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SIR ROGER TWYSDEN (1597-1672)

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Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 493 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR ROGER TWYSDEN (1597-1672), English antiquary and royalist pamphleteer, belonging to an ancient Kentish family. His mother, Anne, was the daughter of Sir Moule Finch, and his father, Sir William Twysden, was a courtier and scholar who shared in some of the voyages against the Spaniards in the reign of Queen Elizabeth and was well known at the court of King James I. He was one of the first baronets. Roger Twysden was educated at St Paul's School, London, and then at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He entered Gray's Inn on the 2nd of February 1623. He succeeded to the baronetcy on his father's death in 1629. For some years he remained on his estate at Roydon, East Peckham, largely engaged in building and planting, but also in studying antiquities and the law of the constitution. The king's attempts to govern without a parliament, and the vexatious interference of hislawyers and clergy with the freedom of all classes of men, offended Sir Roger as they did most other country gentlemen. He showed his determination to stand on his rights by refusing to pay ship money, but, probably because the advisers of the Crown were frightened by the unpopularity of the impost, was not molested. He was chosen member of parliament for Kent in the Short Parliament of 164o, but was not elected to the Long Parliament. In common with most men of his class Sir Roger applauded the early measures of the parliament to restrict the king's prerogative, and then became alarmed when it went on to assail the Church. The attainder of Lord Strafford frightened him as a tyrannical use of power. He be-came in fact a very typical example of the men who formed the strength of the king's party when the sword was at last drawn. He considered himself too old to serve in the field, and therefore he did not join the king at Oxford. But he took the most prominent part in preparing the Kentish petition of March 1642 and in subsequent demonstrations on behalf of Charles. He incurred the wrath of the parliament, was arrested on the 1st of April 1642, but was soon let out on bail, and on his promise to keep quiet. But his respect for legality would not let him rest, and he was soon in trouble again for another demonstration known as " The Instruction to Mr Augustine Skinner." For this he was again arrested and for a time confined in a public-house, called " The Two Tobacco Pipes," near Charing Cross, London. He was released with a distinct intimation that he would be well advised not to go back to Roydon Hall, but to keep out of temptation in London. He took the advice and applied himself to reading. One plan for going abroad was given up, but at last he endeavoured to escape in disguise, was detected, and brought back to London. He was now subjected to all the vexations inflicted on Royalist partisans of good property, sequestrations of his rents, fines for " malignancy," and confinement in the Tower, where he consoled himself with his books. At last he compounded in 165o and went home, where he lived quietly till the Restoration, when he resumed his position as magistrate. He died on the 27th of June 1672. He published The Commons' Liberty (London, 1648), demonstrating that finings and imprisonings by parliament were illegal; Historiae anglicanae scriptores decem (London, 1652), a w6rk encouraged by Cromwell; and Historical Vindication of the Church of England (London, 1657).
End of Article: SIR ROGER TWYSDEN (1597-1672)
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