Bathurst, Henry, 2nd Earl Bathurst

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Bathurst, Henry, 2nd Earl Bathurst (1714–94). Bathurst's career spanned politics and the law. He was an MP from 1735 to 1751 and became a king's counsel in 1746 and a judge of the common pleas in 1754. As a politician Bathurst opposed the Walpole ministry and was later active in the interest of Frederick, prince of Wales. After the latter's death Bathurst supported government and his elevation to the bench was at the recommendation of Lord Hardwicke. The untimely death of Lord Chancellor Yorke in 1770 resulted in Bathurst serving as a commissioner for the great seal until he was unexpectedly promoted to the chancellorship in January 1771. He was consequently raised to the peerage as Baron Apsley and, in 1775, succeeded as Earl Bathurst. As chancellor he was competent and even-handed, but not especially noteworthy. A loyal Northite, he surrendered the chancellorship to Thurlow in 1778, but served as lord president from 1779 until the fall of the ministry in 1782.

David Wilkinson