Keble, Joseph

, an English lawyer, was the son of a lawyer of eminence, during Cromwell’s usurpation, and born in London, 1632. After a proper preparation, he was sent to Jesus -college, Oxford; whence he shortly removed to All-souls, of which he was made fellow by the parliament visitors in 1648. He took the degree of LL. B. in 1644; and, not long after, was admitted student at Gray’s inn, London, and became a barrister about 1658. The following year he went to Paris. After the restoration, he attended the King’s bench bar with extraordinary assiduity, continuing there as long as the court sat, in all the terms from 1661 to 1710, but was hardly ever known to be retained in any cause, or even to make a motion. He died suddenly, under the gate-way of Gray’s-inn, Aug. 1710, just as he was going to take the air in a coach. He was a man of incredible industry, for besides having published several books in his life-time, he left above 100 large folios, and more than 50 thick 4tos in ms. twenty of which are in the library of Gray’s-inn. Writing must have been his delight as well as employment, and became so habitual, that he not only reported the law cases at the King’s-bench, Westminster, but all the sermons at Gray’sinn chapel, both forenoon and afternoon, which amounted at last to above 4000. This was the mode of the times when he was young; and there is a mechanism in some natures, which makes them fond of proceeding as they have set out. He appears to have been a man of a singular turn in other respects, yet regular in his conduct, and very benevolent. The first work he undertook for the public was a new table, with many new references, to the statute-book, in | 1674. 2. “An Explanation of the Laws against Recusants, &c. abridged,1631, 8vo. 3. “An Assistance to Justices of the Peace, for the easier Performance of their Duty,1683, folio; licensed by all the judges. 4. “Reports taken at the King’s-bench at Westminster, from the 12th to the 30th year of the Reign of our late Sovereign Lord King Charles II.” 1685, 3 vols. folio. This work was also licensed by the judges; but not being digested in th’e ordinary method of such collections, and having no table of references, it was not so well received as was expected; and the credit of it being once sunk, could not be retrieved, though the table was added in 1696. Indeed, as a reporter he does not stand high in the opinion of the profession. 5. Two essays, one “On Human Nature, or the Creation of Mankind;” the other, “On Human Actions.” These were pamphlets. 1


Biog. BriW-Nichols’s Bowyer, Briclgtnan’s Legal Bibliography,