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Sir William Godolphin (2 February 1635 – 11 July 1696) was an English diplomat for Charles II and Member of Parliament.

Biography

Godolphin was third but eldest surviving son of Sir William Godolphin (1605–1663) of Spargor, Cornwall — the eldest son (by Judith Meredith) of John Godolphin (the younger brother of Sir William Godolphin (1567–1613) — and Ruth (died before 1658), daughter of Sir John Lambe of East Coulston, Wiltshire.[1][2]

Godolphin was baptised 2 February 1634,[3] and was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, gaining the degrees of Master of Arts in 1661 and Doctor of Civil Law in 1663. He became a follower of Lord Arlington,[1] and in 1665 he was elected in a by-elecion to Parliament as member for Camelford, however as he went to Spain early the next year he probably never took up his seat.[4]

In 1667, he took part in the negotiations under Sandwich which resulted in a commercial treaty with Spain. He was knighted in 1668, and in 1669 was sent as Envoy Extraordinary to Madrid, becoming Ambassador in 1672.[1] However, in 1678 he came under suspicion of having been converted to Catholicism, and was recalled; but rather than return to England, he then openly declared his Catholicism, and retired to Spain for the remaining two decades of his life.[1] Shortly before he died, he made a declaration empowering his spiritual advisers, including the procurator-general of the Jesuits, to make his will after his death; an Act of Parliament was passed in 1698 to declare this and other posthumous wills invalid.[5]

Samuel Pepys, who met him in 1668, called Godolphin "a very pretty and able person, a man of very fine parts".[1]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e Leslie 1890, p. 46.
  2. ^ Venning 2008.
  3. ^ Leslie 1890, p. 46 cites Maclean, Trigg Minor, ii. 522
  4. ^ Cruickshanks 1983.
  5. ^ Leslie 1890, pp. 46–47.

References

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Hon. Thomas Coventry
Charles Roscarrock
Member of Parliament for Camelford
with Hon. Thomas Coventry

1665–1679
Succeeded by
Sir James Smyth
William Harbord


1893 text

William Godolphin, descended from a younger branch of that family, which was afterwards ennobled in the person of Sidney, Earl Godolphin, Lord Treasurer. William Godolphin was of Christ Church, Oxford, and graduated M.A., January 14th, 1660-61. He was afterwards secretary to Sir H. Bennet (Lord Arlington), and M.P. for Camelford. He was a great favourite at Court, and was knighted on August 28th, 1668. In the spring of 1669 he returned to Spain as Envoy Extraordinary, and in 1671 he became Ambassador. On July 11th, 1696, he died at Madrid, having been for some years a Roman Catholic.


This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

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References

Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.

1668

1669