Southampton, Thomas Wriothesley, 4th earl of
Thomas Wriothesley Southampton, 4th earl of, 1607–67, English nobleman; son of the 3d earl. At first an opponent of the court party in the events leading up to the English civil war, he later joined the royalists and served Charles I as an intimate adviser. He negotiated for Charles with Parliament in 1643 and 1645. After the king's execution (1649) he retired. At the Restoration (1660), Southampton became lord high treasurer. He counseled leniency toward the regicides. He disapproved of the immorality and ostentation of Charles II and his court and soon retired from active politics.