Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 50.djvu/368

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Christendom under the Three Apocalyptic Woes,’ 1877. 11. ‘Prophecies and Speculations respecting the End of the World,’ 1883. 12. ‘Mr. Gladstone and Professor Huxley on the Mosaic Cosmogony,’ 1886.

[Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1882, p. 961; Allibone's Dict. Engl. Lit. 1871 ii. 1939, 1891 ii. 1317; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1894, p. 1796; information from Rev. S. H. Atkins, rector of Dunchideock.]

G. C. B.


SAVILE, Sir GEORGE, Marquis of Halifax (1633–1695), was great-grandson of Sir George Savile (d. 1622) of Lupset, Thornhill, and Wakefield (all in Yorkshire), who was created a baronet on 29 June 1611, was sheriff of Yorkshire in 1614, and sensibly improved the position of his branch of the family by his marriage with Mary, daughter of George Talbot, sixth earl of Shrewsbury [q. v.] Savile's grandfather, Sir George, knt. (d. 1616), married at Wentworth in 1607 a sister of the great Earl of Strafford.

Savile's father, Sir William of Thornhill, succeeded an elder brother George (d. 1626) as third baronet in January 1626, was nominated to the council of the north, and never swerved from his loyalty to the king. In 1639 he served in the expedition against the Scots, and in the following year was elected for Yorkshire in the Short parliament. On the outbreak of the civil war Sir William took up arms, and in December 1642 he occupied Leeds and Wakefield, but was repulsed in an attack upon Bradford. Prepared to hold out in Leeds, he was driven thence by a strong force under Fairfax on 23 Jan. 1643 (Markham, The Great Lord Fairfax, 1870, ch. ix.). On 9 May following he was, at the instance of Newcastle, appointed governor of Sheffield, and shortly afterwards of York, where he died on 24 Jan. 1644. He was buried at Thornhill on 15 Feb. 1644 (cf. Dugdale's ‘Visitation of Yorkshire with additions,’ in Genealogist, new ser. x. 160). Several of his letters to Strafford and others are printed (cf. Strafford Corresp. i. 168–70, ii. 94, 108, 127, 147, 193, 215–17; Hunter, Hallamshire, ed. Gatty, p. 136), and his holograph will, in which he leaves 50l. to his ‘faithful friend John Selden,’ is preserved at York. Like his father and grandfather, he made an advantageous marriage. On 29 Dec. 1629 he wedded Anne, daughter of Lord-keeper Coventry [see Coventry, Thomas, Lord Coventry], sister of Lady Shaftesbury and of the learned Lady Dorothy Pakington [q. v.]

George, their son and heir, was born at Thornhill on 11 Nov. 1633. On the death of his father in 1644, his mother remained with her children in Sheffield Castle, and in the articles concluded for its surrender on 11 Aug. 1644 it was stipulated that Lady Savile with her children, family, and goods, was to pass unmolested to Thornhill. According to Dr. Peter Barwick [q. v.], previous to the surrender the besiegers barbarously refused ingress to a midwife, of whose services she stood in need, and ‘she resolved to perish rather than surrender the castle.’ The walls were decrepit with age and the ammunition scanty; but it was only a mutiny on the part of the garrison that induced her to yield. Her child was born the day after the capitulation. She subsequently remarried Sir Thomas Chicheley [q. v.]

George Savile was indebted for his early education to his mother, and it is possible that he subsequently received some training either at Paris or at Geneva. He was, however, settled at Rufford and married before the end of 1656. In the Convention of 1660 he represented Pontefract, but he did not sit in the ensuing parliament, and in 1665 the Duke of York, at the instance of Savile's uncle Sir William Coventry [q. v.], in vain urged upon Charles II the propriety of elevating him to the peerage. In the following year he acted as second to the Duke of Buckingham in an affair with Lord Fauconbridge (Reresby), and in June 1667, having previously commanded a militia regiment, he was made a captain in Prince Rupert's regiment of horse. On 13 Jan. 1668, desirous to conciliate Savile, who had just been selected by the commons as a commissioner to inquire into the scandals of the financial administration, Charles created him Baron Savile of Eland and Viscount Halifax, and in the following year he was appointed a commissioner of trade. He now built Halifax House, in the north-western corner of St. James's Square, where he was already settled by 1673 (Add. MS. 22063, Rent-roll of the Earl of St. Albans). In 1672 he was made a privy councillor, and (despite his adherence to the principles of the Triple Alliance) selected for a mission to Louis XIV, partly complimentary, to congratulate Louis upon the birth of a prince, partly to ascertain the king's views with regard to a peace with the Dutch. Colbert, in a letter to Barillon, spoke of his great talents, but added, ‘II ne sait rien de la grande affaire’ (that Charles was a papist). Halifax set out at the end of June by way of Calais and Bruges for the French king's quarters at Utrecht. Great was his surprise on his arrival to find Arlington and Buckingham already on the spot, having left London after his departure with instructions of later date. He now