Hyde, Edward

, earl of Clarendon, and chancellor of England, was descended from an ancient family in Cheshire, and born at Dinton in Wiltshire, Feb. 16, 1608. In 1622, he was entered of Magdalen-hall in Oxford, and ir 1625, took the degree of bachelor in arts but failing of a fellowship in Exeter college, for which he stood, he removed to the Middle Temple, where he studied the lav* | for several years with diligence and success. When tha lawyers resolved to give a public testimony of their dissent from the new doctrine advanced in Prynne’s “Histriomastix,” in which was shewn an utter disregard of all manner of decency and respect to the crown, Hyde and Whitelocke were appointed the managers of the masque presented on that occasion to their majesties at Whitehall on Candlemas-day, 1633-4. At the same time he testified, upon all occasions, his utter dislike to that excess of power, which was then exercised by the court, and supported by the judges in Westminster-hall. He condemned the oppressive proceedings of the high-commission court, the star-chamber, the council-board, the earl-marshal’s court, or court of honour, and the court of York. This just way of thinking is said to have been formed in him by a do* mestic accident, which Burnet relates in the following manner: “When he first began,” says that historian, “to grow eminent in his profession of the law, he went down to visit his father in Wiltshire; who one day, as they were walking in the fields together, observed to him, that ‘ men of his profession were apt to stretch the prerogative too far, and injure liberty: but charged him, if ever he came to any eminence in his profession, never to sacrifice the laws and liberty of his country to his own interest, or the will of his prince.’ He repeated this twice, and immediately fell into a fit of apoplexy, of which he died in afew hours; and this advice had so lasting an influence upou the son, that he ever after observed and pursued it

In the parliament which began at Westminster April 10, 1640, he served as burgess for Wotton-Basset in Wiltshire; and distinguished himself upon the following occasion. His majesty having acquainted the house of commons, that he would release the ship-money, if they would grant him twelve subsidies, to be paid in three years, great debates arose in the house that day and the next; when Hampden, seeing the matter ripe for the question, desired it might be put, “whether the house should comply with the proposition made by the king, as it was contained in the message?” Serjeant Glanvile, the speaker, for the house was then in a committee, endeavoured in a pathetic speech to persuade them to comply with the king, and so reconcile him to parliaments for ever. No speech ever united the inclination of a popular council more to th speaker than this did and if the question had been | immediately put, it was believed that few would have opposed it. But, after a short silence, the other side recovering new courage, called again with some earnestness, thai Hampden’s question should be put; which being like to meet with a concurrence, Hyde, who was desirous to preserve a due medium, after expressing his dislike of Hampden’s question, proposed, that “to the end every man might freely give his yea or no, the question might be put only upon giving the king a supply; and if this was carried, another might be put upon the manner and proportion: if not, it would have the same effect with the other proposed by Mr. Hampden.” This, after it had been some time opposed and diverted by other propositions, which were answered by Hyde, would, as it is generally believed, have been carried in the affirmative, though positively opposed by Herbert the solicitor-general, if sir Henry Vane the secretary had not assured them as from his majesty, that if they should pass a vote for a supply, and not in the proportion proposed in his -majesty’s message, it would not be accepted by him, and therefore desired that the question might be laid aside. This being again urged by the solicitor-general, and it being near five in the afternoon, a very late hour in those days, it was readily consented to, that the house should adjourn till the reXt morning, at which time they were suddenly dissolvea. And within an hour after Hyde met St. John, who was seldom known to smile, but then had a most cheerful aspect; and observing Hyde melancholy, asked him, “what troubled him r” who answered, “The same he believed that troubled most good men, that, in a time of so much confusion, so wise a parliament should be so imprudently dissolved.” St. John replied somewhat warmly, “that all was well: that things must grow worse, before they would grow better; and that that parliament would never have done what was requisite.

