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 5 of 39)
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P notable] notorious and notable



EDWARD EARL OF CLARENDON. 53

ment, where he was a member, and opposed with PART
great indignation,) than he put himself into the first.



troops which were raised in the west for the king; 1635>
and bore the uneasiness and fatigue of winter
marches, with an exemplar courage and alacrity ;
until by too brave a pursuit of the enemy, into an
obscure village in Devonshire, he was shot with a
musket ; with which (without saying any word
more, than, Oh God ! I am hurt) he fell dead from
his horse ; to the excessive grief of his friends, who
were all that knew him ; and the irreparable da-
mage of the public.

Edmund Waller was born to a very fair estate, of Mr. Ed-
by the parsimony or frugality of a wise father and""
mother ; and he thought it so commendable an ad-
vantage, that he resolved to improve it with his ut-
most care, upon which in his nature he was too
much intent ; and in order to that, he was so much
reserved and retired, that he was scarce ever heard
of, till by his address and dexterity he had gotten a
very rich wife in the city, against all the recom-
mendation, and countenance, and authority of the
court, which was thoroughly engaged on the behalf of
Mr. Crofts ; and which used to be successful, in that
age, against any opposition. He had the good for-
tune to have an alliance and friendship with Dr.
Morley, who had assisted and instructed him in the
reading many good books, to which his natural parts
and promptitude inclined him ; especially the poets :
and at the age when other men used to give over
writing verses, (for he was near thirty years of age
when he first engaged himself in that exercise, at
least that he was known to do so,) he surprised the
town with two or three pieces of that kind ; as if a

E 3



54 THE LIFE OF

PART tenth muse had been newly born, to cherish droop-
.ing poetry. The doctor at that time brought him



1635. m j. Q th^ company which was most celebrated for
good conversation ; where he was received, and
esteemed, with great applause and respect. He was
a very pleasant discourser, in earnest and in jest,
and therefore very grateful to all kind of company,
where he was not the less esteemed for being very
rich.

He had been even nursed in parliaments, where
he sat when he was very young ^ ; and so when
they were resumed again, (after a long intermis-
sion r ,) he appeared in those assemblies with great
advantage, having a graceful way of speaking ; and
by thinking much upon several arguments, (which
his temper and complexion, that had much of me-
lancholic, inclined him to,) he seemed often to speak
upon the sudden, when the occasion had only ad-
ministered the opportunity of saying what he had
thoroughly considered, which gave a great lustre to
all he said ; which yet was rather of delight than
weight. There needs no more be said to extol the
excellence and power of his wit, and pleasantness of
his conversation, than that it was of magnitude
enough to cover a world of very great faults ; that
is, so to cover them, that they were not taken no-
tice of to his reproach ; viz. a narrowness in his na-
ture to the lowest degree ; an abjectness, and want
of courage to support him in any virtuous under-
taking; an insinuation and servile flattery to the
height the vainest and most imperious nature could
be contented with ; that it preserved and won his

( i when he was very youngi] r intermission] intermission
in his infancy and interdiction



EDWARD EARL OF CLARENDON. 55

life from those who were most resolved to take it, PART

and in an occasion in which he ought to have been '

ambitious to have lost it; and then preserved him 1635-
again, from the reproach and contempt that was
due to him for so preserving it, and for vindicating
it at such a price; that it had power to reconcile
him to those whom he had most offended and pro-
voked ; and continued to his age with that rare fe-
licity, that his company was acceptable, where his
spirit was odious ; and he was at least pitied, where
he was most detested.

Of Doctor Sheldon there needs no more be said or Dr. shei-
in this place, 8 than that his learning, and gravity,
and prudence, had in that time raised him to such
a reputation, when he was chaplain in the house to
the lord keeper Coventry, (who exceedingly esteemed
him, and used his service not only in all matters re-
lating to the church, but in many other businesses
of importance, and in which that great and good
lord was nearly concerned,) and when he was after-
wards warden of All Souls' college in Oxford, that
he then was looked upon as very equal to any pre-
ferment the church could yield f , or hath since
yielded unto him ; and sir Francis Wenman would
often say, when the doctor resorted to the conver-
sation at the lord Falkland's house, as he frequently
did, that " Dr. Sheldon was born and bred to be
" archbishop of Canterbury."

