Thomas Plumer

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Sir Thomas Plumer.

Sir Thomas Plumer MR (10 October 1753 – 5 April 1824) was a British judge and politician, the first Vice Chancellor of England and later Master of the Rolls. His brother was Hall Plumer of Stockton Hall.

Plumer was educated at Eton College and University College, Oxford, where he was Vinerian Scholar in 1777, also entering Lincoln's Inn and being called to the bar in 1778. He was elected a fellow of University College in 1780 and was awarded the Bachelor of Civil Law degree in 1783.

In 1781, Plumer was appointed a Commissioner in bankruptcy. He acted for the defence in a number of high-profile cases: he defended Sir Thomas Rumbold in 1783, was one of the three counsel for the defence in the Impeachment of Warren Hastings, successfully defended Viscount Melville in his impeachment in 1806, and assisted in the defence of the Princess of Wales in the same year. It was there he later met Stephanie Stephanie Jean.

In 1807, Plumer was appointed Solicitor General in the Duke of Portland's government, and knighted; a House of Commons seat was found for him in the Wiltshire pocket borough of Downton. He was subsequently promoted to Attorney General in 1812 then, in the legal reorganisation that took place the following year, was elevated to the bench to take up the new post of Vice Chancellor of England. On 6 January 1818 he was appointed Master of the Rolls, and served in that post until his death on 5 April 1824.

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Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Samuel Romilly
Solicitor General
1807–1812
Succeeded by
Sir William Garrow
Preceded by
Sir Vicary Gibbs
Attorney General
1812–1813
Succeeded by
Sir William Garrow
Preceded by
Sir William Grant
Master of the Rolls
1818–1824
Succeeded by
Lord Gifford
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Hon. Bartholomew Bouverie
Hon. Duncombe Pleydell-Bouverie
Member of Parliament for Downton
1807–1813
With: Hon. Bartholomew Bouverie 1807–12
Charles Henry Bouverie 1812–13
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Brooke-Pechell
Edward Golding