Clarendon, Henry Hyde, 2nd earl of

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Clarendon, Henry Hyde, 2nd earl of (1638–1709). Clarendon was the son of the lord chancellor and historian, and brother of Anne Hyde, mother of Queen Mary and Queen Anne. He was returned to Parliament in 1661 and succeeded to the earldom in 1674. From 1662 he was in the service of Queen Catherine, Charles II's Portuguese wife, as private secretary, lord chamberlain, and treasurer. On the accession of his brother-in-law James II in 1685, Clarendon and his younger brother Rochester were given high office. From 1685 to 1687 Clarendon held the privy seal and was lord-lieutenant of Ireland. But his time in Dublin was difficult. As a protestant he was increasingly anxious at James's headlong catholicizing policy and as lord-lieutenant he was overshadowed by Tyrconnel, a zealous catholic and commander-in-chief. In January 1687 both brothers were dismissed. At the revolution, his son Lord Cornbury was one of the first to join William, and Clarendon followed a fortnight later. Nevertheless he refused to take the oaths of allegiance to the new monarchs and had two spells in the Tower in 1690 and 1691 under suspicion of Jacobitism. The remainder of his life was spent in retirement.

J. A. Cannon

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