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Atrocious Judges

Lives of Judges Infamous as Tools of Tyrants and Instruments of Oppression

Baron Campbell

Library of Alexandria
The text of the following Book of Judges has been derived from Lord Campbell’s Lives of the Chief Justices, and Lives of the Chancellors, with only a few verbal alterations for the sake of connection, some transpositions, the omission of some details of less interest to the American reader, and the insertion of a few paragraphs, enclosed in brackets, thus. Most biographers have been arrant flatterers. Lord Campbell is a distinguished member of that modern school, which holds that history is of no dignity nor use, except so far as it is true; and that the truth is to be told at all hazards and without reserve. Hitherto social and political position, obtained no matter by what means, has in general secured not only present but future reputation. It can hardly fail to be a serious check upon those who struggle for distinction to understand, that, however they may cheat or dazzle their contemporaries, they must expect to encounter from posterity a Rhadamantine judgment. The object of the present work, prepared as it is in the interest of justice and freedom, and designed to hold up a mirror to magistrates now sitting on the American bench, in which “to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very life and body of the time his form and pressure,” will, I hope, induce Lord Campbell to pardon the liberty I have ventured to take with his writings.