1893 text

Sir Harry Vane the younger, an inflexible republican. He was executed in 1662, on a charge of conspiring the death of Charles I.

Sir Harry Vane the younger was born 1612. Charles signed on June 12th a warrant for the execution of Vane by hanging at Tyburn on the 14th, which sentence on the following day “upon humble suit made” to him, Charles was “graciously pleased to mitigate,” as the warrant terms it, for the less ignominious punishment of beheading on Tower Hill, and with permission that the head and body should be given to the relations to be by them decently and privately interred.— Lister’s Life of Clarendon, ii, 123.

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

13 Annotations

Kay Robart  •  Link

A short biography of Sir Harry Vane the younger is posted at http://www.skyhook.co.uk/civwar/biog/vane.htm

It finishes thus:
A member of the Third Protectorate Parliament 1659, Vane called for the return of the Long Parliament after the collapse of Richard Cromwell's government. He was suspected of conspiring with Major-General Lambert to establish a military dictatorship and although this probably was not true, he became generally unpopular. At the Restoration, he was arrested on the orders of Charles II on a charge of having conspired with the Army against the King. He was found guilty of high treason and beheaded on 14 June 1662.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

"VANE, young in years, but in sage counsel old,"
-- first line of Milton's "To Sir Henry Vane the Younger" (1652)

Sir Henry Vane (1613-1662) was born in Harlow, Kent, studied at Oxford and traveled in Europe.

"[H]e returned to England a thorough Puritan, and, refusing the career that was open to him as the son of a courtier, sailed in 1635 for New England. An impressive bearing and great abilities, joined to the fact of his high birth, led to his taking an active part in the affairs of the colony of Massachusetts."
-- Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography (1887-89)

Vane supported Anne Hutchinson, who fought for more religious freedom in the colony (at least for herself and other members of the Puritan church in Massachusetts), and he even beat John Winthrop to win a term as governor, but after a year in office he lost support. Hutchinson was eventually banished from the colony (the Hutchinson Parkway in Westchester County, N.Y., is named after her) and Vane decided to return to England in 1637. (Pepys's boss, George Downing, arrived in Massachusetts at age 15 in 1638.)

Vane was knighted by Charles I in 1640, appointed treasurer of the navy and elected as a member of the Short and Long Parliaments.

He was instrumental in getting a charter for the colony of Rhode Island, where founder Roger Williams offered religious freedom to Christians and Jews. Vane opposed the proposal to force Irish Catholics to attend Protestant worship.

Vane supported overthrowing Charles I but not executing him. He was valued by Cromwell and served in many capacities in government until the two clashed over Cromwell's dissolution of Parliament.

He wrote "A Healing Question" in 1656 "in which he outlined the principles of civil and religious liberty and proposed a convention to write a national constitution." Vane was prosecuted for writing the pamphlet.
-- web site of The Acton Institute

After Cromwell's death he returned to lead the republicans in Parliament.

"[H]e allied himself with the officers in setting aside the protectorate and in restoring the Long Parliament, and on Richard Cromwell's abdication he regained his former supremacy in the national councils. He adhered to Lambert, remained a member of the government after the latter had turned out the Long Parliament, and endeavoured to maintain it by reconciling the disputing generals . . . In consequence, at the restoration of the Long Parliament he was expelled by the House and ordered to retire to Raby."
-- The "1911 Encyclopedia" Britannica

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Vane Quotes

"Magistracy is not to intrude itself into the office and proper concerns of Christ's inward government and rule in the conscience, but it is to content itself with the outward man."

"All just executive power [arises] from the free will and gift of the people, [who might] either keep the power in themselves or give up their subjection into the hands and will of another, if they judge that thereby they shall better answer the end of government, to wit, the welfare and safety of the whole."

