Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 10.djvu/93

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Charles
Charles
85

Hampden (Whitelocke ap. Harris, i. 10 n.), he took his seat in the House of Lords, and his first public act is said to have been that of carrying to the peers his father's letter in favour of Strafford (Cook, 8-9 ; Monarchy Revived, 9). Early in 1642 Newcastle generously resided his post of governor to the prince, which, on his recommendation, was bestowed upon the Marquis of Hertford, a personage in favour with the popular party, and probably by his amiability very acceptable to the prince. In February 1642 the House of Commons failed, however, to prevent Hertford from obeying the king's orders to take the prince to meet him at Greenwich, whence both moved to Theobalds and Newmarket, reaching York by 9 March. Here he was appointed to the nominal command of the troop of lifeguards formed of northern noblemen and gentlemen who had offered their services to the king. At Edgehill, he and his brother James, duke of York, narrowly escaped being taken prisoners. He accompanied the king in his November march upon London, but on the retreat to Oxford he fell sick of the measles at Reading. At Oxford the government of the 'hopeful and excellent prince,' as Clarendon calls him, was placed in the hands of the Earl of Berkshire, a nobleman of very slight reputation. The prince of course sat in the Oxford parliament, and his name was among those subscribed to the letter in favour of a pacification addressed to Essex 29 Jan. 1644. During his residence at Oxford negotiations seem to have been set on foot by Queen Henrietta Maria for a match between him and Louisa Henrietta, eldest daughter of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange; but in the end (April 1646) that project was dropped, like the one started about 1645 of a marriage with the infanta Joanna of Portugal. Soon after the breakdown of the Uxbridge negotiations Charles I at last resolved to separate from his son by sending him into the west. A council was at the same time named to be about the prince, consisting of the Duke of Richmond, the Earl of Southampton, Lords Capel, Hopton, and Colepepper, Sir Edward Hyde, and probably Berkshire, whose governorship now came to an end (Clarendon, v. 155). At the same time the prince received a commission as general of the association of the four western counties, and anotlier to be general of all the king's forces in England, although he was in truth intended for the present to remain quiet in Bristol. The final parting between father and son took place 4 March 1645, when with Hyde and three hundred horse the prince left Oxford (Whitblocke, i. 404; for the prince's itinerary see Clarendon, Life, i. 230-1). In Bristol, and in the west in general, things were in a most unsatisfactory state, and much confusion and complaint had been caused by the royalist general Gdring and his troops. Clarendon states (v. 153) that at first the prince frequently attended the sittings of his council, where he accustomed himself 'to a habit of speaking and judging upon what was said ; ' but at Bridgewater, whither he went 23 April, and where an attempt was made to reorganise the defence of the western counties, he fell under evil influences and began to adopt a disrespectful tone towards the council, using. his position to promote a general feeling of irreverence towards his advisers. His recall by the king to Bristol was therefore a judicious step, but on account of its unhealthy state he soon again quitted it for Barnstaple, where he received the news of Naseby. After this he was much harassed by contradictory orders from the king, and by the proceedings of Goring and Sir Richard Greenville, whom the king had appointed commander-in-chief and major-general of the army in the west. In July Fairfax victoriously advanced into Somersetshire, and a visit from Prince Rupert apprised his cousin of the condition of the king, now a fugitive in Wales, and of the royal cause. Nothing remained for the prince but to withdraw into Cornwall ; and at Launceston he received an autograph letter from his father, dated Brecknock, 5 Aug. 1645, in which he was ordered whenever he found himself in personal danger to proceed to France, there to be under the care of his mother, who is to have the absolute full power of your education in all things except religion.' The prince was commanded in carrying out this order to require the assistance of his council ; but both inside and outride of it the feeling was strong against his departure for France. Among the Devonshire gentry a desire had arisen that he should interpose with the parliament in favour of peace ; and to quiet the prevailing agitation he paid a visit to Exeter. He accordingly sent a letter to Fairfax, requesting a pass for Colepepper and Hopton to go to the king and advise a pacific policy. Fairfax communicated the letter to both houses of parliament (Whitelock, i. 517-18). Even after the surrender of Bristol (10 Sept.) and the defeat of Montrose (13 Sept.) the prince's council seems to have not despaired of holding part of the west for the king if the prince remained; and, in view of the rivalry between Goring and Greenville, obedience was delayed to an explicit command from the king that the prince should immediately remove to France. One more overture to Fairfax was respectfully declined