Susanna • Link
Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, later the first Earl of Shaftsbury, was a highly prominent politician (later he would found the Whig party). In American history he is probably best known as one of the Lords Proprietors of the Carolina colonies. (Some Charlestonians like to say they live where
David Quidnunc • Link
Cooper in February 1660
"Despite the fact that he had been pursued ardently by the Royalists in tempting correspondence, Ashley Cooper had continued to reject their overtures. He appeared deaf to the personal appeals of the King. He had been elected to the Council of State by the Rump, although he was of the majority of the Council who refused to accept the additional clause renouncing Charles Stuart, proposed by Desborough. But it was not until February 1660 that he allowed himself to be drawn into correspondence with the exiled court, as we know from Hyde's complaint on the subject.
"When on 24 February Lady Willoughby de Broke told [Charles's adviser and later Earl of Clarendon, Edward] Hyde that Ashley Cooper was 'his Majesty's fast friend', Hyde replied tartly that this was the first he had heard of it."
-- Antonia Fraser, "Royal Charles: Charles II and the Restoration," 1979, pp 170-1
Character assassination by Bishop Gilbert Burnet (1643-1715).
A man of popular eloquence, who could mix the facetious and the furious way of arguing very agreeably, and who had got the art of governing parties, and making himself the head of them, just as he pleased. His religion was that of a deist at the best; he had the dotage of astrology in him to a great degree, and fancied that our souls, after death, lived in the stars. His learning was superficial. He understood little to the bottom; but his vanity in setting himself out was ridiculous and disgusting. His reasoning was loose, his discourse rambling, and he had a better way of bantering or bearing down an argument than he had in supporting it. After all, his chief strength lay in knowing mankind, their understandings and tempers, and applying himself to them so dexterously that though, by his changing sides so often, it was visible he was not to be depended on, nay, though he himself was not ashamed to recount the many turns he had made, and to value himself upon them, yet he still could create a dependence, and make himself the centre of any discontented party.
"Another boy that grew up to influence Sam's life, Anthony Ashley Cooper, was also living off Fleet Street, in Three Cranes Court, from 1631 to 1635...He lived as an orphan with his guardian, Sir Daniel Norton, who was in London during the law terms, from 1631,when he was 10 until he was 14 years old.
anonymous • Link
As Lord Ashley, he became a member of the famous Cabal. He held the office of Lord High Chancellor from 1672 until 1673.
Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury
The great talents of the earl of Shaftesbury, and his exact knowledge of men and things, contributed to render him one of the first characters of his age. But the violence of his passions, and the flexibility of his principles, prompted him to act very different, and even contrary parts. This was in some measure owing to the changes in the times in which he lived; but is more to be attributed to the mutability of his character, which ever varied with the interests of his ambition. When we consider him as sitting in the highest tribunal in the kingdom, explaining and correcting the laws, detecting fraud, and exerting all the powers of his eloquence on the side of justice; we admire the able lawyer, the commanding orator, and the upright judge. But when he enters into all the iniquitous measures of the Cabal, when he prostitutes his eloquence to enslave his country, and becomes the factious leader and the popular incendiary; we regard him with an equal mixture of horror and regret.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1779.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.