ciency of any such reliance. " Towards the close of his life," said
Mr. Alfred Bell to the present earl, " I remember that one day after
dinner, in the library in Hamilton Place, he beckoned to me to sit by
him, and immediately entering into conversation, among other things
spoke of his judicial life. He observed that it was a source of great
satisfaction to him to reflect that he had never given a judgment in
any cause without first anxiously satisfying himself that it was right.
' It is a happiness to me,' he said, ' to reflect, that I never gave to A
the property of B. This is a satisfaction to a man at the last, and in
looking to the day of judgment.' Upon my observing upon this to
the effect that no reliance could be placed upon any thing but upon
the merits and blood of Christ alone, he fully acquiesced in the truth
of the remark."
The end of this distinguished man now perceptibly approached.
The following memoranda give an interesting and graphic representa-
tion of him in the few last weeks of his life. The reader is indebted
for them to Mr. Farrer.
" December 1st, 1837. Mrs. Farrer and I dined with Lord Eldon.
Mr. Edward Repton was there. Lord E. is certainly declining. He
is under the most erroneous impression on some subjects, but still his
usual kindness of feeling and desire to be just, with touches of wan-
ing pleasantry, show themselves.
CHANCELLOR ELDON. 331
" December 18. I went yesterday to dine with Lord Eldon.
Upon my saying, ' how are you to-day, Lord Eldon ?' he quickly
answered, 'much better for seeing you.' Shortly after I had taken
my seat by him he said, 'Encombe has another girl,' and paused;
I made some observation, that some of your friends ' perhaps might
have wished for a boy.' He calmly answered, 'on these occasions
it is better to feel satisfied that whatever the child is, it is for the best.
Louisa has done well.' '
" Dec. 20th. Being engaged to dine, with Lord Eldon on this day,
I was introduced two or three minutes before the clock in his library
struck six. I found him sitting in his large arm chair, facing the
window, his right arm to the fire and his right leg over his left knee.
This position he almost invariably kept. To my inquiry after his
health, his answer was, ' very poorly, very poorly, it can't last long.
God's will be done ; it is my duty to submit.' These words Lord
Eldon spoke in a very earnest tone and manner. I made some obser-
vation which he received well, and then turned the conversation to
some topic of the day. Dinner was soon announced. I found Lord
Eldon was this day more than usually low, and apparently unable to
rally his spirits. I foresaw that unless I could give to the conversa-
tion such a turn as would raise a train of agreeable associations in
his mind, the evening would be spent in a painful silence, only broken
by observations upon one or two subjects which, in his less happy
moments, possessed themselves of his thoughts. When dinner was
over, and Lord Eldon had said grace (which he always did with
solemnity of voice and manner), and he had been turned in his chair
by his butler Smith, so as to have his right hand to the table, and I
had placed myself, with my left hand to the table, immediately op-
posite to him, I said, ' shall I give you a glass of port, Lord Eldon?'
' Yes, a little, if you please ; and help yourself. I shall drink the
health of Mrs. Farrer.' Pincher now came up, and began to scratch
his master's knee. ' Poor Pinchy, poor Pinchy, you want your bis-
cuits.' I selected, from a dish of mixed biscuits such as Pincher was
known to like, (indeed he would only eat some particular sorts,) and
put them within Lord Eldon's reach. When Pincher was satisfied,
he laid himself down on the hearth-rug and fell asleep near his mas-
ter's feet. Observing Lord Eldon feeling for something on the table,
I gave him his snuff-box. As soon as he had taken his pinch, he
said, ' do you ever take snuff?' ' Yes, sometimes, but only when I
am from home.' 'Ah!' he said; 'for many, many years my poor
wife would not allow me to touch it ; but I was ordered to take it
medicinally.' I then said, ' why, for many years of your life you
could not have had time to take snuff.' 'I don't know thatj he
replied ' but I know I could not have had leave.* '
Lord Eldon having related, in answer to some question from Mr.
Farrer, the history of his success in Ackroyd v. Smithson, detailed
in the first volume of this biography, Chapter VI., another of his
early cases, that of the Clitheroe election petition, also at Chapter VI.,
was thus called by Mr. Farrer to his memory.
