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Wedderburn, Alexander, 1st earl of Rosslyn

Wedderburn, Alexander, 1st earl of Rosslyn (1733–1805). Wedderburn was a member of a Scottish legal family and an associate of David Hume and Adam Smith's Edinburgh circle. He was called to the English bar in 1757 and entered Parliament in 1761. He supported Bute, Grenville, and North, becoming solicitor-general 1771–8 and attorney-general 1778–80. He was a frequent and effective speaker in the Commons, with a reputation for intrigue and self-advancement. Appointed lord chief justice of Common Pleas in 1780 as Baron Loughborough, he remained a follower of North and helped to negotiate the coalition with Fox in 1783. After the French Revolution, Loughborough attempted to negotiate a junction between Pitt and the opposition to support war against France but was tempted by Pitt's offer of the lord chancellorship and crossed the House alone. He was consulted by George III as to whether the coronation oath forbade him to consent to catholic emancipation. He left office with Pitt in 1801 and received the earldom of Rosslyn.

E. A. Smith

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