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oral sources of information,* the frequent reiterations and contradictions, the silence of Alexander de Swereford, in his preface, on this subject, are altogether against such a supposition. The probability is rather that Swereford gathered from various sources an undigested mass of information about the laws and customs of ancient times, which he felt to be both fragmentary and discordant with Norman ideas of government,† and which he patriotically endeavoured to rescue from impending oblivion, by giving it the form and appearance of a code, with the aid of abundant interpolations from codes and capitularies.
The result is, that we have before us an inextricable medley which cannot represent the true state of the law in the time of the first Henry, giving us no really useful information about the ancient provincial customs which governed the rights and privileges of the ancient Anglo-Saxon communities and their members inter se, and in relation to the king, which customs form the very groundwork whereupon our Common Law is based.
ART. III. THE LATE SIR FREDERICK POLLOCK.
HE career of some men who have eventually attained eminence, has been distinguished and rendered interesting by the vicissitudes of their course, and the many and varied obstacles which they had to overcome ere reaching the goal at which it was their stedfast aim through life ultimately to arrive. The career of the subject of the present memoir was distinguished, if we may so term it, by the singular and unvaried prosperity with which he met through life. At school, at College, at the Bar, and on the Bench, one *See cap. 8, ad fin.; cap. 76, and cap. 90, s. 11.
See particularly cap. 9, s. 9.
uniform success attended him. It was his further good fortune, the consummation of a successful career, to live respected and beloved by all who knew him. Even envy, which seldom fails to raise up enemies to those who excel other aspirants in the same race, was wanting in this instance; and not a man was to be found who would have desired to do an injury to the late Sir Frederick Pollock.
Το commence with his very earliest career, the late Sir Frederick Pollock was born at his father's house in the neighbourhood of Charing Cross, in the parish of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, on the 23rd of September, 1783. His father, Mr. David Pollock, who was a native of Scotland, kept a saddler's shop, and was very successful in business, not only securing royal patronage as a tradesman, but what is considerably more important, deriving large emolument from his calling, so that he was able to give to each of his sons a finished education; he was besides a man of great integrity, and was universally respected. His wife was Miss Sarah Parsons, who, we are told, was a person of remarkable energy and force of character. By her he had a family, and three of their sons attained high eminence in their respective professions. The eldest of them was the late Sir David Pollock, Chief Justice of Bombay. Another was Field-Marshal Sir George Pollock, the hero of the Khyber Pass and of Cabul. The second son of Mr. Pollock was the subject of the present memoir.
Frederick Pollock, before being sent to a public school, was placed under private tuition, but at the age of 15 or 16 he was entered at St. Paul's School, of which the Rev. Dr. Roberts was at that time the high master. This school has been eminently successful as regards its production not only of scholars, but of men who have distinguished themselves in after life. Thomas Wilde, afterwards successively Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and Lord Chancellor Truro, was, we believe, a contemporary of Frederick Pollock at St. Paul's, and we know that he maintained an intimacy with
him through life. The late Bishop of Manchester, Dr. Prince Lee, and the present Bishop of Llandaff, Dr. Ollivant, both men highly distinguished for their scholastic acquirements, were also educated at St. Paul's School, under its late admirable and worthy high master, Dr. John Sleath, who delighted to greet the appearance, at the annual apposition, of Mr. Frederick Pollock, Q.C., M.P., then a very rising barrister, destined eventually to secure high promotion, as we have heard the learned doctor himself predict. At school young Pollock was distinguished above his contemporaries both in classics and mathematics. In 1802 he entered at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he brought with him a high reputation from St. Paul's, but which he not only fully maintained but increased. He not merely came out first in every successive college examination, but in 1806 he closed a very brilliant under-graduate career by going out as senior wrangler and first Smith's prizeman. The following incident connected with the exhibition of the degree-list was related by the late Sir F. Pollock, and is given in nearly his own words.
