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Sir Nicholas Hyde (died August 1631) was Lord Chief Justice of England.

Sir Nicholas entered parliament in 1601 and soon became prominent as an opponent of the court, though he does not appear to have distinguished himself in the law. Before long, however, he deserted the popular party and, in 1626, Hyde was employed by George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham in his defence to impeachment by the House of Commons.

In the following year be was appointed Chief Justice of the King's Bench, in which office it fell to him to give judgment in the celebrated case of Sir Thomas Darnell and others who had been committed to prison on warrants signed by members of the Privy Council, and which contained no statement of the nature of the charge against the prisoners. In answer to the writ of habeas corpus the Attorney General relied on the Royal Prerogative, supported by a precedent of Queen Elizabeth's reign. Hyde, three other judges concurring, decided in favor of the Crown but without going so far as to declare the right of the Crown to refuse indefinitely to show cause against the discharge of the prisoners.

In 1629, Hyde was one of the judges who condemned Eliot, Holles and Valentine for conspiracy in parliament to resist the King's orders, refusing to admit their plea of parliamentary privilege that they could not be called upon to answer out of parliament for acts done in parliament.

References

Legal offices
Preceded by
Ranulph Crewe
Lord Chief Justice
1627–1631
Succeeded by
Thomas Richardson

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