Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 13.djvu/50

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had an interview at Höchst with the Swedish conqueror, who was already master of the whole of the Palatinate with the exception of three fortified towns. He allowed them to take part in the siege of Creuznach, which he was resolved to secure before it could be relieved by the Spaniards, then in force on the Moselle. The place was taken 22 Feb. (Droysen, Gustav Adolf, 1876, ii. 526), Craven, though wounded, being the first to mount the breach. Gustavus Adolphus is said to have told him with soldierly humour that he had ‘adventured so desperately, he bid his younger brother fair play for his estate,’ and he had the honour of being one of the signatories of the capitulation (Collins; cf. Mrs. Green, i. 497). But to the intense disappointment of the elector the Swedish king, in whose hands his destiny and that of the Palatinate now seemed to lie, refused his request that he might levy an independent force (Mrs. Green, i. 499, from a letter by Craven in ‘Holland Correspondence’).

Craven appears to have returned to England about this time or shortly afterwards, for on 12 May 1633 the compliment was paid him of placing him on the council of Wales, and on 31 Aug. his university created him M.A. (Doyle). Of his doings in these years no further traces seem to exist; but in 1637 ‘the beat of my Lord Craven's drums’ was once more heard, and he again engaged in the service of a cause to which, during the next quarter of a century, he continuously devoted himself.

Early in 1637, though the situation in Germany had not really become more hopeful, there was in England ‘a great preparation in embrio’ (Verney Papers, p. 188). It had been decided that some of the king's ships should be lent to the young Charles Lewis, the eldest son of the queen of Bohemia, and should put to sea under the flag of the palatine house. Several noblemen proffered voluntary contributions towards this enterprise, and foremost among them was Craven, who declared his readiness to contribute as much as 30,000l. (Gardiner, History of England, viii. 204). ‘In this action,’ writes Nathaniel Hobart to Ralph Verney (Verney Papers, p. 189), ‘the Hollanders and Lord Craven join;’ and in his answer to this letter, which contains some ungenerous comments on the wealthy nobleman's generosity, Ralph Verney observes: ‘Wee heare much of a great navie, but more of my little Lord Craven, whose bounty makes him the subject of every man's discource. By many he is condemned of prodigality, but by most of folly.’ As Mr. Gardiner suggests, ‘it is not likely that those who freely opened their purses expected very happy results from such an enterprise;’ but they ‘believed that the conflict once begun would not be limited to the sea.’ In June the fleet commanded by Northumberland conveyed Charles Lewis and his brother Rupert to Holland (Gardiner, viii. 219), and Craven was in their company. With some troops collected here they marched up the Lower Rhine and joined the army waiting for them at Wesel. The force, which now numbered four thousand men, laid siege to a place called Limgea by Whitelocke (Memorials, i. 74; Miss Benger, ii. 337, says Lippe; query Lemgo?); but, encountering the imperialist general Hatzfeld, suffered a complete defeat. Prince Rupert fought with obstinate valour in this his first action, and it is said that but for the interposition of Craven he would have sacrificed his life rather than surrender his sword. Both of them were taken prisoners (Miss Benger, ii. 338; cf. Mrs. Green, i. 559–60). A letter written about this time by Charles Lewis (though dated 1677 (!) in Bromley, ‘Royal Letters,’ p. 312; see Miss Benger, ii. 338 n.) contains a pointed expression of gratitude on the writer's part towards Craven. Miss Benger, who seems to have inspected the papers left behind her by Elizabeth, states (ii. 337) that from the commencement of this expedition Craven transmitted to her regular details of the military operations, and that in these despatches originated their confidential correspondence, which was never afterwards suspended.

Craven, who had been wounded in the battle, remained for some time in captivity. In a letter written by Elizabeth to Roe, 1 Nov. 1638 (cited from ‘Holland Correspondence’ by Mrs. Green, i. 560), she expresses her regret for his imprisonment and that of a companion, and her fear that they will not so soon be released; ‘but,’ she adds in a quite different tone of solicitude, proving the relations between her and Craven as yet at least to have advanced to no great degree of intimacy, ‘if Rupert were anywhere but there I should have my mind at rest.’ Rupert was not released till 1641; Craven, however, who had at first, in order to remain near the prince, refused to ransom himself, on being persistently refused access to him purchased his own liberty in the autumn of 1639, and after even then delaying for some time in Germany while still lame from his wound paid a visit to the queen at the Hague on his way home to England (‘Holland Correspondence,’ 31 Aug. 1639, cited by Mrs. Green, i. 570). According to a passage in Wotton's ‘Letters’ (cited by Miss Benger, ii. 338) the sum paid by Craven for his ransom amounted to 20,000l. Yet when a few years afterwards, during the