Ellenborough. I. Edward Law, baron, chief justice of the court of king's bench in England, born at Great Salkeld, Cumberland, Nov. 16, 1750, died in London, Dec. 13, 1818. He was a son of Edmund Law, bishop of Carlisle, and was educated at the Charterhouse school in London, and at St. Peter's college, Cambridge. His abilities as a lawyer and speaker were first displayed in the trial of Warren Hastings in 1788-95, in which he was leading counsel for the defendant. In 1801 he was appointed attorney general, and in 1802 he succeeded Lord Kenyon as chief justice of the king's bench, on which occasion he was elevated to the peerage as Baron Ellenborough. He retired from the bench in November, 1818. II. Edward Law, first earl of, an English statesman, son of the preceding, born Sept. 8, 1790, died Dec. 22, 1871. He was educated at Eton and at St. John's college, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1809. Shortly afterward he entered parliament as a member for the now disfranchised borough of St. Michael's. In 1814 he received from his father the sinecure office of clerk of the court of queen's bench, worth £7,000 a year, which he held until his death, receiving in all about £400,000 without having any duty to perform.
He succeeded to the peerage as second baron in 1818, and upon the accession of the duke of Wellington to office, in 1828, he was appointed lord privy seal. During the administration of Sir Robert Peel, in 1834-'5, he became president of the board of control and first commissioner of Indian affairs, an office to which he was reappointed in September, 1841. In the following month he was appointed to succeed Lord Auckland as governor general of India. He arrived in Calcutta in February, 1842, and in April, 1844, he was recalled by the board of East India directors, contrary to the wishes of the cabinet. During his administration Scinde was annexed to the British dominions, and Gwalior reduced to subjection; but he was charged with excessive tenderness for the native troops, to the neglect of the employees in the civil service; with issuing proclamations which seemed to sanction idolatry; and with other questionable acts in his official capacity. Upon his return to England, however, he was created an earl, and in January, 1846, was appointed first lord of the admiralty, which office he held for only six months. He remained out of office until the formation of the Derby cabinet in February, 1858, when he again became president of the board of control.
Early in May a despatch from him to Lord Canning, governor general of India, strongly condemnatory of the proclamation confiscating the property of the natives of Oude, was made public, and excited so much animadversion that on the 11th, after vindicating his course in a speech, he announced that rather than expose his colleagues to the censure of parliament he had resigned his office. His first wife died childless; from his second, who bore him a son who died in infancy, he was divorced. He was succeeded by his nephew, Charles Edmund, born in 1820. III. Jane Elizabeth, second wife of the preceding, born about 1807. She was a daughter of Admiral Digby, was married to the earl of Ellen-borough in 1824, and in 1830 eloped with Prince Felix Schwarzenberg, then Austrian ambassador to England, and her marriage was dissolved by special act of parliament. She was soon abandoned by her paramour; but by the terms of her divorce she was in possession of a large income. For years she led a gay and abandoned life in Italy and elsewhere. She was in time married to a Greek count, from whom she separated.
After a while she set out on a journey to the East, and going from Palmyra to Damascus, her guard was commanded by a petty Bedouin sheik named Medj-uel. She took a fancy to him, and upon their arrival at Damascus told him that she intended to marry him. He ran away; she followed him into the desert, caught him, and was married to him by the Bedouin ceremony, without other witnesses than his Arab companions. In his name she purchased a country house and gardens outside the walls of Damascus, and made it her home for a part of the year, the remainder being passed in the tent of her Bedouin husband. These events occurred about 1850. An account of a visit to her residence in Damascus in 1855 is given by Mr. W. C. Prime in his "Tent Life in the Holy Land" (New York, 1857).