Doctor Morley " was a gentleman of very eminent or Dr. Mor-
parts in all polite learning ; of great wit, and readi- le:

in this place,] MS. adds : * yield] Not in MS.

there being frequent occasions u Doctor Morley] MS. adds:

to mention him hereafter in the of whom more must likewise

prosecution of this discourse, be said in its place,

E 4



56 THE LIFE OF

PART ness, and subtilty in disputation ; and of remarkable
.temper and prudence in conversation, which ren-



1635. dered hj m mos t grateful in all the best company.
He was then chaplain in the house, and to the fa-
mily, of the lord and lady Carnarvon, which needed
a wise and a wary director. From some academic
contests he had been engaged in, during his living
in Christ Church in Oxford, where he was always
of the first eminency, he had, by the natural faction
and animosity of those disputes, fallen under the re-
proach of holding some opinions, which were not
then grateful to those churchmen who had the
greatest power in ecclesiastical promotions ; and
some sharp answers and replies he used to make in
accidental discourses, and which in truth were made
for mirth and pleasantness sake, (as he was of the
highest facetiousness,) were reported, and spread
abroad to his prejudice : as being once asked by a
grave country gentleman, (who was desirous to be
instructed what their tenets and opinions were,)
" what the Arminians held," he pleasantly an-
swered, that they held all the best bishoprics and
deaneries in England; which was quickly re-
ported abroad, as Mr. Morley's definition of the Ar-
minian tenets.

Such and the like harmless and jocular sayings,
upon many accidental occasions, had wrought upon
the archbishop of Canterbury, Laud, (who lived to
change his mind, and to have a just esteem of him,)
to entertain some prejudice towards him ; and the
respect which was paid him by many eminent per-
sons, as John Hampden, Arthur Goodwin, and
others, who were not thought friends to the pros-
perity the church was in, made others apprehend



EDWARD EARL OF CLARENDON. 57

that he was not enough zealous for it. But that PART

disaffection and virulency (which few men had then '.

owned and discovered) no sooner appeared, in those
and other men, but Dr. Morley made haste as pub-
licly to oppose them, both in private and in public ;
which had the more effect to the benefit of the
church, by his being a person above all possible re-
proach, and known and valued by more persons of
honour than most of the clergy were, and being not
only without the envy of any preferment, but under
the advantage of a discountenanced person. And as
he was afterwards the late king's chaplain, and
much regarded by him, and as long about him as
any of his chaplains were permitted to attend him ;
so presently after his murder he left the kingdom,
and remained in banishment till king Charles the
Second's x happy return.

Doctor Earles was at that time chaplain in the or Dr.
house to the earl of Pembroke, lord chamberlain of
his majesty's household, and had a lodging in the
court under that relation. He was a person very
notable for his elegance in the Greek and Latin
tongues ; and being Fellow of Merton college in
Oxford, and having been proctor of the university,
and some very witty and sharp discourses being pub-
lished in print without his consent, though known
to be his, he grew suddenly into a very general
esteem with all men ; being a man of great piety and
devotion ; a most eloquent and powerful preacher ;
and of a conversation so pleasant and delightful, so
very innocent, and so very facetious, that no man's
company was more desired and more loved. No

* king Charles the Second's] his majesty's



58 THE LIFE OF

PART man was more negligent in his dress, and habit, and
.mien; no man more wary and cultivated in his be-



1635. h av i our and discourse; insomuch as he had the
greater advantage when he was known, by pro-
mising so little before he was known. He was an
excellent poet, both in Latin, Greek, and English,
as appears by many pieces yet abroad ; though he
suppressed many more himself, especially of Eng-
lish, incomparably good, out of an austerity to those
sallies of his youth. He was very dear to the lord
Falkland, with whom he spent as much time as he
could make his own ; and as that lord would impute
the speedy progress he made in the Greek tongue,
to the information and assistance he had from Mr.
Earles, so Mr. Earles would frequently profess, that
he had got more useful learning by his conversation
at Tew, (the lord Falkland's house,) than he had at
Oxford. In the first settling of the prince's family,
he was made one of his chaplains ; and attended on
him when he was forced to leave the kingdom ?.
He was amongst the few excellent men who never
had, nor ever could have an enemy, but such a one
who was an enemy to all learning and virtue, and
therefore would never make himself known.

