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eldest son of Thomas Digges, just mentioned, was born in 1583, and

, eldest son of Thomas Digges, just mentioned, was born in 1583, and entered a gentleman-commoner of University-college, in Oxford, 1598. Having taken the degree of B. A. in 1601, he studied for some time at the inns of court; and then travelled beyond sea, having before received the honour of knighthood. On his return he led a retired life till 1618, when he was sent by James I. ambassador to the tzar, or emperor of Russia. Two years after he was commissioned with sir Maurice Abbot to go to Holland, in order to obtain the restitution of goods taken by the Dutch from some Englishmen in the East Indies. He was a member of the third parliament of James I. which met at Westminster, Jan. 30, 1621 but was so rule compliant with the court measures, as to be ranked among those whom the king called ill-tempered spirits, he was likewise a member of the first parliament of Charles 1. in 1626; and not only joined with those eminent patriots, who were for bringing Villiers duke of Buckingham to an account, but was indeed one of the most active managers in that affair, for which he was committed to the Tower, though soon released. He was again member of the third parliament of Charles I. in 1628, being one of the knights of the shire for Kent; but seemed to be more moderate in his opposition to the court than he was in the two last, and voted for the dispatch of the subsidies, yet opposed all attempts which he conceived to be hostile to the liberties of his country, or the constitution of parliament. Thus, when sir John Finch, speaker of the house of commons, on June 5, 1628, interrupted sir John Elliot in the house, saying, “There is a command laid upon me, that I must command you not to proceed” sir Dudley Digges vented his uneasiness in these words “I am as much grieved as ever. Must we not proceed Let us sit in silence we are miserable we know not what to do.” In April of the same year, he opened the grand conference between the commons and lords, “concerning the liberty of the person of every freeman,” with a speech, in which he made many excellent observations, tending to establish the liberties of the subject. In all his parliamentary proceedings, he appeared of such consequence, that the court thought it worth their while to gain him over; and accordingly they tempted him with the advantageous and honourable office of master of the rolls, of which he had a reversionary grant Nov. 29, 1630, and became possessed of it April 20, 1636, upon the death of sir Julius Csesar. But he did not enjoy it quite three years; for he died March 8, 1639, and his death was reckoned among the public calamities of those times. He was buried at Chilham church, in Kent, in which parish he had a good estate, and built a noble house.