Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 15.djvu/74

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Digby
Digges
68

war rolled away from North America, and in any case Digby had no force to undertake any active operations. His command was therefore uneventful, and he returned home at the peace. He held no further appointment, though duly promoted to be vice-admiral in 1787 and admiral in 1794, and living to see the end of the great war. He died on 25 Feb. 1814. He married in 1784 Mrs. Jauncy, the daughter of Andrew Elliot, brother of Sir Gilbert Elliot, third baronet, and of Admiral John Elliot [q. v.], and formerly lieutenant-governor of New York. She died on 28 July 1830, leaving no children.

[Charnock's Biog. Nav. vi. 119; Ralfe's Nav. Biog. i. 189; Beatson's Mil. and Nav. Memoirs, vols. iii. and vi.; Foster's Peerage.]

J. K. L.

DIGBY, VENETIA, Lady (1600–1633). [See under Digby, Sir Kenelm.]

DIGBY, WILLIAM, fifth Lord Digby (1661–1752), was the third son of the second Lord Digby, and Mary, daughter of Robert Gardiner of London. He was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. on 5 July 1681. He succeeded as fifth Lord Digby in 1685. On 13 July 1708 he received the degree of D.C.L. from the university. In April 1733 he was made a member of the common council for Georgia, and he was also a member of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. In 1689 he represented Warwickshire, and he was included in the great Act of Attainder passed by James's parliament at Dublin. He died in December 1752, and was buried at Sherborne. By his wife Jane, second daughter of Edward, earl of Gainsborough, he had four sons and eight daughters. He was succeeded by his grandchild Edward, son of his third son, Edward. At Sherborne there is a poetical inscription by Pope to the memory of Robert, his second son, and Mary, his eldest daughter.

[Collins's Peerage, ed. 1812, iv. 380–3; Oxford Graduates; Pope's Works.]

T. F. H.

DIGGES, Sir DUDLEY (1583–1639), diplomatist and judge, son of Thomas Digges [q. v.] of Digges Court, Barham, Kent, by Agnes, daughter of Sir Warham St. Leger, entered University College, Oxford, as a gentleman commoner in 1598, where he graduated B.A. in 1601. His tutor was Dr. George Abbot, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury [q. v.] After taking his degree he is said to have spent some years in foreign travel. In 1607 he was knighted at Whitehall. Digges early became a shareholder in the East India Company, and was much interested in the north-west passage project, being one of the founders of a company incorporated in 1612 for the purpose of trading by that route—then supposed to have been discovered—with the East. In 1614 he was one of the candidates for the governorship of the East India Company. He took part in the parliamentary debates of that latter year, giving so much offence to the king that he was imprisoned for a short time. From certain statements made by him in evidence on the trial of Weston for the murder of Sir John Overbury in 1615, it seems probable that for a time he was in the service of the Earl of Somerset. In 1618 the emperor of Russia, who was then engaged in a war with Poland, being desirous of negotiating a loan, James ordered the Muscovy and East India Companies to furnish the money, and despatched Digges to Russia to arrange the terms. He left England in April, taking with him 20,000l., and on reaching Russia sent his secretary, Finch, to Moscow with 10,000l. and letters from the king. The emperor would hear of no terms, but compelled Finch to hand over the money. Digges returned to England with the balance in October. An account of this journey, written by John Tradescant, who accompanied Digges in the capacity of naturalist, is preserved in manuscript in the Ashmolean Museum (MS. 824, xvi). In 1620 Digges was sent to Holland with Maurice Abbot, governor of the East India Company [q. v.], to negotiate a settlement of the disputes between the English and Dutch East India Companies. The negotiations fell through, owing, according to Digges, to the duplicity of the Dutch. He returned to England early in 1621, and was elected member of parliament for Tewkesbury. In the debates of this year he energetically attacked the abuse of monopolies and the pernicious system of farming the customs, and strongly asserted the sacred and inalienable character of the privileges of the commons. Accordingly he was placed, with Sir Thomas Crewe [q. v.] and other leaders of the popular party, on a commission of inquiry sent to Ireland in the spring of 1622. On his return in October he attended (so Chamberlain informs us) with much assiduity at court ‘in hope somewhat would fall to his lot,’ but was not rewarded. He again represented Tewkesbury in the parliaments of 1624, 1625, and 1626. In 1626 he addressed a long letter to the king counselling him with some frankness, as one who had served his father for twenty years, to act with moderation and firmness. The same year he opened the case against the Duke of Buckingham on his impeachment in a speech of elaborate eloquence. In this speech mat-