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[286] public in the seventh year of his call to the bar, when he delivered an elaborate argument in behalf of Somerset, a negro, before the King's Bench, in Hilary Term, 1772, to prove that domestic slavery could not be enforced in England.1 In 1791 he was employed to draw the Roman Catholic Relief Bill, which passed into a law. In 1794 he argued with deep personal feeling the claim of Mr. Myddleton, in the present case [Myddleton v. Lord Kenyon], to be freed from a harsh trust-deed into which he had been betrayed by inadvertence. Afterwards, he embarked his learning and sympathies in an unsuccessful attempt to set aside the Tellusson will. See post, 4 V. 227. His appearance at the bar seems to have been confined to a few important causes, while the rewards and honors which it offers to its favorites eluded his grasp. In the literature of his profession his success was more distinguished. For eleven years he was engaged in an edition of “Coke on Littleton,” which declining health compelled him to leave incomplete. The loss to juridical learning on this account would have been irreparable, if the work had fallen into other hands than those of Mr. Butler. In 1813, from a too intense application to this work, in which his soul was engaged, Mr. Hargrave became afflicted with occasional alienations of mind, which led to his retirement from the profession. He died, Aug. 16, 1821, aged eighty, in the full possession of his faculties. He was said to have aided Lord Thurlow in the preparation of several elaborate judgments, which gave him the sobriquet in the profession of the “ lion's provider.” Among his publications are a volume of law tracts, two volumes of “Juridical arguments and collections,” and three volumes under the fanciful title of “Jurisconsult Exercitations.” See 29 “London Law Mag.,” 75-108; also “Annual Obituary” for 1821.


Sir Samuel Romilly.

This is the first time [Brodie v. St. Paul, 1 Vesey, Jr., 328] we meet the name of Sir Samuel Romilly in these Reports. He was born in 1757, and was, therefore, thirty-four years of age. In the succeeding volumes of Vesey, we shall witness the extent and variety of his professional labors. During the short-lived administration of Mr. Fox in 1806, he was Solicitor-General. He distinguished himself in Parliament by his unwearied efforts for the reform of the law. He died in 1818. The memoir of his life, published by his sons, discloses the character of a model lawyer.2 In him were blended professional knowledge, graceful scholarship, spotless purity, and a refined benevolence. Perhaps there is no name in the annals of the English law to which the mind offers a more spontaneous tribute of love and admiration. See Roscoe's Lives of eminent lawyers (12 American Jurist), 56. He next appears in these Reports in the case of Lord Hampton v. Oxendes, 2 V. 261; Bristow v. Wade, 2 V. 345; Lord Lonsdale v. Littledale, 2 V. 452; and in Higgins v. Crawford, 2 V. 571. In this last case, he was sole counsel in opposition to the Attorney-General, Sir John Scott. From this time forward, his name is of more frequent occurrence, till, in some of the succeeding volumes, it diffuses its light over the chief business of the court.


1 See Works, Vol. III. p. 502.

2 Works, Vol. II. p. 127.

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