Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 50.djvu/102

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ioner (30 May 1625 and 10 April 1636) for dealing with the new buildings which had been erected in or about London and Westminster; a lord commissioner of the admiralty (Cal. State Papers, 20 Sept. 1628, 20 Nov. 1632, 13 March 1636); one of the adventurers with the Earl of Lindsey and others for the draining of various parts of Lincolnshire (ib. 5 June 1631, 18 May 1635, &c.); a commissioner for improving the supply of saltpetre (ib. 1 July 1631), and constable of Beaumaris Castle 13 June 1636. In 1626, while sitting on the Star-chamber commission, he advised the imprisonment of the peers who refused to pay a forced loan (Gardiner, vi. 150), but was himself among the defaulters for ship-money in Kent to the extent of 5l. in April 1636. He was nominated on a committee of council to deal with ship-money 20 May 1640; but he seems to have abstained carefully from committing himself to the illegal proceedings encouraged by his more violent colleagues. He kept up his connection with America, and petitioned for a grant of Sandy Hook Island (lat. 44°), on 10 Dec. 1638.

In 1640 Dorset was nominated one of the peers to act as regents during the king's absence in the north (Cal. State Papers, 2 Sept. 1640; see also 26 March 1639). In January 1641 he helped to arrange the marriage of the Princess Mary with the Prince of Orange, and was again a commissioner of regency, 9 Aug. to 25 Nov. He was opposed to the proceedings against the bishops, and ordered the trained bands of Middlesex to fire on the mob that assembled to intimidate parliament on 29 Nov. 1641. Clarendon (bk. iv. § 110) says that the commons wished to impeach him either for this or ‘for some judgment he had been party to in the Star-chamber or council table.’ He joined the king at York early in 1642, and pledged himself to support a troop of sixty horse; he was among those who attested, 15 June 1642, the king's declaration that he abhorred the idea of war (ib. bk. v. §§ 345–6). In July he attended the queen in Holland, but returned before the king's standard was raised at Nottingham. On 25 Aug. he was sent, with Lord Southampton and Sir J. Culpepper, to treat with the parliamentary leaders. At the same date Knole House was plundered by parliamentary soldiers. He was present at the battle of Edgehill, perhaps in charge of the young princes. James II wrote (in 1679) that ‘the old Earl of Dorset at Edgehill, being commanded by the king, my father, to go and carry the prince and myself up the hill out of the battle, refused to do it, and said he would not be thought a coward for ever a king's son in Christendom’ (Hist. MSS. 11th Rep. App. v. 40). He came to Oxford with the king, but more than once protested against the continuance of the war; a speech made by him at the council table against one by the Earl of Bristol, 18 Jan. 1642–3, was circulated as a tract (reprinted in Somers Tracts, iv. 486–88). He was made a commissioner of the king's treasury, 7 March 1643, and was lord chamberlain of the household (vice the Earl of Essex) from 21 Jan. 1644 to 27 April 1646. Early in 1644 he was also entrusted with the privy seal and the presidency of the council; and he made sensible speeches, which were printed in Oxford and London as ‘shewing his good affection to the Parliament and the whole state of this Kingdom.’ He signed the letter asking Essex to promote peace, in January 1644; was one of the committee charged with the defence of Oxford; and was nominated by Charles in December 1645 one of those to whom he would entrust the militia. He was one of the signatories to the capitulation of Oxford, 24 June 1646.

In June 1644 Dorset had been assessed at 5,000l. and his eldest son at 1,500l. by the committee for the advance of money (Comm. Advance Money, p. 398); in 1645 he resigned an estate of 6,000l., the committee undertaking to pay his debts (Verney Papers, ii. 248). In September 1646 he petitioned to compound for his delinquency on the Oxford articles, and his fine of one tenth was fixed at 4,360l.; it was reduced to 2,415l. on 25 March 1647, and he was discharged on 4 June 1650 (Comm. for Compounding, 1509).

Whitelocke (Memorials, p. 275) mentions Dorset as one of the six peers who intended to go to Charles at Hampton Court in October 1647 and reside with him as a council. This was not permitted by the parliament; and he seems to have taken no further part in public affairs. After the execution of the king, he is said never to have left his house in Salisbury Court, Fleet Street. There he died 17 July 1652, and was buried in the family vault at Withyham. His monument perished in the fire of 16 June 1663. An elegy on him was printed, with heavy black edges, by James Howell, in the rare pamphlet entitled ‘Ah-Ha, Tumulus Thalamus’ (London, 4to, 1653).

Dorset married, in 1612, Mary, daughter and heiress of Sir George Curzon of Croxhall, Derbyshire. In 1630 she was appointed ‘governess’ of Charles, prince of Wales, and James, duke of York, for a term of twelve years. On 20 July 1643 she re-