CARLETON, Guy (Guido) (1605-85)

CARLETON, Guy (Guido) (1605–85)

cons. 11 Feb. 1672 bp. of BRISTOL; transl. 8 Jan. 1679 bp. of CHICHESTER

First sat 21 Feb. 1673; last sat 2 July 1685

b. 1605, 6th s. of Lancelot Carleton (1549–1615) of Penrith, Cumb. and Eleanor, da. of ?Kirkby.1 educ. Free Sch. Carlisle; Queen’s, Oxf. matric. 1625, BA 1626, MA 1629, proctor 1635, DD 1660. m. unknown, 3da. (at least 2 others d.v.p.).2 d. 6 July 1685. admon. to da. Hester, w. of George Vane, esq.3

Chap. to Charles II 1660.

Rect. Caythorpe, Lincs. 1637,4 Sywouldby, Leics. 1638, Arthuret, Cumb. 1639,5 Wolsingham, co. Dur. 1671–9;6 vic. Randworth, Norf. 1641, Bucklebury, Berks. 1648,7 1660; chap. in western army 1645; dean Carlisle 1660–72; preb. Durham 1660–85.

Sub-commr. to survey Rose Castle, Durham 1671.

Also associated with: Brampton Foot, Gilsland, Cumb.; Wroot, Lincs.

Carleton’s father was a member of a Cumbrian gentry family whose relocation to Ireland in the early seventeenth century founded the Anglo-Irish branch of the Carleton family.8 Guy may have been related to George Carleton (1558–1628), bishop of Chichester, but no such connection is mentioned in the extensive genealogy supplied by Collins Peerage for his relative and namesake Guy Carleton, Baron Dorchester. Three of Carleton’s brothers died on active service in the Civil Wars.9 He himself also joined the royalist army, as a chaplain. After the Civil Wars, under the patronage of the Gravets of Hartley Court in Berkshire, he appears to have satisfied the assembly of divines in 1648 for a Berkshire living, but was ejected by the triers sometime before 1656.10 He is said to have become a royalist conspirator, to have been taken prisoner and to have been condemned to death before escaping to join the court in exile.11 The ecclesiastical planning lists drawn up before the Restoration by Edward Hyde, later earl of Clarendon, included him as one of the ‘Worthy men to be preferred to dignities in the Church’.12

For Carleton the Restoration signalled only the temporary defeat of his political enemies; he remained on battle alert for the rest of his life. His ability to ascribe political and religious motives to any opposition (personal or political) led to a series of bellicose outpourings addressed to his archbishops and the secretaries of state. These letters are marked by persistent themes of plotting, treachery and sedition. On 19 Dec. 1663 he wrote to Sir William Blakiston (later Member for Durham) with information on the ‘late intended massacre of the king’ that was evident in the ‘peremptory carriage and proud language’ of the opposition.13 When disappointed with the response to his intelligence, Carleton accused Blakiston of insufficient zeal against a suspected member of the Derwentdale plot.14 In October 1664 he provided Secretary Henry Bennet, later earl of Arlington, with an account of the Durham assizes and recommendations to the bench.15 His interference continued throughout the 1660s. He accused John Cosin, bishop of Durham, of seizing the estate of the attainted Sir Henry Vane, of packing juries with his ‘creatures’ and of doing too little to combat ‘fanatics’ throughout the north.16 Carleton may have had a personal interest in the fate of the Vane estate: his daughter Hester later married Vane’s nephew.17 By November 1665 he had elaborated his complaint into a lengthy accusation of Cosin’s ‘usurpation of his majesty’s rights’ in the exercise of his episcopal and palatine authority.18 Carleton and Cosin were also at odds over the strength of nonconformity: in December 1668 Cosin’s enquiries numbered one conventicle at 500; Carleton reported the same congregation as 3,000 strong, including the wife of the mayor of Newcastle.19

