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.

sixth earl of Dorset and Middlesex, a celebrated wit and poet, was

, sixth earl of Dorset and Middlesex, a celebrated wit and poet, was descended in a direct line from Thomas lord Buckhurst, and born Jan. 24, 1637. He had his education under a private tutor; after which, making the tour of Italy, he returned to England a little before the Restoration. He was chosen in the first parliament that was called after that event for East Grinstead in Sussex, made a great figure as a speaker, and was caressed by Charles II.; but, having as yet no turn to business, declined all public employment. He was, in truth, like Villiers, Rochester, Sedley, &c. one of the wits or libertines of Charles’s court; and thought of nothing so much as feats of gallantry, which sometimes carried him to inexcusable excesses . He went a volunteer in the first Dutch war in 1665; and, the night before the engagement, composed the celebrated song “To all you Ladies now at land,” which is generally esteemed the happiest of his productions; but there is reason to think it was not originally composed, but only revised on this occasion. Soon after he was made a gentleman of the bed-chamber; and, on account of his distinguished politeness, sent by the king upon several short embassies of compliment into France. Upon the death of his uncle James Cranfield, earl of Middlesex, in 1674, that estate devolved on him; and he succeeded likewise to the title by creation in 1675. His father dying two years after, he succeeded him in his estate and honours. He utterly disliked, and openly discountenanced, the violent measures of James II's reign; and early engaged for the prince of Orange, by whom he was made lord chamberlain of the household, and taken into the privy-council. In 1692, he attended king William to the congress at the Hague, and was near losing his life in the passage. They went on board Jan. 10, in a very severe season; and, when they were a few leagues off Goree, having by bad weather been four days at sea, the king was so impatient to go on shore, that he took a boat; when, a thick fog arising soon after, they were so closely surrounded with ice, as not to be able either to make the shore, or get back to the ship. In this condition they remained twenty-two hours, almost despairing of life; and the cold was so bitter, that they could hardly speak or stand at their landing; and lord Dorset contracted a lameness, which continued for some time. In 1698, his health insensibly declining, he retired from public affairs; only now and then appearing at the council-board. He died at Bun Jan. 19, 1705-6, after having married two wives; by the latter of whom be had a daughter, and an only son, Lionel CranfieKl Sackvilie, who was created a duke in 1720, and died Oct. 9, 1765.