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

. (page 29 of 39)
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 29 of 39)
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before he began his journey towards the queen, he
sent for the attorney general, whom he knew to be
most devoted to the chancellor, and told him, " that
" he must intrust him in an affair that he must
" not impart to the chancellor :" and then gave him
a warrant signed for the creation of him a baron,
which he commanded " to be ready to pass the seal
" against the hour of his majesty's return, and he
" would then see it sealed himself; but if the chan-
" cellor came first to know it, he would use great
** importunity to stop it." The attorney said, " it
" would be impossible to conceal it from him, be-
" cause, without his privity and direction, he knew
" not what title to give him for his barony." The
king replied with warmth, " that he should confer
" with some of his . friends of the way ; but that he
" would take it ill of him, if there were any delay
" in it, and if it were not ready for the seal at the
" time of his return, which would be in few days."
The attorney came to the chancellor and told him,
" he would break a trust to do him a service ; and
" therefore he presumed, that he would not be so
" unjust to let him suffer by it :" and then told
him all that had passed between the king and him.
And the chancellor confessed, " that the king's ob-
" liging manner of proceeding s , and the conjunc-
" ture in which this honour was given," though he
had before refused it with obstinacy, " made it now

6 obliging manner of proceeding] manner of proceeding was so
obliging fv


" very grateful to him :" and so without hesitation 1 6GO.
he told him what title he would assume. And all And crcMps
was ready against the king's return, and signed by [ *
him, and sealed the same night.

The queen had expressed her indignation to the
king and duke, with her natural passion, from the
time of their meeting; and the duke had asked
her pardon " for having placed his affection so un-
" equally, of which he was sure there was now an
" end ; that he was not married, and had now such
" evidence of her unworthiness, that he should no
" more think of her." And it was now avowedly
said, that sir Charles Berkley, who was captain of
his guard, and in much more credit and favour with
the duke than his uncle, (though a young man of a
dissolute life, and prone to all wickedness in the
judgment of all sober men,) had informed the duke,
" that he was bound in conscience to preserve him sir charies

r> i >ft i it i Berkley tra-

" irom taking to wife a woman so wholly unworthy duces the

" of him; that he himself had lain with her; and

" that for his sake he would be content to many i iutation -

" her, though he knew well the familiarity the duke

" had with her." This evidence, with so solemn

oaths presented by a person so much loved and

trusted by him, made a wonderful impression in the

duke ; and now confirmed by the commands of his

mother, as he had been before prevailed upon by his

sister, he resolved to deny that he was married, and up winch

* - the duke re-

never to see the woman again, who had been so false solves to
to him. And the queen being satisfied with this marriage.
resolution, they came all to London, with a full
hope that they should prevail to the utter overthrow
of the chancellor ; the king having, without any re-
ply or debate, heard all they said of the other af-

cc 2


1660. fair, and his mother's bitterness against him. But
~ when, the very next morning after their arrival at
London, they saw the chancellor (who had not seen
the king) appear in the parliament in the robes of a
peer ; they thought it to no purpose to prosecute their
design against him, whom his majesty was resolved
to protect from any unjust persecution. But the
other resolution was pursued with noise and much

The next day after the queen's arrival, all the
privy council in a body waited upon the queen to
congratulate her return into England; and the
chancellor was obliged to go in the head of them,
and was received with the same countenance that
the rest were, which was very cheerful, and with
many gracious expressions. And from this time he
put not himself in her majesty's presence, nor ap-
peared at all concerned at the scandalous discourses
against his daughter. The earl of St. Alban's, and
all who were near the queen in any trust, and the
lord Berkley and his faction about the duke, lived in
defiance of the chancellor ; and so imprudently, that
they did him no harm, but underwent the reproach
of most sober men. The king continued his grace
towards him without the least diminution, and not
only to him, but to many others who were trusted
by him ; which made it evident that he believed no-
thing of what sir Charles Berkley avowed, and
looked on him as a fellow of great wickedness :
which opinion the king was long known to have of
him before his coming into England, and after.

