Wright, Nathan

, of Barwell, Leicestershire, barrister at law, was elected recorder of Leicester in 1680; called by Writ, April 11, 1692, to take the degree of serjeant at law; knighted Dec. 30, 1696, and made king’s serjeant. On the refusal of the lords chief justices Holt and Treby, and Trevor the attorney-general, to accept the great seal, which was taken from lord Somers, it was delivered to sir Nathan, with the title of lord-keeper, May 21, 1700. As he was raised to this situation by the tories, so he seems to have acted in conformity to the views of that party. Burnet says, that many gentlemen of good estates and ancient families were put out of the commission of the peace by him, for no other visible reason but because they had gone in heartily to the revolution, and had continued zealous for king William; and, at the same time, men of no worth nor estate, and known to be ill-affected to queen Anne’s title, and to the protestant succession, were put in. He adds, that the lord-keeper was a “zealot to the party, and was become very exceptionable in all respects. Money, as was said, did every thing with him; only in his court, I never heard him charged for any thing but great slowness, by which the chancery was become one of the heaviest grievances of the nation.” The same author likewise says, that the lord-keeper “was | sordidly covetous; and did not at all live suitable to that high post: he became extremely rich, yet I never heard him charged with bribery in his court.” One of the most remarkable events that happened while he was in office, was his sentence for dissolving the Savoy, July 13, 1702; and in the same year, Nov. 30, he reversed a decree of his great predecessor, lord Somers. Sir Nathan’s removal, however, which happened in May 1705, is said to have “been a great loss to the church.” He passed the remainder of his days in retirement, beloved and respected, at Chaldecot-Hall, in Warwicksbire,"wbere he died Aug. 4, 1721. 1


Nichols’s Hist, of Leicestershire, art. Hinckley.