Edward Hyde Clarendon.

The life of Edward, earl of Clarendon, in which is included a continuation of his History of the grand rebellion (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryEdward Hyde ClarendonThe life of Edward, earl of Clarendon, in which is included a continuation of his History of the grand rebellion (Volume 1) → online text (page 2 of 39)
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and indeed desired it, both that he might see those
counties, and especially that he might be out of
London in that season when the small pox raged
very furiously, and many persons, some whereof
were much acquainted 1 with him, died of that dis-
ease in the Middle Temple itself. It was about the
middle of July when that circuit began, and Cam-
bridge was the first place the judges begun at ; Mr.
justice Harvey (one of the judges of the common
pleas) was in commission with the chief justice :
they both came into Cambridge on the Saturday

h prejudice] prejudice from ' much acquainted] very fa-

their conversation miliar


night, and the next day Mr. Edward Hyde fell sick, PART
which was imputed only to his journey the day be-.

fore in very hot weather; but he continued so ill
the day or two following, that it was apprehended of the small
that he might have the small pox ; whereupon he Ege. "
was removed out of Trinity college, where the
judges were lodged k , to the Sun inn, over against
the college gate, the judges being to go out of town
the next day ; but before they went, the small pox
appeared; whereupon his uncle put him under the
care of Mr. Crane an eminent apothecary, who had
been bred up under Dr. Butler, and was in much
greater practice than any physician in the univer-
sity ; and left with him Laurence St. Loe one of his
servants, who was likewise his nephew, to assist
and comfort him. It pleased God to preserve him
from that devouring disease, which was spread all
over him very furiously, and had so far prevailed
over him, that for some hours both his friends and
physician consulted of nothing but of the place and
manner of his burial ; but as I said, by God's good-
ness he escaped that sickness, and within few days
more than a month after his first indisposition, he
passed in moderate journeys to his father's house at Returns

again to

Firton, where he arrived a day or two before Bar- pirton after

. , i , bis reco-

tholomew day. very .

He was often wont to say, that he was reading
to his father in Camden's Annals, and that particu-
lar place, in which it is said, " Johannes Feltonus,
" qui bullam pontificiam valvis palatii episcopi
" Londinensis affixerat jam deprehensus, cumfu-
" gere nollet,Jhctum confessus quod tamen crimen

k lodged] MS. adds: and where he had a chamber


PART " agnoscere noluit"&ic. when a person of the neigh-
.bourhood knocked at the door, and being called in,

1628> told his father that a post was then passed through
the village to Charleton, the house of the earl of
Berkshire, to inform the earl of Berkshire that the
duke of Buckingham was killed the day before (be-
ing the 24th of August, Bartholomew day, in the
year 1628) by one John Felton*, which dismal ac-
cident happening in the court, made a great change
in the state, produced a sudden disbanding of all
armies, and a due observation of, and obedience to
the laws ; so that there being no more mutations in
view (which usually affect the spirits of young men,
And from at least hold them some time at gaze) Mr. Hyde re-
the Middle turned again to his studies at the Middle Temple,
Temple. nav j n g ft s ^{\\ j n n j s resolution to dedicate him-
self to the profession of the law, without declin-
ing the politer learning, to which his humour and
his conversation kept him always very indulgent ;
and to lay some obligation upon himself to be fixed
to that course of life, he inclined to a proposition of
marriage, which, having no other passion in it than
an appetite to a convenient estate, succeeded not, yet
produced new acquaintance, and continued the same

Death and About this time his uncle sir Nicholas Hyde, lord
his^nde chief justice of the king's bench, died of a malig-
Hyde. cb ' las nan t fever, gotten from the infection of some gaol
in his summer circuit. He was a man of excellent
learning for that province he was to govern, of un-
suspected and unblemished integrity, of an exemplar

* For the particulars of the duced at court and in public
duke of Buckingham's death, affairs, vid. Hist, of the Rebel-
and of the alterations it pro- lion, vol. i. p. 47, &c.


gravity and austerity, which was necessary for the PART
manners of that time, corrupted by the marching of

armies, and by the license after the disbanding
them ; and though upon his promotion some years
before, from a private practiser of the law to the
supreme judicatory in it, by the power and recom-
mendation of the great favourite, of whose council
he had been, he was exposed to much envy and
some prejudice ; yet his behaviour was so grateful to
all the judges, who had an entire confidence in him,
his service so useful to the king in his government,
his justice and sincerity so conspicuous throughout
the kingdom, that the death of no judge had in any
time been more lamented.