"I was very anxious as to my place in the list, and, at the same time, rather confident. Perhaps my confidence bordered on presumption; if so, it was deservedly punished. As soon as I caught sight of the list hanging in the Senate House, I raised my eye to its topmost name. That name was not mine. I confess that I felt the chill of disappointment; the second name was not my name, nor yet the third, nor yet the fourth; my disappointment was great. When I read the fifth name, I said, 'I am sure I beat that man.' I again looked at the top of the list; the nail had been driven through my name, and I was 'Senior Wrangler.'"
In 1805 Mr. Pollock was elected to a Fellowship of Trinity, and subsequently took his degree as M.A. He afterwards entered as a student at the Middle Temple, and was called to the Bar in Michaelmas Term, 1807, one year before his great rival on the Northern Circuit, Henry, afterwards Lord Brougham. He became constant in his attendance in Westminster Hall, where his abilities and industry were at
once appreciated, and he soon rose into practice. Before he had been quite three years at the Bar, his reputation was widely extended by his conduct of the case of Admiral Blake, on the trial of Colonel Arthur, charged before a court-martial with implication in a rebellion against the admiral while Governor of New South Wales. In the summer of 1810 Mr. Pollock joined the Northern Circuit, which Mr. Brougham had already done; but this year he went no farther than York. In the summer of 1811 he went all round. He does not, however, seem to have met with any great encouragement there, as he did not again go the circuit until 1815, and then only to York. But he went all round the circuit in the spring of 1816, and continued to do so regularly from that time. Mr. Brougham was then in good practice on the circuit, as were also Mr., afterwards Sir James, Scarlett, and Mr. Serjeant, subsequently Baron, Hullock.
Mr. Pollock's practice both in Westminster Hall and on the circuit continued to increase, and early in 1827 he was appointed one of His Majesty's Counsel, in conjunction with Mr. John, afterwards Lord, Campbell, and Mr. John Williams, subsequently one of the judges of the Court of Queen's Bench. Mr. Brougham had received his silk gown about a week previously. Mr. Scarlett, who had been for some time the leader of the Northern Circuit, quitted it in 1827, in consequence of which, not only was a large amount of business thrown into the hands of his late colleagues there, but a keen contest for the lead at once commenced. In point of seniority Mr. Brougham was entitled to this honcur; but in point of actual practice Mr. Pollock might claim the distinction. He was much employed in great mercantile cases, both on the circuit and in London, especially at Guildhall, where interests of considerable magnitude were involved. And masterly was the manner in which he grasped the details and applied the law in trials of this description. While Mr. Brougham continued on the circuit, which he quitted for the woolsack in Michaelmas Term, 1830, the forensic contests between him and
Mr. Pollock were frequent and severe. We have it, however, in the words of the late Chief Baron, contained in a letter to the writer of the present memoir, that vehement as those encounters were, they were always conducted in that spirit and manner which are becoming, and we may doubtless add generally characteristic of, high-minded British advocates.
"It is very creditable to Brougham (and I may claim some share in the credit), that during the whole time we were opposed to each other, not one syllable of disrespectful language ever dropped from either of us to the other, nothing that either could wish unsaid; and his conduct on the woolsack was as kind and friendly as possible."
The able writer of the memoir of Sir Frederick Pollock, which appeared in the Times shortly after his death, remarked of him with great justice, that :
"His success was owing not so much to any showy qualities or attractive powers as a speaker, for these he never possessed, as to the extraordinary reputation for industry and general ability which had followed him from Cambridge to London, and from London to the great cities of the north, supported and confirmed as it was by the accurate and extensive legal knowledge which he displayed on every occasion on which his services were called for. Hence he had many clients from the very outset, and never knew what it was to sit waiting for a brief. His business in the courts of Westminster, always select and lucrative, grew more and more extensive, and after a successful practice of some twenty years he obtained the well-earned dignity of a silk gown, being made a King's Counsel in 1827. From this time forward his progress was still more rapid than before; for many years he engrossed the leading business of his circuit, and found himself retained in nearly every cause of importance. Attorneys and suitors,' says one who knew him well at this period, alike thought themselves safe when they had secured his services, and not unfrequently were left lamenting when they were told that their adversaries had forestalled them.'"
During the year 1830, on a vacancy occurring among the judges of the Court of Common Pleas, Lord Lyndhurst, who