HYDE, Edward (1609-74)

HYDE, Edward (1609–74)

cr. 3 Nov. 1660 Bar. HYDE OF HINDON; cr. 20 Apr. 1661 earl of CLARENDON

First sat 1 June 1660; last sat 29 July 1667

MP Wootton Bassett 1640 (Apr.); Saltash 1640 (Nov.)-11 Aug. 1642; Oxford Parliament, 1644-6

b. 18 Feb. 1609, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of Henry Hyde of Purton, and Mary (d.1661), da. of Edward Langford of Trowbridge.1 educ. Magdalen Hall, Oxf. matric. 31 Jan. 1623, BA 14 Feb. 1626; M. Temple 1 Feb. 1626, called 22 Nov. 1633. m. (1) 4 Feb. 1632, Anne (d. 2 July 1632), da. of Sir George Ayliffe of Grittenham, s.p.; (2) 10 July 1634, Frances (d. 9 Aug. 1667), da. of Sir Thomas Aylesbury of Westminster, 6s. (3 d.v.p.) 2da. (1 d.v.p.).2 suc. fa. 29 Sept. 163.3 Kntd. 22 Feb. 1643;4 d. 9 Dec. 1674.

PC 22 Feb. 1643-30 Jan. 1649, 13 May 1649-4 Dec. 1667; under-treas. and chan. of the exch., 3 Mar. 1643-June 1660;5 mbr. council of war, by 14 Mar. 1643-aft. Dec. 1644;6 commr. treasury, 25 July 1643-?,7 19 June-8 Sept. 1660; mbr. prince of Wales’s council, 28 Jan. 1645-Jan. 1649;8 all commissions, 14 May 1661-Feb. 1668;9 commr. sale of Dunkirk, 1662.

Custos brevium ct. of common pleas (in reversion), 4 Dec. 1634-1 Feb. 1644;10 ld. high chan. 29 Jan. 1658-30 Aug. 1667.

High steward, Cambridge 19 June 1660-70,11 Abingdon, 15 June 1661-?,12 Norwich Cathedral 1661-70, Yarmouth 1661-d., Salisbury, Oct. 1662,13 Winchester, 17 June 1667-?,14 Woodstock 1667-?, bishopric of Rochester, Allerton and Allertonshire, deaneries of Chichester and Norwich, Yarmouth15; ld. lt. Oxon. 23 July 1663-Nov. 1667,16 Wilts. June-Nov. 1667; ranger of Wychwood Forest, 1661.

Council of Royal Fishing of England, Aug. 166117

Chan. Oxf. Univ. 22 Oct. 1660-20 Dec. 1667;18 FRS, 8 Feb. 1665-?d.19

Associated with: Worcester House, the Strand, London; Berkshire House, and Clarendon House, Piccadilly, London; Twickenham; Cornbury House, Charlbury, Oxon.

Likenesses: oil on canvas, by A. Hanneman, c.1648-55, NPG 773; medal, by T. Simon, c.1662, NPG 4361; oil on canvas, by Sir P. Lely, Chequers Court, The Chequers Trust, Bucks.

The Restoration

In the memoir he wrote around ten years after the Restoration, the earl of Clarendon surveyed the court at the moment of the king’s return to England in 1660. At that time he (then Sir Edward Hyde, lord chancellor since 1658 as well as chancellor of the exchequer) was ‘highest in place, and thought to be so in trust, because he was most in private with the king, had managed most of the secret correspondence in England, and all despatches of importance had passed through his hands.’20 Despite the advice of James Butler, marquess, later duke of Ormond [I], and earl of Brecknock, that he should give up the lord chancellorship with its administrative and judicial burdens in order to concentrate on advising the king, he claimed to want no more than that office, ‘which though in itself and the constant perquisites of it is not sufficient to support the dignity of it, yet was then, upon the king’s return; and after it had been so many years without a lawful officer, would unquestionably bring in money enough to be a foundation to a future fortune, competent to his ambition, and enough to provoke the envy of many, who believed they deserved better than he’.21

Envy was undoubtedly one element in the irritation that many of his contemporaries felt in his prominence, but Hyde’s determined struggle against Catholics, Scots, Presbyterians and others whom he regarded as false friends in the struggle to return the king to his dominions, the self-confidence and the sharpness with which he dismissed those who disagreed with him, as well as the constant factional tensions of the royal court of the Interregnum had left him with a trail of enemies. Many of those he knew about were closely attached either to the retinue of the queen mother (he continued to be intensely suspicious of her key adviser, Henry Jermyn, earl of St Albans) or that of the king’s brother, James Stuart, duke of York.22 Many more may have existed among key political figures among those who had remained in England in both the old royalist and old parliamentarian camps, and in the weeks before the court’s return to England in May 1660, he had to gauge their reaction towards a Restoration and towards him personally. Most significant was the military architect of the Restoration, General George Monck, later duke of Albemarle, whose intentions were analysed endlessly by all of Hyde’s correspondents; crucial too were a clutch of Presbyterian leaders, one of whom, Edward Montagu, 2nd earl of Manchester, was thought himself to be angling for appointment as lord chancellor, though Charles Rich, 2nd earl of Warwick, was able to reassure Hyde on the point. 23

During April and May 1660 Hyde’s allies and agents – Allen Apsley, Allen Broderick, Henry Coventry, John Mordaunt, Viscount Mordaunt and others – kept a watchful eye on potential threats as the Convention Parliament assembled: they probed the attitudes of Monck’s adviser Dr Clarges and the formidable presbyterian politician Denzil Holles, later Baron Holles, though also clearer supporters of the court including George Villers, 2nd duke of Buckingham (whom Apsley concluded ‘will quite depart from any ill endeavours against you’) and Aubrey de Vere, 20th earl of Oxford (disgruntled ‘because of the slights put upon him in the House of Lords in which Hyde was concerned’).24 Many more whose service to the crown had been equivocal complimented Hyde or appealed to him to help them back into favour, including Basil Feilding, 2nd earl of Denbigh, and Richard Vaughan, earl of Carbery [I].25 The Catholic Edward Somerset, 2nd marquess of Worcester offered him his London house, Worcester House, with repairs paid for, and four weeks later was telling Clarendon that he had chosen him as his ‘bosom friend’.26 George Digby, 2nd earl of Bristol, a close, if erratic, friend and ally up to his conversion to Catholicism in early 1659, and later one of Hyde’s most volatile antagonists, still regarded Hyde and Ormond as most likely to help him to return to the king’s favour and to office.27

Hyde listed the central figures of the council and his political allies at the Restoration as Ormond, John Colepeper, Baron Colepeper and Sir Edward Nicholas, the secretary of state.28 Thomas Wriothesley, 4th earl of Southampton would soon be added: a key voice in the peace party in the royalist camp at Oxford during the Civil War, he was regarded with some reverence by Hyde.29 Mordaunt on 10 May reported visiting Southampton with Hyde’s former chaplain and long-standing friend George Morley, later bishop of Worcester and Winchester, to meet the lawyers Geoffrey Palmer and Orlando Bridgeman (both of whom, like Southampton and Hyde, had been among the royalist commissioners at the Uxbridge negotiations in 1645).30 All of these would become important figures in Clarendon’s circle.

The Convention Parliament and the York affair

Hyde’s position as the fulcrum of the king’s administration in exile would translate naturally into a role as effective chief minister of the royal government as soon as the king landed, with Hyde in attendance, at Dover on 25 May. Hyde referred to a small group – involving Southampton, Ormond, Albemarle and the secretaries of state – as the ‘secret committee… which under the notion of foreign affairs, were appointed by the king to consult all his affairs before they came to a public debate’. It was often referred to by others as the ‘junto’.31 But he was incontestably the central figure within a government faced with the enormous agenda of the Restoration settlement, though he vigorously rejected the idea that he should adopt the style of first minister.32 In addition, Clarendon remained chancellor of the exchequer and a member of the treasury commission appointed on 19 June until Sept. 1660, when Southampton was made lord treasurer, and was therefore closely involved in the early stages of the settling of the revenue.33

Clarendon wrote that he ‘took his place in the House of Peers with a general acceptation and respect’.34 Hyde first presided in the Lords on 1 June, when he delivered his speech to both Houses. Shortly afterwards, however, he left in order to preside in chancery. The House appointed the earl of Manchester to resume his position as temporary Speaker. The following day the House gave Hyde thanks for his ‘excellent’ speech. The chancellor acted as the routine conduit for messages from the House to the king, and managed conferences such as one on the Queen’s jointure. 35 But within the first week of the chancellor’s sitting, his absence had given rise to a problem. Philip Herbert, 5th earl of Pembroke on 6 June reported from the committee of privileges concerning the choice of a Speaker when the chancellor was away. Citing a vote of 10 Aug. 1641 and the Triennial Act, the committee argued that unless the Lords were able to choose their own Speaker, the ‘lord chancellor, or any other Speaker, may, if they will, absent themselves voluntarily; the House thereupon should be disenabled to sit’. The matter was referred back to the committee of privileges for further reconsideration, and when John Robartes, 2nd Baron Robartes (later earl of Radnor) reported again on 9 June, their report was significantly altered: ‘it is the duty of the lord chancellor, or lord keeper of the great seal of England, ordinarily to attend the Lords House of Parliament; and that in case the lord chancellor or lord keeper of the great seal be absent from the House of Peers, and that there be none authorized under the great seal from the king to supply that place in the House of Peers, the Lords may then choose their own Speaker during that vacancy’. The resolution was entered as a standing order. A few days later the chancellor notified the House that the king had given a commission to Sir Orlando Bridgeman (now lord chief baron) to preside in the House whenever the chancellor was absent. Bridgeman sat as Speaker for the first time that day (13 June). The chancellor was probably responsible for the order on 8 June reminding the House of a previous order concerning petitions which were brought into the House, ‘which are proper to be relieved in any other court of law or equity’. A number of petitions were subsequently referred by the House to the chancellor.36

After Bridgeman’s first occasion on the woolsack, the chancellor was absent for the following eight sitting days (14 to 21 June). He was present on 22 June to hear the reference back to chancery of petitioner Edmund Veale, and was then for the most part present until the middle of July (although for a few days, while Hyde is not listed in the presence list, there is no notice in the journals indicating that Bridgeman had taken over). He was present for most of the debates in committee of the whole House on the indemnity bill in early August (except 6 and 7 Aug.), and continued to represent the House at conferences with the Commons, many of them on the three cornerstone bills on indemnity, disbanding the army and confirming ministers in their livings (31 July, 9 Aug., 13 Aug., 15 Aug., 20, 21, 22, 25 Aug., 1, 8, 11 Sept.) and to convey messages to and from the king (3, 31 Aug., 3, 6, 8 Sept.). In total he was present for around 75 per cent of sitting days in the first session of the Convention.

Clarendon’s key objective for the session was the passage of the bill of indemnity. He wrote later in his memoir of the criticism he had received for his insistence on its passage with few exceptions: the indemnity, he argued, was the price for the successful disbandment of the army.37 By contrast, it was plain that the court wanted to avoid leaving the religious question to the current Parliament (although this had been promised in the Declaration of Breda), and while the ministers’ bill was given a grudging royal assent on 13 Sept., the chancellor in his speech announced discussions with ‘learned and pious men of different persuasions’ to be followed by a declaration which would demonstrate the king’s ‘great indulgence to those who can have any protection from conscience to differ with their brethren’.

Outside Parliament, negotiating the new regime’s relationship with foreign powers was the preoccupation of the late summer and early autumn. Negotiations focused on the question of a marriage alliance for the king. French and Catholic concern about the chancellor’s attitudes to them combined with long-standing court intrigues to produce a crisis that threatened the chancellor’s position, and perhaps more. Intensely suspicious of Cardinal Mazarin, Hyde regarded as a deliberate insult his decision to reappoint Antoine de Bordeaux-Neufville, an influential envoy to the court of the lord protector, as ambassador to the king.38 Bordeaux, who according to Hyde was close to Hyde’s old antagonist the earl of St Albans, regarded him as hostile to France, and reported St Albans’s story that ‘the chancellor’s faction’ wanted to excite animosity between the two countries in order raise obstacles to Henrietta Maria’s return. 39 Correspondence between Walter Montagu (the earl of Manchester’s brother, abbot of Pontoise and Henrietta Maria’s confidant), and Richard Bellings (the Irish confederate politician closely associated with Ormond, but also friendly with Hyde), suggests that plans were already being hatched by the circle around the queen at the beginning of September to secure the removal of Hyde.40 An opportunity soon presented itself in the revelation that Hyde’s clever daughter, Anne Hyde, was not only pregnant by the duke of York, but had clandestinely married him. Subsequent investigations confirmed that they had become engaged on 24 Nov. 1659 at Breda, and married at Worcester House on 3 Sept. 1660, by York’s chaplain Joseph Crowther, witnessed by Thomas Butler, earl of Ossory [I] and later Baron Butler, and Eleanor Strode, Anne’s servant.41

Hyde’s own memoir suggests that the liaison was well known at court to all except himself, and had been encouraged by the associates of the duke of York, particularly by John Berkeley, Baron Berkeley of Stratton, York’s former governor and factotum of his household, as a way of damaging the chancellor himself. According to this account, Hyde’s reaction to the news was one of extreme distress. Regarding the affair as a threat to his position, he claimed to have proposed that she be tried for treason, and tried to prevent her from seeing the duke, which the duke and she easily subverted. The king took a more level-headed view, while time, and the chancellor’s understanding that the marriage was genuine, overcame his initial horror.42

However, the arrival at court of the Princess Royal (she arrived at Whitehall from France on 25 Sept.) together with a letter to York from the queen, brought about a change in the duke’s attitude to his daughter, Hyde believed. Bartet described the rumours emanating from the Queen’s circle both in France and in England that Anne Hyde had had affairs with a number of men including Sir Charles Berkeley, later earl of Falmouth, and Henry Jermyn, later Baron Dover and 3rd Baron Jermyn (the earl of St Albans’ nephew, master of the horse to the duke of York).43 York visited Hyde on 10 Oct. after a council meeting, and told him that he never wanted to see his daughter again. The princess royal, the earl of St Albans and Lord Berkeley badgered the king over how to get out of the apparently valid marriage. Ruvigny reported that it seemed impossible to do so except by an act of parliament, and talked of the potential for the affair to destroy the chancellor.44 However, on 22 Oct. Anne Hyde gave birth to a boy at Worcester House. In Clarendon’s account the king happened to be there for a meeting when she went into labour. He sent for the marchioness of Ormond, the countess of Sunderland and George Morley, the bishop of Worcester-elect, who asked who was the father of the child, whether she had slept with anyone else, and whether the parents were married. Her responses satisfied them. Even Ruvigny seemed convinced.45

The meeting in Worcester House that day was the culmination of the negotiations between the Presbyterian and Church of England divines on a church settlement, attended by the king, with Hyde leading the discussion on the draft of a royal declaration on ecclesiastical affairs. The accounts of this meeting by participants Richard Baxter, George Morley and Hyde himself convey different impressions of the tone and focus of the negotiations. Baxter was particularly suspicious of a proposal for the toleration of other groups, which he said arose from the petitions of Independents and Anabaptists, but he suspected as intended to favour Catholics. Much has been read into the delegation to two laymen present, Denzil Holles and Arthur Annesley, Viscount Valentia [I], later earl of Anglesey, both inclined to Presbyterianism, to act as arbiters of the points at issue following the departure of Hyde and the king. The declaration published on 25 Oct. surprised Baxter and others in its acceptance of many Presbyterian concerns with the original draft. After the publication of the Declaration, Baxter visited Hyde, who tried to persuade him to accept a bishopric; Baxter turned it down, writing to him on 1 Nov. to explain why.46 Clarendon’s own account written at the end of the 1660s highlights what he regarded as the presbyterians’ bad faith in the negotiations – seeking the removal of one passage concerning encouraging the use of the Book of Common Prayer on the grounds that it would not help to achieve the end desired, while making it plain in private correspondence that they were hostile to the aim altogether.47

On the same day as the issue of the declaration, 25 Oct., the duke of York and the Princess Royal left London to escort the queen to the capital.48 The report of Bartet of 29 Oct. seemed to acknowledge that at least some of the rumours about Anne Hyde had been false (with Berkeley admitting to having made up his liaison with her in order to help his master out of what his camp regarded as a fix), but described Hyde with some distaste:

[The king] goes every morning to the chancellor. [Hyde] praises his own capacity and conduct with affectation, even to us. M. d’Aubigny told [Bartet] that he heard from the king’s mouth that the chancellor had foretold to him his Restoration a thousand times, by the same ways that it came about, excepting the death of Cromwell... it is still true that [Hyde] is deeply rooted in [the king’s] heart and mind, and that he keeps himself there by continuous work, and by the intelligence he has of the internal affairs of the three kingdoms.49

At the beginning of November, the consensus seemed to be that the king was content for the marriage to stand, and would be very reluctant for Parliament to get involved in an issue so close to the royal power.50 But Henrietta Maria’s arrival in London on 2 Nov. along with the earl of St Albans still determined to secure a marriage between York and the daughter of the Duc d’Orleans, revived the dissipating tension for an intense few days.51 The new French ambassador, the Comte de Soissons, reported the formal meeting of welcome from the Privy Council to the queen on the day after she arrived, and the coldness between the chancellor and her.52 It is unclear when the interview between the duke and Hyde described in the Life took place at which York accused Hyde of planning to complain about him in Parliament, and reiterated the allegations against his daughter.53 The king, though, Bartet reported, forcefully and publicly defended the marriage, attacking the earl of St Albans personally for besmirching the honour of the royal family and the duke of York, and for leading the campaign against Clarendon.54

By the time the Convention resumed on 6 Nov., with the issue still undecided, Hyde had already become Baron Hyde of Hindon, the honour sending a clear signal to Hyde’s enemies of the king’s favour (Hyde nevertheless claimed to have turned down the garter when that was offered to him).55 Hyde was introduced to the House by the lord great chamberlain, Montagu Bertie, 2nd earl of Lindsey, Robartes and Holles. According to Bartet, the king had been prepared to make him a duke, but he preferred to be only a baron, because it had been the custom for his predecessors in the office; Hyde himself wrote that he was offered a barony, and tried to turn it down; the king insisted, sending a warrant the day before he left London to meet the queen, also providing him with a grant for £20,000.56

Such firmness on the king’s part indicated that those hostile to the marriage would find it very difficult to overturn. Bartet reported on the 8th talk about St Albans’ proposal of a commission to determine its validity, but also that he had begun to recognize defeat.57 Five days later, Bartet’s next despatch indicated that the queen was backing off from support for St Albans’ proposal. While Bartet referred to claims by his enemies that Hyde had been profiting from his office by selling favours and pardons, his message to Mazarin was to make friends with Hyde, ‘it is impossible to get any sort of service from this court without the friendship and confidence of the chancellor, and whatever anyone says to the contrary, time and experience have taught us that without him you can never undertake any meaningful business’. In order to achieve this, he advised, Mazarin needed to ‘make the queen of England his [Hyde’s] friend’, or arrange for a separate channel of communication.58

The message seems to have got through, albeit slowly: on 22 Nov. Bartet reported a more hopeful meeting between the queen and Hyde.5960 On 6 Dec. Bartet reported that the duke of York was now badgering the king to allow him to announce his marriage.61 Within a week he was openly going to bed with her, ‘in the presence of the chancellor and his wife, and stayed there until eleven in the morning, when his servants came for his levee.’62 Bartet despondently noted the declining number of opponents of Hyde and of the marriage: only the earl of St Albans, Montagu, the princesses, the duke of Buckingham and his sister Lady Richmond had not visited the new duchess.63 A letter from St Albans to Hyde from Portsmouth of 18 Dec. suggests that ostensibly, at least, even St Albans was offering an olive branch.64

While all this was going on, the chancellor was probably present every day of the autumn session of the Convention (he was not listed on 20 Nov., although it is not indicated that Bridgeman was present either). The bill uniting England’s interregnum conquests, Dunkirk and Jamaica, to the crown was one theme of the second session of the convention, possibly intended by the government as an instrument of its policy in relation to France and Spain. (The Comte de Soissons noted a remark that month by Hyde – perhaps a hint – that Dunkirk and Jamaica were very expensive to maintain and unproductive.)65 Introduced and read a first and second time on 11 Sept., the bill was discussed in committee of the whole House on 21 Nov. On that day Montagu wrote to Mazarin about it, reporting a conversation with the chancellor over the provisions for the maintenance of the Catholic church in the articles of surrender.66 The debate on 21 Nov. was probably the occasion for the ‘friendly contest’ in the House on the subject between the chancellor and Heneage Finch, 3rd earl of Winchilsea, to which the latter referred the following year, when Winchilsea said he now understood the point of Hyde’s preference to avoid making ‘so public a declaration’.67 The bill never emerged from committee of the whole.

