Sir Thomas Plumer.
Sir Thomas Plumer.

Sir Thomas Plumer (10 October 1753 – 24 March 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.[1] 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,[2] 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 24 March 1824.[1]


  1. ^ a b "PLUMER, Sir Thomas (1753-1824), of Canons Park, Mdx". The History of Parliament British Political,Social and Local History.
  2. ^ "The Trial of Henry Lord Viscount Melville". Longman. 1806.


Further reading

Clive Hodges: Cobbold & Kin: Life Stories from an East Anglian Family (Woodbridge, Boydell Press, 2014) ISBN 9781843839545

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