HYDE, Henry, Lord Hyde (1672-1753).
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Family and Education
b. June 1672, o. s. of Laurence Hyde†, 1st Earl of Rochester, by Lady Henrietta, da. of Richard Boyle†, 1st Earl of Burlington. educ. Eton 1683–7; travelled abroad (Italy, Germany, Holland) 1687–90; Oxf. Univ. DCL 1700. m. 8 Mar. 1692 (with £16,000), Jane (d. 1725), da. of Sir William Leveson Gower, 4th Bt.*, sis. of Sir John Leveson Gower, 5th Bt.*, at least 3s. d.v.p. 3da. d.v.p. suc. fa. as 2nd Earl 2 May 1711, cos. Edward Hyde* as 4th Earl of Clarendon 31 Mar. 1723.1
Gov. Merchant Adventurers 1690.2
Guidon and maj. 2nd tp. Horse Gds. Oct. 1691, cornet and maj. Dec. 1691–3; first clerk of writs in Chancery 1703–10; jt. v.-treasurer and paymaster-gen. [I] Sept. 1710–16; PC 19 Oct. 1710–Sept. 1714.3
Commr. building 50 new churches 1711–15.4
High steward, Oxf. Univ. 1711–d.; keeper, Richmond New Park 1711–27; ld. lt. Cornw. 1711–14.
Lord Hyde was an active soldier, serving as a volunteer in Flanders during 1691 and 1692. He resigned his commission after his father had secured his return to Parliament on the Granville interest at Launceston. He voted on 14 Dec. 1692 against the bill ‘for the preservation of their Majesties’ person and government’ and the following March refused an offer of the post of treasurer to Queen Mary, worth £2,000 p.a. Samuel Grascome nevertheless included Hyde on a list of placemen dating from 1693, describing him as ‘treasurer to the Queen’. During the 1694–5 session Hyde was included in Henry Guy’s* list of friends in the event of an attack upon Guy in the Commons. Hyde retained his seat at the 1695 election. His opposition to the ministry was made clear in this Parliament, as he was forecast as likely to oppose the Court in the divisions of 31 Jan. 1696 on the proposed council of trade, refused the Association, voted against fixing the price of guineas at 22s., and, on 25 Nov. 1696, against the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. Following his return at the 1698 election Hyde was classed as a Country supporter and listed as a probable opponent of the standing army. However, he made little impression during the following session, his only notable activity being to report, on 1 May 1699, on a naturalization bill. In October 1700 he and his father received doctorates at Oxford ‘in a convocation called on purpose’. Hyde’s support for the remodelled ministry was evident at the beginning of the first Parliament of 1701 as he was listed as likely to support the Court over the ‘Great Mortgage’. That his support for the government did not extend to enthusiasm for the prospect of war with France was evident on 14 Feb. 1701 when, following a debate on the wording of the Address, he joined other Tories in voting against giving any assurance of support for ‘effectual measures’ to maintain the ‘peace of Europe’. He was subsequently blacklisted as having opposed the preparations for war with France. After returning Hyde and the other outgoing Member, William Cary, at the next election, the voters of Launceston issued an ‘instruction’ that they
continue to act like true Englishmen, zealously for the service of . . . our Church and our country, by inquiring who were the advisers of the dissolution and by asserting the rights of the Commons of England, by prosecuting the former impeachments of the Lords.
They were also under instruction to scrutinize closely the public accounts and expose any embezzlers. Listed by Robert Harley* as a Tory in December 1701, Hyde duly supported the motion of 26 Feb. 1702 vindicating the Commons’ proceedings in the impeachments of the Whig ministers in the previous session.5
In the 1702 Parliament Hyde initially behaved with filial loyalty, voting on 13 Feb. 1703 against agreeing with the Lords’ amendments to the bill for enlarging the time for taking the oath of abjuration. A rumour in March that he was to be called to the Upper House came to nothing, and in the following session he managed through the Commons a bill to naturalize the wife of Hon. George Cholmondeley*. He seems to have been absent, however, from the division of 28 Nov. 1704 on the Tack, and in a list of the new Parliament of 1705 was stigmatized as a ‘Sneaker’. But his flirtation with ‘moderation’ was short-lived. He voted against the Court candidate for Speaker on 25 Oct. 1705, and was classed as a Tory in a list of early 1708. In early 1709 he twice told on the Tory side in divisions on election cases (29 Jan., 12 Feb.), and also on 8 Feb. 1710 when he told in favour of a motion that the Cornish convocation of tinners be prevented from sitting at the same time as Parliament. He voted against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell.6
In July 1710 it was reported that ‘Lord Rochester has been sent for to court, and that Lord Hyde will be cofferer’. Similar stories abounded during the summer: not only was he to be cofferer, he was to be called up to the Lords; then again he was to be a member of the new Treasury commission. Eventually he received a half-share in the lucrative vice-treasurership of Ireland, the appointment being rushed through so as to antedate the sending down of the writ for the new election. The ‘Hanover list’ classed Hyde as a Tory, and he was included among the ‘worthy patriots’ who in the first session brought to light the mismanagements of the previous ministers. In May 1711 he succeeded his father not only to the earldom but to various places and honours, including a pension of £4,000 p.a. from the revenues of the Post Office, and thereafter served the Tory ministry faithfully in the Lords. ‘A good, civil, simple man’, as Swift described him, he died on 10 Dec. 1753, less than nine months after his last surviving son Henry Hyde, Lord Cornbury†, and was buried at Wootton Bassett.7
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: D. W. Hayton
- 1. Nat. Archs. Ire. Wych mss 1/84, James Linfield to Sir Cyril Wyche*, 4 July 1693; Clarendon Corresp. i. 643–4; Eton Coll. Reg. 1441–1698, p. 184; CSP Dom. 1686–7, pp. 399–400; HMC Finch, iii. 423; Westminster Abbey Reg. (Harl. Soc. x), 251, 254, 267, 269, 313, 356, 385; Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 374, 383.
- 2. Rutland mss at Belvoir Castle, ‘Letters and pprs.’, xx.
- 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. xxiv. 471.
- 4. E. G. W. Bill, Q. Anne Churches, p. xxiii.
- 5. Luttrell, ii. 233, 462, 575; iii. 65, 67; iv. 695; CSP Dom. 1690–1, p. 25; HMC Portland, iii. 466; H. Horwitz, Parl. and Pol. Wm. III, 109, 282; Add. 70075–6, newsletter 11 Dec. 1701.
- 6. Add. 17677 WWW, f. 134; Luttrell, v. 276.
- 7. Bagot mss at Levens Hall, William Bromley II* to James Grahme*, 16 July 1710; Surr. RO (Guildford), Midleton mss 1248/3, f. 10; Luttrell, vi. 616; Wentworth Pprs. 130; Add. 70243, Rochester to Harley, 28 Sept. 1710; Boyer, Anne Annals, ix. 243; Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1708–14, p. 524; G. Holmes, Pol. in Age of Anne, 431.; Swift Stella ed. Davis, 597; Wilts. Arch. Mag. xxix. 194.