This parliament being dissolved, Hyde was chosen for Saltash in Cornwall in the Long-parliament, which commenced Nov. 3 the same year, where his abilities began to be noticed; and when the commons prepared a charge against lord chief baron Davenport, baron Weston, and baron Trevor, he was sent up with the impeachment to the lords, to whom he made a most excellent speech. It begins thus: “My lords, there cannot be a greater instance of a sick and languishing commonwealth, than the business | of this day. Good God! how have the guilty these late years been punished, when the judges themselves have been such delinquents? It is no marvel, that an irregular, extravagant, arbitrary power, like a torrent, hath broken in upon us, when our banks and ofir bulwarks, the laws, were in the custody of such persons. Men, who had left their innocence, could not preserve their courage; nor could we look that they, who had so visibly undone us, themselves should have the virtue or credit to rescue us from the oppression of other men. It was said by one, who always spoke excellently, that `the twelve judges were like the twelve lions under the throne of Solomon;‘ under the throne of obedience, but yet lions. Your lordships shall this day hear of six, who, be they what they will else, were no lions: who upon vulgar fear delivered up their precious forts they were trusted with, almost without assault; and in a tame easy trance of flattery and servitude, lost and forfeited, shamefully forfeited, that reputation, awe, and reverence, which the wisdom, courage, and gravity of their venerable predecessors had contracted and fastened to the places they now hold. They even rendered that study and profession, which in all ages hath been, and I hope, now shall be, of honourable estimation, so contemptible and vile, that had not this blessed day come, all men would have had that quarrel to the law itself which JMarius had to the Greek tongue, who thought it a. mockery to learn that language, the masters whereof lived in bondage under others. And I appeal to these unhappy gentlemen themselves, with what a strange negligence, scorn, and indignation, the faces of all men, even of the meanest, have been directed towards them, since, to call it no worse, that fatal declension of their understanding in those judgments, of which they stand here charged before your lordships.” The conclusion runs thus: " If the excellent, envied constitution of this kingdom hath been of late distempered, your lordships see the causes. If the sweet harmony between the king’s protection and the subject’s obedience hath unluckily suffered interruption; if the royal justice and honour of the best of kings have been mistaken by his people; if the duty and affection of the most faithful and loyal nation hath been suspected by their gracious sovereign; if, by these misrepresentations, and these misunderstandings, the king and people have been robbed of the delight and comfort of each other, and the blessed peace | of this island been shaken and frightened into tumults and commotions, into the poverty, though not into the rage, of war, as a people prepared for destruction and desolation; these are the men, actively or passively, by doing or not doing, who have brought this upon us: ’ Misera servitus falso pax vocatur; ubi judicia deficiunt, incipit bellumV

But though Hyde was very zealous for redressing the grievances of the nation, he was no less so for the security of the established church, and the honour of the crown. When a bill was brought in to take away the bishops’ vote in parliament, and to leave them out of all commissions of the peace, or any thing that had relation to temporal affairs, he was very earnest for throwing it out, and said, that, “from the time tbat parliaments begun, bishops had always been a part of it that if they were taken out, there was nobody left to represent the clergy which would introduce another piece of injustice, that no other part of the kingdom could complain of, who, being all represented in parliament, were bound to submit to whatever was enacted there, because it was, upon the matter, with their own consent: whereas, if the bill was carried, there was nobody left to represent the clergy, and yet they must be bound by their determination.” He was one of the committee employed to prepare the charge against the earl of Strafford: but, as soon as he saw the unjustifiable violence with which the prosecution was precipitated, he left them, and opposed the bill of attainder warmly. He was afterwards appointed a -manager at the conference with the house of lords, for abolishing the court of York, of which that earl had been for several years president; and was chairman also of several other committees, appointed upon the most important occasions, as long as he continued to sit among them. But, when they began to put in execution their ordinance for raising the militia against his majesty, Hyde, being persuaded that this was an act of open rebellion, left them; and they felt the blow given to their authority by his absence so sensibly, that in their instructions shortly after to the earl of Essex their general, he was excepted with a few others from any grace or favour.

