Falkland, Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount

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Falkland, Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount [S] (1610–43). Falkland was educated in Ireland, where his father was viceroy, but settled at Great Tew, his country house outside Oxford. This became, in the words of Clarendon, a regular visitor, ‘a university bound in a lesser volume’, where Falkland and his friends, turning their backs on religious fanaticism and political partisanship, pursued a dispassionate search for unifying truths. Elected to Parliament in 1640, Falkland condemned arbitrary rule in church and state, but opposed radical change. In January 1642 he accepted office as secretary of state, in the vain hope of closing the gap between the king and Parliament. His peace-loving and tolerant nature was revolted by the prospect of civil war, and made him careless of his own life. This ‘incomparable young man’, as Clarendon called him, found a welcome death in battle at Newbury in September 1643.

Roger Lockyer

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