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SIR H

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 892 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR H. would satisfy the demands of the parliament. Nevertheless, there has appeared no evidence to support the charge that he deliberately compassed his destruction. Suspicions of his fidelity, however, soon increased, and after having accompanied the king to Scotland in August 1641, he was dismissed from all his appointments on the 4th of November on Charles's return. Vane immediately joined the parliament; on Pym's motion, on the 13th of December, he was placed on the committee for Irish affairs, was made lord lieutenant of Durham on the loth of February 1642, became a member of the committee of both kingdoms on the 7th of February 1644, and in this capacity attended the Scots army in 1645, while the parliament in the treaty of Uxbridge demanded for him from Charles a barony and the repayment of his losses. He adhered to the parliament after the king's death, and in the first parliament of the Protectorate he was returned for Kent, but the House had refused to appoint him a member of the council of state in February 165o. He died in 1654. He had married Frances, daughter and co-heir of Thomas Darcy of Tolleshurst Darcy in Essex, by whom he had a large family of children, of whom the eldest son, Sir Henry Vane, the younger, is separately noticed. Clarendon invariably speaks of Vane in terms of contempt and reproach. He describes him as merely fit for court duties, " of very ordinary parts by nature and . . . very illiterate. But being of a stirring and boisterous disposition, very industrious and very bold, he still wrought himself into some employment." He declares that motives of revenge upon Strafford influenced not only his conduct in the impeachment but his unsuccessful management of the king's business in the Short Parliament, when he " acted that part malicis ously and to bring all into confusion." The latter accusation, considering the difficulties of the political situation and Vane's total want of ability in dealing with them, is probably unfounded. On the general charge of betraying the king's cause, Vane's mysterious conduct in the impeachment, his great intimacy with Hamilton, and the favour with which he was immediately received by the Opposition on his dismissal from office, raise suspicions not altogether allayed by the absence of proof to substantiate them, while the alacrity with which he transferred himself to the parliament points to a character, if not of systematic treachery, yet of unprincipled and unscrupulous time-serving. Materials, however, to elucidate the details and motives of his ill-omened career have hitherto been wanting.
End of Article: SIR H
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