1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Taylor, Michael Angelo

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TAYLOR, MICHAEL ANGELO (1757-1834), English politician, was a son of Sir Robert Taylor (1714-1788), the architect, and was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, becoming a barrister at Lincoln's Inn in 1774. He entered the House of Commons as member for Poole in 1784, and, with the exception of the short period from 1802 to 1806, remained a member of parliament until 1834, although not as the representative of the same constituency. In parliament Taylor showed himself anxious to curtail the delays in the Court of Chancery, and to improve the lighting and paving of the London streets; and he was largely instrumental in bringing about the abolition of the pillory. At first a supporter of the younger Pitt, he soon veered round to the side of Fox and the Whigs, favoured parliamentary reform, and was a personal friend of the regent, afterwards George IV. He was on the committee which managed the impeachment of Warren Hastings; was made a privy councillor in 1831; and died in London on the 16th of July 1834. Taylor is chiefly known in connexion with the Metropolitan Paving Act of 1817, which is still referred to as "Michael Angelo Taylor's Act." Often called " Chicken Taylor " because of his reference to himself as a " mere chicken in the law," he is described by Sir Spencer Walpole as " a pompous harrister, with a little body and a loud voice." Taylor's father, Sir Robert, was the founder of the Taylorian Institution at Oxford.