Carleton’s appetite for a fight never abated, whether over material affairs or his perception of political loyalty. By November 1671 he was in dispute with the dean and chapter of Durham for rejecting a royal nominee (Robert Collingwood), and he threatened to make considerable political capital at court over the Durham chapter’s ‘dishonourable and dishonest treatment’.20 On 10 Nov. 1671 he left Durham for London, claiming that the king had sent for him. Locally it was suspected that Carleton believed Cosin was dying and was hurrying to London to secure the imminent vacancy.21 In reality the death of Gilbert Ironside, of Bristol, meant that he was about to be appointed to that see. Despite his elevation, the dispute over Collingwood rumbled on. By the time that Carleton had been consecrated bishop of Bristol, William Sancroft, the future archbishop of Canterbury, was fully aware that Carleton had behaved badly at Durham and that the archdeacon of Northumberland (Isaac Basire) was ‘scandalised at his [Carleton’s] passion and unhandsome expressions of it’.22

Carleton could not have been elevated to a more polarized bishopric. Bristol cathedral was already in dispute with the corporation over ‘encroachments’ on its jurisdiction, a quarrel exacerbated by the corporation’s ownership of the advowsons of many city livings (consequently conferring power over their incumbents). Further, the common council acted ex officio as justices for the city.23 Carleton ‘began briskly’ against Dissenters, but his ability to achieve his aims was hampered by his willingness to become involved, alongside Henry Somerset, 3rd marquess of Worcester (later duke of Beaufort), in factional rivalries within the corporation.24

On 21 Feb. 1673 Carleton took his seat in the House, 17 days after the start of the session. His parliamentary career, unlike his political activity outside the House, is difficult to evaluate because of the paucity of sources recording his behaviour in divisions, debates and committees. Of 12 parliamentary sessions held during his episcopate he attended 10, missing only the very short sessions of March 1679 and March 1681. In his first parliamentary session he attended nearly two-thirds of all sittings and was named to six select committees, including one in which he had a clear personal interest, the committee on the bill involving the dean and chapter of Bristol and George Berkeley, 9th Baron Berkeley. After attending the adjournment of 29 Mar. he embarked on his primary visitation.25 He was back at the House on 20 Oct. when Parliament was prorogued and again on 27 Oct. for the following, brief session; attending every sitting, he was named only to the sessional committee for petitions.

On 7 Jan. 1674, Carleton attended for the start of the next session and thereafter was present at 60 per cent of sittings. He was named to two select committees and to the sessional committees for privileges and petitions, sitting until the penultimate day of the session in February 1674. He then returned to Bristol, whence he complained to Secretary Williamson that he needed a commendam because his episcopal revenue was ‘scandalous’.26

Carleton’s ‘very cold reception’ on his arrival in Bristol in December 1674 was in marked contrast to the welcome afforded the mayor, who was greeted by more than 70 horse.27 This unpopularity stemmed from his campaign against Dissenters. Appointing attorney John Hellier to his personal staff, he recruited informers, attended raids on meeting houses in person (on one occasion baiting a nonconformist minister ‘with virulent language’), intervened in the legal process to prevent bail and sat with the magistrates on the bench, hectoring counsel, abusing Dissenters’ legal representatives and threatening the magistrates.28 In February 1675, he led a raid on a meeting of Independents.29 The following month, reports reached London that he had been ‘very vigorous in his proceedings against the conventiclers’. Tensions worsened after the Independent leader John Thompson died in custody. Carleton authorized a published ‘narrative’ to counter ‘false reports’ that he had insisted on Thompson’s incarceration in ‘filthy’ conditions, asserting instead that Thompson had died of overeating.30 With 1,500 Bristol citizens under indictment, Carleton worried the king and provoked fierce political opposition from the mayor, Sir Robert Cann.31 James Stuart, duke of York, persuaded the king to pardon Bristol Dissenters, while Secretary Henry Coventry advised Carleton to adopt a more lenient approach to those who were ‘modest and quiet’ in order to justify severity to the ‘insolent’.

Over the winter of 1674–5 Carleton was probably involved in the pre-sessional meetings of bishops and privy counsellors ordered by the king to develop proposals for ‘some things that might unite and best pacify the minds of people’.32 He attended the House on 13 Apr. 1675 for the first day of the new session and was present for three-quarters of all sittings. He was again named to two select committees and to the sessional committees for petitions and privileges.