Hyde continued to act as a conduit to the king (19, 21, 22 Nov.) and to the lord chief justice (26 Nov.). He was one of the 26 peers who protested on 13 Dec. at the passage of the bill to vacate the fines unduly procured to be levied by Sir Edward Powell and Dame Mary his wife.68 Towards the end of the session the chancellor was engaged in a number of conferences, including those on the court of wards, the six months’ tax, college leases, and on the poll bill.69 Hyde’s highly rhetorical speech at the dissolution on 29 December congratulated the parliament on its work and emphasized the harmony with which it had gone about its business and celebrated the progress made since the Restoration in re-establishing stability.

The mood of Hyde’s speech seems to have entered the court as well, with the queen gently persuaded into a more helpful attitude to the chancellor, despite some difficulties in arranging a meeting which would serve as a formal reconciliation.70 Hyde was exchanging letters with Walter Montagu in January paying respects to the queen, as she was returning to France.71 A special meeting of the Council on 18 Feb. confirmed the legality of the marriage, and drew a line under the business, to the satisfaction of the king and the duke, though the queen continued to believe that the king had aimed to humiliate York all along (not, Bartet thought, untruthfully).72 Hyde’s letter to Buckingham of 24 Feb. saying that he had always had great affection and duty for him was perhaps another indication of the general peace that was breaking out over the court.73

The end of the affair removed an obstacle to Anglo-French relations, also facilitated by the death of Mazarin, of whom Hyde was highly suspicious, in March 1661, and made it easier to negotiate the king’s marriage to the Portuguese infanta. Hyde claimed in his memoir that the initiative for the alliance had come from the Portuguese themselves, and that he would have preferred a Protestant, but the king’s enthusiasm had given him no opportunity to oppose the idea. He, Southampton, Ormond, Manchester and Secretary Nicholas were appointed to confer on the subject at Worcester House.74 Negotiations with Portugal began in earnest in February, when the Portuguese ambassador returned bearing broad acceptance of the terms requested by Charles II. The Spanish ambassador entered a series of protests and alternative offers, including money for the restitution of Dunkirk and Jamaica and an alternative marriage alliance, and strongly advocated the Princess of Parma.75 Hyde’s account of the affair suggests that the king’s own enthusiasm for the Portuguese alliance cooled, particularly because of stories that the Portuguese infanta was incapable of bearing children. He despatched the earl of Bristol to inspect the Princess of Parma around the middle of February.76 With Bristol away, however, Hyde wrote in early April that the Parmesan option had been dropped.77 Negotiations concerning the marriage of the king’s sister, Henrietta, with the duke of Anjou, helped to support the idea of a ‘nearer union’ with France.78 Clarendon (perhaps before the outcome of the elections to the new parliament was clear) was looking to France for a loan in mid-April to tide the kingdom over until other matters were settled and it was the right time to ask for a parliamentary grant.79

The Clarendon regime

Pepys witnessed Hyde being created earl of Clarendon in the Banqueting House on the day of the coronation, 20 April.80 Clarendon himself professed to have been reluctant to accept the advancement in the peerage, though he felt that it would have offended the duke of York, who had obtained it for him, to have turned it down; and also to have been unaware that the king had advanced him in precedence over a number of other barons, which had considerably upset them.81 Many would have regarded his professions of innocence as disingenuous, whether it concerned honours, power or wealth. While Clarendon defended himself against the idea that he had engrossed power—it was, he said, only because the king failed to apply himself to business that meant he had to deal with so much—many regarded him as determined to hoard power to himself. John Maitland, earl (later duke) of Lauderdale [S], in 1668 recounted a remark of the king’s that one of Clarendon’s greatest faults was ‘his not induring any man of sense about the king unless he were his creature.’82

Despite this, Clarendon seemed positively to reject opportunities to consolidate his power using patronage. In his autobiographical writings, Clarendon claimed to be shocked by the barely disguised determination of courtiers to pursue grants and favours from the king.83 Sir George Carteret, in a remark to Pepys in 1667, seemed to confirm this distaste for the business of patronage: the chancellor was not accustomed to ‘do any kindness of his own nature’, though this seems ironic, given that Carteret was one of the greatest beneficiaries of his protection, particularly in relation to his position as treasurer of the navy board.84 John Evelyn made a similar remark to Pepys a few months earlier while also apparently confirming Hyde’s avaricious reputation: ‘of all the great men of England, there is none that endeavours more to raise those that he takes into favour then my Lord Arlington; and that on that score, he is much more to be made one’s patron then my lord chancellor, who never did nor will do anything but for money’.85 His responsibility for authorizing grants and patents with the great seal provided an opportunity both to prevent appointments of which he did not approve (which he thought was one of the principal duties of his office), and to secure fees for passing those he did.86 He was often blamed for preventing the passage of patents – such as that for George Goring, earl of Norwich, an old adversary in royalist politics of the 1640s – even when he was not responsible, as he said when the earl of Bristol sought to make trouble by trying to persuade the king’s mistress the countess of Castlemaine (wrongly) that the chancellor had withheld sealing her patent (presumably for her to be a lady of the bedchamber). 8788

Clarendon insisted that he himself took nothing other than the legitimate perquisites of his office (which were considerable) and ‘presents that could not be refused without affectation’. 89 He ostentatiously turned down an offer of money from France, a story told at some length in his memoir, and corroborated by the correspondence of the French ambassador, and a careful minute by Clarendon’s son around March 1661.90 Such resistance to receiving gifts was supposed to have extended to offers from the crown itself. He claimed to have turned down proposals to give him a large estate: Ormond advised him (with the king’s approval) to apply to the king for a grant of the king’s estate in the Bedford Level, either to keep or because ‘they, who were unjustly possessed of it, would be glad to purchase the king’s title with a considerable sum of money’. Clarendon disapproved of the idea of alienating such a large amount of land from the royal estate. He claimed to have made a ‘resolution to himself, which he thought he should not alter, not to make haste to be rich’.91 Nevertheless, Clarendon owed a great deal to royal patronage. Clarendon’s inherited land seems to have amounted to the estate at Purton, near Swindon, bought by his father. He described a gift of the king of £20,000 during the crisis over his daughter’s relationship with the duke of York.92 Much of his estate was owed to the redistribution of lands confiscated from regicides. The Cornbury estate in Oxfordshire had belonged to Henry Danvers, earl of Danby, whose origins lay in Dauntsey, a parish close to where Hyde’s father had settled in the 1620s, and had been inherited by the earl’s brother, Sir John Danvers. Danvers would become one of the regicides, and although he died in 1655, the estate was excepted from the Act of Indemnity, and subject to confiscation under the 1661 act declaring the pains and penalties of the regicides. The estate was formally granted to Clarendon in July 1662.93 Other Danvers lands were granted to his son, Henry Hyde, styled Viscount Cornbury (and later 2nd earl of Clarendon) in December 1661.94 (The Danvers family was still litigating about them in 1676.)95 The manor of Withcote, in Leicestershire, was granted under the Great Seal to Clarendon in March 1661. Land in Wychwood Forest was leased under the Great Seal to Clarendon and his heirs in early 1662.96 Clarendon also received a grant under the Great Seal of the custody of the manor of Woodstock in August 1666.97 The Clarendon Park estate close to Salisbury was a royal estate mortgaged during the civil war and granted to the duke of Albemarle in December 1663; Clarendon bought it from him in 1664 for a total of £18,000.98 Clarendon acquired the land north of Piccadilly, London, on which Clarendon House was built, in part from the crown in 1664 and 1665. York Farm, in Twickenham, was bought from the earl of Manchester.99

The provision for Clarendon of a grant from Ireland seems to have been originally proposed by John Clotworthy, Viscount Masserene [I] in May 1661. Clarendon was made a formal grant in April 1662 of part of the Leinster portion of the half year’s profit being paid by the adventurers and soldiers of their lands in Ireland under the king’s declaration on Irish affairs of 30 Nov. 1660.100 According to Clarendon, he became aware of it only when he heard from Roger Boyle, earl of Orrery [I], that around £12,500 was available, with a similar sum to come. Clarendon used it to buy Blunsden, an estate adjoining his father’s Purton lands in Wiltshire in early 1662 from John Lovelace, 2nd Baron Lovelace as part of a deal to resolve a dispute concerning Bulstrode Whitelocke’s purchase during the Interregnum of the land from the latter. Clarendon was placed in severe difficulties when in 1663 he received only half of the sum that he had been promised, forcing him to borrow money to complete the sale.101

Despite the claim that Hyde made a poor patron, there were plenty of people who counted themselves as his clients – Edward Montagu, earl of Sandwich, told Pepys in 1663 that the chancellor was ‘his most sure friend and to have been his greatest’ – and there are numerous instances of him recommending individuals for office or favour, especially in the correspondence of the duke of Ormond. 102 Clarendon complained in 1663 that the importunity of friends and relations made him make more recommendations for Irish army offices than he would like to do.103 He was particularly closely involved in ecclesiastical patronage, and not just that in his own hands as lord chancellor: Lauderdale wrote in 1668 that the king since he returned and up to the chancellor’s dismissal had given all church preferments by the advice of Gilbert Sheldon, bishop of London and from 1663 archbishop of Canterbury, and the chancellor.104 John Hacket, bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, called him ‘the greatest patron that I have living’.105 Clarendon irritatingly nagged his friend and ally Sheldon on appointments such as his attempts to make his chaplain, Walter Blandford, the bishop of Oxford, while apologizing for interfering ‘which God knows nothing could have led me into but my truthful and filial duty to the Church’.106

Despite his profession to want to concern himself only in the business of the chancellorship, his involvement in most government business meant constant work: Clarendon wrote to Ormond in May 1664 that:

since I have been able to go out of the doors, I have been upon very hard duties, between Westm. Hall, the Parliament and the Council and it was this day, after 4 of the clock before we rose out of the House, so that if I had more to write, I should hardly recollect my self, being absolutely dazed.107

Pepys described going to see the chancellor at Worcester House in August 1660 at a sealing-day held in his great hall, ‘where wonderful how much company there was to expect him at a seal’.108 The French ambassador the Comte D’Estrades referred in a 1662 letter to Clarendon’s practice of never visiting anyone (for which he made an exception to visit him concerning negotiations concerning Dunkirk), though he did not say whether this was because of the pressure of business or for reasons of status, or the gout, whose effects were increasingly debilitating.109 Clarendon himself confirmed in his memoir that he felt that his office ‘excused him from making visits, and exempted him from all ceremonies of that kind’.110 Clarendon’s second son, Laurence Hyde, later earl of Rochester, wrote to Richard Boyle, earl of Burlington in February 1666 giving as an excuse for his failure to write earlier that he had heard that Burlington was afflicted with the gout, and ‘if you are as unquiet in it as my father is, you would not care no more to read than to write letters.’111 Clarendon’s lack of acquaintance with foreign languages (despite his long sojourn abroad) hampered his dealings with other states (which he probably largely conducted in Latin or English). Mazarin’s attempts to pay compliments to Ormond and Hyde were responded to by William Crofts, Baron Crofts on the latter’s behalf because of Hyde’s monolingualism.112

The affairs of Ireland, in particular the Irish land settlement, were a preoccupation for much of the time, taking up many meetings in London and the bulk of a voluminous correspondence with Ormond. Scotland he was less concerned with, though John Middleton, earl of Middleton [S], appointed lord commissioner in 1660, was considered a close ally, and Lauderdale at least a potential enemy, though despite their very vigorous disagreement in the 1650s, Clarendon wrote to Middleton at the end of March 1661 that since the Restoration he and Lauderdale had ‘lived very civilly together’ and neither had interfered in the affairs of the other’s country. He explained that he could not interfere in Scottish business without involving Lauderdale.113 Even so, he would receive news from Scotland from Middleton, William Cunningham, 8th earl of Glencairn [S] (the Scottish lord chancellor), and John Murray, earl (later marquess) of Atholl [S], and John Livingston, Lord Newburgh [S], provided a regular channel of communication.114

Parliament was often at the centre of Clarendon’s activity. He had become a significant politician in 1640-42 largely because of his effectiveness in the House of Commons. He described his practice in parliamentary management in his Life. Up to 1663 the king left parliamentary business to Southampton and Clarendon,

who had every day conference with some select persons of the House of Commons, who had always served the king, and upon that account had great interest in that assembly, and in regard of the experience they had and their good parts were hearkened to with reverence. And with those they consulted in what method to proceed in disposing the House, sometimes to propose, sometimes to consent to what should be most necessary for the public; and by them to assign parts to other men, whom they found disposed and willing to concur in what was to be desired: and all this without any noise, or bringing many together to design, which ever was and ever will be ingrateful to parliaments, and, however it may succeed for a little time, will in the end be attended with prejudice.115

Sir Hugh Pollard, the comptroller of the household, was one of the key figures concerned. The arrangements were disturbed after the appointment of Sir Henry Bennet, (later earl of Arlington) as secretary of state in late 1662, when, according to Clarendon, he, along with his friend William Coventry, began to build up his own parliamentary following, using patronage more explicitly to encourage members to serve the king.116

Clarendon’s parliamentary management might have seemed over-cautious: he seemed to deprecate the numbers of courtiers who had become members of the Commons by 1663, and while he certainly was closely involved in the business of ensuring the election of key candidates – he was responsible for getting Bennet elected at Callington in 1661, for instance – he did not necessarily have the court in mind when he did so.117 In 1662 he provided Sir Francis Henry Lee with a writ for a Malmesbury by-election, despite competition among courtiers to get it: Clarendon’s connections with the Lee family, and especially with his mother, the countess of Rochester, may have contributed to this. Clarendon asked Lee to tell his mother that she should avoid putting in any of ‘Presbyterian principles’. Both Lee and the candidate who was elected in 1662, Hon. Philip Howard, seem to have operated in support of Clarendon during moments of crisis in 1663 and 1667.118 The duke of Albemarle, asking him to help get Sir Thomas Clarges elected at Salisbury in 1664, reminded him that when the king had agreed to ‘to restore Torrington’ (presumably to make it into a parliamentary borough as it had been in the early Middle Ages) that he had not taken forward the proposal ‘because your Lordship thought it inconvenient’ (and indeed, the creation of a new borough by charter might well have been controversial).119

Clarendon was presumably able to manage the Lords in a much more personal way. An obvious ally was Sheldon, to whom he wrote in advance of the Oxford session of Parliament in 1665, asking him to ensure that a third of the bishops attend.120 He seems not, however, to have been meticulous in managing proxies in general: he told Ormond to renew his proxy on the death in 1663 of Jerome Weston, 2nd earl of Portland, and give it to his close ally John Egerton, 2nd earl of Bridgwater, but in December 1666 Ormond had still not done so.121 He was thought by many peers, he believed, to be insufficiently protective of the privilege of the peerage. In his memoir, Clarendon deprecated the Lords’ tendency to be over-precise on insisting on their privileges in small matters, and remarked upon its tendency to irritate the Commons and encourage them in turn to be more assertive.122 His formal role in parliament included introducing the business at the beginning of each parliamentary session in a lengthy (and highly rhetorical) speech. He also habitually wrote the king’s speeches too. Clarendon’s own drafts would be laboriously written out by the king in his own hand, presumably for transmission to the House, and afterwards to the printer.123

