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Encyclopedia > John Somers, 1st Baron Somers

John Somers, 1st Baron Somers (4 March 165126 April 1716), was Lord Chancellor of England under King William III. March 4 is the 63rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (64th in leap years). ... Events January 1 - Charles II crowned King of Scotland in Scone. ... April 26 is the 116th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (117th in leap years). ... Events Natchez, one of the oldest towns on the Mississippi, founded. ... The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor and in former times Chancellor of England, is one of the most senior and important functionaries in the government of the United Kingdom. ... William III and II (14 November 1650–8 March 1702; also known as William Henry and William of Orange) was a Dutch Prince of Orange from his birth, King of England and Ireland from 13 February 1689, and King of Scotland from 11 April 1689, in each case until his...


He was born near Worcester, the eldest son of John Somers, an attorney in large practice in that town, who had formerly fought on the side of the Parliament, and of Catherine Ceaverne of Shropshire. After being at school at Worcester he was entered as a gentlemar commoner at Trinity College, Oxford, and afterwards studied law under Sir Francis Winnington, who became solicitor-general and joined the Middle Temple. He appears, in addition to his legal studies, to have written several poems and pamphlets. He soon became intimate with the leaders of the country party especially with Essex, William Russell, and Algernon Sidney but never entered into their plans so far as to commit himself beyond recall. He was the author of the History of the Succession of the Crown of England, collected out of Records, &c., and was reputed to have written the Just and Modest Vindication of the Two Last Parliaments, which was put forward as the answer to Charles II’s famous declaration of his reasons for dissolving them. This, however, was by Sidney, though probably Somers was responsible for the final draft. When the grand jury of Middlesex threw out the bill against Shaftesbury, and were vehemently attacked for so doing, Somers wrote in defence of the rights of grand juries. In 1683 he was counsel for the sheriffs Pilkington and Shute before the court of King’s Bench, and secured a reputation which continually increased until the trial of the seven bishops, in which he was junior counsel. "Somers rose last. He spoke little more than five minutes, but every word was full of weighty matter; and when he sat down his reputation as an orator and a constitutional lawyer was established." In the secret councils of those who were planning the revolution Somers took a leading part, and in the Convention Parliament was elected a member for his native town. He was immediately appointed one of the managers for the Commons in the conferences between the houses, and in arguing the questions whether James II had left the throne vacant by abdication and whether the acts of the Convention Parliament were legal — that parliament having been summoned without the usual writs — he displayed great learning and legal subtlety. He was further distinguished by being made chairman of the committee which drew up the celebrated Declaration of Right. The city of Worcester (pronounced Wuh-ster) is the county town of Worcestershire in England; the river Severn runs through the middle, with the citys large Worcester Cathedral overlooking the river. ... Shropshire (abbreviated Salop or Salops) is a county in the West Midlands of England, bordering Cheshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, and the Welsh preserved counties of Powys and Clwyd. ... Trinity College (in full: The College of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity and Sir Thomas Pope (Knight)) is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. ... The Middle Temple is one of the four Inns of Court around the Royal Courts of Justice in London. ... Arthur Capell, 1st Earl of Essex (1631 - July 13, 1683), whose surname is often spelled Capel, was an English statesman. ... William, Lord Russell (September 29, 1639 - 1683), was an English politician. ... Algernon Sydney (or Sidney) (~1622-1683) was an English politician, an opponent of King Charles II of England. ... Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 30 January 1649 (de jure) or 29 May 1660 (de facto) until his death. ... Middlesex as a traditional county before 1888. ... Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury (1621-1683) was a prominent English politician of the Interregnum and during the reign of King Charles II. Cooper, born in Dorset County, suffered the death of both his parents at a young age and was raised by relatives and family friends, while... Events June 6 - The Ashmolean Museum opens as the worlds first university museum. ... The term Convention Parliament has been applied to three different English Parliaments, of 1399, 1660 and 1689. ... James VII and II (14 October 1633–16 September 1701) became King of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 6 February 1685. ...