Returning to Bristol, Carleton remained in belligerent mood; in August 1675 he wrote to Sir John Nicholas about his latest differences with the town clerk and aldermen: he would accept mediation only if ‘they act nothing against the king and the Church’.33 In September an inaccurate report of the death of William Lucy, bishop of St Davids, led to a rumour that Carleton would be translated there in order to enable John Tillotson, later archbishop of Canterbury, to replace him in Bristol, the latter’s temperament being thought to be more suited to the volatile political and religious climate there ‘than the hot spirit of the present bishop’.34 Tillotson was reluctant to accept elevation to so poor a diocese and in any case Lucy survived for another two years. Carleton was thus still ensconced in Bristol at the time of the contested Dorset by-election of October 1675. He intervened in support of the court candidate, John Digby, later 3rd earl of Bristol, against the Presbyterian Thomas Moore, who was backed by Anthony Ashley Cooper, earl of Shaftesbury. Carleton circulated the clergy with propaganda against Moore, claiming that the latter had ‘dissenting principles … as wide as the other’s loyalty’. As Moore’s success would threaten the interests of king and Church, it was Carleton’s duty to instruct the clergy not only to vote for Digby but also to ‘engage what freeholders you can to vote with you’ out of ‘duty and interest’. Digby secured a landslide victory, though it is likely that this should be attributed more to his family’s local prominence than to Carleton’s intervention.35

Carleton returned to the House for the second day of the brief autumn 1675 parliamentary session. He attended 80 per cent of sittings but was not nominated to any select committees. By November 1676 he was complaining at length to Heneage Finch, later earl of Nottingham, of Bristol’s negative example to the west country as a whole: the city was ‘the standard by which the fanatic party all take their measures so that if faction prosper here the dependent parts influenced by it clap their wings and crow victory’. Decrying the lack of action by his predecessor, Ironside, he claimed that regional Dissent had developed into a hydra ‘that (Goliath-like) … durst defy … both king and Church’s authority’. Although he had been advised ‘to sit still and … enjoy my quiet as he before me had done’ and although he had ‘one foot in the grave and the other upon the brink’, he could not ignore his duty. Bristol, he claimed, was ‘in a good condition’ until he had had to make a visit to Durham. On his return the situation had deteriorated to such an extent that it ‘needs a stronger hand than mine’. Accordingly he sought the support of the Privy Council to instruct the mayor of Bristol to enforce the Five Mile Act and to inform him that his activities would be reported to the king by Carleton himself: ‘A paper bullet … will do execution enough without further sort of powder’.36 Later in November he was regaling Gilbert Sheldon, archbishop of Canterbury, with details of John Jekyll (1611–90), a London religious radical who, Carleton claimed, advised the politically disaffected in the city.37

Carleton was back at the House on 15 Feb. 1677 for the start of the new session and attended nearly half of all sittings. In what appears to have been his most active parliamentary session, he was named to 21 select committees (17 on private bills) and to 2 sessional committees. During the long adjournment of the House between May 1677 and January 1678he continued to be engaged in disputes in his diocese. In September 1677 Samuel Crossman, a Bristol prebendary (later dean), described the way in which Carleton had inflamed local relationships. He had created a difficult (and probably unjustified) jurisdictional dispute with the city by forbidding a layman living within the precinct of the cathedral to pay his rates and had then made matters worse by reflecting publicly on the long-standing Bristol custom of praying for the magistrates, mere artisans such as ‘coopers and heelmakers before the most dignified persons in the Church’.38 On 5 Nov. 1677 he was snubbed by Bristol grandees who absented themselves from the customary cathedral worship and attended a chapel outside the town. Even Peter Mews, bishop of Bath and Wells, who clearly believed that Carleton was technically correct, had to acknowledge that the latter had behaved provocatively: ‘upon the whole matter I could wish my brother had not touched so hard upon that string in a place of so unmusical a temper’.39

