Cowper, William Cowper, 1st Earl

Cowper, William Cowper, 1st Earl,

1664?–1723, English jurist. He became lord keeper of the great seal in 1705 and in 1706 took a leading part in negotiating the union of England with Scotland. He was the first lord chancellor of Great Britain (1707–10), and presided at the trial of Henry SacheverellSacheverell, Henry
, 1674?–1724, English clergyman, the center of a religio-political incident in the reign of Queen Anne. In two sermons (1709) Dr. Sacheverell attacked the Whig government, lashing out especially against its toleration of religious dissenters.
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, though he disapproved the action. He was forced out of office with the Whigs in 1710. Cowper wrote (1714) a tract on political parties to convince George I that the Whigs alone were loyal to the Glorious Revolution and the Act of Settlement. He was lord chancellor again (1714–18) and contributed much to the modern system of equity.
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