Vincent during the Mediterranean command, the first command in the Channel, and at the admiralty; and his uncle, Joseph, was master-shipwright at Plymouth. He thus had access to a vast number of papers and letters, as well as to the anecdotes of his patron, which the secretary handed down. The earlier part of the work has not the same authority, and is often inaccurate. The Life of the Earl of St. Vincent, by Captain Edward Pelham Brenton [q. v.] (2 vols. 8vo, 1838), is quite untrustworthy, except in respect of the correspondence; there is a severe but just article on it in the Quarterly Review, vol. lxii. Official correspondence and other documents in the Public Record Office; Addit. MSS. 29914–18, 31158–93; Edinburgh Review, vol. lxxix.; Cooper Willyams's Account of the Campaign in the West Indies in 1794; Nicolas's Despatches and Letters of Viscount Nelson, passim; Narrative of the Battle of St. Vincent, by Drinkwater-Bethune; Correspondence between the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, the Earl St. Vincent, and Sir John Orde (8vo, 1802); Reports of the Commission of Enquiry (Parliamentary Papers, 1803–6); Parliamentary Debates, 1804–6. There are a great many pamphlets relating to his admiralty administration, of which may be mentioned:—1. An Answer to Mr. Pitt's Attack upon Earl St. Vincent and the Admiralty … on 15 March 1804 (8vo, 1804). 2. Audi Alteram Partem, or the Real Situation of the Navy of Great Britain at the period of Lord St. Vincent's resignation, being a reply to the misstatements [of 1], by an Officer of His Majesty's Navy (8vo, 1804). 3. Naval Anecdotes for the years during which … the Earl of St. Vincent presided at the Board of Admiralty, by a Recorder of Facts (8vo, 1805: virulent abuse, sputtering with rage, capitals, and bad grammar). 4. A Key to the Papers which have been presented to the House of Commons upon the subject of the charges preferred against the Earl of St. Vincent by Mr. Jeffry (8vo, 1806: a defence of St. Vincent's conduct and policy, written probably by Ben. Tucker; a proof in Brit. Mus. [Addit. MS. 31193] has corrections apparently by St. Vincent himself). 5. Naval Anecdotes, or a new Key to the Proceedings of a late Naval Administration (8vo, 1807: a scurrilous reply to 4). See also Beatson's Naval and Military Memoirs; James's Naval History; Chevalier's Histoire de la Marine française.]
JERVIS, Sir JOHN (1802–1856), lord chief justice of the common pleas, born on 12 Jan. 1802, was younger son of Thomas Jervis, K.C. (the last puisne justice of Chester), and second cousin of John Jervis [q. v.], earl St. Vincent. He was educated as a town boy at Westminster School, where he was admitted on 18 Sept. 1815. In his fifteenth year he became a member of the Middle Temple, and on 13 Nov. 1819 matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He left the university without a degree, and is said to have gone into the army and to have held a commission in the carabiniers, but his name is not to be found in the army lists.
He was called to the bar on 6 Feb. 1824, and joined the Oxford circuit, where his father was one of the leaders, but subsequently changed to the North Wales and Chester circuit. From 1826 to 1832 Jervis reported in the exchequer court in conjunction first with Edward Younge, and afterwards with Charles John Crompton [q. v.] By this means he acquired great familiarity with legal practice, and in a comparatively short time became the leader of his circuit and the possessor of a lucrative business at Westminster and Guildhall. At the general election in December 1832 he was returned for Chester in the liberal interest to the first reformed parliament, and continued to sit for that city until his elevation to the bench. In 1837, having refused the offer of a silk gown, he was granted a patent of precedence. In May 1839 he voted with Grote, Hume, and Sir William Molesworth against the Melbourne ministry on the Jamaica government bill (Parl. Debates, 3rd ser. xlvii. 970–2). On the formation of Lord John Russell's first administration in 1846, Jervis was appointed solicitor-general (4 July), and three days after succeeded to the post of attorney-general, in the place of Sir Thomas Wilde, who had been made chief justice of the common pleas. Jervis was knighted on 1 Aug. 1846. In the session of 1848 the three bills regulating the duties of the justices of the peace out of sessions with respect to indictable offences, summary convictions, and orders, and for the protection of justices, which were introduced by the attorney-general into the House of Commons, and are known by the name of Jervis's Acts, became law (11 & 12 Vict. cc. 42, 43, 44). When Lord Denman's intention to retire was announced, Jervis asserted his claim as attorney-general to the office of lord chief justice of England. A correspondence ensued between Jervis and Lord John Russell on the subject, and ultimately Lord John, having on Lord Cottenham's authority declared that the only chiefship which the attorney-general for the time being could claim by usage was that of the court of common pleas, gave the appointment to Lord Campbell. Shortly afterwards Lord John promulgated his scheme for the bisection of the lord chancellor's office, the political moiety of which (the speakership of the House of Lords with a peerage and the title of lord keeper) he offered to Jervis. The measure, however, proved abortive, and on 16 July 1850 Jervis, having been duly called