Whitelocke, James

, a learned English lawyer, was descended of a good family near Oakingham, in Berkshire, and born in London, November the 28th, 1570. He was educated in Merchant Taylors’ school, elected scholar of St. John’s college, in Oxford, in 1588, and July 1, 1594, took | the degree of bachelor of civil law. He afterwards settled in the Middle Temple, became summer-reader of that house in the 17th year of king James I. a knight, member of parliament for Woodstock in 1620, chief justice of Chester, and at length one of the justices of the king’s bench. Kitig Charles I. said of him, that he was “a stout, wise, and learned man, and one who knew what belongs to uphold magistrates and magistracy in their dignity.” In Trinity term 1632, he fell ill of a cold, which so increased upon him that he was advised to go in the country; on which he took leave of his brethren the judges and serjeants, saying, “God be with you, I shall never see you again;” and this without the least disturbance or trouble of his thoughts; and soen after he came into the country he died, June 22. “On his death,” says his son, “the king lost as good a subject, his country as good a patriot, the people as just a 'judge, as ever lived. Ail honest men lamented the loss ui huri: no man in his age left behind him a more honoured memory. His reason was clear and strong, and his learning deep and general. He had the Latin tongue so perfect, that sitting judge of assize at Oxford, when some foreigners, persons of quality, being there, and coming to the court to see the manner of our proceedings in matters of justice, this judge caused them to sit down, and briefly repeated the heads of his charge to the grand jury in good and elegant Latin, and thereby informed the strangers and the scholars of the ability of our judges, and the course of our proceedings in matters of law and justice. He understood the Greek very well, and the Hebrew, and was versed in the Jewish histories, and exactly knowing in the history of his own country, and in the pedigrees of most persons of honour and quality in the kingdom, and was much conversant in the studies of antiquity and heraldry. He was not excelled by, any in the knowledge of his own profession of the common law of England^ wherein his knowledge of the civil law (whereof he was a graduate in Oxford) was a help to him. His learned arguments both at the bar and bench will confirm ­this truth.” He was interred at Fawley near High Wyr comb in Bucks, where a monument was erected to him by his son. There are extant of his: 1. Several speeches in parliament, particularly one in a book entitled “The Sovereign’s Prerogative and the Subject’s Privileges discussed, &c. in the 3d and 4th year of king Charles I. London, 1657, | in fol. 2. Lectures or readings in the Middle Temple hall, August the 2d, 1619, and on the statute on 21 Henry VIII. c. 13. in the Ashmolean library at Oxford. 3. Of the antiquity, use, and ceremony of lawful combats in England, formerly in the library of Ralph Sheldon, of Beoly, esq. and since printed with other pieces by him, among Hearne’s” Curious Discourses." 1


Biog. Brit. —Hearne’s Discourses.