332 LIFE OF LORD
" After a few observations upon Lord Thurlow, of whom Lord
Eldon delighted to speak, I inquired whether Ackroyd and Smithson
was before or after the Clitheroe case. ' Oh before it. There's much
curious matter connected with that Clitheroe case that's well worth
hearino-. Did I ever tell you the history of that case ? Let us go
into the library, and I'll tell you that too. Be so good as to ring the
bell for Smith.' Smith, being come, lifted Lord Eldon from his chair,
and, supporting his master under the left arm, whilst Lord Eldon
rested his right hand upon my arm, we walked slowly to the library,
Pincher going a little before his master, who never moved from room
to room without him. When Lord Eldon was seated in his great
chair, putting his right leg over his left knee, drawing himself nearer
to the fire, reaching his hand for his snuff-box, offering it to me, and
then taking a pinch himself, arid passing the back of his fore-finger
gently across his upper lip, ' As to the Clitheroe case you must know,'
said Lord Eldon, ' the way I came in to it was this.' ' And then he
proceeded to relate what has been already inserted in the first volume,
" ' There was another case,' he said, ' that did me a great deal of
good. It happened at the time when Jack Scott was very much
frowned upon at Durham an$ Newcastle.' ' This was the coal-own-
er's case, Adair v. Swinburne, before Mr. Justice Buller, of which
likewise an account has been given in Chapter VI.
" Lord Eldon remained some minutes silent. He renewed the con-
versation by observing, ' those are times that have long passed away :
I am now nobody: I am quite forgotten.' He seemed pleased by
my replying, that though he had quitted public life, yet no one was
more respected ; that the bar looked up to him with the greatest re-
spect, and referred to his decisions with the greatest deference ; and,
' whatever might have been said by opponents when you were in
office, every one, even those who were most violent, now do you jus-
tice. I do not think you have an enemy.' A little afterwards, I said,
' you seem, Lord Eldon, to have devoted yourself to your profession.
Did you belong to White's, or any club ?' ' No, I never was a mem-
ber of White's or Boodle's I was no club man ; I belonged to no
club, but a club of University men, who met about once every quar-
ter of a year, to dine together at some tavern in Bishopsgate street.'
1 But Lord Stowell was a member of more than one club ?' ' Oh,
yes, my brother W T illiam would go anywhere, where there was good
eating and drinking going on.' 'Did Lord Stowell take much exer-
cise?' ' None,' he said, 'but the exercise of eating and drinking.'
The night was now pretty far advanced towards ten o'clock. Lord
Eldon had taken his two cups of coffee and isinglass, and it was
almost time for me to leave him. I said, ' I am sorry to say, Lord
Eldon, I must soon quote Tom Warton.' ' Poor Tom Warton! 1 he
said ; t he was a tutor at Trinity ; at the beginning of every term he
used to send to his pupils, to know whether they would wish to attend
lecture that term. He wrote an epitaph on West, who was a beadle
in the schools at Oxford, and, when the time of the young men's
CHANCELLOR ELDOX. 333
doing exercises was expired, used to call out at the bottom of the
stairs, " Tempus prceterlabitur est." When he died, Tom Warton
wrote and put upon his tombstone
"Hie jacet Thomas West,
Cujus tempus prselerlabilur est."
Cambridge men who visited Oxford, amused themselves by quoting
this epitaph, to prove that Oxford men were not classical scholars.'
When the clock struck ten, I got up, saying, ' Terapus prater labitur
est.' ' Ah ! poor Tom Warton,' said Lord Eldon : and offering me
his hand, added, ' I am very much obliged to you for this visit. Give
my kindest regards at home.' ' I hope, Lord Eldon, you will allow
me to corne to you again soon.' ' The sooner the better,' was his
answer. I then took my leave.
" 26th December, 1837. Lord Eldon repeated that he was the
cause of Lord Stowell's coming to Doctors' Commons ; that his
brother, when he, Lord Eldon, had come to the common law bar,
thought that he might as well try what he could do as a civilian."
