1893 text

Thomas Clarges, physician to the army, created a baronet, 1674, died 1695. He had been previously knighted; his sister Anne married General Monk. “The Parliament also permitted General Monk to send Mr. Clarges, his brother-in-law, accompanied with some officers of the army, to assure his Majesty of the fidelity and obedience of the army, which had made publick and solemn protestations thereof, after the Letter and Declaration was communicated unto them by the General.”—Sir William Lowers Relation … of the Voiage and Residence which … Charles the II. Hath made in Holland, Hague, 1660, folio.

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

4 Annotations

First Reading

Nix  •  Link

Ah, the idiot brother-in-law.

Nothing new under the sun, is there?

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

The General [Monck] about the same time [1659] gave his Commission to Mr. Clarges to be Commissary-General of the Musters of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
---A Chronicle of the Kings of England. A. Collins, 1741.

Commissary Clarges was knighted by King Charles II in Breda in May,1660.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

How Nix can call this man "the idiot brother-in-law" I do not know. He probably did no research before posting a throw away line.

Sir Thomas Clarges (1618 - 1695) was elected to Parliament 10 (TEN) times. He has one of the longest Parliamentary biographies I've seen.

The part concerning the Diary years is not as detailed as his later services:

Sir Thomas Clarges MP’s rise from obscurity happened after 1653 when his sister, Ann, married General George Monck MP. It was as one of Monck’s close confidants that in the 1650s and 1660s he made some headway as a public servant, mainly in the army administration. Yet he proved to be no natural-born Court servant.

In the 1660s, Sir Thomas Clarges MP emerged as an articulate man of principle:
a severe judge of ministerial conduct;
a defender of the rights and liberties of the subject before the law and of the concept of habeas corpus;
an earnest upholder of Commons privilege over the Lords and the crown;
a rabid anti-papist;
and a hater of foreigners, above all the French.

Devoted to monarchy in its traditional form, and loyal to the person of ‘the King’, Sir Thomas Clarges MP frequently criticized the later Stuarts for their religious inclinations, financial demands, and choice of ministers.

Alongside these prejudices were clear-minded notions of responsible government.

Little is known of his personality. Much truth can be discerned in Bishop Gilbert Burnet’s description of him as ‘an honest but haughty man’, his constant emphasis on economy in public expenditure suggesting an austere and conceited character.

By the beginning of the 1690 Parliament, the elderly Sir Thomas Clarges MP was the doyen of the Country Tories, with a substantial record as an outspoken critic of government.

Sir Thomas Clarges MP was pre-eminent among the diminishing stock of ‘old Parliament men’ whose service in the Commons dated back to the 1650s, and could claim seniority over all the major Country party figures with whom he was actively associated in his final years.

A ‘bigoted’ High Churchman, Sir Thomas Clarges MP, with his modest London origins, was not an archetypal country gentleman. Although Clarges later in life came to own much land in the home counties, his chief interests and links were always metropolitan.

Sir Thomas bought and built extensively in the St. James’s and Piccadilly areas and his distinguished rent-roll included such court figures as the Duke of Shrewsbury and Richard Jones MP, Lord Ranelagh.

Even in the last years of his life. Sir Thomas Clarges MP showed little inclination for the steadier life of a country gentleman and seldom left the capital.

Self-conscious of his acquired genteel status, Sir Thomas Clarges MP was attached to the ‘succession of posterity’ which he regarded as ‘one of the greatest blessings and felicities of this life’.


San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pepys reports:

Tuesday 11 February 1668
"Here [WESTMINSTER HALL] I brought a book to the Committee, and do find them; and particularly Sir Thomas Clarges, mighty hot in the business of tickets, which makes me mad to see them bite at the stone, and not at the hand that flings it, …"

Sounds about right, given Clarges' biography. He was Commissary General (i.e. responsible for paying the Parliamentary army bills) during the Civil Wars, so he knew about money and budget problems (they failed at paying the promised army salaries as well).

As to who flung the stone in the first place: The London merchants didn't want to fund the war they asked for any more; Parliament would not fund Charles II because he spent tax money on the wrong things/people; the taxes were crippling people as it was. Therefore I conclude Pepys is probably hinting at His Majesty.

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