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Edward Hyde Edit Profile

also known as 1st earl of Clarendon

historian , statesman , author

Edward Hyde, 1st earl of Clarendon was an English statesman and historian who molded British institutions after the Restoration, and created a durable image of the English civil war in his writing.

Background

He was born Edward Hyde in Wiltshire on Feburary 18, 1609. Edward Hyde was the eldest surviving son of Henry Hyde of Dinton, Wiltshire.

Education

He was educated at Oxford. He studied law at the Middle Temple and was admitted to the bar in 1633.

Career

Clarendon became a member of the parliamentary opposition to Charles I, sitting in both the Short and the Long Parliaments (1640). A member of the opposition, he supported the impeachment of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, adviser of the King, but he did not support the attack on the Anglican Church which proposed to deny seats in Parliament to bishops. In January 1642, feeling that the King had granted all that could reasonably be expected, Clarendon left the opposition and gave his support to Charles I, joining the court at York in June 1642. During the Great Rebellion he was one of the King's most trusted advisers, and in 1645 he was made one of the counselors of Charles, Prince of Wales, later Charles II, going into exile with him in 1646. Clarendon was a bitter opponent of the Queen Mother, Henrietta Maria, but the Prince kept him as his counselor. Nevertheless, in 1649 Clarendon welcomed the opportunity of leaving the exiled court to serve as ambassador to Spain. In 1651 he rejoined the Prince in Paris and from then until the Restoration in 1660 was his chief adviser. In 1660 Clarendon assumed the office of Lord Chancellor of England, to which he had been appointed in 1658, and in 1661 he was made Earl of Clarendon. As the King's chief minister, Clarendon became increasingly unpopular at court. With the unsuccessful conclusion of the Dutch War in 1667, he was the object of much abuse and unjust accusation, and the King dismissed him on August 30, 1667. In October he was impeached by the Commons, and in November he left England to spend the rest of his life in exile in France. He died in Rouen on December 9, 1674.

Achievements

  • He was one of the most important historians of England, as author of the most influential contemporary history of the Civil War, The History of the Rebellion (1702). He was the maternal grandfather of two monarchs, Queen Mary II and Queen Anne.

Works

Politics

A member of the opposition, he supported the impeachment of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, adviser of the King, but he did not support the attack on the Anglican Church which proposed to deny seats in Parliament to bishops.

Personality

Quotes from others about the person

  • “Ranke said, "Clarendon belongs to those who have essentially fixed the circle of ideas for the English nation. "”

Connections

His first wife, Anne Ayliffe, died in 1632, within six months of their marriage. Two years later he married Frances, daughter of Sir Thomas Aylesbury.

father:
Henry Hyde of Dinton

spouse:
Frances

spouse:
Anne Ayliffe

daughter:
Anne