Clarendon’s position involved him in endless minor issues. Many of them concerned relationships between members of the peerage, and included the delicate negotiations between the earl and countess of Pembroke over their disharmonious marriage, or sorting out a dispute between Marmaduke Langdale, 2nd Baron Langdale and Algernon Percy, 4th earl of Northumberland over sewers in 1665.124 Many of them thought it worth applying to him to help resolve their legal problems. Lady Herbert, wrote anxiously to Cornbury in 1663 to try to ensure a case in which she was interested would be heard by Clarendon because of concern that ‘there may be some way made’ to other judges.125 Her husband, Henry Somerset, Lord Herbert of Raglan (later duke of Beaufort), asked Clarendon to intervene over the inclosure of the Forest of Dean in 1665, which had been formally committed by the council to Southampton, Anthony Ashley Cooper, Lord Ashley (later earl of Shaftesbury) and others because he must be ‘concern’d in the consequence of it, as much if not more, then any, it being of so public a concern and being probable enough to have an influence upon the peace of the Kingdom.’126 Hearing a suit in chancery in 1667 that related to Richard Boyle, earl of Burlington, he ‘granted a decree without putting your honour to the charge or trouble of examining witnesses in the country by commission’, despite pressing time and an appointment with the king.127

His most difficult problem, though, as with all of Charles II’s ministers, was the management of the king: Matthew Wren told Pepys a year after fall of Clarendon that ‘there is no way to rule the King but by briskness, which the Duke of Buckingham hath above all men.’128 Clarendon complained regularly of how the king could undermine his work by accepting and following advice from others without discussing it with him.129

The first session of the Cavalier Parliament, 1661-2

The new earl of Clarendon spoke at the opening of the Cavalier Parliament on 8 May, and responded to the Speaker’s speech two days later. On 11 May he was introduced in the Lords in his new title, between Ormond and the Northumberland. On 20 May he read out a letter sent to the king from the Parliament of Scotland requesting the removal of the English army based in the northern kingdom.130 He managed or reported conferences on the bill for the security of the king and on the practice in holding conferences (31 May, 5 June, 10 June) and conveyed a message from the king of the case of Nicholas Knollys, titular 3rd earl of Banbury (6 June). He was absent from the House for the first time in the session on 17 July, when he was reported as being sick, and was replaced by Bridgeman, now lord chief justice of the common pleas. He would be absent for the remainder of the period up to the summer adjournment, meaning that he attended 81 per cent of the sittings for the first half of the 1661-2 session. Absence meant that Clarendon did not sign the protest at the passing, again, of the bill for Sir Edward Powell on that day, though many of those who had protested against the bill in 1660 did. He also missed the second reading of the bill on ecclesiastical jurisdiction (which would restore the bishops to the Lords) on 19 July, though when it was reported from committee on 22 July by John Lucas, Baron Lucas, it was recommitted, with the committee to meet on the following afternoon in the lord chancellor’s lodgings. Two days after that, Lucas reported from the committee that ‘upon further consideration, the Committee are of opinion, that the said bill should pass, without any alterations’. In his memoir, Clarendon wrote of the earl of Bristol’s attempt to persuade the king to delay the passage of the bill until something had been done to relieve the Catholics, and that this resulted in delay in committee; though the king initially agreed, Clarendon managed to get him to reverse the decision, provoking great annoyance in the earl of Bristol. Clarendon regarded this as the point at which Bristol became a real enemy.131

Clarendon was widely blamed for ensuring the failure on the discussions of Catholic relief in July 1661. A Lords committee was appointed in June to consider the repeal of some anti-catholic legislation, and heads for a draft bill were sent to the attorney general for drafting; the bill, though, was never brought into the House. William Howard, Viscount Stafford, at his trial nearly twenty years later, strongly asserted that Clarendon was responsible.132 D’Estrades wrote that Clarendon had blocked the discussions, though because of his hostility to Bristol, rather than out of any animosity towards the Catholics. The Catholics, apprehensive that Clarendon would oppose their pitch for liberty of conscience and abolition of the penal laws, he wrote, had gone to the king, who had made Clarendon promise to act in accordance with the king’s intentions. But Clarendon had instead stirred up others to oppose the Catholic requests, and encouraged Presbyterian opposition, postponing the whole issue to the winter.133 Clarendon blamed divisions among the Catholics, with the Jesuits principally at fault.134

Clarendon did not return to the House before the adjournment on 30 July, when the king responded himself to the speech of the Speaker of the House of Commons. By then, the court was deep in international negotiations. D’Estrades’ instructions assumed Clarendon was pro-Spanish, but the two soon established a good relationship. His despatch of 15 July took it as read that Clarendon and Bristol, now returned from Italy, were now enemies, and the determination of the latter to overthrow Clarendon as the dominant figure in government now became the standard theme of court gossip.135 The appointment of Bennet to the position of keeper of the privy purse, which he had previously promised Clarendon for one of his friends or relations, was widely taken as an indication of the king’s displeasure over the failure of the initiative over Catholic worship in the summer, though when Bristol and Bennet tried to follow up their success, the king firmly indicated that the chancellor was too useful to him to abandon.136

Negotiations with the French moved on from the Portuguese marriage to other matters in the later summer, though Louis XIV tried to avoid D’Estrades getting drawn into a negotiation by the chancellor, and attempted to reserve substantive discussions on his side of the channel, and became outraged by Clarendon’s negotiating positions.137 In early September. Clarendon made his first formal visit to Oxford as chancellor.138 The fight between the staff of the Spanish and French embassies just before Parliament reopened was a severe embarrassment: Clarendon was said to have been trying to suppress the affair by providing a chance for those most involved to flee.139

Clarendon was absent when Parliament reassembled on 20 Nov.; indeed he was absent from the House continuously until 19 Dec. when he returned to inform it about intelligence of a planned uprising. He was one of the committee of 13 peers to meet as a joint committee with the Commons to consider the issue over the Christmas adjournment, with the first meeting taking place at the lord chancellor’s lodgings in Whitehall. On the first day after the recess, 7 Jan. 1662, the chancellor reported back that the committee had met several times, though as a result of ‘some imaginary jealousies abroad of the end and intent of this Committee’s meeting’, it had decided to remit the issue back to the hands of both Houses. Thereafter Clarendon was present every day the House sat except for 22 Mar. until 3 May: he missed almost all of the last two weeks of the session. The result was an overall attendance for the second part of the 1661-2 session of 69 per cent.

The plan to revive the council of the North, about which the king and Clarendon had exchanged notes on 20 Dec., may have been linked to concern about a possible rebellion.140 The issue provoked anger in the House on the second reading of a bill to reintroduce the court on 25 Jan., with the earl of Northumberland and the duke of Buckingham exchanging insults and then blows, and the chancellor giving the formal reprehension of the House. Burlington reported that Clarendon was in any case unhappy with the bill, remarking after the House returned to the bill following the altercation that ‘he thought it was impossible to make a good bill of it’.141 On 15 Feb. the earl of Burlington recorded in his diary a deputation to Clarendon of peers and members of the House of Commons to make plain their opposition to the revival of the council.142

During early February Clarendon was reporter on the conferences on the bills for the attainted persons (3 Feb.) and the bill for confirming three acts of the Convention, critically the act confirming ministers, drastically altered by the commons, which would have resulted in wholesale ejections of Presbyterian ministers (4 February). Clarendon made strenuous efforts among peers to moderate the bill (Sir William Morrice‡ reported him speaking ‘very rationally and pathetically’ against it, causing irritation in ‘some warm spirits’).143 Dr Pett reported to Bramhall a heated debate on the ministers’ confirmation bill on 8 Feb., at which his efforts had paid off: he had succeeded in persuading seven bishops, including his allies Sheldon and Morley, and his son-in-law, the duke of York, to overturn the Commons amendments. Pett reported that the Presbyterian ministers sent Calamy, Baxter and Bates that day to the chancellor to thank him.144 The bill was returned to the Commons – though in returning it, a promise may have been given (it is unclear by whom) to the Commons that similar provisions to those just removed from the ministers act would be reintroduced into the uniformity bill.145

Clarendon was one of the 25 peers listed in the Journal who signed the protest against it the passage of the bill for restoring Charles Stanley, 8th earl of Derby to his lands on 6 February. He presided when the attainted judges of Charles I appeared before the House (7 Feb.), managed or reported conferences on the bill against Quakers (19 Feb., 1 Mar.), and conveyed messages from the king about the Book of Common Prayer (23 February). The Book had been accepted by the council on 21 Feb., following minor alterations, probably with the support of Clarendon, Southampton and Bishop Morley, and perhaps against the opposition of York and Sheldon (according to York), designed to make it more acceptable to Presbyterians.146

The addition by the committee on the uniformity bill of most of the amendments made by the Commons to the ministers act was a huge blow to Clarendon’s carefully studied strategy of moderation.The bill was reported to the House on 13 Mar.; there followed a series of debates which brought to a head the tensions over both that issue and the power struggle at court. On 17 Mar. after the House formally agreed to incorporate the new Book of Common Prayer into the bill of uniformity, the chancellor brought forward a proviso with the king’s recommendation: it would allow the king to dispense with the requirement of wearing the surplice and signing with the cross in baptism. On the following day the earl of Bristol caused a sensation by claiming firstly that the recommendation of a proviso from the king was a breach of privilege, and second that, despite the recommendation, the king was ignorant of it and it did not accord with the king’s own views. Bristol’s motion to enter a salvo in the journal saving the privilege of the House was rejected, and his claim about the king’s view contradicted by Ormond and York. Clarendon, according to Sir William Morrice, responded to Bristol with ‘great moderation’, saying ‘that the earl reminded not his religion nor what the laws enacted concerning the resort of those of his profession to the king, and in prudence he ought to have concealed what intercourse he had with his majesty’; Bristol furiously asserted his rights of access to the king ‘whom he had served so faithfully, and the flame rose high and some fuelled it on either side, but few on the earl’s’.147 On the 19th, Bristol made another attempt to persuade the House to abandon the proviso; it was perhaps then that John Cosin, bishop of Durham, also strongly opposed it. After ‘many hours debate’, during which Bristol accused Clarendon of trying to prevent Cosin from speaking, just as the question was about to be put Bristol introduced a new proviso to enable the King to give liberty of worship to anyone. ‘This my Lord Chancellor said was to admit popery, and desired the question might be put whether it should be rejected or else desired he might enter his protestation’. Bristol’s proviso was rejected on a division, and in a second vote the first proviso was accepted, upon which the proviso was referred, with the bill itself, to the committee which had initially dealt with it. News of the row between Clarendon and Bristol was widely reported.148 There were reports from Dorset of people associated with Bristol, especially Winston Churchill, speaking ‘very disgracefully’ about Clarendon.149 Probably on 4 Apr., Clarendon attempted to introduce another provision to make the Act less draconian, allowing dispensation from the requirement to renounce the Covenant. A committee of bishops was set to consider whether they thought the covenant had all to be renounced, and they (predictably) confirmed that it did. Despite their report, Clarendon continued to argue for the proviso, but defeated in a vote by 39 votes to 26.150

Clarendon was one of those managing conferences with the Commons on 10, 24 and 30 April concerning the uniformity bill and the bill for paving the streets of Westminster. Taken ill on 2 May, apart from an appearance on 14 May, he did not preside again for the rest of the session. (He was said to be still ‘much in disorder’ at the death of Cornbury’s wife, Theodosia, daughter of Arthur Capell, Baron Capell of Hadham, of smallpox, during March) 151

The new queen finally landed at Portsmouth on 14 May. Last minute difficulties about the form of the marriage ceremony were reported to Clarendon by frustrated and sleepless envoys Portland and Sheldon.152 It was unfortunate in the extreme that a ‘lusty black boy’ (Charles Fitzroy alias Palmer, later duke of Southampton and 2nd duke of Cleveland) was born to the king’s mistress, Clarendon’s distant cousin, Barbara Palmer, countess of Castlemaine (daughter of William Villiers, 2nd Viscount Grandison, a friend of Clarendon’s killed in 1643), about a month after the queen’s arrival.153 The queen’s reaction to the king’s determination that she be a gentlewoman of the queen’s bedchamber created a new court crisis, which Clarendon, reluctantly, tried to resolve. Although the queen was persuaded to back down, Clarendon retrospectively felt that the affair had helped to weaken his own influence with the king.154

The affair was occupying the court at the same time as the prospect of the Act of Uniformity coming into effect was beginning to unnerve ministers. Clarendon received a petition from Presbyterian ministers asking for ‘a connivance or grace of toleration’ before 2 June.155 Clarendon’s sharp remark to Richard Baxter, when he visited the chancellor sometime before 16 June, may have been a sign of the growing tension as the deadline approached.156 Clarendon appears to have been behind another attempt to mitigate the effect of the Act just after it came into effect, which was successfully resisted by Sheldon at a council meeting on 28 August. The attempt leaving Sheldon resentful and bitter for the lack of support from the chancellor – he wrote to him two days later complaining of his ‘great unkindness … in offering to expose me to certain ruin by the parliament, or the extreme hatred of that malicious party in whose jaws I must live, and never giving me the least notice of it’.157 Morley wrote to Clarendon on 3 Sept. 1662 regretting the latter’s ‘sad apprehensions, who are not naturally apt to be surprised or affected with them’.158

Also in August and September discussions were continuing with the Dutch over a Treaty (concluded in September), and with the French over the sale of Dunkirk. The French envoy D’Estrades was in England in July (en route to The Hague) to conclude a treaty – the Abbé Montagu told his successor the following year that he thought that Clarendon had been able to manipulate D’Estrades, though many subsequently thought that it had been the other way around.159 The French had been interested in acquiring Dunkirk for some time.160 Clarendon claimed to D’Estrades in Aug. 1662 that the proposal to sell Dunkirk had been his own, and was supported by the king and the duke of York, but not yet accepted by Monck, Southampton and Sandwich, ‘whom he could not hope to win over without large sums of money’.161 (In his memoir Clarendon attributed the first proposal for sale of the territory to the earl of Southampton, and suggested that he had been initially against it).162 Haggling was going on in August, but negotiations were far enough advanced for the king on 1 Sept. to issue a formal commission to Clarendon, Southampton, Albemarle and Sandwich to conduct negotiations on the sale.163 Clarendon was clearly attempting to ensure that the price paid was as high as possible; D’Estrades complained about slow progress, and Louis XIV himself protested to D’Estrades about the ‘apparent little artifices I have noticed quite often in various dialogues the said chancellor has had with you’.164 D’Estrades did at least acknowledge in two despatches in October the political risks Clarendon was running through his strong personal support for the treaty.165

Certainly the coalition of court forces against Clarendon was mobilizing again in autumn 1662. The appointment of Lord Hollis to be ambassador to France, rather than Sir Henry Bennet, had been interpreted as a success for Clarendon and for France.166 But it was followed by a signal defeat for him in the replacement of Nicholas as secretary of state by Bennet. The initial moves in this were attributed to Daniel O’Neill, and the background to it was the legal objections raised by Clarendon to a proposal concerning Henry Bishop’s lease of the post office, which were said to have irritated the king, and provoked him into forming an alternative scheme to gratify Bennet, as well as the renewed hostility to Clarendon of both the queen mother and the countess of Castlemaine.167 When the king announced his intention to appoint Bennet to the secretaryship of state, D’Estrades worried about the growth of his faction.168 Nicholas, initially reluctant to leave his post, was generously bought out.169 In a letter to Ormond of 19 Oct. 1662 Clarendon wrote that the rumour that the change in secretary of state was the first step to other alterations was malicious, though he discussed the assumption that behind it were the earl of Bristol and the earl of St Albans, and ‘Somerset House’ – the queen mother.170 Clarendon’s letter crossed with Ormond’s, which counselled him to cultivate a good relationship with the new secretary.171 The advice was not taken. Over the next couple of months, relations between the chancellor and secretary were extremely uneasy.172

With the Scottish billeting controversy in September, in which his ally Middleton had sought to exclude from power former covenanters including Lauderdale, Clarendon was plainly aware of pressure on him in the autumn and early winter. Already on 24 Dec. Pepys was hearing about a potential charge against ‘some great man’ when Parliament met, which he took to mean the chancellor.173 On the basis of a conversation with the king in early January the new French ambassador, the comte de Comminges, thought that Clarendon might have been right to be worried about Bennet; he pointed out that Clarendon’s illness was also a problem, as it meant that there was no ‘very easy access to those who have business with him, and could well fall into the hands of Sir [Henry] Bennet, who is approachable, and would certainly not turn them away’.174 While Bennet assiduously courted those who might help him, Clarendon made little effort to gain friends. He upset George Goring, earl of Norwich by (the latter claimed) misleading him over the grant of the customs.175 Edward Montagu, son of Edward Montagu, 2nd Baron Montagu of Boughton abused Clarendon and said that Bennet was his only friend, even if he was a Catholic.176

The Indulgence and the Bristol affair, 1663-4

The brewing conflict between the two ministers came to a head over the Declaration of Indulgence. Published the day after Christmas 1662, it was prepared by Bennet, and declared an intention to bring forward a bill in the next session of parliament to clarify the king’s power of dispensation with the ecclesiastical laws, as well as to attempt to secure relief for loyal catholics.177 It was probably, in principle, approved by Clarendon, since it was not clear that it would go beyond the efforts to moderate the Act of Uniformity that he had put forward earlier in the year. It was quite soon, however, that rumours began to circulate that he was hostile to it. In mid-January, Bennet wrote defensively to Ormond insisting that the chancellor had approved the Declaration.178

Clarendon’s objections, recorded in his Life, were to the bill to give effect to the Declaration, rather than to the Declaration itself. Clarendon referred to a reading of the bill at Worcester House, attended by Lord Robartes and Lord Ashley, its principal drafters.179 When the second session of the Cavalier Parliament opened on 18 Feb. 1663, Clarendon was not there, and he did not attend for the first ten sitting days of the session (overall he would attend 74 per cent of the sittings during the session). With the lord chief justice apparently unable to take over either, the lord privy seal, Robartes presided instead. Clarendon’s eventual appearance in the House on 12 Mar. followed the poor reception received by the bill in the Lords, as well as the mauling the Declaration had received in the Commons. On that day, the House met as a grand committee on the bill, with the lord chamberlain in the chair. Clarendon’s job was to effect a climbdown over the bill, and seems to have done a good job, the French ambassador praising his success in managing ‘his master’s reputation, parliament’s will and his own conscience, which he thinks is concerned if the declaration stands’.180 It was probably on the following day that Clarendon was goaded into an outburst against the bill by Lord Ashley’s intervention – referring to it as ‘ship-money in religion, that nobody could know the end of, or where it would rest; that if it were passed, Dr Goffe [Stephen Goffe, the oratorian and chaplain to Henrietta Maria] or any other apostate from the church of England might be made a bishop or archbishop here, all oaths and statutes and subscriptions being dispensed with’.181

The speech caused Clarendon the worst crisis of his chancellorship so far, deeply offending the king.182 It was almost certainly not a coincidence that very shortly after the debate Clarendon found an obstacle in the way of his Irish grant.183 The duke of York intervened with the king, though clearly Clarendon’s enemies took as much advantage as they could. By the 21st Clarendon and his allies hoped that the worst might be over, with Clarendon writing to Ormond ‘that the king doth begin to find that he hath been misled by those who were themselves never in the right way’.184 The penalty was that he had to go and pull the teeth of the latest attack on Catholics. On 23 Mar. Comminges reported that he was expected to respond to the votes of the Commons demanding the expulsion of all priests and Jesuits by trying to limit the action to Jesuits.185 It was on the 23rd that the House debated the votes of the House of Commons against priests and Jesuits. It nominated a committee to draft a petition to be presented to the king. The chancellor was one of its members, and probably the instigator of the alternative petition which emerged from it, asking for much more moderate action. Clarendon’s speech on behalf of the court’s proposals (possibly at the conference with the Commons on the 26th, which Clarendon managed) failed to convince the lower House, and the Lords gave in to the Commons, accepting their version of the proclamations, with (as was reported on the 29th) only three dissenters, ‘for all the great harangue was made to seduce them’.186 Clarendon presented the petition – in the Commons’ terms – to the king on 31 March.

