Erskine (of Restormel), Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron

born Jan. 10, 1750, Edinburgh, Scot.
died Nov. 17, 1823, Almondell, Linlithgowshire

Scottish lawyer.

He was the youngest son of Henry David Erskine, 10th Earl of Buchan. After service in the British navy and army, he entered the law, and in 1778 he was called to the bar. His practice flourished after he won a seminal libel case, and he went on to make important contributions to the protection of personal liberties. His defense of politicians and reformers on charges of treason and related offenses, including an unsuccessful defense of Thomas Paine (1792), checked repressive measures taken by the British government in the aftermath of the French Revolution. He contributed to the law of criminal responsibility by defending, on the novel ground of insanity, a would-be assassin of George III. He served in Parliament (1783–84, 1790–1806) until elevated to the peerage (1806), and he was lord chancellor (1806–07) in William Grenville's "ministry of all talents." In 1820 he defended Queen Caroline, whom George IV had brought to trial before the House of Lords for adultery in order to deprive her of her rights and title. Erskine's courtroom speeches are characterized by vigour, cogency, and lucidity and often by great literary merit.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Erskine, Thomas, 1st Baron Erskine — (1750 1823)    Born in Edinburgh, the youngest son the tenth earl of Buchan, he attended the grammar school at St. Andrews. He served in the Navy under Sir David Lindsay, and in the Army under John, Duke of Argyll. Around 1772 he published an… …   British and Irish poets

  • David Erskine, 2nd Baron Erskine — David Montagu Erskine, 2nd Baron Erskine (12 August 1776 – 19 March 1855) was a British diplomat and politician. Contents 1 Background and education 2 Political and diplomatic career 3 Family 4 …   Wikipedia

  • baron — /bar euhn/, n. 1. a member of the lowest grade of nobility. 2. (in Britain) a. a feudal vassal holding his lands under a direct grant from the king. b. a direct descendant of such a vassal or his equal in the nobility. c. a member of the House of …   Universalium

  • Baron — /bann rddawonn /, n. Michel /mee shel /, (Michel Boyron), 1653 1729, French actor. * * * I Title of nobility, ranking in modern times immediately below a viscount or a count (in countries without viscounts). The wife of a baron is a baroness.… …   Universalium

  • Baron Erskine — The title Baron Erskine, of Restormel Castle in the County of Cornwall, was created in 1806 for Hon. Thomas Erskine (a younger son of Henry Erskine, 10th Earl of Buchan) who was Chancellor of the Duchy of Cornwall from 1802 to 1806.In 1960, the… …   Wikipedia

  • Thomas — /tom euhs/ for 1, 2, 4 14; /taw mah / for 3, n. 1. an apostle who demanded proof of Christ s Resurrection. John 20:24 29. 2. Augustus, 1857 1934, U.S. playwright, journalist, and actor. 3. (Charles Louis) Ambroise /shannrddl lwee ahonn brddwannz… …   Universalium

  • ST — Real Estate. septic tank. * * * (as used in expressions) St. Mary Alexander Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander 1st Earl Amherst Jeffery Amherst 1st Baron Asquith Herbert Henry 1st earl of Oxford and Asquith Attlee Clement Richard 1st Earl… …   Universalium

  • st — stere. * * * (as used in expressions) St. Mary Alexander Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander 1st Earl Amherst Jeffery Amherst 1st Baron Asquith Herbert Henry 1st earl of Oxford and Asquith Attlee Clement Richard 1st Earl Attlee of Walthamstow… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.