William Cowper

(1664—1724) politician and lord chancellor

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Politician and lawyer. Called to the bar in 1688, Cowper proved a brilliant lawyer, entering the Commons in 1695. He was appointed lord keeper in 1705, becoming a peer in 1706, and lord chancellor in 1707. In 1710 he presided over the trial of Dr Sacheverell, and later that year resigned with his party. Reappointed lord chancellor by George I in 1714, he promoted the Riot and Septennial Acts. By 1718, however, he was voting increasingly with the Tories, and resigned a month after receiving an earldom.

Subjects: British History.

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