The Rev. Edward Repton, who frequently dined and passed the
evening with him on the Sundays towards the close of 1837, writes
thus to the present earl :
" In our conversations in the evening, I never suffered an opportunity to pass of
directing his mind to the subject of religion, and at all times found him calmly re-
signed to the termination of a long, and active, and arduous life."
His servant, Smith, relates that his master, when in bed, was in
the habit of praying aloud ; and that he read frequently in the large
Bible, the gift of Dr. Swire. Toward the end of his life, when it was
an exertion to him to rise from his chair, he would call for Smith to
get it for him from the shelf.
His disease, if it can be so called, was a mere wasting away of
the frame by old age ; and his death was not preceded by any remark-
able change, or by any access of suffering. He had almost all his
life had a tendency to cough ; but this seems to have produced
no effect on his constitution. In his more vigorous days, if he hap-
pened to cough, Lady Eldon would tell him it was only a trick. He
would smile and answer, " You know, my dear, I have had a cough
these fifty years ; but I am none the worse for it."
Until Monday, the 8th of January, he came down to breakfast daily
at about eleven or twelve o'clock ; but on Tuesday the 9th, he did not
appear till two or three in the afternoon. The cold weather was then
setting in with severity. Lord Encombe, whose family were at Shir-
ley, came to London on the Wednesday for the purpose of paying a
visit in Hamilton Place, and called there at about twelve o'clock.
Lord Eldon not having then risen, his grandson called again about
three, and, learning that the invalid was still in bed, went up to his
apartment. What follows is in the present earl's own words:
" I saw him in bed : his looks did not give me alarm ; he was per-
fectly kind in manner, clear in mind, and I think I may add, not other-
wise than cheerful, though he did not make any particular effort to
334 LIFE OF LORD
talk, but seemed languid and feeble. In about a quarter of an hour,
Lady Frances Bankes summoned me away, fearing that if he did not
get up before it became dark, he would not get up at all. I returned
to Shirley, and proceeded to Addington Park, where I dined with the
Archbishop of Canterbury. As I was on the road home about eleven
o'clock, my carriage was stopped by a servant, bringing a note from
my aunt, Lady Frances, desiring me to come to town directly, in a
post-chaise which she had sent. I did so in great alarm, but on my
arrival at twenty minutes to one, I saw Lord Eldon comfortably asleep
in bed, the family having retired for the night. It appeared that,
after my departure from Hamilton Place in the afternoon, he had got
up, and was walking down stairs, about six o'clock, with the assist-
ance of Smith, his butler, to hold one arm, when the strength of his
legs failed him : Smith held him up until assistance came, and he was
then carried back to the drawing-room looking over Piccadilly, which
he had for some years been using as his bed-room ; but he was after-
wards, at his own desire, carried down to the dining-room, and dined
with Lady Frances Bankes and the Rev. George Pickard, who were
staying in the house, and with Mr. Farrer. He shivered and com-
plained much of cold during dinner-time. Lady Elizabeth Repton
was sent for, and came, with, her son, to Hamilton Place in the even-
ing, as did also Mr. Pennington, his medical attendant. Lord Eldon
was carried up to bed a little after ten at night, and never left his bed-
room again. On the morning of Thursday I was at Hamilton Place
by eight o'clock, having slept at my mother's house in John street.
