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castle of Prague. These pictures were secured and sent to him by his old trusty servant, Mr. John Trayleman, who lived in York-house.
The king resolving to go into Scotland, the duke attended him, and now again the parliament offered him to compound for his estate for £20,000, which was less than a year's value ; but he chose to run the king's fortune in Scotland, worse than exile, came with him out of Scotland into England ; and at Worcester his escape was almost as miraculous as the king's in the royal oak. He escaped again into France, and went a voluntier into the French army, and was much regarded by all the great officers, signalizing his courage at the siege of Arras and Valenciennes.
When he came to the English court, which was but seldom, the king was always glad to see him. He loved his person and his company; but the great men about him desired rather his room than his company.
There now happened a great turn in the course of his life. My lord Fairfax had part of his estate, about £5000 per ann. allotted him by the parliament towards the payment of his arrears due to him as general, and he remitted more than would have purchased a greater estate. They gave him the mannor of Helmesly, the seat of the noble family of Rutland in Yorkshire, as a salve for the wound he received there, being shot through the body. They gave him also York-house in London, which was also the duke's.
The duke heard how kind and generous my lord Fairfax was to the countess of Derby, in paying all the rents of the Isle of man, which the parliament had also assigned to him for his arrears, into her own hands, and she confessed it was more than all her servants before had done.
The duke had reason to hope my lord had the same inclinations as to this estate of his, which he never accounted his own, and the duke wanted it as much as the countess.
He was not deceived in his hopes, for my lord Fairfax wished only for an opportunity of doing it. He lived in York-house, where every chamber was adorned with the arms of Villiers and Manners, lions and peacocks. He was descended from the same ancestors, earls of Rutland. Sir Guy Fairfax his two sons having married two of the daughters of the earl of Rutland; which my lard took frequent occasion to remember.
The duke resolved to try his fortune, which had hitherto been adverse enough, and he had some revenge on her, by his translation of the ode in Horace-Fortuna sævis læta negotiis. Over he came into England, to make love to his only daughter, a most virtuous and amiable lady. He found a friend to propose it, and I think it was Mr. Robert Harlow.
The parents consented, and the young lady could not resist his charms, being the most graceful and beautiful person that any court in Europe ever
All his trouble in wooing was, He came, saw, and conquered. When he came into England he was not sure either of life or liberty. He was an outlaw, and had not made his peace with Cromwell, who would have forbid the banns if he had known of his coming over. He had a greater share of his estate, had daughters to marry, and would not have liked such a conjunction of Mars and Mercury, as was in this alliance ; knowing my lord's affections to the royal family, which did afterwards produce good effects towards its restoration.
They were married at Nun-Appleton, six miles from York, Sept. 7, 1657, a new and noble house built by my lord Fairfax, and where he kept as noble hospitality. His friend, Ab. Cowley, wrote an epithalmium, now printed.
When Cromwell heard of it, he rested not till he had him in the tower, and would have brought him to Tower-hill had he lived a fortnight longer.
He had liberty given him to be at York-house with his lady ; but going to Cobham to see his sister, he was taken, and sent to the tower.
This so angered my lord Fairfax that he went to Whitehall to the protector, and expostulated the case so as it put him into great passion, turning abruptly from him in the gallery at Whitehall, cocking his hat, and
Il So in the orig. throwing his cloak under his arm,|| as he used to do when he was angry. Thus I saw him take his last leave of his old acquaintance, Cromwell, whose servants expected he would be sent to bear the duke company at the tower the next morning, but the protector was wiser in his passion.
I carried the duke the news of the protector's death, and he had then leave to be a prisoner at Windsor castle, where his friend Ab. Cowley was his constant companion. Richard Cromwell soon after abdicated, and then his liberty came of course.
This was the happiest time of all the duke's life, when he went to his fatherin-law's house at Appleton, and there lived orderly and decently with his own wife, where he neither wanted, nor so abounded as to be tempted to any sort of extravagance, as he was after when he came to possess his whole estate. He now understood the meaning of that paradox, Dimidium plus toto, with which he used to pose young scholars ; and found by experience, that the half or third part of his own estate which he now enjoyed, was more than the whole which he had at the king and his restauration.
Now he lived a most regular life, no courtships but to his own wife, not so much as to his after-beloved and costly mistress, the philosopher's stone.
My lord Fairfax was much pleased with his company, and to see him so conformable to the orders and good government of the family. If they had any plots together, they were to the best purposes, the restoration of the royal family.
