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Camden Charles Pratt

Camden, Charles Pratt, Earl and Viscount Bayham, was born in 1713. Called to the bar in 1738, he became attorney-general in 1757 and chief justice of the Common Pleas in 1762, having been an unknown man until, in 1752, he successfully defended a bookseller, William Owen, in a charge of libel against the House of Commons. He gained great popularity through his expressed views of the prosecution of John Wilkes. He was the judge before whom Wilkes was tried, and he very decisively pronounced against the course of the Government as altogether illegal. Created Baron Camden in 1765, he was in the following year appointed Lord Chancellor, resigning on account of differences with the policy of the Government in 1770. He subsequently held office as President of the Council under Rockingham in 1782, and again under Pitt from 1783 to 1794, the year of his death. Meanwhile, in 1786, he had been created Earl Camden and Viscount Bayham.