Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

putations, misrepresentations, and calumnies; and yet, though for a period of seven years his conduct, according to Lord Dartmouth, was open to the charge of bribery and corruption of the meanest kind,“ this “ charge,” says the author of Historical Inquiries,' “ as far as documentary evidence goes, rests entirely, " as far as I have been able to discover, upon the “ authority of Lord Dartmouth.”! This silence cannot be attributed to the forbearance of his enemies, and must therefore be considered as a proof that his contemporaries did not seriously share in the opinions expressed by Lord Dartmouth.

But it is less to Lord Dartmouth's opinions : than to the inference drawn by the author of the Historical

"That Lord Clarendon was accused by his enemies of accepting bribes from the French and Dutch, and that his house was called Holland House and Dunkirk House, is perhaps too well known to be here repeated ; but that accusation is quite distinct from Lord Dartmouth's charge“ of bring“ing in those who had plundered and sequestered the others, for the sake of “obtaining cavaliers' goods from the main instruments of the late troubles.”

The satirical poems of Andrew Marvell cannot be taken as historical evidence. Mr. Pepys was unfriendly to the Chancellor Clarendon, and would certainly not have failed to note down this charge had it been made or believed in his time; but though he makes mention of his house and pictures, it is without any such comment. “ (April 22, 1667.)—To the Lord Chancellor's house, the first time I have been therein ; and it is very noble, and brave pictures of the ancient and present nobles.”—Pepys' Mem., vol. iii. p. 206.

3 It must be remembered that Lord Dartmouth mentioned “ Cavaliers' “goods” in general, but without specifying pictures as amongst the gifts the Chancellor received “from the main instruments and promoters of the “ late troubles.” The only allusion to pictures is the complaint that Lord Paulett had been uncourteously treated when desirous of obtaining a copy of the pictures of his grandfather and grandmother.

Inquiries' that it is necessary to refer in treating the subject of the Chancellor Clarendon's collection of pictures, as it is from the existence of that collection that he found what he states to him appeared “the circum“ stantial evidence” by which that charge “was curiously “ confirmed.” The “circumstantial evidence” consists in the following statement: “ that in this collection an “ extraordinary assemblage of portraits is to be found “ of different races, especially the portraits of the dif“ferent members of almost all the conspicuous families “ on the King's side in the civil wars; among them “ the Stanleys, Cavendishes, Villierses, Hamiltons, &c. " &c.;"—that Lord Clarendon was certainly "uncon“ nected either by relationship, connexion, or even “ friendship;” with the subjects of these portraits ;“ that no one gives away family portraits to a stranger; “ —that they were almost all painted by Cornelius “ Jansen or Vandyck, and therefore must have been “ painted before the civil wars began ;”—“ that the " Chancellor could not have bought them ;" for, “ had “ they been on sale, there can be no doubt but that the “ families to which they originally belonged would have “ managed to purchase them;" —and that “in all other “ collections of portraits in England it is for the most “ part easy to discover how each portrait came into the “ family, by tracing its relationship and connexions."

The mystery of an extraordinary assemblage of persons of " different families” is at once solved by the

"One half is at Bothwell Castle, the other at the Grove Park, Herts.

fact that such was the plan on which the Chancellor's gallery was formed, and which, we learn from Evelyn, was intended to be made up of “our ancient wits, poets, “ philosophers, famous and learned Englishmen, the “ most illustrious of our nation, especially of his Lord66 ship's time and acquaintance, and of divers before it.” Next, a gallery that included amongst its best pictures, by Vandyck and other artists, the portraits of Lord Falkland, Lord and Lady Capell,' Lord Grandison," Lady Moreton, Lord Hertford, the Duke of Richmond,“ Lord Cottington, Sir Thomas and Lady Ailesbury and Mr. Ailesbury,"Sir Henry Capell, the Duchess of Beaufort, Archbishop Laud (his earliest patron), Selden," Ben Jonson, Charles Cotton, John Vaughan, Sir Kenelm Digby, Cowley, Bishops Morley and Sheldon, Hales and Chillingworth, Sir Edward Littleton, Sir

· The Chancellor's eldest son married Lord Capell's daughter. · William Villiers, Viscount Grandison, was first-cousin to Lord Clarendon's first wife, and of him he speaks as “his familiar friend,” and “ one in whom he had entire confidence.”

