Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/221

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became a king's counsel, and in the same year was elected to the bench of the Inner Temple, of which society he was treasurer in 1839. In November 1830 he was appointed to the office of common serjeant in succession to Denman, who had become attorney-general. Upon the resignation of Newman Knowlys in 1833 Law was elected to the post of recorder, which he continued to hold until his death. At a by-election in March 1835, occasioned by the elevation of Charles Manners-Sutton [q. v.] to the House of Lords as Viscount Canterbury, Law was returned unopposed to the House of Commons for the university of Cambridge as the colleague of Henry Goulburn [q. v.], with whom he continued to represent the constituency until his death. The only occasion on which his seat was contested was at the general election of 1847, when he was returned at the head of the poll as a protectionist, while Goulburn only narrowly escaped being defeated by Viscount Feilding. Law was a staunch tory, but did not take any prominent part in the debates of the House of Commons. He was a man of moderate abilities (Law Magazine, xliv. 291). He died at No. 72 Eaton Place, Belgrave Square, London, on 13 Aug. 1850, aged 58, and was buried on the 20th of the same month at St. John's Church, Paddington, whence his remains were removed to Wargrave, Berkshire.

Law married, first at Gretna Green on 8 March, and again on 22 May 1811, Elizabeth Sophia, third daughter of Sir Edward Nightingale, bart., of Kneesworth, Cambridgeshire, by whom he had three sons and seven daughters. His widow died at Twyford, Berkshire, on 25 Jan. 1864, aged 74. His second son, Charles Edmund Towry Law, succeeded his uncle, Edward, earl of Ellenborough, as third baron, Dec. 1871.

[Gent. Mag. new ser. 1850 xxxiv. 433–4, new ser. 1864 xvi. 402; Annual Register 1850, p. 122, App. to Chron., pp. 252–3; Law Times, 17 Aug. 1850; Illustr. London News, 17 Aug. 1850; Burke's Peerage, 1889, p. 498; Foster's Peerage, 1883, p. 264.]

G. F. R. B.

LAW, EDMUND (1703–1787), bishop of Carlisle, was born in the parish of Cartmel in Lancashire on 6 June 1703. His father, Edmund Law, descended from a family of yeomen or 'statesmen,' long settled at Askham in Westmoreland, was curate of Staveley-in-Cartmel, and master of a small school there from 1693 to 1742. During this period he resided at Buck Cave, about four miles from Staveley, and here his only son, Edmund, was born. The boy, educated first at Cartmel school, and afterwards at the free grammar school at Kendal, from which he went to St. John's College, Cambridge. He graduated B.A. in 1723, and was soon afterwards elected fellow of Christ's College, where he proceeded M.A. in 1727. He was always an earnest student. At Cambridge his chief friends were Dr. Waterland, master of Magdalene College, Dr. Jortin, and Dr. John Taylor, the editor of Demosthenes. His first literary work was his 'Essay on the Origin of Evil,' a translation of Archbishop King's 'De Origine Mali,' which Law illustrated with copious notes in 1731. In 1734, while still at Christ's College, he prepared, in conjunction with John Taylor, T. Johnson, and Sandys Hutchinson, an edition of R. Stephens's 'Thesaurus Linguæ Latinæ,' and in the same year appeared his 'Enquiry into the Ideas of Space and Time,' an attack upon à priori proofs of the existence of God, in answer to a work by John Jackson (1686–1763) [q. v.] entitled 'The Existence and Unity of God proved from his Nature and Attributes.' In 1737 he was presented with the living of Greystoke in Cumberland, the gift of which at this time devolved on the university, and soon afterwards he married Mary, the daughter of John Christian of Unerigg in Cumberland. In 1743 he was made archdeacon of the diocese of Carlisle, and in 1746 he left Greystoke for Great Salkeld, the rectory of which was annexed to the archdeaconry.

The work by which he is perhaps best known, 'Considerations on the State of the World with regard to the Theory of Religion,' was published by him at Cambridge in 1745. The main idea of the book is that the human race has been, and is, through a process of divine education, gradually and continuously progressing in religion, natural or revealed, at the same rate as it progresses in all other knowledge. In his philosophical opinions he was an ardent disciple of Locke, in politics he was a whig, and as a churchman he represented the most latitudinarian position of the day, but his Christian belief was grounded firmly on the evidence of miracles (cf. Theory, ed. 1820, p. 65 n.) The 'Theory of Religion' went through many editions, being subsequently enlarged with 'Reflections on the Life and Character of Christ,' and an 'Appendix concerning the use of the words Soul and Spirit in the Holy Scripture.' The latest edition, with Paley's life of the author prefixed, was published by his son, George Henry Law [q. v.], then bishop of