Between April and June there was a huge tussle for power at court. Comminges reported on 30 Mar. that the queen mother had been displaying her dislike of the chancellor, but that the earl of St Albans had now ‘brought all the interests together’, and the duke of York had been demonstrating their determined support for Clarendon.187 Clarendon’s role in the Catholic affair, however, may have lost him some of the support among anti-Catholics that he had gained with his opposition to the Indulgence bill, particularly when the proclamation against priests that emerged was much less specific than had been expected. Comminges reported that ‘his creatures have lost heart, seeing that he varies his behaviour depending on whether he feels himself strong or weak in his master’s eyes’. Ashley, whom Comminges regarded as ‘the only man who can match him in intellect and resolve, does not refrain from freely expressing his sentiments on it, and contradicting him to his face’.188 About ten days later he was writing of the confidence of Bristol’s faction, though he remarked that it would be impossible to ‘take from the chancellor the knowledge of the majority of affairs, for it is certain he has put down such mighty roots that it would take a long time to bring down the tree’.189 Others, including the earl of Sandwich, regarded the chancellor as ‘irrecoverably lost’.190 An investigation into the sale of offices in the Commons was thought to be aimed at him.191 By 15 May Pepys believed that ‘the present favourites’ – Bristol, Buckingham, Bennet, Ashley, and Sir Charles Berkeley – had cast my lord chancellor upon his back, past ever getting up again; there now being little for him to do, and waits at court attending to speak to the king as others do’. Pepys thought that Southampton might be the next victim. 192

Pepys was wrong. Instead, at the end of May strenuous efforts seem to have been made by the king to effect a reconciliation between the two key figures, Clarendon and Bennet.193 By 1 June Comminges wrote that the chancellor and Bennet were in the ‘closest concert imaginable through the care taken by the king’.194 On 6 June Clarendon wrote warily to Ormond that ‘I can only say, that a man who hath not been deceived so much as I have been, would think that opinions are much changed, and that another course will be steered, than hath lately been’.195 Part of the reconciliation was probably an agreement that the two factions should work together in the Commons, with Bennet, his sidekick Sir Thomas Clifford, later Baron Clifford of Chudleigh, and Winston Churchill joining Clarendon’s regular meetings about managing the Commons.196 The reconciliation clearly excluded, or was taken to exclude, the earl of Bristol, who was said by Comminges to be bitter about Bennet’s betrayal. According to Ruvigny, the reconciliation finally came at the initiative of the earl of St Albans, who persuaded the king that the contest was having a serious effect on government business; Bennet made the calculation that an alliance with Clarendon represented a more solid foundation for power than one with Bristol.197

Cut out of the deal, Bristol reacted with his customary impetuosity. He mounted (or continued, now more exposed) a concerted campaign in the Commons to obstruct royal business while he tried to approach the king with an offer to manage the Commons and made efforts to prepare charges against Clarendon.198 On 12 June, probably as a result of the new alliance, the court succeeded in getting a vote for supply passed, over the opposition of Bristol’s ally Sir Richard Temple. On the following day Henry Coventry was sent to the Commons with the authority of the king to reveal that Temple had offered, via an intermediary, to manage the House, though without naming the intermediary.199 By the 20th, Bristol had been banished from the court.200 His name was given to the Commons on the 26th as the instigator of Temple’s offer to manage Parliament. Bristol asked the Commons to address it on 1 July, when in a much admired speech he managed to evade the question of what offers he had made to the king, and anticipated several of the charges that he would later make against Clarendon; returning to the Lords, in response to the complaint that he had attended the Commons without the permission of the House, he repeated his claims. Having refused to send the king his speech via an intermediary, on Monday 6 July, the king had an interview with Bristol at which Bristol gave him the speech and stated his intention to charge Clarendon with treason.201

There being little time left before the end of the session (the chancellor had already conveyed the king’s proposal for a recess on 2 July), Bristol, it was said, planned to do so the following day, but was prevented by the chancellor’s prompt adjournment of the House. On Thursday 9th he was in the House of Lords, talking to other peers (as was, on the other side, the duke of York), and on the 10th he came to the House early. According to one account the chancellor attempted to prevent him from speaking by introducing other business, but Bristol nevertheless succeeded in doing so, introducing his impeachment articles against Clarendon. 202 He demanded the chancellor’s commitment, and that the king’s counsel should draw up a charge and commissions to examine witnesses. Of the charges, the claim that Clarendon had ‘arrogated to himself a supreme Direction in all His Majesty’s Affairs both at Home and Abroad’ was the most plausible. Other charges were perhaps conceivable, such as that he had said that the king was ‘inclined to popery, and had a design to alter the religion established in the kingdom’, and that catholics had ‘such access and such credit with him, that unless there were a careful eye had unto it, the Protestant religion would be overthrown in this kingdom’. However, they seemed contradicted by a number of other charges in which Clarendon appeared to be encouraging Charles for favour Catholics, including sending Richard Bellings to negotiate at Rome to secure a cardinalate for Ludovic Stewart, Seigneur d’Aubigny, effectively acknowledging the Pope’s ecclesiastical sovereignty. Most of the charges, however, were intended to convey the impression that Clarendon had tried to exacerbate anti-Catholic feeling or were a compendium of recent rumours and everything that had caused discontent with the court, including removing the army of occupation from Scotland, selling Dunkirk, fostering a difference between York and the king by spreading the story that the king planned to legitimize James Scott, duke of Monmouth; and so on. If it was baffling why Bristol, a Catholic, might have made these charges, there was little doubt about why he might obtain support: in one letter to the young Theophilus Hastings, 7th earl of Huntingdon, Bristol’s allies were listed, including ‘all the nobility, disobliged (not to say abused) by the chancellor’, in particular Charles Stanley, 8th earl of Derby, the duke of Buckingham, William Cavendish, marquess, later duke, of Newcastle, Christopher Hatton Baron Hatton ‘(baffled in his pretentions to the privy seal)’, Lord Ashley ‘on many old and new scores’, Charles Gerard, Baron Gerard of Brandon, almost all the rest of the peers, and ‘the whole body of the Commons unlesse a lawyer or two preferred by the chancellor; nay shall I say all the People of England, that have been sound in their religion and constant in their loyalty’.203

The debate on Bristol’s articles began with a short vindication of himself by Clarendon and a vigorous denunciation of Bristol by the duke of York; the earl of Southampton successfully proposed a commitment of the articles to the judges, for an opinion on whether they amounted to treason. At court the charges were said to be ridiculous, and more dangerous for Bristol than for the chancellor; the queen mother was said to have tried very hard to prevent Bristol taking his action.204 Ruvigny reported that even the Jesuits were distancing themselves from him. He reported that on Saturday 11 July, Bristol had complained to the House about the duke of York’s speech the previous day, and then the rest of the day ‘passed in wrangling’; Bristol was attempting to get the Commons involved, ‘which is stronger, and where he has many friends, who have no links to or hopes in the court’.205 Notes by Philip Wharton, 4th Baron Wharton, on the presence of bishops in capital cases suggests that some preparations were being made for a possible impeachment.206

On Monday 13 July the Lords heard a message from the king, delivered by the chancellor himself, stating that many of Bristol’s allegations were untrue, and indicating that he regarded them as ‘a libel against his person and government’. The judges’ opinion was delivered on the same day. Bristol (opposed, unsuccessfully by Southampton) called for the judges to provide their reasons, and asked for time to summon witnesses from Ireland and Scotland.207 On the following day lord chief justice Bridgeman gave the ‘reasons and grounds’ for the judges’ unanimous opinion: that ‘a charge of high treason cannot, by the laws and statutes, be originally exhibited by one peer against another, unto the House of Peers’ and even if the charges were true, they did not amount to treason. The House agreed with them without dissent. Some barely legible notes by Wharton of the debate on the 13th and 14th suggest considerable.208 In response to Bristol’s request for time, the Lords were said, at the chancellor’s request, to have given Bristol until the first week of the next session of Parliament to bring his evidence. Comminges suggested that there was discussion about the possible arrest of Bristol, and Clarendon’s attempt to adjourn the House (possibly to prevent some request for his privilege), which ran into some difficulty until supported by courtiers.There was no formal conclusion to the debate, and beyond the agreement with the judges, no decision is recorded in the Journal.209 O’Neill wrote in early August that there had been protests against Clarendon for adjourning the House without its consent, but he had claimed at the next sitting that he did not hear anyone oppose the adjournment. ‘My Lord Wharton’s proposition’, seconded by the duke of Buckingham – presumably relating to Bristol’s protection from arrest – ‘would have carried if it had been formed into a question’. After that, the king’s attitude ensured that there was no attempt to revive talk of privilege, despite Bristol’s best efforts.210

The tactics of dealing with Bristol seem to have been the subject of continuing controversy at court, and the decision to let the issue continue until the next session may have been the result of poor communication.211 Comminges wrote on 23 July that many of the chancellor’s supporters had wanted to have some sort of trial of Bristol’s charges before the end of the Parliament, but they had failed to attract support, and that the chancellor himself was complaining that they had allowed the proposal to allow Bristol more time to collect evidence; to which they had responded that since it was he who made the proposal they had not unnaturally assumed that it was what he, and the court, had wanted.212 Clarendon was said to be suffering from the gout at the end of July, explaining his poor attendance at the end of the session. He was absent for six of the remaining sittings including the prorogation on 27 July, when the king again spoke without a closing contribution from the chancellor.213

At the end of the session, Bristol vanished, evading a warrant out for his arrest, and amid much speculation that he planned a dramatic appearance at the beginning of the next session.214 Comminges reported that the king had never seemed more affectionate to Clarendon than since the Bristol affair.215 Clarendon went into the country for August and September, staying rather longer than intended because of the king’s to Oxford. 216 In September £6,000 of his money from Ireland was paid.217

1664-5: the aftermath of the Bristol affair

Back in London in October Clarendon was again laid up with the gout, dealing with chancery business from his home. Isolated from the court, he was prone to suspicions about business being done behind his back at the beginning of November. The complexities of the Irish settlement occupied a good deal of the autumn. 218 Clarendon was well enough to preside in Westminster Hall on 28 Nov. ‘within a quarter of an hour after the day broke’, but on 12 December he wrote that he had had the worst fit of the gout ever in the previous four days.219 He was said to have recovered by 22 Dec., but in mid-January, Viscount Fitzharding [I] (as Sir Charles Berkeley had become) blamed delays in the Irish settlement on the lord chancellor’s indisposition. 220

Despite Bristol’s disappearance, tension at the court remained high. The French ambassador in his despatch of 25 Jan. reported a provocative reappearance of the earl of Bristol at his house in Wimbledon, and a farcical encounter in which John Belasyse, Baron Belasyse, visiting the chancellor, was mistaken by a servant for the earl and seized.221 Pepys heard on 1 Feb. that the Bristol/Clarendon struggle still ‘runs high’, and Ashley and Lauderdale were openly supporting Bristol.222 Clarendon himself was still enfeebled by gout: the letter he wrote to Ormond on 30 Jan, he said, was the first he had written himself for nine weeks. There hung over the court the threats of Bristol and his friends and what they might do when Parliament met in March. 223 The king’s maintenance of favour for Lauderdale as well as Bristol’s ostentatious behaviour – having his house done up and keeping a magnificent livery – helped to keep speculation alive.224

A newsletter noticed Clarendon’s first appearance out of doors for 14 weeks on 29 Feb., though he paid for it the following day.225 In anticipation of a new session of Parliament, there were a number of initiatives to try to negotiate an end to the Bristol affair, involving Bristol’s ally Sir Kenelm Digby, the Catholic d’Aubigny, and the earl of St Albans. Clarendon was said to have resisted any notice of the affair in parliament (such as an act vindicating him, or giving some assurances to Bristol that he would be allowed to return to the country after a period in exile), on the grounds ‘that it would be too strong an attack on the king’s authority, and would fortify that of Parliament’.226

Clarendon was still not well enough to attend the House at the beginning of the spring 1664 session (and overall attended 52 per cent of sittings), and so was not there during Bristol’s attempt to petition the king and the House. Nevertheless, he was intimately involved in the decisions made by the government on the affair. Lord Anglesey, the recipient of one of Bristol’s approaches assured Ormond on 19 Mar. that he was not ‘likely to hazard my lord chancellor’s friendship for my Lord Bristol’s compliment’, ‘though perhaps when all’s done’, he added, ‘I should rather have advised the open calling for my Lord Bristol to justice in parliament than to take the course that is now held.’227 That course involved a last minute adjournment on the 16th, with peers dressed in their robes and the queen ready to enter to watch the ceremony, in an attempt to arrest Bristol and prevent him from arriving to claim privilege. The French ambassador reported a council meeting at the chancellor’s home on the 17th to discuss the affair, and possibly a letter from Bristol to the king, in which he requested a ‘secret audience’ in order to reveal a ‘great secret’ which Clarendon was withholding from him – and threatened to reveal it in Parliament if he was not granted the audience.228

Clarendon was still absent from the House on 21 Mar. (with his cousin, the recently elevated lord chief justice Sir Robert Hyde presiding as speaker in his absence) when the countess of Bristol brought her husband’s petition to the House. The duke of York, backed by the earl of Southampton ensured in a debate the following day that the petition was not read, but directed straight to the king.229 The French ambassador wrote on 28 Mar. that Clarendon’s supporters were suggesting that as soon as he was able to attend parliament he would urge that Bristol be allowed to make his accusations.230 Although Clarendon was still not well enough to ‘find my feet’ on 2 Apr., he attended for the first time on 26 Apr., and for the last three weeks of the session.231 He reported messages from the king concerning the resolutions of both Houses on action against the Dutch, but otherwise is not specifically indicated in the Journal. The action taken by the king and court had largely succeeded in suppressing the Bristol affair; on 22 Mar. Huntingdon heard that Ashley and Lauderdale were ‘silent’, perhaps now ‘taken into the chancellor’s friendship’,232 and Pepys wrote at the end of April that the business had been ‘hushed up, and nothing made of it – [Bristol] gone and the discourse quite ended’.233 With Bristol’s departure some sort of calm seems to have descended over the court. Clarendon attended to his building project: he told Ormond of his plans for Clarendon House on 9 Apr. 1664, and in October he and his wife took John Evelyn to see the construction works.234

The opening of the Dutch War, 1664-66

The influence of Bristol’s charges, though, was visible in the fact that in early 1665 the new building was being referred to as ‘New Dunkirk’.235 Moreover the quiet at court during 1664 was not exactly harmony: the relationship beween Bennet and Clarendon remained a subject of gossip and anxiety throughout.236 The main preoccupation over the summer was with the prospect of war with the Dutch republic following clashes in Africa and a series of unsuccessful negotiations. Clarendon was closely involved in the discussions about it. He described in his Life a meeting at Worcester House in advance of the 1664-65 session of Parliament at which the question of raising money for the war was discussed, at which he and the earl of Southampton insisted (against Bennet and Coventry) that a large grant was requested to take advantage of the relative enthusiasm for fighting the Dutch, and plans were laid for a group of Norfolk MPs to propose the unprecedented grant in the Commons.237

Clarendon himself was not present at the beginning of the winter 1664-5 session: the narrative of dealings with the Dutch given at the opening of Parliament on 24 Nov. was read on the king’s behalf, instead of being a presentation by the chancellor, though it was drafted by him, or under his direction.238 But he was clearly closely involved in pursuing the strategy that had been fixed on: the proposer of the grant in the Commons, Sir Robert Paston, wrote to his wife on 29 Nov. that he had recently been at Worcester House and ‘sufficiently caressed by the chancellor’, and early the following year Paston was noting how ‘all the chancellor’s friends’ were supporting his efforts to get his private bill through the Commons.239 The chancellor remained away from the House for the entire session, which lasted until March, replaced for most of the time by Bridgeman, although at the end of January 1665 the lord privy seal received a new commission to serve as Speaker, and did so for the rest of the session.240