In May 1689 Somers was made solicitor-general. He now became William III’s most confidential adviser. In the controversy which arose between the Houses on the question of the legality of the decision. of the court of King’s Bench regarding Titus Oates, and of the action of the Lords in sustaining this decision, Somers was again the leading manager for the Commons, and has left a clear and interesting account of the debates. He was next employed in January 1690 as chairman of the select committee of the House of Commons on the Corporation Bill, by which those corporations which had surrendered their charters to the Crown during the last two reigns were restored to their rights; but he refused to associate himself with the violent measures of retaliation which the Whigs on that occasion endeavoured to include in the bill. In April a speech by him carried through the lower house, without opposition, the bill which declared all the laws passed by the Convention Parliament to be valid. As solicitor-general he had to conduct the prosecution of Preston and Asbton in 1691, and did so with a moderation and humanity which were in marked contrast to the customs of the former reigns. He was soon after appointed attorney-general, and in that capacity strongly opposed the bill for the regulation of trials in cases of high treason. On 23 March 1693, the great seal having meanwhile been in commission, Somers was appointed Lord-Keeper, with a pension of £2000 a year from the day on which he should quit his office, and at the same time was made a privy councillor. He had previously been knighted. Somers now became the most prominent member of the Junto, the small council which comprised the chief members of the Whig party. When William left in May 1695 to take command of the army in the Netherlands, Somers was made one of the seven lords-justices to whom the administration of the kingdom during his absence was entrusted; and he was instrumental in bringing about a reconciliation between William and the Princess Anne. Events Louis XIV of France passed the Code Noir, allowing the full use of slaves in the French colonies. ... William III and II (14 November 1650–8 March 1702; also known as William Henry and William of Orange) was a Dutch Prince of Orange from his birth, King of England and Ireland from 13 February 1689, and King of Scotland from 11 April 1689, in each case until his... Titus Oates. ... Events Giovanni Domenico Cassini observes differential rotation within Jupiters atmosphere. ... This article is about the British Whig party. ... Events March 5 - French troops under Marshal Louis-Francois de Boufflers besiege the Spanish-held town of Mons March 29 - Siege of Mons ends to the city’s surrender October 3 - Treaty of Limerick which guaranteed civil rights to catholics was signed. ... March 23 is the 82nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (83rd in Leap years). ... Events January 11 - Eruption of Mt. ... Another editor has suggested that this article might be improved by more material on its significance. ... Events January 27 - Change of emperor of the Ottoman Empire from Ahmed II to Mustafa II (1695-1703) July 17 - The Bank of Scotland is founded by an Act of Parliament of the old Scottish Parliament. ... Anne (6 February 1665–1 August 1714) became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. ...


In April 1697 Somers was made Lord Chancellor, and was created a peer by the title of Baron Somers of Evesham. When the discussion arose on the question of disbanding the army, he summed up the case against disbanding, in answer to Trenchard in a remarkable pamphlet called The Balancing Letter. In August 1698. he went to Tunbridge Wells for his health. While there he received the king’s letter announcing the first Partition Treaty, and at once replied with a memorandum representing the necessity in the state of feeling in England of avoiding further war. When the king, on the occasion of the Disbanding Bill, expressed his determination to leave the country, Somer boldly remonstrated, while he dearly expressed in a speech in thr Lords the danger of the course that was being taken. Hitherto Somers’s character had kept him free from attack at the hands of political opponents; but his connection in 1699 with the notorious Captain William Kidd, to the cost of whose expedition Somers had given £1 000, afforded an opportunity; the vote of censure, however, proposed upon him in the House of Commons for giving Kidd a commission under the great seal was rejected by 199 to 131. The attack was renewed shortly on the ground of his having accepted grants of Crown property to the amount of £1600 a year, but was again defeated. On the subject of the Irish forfeitures a third attack was made in 1700, a motion being brought forward to request the king to remove Somers from his counsels and presence for ever; but this again was rejected by a large majority. In consequence, however, of the incessant agitation William now requested Somers to resign; this he refused to do, but gave up the seals to William’s messenger. In 1701 he was impeached by the Commons on account of the part he had taken in the negotiations relating to the Partition Treaty in 1698, and defended himself most ably before the house, answering the charges seriatim. The impeachment was voted and sent up to the Lords, but was there dismissed. On the death of the king Somers retired almost entirely into private life. He was president of the Royal Society from 1699 to 1704. He was, however, active in 1702 in opposing the Occasional Conformity Bill, and in 1706 was one of the managers of the union with Scotland. In the same year he carried a bill regulating and improving the proceedings of the law courts. He was made Lord President of the Council in 1708 upon the return of the Whigs to power, and retained the office until their downfall in 1710. Somers was never married, but left two sisters, of whom the eldest, Mary, married Charles Cocks, whose grandson, Sir Charles Cocks, bart., became the second Lord Somers in 1784, the title subsequently descending in this line. Events September 20 - The Treaty of Ryswick December 2 – St Pauls Cathedral opened in London Peter the Great travels in Europe officially incognito as artilleryman Pjotr Mikhailov Use of palanquins increases in Europe Christopher Polhem starts Swedens first technical school. ... The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor and in former times Chancellor of England, is one of the most senior and important functionaries in the government of the United Kingdom. ... Events January 4 - Palace of Whitehall in London is destroyed by fire. ... Tunbridge Wells (officially Royal Tunbridge Wells) is a Wealden town in west Kent in England, just north of the border with East Sussex. ... Events January 26 - Treaty of Karlowitz signed March 30 - the tenth Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh created the Khalsa. ... William Captain Kidd (1645–May 23, 1701) was a notorious pirate. ... Events January 1 - Russia accepts Julian calendar. ... Events January 18 - Frederick I becomes King of Prussia. ... Events January 4 - Palace of Whitehall in London is destroyed by fire. ... The Royal Society of London is claimed to be the oldest learned society still in existence. ... Events January 26 - Treaty of Karlowitz signed March 30 - the tenth Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh created the Khalsa. ... Events Building of the Students Monument in Aiud, Romania. ... Events March 8 - William III died; Princess Anne Stuart becomes Queen Anne of England, Scotland and Ireland. ... Events May 23 - Battle of Ramillies November 5 - The Dublin Gazette publishes its first edition. ... Scotland (Alba in Scottish Gaelic) is a country in northwest Europe, occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain. ... The Office of Lord President of the Council is a British cabinet position, the holder of which acts as Presiding officer of the Privy Council. ... Events March 23 - James Francis Edward Stuart lands at the Firth of Forth September 28 - Peter the Great defeats the Swedes at the Battle of Lesnaya Kandahar conquered by Mir Wais In Masuria one third of the population die during the plague J.S. Bach appointed as chamber musician and... Events April 10 - The worlds first copyright legislation became effective, Britains Statute of Anne Ongoing events Great Northern War (1700-1721) War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713) Births January 4 - Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Italian composer (d. ...


