DENMAN, Thomas (1779-1854), of 50 Russell Square, Mdx. and Stony Middleton, nr. Bakewell, Derbys.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



1818 - 1820
1820 - 1826
1830 - 1832

Family and Education

b. 23 Feb. 1779, o.s. of Thomas Denman, MD, accoucheur to the Middlesex hosp., of Queen Street, Golden Square, Mdx. and Elizabeth, da. of Alexander Brodie, army accoutrement maker, of Brewer Street, Golden Square. educ. Mrs. Barbauld’s sch., Palgrave, Norf. 1782; Dr. Thompson’s, Kensington 1786; Eton 1788-95; St. John’s, Camb. 1796; L. Inn 1798, called 1806. m. 18 Oct. 1804, Theodosia Anne, da. of Rev. Richard Vevers (formerly Wilkinson), rect. of Saxby, Melton Mowbray, Leics., 8s. (3 d.v.p.) 7da. (1 d.v.p.). suc. uncle Joseph Denman, MD, of Buxton, Derbys. to Derbys. and Norf. estates 1812; fa. 1815; kntd. 24 Nov. 1830; cr. Bar. Denman 28 Mar. 1834. d. 22 Sept. 1854.

Offices Held

Dep. recorder, Nottingham 1816-20; solicitor-gen. to Queen Caroline 1820-1; bencher, L. Inn 1820, treas. 1832; common sjt. of London 1822-30; patent of precedence 24 July 1828; att.-gen. Nov. 1830-Nov. 1832; sjt.-at-law 1832; l.c.j.k.b. 1832-50; PC 6 Nov. 1832; member, jud. cttee. of PC 1833; chan. of exch. (ad int.) 2-10 Dec. 1834; Speaker of House of Lords 1835.

Vol. London and Westminster light horse 1801-4.


By 1820 Denman, who was tall and imposing, and had been born with the gift of a golden voice, was making a decent living at the bar; but he had many mouths to feed (the last of his 15 children, of whom 11 survived him, was not born until 1823) and was not financially secure, despite an inheritance of landed property from an uncle in 1812.1 While he was neither a great forensic lawyer nor a particularly gifted advocate, he earned and sustained a high professional reputation as ‘a man of very pure honour’ and a champion of ‘liberty and justice’.2 This instinct was at the root of his political credo, as he told his friend Merivale in 1823:

The greatest of all political evils I have always thought was ... injustice deliberately perpetrated or wilfully persisted in by the state. Paramount ... has ever been to my mind the question of parliamentary reform. The perpetual fraud upon the people, the audacious belying of the constitution, the shameless effrontery and cunning with which the multiform and outrageous abuse was at once avowed and concealed, the frightful small fry of peculation daily engendered in the huge midden of corruption, the license to degrade and oppress, the charter to demoralize and plunder the mass of our countrymen.3

A natural Whig (though he never joined Brooks’s), he had been taken up by Lord Holland, whose uncle, Charles James Fox†, he had been raised to revere, and who secured him the deputy recordership of Nottingham in 1816. On his return for Wareham on the Calcraft interest two years later, which was financed by the duke of Devonshire and Lord Lansdowne, he had been expected to ‘make some figure’ in the Commons, but his declamatory speaking style did not take there. He later admitted that he had not done well enough in his first Parliament ‘to induce the party to bring me in a second time ... for a close borough’ at the 1820 general election.4 On the circuit at Northampton he was invited by a deputation from Nottingham to stand there with the Whig sitting Member Joseph Birch, at a supposed cost to himself of £1,000. He accepted and was narrowly returned with Birch after a contest with two Tories, during which he denied being ‘a jacobin candidate’ and proclaimed his Foxite Whiggism. A petition against the return failed; but Denman, who had to borrow in order to scrape his money together, suffered ‘a very severe shock’ to his finances, despite the generous assistance of some party grandees.5

In the 1820 Parliament he continued, either side of his annual absences on the spring Midland circuit, to vote steadily with the advanced wing of the Whig opposition to the Liverpool ministry. He of course supported Catholic relief and parliamentary reform, and he was often in small minorities for economy, retrenchment and reduced taxation, and against coercive legislation for Ireland; he sometimes acted as a teller. He persevered as a speaker and enjoyed occasional moments of success. On 2 May 1820 he seconded Taylor’s motion for a select committee to inquire into methods of reducing factory smoke and steam nuisance, commending the Parkes’s apparatus at Warwick, which he had inspected after his election.6 He was named to the committee, and to that on the criminal laws, 9 May, when, referring to the Cato Street affair, he condemned the government’s use of spies and informers. He moved but subsequently withdrew an amendment to Lord Althorp’s insolvent debtors bill, 5 June, voiced the ‘strongest objections’ to the king’s bench reform bill, 20 June, when he was a teller for the minority of eight, and opposed the aliens bill, 10 July 1820.

In April, at Henry Brougham’s* request, he had become solicitor-general to Queen Caroline, which enhanced his status at the bar, perhaps to the tune of £1,500 a year.7 He took up Caroline’s cause with enthusiasm, viewing and attempting to portray her as the victim of oppression and persecution: Lady Cowper was led to conclude that he had been ‘completely bamboozled’ by the queen, and George Canning* cynically remarked that ‘Brougham had nearly as much trouble to persuade him of the guilt, as he had to persuade the House of her innocence’.8 In the Commons, 6 June 1820, Denman expressed alarm at ‘the cold, calm, temperate manner’ in which Lord Castlereagh had presented the king’s message. His speech against Wilberforce’s compromise resolution, 22 June, was widely praised. Greville, no admirer of his, thought it ‘most judicious and effective for his client’, and Sir James Mackintosh* wrote that it was ‘most admirable’ and predicted that he would ‘soon be the favourite lawyer of the House’. His speech at the bar of the Lords on the queen’s behalf, 6 July, also made a good impression.9 On 10 July he objected to the proposed proceedings against her on the basis of ‘depositions contained in a sealed bag’; but, with Brougham and her other counsel, he advised her to face her persecutors in the Lords.10 He made light of ‘incipient jaundice’ to hold his own ‘very fairly’ on the summer circuit, having ‘never lost sight of the profession as the principal object of my hopes’; and addressed a celebratory election dinner at Nottingham, 4 Aug., when he declared that if the bill of pains and penalties reached the Commons, he hoped ‘the constituent body will think it their duty to speak in a voice of thunder to their representatives, to ... warn them against ... undertaking the abominable and odious task of proceeding against their queen’.11 His speech against the measure at the bar of the House of Lords, 18 Aug., which was perhaps the best of his life, was a personal triumph and eclipsed Brougham’s earlier effort.12 During the September break in the trial he went to take the waters at Cheltenham, where he was fêted by the mob and obliged to deliver a harangue from his hotel window. To Merivale he wrote that he was ‘surprised, after the scandalous and unsuffered-to-be-contradicted-or-commented-on evidence, to see how warmly public opinion in this part of the world still espouses our cause’.13 When the trial resumed in early October the Hollands put Fox’s old rooms in Holland House at his disposal; he was, he recalled, ‘as happy as a man can be’. In his ‘very fine’ concluding speech for the queen, 24, 25 Oct., he compared Caroline to Octavia, the innocent wife of Nero (a parallel suggested to him by Samuel Parr); included a quotation from the ancient historian Dion which was aimed at treacherous and perjured witnesses against the queen but which George IV took as ‘an odious personal insult’, and concluded with a Scriptural allusion to the woman taken in adultery, who was adjured by Christ to ‘go and sin no more’. A wag paraphrased this as

          Most gracious queen, we thee implore
          To go away and sin no more;
          But, if that effort be too great,
          To go away at any rate.

