Clarendon as the English Thucydides

Part of the Studies in Modern History book series (SMH)


Visiting Moulins, France, in 1671, Laurence Hyde brought his father Edward, Earl of Clarendon, the trunk containing an unfinished history of the English Civil War. As advisor to King Charles I, Clarendon began the history in 1646, after a series of military defeats forced him to go to Scilly, then Jersey, a last royalist stronghold. Composition was interrupted in 1648, when the queen summoned him from Jersey to the Paris headquarters of the royalist camp. For the next dozen years he worked to restore the monarchy, which parliament had abolished, and the Prince of Wales, whose father King Charles had been executed. Both were restored in 1660, and Hyde served as chief royal counselor. After seven years of government, however, Clarendon ran afoul of both court and parliament, blamed for naval defeats at the hands of the Dutch. He was banished in 1667 and spent the next two years writing his life’s story to vindicate himself from articles of impeachment.’ He completed his History by adding passages from his autobiographical Life, written 1667–9, to the earlier History, written 1646-8 and delivered to him by Laurence in 1671.


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Copyright information

© Philip Hicks 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Saint Mary’s CollegeNotre DameUSA

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