Whitelocke, Bulstrode

, son of the preceding, by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Edward Bulstrode, of Hugeley, or Hedgley Buistrode, in Buckinghamshire, esq. was born August 6, 1605, in Fleet-street, London, at the house of sir George Crooke, serjeant-at-law, his mother’s uncle. He was educated at Merchant Taylors’ school, and in 1620 went to St. John’s college, Oxford, of which Dr. Laud, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, was then president. Laud was his father’s contemporary and intimate friend, and shewed him particular kindness; and Whitelocke afterwards made an acknowledgment of it, in refusing, when that prelate was brought to trial for his life, to be one of the commissioners appointed to draw up a charge against him. He left the university before he had taken a degree, and went to the Middle Temple, where, by the help of his father, he became eminent for his skill in the common law as well as in other studies. We find him also one of the chief managers of the royal masque which was exhibited by the inns of court in February 1633,^ before Charles I. and his queen, and their court, at Whitehall.

In 1640 Mr. Whitelodke was chosen a burgess for Marlow in Buckinghamshire, in the long parliament; and was appointed chairman of the committee for drawing up the charges against the earl of Strafford, and one of the managers against him at his trial. All the papers relative to the proceedings against the earl were drlivered into Mr. Whitelocke’s custody: but a very material one happening to be missing, which had been previously conveyed away in a private manner, this brought a suspicion of treachery on Whitelocke, though it is said he was sufficiently cleared afterwards, when that paper was found in the king’s cabinet at the battle of Naseby, and proved to have been conveyed away by lord Digby.

Of the previous conduct and principles of Whitelocke, | we are only told that he was often consulted by Hampden when he came to be prosecuted for refusing the payment of ship-money; and that at the beginning of the commotions in Scotland, when solicited in behalf of the covenanters, his advice was, not to foment these differences, far less to encourage a foreign nation against thrir natural prince. About the beginning of the first session of the long parliament, a debate arose respecting writs of habeas corpus, upon which Mr. Selden and other members, who had been committed for their freedom of speech in the parliament of 1628, demanded to be bailed, and had been refused. This svas so far aggravated by some, that they moved that Selden and the rest might have reparation out of the estates of those judges who then sat on tht king’s bench; but when they named, as the obnoxious judges, Hyde, Jones, and Whitelocke, our young member stood up in defence of his father, and vindicated him with great spirit. Except in the case of Strafford, a considerable degree of moderation at first marked his conduct. During the debates in the House of Commons on the question, whether the power of the nSilitia was in the king or in the parliament, he gave it as his opinion that it was not either in the king or parliament separately, but in both conjointly; and when ‘it was afterwards debated, whether an army should not be raised for the defence of parliament, he represented in a very strong manner the miseri s of a civil war. As to the origin of the present state of affairs, he says, “It is strange to note how we have insensibly slid into this beginning of a civil war, by one unexpected accident after another, as waves of the sea, which have brought us thus far; and we scarce know how, but from paper combats, by declarations, remonstrances, protestations, notes, messages, answers, and replies, we are now come to the question of raising forces, and naming a general, and officers of an army.” After many other remarks of a similar kind, he added, “Yet I am not for a tame resignation of our religion, lives, and liberties, into the hands of our adversaries, who seek to devour us. Nor do I think it inconsistent with your great wisdom, to prepare for a just and necessary defence of them.” Still he recommended them to consider, whether it was not too soon to take up arms; and advised them to try if means might not be found to accommodate matters with the king before they proceeded to extremities. | It must have been his opinion that such means could not Ue found, for as soon as the war commenced, Whitelocke adhered closely to the parliamentary party, and accepted the office of deputy-lieutenant of the counties of Bucks and Oxford, in 1642. Having also a company of horse under his command, he dispersed the commissioners. o,f array at Wellington, and then marching to Oxford, it was proposed to fortify that city and appoint him governor but this was prevented by lord Say, for which that nobleman was much censured by the parliamentary party. We find Whitelocke again among the forces which opposed the king at Brentford, and being now at open war with his sovereign, his seat at Fawley-court was plundered by a party of royalists. In January 1643, he was appointed one of ttie commissioners to treat of peace with the king at Oxford, and there seems no reason to doubt that he was not only active, but sincere in his efforts to accomplish thjs purpose. Why they were not more successful mus be sought ift the conduct of those who employed him, Against which he seems to have ventured to remonstrate Adhering, however, still to the cause he had espoused, he was one of the laymen appoiated to sit in the Westminster assembly of divines and there, as well as in parliament, was the strenuous opponent of those who were for asserting the divine right of presbytery.