This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica. The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... The Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1911) in many ways represents the sum of knowledge at the beginning of the 20th century. ...



Preceded by:
Sir George Treby
Solicitor General for England and Wales
1689–1692
Succeeded by:
Sir Thomas Trevor
Preceded by:
Sir George Treby
Attorney General for England and Wales
1692–1693
Succeeded by:
Sir Edward Ward
Preceded by:
In Commission
Lord Keeper
1693–1697
Lord Chancellor
1697–1700
Succeeded by:
Sir Nathan Wright
(Lord Keeper)
Preceded by:
The Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery
Lord President of the Council
1708–1710
Succeeded by:
The Earl of Rochester


Her Majestys Solicitor General for England and Wales, often known as the Solicitor General, is one of the Law Officers of the Crown, and the deputy of the Attorney General, whose duty is to advise the Crown and Cabinet on the law. ... Thomas Trevor, 1st Baron Trevor (1658 - 1730), was knighted in 1692 as solicitor-general and in 1695 became attorney-general. ... Her Majestys Attorney General for England and Wales, usually known as the Attorney General, is the chief legal adviser of the Crown in England and Wales. ... The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor and in former times Chancellor of England, is one of the most senior and important functionaries in the government of the United Kingdom. ... The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor and in former times Chancellor of England, is one of the most senior and important functionaries in the government of the United Kingdom. ... Sir Nathan Wright was Lord Keeper of the Great Seal under King William III and Queen Anne. ... Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke, 5th Earl of Montgomery (c. ... The Office of Lord President of the Council is a British cabinet position, the holder of which acts as Presiding officer of the Privy Council. ... Laurence Hyde, 1st Earl of Rochester (March, 1641 - May 2, 1711), was an English statesman and writer. ...

Preceded by:
New Creation
Baron Somers Succeeded by:
Extinct

  Results from FactBites:
 
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/John Somers, 1st Baron Somers (1021 words)
John Somers, 1st Baron Somers, PC, FRS (4 March 1651–26 April 1716) was Lord High Chancellor of England under King William III.
He was born at Claines, near Worcester, the eldest son of John Somers, an attorney in large practice in that town, who had formerly fought on the side of the Parliament, and of Catherine Ceaverne of Shropshire.
When William left in May 1695 to take command of the army in the Netherlands, Somers was made one of the seven lords-justices to whom the administration of the kingdom during his absence was entrusted; and he was instrumental in bringing about a reconciliation between William and the Princess Anne.
John Somers, 1st Baron Somers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1043 words)
John Somers, 1st Baron Somers, PC, FRS (4 March 1651–26 April 1716) was Lord High Chancellor of England under King William III.
He was born near Worcester, the eldest son of John Somers, an attorney in large practice in that town, who had formerly fought on the side of the Parliament, and of Catherine Ceaverne of Shropshire.
Somers now became the most prominent member of the Junto, the small council which comprised the chief members of the Whig party.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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