of Mr. M r j on n Hales had been Greek professor in the

Hales.

university of Oxford; and had borne the greatest
part of the labour 7 of that excellent edition and im-
pression of St. Chrysostom's Works, set out by sir
Harry Savile ; who was then warden of Merton col-
lege, when the other was fellow of that house. He
was chaplain in the house with sir Dudley Carleton,

y kingdom] MS. adds : and after.

therefore we shall often have 7> the greatest part of the la-
occasion to mention him here- hour] all the labour



EDWARD EARL OF CLARENDON. 59

ambassador at the Hague in Holland, at the time PART

when the synod of Dort was held, and so had liberty !

to be present at the consultations in that assembly; 1635-
and hath left the best memorial behind him, of
the ignorance, and passion, and animosity, and in-
justice of that convention ; of which he often made
very pleasant relations ; though at that time it re-
ceived too much countenance from England. Being
a person of the greatest eminency for learning, and
other abilities, from which he might have promised
himself any preferment in the church, he withdrew
himself from all pursuits of that kind into a private
fellowship in the college of Eton, where his friend sir
Harry Savile was provost ; where he lived amongst
his books, and the most separated from the world of
any man then living : though he was not in the
least degree inclined to melancholy, but, on the con-
trary, of a very open and pleasant conversation ;
and therefore was very well pleased with the resort
of his friends to him, who were such as he had
chosen, and in whose company he delighted, and for
whose sake he would sometimes, once in a year, re-
sort to London, only to enjoy their cheerful conver-
sation.

He would never take any cure of souls ; and was
so great a contemner of money, that he was wont to
say, that his fellowship, and the bursar's place,
(which, for the good of the college, he held many
years,) was worth him fifty pounds a year more
than he could spend ; and yet, besides his being
very charitable to all poor people, even to liberality,
he had made a greater and better collection of
books, than were to be found in any other private
library that J have seen ; as he had sure read more,



60 THE LIFE OF

PART and carried more about him in his excellent me-
mory, than any man I ever knew, my lord Falk-



1635. j an( j on iy excepted, who I think sided him. He
had, whether from his natural temper and constitu-
tion, or from his long retirement from all crowds, or
from his profound judgment and discerning spirit,
contracted some opinions which were not received,
nor by him published, except in private discourses ;
and then rather upon occasion of dispute, than of
positive opinion : and he would often say, his opin-
ions he was sure did him no harm, but he was far
from being confident that they might not do others
harm who entertained them, and might entertain
other results from them than he did ; and therefore
he was very reserved in communicating what he
thought himself in those points, in which he differed
from what was received.

Nothing troubled him more than the brawls which
were grown from religion ; and he therefore exceed-
ingly detested the tyranny of the church of Rome ;
more for their imposing uncharitably upon the con-
sciences of other men, than for the errors in their
own opinions : and would often say, that he would
renounce the religion of the church of England to-
morrow, if it obliged him to believe that any other
Christians should be damned; and that nobody
would conclude another man to be damned, who did
not wish him so. No man more strict and severe
to himself; to other men so charitable as to their
opinions, that he thought that other men were more
in fault for their carriage towards them, than the
men themselves were who erred ; and he thought
that pride, and passion, more than conscience, were
the cause of all separation from each other's com-



EDWARD EARL OF CLARENDON. 61

munion ; and he frequently said, that that only kept

the world from agreeing upon such a liturgy, as

might bring them into one communion ; all doctri-
nal points, upon which men differed in their opin-
ions, being to have no place in any liturgy. Upon
an occasional discourse with a friend, of the fre-
quent and uncharitable reproaches of heretic and
schismatic, too lightly thrown at each other, amongst
men who differ in their judgment, he writ a little
discourse of schism, contained in less than two
sheets of paper; which being transmitted from
friend to friend in writing, was at last, without any
malice, brought to the view of the archbishop of
Canterbury, Dr. Laud, who was a very rigid sur-
veyor of all things which never so little bordered
upon schism ; and thought the church could not be
too vigilant against, and jealous of, such incursions.

