Zouche, Edward la (DNB00)
|←Zouche, Alan la||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 63
Zouche, Edward la
ZOUCHE, EDWARD la, eleventh Baron Zouche of Harringworth (1556?–1625), born about 1556, was only son of George la Zouche, tenth baron (d. 1569), and his wife Margaret, daughter and coheir of William Welby of Molton, Lincolnshire. The family claimed descent from Eudes la Zouche, a younger son of Alan la Zouche, baron Zouche [q. v.] His son William, first baron Zouche of Harringworth, was summoned to parliament from 13 Jan. 1308 to 14 Feb. 1348, and died in 1352. William, the fifth baron (1402?–1463), married Alice de jure baroness St. Maur, daughter of Sir Thomas St. Maur, baron St. Maur, and the sixth and succeeding barons Zouche are now considered to have been also de jure barons St. Maur. John, the seventh baron (1460–1526), was attainted in 1485 as an adherent of Richard III, but was restored in blood and dignity in 1495.
Edward succeeded as eleventh Baron Zouche on the death of his father, George, on 30 June 1569. As a ‘ward of state’ he came under the care of Sir William Cecil, who entrusted his education to Whitgift, then master of Trinity College, Cambridge. On 19 Aug. 1570 Whitgift wrote to Cecil, ‘My Lord Zouche is in good health … and shall not lack my carefulness and diligence. … He continueth in his well-doing,’ but apparently did not take a degree (Whitgift, Works, iii. 599). He received his first summons to parliament on 2 April 1571, but being a minor did not take his seat for some years. Subsequently he lamented his ‘fond spending of his time in youth;’ ‘I passed my youth,’ he wrote, ‘in little searching for knowledge, and in that time spent my patrimony’ (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1591–4, p. 91; Cal. Hatfield MSS. vi. 195). In 1575 he quarrelled with Roger North, second baron North [q. v.], and on 12 Feb. 1575–6 both peers were summoned before the privy council and bound over to keep the peace. In 1586 Zouche was one of the peers who tried Mary queen of Scots, and in the following year he went to live on the continent, partly to qualify himself for public service and partly, as he said, ‘to live cheaply.’ He went by sea to Hamburg in March 1587, and thence to Heidelberg and Frankfort. In April 1588 he was at Basle, and in 1590 he met at Altdorf (Sir) Henry Wotton [q. v.], with whom he corresponded much in after years. Wotton's letters to Zouche were published separately in 1685 (London, 8vo), and were also appended to the edition of the ‘Reliquiæ Wottonianæ’ which appeared in that year. In August 1591 Zouche was living at Vienna; thence he proceeded to Verona, but in 1593 he was back in England.
On 22 Dec. of that year he was sent as envoy extraordinary to James VI of Scotland to protest against his leniency towards Huntly, Errol, and Angus, who were known to be in league with Spain, and to inform him that Elizabeth would resist the landing of any Spanish troops in Scotland (instructions dated 20 Dec. in Cotton MS. Caligula D. ii. ff. 151, 155; cf. Cal. State Papers, Spanish, 1587–1603, p. 613). He had audience of James VI on 15 Jan. 1593–4, but his ‘zeal caused him to exceed his authority,’ and he returned in the following April (Thorpe, Cal. Scottish State Papers, ii. 642–677; Cotton MS. Calig. D. ii. f. 169). In June 1598 he was sent on a commercial mission to Denmark, (Sir) Christopher Perkins [q. v.], who had already been several times as envoy to the Danish court, being selected to accompany him (Cotton MS. Nero B. iv. ff. 195, 204, 211). These missions did nothing to restore Zouche's private fortunes, and in 1600 he retired for the sake of economy to Guernsey, where for a few months he was persuaded to act as deputy-governor. He returned to England in 1601, when Chamberlain anticipated his appointment as ambassador to Scotland. The report was unfounded, but in June 1602 Zouche was appointed president of Wales (Harl. MS. 7020, art. 26), and four months later Chamberlain wrote, ‘Lord Zouche plays rex in Wales with both council and justices, and with the poor Welshmen’ (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1601–3, pp. 45, 201, 249).
Zouche was continued in this office by James I, who further gratified him by making him grants of land worth 80l. a year in 1604, and others in subsequent years (ib. 1603–10, pp. 137, 142, 214, 220). After Salisbury's death in 1612 he was one of the commissioners to whom the treasury was entrusted (Court and Times of James I, i. 173). He was now able to indulge in colonial ventures; in 1609 he was member of the council of the Virginia Company, and in 1617 he invested a hundred pounds in Lord De la Warr's expedition [see West, Thomas, 1577–1618]. In 1619 he sent his pinnace, the Silver Falcon, to Virginia, and on 3 Nov. 1620 was appointed one of the first members of the New England council.