He later admitted that these features of his speech, for which he was to pay dearly, were foolish and indiscreet.14 Denman, who was ecstatic at the abandonment of the prosecution, was trying to make a communication to the Speaker from the queen, 23 Nov., when the prorogation was summarily enforced amid rowdy scenes.15 Like Brougham, he was granted the freedom of the City; and at the close of 1820 his fellow Whig barrister John Campbell II* commented that he ‘goes on like a house on fire. Every stray leading brief is attracted to him’; but ‘he is a fine fellow and I do not grudge him his success’.16

Denman presented the contentious Nottingham petition in support of the queen, but disclaimed responsibility for its strong language, 26 Jan. 1821. Presenting one from Sutton-in-Ashfield, 31 Jan., he described the exclusion of her name from the liturgy as ‘a most gross and irreparable injury’, perpetrated in defiance of popular opinion; and on 1 Feb. he declared that she was ‘the most persecuted woman ... in the history of the world’. In what the radical Whig Member Grey Bennet considered ‘a forcible and powerful speech’, he made a personal attack on Castlereagh, 8 Feb.17 His insinuation next day that Canning was still in receipt of a ministerial salary despite his resignation from the India board was indignantly denied. Presenting and endorsing the Nottingham petition for inquiry into Peterloo and the impeachment of ministers, 20 Feb., he admitted that its language was too extreme for some Whig tastes; he was a teller for the minority for printing it. He presented Thomas Davison’s petition complaining of his treatment in court by Justice Best†, 23 Feb., and, while he disavowed any wish to interfere with the judiciary, he divided the House on the motion to receive it. He commented on 7 Mar., when the issue was revived, that rejection of the petition had been ‘novel and irregular’. He supported Lord Milton’s attempt to give Leeds a scot and lot franchise if it got Grampound’s seats, 2 Mar., observing that if such large towns had been represented, ‘the discontents which had burst out so alarmingly would never have been heard of’. After his return from the circuit, 11 Apr., he applauded the efforts of Hume, Grey Bennet and others to curb profuse public expenditure; he spoke in the same sense, 31 May. He supported the renewed Westminster petition on the Best affair, 19 Apr., and objected to some aspects of the metropolis police bill, 2 May. He denounced the ‘enormous atrocities’ of the Holy Alliance, 7 May, and called for repeal of the Blasphemous Libels Act, 8 May, and inquiry into Peterloo, 15 May, when Grey Bennet felt his speech was ‘good, but not powerful or strong enough for the question’. Grey Bennet also liked his effort in support of the forgery punishment mitigation bill, 4 June, and recorded that when two days later Denman mistook Cholmeley’s reference, in a defence of the Constitutional Association, to ‘the comparing the king to Nero’, as an allusion to his own queen’s trial speech, their exchanges were ‘heard in profound silence’. He commented that the ‘contrast between Denman and the other lawyers in the House is at all times striking - he is as honest and open as the day’.18 Denman said that the Association was ‘a seminary for spies and informers’, 3 July. He denounced the inclusion of the placeman Thomas Frankland Lewis* in the Irish revenue commission, 15, 26 June, when his amendment against the payment of its members was beaten by 80-35. He spoke against the duke of Clarence’s grant, 18 June, and protested at the intended exclusion of Caroline from the coronation, 30 June, 2 July, when the Whig James Abercromby* thought he ‘did not do so well’ as Brougham.19 Like Brougham, he was on the circuit when the queen died, 7 Aug. 1821, and by prior arrangement he did not return for the funeral. He confided to Merivale that her death, which had released her from ‘malice’, was ‘no small relief to my mind’. He was incensed by ministers’ handling of the funeral procession and the subsequent dismissal of Sir Robert Wilson* from the army, and he subscribed generously to Wilson’s support fund.20 His own loss of rank on the circuit was, Campbell thought, ‘a very great reverse to him’; but in March 1822 he secured some compensation by winning a hard-fought party contest for the vacant post of common serjeant of the City, in which capacity he presided from the bench at the Old Bailey and drew about £1,400 a year. His debut, in the trial of a libeller prosecuted by the Constitutional Association, who was convicted, enraged the extreme radicals and perturbed some of his ‘ardent political friends’; but he ‘never repented of what I then did’.21

In the early part of the 1823 session he was a fierce critic of the repressive Irish legislation, but the conservative Whig George Lamb*, visiting Ireland at this time, remarked that ‘the patriotism of a Cockney like Denman, who for no other reason but to show himself off delays the return of quiet as long as he possibly can’, cut no ice with worried local squires.22 Denman considered interference with Members’ mail a breach of privilege and an act of ‘arbitrary power’, 25 Feb. He spoke warmly and at length in condemnation of the assault by troops on Robert Waithman*, sheriff of London, in the aftermath of the queen’s funeral, 28 Feb.; but on a related motion, 6 Mar., he adopted ‘a conciliatory tone’ in order to save Grey Bennet, the mover, from humiliation, welcoming the new home secretary Peel’s moderate language in defence of ‘the measures of an administration which had found the country flourishing and tranquil, but which had made it the scene of transactions, the most dangerous, the most degraded, and the most stigmatized, that ever cursed the annals of any nation’.23 His amendment to the navy five per cents bill was defeated by 143-49, 8 Mar. Supporting Lord John Russell’s reform motion, 25 Apr., he declared that the Commons had ‘become the influenced organ of every act of government, without the confidence of the public, and even without the respect of government’. He supported investigation of Henry Hunt’s* complaints of his treatment in Ilchester gaol, 10 May. He did not think much of Jones’s plans for reform of the Welsh judicature, 30 May, and opposed Scarlett’s poor removal bill, 31 May. He voted for Mackintosh’s motion for criminal law reform, 4 June, and, in Mackintosh’s view, ‘spoke with the greatest eloquence’ against the ‘odious’ aliens bill next day.24 On 2 July 1822 he said that renewal of the Irish Insurrection Act would put Ireland ‘for ever out of the pale of the constitution’. In the speculation that followed Londonderry’s suicide in August Brougham, trying to convince Lord Grey that the Whigs would be able to form and sustain a ministry, pointed to Denman as ‘a most capital’ solicitor-general; but Grey doubted that the king’s antipathy towards him could be overcome.25

