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Certain estates had been bought by their father the Chancellor, on account of their contiguity to Cornbury, and Lord Rochester now consented to make this purchase, on condition of becoming also the purchaser of Cornbury House and Park. Lord Clarendon was at first unwilling to make this (to him) inevitable sacrifice, “having,” as Lord Rochester says, “a certain kind of “ fondness to remain in appearance the master of Corn“ bury; but on the promise that the sale of Cornbury “ should be entirely a secret, that he should appear to “ be still the master of it, and that, if I should act any“ thing there, in making improvements in the park or “ otherwise, it should be so managed that it should look “ as if done by his direction and appointment, he “ consented to make an absolute sale of all the fore“ mentioned particulars in the county of Oxford.”? The will to which this paper is appended, in order to
“had contracted, to conceal for some time the infinite incumbrances and “ difficulties he was under to preserve those remnants of their father's “ estate from falling into the hands of perfect strangers, and perhaps “ enemies to their name and family, he consented, after a very long and “pressing solicitation, to take upon him the burden of Witney, which had “ been mortgaged to gentlemen who pressed to be put in possession of the " said estate, and would no longer have patience.”—Unpublished MS.
I Witney and other adjacent manors.
? Lord Rochester adds, " for which I immediately became liable to pay “ the sum of 98101. for Witney, 75001. for Cornbury, and 3751. for a year's “ interest ;* so that, to do my brother this kindness, and to secure myself “ the debt mentioned as due to me from my brother,t I engaged myself to “ pay interest for 16,5007.”
* Due from Lord Clarendon on Witney.
explain the motives that induced him to purchase Cornbury, was signed, sealed, and witnessed July 23, 1697, but afterwards cancelled, and Lord Rochester died intestate fourteen years afterwards, 1711. There is nothing specified in the will or the paper respecting the purchase of the pictures; but in proof that he had acquired legal possession of the whole collection, together with the books and MSS. at Cornbury, it seems they not only remained there from the time of its purchase, and were in some degree augmented, but that no creditor either of Henry Earl of Clarendon or of his son Edward (who died in 1723) ever pretended to claim a right to these pictures. No general administration' appears to have been granted of Henry Lord Clarendon's effects to any one; it is believed he left no personal estate of his own, and died insolvent. By the fortunate circumstance of the Earl of Rochester having become the possessor of Cornbury, the pictures were saved from the danger of afterwards falling into the hands of Lord Clarendon's eldest son, who on his father's death succeeded to the title.
Edward Hyde, third Earl of Clarendon, presents one of those melancholy instances which too often occur amongst the descendants of distinguished men, where the name, the honours, and the title are reproduced, but unsupported and ungraced by any one of those qualities
Limited administration appears to have been granted to different persons, with respect to his interest as a trustee for the benefit of younger children in a certain marriage settlement.
or virtues which won distinction for their ancestor. His conduct through life was a blot upon his name, and brought down upon him the scorn and reproach of two hemispheres. His character and government of New York has been thus described by an able American historian :
“Lord Cornbury, destitute of the virtues of the “ aristocracy, illustrated the worst form of its arrogance. “.... At about forty years of age, with self-will and “ the pride of rank for his counsellors, without fixed “ principles, without perception of political truth, he “stood among the plebeians of New Jersey and the “ mixed people of New York as their governor."
The tradition of his character, conduct, and habits, is thus related by another modern historian of the North American provinces :
“Whether from real difference in the sentiment, or “ from a policy which in those days was not uncom“mon, while his father had adhered to the cause of “ James II., the son supported the pretensions of King “ William, and was one of the first officers who deserted “ with his troop to the enterprise which produced the “ British revolution. .... He obtained, by one of the “ last acts of his royal patron's administration, the “ government of New York as a reward for his services. “ This appointment was confirmed by his kinswoman, “Queen Anne, who added to it the government of
| Bancroft's ' History of the United States,' vol. iii. p. 60.
“ New Jersey, which had been recently surrendered by “ its proprietors to the Crown.”
“The dissolute habits and ignoble tastes and manners “ of the man completed and embittered the disgust with “which he was now universally regarded; and when “ he affronted public decency by rambling abroad in “ the dress of a woman,' the people beheld with indig“ nation and shame the representative of their sovereign “ and the ruler of their country.
“In the year 1708 Queen Anne was at last com“ pelled, by reiterated complaints, to supersede his “ commission, and appoint Lord Lovelace his successor. “ No sooner was he deprived of command than he was “thrown into prison by his creditors, and there re“ mained a prisoner for debt till the death of his father “ entitled him to be liberated as a peer.” ?
Such was the unworthy grandson of Edward Lord Clarendon and Arthur Lord Capell. He died in obscurity at a house in Chelsea, March 31, 1723, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Mr. Joseph Radcliffe' was appointed one of his executors, and into his hands a portion of the MSS. passed from the possession of the family. Lord Clarendon had perhaps given the MSS. to Mr. Radcliffe during his lifetime, for they were not left to him by will; ? and after Mr. Radcliffe's death these papers were purchased from his executors by the trustees of Dr. Radcliffe, and by them presented to the University of Oxford.
? In this strange costume he has been actually painted, and his portrait, thus disguised, is in the possession of Sir John Pakington, of Westwood, co. Worcester. It is much to be regretted that no account of this picture, either as to the artist, or the country in which it was painted, or the manner in which it came to that house, is known by the present owner.
• Grahame's · History of the United States,' vol. ii. pp. 247-251.
3 Henry, second Earl of Clarendon, married Theodosia, daughter of Arthur Lord Capell; she was mother to Edward, third Earl of Clarendon. · Of Lyon's Inn, gent. ; Lady Frances Keightley (his aunt), and Thomas Chiffinch, of Northfleet, were the other executors. See below, p. 69*.
Judging by the little regard shown by this Lord Clarendon for the valuable MSS. belonging to his father and his grandfather which he had in his possession, it must be considered as a fortunate circumstance that he did not possess the pictures also, in which case their existence as a collection would have speedily ceased.
On the death of Edward, third Earl of Clarendon, in 1723, the title passed to his first-cousin, 4 Henry, who thus united in his person the titles of Clarendon and Rochester.
After much wasteful mismanagement of his estates, it became clear to his family and friends that he was so wholly unfit to conduct his own affairs properly, that for
? The fate of these manuscripts is more fully explained below, p. 73*.
3 Dr. Douglas, Bishop of Salisbury, first gave to the world the MSS. that were in possession of Richard Powney, Esq.
• He survived his son, who died February 12, 1712-13; his only remaining child, Theodosia, married John Bligh, Esq.