This excellent person, whose learning in the law was scarce equalled, and never exceeded; was, in many respects, one of the most perfect characters of his age. Nor was his knowledge limited to his own profession: he was far from inconsiderable, as a philosopher and a divine. He was as good and amiable in his private, as he was great and venerable in his public, capacity. His decisions upon the bench were frequently a learned lecture upon the point of law; and such was his reputation for integrity, that the interested parties were generally satisfied with them, though they happened to be against themselves. No man more abhorred the chicane of lawyers, or more discountenanced the evil arts of pleading. He was so very conscientious, that the jealousy of being misled by his affections made him perhaps rather partial to that side to which he was least inclined. Though he was a man of true humility, he was not insensible of that honest praise which was bestowed on him by the general voice of mankind, and which must have been attended with that self applause which is the natural result of good and worthy actions. The pride, which deserves to be called by a softer name, was a very different thing from vanity. He is therefore very unjustly represented as a vain person by Mr. Roger North, who, by endeavouring to degrade an established character, has only degraded his own. Ob. 25 Dec. 1676.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1779.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.