In 1644 he was constituted lieutenant-governor of Windsor castle, and the same year he was again appointed one, of the commssioners for peace at Oxford. On this occasion the king expressed much esteem for Mr. vVmtelocke, and Mr. Holies, and said he believed them sincere in their wishes for peace. As they were about to take leave, the king desired they would set down in writing what they apprehended might be proper for him to reuiru in answer to the propositions that they had brought from the parliament, and what they thought most likely to promote a peace between turn and them. At first they were somewhat averse to this, thinking it rather inconsisU’n; i.i the trust repostd in tu m by parliament. But the king urging it, they at length complied with his request, and going into a private room, and disgiusing his huuVinteiocke wrote down wli.it ne and Holies judge i iu Ik iu r the sub-, stance of his majesty’s answer to t-,o piUjVi^iLs of peace they had brought, and left it upon the ublcj of his withdrawing-room. Fair as this proceeding might be | considered by men really disposed to peace, it met with a very different reception from the parliamentary party. Lord Savile, who was then with the king at Oxford, but afterwards went over to the parliament, having heard of the transaction, sent to the House of Commons in July 1645, an accusation of high treason against Whitelocke and Holies. They were accordingly prosecuted, but after a long and strict examination, were acquitted by a vote of the House, July 21, of any misdemeanour in this business; and were left at liberty to prosecute Lord Savile, then a prisoner in the Tower, for the injury he had done them in this accusation. About this time Whitelocke was nominated attorney of the dutchy of Lancaster; and in 1645 was made steward of the revenues of Westminster college, and one of the commissioners of the admiralty. The same year he was appointed one of the commissioners at the treaty of Uxbricige, and attended there.

Many of the presbyterian clergy who had lately complained of the exorbitant power exercised by the bishops, having now gained the ascendant, were desirous of shewing the nation what it gained by the change, and the assembly of divines petitioned the House of Commons that “in every presbytery, or presbyterian congregation, the pastor, or ruling elders might have the power of excommunication, and the power of suspending such as they should judge ignorant or scandalous persons from the sacrament.” But Whitelocke, among others, zealously opposed this, and concluded one of his speeches with saying, “The best excommunication is, for pastors, elders, and people, to excommunicate sin out of their own hearis and conversations; to suspend themselves from all works of iniquity; this is a power, which put in execution, through the assistance of the Spirit of God, will prevent all disputes about excommunication and suspension from the sacrament.

In the same year (1645) the House of Commons ordered, that all the books and manuscripts of the lord keeper Littleton (whose estate had been sequestered) should be bestowed upon Mr. Whitelocke; and the speaker was directed to issue his warrant for that purpose. In his “Memorials” Whitelocke says, “he undertook this business, as he had done others of the like kind, to preserve those books and manuscripts from being sold, which the sequestrators would have done; but he saved them, to have the present use of them; and resolving, if God gave them an happy | accommodation, to restore them to the owner, or to some of his family. 17 On other occasions, Whitelocke shewed his regard to the interests of literature, particularly in preventing the king’s library and collection of medals from being sold or embezzled.” Being informed,“-he says,” of a design in some to have them sold and transported beyond sea, which I thought would be a dishonour and damage to our nation, and to all scholars therein; and fearing that in other hands they might be more subject to embezzling, and being willing to preserve them for public use, I did accept of the trouble of being library keeper at St. James’s, and therein was encouraged and much per* suaded to it by Mr. Selden, who swore that if I did not undertake the charge of them, all those rare monuments of antiquity, those choice books and manuscripts, would be lost; and there were not the like of them, except only in the Vatican, in any other library in Christendom. "He was also very serviceable in preserving the herald’s office, and in promoting the ordinance for settling and regulating the same. And while general Fairfax was engaged in the siege of Oxford, he sent for Whitelocke, who was admitted into the council of war, and used all his interest to procure honourable terms for the garrison, and to preserve the colleges and libraries from being plundered.