Hyde withdrew to the king at York, having first obtained the great seal to be sent thither on May 20, 1642: and, upon his arrival, was admitted into the greatest confidence, though he was not under any official character in the court for some months. But, towards the latter end of the year, | upon the promotion of sir John Colepepper to be master of th,e rolls, he succeeded him in the chancellorship of the exchequer, and the same year was knighted, and made a privy-counsellor. With these characters he sat in the parliament assembled at Oxford, Jan. 1643; and, in 1644, was one of the king’s commissioners at the treaty of Uxbridge. Not long after, the king sending the prince of Wales into the West, to have the superintendency of the affairs there, sir Edward Hyde was appointed to attend his highness, and to be of his council; where he entered, by his majesty’s command, into a correspondence with the marquis of Ormond, then lord-lieutenant of Ireland. Upon the declension of the king’s cause, he with the lords Capel and Colepepper sailed from Pendennis castle in Cornwall to Scilly, and thence to Jersey, where he arrived in March 1645; but being greatly disgusted at the prince’s removal thence the following year to France, he obtained leave to stay in that island. His opinion respecting the prince’s removal into France, is warmly expressed in the following letter to the duke of Ormond:

"My Lord,

"Your lordship hath been long since informed, whither my lord Digby attended the prince and from thence have pardoned my not acknowledging your grace’s favour to me, from the impossibility of presenting it to you. I confess, in that conjuncture of time, I thought the remove from Jersey to Ireland to be very fit to be deliberately weighed, before attempted but I would have chosen it much more cheerfulfy than this that is embraced, which I hope will be a memorial to my weakness for it is my misfortune to differ from those with whom I have hitherto agreed, and especially with my best friend, which I hope will not render me the less fit for your charity, though 1 may be for your consideration. Indeed, there is not light enough for me to see my way, and I cannot well walk in the dark; and therefore I have desired leave of the prince to breathe in this island a little for my refreshment, till I may discern some way in which I may serve his majesty. I hope your lordship will never meet with any interruption in the exercise of that devotion, which hath rendered you the envied example of three kingdoms, and that I shall yet find an opportunity to attend upon your lordship, and have the honour to be received by you in the capacity of

"My Lord, your Lordship’s, K r c.

June 22, 1646. ‘ Edward Hyee.

| We see here not barely a disgust, but even a resentment shewn to the prince’s going to Paris; the ground of which undoubtedly lay in the manifest danger his religion might be brought into from the restless endeavours of his mother; since it is notorious, that the chancellor was never upon any tolerable terms with the queen, on account of his watchfulness against every attempt of this kind.

During his retirement in Jersey, he began to write his “History of the Rebellion,” which had been particularly recommended to him, and in which he was assisted also by the king, who supplied him with several of the materials for it. We learn from the history itself, that upon lord CapePs waiting on the king at Hampton-court in 1647, his majesty wrote to the chancellor a letter, in which he “thanked him for undertaking the work he was upon; and told him, he should expect speedily to receive some contribution from him towards it;” and within a very short time afterwards, he sent to him memorials of all that had passed from the time he had left his majesty at Oxford, when he waited upon the prince into the west, to the very day that the king left Oxford to go to the Scots; out of which memorials the most important passages, in the years 1644 and 1645, are faithfully collected. Agreeably to this, the ninth book opens with declaring, that “the work was first undertaken with the king’s approbation, and by his encouragement; and particularly, that many important points were transmitted to the author by the king’s immediate direction and order, even after he was in the hands and power of the enemy, out of his own memorials and journals.” Thus we may trace the exact time when this history was begun; and the time when it was finished may be ascertained with the same degree of exactness, from the dedication of the author’s “Survey of the Leviathan,” in which he addresses himself to Charles II. in these terms “As soon as I had finished a work, at least recommended, if not enjoined to me by your blessed father, and approved, and in some degree perused by your majesty, I could not,” &c. This dedication is dated Moulins, May 10, 1673; whence it appears, that the history was not completed till the beginning of that, or the latter end of the preceding year; and this may account for certain facts being related which happened long after the Restoration as for instance, that “sir John Digby lived many years after the king’s return” and that the “earl of Sandwich’s expedition was | never forgiven him by some men:” which might very consistently be introduced in this history, though that nobleman did not lose his life till 1672.