I found Lord Eldon evidently much more feeble, but, in the course
of conversation, he seemed interested by my referring to some of the
anecdotes which he had related to me formerly. I mentioned the
anecdote of King George III. having told his court that he had what
no previous King of England had had, namely, an Archbishop of
Canterbury and a lord high chancellor, each of whom had run away
with his wife ; and added, that Mrs. Howley, the lady of the present
archbishop, had informed me, as an additional remarkable circum-
stance, that that archbishop had then given to the king, as one of his
reasons for becoming a clergyman, that he was not able to afford him-
self an education for the legal profession ; while Lord Eldon, originally
intended for the church when a fellow of University College at Oxford,
had neither wealth nor connections sufficient to hold out to him a pros-
pect of occupation or advancement in the church, upon his forfeiting
that Oxford fellowship by his marriage. While I was with him, he
asked me after Lady Encombe and our young ones, and I said she
had sent him her love which he desired me to return to her. This
having occurred on the Thursday, similar remembrances were again
exchanged on the following day. During the Thursday, January 1 1th,
Lord Eldon seemed quiet and composed, though feeble : he saw his
family, including Mr. Repton, and my mother Mrs. Farrer, as also
Mr. George Pickard, and Mr. Pennington, successively, throughout
the day, but had a restless night, and was more feeble the next morn-
ing. His family, therefore, were not permitted by Mr. Pennington to
CHANCELLOR ELDON. 335
be with him so much on the Friday and Saturday. When Mr. Pen-
nington took me in to see him on the Friday for a few minutes, it
being cold weather, the commencement of one of the severest and
longest frosts that has occurred for many years, Mr. Pennington said,
' It is a cold day, my lord,' to which Lord Eldon replied, in a low
and placid voice, that it mattered not to him, where he was going,
whether the weather here was hot or cold.
" From that time I abstained from going into Lord Eldon's room,
until summoned thither during the last few minutes of his existence ;
Mr. Pennington having expressly desired that he should be as little
disturbed as possible, in order that his nights might not be restless,
making an exception only, to a certain extent, as regarded those,
whom, being resident in the house, it was more of a matter of course
that Lord Eldon might expect to see. On the Saturday, January 13th,
his strength gradually declined, and he ceased to live a't a quarter past
four o'clock in the afternoon. He expired apparently without suffer-
ing, and I performed the melancholy duty of closing his eyes. There
were present also his two daughters, his butler Smith, and a female
The following letter of condolence and consolation was addressed
to the young earl on the 15th, by the highest dignitary of that church
which the departed statesman had so long and so manfully defended.
(The Archbishop of Canterbury to the present Earl of Eldon.')
" Adilington, Jan. 15th, 1838.
" My dear Lord,
" I am truly obliged to your lordship for your kindness in immediately giving me
intelligence of the melancholy event which took place on Saturday evening. I most
sincerely condole with you on the loss of a relation whom you had every reason to
love and venerate. At the same time, however, that you give way to natural feeling,
you must have satisfaction in the reflection, that he has been taken away in a ripe old
age, full of years and honours, that the clearness of his intellect remained unclouded
to the last, and that his name will be for ever preserved in the annals of our history,
as a lawyer and judge unrivalled in excellence, and as holding a place in the first
rank of those eminent statesmen by whose wisdom and firmness, under the blessing
of Divine Providence, this country was preserved from the horrors of desolation and
anarchy. Mrs. Howley unites with me in the expression of condolence, and in kind-
est regards to yourself and Lady Eldon.
" Believe me, my dear lord, your most faithful servant,
" W. UASTUAB."
On Sunday, the 21st, the remains of the late earl lay in state. On
the coffin were his armorial bearings, and the inscription, " The Right
Honourable Sir John Scott, Earl of Eldon, born 4th June, 1751, died
13th January, 1838."
On the morning of the 22d, the funeral procession prepared to set
forward from Hamilton Place, in its way to Encombe. Before it was
ready to depart, a vast crowd had assembled in Piccadilly. The car-
riages of the Duke of Cambridge and the Duchess of Gloucester, and
of most of the dignitaries of the law, as well as of many other noble-
men and gentlemen, attended, in addition to those of relatives and of
immediate friends. About half-past eleven, the hearse received the
body, and moved from Hamilton Place into Piccadilly, followed by
the mourning coaches. A majority of the people stood respectfully
336 LIFE OF LORD
uncovered, while the closed windows of numerous residences in the
neighbourhood gave token of similar veneration and regret. The
chief mourner was the present earl. The funeral line proceeded
slowly for some distance along the Hammersmith Road. It then
made a halt, and was quitted by the private carriages, which returned
to London. The main procession rested on that night at Bagshot, on
the Tuesday at Winchester, and on the Wednesday at Wimbourne.
