Thomas Plumer

Last updated

Sir Thomas Plumer. ThomasPlumer.jpg
Sir Thomas Plumer.

Sir Thomas Plumer (10 October 1753 – 24 March 1824) was a British judge and politician, the first Vice-Chancellor of England and later Master of the Rolls. His brother was Hall Plumer of Stockton Hall.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Judge official who presides over court proceedings

A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and, typically, in an open court. The judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the barristers of the case, assesses the credibility and arguments of the parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or her interpretation of the law and his or her own personal judgment. In some jurisdictions, the judge's powers may be shared with a jury. In inquisitorial systems of criminal investigation, a judge might also be an examining magistrate.

A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.


Plumer was educated at Eton College and University College, Oxford, where he was Vinerian Scholar in 1777, also entering Lincoln's Inn and being called to the bar in 1778. [1] He was elected a fellow of University College in 1780 and was awarded the Bachelor of Civil Law degree in 1783.

Eton College British independent boarding school located in Eton

Eton College is an English 13–18 independent boarding school and sixth form for boys in the parish of Eton, near Windsor in Berkshire. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as Kynge's College of Our Ladye of Eton besyde Windesore , as a sister institution to King's College, Cambridge, making it the 18th-oldest Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference school.

University College, Oxford college of the University of Oxford in England

University College, is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. It has a claim to being the oldest college of the university, having been founded in 1249 by William of Durham.

The Vinerian Scholarship is a scholarship given to the University of Oxford student who "gives the best performance in the examination for the degree of Bachelor of Civil Law". Currently, £2,500 is given to the winner of the scholarship, with an additional £950 awarded at the examiners' discretion to a proxime accessit (runner-up).

In 1781, Plumer was appointed a Commissioner in bankruptcy. He acted for the defence in a number of high-profile cases: he defended Sir Thomas Rumbold in 1783, was one of the three counsel for the defence in the Impeachment of Warren Hastings, successfully defended Viscount Melville in his impeachment in 1806, and assisted in the defence of the Princess of Wales in the same year. It was there he later met Stephanie Stephanie Jean.

A Commissioner of Bankruptcy was, from 1571 to 1883, an official appointed to administer the estate of a bankrupt with full power to dispose of all his lands and tenements. Bankrupts were defined as insolvent persons engaged in trade or business and kept distinct from other insolvents until 1861. The proceedings of that administration were the distribution of the property of an insolvent person to that person's creditors in proportion to the debts.

Thomas Rumbold British politician

Sir Thomas Rumbold, 1st Baronet was a British administrator in India and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1770 and 1790. He served as Governor of Madras from 1777 to 1780. He became infamous for his corruption and, for in effect stealing, the ring of the Nawab of Arcot. He brought home from India 1.5 million pagodas or about £600,000 and was a classic example of a nabob. Attempts were made to investigate the misdemeanour by Henry Dundas but the case did not make much headway due to rampant corruption with Dundas himself receiving bribes.

Impeachment of Warren Hastings

The impeachment of Warren Hastings was a failed attempt between 1788 and 1795 to impeach the first Governor-General of Bengal in the Parliament of Great Britain. Hastings was accused of misconduct during his time in Calcutta particularly relating to mismanagement and personal corruption. The prosecution was led by Edmund Burke and became a wider debate about the role of the East India Company and the expanding empire in India.

In 1807, Plumer was appointed Solicitor General in the Duke of Portland's government, and knighted; a House of Commons seat was found for him in the Wiltshire pocket borough of Downton. He was subsequently promoted to Attorney General in 1812 then, in the legal reorganisation that took place the following year, was elevated to the bench to take up the new post of Vice Chancellor of England. On 6 January 1818 he was appointed Master of the Rolls, and served in that post until his death on 24 March 1824. [1]

Solicitor General for England and Wales one of the Law Officers of the Crown, and the deputy of the Attorney General

Her Majesty's Solicitor General for England and Wales, known informally as the Solicitor General, is one of the Law Officers of the Crown, and the deputy of the Attorney General, whose duty is to advise the Crown and Cabinet on the law. He or she can exercise the powers of the Attorney General in the Attorney General's absence.

William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland 18th/19th-century British politician

William Henry Cavendish Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, was a British Whig and Tory politician during the late Georgian era. He served as Chancellor of the University of Oxford (1792–1809) and twice as British prime minister, of Great Britain (1783) and then of the United Kingdom (1807–09). The twenty-four years between his two terms as Prime Minister is the longest gap between terms of office of any British prime minister.

Wiltshire County of England

Wiltshire is a county in South West England with an area of 3,485 km2. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The county town was originally Wilton, after which the county is named, but Wiltshire Council is now based in the county town of Trowbridge.

Related Research Articles

George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham British politician

George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham,, known as The 3rd Earl Temple between 1779 and 1784, was a British statesman.

