photo credits: Wikimedia Commons
Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon
country of citizenship:
Kingdom of England
language of expression: English
educated at: University of Oxford
occupation: historian, politician, judge
award received: Fellow of the Royal Society
position held: Member of Parliament in the Parliament of England, Lord Chancellor, Chancellor of the Exchequer
Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon (18 February 1609 – 9 December 1674), was an English statesman, diplomat and historian, who served as chief advisor to Charles I during the First English Civil War, and Lord Chancellor to his son from 1660 to 1667.
Unlike many contemporaries, Hyde largely avoided involvement in the political disputes of the 1630s, until elected to the Long Parliament in November 1640. Like many moderate Royalists, Hyde was a supporter of constitutional monarchy and the role of Parliament, but by 1642 felt its leaders were seeking too much power. He also believed in an Episcopalian Church of England, and opposed Puritan attempts to reform it.
As a result, he joined Charles in York, and served as his senior political advisor, but lost influence as the war progressed. Like his close friend Sir Ralph Hopton, devotion to the Church of England meant he opposed attempts to gain support from Scots Covenanters or Irish Catholics. In 1644, the Prince of Wales was given charge of the West Country, and Hyde became part of his Governing Council.
When the war ended in 1646, he went into exile, and largely avoided involvement in the Second English Civil War, which ended in the execution of Charles I. He served his son Charles II as a diplomat in Paris and Madrid, and refused to participate in the 1650 to 1651 Third English Civil War.
After Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660, he was appointed Lord Chancellor, while his daughter Anne married the future James II, making him grandfather of two queens, Mary and Anne. These links brought him both power and enemies, and he was charged with treason after the 1665 to 1667 Second Anglo-Dutch War.
He left England to travel in Europe, where he remained until his death in 1674. His periods of exile were spent completing The History of the Rebellion, now regarded as one of the most significant histories of the period, covering the First English Civil War from 1642 to 1646. First written as a defence of Charles I, it was extensively revised after 1667, and became far more critical and frank, particularly in its assessments of his contemporaries.
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