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Glamorgan, Edward Somerset, 1st earl of, 2nd marquis of Worcester

Glamorgan, Edward Somerset, 1st earl of, 2nd marquis of Worcester (1603–67). Somerset, known until 1645 as Lord Herbert, was born at Raglan and in 1642–5 held south Wales for the king, though taking little part in the military skirmishes. After Naseby, when the king's position was quite desperate, Herbert was made earl of Glamorgan (though the patent was not subsequently recognized) and sent to Ireland to treat with his fellow-catholics in the Kilkenny Confederation. His private instructions were to obtain Irish troops at all costs. Once in Ireland, he floundered in a confused situation, victim of Charles I's tricky diplomacy. Glamorgan's secret treaty made such sweeping concessions to the catholics, in exchange for the promise of 10,000 men, that, when it became known, the king was obliged to repudiate it. After the wars, Glamorgan made his terms with the Commonwealth and recovered his estates at the Restoration. His private interest was engineering and in 1663 he published a celebrated book, Century of Inventions: the ‘water-commanding engine’ which he exhibited at Vauxhall seems to have been an irrigation-pump rather than any form of steam-engine.

J. A. Cannon

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