In the mean time, the season of his daughter's de-
livery was at hand. And it was the king's chance
to be at his house with the committee of council,


when she fell in labour : of -which being advertised 1 6GO.

by her father, the king directed him " to send for ~~

" the lady marchioness of Ormond, the countess of

" Sunderland, and other ladies of known honour

" and fidelity to the crown, to be present with her :"

who all came, and were present till she was deli- The duchess

i n mi i i n -r-rr' -, delivered of

vered of a son. The bishop of Winchester, in the a son.
interval of her greatest pangs, and sometimes when
they were upon her, was present, and asked her
such questions as were thought fit for the occasion ;
" whose the child was of which she was in labour,"
whom she averred, with all protestations, to be the
duke's ; " whether she had ever known any other
" man ;" which she renounced with all vehemence,
saying, " that she was confident the duke did not
"think she had;" and being asked " whether she
" were married to the duke," she answered, " she
" was, and that there were witnesses enough, who
" in due time, she was confident, would avow it."
In a word, her behaviour was such as abundantly sa-
tisfied the ladies who were present, of her innocence
from the reproach ; and they were not reserved in
the declaration of it, even before the persons who
were least pleased with their testimony. And the
lady marchioness of Ormond took an opportunity to
declare it fully to the duke himself, and perceived in %
him such a kind of tenderness, that persuaded her
that he did not believe any thing amiss. And the
king enough published his opinion and judgment of
the scandal.

The chancellor's own carriage, that is, his doing
nothing, nor saying any thing from whence they
might take advantage, exceedingly vexed them.
Yet they undertook to know, and informed the duke

c c 3


1660. confidently, " that the chancellor had a great party
~~ " in the parliament ;" and that " he was resolved
" within few days to complain there, and to produce
" the witnesses, who were present at the marriage,
"to be examined, that their testimony might re-
" main there ; which would be a great affront to
" him ;" with many other particulars, which might
incense his highness. Whereupon the duke, who
had been observed never to have spoken to him in
the house of peers, or any where else, since the time
of his going to meet his sister, finding the chancellor
one day in the privy lodgings, whispered him in the
ear, " that he would be glad to confer with him in
" his lodging," whither he was then going. The
other immediately followed ; and being come thi-
ther, the duke sent all his servants out of distance ;
and then told him with much warmth, " what he
" had been informed of his purpose to complain to
" the parliament against him, which he did not va-
" lue or care for : however, if he should prosecute
" any such course, it should be the worse for him ;"
implying some threats, " what he would do before he
" would bear such an affront ;" adding then, " that
" for his daughter, she had behaved herself so foully,
" (of which he had such evidence as was as con-
" vincing as his own eyes, and of which he could
" make no doubt,) that nobody could blame him for
" his behaviour towards her ;" concluding with some
other threats, " that he should repent it, if he pur-
" sued his intention of appealing to the paiiia-
" ment."

As soon as the duke discontinued his discourse,
the chancellor told him, " that he hoped he would
" discover the untruth of other reports which had


" been made to him by the falsehood of this, which j 660.
" had been raised without the least ground or sha- ~~
" dow of truth. That though he did not pretend to
" much wisdom, yet no man took him to be such a
" fool, as he must be, if he intended to do such an
"" act as he was informed. That if his highness had
" done any thing towards or against him, which he
" ought not to have done, there was one who is as
" much above him, as his highness was above him,
" and who could both censure and punish it. For
" his own part, he knew too well whose son he was,
" and whose brother he is, to behave himself to-
" wards him with less duty and submission than was
" due to him, and should be always paid by him." He
said, " he was not concerned to vindicate his daugh-
" ter from any the most improbable scandals and
" aspersions : she had disobliged and deceived him
" too much, for him to be over-confident that she
" might not deceive any other man : and therefore
" he would leave that likewise to God Almighty,
" upon whose blessing he would always depend,
" whilst himself remained innocent, and no longer."
The duke replied not, nor from that time men-
tioned the chancellor with any displeasure ; and re-
lated to the king, and some other persons, the dis-
course that had passed, very exactly.

