Biography of Lord Thomas Erskine


Erskin, Lord Thomas. Born in 1750, son of tenth Earl of Buchan. After serving in the army and navy, Erskine was called to the bar in 1778, and soon won renown as an advocate by his defense of Lord Keppel and of Lord George Gordon. A strong Whig, he acted for the defense in the political trials of the time, giving his aid to Horne Tooke, Thelwall, and Tom Paine. His defense of the last cost him the post of attorney-general to the Prince of Wales. He was now regarded as the defender of popular liberties and constitutional rights. From 1790, he sat in parliament as a supporter of Fox. In 1806 he became chancellor under him, and was raised to the peerage. Henceforward, he took little part in politics, but vigorously supported Queen Caroline in 1821. Erskine died in 1823.