Salwey, Richard (DNB00)

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SALWEY, RICHARD (1615–1685), parliamentarian, was the fourth son of Humphrey Salwey, member for Worcester in the Long parliament. Humphrey Salwey (1575?–1652), born about 1575, matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford, 8 Nov. 1590, and was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1591 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. i. 1305). In the civil war he took the side of the parliament, and on its behalf endeavoured to prevent the execution of the king's commission of array in Worcestershire (Webb, Civil War in Herefordshire, i. 195; Report on the Duke of Portland's MSS. i. 53, 63). On 5 Aug. 1644 parliament appointed him king's remembrancer in the court of exchequer (Lords' Journals, vi. 661), and on 12 June 1643 a member of the Westminster assembly of divines (Husband, Ordinances, 1646, p. 208). In 1645 he was one of four commissioners sent to represent the parliament in the Scottish army in England (Portland MSS. i. 244, 248, 263, 265). In January 1649 Salwey was appointed one of the king's judges, but refused to sit. He died in December 1652, and was buried in Westminster Abbey on 20 Dec. At the Restoration his body was exhumed and removed by order of 9 Sept. 1661 (Chester, Westminster Registers, pp. 146, 522).

Richard Salwey, born in 1615, was apprenticed to a London tradesman. In September 1641 he obtained a license to marry Anne, daughter of Richard Waring, in which he is described as citizen and grocer of St. Leonards, Eastcheap (Chester, London Marriage Licenses, 1180). He is said to have been the spokesman of the apprentices in some of their tumultuous petitions to the Long parliament (Mystery of the Good Old Cause, ed. 1863, p. 140). In October 1645 Salwey was elected to the Long parliament for Appleby, with Ireton as his colleague (Return of Names of Members of Parliament, p. 495). He is mentioned as taking part in the siege of Worcester in June 1646 (Hugh Peters, Last Report, 1646, p. 4). In October 1646 parliament appointed him one of the five commissioners sent to Ireland to negotiate with Ormonde for the reception of parliamentary garrisons in Dublin, and other strongholds—a mission which, after three months' futile negotiations, ended in failure (Rushworth, vi. 418–44; Carte, Ormonde, iii. 279). Salwey was a member of the third and the fourth councils of state elected during the Commonwealth. He was also appointed on 23 Oct. 1651 one of the eight commissioners sent to Scotland to prepare the way for its union with England, and on 10 Dec. 1652 one of the commissioners for the regulation of the navy (Commons' Journals, vii. 30, 222, 228).

On 13 Sept. 1650 he had been selected as one of the commissioners for the civil government of Ireland, but on 20 Nov. his resignation was accepted (ib. vi.; Ludlow, Memoirs, ed. 1894, pp. 249–50). According to Ludlow, Salwey opposed the dissolution of the Long parliament when it was first debated by the officers, and again expressed his disapproval after Cromwell had dissolved it (ib. pp. 337, 358). But he remained on friendly terms with Cromwell, and in August 1653 was offered the post of ambassador to Sweden, which he declined ‘on account of his unfitness through want of freedom of spirit and bodily health’ (Hist. MSS. Comm. 10th Rep. pt. iv. p. 410). He likewise refused in June 1657 the invitation of the lord mayor and corporation of London to go to Ulster to settle the city estates (ib. p. 411). Nevertheless, on 14 Aug. 1654, he was appointed English ambassador at Constantinople, and some of his letters to the Levant Company on his mission are among the state papers (ib. p. 410; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1655 p. 66, 1654 pp. 340, 364, 371; Poems by Thomas Salwey, 1882, pp. 123–30).

On the fall of the house of Cromwell in April 1659, Salwey came once more to the front. He took part in the negotiations between the army and the members of the Rump, which led to the re-establishment of the Long parliament, and was appointed a member of the committee of safety, 7 May 1659, and of the council of state (14 May 1659). He also became once more one of the committee which managed the navy (Ludlow, ii. 74–85, passim). When the army turned out the Long parliament again, Salwey was nominated one of the committee of safety erected by them, but refused to sit (Hist. MSS. Comm. 10th Rep. pt. iv. p. 471). Nevertheless he complied with them much too far for his reputation among parliamentary republicans, as he consented to take part in their discussions about the future constitution, and continued to act as navy commissioner. Fear lest the officers should attempt, if left to their own devices, to restore Richard Cromwell seems to have been one of his motives (Ludlow, ii. 131, 149, 164, 173). He consented to act as one of the mediators between the army and the fleet (18 Dec. 1659), when the latter declared for the restoration of the parliament (Memorials of Sir W. Penn, ii. 186). The restored Long parliament consequently regarded him as a traitor, and on 17 Jan. 1660 ordered him to be sent to the Tower; but, on the plea of ill-health, he was on 21 Jan. allowed to retire to the country instead (Ludlow, ii. 201, 211; Hist. MSS. Comm. 10th Rep. iv. 411).

At the Restoration he escaped unpunished, though Prynne made an effort to have him excluded from the act of indemnity (Old Parliamentary History, xxii. 352). In July 1662 Lord Newport arrested Salwey in Shropshire on suspicion, but Clarendon ordered his release (11 Aug.) as there was no information against him, and several persons of unquestionable integrity had given bail for him (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1661–2, p. 457). On 2 Nov. 1663 Salwey was again committed to the Tower in connection with what was known as the Farnley Wood plot, but released on 4 Feb. 1664 (ib. 1663–4, pp. 325, 355, 362, 466; Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson, ed. 1885, ii. 311). In 1678 Charles II ordered Salwey to absent himself beyond sea for some time, and he was again under suspicion at the time of Monmouth's rising. He died about the end of 1685, distracted by commercial losses (Poems by Thomas Salwey, pp. 147, 148; Singer, Correspondence of Henry, Earl of Clarendon, i. 303). Mr. Alfred Salwey possesses a portrait of Salwey, of which a photograph is given in the memoir of the Rev. Thomas Salwey.

[Lives of Humphrey and Richard Salwey, both very erroneous, are given in Noble's Lives of the Regicides, ii. 156–63. A pedigree is in Burke's Commoners. An account of the family papers in the possession of Mr. Alfred Salwey is given in the 10th Rep. of the Historical MSS. Commission, pt. iv. Some are printed at length in Poems by Thomas Salwey, B.D., with a memoir of the author and a selection from old family letters, privately printed, 1882.]

C. H. F.