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retained his personal beauty in his old age, insomuch that CHAP. many went to the Court of Chancery to gaze at him; "and happy were they," says the facetious Fuller, "who had no other business there!!!"

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Although he always lived in a style suitable to his station, His forhe left entirely of his own conquest landed estates to the value of 80001. a year-equal to the wealth of the high hereditary nobility of that time.*

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His first wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Ravens- His marcroft, of Bretton, in the county of Flint, by whom he had riages. two sons, Sir Thomas, whose death in Ireland we have mentioned, and Sir John, who succeeded to his honours. The Chancellor married, secondly, the widow of Sir John Walley, of Pitfield, sister of Sir George More; and, lastly, Alice, daughter of Sir John Spencer, of Althorpe, in the county of Northampton, and widow of Ferdinando Earl of Derby, by neither of whom he had any issue. The latter survived him many years, and fostered the opening genius of Milton.

"The Grandeur of the Lawt" shows that many distinguished Splendour noble houses owe their origin to Westminster Hall; but I of his de

theroff. And these letters shalbe a suffycyent warrant, from tyme to tyme, to youe and euerie of youe in this behalfe. Fare youe well. From Draiton, this xxxiiijth off Maie, 1583.

"Yo'. mar.

"J. PAGET. Willm Crispe, keper

"To Richard Sneade, keper of my parke at Beaudesert.
of my parke att Seney. And to John Godwin, keper of my great parke att
Bromley Pagett. And to every of them, and in ther absence, to the deputie
and deputies, and to everie of them."— Egerton Pap. 95.

There is likewise in the same collection the formal appointment of him while Solicitor General as "Master of the Game" to Henry Earl of Derby, with the fee of a buck in summer and a doe in winter, with an annuity of five marks, and a power to distrain in case of arrears. - Eg. Pap. 96.

In 1606 he proposed that, like other Chancellors, he should have a grant of lands from the Crown (Egerton Papers, 408.), but none appears to have been made to him. Among other reasons he urged the great expence to which he had been put in entertaining Queen Elizabeth at Harefield.

In the last very valuable edition of this book by my friend Mr. Foss, he reckons 82 existing peerages sprung from the law:

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scendants.

CHAP.

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do not recollect any instance of the family of a lawyer who had raised himself from obscurity being so soon associated with the old aristocracy, or rising so rapidly to the highest rank in the peerage. John, the eldest surviving son, being created Earl of Bridgewater soon after his father's death, was married to a daughter of the Earl of Derby; and being Lord President of the Principality and Marches of Wales, and Lord-Lieutenant of the counties of Salop, Hereford, Gloucester, Monmouth, Glamorgan, Caermarthen, Pembroke, Cardigan, Flint, Caernarvon, Anglesea, Merioneth, Radnor, Brecknock, Montgomery, and Denbigh, kept his Court at Ludlow Castle, where his children were going

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- when passing through Haywood Forest they were benighted, and the Lady Alice was for a short time lost. This incident gave rise to COMUS, which was acted by her and her brothers, Lord Brackley and the Honourable Thomas Egerton.

After this illustration, the family derived little additional splendour from the Ducal Coronet, which, in another generation, was bestowed upon them.

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The male line of Lord Chancellor Ellesmere, after pro- CHAP. ducing many great and honourable characters, has failed; and he is now represented, through a female, by that accom- His present plished statesman, Lord Francis Egerton, who enjoys the representaprincely possessions of the family, and to whom every one will rejoice to see its honours restored.

tive.

APPENDIX.

I HAVE been favoured from the Egerton MSS. with copies of the following ac counts of Lord Ellesmere's household expences, which throw much light on the manners of the times:

"Comparative Statement of Lord Ellesmere's household expences in 3 weeks in Feb 1602, and in 3 weeks in Feb 1603.

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Indorsed by Whitbe, For my L. better remembrance tuching howshold
matters,' and by Lord Ellesmere 28 Februarij, 1603.'

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[Hence we see that Lord Ellesmere, between February 16C2-3, and February 1603-4, comparing three weeks of each had reduced his household expences from 148l. 128. 9d. to 103l. 98. 5d., making a difference of 451. 3s. 4d., in three weeks.

The coming of Lady Derby considerably increased the weekly expences in the two last weeks.

Other accounts applying to 1604, show that the total cost of housekeeping had been considerably reduced.]

"Dec. 30. Personal rewardes gyven by the Right Honorable the Lo. Chaunceller of England unto the officers of his Maties howshold at New Yeare's tyde, 1608.

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