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same message, and received the same answer. Again he waited upon the king, who again disclaimed his message. In the next meeting of the privy council, however, he declared the dismissal of the duke- and the appointment of lord Roberts in his room. On receiving an account of this, the duke once more went to expostulate with the king, and to his surprise the king denied the entire proceeding: he then however sent a gentleman, who was a connexion of the duke's- to explain, that he had actually made the change, bat denied it because he saw the duke was heated and might say something .not respectful. He assured the duke that he would still " be kind to him, and continue him lord steward," and pleaded the necessity of his affairs.*
What confidence the duke of Ormonde may have felt in any assurance of the king's, we cannot say; but be shortly after received a mark of honour and respect above the power of the lying and time-serving monarch who then disgraced the throne of England to confer.
The duchess of Ormonde had repaired to Ireland to reduce the establishment which the duke had found necessary as lord-lieutenant: on her return, he went to meet her, and having stopped at Oxford, he was entertained by the university, and complimented with the degree of doctor of civil law; and the chancellorship being vacant by the resignation of the carl of Clarendon, the choice of the university fell on the duke. The university was guided in this election by the advice of Gilbert Sheldon, archbishop of Canterbury, to whom this high dignity had in the first instance been offered: it was declined oy the archbishop on the score of his age and great infirmities, but he assured the university that he could think of no one so fit for the office as the duke of Ormonde. We give a portion of the primate's letter: "A person whom I cannot mention, but with all characters of honour; who, besides the eminency of his birth and dignities, hath made himself more illustrious by his virtue and merits, by that constant integrity he hath in all fortunes borne to the king and church; and (which concerns them more particularly) by his love of letters and learned men. His quality will dignify their choice, his affection for them will improve his care over them, and his interest will be able at their need to support them." The duke was inaugurated with great solemnity in London, on the 26th of August, by the vice-chancellor, assisted by the bishops of Winchester, Oxford, and Rochester, with a numerous attendance of doctors of all the faculties, and members of the university, who walked in procession to Worcester house, where they were joined by the bishop of London and the archbishop of Canterbury. Here they took their places in solemn order in a large room, and the cause of the convocation having been declared, the duke of Ormonde cumo from a side-room, attended by the earls of Bedford, Ailesbury, Dunfermline and Carlingford, and having taken his place, was addressed ina set speech by the vice-chancellor. The duke then had delivered to him the seals of the office, the book of statutes, and the keys; and next took the oaths required on the occasion, after which the members of the university took the oaths of duty to the chancellor, and lastly, the duke made a speech, in which he thanked the university, assured the convocation of his determination to maintain their rights, preserve their
statutes, encourage learning, and give his protection on all occasions to that learned body in general, and to every deserving member of it in particular.* This election does equal honour to the university and to the duke. No public body has uniformly stood so high as the university of Oxford, for the high and disinterested ground it has ever taken on every question in which principle has been concerned; and while this character is honourably exemplified in the act by which it honoured and exalted a nobleman, who was at that moment an object of rancorous persecution to the most powerful faction in the kingdom, armed with the influence of the court: it nobly attests the true character which the duke's whole life and actions maintained among the wise and good men of his age.
