Bertie, Vere (DNB00)

BERTIE, VERE (d. 1680), judge, was of a loyalist family, being fourth son to the lord chamberlain Montagu, second earl of Lindsey, by his first wife Martha, daughter of Sir William Cockayn of Rushton in Northamptonshire, and widow of John Ramsey, earl of Holderness. To this probably he owed his rapid professional advancement. He was entered at the Middle Temple 29 Jan. 1654–5, was called to the bar 10 June 1659, and became a master of the bench of his inn in January 1673–4. Previously to 1665 he obtained the degree of serjeant-at-law, and in that year, with his brother Charles, was made an honorary M.A. at Oxford on the occasion of the visit of the Earl of Manchester, secretary of the treasury and treasurer of the ordnance (Wood, Fasti Oxon. ii. 285). On 4 June 1675 he was made a baron of the exchequer, and was transferred to the common pleas 15 June 1678. On the king's forming a new council of thirty, with Lord Shaftesbury as president of the ministry, he was discharged from his office 29 April 1679. With him were discharged also Sir William Wilde, and Sir Edward Thurland, and Sir Francis Bramston, barons of the exchequer. As Mr. Justice Bertie, along with these judges, had four days previously been among those who tried Nathaniel Reading in the court of king's bench at Westminster, who was indicted on the evidence of Bedloe for stifling king's evidence against the lords in the Tower, and as none of these judges concurred in the sentence of 1,000l. fine, one year's imprisonment, and one hour in the pillory, pronounced by the other judges, Sir F. North, lord chief justice of the common pleas, William Montagu, chief baron, and Sir R. Atkins, baron of the exchequer, Sir T. Jones, and Sir W. Dolben, probably the cause of his disgrace was want of political complaisance (State Trials, vii. 201,24 April, 1079). He died unmarried 23 Feb. 1680–1, and was buried in the Temple Church. The contemporary law reports contain no report of any of his decisions.

[Foss's Lives of the Judges; Collins's Peerage, ii. 19; Oxford Cat. Grad. 55; Luttrell, i. ii.]

J. A. H.