My lord Fairfax's maxims in politicks was, that the old veteran army which he had commanded, was not to be beaten by any new rais'd force in England; and that the king's friends shewed more affection than discretion in their plots, to restore them while they were united : and that this old army would never be beaten but by itself; as the event shewed, when Lambert and Monk divided them. But the most fatal influence of this opinion in my lord Fairfax was the night before the thirtieth of January, when some of his friends proposed to him to attempt the next day to rescue the king, telling him that twenty thousand men were ready to join with him ; he said, he was ready to venture his own life, but not the lives of others against the army now united against them.
The same appeared in the insurrection of sir George Booth, which Lambert, with a brigade of this old army, did so easily suppress; the success whereof inspired him with the ambition of imitating Cromwell, in dissolving the parliament, and making himself protector.
The duke had given sufficient testimony of his loyalty, and my lord Fairfax of his aftection and desire to see the royal family restored ; and now was the time of doing it.
General Monk in Scotland declared against Lambert, who marched against him with a strong body of horse.
My lord Fairfax, and the duke with him, declared for Monk in Yorkshire ; but the duke was obliged to withdraw, because his presence gave a jealousy, that the design was to bring in the king, which was too soon to be owned.
What the event was is well known. I shall only repeat the duke's words in an expostulatory letter to king Charles some years after.
“As to your majesty's return into England, I may justly pretend to some share ; since without my lord Fairfax his engaging in Yorkshire, Lambert's army had never quitted him, nor the duke of Albemarle marched out of Scotland."
The king's restoration, volvenda dies en attulit ultro, restored the duke to his estate, but such a train of expence with it, as brought him acquainted with bankers and scriveners, that infested it with the gangreen of usury, which it never recovered.
At the king's coronation no subject appeared in greater splendor. None kept greater hospitality than he did at Wallingford-house, especially for the French nobility that came over. This engaged him in play, which had he continued, his estate had not lasted so long; but he resolved to give it over, and kept his resolution ever after. He was moderate in all his expences, his table, stable, laboratory. All the king's favours to him were occasions of great expence. His lord lieutenancy in Yorkshire cost him more than it did all that succeeded him. The master of the horses cost him twenty thousand pounds to the duke of Albemarle.
His embassies into France and Holland cost him more than a diamond ring could recompense: that into Holland (setting aside the politick part of it) being a consequence of that into France.
We took barge at Whitehall, June 1673, and lay that night on board the English admiral at the buoy in the Nore, the king and duke being there. The next night we came to anchor in our yacht in the Dutch fleet on the coast of Holland. The next night we were entertained by the states in the Hague. The next night we supp'd with the prince of Orange at his camp at Bodegrave. Next night with the king of France at Utrecht, where we staid two or three days, and then march'd back with him at the head of his army to Arnheim, where we visited the prince de Conde, who lay ill there of a wound in his arm, which he got passing the Rhine at Tolhua, and Marshal Turin. Thence we went with the king to Nimeguen, Grave, Boxtell, and there we parted. The king went to Paris, and we into the Spanish dominions, to Antwerp, Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Dunkirk, and Calais ; where our yachts stayed for us, and we came to Dover, Canterbury, London ; where we arrived the day month that we left it.
He was sent ambassador into France, where he was highly carressed by the king, and many of the nobility his old acquaintance. This was before the other into Holland. At his return he was chosen chancellor of the university of Cambridge, and entertained them nobly at York-house, where his father had done it on the same occasion forty years before.
He now seemed to be setting up for a favourite, but he wanted his father's diligence, which fitted him to stand before princes.
He fell into a new way of expence in building, in that sort of architecture which Cicero calls, Insano substructiones; and himself, when his friends dissuaded him from it, called it his folly.
The world has been severe in censuring his foibles, but not so just in noting his good qualities. For his person, he was the glory of the age and any court wherever he
Of a most graceful and charming mien and behaviour ; a strong, tall and active body, all which gave a lustre to the ornaments of his mind; of an admirable wit and excellent judgment; and had all other qualities of a gentleman. He was courteous and affable to all; of a compassionate nature; ready to forgive and forget injuries. What was said of a great man in the court of queen Elizabeth, that he used to vent his discontents at court by writing from company, and writing sonnetts, may be said of him ; but when he was provoked by the malice of some and ingratitude of others, he might shew that a good natured man might have an ill natured muse.
