Long, James (1617-1692) (DNB00)

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LONG, Sir JAMES (1617–1692), royalist, only son of Sir Walter Long of Draycot Cerne, Wiltshire, by his first wife, Lady Anne Ley, second daughter of James, first earl of Marlborough, and nephew of Sir Robert Long [q. v.], was born at South Wraxhall, Wiltshire, and baptised at Bradford in 1617 (Pedigree, &c., Misc. Geneal. et Herald,new ser.iii. 68). After education at home and in France (not, as Aubrey affirms, at Westminster School and Magdalen College, Oxford), Long appears to have entered the royal army, and is probably the Captain Long who at the beginning of the civil war was serving in Sir Thomas Glemham's regiment (Peacock, Army Lists, p. 12). By 1644 he had risen to the rank of a colonel of horse in Sir F. Dodington's brigade, and was in that year appointed sheriff of Wiltshire in the king's interest. Early in 1645 he escorted the Prince of Wales to Bristol, and was leisurely returning eastwards when he was, on 12 March 1645, overtaken by a superior force of parliamentarians under Waller and Cromwell at Devizes. He fell rapidly back towards Bath, hotly pursued by Waller. Near Potterne he was intercepted by Cromwell, who suddenly appeared in his van with an advance guard, and the high thick-set hedges prevented his escape. Long himself was captured, and of his four hundred horse only some thirty succeeded in getting away (cf. Waller's account given in Sanford's Studies and Illustrations of Great Rebellion, p. 617; cf. Vicars, Burning Bush, p. 123). The disaster was ascribed by Clarendon to Long's 'great defect of courage and conduct' (Hist. 1888, iv. 12). He was soon exchanged, and in August 1645 captured Chippenham (Mercurius Aulicus, 12 Aug. 1645). On 4 May 1649 he was allowed to compound for his estates at the Goldsmiths' Hall, the assessment being fixed at 300l. He thereupon paid his fine of 714l., and sued out his pardon (Cal. Proc. Comm. for Advance of Money, ii. 624, 983). Shortly after his release, Aubrey relates how 'Oliver, Protector, hawking at Hounslow Heath, discoursing with him, fell in love with his company, and commanded him to weare his sword, and to meet him a hawkeing, which made the strict cavaliers look on him with an evill eye.' In 1673, by the death of his uncle, Long succeeded to the baronetcy and estates of Wraxhall and Draycot. He was admirably adapted for a country gentleman's life, if we may believe Aubrey, who states that, in addition to his intellectual attainments, he was a 'good swordsman, great memorie, great falconer and for horsemanship. For insects exceedingly curious and searching long since in naturall things.' He was also something of an antiquary; in a letter to Aubrey, preserved in the Bodleian Library, dated 1688, there is an interesting description by Long of a number of Roman coins found at Heddington, Wiltshire. In the same year he wrote a short account of his family history, which is preserved in Wotton's 'Baronetage' (1771), ii. 265. For the purposes of sport Long was wont to spend a week or two every autumn at Abury, whither Aubrey frequently accompanied him. 'Our sport,' says the antiquary, 'was good … but the flight of the falcons was but a parenthesis to the colonell's facetious discourse,who was“tam Marti, tam Mercurio,” and the Muses did accompany him with his hawkes and spaniells' (Aubrey, Wiltshire Topographical Collections). According to Aubrey, Long wrote a great work on the 'History and Causes of the Civill War,' but it does not appear to be extant. In 1690 Edward Wells [q. v.] dedicated to Long his 'Geographical Table' (see Welch, Alumni Westm. p. 205). The baronet died suddenly in London on 22 Jan. 1691-2 (Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 342), and was buried at Draycot (Pedigree, &c., ut supra).

Long married Dorothy, daughter of Sir Edward Leech of Shipley, Derbyshire, 'a most elegant beautie and witt.' By her (d. 1710) he had one son, James, who died in his father's lifetime, leaving, by his first wife Susan, daughter of Colonel Giles Strangways of Melbury, Dorset, three sons—Robert, Giles, and James—who were successively baronets. James, the youngest, matriculated from Balliol College, Oxford, on 1 Feb. 1698-9; succeeded to the baronetcy in 1699; was M.P. for Chippenham, 1705-13; Wotton Bassett, 1715-22; and Wiltshire, from 1727 until his death on 16 March 1729 (Hist. Regist. Chron. Diary, pp. 19, 20; Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500-1714). He married, on 6 June 1702, at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, the Hon. Henrietta Greville (d. 1765), daughter of Lord Brooke, by whom he left two sons (Chester, London Marriage Licences, p. 858).

Ann Long (1681?-1711), Sir James the younger's elder sister, was a celebrated beauty, concerning whom the Earl of Wharton in 1703 wrote on one of the Kit-Cat toasting glasses:—

Fill the glass; let Hautboys sound
Whilst bright Longy's health goes round,
With eternal beauty blest.
Ever blooming, still the best;
Drink your glass, and think the rest.

Swift described her as 'the most beautiful person of the age she lived in, of great honour and virtue, infinite sweetness and generosity of temper, and true good sense' (Forster, Swift, pp. 228-30). He frequently met her at the Vanhomrighs', and played ombre with her and Mrs. Barton, the niece of Sir Isaac Newton. In 'Letters, Poems, and Tales, Amorous, Satyrical, and Gallant, which passed between several persons of distinction, published from their respective Originals found in the cabinet of that celebrated Toast Mrs. Anne Long, since her decease' (ed. 1718, Forster Libr.),is a whimsical decree for concluding a treaty between 'Dr. Swift of Leicester Fields and Mrs. Long of Albemarle Street,' which is followed by a 'Letter addressed to Mrs. Anne Long of Draycot from the orifice of my inkpot.' When Swift came to London in September 1710 he was disappointed to find that she had retired to that 'vile country town,' Lynn in Norfolk, under the assumed name of Smythe, in order to 'live cheap and pay her debts.' She died at Lynn on 22 Dec. 1711, and was buried in the chapel of St. Nicholas in that town. Swift inserted a paragraph on her death in the 'Post Boy,' in order to vex her brother, Sir James, who had meanly refused to advance her money on a legacy, and who 'would fain have kept her death a secret, to save the charge of bringing her up to bury her or going into mourning' (see Journal to Stella, 25 Dec. 1711, and Swift, Works, passim; Craik and Forster, Lives, passim).

[Aubrey's Lives, 1813, ii. 432-3; Aubrey's Wiltshire Topographical Collections, ed. for Wiltshire Archæological Soc. by J. E. Jackson, Devizes, 1862, p. 315; Journal of Brit. Archæol. Assoc. xxi. 193; Addit. MS. 19140; Chitty's Long Family, p. 25; A Great Victory obtained by Sir William Waller and Lieutenant-general Cromwell, 1644; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1645-7, pp. 235-6; Collins's, Wotton's, and Burke's Baronetages.]

T. S.