Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 36.djvu/98

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Mansfield
Mansfield
92

[q. v.] and his colleagues in the council of Fort St. George for their usurpation of the government of the settlement in 1776 [see Pigot, George, Baron Pigot of Patshull].

Mansfield entered parliament on 10 June 1779 as member for the university of Cambridge, and on 1 Sept. 1780 was appointed solicitor-general, in which capacity he took part in the prosecution of Lord George Gordon [q. v.] in February 1781, and in that of the spy De la Motte, convicted of high treason in the following July. He went into opposition with Lord North in March 1782, and returned to office on the coalition between North and Fox in November 1788. In parliament he made a poor figure, whether in office or in opposition, and after the dismissal of the coalition ministry, 18 Dec. 1783, hardly opened his mouth in debate. He lost his seat at the general election of April 1784 and never re-entered parliament. Mansfield, with Attorney-general John Scott, afterwards Lord Eldon [q. v.], represented the Trinity Hall dons, June 1795, on the appeal of Francis Wrangham [q. v.] to Lord-chancellor Loughborough, as visitor of the university of Cambridge, against their refusal to elect him to a fellowship. The argument turned upon the proper construction of the words 'idoneus moribus et ingenio' in the college statutes, and Wrangham's counsel cited Terence, Horace, and other Latin authors to prove that 'mores,' as applied to an individual, could only mean morals — Wrangham's morals being unimpeachable. Mansfield, however, disposed of this contention by a single line from Ovid describing two mistresses, 'Hæc specie melior, moribus illa fuit;' and Lord Loughborough, accordingly, dismissed the appeal. In July 1799 Mansfield was appointed to the chief-justiceship of Chester, whence in April 1804 he was transferred to that of the common pleas and knighted. On qualifying for office by taking the degree of serjeant-at-law, he chose for his ring the Horatian motto 'Serus in cœlum redeas,' in allusion to the lateness of his advancement. He was sworn of the privy council on 9 May. On the return of the whigs to power after Pitt's death, he was offered the great seal, but declined it.

Mansfield was a sound, if not a profound, lawyer, a good scholar, and a keen sportsman. On circuit it was his custom to rise at five to kill something before breakfast. He was a dull speaker, with an ungraceful delivery and a husky voice. His advancement to the bench came too late for his reputation. He presided, however, for nearly ten years in the court of common pleas without positive discredit, in spite of declining powers, and resigned in Hilary vacation 1814. He died on 23 May 1821 at his house in Russell Square.

[Gent. Mag. 1821, pt. ii. p. 572; Ann. Biog. 1821, p. 452; Foss's Lives of the Judges; Howell's State Trials, xix. 1075 et seq., xx. 402, 634, 1226 et seq., xxi. 486 et seq., 687 et seq., 1046 et seq.; Returns of Members of Parliament (Official); London Gazette, 29 Aug.–2 Sept 1780, 15–18 Nov. 1783, 8–12 May 1804; Vesey, jun.'s Reports, ii. 609; Gunning's Reminiscences, ii. 23; Ormerod's Cheshire, ed. Helsby, i. 66; Haydn's Book of Dignities, ed. Ockerby; Diary of Lord Colchester, ii. 36; Taunton's Reports, v. 392; Wraxall's Hist. Mem. 1815, i. 555, ii. 475; Hist. MSS. Comm. 8th Rep. App. p. 233 a, 10th Rep. App. pt. iv. p. 26; Jesse's George Selwyn and his Contemporaries, pp. 167, 187; Add. MSS. 6402 f. 140, 21507 ff. 381–7, and Eg. MS. 2137, f. 215; Cooper's Annals of Cambridge, iv. 392, 399, 412.]

J. M. R.


MANSFIELD, Sir WILLIAM ROSE, first Lord Sandhurst (1819–1876), general, born 21 June 1819, was fifth of the seven sons of John Mansfield of Diggeswell House, Hampshire, and his wife, the daughter of General Samuel Smith of Baltimore, U.S.A. He was grandson of Sir James Mansfield [q. v.], and among his brothers were Sir Samuel Mansfield, at one time senior member of council, Bombay, Colonel Sir Charles Mansfield of the diplomatic service, and John Mansfield, a London police-magistrate. He was educated at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and passed out in November 1835 at the head of the five most distinguished cadets of his half-year. He was appointed ensign 53rd foot 27 Nov. 1886, became lieutenant in the regiment in 1838, and captain in 1843. After serving with the 53rd in the Mediterranean and at home, he accompanied the regiment to India, and was present with it in the first Sikh war at Buddiwal, Aliwal, and Sobraon, on which latter occasion he acted as aide-de-camp to Lord Gough (medal and clasps). He became major 8 Dec. 1847, and was employed in command of a small detached force suppressing disturbances in Behar early in 1848 (Rogerson, p. 143). He afterwards commanded the regiment in the Punjab war of 1849, and at the battle of Goojerat (medal and clasp). On 9 May 1 851 he became junior lieutenant-colonel at the age of thirty-two, passing over the head of Henry Havelock [q. v.], and having purchased all his steps save the first. In 1851–2 he was constantly employed on the Peshawur frontier, either in command of the 53rd (see ib. pp. 143–6) or attached to the staff of Sir Colin Campbell, lord Clyde [q. v.], who was in command on the frontier, and who appears to have formed