On the address, 4 Feb., Denman demanded more convincing assurances that ministers had done all possible to prevent French aggression against Spain, and on 7 Mar. 1823 he denounced ‘the extravagant feats of folly and despotism’ perpetrated by the Allies, ‘those monsters of men’. Privately, Brougham thought he had been too bellicose.26 He supported inquiry into the Irish church establishment to ‘show that there was a real disposition to amend and improve’, 4 Mar. He spoke for repeal of the Foreign Enlistment Act, 16 Apr., but, aware that his judicial duties were a distraction from Parliament, felt ‘conscious of the feebleness of my efforts’. However, he believed that in backing inquiry into the prosecution of the Dublin Orange rioters, 22 Apr., when ‘the newspaper reporters made a decided attempt to prevent my being heard’, he silenced his detractors and ‘got through with some éclat’.27 He argued that the ‘excessive’ fine for libel imposed on Carlile had made him a martyr, 8 May. He pressed for action to be taken against chief baron O’Grady for alleged ‘malversation’, 16 May, 13 June. He voted for abolition of the death penalty for larceny offences, 21 May, presented a Liverpool petition for reform of the method of selecting grand juries, 13 June, was a teller for the majority for the Scottish juries bill, 20 June, and spoke and voted for the adoption of jury trial in New South Wales, 7 July. Tierney, the former Whig Commons leader, told Lady Holland, 6 June, that he had spoken ‘with great ability’ for inquiry into chancery delays the previous day.28 He presented and endorsed Basil Cochrane’s petition of complaint against the victualling board, 24 June, opposed renewal of the Irish Insurrection Act, 24 June, and on 10 July 1823 referred to the ‘disadvantageous’ manner in which judicial patronage was dispensed, citing the continued professional humiliation of Brougham and John Williams* on account of their support of the queen. After the summer circuit he went with Brougham to Scotland, where they addressed a political meeting in Glasgow.29

Denman, who was in the minority of 30 for papers on the Franco-Spanish conflict, 17 Feb., expressed worries about the potentially ‘monstrous powers’ of magistrates, 27 Feb., 2 Mar., 27 May 1824, when he defended Hume on this issue. He voted for repeal of the usury laws, 27 Feb. He supported Heron’s proposed bill to end the necessity of a renewal of offices on the demise of the crown, 4 Mar. Next day he said that free trade principles could not be humanely applied to the distressed silk trade. He gave ‘cordial support’ to Lamb’s plan to allow defence by counsel in felony trials, 6 Apr.; he had recently published some of his own views on legal reform.30 He spoke passionately against the aliens bill, 12 Apr., when his amendment to restrict it to one year was beaten by 111-47. He joined in criticism of the new Westminster courts buildings, 21 May, endorsed Silk Buckingham’s petition on threats to press freedom in India, 25 May, spoke powerfully in support of Brougham’s condemnation of the prosecution of the Methodist missionary John Smith in Demerara, 11 June, and opposed renewal of the Irish Insurrection Act, 14, 18 June 1824, commenting on the first occasion that ‘the government which wished to receive such powers showed that it did not know how to govern a great country on the principles of a free constitution’.

On the address, 4 Feb. 1825, Denman argued that the Catholic Association, which he felt had a good case against the ‘undue administration of justice’ in Ireland, should be curbed by law rather than force. He denounced the bill to suppress it as ‘the most unjust, the most unfair, the most mischievous, and the most destructive measure that had ever been proposed in Parliament’, 10 Feb. He presented a petition in support of the Association, 24 Feb. He of course voted for Catholic relief, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May, but, as he told Brougham on the circuit, 20 Mar., he was ‘strongly’ opposed to the disfranchisement of Irish 40s. freeholders, which he feared would be ‘a sure recipe for reviving the cry of "No Popery" and extending it to the reformers’;31 he had his say against it in the House, 26 Apr. When presenting and endorsing Nottingham corporation’s pro-Catholic petition, 3 May, he alluded to Brougham’s being denied a silk gown on account of his support for the queen. Next day, presenting a Walsall mechanics’ petition against re-enactment of the combination laws, he said that ‘legislation appeared totally useless’; he was in three small minorities against the bill, 27 June, when his own amendment for jury trial was defeated by 78-53. He approved the replacement of judges’ fees by fixed salaries, but was not happy with their proposed size, 16 May. He supported Brougham’s unsuccessful attempt to make puisne judges immoveable, 20 May, and called for an increase in their retirement pensions, 2 June. On 17 May he got leave to introduce a bill to prevent the vexatious removal of indictments from quarter sessions, which passed the Commons but foundered in the Lords.32 He opposed the duke of Cumberland’s grant, 27 May, but supported the government’s plan to repeal the Bubble Act, 2 June, and their quarantine bill, 3 June. He supported Burdett’s motion for production of the evidence taken by the law commissioners investigating chancery administration, 7 June. He voted for the spring guns bill, 21 June, but according to Hudson Gurney* was ‘fast asleep on a bench’ and was ‘counted in the majority’ against it, 29 June.33 On 14 June he presented the petition of Martin Canter complaining of the conduct of the Welsh judge William Kenrick† in his capacity as a Surrey magistrate and said that there was a case to answer. He examined Canter in committee of the whole House, 24 June 1825, but was persuaded by ministers to postpone further consideration of the matter until the 27th, when he charged Kenrick with misconduct in the separate case of John Franks. The following day he reluctantly agreed to shelve the investigation until next session, but moved resolutions accusing Kenrick of ‘illegal, arbitrary and oppressive’ conduct, which were got rid of by ministers. He revived the subject, 14, 17 Feb. 1826, when he carried his motion for inquiry by 81-42 and examined witnesses; but his resolution that the case had been made out was opposed by government and rejected, 21 Feb. 1826.

On the address, 2 Feb. 1826, Denman called for speedy relaxation of the corn laws (for which he voted on 18 Apr.) to help relieve the workers’ suffering, complained of the ‘partial application’ of free trade principles for the benefit of the wealthy, blamed the ‘detestable’ 1819 currency settlement for distress and demanded ‘the most rigid economy’ and ‘a reduction of taxes’. He was in Hume’s minority of 19 against the promissory notes bill, 27 Feb., and next day denounced it as ‘a most impolitic interference with the principles of free trade’. He opposed the Bank charter amendment bill, 14 Apr. On 2 Mar. he moved a vote of censure on the Jamaican slave trials, urging ministers to end ‘this system of judicial abuse’; he got 63 votes to 103. He supported Smith’s motion on the ‘grievous oppression’ of slaves in Demerara and Berbice, 20 Apr., and was added to the select committee on the Mauritius slave trade, 12 May. Backing Hume’s call for information on the dean and chapter of Westminster, 13 Apr., he condemned ‘the subtleties and refinements of the government, when they were thus urged in support of existing abuses’. He gave a very guarded welcome to Peel’s criminal justice bill, 17 Apr. Three days later he exulted in the abandonment after 33 years of the ‘unjust and oppressive’ Aliens Act. He again supported defence by counsel in felony trials, 25 Apr. He voted for inquiry into Buckingham’s renewed petition, 9 May, and was named to the select committee. He asserted that ‘there were more flagrant and enormous abuses’ in chancery than in ‘any tribunal of justice in any other country’, 18 May 1826. Next day he combined with Canning, the foreign secretary, to force Inglis to drop his motion for information on the exercise of Protestant worship in Catholic countries; but his speech in support of Brougham’s motion on colonial slavery was prematurely terminated ‘by the impatience of the House’.