The loss of so beneficial an encouragement and
support in that profession did not at all discourage
his nephew in his purpose ; rather added new reso-
lution to him ; and to call home all straggling and
wandering appetites, which naturally produce irre-
solution and inconstancy in the mind, with his fa-
ther's consent and approbation he married a young Mr. Hyde's
lady very fair and beautiful, the daughter of sir 1529.
George Ayliffe, a gentleman of a good name and
fortune in the county of Wilts, where his own ex-
pectations lay, and by her mother (a St. John) nearly
allied to many noble families in England. He en-
joyed this comfort and composure of mind a very
short time, for within less than six months after he
was married, being upon the way from London to-
wards his father's house, she fell sick at Reading,
and being removed to a friend's house near that
town, the small pox discovered themselves, and (she
being with child) forced her to miscarry ; and she D . eatl | of
died within two days. He bore her loss with so


PART great passion and confusion of spirit, that it shook
. all the frame of his resolutions, and nothing but his

1629. en tire duty and reverence to his father kept him
from giving over all thoughts of books, and trans-
porting himself beyond the seas to enjoy his own
melancholy ; nor could any persuasion or importu-
nity from his friends prevail with him in some years
to think of another marriage. There was an ill ac-
cident in the court befell a lady of a family nearly
allied to his wife, whose memory was very dear to
him, and there always continued a firm friendship
in him to all her alliance, which likewise ever ma-
nifested an equal affection to him ; amongst those
was William viscount Grandison, a young man of
extraordinary hope, between whom and the other
there was an entire confidence. The injury was of
that nature, that the young lord thought of nothing
but repairing it his own way; but those imagina-
tions were quickly at an end, by the king's rigor-
ous and just proceeding against the persons offend-
ing, in committing them both to the Tower, and
declaring that " since he was satisfied that there
" was a promise of marriage in the case, the gentle-
" man should make good his promise by marrying
" the lady ; or be kept in prison, and for ever ba-
" nished from all pretence or relation to the court,"
where he had a very great credit and interest. This
declaration by the king made the nearest friends of
the lady pursue the design of this reparation more
solicitously, in which they had all access to the
king, who continued still in his declared judgment
in the matter. In this pursuit Mr. Hyde's passion-
ate affection to the family embarked him, and they
were all as willing to be guided by his conduct;


the business was to be followed by frequent in- PART
stances at court, and conferences with those who '

had most power and opportunity to confirm the 1629<
king in the sense he had entertained ; and those con-
ferences were wholly managed by him, who thereby
had all admission to the persons of alliance to the
lady, and so concerned in the dishonour, which was
a great body of lords and ladies of principal rela- The occa-
tions in court, with whom in a short time he was of Hide's fn-
great credit and esteem ; of which the marquis of [0^".
Hamilton was one, who having married an excellent c ' uis of Ha -

t * milton.

lady, cousin-german to the injured person, seemed
the most concerned and most zealous for her vindi-
cation, and who had at that time the most credit of
any man about the court, and 1 upon that occasion
entered into a familiarity with him, and made as
great professions of kindness to him as could pass to
a person at that distance from him, which continued
till the end and conclusion of that affair, when the
marquis believed that Mr. Hyde had discovered
some want of sincerity in him in that prosecution,
which he pretended so much to assert.