Despite the success of the 1664-65 session, the preparations for the war and Clarendon’s continuing illness may have helped to erode his central position in the administration, in particular over attracting the support of members of the House of Commons. (William Brouncker, 2nd Viscount Brouncker [I], told Pepys in mid-December 1666 that the ‘it is the chancellors interest… to bring peace again, for in peace he can do all and command all; but in war he cannot, because he understands not the nature of the war’.241) In January 1665 Thomas Salusbury was again telling the earl of Huntingdon about how Lauderdale, Ashley and Fitzharding were gaining over the chancellor in the king’s favour.242 Ashley and Bennet seem to have been active in soliciting support among members of the House of Commons. Paston referred in February to ‘a back friend of mine that loves not the chancellor, my Lord Ashley by name, told the king this morning he would give me four thousand pound a year for my bill’.243 Clarendon himself wrote about Bennet and Sir Charles Berkeley ‘caressing’ Paston, and encouraging him to expect a barony.244 The appointment of a prize commission and sub-commissioners, most of whom were members of the lower House, was organized by Bennet (raised to the peerage as Baron Arlington in March), Ashley and William Coventry, and much disapproved of by Clarendon, as a means of by-passing the normal exchequer financial controls.245 Clarendon himself reckoned that his dislike of the war – and his encouragement of the king’s own doubts – had cooled his relationship with the duke of York.246 Another affair, which was preoccupying the court sometime in the late summer of 1665 – the appointment of a successor to Edward Montagu as master of the horse to the queen, which the duke and duchess of York and Clarendon himself expected to go to Montagu’s brother Ralph Montagu, later duke of Montagu, – Clarendon saw as being manipulated in order to drive a wedge between himself and Southampton.247 The appointment of Sir William Coventry to the Privy Council in June 1665, and his joining the foreign affairs committee, or ‘junto’, was seen by Clarendon as a particularly grievous blow to his own dominance, as it had also introduced some coolness between himself and the duke of York – as had York’s desire that Sir George Savile, (Coventry’s nephew and later marquess of Halifax) be made a viscount, against Clarendon’s defence of what he claimed was the king’s determination not to swell the ranks of the peerage (Savile’s viscountcy was delayed until 1668).248

French ambassadors arrived in mid-April in an attempt to mediate between England and the republic. They felt that they were negotiating between Arlington, Lauderdale and Ashley, all advocates of war, on the one hand, and Clarendon on the other. By late June they thought the chancellor was losing his grip on the discussions: Ormond and Southampton were still very much on his side ‘but that he would rather let the war go on than admit to these two gentlemen that he needed their voices to bring the king his master to any resolution’.249

The final negotiations before the outbreak of the war at sea in the summer of 1665 coincided with Clarendon’s negotiations with the earl of Burlington for marriage of his second son, Laurence Hyde, to the earl’s daughter Henrietta. The subject seems to have been first broached by the duchess of York to the countess of Burlington in Mar. 1665. The chancellor seems to have found it difficult to supply the expectations required for his second son, and the match had to be vigorously supported by the duke of York, and even the king himself, who promised that Laurence Hyde would receive preferment.250 Clarendon’s old acquaintance, Katherine, Lady Ranelagh, Burlington’s sister, seems to have acted as a go-between. By mid June Burlington had agreed to the marriage, though he had insisted on an entail when an estate was purchased (presumably with the dowry). The wedding took place at the end of June, the service performed by the archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth in the presence of Clarendon, Ormond and the bishop of Winchester.251

Shortly after this, the plague caused the court to move out of London. When Clarendon wrote to Sandwich on 26 July from Twickenham, he was expecting shortly to go to Salisbury, where the court had fled.252 He spent September at Cornbury (‘one of the pleasantest places in England’, he told Sheldon). 253 The plague meant a relocation of the forthcoming parliamentary session to Oxford and Clarendon in his capacity as chancellor of the university, personally approved the arrangements for accommodation of members. 254 In late September he was also consulting on whether there should be a law term or not.255

Clarendon was present at the opening of the Oxford session on 9 Oct., and delivered a speech on the following day, but for the last eleven days of the short session he failed to attend (he was present for just a 26 per cent of the total number of sittings). The court secured its supply bill very quickly, although there was considerable controversy within it over the proposal of Sir George Downing for a new system of government borrowing, incorporated within the bill much to the regret of Clarendon and Southampton, and also, to Clarendon’s surprise, of Lord Ashley. Clarendon had interpreted the origins of the proposal, or at least the support for it from William Coventry and Arlington, as an attempt to replace Southampton as treasurer; his own anger at Downing for proposing it produced, in Clarendon’s own account, some annoyance in the king, the incident offering more encouragement to his enemies.256

Despite success with the supply bill, the government were dismayed to encounter pressure for a total ban on the importation of Irish Cattle.257 Edward Conway, Viscount (later earl of) Conway, told Ormond of his shock when he arrived at Oxford to hear about it, and how Clarendon had assured him of his support.258 The bill was suppressed that session, only to return the following year. Clarendon’s absence from parliament was, as usual, caused by gout. By the end of November, the king and council were said to be meeting three times a week in his lodgings.259 Clarendon wrote to Ormond on 11 Dec. from Oxford that he was ill again, adding ‘what I think of the war, you know. I pray God put an end, or take me out of the world’.260 Clarendon was at Cornbury in early January 1666, where a misunderstanding resulted in his being woefully unprepared when the king came for dinner, a fact which Arlington reported to Ormond not without amusement.261 A few days later he left for Twickenham.262

Well enough to preside as lord high steward at the trial of Lord Morley in Westminster Hall on 30 Apr., the chancellor’s speech on the occasion congratulated the peers ‘for being restored to that high and invaluable part of your privilege, birthright, that no person of your own rank how great an offender soever shall be tried but before your selves’. He warned them not to give way to compassion or to ‘indignation to see a nobleman stoop to mean and sordid actions at which nobility blushes and hides its face to see a great lord unpeer himself’. 263 With the desperate need to find money for continued naval operations, particularly early in the fighting season, Clarendon was instrumental in persuading the City to lend £100,000 in June, and was dealing with the financial and legal implications of raising troops to oppose a possible Dutch attack on the coast in July, though this was ended by the victory of the Four Days’ Fight later that month.264

Clarendon had moved to Berkshire House, opposite St James’s Palace and recently vacated by the French ambassadors, by October 1666, where Burlington found him on his arrival from Ireland. The move was explained as avoiding the damp of the river, but may also have been in preparation for the completion and occupation of Clarendon House, a short distance away on Piccadilly, or to get further away from the danger and devastation caused by the Fire of London in the first week of September.265 Clarendon House, which as Orrery observed was as far away from the river again as Berkshire House, was sufficiently complete by Christmas Day for Burlington to take communion in the chapel there.266

The session of 1666-7

The move to Berkshire House may have improved Clarendon’s health, for the chancellor was present to preside at the beginning on 18 Sept. of the autumn/winter session 1666-7, missing only six days’ business before Christmas, and therefore present at the debates on the Irish cattle and public accounts bills and the inquiry into the Canary Company, while the government desperately sought to obtain a grant of supply to carry on the war. A month into the session, Pepys attended a meeting of the Tangier committee of the council, on 13 Oct., from which he came away ‘mad in love with my lord chancellor, for he doth comprehend and speak as well, and with the greatest easiness and authority, that ever I saw man in my life’.267

The Irish cattle bill came to the Lords on 16 Oct., and took up many hours of debate in committee of the whole House in the last two weeks of October, reaching a climax after a break on 8, 9 and 10 November. Clarendon complained bitterly of the conduct of the debates, ‘so disorderly and unparliamentary that the like had never been known: no rules or orders of the house for the course and method of debate were observed’.268 Conway wrote to Ormond praising Clarendon’s determined, but unsuccessful, opposition to the bill, and conveying the chancellor’s willingness to support measures to mitigate its effects in Ireland.269 A few days after the passage of the bill in the Lords on Friday 23 Nov. he reported to Ormond how he had thanked Clarendon for his support, adding that ‘though the blow seemed chiefly to be struck at your grace, yet I was certain, and should glory in the honour of it, that we did also suffer upon the account of being his servants’. When he said that he thought part of the conspiracy was to replace Ormond with the duke of Monmouth, Clarendon responded that ‘they had not wit enough to drive on such a design’. Conway wrote that he had told him ‘he was a better statesman, than a soldier, for a soldier ought not to despise his enemy’.270

When the Lords debated the Commons’ rejection of the Lords’ amendments to the bill on 17 Dec., Clarendon vigorously argued that the description of the importation of Irish cattle as a ‘nuisance’, designed to prevent the exercise of the king’s discretion to override the ban, was ‘against the king’s prerogative, an affront, and diminution to him, an unreasonable, improper, unusual and nonsense word’: he was opposed, though ultimately unsuccessfully, by Buckingham, Ashley and Lucas.271 The reasons for leaving out the word were reported to the House on 29 Dec., when, Conway wrote to Ormond, ‘my Lord Ashley seemingly to compose the difference, moved it might be changed into felony, or a praemunire, my lord Chancellor drolled very well, and said he thought it might as reasonably be called adultery’. 272

The investigation into the patent for the Canary Company, launched in the Commons at the beginning of October, was seen as potentially harming Clarendon, regarded as a sponsor of the incorporation of the company, though in his memoir he had defended at length the decision to do so as a collective one and done by the assent of the Canary merchants.273 The Commons voted the patent illegal and sent to the Lords for a joint appeal to the king to withdraw it on 29 October. The Lords put off the issue, while the court considered how to react: they finally settled on a line that the matter should be dealt with judicially, and that the Commons’ vote was a usurpation of the judicial privilege of the Lords. The Commons agreed to present their arguments against the patent to the Lords on 19 Dec., and there was a further hearing on 7 Jan., at which one speech, possibly by Ashley, may well have been directed against Clarendon; but no further action was taken.274

The Commons’ move for an examination of government accounts by a joint committee, initiated in Nov., was rejected by the Lords on 22 November. Clarendon described the reaction to the proposal within government in his memoir, including his own determination that it should be resisted, telling the king that although he should be a defender of the privileges of parliament, he should be ‘equally solicitous to prevent the excesses in parliament, and not to suffer them to extend their jurisdiction to cases they have nothing to do with; and that to restrain them within their proper bounds and limits is as necessary as it is to preserve them from being invaded’.275 The Commons’ alternative proposal, a bill to create a statutory committee, was worse. In the debate on the bill on 19 Dec., the House of Lords agreed to propose instead that both Houses should petition the king for a royal commission to review the accounts. Clarendon paid careful attention to the king’s reply and the membership of the proposed commission (excluding government members, who all happened to be allies of Arlington, including Sir Thomas Clifford and Sir William Coventry).276 Lord Conway understood at the end of December that ‘because this was a contrivance of my lord chancellor’s’, Lord Ashley, James Compton, 3rd earl of Northampton and others had decided not to participate in the commission, and firmly expected an impeachment to be mounted against Clarendon.277

The decision to adjourn only for a few days over Christmas – in the hope that a thin House might secure the supply bills – was taken against Clarendon’s advice. Clarendon’s ally, Brodrick, told Ormond how it had been counterproductive.278 Clarendon himself succumbed again to the gout early in the new year. After attending the House for the first few days after Christmas, he was absent from 8 Jan. for the rest of the session.279 An impasse had been reached by the middle of January over the word ‘nuisance’ in the Irish Cattle bill. The decision to concede the point was taken at a meeting on Sunday 13 Jan. at Berkshire house, with Clarendon the only one to hold out against it.280 A week later Clarendon told Conway that Arlington had persuaded the king reluctantly to accept the bill by arguing that it would change the attitude of the Commons: the king was already regretting his decision.281 Though the Lords were also encouraged to drop their objections to an amended version of the accounts bill in the same week, the bill was lost between the Houses at the end of the session.

Clarendon recognized that the 1666-67 session had gained him many enemies in the Commons because of a number of apparently contemptuous remarks he freely made in the Lords, encouraging the latter (as he described it in his memoir) to ‘be more solicitous in preserving their own unquestionable rights and most important privileges, and less tender in restraining the excess and new encroachments of the house of commons, which extended their jurisdiction beyond their limits’.282 There seem to have been moves towards an impeachment towards the end of the session. Three petitions were presented to the Lords during January against chancery decrees made by Clarendon, to follow up one presented back in mid-November.283 The duke of Buckingham was said to be soliciting complaints against the chancellor.284 On 2 Feb. Conway told Ormond of a meeting he and the earl of Anglesey had had with the chancellor, when Clarendon ‘read us his answer to a petition brought up against him into the House of Lords, about a decree [which] he made in chancery, which is very handsomely drawn, we also discoursed of many insolencies, and insufferable behaviours of the House of Commons both in their private and public capacities’. Clarendon’s response was read in the Lords on 4 Feb. by his ally the earl of Bridgwater, just a few days before the prorogation on the 8th.285

The 1667 crisis

By the end of the session Burlington was able to report that Clarendon was well enough to be instrumental in arranging a match for Ormond’s granddaughter, and he was also, Anglesey reported, deeply involved in discussions on averting economic crisis in Ireland as a result of the passage of the Irish Cattle Act.286 Following the reluctant, risky, but inevitable decision at the end of February not to set out a fleet for the summer’s campaign, over March, April and May, Clarendon carried out lengthy exchanges with the earl of St Albans in Paris in the hope of negotiating a peace treaty and preventing the Dutch from setting out their fleet.

In early April, Clarendon moved into Clarendon House, and was said to ‘come abroad again’ around the middle of the month.287 As usual he was deeply concerned in various private businesses: he advised Katharine, Viscountess Ranelagh on a marriage settlement (though he resisted her discussing Yorkshire militia business on Burlington’s behalf); he was appealed to by the earl of Winchilsea for help in avoiding his son contracting an unsuitable marriage; he acted as a broker between Philip Stanhope, 2nd earl of Chesterfield and Charles Henry Kirkhoven, Baron Wootton; and he was called on to support the commissioners responsible for the duke of York’s Irish affairs.288

The earl of Southampton’s death was generally expected well before it happened on 16 May, and it was commonly assumed that it would have a serious impact on the chancellor’s hold on power.289 The chancellor wrote that he had unsuccessfully opposed the king’s plan to replace him with a commission, failed to persuade the king to base the commission on previous precedents, and managed only to get the king to include the chancellor of the exchequer.290 Anglesey noted that the failure to include the chancellor himself on the commission was ‘wondered at’, though Sir Alan Brodrick commented that Clarendon’s ‘extraordinary’ advocacy of the claim of the earl of Bridgwater as treasurer may have helped his opponents.291 Southampton’s death was the first of a series that closely affected the chancellor: the young duke of Kendal died only a few days later, and by the end of May the condition of the countess of Clarendon was giving acute cause for alarm.292

The Dutch attack on the English fleet in the Medway took place on 10-14 June. Clarendon wrote feelingly of the panic at court that ensued.293 Over the next ten days of lengthy debates in the council, one theme was whether to recall Parliament. York, Clarendon and Sir George Carteret were said to be the key voices resisting the widely supported proposal.294 One account of the debate suggested that Anglesey had proposed a new parliament, which was ‘sharply opposed’ by Sheldon; Sir William Coventry seconded Anglesey, and was ‘more moderately’ responded to by Clarendon. In a second debate, perhaps on the 19th, Coventry argued, and prevailed, for a recall of the existing Parliament to a closer date than was initially decided. In his memoir, Clarendon wrote that the time was ‘so unseasonable for the council of a Parliament, that if it had been then sitting, the most wholesome advice that could be given would be to separate them’.295 Clarendon seems to have advised that the king should rely on his prerogative to raise money in an emergency, rather than rely on parliament; in his memoir he also wrote that he had proposed the dissolution of the present parliament and the election of another, in order to overcome the difficulty that the present parliament was prorogued to October. The king, however, determined on a recall, which was announced on 25 June for a month ahead.296

Opposition to the government was likely to come from the duke of Buckingham, whose arrest – on a dubious charge relating to fomenting rebellion – had been ordered by the king shortly after the end of the previous parliamentary session. Before giving himself up on 28 June, Buckingham (identifying Arlington as his principal antagonist) had sought support from Clarendon.297 Clarendon’s secretary, Matthew Wren, told Pepys a year later that Clarendon had refused to discuss a deal with Buckingham, perhaps then or possibly after Buckingham’s release from the Tower on 14 July.298 His stance made him an obvious target of parliamentary attack, compounded by his support for Sir George Carteret, one of the figures who were most strongly identified as responsible for the disaster. 299 Ormond offered support to Clarendon by sending his son Lord Ossory over with Burlington.300

The progress towards conclusion of a peace treaty with the Dutch gave Clarendon sufficient confidence to tell Burlington not to hurry over on 13 July, expecting Parliament to disperse shortly after it met on the 25th. He claimed not to be worried about the rumours, ‘and have no apprehensions of the effects of them as to my own particular’.301 Others thought Clarendon was much more at risk than this: Pepys reported on 17 July that after Buckingham had met the king, Clarendon and Arlington had been ‘delivered up’ to Buckingham’s revenge, and also told a new story about how York and Clarendon had become concerned about the king’s interest in Frances Stewart, and had done all they could to ensure that she was married hastily to Charles Stuart, 3rd duke of Richmond.302

Clarendon was present for the two days of the brief and abortive, but very well-attended, meeting of Parliament on 25 and 29 July, hastily prorogued following news of the peace.303 He does, however, seem to have been making his own preparations for the forthcoming session. Following the prorogation, one of Ormond’s correspondents told him on 10 Aug. of the chancellor’s contacts with nonconformist ministers, including John Owen.304

The public crisis coincided with an acute personal one. In late June the countess of Clarendon had been taken seriously ill, and she died on the evening of 9 August.305 Clarendon’s dismissal from office, within two weeks of her funeral on the 17th, resulted from something between political calculation, conspiracy (the Clarendon camp blamed Arlington and Coventry) and misunderstanding. Clarendon himself suggested that the king had decided within a couple of weeks of his wife’s death that he should surrender his position in order to protect him from the wrath of the forthcoming session of Parliament.306 Other accounts suggest a farcical confusion, in which, suffering profoundly from his several bereavements – his wife, his two grandsons, and his closest political ally – Clarendon gave the impression to York that he really wanted to retire from political life.307 Encouraged by Sir William Coventry, York secured the king’s agreement, only to find subsequently that Clarendon was not at all willing to give up office. Over the next few days there was an acute struggle over the chancellor’s future. Clarendon’s defenders may even have included Buckingham, suspicious of Arlington.308 The tussle placed Ormond, and especially his son, Ossory, in an intensely awkward position because of his relationship with Arlington.309 Clarendon’s enemies certainly included Castlemaine whose animosity was later said to have intensified because he had stopped some grants of £2,000 a year to her brother Lord Grandison, for the use of her children (a story which helped to enhance the fallen chancellor’s reputation).310 The struggle caused a deep rift between York and his secretary, Coventry, whom he dismissed, replacing him with Clarendon’s secretary, Matthew Wren.311 Lady Ranelagh recommended to Burlington on the 27th that he should stand by the chancellor in his declining fortunes, especially because it was said that the king was still expressing his esteem to him, and because he was still extremely solicitous of his daughter-in-law, Burlington’s daughter.312