He gave a good instance of his readiness to forgive injuries. Why a considerable man at court did him an injury, which he was fearful he fuld resent, he desired a friend to mediate for him, and endeavour a recolliation, which he undertook. The duke told him that he did not remember he have ever injured him, if he had he freely forgave him.
His charitable disposition he seemed to inherit from his grandfather, Francis earl of Rutland, who used every quarter day at London to send his steward with bags of money to several prisons to relieve prisoners and pay their debts, bidding them thank God, and pray for their benefactor, but not telling them who it was. He
was a man of great courage and presence of mind in danger. One instance of it was when a melancholy-mad servant assaulted him with a drawn sword in his hand when he was at supper, and he with a knife disarmed him. The man was afterwards hanged for saying he would do it to the king.
The character which Sir Henry Wotton gives of his father might be said of him, viz.
Among all the favourites which mine eyes have beheld in divers courts and times, I never saw before a strong heart and eminent condition so clearly void of all pride and shocking arrogance either in his face or in his fashion."
It is to be wished the rest of his father's character had been as true of him; his diligence and application to business, and that he had left his few honest servants in as good fortune as reputation, who never wronged him in his estate, nor flattered him in his faults, and thought they escaped well in not being oppressed under the ruins of his fortune.
[When he first began to settle his family he desired his old In the originfriends, A[braham] Cowley and M[artin) C[lifford) to recom- al this para
mend to him a domestick chaplain. They knew how hard graph is writit was to please him ; he must be a man of learning, wit, ten on a side of good nature, good manners, a graceful person and decent paper, tacked behaviour. They found one (T. Sprat, afterwards Bp. of to the other Rochester. See W.Oldys MS. note to G. Langbaine) to their by wafer, own mind, and to his ; whom he valued as a friend, and and is referred loved as a companion ; who lived to be an ornament to the to by a mark church among those of the highest order. He brought the 'Tis written duke acquainted with another excellent person, whose in the friendship and conversation he much coveted, and wished hand. he could have more of it, who attained afterwards to the highest dignity in the church, and with a lawyer as eminent in his profession: so that his father was not more happy in the choice of a few friends and servants than he was, if he had followed their advice.
He saw and approved the best, but did too often deteriora sequi.)
His father had two crimes objected against him which he was not guilty of ; plurality of offices, and preferring his relations. The faults objected against him were, that he loved women, and spent his estate.
His estate was his own. He had often lost it for the king, and might now be allowed to enjoy it himself. If he was fui profusus, he never was alieni appetens. If he was extravagant in spending, he was just in paying his debts, and at his death charged his debts on his estate, leaving much more than enough to pay them. “If he was a grievance, as he told the house of commons, he was the cheapest to the public that ever was complained of.”,
He had no children by his dutchess, nor heirs capable of inheriting his estate or title.
His amours were too notorious to be concealed, and too scandalous to be justified, by saying he was bred in the latitude of foreign climates, and now lived in a vicious age and court ; where his accusers of this crime were as guilty as himself. He lay under so ill a name for this, that whenever he was shut up in his chamber, as he loved to be, nescio quid, or in his laboratory, meditans purgarum, over the fumes of charcoal, it was said to be with women. When a dirty chymist, a foxhunter, a pretender to poetry or politicks, a rehearsal should entertain him, when a messenger to summon him to council could not be admitted.
This is true of him, that of all the noise made of his loving women, he never had so much as a bastard laid to his charge, that he or any body else believed to be his own. Some pretended to love his person, but it was his estate, which smarted for it. It is hard to tell by his expence which was his favourite pleasure, I think, his chymistry at home, and fox hunting abroad.
I will conclude his character with saying, that if human frailty will not excuse these faults, let christian charity oblige us to hope, that as God gave him time, he gave him also the grace of true repentance.
We are now come to the last scene of the tragi-comedy of his life. At the death of king Charles he went into the country to his own manor of Helmesly, the seat of the earls of Rutland in Yorkshire. King Charles was his best friend, he loved him and excused his faults. He was not so well assured of his successor. In the country he passed his time in hunting, and entertaining his friends ; which he did a fortnight before his death as pleasantly and hospitably as ever he did in his life. He took cold one day after fox-hunting, by sitting on the cold ground, which cast him into an ague and fever, of which he died, after three days sickness, at a tenant's house, Kirby more side, a lordship of his own, near Helmelsy, Ap. 16, 1688; ætat. 60.
