Edmondes, Sir Thomas

, knt. memorable for his embassies at several courts, was born at N. shore of Plymouth Sound, 250 m. W. of London by rail; adjacent to it are the towns of Stonehouse and Devonport. Among…">Plymouth, in S. of England, with Exmoor in the N. and Dartmoor in the S.; is fertile in the low country, and enjoys a climate favourable to vegetation; it has rich pasture-grounds, and abounds in…">Devonshire, about 1563. He | was the fifth and youngest son of Thomas Edmondes, head customer of that port, and of Fowey, in Cornwall, by VIII. seems to require some notice in this work">Joan his wife, daughter of Antony Delabare, of Sherborne, in Dorsetshire, csq. who was third son of Henry Edmondes, of New Sarum, gent by Juliana his wife, daughter of William Brandon, of the same place. Where he had his education is nut known. But we are informed that he was introduced to court by his name-sake, sir Thomas Edmonds, comptroller of the queen’s household; and, being initiated into public business under that most accomplished statesman, sir Francis Walsingham, secretary of state, he was, undoubtedly through his recommendation, employed by queen Klizabcth in several embassies. In 1592, she appointed him her resident at the court of France, or rather agent for her affairs in relation to king III., born at Bolingbroke, in Lincolnshire; Richard II.‘s misrule and despotism had…">Henry IV. with a salary of twenty shillings a day, a sum so ill paid, and so insufficient, that we find him complaining to the lord treasurer, in a letter dated 1593, of the greatest pecuniary distress. The queen, however, in May 1596, made him a grant of the office of secretary to her majesty for the French tongne, “in consideration of his faithful and acceptable service heretofore done.” Towards the end of that year he returned to England, when sir Anthony Mild may was sent ambassador to king Henry; but he went back again to France in the beginning of May following, and in less than a month returned to London. In October, 1597, he was dispatched again M agent for her majesty to the king of France and returned to EngJand about the beginning of May 1598, where his stay Was extremely short, for he was at Paris in the July following. But, upon sir Henry Neville being appointed ambassador to the French court, he was recalled, to his great satisfaction, and arrived at London in June 1597. Sir Henry Neville gave him a very great character, and recommended him to the queen in the strongest terms. About December the 26th of that year, he was sent to archduke Albert, governor of the Netherlands, with a letter of credence, and instructions to treat of a peace. The archduke received him with great respect; but not being willing to send commissioners to England, as the queen desired, Mr. Edmondes went to Paris, and, having obtained of king III., born at Bolingbroke, in Lincolnshire; Richard II.’s misrule and despotism had…">Henry IV. Boulogne for the place of treaty, he returned to England, and arrived at court on Sunday morning, February 17. The llth of March | following, he embarked again for S. of Antwerp, is the capital of Belgium, in the heart of the country. The old town is narrow and crooked, but picturesque; the town-hall a…">Brussels and, on the 22d, had an audience of the archduke, whom having prevailed upon to treat with the queen, he returned home, April 9, 1600, and was received by her majesty with great favour, and highly commended for his sufficiency in his negotiation. Soon after he was appointed one of the commissioners for the treaty of Boulogne, together with sir Henry Neville, the queen’s ambassador in France, John Herbert, esq. her majesty’s second secretary, and Robert Beale, esq. secretary to the council in the North; their commission being dated the 10th of May, 1600. The two last, with Mr. Edmondes, left London the 12th of that month, and arrived at Boulogne the 16th, as sir Henry Neville did the same day from Paris. But, after the commissioners had been above three months upon the place, they parted, July 28th, without ever assembling, owing to a dispute about precedency between England and Spain. Mr. Edmondes, not long after his return, was appointed one of the clerks of the privy-council; and, in the end of June 1601, was sent to the French king to complain of the many acts of injustice committed by his subjects against the English merchants. He soon after returned to England but, towards the end of August, went again, and waited upon king III., born at Bolingbroke, in Lincolnshire; Richard II.‘s misrule and despotism had…">Henry IV. then at Calais to whom he proposed some measures, both for the relief of W. of Antwerp; attracts 20,000 visitors every summer; it is an important seaport, having daily mail…">Ostend, then besieged by the Spaniards, and for an offensive alliance against Spain. After his return to England he was appointed one of the commissioners for settling, with the two French ambassadors, the depredations between England and France, and preventing them for the future. The 20th of May, 1603, he was knighted by king James I; and, upon the conclusion of the peace with Spain, on the 18th of August, 1604, was appointed ambassador to the archduke at S. of Antwerp, is the capital of Belgium, in the heart of the country. The old town is narrow and crooked, but picturesque; the town-hall a…">Brussels. He set out for that place the 19th of April, 1605; having first obtained a reversionary grant of the office of clerk of the crown and, though absent, was chosen one of the representatives for the Burgh of Wilton, in the parliament which was to have met at N. bank of the Thames, and comprising a great part of the West End of London; originally a village, it was raised to the rank of a city when it became the seat of a bishop…">Westminster, Nov. 5, 1605, but was prevented by the discovery of the gunpowder-plot. During his embassy he promoted, to the utmost of his power, an accommodation between the king of Spain and the States-General of the United Provinces .*

