By Jeannine Kerwin
Biographies and Portraits
Edward Hyde the Earl of Clarendon (1609-1674), a dignified statesman and historian, as depicted here and from the National Portrait Gallery was the Lord High Chancellor during the early years of the Restoration of King Charles II. Several wonderful websites offer excellent and well detailed biographies and related background information on Lord Clarendon:1911 Encyclopedia;British Civil Wars and Wikipedia.
Clarendon in the Diary
Sam’s interactions with the Lord Chancellor were limited but favorable, including an affectionate walk where he took Lord Sandwich’s young son to meet the King, the Duke and Lord Chancellor. Sam witnessed the King granting Hyde his title and Earldom and often shared niceties while delivering a letter. Over time, amidst the political factions, Clarendon often found himself on the unpopular side of the licentious Court of Charles II. He was unfairly blamed by Lord Bristoll on a variety of fabricated charges which the Lords agreed did not constitute treason.
By 1667 he found himself blamed for the Second Dutch War and more sensitively to Charles II, the marriage of Frances Stuart to the Duke of Richmond. Charles dismissed him in 1667 and Clarendon lived out the final years of his life in exile. During that time he wrote his famous History of the Great Rebellion. Shamefully for the King, as Clarendon was old and very ill he twice wrote to the King asking to be allowed to return home to England to die with his children. The King never replied to his requests and Clarendon died at Rouen, with his younger son Lawrence Hyde present, on December 9, 1674.
Some of the biographies and related non-fiction written by or about Clarendon are listed below. These books tend to be rare and may be available through your local library (with the help of the research department) or are sometimes available through the used book search or your local country Amazon.com.
- Clarendon and His Friends by Richard Ollard
- Clarendon’s Four Portraits by Edward Hyde Earl of Clarendon
- The History of the Great Rebellion and Civil Wars in England in the Year 1641 by Edward Hyde Earl of Clarendon
- The Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon by Edward Hyde Earl of Clarendon
- The Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon, Lord High Chancellor of England by Sir Henry Craik
- The Life and Administration of Edward First Earl of Clarendon with Original Correspondence with Authentic Papers never before published by T.H. Lister
This summary incorporates links provided by Matthew in 2003.