Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/293

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ROBERT MYLNE, S7


from 1760 to 1763, when he declined attending, from not agreeing with the measures of the duke of Bedford. In 1765, he returned, but again retired within the same year, on the formation of the Kockingham administration. On the dismissal of Mr Pitt, the seals of the chancellorship of the exchequer, from which Mr Legge had retired, were pro tempore placed in his hands. When lord Waldegrave was directed to form a new administration, he was employed to negotiate with the duke of Newcastle, and his opponent, Pitt; but the conclusion of the treaty was intrusted to the earl of Hardwicke. On the resignation of lord Hardwicke, several attempts were made to prevail on Mansfield to succeed him as chancellor ; but the timidity before explained, or some principle not easily defined, induced him to decline the preferment. He strongly resisted an at- tempt to amend the application of Habeas Corpus, to cases not criminal, suggested from the circumstance of a gentleman having remained for a consider- able period in prison, on a commitment for contempt of court. On this occa- sion, " he spoke," says Horace Walpole, " for two hours and a half: his voice and manner, composed of harmonious solemnity, were the least graces of his speech. I am not averse to own that I never heard so much sense and so much oratory united." This was an occasion of which Junius made ample use. The amendment was rejected, and a similar legislative measure was not passed until 1816. Lord Mansfield was not less eloquent in supporting the right of Britain to tax America, without representation ; he maintained the plea, that there was virtual, though not nominal, representation, and urged decisive measures. " You may abdicate," he said, " your right over the colonies. Take care, mj lords, how you do so ; for such an act will be irrevocable. Proceed then, my lords, with spirit and firmness ; and when you have established your authority, it will then be time to show your lenity." But if his views in civil politics were narrow and bigoted, he was liberal in religious matters ; and both as a judge and a legislator, afforded toleration to all classes of dissenters, from Roman catholics to methodists. He was indeed a greater enemy to liberal in- stitutions, than to liberal acts. He could bear to see the people enjoying privileges, provided they flowed from himself; but he did not wish them to be the cus- todiers of their own freedom. In spiritual matters, the authority did not spring from the chief justice. When he left Pitt behind him in the commons, he found one to act his part in the house of lords. Lord Camden was his unceasing opponent; and Mansfield was often obliged to meet his attacks with silence. He suffered severely in the riots of 1780 ; his house, with considerable other property, being destroyed ; while he suffered the far more lamentable loss of all his books and manuscripts. In pursuance of a vote of the house of commons, the treasury made an application for the particulars and amount of his loss, for the purpose of arranging a compensation; but he declined making any claim. In 1788, he retired from his judicial office, when the usual address from the bar was presented to him by his countryman, Mr Erskine, and in July, 1792, he was raised to the dignity of earl of Mansfield, with remainder to his nephew, David viscount Stormont, whose, grandson now enjoys the title. He died on the 30th March, 1793, in the eighty-ninth year of his age.

MYLNE, ROBERT, a distinguished architect, was born in Edinburgh, January 4, 1734. He was the son of Thomas Mylne, a magistrate of the city, and an architect, whose predecessors for several generations had been master-masons to the king, and one of whom built the additions to Holyrood house in the reign of Charles II., and is interred in the neighbourhood of that palace, with a high- ly panegyrical epitaph. After receiving a general education in Edinburgh, the subject of this article travelled on the continent for improvement in his here- ditary science. At Rome, where he resided five years, he gained in 1758, the