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Stewart, Robert, jun.
Lechmere, William Smith, Robert
Millett, John Fortescue Stoker, Robert
Owen, John Gwynne H. Street, William Jesse Hayward, Wm. Robertson Orton, Richard
Squance, Barry Parr
Townsend, J. Honeywood Hunt, Charles
Pearce, William Henry Tremenheere, John H. Hill, Charles Stephen Price, Philip
Turner, Samuel Wylde Hitchcock, Samuel Pringle, Robert
Taylor, Thomas Hunt, William Clove Palmer, Charles James Tindale, Thomas Johnston, John
Pigot, Charles Henry Towgood, Stephen Jones, James
Rushworth, E. Allenby Voutt, Frederick Jackson, James Allen Roberts, Wm. Prowling Van Heythuysen, Rd. Ed. James, John Royle, William
Wilkinson, Thomas Jones, Charles
Russell, J. H. Cromwell West, John Knight, Charles James J. Russell, David, jun. Weedon, Edward Killmister, G. R., jun. Rance, Henry
Wakeling, H. Beverly Kirkpatrick, John Robinson, Chris. Mort. Webster, John Kingdon, Charles Saunders, John
Wathen, John Hayward Kemp, Wm. Coryton Symonds, Arthur
Spicer, John William Waters, Thomas
Sheffield, William Woollaston, John Lockyer, Nicholas Shepherd, Charles Wilson, Wm. Silvester
EVENTS OF THE QUARTER.
The most important event that has occurred within the period which it is our duty to comprise, is the appointment of the law commissioners. On this, however, it is not necessary to dwell, as the public know full well the characters and attainments of the gentlemen selected by the Ministry. Serjeants Bosanquet and Stephen, Messrs. Parke, Pattesop, and Alderson have, perhaps, as intimate an acquaintance with the law of actions as any men whom it was possible to choose, and in the intricacies of pleading are all particularly versed. But with the exception of Mr. Serjeant Stephen (whose work is as admirable for the comprehensiveness of its views as for the clearness and accuracy of its details), we are not aware that the individuals alluded to have ever done, said, or written anything which affords an earnest of legislative ability; much less, a fair reason for supposing that the plan or groundwork of the system will be changed. The theorist has little to anticipate; the formalist slight cause for apprehension. A body so constituted, and we speak it to their praise, will respect the rules that have guided them so long, and touch with care what past ages have bequeathed us; but they will bring to light many causes of delay; they will clear away the nonsense of antiquity; and simplify where simplicity is attainable.
Of course little progress has hitherto been made : they have intimated, however, a readiness to attend to all who have amendments to suggest ; and the propriety of doing away with the general issue has been already the subject of discussion. We hear that considerable difficulty has been experienced in settling this amendment, from the fear of imposing too great a burthen of proof on the defendant. It is also said that a proposition has been made to retain the general issue, and require a notice of the particular defence; in analogy, we presume, to particulars of demand.
With respect to the commission, of which Mr. Campbell is the head, and Messrs. Brodie, Hodgson, Duckworth and Tinney the subordinate members, it can hardly hope for that degree of confidence which the other may plausibly demand. Mr. Campbell's fame is principally built upon his knowledge of mercantile and not of conveyancing jurisprudence; and his coadjutors, though all reputed good draughtsmen and sound lawyers, are certainly not the highest of their class. Report says that appointments were refused by many of the ablest men ; a fact which may account, in some measure, for the comparative inferiority of the body. It is generally understood that Messrs. Hodgson and Duckworth are rather fond of innovation ; Messrs Brodie and Tinney opposed to it; and Mr. Campbell well fitted for a moderator, as far, at least, as opinions are concerned.
The list, given above, of proposed enactments, will show sufficiently how the legislature has been dealing with jurisprudence. The most important of these, is the projected change in the jurisdiction of the county courts; which, it seems, is to be extended immediately to all debts under 101.; the process and pleading to be ex
tremely simplified ; and the jury to consist of five persons only, qualified like jurymen in the Courts of Westminster. Should the bill operate well, Mr. Peel proposes to extend the jurisdiction to all debts under 201. The particular provisions are not as yet determined on; but Mr. Peel of course must know that the present county courts are the worst of nuisances; that the inferior rate of remuneration has compelled respectable practitioners to abandon them, and that the business is almost wholly conducted by the lowest retainers of the law.
The consequence is, that a trifling debt is hardly ever sued for in the hope of recovering a sixpence, but merely for the purposes of revenge ; and justice is brought home to the doors of the poor, to make them the victims of oppression. Nor is this entirely attributable to the present limited jurisdiction of the tribunal. The Lancaster county court has cognizance of pleas to the amount of £10, and we understand from credible authority that great inconveniences have uniformly resulted from it.
