Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 50.djvu/333

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it was said, caused some dissatisfaction among his seniors on the list [see Pocock, Sir George]. He resigned it in less than three months; nor did he afterwards undertake any service, though on 23 April 1773 he was again nominated to the command in the Mediterranean. He was promoted to the rank of admiral on 18 Oct. 1770, and died at his house in Spring Gardens, of an access of gout in the stomach, on 7 Dec. 1775. On the 12th he was privately buried in Westminster Abbey. Saunders married, in 1750, the only daughter of James Buck, a banker in London, but, dying without issue, bequeathed the greater part of his very considerable property to his niece Jane, wife of Richard Huck-Saunders [q. v.]

A portrait by Reynolds, belonging to the Earl of Lichfield, has been engraved by McArdell; another, by Brompton, is in the Painted Hall at Greenwich, where there are also two paintings, by Dominic Serres [q. v.], of the unsuccessful attempts made by the French to destroy the fleet in the St. Lawrence in 1759.

[Charnock's Biogr. Nav. v. 116; Naval Chronicle, viii. 1; Beatson's Nav. and Mil. Memoirs; official letters, commission and warrant-books, and other documents in the Public Record Office.]

J. K. L.


SAUNDERS, Sir EDMUND (d. 1683), judge, was born of poor parents in the parish of Barnwood, near Gloucester. According to Roger North, ‘he was at first no better than a poor beggar boy,’ obtaining a living in Clement's Inn by ‘courting the attorney's clerks for scraps. The extraordinary observance and diligence of the boy made the society willing to do him good. He appeared very ambitious to learn to write, and one of the attorneys got a board knocked up at a window on the top of a staircase; and that was his desk, where he sat and wrote after copies of court and other hands the clerks gave him. He made himself so expert a writer that he took in business, and earned some pence by hackney-writing. And thus by degrees he pushed his faculties and fell to forms, and by books that were lent him became an exquisite entering clerk’ (The Lives of the Norths, 1890, i. 293–4). In this way he managed to acquire sufficient means to become a member of the Middle Temple, to which he was admitted on 4 July 1660, being described in the entry of his admission as ‘Mr. Edmund Saunders of the county of the city of Gloucester, gentleman.’ Though the usual term of study was seven years, the benchers had power to abridge it on proof of proficiency. This proof Saunders must have furnished, as he was called to the bar on 25 Nov. 1664. Two years afterwards he commenced his famous ‘Reports’ in the king's bench. These ‘Reports,’ which were of peculiar value to the special pleader, and extend from Michaelmas 1666 to Easter 1672, were first published in 1686, with the records in Latin and the arguments in French (London, fol. 2 parts). In the second edition, published in 1722, an English translation of the arguments was also given (London, fol). The third edition, in English, with very valuable notes by Serjeant John Williams, appeared in 1799 and 1802 (London, 8vo, 2 vols.); the fourth, by the same editor, in 1809 (London, 8vo, 2 vols.); the fifth, edited by J. Patteson and E. V. Williams, in 1824 (London, 8vo, 2 vols.); the sixth, by E. V. Williams alone, in 1845 (London, 8vo, 2 vols.). An edition of the ‘Reports’ was published in Dublin in 1791 (8vo, 3 vols.), and several editions have appeared in America. The concise and lucid manner in which these ‘Reports’ were compiled by Saunders led Lord Mansfield to call him the ‘Terence of reporters,’ and Lord Campbell to say that no other work of the kind afforded ‘such a treat for a common lawyer’ (Lives of the Chief Justices, 1858, ii. 62). ‘Notes to Saunders's Reports, by the late Serjeant Williams, continued to the present time by the Right Hon. Sir E. V. Williams,’ were published in 1871 (London, 8vo, 2 vols.).

It is evident from a perusal of these ‘Reports’ that Saunders rapidly acquired a large practice at the bar. In his person, says North, Saunders ‘was very corpulent and beastly; a mere lump of morbid flesh,’ owing to ‘continual sottishness; for, to say nothing of brandy, he was seldom without a pot of ale at his nose or near him. That exercise was all he used; the rest of his life was sitting at his desk or piping at home; and that home was a tailor's house in Butcher Row called his lodging, and the man's wife was his nurse or worse.’ ‘As for his parts,’ North adds, ‘none had them more lively than he. Wit and repartee in an affected rusticity were natural to him. He was ever ready, and never at a loss. … His great dexterity was in the art of special pleading. … But Hales could not bear his irregularity of life; and for that, and suspicion of his tricks, used to bear hard upon him in the court. But no ill-usage from the bench was too hard for his hold of business being such as scarce any could do but himself. With all this, he had a goodness of nature and disposition in so great a degree that he may be deservedly styled a philanthrope. … As to his ordinary dealing, he was as honest as the driven snow was white. … In no