3 Lady Moreton was the sister of Lord Grandison, and with her Lord Clarendon was also on terms of intimacy and friendship; some of his letters to her are still preserved in the Clarendon State Papers. The mothers of Lord Grandison, of Anne Ayliffe (the first wife of Edward Hyde), and of Lucy Apsley (the wife of Colonel Hutchinson), were sisters.

• Of the friendship established between Mr. Hyde and the Duke of Richmond at York there is some account given in Lord Clarendon's ‘Life.'

5 Father, mother, and brother in law to Lord Clarendon. 6 Sir H. Capell and Duchess of Beaufort, son and daughter of Lord Capell.

7 Mr. Hyde was wont to say he valued himself upon nothing more than upon having had Mr. Selden's friendship.

8 These ten persons are all named together in Lord Clarendon’s ‘Life,' “ as amongst the friends with whom he lived in greatest intimacy.”— rol. i. p. 30.

Geoffrey Palmer,' the Earl of Southampton, the Duke of Ormond, besides a large number of family portraits of the Hydes, ought certainly not to fall under any suspicion on the ground of a want of relationship, connexion, or still less of friendship, between the subjects of the portraits and the person who collected them.” That Lord Clarendon was not “a stranger” to those whose likenesses he collected round him, might at once dispose of the difficulty of his having received them as

" To Sir G. Palmer he bequeathed the guardianship of his children in the will made in the island of Jersey.

? It must also be observed that, even amongst the most valuable and undoubted originals by Vandyck and others, many are duplicates of those still in the possession of the families who claim descent from the subjects of these portraits—such, for instance, as Lord Grandison, the father of the Duchess of Cleveland, belonging to the Duke of Grafton; the Earl of Northumberland, belonging to Lord Essex, whose ancestor Arthur, first Lord Essex, married the daughter of the Earl of Northumberland ; the portraits of William and Philip, Earls of Pembroke, of which the duplicates are at Wilton ; Archbishop Laud, of which there is a duplicate still at Lambeth, and another at Wentworth ; Lord Strafford, of whom there are so many portraits, and amongst the most celebrated that at Wentworth ; Lord Arundel, whose portrait is in the collection of every branch of the Howard family ; Sir Geoffrey Palmer, of whom a portrait is said to be at Carlton Hall, Northumberland, and in the possession of Henry Palmer, Esq. (vide Jones's “Views '); Lord Keeper Coventry, of whom there is one in the possession of Lord Coventry. In addition to these examples of portraits that do not seem to have been fruits of the plunder of particular royalist families, it should be remarked that at Bothwell Castle there are eight and at the Grove fourteen pictures of royal persons, many of which were painted after the civil war, and which could not therefore have formed any part of the “plunder from Cavaliers.” The portrait of George Villiers, first Duke of Buckingham, bore the initials of C. P., with the crown over the letters, and was probably the gift of the King. That of Catherine of Braganza, and the children of Charles I., also came from the royal collection.

VOL. I.

SO

gifts from the family; Evelyn has, however, left no room for doubt, by stating that many of these portraits were gifts to the Chancellor. It is greatly overstating the value of the collection to suppose that the pictures “ are almost all painted by Vandyck and Cornelius “ Jansen.” Many original works by Sir Peter Lely (who was much patronised by the Duchess of York), by Honthorst, Sir Godfrey Kneller, Wissing, and by some other artists, together with copies, some good, some bad, have swelled the numbers of a gallery that owes a large portion of its interest to causes independent of excellence in art. That they are not “almost exclu“ sively the works of Vandyck and Cornelius Jansen ”i removes at once that proof that the portraits must have been painted before the civil wars.

The idea that the pictures could not have been bought, but by those to whom they had originally belonged, is also dispelled by Evelyn's stating the fact that many were purchased expressly for the Chancellor's gallery; and it must be admitted that those persons mentioned by Lord Dartmouth as having “suffered “ most in the civil wars,” who had been plundered and sequestered, and who were in no condition to purchase favour, were unlikely to be forward in the re-purchase of pictures of great price, even when they did not (as they often did) possess duplicate copies of the same subject. The poverty that was said to exclude the

remov

There are but two pictures at the Grove by Cornelius Jansen inherited from the Chancellor.

« AnteriorContinuar »