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personal acquaintance ') than honest reprobation of public misconduct. Lord Dartmouth accuses Lord Clarendon of having wished “ to depress every one's merits to ad“vance his own;" and alleges that he had recourse “to “ other means than the Crown could afford to increase “his fortune;" that those " who had suffered most in “ the civil war were in no condition to purchase his “ favour;" that “he therefore undertook the protec “ tion of those who had plundered and sequestered the “ others, which he very artfully contrived by making “ the King believe it was necessary for his own ease “ and quiet to make his enemies his friends; upon “ which he brought in most of those who had been the “ main instruments and promoters of the late troubles, “ who were not wanting in their acknowledgments in “ the manner he expected, which produced the great “ house in the Piccadilly, furnished chiefly with cava“ liers' goods brought thither for peace offerings, which “ the right owners durst not claim when they were in “his possession. . . . . Whoever had a mind to see
I William Legge, 2nd Lord and 1st Earl of Dartmouth, b. Oct. 1672, ob. Dec. 1, 1750. Mr. Hallam speaks of Lord Dartmouth as “one whose “ splenetic humour makes him no good witness against any one." —Hallam's 'Constitutional History,' vol. ii. p. 503.
? Lord Dartmouth adds, “ In my own remembrance Earl Paulett was “ an humble petitioner to his (Lord Clarendon) sons for leave to take a “copy of his grandfather and grandmother's pictures (whole length drawn “ by Vandyke) that had been plundered from Hinton St. George, which “ was obtained with great difficulty, because it was thought that copies “ might lessen the value of the originals.” In that point of view they were certainly right, for there can be no doubt that the multiplication of
“ what great families had been plundered during the “ civil war might find some remains either at Clarendon “ House or at Cornbury.”
Nothing can be plainer than Lord Dartmouth's intention to charge the Lord Chancellor with having received bribes, both in money and goods, for the “ bringing in of men ” who were unfit and unworthy of the trust reposed in them; yet nothing can be more vague than the grounds on which this accusation is alleged; no specific evidence is adduced to support it, no mention is made of the particular individuals concerned, or the occasion or the time when the Chancellor received such bribes; it can therefore only be inferred that throughout his administration, on the most sordid motives of self-aggrandizement, he brought into power those“ who had promoted the late troubles.”
In estimating the credit due to Lord Dartmouth's testimony, the following considerations should be borne in mind :
copies has a tendency to lower the value of the originals. The portraits in question being of such near relations to Lord Paulett, it may have been considered an ungracious act on the part of Lord Clarendon's sons to raise any difficulty on the subject; but there may have been reasons connected with the ownership of the pictures, or the immediate necessity of putting their value to the test, that may have caused this hesitation; as, however, there is nothing in this part of Lord Dartmouth's note that bears upon the charges against the Lord Chancellor Clarendon, it is unnecessary to allude to it further. There is no account to be found in any county history of Hinton St. George having been plundered ; but in the Lords' Journals, vol. v. p. 372, is the following entry :-“ Ordered, 24th September, 1642, " That the Lady Powlett shall have an order of Parliament to preserve her " houses at Hinton and Wicke from pillaging and violence of the soldiers.”
Ist. Lord Dartmouth was not a contemporary of the
banished in 1667, and died December, 1674; so that Lord Clarendon's administration came to an end five years before Lord Dartmouth was born. Lord Dartmouth's information must therefore have been obtained at second hand; and although his informants may have been persons who had taken a part in public affairs in the previous generation, yet, as he neither names nor even indicates them, it is impossible to form any judgment of their impartiality or means of knowledge.
2nd. Lord Dartmouth's note, written upon the margin of his copy of Burnet's History, was not published to the world till nearly a century after it was written,' and therefore it did not pass through the ordeal of contemporary criticism. It never came under the eye of Lord Clarendon's immediate descendants, of his friends personal or political, or of any others who could test the statements from their own knowledge of the facts and of the character of the individual inculpated.
