conveyancer and Chamber Counsel, but would not recognize the usurped authority, during the commonwealth, so far as to put on his gown and plead before the Judges in open court. He was not allowed, however, to live in London; on 10th September, 1650, he received a licence from the council of state to remain at Beaconsfield with his family, and on 15th and 29th October also of the same year he had special licences to come to London and reside there for about a month while engaged on special business. When the proper time for action arrived he actively exerted himself to further the cause of the restoration. He must have been in constant communication with the court, and high in the confidence of Hyde (afterwards Earl of Clarendon); for two days after the King's return to Whitehall on 29th May, 1660, a writ was issued under the great seal for calling him to the degree of serjeant-at-law, and in two days more, on 2nd June, he was made Lord Chief Baron of the Court of Exchequer. He was created a baronet on the 7th of the same month, being the first baronet created by King Charles II. after his restoration. In October of the same year he presided at the trial of the regicides, which he conducted with great moderation; and at the conclusion of the trial he was made Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, the patent being dated 22nd October, 1660.
After presiding in the Court of Common Pleas for nearly seven years, where he preserved a high reputation and gave general satisfaction, he was made Lord Keeper of the great seal, 31st August, 1667, in the place of the Earl of Clarendon, He appears to have behaved with generosity to his old friend and patron, the Earl of Clarendon, when almost every one was abandoning him. At the risk of losing the great seal, he did what lay in his power to stop the impeachment, and prevent the necessity of his flight; and it was he who carried to the King the last letter which Clarendon wrote to him in England, denying his privity with the marriage between the Duke of Richmond and "la belle Stuart." He used his influence as Lord Keeper to make the bill of pains and penalties, on which the King and the
- Dic. Nat. Biogr.