A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Temple, Sir William

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Temple, Sir William (1628-1699). -- Statesman and essayist, s. of Sir John T., Master of the Rolls in Ireland, was b. in London, and ed. at Camb. He travelled on the Continent, was for some time a member of the Irish Parliament, employed on various diplomatic missions, and negotiated the marriage of the Prince of Orange and the Princess Mary. On his return he was much consulted by Charles II., but disapproving of the courses adopted, retired to his house at Sheen, which he afterwards left and purchased Moor Park, where Swift was for a time his sec. He took no part in the Revolution, but acquiesced in the new régime, and was offered, but refused, the Secretaryship of State. His works consist for the most part of short essays coll. under the title of Miscellanea, but longer pieces are Observations upon the United Provinces, and Essay on the Original and Nature of Government. Apart from their immediate interest they mark a transition to the simpler, more concise, and more carefully arranged sentences of modern composition.