On the Thursday morning it reached the family mansion at Encombe,
where, during the remainder of that day, the body lay in state. The
bell of Winchester Cathedral was tolled by order of the dean and
chapter on the Wednesday morning, as the funeral moved from the
town: and in the more immediate vicinity of Encombe, where the
earl had been generally known, almost every house was wholly or
partially closed. Next morning, Friday, January 26th, his remains
were borne to the family vault, in the burial-ground of the chapel at
Kingston, in which had been deposited those of the late countess,
and of their son William Henry. A great concourse of the country
people had assembled to see the train set forward, and they evinced,
in their silent, respectful and solemn demeanour, their deep regret for
their charitable neighbour and generous benefactor.
Thus, after a long and honoured life, was John, Earl of Eldon,
gathered to his kindred. He "came to his grave in a full age, like
as a shock of corn cometh in his season."* His memory will live
long in the hearts of his friends, and for ever in the history of his
On the Sunday following, which was the 28th of January, the
tenantry of the Eldon estates, in the county of Durham,
" Paid the last mark of respect to the memory of their lamented landlord, by attend-
ing at Aycliffe and Shildon churches, dressed in deep mourning. One division of
them assembled on horseback at Eldon, where they were joined by the Rev. James
Manisty, chaplain to the late" and to the present " earl, and thence rode in proces-
sion to Shildon church. The church was hung with black for the occasion, and
an appropriate and affecting sermon was preached by the Reverend gentleman, from
Acts xiii. 36, ' David, after he had served his own generation, by the will of God, fell
on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers.' The other division of his lordship's tenan-
try assembled at Aycliffe church, where an excellent sermon was preached by the
Rev. J. D. Bade, from Heb. ix. 27. ' As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after
this the judgment.' The feeling of attachment and veneration, universally entertained
among this highly respectable body of tenantry towards their late noble landlord, was
strongly manifested upon this solemn occasion, and fully justifies the remark which
has been made, that few public men have ever descended to the grave so sincerely
lamented as Lord Eldon.' We have reason to believe that the evening of his life
was cheerful and happy. He used often to express the anxious wish, that he might
have a little interval between the woolsack and the grave, to prepare for eternity :
and this prayer was granted." Durham Advertiser, Feb. 2d, 1838.
In Kingston chapel, parallel with a mural monument erected by
Lord Eldon in 1834 to the memory of his lady and his sons, the
present earl has placed another,! bearing a brief record of his grand-
Job, v. 26.
f The present earl has moreover obtained permission of the warden and fellows
of New College, Oxford, to place in their ante-chapel a memorial of his kinsmen,
Lord Eldon and Lord Stowell, which is to consist of the figures, in marble, of these
two distinguished judges.
CHANCELLOR ELDON. 337
father's history, and a medallion beneath, by Sir Francis Chantrey.
The following are the inscriptions of these two tablets :
SACRED TO THK MEMORY OF
ELIZABETH, COUNTESS OF ELDON,
THE ELDEST DAUGHTER OF THE LATE AUBONE SURTEES, ESQ..
OF NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE :
SHE DIED THE 28TH OF JUNE, 1831, NEARLY 77 YEARS OF AGE.
HER REMAINS WERE FIRST DEPOSITED
IN THE ANCIENT CHAPEL IS THIS PLACE,
AND AFTERWARDS REMOVED TO A FAMILY TOMB
BUILT ON GROUND BELONGING TO THE EARL OF ELDON,
SITUATE ON THE NORTH SIDE OF THE CHAPEL YARD,
SUCH GROUND BEING FIRST DULY CONSECRATED
BY THE LORD BISHOP OF BRISTOL.
THIS TABLET IS PLACED HERE BY AN AFFECTIONATE HUSBAND
TO THE MEMORY OF A WIFE
TO WHOM HE WAS MOST DEVOTEDLY ATTACHED,
AND WITH WHOM HE LIVED IN MARRIAGE
NEARLY FIFTY-NINE YEARS.
IT PLEASED GOD DEEPLY TO AFFLICT HIM
BY ORDAINING THAT HE SHOULD SURVIVE HER.
