Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 60.djvu/373

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August 1634, which was known only to the king, Portland, Cottington, and Windebank. This was Portland's last achievement of importance; the attacks on him increased in bitterness, and in October 1634 he was compelled to draw up a list of his irregular receipts. Charles, however, retained his confidence in Portland, and visited him on his deathbed. He died on 13 March 1634–1635, a Roman catholic priest being called in to administer the last rites of religion. He was buried on the 24th in Winchester Cathedral.

Portland has no claim to be considered a great statesman, his chief merits being consistent adherence to a clearly defined policy, and considerable administrative ability; but all his acts were dominated by the one desire to postpone or avoid difficulties. He initiated no great reforms, and solved no political problems, and even in his efforts to shirk awkward questions he committed blunders involving still greater difficulties in the future. Nor was he a great financier; he managed to pay his way, and even a few debts, but he did nothing to place the finances of the country on a really sound basis. His parsimony did not extend to his personal expenditure; he inherited a considerable fortune and obtained lavish grants from Charles, but he left a very embarrassed estate to his successor, and the fourth tenant of his peerages died in obscure poverty. Clarendon describes him as a ‘man of big looks and of a mean and abject spirit.’ His portrait, painted by Van Dyck (Cat. First Loan Exhib. No. 598) is at Gorhambury, and is engraved in Doyle's ‘Baronage.’

Portland married, first, Elizabeth, daughter of William Pincheon of Writtle, Essex; she was buried at Roxwell on 15 Feb. 1602–1603, leaving a son Richard, and two daughters: Elizabeth, who married Sir John, second viscount Netterville [q. v.], and Mary, who married Walter, second lord Aston of Forfar (Douglas, Peerage, ed. Wood, i. 128). The son, Richard, was excluded from the succession to his father's peerages for a reason which is said to be unknown (G. E. C[okayne], Complete Peerage, vi. 269), but may be found in a letter to Strafford on 1 May 1634 (Strafford Letters, i. 243), announcing the death of Portland's eldest son, ‘who was mad and kept at Coventry.’ Portland married, secondly, Frances (d. 1645), daughter and coheir of Nicholas Waldegrave of Borley, Essex, by whom he had issue four sons and one daughter. Jerome, the eldest son, succeeded to the peerage and is separately noticed; Thomas, the second, also succeeded to the peerage; Nicholas and Benjamin both died without surviving issue; the daughter, Anne, was first of the four wives of Basil Feilding, second earl of Denbigh [q. v.]

Portland is frequently confused with his contemporary, Sir Richard Weston (1579?–1652), baron of the exchequer, who was son of Ralph Weston (d. 1605) of Rugeley, Staffordshire, matriculated from Exeter College, Oxford, on 14 Oct. 1596, was called to the bar from the Inner Temple in 1607, and became a bencher in 1626; he was M.P. for Lichfield in 1621–2, was appointed a judge on the Welsh circuit in 1632, serjeant-at-law on 25 Feb. 1632–3, and baron of the exchequer on 30 April 1634, being knighted on 7 Dec. 1635. His argument in favour of ship-money is given in ‘State Trials’ (iii. 1065), and led to his impeachment by the Long parliament in 1641. He was not brought to trial, but by vote of the House of Commons was on 24 Oct. 1645 disabled from acting as a judge (Whitelocke, Mem. pp. 47, 181). He died on 18 March 1651–2 (Foss, Judges; Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Simms, Bibl. Staffordiensis). A third contemporary of the same names was Sir Richard Weston (1591–1652) [q. v.]

[Much of Portland's correspondence is preserved in the Public Record Office; details of his negotiations in Germany in 1620 are contained in Brit. Mus. Egerton MS. 2593 ff. 192–284; Sir Henry Wotton's character of him is in Tanner MS. ccxcix. 84. See also Cal. State Papers, Dom. passim; Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. and 13th Rep. pt. vii. passim; Forty-sixth Rep. Dep.-Keeper of Records; Lords' and Commons' Journals; Court and Times of James I, and Court and Times of Charles I, throughout; Lodge's Portraits; Goodman's Court of James I; Clarendon's Hist. of the Rebellion; Sanderson's Life of Charles I; Strafford Letters, ed. Knowler, passim; Cabala, ed. 1691, passim; Forster's Life of Eliot; Laud's Works, passim; Secret Hist. of the Court of James I, 1811; Ranke's Hist. of England, and Gardiner's Hist. which contains a full and complete account of Portland's political career. For genealogy see Harleian MSS. 4944 and 5816; Davy's Suffolk Collections in Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 19154; Gent. Mag. 1823 i. 413, 1824 i. 600; Waters's Chesters of Chicheley, pp. 93–109; Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 18667; Erdeswick's Staffordshire, ed. Harwood; Shaw's Staffordshire; Morant's Essex; Burke's Extinct, Doyle's, and G. E. C[okayne]'s Complete, Peerages.]

A. F. P.

WESTON, Sir RICHARD (1591–1652), agriculturist, was the eldest son of Sir Richard Weston (1564–1613), knight, of Sutton, Surrey, and great-grandson of Sir Francis Weston [q. v.] His family was quite distinct from those of the first Earl of