Clarendon, Edward Hyde, 1st earl of

views updated May 21 2018

Clarendon, Edward Hyde, 1st earl of (1609–74). Constitutionalism and the rule of law provided the guiding principles of Clarendon's life. In the first session of the Long Parliament, 1640–1, he led the attack on Charles I's prerogative courts, but in the second he perceived John Pym's radical policies as an equal threat to constitutional liberties and religious order. He co-authored Charles's declarations, joining him at York in May 1642. In 1643 as privy counsellor and chancellor of the Exchequer he persuaded Charles to convoke a parliament of royalist peers and MPs at Oxford to offset the absolutist advice of courtiers and soldiers. Similarly as adviser to the exiled Charles II he counselled him not to owe his restoration to Scottish, French, or Spanish intervention purchased by the abandonment of the Church of England.

In 1660 he became earl and lord chancellor. He did not think it proper to act as a prime minister, but his pregnant daughter Anne's marriage to James, duke of York, provoked charges that he dominated the royal family. Nor would he engage in systematic parliamentary management. He opposed all governmental innovations and the second Anglo-Dutch War, and lost control over junior ministers who combined against him when the war ended in failure. Charles cynically abandoned him, encouraging his impeachment. Clarendon fled to France, where he completed his monumental History of the Rebellion.

J. R. Jones

Clarendon, Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of

views updated May 21 2018

Clarendon, Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of (1609–74) English statesman and historian. A leading adviser to Charles I, he joined Charles II in exile, and negotiated the Restoration (1660). As chief minister to Charles II, he initiated (but disapproved of) four statutes collectively known as the Clarendon Code. The statutes restricted gatherings of Puritans and Nonconformists, and the movement of their ministers. In addition, municipal and church officers were required to be professed Anglicans, and all ministers were forced to use the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Following disagreements with Charles II he was impeached and forced into exile in 1667, where he completed his History of the Rebellion and wrote an autobiography. See also Nonconformism

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Edward Hyde 1st earl of Clarendon

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