Clarendon recounted a meeting between the king, York and himself on 26 Aug., at Whitehall, at which he made it clear that he was not prepared to give up his office voluntarily.313 The king’s decision to dismiss the chancellor came on the 30th. The seals were given to Sir Orlando Bridgeman, now made lord keeper. Ossory wrote to Ormond on the following day, saying he had been to see Clarendon, who planned to remain in town until the end of the next session of Parliament, ‘when he purposes to show himself and says he fears not all that can be done unto him’. The king’s displeasure with Clarendon was clear, though his reasons for finally sacking him less so, particularly after having so long dithered about it.314 Coventry wrote that the king had explained that, among many other reasons for his dismissal, ‘my lord chancellor took so much upon him that it took away the liberty of debate in the council; but the king says his tenderness toward his royal highness made him endure it thus long’.315 In the absence of a formal explanation, Ormond found it difficult to know what to make of events in London.316 His letter to Clarendon offering him his sympathy was late and rather careful, which Clarendon may have resented slightly.317 Clarendon wrote to Ormond on 24 Sept. that he was ‘accused of insolence and sauciness in debates’ and defended himself for speaking out; his statement that ‘it is not impossible that I may yet do him more service under his displeasure, than I have been able to do in his favour’ was perhaps a risky indication that, aggrieved, he intended to pursue and independent political line.318 Sheldon’s complaint, in a letter to Ormond, that the two of them ‘shall not fare the better, for being supposed to have a kindness for one that had none’ for them took Ormond aback; Sheldon’s response to his request for more details of how Clarendon had failed them, just as proceedings on Clarendon’s impeachment were getting into their stride, was remarkably bitter: ‘God knows, for these divers years, I have had little reason to be fond of him. Whether you have had so, Your Grace best knows... I wish him innocent; but if he prove guilty, let him suffer.’ 319 Clarendon’s enemies were naturally delighted: John Grenville, earl of Bath, and Lord Berkeley at Bagshot were said to be ‘not a little pleased with this disgrace of my Lord Chancellor’.320 Burlington’s personal alliance with Clarendon placed him in an awkward position, and he noted in his diary an interview with the king on 20 Oct. in which he sought and secured his permission to visit Clarendon as often as he wished.321

With the new parliamentary session looming, Clarendon took care to avoid being seen to be creating a cabal. Though he had been dissuaded from going into the country by the duke and duchess of York, he asked the new French ambassador in early September not to visit him.322 Pepys heard that the removal of the chancellor was a step on the way to an attack on York with a declaration of the legitimacy of the duke of Monmouth.323 The intense negotiations in anticipation of the new session encompassed attempts to reconcile Arlington and Buckingham: Buckingham, nursing what had become a settled hostility to Arlington, was still reluctant to jettison Clarendon, and the two were reported, in the days before Parliament met, to be ‘frequently together, locked up.’324 James recorded his assumption that Northumberland – leading an attempt to bring in a comprehension bill, along with Lord Holles and (improbably) Robert Sydney, 2nd earl of Leicester – was a friend of the chancellor’s.325

On 30 Sept. Ruvigny understood that an impeachment was under preparation, although it was not intended to extend to capital charges. Clarendon’s offer to leave London until the beginning of the session was dismissed by the king, referring to his failure to depart when the king had wanted him to earlier.326 This indication of the king’s firm displeasure seems to have rattled Clarendon: when Evelyn visited him, two days before the opening of Parliament, he found him in ‘continual apprehension’.327 By then, however, the impeachment had become entangled in the political responses to the French incursion into the Spanish Netherlands. Ruvigny wrote to his master that Clarendon was now in touch with the Imperial ambassador, Isola, in the belief that reaction to the invasion might interrupt the impeachment. For similar reasons, Clarendon’s enemies were trying to suppress interest in the situation in the Netherlands. Ruvigny reported a conversation with Buckingham on 13 Oct., in which the latter – who had now plumped for the anti-Clarendon camp – had promised him to prevent a call for a Spanish alliance, and said that tomorrow they would start to work on the ruin that had been resolved for Clarendon. The king had insisted that York should not oppose votes of thanks to the king in both Houses for the removal of the chancellor. York reluctantly agreed, but reserved his right ‘if the enemies of the chancellor pushed him too far’.328

Clarendon was absent when Parliament resumed on 10 Oct., and never sat in the House again. Neither the king nor the lord keeper referred to his dismissal in their respective speeches. The Commons’ address of thanks in response to the king’s speech, drawn up by a committee whose first member was Sir Thomas Littleton and reported to the House on the 14th, offered thanks for a series of recent measures, and particularly the chancellor’s removal.329 Sir Job Maynard spoke in his defence, but the debate was dominated by an intensely hostile speech by the respected lawyer (and former friend of the chancellor) John Vaughan.330 The Lords concurred with the vote the following day, with only two earls speaking against it, although the duke of York, and the earls of Peterborough, Bridgwater and Burlington and perhaps others left the House to avoid voting.331 (Clarendon’s own claim that an original motion by Thomas Tomkins to thank the king for his dismissal was not accepted, and only passed after the king intimated that it was not unacceptable to him, and insisted that the Lords should accept it too, does not seem reconcilable with the evidence).332 When the vote was presented to the king on the 15th, his response that he never intended to employ Clarendon again in a place of trust was ‘received with a great hum’.333

In his memoir, Clarendon wrote that while the king had no intention to take matters further, others did, and considerable efforts were made to uncover information against him, including investigating (unsuccessfully, according to him) whether Francis Willoughby, 4th (CP 5th) Lord Willoughby of Parham, had given him a bribe for the governorship of Barbados.334 A number of initiatives in the Commons during the first few days of the session were indeed clearly aimed at Clarendon or his allies: committees were appointed to consider the bill on public accounts, privilege and freedom of speech in Parliament, ‘innovations’ in trials of people for their lives, the restraints put on juries (all of these with their first member John Vaughan), the miscarriages of the war, the reasons for the sale of Dunkirk, ‘and whether any money were paid into the hands of any private person’.335 A new petition from William Taylor suggested a revival of the last session’s impeachment of Lord Mordaunt, seen as an ally of Clarendon.336

Manoeuvres in the Lords too may have been preparatory to an assault against Clarendon, including the underage summons to the John Sheffield, 3rd earl of Mulgrave, later duke of Buckingham and Normanby, and the bill for regulating the trials of peers (probably the same as that presented in the 1666-7 session).337 Petitions against a chancery decree made by Clarendon presented by Robert Selvin and Robert Blackstone and others, and another petition against chancery proceedings by Henry Petit were no doubt also connected.338 A hearing at the bar of Petit’s petition on 18 Nov. had to be put off, because Hyde had been unable to find counsel – an indication of the perception of the dangers involved in supporting the Hyde family – and the decree was reversed on 25 November.339 A petition from Cuthbert Morley and Bernard Grenvile asking the House to set aside the dismissal of their bill in chancery possibly tapped into sentiment against the failure to protect the estates of royalists sequestered and sold during the war.340 John Nicholas wrote to his father, former secretary of state Sir Edward Nicholas, about how Lady Dacre was planning to revive her litigation with him, since she had been unable to obtain justice previously, Clarendon having been ‘so much your friend’.341

The struggle began in earnest when Buckingham on 23 Oct. proposed that the king’s response to the address should be entered into the Journal: he was opposed by York, but eventually the motion was accepted once an argument over precedent was overcome. On the same day in the Commons Sir Thomas Littleton proposed that a day be appointed to hear an accusation against Clarendon; surprisingly, it was unsuccessful and a second attempt on the 26th, only secured a committee to review precedents on impeachments.342 One MP, Robert Spencer, the nephew of the earl of Southampton, wrote that evening of how he had rebutted the claim that although his uncle had been treasurer, ‘my lord chancellor disposed of all the money’.343 John Vaughan reported the conclusions of the committee on the 29th: the debate that ensued focused on whether an impeachment could be sent to the Lords and Clarendon’s committal to prison requested before witnesses were examined as to the truth of the articles. Although a committee was established to draw up an impeachment, the procedural question was left in the air.344

Ruvigny’s analysis in late October suggested that the war over Clarendon was in part a proxy war over the position of York: those most vehemently calling for an impeachment were principally worried about the influence of the ex-chancellor on York. They were hoping to persuade the king that Clarendon had schemed to set up his own family in line to the throne and (according to Buckingham) was instilling in the heir to the throne ‘violent thoughts capable of overthrowing all of England; that he had to be stopped’. Buckingham was telling the king that he ‘should put himself at the head of Parliament, which had no other intention than to establish his authority and render England so powerful that she would be no less redoubtable in all Europe than she had been at the time of his usurper.’ In a running dispatch Ruvigny reflected on how powerful this group had become, with Arlington and others unable to contradict it, though he also reported that he had seen the articles of impeachment drawn up by Bridgeman, which contained ‘nothing weighty or convincing enough to bring down a man of such importance, who is supported by the bishops, by the men of justice, by the bankers, and above all, by M. the duke of York’. The drive to use the Commons to destroy Clarendon could only, in the long run, have a serious impact on the king’s authority (a point which, according to Clarendon’s memoirs, he himself made forcibly to the king).345 The duke of York had forced the king to agree that there was no truth in the claim that the chancellor had advised him to abolish Parliament and govern his kingdoms in future by the army. York had then instructed Matthew Wren to pass on the king’s admission, to the latter’s annoyance. About this time, however, York’s capacity to fight Clarendon’s corner was compromised when he was struck down with smallpox: although he escaped lightly, he was incapacitated for several weeks. 346

By now, speculation was also encompassing a possible impeachment of Ormond as well: Arlington denied the rumours when asked by Lord Conway, attributing them to ‘the shop at Clarendon House’, though Conway thought the real source was Clarendon’s opponents. ‘I never knew any man as confident as [Clarendon] is of his innocence, and integrity’, Conway wrote on 5 Nov., reporting that the man himself believed that Lord Berkeley was his strongest opponent, though Conway repeated the current suspicion that behind it all was a scheme to block the duke of York from the succession, either through a divorce or a bill legitimizing Monmouth.347

On the same day the king was said to have removed from Clarendon all his remaining commissions, particularly the lord lieutenancies of Wiltshire and Oxfordshire, and commanded him not to attend the council.348 This may have helped Clarendon’s opponents in the Commons gain the upper hand. On the 6th, Sir Thomas Littleton reported the heads of the impeachment. An attempt to have a committee to review the evidence and report was defeated in a division, with Edward Seymour and Sir Thomas Osborne, later earl of Danby, (ultimately duke of Leeds), the tellers for the majority, Col. Birch and Sir Thomas Clarges the tellers for the minority. The House accepted on 8 Nov. that the charges were sufficient to mount an impeachment. Whether they amounted to treason, and were therefore both capital and enough to justify an immediate committal to the Tower, was more arguable. Ormond commented, for example, in relation to the 15th article, that he could ‘not well conceive from whom, in this kingdom, Lord Clarendon could receive £50,000. What an Act of Parliament gives can hardly... be called a bribe.’349 The articles were argued over at considerable length on 9 Nov., debate focusing initially on the first, that he had recommended suspending the rule of law during the crisis of the summer. The claim that this accusation amounted to treason was defeated in a division, with the equivocal position of John Vaughan, later 3rd earl of Carbery [I]on the subject apparently a key factor in the vote. The outcome was a serious blow to the campaign against Clarendon, making it unlikely that he could be tried for his life.

The situation was reversed, however, on the next sitting day, Monday 11 Nov., when the 16th article – an allegation that Clarendon had ‘deluded and betrayed’ the king in negotiations relating to the war – was amended on the floor of the House (according to Clarendon, by John Vaughan into a slightly more specific claim that he had ‘betrayed’ secrets to the king’s enemies, a claim made possible by information from the Imperial ambassador, Baron Isola, possibly when he dined with Buckingham the previous night. More details of the charge emerged later: the leaking to France of a decision to allow English troops to go into Spanish service, and a correspondence Clarendon was alleged to have had with Lionne.350 It was difficult to argue that this was not treason (whether or not it was accurate, and leaving aside the suspect origins of the information, to which a number alluded), and it was voted to be so on a division.351

On the next day an impeachment of Clarendon for treason and other high crimes and misdemeanours was carried up to Lords by Edward Seymour, accompanied by a demand that Clarendon be committed into custody, and a message that the Commons planned, ‘within a convenient time’, to bring in their specific charges.352 On receiving the accusation, the Lords went into committee. Debate went on from 10 in the morning until well into the evening, covering a wide range of precedents, and continued on 14 Nov., when the House finally resolved to tell the Commons that it Clarendon had not been imprisoned since they had ‘only accused him of treason in general and have not assigned or specified any particular treason’.353 The message was delivered at a conference the following day.

On the 16th Pepys was told about the king’s growing animus against the chancellor, fed by Buckingham and Bristol, ‘his only cabinet council’, who were also encouraging him to quarrel with the duke of York; how Henry Coventry had gained great reputation by his refusal to obey the king’s instruction not to defend Clarendon; and how there was even speculation of an impeachment of York.354 According to his memoir, Clarendon wrote to the king on 16 Nov., requesting permission to go into exile: the king burnt the letter, saying only that he was surprised that he had not gone away already.355 On the 18th Ruvigny referred to the possibility of deadlock between the two Houses. If that happened, he thought Clarendon might seek vindication through the courts after the end of the session, or the king might try to constitute a lord steward’s court to try the case.356

The Commons’ response to the Lords was delivered at a conference on 19 November. They claimed that the Lords had complied with their requests before in similar cases, that it was lawful for the judges to remand a person to prison on a general commitment for high treason; that if particular reasons were given ‘it would be a ready course that all complices in the treason might make their escape’. They asserted that Parliament had ‘unconfined discretion’ for the safety and preservation of parliament itself: ‘it cannot be malicious to a part of itself, nor affect more power than already it hath, which is absolute over itself and parts, and may therefore do, for preservation of itself, whatsoever is not repugnant to natural justice’. On the 20th the Lords reaffirmed their decision not to commit Clarendon to prison. There were protests from 29 peers, three of whom were bishops. Ruvigny a couple of days later referred to those who had protested as a ‘party’, with Buckingham and Albemarle at its head, who supported the king and the privilege of the Commons against a majority of the peers, and were deliberately seeking to create a political crisis. He talked also of an attempt by Lords Ashley and Anglesey to create a rival ‘moderate’ group in the Lords, headed by the earl of Northumberland and encompassing Arlington, as a counterweight.357

Clarendon wrote in his memoir how he had for a long time resisted the advice of his friends to leave the country. After more than a week in which the two Houses wrangled about the proper procedure for holding conferences, his departure was widely expected although Clarendon was still reluctant to invite the assumption of his guilt by taking flight.358 Clarendon’s own account mentions an approach by Herbert Croft, bishop of Hereford – which he would not confirm or deny came at the instigation of the king – saying that he would not be prevented if he were to leave the country; Clarendon’s request for a passport, though, was turned down, on the grounds that it might infuriate the Commons.359 Clarendon also wrote that Ruvigny offered him asylum in France.360

Eventually the Lords agreed to hold a conference on the 28th – apparently against the duke of Buckingham’s will, still set on creating a crisis between the two Houses – on the question of Clarendon’s committal.361 The debate between the two Houses now focussed on the value of the precedent of Strafford’s trial in 1641 and whether it could or should be used, given that the attainder against him had been repealed; the Lords attacked the Commons’ demand for Clarendon’s imprisonment in more general terms too, citing the Petition of Right against it.362 Afterwards, the Lords voted to stand by their previous decision.363 On the next sitting day, Monday 2 Dec., they sent a message to the Commons to inform them of their vote.

