Solicitor-general speaker of the House of Commons and attorney-general (1592), the great rival of Francis Bacon. In 1606 he was made Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. He quarrelled with James I. on questions of royal prerogative, was removed to the less lucrative office of Chief Justice of the King's Bench, 1613, and from the bench altogether in 1616. As one of the leaders of the parliamentary opposition he helped to draw up the "Petition of Right" in 1628. His writings ("Institutes of the Laws of England") are distinguished for erudition and thoroughness rather than by method or order.