John Campbell Campbell.

Lives of the lord chancellors and keepers of the great seal of England from the earliest times till the reign of Queen Victoria (Volume 4) online

. (page 1 of 50)
Online LibraryJohn Campbell CampbellLives of the lord chancellors and keepers of the great seal of England from the earliest times till the reign of Queen Victoria (Volume 4) → online text (page 1 of 50)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook




y of California
>rn Regional
ry Facility



Mrs A. F. Morrison

"- 1

I n m

, - ', ' I S
- " 1


., B m


















VOL. ;iy, . . .


i 874-



V' <f





LXXVIII. Continuation of the Life of Lord Clarendon till the

restoration of Charles II., T

LXXIX. Continuation of the Life of Lord Clarendon till the

meeting of the first Parliament of Charles II., . n

LXXX. Continuation of the Life of Lord Clarendon till his

acquittal when impeached by the Earl of Bristol, . 28

LXXXI. Continuation of the Life of Lord Clarendon till his

fall 41

LXXXII. Continuation of the Life of Lord Clarendon till his

banishment, ........ 54

LXXXIII. Conclusion of the Life of Lord Clarendon, . . 67

LXXXIV. Life of Lord Keeper Bridgeman 87

LXXXV. Life of Lord Chancellor Shaftesbury from his birth

till the restoration of Charles II., . . . 102

LXXXVL Continuation of the Life of Lord Shaftesbury till his

appointment as Lord Chancellor, . . . 117

LXXXVIL Continuation of the Life of Lord Shaftesbury till his

dismissal from the office of Lord Chancellor, . 122
LXXXVIII. Continuation of the Life of Lord Shaftesbury till the

breaking out of the Popish Plot, .... 136
LXXXIX. Continuation of the Life of Lord Shaftesbury till the

dissolution of the Oxford Parliament, . . . 149
XC. Conclusion of the Life of Lord Shaftesbury, . 173

XCI. Life of Lord Chancellor Nottingham from his birth

till he was created Lord Chancellor, . . . 190
XCII. Continuation of the Life of Lord Nottingham till

his first quarrel with Lord Shaftesbury, . . 2O2
XCIII. Conclusion of the Life of Lord Nottingham, . . 218




XCIV. Life of Lord Keeper Guilford from his birth till he

was appointed Solicitor General, .... 238
XCV. Continuation of the Life of Lord Guilford till his

appointment as Lord Keeper, . . . . 251
XCVI. Continuation of the Life of Lord Guilford till the

death of Charles II., 272

XCVII. Conclusion of the Life of Lord Guilford, . . 287
XCVIII. Life of Lord Chancellor Jeffreys from his birth till

he was appointed Recorder of London, . 299

XCIX. Continuation of the Life of Lord Chancellor Jeffreys
till his appointment as Lord Chief Justice of the

King's Bench, 314

C. Continuation of the Life of Lord Chancellor Jeffreys

till he received the Great Seal 332

CI. Continuation of the Life of Lord Chancellor Jeffreys
till the Great Seal was taken from him by James
II. and thrown into the river Thames,
CII. Conclusion of the Life of Lord Chancellor Jeffreys,
CIII. Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal on the Ac-
cession of William and Mary ; and Life of Lord
Commissioner Maynard from his birth till the
Revolution of 1688, ...... 400

CIV. Conclusion of the Life of Lord Commissioner

Maynard, ........ 423

CV. Life of Lord Commissioner Trevor, . . . 437
CVI. Life of Lord Somers from his birth till the Revo-
lution, 457

CVI I. Continuation of the Life of Lord Somers till he

receives the Great Seal, 482

LIVES: n^r^




THE new Lord Chancellor, instead of proceeding in
state to Westminster Hall, attended by nobles and
Judges, and making an inaugural speech before an
admiring crowd in the Court of Chancery, or explaining,
in the presence of the Sovereign, and the Lords, and the
Commons, the reasons for calling a parliament, or pre-
siding in a Council where great national questions were
to be determined, had long, for his sole occupation, to
provide for the daily necessities of the little domestic es-
tablishment, called " the Court of England," at Bruges.
The pension from France had entirely ceased, as Charles
was now to consider himself at war with that country;
and the magnificent promises of a liberal supply from
Spain had utterly failed. The consequence was, that the
King's finances were in a more dilapidated state than
ever, and the debts of his Crown, consisting of his trades-
men's weekly bills, increased most alarmingly. Thus
writes his prime minister, who now combined in his own
person the duties of Chancellor of the Exchequer and
Lord High Chancellor: "Every bit of meat, every drop
of drink, all the fire and all the candles that hath been
spent since the King's coming hither, is entirely owed for;
and how to get credit for a week more is no easy matter.
Mr. Fox 1 was with me yesterday, to move the King that