In May 1648, sir Edward received a letter from the queen to call him to Paris; where, after the king’s death, he was continued both in his seat at the privy council, and in his office of the exchequer, by Charles II. In Nov. 1649, he was sent by the king with lord Cottington ambassador extraordinary into Spain, to apply for assistance in the recovery of his crown; but returned without success in July 1651. Soon after his arrival, the king gave him an account of his escape after the battle of Worcester, in that unfortunate expedition to Scotland, which had been undertaken during sir Edward’s absence,- and much against his judgment. He now resided for some time at Antwerp, but left no means unattempted, by letters and messages to England, for compassing the Restoration; in which, however, he solely relied upon the episcopal party. In 1653, he was accused of holding a correspondence with Cromwell; but being declared innocent by the king, was afterwards made secretary of state. More attempts were made to ruin him with the king, but in vain; for in 1657 he was made chancellor of England. Upon the Restoration, as he had been one of the greatest sharers in his master’s sufferings, so he had a proportionable share in his glory.

Besides the post of lord chancellor, in which he was continued, he was chosen chancellor of the university of Oxford in Oct. 1660 and, in November following, created a peer by the title of baron Hyde of Hindon in Wiltshire; to which were added, in April 1661, the titles of viscount Cornbury in Oxfordshire, and earl of Clarendon in Wiltshire. These honours, great as they were, were, however, by no means beyond his merit. He had, upon the Restoration, shewn great prudence, justice, and moderation, in settling the just boundaries between the prerogative of the crown and the liberties of the people. He had reduced much confusion into order, and adjusted many clashing interests, where property was concerned. He had endeavoured to make things easy to the Presbyterians and malcontents by the act of indemnity, and to satisfy the Royalists by the act of uniformity. But it is not possible to stand many years in a situation so much distinguished, without becoming the object of envy; which created him such enemies as both wished and attempted his ruin, and | at last effected it. Doubtless nothing more contributed to inflame this passion against him, than the circumstance of his eldest daughter being married to the duke of York, which became known in a few months after the king’s return. She had been one of the maids of honour to the princess royal Henrietta, some time during the exile, when the duke fell in love with her; and being disappointed by the defeat of sir George Booth, in a design he had formed of coming with some forces to England in 1659, he went to Breda, where his sister then resided. Passing some weeks there, he took this opportunity, as Burnet tells us, of soliciting miss Hyde to indulge his desires without marriage; but she managed the matter with such address, that in the conclusion he married her, Nov. 4 that year, with all possible secrecy, and unknown to her father. After their arrival in England, being pregnant, she called upon the duke to own his marriage; and though he endeavoured to divert her from this object, both by great promises and great threatenings, yet she had the spirit and wisdom to tell him, “She would have it known that she was his wife, let him use her afterwards as he pleased.” The king ordered some bishops and judges to peruse the proofs of her marriage; and they reporting that it had been solemnized according to the doctrine of gospel and the law of England, he told his brother, that he must live with her whom he had made his wife, and at the same time generously preserved the honour of an excellent servant, who had not been privy to it; assuring him, that “this accident should not lessen the esteem and favour he had for him.

