Carolina Lords Proprietors

Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon

February 18, 1609 to December 9, 1674

Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon (February 18,1609-December 9, 1674), had been one of the supporters of parliamentary rights against King Charles I. But when the Parliament Party (primarily Puritans) attacked the established Church of England, Hyde joined King Charles I and became one of his most distinguished and wise councilors.

King Charles II made him Lord High Chancellor and chief minister. The dissolute habits of the royal court, however, aroused Hyde's disapproval; and political enemies finally undermined him until he was driven from office and into exile. He was the father of Anne Hyde, who married the future King of England, James II.

Edward Hyde was appointed Chancellor to King Charles II in 1658 while the exiled court was still in Bruges. Following the restoration of the monarchy he was created Baron Hyde of Hindon, Viscount Cornbury, and then Earl of Clarendon and Chancellor of Oxford University. At Oxford, he lent his name to a building, a printing press, and a typeface still popular to this day.

Clarendon stayed, at first, at Worcester House in The Strand and it was from there that his daughter Anne was secretly married to James, Duke of York, Charles's younger brother. In 1661, he was presented with Cornbury Park, north west of Oxford but although convenient for Oxford he probably needed a property nearer to Hampton Court Palace, now re-occupied by the King.

By 1667, Clarendon had fallen out of favor. In June, he was deprived of the Great Seal and, threatened with impeachment, went into exile. He died at Rouen in 1674.

Hyde was an English statesman and historian. Elected (1640) to the Short and Long Parliaments, he was at first associated with the opposition to King Charles I and helped prepare the impeachment of the Earl of Strafford. The increasing radicalism of the opposition, however, led him to offer his services to the king, whom he aided by drafting a reply to the Grand Remonstrance.

After the outbreak of the Engilish Civil War, Hyde was appointed (1643) Chancellor of the Exchequer, and he represented King Charles I (1645) in the unsuccessful Uxbridge negotiations to end the war. Hyde followed Prince Charles (later King Charles II) into exile in 1646 and became one of his chief advisers.

Pursuing Hyde’s policy, Charles II awaited the appearance of a strong, friendly faction in England and successfully negotiated his own restoration (1660) without foreign aid. After Charles II’s return to England, Hyde became Lord Chancellor (1660) and was created Earl of Clarendon (1661).

Hyde hoped to achieve a lenient religious settlement that would conciliate the Puritans, but his wishes were overborne by the militantly Anglican Cavalier Parliament, which passed the unjustly named Clarendon Code. He was blamed by the public for the sale of Dunkirk (1662) to the French and for the second Dutch War (which he opposed), and he was unpopular with the licentious Restoration court.

In 1667, King Charles II dismissed him from office, using him as a scapegoat for military failures and financial breakdown during the Dutch War. Impeachment proceedings were begun, and Edward Hyde fled England to live the remainder of his life in exile.

As a statesman he was consistent and moderate, never wavering from his early views on constitutional monarchy but blind to new political forces created by the English Civil War. Through the marriage (1660) of his daughter Anne to the Duke of York (later James II), Clarendon was the grandfather of two queens, Mary II, and Anne.

His renowned History of the Rebellion, written partly from memory and partly from documents, is an indispensable account of the English civil war.

Upon his death in 1674, his share of Carolina was inherited by his eldest son, Henry Hyde, 2nd Earl of Clarendon.
Click Here for more information on Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon from Wikipedia online.
Click Here for more information on Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon from the British Civil War Project online.


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