The dispute with the corporation continued to fester. By March 1678 Sir John Knight (by Carleton’s account ‘the great patron of fanatic preachers’ and responsible for the existence of ‘this monstrous many-headed schism’) had composed a litany of the ‘arbitrary and illegal acts’ committed by the bishop. According to Carleton, Knight was ridiculed when he attempted to present his grievances to the Commons shortly after the commencement of the 1678 session, so he was forced to resort instead to a complaint to Sancroft and the threat of a legal action. Carleton remained belligerent, writing contemptuously of his opponents as ‘a peddling pack of as unworthy mechanics as any part of this nation affords’. He did seek Sancroft’s assistance in resolving the dispute but wished for a solution on his own terms, imploring Sancroft ‘for God’s sake allow them not their own way’.40 By 29 June 1678, Carleton boasted that the mayor and aldermen had capitulated and would attend cathedral worship and that within six months he would have rid Bristol of Dissenters: ‘none of that kind of vermin shall dare to be seen within the smoke of this city’. He was mistaken. In September Crossman reported that ‘we continue still under very ill habits, and our distempers rather shift than heal’.41

Having unsuccessfully petitioned for a translation to St Davids at the death of Lucy in 1677, Carleton was prompted by rumours of the imminent death of Isaac Barrow, bishop of St Asaph, to ask for that see instead in September 1678.42 The rumours proved to be inaccurate but Sancroft and Henry Compton, bishop of London, were nevertheless keen to remove Carleton from Bristol.43 The opportune death of Ralph Brideoake, of Chichester, on 5 Oct. 1678 provided an opening to translate Carleton to a less contentious see.

On 21 Oct. 1678, Carleton, still technically bishop of Bristol, attended the House for the start of the new session. He was present for 45 per cent of sittings and was named to one select committee and to all three standing committees. For two weeks in November he was confined to bed and unable to attend; he nevertheless composed a valedictory account of his political efforts in Bristol, where he had ‘made the seat easy and quiet’ for his successor.44 His election to Chichester was confirmed on 13 Dec. 1678. On 27 Dec. Carleton attended the House but, whether by accident or design, seems to have been absent for the vote that day on the committal of Thomas Osborne, earl of Danby (later duke of Leeds).

On 5 Feb. 1679 Carleton was installed in Chichester by proxy. The general election campaigns were already in full swing and it is unclear what if any influence Carleton could have exercised, but in Chichester as in Bristol he proved to be an ardent opponent of nonconformists. Once again, he complained that the local justices were reluctant to implement the penal laws, although he himself created obstacles to conformity by moving the Sunday sermon from the body of the cathedral to the choir, thus severely limiting the space available for the congregation.45 Finally, he soon found himself, as in Bristol, involved in a jurisdictional dispute with the city over the status of the cathedral precinct and the liability of its residents to pay rates to the parish (and subdeanery) of St Peter the Great; once more he identified the vestrymen who disagreed with him as ‘a pack of fanatics’.46

Carleton did not attend the first Exclusion Parliament until mid-March 1679. He was present at 46 per cent of sittings in the substantive session, beginning 15 Mar., and was named to three select committees and to the sessional committees for privileges and petitions. On 23 Apr. he attended the House for the last time that session, missing the last month of business. Ten days later he entered his proxy in favour of Peter Mews (vacated at the end of the session). At a call of the House on 9 May he was registered as excused attendance.

Following the dissolution of Parliament on 12 July 1679 and the calling of another general election, Carleton again went into battle against nonconformity, defining himself as a member of the ‘honest party that love our king, Church and country’. He hoped to block the re-election of the radical nonconformist John Braman by means of excommunication, which would (or so Carleton thought) render ‘him incapable of being chosen, and them ashamed that appear for him’. The difficulty with this strategy was that Braman’s residence fell within a metropolitan peculiar under the authority of the archbishop of Canterbury. Carleton sought Sancroft’s authority to proceed and by 23 July 1679 it was reported that Braman had been excommunicated on the grounds of non-attendance at church. A correspondent of the exclusionist Thomas Jervoise wondered, ‘of what validity that will be to exclude him from the Parliament, I know not, but believe it will not be without controversy’. He went on to warn Jervoise that the bishops were hoping to use excommunication generally as a way ‘to free the House of Commons from some opposites to the court’.47 Sir Ralph Verney similarly believed that Braman’s excommunication would be followed by others, but he was convinced that the Commons would not permit so obvious a political ploy to be successful, ‘for then the bishops (by that trick) may keep out twenty or thirty such men’.48 Presumably Verney was right – or the reports of actual excommunication were inaccurate – for Braman became an active Member of the second Exclusion Parliament.