Afterwards Sir Stephen, and the ancestor of the Holland and Ilchester



he would let His own'' diet 'fall, and content himself with
one dish/.' $& tha/d. \Vy4s '? the' "Chancellor " pushed, that
he was obliged -'tt)' "write "Are '-following letter, and to get
Charles to copy it, to his sister, the Princess of Orange :
" I know you are without money, and can not very easily
borrow it, at least upon so little warning; but if you
will send me any jewel that I may pawn for 1,500, I do
promise you you shall have the jewel again in your hands
before Christmas."

The darkest and coldest hour of the night is immedi-
ately before break of day. Sexby, meditating assassin-
ation, had been detected and shut up in the Tower, but
while the royal party were in a state of the deepest
despondency at Bruges, a report was spread that Oliver,
on whose single life the present regime in England was
supposed to depend, was dangerously ill of an ague, and
in a few days a messenger arrived, announcing that he was
no more. Great, at first, was the exultation of Charles
and his courtiers, and they all expected in the course of
not many days to be in possession of Whitehall. But
they were thrown into consternation by the next news
that Richard had been peaceably proclaimed ; that his
title had been acknowledged by the army as well as all
the civil authorities ; that addresses, pledging life and
fortune in his support, were pouring in from all quarters ;
and that he had been congratulated on his accession to
the Protectorate by all the foreign ambassadors in Lon-
don. There was now what the lawyers call " a descent
cast," whereby, on the death of an ejector, protection is
given to the possession of his heir. The restoration of
the House of Stuart seemed forever barred by the ac-
knowledged title of a rival dynasty. " We have not,"
said Hyde, softening the despondence which he felt, that
he might not discourage others, " yet found that advan-
tage by Cromwell's death as we rationally hoped; nay,
rather, we are the worse for it, and the less esteemed ;
people imagining by the great calm that hath followed,
that the King hath very few friends." 1

The hopes of the Court at Bruges, however, were soon
revived by intelligence of the discontents of the army, and
the feuds of its rival chiefs, which almost from the be-
ginning shook the throne of Richard. When he sum-

1 Clar. Pap. iii. 428.


moned a parliament, and, departing from his father's
reformed system of representation, sent writs to the rotten
boroughs, Hyde wrote to the royalists in England, ad-
vising that as many of them as possible should quietly get
themselves returned to the House of Commons. On the
meeting of parliament it was found that they were more
numerous than could have been expected, and for the
ultimate good of the cause they did not scruple to take
the oath of fidelity to the Commonwealth, and abjuration
of the Stuarts. Hyde suggested to them an obstructive
line of policy that they should denounce the arbitrary
acts of the administration of the late Protector that they
should hold up to particular odium Thurloe and St. John,
who were the most influential advisers of the new Pro-
tectorthat they should oppose all raising of moneys, and
whatever might tend to a settlement of the Government
that they should widen the breach between the Crom-
wellites and the Republicans and that they should throw
their weight into the scale of either party in such manner
as might most conduce to the interests of the King.

At this time it was thought that if Richard had been
out of the hands of Thurloe and St. John, he would him-
self have declared for the restoration, " from the diffi-
culties and dangers he met with in his government, and
the safe and honorable advantages that he might receive
by an accommodation with the exiled family," and Hyde
seems to have believed that " he intended wholly for the
King." '

The small royalist party in the House found it ex-
pedient to prevent Richard from being too soon precipi-
tated from power, lest Fleetwood or Lambert, with a
considerable share of the military reputation and energy
of Oliver, might be elevated on the bucklers of the
soldiers. They, therefore, voted for the recognition of
his title as Protector, after they had succeeded in ex-
punging the word "undoubted," and it was carried by a
majority of 191 to 168. They likewise joined in the ma-
jority for acknowledging with some qualifications the
other House of Parliament, consisting of Oliver's Peers.
But they joined most heartily with the republicans in ex-
posing the tyrannical proceedings of Oliver's Major-
Generals and High Courts of Justice, which they said far

