Sir Elijah Impey - Encyclopedia

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SIR ELIJAH IMPEY (1732-1809), chief justice of Bengal, was born on the 13th of June 1732, and educated at Westminster with Warren Hastings, who was his intimate friend throughout life. In 1773 he was appointed the first chief justice of the new supreme court at Calcutta, and in 1775 presided at the trial of Nuncomar for forgery, with which his name has been chiefly connected in history. His impeachment was unsuccessfully attempted in the House of Commons in 1787, and he is accused by Macaulay of conspiring with Hastings to commit a judicial murder; but the whole question of the trial of Nuncomar has been examined in detail by Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, who states that "no man ever had, or could have, a fairer trial than Nuncomar, and Impey in particular behaved with absolute fairness and as much indulgence as was compatible with his duty." See E. B. Impey, Sir Elijah Impey (1846); and Sir James Stephen, The Story of Nuncomar and the Impeachment of Sir Elijah Impey (1885).

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