Whitelocke was one of those who opposed in the House of Commons the disbanding of the parliamentary army, and from this time was much courted by Cromwell and his adherents. He says himself that he resorted much with sir Henry Vane, and “other grandees of that party.” As to Cromwell, he had been once consulted by general Essex’s party, who were jealous of him, whether he could not be proceeded against as an incendiary. Whitelocke was of opinion that he could not, but at the same time expressed his sentiments^of him in the following language: “I take lieut.-gen. Cromwell to be a gentleman of quick and subtle parts, and one who hath (especially of late) gained no small interest in the House of Commons, nor is he wanting of friends in the House of Peers, nor of abilities in himself to manage his own part or defence to the best advantage. If this be so, it will be the more requisite to be well prepared against him before he be brought upon the stage, lest the issue of the business be not answerable to your expectations.” Wood says that Whitelocke gave Oliver. notice of this plot against him, but Whitelocke attributes the | discovery to some present who were false brethren, and informed Cromwell of all that passed among them. Be this as it may, he was now quite in the confidence of Cromwell and his adherents. As he had attended at the siege of Oxford, so he did also at that of Wailingfoud, where he acted the part of secretary, and kept a strong garrison in his seat of Fawley-court, for the use of the prevailing powers. In Dec. 1646, we find him earnestly promoting the ordinances for taking away all coercive power of committees; and all arbitrary power from both or either of the houses of parliament, or any of their committees, in any matter between party and party, judging that to be for the honour of parliament, and the ease and right of the people; and being well skilled in foreign affairs, he was usually in every committee relating to them. At the same time he did not neglect his profession, but attended the assizes, and was much employed. In Sept. 1647, the city of London were very desirous of appointing him to the office of recorder, but this he declined, as well as that of speaker of the House of Commons. He was soon after appointed one of the commissioners of the great seal, and sworn into that office April 12, 1648, with a salary of 1000l. a year. He now resigned his place of attorney of the duchy of Lancaster, which, -with his practice, amounted to more than he gained by his new office, while even in it he soon began to think himself insecure, and looked upon the self-denying ordinance, as it was called, to be contrived to remove him. When the army began to controul the House of Commons, he made some of those salutary reflections, which, it is to be regretted, did not occur sooner to him. “We may take notice,” said he, “of the uncertainty of worldly affairs; when the parliament and their army had subdued their common enemy, then they quarrelled among themselves, the army against the parliament; when they were pretty well pieced together again, then the apprentices and others made an insurrection against the parliament and army. Thus we were in continual perplexities and dangers, and so it will be with all who shall engage in the like troubles.” The fate of the unhappy king being determined, Whitelocke was appointed one of the committee of thirty-eight, who were to draw up a charge against his tnajesty; but he never attended, as he totally disapproved of that measure, and therefore went into the country. He returned to London, however, while the king’s trial was pending, but took | no concern with it, and refused afterwards to approve the proceedings of the high court of justice, as it was called, His memorandum on the king’s death is thus expressed: “Jan. 30, 1 went not to the House, but stayed all day at home in my study and at my prayers, that this day’s work might not so displease God, as to bring prejudice to this poor afflicted nation.” That he was sincere in all this, or in some of his former professions respecting peace, seems very doubtful, for on Feb. 1 following, he declared in the House of Commons his disapprobation of the vote of Dec.