The duke, whose honours were for the most part hardly earned, was of a disposition to be peculiarly affected by such a mark of respect. It was his temper to sacrifice his ease and interest to the good of the kingdom; and it was to posterity that he looked for his renown. A conversation which he had about this time with a friend, may bo quoted as the faithful expression of his sentiments, in connexion with a fact very remarkable through his entire history:—"He had been a little before (as he was taking a walk early in the morning with Sir Hobert Southwell, in the Pall-mall,) discoursing of the vicissitudes of fortune, how it had still befallen him to be employed in times of the greatest difficulty, and when affairs were in the worst situation; how his employments had been thrown upon him without any desire or application of his own; how, when be thought his actions were most justifiable, they commonly found the hardest interpretation, and concluded at last, 'well, (said he) nothing of this shall break my heart; for however it may fare with me in the court, I am resolved to lie well in the chronicle.'" Such indeed is the sense of all the truly illustrious, the "last infirmity of noble minds," and never more truly exemplified than in this great man, to whom history, but partially true, has not wholly done justice yet. For so trying and complicated was the maze of faction with which he had to contend, and unhappily so permanent have been the animosities and prejudices, of which he was, during his life, a central mark; that all the basest calumnies, and most contemptible misconstructions of party-spirit, are still suffered to have a place in every history which aims to please a large class of the public; so that the numerous libels which were the foam and venom of the vile faction by which he was baited at this period of his life, has found but too many echoes from writers, whose injustice is the disinterested result of their prejudices, which have prevented them from deliberate and impartial inquiry. At the time of which we write, the enemies of the duke finding themselves wholly unable to establish any case to his discredit, endeavoured to avenge their failure by the most scandalous publications, full of those vague charges, that go so far with the multitude, which is ever strongly impressed by violent language and easily imposed upon by any sortof specious mis-statement. But of the numerous libels at this time published to injure the duke, it may be said that they contain in themselves the antidote for all their venom: the principles adopted by these writers, and the persons whom they put forward as deserving • Curte, II.
of public confidence, sufficiently neutralize their accusations, or convert them into honourable testimonies of worth. Of the greater part of these the duke of Buckingham was the instigator, and of many there is stronger reason to suspect him the author. He was irritated to find the acts which had occasioned the ruin of Clarendon, insufficient to put the duke of Ormonde as wholly aside as he thought necessary for his purposes. It was a serious mortification after all his undermining, to find that there was still a presiding spirit superior to fear, and at enmity with falsehood, to discountenance his intrigues and repress his craft in council. He was therefore unremitting in raising up enemies and complaints against the duke. In these he was mostly defeated, by the extravagance or the notorious untruth of the statements; in others he gave considerable trouble and vexation. Among these latter, the most remarkable was a complaint brought forward by the earl of Meath, who charged the duke with having quartered soldiers on his tenants, in the liberties of Dublin, which he asserted to be treason; and made several allegations of oppression and injury, sustained from the duke's officers and men. He refused, however, to substantiate his charges by any proof: on inquiry it appeared that the soldiers had fully paid for every thing they had received: that the army had always been quartered in Dublin, under every government; and that the duke had not brought but found them there. These accusations being thus found insufficient, lord Meath, who was evidently instrumental to the duke of Buckingham, was sent back to Ireland to look for .further proofs, and additional matter of accusation. In the end, however, he found himself compelled to apologize to the council for the insufficiency of his case: which he would not even venture to bring forward, until the duke of Ormonde himself, indignant at the propagation of groundless reports, and considering the fullest investigation as the best security for his reputation, had lord Meath summoned, and a day fixed for hearing him, and investigating the case. Lord Meath would most willingly have come forward with a strong statement, but he shrunk from the investigation.
An attack of a more artful and invidious kind was made in a pamphlet containing certain queries upon the subject of the grants of land and money which had been made to the duke And it is not easy to conceive a more detestable tissue of injustice, sophistry, and misrepresentation. Through the entire there is an obvious appeal to the ignorance of the English public on the facts; by a daring and broad mis-statement of every one of them, which could not for a moment pass in Ireland or bear any species of investigation. The actual claims of the duke are overlooked, his legal rights passed by, the greatness of his losses unnoticed, and the abortiveness of the grants themselves dishonestly sunk: the suppressio veri was never more thoroughly exemplified. But these accusations were only for the ear of the multitude, they were designed to create a prejudice in the House of Commons, which it was easier to corrupt, to alarm, or to exasperate, than to convince by fact or reason. We cannot, without a far greater sacrifice of space than is consistent with the plan of these lives, enter at length into the considerable mass of accompts and statements which would be essential to a just view of this question. Some facts we have already mentioned; we can only sum them here very generally and briefly. One large grant, consisted merely of a confirmation of the duke's legal claims to estates which had been granted by his family, on conditions according to which they had actually reverted to the donor. The most elementary principles of the laws of property, the basis of all law, must be set aside before this can be spoken of as a grant. Yet this right, amounting to 400,000 acres, the duke resigned to facilitate the settlement, in consideration of a sum not amounting to a tenth of the value, and this was itself apportioned for the payment of creditors whose claims should have been met by the government. This small sum was never paid to the duke. A grant of £30,000 from the Irish parliament is among the imaginary gains of the duke; and doubtless it is an honourable testimony of public approbation: but if the Irish parliament really imagined that it was any thing more, they committed an oversight of considerable magnitude, as their grant was coupled with conditions which turned it into a grant to the duke's tenants, and not to himself. The whole of the remaining grants fell far short of his great losses, and were not in any case more than partially paid. We may conclude on this by extracting the statement of Carte, where the whole can be seen at a glance.