The first open attack upon lord Clarendon was made by the earl of Bristol; who, in 1663, exhibited against him a charge of high treason to the house of lords. There had been a long course of friendship, both in prosperity and adversity, between the chancellor and this earl: but they had gradually fallen into different measures in religion and politics. In this state of things, the chancellor refusing what lord Bristol considered as a small favour (which was said to be the passing a patent in favour of a court lady), the latter took so much offence, that he resolved upon revenge. The substance of the whole accusation was as follows: “That the chancellor, being in place of highest trust and confidence with his majesty, and having arrogated a supreme direction in all thingjs, had, with a traiteroas | intent to draw contempt upon his majesty’s person, and to alienate the affections of his subjects, abused the said trust in manner following. 1. He had endeavoured to alienate the hearts of his majesty’s subjects, by artfully insinuating to his creatures and dependent);, that his majesty was inclined to popery, and designed to alter the established religion. 2. He had said to several persons of his majesty’s privy council, that his majesty was dangerously corrupted in his religion, and inclined to popery: that persons of that religion had such access and such credit with him, that, unless there were a careful eye had upon it, the protestant religion would be overthrown in this kingdom. 3. Upon his majesty’s admitting sir Henry Bennet to be secretary of state in the place of sir Edward Nicholas, he said, that his majesty had given 10,000^. to remove a most zealous Protestant, that he might bring into that place a concealed Papist. 4. In pursuance of the same traiterous design, several friends and dependents of his have said aloud, that ‘ were it not for my lord chancellor’s standing in the gap, Popery would be introduced into this kingdom.’ 5. That he kad persuaded the king, contrary to his opinion, to allow his name to be used to the pope and several cardinals, in the solicitation of a cardinal” cap for the lord Aubigny, great almoner to the queen: in order to effect which, he had employed Mr. Richard Bealing, a known Papist, and had likewise applied himself to several popish priests and Jesuits to the same purpose, promising great favour to the Papists here, in case it should be effected. 6. That he had likewise promised to several Papists, that he would do his endeavour, and said, * he hoped to compass taking away all penal laws against them;* to the end they might presume and grow vain upon his patronage; and, by their publishing their hopes of toleration, increase the scandal designed by him to be raised against his majesty throughout the kingdom. 7. That, being intrusted with the treaty between his majesty and his royal consort the queen, he concluded it upon articles scandalous and dangerous to the Protestant religion. Moreover, he brought the king and queen together without any settled agreement about the performance of the marriage rites; whereby, the queen refusing to be married by a Protestant priest, in case of her being with child, either the succession should be made uncertain for want of the due rites of matrimony, or else his majesty be exposed to | a suspicion of having been married in his own dominions by a Romish priest. 8. That, having endeavoured to alienate the hearts of the king’s subjects upon the score of religion, he endeavoured to make use of all his scandals and jealousies, to raise to himself a popular applause of being the zealous upholder of the Protestant religion, &c. 9. That he further endeavoured to alienate the hearts of the king’s subjects, by venting in his own discourse, and those of his emissaries, opprobrious scandals against his majesty’s person and course of life; such as are not fit to be mentioned, unless necessity shall require it. 10. That he endeavoured to alienate the affections of the duke of York from his majesty, by suggesting to him, that ‘ his majesty intended to legitimate the duke of Monmouth.’ 11. That he had persuaded the king, against thie advice of the lord general, to withdraw the English garrisons out of Scotland, and demolish all the forts built there, at so vast a charge to this kingdom; and all without expecting the advice of the parliament of England. 12. That he endeavoured to alienate his majesty’s affections and esteem from the present parliament, by telling him, ‘ that there never was so weak and inconsiderable a house of lords, nor never so weak and heady a house of commons’ and particularly that ’ it was better to sell Dunkirk than be at their mercy for want of money.’ 13. That, contrary to a known law made last session, by which money was given and applied for maintaining Dunkirk, he advised and effected the sale of the same to the French king. 14. That he had, contrary to law, enriched himself and his treasures by the sale of offices. 15. That he had converted to his own use vast sums of public money, raised in Ireland by way of subsidy, private and public benevolences, and otherwise given and intended to defray the charge of the government in that kingdom. 16. That, having arrogated to himself a supreme direction of all his majesty’s affairs, he had prevailed to have his majesty’s customs farmed at a lower rate than others offered; and that by persons with some of whom he went a share, and other parts of money resulting from his majesty’s revenue."