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It appears from some of his dispatches, that prince Maurice was ex­ tremely averse to an accommodation and used all the efforts imaginable, to

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persuade III., born at Bolingbroke, in Lincolnshire; Richard II.’s misrule and despotism had…">Henry IV. to prevent the success of the treaty about the truce, And, while it was negotiating, he was of a very craving humour; for, not satisfied with the large treatments granted by the States not contented with the restitution from the archdukes of all the prince of Orange’s land in E. of France; annexed to France as a province in the 6th century; the country is still noted for its wines.">Burgundy, and the Netherlands, he farther demanded satisfaction for certain pretensions, grounded upon grants to his father from the States of Brabaut and Flanders, which carried with them no show of equity. In his conduct he appeared to have been of a very warm temper; apt to fly out upon contradiction, and to embrace hasty resolutions, from which he was afterwards obliged to recede, in a manner that did him no credit.

| He was recalled in 1609, and came back to England about the end of August, or the beginning of September. In April 1610, he was employed as one of the assistant-commissioners, to conclude a defensive league with the crown of France; and, having been designed, ever since 1608, to be sent ambassador into that kingdom ,*
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It is no small compliment to sir Thomas, that he was not a favourite at the French court. Mr. de Puisieux, one of the French prime ministers, takes notice in a letter t>> their ambassador in England, that they would get nothing by having him in the room of sir George Carew, since sir Thomas Edmomles understood them too well, If he should be sent,“adds Mr. de Puisicux, ”it it only with a design to make a fuller discovery of our affairs. We cannot nor oucht to oppose openly the appointment of him but whoever can underhand diveit this stroke would, in my opinion, do a good service.“And secretary de Villeroy, in a letter to the above-mentioned ambassador, has these words: ” Let me know, whether there is a means of procuring sir Thomas Edrnondes to be employed elsewhere; which would be a great relief to the queen. However, I am not of opinion that you should make this proposal; for, if it does not succeed, it will only serve to exasperate this little man, who has spirit and courage enough."