Denman, whose seat had been considered vulnerable in the autumn of 1825, could not afford even an unopposed return for Nottingham at the general election of 1826, when he announced his retirement, having decided that it was wise in any case to ‘give more time to my profession’; he declined, so he later claimed, ‘a borough for which Brougham procured the promise from the duke of Norfolk’. He was nominated by the anti-corporation party at Leicester at the last minute and polled respectably, although he took no personal part.34 Like Brougham, he was ‘decidedly for supporting Canning against the Tories’ on the formation of his ministry in April 1827, and ‘incensed against the Whig lords for not taking office with him’. Encouraging Scarlett to take the attorney-generalship (which he did), Denman wrote that ‘liberal principles are at the moment standing on the very confines of life or death; unlooked for and surprising advantages on the one hand, certain destruction on the other’.35 The following month, when Brougham at last obtained a patent of precedence at the bar, Denman pressed his own claim on the new lord chancellor, Lord Lyndhurst, who, aware of the king’s enmity, discouraged him. He insisted on having his case laid before the king, but was told by Lyndhurst in early June that it had been ignored. His Whig friends hoped that the Goderich ministry might intervene for him, but they did not; and even Peel, a political opponent, was disgusted by his proscription.36 In February 1828 Denman applied again to Lyndhurst, who initially stalled, but in an interview at the end of April told him that the king would not entertain his promotion and had indeed forbidden mention of his name, because he believed that the ‘odious personal charge’ insinuated in the Greek quotation used by Denman in October 1820 had been aimed at him. A shocked Denman disavowed this and asked Lyndhurst to inform the king; but the chancellor continued to shuffle and Denman, who complained to Holland that Lyndhurst had done his best to ruin him professionally, appealed to the duke of Wellington, the prime minister, for aid. Wellington advised him to leave the matter in his hands, but Denman drew up a memorial to the king (24 July 1828) in which he apologized and denied having intended to level any ‘insinuation of a revolting nature against Your Majesty’. Wellington eventually persuaded a very reluctant king to accept Denman’s explanation and grant his request for precedence; but it was not until 1 Dec. 1828 that he could inform Denman of his success: ‘I never had a more difficult job in my life’.37 The patent was backdated to 24 July. Lady Holland, who was delighted for Denman, reckoned that his ‘scanty’ income would ‘now be greatly augmented’; and Denman himself hoped that ‘this gracious act may be found the precursor of general conciliation [and] the beginning of putting an end to proscription and exclusion in all quarters’. But the king never forgave him, and in November 1829 threw a ‘terrible tantrum’ and ‘raved and stormed like a madman’ when refusing to receive Denman, as common serjeant, in the place of the recorder of London, who was too ill to present his report.38

Denman had declined a ‘flattering invitation’ to stand for Carlisle in July 1827, and, having acted as counsel for the electors of East Retford against the disfranchisement bill in March 1828, he had been considered by Lord Fitzwilliam as a potential candidate for the borough if a new writ was issued.39 When Lord Lansdowne returned the young Thomas Macaulay for Calne in February 1830, Brougham, Thomas Creevey* and ‘all of us who are Denman’s friends’ felt ‘serious annoyance and regret’ that he had not been given first refusal.40 At the end of June 1830 Lord Rancliffe, who had replaced Denman at Nottingham in 1826, alerted him to his intended retirement at the impending dissolution. Denman offered as a supporter of retrenchment, freedom of the press and reform of the administration of justice and Parliament, and was returned unopposed with another advanced Whig after a token contest.41 Denman, who thought Wellington ‘inexcusable for taking no effectual steps to obtain real support’ in the Commons after the election, addressed a Nottingham meeting to celebrate the ‘triumph’ of ‘constitutional liberty’ in France, 23 Aug. On 7 Sept, 1830, when he was ‘rusticating with my wife and seven of my children’ at Stony Middleton, a ‘small property in the High Peak, most beautifully situated at the foot of some very fine hills’, which he had inherited from his uncle, he observed to Holland that ‘the glorious French revolution seems to have quietly subsided into the best form of government for France’.42 He had ‘long entertained serious doubts about whether death ought to be inflicted for any crime whatever’, and as a judge tried to ‘avoid trying any capital cases’; but he realized that ‘the state of the public mind’ would permit only gradual mitigation of the severity of the criminal code.43

He presented numerous petitions for the abolition of slavery, 3, 4, 10, 15, 16 Nov. 1830. According to Campbell, he received ‘great applause’ for his speech on the address on the 3rd, when he attacked Wellington’s declaration against reform and said that ministers’ ‘frightful silence’ on the issue ran the risk of goading a frustrated people to violence.44 He condemned the cancellation of the king’s visit to the City, 8 Nov. He was one of the ‘council’ of eight leading Whigs who discussed and settled strategy with Brougham; and on 12 Nov. he wrote to one of his daughters:

I ... feel no alarm at all for the fate of the country. Never did the popular part of the constitution exercise such a powerful influence ... The duke’s intemperate declaration on reform stakes his power on that question. We expect to beat him on it ... I really believe they will endeavour to keep their places ... I fully expected the duke would have followed his own example on the Catholic question, and compelled the Whigs to support his proposition for reform. But he has now driven them to war, and has compelled them to turn out himself and all his incapable followers. However these early speculations may terminate, my hopes rest on the intelligence and patriotism of the people, to which scarcely anyone does justice.45

He was in O’Connell’s minority of 24 for repeal of the Irish Subletting Act, 11 Nov., and the opposition majority on the civil list which brought down the ministry, 15 Nov. That day he made clear to his constituents his serious doubts about the wisdom of the secret ballot, as he did to the Commons, 22 Nov., when presenting the Nottingham reform petition, though he said he remained ‘open to conviction’.46 He supported the prayer of a London petition for abolition of the death penalty for non-violent offences, 19 Nov. 1830.