A charge urged with so much anger and inconsistency as this was, it is easy to imagine, could not much affect him on the contrary we find, that the prosecution ended greatly to the honour of the chancellor; notwithstanding which, his enemies advanced very considerably by it in their | design, to make him less in favour with his master, less respected in parliament, and less beloved by the people. The building of a magnificent house, which was begun in the following year, 1664, furnished fresh matter for obloquy. “The king,” says Burnet, “had granted him a large piece of ground, near St. James’s palace, to build upon. He intended a good ordinary house; but not understanding these matters himself, he put the management of it into the hands of others, who run him to a vast expence of above 50,000l. three times as much as he had designed to lay out upon it. During the war, and in the year of the plague, he had about 300 men at work, which he thought would have been an acceptable thing, when so many men were kept at work, and so much money as was daily paid circulated about; but it had a contrary effect; it raised a great outcry against him. Some called it Dunkirk-house, intimating that it was built by his share of the price of Dunkirk: others called it Holland-house, because he was believed to be no friend to the war; so it was given out he had the money from the Dutch. It was visible that, in a time of public calamity, he was building a very noble palace. Another accident was, that before the war there were some designs on foot for the repairing of St. Paul’s, and many stones were brought thither for the purpose. That project was laid aside; upon which he bought the stones, and made use of them in building his own house. This, how slight soever it may seem to be, had a great effect by the management of his enemies.” To this remark it may be added, that this stately pile was not finished till 1667; so that it stood a growing monument for the popular odium to feed upon, almost the whole interval between his first and his last impeachment; and to aggravate and spread that odium, there was published a most virulent satirical song, entitled “Clarendon’s House-warming,” to irritate the minds of the populace.

In August 1667, he was removed from his post of chancellor, and in November following was impeached by the house of commons of high treason, and other crimes and misdemeanors; upon which, in the beginning of December, he retired to France, and on the 19th, an act of banishment was passed against him. Echard observes, how often “it has been admired, that the king should not only consent to discard, but soon after banish a friend, who had been as honest and faithful to him a* the best, and perhaps more | useful and serviceable than any he had ever employed; which surely could never have been brought to bear without innumerable enviers and enemies.” But to conceive how these were raised, we need only remember, that during the height of his grandeur, which continued two years after the Restoration without any rivalship, as well as the rest of his ministry, he manifested an inflexible steadiness to the constitution of the church of England, in equal opposition to the Papists on one side, and the Dissenters on the other; so that none of these could ever be reconciled to him or his proceedings. Yet at first he seemed so forward to effect a coalition of all parties, that the cavaliers and strict churchmen thought themselves much neglected; and many of them upon that account, though unjustly, entertained insuperable prejudices against him, and joined with the greatest of his enemies. But the circumstances which were supposed to weaken his interest with, and at length make him disagreeable to the king, were rather of a personal nature, and such as concerned the king and him only. It is allowed on all hands, that the chancellor was not without the pride of conscious virtue; so that his personal behaviour was accompanied with a sort of gravity and haughtiness, which struck a very unpleasing awe into a court filled with licentious persons of both sexes. He often took the liberty to give reproofs to these persons of mirth and gallantry; and sometimes thought it his duty to advise the king himself in such a manner that they took advantage of him, and as he passed in court, would often say to his majesty, “There goes your schoolmaster.” The chief of these was the duke of Buckingham, who had a surprising talent of ridicule and buffoonery; and that he might make way for lord Clarendon’s ruin, by bringing him first into contempt, he often acted and mimicked him in the presence of the king, walking in a stately manner with a pair of bellows before him for the purse, and colonel Titus carrying a fire-shovel on his shoulder for the mace; with which sort of farce and banter, the king, says Echard, was too much delighted and captivated. These, with some more serious of the Popish party, assisted by the solicitations of the ladies of pleasure, made such impressions upon the king, that he at last gave way, and became willing, and even pleased, to part both from his person and services. It was also believed, that the king had some private resentments against him, for checking of those | who were too forward in loading the crown with prerogative and revenue; and particularly we are told, that he had counteracted the king in a grand design which he had, to be divorced from the queen, under pretence “that she had been pre-engaged to another person, or that she was incapable of bearing children.” The person designed to supply her place was Mrs. Stuart, a beautiful young lady, who was related to the king, and had some office under the queen. The chancellor, to prevent this, sent for the duke of Richmond, who was of the same name; and seeming to be sorry that a person of his worth and relation to his majesty should receive no marks of his favour, advised him to marry this lady, as the most likely means to advance himself. The young nobleman, liking the person, followed his advice, made immediate application to the lady, who was ignorant of the king’s intentions, and in a few days married her. The king, thus disappointed, and soon after informed how the match was brought about, banished the duke and his new duchess from court, reserving his resentment against the chancellor to a more convenient opportunity. Be this as it will, the private reasons that induced the king to abandon the chancellor were expressed in a letter to the duke of Ormond, then in Ireland; which the king wrote to that nobleman for his satisfaction, knowing him to be the chancellor’s friend. Echard observes, that this letter was never published, nor would a copy of it be granted; but that he had been told the substance of it more than once by those who had read it; and the principal reason there given by the king was, “The chancellor’s intolerable temper.