;6i namely, “That his majesty’s concessions to the propositions of the parliament, were sufficient grounds for sejtling the peace of the kingdom.” He also drew up the act for abolishing the House of Lords, although he had declared his opinion against it, and also introduced a declaration to satisfy the minds of the people as to the proceedings of parliament. \baToIqms dorim &v;

’tovjOn Feb. 8, he was appointed one of the three lords commissioners of the new great seal of the commonwealth, pf England, He appears disposed to apologize for accepting this office, and his apology is a curious one; “because he was already very deeply engaged with this party: that, dje business to be undertaken by him was the execution of law and justice, without which men could, not live one by another; a thing of absolute necessity to be done.” On the 14th of the same month, he was chosen one of the thirty persons who composed the council of state. A few months after he was elected high-stewardof Oxford. The commissioners of the great seal being about this time in want uf a convenient dwelling, parliament granted them the duke of Buckingham’s house. In Jane, Whitelocke made a learned speech to the new judges in the court of Common-pleas, who were then sworn into their offices. In November, he opposed a motion made in the House of Com* inons, that no lawyers should sit in parliament; and in 1650 made a very learned speech in the House, in defence of the antiquity and excellence of the laws of England.

In vSept. 1651 Whitelocke was appointed, with three other members of parliament, to go out of town to meet Cromwell, then on his way to London, and congratulate him upon his victory at Worcester. Shortly after Whitelocke was. present at a; meeting at the speaker’s house, where several members of parliament, and principal officers of the army were assembled, by Cromwell’s desire, to | consider about settling the affairs of the kingdom (See Cromwell, p. 57), and soon after he had a private conference in the Park with the usurper, who seemed to pay much regard to his advice, but, not finding him so pliable as he could wish, contrived to get him out of the way by an ap< parently honourable employment, and therefore procured him to be sent ambassador to Christina, queen of Sweden. This appointment was preceded by some singular circumstances very characteristic of the times. Whoever has looked into Whitelocke‘ s “Memorials” will perceive the language of religion and devotion very frequently introduced. That in this he was sincere, we have no reason to doubt,“’ but it would appear that he had not come up exactly to the standard of piety established under the usurped government. When the council of state reported to the parliament that they had fixed upon Whitelocke as a fit person for the Swedish embassy, a debate arose in the house, and one of the members objected,” that they knew not whether he were a godty man or not,“adding, that” though he might be otherwise qualified, yet, if he were not a godly man, it was not fit to send him ambassador.“To this another member, who was known not to be inferior in godliness to the objector, shrewdly answered,” that godJiness was now in fashion, and taken up in form and words for advantage sake, more than in substance for the truth’s sake; that it was difficult to judge of the trees of godliness or ungodliness, otherwise than by the fruit; that those who knew Whitelocke, and his conversation, were satisfied thathe lived in practice as well as in a profession of godliness; and that it was more becoming a godly man to look into his own heart, and to censure himself, than to take upon him the attribute of God alone, to know the heart of another, and to judge him.“After this curious debate, it was voted,” that the lord commissioner Whitelocke be sent ambassador extraordinary to the queen of Sweden."

Whitelocke accordingly set out from London on this embassy Nov. 2, 1653, and a very few weeks after his departure, Cromwell assumed the supreme authority under the title of lord protector. Whitelocke was received in Sweden with great respect, and supported his character with dignity. Queen Christina, who shewed him many civilities, entertained him not only with politics, but with philosophy; and created him knight of the order of Araarantha, and hence he is sometimes styled sir Bulstrode. | He displayed great abilities for negotiation, and concluded a firm alliance between England and Sweden about the beginning of May 1654. In 1772, Dr. Morton, secretary of the Royal Society, published the history of this embassy, under the title of “A Journal of the Swedish Ambassy, in the years 1653 and 165 4-. From, the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Written by the ambassador the lord commissioner Whhelockv. With an Appendix of Original Papers,” 2 vols. 4to, These papers Dr Morton received from Whitelocke’s grandson, Carieton Whitelocke, of Prior’s wood, near Dublin, esq. This very cunious work may be considered as a necessary addition to his “Memorials,” and contains a large assemblage of facts and characteristic anecdotes illustrative of the times and the principal personages, printed literally from the author’s manuscript.