Meanwhile, in spite of complaints that his treatment brought disgrace upon the office he held, Zouche remained president of Wales until 13 July 1615, when he was given the important and dignified office of lord warden of the Cinque Ports (Gardiner, ii. 327); his official correspondence in this capacity fills no small portion of the ‘Domestic State Papers.’ His political importance was slight, but what influence he possessed he seems to have exerted in the anti-Spanish interest, and he was the last of the council to take the oath to observe the articles of the Spanish marriage treaty—if indeed he took the oath at all (ib. v. 69). He held the wardenship of the Cinque Ports until 17 July 1624, when ill-health and Buckingham's persuasions, reinforced by a grant of 1,000l. and a pension of 500l., induced him to resign the office, which was bestowed on the duke.
Zouche died in 1625, and was buried in the family vault in Hackney. The fact that this vault communicated with Zouche's wine-cellar provoked from his friend Ben Jonson the lines:
Wherever I die, oh, here may I lie
Along by my good Lord Zouche,
That when I am dry, to the tap I may hie,
And so back again to my couch.
Jonson was not Zouche's only literary friend; his cousin, Richard Zouche [q. v.], dedicated to him his ‘Dove, or Passages of Cosmography,’ in 1613; the first part of William Browne's ‘Britannia's Pastorals,’ published in 1613, was also dedicated to him, as was the English and French dictionary published in 1593 by Claude Holyband, a French teacher settled in London, while Thomas Randolph's father was Zouche's steward. The loss of his patrimony is said to have been largely due to his passion for horticulture. He cultivated a ‘physic-garden’ in Hackney, and formed a friendship with John Gerard (1545–1612) [q. v.], the herbalist. The celebrated botanist L'Obel superintended this garden, accompanied Zouche on his embassy to Denmark, and dedicated to him the 1605 edition of his ‘Animadversiones’ (Pulteney, English Botany, 1790, i. 98; Sir Hugh Platt, Garden of Eden, 1653, p. 145). Manningham describes him as ‘a very learned and wise nobleman,’ and his secretary (Sir) Edward Nicholas [q. v.] pronounced him ‘a grave and wise counsellor.’ His portrait, from an anonymous engraving (cf. Bromley, Cat. Engr. Portr. p. 463) is reproduced in Brown's ‘Genesis of the United States.’ His will was proved on 30 Sept. 1625 by his cousin, Sir Edward Zouche, ‘a roystering courtier,’ who had been made knight-marshal of the household in 1618, and a member of the New England council in 1620.
Zouche married, first, about 1578, his cousin Eleanor, daughter of Sir John Zouche of Condor, and, secondly, Sarah (d. 1629), daughter of Sir James Harington of Exton by his wife Lucy, daughter of Sir William Sidney [see under Sidney, Sir Henry]; she had already been twice married, first to Francis, lord Hastings (eldest son of George Hastings, fourth earl of Huntingdon), secondly to Sir William Kingsmill, and after Zouche's death she married as her fourth husband Sir Thomas Edmondes [q. v.] By neither wife had Zouche any male issue, and his baronies fell into abeyance between the heirs of his daughters by his first wife: (1) Eleanor, who married, in 1597, Sir William Tate, father of Zouch Tate [see under Tate, Francis], and (2) Mary, who married, first, Charles Leighton, and, secondly, William Connard. The abeyance was terminated in 1815 in favour of Sir Cecil Bisshopp, who became twelfth baron Zouche, and whose daughter Harriet Anne Curzon (1787–1870), thirteenth baroness Zouche, was mother of Robert Curzon, fourteenth baron Zouche [q. v.][Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1581–1625, Amer. and West Indies, 1574–1660; Cal. Hatfield MSS. vols. ii.–vii.; Harl. MSS. 806, 807, 1233, 1411, 1529, 6601; Lansd. MSS. 259, 269, and 863; Addit. MSS. 5705, 12496–7, 12504, and 12507; Egerton MSS. 2541, 2552, and 2584; Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th Rep. App. passim; Davy's Suffolk Collections in Addit. MS. 19156, ff. 335 sqq.; Hunter's Chorus Vatum in Addit. MS. 24489, ff. 89, 189; Acts of the Privy Council, ed. Dasent, 1575–1590; Manningham's Diary and Chamberlain's Letters (Camden Soc.); Birch's Mem. of Elizabeth; Court and Times of James I, passim; Gardiner's Hist. of England; Alexander Brown's Genesis of the United States; Ward's Sir Henry Wotton, 1898, pp. 22–3 sqq.; Robinson's Hackney, pp. 131–2; Granger's Biogr. Hist. ii. 40; Bridges's Northamptonshire, ii. 320; Burke's and G. E. C[okayne]'s Complete Peerages.]