politicians were eager to join his standard; and while
the great seal was for a time put in commission, Thurlow superseded the liberal Dunning
The new Solicitor General
whose ‘majestic sense’ and capacity of mind1
have been greatly overrated, was a man of a coarse nature and a bad heart.
The mother of his children was a kept mistress; he himself was strangely profane, and unmindful of social decorum.
His manners were so rough that he enjoyed among the people the credit of being fearless of the aristocracy; but no man was in reality more subservient to their interests.
Lord North, who timidly conformed to precedents, governed himself on questions of law by his advice;2
and Thurlow proved the evil genius of that Minister and of England
no man was more sullenly unrelenting; and his influence went far towards rendering a crisis unavoidable.3
Schemes were revived for admitting representatives from the American Colonies
into the British
House of Commons;4
but they attracted little attention.
The Government would not change its system; the well-founded Petition of Massachusetts
was dismissed by the Privy Council, as ‘groundless, vexatious and scandalous.’5
At the same time, his interference had involved his successor in needless embarrassments.
By his advice, Hutchinson