The mention of this particular little story, in it-
self of no seeming consequence, is not inserted here
only as it made some alterations, and accidentally
introduced him into another way of conversation
than he had formerly been accustomed to, and
which in truth by the acquaintance, by the friends
and enemies he then made, had an influence upon
the whole course of his life afterwards ; but as m it
made such impressions upon the whole court, by di-
viding the lords and ladies both in their wishes and

1 and] and who ra as] that


PART appearances, that much of that faction grew out of
it, which survived the memory of the original ; and

from this occasion (to shew us from how small
springs great rivers may arise) the women, who till
then had not appeared concerned in public affairs,
began to have some part in all business ; and hav-
ing shewn themselves warm upon this amour, as
their passions or affections carried them, and there-
by entered into new affections, and formed new in-
terests ; the activity in their spirits remained still
vigorous when the object which first inspired it was
vanished and put in oblivion. Nor were the very
ministers of state vacant upon this occasion ; they
who for their own sakes, or, as they pretended, for
the king's dignity, and honour of the court, desired
the ruin of the gentleman, pressed the magnitude
of the crime, in bringing so great a scandal upon
the king's family, which would hinder persons of
honour from sending their children to the court ;
and that there could be no reparation without the
marriage, which they therefore only insisted upon,
because they believed he would prefer banishment
before it; others who had friendship for him and
believed that he had an interest in the court, which
might accommodate himself and them if this breach
were closed any way, therefore if the king's severity
could not be prevailed upon, wished it concluded by
the marriage ; which neither himself nor they upon
whom he most depended would ever be brought to
consent to ; so that all the jealousies and animo-
sities in the court or state came to play their own
prizes in the widening or accommodating this con-
tention. In the conclusion, on a sudden, contrary
to the expectation of any man of either party, the


gentleman was immediately sent out of the king- PART
dom, under the formality of a temporary and short

banishment, and the lady commended to her friends, ! 629 -
to be taken care of till her delivery ; and from that
time never word more spoken of the business, nor
shall their names ever come upon the stage by any
record of mine. It was only observed, that at this
time there was a great change in the friendships of
the court, and in those of the marquis of Hamilton,
who came now into the queen's confidence, towards
whom he had always been in great jealousy ; and
another lady more appeared in view, who had for
the most part before continued behind the curtain ;
and who in few years after came to a very unhappy 1632.
and untimely end.

Now after a widowhood of near three years, Mr.
Hyde inclined" again to marry, which he knew
would be the most grateful thing to his father (for
whom he had always a profound reverence) he
could do ; and though he needed no other motive
to it, he would often say, that though he was now
called to the bar, and entered into the profession of
the law, he was not so confident of himself that he
should not start aside if his father should die, who
was then near seventy years of age, having long en-
tertained thoughts of travels, but that he thought
it necessary to lay some obligation upon himself,
which would suppress and restrain all those appe-
tites ; and thereupon resolved to marry, and so, be-
ing about the age of twenty-four years, in the year
of our Lord 1632, he married the daughter of sir His second


Thomas Aylesbury, baronet, master of requests to

" inclined] was inclined a profound] an infinite



PART the king; by whom he had many children of both
sexes, with whom he lived very comfortably in the

1632. mos t uncomfortable times, and very joyfully in those
times when matter of joy was administered, for the
space of five or six and thirty years ; what befell
him after her death will be recounted in its place.
From the time of his marriage he laid aside all
other thoughts but of his profession, to the which
he betook himself very seriously; but in the very
entrance into it, he met with a great mortification :
some months after he was married, he went with
his wife to wait upon his father and mother at his
house at Pirton, to make them sharers in that satis-
faction which they had so long desired to see, and
in which they took great delight.

His father had long suffered under an indisposi-
tion (even before the time his son could remember)
which gave him rather frequent pains than sick-
ness; and gave him cause to be terrified with the
expectation of the stone, without being exercised
with the present sense of it : but from the time he
was sixty years of age it increased very much, and
four or five years before his death, with circum-
stances scarce heard of before, and the causes where-
of are not yet understood by any physician : he was
very often, both in the day and the night, forced to
make water, seldom in any quantity, because he
could not retain it long enough ; and in the close of
that work, without any sharp pain in those parts,
he was still and constantly seized on by so sharp a
pain in the left arm for half a quarter of an hour, or
near so much, that the torment made him as pale
(whereas he was otherwise of a very sanguine com-
plexion) as if he were dead; and he used to say,


" that he had passed the pangs of death, and he PART
" should die in one of those fits." As soon as it was -__!__

over, which was quickly, he was the cheerfullest 1632 -
man living ; eat well such things as he could fancy,
walked, slept, digested, conversed with such a
promptness and vivacity upon all arguments (for
he was omnifariam doctus) as hath been seldom
known in a man of his age : but he had the image
of death so constantly before him in those continual
torments, that for many years before his death he
always parted with his son as to see him no more ;
and at parting still shewed him his will, discoursing
very particularly and very cheerfully of all things he
would have performed after his death.

