Wynne, Edward

, a learned barrister and law-writer, was born in 1734. He was the grandson of Owen Wynne, esq. LL. D. sometime umler-secretary of state to Charles II. and James II. and son of William Wynne, esq. by his wife, Grace, one of the daughters of William Brydges, esq. Serjeant at law. He followed his father’s profession, and was called to the bar; but, whatever his success, seems to have devoted a considerable portion of his time to study and to the composition of some works, which unite great elegance of style to great legal knowledge and acuteness. In his private character he was noted for many virtues, and extensive liberality and charity. He died at his house at Chelsea, of that dreadful disorder, a cancer in the mouth, Dec. 26, 1784, in the fiftieth year of his age.

His first work was printed, but not generally published, under the title of “A miscellany containing several law tracts,1765, 8vo. These were, 1. “Observations on Fitzherbert’s natura brcvium, with an introduction concerning writs, and a dissertation on the writ De non ponendis in assists et juratis, and on the writ De leprose amovendo, 2. An inquiry concerning the reason of the distinction the law has made in cases between things annexed to the freehold, and things severed from it. 3. Argument in behalf of unlimited extension of collateral consanguinity, with extracts from the statutes on which the question arose. 4. Account of the trial of the Fix; and observations on the nature and antiquity of the court of claims. 5. An answer to two passages in the ‘ Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors. 16. Observations on the antiquity and dignity of the degree of serjeant at law.” These two last were written by his father, who in the former refuted an aspersion cast on his character by Walpole (lord Orford) in his article of Philip duke of Wharton. After: relating the story | of Wharton’s cheating the minister out of his arguments against bishop Atterbury, and replying to them, by anticipation, in a speech for Atterbury, Walpole added in a note that “Serjeant Wynne served the bishop in much the same manner; being his counsel, he desired to see the bishop’s speech, and then spoke the substance of it himself.” This calumny Mr. Wynne refuted with so much spirit, that Walpole thought proper to omit the note in the subsequent editions of his “Catalogue.

In 1774 Mr. Wynne published (but like the former, without his name.) “Eunornus, or Dialogues concerning the Law and Constitution of England. With an Essay on Dialogue,” 4 vols. 8vo. This scientific work, says Mr. Bridgman, would probably have been held in higher estimation had it been better known; but having been written before, and published after the commentaries of sir William Blackstone, its acknowledged merits have been obscured, though not totally eclipsed by the splendour of that great performance: it is, however, highly valued, as having very much illustrated the principles of our laws and constitution, and given an instructive and rational account of the several branches into which the practice of the law is divided, and as having recommended, with much learning, a liberal and enlarged method of study in that science, pointing out its necessary connexion with the other branches of literature. Mr. Hargrave has further observed, that this work treats incidentally of the character and authority of the several law xvriters, and more professedly on the origin and progress of the most important subjects and branches of the law, and their connexion with the history and constitution of England. A second edition of this work appeared after the author’s death, in 1785, but without any alteration. 1


Gent. Mag, 1785. -Atterbury’s Correspondence. Budgman’s Legal Bibliography.