1 Clar. Pap. iii. 434, 454.


exceeded in violence any sentences of the Star Chamber
or High Commission Court abolished by the late King.
They likewise pointed out the enormous increase in the
public expenditure, and the arbitrary exactions by which
it was supplied, depicting, in glowing colors, the happy,
tranquil, taxless times which the more aged might still re-
member. All this was supposed to be only out of odium
to the Protectorate as against a pure republic, but was
meant to bring back the affections of the people to
royalty. A favorable impression being made, Hyde
wrote to them to move the impeachment of Thurloe and
St. John. This they were not strong enough prudently
to attempt ; but they followed up the blow with great
effect on the presentation of Petitions from various
persons who had been illegally imprisoned without
warrant or cause assigned, or whose relations had been
transported without a trial to Barbadoes, and there sold
as slaves.

After a session of less than three months, the Protect-
orate had been so effectually damaged that Richard, as
the only step to save himself, resorted to a measure
which proved his instant ruin, by dissolving the parlia-
ment, and the army was for a time triumphant. Hyde,
watching this movement at Brussels, felt much alarm,
which was not quieted by the restoration of the " Rump,"
where he had no friends. A majority of the survivors of
the Long Parliament, though Presbyterians, were for
royalty ; but the members turned out by " Pride's purge "
were still excluded, and those in whom the supreme
power was now nominally placed were the section who
had voted for the death of Charles I., and were devoted
republicans. However, they had no hold of public
opinion ; and when they affected to assert their inde-
pendence by cashiering Lambert and Desborough, the
nation was rejoiced to see them again expelled, although
for a time the government fell into the hands of a self-
elected council of state. All these changes aggravated
the general confusion, and were favorable to the King.
There was now a growing desire for his return, to which
Hyde wished to trust rather than to partial insurrections
in his favor, saying, "I confess without a general con-
junction, and therefore kindling the fire in several parts
of the kingdom together, I can not imagine how any


single attempt, how bravely soever undertaken by our
friends alone, can be attended with success." '

A general rising was concerted, with Hyde's concur-
rence, in the month of July, but fortunately (for it must
have lead to much bloodshed) it was prevented by the
treachery of Sir R. Willis, who, in an age where, generally
speaking, there was unspotted party fidelity, was false,
first to the republicans, and then to the royalists.

Charles in the autumn of this year went to the coast of
Brittany, intending from thence to make a landing in
Wales or Cornwall, and this plan being abandoned, pro-
ceeded to join the conference at Fontarabia, in the vain
hope of inducing France and Spain to unite in supporting
his cause. Hyde meanwhile remained stationary at
Brussels, carrying on a secret correspondence with almost
all parties and classes of men in England, and seeing more
and more clearly the satisfactory prospect of the King
being restored by the spontaneous movement of his own
subjects. The mode in which the restoration would be
accomplished, in the face of the formidable army under
Fleetwood and Lambert, composed chiefly of republicans
and independents, no one distinctly foresaw ; but a
general feeling prevailed that it was inevitable, and most
men began to speculate how it might best be brought
about for their own safety and advantage. Now it was
that Whitelock advised Fleetwood to declare for the King, 3
meaning himself to bring over the Commonwealth's Great
Seal to Charles, in which case Monk's real intentions
would never have been ascertained, and he would have
been almost unknown in history. When Hyde heard the
probability of Fleetwood's defection from the republican
party, he had no confidence in his firmness, and he thus
expressed himself: "The character which we have al-
ways received of the man is not such as makes him equal
to any notable design, or to be much relied on to-morrow
for what in truth he resolved to do yesterday: however,
as his wit is not so great as some of the rest, so his
wickedness is much less apparent than any of theirs, and
therefore industry and dexterity must be used to dispose
and confirm him in his good intentions, and let him take
his own time for the manifestation of it." J

1 Thurloe, i. 746. Burton's Diary, iv. 255. * Ante, vol. iii.p. 378 et seq.
* Clar. Pap. iii. 592.


One of the most amusing proposals made to Hyde was
from Lord Hatton, a most zealous royalist, that Charles
should gain over General Lambert by marrying his
daughter, urging "that no foreign aid would be so cheap
or would leave the restored monarch at such liberty,
commending withal the beauty and disposition of the
lady, the distinguished bravery of the father, and the re-
spectability and antiquity of their lineage." No answer
was returned, that the alliance might not be considered
absolutely rejected.

