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an English nobleman of great parts, was son of the preceding, and

, an English nobleman of great parts, was son of the preceding, and born at Madrid, in October, 1612. In 1626 he was entered of Magdalencollege, in Oxford, where he lived in great familiarity with the well-known Peter Heylin, and gave manifest proofs of those great endowments for which he was afterwards so distinguished. In 1636 he was created M. A. there, just after Charles 1. had left Oxford; where he had been spendidly entertained by the university, and particularly at St. John’s college, by Dr. Laud, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury. In the beginning of the long parliament he was disaffected to the court, and appointed one of the committee to prepare a charge against the earl of Strafford, in 1640 but afterwards would not consent to the bill, “not only,” as he said, “because he was unsatisfied in the matter of law, but for that he was more unsatisfied in the matter of fact.” From that time he became a declared enemy to the parliament, and shewed his dislike of their proceedings in a warm speech against them, which he made at the passing' of the bill of attainder against the said earl, in April 1641. This speech was condemned to be burnt, and himself in June following, expelled the house of commons. In Jan. 1642, he went on a message from his majesty to Kingston-upon-Thames, to certain gentlemen there, with a coach and six horses. This they improved into a warlike appearance; and accordingly he was accused of high treason in parliament, upon pretence of his levying war at Kingston-upon-Thames. Clarendon mentions “this severe prosecution of a young nobleman of admirable parts and eminent hopes, in so implacable a manner, as a most pertinent instance of the tyranny and injustice of those times.” Finding what umbrage he had given to the parliament, and how odious they had made him to the people, he obtained leave, and a licence from his majesty, to transport himself into Holland; whence he wrote several letters to his friends, and one to the queen, which was carried by a perfidious confidant to the parliament, and opened. In a secret expedition afterwards to the king, he was taken by one of the parliament’s ships, and carried to Hull; but being in such a disguise that not his nearest relation could have known him, he brought himself off very dextrously by his artful management of the governor, sir John Hotham. In 1643 he was made one of the secretaries of state to the king, and high steward of the university of Oxford, in the room of William lord Say. In the latter end of 1645 he went into Ireland, and exposed himself to great hazards of his life, for the service of the king; from thence he passed over to Jersey, where the prince of Wales was, and after that into France, in order to transact some important matters with the queen and cardinal Mazarin. Upon the death of the king, he was exempted from pardon by the parliament, and obliged to live in exile till the restoration of Charles II. when he was restored to all he had lost, and made knight of the garter. He became very active in public affairs, spoke frequently in parliament, and distinguished himself by his enmity to Clarendon while chancellor. He died at Chelsea, March 20, 1676, after succeeding his father as earl of Bristol. Many of his speeches and letters are still extant, to he found in our historical collections and he wrote “Elvira,” a comedy, &c. There are also letters of his cousin sir Kenelm Digby, against popery, mentioned in our account of sir Kenelm yet afterwards he became a papist himself; which inconsistencies in his character have been neatly depicted by lord Orford. “He was,” says he, “a singular person, whose life was one contradiction. He wrote against popery, and embraced it; he was a zealous opposer of the court, and a sacrifice for it; was conscientiously converted in the midst of his prosecution of lord Strafford, and was most unconscientiously a prosecutor of lord Clarendon. With great parts he always hurt himself and his friends; with romantic bravery, he was always an unsuccessful commander. He spoke for the test act, though a Roman catholic, and addicted himself to astrology on the birth-day of true philosophy.