Lane, Richard (1584-1650) (DNB00)

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LANE, Sir RICHARD (1584–1650), lord keeper, baptised at Harpole, Northamptonshire, on l2 Nov. 1584, was son of Richard Lane of Courteenhall, near Northampton, by Elizabeth, daughter of Clement Vincent of Harpole (Baker, Northamptonshire, i. 181). He was called to the bar from the Middle Temple, and practised in the court of exchequer, where he was known as a sound lawyer. In 1615 he was chosen counsel for, or deputy-recorder of Northampton. Ha was elected reader to his inn in Lent 1630, and was treasurer in 1637. In September 1634 he was appointed attorney-general to the Prince of Wales (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1634–5, p. 221), and in May 1636 was nominated by Henry, earl of Holland, his deputy in Forest Courts (ib. 1837-8, p. 484). When Strafford was impeached by the House of Commons in 1641, Lane conducted his defence with so much ability, especially in the legal argument, that the commons desisted from the trial, and effected their purpose by a bill of attainder. He was also appointed counsel for Mr. Justice Berkley in October 1641, and for the twelve imprisoned bishops in January 1641–2. He joined the king at Oxford, and was knighted there on 4 Jan. 1643–4 (Metcalfe, book of Knights, p. 201) He was made lord chief baron on 25 Jan. following, having been invested with the serjeant's coif two days before, and being created D.C.L. by the university six days afterwards. He acted as one of the commissioners on the support of the king in treating for an accommodation at Uxbridge in January 1645, and joined the other lawyers in resisting the demand of the parliament for the sole control of the militia. On the ensuing 30 Aug. he was appointed lord keeper. Oxford surrendered to Fairfax on 24 June 1646, under articles in which Lane was the principal party in the king's behalf. He is said to have struggled hard to insert an article in the capitulation that he should have leave to carry with him the great seal, together with the seals of the other courts of justice and the sword of state. On 8 Feb. 1649 he had a grant of arms from Charles II, which is preserved in the William Salt Library at Stafford (Athenæum, 2 April 1692, p. 440).

Lane continued nominally lord keeper during the remainder of the king's life, and his patent was renewed by Charles II. He followed the latter into exile, arriving at St. Malo in March 1650 in a weak state of health. Thence he wrote to the king, asking him to appoint his son Richard one of the grooms of the bedchamber (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1650, pp. 612, 613). He was subsequently removed to Jersey, where he died in April 1650 (ib. p. 110–11; Administration Act Book, P.C.C. (ib, 1651, f. 54). His widow Margaret, who was apparently aunt to the poet Thomas Randolph (1605–1635) [q. v.], survived until 22 April 1689, and was buried at Kingthorpe, Northamptonshire (Baker, i. 42). Thomas Randolph addressed verses both to Lane and his wife (Works, ed. Hazlitt, i. 59 ii. 565–8).

According to Wood (Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 63–4), Lane on going tn Oxford entrusted his chambers, library, and goods to his intimate friend Bulstrode Whitelocke, who when they were applied for by the lord keeper's son denied all knowledge of the father. Whitelocke is known to have obtained from the parliament a few of Lane's books and manuscripts (Peck, Desiderata Curiosa, ii. 366).

Lane was author of ‘Reports in the Court, of Exchequer from 1605 to 1612,’ fol., London, 1867; another edition, with notes and a life of Lane by C.F. Morrell, 8vo, London, 1884.

His portrait was painted in 1645 by Daniel Mytens, and was in 1866 in the possession of Mr. G. N. W. Heneage.

[Nicholas Papers (Camd. Soc); Cal. Clarendon State Papers; Nalson's Collect. of Affairs of State (1683), ii. 10, 153, 499, 812; Foss's Judges; Cobbett and Howell's State Trials, iii. 1472; Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors, ii. 608; Wallace's Reporters, p. 237; Dugdale's Origines; Cat. of the first special Exhibition of National Portraits. South Kensington, No. 724.]

G. G.