Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/254

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Buller
Buller
248

statement of Sir G. C. Lewis, and Mr. Froude adds that it happened 'through the blundering of an unskilful surgeon.' He died at Chester Place, Chester Square, London, 29 Nov. 1848. His bust, by Henry Weekes, with an inscription by his friend, Lord Houghton, was placed in the west aisle of the north transept of Westminster Abbey, near the memorial to Horner, the situation being selected by Dean Buckland 'from the similarity of their early distinction and premature deaths.' His portrait, by B. E. Duppa, was engraved by E. Scriven.

Buller's father died at Richmond on 17 May 1848. Thackeray, in 'Dr. Birch and his Young Friends,' exclaimed, 'Why should your mother, Charles, not mine, Be weeping at her darling's grave?' but she was not left long to mourn the loss of him whom she worshipped. She died broken-hearted on 13 March 1849. Every one who came within Buller's presence was amused by the keenness of a wit which never wounded, and impressed by the sincerity of his purpose for good. Carlyle styled him 'a fine honest fellow,' and again, 'the genialest radical I have ever met,' pouring out in the columns of the 'Examiner' an elegy on his death. Macready, who improved him in elocution, Macaulay, Harriet Martineau, Grote, and Sir George Cornewall Lewis, have all united in their letters or autobiographies in expressions of heartfelt regret at the death of their friend. Bulwer Lytton, in his poem of 'St. Stephen's,' apostrophised Buller with the words—

Farewell, fine humorist, finer reasoner still,
Lively as Luttrell, logical as Mill.

The titles of his pamphlets are printed in the 'Bibliotheca Cornubiensis.' At one time he wrote leading articles for the 'Globe' newspaper, and in 1837 he edited, in conjunction with Sir Henry Cole, a new weekly paper called 'The Guide.' He also contributed a few articles to the 'Edinburgh' and 'Westminster' reviews. The particulars, with extracts, of two elaborate 'jeux d'esprit,' one written by Charles Buller entirely, and the other by him and Lord Houghton, are given in the latter's 'Monographs.' The success of these productions was enormous; that which purported to describe a debate in the French chamber on the queen of England's fancy-dress ball imposed on several French and British papers.

[Carlyle's Reminiscences; Froude's Carlyle, 1795-1835 and 1835-81, and Jane W. Carlyle's Letters, passim; Walpole's Hist. of England, iii. 436-41, 515-16, 520; Bibl. Cornub. i. and iii.; Sir G. C. Lewis's Letters, 183, 186, 196; Greville Memoirs, 2nd ser. iii. 221, 237, 241, 249-51; Sir Henry Cole's Fifty Years, i. 5, 9-11, 16-20, 38, ii. 82-91; Mill's Autobiography, 216; Macready's Reminiscences, ii. 6-13, 25, 45, 57, 92, 149, 312; Trevelyan's Macaulay, ii. 76-7, 245; Martineau's Autobiography, i. 341-2, ii. 129-30, 177, 375, 504-10, iii. 200, 227; Macvey Napier's Correspondence, 291-2, 326, 370-2; Grote's Life, 60, 81, 108, 111, 120, 188; Lord Houghton's Monographs, 236-45; Tait's Mag. January 1849, pp. 71-2; Macmillan's Mag. January 1882, pp. 234-44; Gent. Mag. January 1849, pp. 87-9; Fraser's Mag. February 1849, pp. 221-4, signed S. A. (i.e. Sarah Austin); Examiner, 2 Dec. 1848, pp. 771, 777-8.]

W. P. C.

BULLER, Sir FRANCIS (1746–1800), judge, was the third son of James Buller of Morval, Cornwall, and of Downes near Crediton, by his second wife, Lady Jane Bathurst, second daughter of Allen, first earl Bathurst, and was born at Downes on 17 March 1746. He was educated at Ottery St. Mary grammar school. While there he lived in the house of S. T. Coleridge's father, and through Buller's influence in later years a presentation to the Bluecoat School, London, was obtained for Coleridge himself. In 1763, at the age of seventeen, Buller married Susanna, daughter and heiress of Francis Yarde of Churston Court, Devonshire, and in February of that year he was entered at the Inner Temple as a pupil of the celebrated special pleader William Henry Ashurst [q.v.], afterwards a judge in the court of king's bench. He took out his certificate as special pleader in 1765, and was at once established in a good business. The 'pupilising system,' according to Lord Campbell, was introduced by Buller, and if this be an exaggeration, it is certain that it was largely extended by him, and that Erskine was among his children in the law. In Easter term 1772 he was called to the bar, and in the same year was published the first English edition of his 'Introduction to the Law relative to Trials at Nisi Prius,' a compilation from a collection of cases of Justice (afterwards Earl) Bathurst, which passed through many editions. His rise at the bar was rapid. Among the causes célèbres in which he was engaged were the trial of the Duchess of Kingston, the action for libel against the Rev. John Horne, better known as Horne Tooke, and the trial of John the Painter [see Aitken, James]. On 24 Nov. 1777 he was created a king's counsel, and three days later was appointed the second judge of the county palatine of Chester. Next year (6 May 1778), when only thirty-two years old—he is said to have been the youngest man ever created an English judge—he was made a puisne judge of the king's bench, on the recommenda-