Cox, Sir Richard

, bart. lord chancellor of Ireland, and author of a history of that kingdom, was son to Richard | Cox, esq. captain of a troop of horse, and was born at Bandon, in the county of Cork, on the 25th of March 1650. He had the misfortune to become an orphan before he was full three years of age and was then taken care of by his mother’s father, Walter Bird, esq. of Cloghnakilty. But his grandfather also dying when he was about nine years old^ he was then taken under the protection of his uncle, John Bird, esq. who placed him at an ordinary Latin school at Cloghnakiity, where he soon discovered a strong inclination to learning. In 1668, in his eighteenth year, he began to practise as an attorney in several manor courts where his uncle was seneschal, and continued it three years, and was entered of Gray’s Inn in 1671, with a view of being called to the bar. Here he was so much distinguished for his great assiduity and consequent improvement, that in the summer of 1673 he was made one of the surveyors at sir Robert Shaftoe’s reading. He soon after married a lady who had a right to a considerable fortune; but, being disappointed in obtaining it, he took a farm near Cloghnakiity, to which he retired for seven years. Being at length roused from his lethargy by a great increase of his family, he was, hy the interest of sir Robert Southwell, elected recorder of Kinsale in 1680. He now removed to Cork; where he practised the law with great success. But, foreseeing the storm that was going to fall on the protestants, he quitted his practice, and his estate, which at that time amounted to 300l. per ann. and removed with his wife and five children to England, and settled at Bristol. At this place he obtained sufficient practice to support his family genteelly, independently of his Irish estate; and at his leisure hours compiled the History of Ireland;“the first part of which he published soon after the revolution, in 1689, under the title ofHibernia Anglicana; or the History of Ireland, from the conquest thereof by the English to the 'present time." When the prince of Orange arrived in London, Mr. Cox quitted Bristol, and repaired to the metropolis, where he was made undersecretary of state. Having given great satisfaction to the king in the discharge of this office, Mr. Cox was immediately after the surrender of Waterford made recorder of that city. On the 15th of September 1690, he was appointed second justice of the court of common pleas. In April 1691 Mr. Justice Cox was made governor of the county and city of Cork. His situation now, as a | judge and a military governor, was somewhat singular; and he was certainly not deficient in zeal for the government, whatever objections may be made to his conduct on the principles of justice and humanity. During the time of Mr. Cox’s government, which continued till the reduction of Limerick, though he had a frontier of 80 railes to defend, and 20 places to garrison, besides Cork and the fort of Kinsale, yet he did not lose a single inch of ground. On the 5th of November 1692, Mr. justice Cox received the honour of knighthood; in July 1693 was nominated lord chancellor of Ireland, and in October 1706 was created a baronet. On the death of queen Anne, and the accession of king George I. sir Richard Cox, with the other principal Irish judges, was removed from his office, and also from the privy council. He then retired to his seat in the county of Cork, where he hoped to have ended his days in peace; hut his tranquillity was disturbed by several attacks which were made against him in the Irish parliament, but though several severe votes were passed against, him, they were not followed by any farther proceedings. He now divided his time between study, making improvements on his estate, and acts of beneficence. But in April 1733, he was seized by a fit of apoplexy, which ended in a palsy, under which he languished till the 3d of May that year, when he expired without pain, at the age of 83 years one month and a few days. 1

1 Biog. BrU. an abridgment, and sot a shor tue, of the History of Iceland far hi period.