Hedges, Sir Charles

, a civilian and statesman of some note, was educated both at Magdalen-hall and | college, Oxford, where he commenced M. A. May 31, 1673, and LL. D. June 26, 1675. Engaging in the profession of the civil law, he acquired considerable eminence, and in March 1686 was appointed chancellor and vicar-general of Rochester, by a patent, for life, probably upon the resignation of sir William Trumball, who was going as ambassador to the Ottoman court. This promotion was soon after followed by his acquisition of the mastership of the faculties, and the dignity of judge of the high court of admiralty, of which sir Richard Raines was dispossessed, and on whose demise some years afterwards, he became judge of the prerogative court of Canterbury. His progress in political life was equally successful, for he received the honour of knighthood, and served in parliament for Orford in Suffolk in 1698, for Malmsbury in Wilts in 1701 and 1702; for Calne, in 1702; and for two Cornish boroughs from 1705 to 1713. He was advanced to be one of the principal secretaries of state, Nov. 5, 1700, under king William, and again, May 2, I 1 ) 02, under queen Anne. It was he that drew up the much-debated act of abjuration in 1701. In parliament, it is said, he voted with the whigs or tories, as his interest prompted, but his attachment was to the tories, who procured his promotion to the office of secretary of state. The whigs, however, prevailed on queen Anne to dismiss him from tliat trust in 1706, with a proviso that he should be judge of the prerogative court on the death of sir Richard Raines, which, we have already said, he lived to enjoy, although for a short time. He died at Richmond, June 10, 1714. 1


ms account by Dr. Ducarel. -Coote’s Catalogue of Civilians.