First reports on the change of ministry were that Denman was to be ‘one of the three new judges’; but at the instigation of Brougham, the new lord chancellor, he was made attorney-general, on the premier Grey’s ‘condition’, according to Brougham’s secretary, that ‘if the chief justiceship should fall vacant within the year he should succeed to it’.47 At his unopposed re-election for Nottingham, 29 Nov., he attacked ‘the boroughmongers’ and singled out the duke of Newcastle for his eviction of tenants for opposing his interest at Newark. Newcastle, dissatisfied with Denman’s ‘unintelligible’ reply to his written demand for an explanation, raised the matter in the Lords, 3 Dec., when Grey tried to smooth things over and Brougham gave Denman’s assurance that he had not actually used the offending words. The former Tory minister Lord Ellenborough had ‘no doubt [that] Denman made a very indiscreet speech’ and felt that he had ‘much to unlearn’ in his new official role.48 As such, he had something to say on the Tregony election petition, 9 Dec., and the regency bill, 13 Dec., when he urged Members not to obstruct the five ‘highly beneficial’ real property law reform bills which had come down from the Lords. He had to conduct the prosecution of ‘Swing’ rioters at Winchester and Salisbury either side of the New Year: he told Brougham that more convictions might have been obtained by ‘pressing hard’ and that ‘no one offence appears to have arisen from actual distress’, for ‘the most active instigators have been in the receipt of very considerable wages’.49 When Hunt moved in the Commons for a general pardon, 8 Feb. 1831, Denman, who had filed ex-officio informations against Carlile and William Cobbett† for incitement, successfully defended the trials in a speech ‘full of manliness and right feeling’, which impressed the Tory Thomas Gladstone*, arguing that ‘a great public evil has been boldly faced ... [and] put down ... by a firm and temperate enforcement of legal and constitutional authority’. Carlile was convicted in January, but the jury on Cobbett’s case was discharged in July 1831, an outcome which did not displease Denman, who was criticized by some men of the left.50

Brougham encouraged him on New Year’s day 1831 to improve himself as a speaker:

You must succeed, and you can ... by taking it more to heart. You are far too careless, you trust to the moment, you don’t prepare, you often don’t take the trouble (even on law matters) of knowing the subject of debate before.

The advice may have fallen on deaf ears, for Brougham later reflected that while Denman’s ‘great talents and revered virtues were of infinite service’ to the ministry, ‘he did less in Parliament than was expected’.51 He presented reform petitions from Bishop Auckland and Andover, 8 Feb. He promised to intervene to stop the ‘great abuse’ of denying prisoners in Fisherton gaol access to their attorneys, 10 Feb. He supported the government’s game bill, appealed to the Lords to give it a fair hearing and lamented ‘the tone of discouragement’ already voiced in the Commons, 15 Feb. He defended Brougham in a controversy over his dealings with the metropolitan lunacy commissioners, 23 Feb. He secured leave to introduce a bill to continue the inquiry into charities, 10 Mar., and, with reservations, endorsed the arbitration bill, which would be ‘the means of getting rid of a vast deal of very complicated and expensive machinery’, 17 Mar. On 15 Apr. he took the ministerial line in resisting Fowell Buxton’s motion for the immediate abolition of slavery, preferring their temporizing amendment, but exhorted every Member to ‘bear his part ... in wiping off the foulest stain that ever rested on the character of his country’; the anti-abolitionist Gladstone thought he was ‘not over circumspect’.52 He denied all knowledge of O’Connell’s Catholic charities bill, 18 Apr. It was his task, as attorney-general, to draft the English reform bill, of which he was an enthusiastic supporter.53 Ignoring calls for an adjournment, 2 Mar., he defended it as being ‘in strict accordance with the spirit of the constitution’ and ‘almost the only mode of preventing a revolution’. He presented favourable petitions from Nottingham, 9, 14 Mar., and dismissed the Tory Wetherell’s assertion that such petitions from corporations were an infraction of their chartered privileges. He brought up the English bar’s reform petition, 19 Mar. On the 22nd he presented more reform petitions, denied Wetherell’s charge that ministers had ‘compromised’ with O’Connell over the terms of the Irish bill and, replying to the points made by Sugden, supported the second reading of the English bill (which he privately expected to be ‘lost’ as the House was dividing)54:

It is the loudly expressed opinion of the great body of the intelligence and respectability of the country, that it is high time to put an end to that debasing, and degrading, and corrupt influence, which has had such demoralizing effects upon the lower orders, and which is the natural and inevitable result of a system which is founded on corruption.

He tried to play down the significance of the moderate reform petition sent up from Cambridge University, 30 Mar., and, amid noisy scenes, closed the debate for ministers on Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment to the reform bill, 19 Apr. 1831, when he declared that ‘if you expect the people to continue to place confidence in the legislature, you must carry this or some measure of the sort’. Gladstone thought his tone was defeatist, but Denman told his daughter that the dissolution had ‘pronounced the doom of the boroughmongers’ who had ‘exhibited in death the malignity and shabbiness which have disgraced their last days’.55 He was received with acclamation in Nottingham, where he and his colleague were returned unopposed.56

In the House, 28 June 1831, Denman, resisting pressure to take action against the libellous Tory press, observed that it was ‘throwing away the strength of government to prosecute publications against which the public can better protest themselves’.57 He defended the Irish government’s decision to prosecute over the Castle Pollard affair, 11 July. He opposed on technical grounds the printing of a petition for disarming the Irish yeomanry, 11 Aug., was in the ministerial majority against the Irish union of parishes bill, 19 Aug., and on the 23rd somewhat unconvincingly put their case on the Dublin election controversy. On 15 Sept. he said that William Carpenter, imprisoned for libel after a prosecution initiated by one of his predecessors, had deserved his punishment, and brushed off Hume’s attempt to embarrass him over his opposition to the relevant legislation in 1819. He of course voted steadily for the reintroduced reform bill, and he took his share of defending it, in principle and detail. He combatively denounced opposition obstruction, 28 July (though John Hobhouse* thought his speech was ‘bad’),58 and declined to present a constituency petition complaining of slow progress, 3 Sept., on the ground that doing so would add to the delay. He suggested that barristers should be exempted from the penalties proposed for non-performance of duties under the measure, 6 Sept. He voted for its third reading, 19 Sept., and passage, 21 Sept., and next day wrote to his daughter:

Who would have dared to believe this possible on November 1 1830: who would have ventured to call it probable even on the 1st of last March, when the House was required to condemn and correct itself, acting as judge and executioner on its own demerits? The event I really believe to be unique in the history of the world ... It proves that public spirit is active and energetic in England, even there where it is least expected, and where corruption has done the most to extinguish it ... I believe the Lords grow reasonable, and will pass the bill.59