· Bishop Burnet’s ‘History of his Own Times,' with the suppressed passages, and notes by the Earls of Dartmouth and Hardwick and Speaker Onslow, published at Oxford, 1823.
? Lord Bacon's observations on unpublished precedents apply equally to such private commentaries as Lord Dartmouth's marginal notes.
" thority; although they may not have been much in use, they have “ been agitated and discussed in the conversation and arguments of men. “ But those which have remained in desks and archives, as if they were
“ For precedents, like water, are clearest in a running stream."— De Augm. Scient., lib. viii. aph. 28.
3rd. Lord Dartmouth's note was written without any view to publication ; it appears to have been founded on loose impressions, and its grounds were not examined with the care which a man of his station would doubtless have bestowed if he had been personally responsible for a charge of this nature against so eminent a public servant as the Chancellor Clarendon.
Amongst the many evils that spring from an interrupted succession are to be included such as necessarily accompany a restoration; and perhaps none are more difficult to cope with than the jarring claims of those who, having remained faithful to the banished dynasty, look to reward, and those who, returning to their allegiance, expect to be conciliated-gratitude and policy become at once both rival appeals for preferment and motives of action, and the advancement of the members of either party is looked upon by the other as an act of base ingratitude or of vengeful exclusion. Doubtless, every mark of favour from the King to those who in the civil war had been opposed to the Royalist cause, and for whose advancement the Chancellor was held responsible, became a source of jealousy and of resentment towards him. Evelyn, indeed, assigns as one of the different causes of the Chancellor's downfall, “ that “ he made few friends during his grandeur among the “ Royal sufferers, but advanced the old rebels.”
The opposite opinions expressed by different writers of the Chancellor's conduct and feelings on this point speak in favour of his impartiality i the distribution of power and ratronage, for he has certainly incurred the
His administration lasted from the year 1660 till 1667, when the King deprived him of the Great Seal. During that time, justly or unjustly, he had provoked the political and personal enmity of many high in power and in various stations; he was subjected to divers irn
penalty of impartiality, the dissatisfaction of both parties. Mr. Hallam says, “ The Cavaliers hated him on account of the Act of Indemnity, and “ the Presbyterians for that of Conformity.”--Const. Hist., vol. ii. p. 494.
Bishop Burnet says, “ Lord Clarendon put the justice of the nation in “ very good hands; and employed some who had been on the bench in “ Cromwell's time, the famous Sir Matthew Hale in particular.”—History of his Own Times, vol. i. p. 300. Mrs. Hutchinson regarded Lord Clarendon as one exasperated against her husband (Life of Col. Hutchinson, p. 412), “and determined to keep their family down” (p. 454). Hume
“ threw a load of envy on Clarendon ” (vol. v. p. 525). Mr. Macaulay says that “His love of episcopacy was mingled with a vindictive hatred of “ Puritans which did him little honour as a statesman or a Christian ” (vol. i. p. 174); that “ he was regarded by the Puritans, and by all who “ pitied them, as an implacable bigot, a second Laud” (p. 194); and that the House of Commons, which “loudly and sincerely professed the strongest “ attachment to the royal office and the royal person, owed no allegiance to “ Clarendon, and fell on him as furiously as their predecessors had fallen
“ the Chancellor was at this time very much exposed to the hatred of the “ public and of every party which divided the nation” (vol. v. p. 525), may be a true picture of his unfortunate position at the moment of his downfall; but it would be hard to fix any charge upon him based on the supposition of a recognised preference of one party over the other.
“ Lord Clarendon fell under the common fate of great ministers, whose "employment exposes them to envy, and draws upon them the indig“ nation of all who are disappointed in their pretensions. Their friends “ do generally show that they are only the friends of their fortunes ; and “ upon the change of favour they not only forsake them in their extremity, “ but, that they may secure to themselves the protection of a new favourite, “ they will labour to redeem all that is past by turning as violently against “ them as they formerly fawned abjectly upon them.”—Burnet's Hist, of his Own Times, vol. i. p. 446.