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At fourteen years of his age his schoolmnaster finding him fit for the university, recommended him to his brother, Mr. Anthony Barker, Fellow of New College, Oxford. He was admitted in Hart Hall, in 1598, Mr. Wood says 1600: he continued at the University four years, and made a great progress through his academical studies, mastering every difficulty that occurred to him in any of the sciences.

When he left the university he removed to Clifford's Inn, and was adinitted Socius of the Inner Temple, in May, 1604, where he pursued with indefatigable, diligence and extraordinary success his studies, in searching into the origin of the law in all its various branches. He drew up a Treatise on the Civil Government of Engfand before the Conquest, at the age of twenty-two years; this gained him great reputation amongst the learned of that time. In 1614 he published his Titles of Honour; a work exceeding all others on that subject. In 1616 he published his Notes on Sir John For

tescue,

rescue, de Laudibus Legum Angliæ. About this time his reputation for learning was raised to the highest pitch, which alarmed the clergy, by an attenipt which he made to lessen the general opinion of their divine right to tythes : complaint being made to King James, he was afterwards prosecuted in the High Commission Court, and obliged, in a solemn manner, to acknowledge his fault. In 1621 he was comınitted to the custody of the sheriff of London, as a principal promoter of the protest made by the Commons respecting their privileges, being originally grants from the Crown, which the King had asserted in his speech to the Parliament, and for which protest the King was so angry that he tore-it out of their journals with his own hands. During his confinement Mr. Selden revised the History of Eadmer, and published it in 1623, in folio. On the

12th of February, the same year, he was returned member of Parliament for Lancaster; and in the next year ano, ther Parliament was called, upon the

accession

accession of King Charles to the throne;', he was returned for Great Bedwin, in: Wiltshire, in which he warmly declared against the Duke of Buckingham : and in the next Parliament of 1626, he was chosen one of the Committee for drawing up the articles of impeachinent for that Minister, and afterwards appointed one of the Managers at his tryal. In 1627 he pleaded as counsel for Mr. Hamden. In the third parliament of King Charles the First our author was returned a second time for Lancaster, in which he had a great share in all the leading steps towards preparing and establishing the famous Petition of Right; which being granted, he, in June, retired to Wrest, in Bedfordshire, where he passed the summer during the recess of Parliament; here he finished his Commentaries upon the Arundelian Mar--bles. In the next sessions he continued his opposition to the Court, and soon after was committed to the Tower by order of the Privy Council, and his study sealed up the 24th of March, 1628 : here he was a close prisoner for three

months,

months, but inagnificently supported at the King's expence.

He was afterwards, at his own request, removed to: the King's Bench, where the King sent his Chaplain, Morley, to suggest to him, that upon a petition he might be discharged. In 1631 he was admitted to bail, and to have the liberty of appearing in any of the courts of law upon the business of that suit. In. July, 1634, he was freed likewise from this bail, and never more detained in prison. In 1636 he published his Den fence of the King's Dominion over the British seas, in answer to Grotius; in consequence of which the Dutch relinquished their claiin, and paid the King 30,000l. for their permission to fish for that year. But notwithstanding Mr. Selden asserted the prerogative of the British Crown against the Dutch, he was not a friend to the court doce trine of the King's power to levy money on the subject without their consent; therefore in the Parliaments of 1640, and 1641, being returned for the university of Oxford, he: both spoke

and

and acted with the same spirit; and: joined with the most violent in prosecuting the Earl of Strafford, and Archbishop Laud. In 1642 the King took: the Great Seal from the Lord Keeper Littleton, intending it for Mr. Selden; but he declined the first overture that. he received of that intention.

In 1647 he published Fleta seu Commentarius Juris Anglicani sic nuncupatus; he was much displeased with the violent measures pursued against the King; and when the Evxwu Baomixn came out, Cromwell could not by any means prevail on him to draw his pen against it. He now declined public affairs, and spent, ħis time altogether in his study, where he was sure to gratify his own humour. He after this published several works. In the year 1654, being near seventy years old he began to decline, and in some months grew apprehensive of his approaching dissolution. He discoursed with Dr. Usher and Dr. Gerard Langbaine, on the vanity of learning; and declared that all his hopes of salvation was upon the promises in scripture.

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