West, Richard

, lord-chancellor of Ireland, a lawyer of whom we have very little information, studied his profession in one of the Temples. He married Elizabeth, one of the two daughters of bishop Burnet. He was appointed king’s counsel the 24th of October, 1717; and in 1725, advanced to the office of lord-chancellor of Ireland. This high post he did not long enjoy, but died the 3d of December, 1726, in circumstances not adequate to the dignity which he had possessed. He left one son, a very promising young gentleman, who is sufficiently known to the public by his friendship with Mr. Walpole, afterwards lord Orford, in whose works is his correspondence, and with the celebrated poet Gray. Our author, the chancellor, wrote, “A Discourse concerning Treasons and Bills of Attainder,1714. He also compiled, chiefly from the Petyt Mss. in the Inner-Temple library, entitled “De Creatione Nobilium,” 2 vols. fol. a work called “An Inquiry into the Manner cf creating Peers/ 7 1719. He wrote some papers in the” Freethinker,“a periodical essay; and Whincop says, he was supposed to have written,Hecuba," a tragedy, 1726, 4to,

Of his son, we are informed that he was educated at

1

Nichols’s Bowyer. Restitua, vol. I. Granger’s Letters, p. 3336.

| Eton, and went thence to Oxford about the same time that Gray removed to Cambridge. Each of them carried with him the reputation of an excellent classical scholar; and Mr. Mason was told, what he seems unwilling to allow, that Mr. West’s genius was reckoned the more brilliant of the two. In April 1738, Mr. West left Christchurch for the Inner Temple; but, according to his own account, in a letter to Walpole, he had no great relish for the study of the law, and had some thoughts of exchanging that profession for the army. When Gray returned from his Travels ui 1741, he found his friend West oppressed by sickness, and a load of family misfortunes, which had already too far affected a body originally weak and delicate. West died June i, 1742, in the twenty-sixth year of his age What remains to give an idea of his talents, may be found in lord Orford’s Works, and Mason’s Life of Gray. 1
1

Biog. Dram. Lord OrforJ’s Works, vol. If. Mason’s Life of Gray. 0nt. Mag. vol. LXXII.