After his return home he received the thanks of the parliament, and had also 2000l. ordered him for the expenses of his embassy, but according to his own account these favours were not bestowed with a very good grace. He says in the conclusion of the journal of the embassy, “The sum of all was, that, for a most difficult and dangerous work, faith/ully and successfully performed bj Whitelocke, he had little thanks, and no recompense, from those who did employ him; but not long after was rewarded by them with an injury: they put him out of his office of commissioner of the great seal, because he would not betray the rights of the people, and, contrary to his own knowledge, and the knowledge of those who imposed it, execute an ordinance of the Protector and his council, as if it had been a law. But in a succeeding parliament, upon the motion of his noble friend the lord Bmghill, Whitelocke had his arrears of disbursement paid him, and some recompense of his faithful service allowed unto him.” it was indeed not until 1657 that the 2000l. above-mentioned was paid, with the addition of 500l. which is probably what he means by “some recompense.” The ordinance to which he alludes, was one framed by Cromwell, after the dissolution of his little parliament, for what he pretended was “the better regulating and limiting the jurisdiction of t4*e high court of Chancery.” Whitelocke, finding his opposition to this in vain, resigned the great seal in June 1655. In Jan. 1656, he was chosen speaker of the House of Common^ pro lemporc, during the indisposition of sir | Thomas Widdrington, who had been appointed to that office. During the remainder of Oliver Cromwell’s protectorate, Whitelocke Appears to have been in and out of favour with him, as he more or less supported his measures. The last instance of Oliver’s favour to him, was his signing a warrant for a patent to make him a viscount, but Whitelocke did not think it convenient to accept of this honour, although he had received his writ of summons as one of the lords of the “other house,” by the title of Bulstrode lord Whitelocke. M,^ Jc j:&&&&<<

Richard, the new protector, made him one of the keepers of the great seal, but this ceased when the council of officers had determined to displace Richard, on which occasion Whitelocke became one of their council of state. Puring this confusion, he was accused of holding a correspondence with sir Edward Hyde, and other friends of Charles II. which he positively denied, and by joining in the votes for renouncing the pretended title of Charles Stuart, and the whole line of king James, and of every other person as a single person pretending to the government of these realms, as well as by other measures, he endeavoured to prove his attachment to the republican cause. In the rest of his conduct he seems, even by his own account, to have been irresolute, and inconsistent, or if consistent in any thing, it was in so yielding to circuraf^ances as not to appear very obnoxious to either party. As he had, however, attached himself so long to the enemies of the king, the utmost he could expect was to be allowed to sink into obscurity. Yet it was by a small majority only that he was included in the act of pardon and oblivion which passed after the restoration. When he had obtained this, he was admitted into the presence of Charles II. who received him very graciously, and dismissed him in these extraordinary words; “Mr. Whitelocke, go into the country; don’t trouble yourself any more about state affairs; and take care of your wife and your sixteen children.” This must have mortified a man who had acted so conspicuous a part in state affairs. He took his majesty’s advice, however, and spent the remaining fifteen years of hi$ life at Chilton-park in Wiltshire, and died there January 28, 1676. He was interred in the church of Fawley in Buckinghamshire.

Mr. Whitelocke was thrice married, first to Miss Bennet, of the city of London, by whom he had a son James, who | was settled at Trumpington near Cambridge, and left two sons, both of whom died unmarried; His second wife was Frances, daughter of lord Willoughby of Parhii’m, by whom he had nine children. His third wife was Mrs. Wilson, a widow, whose maaiden name was Carleton. She survived him, and by her also he had several children. The eldest of this last marriage inherited Chiltbn Patfe. J