But in common cases, Hyde was not at all scrupulous
in trying to gain the support of any party, or any in-
dividual, by lavish promises. He distinctly gave the
Presbyterians to understand that they were to be favored,
and he got the King to write " a great many obliging
letters to their leaders to the same effect," so that many
of them co-operated in the Restoration hoping that Pres-
bytery was to be adopted as the established religion, and
all the rest in the full faith that at all events they would
have the same civil rights as the Episcopalians. " The
management of all this," says Burnet,"was so entirely the
Chancellor's, that there was scarce any other that had so
much as a share in it with him." ' We shall hereafter see
whether he kept the word of promise, either to the ear or
to the hope, when we relate the passing of " The Cor-
poration Act," " The Act of Uniformity," and " The Con-
venticle Act."

Hyde early had the penetration to discover Monk's
great influence, and the probability of his using it for the
King. Soon after Cromwell's death he received a letter
from Colepeper, pointing out Monk " as able alone to
restore the King, and not absolutely averse to it, neither
in his principles nor in his affections," and describing him
as likely to be dissatisfied with the advancement of
Richard, w being a sullen man, that values himself enough,
and much believes that his knowledge and reputation in
arms fit him for the title of Highness and the office of
Protector better than Mr. Richard Cromwell's skill in
horse races and husbandry doth." Hyde therefore wrote
a letter, which Charles copied, to be shown to Monk
addressed to Lord Falconbridge, Lord Bellasis, and Sir
John Grenville, or either of them : " I am confident that

' Hornet's Own Times,.!. 150.


George Monk can have no malice in his heart against me,
nor hath he done any thing against me which I can not
very easily pardon ; and it is in his power to do me so
great service that I can not easily reward, but I will do
all I can, and I do authorize you, and either of you, with
the advice of the rest, to treat with him ; and not only to
assure him of my kindness, but that I will very tolerably
reward him with such an estate in land, and such a title
of honor as himself shall desire, if he will declare for me
and adhere to my interest ; and whatever you shall
promise to him on my behalf, or whatever he or you by
his advice shall promise to any of his officers in the army
under his command (which command he shall still .keep),
I will make good and perform upon the word of a
King." 1

Charles soon after was induced to write a letter to Monk
himself, containing similar assurances ; and a brother of
Monk, a clergyman in the West of England, was em-
ployed, under Hyde's directions, to undertake a journey
into Scotland for the purpose of sounding his intentions.
But the wary General could not be drawn into any corre-
spondence with the exiled Court. For some reason which
has not been explained he showed a marked antipathy to
Hyde, and there was no intercourse between them till
they met at Dover on the King's landing.

Even when Monk was advancing with his army into
England, Hyde, not unreasonably, distrusted him, and
suspected that he meant to set up himself for Protector
as soon as he should have got the better of Lambert, as
"honest George" continued from time to time to declare
" We must live and die for and with a Commonwealth ;"
called God to witness " he had no intention to embrace
his Majesty's interest, nor ever would he ;" at York
caned an officer for saying, " George will at last let in the
King;" and even after his arrival in London made a
speech to exclude members about to be restored to their
seats in parliament, asserting his preference for " a repub-
lican government and a Presbyterian Church." But in
the beginning of March Hyde's suspicions were nearly
dissipated, and he writes to a friend, "If Monk hath from
the beginning intended well, he hath proceeded, very
wisely in the steps he hath made." 2

