1893 text

Colonel William Sydenham had been an active officer during the Civil Wars, on the Parliament side; M.P. for Dorsetshire, Governor of Melcombe, and one of the Committee of Safety. He was the elder brother of the celebrated physician of that name.—B.


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

2 Annotations

David Quidnunc  •  Link

"Sydenham, [Col. William]"

That's the name and spelling Robert Latham has in his index volume to the Latham & Matthews edition of the diary.

Sydenham/Syndenham appears once in the diary, according to the index. His brother doesn't appear at all.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Col. William Sydenham MP 1593 – 1661

"WE LIVE AS PARLIAMENT MEN BUT FOR A TIME, BUT WE LIVE AS ENGLISH MEN ALWAYS. I WOULD NOT HAVE US SO TENDER OF THE PRIVILEGE OF PARLIAMENT AS TO FORGET THE LIBERTIES OF ENGLISHMEN" -- William Sydenham speech to parliament 1656.

First son of William Sydenham of Wynford Eagle and Mary, daughter of Sir John Jeffrey of Catherstone, Dorset. Brother to John, Francis and the famous Dr. Thomas.

Captain of Troop in Sir Walter Erle’s regiment of horse, at least Apr. 1643-Aug. 1643. By Apr. 1644 a colonel. Appointed governor of Weymouth by Robert Devereaux, 3rd Earl of Essex on 17 June 1644. A leading figure on the Dorset county committee, elected MP for Melcombe Regis and Weymouth, Nov. 1645. Colonel, regiment of foot, New Model Army, 13 Feb.-June 1649; Joint Governor (with Charles Fleetwood), Isle of Wight, Aug. 1649-Jan. 1660; colonel of foot, June 1659-Jan. 1660. MP for Dorset 1653, 1654, 1656, raised to Cromwell’s Other House as Lord Sydenham, 1657.

After the death of Oliver Cromwell, Sydenham became one of Richard Cromwell's council; but in April 1659 he acted with Fleetwood, Desborough, and what was termed the Wallingford House party to force Richard to dissolve the third Protectorate Parliament. According to Ludlow, Sydenham was one of the chief agents in the negotiation between the army leaders and the republicans which led to Richard's fall. On the restoration of the Rump Parliament, Sydenham became a member of the Committee of Safety on 7 May 1659 and of the Council of State on 16 May, although he had scruples against taking the oath required from members of the latter. He was also given the command of a regiment of foot.

When John Lambert turned out the Rump Parliament again, Sydenham took part with the army, and was made a member of their Committee of Safety. Sydenham attempted to justify the violence of the army to the Council of State, "undertaking to prove that they were necessitated to make use of this last remedy by a particular call of divine Providence".

When the Rump Parliament was again restored, Sydenham was called to answer for his conduct. Failing to give a satisfactory explanation, he was expelled from Parliament on 17 January 1660. His regiment was also given to the speaker's son.

At the restoration of the monarchy, the Act of Indemnity and Oblivion included Sydenham in the 18 people perpetually banned from holding any office for life on 29 August 1660, and he was also obliged to enter into a bond not to disturb the peace of the kingdom. Col. William Sydenham died in July 1661.

References: Oxford DNB; HoP: The Commons, 1640-1660 (forthcoming).

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References

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

1660