There did not after all this appear, in the dis-
courses of men, any of that humour and indigna-
tion which was expected. On the contrary, men of
the greatest name and reputation spake of the foul-
ness of the proceeding with great freedom, and with
all the detestation imaginable against sir Charles
Berkley, whose testimony nobody believed; not
without some censure of . the chancellor, for not

c c 4


1 660. enough appearing and prosecuting the indignity :
~" but he was not to be moved by any instances, which
he never afterwards repented. The queen's implac-
able displeasure continued in the full height, doing
all she could to keep the duke firm to his resolution,
and to give all countenance to the calumny. As be-
fore the discovery of this engagement of the duke's
affection, the duke of Gloucester had died of the
smallpox, to the extraordinary grief of the king and
the whole kingdom ; so at this time it pleased God
to visit the princess royal with the same disease, and
of which she died within few days ; having in her
last agonies expressed a dislike of the proceedings in
that affair, to which she had contributed too much.
The duke The duke himself grew melancholic and dispirited,
faudioiTc! and cared not for company, nor those divertisements
in which he formerly delighted : which was observed
by every body, and which in the end wrought so far
upon the conscience of the lewd informer, that he,
sir Charles Berkley, came to the duke, and clearly
sir Charles declared to him, " that the general discourse of men,
&>n(esLs " of what inconvenience and mischief, if not absolute
hoo<fof e ~ " rum > such a marriage would be to his royal high-
his charge ness, had prevailed with him to use all the power

against the

duchess. " he had to dissuade him from it ; and when he found
" he could not prevail with him, he had formed that
" accusation, which he presumed could not but pro-
" duce the effect he wished ; which he now con-
" fessed to be false, and without the least ground ;
'* and that he was very confident of her virtue :"
and therefore besought his highness " to pardon a
** fault, that was committed out of pure devotion to
" him ; and that he would not suffer him to be
-" ruined by the power of those, whom he had so un-


" worthily provoked ; and of which he had so much 1 660.
" shame, that he had not confidence to look upon
" them." The duke found himself so much relieved
in that part that most afflicted him, that he em-
braced him, and made a solemn promise, " that he
" should not suffer in the least degree in his own
" affection, for what had proceeded so absolutely
" from his good-will to him ; and that he would
" take so much care of him, that in the compound-
" ing that affair he should be so comprehended,
" that he should receite no disadvantage."

And now the duke appeared with another coun- The duke
tenance, writ to her whom he had injured, " that
" he would speedily visit her," and gave her charge con
" to have a care of his son." He gave the king a
full account of all, without concealing his joy ; and
took most pleasure in conferring with them, who had
seemed least of his mind when he had been most
transported, and who had always argued against
the probability of the testimony which had wrought
upon him. The queen was not pleased with this
change, though the duke did not yet own to her
that he had altered his resolution. She was always
very angry at the king's coldness, who had been so
far from that aversion which she expected, that he
found excuses for the duke, and endeavoured to di-
vert her passions ; and now pressed the discovery of
the truth by sir Charles Berkley's confession, as a
thing that pleased him. They about her, and who
had most inflamed and provoked her to the sharpest
resentment, appeared more calm in their discourses,
and either kept silence, or spake to another tune
than they had done formerly, and wished that the
business was well composed ; all which mightily in-


1660. creased the queen's passion. And having come to
~ know that the duke had made a visit at the place
she most abhorred, she brake into great passion,
The queen and publicly declared, " that whenever that woman
fended at " should be brought into Whitehall by one door,
e." ner majesty would go out of it by another door,
" and never come into it again." And for several
days her majesty would not suffer the duke to be in
her presence ; at least, if he came with the king, she
forbore to speak to him, or to take any notice of
him. Nor could they, who had used to have most
credit with her, speak to her with any acceptation ;
though they were all weary of the distances they
had kept, and discerned well enough where the
matter must end. And many desired to find some
expedient, how the work might be facilitated, by
some application and address from the chancellor to
the queen : but he absolutely refused to make the
least advance towards it, or to contribute to her in-
dignation by putting himself into her majesty's pre-
sence. He declared, " that the queen had great
" reason for the passion she expressed for the indig-
" nity that had been done to her, and which he
" would never endeavour to excuse ; and that as
" far as his low quality was capable of receiving an
" injury from so great a prince, he had himself to
" complain of a transgression that exceeded the
" limits of all justice, divine and human."