Henry Willink British politician and public servant

Sir Henry Urmston Willink, 1st Baronet, was a British politician and public servant.

William Wood, 1st Baron Hatherley British lawyer and statesman

William Page Wood, 1st Baron Hatherley, PC was a British lawyer and statesman who served as a Liberal Lord Chancellor between 1868 and 1872 in William Ewart Gladstone's first ministry.

Joseph Jekyll British politician

Sir Joseph Jekyll was a British barrister, politician and judge. Born to John Jekyll, he initially attended a seminary before joining the Middle Temple in 1680. Thanks to his association with Lord Somers Jekyll advanced rapidly, becoming Chief Justice of Chester in 1697 and a King's Serjeant in 1702. He was returned as a Whig Member of Parliament for Eye in 1697, and was considered an excellent speaker in the House of Commons and one of the Whig Junto.

John Leach (judge) British politician

Sir John Leach, KC was an English judge, and Master of the Rolls.

Henry Cecil Raikes British politician

Henry Cecil Raikes PC was a British Conservative Party politician. He was Chairman of Ways and Means between 1874 and 1880 and served as Postmaster General between 1886 and 1891.

William Grant (Master of the Rolls) British lawyer, Member of Parliament and Master of the Rolls

Sir William Grant was a British lawyer, Member of Parliament from 1790–1812 and Master of the Rolls from 1801–1817.

Thomas Egerton, 1st Viscount Brackley English politician

Thomas Egerton, 1st Viscount Brackley,, known as 1st Baron Ellesmere from 1603 to 1616, was an English nobleman, judge and statesman from the Egerton family who served as Lord Keeper and Lord Chancellor for twenty-one years.

Chancellor of the High Court

The Chancellor of the High Court is the head of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. This judge and the other two heads of divisions sit by virtue of their offices often, as and when their expertise is deemed relevant, in panel in the Court of Appeal. As such this judge ranks equally to the President of the Family Division and the President of the Queen's Bench Division..

Sir Frederick Pollock, 1st Baronet British lawyer and Tory politician

Sir Jonathan Frederick Pollock, 1st Baronet, PC was a British lawyer and Tory politician.

Sir Robert Dallas, PC, SL KC was an English judge, of a Scottish family.

Sir Richard Richards SL was a Welsh politician and judge. He was Member of Parliament for Helston on two occasions, but only made one speech in Parliament. He was later a successful chancery barrister, eventually becoming Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer.

Sir Richard Bolton was an English lawyer and judge, who was an important figure in the politics of Ireland in the 1630s and 1640s.

Thomas Clarke (judge) British judge, Master of the Rolls

Sir Thomas Clarke was a British judge who served as Master of the Rolls. He was the son of a carpenter and a pawnbroker from St Giles in the Fields, and was educated at Westminster School between 1715 and 1721 thanks to the help of Zachary Pearce. On 10 June 1721 he matriculated to Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating with a BA in 1724. He became a fellow of Trinity College in 1727, and a member of Gray's Inn the same year. Clarke was evidently knowledgeable in Roman law, and was mentioned in a poem called the causidicade as a possible Solicitor General in 1742. He became a King's Counsel (KC) in 1740, and in 1742 left Gray's Inn to join Lincoln's Inn, which he became a bencher of in 1754.

Sir John Strange was a British politician and judge. He was born to another John Strange of Fleet Street, London and his second wife, Mary Plaistowe. He became a student at the Middle Temple on 11 July 1712 before starting a pupillage at the chambers of Charles Salkeld, who trained Lord Hardwicke. He was called to the Bar on 27 October 1718.

Richard Jenkyns was a British academic administrator at the University of Oxford and Dean at Wells Cathedral.

George Osbaldeston (c.1753–1793) was an English landowner and politician. To 1770 he was known as George Wickins. He was father of George, known as Squire Osbaldeston, the noted sportsman.

Joseph Proctor (academic)

Joseph Proctor was an academic of the University of Cambridge in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Thomas Charles Geldart, LL.D was a lawyer and academic in the nineteenth cntury century.


  1. 1 2 "PLUMER, Sir Thomas (1753-1824), of Canons Park, Mdx". The History of Parliament British Political,Social and Local History.


Further reading

Clive Hodges: Cobbold & Kin: Life Stories from an East Anglian Family (Woodbridge, Boydell Press, 2014) ISBN   9781843839545

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Samuel Romilly
Solicitor General
Succeeded by
Sir William Garrow
Preceded by
Sir Vicary Gibbs
Attorney General
Succeeded by
Sir William Garrow
Preceded by
Sir William Grant
Master of the Rolls
Succeeded by
Lord Gifford
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Hon. Bartholomew Bouverie
Hon. Duncombe Pleydell-Bouverie
Member of Parliament for Downton
With: Hon. Bartholomew Bouverie 1807–12
Charles Henry Bouverie 1812–13
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Brooke-Pechell
Edward Golding