Hutchins, George (DNB00)

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HUTCHINS, Sir GEORGE (d. 1705), king's serjeant, was the son and heir of Edmund Hutchins of Georgeham in Devonshire. Edmund Hickeringill [q. v.] once amused the court of chancery, and won his cause, by saying of Hutchins, who was counsel against him, that they were something akin to each other, not by consanguinity, but by affinity; for he was a clerk, and Hutchins's father was a parish clerk (Luttrell, Relation of State Affairs, 1857, iv. 651). On 19 May 1666 he entered at Gray's Inn, by which society he was called to the bar as early as August the following year. At Easter 1686 he was made serjeant-at-law by James II (ib. i. 529), and in May 1689 was chosen king's serjeant to William III, who knighted him in the following October (ib. i. 598). In May 1690 he succeeded Sir Anthony Keck as third commissioner of the great seal, and acted until the elevation of Sir John Somers (afterwards Lord Somers) [q. v.] to the lord-keepership on 22 March 1693. Hutchins then resumed practice at the bar, and claimed his right to retain his former position of king's serjeant. The judges decided against him, on the ground that the post was merely an office conferred by the crown (3 Levinz, 351); but the king settled the question by reappointing him his serjeant on 6 May (Lutterell, iii. 93). He died at his house in Greville Street, Holborn, on 6 July 1705. His professional gains must have been considerable, for on the marriage in 1697 of his two daughters, afterwards his co-heiresses, he gave each of them a portion of 20,000l. (ib. iv. 289). The husband of Anne, the second daughter, was William Peere Williams, the well-known chancery reporter.

[Foss's Lives of the Judges, vii. 320-1; Luttrell's Relation of State Affairs, vols. i. iii. iv. v. passim.]

G. G.