Mildmay, Sir Walter

, an eminent statesman of the sixteenth century, and founder of Emmanuel college, Cambridge, was the fourth son of Thomas Mildmay, esq. by Agnes, his wife, daughter of Read. He was educated at Christ’s college, Cambridge, where he made great proficiency in learning, and to which college he afterwards became a benefactor. In the reign of Henry VIII. he succeeded to the office which had been held by his father, that of surveyor of the court of augmentation, erected by statute 27 Henry VIII. for determining suits and controversies relating to monasteries and abbey-lands. It took its name from the great augmentation that was made to the revenues of the crown by the suppression of the religious houses. In 1547, immediately after the coronation of Edward VI. he was made one of the knights of the carpet. He had also in this reign the chief direction of the mint, and the management, under several special commissions, of the king’s revenues, particularly of those which arose from the crown lands, the nature and value of which he had made his chief study. In 1552 he represented the town of Maldon, Essex, in parliament, and was a burgess in the first parliament of Mary for the city of Peterborough, | and sat afterwards as one of the knights for the county of Northampton. How he came co escape during this detestable reign we are not told, unless, as some think, that “he concealed his affection to the protestant religion*;” but that was probably well known, and he was afterwards not only a zealous protestant, but a friend, on many occasions, to the puritans. Q.ueen Elizabeth, on the lieath of sir Richard Sackville in 1566, gave him the otiice of chancellor of the exchequer, and he became a most useful, but not a favoured servant, for his integrity was too stiff to bend to the politics of that reign, and his consequent popularity excited the continual jealousy of his mistress: he was therefore never advanced to any higher post, though in one of the letters published by Mr. Lodge, he is mentioned as a candidate fof the seals. Honest Fuller, in his quaint way, thus expresses sir Walter’s conduct and its consequences: “Being employed by virtue of his place, to advance the queen’s treasure, he did it industriously, faithfully, and conscionably, without wronging the subject; being very tender of their privileges, insomuch that he once complained in parliament, that many subsidies were granted, and no grievances redressed; which words being represented with disadvantage to the queen, made her to disaffect him, setting in a court-cloud, but in the sunshine of his country, and a clear conscience.” In 1582 he was employed in a, treaty with the unfortunate queeo. of Scots, accompanied by sir William Cecil.

After retaining his post of chancellor of the exchequer for twenty-three years, he died May 31, 1589, and was buried in the chancel of the church of St. Bartholomew the Great, in West Smithfield, where a handsome monument was erected to his memory. Sir Waiter married Mary, sister to sir Francis Walsinghana, by whom he had two sons, Anthony and Humphrey, and three daughters, Winifred, married to William Fitzwilliam, of Gainspark, in Essex, an ancestor of the present earl Fitzwilliam; Christian, to Charles Barret, of Avely, in the same county; and Martha, to William Brounker.

He was a very learned man, and an eminent encourager of literature, as appears by his founding Emmanuel college, Cambridge, which, by the additional assistance of other benefactors, arose gradually to its present flourishing state. Fuller tells us that the founder “coming to court, the queen told him,” Sir Walter, I hear you have | erected a puritan foundation." No madam,‘ sayth he, c far be it from me to countenance any thing contrary to your established laws; but I have set an acorn, which when it becomes an oak, God alone knows what will be the fruit thereof.’ ’ He had so much of the puritan about him, however, as to make the chapel stand north and south, instead of east and west. 1

1 Biog. Brit Fuller’s HUt. of Cambridge. Lodge’s Illustrations, vol. II. Lloyd’s State Worthies.