# Fiennes, William (DNB00)

 Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 18 Fiennes, William by Charles Harding Firth
 1904 Errata appended.

After the king's death Saye took no part in public affairs. Tradition represents him as living in retirement in the island of Lundy, which had been held for the king during the war, but was recovered by its owner in 1647 (A brief Declaration of the Treaty concerning Lundy, 4to, 1647). He was there in 1651, as a curious letter to him from a royalist privateer who had captured one of his ships proves (Mercurius Politicus, 26 June to 3 July 1651, p. 888). About two years later Dorothy Osborne writes to Temple that she is told that Lord Saye ‘has writ a romance since his retirement in the Isle of Lundy’ (Letters of Dorothy Osborne, p. 162, 1st ed.) The references in his pamphlets prove that he lived at Broughton during the latter part of the protectorate. He published two tracts against the quakers entitled: 1. ‘Folly and Madness made Manifest: or some things written to show how contrary to the Word of God, &c., the Doctrines and Practices of the Quakers are,’ Oxford, 1659. 2. ‘The Quaker's Reply Manifested to be Railing;’ this is appended to the former. A royalist agent describes Saye in 1658 as favourable to the king, but demanding the confirmation of the articles agreed on at the treaty of Newport (Clarendon State Papers, iii. 392). Saye took his seat in the House of Lords at the opening of the Convention parliament on 25 April 1660, was appointed a member of the privy council in June 1660, and, according to Collins, lord privy seal (Peerage, vii. 22). He was also one of the council of the colonies, appointed 1 Dec. 1660, and on 10 July 1661 wrote to the governor of Massachusetts expressing his affection for the colony, and saying that he had used his influence both with king and council to advance their interest. ‘I was loth to omit writing because it may be my last, my glass being almost run out, and I returning home’ (Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts, 3rd edit., i. 202). Saye died on 14 April 1662, and was buried at Broughton. He married, about 1602, Elizabeth, daughter of John Temple of Stow, Buckinghamshire, who died in 1648 (Doyle, iii. 272; Beesley, History of Banbury, p. 475).

Clarendon gives two long characters of Saye (Rebellion, iii. 26, vi. 409); one by Arthur Wilson is contained in his ‘History of James I,’ 1653, p. 161, and a panegyric in verse is printed in W. Mercer's ‘Angliæ Speculum,’ 1646. His usual nickname was ‘Old Subtlety,’ which well expresses his astuteness as a parliamentary tactician and his ability in council.

A portrait of Saye is preserved at Broughton, and numerous engravings are contained in the Sutherland ‘Clarendon’ in the Bodleian (Catalogue of the Sutherland Collection, 1837, ii. 90). Wood attributes either to Saye or to Nathaniel Fiennes a pamphlet published in 1654, entitled ‘The Scots' Design discovered,’ or ‘Vindiciæ Veritatis.’ It contains a statement of the case of the parliament against the Scots, written about 1647, and a vindication of the conduct of Nathaniel Fiennes during the war.

[Doyle's Official Baronage, iii. 271; Collins's Peerage, ed. Brydges, vii. 22; Wood's Athenæ Oxon., ed. Bliss, iii. 546; Walpole's Royal and Noble Authors, ed. Park, iii. 69; Lloyd's State Worthies, 1670, p. 972; Clarendon's Hist. of the Rebellion, ed. Macray.]

C. H. F.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.122
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

 Page Col. Line 434 i 3-4 Fiennes, William, 1st Viscount Saye and Sele: for the island of New Providence in the Caribbean Sea read Providence Island, in north latitude 12° 26f.e. 19f.e. $\scriptstyle{ \left. \begin{matrix} \ \\ \ \end{matrix} \right\}\, }$  for New Providence read Providence Island