Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 52.djvu/66

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


without the assent of the writer's living representatives, who warmly resented his action. In the like character of literary chiffonnier, he prepared editions in the same year of the ‘Juvenilia’ of Longfellow and Moore; and ‘Sultan Stork,’ a volume of juvenile pieces by Thackeray, in 1887. In 1878 there appeared an agreeable pasticcio of biographical and bibliographical gossip in his ‘Waltoniana.’ Next year he obtained 150l. damages from the ‘Athenæum’ newspaper for an ‘injurious review’ of his revised edition of Lamb's ‘Poetry for Children.’ In 1881 he issued a dull ‘Memoir of Thomas Carlyle,’ some passages in which had to be cancelled. Meanwhile he closely studied modern bibliography, and prepared bibliographical accounts of Ruskin (1879), Dickens (1880, revised 1884), Thackeray (1881, revised 1887 and appended to ‘Sultan Stork’), Carlyle (1881), Mr. A. C. Swinburne (1883 and 1887), and Tennyson (issued posthumously in 1896, being an expansion of ‘Tennysoniana,’ 1866 and 1879). He died in London on 15 July 1895. At the time of his death he was preparing a bibliography of Coleridge for ‘Notes and Queries,’ to which he was a frequent contributor.

[Memoir of the Rev. R. H. Shepherd, by his sons, 1854 (with portrait); Shepherd's Bibliography of Tennyson, 1896 (prefatory note); Times, 30 July 1895; Athenæum, 1878, 1879, 1881, and 1895 ii. 323.]

T. S.

SHEPHERD, Sir SAMUEL (1760–1840), lawyer, born on 6 April 1760, was the son of a jeweller in London, a friend of Garrick, and a dabbler in poetry. An epigram by the father is quoted in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine,’ 1805, i. 110. The boy was at the Merchant Taylors' school from 1773 to 1774, and was then at a school at Chiswick, probably that of Dr. William Rose. In July 1776 he was entered at the Inner Temple, where he became pupil of Serjeant Charles Runnington [q. v.], who married his sister in 1777. On 23 Nov. 1781 he was called to the bar.

Shepherd went the home circuit, and soon acquired a considerable practice both on circuit and in the court of common pleas. Lord Mansfield complimented him, Buller gave him sound advice, and Kenyon remarked ‘he had no rubbish in his head.’ With Erskine he spent many long vacations in travel. About 1790 he began to suffer from deafness, and this infirmity increased as years passed away. In 1793 he declined the dignity of king's counsel, but he was created serjeant-at-law in Easter term 1796, and in the following Trinity term became king's serjeant. On the death of Serjeant Cockell he rose to be king's ancient serjeant.

The Prince of Wales made Shepherd his solicitor-general in June 1812, and about Christmas 1813 he was appointed solicitor-general to the crown. He was knighted on 11 May 1814, and in the spring of 1817 was made attorney-general. From 11 April 1813 to June 1819 he sat in parliament for Dorchester. In the House of Commons he brought in the foreign enlistment bill, and the bill abolishing ‘the wager of battle and the right of appeal in felony.’ In the law courts his chief cases were the prosecution in June 1817 of James Watson (1766–1838) [q. v.] for high treason at the Spa Fields meeting in the previous December (State Trials, xxxii. 26–56), and that of Richard Carlile [q. v.] for publishing Paine's ‘Age of Reason.’

By common consent Shepherd was a sound lawyer, who but for his physical defect could have filled to general satisfaction the highest positions in his profession. He refused the two offices of chief justice of the king's bench and of the common pleas, which became vacant in the long vacation of 1818, as he had made up his mind ‘never to accept a judicial office involving the trial of prisoners.’ The objection did not apply to the post of lord chief baron of the court of exchequer in Scotland, which he held from June 1819 to February 1830. He was raised to the privy council on 23 July 1819.

Shepherd became very popular in Edinburgh society, and was on terms of close intimacy with Sir Walter Scott, who praises ‘the neatness and precision, closeness and truth’ of his conversation, the perfect good humour and suavity of his manner, ‘with a little warmth of temper on suitable occasions.’ Scott never saw a man so patient under such a distressing malady. Ill-health forced Shepherd to resign his post in 1830, when he retired, to the deep regret of Edinburgh society, to a cottage at Streatley in Berkshire, where he owned a small property. For the last three years of his life he was blind. He died on 3 Nov. 1840, and was buried in the churchyard of Streatley, where a monument was erected to his memory. Lord Campbell praises his knowledge of English literature. He and his friend William Adam, lord chief commissioner of the jury court, presented in 1834 to the Bannatyne Club, of which they were members, a volume of the ‘Ragman Rolls’ (1291–1296). He was also a member of the Blair-Adam Club, of which William Adam and Sir Walter Scott were leaders, and joined in the club's annual