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Thurlow, Edward Thurlow, 1st Baron

Edward Thurlow Thurlow, 1st Baron, 1731–1806, lord chancellor of England. Called to the bar in 1754, he enjoyed considerable success in legal practice. He was made a king's counsel in 1762 and entered Parliament in 1765. He was appointed solicitor general (1770) and attorney general (1771). His support of the policies of George III and Lord North with respect to the American colonies brought him a peerage and the lord chancellorship (1778). He held the latter office until Charles James Fox insisted upon his dismissal in 1783. William Pitt reappointed him in 1783, and he retained office until 1792. Then his opposition to Pitt's sinking fund and his intrigues against the ministry caused Pitt to demand his retirement. He had presided ably over the first part of the trial of Warren Hastings. Thurlow consistently opposed parliamentary reform, abolition of the slave trade, and other reforms. His manner inspired Charles James Fox's remark, "No man ever was so wise as Thurlow looks."

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Thurlow, Edward, 1st Baron Thurlow

Thurlow, Edward, 1st Baron Thurlow (1731–1806). A distinguished lawyer who appeared with success in several important constitutional cases. He was solicitor-general 1770, attorney-general 1771–8, and became lord chancellor as Baron Thurlow in 1778. He was a formidable presence on the woolsack and dominated the House of Lords. Fox remarked that ‘No man could be so wise as Thurlow looked’. Except during Fox's ministry of 1783 he remained lord chancellor until 1792, but he alienated Pitt by intriguing with the prince of Wales during the Regency crisis of 1788–9 in the hope of retaining office if the prince became regent. Pitt tired of his independence in the cabinet, where he was regarded as the king's representative, and compelled George III in 1792 to choose between them. Thurlow then retired.

E. A. Smith

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