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Abstract from

The Biographical Turn: Lord Nottingham, His Case

David Saunders is Professor Emeritus in the Socio-Legal Research Centre at Griffith University.

This article recalls Sir Heneage Finch (1621-1682) – better known as Lord Chancellor Nottingham – and in addition his contemporary, Sir Matthew Hale (1609-1676). Its focus is on their bearing of a ‘persona’ appropriate to the duties of judicial ‘office’ in the Restoration context of the Anglican settlement. The aim here is to demonstrate a biographical turn that is personal and historical but not anachronistic. The article proposes two descriptive protocols concerning ‘office’ and ‘persona’, and four revisions that impel this biographical turn to a more historical account of Lord Nottingham.
          And for so much as the Court bridleth the rigour of the Common Law, by giving actions and exceptions for remedies where by Law none were, according to equity and conscience, to maintaine equum et bonum, the common people terme the Chancery the Court of Conscience; yet herein conscience is so regarded, that Lawes be not neglected, for they must joyn hands in the moderation of extremity. (William West, The second part of Symbolaeography, 1590)

(2015) 33(1) Law in Context p86

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