Being now about to quit the kingdom in exile, before he departed he drew up an apology, in a petition to the house of lords, in which he vindicated himself from any way contributing to the late miscarriages, in such a manner as laid the blame at the same time upon others. The lords received it Dec. 3, and sent two of the judges to acquaint the commons with it, desiring a conference. The duke of Buckingham, who was plainly aimed at in the petition, delivered it to the commons; and said, “The lords have commanded me to deliver to you this scandalous and seditious paper sent from the earl of Clarendon. They bid me present it to you, and desire you in a convenient time to send it to them again; for it has a style which they are in love with, and therefore desire to keep it.” Upon the reading of it in that house, it was voted to be “scandalous, | malicious, and a reproach to the justice of the nation;” and they moved the lords, that it might be burnt by the hands of the common hangman, which was ordered and executed accordingly. The chancellor retired to Rouen in Normandy; and, the year following, his life was attempted at Evreux near that city by a body of seamen, in such an outrageous manner, that he with great difficulty escaped. In the Bodleian library at Oxford, there is an original letter from Mr. Oliver Long, dated from Evreux, April 26, 1668, to sir William Cromwell, secretary of state, in which the following account is given of this assault. “As I was travelling from Rouen towards Orleans, it was my fortune, April 23, to overtake the earl of Clarendon, then in his unhappy and unmerited exile, who was going towards Bourbon, but took up his lodgings at a private hotel in a small walled town called Evreux, some league* from Rouen. I, as most English gentlemen did to so valuable a patriot, went to pay him a visit near supper-time; when he was, as usual, very civil to me. Before supper was done, twenty or thirty English seamen and more came and demanded entrance at the great gate; which, being strongly barred, kept them out for some time. But in a short space they broke it, and presently drove all they found, by their advantage of numbers, into the earl’s chamber; whence, by the assistance of only three swords and pistols, we kept them out for half an hour, in which dispute many of us were wounded by their swords and pistols, whereof they had many. To conclude, they broke the windows and the doors, and under the conduct of one Howard, an Irishman, who has three brothers, as I am told, in the king of England’s service, and an ensign in the company of cannoneers, they quickly found the earl in his bed, not able to stand by the violence of the gout; whence, after they had given him many blows with the;r swords and staves, mixed with horrible curses and oaths, they dragged him on the ground in the middle of the yard, where they encompassed him around with their swords, and after they had told him in their own language, how he had sold the kingdom, and robbed them of their pay, Howard commanded them all, as one man, to run their swords through his body. But what difference arose among themselves before they could agree, God above, who alone sent this spirit of dissention, only knows. In this interval their lieutenant, one Svvaine, came and disarmed them. | Sixteen of the ringleaders were put into prison; and many of those things they had rifled from him, found again, which were restored, and of great value. Mons. la Fonde, a great man belonging to the king of France’s bed-chamber, sent to conduct the earl on his way thither, was so desperately wounded in the head, that there were little hopes of his life. Many of these assassins were grievously wounded; and this action is so much resented by all here, that many of these criminals will meet with an usage equal to their merit. Had we been sufficiently provided with fire-arms, we had infallibly done ourselves justice on them; however, we fear not but the law will supply our defect.

Being greatly afflicted with the gout, and not finding himself secure in that part of France, he went in the summer to Montpelier, where, recovering his health in a considerable measure, he continued three or four years. In 1672 he resided at Moulins, and removing thence to Rouen, died Dec. 9, 1673, in that city; from whence his body was brought to England, and interred on the north side of Henry Vllth’s chapel in Westminster-abbey. He was twice married: first to Anne, daughter of sir Gregory Ayloffe, of Robson, in Wiltshire, knt. and this lady dying without issue, to Frances, daughter, and at length heiress, to sir Thomas Aylesbury, bart. in 1634; by whom he had four sons and two daughters. Anne his eldest daughter was married, as we have already observed, to the duke of York, by which match she became mother to two daughters, Mary and Anne, who were successively queens of England. Besides these, she brought the duke four sons and three daughters, who all died in their infancy. The last was born Feb. 9, 1670-1, and her mother died on March 31 following; having a little before her death changed her religion, to the great grief of her father, who on that occasion wrote a most pathetic letter to her, and another to the duke her consort.