He had for some time before resolved to leave the Hi* father'*
country, and to spend the remainder of his time
Salisbury, where he had caused a house to be pro-
vided for him, both for the neighbourhood of the
cathedral church, where he could perform his devo-
tions every day, and for the conversation of many
of his family who lived there, and not far from it ;
and especially that he might be buried there, where
many of his family and friends lay ; and he obliged
his son to accompany him thither before his return
to London ; and he came to Salisbury on the Friday
before Michaelmas day in the year 1632, and lodged
in his own house that night. The next day he was
so wholly taken up in receiving visits from his many
friends, being a person wonderfully reverenced in
those parts, that he walked very little out of his
house. The next morning, being Sunday, lie rose
very early, and went to two or three churches ; and
when he returned, which was by eight of the clock,
he told his wife and his son, " that he had been to

c 2


PART i 00 k out a place to be buried in, but found none

" against which he had not some exception, the ca-

* " thedral only excepted : where he had made a choice
" of a place near a kinsman of his own name, and had
" shewed it to the sexton, whom he had sent for to
" that purpose; and wished them to see him buried
" there ;" and this with as much composedness of
mind as if it had made no impression on him P ; then
went to the cathedral to sermon, and spent the
whole day in as cheerful conversation with his
friends, (saving only the frequent interruptions his
infirmity gave him once in two or three hours,
sometimes more, sometimes less,) as the man in the
most confirmed health could do. Monday was Mi-
chaelmas day, when in the morning he went to visit
his brother sir Laurence Hyde, who was then mak-
ing a journey in the service of the king, and from
him went to the church to a sermon, where he
found himself a little pressed as he used to be, and
therefore thought fit to make what haste he could
to his house, and was no sooner come thither into a
lower room, than having made water, and the pain
And death, in his arm seizing upon him, he fell down dead,
without the least motion of any limb. The sudden-
ness of it made it apprehended to be an apoplexy ;
but there being nothing like convulsions, or the
least distortion or alteration in the visage, it is not
like to be from that cause ; nor could the physicians
make any reasonable guess from whence that mor-
tal blow proceeded. He wanted about six weeks of
attaining the age of seventy, and was the greatest
instance of the felicity of a country life that was

p impression on him] impression of mind


seen in that age; having enjoyed a competent, and PART

to him a plentiful fortune, a very great reputation L_

of piety and virtue, and his death being attended 1632 -
with universal lamentation. It cannot be expressed
with what agony his son bore this loss, having, as
he was used to say, " not only lost the best father,
" but the best friend and the best companion he
" ever had or could have ;" and he was never so
well pleased, as when he had fit occasions given him
to mention his father, whom he did in truth believe '
to be the wisest man he had ever known ; and he
was often heard to say, in the time when his condi-
tion was at highest, " that though God Almighty
" had been very propitious to him, in raising him to
" great honours and preferments, he did not value
" any honour he had so much as the being the son
" of such a father and mother, for whose sakes prin-
" cipally he thought God had conferred those bless-
" ings upon him."