he was dispatctyed thither in all haste, in May 1610, upon the new of the execrable murder of king III., born at Bolingbroke, in Lincolnshire; Richard II.‘s misrule and despotism had…">Henry IV. in order to learn the state of affairs there. He arrived at Paris, May 24th, where he was very civilly received; and on the 27th of June, had his audience of Mary de Medicis, queen regent; the young king (Lewis XIII.) being present. In November following he caused an Italian to be apprehended at Paris for harbouring a treasonable design against his master, king James I. There being, in 1613, a competition between him and the Spanish ambassador about precedency, we are told that he went to Home privately, and brought a certificate out of the pope’s ceremonial, shewing that the king of England is to precede the king of N., and New Castile (3,500) in the S.: the former consisting of a high bare plateau, bounded by…">Castile. He was employed the same year in treating of a marriage between Henrv prince of S. by the sea; it is divided into 12…">Wales and the princess Christine, sister of Lewis XIII. king of France; but the death of that prince, on the 6th of November 1612, put an end to this negotiation. And yet, on the 9th of the same month, orders were sent him to propose a marriage between the said princess and our prince Charles, but he very wisely declined opening such an affair so soon after | the brother’s death. About the end of December 1613, sir Thomas desired leave to return to England, but was denied till he should have received the final resolution of the court of France about the treaty of marriage; which being accomplished, he came tp England towards the end or’ January 1613-14. Though- the privy-council strenuously opposed this match because they had not sooner been made acquainted with so important an affair, yet, so zealous was the king for it, that he sent sir Thomas again to Paris with instructions, dated July 20, 1614, for bringing it ta a conclusion. But, after all, it appeared that the court of France were not sincere in this affair, and only proposed it to amuse the protestants in general. In 1616 sir Thomasassisted at the conference at Loudun, between the protestants and the opposite party; and, by his journey to liochelle, disposed the protestants to accept of the terms offered them, and was of great use in settling the pacification. About the end of October, in the same year, he was ordered to England; not to quit his charge, but, after he should have kissed the king’s hand, and received such honour as his majesty was resolved to confer upon him, in acknowledgment of his long, painful, and faithful services, then to go and resume his charge; and continue in France, till the affairs of that kingdom, which then were in an uncertain state, should be better established. Accordingly he came over to England in December; and, on the 21st of that month, was made comptroller of the king’s household; and, the next day, sworn a privy-counsellor. He returned to the court of France in April 1617; but took his leave of it towards the latter end of the same year. And, on the 19th of January, 1617-18, was advanced to the place of treasurer of the household; and in 1620 was appointed clerk of the crown in the court of king’s bench, and might have well deserved the post of secretary of state that he had been recommended for, which none was better qualified to discharge. He was elected one of the burgesses for the university of W. of London; it is a city of…">Oxford, in the first parliament of king I., born at Dunfermline; failing in his suit for the Infanta of Spain, married Henrietta Maria, a French princess, a devoted Catholic, who had great influence over…">Charles I. which met June 18, 1623, and was also returned for the same in the next parliament, which assembled at N. bank of the Thames, and comprising a great part of the West End of London; originally a village, it was raised to the rank of a city when it became the seat of a bishop…">Westminster the 26th of February following; but his election being declared void, he was chosen for another place. Some of the speeches which he made in parliament are primed. On the 11th of June 1629, he was commissioned to go ambassador to the French court, on purpose to carry king Charles’s ratification, and to receive Lewis the XIIIth’s | oath, for the performance of the treaty of peace, then newly concluded between England and France: which he did in September following, and with this honourable commission concluded all his foreign employments. Having, after this, enjoyed a creditable and peaceful retreat for about ten years, he departed this life, September 20, 1639. His lady was Magdalen, one of the daughters and co-heirs of sir John Wood, knight, clerk of the signet, by whom he had one son, and three daughters. She died at Paris, December 31, 1614, with a character amiable and exemplary in all respects. Sir Thomas had with her the manor of Albins, in the parishes of Stapleford-Abbot, and Navestoke in N. and Kent in the S., faces the German Ocean on the E.; is well watered with streams; has an undulating surface;…">Essex, where Inigo Jones built for him a mansion ­house, delightfully situated in a park, now the seat of the Abdy family. Sir Thomas was small of stature, but great in understanding. He was a man of uncommon sagacity, and indefatigable industry in his employments abroad; always attentive to the motions of the courts where he resided, and punctual and exact in reporting them to his own; of a firm and unshaken resolution in the discharge of his duty, and beyond the influence of terror, flattery, or corruption. The French court, in particular, dreaded his experience and abilities; and the popish and Spanish party there could scarcely disguise their hatred of so zealous a supporter of the protestant interest in that kingdom. His letters and papers, in twelve volumes in folio, were once in the possession of secretary Thurloe, and afterwards of the lord chancellor Somers. The style of them is clear, strong, and masculine, and entirely free from the pedantry and puerilities which infected the most applauded writers of that age. Several of them, together with abstracts from the rest, were published by Dr. Birch in a work entitled “An historical view of the Negotiations between the Courts of England, France, and S. of Antwerp, is the capital of Belgium, in the heart of the country. The old town is narrow and crooked, but picturesque; the town-hall a…">Brussels, from the year 1592 to 1617. Extracted chiefly from the ms State-papers of sir Thomas Edmondes, kt. ambassador in France, &c. and of Anthony Bacon, esq. brother to the lord chancellor Bacon,” London, 1749, 8vo. Several extracts of letters, written by him in the early part of his political life, occur in Birch’s “Memoirs of queen Elizabeth,” and other letters are in Lodge’s “Illustrations of British History.1
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Biog. Brit. Lloyd’s State Worthies. riince’s Worthies. Lodge’s Illut-> trations.

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