Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux (1778-1868)
Born in Edinburgh, Henry Brougham, after being educated at the University of
Edinburgh, was, in 1800, admitted to the Scottish bar; in 1802 he helped with
others to create the "Great Gun" of the Enlightenment, the Edinburgh Review. In
1806, he settled in London; in 1808 called to the English bar, and by 1810 had
entered parliament; he was active in the anti-slave movement. Brougham, in 1810,
defended Leigh Hunt in a libel action following the publication of an article on
military flogging. In 1821 he defended Queen Caroline, the wife of King George
IV, on a divorce bill before parliament; the population was firmly behind the
Queen, and as a result Brougham became a popular idol of the people. Brougham
did much for education; he established the London University, the first
Mechanics' Institute and of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.
He eventually became a judge.
G. M. Trevelyan was of the view that Brougham was one of the "most remarkable
and entertaining" men of the time. He thought that "Brougham was the embodiment
of plebeian self-confidence, self assertion, and vitality."