Page images
PDF
EPUB

CHAP. archbishop Usher appears to have been a IV.

useful member of the house of lords. At the 1034. clofe of the last year he retired to England,

where he lived till one thousand six hundred and fifty-fix; and though by the friendship of Selden he had obtained the place of lecturer at Lincoln's Inn ; though the Usurper, who could not approve his political principles, admired his learning and genuine piety; though foreign princes had offered him an asylum ; yet from necessity hę was obliged to sell his library to Cromwell, and suffered the greatest distress from the sequestration of his episcopal revenues. After the Restoration parliament settled five hundred pounds per annum, and entailed it upon his daughter ; a donation which reflects the greatest honour upon that affembly, and was worthy of the Roman fenate in the purest days of the Republic,

One of the most active members of the house of lords, was the bishop of Derry; so remarkable for his attachment to lord Strafford, and for his impeachment. After

the

the Restorațion he was advanced to the pri- CHAP. macy, and appointed speaker of that affembly by patent, as the chancellor sir Maurice 1634: Euftace was one of the lords justices.

IV.

The duke of Ormond, if we may believe his own testimony, was not a very ready or fluent speaker, though, perhaps, second only to fir William Temple as an epistolary writer; but he appears to have been an able debater, greatly skilled in what is called parliamentary craft; of this he gave eminent proofs in the perplexed debate upon the impeachment of fir George Radcliffe, lord Strafford's confidential secretary. The debate was rendered confused, and the proceedings in a great measure abortive by his management; from hence, according to fir Robert Southwell, originated the great favour of the king, and of his unfortunate favourite. This was not the most honourable nor creditable part of his character ; but when the early mist which obscured the morning of his life was dispersed, he fhone forth with uncommon splendor as a civil, military, and

political

IV.

158 SIR JAMES WARE – CAPTAIN MERVYN: CHAP. political character: zealously attached to his

prince, but more strongly attached to his
country, he appears to have adopted the
maxim of Vespasian,'-
Imperium malis artibus quæfitum, bonis exercuit.

1634.

From the session of one thousand fix hundred and thirty-four to one thousand six hundred and fixty-fix fir James Ware represented the university of Dublin; nor could any man be more qualified for such a situation, if the knowledge of the polite scholar and of the deep antiquarian be qualifications.

Captain Mervyn was a very active and useful member in the parliaments which preceded, and were subsequent to the Irish rebellion. After the Restoration he quitted the sword for the gown, and became a lawyer; he was prime ferjeant when he was elected speaker, and was sent a commissioner to England ; and although amazingly verbofe and pedantic, he appears to have been

a man

a man of great ability. His services were so CHAP. eminent that parliament compensated his merit, and his losses in his pra&ice, by a 1661. posthumous donation of fix thousand pounds to his children after the Revolution, in one thousand fix hundred and ninety-seven.

[ocr errors]

Mr. Whalley, who had been advocate general in Cromwell's army, appears to have been a most active member of parliament after the Restoration. His services were considerable as chairman of the committee of trade; and he was strongly recommended from the Irish, to the Scotch, parliament for some arrears that were due to him in the civil wars.

Sir John Temple, the master of the rolls, was very eminent in the house of commons from one thousand six hundred and forty, to the end of the parliaments held in the reign of the second Charles; and though very inferior to his son as a writer, he appears to have been

“ A faithful painter, of the ills he saw.”'

The

IV.

CHAP. The most eminent members of the house

of lords after the Restoration, were lord 1661.

Maffareene and the earl of Roscommon: both of them may be considered as useful members of parliament, particularly the first, who seems to have been the most able speaker in that house. Under the name of fir John Clotworthy he was very forward in the impeachment of lord Strafford; and his activity and merit are conspicuous in Rush worth's collections.

The latter, is better known as a poet than as a politician, though he does not appear to have been altogether inactive in parliament. As a writer, his merit is universally acknowledged; he was the first who proposed the scheme of an academy to fix the standard of our language ; which Swift revived afterwards in an address to lord Oxford; and he is regarded by Johnson, as an eminent benefactor to English literature.

Sir William Petty, who was the son of a clothier in Wiltshire, went over as physi

« PreviousContinue »