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on 19 Sept. 1778. Although in after life he claimed to be descended from the De Burghams, the ancient lords of Brougham Castle, and from the barons of Vaulx, his pedigree cannot be traced with certainty beyond Henry Brougham described in 1665 as of Scales Hall, Cumberland, gentleman, whose eldest son John in 1726 purchased a portion of the manor of Brougham, Westmoreland. This estate descended to the purchaser's great-nephew Henry, the father of the chancellor (Nicholson and Burn, History of Cumberland and Westmorland, i. 395; Lord Campbell, Lives of the Chancellors, viii. 214-18). When barely seven years old Brougham was sent to the high school at Edinburgh; he rose to the head of the school and left in August 1791. The next year he spent with his parents under the care of a tutor at Brougham Hall, and in October 1792 entered the university of Edinburgh. He delighted in the study of mathematics and physics, and at the age of eighteen sent a paper to the Royal Society on 'Experiments and Observations on ... Light,' which was read and printed in the society's 'Transactions.' This was followed by another on the same subject, and in 1798 by one on 'Porisms' (Philosophical Transactions, lxxxvi. 227; lxxxvii. 352; lxxxviii. 378). He also distinguished himself in the debating societies of the university. After finishing the four years' course of humanity and philosophy in 1795, he began to read law. As a student he often indulged in riotous sports, and took part in twisting off knockers as eagerly as in philosophical discussions (Lord Brougham's Life and Times, i. 87). He spent his vacations in making walking tours, and in September 1799 visited Denmark, Sweden, and Norway (ib. 547). Having passed advocate on 1 June 1800, he went the southern circuit, and for the sake of practice acted as counsel for the poor prisoners. During the circuit he behaved in a boisterous and eccentric fashion, and unmercifully tormented old Lord Eskgrove, the judge of assize. He disliked the profession of law. With an extraordinarily wide range of knowledge, with an excellent memory, a ready wit, and unbounded self-confidence, he aimed at outshining others in everything. In 1802 he joined the small company engaged in setting on foot the 'Edinburgh Review.' He had already attained a high place in the literary society of Edinburgh, and it was expected he would shortly 'push his way into public life' (Cockburn, Life of Jeffrey, i. 138). The first number of the 'Review' was published the following October, and Brougham contributed three of its twenty-nine articles. In 1803 he brought out his 'Colonial Policy of European Nations,' a work which did not meet with any great success. On 14 Oct. of that year he was admitted a member of Lincoln's Inn, though he continued to reside in Edinburgh for about two years longer. He took a warm interest in the movement for the abolition of slavery, and in 1804 went to Holland to gain information on the subject, extending his tour to Italy and other parts of the continent. In this year too he organised a volunteer corps at Edinburgh, but the government slighted its offer of service, and the corps was dissolved. His early articles in the 'Review' were generally scientific; he now wrote much on political and economical subjects with the avowed intention of adopting a political career (Memoirs of F. Horner, i. 274, 279).
In 1805 Brougham settled in London. There he read English law and supported himself mainly by writing for the 'Edinburgh Review.' His versatility and his power of despatch were extraordinary. He never considered any subject out of his line. In the first twenty numbers of the 'Review' he had as many as eighty articles. Eager to write everything himself, he was so jealous of new contributors that the editor, Jeffrey, took care not to let him know of any addition to the staff (Napier, Correspondence, 3). His reviews were slashing, but his work was often superficial and his criticisms were sometimes scandalously unjust. His contemptuous notice of the experiments by which Dr. Young arrived at the theory of undulation is a famous instance of his unfairness (Edin. Rev. ii. 450, 457, ix. 97; Dr. Young, Works, i. 195-215; Peacock, Life of Dr. Young, 174; Campbrll, Life, viii. 247). Brougham was soon introduced to Lord Holland, and became a frequent visitor at Holland House. The service he was able to render the whigs with his pen, his witty conversation, and his agreeable manners secured him a good position in society. In 1806 he was appointed secretary to Lords Rosslyn and St. Vincent on their mission to the court of Lisbon, and although on his return at the end of the year he found himself considerably out of pocket, his able conduct in Portugal increased his reputation. He was further brought into notice by his sympathy with the anti-slavery agitation, which secured him the good opinion of Wilberforce and the party he led. When in March 1807 the Grenville ministry was forced to resign, the whig press was in Brougham's hands, and in the course of ten days, with some slight help from Lord Holland and one or two others, he produced 'a