He sent for Mr. Hales, whom, when they had both
lived in the university of Oxford, he had known
well ; and told him, that he had in truth believed
him to be long since dead; and chid him very
kindly for having never come to him, having been
of his old acquaintance : then asked him, whether
he had lately written a short discourse of schism,
and whether he was of that opinion which that dis-
course implied. He told him, that he had, for the
satisfaction of a private friend, (who was not of his
mind,) a year or two before, writ such a small tract,
without any imagination that it would be communi-
cated ; and that he believed it did not contain any
thing that was not agreeable to the judgment of the
primitive fathers : upon which, the archbishop de-
bated with him upon some expressions of Irenaeus,
and the most ancient fathers ; and concluded with



62 THE LIFE OF

PART saying, that the time was very apt to set new doc-

! trines on foot, of which the wits of the age were

1635. j. 00 SUSC eptible; and that there could not be too
much care taken to preserve the peace and unity of
the church ; and from thence asked him of his con-
dition, and whether he wanted any thing : and the
other answering, that he had enough, and wanted
or desired no addition, so dismissed him with great
courtesy; and shortly after sent for him again,
when there was a prebendary of Windsor fallen, and
told him, the king had given him the preferment,
because it lay so convenient to his fellowship of Eton ;
which (though indeed the most convenient prefer-
ment that could be thought of for him) the arch-
bishop could not without great difficulty persuade
him to accept, and he did accept it rather to please
him than himself; because he really believed he
had enough before. He was one of the least men in
the kingdom ; and one of the greatest scholars in
Europe.

or Mr. ]vt r> Chillingworth was of a stature little superior

worth. to Mr. Hales, (and it was an age in which there
were many great and wonderful men of that size,)
and a man of so great a subtilty of understanding,
and so rare a temper in debate, that, as it was im-
possible to provoke him into any passion, so it was
very difficult to keep a man's self from being a little
discomposed by his sharpness and quickness of argu-
ment, and instances, in which he had a rare facility,
and a great advantage over all the men I ever
knew. He had spent all his younger time in dispu-
tation, and had arrived to so great a mastery, as he
was inferior to no man in those skirmishes : but he
had, with his notable perfection in this exercise,



EDWARD EARL OF CLARENDON. 63

contracted' such an irresolution and habit of doubt- PART
ing, that by degrees he grew confident of nothing,



and a sceptic, at least, in the greatest mysteries of l635 *
faith.

This made him, from first wavering in religion,
and indulging to scruples, to reconcile himself too
soon and too easily to the church of Rome ; and
carrying still his own inquisitiveness about him,
without any resignation to their authority, (which is
the only temper can make that church sure of its
proselytes,) having made a journey to St. Omer's,
purely to perfect his conversion by the conversation
of those who had the greatest name, he found as
little satisfaction there ; and returned with as much
haste from them ; with a belief, that an entire ex-
emption from error was neither inherent in, nor ne-
cessary to any church : which occasioned that war,
which was carried on by the Jesuits with so great
asperity and reproaches against him, and in which
he defended himself by such an admirable eloquence
of language, and clear and incomparable power of
reason, that he not only made them appear unequal
adversaries, but carried the war into their own quar-
ters ; and made the pope's infallibility to be as much
shaken, and declined by their own doctors, (and as
great an acrimony amongst themselves upon that
subject,) and to be at least as much doubted, as in
the schools of the reformed, or protestant ; and
forced them since to defend and maintain those un-
happy controversies in religion, with arms and wea-
pons of another nature than were used or known in
the church of Rome when Bellarmine died; and
which probably will in time undermine the very
foundation that supports it.



64 THE LIFE OF

PART Such a levity, and propensity to change, is com-
monly attended with great infirmities in, and no



1635. j ess re p roac h and prejudice to the person; but the
sincerity of his heart was so conspicuous, and with-
out the least temptation of any corrupt end ; and
the innocence and candour in a his nature so evi-
dent, and without any perverseness ; that all who
knew him clearly discerned, that all those restless
motions and fluctuations proceeded only from the
warmth and jealousy of his own thoughts, in a too
nice inquisition for truth. Neither the books of the
adversary, nor any of their persons, though he was
acquainted with the best of both, had ever made
great impression upon him ; all his doubts grew out
of himself, when he assisted his scruples with all
the strength of his own reason, and was then too
hard for himself; but finding as little quiet and re-
pose in those victories, he quickly recovered, by a
new appeal to his own judgment ; so that he was, in
truth, upon the matter, in all his sallies and retreats,
his own convert ; though he was not so totally di-
vested of all thoughts of this world, but that when
he was ready for it, he admitted some great and
considerable churchmen, to be sharers with him in
his public conversion.

