Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/336

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Le Blanc
Le Blanc

Le Bas was distinguished both as a preacher and as a writer. He belonged to that theological school which formed a link between the Caroline divines and the nonjurors and the Oxford movement of 1833, and included such Cambridge men as Hugh James Rose [q. v.], Christopher Wordsworth, the master of Trinity College, Professor J. J. Blunt, and W. H. Mill. Christopher Wordsworth, afterwards bishop of Lincoln, in a journal kept during his undergraduate days, frequently speaks of the large congregations which assembled in the university church to hear Le Bas preach.

Le Bas was one of the principal contributors to the 'British Critic.' and wrote nearly eighty articles for it between 1827 and 1838. In the latter year John Henry Newman became editor, and he accepted four articles by Le Bas. Le Bas also contributed to the 'British Magazine' in 1831-2, which was founded and edited by Hugh James Rose for the purpose of inculcating church principles.

Le Bas's principal works are: 1. 'Considerations on Miracles.' 1828, which was a reprint, with large additions, of an article in the 'British Critic' on Penrose's 'Treatise on the Evidence of the Christian Miracles.' 2. 'Sermons on various occasions.' 3 vols. 1822-34; chiefly delivered in the chapel of the East India College; they are plain and practical sermons of a distinctly Anglican type. 3. 'The Life of Thomas Fanshaw Middleton, late Bishop of Calcutta.' in 2 vols. 1831; a valuable biography of an intimate friend, with whom Le Bas was in agreement on theological questions but he omits mention of the influence which Dr. Middleton exerted upon S. T. Coleridge. 4. 'Memoir of Henry Vincent Bailey, Archdeacon of Stow.' 1846, another old. friend. To the 'Theological Library.' edited by Hugh James Rose and W. R. Lyall, afterwards dean of Canterbury, Le Bas contributed, vol. i., 'Life of Wiclif' (1831), vols. iv. and v. 'Life of Cranmer' (1833), vol. xi. 'Life of Jewel' (1835), and vol. xiii. 'Life of Laud.' He was also author of some tracts for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and published several single sermons.

[Le Bas's Works passim; private information from the Rev. H. V. Le Bas; Life of Bishop Christopher Wordsworth; Burgon's Lives of Twelve Good Men; Works of S. T. Coleridge.]

J. H. O.

LE BLANC, Sir SIMON (d. 1816), judge, second son of Thomas Le Blanc of Charterhouse Square, London, was born about 1748. In June 1766 he was admitted a pensioner, and in the following November elected scholar of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. In February 1773 he was called to the bar at the Inner Temple, and he graduated LL.B. the same year. In 1779 he was elected a fellow of his college. He went the Norfolk circuit, acquired considerable practice, and in February 1787 was called to the degree of serjeant-at-law. In 1791 he was appointed counsel to his university, and in this capacity was one of the counsel retained to show cause against a rule obtained by William Frend [q. v.] for a mandamus to restore him to his franchises as resident M.A. (Howell, State Trials, xxii. 682). On the resignation of Sir William Henry Ashurst [q. v.], 9 June 1799, Le Blanc was appointed to succeed him as puisne judge of the king's bench, and knighted. He was a consummate lawyer, and early showed his independence of mind in the case of Haycraft v. Creasy (2 East 92), where he differed from Lord Kenyon on a point of law which the latter had long treated as established. For his part in two trials for murder on the high seas, which had terminated in acquittals in December 1807 and January 1808, he was charged in the 'Independent Whig' with perverting justice out of mistaken humanity. The charge was entirely without foundation, the responsibility for the verdict in both cases resting wholly with the jury, and the attorney-general accordingly filed an ex officio information for libel against the printer and publisher of the paper, who were tried and found guilty (Anp. Reg, 1808, Chron. * 5 et seq.; and Howell, State Trials, xxx. 1132 et seq.) At the Lancaster spring assizes in 1809 Joseph Hanson, a gentleman of property, was indicted before Le Blanc for a misdemeanour in abetting the weavers of Manchester in a conspiracy to raise their wages. Le Blanc summed up the case with, complete impartiality, but the jury unhesitatingly found for the crown. Le Blanc, however, reserved judgment, which was afterwards given by the court of king's bench, Hanson being sentenced to six months' imprisonment and a fine of 100l. (Howell, State Trials, xxxi. 1 et seq.) At York in 1813 Le Blanc opened with Sir Alexander Thompson [q. v.], afterwards lord chief baron, a special commission for the trial of the Luddites, under which not a few of the conspirators were condemned (ib. pp. 1068, 1102, 1139). His ruling in Rex v. Creevey (1 Maule and Selwyn, 273), decided the same year, to the effect that a member of parliament may be convicted upon an indictment for libel for circulating a newspaper report of a speech delivered in parliament, though the speech itself is privileged, is still a leading authority on the law of libel.

Le Blanc died unmarried on 15 April 1816