Carleton also supplied Secretary Coventry with information regarding the issuing of electoral writs in Chichester, over which, he claimed, the high sheriff and ‘that grand villain’ Braman had acted illegally. He continued to disseminate propaganda against exclusionists, claiming that their adherents were now boasting that ‘they have now such choice of members for this approaching Parliament that will not be sent back again by the king as the last have been but such as will do their work’.49 When Braman was elected, Carleton sent Coventry details of electoral interference by Ford Grey, 3rd Baron Grey of Warke (later earl of Tankerville), and by ‘the fanatic party’.50 Not content with intervening in parliamentary elections, he also monitored elections to convocation to ensure the appointment of politically loyal clergy.51

In February 1680 Carleton sent Sancroft details of the reception of James Scott, duke of Monmouth reception in Chichester. Monmouth wore a scarlet suit and cloak, ‘which the great men petitioning for Parliament called the red flag’ (i.e. a symbol of defiance), and was attended by ‘a rabble of brutes’ some 50 or 60 strong. Carleton, who refused to wait on the duke, reported that his failure to ‘bow my knee to the people’s idol’ resulted in an attack on his house by a mob insisting that ‘the bishop was an old Popish rogue’. Whilst he was pleased that the gentlemen of the city also refused to wait on Monmouth, he was dismayed that the duke was welcomed by ‘the great men of our cathedral’ and by James Butler, the Member for Arundel.52 Despite this setback, by the following month Carleton professed himself delighted in the attack on Dissenters’ morale, ‘since his majesty began to act like himself, like a king, and to let the people know they are but subjects’.53

In the meantime Carleton had begun yet another local dispute, this time with his diocesan chancellor, Thomas Briggs. On or about 9 Jan. 1680 Briggs complained that Carleton had accused him in open court of taking bribes and of being a ‘knave, rascal and brazen-faced fellow’, before declaring him to be contumacious. Even Carleton had to acknowledge his own intemperate behaviour, his ‘natural and great frailty in … being apt on the sudden to be passionately angry and in that heat to speak unadvisedly’, but he did not withdraw his allegations. In July, after a failed attempt at mediation, Briggs took his case to the court of arches. Carleton pleaded privilege so the case was not heard, but he was nevertheless issued with an inhibition. This made him so angry that he attempted to manhandle Briggs, not only knocking off Briggs’s hat and wig but throwing the hat into the watching crowd. While Carleton originally claimed that he had started to investigate Briggs because of complaints from nonconformists of malpractice, the trajectory of the dispute soon led him to identify Briggs as an ally of Carleton’s dissenting enemies.54 Convinced that a victory for Briggs was also a victory for the ‘ill affected party’, he insisted that

If I be butchered by Dr Briggs and his Presbyterian petitioners as the archbishop of St Andrews was by their Scottish brethren of the same leaven I will never depart from my episcopal authority in mine own court, nor suffer Dr Briggs to sit again in the court at Chichester so long as there is breath in my body.55

Carleton’s inability to control his temper had, according to Briggs, handed a weapon to his opponents, who were determined to bait him in order to ‘to put him into a passion … he has laid himself very low in the esteem of the country already and the more he shows himself the worse it will be’.56 In August 1680 Carleton agreed to abandon his privilege on condition that Sancroft postpone hearings in the case, ‘a great part of my counsel and papers being out of town’. Although the tone of this letter was more careful and considered than his earlier communications, he could not conceal his continuing intransigence for, if he were to lose the case, ‘farewell episcopacy’.57

Carleton attended the House on 21 Oct. 1680 for the first day of the second Exclusion Parliament. He was present for just over one-fifth of all sittings and was named to the standing committees but not to any select committees. On 28 Oct. the business before the Lords included the preliminary stage of his jurisdictional dispute with the Chichester parish of St Peter the Great. On 9 Nov. he waived privilege and the case was referred to the next Sussex assizes. Carleton was in the House on 10 Nov. but did not attend for the remainder of the session. On 15 Nov. 1680 he again registered his proxy in favour of Peter Mews.

