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In both cases the forfeiture of the seat is involved. Sir Manasseh, by his action thus taken in careless disregard of the strict letter of the law, not only forfeited his seat, but also exposed himself to severe personal punishment. As Macaulay observes * : "Once in every six or seven years our virtue becomes outrageous ... we must teach libertines
and accordingly some unfortunate man, in no respect more depraved than hundreds whose offences have been treated with lenity, is singled out as an expiatory sacrifice ... he is in truth made a sort of whipping-boy, by whose vicarious agonies all the other transgressors of the same class are, as it is supposed, sufficiently chastised.” That this should be done only fulfils the words of the same writer, t " Each age and every nation has certain characteristic vices, which prevail almost universally, which scarcely any person scruples to avow, and which even rigid moralists but faintly censure," while "succeeding generations change the fashion of their morals with the fashion of their hats and their coaches; take some other kind of wickedness under their patronage, wonder at the depravity of their ancestors . . . and finding the delinquents too numerous to be all punished, select some of them at hazard to bear the whole penalty, of an offence in which they are not more deeply implicated than others who escape.” Accordingly, it was demanded that the majesty of the law, as it then existed, should be vindicated, and that the serious technical breach of it, of which Sir Manasseh had been guilty, should be severely punished, and men taught that when wrong is done, it must always be committed according to law. So poor Sir Manasseh, though probably “in no respect more depraved than scores of his fellows, whose offences were treated with lenity," was singled out as the exemplary sacrifice, and “made a whipping-boy."
Essay on Byron. Macaulay's Works, vol. ii. 389, 390, of 1866, Library edition.
† Macaulay's Works, ubi sup., at p. 64, in Essay on Machiavelli.
The Gentleman's Magazine * and the Annual Register † record how Sir Manasseh was tried for bribery at Exeter, before Mr. Justice Holroyd, at the Assizes there in March, 1819; was convicted in spite of the “stock defence” of “charitable motives," which is usual in such cases, being vehemently asserted by his counsel ; and was, in the following November, sentenced by the Court of King's Bench, which doubtless at that time faithfully reflected outraged public feeling, to pay a fine of £8000, and endure imprisonment in Exeter gaol for twenty-one months, as punishment on the first count of the indictment, and to pay a fine of £2000 and endure three more months' imprisonment, on the second count of the indictment-in short, was subjected to the monstrous punishment of a fine of £10,000 and two years' imprisonment !
The Baronet paid his fine and "did his time " like a man. At the end of his term of imprisonment he, with great ingenuity, sarcastically conveyed his contempt for the imprisonment which he had been forced to undergo. Having been discharged from Exeter gaol at mid-day, he found the coach by which he could go back to Maristow had left an hour previously, upon which he returned to the gaol, and successfully insisted on being lodged there yet another night at the public expense, thus implying that, wealthy as he was, the importance of the cost of a night's lodging was of more importance in his eyes than the supposed degradation of having to lodge in a gaol.
A conviction for bribery at an election did not, in those days, entail subsequent disfranchisement, disqualification for holding public offices, or even disability to be again immediately returned to Parliament. Sir Manasseh Lopez remained in his office of Recorder of Westbury-a position which many of his family have since also filled. Taught by his Grampound
* Vol. 101, Part I. (May, 1831), at p. 645.
experiences he, between two and three years after he had undergone his imprisonment, purchased the snug Borough of Westbury for £6500 from the Earl of Abingdon (in 1823)—a purchase which was doubtless duly effected strictly according to law. In the year in which this purchase was made, * and again in 1826, he was accordingly returned as M.P. for that Borough. Doubtless he would also have been returned again in 1829. But the year 1829 will be remembered to have been one during which the country was greatly agitated on the question of Catholic Emancipation. At the election in that year, Peel met the same misfortune as that which, in our own days, befell his follower and pupil William Ewart Gladstone. Each had been M.P. for the University of Oxford, and each abruptly changed his mind on the burning political question of the hour. Peel suddenly declared in favour of Catholic Emancipation, just as Gladstone in later days announced a determination to dis-establish the Irish Church. The University in each case ejected the renegade. Sir Manasseh Lopez must then be credited with an act at once patriotic and unselfish-for he gave up his safe seat at Westbury in order that a place in the House of Commons might be found for Peel. This sacrifice was the more unselfish, because he himself must have repeatedly, as an M.P., taken the Parliamentary Oath, which, until the Catholic Emancipation Act, excluded all Roman Catholics from the House of Commons, and shut out Jews also, till the efforts of Sir David Saloman procured its repeal.
