Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 05.djvu/258

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was issued to him on 12 May 1631. In June 1630 he was granted the reversion to the custodianship of Hyde Park, and on 31 Aug. 1634 he became master of the ordnance for life. Through the five following years Newport was actively engaged in the duties of the ordnance office, out of which he contrived to make large profits for his own purse. He accompanied the army to Scotland early in 1639 in close attendance on the king, and in September of the same year sold gunpowder at an unjustifiable price to Cardenas, the Spanish ambassador, for the Spanish fleet, under Oquendo, which was attacking the Dutch fleet in the Channel, and had weighed anchor in the Downs. In this transaction the king received 5,000l. and Newport 1,000l. above the value of the powder. Newport's boldness whenever money was to be made was further illustrated in the next month, when he bargained with Cardenas, though Charles I had ordered a strict neutrality to be observed in the quarrel between Spain and Holland, to convey Spanish soldiers from Oquendo's ships to Dunkirk at thirty shillings a head. On 29 April 1640 Newport voted with the minority in the lords in favour of the commons' resolution that redress of grievances should precede supply, and excused his conduct immediately afterwards to the king as a mistake made in the confusion of the moment. But in the Long parliament Newport formally joined the opposition in the Lords.

In December 1640 Newport appealed to the lords against one Faucet, who had charged him at York in 1639 with improperly performing his ordnance duties, and on 13 Jan. 1640–1 Faucet was ordered to pay Newport 500l. and to make a public submission, first in the house and afterwards at the next York sessions (Lords' Journals, iv. 118–138). Newport, on learning from George Goring of the plot to bring an army to the king's aid in 1641 during the trial of Strafford, straightway informed Bedford and Mandeville, who carried the intelligence to Pym (April 1641). As if to conciliate his enemies, Charles thereupon appointed Newport constable of the Tower. After the bill of attainder against Strafford had passed the House of Lords (7 May), and the king was hesitating whether or no to assent to it, Newport announced that he was ready to execute Strafford with or without the king's assent. In his ‘Diary’ Laud mentions Newport as a witness of the solemn farewell which he took of Strafford through his prison window, as his friend passed on his way to execution. In June the king ordered Newport to proceed to York ‘to look to the munition in the north,’ and on 25 June the lords petitioned Charles to allow Newport to receive meanwhile his pay as constable of the Tower. On 18 Aug. parliament directed Newport to take up his residence in the Tower and to see that it was safely guarded. On 9 Sept. Newport, with Warwick, Bedford, Mandeville, and two others, protested against the action of the majority of the lords in passing an order directing the performance of divine service in all churches according to former acts of parliament, and in refusing to communicate the order to the commons. While Charles was in Scotland in August 1641 Newport is reported to have said at a meeting of some peers in Kensington that the queen and her children in London were hostages for the king's good behaviour. He denied the expression when questioned by the king on his return, but the king declined to accept the denial. Newport brought the matter before the lords (27 Dec. 1641), and on the same day Sir Edward Hungerford and Hollis delivered messages from the commons suggesting the formation of a committee of both houses to petition the king and queen to announce the name of their informant on the subject. On 28 Dec. the petition was presented, and on 30 Dec. the king haughtily replied that he did not credit the rumour, and charged Newport with wilful misrepresentation. When Lunsford, Charles's creature, was appointed lieutenant of the Tower (23 Dec.), the commons repeated their request to Newport to take personal charge of the fortress, and Charles straightway dismissed Newport from the constableship.

Newport had no intention of taking up arms against the king, in spite of his marked hostility to the court. With Hamilton, Essex, and Holland he consented to accompany the king to the city in his search for the five members (5 Jan. 1641–2), and on 15 June 1642 he was one of the king's supporters at York who signed the paper declaring that the king desired the preservation of peace and the liberty of the kingdom. He soon afterwards fought with the king's forces in Yorkshire. In December 1642 he was the Duke of Newcastle's lieutenant-general, and was entrusted with an important part in the royalists' attack on Tadcaster; but ‘whether out of neglect or treachery,’ writes the Duchess of Newcastle, Newport did not follow out his instructions, and the attack failed (Life of Duke of Newcastle, 1872, pp. 26–8). Newport was also defeated in a slight skirmish by Sir Hugh Cholmley in the north riding (January 1642–3). In the following month he quarrelled with Newcastle because