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BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.

VOL. IV.

COMMITTEE.

Chairman-LORD BROUGHAM, F.R.S., Mem. of the Nat. Inst. of France.

Vice-Chairman-EARL SPENCER.

Captain Beaufort, R.N., F.R. and R.A.S. Thomas Hodgkin, M.D.
Lord Campbell.

Henry B. Ker, Esq.
Professor Carey, A.M.

Professor Key, A.M. John Conolly, M.D.

J. G. S. Lefevre, Esq., A.M. William Coulson, Esq.

Sir Denis Le Marchant, Bart. The Bishop of St. David's.

Sir Charles Lemon, Bart., M.P. J. F. Davis, Esq., F.R.S.

George C. Lewis, Esq., A.M. Sir Henry De la Beche, F.R.S.

James Loch, Esq., M.P., F.G.S. Professor De Morgan, F.R.A.S.

Professor Long, A.M. Lord Denman.

The Rt. Hon. Stephen Lushington, D.C.L. The Bishop of Durham.

Professor Malden, A.M. John Elliotson, M.D., F.R.S.

A. T. Malkin, Esq., A.M. T. F. Ellis, Esq., A.M., F.R.A.S.

Mr. Serjeant Manning. Thomas Falconer, Esq.

Lord Nugent.
John Forbes, M.D., F.R.S.

Professor Quain.
Sir I. L. Goldsmid, Bart., F.R. and R.A.S. P. M. Roget, M.D., Sec. R.S., F.R.A.S.
Francis Henry Goldsmid, Esq.

Sir Martin A. Shee, P.R.A., F.R.S.
B. Gompertz, Esq., F.R. and R.A.S.

Sir G. T. Staunton, Bart., M.P. Professor Graves, A.M., F.R.S.

| Professor A. T. Thomson, M.D. G. B. Greenough, Esq., F.R. and L.S. Thomas Vardon, Esq. Sir Edmund Head, Bart., A.M.

Jacob Waley, Esq., A.M. M. D. Hill, Esq., Q.C.

James Walker, Esq., F.R.S., P. Inst. Civ. Eng. Rowland Hill, Esq., F.R.A.S.

Henry Waymouth, Esq.
The Right Hon. Sir J.C. Hobhouse, Bart., | Thomas Webster, Esq., A.M.
M.P.

| Lord Wrottesley, A.M., F.R.A.S.
THOMAS COATES, Esq., Secretary, 42, Bedford Square.

London : Printed by WILLIAM Clowes and Sons, Stamford Street,

THE

BIOGRAPHICAL

DICTIONARY

OF THE

SOCIETY FOR THE DIFFUSION OF

USEFUL KNOWLEDGE.

VOLUME IV.

LONDON:
LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, AND LONGMANS,

PATERNOSTER-ROW.

1844.

THE

BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY

OF THE

SOCIETY for the DIFFUSION of USEFUL KNOWLEDGE.

ATKYNS, SIR ROBERT, a judge and conciliate. At the coronation of Charles II., an eminent political character in the latter therefore, he was one of the sixty-eight part of the seventeenth century, was de- “ persons of distinction " who were created scended from a family of wealth and influ- knights of the Bath. In 1661 he was chosen ence in Gloucestershire. His father and recorder of Bristol ; and upon the marriage grandfather were both distinguished mem- of the king to Catherine of Portugal, he bers of the profession of the law. His father, was appointed solicitor-general to the queen. Sir Edward Atkyns, was one of the serjeants- | In the ensuing term he was called to the at-law named by the Long Parliament to bench of the Society of Lincoln's Inn. He Charles I. as proper persons to be made was not a member of the Convention Parliajudges, in the proposals sent to the king in ment assembled immediately upon the restoJanuary, 1642-43. (Clarendon's Rebellion, ration, but he was returned to the House of vol. iii. p. 407.) He was made a baron of Commons for the borough of East Looe in the Exchequer in 1645; and although he re- the Parliament which met in May, 1661. fused at first a renewal of his commission He continued to hold his seat in the House of from Cromwell, he afterwards became a Commons until he was raised to the bench: judge of the Court of Common Pleas during and although he retained his practice in the the Commonwealth. Upon the restoration Court of Exchequer, the frequent mention of of Charles II. he was appointed a baron of his name in the journals proves his assiduous the Exchequer, and was named in the com- attention to parliamentary duties. In April, mission for the trial of the regicides. He 1672, he was appointed a judge of the Court died in 1669, at the age of eighty-two. of Common Pleas. No facts are recorded

Sir Robert Atkyns was born in 1621, and which mark his judicial character, and at after receiving the early part of his educa- such a period it was, perhaps, a proof of merit tion in his father's house in Gloucestershire, not to be conspicuous. He is mentioned, was entered at Baliol College, Oxford. He however, as presiding, with other judges, on spent several years at the university, and in the trials of several persons charged with November, 1645, was called to the bar by the being concerned in the Popish Plot; and alSociety of Lincoln's Inn, to which his father though his language and demeanour on those and grandfather had belonged. During the occasions were decorous and moderate, it is Commonwealth he attained to high reputation evident that he fully participated in the deas an advocate, confining his practice to the | lusion which pervaded all classes of society Court of Exchequer, which at that particular respecting that transaction. time seems to have disposed of as much busi- / In the early part of 1680, Sir Robert Atkyns ness as either of the Superior Courts. (Har- quitted the bench-whether by dismissal, or dres's Reports.) Although he had taken the by his voluntary resignation, is uncertain. engagement to be true to the Commonwealth, Possibly his disagreement with Chief Justice and was a member of the popular party, he had North may have led to his retirement. Roger aeted no personal part in the more obnoxious North relates that he incited the other judges and violent proceedings against Charles I., to dispute the right of the chief justice to the and being possessed of talents, wealth, and in- exclusive appointment of one of the officers fluence, he was one of those whom at the resto of the court; and adds, that “ Judge Atkyns ration it was the policy of the government to took all opportunities to cross his lordship.”

VOL. IV.

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