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SIR HENRY VANE (1589-1654)

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Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 892 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR HENRY VANE (1589-1654), English secretary of state, eldest son of Henry Vane or Fane, of Hadlow, Kent, a member of an ancient family of that county, by his second wife, Margaret, daughter of Roger Twysden of East Peckham, Kent, was born on the 18th of February 1589. He matriculated from Erase-nose College, Oxford, on the 15th of June 1604, was admitted to Gray's Inn in 16o6, and was knighted by James I. on the 3rd of March 1611. He purchased several offices at court, was made comptroller of the king's household about 1629, and in spite of a sharp quarrel with Buckingham managed to keep the king's favour, in 1639 becoming treasurer. He was returned to parliament in 1614 for Lostwithiel, from 1621 to 1626 for Carlisle, in 1628 for Retford, and in the Short and Long Parliament, assembled in 1640, he sat for Wilton. He was despatched on several missions in 1629 and 163o to Holland, and in 1631 to Gustavus Adolphus to secure the restitution of the Palatinate, but without success. In 1630 Vane had become a privy councillor and one of the chief advisers of the king. He was made a commissioner of the Admiralty in 1632 and for the colonies in 1636. He was one of the eight privy councillors appointed to manage affairs in Scotland on the outbreak of the troubles there, and. on the 3rd of February 164o, through the influence of the queen and of the marquis of Hamilton and in opposition to the wishes of Strafford, he was made secretary of state in the room of Sir John Coke. In the Short Parliament, which assembled in April, it fell to Vane, in his official capacity, to demand supplies. He proposed a bargain by which the king should give up ship-money and receive in return twelve subsidies. Parliament, however, proved intractable and was dissolved on the 5th of May, to prevent a vote against the continuance of the war with the Scots. In the impeachment of Strafford, Vane played a very important part and caused the earl's destruction. He asserted that Strafford had advised the king at a meeting of the privy council, " You have an army in Ireland; you may employ it to reduce this kingdom." He refused to admit or deny the meaning attributed by the prosecution that " this kingdom " signified England; he was unsupported by the recollection of any other privy councillor, and his statement could not be corroborated by his own notes, which had been destroyed by order of the king, but a copy obtained through his son, the younger Vane, was produced by Pym and owned by Vane to be genuine. He was on bad terms with Strafford, who had opposed his appointment to office and who had given him special provocation by assuming the barony of Raby, a title ardently desired by Vane himself. He was not unnaturally accused of collusion and treachery, and there is no doubt that he desired Strafford's removal not only on private but on public grounds, believing that his sacrifice
End of Article: SIR HENRY VANE (1589-1654)
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