The editor of his “Memorials” give* him this character. “He not only served the state in several stations and plaices of the highest trust and importance botn at *Wn‘e and in foreign countries, and acquitted himself with success and reputation answerable to each respective character; but likewise conversed with books, and made himself a large provision from his studies and contemplation. Like that noble Roman, Portius Cato, as described by Nepos, he was `Reipublicae peritus, et jurisconsultus, et’nfttgnus iniperator, et probabilis orator, cupidissimus titerafttuf:’ a statesman and learned in the law, a great commander, an eminent speaker in parliament, and an exquisite scholar. He had all along so much business, one would not imagine he ever had leisure for books yet who considers his studies might believe he had been always shut up with his friend Selden, and the dust of action never fallen on his gown. His relation to the public was such throughout all the revolutions, that few mysteries of state could be to him any secret. Nor was the felicity of his pen less considerable than his knowledge of affairs, or did less service to the cause he espoused. So we find the words apt and proper for the occasion; the style clear, easy, and wichout the least force or affectation of any kind, as is shewn in his speeches, his narratives, his descriptions, and in every place where the subject deserves the least care or consideration.” Lord Clarendon has left this testimony in favour of Whitelocke: whom, numbering among his early friends in life, he calls, a man of eminent parts and great learning out of his profession, and in his profession of signal reputation. “And though,” says the noble historian, “he did afterwards bow his knee to Baal, and so swerved from his allegiance, it was with less rancour and malice than other men. He never led, but followed; and was rather carried away with the torrent than swam with the stream; and failed through those infirmities, which less than a general defection and a prosperous rebellion could never have discovered.” Lord Clarendon has elsewhere described him, as “from | the beginning concurring with the parliament, without any inclinations to their persons or principles and,” says he, “he had the same reasons afterwards not to separate from them. All his estate was in their quarters and he had a nature, that could not bear or submit to be undone ‘though to his friends, who were commissioners for the king, he used his old openness, and professed his detestation of all the proceedings of his party, yet could not leave them.’

The first edition of his “Memorials of the English Affairs,” was published in 1682, and the second, with many additions and a better Lulex, in 1732: called “An historical Account of what passed from the beginning of the reign of king Charles the First to king Charles the Second his happy Jlestauration; containing the public transactions civil and military, together with the private consultations and secrets of the Cabinet,” in folio. Besides these memorials, he wrote also “Memorials of the English Affairs, from the supposed expedition of Brute to this island, to the end of the reign of king James the First. Published from his original manuscript, with some account of his life and writings, by William Penn, esq. governor of Pennsylvania; and a preface by James Welwood, M.D. 1709,” folio. There are many speeches and discourses of Mr. Whitelocke to be found in his “Memorials of English Affairs,” and in other collections. Oldmixon, who stands at the head of infamous historians, has drawn a comparison between Whitelocke and Clarendon; there is also an anonymous pamphlet entitled “Clarendon and Whitelocke farther compared,” which was written by Mr. John Davys, some time of Harthall, Oxford. It ought to be remarked that our author’s “Memorials” are his Diary, and that he occasionally entered facts in it when they came to his knowledge but not always on those days in which they were transacted. This has led his readers into some anachronisms. It has been remarked also that his “Memorials” would have been much more valuable, if his wife had not burnt many of his papers. As they are, they contain a vast mass of curious information, and are written with impartiality. 1


Biog. Brit.-^His “Memorials” and Swedish Embassy.


Ttsq?i * d i




- -^ J odw ‘Ijpanft^Ih o?

vnfTT T^

Vol Um E,

Those marked thus* are new., Those marked f are re- written, with additions.


-J^Vall, John 1

* William 3

^Wallace, sir Williato.:; -,-U rt

fWaller, Edmund 6

* si r William 25

fWallis, John 28

* John, botanist 47

*Walmesley, Charles 48

Walpole, sir Robert 49

* Horatio, lord Walpole 55

* Horace, lordOrford 56

*Walsh, Peter 67

William 68

fWalsingham, Francis 69

t- T Thomas 78

*Walstein, Albert ib.

Walton, Brian 80

* George 84

Isaac 85

*Wandesford, Christopher. 91 fWanley, Humphrey 93

Wansleb, John Michael 96

*Warburton, John 97

William. 100

fWari, Edward.

f John. . .W;7^ 123

f Samuel Vi^ 127

Seth jastf.Mtf o. 129

*- Thomas ^*vs<s^ 136

fWare, James ^ f.^ fi |i^. *.j. 137 * Robert,. ,. . . r 145

Warsrentin, Peter 146

+War!am,WilHam. . ib.

^Waring, Edward 152

t Warner, Ferdinando 155

* Dr. John I5f

* T John 158

* Joseph 1G2

* Richard 163

* William 164

fWarton, Thomas 167

* Joseph 185

Warwick, Philip 196

*Wase, Christopher 199

*Washine^on, George 201

*Wasse, Joseph 210

*Waterhouse, Edward 212

fWaterland, Daniel 213

Watson, David 219