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Lloyd Kenyon, 1st Baron Kenyon

Geburtstag: 5. Oktober 1732
Todesdatum: 4. April 1802

Lloyd Kenyon, 1st Baron Kenyon , was a British politician and barrister, who served as Attorney General, Master of the Rolls and Lord Chief Justice. Born to a country gentleman, he was initially educated in Hanmer before moving to Ruthin School aged 12. Rather than going to university he instead worked as a clerk to an attorney, joining the Middle Temple in 1750 and being called to the Bar in 1756. Initially almost unemployed due to the lack of education and contacts which a university education would have provided, his business increased thanks to his friendships with John Dunning, who, overwhelmed with cases, allowed Kenyon to work many, and Lord Thurlow who secured for him the Chief Justiceship of Chester in 1780. He was returned as the Member of Parliament for Hindon the same year, serving repeatedly as Attorney General under William Pitt the Younger. He effectively sacrificed his political career in 1784 to challenge the ballot of Charles James Fox, and was rewarded with a baronetcy; from then on he did not speak in the House of Commons, despite remaining an MP.

On 27 March 1784, he was appointed Master of the Rolls, a job to which he dedicated himself once he ceased to act as an MP. He had previously practised in the Court of Chancery, and although unfamiliar with Roman law was highly efficient; Lord Eldon said "I am mistaken if, after I am gone, the Chancery Records do not prove that if I have decided more than any of my predecessors in the same period of time, Sir Lloyd Kenyon beat us all". On 9 June 1788, Kenyon succeeded Lord Mansfield as Lord Chief Justice, and was granted a barony. Although not rated as highly as his predecessor, his work "restored the simplicity and rigor of the common law". He remained Lord Chief Justice until his death in 1802.

Zitate Lloyd Kenyon, 1st Baron Kenyon

„The natural leaning of our minds is in favour of prisoners; and in the mild manner in which the laws of this country are executed, it has rather been a subject of complaint by some that the Judges have given way too easily to mere formal objections on behalf of prisoners, and have been too ready on slight grounds to make favourable representations of their cases. Lord Hale himself, one of the greatest and best men who ever sat in judgment, considered this extreme facility as a great blemish, owing to which more offenders escaped than by the manifestation of their innocence.“

—  Lloyd Kenyon, 1st Baron Kenyon

We must, however, take care not to carry this disposition too far, lest we loosen the bands of society, which is kept together by the hope of reward, and the fear of punishment. It has been always considered, that the Judges in our foreign possessions abroad were not bound by the rules of proceeding in our Courts here. Their laws are often altogether distinct from our own. Such is the case in India and other places. On appeals to the Privy Council from our colonies, no formal objections are attended to, if the substance of the matter or the corpus delicti sufficiently appear to enable them to get at the truth and justice of the case.
King v. Suddis (1800), 1 East, 314. Lord Kenyon is later reported to have written, "I once before had occasion to refer to the opinion of a most eminent Judge, who was a great Crown lawyer, upon the subject, I mean Lord Hale; who even in his time lamented the too great strictness which had been required in indictments, and which had grown to be a blemish and inconvenience in the law; and observed that more offenders escaped by the over easy ear given to exceptions in indictments than by their own innocence". King v. Airey (c. 1800), 2 East, 34.

„My Lord… it would be well if you would stick to your good law and leave off your bad Latin.“

—  Lloyd Kenyon, 1st Baron Kenyon

George III of the United Kingdom; reported in John Campbell, The Lives of the Chief Justices of England: From the Norman Conquest till the death of Lord Tenterden (2006), p. 58.
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