1 Clar. Pap. : ii.4i7. Ibid. 694.


After Charles's return from the conference at Fontarabia,
Hyde continued with him at Brussels anxiously watching
the proceedings in England without being able in any
perceptible degree to influence them. His chief task was
to restrain indiscreet enterprises, and to induce those
around him to wait patiently for the coming events, whose
shadows might be so distinctly discerned. He found it
particularly difficult to allay the jealousies which broke
out among the royalists themselves, all now officiously
struggling to make their services conspicuous, and to lay
the foundation for future favors. " Those who are trusted
a little," said he, " would be trusted more and know more,
and are troublesome upon their being disappointed. I
know no security but to be obstinate in applying them
only to what they are fit for." He was obliged to
remonstrate with Lord Mordaunt, whom, under the guise
of describing the sentiments of other friends of the King,
he thus addressed : " First, it is said that you take the
whole business upon yourself; and therefore they do or
pretend to believe that the King hath given the whole
power to you, as well in martial as in civil affairs. Secondly,
they seem to apprehend that all that is or shall be done
is looked upon as your entire work, and the effect of your
interest and conduct, and that they are not represented,
or shall be considered as copartners in any thing." 2

The principal anxiety at Brussels now was to ascertain
what conditions the Convention parliament, when assem-
bled, would propose. Better than such as had been
demanded from the late King while he was in the Isle of
Wight were not expected, and these would have been very
readily conceded. Almost the last vote of the last parlia-
ment acting freely, with all its members restored, and
after having resolved to recall the King, was " that Pres-
byterianism should be the established religion of the king-
dom ;" and no one on either side of the water yet appre-
ciated the accelerated strength with which the cavalier
spirit, enthusiastic and vengeful, raged throughout the

At- length Sir Matthew Hale having made his motion
for " a Committee to consider the propositions that had
been made to, and the concessions that had been offered
by, the late King during the war, particularly at the treaty

1 Clar. Pap. iii. 684. * Ibid.


of Newport, that from thence they might digest such
propositions as they would think fit to be sent over to
the King," it was strenuously resisted by Monk, who
wished to have the glory of an unconditional restoration,
and asked, if propositions were fit, " might they not as
well prepare them, and offer them to him when he should
come over?" Such cheers were elicited by the General's
blunt speech, that the motion was dropped. " This," says
Burnet, ironically, " was indeed the great service that Monk
did !" ' When the result of the debate was transmitted to
Charles and his minister, they saw, with delight, that
every thing was now in their discretion, and they deserve
credit for the moderate use which, in the first instance,
they made of the absolute power over three kingdoms,
which, as if by magic, was in a moment conferred upon

During this enthusiastic burst of loyalty they were
established at Breda, having secretly left Brussels under
the apprehension that, in the prospect of Charles's recall
to the throne of England, he might have been detained
as a hostage by the Spaniards for the restoration of
Jamaica and Dunkirk, which had been taken from them
by Cromwell. Here gracious letters were written, in the
King's name, to Monk and the army, to Montagu and the
navy, to the House of Lords, to the House of Commons,
and to the Lord Mayor and citizens of London; and here
Hyde penned the famous " Declaration from Breda,"
granting pardon to all such as should claim it within forty
,days, and return to loyalty and obedience, excepting only
such persons as should thereafter be excepted by parlia-
ment, providing that no man should be disquieted or called
in question for differences of opinion in matters of religion
ic/iich do not disturb the peace of the kingdom ; declaring
that all questions relating to grants, sales, and purchases
of public property should be determined in parliament,
and that the army under the command of General Monk
should be taken into the King's service, on as good pay
and conditions as they then enjoyed.

Nothing now remained, except that Charles should
select a port of embarkation, as if, having been long in
possession of the Crown, he had been returning to his
dominions after a friendly visit to some allied Sovereigns

1 Burn. Own Times, i. 152.


on the continent ; only that he was more eagerly longed
for by his subjects than ever was monarch who had
actually reigned.

Hyde accompanied him from Breda to the Hague,
amidst the acclamations of the population through which
they passed, and was regarded with peculiar interest and
favor as the faithful companion of the exiled, and the
future minister of the restored Sovereign. On the 23rd
of May they embarked on board the English fleet at
Scheveling, under the command of Montagu, and on the
25th they landed at Dover. 1 What must have been
Hyde's sensations when, under such circumstances, he

Online LibraryJohn Campbell CampbellLives of the lord chancellors and keepers of the great seal of England from the earliest times till the reign of Queen Victoria (Volume 4) → online text (page 1 of 50)