One report suggested that Buckingham’s strategy was working and that the contest was seen in some quarters as an unjustified defence of their privileges by the House of Lords, against a supreme power in the Commons.364 Ruvigny thought that ‘The king of England has taken the side of the Commons, who can make him powerful, and so it seems; but also by taking authority they may set terrible limitations on his own.’365 Lord Anglesey (later regarded as ‘imprudent’ for pushing the argument so far) clearly shared the view that the dispute really was one for precedence between the Lords and Commons:

should the Lords yield to what the Commons would have in this matter, it were to make them worse then any Justice of the Peace (whereas they are the highest court in the Kingdom); that they cannot be judges whether an offender be to be committed or bailed, which every Justice of the Peace doth do.366

Clarendon, however, had decided to leave, following a visit from the duke of York, now sufficiently recovered from the smallpox, on the morning probably of Sat. 30 November. He left that same night, though he did not reach Calais for several days. On 3 Dec., Basil Feilding, 2nd earl of Denbigh, announced to the Lords that he had been asked by Lord Cornbury to present a paper to the House, which turned out to be Clarendon’s petition and vindication. It was read to the House, reported to the king, and a message sent to the Commons; on the 4th it was debated and voted to be communicated to the Commons as scandalous and seditious.367 Anglesey wrote to Ormond that ‘the wisest’ generally thought Clarendon’s move was misguided.368 The paper (though admired ‘for the style’) was regarded with some scorn. Lauderdale wrote to Moray that it was ‘almost as full of impudent lies as of lines’, and that ‘the little man’ (perhaps Lord Ashley) said in the House ‘that it is a justification of the Commons, for it is evident how he hath done the king’s business these 7 years who does his own so extraordinarily.’369 His departure was taken both as proof of his guilt and as likely to resolve the crisis between the two Houses.370 On the 5th the earl of Northampton brought in a bill to banish Clarendon: it was read a second time on the 7th and passed on the 12th.371 Sir Robert Howard returned Clarendon’s vindication from the Commons on the 6th and reported the lower House’s own resolution that it be burnt by the hangman. In the Lords, it was said to be Clarendon’s friends who supported burning it, perhaps to demonstrate disinterestedness. They agreed with the Commons on the 9th and the petition was burnt on the 12th. (It was on sale, at 2d a sheet, within two weeks.) 372 After a first reading of the Lords’ bill, the Commons voted that the king be asked to issue out a proclamation for summoning the earl to appear by a certain day, and for his apprehension for a trial. The Lords argued that the vote was incompatible with their own process.373 The Commons eventually agreed to proceed with the Lords’ bill which received royal assent on 19 December.374

Final Exile, 1667-74

Clarendon had headed for France. He wrote to the vice-chancellor of Oxford from Calais on 7 Dec. to resign his chancellorship of the university.375 When Cornbury wrote to Ormond on the 8th to provide ‘some account of the sad condition of our miserable family’ he tried to explain his father’s decision to leave: his explanation included the ‘very credible’ rumour that ‘there was a design to prorogue the Parliament on purpose to try him by a jury of peers (by which means he might fall into the hands of the protesting lords)’. Cornbury mentioned another story ‘very industriously’ spread by Lord Berkeley that Ormond had abandoned his own friendship for Clarendon.376 The earl of Burlington took over Clarendon House, it having been surety for the jointure of his daughter, married to the chancellor’s second son.377

The French were placed in an embarrassing dilemma. Ruvigny had consulted Charles II on 6 Dec. what they should do if Clarendon turned up in France, who responded that where he went was of no importance to him. Intitially, at the request of the earl of St Albans, English ambassador in Paris (although St Albans said he had no instructions from Charles II on the subject, and a Ruvigny letter subsequently suggested that it was at the request of the queen mother), Louis XIV issued a pass for Clarendon to travel to Rouen and remain there. But having heard from Ruvigny that the Spanish were spreading rumours about a conspiracy between France and the duke of York, he sent another message to Clarendon via an envoy, the hapless M. de la Font, on 16 Dec., telling him to leave immediately. De la Font was to accompany him to the frontier.378 For the French the issue was one of extreme delicacy: when Ruvigny met York, the latter expressed some anger at their treatment of his father-in-law. Clarendon, though, was going nowhere: ill and uncertain, he talked about going to the Spanish Netherlands or Germany, then decided on Avignon. Cornbury complained to Ruvigny on 2 Feb. that his father was in a wretched state, but de la Font was continually pestering him to leave. 379

At Whitehall the dukes of Buckingham and Albemarle and Lord Arlington pressed the king to remove Clarendon’s allies from the court, though by 6 Jan. 1668 the king was wavering in his resolution to do so.380 The Clarendon camp was itself in turmoil, with the duchess of York accusing Ossory of deserting her father and implying that Ormond had been less of a friend than expected.381 Ormond himself found the need to write to Cornbury and rebut the claim that he had been quick to drop Clarendon, defending himself by describing the difficulty, at a distance, of judging the truth of anything, as well as referring to his duty to the king.382

There were new attacks on Clarendon when Parliament met again: on 3 Mar. it was reported that the Commons had been hearing the case of Mr Lenthall and Lady Stonehouse against Clarendon for taking away an estate at Witney from them.383 Yet the issue was becoming of less significance: Cornbury, though ordered not to come to court at the beginning of the session, was not dismissed from his court offices.384 By 5 Mar. Ruvigny could write to his government saying that Clarendon ‘is no longer spoken of’, and that a less harsh treatment would do no harm to the king’s interests.385 On this basis Louis XIV agreed to let Clarendon remain in the country.386 The earl went to Rouen, staying only briefly there before moving on south: on the way, at Évreux on 23 Apr., he was assaulted and badly beaten in an inn by English seamen in French service (de la Font was seriously injured trying to defend him). Having recovered, he continued to the spa at Bourbon, to Lyon, and Avignon, though in the end he continued on to Montpellier, where he was installed by the end of July. Montpellier was a customary destination for English exiles, but was chosen partly because of the presence of Lady Mordaunt, who had preceded her disgraced husband there. 387

Clarendon remained a presence in English political life. He should have been isolated: the Act for his banishment banned correspondence with the former chancellor to anyone except his children or others licensed by the king in council ‘concerning his estate and domestic affairs’, and the Oxford don and cryptographer John Wallis was employed in deciphering his correspondence.388 But it is clear that Clarendon was aware of political developments in England. Montpellier, his home from the summer of 1668 until spring 1671, was a resort for English visitors, including one of his principal antagonists, Sir Richard Temple. One of his visitors described how Clarendon had supplied him with recent news from England and was avid for more.389 Mordaunt wrote to him with English news in 1669.390 In mid-1668 Arlington was still worrying about his return, and the ‘chancellor’s party’ was frequently invoked.391 Astonishingly, Colbert wrote early in 1669 that Castlemaine was working with the duchess of York to achieve the restoration of Clarendon and shortly afterwards that Clarendon had written to the duchess of York to instruct his friends to support Arlington.392 Pepys in April 1669 reported the involvement of Clarendon in discussions about a French alliance, and viscount Mordaunt wrote to him in August that year suggesting that Arlington might now support Clarendon’s return. In October 1669 Arlington, apparently at the motion of Louis XIV, and possibly ingratiating himself with the Yorks, was talking to the king about the banished earl’s rehabilitation.393

As in the 1640s, when he found himself in exile, Clarendon occupied himself with writing. He worked on a vindication of himself, completed on 24 July 1668, a memoir, completed up to the Restoration by August 1670, and a large devotional work. He revised the history of the Civil War that he had begun in exile in 1646, editing it together with the recently completed memoir, and then continued the memoir into the Restoration. A critique of Hobbes’s Leviathan was completed in May 1673.

The conversion to catholicism of the duchess of York marred Clarendon’s last few years, though it also was the cause of a good deal of his writing. Her move towards Rome began, according to her own account, in Nov. 1669.394 Rumours of her conversion had reached Clarendon at least by the autumn of 1670 and might, wrote his son, ‘shorten his days’.395 Clarendon’s two much-circulated letters to the duchess and duke regretting her change of religion are undated, but presumably written in late 1670 or early 1671. The conversion was the background for a number of Clarendon’s last major works, directed against the Catholic Church. Clarendon had moved to Moulins, close to Bourbon spa in 1671, a step closer to a return to England. By 1674 Charles II agreed to allow him to move back to Rouen. He wrote from the city thanking him in August.396 He would, however, live only a few more months. He died at Rouen on 9/19 Dec., days after a stroke, and having written a second will, mainly concerned with his literary legacy. His body was returned to England and buried in Westminster Abbey on 4 Jan. 1675.397

Clarendon wrote in his Life of how he had told the Lords ‘to be more solicitous in preserving their own unquestionable rights and most important privileges, and less tender in restraining the excess and new encroachments of the house of commons, which extended their jurisdiction beyond their limits’.398 On the other hand he complained that the House of Lords had failed to inquire into or consider ‘the public state of the kingdom’, or to provide ‘remedies for growing evils’, or indeed to take any serious interest in ‘any thing in the government till they were invited to it by some message or overture from the House of Commons’. He noted that they sat less and less frequently, often not meeting until ten, and then adjourning as soon as they met. But:

When any thing fell in their way, that they could draw a consequence from that might relate to their privileges, they were so jealous of an invasion, that they neither considered former precedents, nor rules of honour or justice; and were not only solicitous for that freedom which belonged to themselves and their menial servants, who ought not to be disquieted by private suits and prosecutions in law, whilst they are obliged to attend upon the service of their country in parliament, but gave their protections ‘ad libitum’, and which were commonly sold by their servants to bankrupt citizens, and to such who were able but refused to pay their just debts.

He criticized the House’s tendency to insert clauses protecting their privileges into bills, using up much time, and provoking the Commons, a provocation that was often encouraged ‘and indeed induced by those who had near relation to the king and were trusted in his service’, often ‘to compass some crooked end of their own, to the prejudice of another person who was in their disfavour’. He wrote of his opposition to the ‘over-captious insisting upon privilege’ by the peers, ‘either when in truth there was not a just ground for it, or when they would extend it further than it would regularly reach’, underlining the need to ensure that they could protect what was really necessary to protect, their greatest privileges and their highest jurisdiction.399

It was a remarkably frank assessment of the shortcomings of the upper House, and one that dovetailed with his sometimes contemptuous remarks on the lower, as well as with his concern about the effective operation of the Privy Council. In his writings Clarendon would analyse the process of decision-making within court and Parliament in a more sophisticated way than any of his contemporaries and the great majority of historians for long afterwards. For all his many faults – his brusqueness, cupidity (a common fault among lawyers who achieved high office), and high opinion of his own worth – Clarendon’s commitment to the monarchy he served and to the propriety and efficient working of the institutions of government could certainly not be called into question.


