Pratt, Charles

Pratt, Sir Charles (First Baron Camden) (1714-1794) British politician: Pratt became a close friend of William Pitt while the two were students at Eton. Later in life, Pitt contributed greatly to Pratt's professional and political advancement. Pratt served as Attorney-General to the King George III when he was still Prince of Wales, then was appointed Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, in which position he handed down a vindication of English rights in the general warrants cases, which became the basis of the Fourth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. In 1766, Camden supported Pitt's efforts against the Stamp Act in the House of Lords, as well as opposing the Declaratory Act. After Pitt became ill, Pratt was left alone in his stand against the taxation of the colonies, and he eventually withdrew from office in 1770 on the grounds of domestic policy. In 1775, Pratt spoke in favor of Pitt's :Provisional Act" to reconcile with the colonies, going even further to suggest that Parliament had no constitutional right to tax the colonies. He also introduced a bill to repeal the Quebec Act of 1774, and, after 1775, he strongly opposed the American War.

 

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