The queen had made this journey out of France
into England much sooner than she intended, and
only, upon this occasion, to prevent a mischief she
had great reason to deprecate. And so, upon her
arrival, she had declared, " that she would stay a
" very short time, being obliged to return into


" France for her health, and to use the waters of 1660.
" Bourbon, which had already done her much good,
" that the ensuing season would with God's blessing
" make perfect." And the time was now come,
that orders were sent for the ships to attend her
embarkation at Portsmouth ; and the day was ap-
pointed for the beginning her journey from White-
hall : so that the duke's affair, which he now took
to heart, was (as every body thought) to be left in
the state it was, at least under the renunciation and
interdiction of a mother. When on a sudden, of
which nobody then knew the reason, her majesty's
countenance and discourse was changed ; she treated
the duke with her usual kindness, and confessed to
him, "that the business that had offended her

" much, she perceived was proceeded so far, that no alters her y
" remedy could be applied to it ; and therefore that behaviour>
" she would trouble herself no further in it, but
" pray to God to bless him, and that he might be
" happy :" so that the duke had now nothing to
wish, but that the queen would be reconciled to his
wife, who remained still at her father's, where the
king had visited her often ; to which the queen was
not averse, and spake graciously of the chancellor,
and said, " she would be good friends with him."
But both these required some formalities ; and they
who had behaved themselves the most disobligingly,
expected to be comprehended in any atonement
that should be made. And it was exceedingly la-
boured, that .the chancellor would make the first ap-
proach, by visiting the earl of St. Alban's ; which
he absolutely refused to do : and very well ac-
quainted with the arts of that court, whereof dissi-
mulation was the soul, did not believe that those


1660. changes, for which he saw no reasonable motive,
~~ could be real, until abbot Mountague (who had so
far complied with the faction of that court as not to
converse with an enemy) visited him with all open-
ness, and told him, " that this change in the queen
" had proceeded from a letter she had newly re-
" ceived from the cardinal, in which he had plainly
The cause " told her, that she would not receive a good wel-
in " come in France, if she left her sons in her dis-

16 qneen> " pleasure, and professed an animosity against those
" ministers who were most trusted by the king.
" He extolled the services done by the chancellor,
" and advised her to comply with what could not
" be avoided, and to be perfectly reconciled to her
*' children, and to those who were nearly related to
" them, or were intrusted by them : and that he
" did - this in so powerful a style, and, with such
" powerful reasons, that her majesty's passions were
" totally subdued. And this," he said, " was the
" reason of the sudden change that every body had
" observed ; and therefore that he ought to believe
" the sincerity of it, and to perform that part which
" might be expected from him, in compliance with
" the queen's inclinations to have a good intelligence
" with him."

The chancellor had never looked upon the abbot
as his enemy, and gave credit to all he said, though
he did little understand from what fountain that
good-will of the cardinal had proceeded, who had
never been propitious to him. He made all those
professions of duty to the queen that became him,
and " how happy he should think himself in her
" protection, which he had need of, and did with all
" humility implore ; and that he would gladly cast

himself at her majesty's feet, when she would 1G60.