He voted against the issue of the Liverpool writ, 5 Sept., but opposed the opposition motion to suspend that for Pembrokeshire as ‘an improper interference both with the prerogative of the crown and the rights of the people’, 26 Sept. Later that day he defended the Lords’ amendments to Gordon’s bill to regulate lunatic asylums. He successfully resisted inquiry into the Deacles’ allegations against William Bingham Baring* and explained the ministerial plan for the resumption of the charities commission, 27 Sept. Next day he secured the first reading of Brougham’s bill to reform bankruptcy administration, which he rather uncomfortably steered through committee. He denied that government was trying to rush through the Scottish exchequer bill, 6 Oct., or the interpleader and arbitration bills, 7 Oct. He was in the ministerial majority for Lord Ebrington’s confidence motion, 10 Oct. During the disorderly trades procession to St. James’s, 12 Oct. 1831, he and the solicitor-general, Sir William Horne*, were mistaken for bishops and were ‘hooted and pelted ... to their great fright at the time, and amusement afterwards’.60 In the House next day he opposed Wetherell’s motion for the appointment of a special commission to try the Nottingham rioters, but he was subsequently overruled on this by the cabinet, to whom he recommended a proclamation against political unions. He took no direct personal part in the Nottingham trials, but he was involved in January in the prosecution of the Bristol rioters, four of whom were executed.61 He later had the Bristol magistrates prosecuted for ‘neglect of duty’; and in the House, 7 Mar. 1832, he refuted Wetherell’s charge that ministers had so acted ‘in obedience to popular clamour’.

Denman vindicated the compromise of the prosecution of a London silk house for smuggling, 9, 15 Dec. 1831. He tried to overcome Wetherell’s resistance to the speedy passage of the limitation of actions bill, 14 Dec. According to Edward Littleton*, when Peel succeeded in embarrassing ministers on the Russian-Dutch loan, 16 Dec., Lord Althorp, the leader of the House, ‘said angrily to the lazy attorney-general, sitting about four yards from him, "Denman, defend your opinion", amidst a little laughter’. He briefly did so, but his performance on 26 Jan. 1832, when the ministry came close to defeat on the issue and were rescued by Lord Palmerston, the foreign secretary, was generally considered lamentable.62 Denman voted for the second reading of the revised reform bill, 17 Dec. 1831, and later explained and defended some of its details. He refuted allegations of political chicanery in the selection of disfranchised boroughs, 21 Feb., and defied Wetherell’s foolish threats of impeachment, 20 Mar. 1832:

The only opposition to the bill is founded upon ignorance of the real character of the people of England. Education is extending amongst them every day. Unfortunately, the higher orders are acquainted with the people only as voters for those miserable boroughs, which, under the present system, may be bought and sold.

He voted for the third reading of the bill, 22 Mar. He endorsed Warburton’s anatomy bill, 17 Jan., 11 Apr., 11 May, and the fines and recoveries bill, 20 Jan. He called the opposition motion on interference in the affairs of Portugal, 9 Feb., a censure of ‘the whole line of foreign policy’. On 22 Feb. he dismissed O’Connell’s complaints about the powers given to Irish magistrates to strike the lists of special jurors and defended the Irish master of the rolls bill against his strictures. He told Hunt that he was talking rubbish about the sentences imposed on himself and others after the Peterloo incident, 15 Mar. He explained a measure to rectify an omission in the 1823 Death Sentence Act, 20, 23 Mar. He voted with his colleagues for the navy civil departments bill, 6 Apr., and against the Irish registry of deeds bill, 9 Apr. Next day he vindicated the retirement allowances for judges of the Scottish exchequer court. There was talk of his being put up by ministers for the Speakership, but he disclaimed any interest in it; he was aware that he was seen as the likeliest successor to the ailing Lord Tenterden as lord chief justice of king’s bench.63 When ministers resigned after the reform bill’s defeat in the Lords in May Denman, who, as an ex-attorney-general, would have been prevented by professional etiquette from resuming the circuit, was reported to be ‘terribly dejected’ at the prospect of ‘ruin’ and ‘poverty’.64 He was in the government majority for the address calling on the king to appoint only ministers who would carry reform unimpaired, 10 May, but he was disappointed with the king’s ‘caprice’ and told his daughter:

Notwithstanding the loss of my City office, and the interruption of my professional engagements by special ones, I cannot doubt that I should hold a good situation at the bar, and this is much more to my wild taste than judicial elevation. The bench may be a desirable asylum, but while health and strength last I much prefer the exertions and rewards of this humbler position. My political friends were meditating to place me in the Speaker’s chair. I would rather die ... Yet the loss of large emoluments cannot be indifferent to the father of eleven children ... For twenty-four hours I was labouring under intense anxiety, in fear that some degrading compromise would be accepted ... Such was my relief on hearing that the unanimous cabinet had ... resolved on resignation, that I felt more grateful to Lord Grey for the step which deprived me of office than even for promoting me.65

Back in office with his colleagues, Denman, who voted against the Liverpool disfranchisement bill, 23 May, and for the Irish, 25 May, and Scottish reform bills, 1, 15 June, landed himself in a scrape by stating, 21 May, when attention was drawn to recent press libels on the royal family, that he had no intention of instigating ex-officio prosecutions, that it was impossible to ‘dive into men’s hearts’ and that he had always regretted the legal necessity of imprisoning people for the expression of sincerely held but illegal opinions. The last remark, which was twisted by opposition into a declaration that sincerity should give immunity from prosecution, alarmed and vexed the king, to whom Denman was compelled to submit a grovelling memorial of explanation and apology.66 He supported the Norfolk assizes bill, 23 May, 4 June. He supported Ewart’s bill to abolish capital punishment for certain non-violent crimes and presented a Nottingham petition to that effect, 30 May, and on 5 July said that some of the Lords’ amendments were unacceptable. On 22 June he introduced a measure to get rid of the death penalty for some forgery offences, which he later extended to Scotland and Ireland. He reluctantly acquiesced in the Lords’ restoration of the death penalty for forging wills, 15 Aug., and the bill received royal assent next day (2 & 3 Gul. IV, c. 123). He led the resistance to Harvey’s motion for reform of the admissions policy of the Inns of Court, defeating it by 68-52; but on 17 July he waived opposition to Harvey’s proposal to have the matter referred to the law commissioners. He voted for making coroners’ inquests public, 20 June. On the 22nd he contemptuously dismissed an allegation that imprisoned Nottingham rioters had been tortured; but he was more circumspect when the issue was raised again, 1 Aug. He explained the tithes prescription bill, 5, 18 July. He again put the ministerial case on the Russian-Dutch loan, 12, 16 July. When Sugden seized on the embarrassing matter of Brougham’s apparent appointment of a brother to a chancery sinecure, 25 July, Denman, after hastily consulting the chancellor, gave an assurance that it was only temporary. He clashed with Sugden on this next day, when he also got rid of an amendment to the bankruptcy bill. He again defended Brougham, 27 July, and justified the proposal to give him and his successors a fixed salary, 2 Aug. He handled the ecclesiastical courts contempts bill, 1, 3 Aug. That day he said that refusing to print the Preston petition alleging that troops were being sent to Ireland to enforce the payment of tithes would give it ‘a degree of importance ... which it does not deserve’. Defending the imprisonment of two blasphemous libellers, who had also committed assault, 15 Aug. 1832, he observed that ‘great tyranny is often exercised by those who are the most clamorous advocates for freedom of opinion’.