Besides the “History of the Rebellion” already mentioned, the chancellor wrote other pieces, theological as well as political. In 1672, while he resided at Moulins, he wrote his “Animadversions upon Mr. Cressy’s book entitled ‘ Fanaticism fanatically imputed to the Catholic Church by Dr. Stillingfleet, and the imputation refuted and retorted by J. C.’” He is supposed to have been led to this work from the knowledge he had of Cressy, by means of an acquaintance commenced at Oxford, where | that gentleman was his contemporary; and a motive of a similar nature might probably induce him to draw up his “Survey of Mr. Hobbes’s Leviathan,” which he dedicated the year following to Charles II. from the same place. He wrote also some things of a smaller kind, which have been collected and published with his “Miscellaneous Tracts.” And lastly, in 1759, was published “An Account of his own Life from his birth to the restoration in 1660; and a Continuation of the same, and of his History of the Grand Rebellion, from the restoration to his banishment in 1667;” written by himself; and printed in one volume, folio, and three in 8vo, from his original ms. given to the university of Oxford by his heirs: and his “State Papers” were published in 3 vols. fol. the first in 1767, the second in 1773, and the third in 1786.

It is as a historian that lord Clarendon will be longest remembered, and if compared with those who preceded, or were contemporaries with him, his superiority must in every respect be acknowledged. He knew more and has told more of the histories of his times than any other man, and that with an impartiality which gives us an equally favourable opinion of his head as of his heart. It may be every where seen that he cannot disguise the truth even when it makes against the cause he supports; and where there is any appearance of partiality, it may easily be traced to a warmth of loyalty and friendship, for which every honourable man will find an apology in his own breast. The republicans of his time had much to allege against him, and those of more modern times will never forgive a loyalty which they cannot comprehend, a steadiness of principle which ill accords with their versatile schemes of innovation, and a species of patriotism which would preserve the balance between liberty and licentiousness. “Like justice itself,” says lord Orford, in a character of our author, by no means very favourable, “he held the balance between the necessary power of the supreme magistrate and the interests of the people. This never-dying obligation his contemporaries were taught to overlook and to clamour against, till they removed the only man, who, if he could, would have corrected his master’s evil government.” Such was Clarendon’s n^-erit in the corrupt court of Charles II. when, “if he had sought nothing but power, his power |iad never ceased.” The fact was, that Clarendon, in his History, not then | published, but certainly written, had traced the misfortunes of the preceding reign to their true source, and was the only man at court who wished to profit by his experience. As to his style, as a historian, it has chiefly been objected that his periods are long; but it seems scarcely worth while to enlarge on the style of a writer who lived at a time when style was so little cultivated, so imperfectly known. His excellencies are his comprehensive knowledge of mankind* which enabled htm to draw those exact portraits of the leading characters of:his time, which have scarcely been equalled, and probably can never be excelled. No man brings us nearer to the personages with whom we wish to be familiar. He is, says Granger, in this particular as unrivalled among the moderns as Tacitus among the ancients. He paints himself in drawing the portraits of others; and we every where see the clear and exact comprehension, the uncommon learning, the dignity and equity of the lord chancellor, in his character as a writer. 1


Life by himself. Biog. Brit. Park’s edition of the Royal and Noble Authors. Burnet’s Own Times. Berwick’s Lite. Dr. Johnson’s Works. Ath. Ox. vol. II. Warburton’s Letters. —Gent. Mag. vol. LX, LXIII, LXXXI, &c. Ike. For an account and refutation of OMmixon’s infamous attack on Lord Clarendon’s history, see Burton’s “Genuineness of that history,” &c. 1^44, ijvo.