-- both of these quotes were found at the website of the Acton Institute:

From the "1911 Encyclopedia" (Britannica) site:

"His views of government may be studied in The People's Case Stated, written shortly before his death. 'The power which is directive, and states and ascertains the morality of the rule of obedience, is in the hand of God: but the original, from whence all just power arises, which is magistratical and co-ercitive, is from the will or free gift of the people, who may either keep the power in themselves or give up their subjection and will in the hand of another.' King and people were bound by 'the fundamental constitution or compact,' which if the king violated, the people might return to their original right and freedom."


Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Vane was first arrested 9th of Jan '60 and dismissed from Parliament . He had asked for forgiveness by using the correct paper work along with Col Lambert . His allies petitionened Charles II but it was in vain, Charles turned him down.
snippets can be obtained from
House of Commons Journal Volume 7:

Tom Bleser  •  Link

Prior to the English Restoration, the Governorship of Massachusetts changed hands more than 20 times, traded off between only 5 individuals (Endicott, Winthrop, Dudley, Bradstreet, and Leverett). Vane was the only exception. His brief stay in America, long enough to sensitize us to the martyrdom of Ann Hutchinson, his inequivocal committment to constitutional government's procedural responsibility to First Amendment liberty of conscience, he was, after a meteoric career marked by uncompromising enmity to all forms of despotism, mispercieved to be subversive to the crown and died the martyrs death, another true profile in courage.

Bill  •  Link

VAHE, SIR HENRY, the younger (1613-1662), statesman; eldest son of Sir Henry Vane the elder; educated at Westminster School, at Oxford, 1629, and abroad; adopted decided puritan views, 1628; attached to the embassy at Vienna, 1631; returned to England, 1632; resolved to go to New England for freedom of conscience; resided in Boston, 1635-7 ; governor of Massachusetts, 1635-7; entangled in the doctrinal controversies of the colonists; returned to England, 1637; treasurer of the navy, 1639-41 ; M.P., Hull, in the Short parliament, April 1640; knighted, 1640; married, and received Raby Castle from his father, July 1640; showed Руm his father's memorandum of Strafford's advice (5 May 1640) to Charles I, September 1640; M.P., Hull, in the Long parliament, November 1640; Strafford's fate sealed by his copy of the memorandum, April 1641; advocated abolition of episcopacy, May 1641; dismissed by Charles I from his treasurership of the navy, December 1641; a leader of the war party in parliament; parliamentary treasurer of the navy, 1642-50; conducted negotiations with Scots at Edinburgh, 1643; virtual leader of the House of Commons, 1643-6; rejected Charles I's overtures to dissociate him from the parliament, 1644; a commissioner at the treaty of Uxbridge, 1645; urged the reorganisation of the army; offended the presbyterians by insisting on toleration; rejected fresh overtures by Charles I, 1646; a commissioner to treat with the army leaders at Wycombe, 1647; distrusted both by the presbyterians and the levellers; a commissioner to treat with Charles I at Newport, 1648; took no part iu Charles I's trial; member of the parliamentary council of state, 1649; a leading man in all affairs of the Commonwealth, home, colonial, military, and naval, 1649-53; a close friend of Cromwell, 1650-3; sent to Scotland to settle Scottish affairs, 1651; came into collision with Cromwell, from wishing to perpetuate the Long parliament, 1653; retired to Belleau, 1653; imprisoned for a pamphlet against Cromwell's arbitrary government, 1656; M.P., Whitchurch, in Richard Cromwell's parliament, February 1659; effected the abolition of the protectorate; in the restored Long parliament was commissioner of the navy and virtual foreign minister, May 1659; laboured to reconcile the army and the parliament; became distrusted by all parties; expelled from the Long parliament, January 1660; put in custody, February; partially excluded from indemnity by the 'Convention' parliament, June 1660; prisoner in the Tower of London, and in the Scilly islands; his death demanded by the Cavalier parliament, July 1661; condemned and executed on Tower Hill; a religious enthusiast; published several treatises of mystical divinity; published also speeches.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

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