Following a coaching accident, Carleton was excused attendance at the Oxford Parliament.58 In April 1681, anticipating another general election, he again began to consider tactics. He planned to summon Braman before a consistory court ‘to declare his religion, and upon suspicion of living incontinently with a woman whom he calls his wife’, in order once again to excommunicate Braman on the assumption that this would disqualify him from standing for Parliament. Once more, however, jurisdictional problems meant that he needed Sancroft’s assistance – all the more because Sancroft’s surrogate in the peculiar in question was Thomas Briggs, with whom Carleton was still in dispute.

Intransigent as ever, on 14 Nov. 1681 Carleton complained that his rightful authority as bishop had been constantly disturbed ‘by impudent barefaced opposers of monarchy and our church government’.59 Further problems surfaced in December when James Butler accused him of laying waste to woodland in Amberley, where Butler was the bishop’s much-despised tenant (as well as a political opponent). Carleton as usual took refuge in an appeal to his rights as bishop, his need to support the dignity of his station and a fresh attack on Dissenters who, he claimed, ‘carry themselves with such insolence and speak so boldly as if they were just drawing their swords and every day expected the hoped-for command to stand to their arms’. The dispute was almost certainly part of a larger quarrel over the renewal of Butler’s lease. This too led to legal action and a declaration by Carleton that Butler ‘shall never swallow this bishopric so long as it hath sixpence of its revenue left to defend itself from such sacrilegious cormorants’. By 1683, with legal costs in the dispute running at £400, Carleton needed royal assistance with the confirmation of leases to outwit his political enemies.60

Throughout the ‘Tory reaction’, Carleton continued to attack nonconformity and vent his political prejudices. Defending one ‘true son’ of the Church suspended by some ‘notorious’ men ‘that make a mock of religion … and all of them men of associating principles and practice’, he now condemned the diplomat (and future Jacobite) Sir Richard Bulstrode (‘solicitor-general for the dissenting brotherhood’), whose proximity to the king allegedly provided Dissenters with ‘an exact account of court affairs’.61 As in Bristol his efforts to combat opposition were ineffective. On 5 Sept. 1682 he was contacted by Sir William Williams about the ‘spirit of anarchy and sedition’ on display in Chichester during the mayoral election.62 His dispute with St Peter the Great over the payment of rates was still ongoing, made all the worse by the ‘malicious hypocritical Presbyterian’ vicar of the parish and by the vicar’s ability to call on the support of the sometime churchwarden, Richard Farrington.63

In his own mind, Carleton was beset by enemies on all sides. Early in 1683 he wrote to the duke of York, alerting him to the ‘true state’ of affairs in Chichester under the recorder, Sir Richard May.64 Although May was an anti-exclusionist and had been knighted on presenting a loyal address from Chichester in 1681, he had allied himself with Braman against the cathedral interest at the first general election in 1679, thus earning himself the bishop’s lasting enmity. In March 1683 Carleton forwarded a letter to Sancroft from Heneage Finch, 3rd earl of Winchilsea, on a scheme to promote uniformity of worship and secure the ‘vigorous suppression of … poisonous pesthouses of faction and schism’.65 Complaining in July of the mayor’s prevarication on searches of ‘disaffected’ houses, he supplied the government with details of a ship allegedly used in the escape of Grey of Warke after the Rye House Plot, and complained of the ‘inconsideration’ of sheriff Edward Selwyn in absenting himself from the county, where, if present, he might have prevented the escape of Monmouth, Grey and other Rye House plotters.66

In September 1683 Carleton failed to obtain the office of lord almoner for himself but he was more successful in securing the future of his nephew and secretary (and long-time collaborator), Samuel Carleton, who from about 1681 to at least 1683 had taken on ‘the chargeable as well as most troublesome office of chief constable of the city without whom the most seditious and tumultuous meetings of factious conventicles could not here be suppressed’. Carleton wanted to give his nephew the reversion of the place of registrar for Chichester and Lewes but his relationship with the dean, George Stradling (who ‘hath always favoured the factious party’), and chapter was too contentious to obtain the necessary agreement and he had to appeal to the crown to secure the appointment.67

