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Pratt, Charles, 1st Earl Camden

Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden, 1714–94, British jurist. Appointed (1761) chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas, he earned wide popularity as a result of his ruling in Entick v. Carrington (1763), where he pronounced against the legality of the general warrant under which John Wilkes was prosecuted. He became lord chancellor in 1766, but his constant denunciation of the government's policy toward the American colonists and opposition to the taxes imposed on them resulted in his dismissal (1770). He served as president of the council under the marquess of Rockingham (1782–83) and under William Pitt (1784–94). In 1786 he was created Earl Camden. His lifelong fight against the existing definition of libel culminated in the passage of Fox's Libel Act of 1792 (see press, freedom of the). Camden's son, John Jeffreys Pratt, 2d Earl and 1st Marquess Camden, 1759–1840, was lord lieutenant of Ireland (1794–98). His repressive policies there were a major factor in the outbreak of the 1798 revolution. He later served as secretary of war (1804–5) and president of the council (1805–6 and 1807–12). He was created marquess in 1812.

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Camden, Charles Pratt, 1st Earl

Camden, Charles Pratt, 1st Earl (1714–94). Camden joined Middle Temple and was called to the bar in 1738. At first he found it difficult to obtain a brief but eventually found work and established his reputation. In 1757 he became attorney-general under Pitt and Whig MP for Downton. In 1761 he was promoted to chief justice of Common Pleas. His most famous case came in 1763 involving Wilkes and the libellous North Briton. Camden ruled that general warrants were illegal and gained great popularity. He strongly opposed the taxation of the American colonies, declaring the Stamp Act unconstitutional. He became lord chancellor in Chatham's second administration and although he opposed the ministry's American policy, retained the great seal until 1770. He remained in opposition until the death of Chatham, but became president of the council in the Rockingham administration and retained the post until his death.

Richard A. Smith

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Camden, Charles Pratt, 1st Earl

Charles Pratt Camden, 1st Earl: see Pratt, Charles, 1st Earl Camden.

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"Camden, Charles Pratt, 1st Earl." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved November 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/camden-charles-pratt-1st-earl

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