  • 1 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 5; Vis. Wilts. 1623 ed. G. D. Squibb (Harl. Soc. cv-cvi), 100.
  • 2 R. Ollard, Clarendon and His Friends, 22, 23, 42, 352; London Marriage Lics. ed. J. Foster, 738; PROB 11/349, f. 132.
  • 3 Vis. Wilts. 1623 ed. Squibb, 100.
  • 4 Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 215.
  • 5 Clarendon, Rebellion, ii. 527; CTB, i. 56.
  • 6 Harl. 6851, f. 133; Harl. 6802, f. 357.
  • 7 E 403/2522, pp. 6-8.
  • 8 Docquets of Letters Patent ed. Black, 252-3.
  • 9 C 181/7, pp. 99, 320, 321, 322.
  • 10 Coventry Docquets, 190; CJ, iii. 385; LJ, vi. 405a, 406.
  • 11 Cambs. RO, Cambridge corporation archive, common day bk. 1647-81, f. 127v.
  • 12 CCSP, v. 107.
  • 13 HMC Var. Coll. iv. 244, 4 Oct. 1662.
  • 14 CCSP, v. 617.
  • 15 CCSP, v. 365.
  • 16 Bodl. Carte 222, f. 21-22.
  • 17 CSP Dom. 1661-2, p.69.
  • 18 Brit. Jnl Educational Studies, ix. 118.
  • 19 T. Birch, History of the Royal Society, ii. 12.
  • 20 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 270, 309.
  • 21 Ibid. 310.
  • 22 Ibid. 317, 328.
  • 23 CCSP, v. 25.
  • 24 Ibid. 11; Bodl. Clarendon 72, ff. 88, 217.
  • 25 Bodl. Clarendon 72, ff. 95, 240.
  • 26 Bodl. Clarendon 73, f. 31, Clarendon 73, f.102, Carte 79, f. 136.
  • 27 CCSP, iv. 680; Bodl. Carte 214, f. 232, Carte 30, ff. 691-2.
  • 28 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 269-73.
  • 29 Bodl. Clarendon 72, ff. 172-3; Clarendon, Rebellion, vi. 386.
  • 30 Bodl. Clarendon 72, f. 321.
  • 31 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 315.
  • 32 Ibid. 354-60.
  • 33 Ibid. 314-15.
  • 34 Ibid. 280.
  • 35 LJ, xi. 54.
  • 36 Ibid. 87, 219.
  • 37 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 401-2.
  • 38 Ibid. 412-13.
  • 39 TNA, PRO 31/3/107, pp. 85, 110, 136.
  • 40 CCSP, v. 52.
  • 41 Bodl. Clarendon 74, f. 138-40; CCSP, v. 79, 80.
  • 42 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 317.
  • 43 TNA PRO 31/3/108 pp. 11-18, 96-98.
  • 44 TNA PRO 31/3/107 pp. 200, 208.
  • 45 TNA, PRO 31/3/108, p.1.
  • 46 Bosher, Restoration Settlement, 184-94; Reliquiae Baxterianae, ii. 276-8, 281-3; HR, lxx. 207-13.
  • 47 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 411.
  • 48 TNA, PRO 31/3/108, p. 2.
  • 49 Ibid. 11-18.
  • 50 Ibid. 22, 35-37.
  • 51 CCSP, v. 57; Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 331.
  • 52 TNA, PRO 31/3/108, pp. 30-3; Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 332.
  • 53 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 333-5.
  • 54 TNA, PRO 31/3/108, pp. 38-42.
  • 55 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 330-1, 350-2.
  • 56 TNA, PRO 31/3/108, pp. 74-8.
  • 57 TNA, PRO 31/3/108, pp. 48-51.
  • 58 Ibid. 58-63.
  • 59 Ibid. 91-93.
  • 60 Ibid. 96-98.
  • 61 Ibid. 119-23.
  • 62 Ibid. 126-7, 129.
  • 63 Ibid. 135-9.
  • 64 CCSP, v. 63.
  • 65 TNA, PRO 31/3/108, p. 57.
  • 66 Ibid. 87-90.
  • 67 HMC Finch, i, 140.
  • 68 LJ, xi. 208-9.
  • 69 Ibid. 221, 225, 231, 232.
  • 70 TNA, PRO 31/3/109, pp. 11-16; Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 338-9, 343.
  • 71 CCSP, v.72, 74.
  • 72 Bodl. Clarendon 74, f. 138-40; TNA, PRO 31/3/109, pp. 45-8.
  • 73 Add. 34727, f. 102.
  • 74 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 418-19.
  • 75 CCSP, v. 78-9, 83-4, 88-9.
  • 76 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 429-36.
  • 77 CCSP, v. 93, 97.
  • 78 Ibid. 87.
  • 79 Ibid. 94.
  • 80 Pepys Diary, ii. 79-80.
  • 81 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 353.
  • 82 Ibid. 347; NLS Yester Papers, ms 7023, letter 175.
  • 83 Clarendon, Rebellion, iii. 222-3, 228-9.
  • 84 Pepys Diary, viii. 418; Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 79-85.
  • 85 Pepys Diary, viii. 185-6.
  • 86 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 349.
  • 87 Bodl. Clarendon 76, f. 211.
  • 88 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 592-3.
  • 89 Pepys Diary, ii.213, 219-20; CCSP, v. 527.
  • 90 TNA, PRO 31/3/109, p. 195-8; CCSP, v. 86, 92; Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 438-44.
  • 91 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 347-50.
  • 92 Ibid. 330.
  • 93 CSP Dom. 1661-2, p. 428; CCSP, v. 148-9; Bodl. Clarendon 87, ff. 95-8; HP Commons 1640-60 (forthcoming), draft biography of Sir John Danvers by V. Larminie.
  • 94 CSP Dom. 1661-2, p. 172; CCSP, v. 198.
  • 95 CCSP, v. 644.
  • 96 CSP Dom. 1661-2, p. 244; Bodl. Clarendon 87, ff. 95-8; T.H. Lister, Life of Clarendon, iii. 524.
  • 97 CSP Dom. 1666-7, p. 73.
  • 98 Bodl. Clarendon 83, f. 120, Clarendon 87, ff. 95-8; Pepys Diary, v. 60-1; CTB, i. 47, 564; CSP Dom. 1660-1, pp. 127, 285, 286.
  • 99 Lister, Life of Clarendon, iii. 525-6.
  • 100 Ibid. ii. 463-6, 478-9, iii. 131, 522-3; CCSP, v. 272-3, 278.
  • 101 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 521-6; Diary of Bulstrode Whitelocke ed. R. Spalding, 643, 660-65; Bodl. Clarendon 79, ff. 160-1.
  • 102 Pepys Diary, iv.115; CSP Dom. 1670 and addenda, p. 668; Bodl. Clarendon 77, f. 239, Clarendon 80, f. 215; Bodl. Carte 32, f. 702, Carte 31, f. 442, Carte 47, ff. 92, 130.
  • 103 Bodl. Carte 47, f. 69.
  • 104 NLS Yester Papers, ms 7023, letter 166.
  • 105 Bodl. Clarendon 77, f. 274.
  • 106 Bodl. Add. C 303, ff. 104, 106, 116, Add. C 305, f.52.
  • 107 Bodl. Carte 33, f. 389.
  • 108 Pepys Diary, i.226.
  • 109 TNA, PRO 31/3/110, p. 215.
  • 110 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 304-5.
  • 111 Add. 75355, L. Hyde to Burlington, 15 Feb. 1666.
  • 112 TNA, PRO 31/3/107, p. 178.
  • 113 Bodl. Clarendon 74, ff. 290-3; Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 365-6.
  • 114 CCSP, v. 75, 81; Bodl. Clarendon 77, f. 239.
  • 115 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 609.
  • 116 Ibid. 615-20.
  • 117 Ibid. 608, 612.
  • 118 Verney ms mic. M636/18, Countess of Rochester to Sir R. Verney, 27 Jan. 1662; HP Commons 1660-90, iii. 594, 717.
  • 119 Bodl. Clarendon 81, f. 217.
  • 120 Bodl. Add. C 303 ff. 120, 108, 112.
  • 121 Bodl. Carte 47, f. 89, Carte 48, f. 432.
  • 122 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 349-52.
  • 123 Notes which passed, 18, 31; Bodl. Clarendon 74, ff. 373-9, 75, f. 308; A. Patterson, The Long Parliament of Charles II, 87.
  • 124 Notes which passed, 56. Bodl. Clarendon 77 ff. 216, 300; HMC Var. Coll. ii. 364.
  • 125 Bodl. Clarendon 79, ff. 60-61.
  • 126 Bodl. Clarendon 83, ff. 140-1.
  • 127 Add. 75356 (unbound), R. Graham to Burlington, 13 July 1667.
  • 128 Pepys Diary, ix. 360-1.
  • 129 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 612.
  • 130 Ibid. ii. 36-8.
  • 131 Ibid. i. 530-2.
  • 132 Corker, Stafford’s Memoires (1681), 53.
  • 133 TNA, PRO 31/3/109, Estrades to Louis XIV, 15/25 July 1661.
  • 134 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 532-9.
  • 135 TNA, PRO 31/3/109, pp. 72, 89; HMC Dartmouth, i. 6; Pepys Diary, ii. 142.
  • 136 TNA, PRO 31/3/109, pp. 144-146.
  • 137 Ibid. pp. 112, 115, 116, 267, 274, 275, 31/3/110, pp. 19-21, 25, 26, 44.
  • 138 Verney ms mic. M636/17, J. Cary to Sir R. Verney, 6 Sept. 1661; CCSP, v.138.
  • 139 TNA, PRO 31/3/109, p. 234.
  • 140 Notes which passed, 49.
  • 141 Chatsworth, Cork mss Misc Box 1, 25 Jan. 1662.
  • 142 Ibid. 15 Jan. 1662.
  • 143 Add. 22919, f. 190.
  • 144 The Rawdon Papers, p. 137.
  • 145 Seaward, Cavalier Parlt. 174.
  • 146 Ibid.
  • 147 Add. 22919 f. 203; Chatsworth, Cork mss Misc Box 1, 18 Mar. 1662; Pepys Diary, iii.49.
  • 148 Chatsworth, Cork mss Misc Box 1, 18 Mar. 1662; Add. 22919 f. 20; CSP Dom. 1661-2, p. 324.
  • 149 CCSP, v. 208.
  • 150 HMC Hastings iv. 129-30.
  • 151 CCSP, v. 211; Add. 32500 f. 9.
  • 152 Bodl. Clarendon 76, ff. 270, 283-4, 288.
  • 153 Bodl. Carte 59, ff. 516-17.
  • 154 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 583-608; Bodl. Carte 31, f. 558; TNA, PRO 31/3/110, p. 207, 208; Bodl. Carte 31, f. 602.
  • 155 TNA, SP 29/56/6.
  • 156 Bodl. Carte 69, ff. 516-17.
  • 157 Bodl. Carte 31, f. 602; Bodl. Clarendon 77, f. 319.
  • 158 Bodl. Clarendon 77, f. 340.
  • 159 TNA, PRO 31/3/111, pp. 50-1.
  • 160 CCSP, v. 50, 195.
  • 161 TNA, PRO 31/3/110, pp. 216, 220.
  • 162 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii.10-16.
  • 163 CCSP, v. 251, 254, 258, 259, 262, 266, 269, 275.
  • 164 TNA, PRO 31/3/110, pp. 291, 292, 307, 313-17.
  • 165 Ibid. pp. 325-9, 441.
  • 166 PRO 31/3/110, pp. 73, 72.
  • 167 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 610-12; Bodl. Carte 32, ff. 25, 35.
  • 168 TNA, PRO 31/3/110, p. 319.
  • 169 HMC Heathcote, 54-5; Lister, Life of Clarendon, iii. 224-5, 228-9; HMC Finch, i. 221-2.
  • 170 Bodl. Carte 143, ff. 18-20.
  • 171 Ibid. ff . 23-24.
  • 172 TNA, PRO 31/3/110, p. 423-4.
  • 173 Pepys Diary, iii. 290-1.
  • 174 TNA, PRO 31/3/110, pp. 468, 469.
  • 175 Bodl. Clarendon 97, f. 12.
  • 176 Pepys Diary, iv. 47-8.
  • 177 TNA, PRO 31/3/110, pp. 487, 490.
  • 178 Bodl. Carte 221, ff. 19-20.
  • 179 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 93-5.
  • 180 PRO 31/3/111, pp. 55, 56.
  • 181 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 97-8.
  • 182 Ibid. 98-9.
  • 183 Bodl. Carte 47, f. 39.
  • 184 HMC Ormond, n.s. iii. 47; Bodl. Carte 47, f. 91.
  • 185 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 624-8; TNA, PRO 31/3/111, p. 79.
  • 186 Verney ms mic. M636/19, W. Denton to Sir R. Verney, 26, 29 Mar. 1663; Bodl. Clarendon 79, f.150.
  • 187 TNA, PRO 31/3/111, pp. 90, 91.
  • 188 Ibid. pp 106, 107; Bodl. Carte 214, ff. 471-2.
  • 189 Ibid. pp. 114-16.
  • 190 Pepys Diary, iv. 115.
  • 191 TNA, PRO 31/3/11 p. 129.
  • 192 Bodl. Carte 68, f. 544; Pepys Diary, iv.136-8.
  • 193 Bodl. Carte 32, f. 477.
  • 194 TNA, PRO 31/3/112, p. 12.
  • 195 Bodl. Carte 47, f.52.
  • 196 Clarendon, Life (1857), i. 617-21; Seaward, Cavalier Parlt. 225.
  • 197 TNA, PRO 31/3/112, pp. 22, 26.
  • 198 Bodl. Clarendon 79, f. 287.
  • 199 Seaward, Cavalier Parlt. 226-7.
  • 200 Bodl. Carte 32, ff. 597-9.
  • 201 TNA, PRO 31/3/112, pp. 78-79.
  • 202 Bodl. Carte 77, f. 524.
  • 203 Ibid.
  • 204 Beinecke Library, OSB mss 5, Box 2, folder 25; Pepys Diary, iv. 224.
  • 205 TNA, PRO 31/3/112 pp. 97-100.
  • 206 Bodl. Carte 81, f. 230-1.
  • 207 Ibid. f. 226, Carte 32 f. 716.
  • 208 Bodl. Carte 81, f. 226-7.
  • 209 Carte 32, f. 716; TNA, PRO 31/3/112, pp. 104, 106-9.
  • 210 Bodl. Carte 33 f. 34.
  • 211 HMC Heathcote, 127.
  • 212 TNA, PRO 31/3/112, pp. 112-13.
  • 213 Bodl. Clarendon 80, f. 97.
  • 214 Bodl. Carte 33, f. 34.
  • 215 TNA, PRO 31/3/112, pp. 126-7.
  • 216 Bodl. Clarendon 80, f. 171, 198, Carte 47, f. 62.
  • 217 CCSP, v. 308, 309, 310, 312, 314; Bodl. Clarendon 80, f. 218.
  • 218 Bodl. Carte 47, ff. 67, 69, 71, Carte 33, f. 214, Carte 46, ff. 122-4; HMC Ormonde n.s., iii. 113.
  • 219 Bodl. Carte 47, ff. 75, 77.
  • 220 Bodl. Carte 46, f. 132, Carte 215, f.1.
  • 221 TNA, PRO 31/3/113, p. 24.
  • 222 Pepys Diary, v. 34.
  • 223 Verney ms mic. M636/19, Sir N. Hobart to Sir R. Verney, 27 Jan. 1664; Bodl. Carte 47, ff. 79, 81.
  • 224 TNA, PRO 31/3/113, p. 41; HEHL, HA 10657.
  • 225 Bodl. Tanner 47, ff. 81-2, 83-4.
  • 226 TNA, PRO 31/3/113, pp. 79-82.
  • 227 HMC Ormonde n.s. iii.152.
  • 228 TNA, PRO 31/3/113, pp. 92, 96, 97; HMC Finch, i. 302-3; Bodl. Clarendon 81, ff. 151-2.
  • 229 Bodl. Carte 76, ff. 7-8, Clarendon 80, ff. 153-4.
  • 230 TNA, PRO 31/3/113, pp. 117-19.
  • 231 Bodl. Carte 47 f. 92.
  • 232 Bodl. Carte 76, f. 7.
  • 233 Pepys Diary, v. 137.
  • 234 Bodl. Carte 47, f. 94.
  • 235 HMC Hastings ii. 148; Pepys Diary, vi. 39.
  • 236 Pepys Diary, v. 208, 277.
  • 237 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 60-5.
  • 238 CCSP, v. 447.
  • 239 Add. 27447, ff. 324-5, 327.
  • 240 LJ, xi. 648.
  • 241 Pepys Diary, vii. 411-12.
  • 242 HEHL, HA 10663.
  • 243 Add. 27447, ff. 334-5.
  • 244 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 68.
  • 245 TNA, PRO 31/3/114, pp. 9,11; Seaward, Cavalier Parlt. 89-90; Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 87-92.
  • 246 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 6-10.
  • 247 Ibid. 176-85; Bodl. Carte 223, f. 287.
  • 248 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 185-91.
  • 249 TNA, PRO 31/3/114, pp. 223, 224, 31/3/115, pp. 81-2.
  • 250 Add. 75356 (unbound) York to Burlington, 17 Apr. 1665 (copy); Chatsworth, Cork mss 29.
  • 251 Bodl. Clarendon 83, ff. 148-9.
  • 252 Bodl. Carte 223, f. 279.
  • 253 Bodl. Add. C 303, f. 122.
  • 254 Ibid. f. 106, Carte 47, f. 98; Verney ms mic. M636/20, Dr Yate to Sir R. Verney, 29 Sept. 1665.
  • 255 Verney ms mic. M636/20, Dr Yate to Sir R.Verney, 21 Sept. 1665.
  • 256 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 213-32.
  • 257 Bodl. Carte 46, f. 209.
  • 258 Bodl. Carte 34, f. 442.
  • 259 HMC Portland, iii. 294.
  • 260 Bodl. Carte 47, f. 100.
  • 261 Bodl. Carte 46, f. 241.
  • 262 Add. 75355, L. Hyde to Burlington, 26 Jan. 1666.
  • 263 Add. 34195, ff. 193-4.
  • 264 Pepys Diary, vii. 174; Essex RO D/Deb/25/7.
  • 265 Survey of London, xxx: St James’s Westminster, i. 490; Chatsworth, Cork mss Misc. Box 2.
  • 266 Bodl. Clarendon 85, f. 161; Chatsworth, Cork mss Misc Box 2.
  • 267 Pepys Diary, vii. 321.
  • 268 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 332-3.
  • 269 Bodl. Carte 35, f. 120.
  • 270 Ibid. ff. 148-9.
  • 271 Bodl. Rawl. A 130, f. 71.
  • 272 Bodl. Carte 35, ff. 197-8.
  • 273 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii.109-24.
  • 274 Seaward, Cavalier Parlt. 270, 284-6.
  • 275 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii.321.
  • 276 LJ, x. 52, 54; TNA, SP29/173/26, 182/94, 182/95.
  • 277 Bodl. Carte 35, ff. 197-8.
  • 278 Ibid. f. 238.
  • 279 Bodl. Carte 215, ff. 318-19.
  • 280 Bodl. Carte 35, ff. 30, 259, Carte 47, f. 138.
  • 281 Bodl. Carte 35, f. 259.
  • 282 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 347.
  • 283 LJ, x.31, 74, 93, 95; Pepys Diary, vii. 404-5; Bodl. Carte 35, f. 240.
  • 284 Bodl. North c.4, ff. 124-5.
  • 285 Bodl. Carte 35, f. 290.
  • 286 Ibid. ff. 309-10, Carte 51, f. 28, Carte 215, ff. 335-6.
  • 287 Add. 75354, ff. 61-62.
  • 288 Ibid. ff. 63-65, 74-77; Bodl. Clarendon 85, f. 281; Add. 75356 (unbound), P. Frowde to Burlington, 28 May 1667, Apsley to Burlington, 7 May 1667.
  • 289 Bodl. North c.4, ff. 164-5; Bodl. Carte 35, ff. 461-2; Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 397-8.
  • 290 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 409-14.
  • 291 Bodl. Carte 47, f. 152, Carte 35, ff. 465-6.
  • 292 Add. 75354, ff. 70-3. Add. 75355 (unbound), Clarendon to Burlington, 1 June 1667; Add. 75354, ff. 97-8.
  • 293 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 418-19.
  • 294 Savile Corresp. 17; Pepys Diary, viii. 287-8.
  • 295 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 419.
  • 296 Verney ms mic. M636/21, Sir N. Hobart to Sir R. Verney, n.d.; Seaward, Cavalier Parlt. 309-10; Pepys Diary, viii. 292-3; Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 422-5.
  • 297 Add. 75356 (unbound), R. Graham to Burlington, 29 June 1667.
  • 298 Pepys Diary, ix, 360-1; Seaward, Cavalier Parlt. 313-14.
  • 299 Bodl. Carte 35 f. 522.
  • 300 Bodl. Carte 48 f. 463.
  • 301 Add. 75355, Clarendon to Burlington, 13 July 1667.
  • 302 Pepys Diary, viii, 342.
  • 303 Bodl. Carte 215, f. 359.
  • 304 Bodl. Carte 35, f. 650.
  • 305 Add. 75376, ff. 7v.-9; Add. 75354, ff. 87-90, 97-4.
  • 306 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 444.
  • 307 Ibid. 431.
  • 308 Ibid. 456.
  • 309 Bodl. Carte 220, ff. 272-5; Pepys Diary, viii. 401-2.
  • 310 Pepys Diary, viii. 434.
  • 311 Ibid. 409-10; Halifax Letters, i. 53; Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 452.
  • 312 Add. 75354, ff. 111-12.
  • 313 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 447-51.
  • 314 Bodl. Carte 220, ff. 278-9.
  • 315 Halifax Letters, i. 54-5.
  • 316 Bodl. Carte 51, f. 360.
  • 317 Bodl. Carte 147, ff. 4, 8, 9, Carte 48, f. 219.
  • 318 Bodl. Carte 147, f. 10.
  • 319 Bodl. Carte 45, ff. 228, 230.
  • 320 Egerton 2539, f.112.
  • 321 Chatsworth, Cork mss Misc Box 1.
  • 322 TNA, PRO 31/3/116, p. 76.
  • 323 Pepys Diary, viii. 434
  • 324 Egerton 2539, ff.118-119; TNA, PRO 31/3/116, p. 92; Bodl. Carte 68, ff. 634-5.
  • 325 Life of James II, i. 426-7.
  • 326 TNA, PRO 31/3/116 pp. 95-7.
  • 327 Evelyn Diary, iii. 498.
  • 328 TNA, PRO 31/3/116, p. 115.
  • 329 CJ, ix, 2-3.
  • 330 NLW, Wynn of Gwydir, 2517.
  • 331 NLS, Yester Papers, ms 7023, letter 103; LJ, xii.119; Chatsworth, Cork mss Misc Box 2.
  • 332 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 459-61.
  • 333 NLS. Yester Papers, ms 7023, letter 103.
  • 334 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 462-3.
  • 335 CJ, ix, 3, 4.
  • 336 Ibid. 8.
  • 337 LJ, xii. 121, 128, 130.
  • 338 Ibid.124, 129.
  • 339 Ibid.132, 134, 139, 147.
  • 340 Ibid. 138; VCH Yorks. N. Riding, ii. 33.
  • 341 Eg 2539, f. 137.
  • 342 TNA, PRO 31/3/117, pp. 1-2, 5-6; Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 461; Bodl. Carte 217, f. 419.
  • 343 Rockingham Castle, WR A/2/2/6.
  • 344 TNA, PRO 31/3/117, p. 10.
  • 345 TNA, PRO 31/3/116, pp. 126-30; Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 451-2.
  • 346 PRO 31/3/117, pp. 14, 23, 24; Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 465-6.
  • 347 Bodl. Carte 36 f. 25; Pepys Diary, viii. 518.
  • 348 Add. 36916, f. 15.
  • 349 Bodl. Carte 51, f. 74.
  • 350 TNA, PRO 31/3/117, pp. 23-4, 27, 31-2; Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 473.
  • 351 Proceedings in the House of Commons touching the Impeachment of the Earl of Clarendon, 46-9.
  • 352 Verney ms mic. M636/22, Sir R. to E. Verney, 14 Nov. 1667; TNA, PRO 31/3/117 pp. 23, 24.
  • 353 LJ, xii. 135, 136, 137, iii. 769-70; NLS. Yester Papers, ms 7024, ff. 62r-63v; Bodl. Carte 220, f. 306.
  • 354 Pepys Diary, viii. 532-4.
  • 355 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 478-9.
  • 356 TNA, PRO 31/3/117, pp. 31, 32.
  • 357 Ibid. 39-41.
  • 358 LJ, xii. 143-9; Bodl. Carte 46, f. 575; Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 476; TNA, PRO 31/3/117, p. 46.
  • 359 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 480-3.
  • 360 Ibid. 484.
  • 361 TNA, PRO 31/3/117, p. 46; Pepys Diary, viii. 551; Add. 70128, Sir Edward to Lady Harley, 30 Nov. 1667.
  • 362 LJ, xii. 148, 149, 150.
  • 363 Ibid. 151-2.
  • 364 CSP Dom. 1666-7, p. 68.
  • 365 TNA, PRO 31/3/117 p. 49.
  • 366 Pepys Diary, viii. 559-61, 570.
  • 367 LJ, xii. 154, 156, 157.
  • 368 Bodl. Carte 217, ff. 425-6.
  • 369 NLS. Yester Papers, ms 7023, letter 110.
  • 370 Verney ms mic. M636/22, Sir R. to E. Verney, 5 Dec. 1667; Bodl. Tanner 45, f. 238.
  • 371 LJ, xii. 162; Pepys Diary, viii. 565.
  • 372 Verney ms mic. M636/22, Sir R. to E. Verney, 12 Dec. 1667; Bodl. Carte 36 f. 41.
  • 373 LJ, xii. 171.
  • 374 Ibid. 177, 179.
  • 375 Bodl. Clarendon 85, f. 437.
  • 376 Bodl. Carte 147, pp. 12-13.
  • 377 Bodl. Carte 222, ff. 176-177.
  • 378 TNA, PRO 31/3/117, pp. 56-9, 70-3.
  • 379 TNA, PRO 31/3/118, pp. 27, 32, 43-6, 51-2.
  • 380 Ibid. pp. 14, 15, 23.
  • 381 Bodl. Carte 220 ff. 326-8.
  • 382 Bodl. Carte 147, f. 14.
  • 383 Add. 36916, f. 78.
  • 384 TNA, PRO 31/3/118, p. 56.
  • 385 Ibid. pp. 85-6, 87, 90.
  • 386 Ibid. p. 98.
  • 387 Ollard, Clarendon and his friends, 306-10; Add. 36916, f.115; TNA C104/109, pt.1, Clarendon to Cary, 27 Sept. 1668.
  • 388 Statutes of the Realm, v. 628; Corresp. of John Wallis ed. P. Beeley and C. Scriba, iii. 252; Lister, Life of Clarendon, iii. 482-4.
  • 389 Ollard, Clarendon and his Friends, 310-17.
  • 390 Add. 32499, f.25; Clarendon, Life (1857), ii.518.
  • 391 TNA, PRO 31/3/119, p. 25; Bodl. Carte 48, f. 268; Add. 36916, f.122.
  • 392 TNA, PRO 31/3/121, pp. 22, 23, 41; Ollard, Clarendon and his friends, 315.
  • 393 Pepys Diary, ix. 536; Add. 32499, f. 25; TNA, PRO 31/3/123, p. 13.
  • 394 Bodl. Clarendon 87, ff. 62-63.
  • 395 Ibid f. 66.
  • 396 Ibid. ff. 185-6.
  • 397 Ollard, Clarendon and His Friends, 346.
  • 398 Clarendon, Life (1857), ii. 347.
  • 399 Ibid. 348-50.