The day before his death he sent to his old servant Mr. Brian Fairfax, to desire him to provide him a bed at his house at Bishop-hill at York, but the next morning the same man returned with the news that his life was dispaired of. Mr. Fairfax went post, but before he got to him he was speechless. The earl of Arran, son to duke Hamilton, was with him ; who, hearing he was sick, visited him in his way to Scotland.
When Mr. Fairfax came, the duke knew him, look'd earnestly at him, and held him by the hand, but could not speak. Mr. Fairfax ask'd a gentleman there present, a justice of peace, and a worthy discreet man in the neighbourhood, what he had said or done before he became speechless. He told
me some questions had been asked him about his estate, to which he gave
Then he was admonished of the danger he was in, which he seemed not to apprehend; he was asked, if he would have the minister of the parish sent for to pray with him, to which he gave no answer ; which made another question be asked, If he would have a popish priest ; to which he answered with great vehemence, no, no ! repeating the words, He would have nothing to do with them. Then the aforesaid gentleman, Mr. Gibson, ask'd him again if he would have the minister sent for, and he calmly answered, Yes, pray send for him. This was the morning and he died that night. The minister came, and did the office required by the church ; the duke devoutly attending it, and received the sacrament, and an hour after became speechless ; but appearing sensible, we had the prayers of the church repeated by his bed-side, recommending him to the mercy of God, through the merits of Jesus Christ.
Thus he died quietly in his bed, the fate of few of his predecessors in the title of Buckingham. His body was embalmed and brought to Westminsterabbey, and there laid in the vault with his father and brothers, in Hen. the VIIth's chapel.
Mary dutchess of Buckingham was the only daughter of Thomas lord Fairfax, and Ann, the
daughter of Horace Lord Vere. A most virtuous and pious lady, in a vitious age and court. If she had any of the vanities, she had certainly none of the vices of it. The duke and she lived lovingly and decently together; she patiently bearing with those faults in him which she could not remedy. She survived him many years, and died near St. James at Westminster, and was buried in the vault of the family of Villiers, in Hen. VIIth's chapel, anno 1705. ætat. 66.
2. The following, in grisly contrast to Fairfax's account, comes from Lord PETERBOROUGH.
The witty Duke of Buckingham was an extreme bad man. His duel with Lord Shrewsbury was concerted between him and Lady Shrewsbury. All that morning she was trembling for her gallant, and wishing the death of her husband; and, after his fall, 'tis said the duke slept with her in his bloody shirt.-Spence's Anecdotes, Malone's Edition, 1820, p. 164.
3. Bp. G. BURNET, in his History of my own Times, gives this character:
He had a great liveliness of wit, and a peculiar faculty of turning all things into ridicule with bold figures and natural descriptions. He had no sort of literature: Only he was drawn into chymistry: And for some years he thought he was very near the finding the philosopher's stone ; which had the effect that attends on all such men as he was, when they are drawn in, to lay out for it. He had no principles of religion, vertue, or friendship. Pleasure, frolick, or extravagant diversion was all that he laid to heart. He was true to nothing, for he was not true to himself. He had no steadiness nor conduct. He could keep no secret, nor execute any design without spoiling it. He could never fix his thoughts, nor govern his estate, tho' then the greatest in England. He was bred about the King : And for many years he had a great ascendent over him : But he spake of him to all persons with that contempt, that at last he drew a lasting disgrace upon himself. And he at length ruined both body and mind, fortune and reputation equally. The madness of vice appeared in his person in very eminent instances ; since at last he became contemptible and poor, sickly, and sunk in his parts, as well as in all other respects, so that his conversation was as much avoided as ever it had been courted. He found the King, when he came from his travels in the year 45, newly come to Paris, sent over by his father when his affairs declined : And finding the King enough inclined to receive ill impressions, he, who was then got into all the impieties and vices of the age, set himself to corrupt the King, in which he was too successful, being seconded in that wicked design by the Lord Percy. And to compleat the matter, Hobbs was brought to him, under the pretence of instructing him in mathematicks : And he laid before him his schemes, both with relation to religion and politicks, which made deep and lasting impressions on the King's mind. So that the main blame of the King's ill principles, and bad morals, was owing to the Duke of Buckingham. i. 100. Ed. 1724.
4. Count GRAMMONT, in his Memoirs, thus sketches him about the year 1663.