leading part in the debates of the House, swaying the discussions by their eloquence, defending its privileges by their authority, and illustrating the statute-book with many proofs of legislative wisdom. In addition to this gallant corps of orators and statesmen from Westminster Hall, there were other men of the Long Robe of too great eminence in their profession to be wholly overlooked, but of whom a rapid sketch may suffice, as the celebrity which they gained in the Senate was incommensurate with their reputation at the Bar. The floor of St. Stephen's is said to be strewed with legal wrecks, but our long list of forensic debaters, not yet complete, proves that the triumphs of the Bar are at least equal to its failures and defeats.

The greatest name among the Dii minorum gentium is, beyond comparison, that of John Holt, who was suddenly called away, but not too soon for his own glory, after sitting for a few eventful weeks in the Convention, to preside over the Queen's Bench. This incorruptible judge was born at the little market town of Thame, in Oxfordshire, on the 30th December, 1642, eldest son of Sir Thomas Holt, Knight, a bencher

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