The surrender of Chichester’s charter in August 1684 provided Carleton with an opportunity to settle his long-running dispute with the town over the cathedral’s privileges and to secure the cathedral’s exemption from temporal jurisdiction. Negotiations over the details of the new charter (especially those affecting the ability of the bishop and chapter to vote in city elections) continued for several months and in September, at Carleton’s prompting, the crown ordered the mayoral election to be postponed.68 The existing dispute between the city and the bishop was now to be arbitrated by Sancroft and the attorney-general.69

Now almost 80 years of age, and coping with the death of another daughter, on 28 Mar. 1685 Carleton excused himself from attending the coronation of James II, claiming to have exhausted himself ‘making interest for Parliament men’ during the recent general election. Nevertheless, two days later he assured Sancroft that he would be in London before the new session opened. Whether through his own efforts or not, the elections in both city and county went well for the court. Sir Richard May was again returned for the city, along with the anti-exclusionist George Gounter. The county returned the court supporter Sir Henry Goring and the Tory Anglican Sir Thomas Dyke. This result, according to Carleton, was attributable solely to his interest with the clergy ‘and theirs upon my account with the freeholders of their parish’. He told Sancroft that both Goring and Dyke ‘were very sensible that my interest did their work for them, and withall that it was now visible that the bishop and his interest was able to turn the scale and make whom they pleased members in Parliament at such elections in this county’.70 Carleton attended the House on 19 May 1685 for the start of the first session of the new Parliament. Despite his recent excuses of frailty and overwork, he was present for 67 per cent of sittings and was named to four select committees and to the sessional committees for privileges and petitions. His final attendance was on 2 July 1685. He died four days later, reputedly having choked on a kidney bean.71

Carleton’s political legacy was questionable. Unsurprisingly, Samuel Carleton eulogized his uncle as ‘a pious prelate [of] eminent and constant loyalty to the crown, his expensive reformation of those unsupportable abuses this Church groaned under, and his great charity to the poor and needy will remain as everlasting monuments to his immortal honour’.72 Others questioned his conduct and his inability to distinguish between personal and political enemies. An account of the life and works of his supposedly factious dean, George Stradling, insisted that Stradling had been defended from Carleton’s attacks by a ‘great minister of state’ and that Charles II had been ‘satisfied that he was both able and willing to promote the king’s service, with as much zeal as his accuser, and with much more sincerity, discretion and success’.73 Even Carleton’s success in rooting out conventiclers was questionable: his successor, John Lake, found Chichester still ‘singularly … fanatic’.74