" vouchsafe to admit it." But for the adjusting
this, there was to be more formality ; for it was ne-
cessary that the earl of St. Alban's (between whom
and the chancellor there had never been any friend-
ship) should have some part in this composition,
and do many good offices towards it, which were to
precede the final conclusion. The duke had brought
sir Charles Berkley to the duchess, at whose feet he
had cast himself, with all the acknowledgment and
penitence he could express ; and she, according to
the command of the duke, accepted his submission,
and promised to forget the offence. He came like-
wise to the chancellor with those professions which
he could easily make ; and the other was obliged to
receive him civilly. And then his uncle, the lord
Berkley, waited upon the duchess ; and afterwards
visited her father, like a man (which he could not
avoid) who had done very much towards the bring-
ing so difficult a matter to so good an end, and ex-
pected thanks from all ; having that talent in some
perfection, that after he had crossed and puzzled
any business, as much as was in his power, he would
be thought the only man who had united 1 all knots,
and made the way smooth, and removed all obstruc-

The satisfaction the king and the duke had in The king
this disposition of the queen was visible to all men ; . greati" e
And they both thought the chancellor too reserved ^ e t j lis
in contributing his part towards, or in meeting, the chan s e n
queen's favour, which he could not but discern was
approaching towards him ; and that he did not en-

1 united] untied


1G60. tertain any discourses, which had been by many
entered upon to him upon that subject, with that
cheerfulness and serenity of mind that might justly
be expected. And of this the duke made an ob-
servation, and a kino! of complaint, to the king, who
thereupon came one day to the chancellor's house ;
and being alone with him, his majesty told him
many particulars which had passed between him
and the queen, and the good humour her majesty
was in ; " that the next day the earl of St. Alban's
" would visit him, and offer him his service in ac-
" companying him to the queen ; which he conjured
" him to receive with all civility, and expressions of
" the joy he took in it ; in which," he told him, " he
" was observed to be too sullen, and that when all
" other men's minds appeared to be cheerful, his
" alone appeared to be more cloudy than it had
" been, when that affair seemed most desperate ;
" which was the more taken notice of, because it
" was not natural to him."

The chancellor answered, " that he did not know
" that he had failed in any thing, that in good man-
" ners or decency dould be required from him : but
" he confessed, that lately his thoughts were more
** perplexed and troublesome to himself, than they
" had ever been before ; and therefore it was no
" wonder, if his looks were not the same they had
" used to be. That though he had been surprised to
" amazement, upon the first notice of that business,
" yet he had been shortly able to recollect himself;
" and, upon the testimony of his own conscience, to
" compose his mind and spirits, and without any
" reluctancy to abandon any thought of his daugh-
" ter, and to leave her to that misery she had de-


" served and brought upon herself. Nor did the vi-
" cissitudes which occurred after in that transaction,
" or the displeasure and menaces of the duke, make
" any other impression upon him, than to know how
" unable he was to enter into any contest in that
" matter, (which in all respects was too difficult and
" superior to his understanding and faculties,) and
" to leave it entirely to the direction and disposal of
" God Almighty : and in this acquiescence he had
" enjoyed a repose with much tranquillity of mind,
" being prepared to undergo any misfortune that
" might befall him from thence. But that now he
" was awakened by other thoughts and reflections,
" which he could less range and govern. He saw those
" difficulties removed, which he had thought insu-
" perable ; that his own condition must be thought
" exalted above what he thought possible ; and that
" he was far less able to bear the envy, that was un-
" avoidable, than the indignation and contempt, that
" alone had threatened him. That his daughter
" was now received in the royal family, the wife of
" the king's only brother, and the heir apparent of
" the crown, whilst his majesty himself remained un-
" married. The great trust his majesty reposed in
" him, infinitely above and contrary to his desire, was
" in itself liable to envy ; and how insupportable that
" envy must be, upon this new relation, he could not
" but foresee ; together with the jealousies which
" artificial men would be able to insinuate into his
" majesty, even when they seemed to have all pos-
" sible confidence in the integrity of the chancel-
*' lor, and when they extolled him most ; and that
" how firm and constant soever his majesty's grace
" and favour^ was to him at present, (of which he


I G60. " had lately given such lively testimony,) and how

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 29 of 39)