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Earl of Clarendon Edward Hyde

(1609—1674) politician and historian


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(1609–74),

entered Parliament in 1640 and at first sided with the popular party, but as a strong Anglican he was from 1641 onwards one of the chief supporters and advisers of the king. He followed Prince Charles into exile. At the Restoration he returned as lord chancellor but fell out of favour. He was impeached in 1667 and fled to France where he wrote his autobiography, The Life of Edward, Earl of Clarendon (1759), and completed his History, The True Historical Narrative of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England (first printed from a transcript under the supervision of Clarendon's son, 1702–4; the first true text was edited by W. D. Macray, 6 vols, 1888). It is composed from material written at different periods and in widely differing circumstances and it remains a classic work. It is also an important contribution to the art of biography and autobiography, and memorable for its portraits of figures as varied as Falkland, Godolphin, Laud, and Strafford. Clarendon's daughter Anne Hyde married the future James II. His works were presented to the University of Oxford by his heirs, and from the profits of the History a new printing‐house, which bears his name, was built for the Oxford University Press.

Subjects: Literature — History.


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