  • 1 Collins, Peerage (1812), viii. 110.
  • 2 VCH Sussex, iii. 134; Bodl. Tanner 31, f. 4; Collins, Peerage, viii. 110.
  • 3 TNA, PROB 6/61, f. 113v.
  • 4 CSP Dom. 1637–8, p. 34.
  • 5 CSP Dom. 1639–40, p. 89; Walker Revised, 68.
  • 6 CSP Dom. 1673–5, p. 206; 1679-80, p. 6; Tanner 129, f. 21.
  • 7 PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/276.
  • 8 Collins, Peerage, viii. 110.
  • 9 Add. 61285, f. 5.
  • 10 Salmon, Lives, 203–4; PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/276; Walker Revised, 68.
  • 11 Ath. Ox. iv. 866–7.
  • 12 Eg. 2542, ff. 267, 269.
  • 13 CSP Dom. 1663–4, p. 380.
  • 14 HP Commons, 1660–90, i. 666.
  • 15 CSP Dom. 1664–5, p. 40.
  • 16 Ibid. p. 482; Cosin Corresp. ii. 317–18.
  • 17 Burke Dorm. and Extinct Baronetcies.
  • 18 CSP Dom. 1665–6, p. 44; Cosin Corresp. ii. 319–20.
  • 19 Cosin Corresp. ii. 197–8.
  • 20 Tanner 144, ff. 135, 140.
  • 21 Tanner 92, f. 26.
  • 22 Tanner 144, f. 136; Tanner 92, f. 35.
  • 23 Bodl. Add. C 305, ff. 41, 42; Tanner 129, ff. 37, 44–45; Pols. of Relig. ed. Harris et al. 166–7.
  • 24 HMC Portland, iii. 348; Pols. of Religs. 165–71.
  • 25 Articles of Enquiry Exhibited to …… Every Parish Within the Jurisdiction of …… Guy Lord Bishop of Bristol (1673).
  • 26 CSP Dom. 1673–5, p. 359.
  • 27 Add. 70124, R. Strettell to Sir E. Harley, 8 Dec. 1674.
  • 28 Add. 70130, ‘A Brief Account of Bristol Prosecutions’.
  • 29 J. Spurr, England in the 1670s, 61–62.
  • 30 CSP Dom. 1675–6, pp. 9–10, 95.
  • 31 CSP Dom. 1677–8, pp. 423–7; HP Commons, 1660–90, ii. 5.
  • 32 Bodl. Carte 72, f. 229.
  • 33 Surr. Hist. Cent. G52/2/19/138.
  • 34 Verney ms mic. M636/28, J. to E. Verney, 9 Sept. 1675.
  • 35 Tanner 42, f. 176; HP Commons, 1660–90, i. 211–12.
  • 36 Tanner 129, ff. 146, 147.
  • 37 Tanner 40, f. 37.
  • 38 CSP Dom. 1677–8, pp. 351–4.
  • 39 Longleat, Bath mss. Coventry 7, ff. 126, 128, 130, 132.
  • 40 Tanner 129, ff. 38, 135–7, 138, 140, 144, 149.
  • 41 Tanner 39, f. 98; Tanner 129, ff. 12, 13, 47, 82.
  • 42 Longleat, Bath mss. Coventry 7, f. 144.
  • 43 Tanner 39, f. 108.
  • 44 Tanner 129, ff. 9, 49.
  • 45 CSP Dom. July–Sept. 1683, pp. 362, 380; 1684–5, p. 433; Tanner 30, f. 16.
  • 46 Tanner 149, f. 138.
  • 47 Ibid. f. 139; Hants RO, Jervoise mss, 44M69/F5/3/36; Verney ms mic. M636/33, J. Verney to Sir R. Verney, 7 Aug. 1679.
  • 48 Verney ms mic. M636/33, Sir R. Verney to J. Verney, 11 Aug. 1679.
  • 49 Longleat, Bath mss. Coventry 7, f. 182.
  • 50 Ibid. ff. 162, 166.
  • 51 Tanner 149, f. 137.
  • 52 Tanner 38, ff. 126–7.
  • 53 Longleat, Bath mss. Coventry 7, Carleton to Coventry, 12 Mar. 1680.
  • 54 Tanner 148, ff. 10, 43, 51, 53–54; Tanner 149, ff. 25, 26, 36, 39, 42, 43, 45–46, 64, 84, 86, 89, 90, 92, 94, 97, 109, 111, 136, 158, 165.
  • 55 Tanner 148, f. 45.
  • 56 Tanner 149, f. 42.
  • 57 Tanner 148, f. 50.
  • 58 CSP Dom. 1680–1, p. 207; Tanner 37, f. 265.
  • 59 Tanner 149, f. 51.
  • 60 Tanner 36, ff. 183, 222; Tanner 148, ff. 1, 3; Tanner 149, ff. 54–55, 62, 83; CSP Dom. Jan.–June 1683, p. 173.
  • 61 Tanner 35, f. 57.
  • 62 CSP Dom. 1682, p. 366.
  • 63 Tanner, 148, f. 65.
  • 64 CSP Dom. Jan.–June 1683, pp. 22, 61.
  • 65 Tanner 35, ff. 220–1.
  • 66 CSP Dom. July–Sept. 1683, pp. 2, 37, 45–46; HP Commons, 1660–90, iii. 410.
  • 67 Tanner 34, ff. 142, 276; Tanner 104, ff. 269, 274; CSP Dom. 1684–5, p. 92.
  • 68 Tanner 32, f. 193; Tanner 148, ff. 11, 15–16, 25; CSP Dom. 1684–5, pp. 150–1.
  • 69 Tanner 149, f. 60.
  • 70 Tanner 31, f. 4.
  • 71 Ath. Ox. iv. 866–7.
  • 72 Tanner 31, f. 141.
  • 73 J. Harrington, ‘Preface’, G. Stradling, Sermons and Discourses upon Several Occasions (1692).
  • 74 Tanner 30, f. 16.