Duck, Arthur

, an English civilian, was born at Heavy-Tree, near Exeter in Devonshire, 1580, of a considerable family, and was the younger brother of Nicholas Duck, recorder of Exeter. At the age of fifteen he was entered of Exeter college, Oxford, took his degree of B. A. and became a fellow-commoner in 1599. From thence he removed to Hart-hall, took his master’s degree, and afterwards was elected fellow of All-souls but his genius leading him to the study of the civil law, he took his degree of doctor in that faculty.* He travelled into France, Italy, and Germany; and, after his return, was made chancellor of the diocese of Bath and Wells. He was afterwards made chancellor of London, and at length master of the requests: but the confusions, which were then beginning, probably hindered him from rising higher. In 1640 he was elected burgess for Minehead in Somersetshire, and soon after siding with king Charles in the time of the rebellion, became a great sufferer in the fortunes of his family, being stripped by the usurpers of 2000l. In 1648 he was sent for by his majesty to Newport in the Isle of Wight, to assist in his treaty with the commissioners from the parliament; but, that treaty not succeeding, he retired to his habitation at Chiswick near London, where he died in May 1649, but in Smith’s obituary he is said to have died in December preceding. He was an excellent civilian, a man of piety, a tolerable poet, especially in his younger days, and very well versed in history, ecclesiastical as well as civil. His only defect was a harshness of voice in pleading. He left behind him, “Vita Henrici Chichele,” &c. Oxon. 1617, 4to, added to Bates’s Lives, and translated into English, 1699, and “De usu & authoritate Juris Civilis Romanorum in dominiisprincipmn Christianorum:” a very useful and entertaining work, which has been printed several times at home and abroad, and is added to De Ferriere’s “History of Civil Law,1724, 8vo. He was greatly assisted in this work by the learned Dr. Gerard Langbaine. 2


Prince’s Worthies of Devon. —Ath. Ox. vol. II. Fortcscue de Laudibus Lfgum Angliae, 1737, folio. Lloyd’s Memoirs, p. 592. Peck’s Desiderata, vol. II. Clarke in his Lives bound up with his Martyrology, has a life of Dr.


Duck’s wife, principally taken from Dr. Gouge’s Funeral Sermon for her. She died in 1616, and appears to have amply deserved the praises bestowed on her.