WOBO: Search for words and phrases in the texts here...

Enter either the ID of an entry, or one or more words to find. The first match in each paragraph is shown; click on the line of text to see the full paragraph.

Currently only Chalmers’ Biographical Dictionary is indexed, terms are not stemmed, and diacritical marks are retained.

only son of William, first earl of Northampton, by Elizabeth, sole

, only son of William, first earl of Northampton, by Elizabeth, sole daughter and heiress of sir John Spencer, alderman of London, was born in 1601. He was made knight of the bath in 1616, when Charles, duke of York (afterwards Charles I.) was created prince of Wales; with whom he became a great favourite. In 1622 he accompanied him into Spain, in quality of master of his robes and wardrobe; and had the honour to deliver all his presents, which amounted, according to computation, to 64,000l. At the coronation of that prince he attended as master of the robes; and in 1639, waited on his majesty in his expedition against the Scots. He was likewise one of those noblemen, who, in May 1641, resolved to defend the protestant religion, expressed in the doctrine of the church of England, and his majesty’s royal person, honour, and estate as also the power and privilege of parliaments, and the lawful rights and liberties of the subject. In 1642 he waited upon his majesty at York, and after the king set up his standard at Nottingham, was one of the first who appeared in arms for him. He did him signal services, supporting his cause with great zeal in the counties of Warwick, Stafford, and Northamptom. He was killed, March 19, 1643, in a battle fought on Hopton-heath, near Stafford; in which, though the enemy was routed, and much of their artillery taken, yet his lordship’s horse being unfortunately shot under him, he was somehow left en­“compassed by them. When he was on his feet, he killed with his own hand the colonel of foot, who first came up to him; notwithstanding which, after his head-piece was struck off with the butt-end of a musquet, they offered him quarter, which he refused, saying,” that he scorned to accept quarter from such base rogues and rebels as they were:“on this he was killed by a blow with an halbert on the hinder part of his head, receiving at the same time another deep wound in his face. The enemy refused to deliver up his body to the young earl of Northampton, unless he would return, in exchange for it, all the ammunition, prisoners, and cannon he had taken in the late battle: but at last it was delivered, and buried in Allhallows church in Derby, in the same vault with his relation the old countess of Shrewsbury. His lordship married Mary, daughter of sir Francis Beaumont, knt. by whom he had six sons and two daughters. The sons are all said to have inherited their father’s courage, loyalty, and virtue particularly sir William, the third son, who had the command of a regiment, and performed considerable service at the taking of Banbury, leading his men on to three attacks, during which he had two horses shot under him. Upon the surrender of the town and castle, he was made lieutenantgovernor under his father; and on the 19th of July, 1644, when the parliament’s forces came before the town, he returned answer to their summons;” That he kept the castle for his majesty, and as long as one man was left alive in it, willed them not to expect to have it delivered:“also on the 16th of September, they sending him another summons, he made answer,” That he had formerly answered them, and wondered they should send again." He was so vigilant in his station, that he countermined the enemy eleven times, and during the siege, which held thirteen weeks, never went into bed, but by his example so animated the garrison, that though they had but two horses left uneaten, they would never suffer a summons to be sent to them, after the preceding answer was delivered. At length, his brother the earl of Northampton raised the siege on the 26th of October, the very day of the month, on which both town and castle had been surrendered to the king two years before. Sir William continued governor of Banbury, and performed many signal services for the king, till his majesty left Oxford, and the whole kingdom was submitting to the parliament; and then, on the 8th of May, 1646, surrendered upon honourable terms. In 1648, he was major-general of the king’s forces at Colchester, where he was so ni'ich taken notice of for his admirable behaviour, that Oliver Cromwell called him the sober young man, and the godly cavalier. At the restoration of king Charles II. he was made one of the privy-council, and master-general of the ordnance; and died October 19, 16h3, in the 39th year of his age. There is an epitaph to his memory in the church of Compton- Winyate. Henry, the sixth and youngest, who was afterwards bishop of London, is the subject of the next article.

, a statesman of some note, was the only son of William Hamilton, esq. an advocate of the court of session

, a statesman of some note, was the only son of William Hamilton, esq. an advocate of the court of session in Scotland, who after the union came to London, and was admitted to the English bar. His son was born in Lincoln’s-inn Jan. 28, 1728-9, and was educated at Winchester school, and at Oriel college, Oxford, where he was admitted a gentleman commoner, March 1, 1744-5. During his residence at Oxford, it is supposed he wrote those poems which were printed in 1750, 4to> for private distribution only, but have lately been published by Mr. Malone. On leaving Oxford, he became a member of Lincoln’s-inn, with a view to study the law; but on his father’s death in 1754, he betook hifnself to a political life, and in the same year was chosen, member of parliament for Petersfield in Hampshire. His first effort at parliamentary eloquence was made Nov. 13, 1755, when, to use the words of Waller respecting Denham, “he broke out, like the Irish rebellion, threescore thousand strong-, when nobody was aware, or in the least suspected it.” Certainly no first speech in parliament ever produced such an effect, or acquired such eulogies, both within and without the house of commons. Of this speech, however, no copy remains. For many years it was supposed to have been his only attempt, and hence the familiar name of Single-speech was fixed upon him; but he spoke a second time, Feb. 1756, and such was the admiration which followed this display of his talents, that Mr, P\>jc, then one of the principal secretaries of state, procured him to be appointed, in April of the same year, one of the lords of trade. At this board he sat five years without ever exerting his oratorical talents; and in 1761 accepted the office of principal secretary to George earl of Halifax, then appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland. In the Irish parliament, as he filled an office of responsibility, it was necessary for him to support the measures of administration; and accordingly in 1761 and 1762, he made five speeches on various occasions, which fully gratified the expectations of his auditors. Mr. Hamilton continued secretary to the succeeding lord lieutenant, Hugh earl of Northumberland, in 1763, but it is believed his exertions in that session were less splendid and less frequent; and before it concluded, on some disgust he resigned his office. On his return to England, and for a long time afterwards, he meditated taking an active part in the political warfare of the house of commons, but he never again addressed the chair, though he was chosen into every new parliament that was summoned from that time till May 1796, a little before his death. In this period, the only office hg filled was that of chancellor of the exchequer in Ireland, which he held from Sept. 1763 to April 1784. During this interval he was one of those on whom common rumour bestowed the authorship of Junius’s letters, and perhaps never was any rumour so completely devoid of a probable foundation. He died at his house in Upper Brook-street, July 16, 1796, and was buried in the chancel vault of the church of St. Martin in the Fields. In 1803, Mr. Malona published his works under the title of “Parliamentary Logic; to which are subjoined two Speeches delivered in the House of Commons in Ireland, and other pieces,” 8vo f with a life of the author prefixed. These speeches give us but a faint idea of the splendid abilities which once so enraptured his hearers, nor does his poetry entitle him to rank above the elegant versifiers of his time. His Parliamentary Logic“is a performance of a more singular cast. It consists of a string of maxims, or rules, for managing a debate in parliament, in which the author appears serious, else we should have supposed parliamentary logic” to imply a ridicule on the language of that house. These maxims, however, seem admirably qualified to make a partizan; although we much doubt whether they have a tendency to make that more valuable character, an honest man.