Edward Thurlow 1st Baron Thurlow

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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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