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-------JUSTICE TO THE WORKING…

JEWISH ENGLISHMEN.

THE AMERICAN FOREST FIRES.

THE SPEAKERSHIP AND THE LAW

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THE SPEAKERSHIP AND THE LAW Few of our readers may be aware of the close con nection which once existed between the legal profession and the office of Speaker of the House of Commons (remarks the Solicitor's Journal). Down to the time of the Revolution it may be said that the Speakership was more often than uot held by a lawyer, and the reason for their selection is obvious they were in point of fact the only persons who were at all accustomed or able to deal with questions of form. An English country gentleman is now fully as competent in many cases as a professional man, but it would have been quite beyond the power of the majority of the squire3 of the Stuart period to have presided over the delibe- rations of the House of Commons. Indeed, even now legal qualifications would not be found .without their value. Without going back to times when parliament did not meet with regularity, wo find that m the reign of Henry VIII. there were eight Speakers, of whom five afterwards held the judicial office. Thus, in 1509, Sir Thomas Englefield was Speaker. He presided over the House until 1512; and some years later was created a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. In 1523 the great Sir Thomas More occupied the chair, and on his becoming Chancellor he was succeeded by Sir Thomas Audlev, who also in turn held the Great Seal. Audley was followed by Richard Kiel), Solicitor-General, and in the next reign Lord Keeper, liich's successor was Sir Ni- holas Hare, who was Master of the Kolls under Queen Mary. In Edward VI.'s rrig-n there were hut two Speak- ers, one of whom waR the famous Sir James wards (1559-1582) Chief Justice of the Court of Com- mon I'leas. Two out of the four Speakers of Queen Mary's Parliaments became Judges afterwards. The fh'fitwas Robert Brooke, member for London, who was Chief Justice of the Common Pleas from 1554- 1558 the second was William Cordell, Master of the Bolls from 1558 to 1581. Under Queen Elizabeth there were ten Speakers, of whom seven afterwards sat on the Bench. They are Christopher Wray, Chief Justice of England from 1574 to 1592 B-obert Bell, Chief Baron for a few months in 1577 John Popliam, Chief Justice of England from 1592 to 1607 John Puckering, Lord Keeper in 1592; the illustrious Coke, afterwards Chief Justice, first of the Common Pleas and then of the King's Bench Chris- topher Yelverton, afterwards a puisne Judge in the King's Bench and, lastly, John Croke, the famous reporter, Recorder, and representative of Lon¿¡on, and and Judge of the Court of Queen's Bench in the next reign. It is worth notice that Popham and Coke were advanced to the Speakership, like Rich, while Solicitors-General, and, like him held both offices con- temporaneously. It would be wearisome to continue to catalogue the names of all the Speakers in subsequent reigns, but it may be stated generally that nearly all of them lie- longed to the legal profession, and nearly all eventually attained to a seat on the judicial Bench. The rule as to choosing lawyers was naturally relaxed as the lay members of the House became better able to undertake the duties of the President's omce but up to the commencement of this century a professional man was occasionally selected. Tims, in 1770 and in 1774 Sir Flqtcher Norton, who had formerly been Solicitor and Attorney-General, was Speaker. The last practising barrister who filled the chair was Sir John Mitford (aftewards Lord Chancellor of Ireland with the title of Lord Redesdale), who was el ;ct.ed in 1801 while Attorney-General. In Mitford's case Mr. Glad- stone might have found a precedent for proposing, had he thought fit, Sir John Coleridge for election. Such a recurrence to ancient practice might perhaps have proved more agreeable to the House than the nomina- tion of the former Liberal Whip." Sir John Coler- idge, both by his abilities and bearing, would be well qualified for the Speaker's office. Probably, however, he would not have been willing to abandon the prac- tice of his profession.

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