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IV.

1666.

cian to the army which had been raised un- CHAP. der the parliamentary standard in Ireland: he was afterwards a member for Eastlooe, in Richard Cromwell's parliament, and was returned for the borough of Ennistiogue in the Irish parliament after the Restoration, in which he appears to have been a very useful and aclive member.

His knowledge of calculations, so demonstrated by his Tracts upon Political Arithmetic, placed him at the head of the court of claims, where he was enabled to raise the vast fortune of fifteen thousand pounds per annum : a prodigious fum in those days from this slender commencement *

Sir William Temple was elected, together with his father, a representative for the county of Carlow in one thousand fix hundred and fixty-one; he was then about thirty years

of age. According to his own

* The honourable John Fitzmaurice, brother of the earl of Kerry, married the grand-daughter and heiress of fir William Petty, whence the present marquis of Lansdown has derived his vast property. VOL. II.

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account,

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CHA P. account, his loyalty, his principles, and at

tachment to the constitution, would not al.1666. low him to enter upon the scene of public

affairs before that period.

For three generations the Temple family were in the most important public stations in Ireland. William Temple the grandfather had been the first provost of the university of Dublin ; fir John Temple his father was master of the rolls from the year one thousand fix hundred and thirty-nine, and a member of the house of commons ; and his second son, the folicitor general, sir John Temple, was for a session deputy speaker, which was the only instance of such a designation, as has been already mentioned, that occurs in the annals of the Irish

parliament *

Sir

* The following is an authentic account of the descendants of fir John Temple, and of the distribution of the property of the family :

Sir John Temple, master of the rolls in Ireland in 1639, left two sons; fir William Temple baronet, and

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IV.

1666.

Sir William Temple attended parliament CHAP. only in the sessions from one thousand fix hundred and fixty-one to one thousand fix hundred and fixty-three: he was appointed envoy to the bishop of Munster in

September one thousand fix hundred and sixtyfive, previous to the meeting, and did not appear in his place during that last feffion; nor did he return again to Ireland till lord Effex's administration in one thousand six hundred and seventy-seven, when he wrote

fir John Temple knight, solicitor general and deputy speaker of the house of commons in 1661, during the absence of the fpeaker fir Audley Mervyn as a parliamentary commissioner in England. The latter fettled in England in the year 1685, and was father to the first, and great grandfather to the present lord Palmerston.

Sir William Temple's son, who was a victim of political despair in his father's life-time soon after the Revolution, left two daughters; the elder was married to her cousin Mr. Temple, and the younger to Mr. Bacon of Suffolk: in the iflue of the latter, the greater part of sir William Temple’s property has been vested, and they are supposed to be possessed of some valuable papers of their great ancestors.

the

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IV.

CHAP. the letter to his Excellency upon the ad

yancement of the trade of Ireland. 1666.

During those sessions, when the act of settlement was depending, he was the principal and most active member of the house ; every circumstance relative to this incomparable man has been minutely observed, traced with pleasure, and recorded with delight in the foregoing observations. · His first motion was for an address relative to the royal union with a daughter of Portugal; and in the propositions for the arrangement of the property of Ireland under the act of settlement, the principal part fell to fir William Temple.

His services as a parliamentary commissioner in England were such, that parliament voted him an extra reward, besides what he had in common with his colleagues; and upon his return from England in one thousand fix hundred and fixty-two, he resumed his wonted activity and usefu? exertions in parliament; but he seems to 13

have

IV.

have had early views and fchemes to en- CHAP. gage in a more extensive sphere, and in that brilliant diplomatic career which he after- 1666. wards pursued, and for which no man was ever more qualified, from the universality of his learning and the elegance of his accomplishments. He wrote with the greatest facility in Latin and French ; and a few of his dispatches are in Spanish, which, I remember to have heard from a very intelligent Spaniard *, were not correct; but to write

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* Colonel de Miranda. This gentleman, a native of Mexico, is one of the most extensive and enlightened travellers which the present, or perhaps any period can boast; and it is with peculiar delight and satisfaction that the author recollects the information he has received from his friendship and conversation. Colonel de Miranda fpent near ten years in travelling through the whole continent of America, and in every part of Europe, particularly in Russia and Turkey. He has made the most valuable observations and collections in every country he has visited, which he has arranged, with a rare and classical style, and a happy combination of ancient and modern learning.

The empress of Russia, with that discernment and liberal protection of science which will immortalize M 3

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