Buller, Sir Francis

, bart. a judge of the court of king’s-bench and common-pleas, the son of James Buller, esq. member of parliament for the county of Cornwall, by Jane, his second wife, one of the daughters of Allen earl Bathurst, was born in 1745, and educated at a private school in the west of England. After this he removed ta London, and was admitted of the Inner Temple, Feb. 1763, and became a pupil of sir William Ashurst, who was at that time a very eminent spe’cial-pleader, but whom, it has been thought, he excelled. He was always ranked among the most eminent of the profession in this branch, and his business, as a common -law draughtsman, was immediate, and immense. His practice also at the bar, to which he was called by the honourable society of the Middle Temple in Easter Term, 1772, was at first considerable, and in a very short period, became equal to | that of almost any of his brethren. Devoting himself entirely to it, he never came into parliament. On Nov. 24, 1777, he was appointed king’s-counsel, and on the 27th of the same month, second judge of the Chester circuit. In Easter term, May 6, 1778, by the patronage of lord Mansfield, who had a high opinion of his talents, he was made a judge of the king’s-bench, in the room of sir Richard Aston. During the indisposition of lord Mansfield, for the last three or four years that he held the office of chief justice, sir Francis Buller executed almost all the business at the sittings ap nisi prius, with great ability, and lord Mansfield left him 2000l. in his will, which, it is said, Mr. justice Buller declined receiving of his lordship, when offered as a compensation for his trouble. On the resignation of lord Mansfield, his expectations were directed to the succession to the high office so long and ably filled by that venerable lawyer, but, for various reasons, sir Lloyd Kenyon was preferred. In 1794, in consequence of his declining state of health, which rendered him unequal to the laborious duties of that court, he was, on the death of judge Gould, removed to the court of common-pleas, but his health still continuing to decay, he was about to have obtained his majesty’s leave to resign, when he died suddenly, at his house in Bedford-square, June 4, 1800, and was interred in a vault in St. Andrew’s burying-ground. He was created a baronet in 1789, and was succeeded in titles and estate by his son sir F. Buller Yarde, which last name he took for an estate. Sir Francis Buller was allowed to be ably and deeply versed in the law, and was certainly more distinguished for substantial than showy talents. His eloquence at the bar was seldom admired, but his addresses from the bench were perspicuous, dignified, and logical. He possessed great quickness of perception, saw the consequences of a fact, and the drift of an argument at its first opening, and could immediately reply to an unforeseen objection, but was on some occasions thought rather hasty. He seldom, however, formed his opinions without due ^consideration, and was particularly tenacious of what he had thus considered.

As a writer he has conferred some obligations on the profession. His “Introduction to the law relative to Trials at Nisi Prius,1772, 4to, has passed through six editions, with | occasional corrections and additions, the last of which was printed in 1793, and is considered as a standard work. 1

1 Gent. Mag. 1800, Strictures on Emiueat Lawyers, 1790, 8vo. Bri Legal B biiograpby.