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Selborne, Roundell Palmer, 1st earl of

Selborne, Roundell Palmer, 1st earl of (1812–95). Lawyer. Palmer got off to a flying start. He was educated at both Rugby and Winchester, moved on to Christ Church, Oxford, was president of the Union, and gained a first-class degree. He studied law at Lincoln's Inn and entered Parliament in 1847 as a supporter of Sir Robert Peel. He became solicitor-general in Palmerston's administration in 1861 and moved up to attorney-general in 1863, holding the post until 1866. A strong churchman, he disapproved greatly of the disestablishment of the Irish church in 1869 and refused Gladstone's offer of the lord chancellorship, with a peerage. But on the resignation of Lord Hatherley in 1872 with failing eyesight, Palmer succeeded him as lord chancellor, holding office 1872–4 and again 1880–5. He was created baron in 1872 and advanced to earl in 1882. Increasingly uneasy at the radical trend of the Liberals, he parted with them on Irish Home Rule in 1886, writing sadly in his Memorials, ‘my idols were broken’. Henceforth he gave independent support to the Conservatives. Palmer's brilliant intellect, vast memory, and powers of application were widely recognized, and the complete reorganization of the law courts in the Judicature Act of 1873 was his work. His son and grandson also had distinguished political careers.

J. A. Cannon

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"Selborne, Roundell Palmer, 1st earl of." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Selborne, Roundell Palmer, 1st earl of." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/selborne-roundell-palmer-1st-earl

Selborne, Roundell Palmer, 1st earl of

Roundell Palmer Selborne, 1st earl of (sĕl´bôrn), 1812–95, British jurist and statesman. Called to the bar in 1837, he entered Parliament in 1847 as a nominal Conservative. He soon was associated more with the Liberals, however, and served Lord Palmerston as solicitor general (1861–63) and Palmerston and Lord John Russell as attorney general (1863–66). As lord chancellor under William Gladstone (1872–74, 1880–85), Selborne secured passage of the Judicature Act of 1873, a landmark reform of the British courts. He broke with Gladstone in 1885 on the question of Irish Home Rule and joined the Liberal Unionists. Selborne was a conservative writer on problems of church history and doctrine. He was created an earl in 1882. His son, William Waldegrave Palmer, 2d earl of Selborne, 1859–1942, was first lord of the admiralty (1900–1905) and worked closely with Sir John Fisher (later 1st Baron Fisher) on the important naval reforms of the period. As high commissioner (1905–10) for South Africa, he proposed and worked out the details for the formation of the Union of South Africa. He was president of the Board of Agriculture in 1915–16 but held no further offices.

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"Selborne, Roundell Palmer, 1st earl of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Selborne, Roundell Palmer, 1st earl of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/selborne-roundell-palmer-1st-earl

"Selborne, Roundell Palmer, 1st earl of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/selborne-roundell-palmer-1st-earl