Of an Oxfordshire gentry family, Simon Harcourt studied law and, returned for Abingdon in 1690, supported the Tories. His fortunes closely followed those of his schoolfriend Robert Harley. In 1702–8 he was solicitor‐general and then attorney‐general, resigning with Harley. In 1710 he defended Sacheverell at his impeachment, speaking to great acclaim. During the subsequent Tory ministry he was lord keeper and then lord chancellor, obtaining a barony in 1711. On George I's arrival, he was dismissed.
Subjects: British History.