On 24 Aug. 1832, the day before making his maiden rail journey, from Liverpool to Manchester, Denman wrote to Merivale that the failure of the ‘vexatious and sordid opposition to the very principle of reform itself’ meant that

no opposition can now turn us out but one disposed to carry liberal opinions to a far greater length than the present cabinet can ever dream of ... The unhappy consequence ... is that the conservative powers are all formidably damaged in the estimate of that public opinion without which they are all nothing, and which has learned the fatal lesson of its own irresistible power ... We had no choice whether to bring it forward or not. The choice lay not between reform or no reform; but between reform proposed by the government and peaceably carried through, or reform proposed by the clubs and hurried forward by convulsion. I heartily lament the dangerous assemblies that have been held, and the inflammatory language that has been employed, but the senseless cry of reaction was a constant challenge to vehement demonstrations.67

He had turned down a requisition inviting him to stand for North Derbyshire at the impending general election; but when he got a hostile reception at Nottingham in early August on account of the execution of three of the convicted rioters he considered changing his mind. In the end he decided to persevere at Nottingham and became increasingly confident. In late October 1832 he appeared for the crown in the unsuccessful prosecution of the mayor of Bristol and replied powerfully to the vicious attack on the reform ministry made by Scarlett, counsel for the defence.68

On Tenterden’s death, 7 Nov. 1832, Brougham decisively intervened with Grey to press Denman’s pretensions to succeed him. The king’s strong objections were, with some difficulty, overcome, and Denman was thus removed from the Commons.69 His promotion was popular with his friends and the bar, but Greville, noting that he succeeded ‘four of the greatest lawyers who ever sat upon the bench’ [Lords Mansfield, Kenyon, Ellenborough and Tenterden], thought he would compare poorly with them:

The reputation of Denman as a lawyer is not high, and he has been one of the most inefficient attorneys-general who ever filled the office ... Denman is an honourable man, and has been a constant politician; latterly, of course, a radical of considerable vehemence, if not of violence ... By one of the most extraordinary pieces of good fortune that ever happened to man [he] finds himself elevated to this great office, the highest object of a lawyer’s ambition.70

In March 1834 Brougham, in need of professional assistance in the Lords, persuaded Grey to make Denman a peer. Greville sourly commented that his elevation was ‘much abused’, for he had ‘no fortune and a scamp of a son to succeed him’.71 As lord chief justice, Denman temporarily held the exchequer seals, 2-10 Dec. 1834, while Peel returned from Italy to form his first ministry.72 Next year he briefly acted as Speaker of the Lords while the great seal was in commission. In his later years he devoted much attention to the problem of eradicating the slave trade; and his impassioned speech of 22 Aug. 1848 helped to turn the tide of public opinion. He suffered a series of debilitating strokes the following year, and in early 1850, with great reluctance, he resigned, mortified that he was to be succeeded by Campbell, whom he hated.73 The unforgiving Greville ridiculed his lack of legal erudition and his ‘dignified incompetence’; but Denis Le Marchant† praised him as ‘a high-minded lover of liberty and justice’, while Holland noted that as a judge he was unusually ‘humane and ... just’.74 Thomas Spring Rice* had earlier remarked that ‘in honour and probity he is worth a whole regiment of ordinary lawyers’; and Cyrus Redding recalled that

there was something I liked about him, serious, impassive, of inflexible integrity, agreeable in society. He seemed to repel all that was frivolous ... As a man, I believe he was most estimable. His scholastic acquirements were considerable. No quality about him could be called brilliant, all was safe, rational, and perspicuous. Intrepid in moral feeling, nothing seemed capable of making his mind swerve from the dictates of an honest conviction. Straightforward, simple, and clear in conversation, massive rather than elegant, he won attention by the solidity of his judgement. He did not waste words, but used those which were proper in proper places. When the subjects of conversation were trivial, he was silent.75

At Nice in December 1852 a final stroke, precipitated by over-excitement in the anti-slave trade cause, deprived Denman, who had been widowed the previous June, of the powers of speech and original writing, though his intellect remained intact.76 He lingered pitiably until his death at Stoke Albany, Northamptonshire in September 1854. By his perfunctory will of 8 July 1852 he left his disposable real estate to his eldest son and successor in the peerage, Thomas Denman† (1805-94), a maverick Liberal politician, and divided his personal estate equally among his children.77