The Duke of Ormonde, creditor.
To loss of nine years income of his estate in Ireland, from October, 1641, to December, 1650, £20,000 a-year £180,000 0 0
To spoil, and waste of timber, buildings, &c, on it, 50,000 0 0
To debts contracted by the service of the crown
during the troubles, 130,000 0 0
To seven years rents of his estate, from 1653, to 1660, recoverable from the adventurers and soldiers that possessed it, .... 140,000 0 0
To the value of estates forfeited to him by breach of conditions, the remainders whereof were vested in him, but given up by the act of explanation, 319,061 5 0
To arrears of pay as lord-lieutenant, commissioned officer, &c, .......
To ditto, for fourteen months, from July, 1647, to
To ditto, for nine years and four months, from
Total of losses and credits,
7%< Duke of OrmrsmU, ieUor. }',j receipt* on the £30,000 act in Ireland, Hy ditto, on the grant of £71,916. 11y ditto, on the £50,000, granted by the explanation act,
By taring* on the grant of forfeited mortgage* and
By renU received from the lands given up by the
Hy houses, &c, on Kilkenny, Clonmel, &c, Talued
by commissioners at £840 12s. a-year, at ten
years purchase, ...... 8,406 O ©
IJy lands allotted on account of his arrears, set at
first for £ 1194, but afterwards improved and
w;t in 1081 at £ I 594 a-year, but being subject to
a <iuit-reiit of £449 a year, their improved yearly
value is but £1105 at ten years purchase, . 11,650 0 O
Total of profit, .... £146,083 711
Total losies nnd due* lo the duke of Ormonde, £1,014,674 4 8 Deduct as by particular of profits, . . . 146,083 7 11
Ko that the duke's losses by the troubles and settlement of Ireland, execoded his profits . > £868,590 16 9
This statement lias the best authority, as it has been drawn not from any loose verhul account, or any individual representation prepared to meet objections, but from the careful comparison of several accompts nnd voucliers belonging to the actual agency of the duke's affairs- and selected from the muss of his private papers, drawn up by his agents.* They leave no doubt upon the one fact, that the whole result of all tint main transactions of his public life was loss to the enormous amount of tlm above sum—nearly a million. The truth indeed is otherwise so Mppurciit, that it is not cusy to understand the insinuations of a certain class of historians, hut by allowing largely for the fact that narrow anil illiberal minds are incupable of comprehending any motives that urn not low and sordid. We do not, for our own part, insist upon a perfect freedom from motives of a personal and interested nature, either for the duke of Ormonde, or any other man, as shall appear in tlm cslimutu which we shall presently have to offer of the great man who Iiiih occupied so large a portion of our notice.
The virtues which rendered the duke of Ormonde's character proof against a virulence of factious and personal animosity, armed with a
dcgi of influence and authority under which any other person of his
generation must have sunk a victim, was itself the main cause of all that enmity, and contributed to its increase during the six years which he spent in England. In this interval, the real dignity of his character Whs placed in a more conspicuous light than often happens in the history of eminent men. The circle in which he daily moved was » Curie, II. p. 408.