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Peter King in United Kingdom

Peter King [of Ockham], 1st Baron (1669-1734), lord chancellor of England, was born at Exeter in 1669. In his youth he was interested in early church history, and published anonymously in 1691 An Enquiry into the Constitution, Discipline, Unity and Worship of the Primitive Church that flourished within the first Three Hundred Years after Christ. This treatise engaged the interest of his cousin, John Locke, the philosopher, by whose advice his father sent him to the university of Leiden, where he stayed for nearly three years. He entered the Middle Temple in 1694 and was called to the bar in 1698.

In 1700 he was returned to parliament for Beer Alston in Devonshire; he was appointed recorder of Glastonbury in 1705 and recorder of London in 1708. He was chief justice of the common pleas from 1714 to 1725, when he was appointed speaker of the House of Lords and was raised to the peerage. In June of the same year he was made lord chancellor, holding office until compelled by a paralytic stroke to resign in 1733. He died at Ockham, Surrey, on the 22nd of July 1734. Lord King as chancellor failed to sustain the reputation which he had acquired at the common law bar.

Nevertheless he left his mark on English law by establishing the principles that a will of immovable property is governed by the lex loci rei sitae, and that where a husband had a legal right to the personal estate of his wife, which must be asserted by a suit in equity, the court would not help him unless he made a provision out of the property for the wife, if she required it. He was also the author of the Act (4 Geo. II. c. 26) by virtue of which English superseded Latin as the language of the courts. Lord King published in 1702 a History of the Apostles’ Creed (Leipzig, 1706; Basel, 1750) which went through several editions and was also translated into Latin.

His great-great-grandson, William (1805-1893), married in 1835 the only daughter of Lord Byron the poet, and was created earl of Lovelace in 1838. Another descendant, Peter John Locke King (1811-1885), who was member of parliament for East Surrey from 1847 to 1874, won some fame as an advocate of reform, being responsible for the passing of the Real Estate Charges Act of 1854, and for the repeal of a large number of obsolete laws.

Source: Encyclopedia Britannica (1911)

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  • Article Name: Peter King
  • Author: International
  • Description: Peter King [of Ockham], 1st Baron (1669-1734), lord chancellor of England, was born at Exeter in 1669. In his youth he was [...]

This entry was last updated: October 20, 2016



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