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: David R. Fisher


  • 1. Gent. Mag. (1854), ii. 509; Edgeworth Letters, 107.
  • 2. Life of Campbell, i. 394; Three Diaries, 282, 373.
  • 3. Sir J. Arnould, Mem. of Lord Denman (1873), i. 389.
  • 4. Life of Campbell, i. 351; Arnould, i. 129, 140-1.
  • 5. Arnould, i. 129-32; Nottingham Rev. 3, 10, 17, 24 Mar. 1820.
  • 6. Arnould, i. 131-2.
  • 7. Ibid. i. 133, 138; Two Brothers, 273; Geo. IV Letters, ii. 801; Croker Pprs. i. 173.
  • 8. Arnould, i. 137; Lady Palmerston Letters, 46, 51; Fox Jnl. 50.
  • 9. Arbuthnot Jnl., i. 24; Life of Wilberforce, v. 60; Northants. RO, Agar Ellis diary, 22 June 1820; Greville Mems. i. 98, 100; Arnould, i. 145-58; Add. 52444, ff. 169, 195.
  • 10. Geo. IV Letters, ii. 837.
  • 11. Arnould, i. 161-2; Nottingham Rev. 11 Aug. 1820.
  • 12. Arnould, i. 164; Creevey Pprs. i. 310; Fox Jnl. 39-40; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 32; Countess Granville Letters, i. 157; Grey mss, Grey to wife, 18 Aug. 1820.
  • 13. Arnould, i. 165-7; Brougham, Life and Times, ii. 389-90.
  • 14. Parl. Deb. iii. 1027-1184; Martin, Lyndhurst, 184-7; Life of Campbell, i. 387; Croker Pprs. i. 179-80; Lady Palmerston Letters, 55; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 47; Creevey Pprs. i. 331, 334; Grey mss, Grey to wife, 24, 25 Oct.; NLS mss 1036, f. 70; Add. 51654, Mackintosh to Lady Holland, 3 Nov. 1820; Arnould, i. 168-81.
  • 15. Agar Ellis diary, 6, 23 Nov. 1820; Buckingham, Mems. Geo. IV, i. 79; Creevey Pprs. i. 341-2.
  • 16. Life of Campbell, i. 391.
  • 17. HLRO, Hist. Coll. 379, Grey Bennet diary, 16.
  • 18. Ibid. 74, 82, 96, 97.
  • 19. Chatsworth mss 531.
  • 20. Arnould, i. 188-95.
  • 21. Brougham, ii. 429; Life of Campbell, i. 407; Black Bk. (1823), 151-2; Arnould, i. 197-203.
  • 22. Herts. Archives, Panshanger mss D/ELb F87/2.
  • 23. Add. 52445, f. 63.
  • 24. Ibid. f. 86.
  • 25. Bessborough mss, Brougham to Duncannon [4 Sept.]; Grey mss, Grey to Holland, 9 Sept. 1822.
  • 26. Bessborough mss, Brougham to Duncannon [10 Mar. 1823].
  • 27. Arnould, i. 204.
  • 28. Add. 51586.
  • 29. Add. 51564, Brougham to Lady Holland, 31 July 1823; Arnould, i. 262-3.
  • 30. Edinburgh Rev. xl (1824), 169-207.
  • 31. Brougham mss.
  • 32. CJ, lxxx. 427, 517, 551, 618; LJ, lvii. 1277.
  • 33. Gurney diary.
  • 34. Add. 51833, Macdonald to Holland, 19 Sept. [1825]; Arnould, i. 204; Nottingham Rev. 2 June; The Times, 2 June; Leicester Jnl. 16, 23, 30 June 1826.
  • 35. Life of Campbell, i. 441; Lansdowne mss, Denman to Scarlett [21 Apr. 1827]; Arnould, i. 207.
  • 36. Martin, Lyndhurst, 227; Arnould, i. 284; Life of Campbell, i. 445; Add. 51813, Denman to Lyndhurst, 18, 23 May, reply, 4 June; 52447, f. 75; Lansdowne mss, Holland to Lansdowne, 22 Oct. 1827; Colchester Diary, iii. 527.
  • 37. Add. 51813, Denman to Lyndhurst, 29 Feb., 2 June, to Holland, 17 July, memorial to king, 24 July, memo. [Dec.]; Geo IV Letters, iii. 1526, 1543, 1547; Wellington Despatches, v. 116-17, 153, 243, 300; Greville Mems. i. 238-9; Grey mss, Ellice to Gey, 25 Nov. 1828; Arnould, i. 285-90.
  • 38. Lady Holland to Son, 91-92; Add. 51813, Denman to Holland [?1 Dec. 1828]; Buckingham, ii. 47; Brougham, iii. 11-12, 17; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 314; Ellenborough Diary, ii. 135; Greville Mems. i. 332-3, 338-40, 342.
  • 39. Lonsdale mss, Lowther to Lonsdale, 21 July 1827; Fitzwilliam mss, Parker to Fitzwilliam, 17 May, to Milton, 18 May, Crompton to Milton, 21 May 1828.
  • 40. Creevey Pprs. ii. 208; Macaulay Letters, i. 265.
  • 41. Add. 51813, Rancliffe to Denman, 28 June, Denman to Holland [25 July] [3 Aug.]; Brougham mss, Brougham to Denman [27 July]; Nottingham Rev. 23, 30 July; The Times, 2, 4 Aug. 1830.
  • 42. Brougham mss, Denman to Brougham [18 Aug.]; Nottingham Jnl. 28 Aug. 1830; Add. 51813.
  • 43. Add. 38835, f. 13.
  • 44. Life of Campbell, i. 483; Grey mss, Howick jnl. 3 Nov. [1830].
  • 45. Howick jnl. 7 Nov.; Add. 51564, Brougham to Lady Holland [8 Nov. 1830]; Add. 56555, f. 42; Arnould, i. 320-1.
  • 46. Arnould, i. 312; Nottingham Rev. 19 Nov. 1830.
  • 47. Add. 51655, Mackintosh to Lady Holland [16 Nov. 1830]; Three Diaries, 7.
  • 48. Nottingham Rev. 3 Dec. 1830; Nottingham Univ. Lib. Newcastle mss Ne2 F3/1/298.
  • 49. Arnould, i. 328-9; Brougham mss, Denman to Brougham [20, 27, 29 Dec. 1830].
  • 50. Arnould, i. 331-5; Add. 51578, Carlisle to Holland, 18 Dec. [1830]; St. Deiniol’s Lib. Glynne-Gladstone mss 197, T. to J. Gladstone, 9 Feb. 1831; Greville Mems. ii. 161.
  • 51. Brougham mss, Brougham to Denman [1 Jan. 1831], autobiog. fragment.
  • 52. Glynne-Gladstone mss 198, T. to J. Gladstone, 16 Apr. 1831.
  • 53. Arnould, i. 340-1; Lambton mss (History of Parliament Aspinall transcripts), Russell to Durham, 13 Feb.; Kenyon mss, Lloyd Kenyon to Lord Kenyon, 19 Mar. 1831.
  • 54. Greville Mems. ii. 133.
  • 55. Glynne-Gladstone mss 198, T. to J. Gladstone, 20 Apr. 1831; Arnould, i. 347.
  • 56. Arnould, i. 348; Nottingham Rev. 29 Apr., 6 May 1831.
  • 57. Add. 51670, Bedford to Lady Holland, 7 May [1831].
  • 58. Add. 56555, f. 169.
  • 59. Arnould, i. 350-1.
  • 60. Hatherton diary, 12 [Oct. 1831].
  • 61. Holland House Diaries, 82, 92, 128; Arnould, i. 356.
  • 62. Hatherton diary, 17 [Dec. 1831], 26 [Jan. 1832]; Three Diaries, 180-1, 197; Greville Mems. ii. 243-4.
  • 63. Hatherton diary, 29 Feb., 3 Mar., 29 May 1832.
  • 64. Life of Campbell, ii. 8.
  • 65. Ibid. ii. 8; Arnould, i. 361-3.
  • 66. Croker Pprs. ii. 182; Holland House Diaries, 185; Arnould, i. 365-73.
  • 67. Arnould, i. 390-3.
  • 68. Arnold, i. 393-4, 440-2; The Times, 1 Nov. 1832; Brougham, iii. 221-2; Croker Pprs. ii. 193.
  • 69. Arnould, i. 404, 411; Brougham, iii. 220-4; Croker Pprs. ii. 192; Three Diaries, 281; Greville Mems. ii. 330.
  • 70. Three Diaries, 282; Greville Mems. ii. 329-30.
  • 71. Brougham, iii. 337-8; 340; Greville Mems. iii. 27.
  • 72. Wellington Pol. Corresp. ii. 232, 233, 238, 239, 247, 322, 324, 325.
  • 73. Arnould, ii. 272-3, 286-8; Macaulay Letters, v. 85, 90.
  • 74. Greville Mems. v. 56, 76; vi. 214; Three Diaries, 373; Holland House Diaries, 303.
  • 75. Lansdowne mss, Rice to Lansdowne, 8 Sept. 1827; C.Redding, Fifty Years’ Recollections (1858), ii. 62.
  • 76. Arnould, ii. 338.
  • 77. Gent. Mag. (1854), ii. 507-10; PROB 11/2198/739; IR26/1993/831.