There fell out at this time, or thereabouts, a great 1635.
alteration in the court and state, by the death of
the earl of Portland, lord high treasurer of Eng-
land 1. The king from the death of the duke of
Buckingham had not only been very reserved in his
bounty, but so frugal in his own expense, that he
had retrenched much of what had formerly issued
out for his household, in so much as every year
somewhat had been paid of his debts. He resolved
now to govern his treasury by commission, and to
take a constant account of it ; and thereby to dis-
cover what had been of late done amiss. The com-

i lord high treasurer of Eng- to the character of the earl
land] MS. adds. -of whom enough inserted in the History, vol. i.
hath been said before ; alluding p. 84.

c 3


PART missioners he appointed were, the lord archbishop

! of Canterbury, Dr. Laud, (formerly bishop of Lon-

Thl nla* don ') tne lord kee P er Coventry, and other principal
urer's of- officers of state, who, together with the lord Cot-
to comniis- tington, (who was chancellor of the exchequer, and
ofwhom by his office of the quorum in that commission,)
La C d ifone. were to su ppty tne ffi ce of treasurer in all particu-
lars. The archbishop of Canterbury, who till now
had only intended the good government of the
church, without intermeddling in secular affairs,
otherwise than when the discipline of the church
was coricerned, in which he was very strict, both in
the high commission, and in all other places, where
he sat as a privy counsellor, well foreseeing, as he
made manifest upon several occasions, the growth
of the schismatics, and that if they were not w r ith
rigour suppressed, they would put the whole king-
dom into a flame, which shortly after fell out to be
{ too confessed a truth ; though for the present his
providence only served to increase the number of
his enemies, who had from that his zeal contracted
all the malice against him that can be imagined,
and which he, out of the conscience of his duty,
and the purity of his intentions, and his knowledge
of the king's full approbation of his vigilance and
ardour, too much undervalued ; I say, as soon as
he was made commissioner of the treasury, he
thought himself obliged to take all the pains he
could to understand that employment, and the na-
ture of the revenue, and to find out all possible ways
for the improvement thereof, and for the present
managery of the expense. Many were of opinion
that he was the more solicitous in that disquisition,
and the more inquisitive into what had been done,


that he might make some discovery of past actions, PART
which might reflect upon the memory of the late,

treasurer, the earl of Portland, and call his wisdom 1635 -
and integrity in question, who had been so far from
being his friend, that he had always laboured to do
him all the mischief he could ; and it was no small
grief of heart to him, and much occasion of his ill
humour, to find that the archbishop had too much
credit with the king, to be shaken by him : and the
archbishop was not in his affections behindhand '
with him, looking always upon him as a Roman ca-
tholic, though he dissembled it by going to church ;
and as the great countenancer and support of that
religion ; all his family being of that profession, and
very few resorting to it, or having any credit with
him but such. It is very true, the archbishop had
no great regard for his memory, or for his friends,
and was willing enough to make any discovery of
his miscarriages, and to inform his majesty of them,
who he believed had too good an opinion of him
and his integrity.

The truth is, the archbishop had laid down one
principle to himself, which he believed would much
advance the king's service, and was without doubt
very prudent ; that the king's duties being provided
for, and cheerfully paid, the merchants should re-
ceive all the countenance and protection from the
king that they could expect, and not be liable to
the vexation particular men gave them for their
private advantage ; being forward enough to re-
ceive propositions which tended to the king's profit,
but careful that what accrued of burden to the sub-
ject should redound entirely to the benefit of the

c 4


PART crown, and not enrich projectors at the charge of

'. the people : and there is reason to believe that if

J635> this measure had been well observed, much of that
murmur had been prevented, which contributed to
that jealousy and discontent which soon after brake
out. This vigilance and inclination in the arch-
bishop opened a door to the admission of any mer-
chants or others to him, who gave him information
of this kind ; and who being ready to pay any thing
to the king, desired only to be protected from pri-
vate oppressions. The archbishop used to spend as
much time as he could get at Ms country house at
Croydon ; and then his mind being unbent from bu-
siness, he delighted in the conversation of his neigh-
bours, and treated them with great urbanity.

There was a merchant of the greatest reputa-
tion, (Daniel Harvey,) who, having a country house
within the distance of a few miles r from Croydon,
and understanding the whole business of trade
more exactly than most men, was always very wel-
come to the archbishop, who used to ask him many
questions upon such matters as he desired to be in-

Online LibraryEdward Hyde ClarendonThe life of Edward, earl of Clarendon, in which is included a continuation of his History of the grand rebellion (Volume 1) → online text (page 2 of 39)