IN THE SAME TOMB
ARE ALSO DEPOSITED BY THE SIDE OF HIS MOTHER,
AT HIS OWN EARNEST REQ.UEST
MADE TO HIS FATHER IN HIS LAST ILLNESS
THE REMAINS OF THEIR SECOND AND MUCH BELOVED SON
THE HON. WILLIAM HENRY JOHN SCOTT,
WHO DIED ON THE 6TH DAY OF JULY, 1832,
IN THE 37TH YEAR OF HIS AGE.
HE WAS IN SEVERAL PARLIAMENTS
A MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
THE HON. JOHN SCOTT, M.P.
THE ELDEST SON OF THE ABOVE-NAMED FIRST LORD AND LADT ELDON
DIED ON THE 24TH DAY OF DECEMBER 1805,
IN THE 318T* YEAR OF HIS AGE,
UNIVERSALLY ESTEEMED AND LAMENTED
AND TO THE INCONSOLABLE GRIEF OF HIS AFFLICTED PARENTS.
HIS REMAINS, ACCORDING TO A DESIRE THAT HE HAD EXPRESSED,
WERE INTERRED AT CHESHUNT IN HERTFORDSHIRE.
HE LEFT AN ONLY SON JOHN,
NOW COMMONLY STYLED VISCOUNT ENCOMBE,
BY HIS WIFE HENRIETTA ELIZABETH, DAUGHTER OF
SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY, BAIIT., OF BLAGDENJ"
IN THE COUNTY OF NORTHUMBERLAND.
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR JOHN SCOTT
EARL OF ELDON
BORN AT NBWCASTLE-ON-TYNE JUNE 4TH 1751,
DIED IN LONDON JANUARY 13TH 1838 IN THE 87TH YEAR OF HIS AGE.
IN 1766 MR. JOHN SCOTT ENTERED AT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, OXFORD, OF WHICH
HK BECAME A FELLOW IN 1767. HAVING MARRIED NOV. 19TH 1772, ELIZABETH ELD-
EST DAUGHTER OF AUBONE 8URTEES ESQ.UIRE OF NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE, HE ENTERED
IN 1773 AS A STUDENT IN THE MIDDLE TEMPLE, WAS CALLED TO THE BAR IN 1776, AND
WAS CALLED WITHIN THE BAR BY A PATENT OF PRECEDENCE IN 1783. IN 1787 MR. SCOTT
WAS MADE CHANCELLOR OF THE BISHOPRICK AND COUNTY PALATINE OF DURHAM. IN
1788 HE WAS KNIGHTED AND APPOINTED SOLICITOR GENERAL, AND IN 1793 WAS AP-
POINTED ATTORNEY GENERAL. AFTER HAVING SAT IN FOUR PARLIAMENTS AS A MEMBER
OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, HE WAS CREATED A PEER, JULY 18'fH 1799, BY THE TITLE OF
* " 31sl" should have been "32d" on the marble.
f " Blagden" should have been "Blagdon." on the marble.
VOL. ii. 22
338 LIFE F LORD
BARON ELDON OF ELDON IN THE COUNTY PALATINE OF DURHAM, AND ON THE FOLLOWING
DAT WAS APPOINTED CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE COMMON PLEAS. ON TUB 14TH OF APRIL
1801 LOUD ELDON WAS APPOINTED LORD HIGH CHANCELLOR OF GREAT BRITAIN; HE RE-
SIGNED THAT OFFICE FEB. 7'1'H 1806, BUT WAS RE-APPOINTF.D APRIL 1ST, J 807, AND CON-
TINUED TO HOLD THE GRKAT SEAL UNTIL APRIL 30TH 1827, BKING ALTOGETHER A
PERIOD OF NEARLY TWENTY-FIVE YEARS. ON THE 7'FH OF JULY 1821 HE WAS CHEATED
KARL OF ELDON IN THE COUNTY PALATINE OF DURHAM, AND VISCOUNT EXCOMBE OF EN-
COMBE, IN THE COUNTY OF DORSET. LORD ELDON WAS THE YOUNGEST BROTHER OF THE