Ward, Edward (1638-1714) (DNB00)

WARD, Sir EDWARD (1638–1714), chief baron of the exchequer, born in June 1638, was the second son of William Ward of Preston, Rutland. He was educated under Francis Meres [q. v.] at the free school, Uppingham. Having been previously a student at Clifford's Inn, he was admitted in June 1664 at the Inner Temple; he was called to the bar in 1670, and soon obtained a good practice in the exchequer court. His connections were chiefly with the whigs, and his first important public appearance was as one of the counsel for William, lord Russell [q. v.], in July 1683. On 6 Nov. of the following year he was leading counsel for his father-in-law, Thomas Papillon [q. v.], in the action for false imprisonment brought against him by Sir William Pritchard [q. v.] Ward's argument was interrupted by Chief-justice Jeffreys, who declared that he had made a long speech ‘and nothing at all to the purpose,’ and did not understand what he was about. When Ward persisted and Jeffreys repeated his observations, ‘there was a little hiss begun’ in the court. The judge appeared daunted, and finally allowed him to call his witnesses. The verdict went against his client, but in 1688 Ward was at length able to settle matters with Pritchard. On 25 Nov. 1684 he appeared in the exchequer court for Charles Gerard, first earl of Macclesfield [q. v.], in the action of scandalum magnatum against John Starkey, a juryman of Cheshire, by which county he had recently been presented as a disaffected person. In 1687 Ward became bencher of his inn, of which he was also Lent reader in 1690 and treasurer in 1693. On 12 April 1689 he was appointed by William III a justice of the common pleas, but was excused, by his own desire, four days later. In July of that year he acted as one of the counsel for Dr. Elliot, Captain Vaughan, and Mr. Mould, who were impeached by the commons for circulating King James's declaration (Luttrell). He was appointed attorney-general on 30 March 1693, and was knighted at Kensington on 30 Oct. He was sworn serjeant-at-law on 3 June, and on 8 June 1695 was named lord chief baron of the exchequer. In the following March he was one of the judges who tried Robert Charnock [q. v.] and his associates for treason. He was one of those judges who in January 1700 declined to give an opinion in ‘the bankers' case upon the writ of error’ (Luttrell). In May of the same year he acted as one of the commissioners of the great seal.

The most important case over which Ward presided was the trial of Captain William Kidd [q. v.] and his associates for piracy and murder in May 1701 (State Trials, xiv. 143, 180). He died at his house in Essex Street, Strand, on 14 July 1714. He was buried at Stoke Doyle, Northamptonshire, where he had purchased the lordship of the manor in 1694. He left a sum of money in charity to the parish. Evelyn mentions him as one of the subscribers to Greenwich Hospital in 1696. A portrait was engraved by R. White in 1702 from a painting by Kneller.

Ward married, on 30 March 1676, Elizabeth, third daughter of Thomas Papillon, afterwards sheriff of London. They had ten surviving children. Two of the sons were eminent lawyers. The eldest, Edward, rebuilt Stoke Doyle church and erected in it a handsome monument to his father. Jane, the eldest daughter, married Thomas Hunt of Boreatton, in the parish of Baschurch, Shropshire, and was ancestress of the Ward-Hunt family.

[Inscription on monument at Stoke Doyle, per the Rev. G. M. Edmonds; Admission-book of the Inner Temple; Masters of the Bench of the Inner Temple, privately printed, 1883; Luttrell's Brief Hist. Relation, passim; State Trials, x. 319–71, 1338–1418, xii. 1291–8, 1378, xiii. 451, xiv. 123, 234; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1689–90, pp. 59, 65; Bridges's Hist. of Northamptonshire (Whalley), ii. 377–8; Le Neve's Knights, p. 445; Noble's Contin. of Granger's Biogr. Hist. ii. 181; Foss's Judges of England; Memoirs of T. L. Papillon, ed. A. F. Papillon, 1887, pp. 46, 241–5, 247–9, 390.]

G. Le G. N.