Sir Manasseh Lopes' position as Recorder of Westbury and M.P. for that Borough, doubtless caused an intimacy to arise between his family and that of Mr. Ludlow, the then owner of Heywood. This culminated in the marriage of the nephew
* Some say that this purchase took place as early as 1810. But it certainly did not take effect then, or Sir Manasseh, possessed of a cosy pocket Borough of his own, would hardly have sought a seat in subsequent years from Barnstaple and from Grampound,
and heir of the wealthy Baronet with one of the two daughters of the owner of Heywood—the other daughter also marrying into a well-known Devonshire family, now itself connected by marriage with the Lopes family—that of the YardeBullers—with which it is very probable that the Ludlows had grown to be acquainted through the Lopes' friendship.
The "Whipping-Boy " Baronet was in due course succeeded (in 1831) by his nephew Sir Ralph, in accordance with the special remainder contained in the patent creating the Baronetcy. Sir Ralph (the second Baronet) was the father of the late Lord Justice, by the marriage just mentioned between him and Susan Gibbs, the daughter of the late Mr. A. Ludlow, of Heywood.
The Ludlows are an old Wiltshire family, though the name (for it will be recollected that English surnames are largely derived from the place of origin of the family) seems to indicate that they sprang from the County of Hereford. One of the members of this family was M.P. for Wiltshire as early as the time of the Civil War. His son was the well-known (General or Colonel) Edmund Ludlow, of whom Macaulay writes, that "he had, when an ardent enthusiast of twenty-eight, taken part in the trial of Charles the First ;” that as years rolled by he had "been left almost the only survivor, and certainly the most illustrious survivor of a mighty race of men, the conquerors in a terrible civil war, the judges of a king, and the founders of a Republic,” and that when, forty years afterwards, the enemies of the House of Stuart appealed to him to help them against James II., “the stern old regicide refused ... his work he said was done ; if England were still to be saved, she must be saved by younger men." + We learn from the same source that the house at Vevay, on the Lake of Geneva, where this famous Ludlow died, is still venerated by the family,
See Macaulay's History of England, vol. i. pp. 200, 201, of 1826 Library Edition.
† Macaulay, ubi sup., vol. i. p. 145.
and that English travellers are still taken to see it, “though the inscription, omne solum forti patria, quia patris, once inscribed upon it was no longer visible there, even in Macaulay's time.”
Such then, to use an expressive old Devonshire phrase, was the “haveage ” of the future Lord Justice.
The marriage of Sir Ralph, the second baronet of the house of Lopes, and nephew of its founder, with Miss Ludlow, was followed by the birth of what is locally called "a long family.” The eldest of this family, the present Sir Massey Lopes, is now the owner of Maristow, and is a well-known public man, who has borne office in some recent Conservative Administrations. Of the second son, Ralph Ludlow Lopes, it will be necessary to incidentally say more hereafter. Henry Charles Lopes, the third son, was, as we shall see subsequently, a Judge of the Queen's Bench, afterwards a Lord Justice of Appeal, and, as already stated, became the founder of the Ludlow Peerage.
The subject of our Memoir was born at Devonport, on October 3, 1828. In due course he was, like many a west country lad of good family, sent to the school of William of Wykeham, at Winchester. Probably it was to the school whose quaint motto is “Manners makyth man,” that the future judge owed that easy manner and pleasant address, which was afterwards characteristic of him on the Bench. At about the usual age, Henry Charles Lopes proceeded to Balliol College, Oxford, where he took his B.A. degree in the year 1850. Having entered as a student at the Inner Temple while at Oxford, he, two years later (viz. in 1852), was called to the Bar by the Inn of Court just named. During the five years which followed, he practised as member of the Equity Bar, having chambers at 23, Old Square, Lincoln's Inn.
* Macaulay translates the motto as meaning that “to him to whom God is a Father, every land is a fatherland." Macaulay, ubi sup., vol. iii. pp. 199, 200.