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Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke (1690-1764), Lord Chancellor

Sitter in 17 portraits
Yorke was called to the Bar in 1715, his legal services were much in demand. He entered Parliament as an MP in 1719 as the protégé of the Duke of Newcastle; the men remained friends for the rest of their lives. Yorke became Solicitor General at the age of just twenty-nine, and was promoted to Attorney General four years later. He was appointed Lord Chancellor in 1737, a post he retained for nineteen years. An active politician, Yorke was involved in all the major decisions of the day. Lord Waldegrave said of him, 'He was undoubtedly an excellent Chancellor, and might have been thought a great man, had he been less avaricious, less proud, less unlike a Gentleman, and not so great a politician.'