Whilst he was in perplexity, or rather some pas-
sionate disinclination to the religion he had been
educated in, he had the misfortune to have much
acquaintance with one Mr. Lugar, a minister of that
church ; a man of a competency of learning in those
points most controverted with the Romanists, but of
no acute parts of wit, or judgment ; and wrought so

in] of



EDWARD EARL OF CLARENDON. 65

far upon him, by weakening and enervating those PART
arguments, by which he found he was governed, (as



he had all the logic, and all the rhetoric, that was 1635>
necessary to persuade very powerfully men of the
greatest talents,) that the poor man, not able to live
long in doubt, too hastily deserted his own church,
and betook himself to the Roman : nor could all the
arguments and reasons of Mr. Chillingworth make
him pause in the expedition he was using, or reduce
him from that church after he had given himself to
it ; but he had always a great animosity against
him, for having (as he said) unkindly betrayed him,
and carried him into another religion, and there left
him. So unfit are some constitutions to be troubled
with doubts, after they are once fixed.

He did really believe all war to be unlawful ; and
did not think that the parliament (whose proceed-
ings he perfectly abhorred) did in truth intend to
involve the nation in a civil war, till after the battle
of Edge-hill ; and then he thought any expedient
or stratagem that was like to put a speedy end to it,
to be the most commendable : and so having too
mathematically conceived an engine, that should
move so lightly as to be a breastwork in all en-
counters and assaults in the field, he carried it, to
make the experiment, into that part of his majesty's
army, which was only in that winter season in
the field, under the command of the lord Hopton,
in Hampshire, upon the borders of Sussex ; where
he was shut up in the castle of Arundel; which was
forced, after a short, sharp siege, to yield for want
of victual ; and poor Mr. Chillingworth with it, fall-
ing into the rebels' hands ; and being most barba-
rously treated by them, especially by that clergy

VOL. i. F



66 THE LIFE OF

PART which followed them ; and being broken with sick-
' ness, contracted by the ill accommodation, and want

1635. Q f mea t anc i fire during the siege, which was in a
terrible season of frost and snow, he died shortly
after in prison. He was a man of excellent parts,
and of a cheerful disposition ; void of all kind of
vice, and endued with many notable virtues ; of a
very public heart, and an indefatigable desire to do
good; his only unhappiness proceeded from his
sleeping too little, and thinking too much ; which
sometimes threw him into violent fevers.

This was Mr. Hyde's company and conversation,
to which he dedicated his vacant times, and all that
time which he could make vacant, from the business
of his profession ; which he indulged with no more
passion than was necessary to keep up the reputa-
tion of a man that had no purpose to be idle ;
which indeed he perfectly abhorred : and he took
always occasion to celebrate the time he had spent
in that conversation, with great satisfaction and de-
light. Nor was he less fortunate in the acquaint-
ance and friendships which he made with the per-
sons in his profession ; who were all eminent men,
or of the most hopeful parts ; who being all much
superior to him in age and experience, and entirely
devoted to their profession, were yet well pleased
with the gayety of his humour, and inoffensive and
winning behaviour; and this good inclination of
theirs was improved by the interest they saw he
had in persons of the best quality, to whom he was
very acceptable, and his condition of living, which
was with more expense b than young lawyers were
accustomed to.

b expense] splendour



EDWARD EARL OF CLARENDON. 67

Those persons were, Mr. Lane, who was then at- HART
torney to the prince of Wales, and afterwards lord



i / Q t

chief baron of the exchequer, and lastly, upon the

Mr. Hyde's

death of the lord Littleton, was made keeper of the friends in
great seal, who died in banishment with king Charles 9 io n pr
the Second d ; Mr. Geoffrey Palmer, afterwards attor-



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 5 of 39)