Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 13.djvu/51

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struggle between Charles I and his parliament, Elizabeth's English pension of 10,000l. a year remained unpaid, Craven's munificence seems again to have compensated her for the loss (Miss Benger, ii. 369–70, citing ‘in a volume of tracts the article Perkins’). When after the execution of Charles I parliament had formally annulled her pension, and the queen prepared a protest comprising a recapitulation of her claims, it was Craven who drafted the document, and who endeavoured to induce the States-General to include the satisfaction of her demands in the treaty which they were then negotiating with the parliament (Mrs. Green, ii. 25, and n., where she describes the rough draft, with additions suggested on the margin in Craven's handwriting seen by her among his papers).

By this time Craven had become a permanent member of the exiled queen of Bohemia's court at the Hague and at Rhenen, near Arnheim, of which so graphic a description has been left by her youngest daughter (Memoiren der Herzogin Sophie, pp. 36–44). She speaks of him as having before the execution of Charles I been one of those who favoured the scheme of a marriage between herself and the Prince of Wales. When about 1650 Charles II was himself a visitor at the Hague, he addressed to the Princess Sophia some very significant compliments on her good looks; but she soon found out that the secret motive of these flatteries was the wish of Charles and his boon companion, Lord Gerard, to obtain through her intervention some of Craven's money. In small things as in great the ‘vieux milord’ (actually about forty-four years of age) was allowed to act as paymaster, providing the young princesses with jewellery and sweetmeats, and with cash for making presents to others. But the graceless Sophia speaks of him as without esteem either for his wit or for his breeding, and unscrupulously makes fun of the family benefactor. When in 1650 the young princess travelled from Holland to Heidelberg, he superintended the arrangements for her journey, ‘et avoit soin de tout.’

During the civil war Craven had repeatedly aided Charles I with money, and it is calculated that before his restoration Charles II received from the same loyal subject at the least 50,000l. (Bruce's note to Verney Papers, p. 189; cf. Collins, iv. 186). From 1651 Craven was himself for a series of years deprived of the main part of his resources. The support given by him to the royal cause was not of a nature to remain hidden, and was particularly offensive to the adherents of the parliament, as being furnished by the son of a citizen of London, himself, in Nathaniel Hobart's supercilious phrase, a filius populi. Charges brought against him were therefore sure to find willing listeners. The first information against him was supplied in 1650 by Major Richard Falconer, one of the secret agens provocateurs whom the Commonwealth government kept near the person of the exiled ‘Charles Stuart.’ He had been at Breda during the visit there paid by the queen of Bohemia and her daughters, accompanied by Craven, to Charles II, shortly before he set out on his Scottish expedition. Falconer now swore that on this occasion he had induced a number of officers to unite in a petition praying the king to accept their services against the parliament of England ‘by the name of barbarous and inhuman rebels,’ and that this petition had been promoted by Craven. Shortly afterwards, in February and March 1651, two other witnesses deposed to Craven's intimacy with the king at Breda, and it was added that he had made some short journeys in the king's service, and had taken care of an illegitimate child left behind him by Charles in the Low Countries, till forced to deliver up the same to its mother, ‘one Mrs. Barlow.’ The result was that, 16 March 1651, the parliament resolved that Craven was an offender against the Commonwealth of England within the terms of the declaration of 24 Aug. 1649, that his estates should be confiscated accordingly, and the commissioners for compounding should be empowered to seize and sequester all his property, both real and personal. An act for the sale of his estates was passed 3 Aug. 1652, by a vote of twenty-three to twenty; and it is stated that several members of the majority afterwards purchased parts of the property. In vain had Craven in 1651 appealed from abroad against the sentence, declaring Falconer guilty of perjury, inasmuch as the petition in question had been merely one for pecuniary aid, and had not included the vituperative expressions concerning the parliament which the spy had himself proposed. Equally in vain had the Palatine family exerted themselves on behalf of their benefactor, both the queen and her son, the Elector Charles Lewis, who prevailed upon the States-General to address to the council in London an urgent representation through their resident there, De Groot. (It is printed at length by Collins, in his short account of these transactions, of which a complete narrative, entitled ‘Proceedings of Parliament against Lord Craven,’ was published at London in 1653: cf. also Mrs. Green, ii. 34–5, and Miss Benger, ii. 409 seqq.) Happily, the beautiful seat of Combe Abbey, near Coventry, which Craven's father had originally purchased of Lucy, countess of Bedford, and where the queen of Bohemia had spent