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BENNIGSE N —B ENNINGTON

diplomatic appointments. Bennigsen, having studied at the University of Gottingen, entered the Hanoverian civil service. In 1855 he was elected a member of the second chamber; and as the Government refused to allow him leave of absence from his official duties he resigned his post in the public service. He at once became the recognized leader of the Liberal opposition to the reactionary Government, but must be distinguished from Count Bennigsen, a member of the same family, and son of the distinguished Russian general, who was also one of the parliamentary leaders at the time. What gave Bennigsen his importance not only in Hanover, but throughout the whole of Germany, was the foundation of the National Yerein, which was due to him, and of which he was president. This society, which arose out of the public excitement created by the war between France and Austria, had for its object the formation of a national party which should strive for the unity and the constitutional liberty of the whole Fatherland. It united the moderate Liberals throughout Germany, and at once became a great political power, notwithstanding all the efforts of the governments, and especially of the king of Hanover, to suppress it. In 1866 Bennigsen used all his influence to keep Hanover neutral in the conflict between Prussia and Austria, but in vain. He took no part in the war, but his brother, who was an officer in the Prussian army, was killed in Bohemia. In May of this year he had an important interview with Bismarck, who wished to secure his support for the reform of the Confederation, and after the war was over at once accepted the position of a Prussian subject, and took his seat in the Diet of the North German Confederation and in the Prussian parliament. He used his influence to procure as much autonomy as possible for the province of Hanover, but was a strong opponent of the Guelph party. He was one of the three Hanoverians, Windthorst and Miquel being the other two, who at once won for the representatives of the conquered province the lead in both the Prussian and German parliaments. The National Yerein, its work being done, was now dissolved; but Bennigsen was chiefly instrumental in founding a new political party—the National Liberals,—who, while they supported Bismarck’s national policy, hoped to secure the constitutional development of the country. For the next thirty years he was president of the party, and was the most influential of the parliamentary leaders. It was chiefly owing to him that the building up of the internal institutions of the empire was carried on without the open breach between Bismarck and the parliament, which was often imminent. Many amendments suggested by him were introduced in the debates on the constitution; in 1870 he undertook a mission to South Germany to strengthen the national party there, and was consulted by Bismarck while at Versailles. It was he who brought about the compromise on the Military Bill in 1874. In 1877 he was offered the post of vice-chancellor with a seat in the Prussian ministry, but refused it because Bismarck or the king would not agree to his conditions. From this time his relations with the Government were Lss friendly, and in 1878 he brought about the rejection of the first Socialist Bill. In 1883 he resigned his seat in pailiament owing to the reactionary measures of the Government, which made it impossible for him to continue his former cooperation with Bismarck, but returned in 1887 to support the coalition of national parties. One of the first acts of Bennigsen, Rudolph von (1824 ), Ger- the Emperor William II. was to appoint him president of man politician, was born at Luneburg on the 10th of the province of Hanover. In 1897 he resigned this post July 1824. He was descended from an old Hanoverian and retired from public life. family, his father being an officer in the Hanoverian Bennington, capital of Bennington county, army, who rose to the rank of general, and also held

wards Baron Pollock). Mr Pollock fully recognized his abilities and they became firm friends during their joint lives. Benjamin was naturally an apt and useful pupil; for instance, an opinion of Mr Pollock, which for long guided the London police in the exercise of their right to search prisoners, is mentioned by him as having been really composed by Benjamin during his pupillage. Benjamin joined the Northern Circuit, and a large proportion of his early practice came from solicitors at Liverpool who had correspondents in New Orleans. His business gradually increased, and having in 1872 received a patent of precedence, he was on the 2nd of November in that year called within the bar as a Queen’s Counsel. In addition to his knowledge of law and of commercial matters he had considerable eloquence, and a power of marshalling his facts and his arguments that rendered him extremely effective, particularly before judges. He was less successful in addressing juries, and for some time towards the close of his career did not take Nisi prim work, but in the Court of Appeal and House of Lords and before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council he enjoyed a very large practice, making for some time fully £15,000 a year. The question of raising him to the bench was seriously considered by Lord Cairns, who, however, seems to have thought that the ungrudging hospitality and goodwill with which Benjamin had been received by the English legal profession had gone far enough. For some time towards the close of his career symptoms of diabetes and cardiac weakness manifested themselves in Benjamin, much as they did in Sir George Jessel, another great Jewish lawyer who died a year before him, and he suffered from the results of a fall from a tramcar in Paris, where he had built himself a house, and where he used to spend his vacations with his wife, who was a Frenchwoman. He retired to Paris at Christmas in 1882 and never returned to his practice, his medical advisers having ordered him absolute rest. He only came back to London in order to be entertained by the bench and bar of England at a banquet in the Inner Temple Hall on the 30th of June 1883 ; and he died at Paris on the 6th of May 1884. In person J. P. Benjamin was thick-set, stout, and Jewish-looking, with a close-cut beard and an expression of great shrewdness. An early portrait of him is to be found facing page 242 in Jefferson Davis’s Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government. His political history may be traced in that work, and in American histories and articles dealing with the period in which he was prominent, such as Draper’s American Civil War, von Holst’s Constitutional History of the United States, and Stephens’s History of the United States. Many allusions to his English career will be found in works describing English lawyers of his period, and there are some interesting reminiscences of him by Baron Pollock in the Fortnightly Review for March 1898. A portrait of him in his later life was painted by Piercy and engraved by Roffe. His Treatise on the Law of Sale of Personal Property with References to the American Decisions and to the French Code and Civil Laio—a bulky volume known to practitioners as Benjamin on Sales—is the principal text-book on its subject, and a fitting monument of the author’s career at the English bar, of his industry and learning. Many of the speeches made by him during his American career have been published. (K- A- AR )