The only recent professional changes are the retirement of Mr. Marryatt from attendance on the courts, and the appointments of Mr. Horace. Twiss, and Mr. Shepherd. The first of these was in extensive practice, and laboured hard to execute it well; but, diligence excepted, we cannot assign him the higher merits of an advocate. He is a good case lawyer, and troubles himself very little about principles ; is well acquainted with laws as they are, and neither knows nor cares about their origin. We say this without apology, for it is the boast of the gentleman we are speaking of, that since he left school he has never read any but law books. do not wish to be understood,” says an acute critic, “that he is upon a level with an Irish barrister, who, referring to two great events, the obtaining Magna Charta, and the Bill of Rights, confounded the sovereigns from whom they were exacted ; nor with the celebrated English barrister, who, having occasion to quote a statute, and being required to mention the period at which it passed, very gravely replied, that it was in the reign of one of the Henrys, or one of the Edwards, but he could not exactly tell which : ordinary conversation, and the indorsements upon his Ruff head, supposing he never opened it, would afford sufficient instruction to avoid such exposures. There is no doubt, however, that he is what would be considered in welleducated society -- that society for which his rank qualifies him-an ignorant man.” As a speaker, Mr. Marryatt does not rise to mediocrity ; his language is bad, and his action peculiarly ungraceful; yet now and then he succeeded in a metaphor. “ It poured forth,” said he on one occasion, (he was speaking of a chimney)" it poured forth whole volumes — volumes did I say?—whole encyclopedias of smoke!” In examining a witness he was occasionally effective; rather, however, by perseverance than acuteness. No retort confused or startled him; and he would patiently reiterate a question till all modes of evasion had been tried in vain. In private life he is reputed an amiable and excellent man.
Mr. Horace Twiss has not formally seceded from the profession, yet for a time, at least, he must surrender it, as inconsistent with the duties of his post. Some surprise has been expressed at his appointment, and the public at large are by no means aware of his capacity, though few men have made better speeches. On his first attempt, the common rules of courtesy were departed from, and he was most illiberally received. He had proceeded for about ten minutes when he came to the words, “ I have now said enough” --"on this branch of the subject,” he meant to say, but the sentence was suddenly cut short by a loud “ hear,'' we believe, from Mr. Brougham. The joke was too tempting to be lost, and the cry re-echoed through the house. “I have now said enough,” repeated Mr. T. “ Hear? hear! hear!” reiterated his auditors; and the result of course was irretrievable confusion. But conscious talent is not easily put down, and the individual in question was well entitled to say, like Sheridan when Woodfall told him he had failed, “I have it in me, and by G- it shall come out." His next appearance was in a debate on the everlasting Catholic question. He rose about half past seven, the least interesting hour in an interesting debate, as many of the members are then regaling at Bellamy's. The duke of Norfolk and several Catholic peers were under the gallery, watching anxiously each turn of the discussion ; and a murmur of disappointment was distinctly audible, when a young and briefless barrister, with all the shame of former failure on his head, rose up to second their pretensions. It was for him an awful moment. Sink him now, and he was sunk for ever. But his cause was strong : he was conscious of its strength ; and on this most hacknied of all hacknied topics his views were decidedly original. Attention was rivetted, and the house was rapidly refilled. It was a clear unanswerable speech, and he sat down amidst thunders of applause. The late lord Londonderry shook him warmly by the hand, with a Depend upon it, they'll hear you for the future ;' and the duke of Norfolk immediately requested an introduction, and was profuse in thanks and congratulations. An indifferent observer would have said, that from that moment his success was certain ; and no one who has read the Morning Chronicle reports of his speeches on Sir F. Burdett’s motion for an inquiry into the affair at Manchester, and on Mr. G. Lamb's motion for allowing counsel to felons, would hesitate to say, that his more recent efforts are fully equal to his second. Yet, though the house of commons are conscious of his powers, there has always been a prejudice against him, attributable partly to a vague report of his early politics, and partly from the jealousy invariably entertained by that assembly against any one whom they suspect of entering it as a political adventurer. What right has any man, they naturally enough excluim, -- what right has any man to come amongst us, without birth, or wealth, or high professional celebrity ? Though Burkes and Cannings may bear down the cry, less-gifted men must quail before it, till a fortunate emergency occurs. The late change was such to Mr.T., and we feel assured that he will not be wanting to the opportunity.