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foreign negotiations were generally men eminent for their talents in that kind. But his misfortune was, that their advice was feldom afked, and fcarce ever followed by him; his conduct being intirely governed by the paffions and interefts of his favourites, or his own pedantic and arbitrary principles.
In order to give you a juft view of the present work, it will be proper to infert here fome account of the perfons, whofe papers have furnished me with the materials.
Sir Thomas Edmondes was defcended of a good family, different branches of which fettled in feveral counties: but the books in the Heralds office are so defective in his pedigree (g), that it is not to be traced higher than his grandfather Henry Edmondes, of New Sarum in the county of Wilts, Gent. who, by his wife Julian, daughter of William Brandon, of the fame county, had iffue Laurence his eldest fon and heir; Henry, his fe'cond fon; and Thomas, his third fon; and three daughters; Julian, married to Thomas Codemore; Olyffe, married to Alexander Good; and Jane, married to John Vanner. Thomas Edmondes, the youngeft fon of Henry above-mentioned, was cuftomer of the port of Plymouth and Foye in Devon
(g) Wood, Athen. Oxon. Vol. I. col. 472. 2d edit. is extremely erroneous in his account of our Sir Thomas Edmondes, whom he supposes to have been brother to Sir Clement Edmondes, the tranflator of Cæfar's Commentaries, and son of Sir Thomas Edmondes, Comptroller of the King's Houfhold.
fbire, and married Joan daughter of Anthony Da laber of Sherborn in Dorfetfhire, Efq; and by her had five fons, Sylvefter, William, John*, Arthur, and Thomas. This Thomas, afterwards Sir Thomas, was born before the year 1564, being mentioned in the vifitation-book of William Harvey, Clarentius, of that year. In what school or university he was educated, does not appear; but he was introduced into public bufinefs under that experienced Statesman, Sir Francis Walfingham, Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth; and by that Queen, who was remarkable for her judgment in the choice of men, was employed as her agent to King Henry IV. of France, in which poft he continued till June 1599, without any other reward than the office of Secretary to her Majesty for the French tongue, of which he had a grant in May 1596. In December 1599 he was fent by the Queen to the Archduke Albert about a treaty of peace; as he was again in March following upon the same business. In May 1600 he was one of the Commiffioners in the treaty of Boulogne; and after his return was appointed one of the Clerks of the Council; and in June 1601 was fent again to France. When King James I. came to the Crown of Englaud, he was knighted; and in April 1605. fent Embaffador to the Archduke
*He died unmarried at the house of Sir Thomas Stukeley, on St. Peter's-bill, London, 25 June 1635, and was interred in the Church of St. Peter's. Funeral Certificates in the Heralds Office.
at Bruffels, where he refided till about the end of August 1609; and, in May 1610, went in the fame employment to the Court of France, where he continued many years. His long experience, and important services, gave him a just claim to the post of Secretary of State; but he was not able to procure it, for reafons perhaps, which did him honour under fo weak and corrupt an administration, as that of King James I.'s favourites. But at laft, in December 1616, he was made Comptroller of the Houfhold to his Majesty, and, in January 1617-18, advanced to be Treasurer of the Houfhold; which poft he held till his death. He had been chofen into the House of Commons in the beginning of that King's reign; but his employments abroad prevented him from attending there till his return home, when we find his name among the principal fpeakers in the Journals of that House. In the first Parliament of King Charles I. which met June 18th 1625, he fat as member for the University of Oxford (f); for which he was likewife returned in the next Parliament, which met at Westminster on the 26th of February following; but his election being declared void (g), he was elected afterwards for another place. In September 1629 he was fent Embassador to the French Court, to receive Lewis XIIIth's oath for the performance of the treaty lately figned, by the mediation of the
(f) Wood, Hiftor. & Antiq. Univerfit. Oxon. L. II. p. 443. (g) Journals of the Houfe of Commons, Vol. I. p. 837
Republic of Venice, between the two Crowns ; and with this honourable Commiffion he concluded all his foreign employments, In June 1635 he was feized with the palfy in one of his hands; but, by proper revulfions, he recovered of it (b); and furvived feveral years, dying September 20th 1639 (i). He married Magdalene, one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir John Wood, Knight, Clerk of the Signet (k); and, by this Lady, who died at Paris the 31st of December 1614, with a character amiable and exemplary in all refpects, he had one fon, Henry, born in 1600; but whose death, in September 1635, was no loss to his father, as he was funk into the most inveterate and incorrigible habit of drunkenness (1). He had likewife three daughters, I. Ifabella, born at Bruffels in November 1607, who had her name from the Archduchefs her Godmother (m), and. was married about March 1624-5, to Henry Lord De la War (n): II. Mary, married to Robert Mildmay, Efq; by whom she had Benjamin Lord Fitzwalter, father of the present Earl Fitzwalter (0): III. Louifa, born at Paris in 1611, and baptized on the 15th of September, Lewis XIII.
(b) Letters and Difpatches of Thomas Earl of Strafforde, Voi. I. p. 435(i) Peck's Defiderata Curiofa, Vol. II. L. XIV. p. 18. Wood, Athen. Oxon. Vol. I. col. 472. fays, that he died in November. (k) He died September 5th, 1610. (1) Strafforde's letters, Vol. I. p. 463. (m) Sir Tho. Edmondes's MS. State-Papers, Vol. IV. Carew to Sir Tho. Roe, 25th of March 1625. gotiations with the Grand Signor, p. 371. Peerage of England, Vol. III. p. 232. 2d edit.
(22) Lord Roe's Ne (0) Collins's
ftanding Godfather, and the Queen Regent Godmother, by their proxies the Princess of Orange and the Duke of Bouillon*. In March 1635-6 The married clandeftinely one of her father's genteeler fervants (p). Sir Thomas had with his wife the Manor of Albins in the parishes of Stapleford-Abbot and Naveftoke in Effex, where Inigo Jones built for him a Manfion-houfe, delightfully fituated in a park, now the feat of Sir John Abdy, Baronet (g).
Sir Thomas Edmondes was a man of uncommon fagacity, and indefatigable industry, in his employments abroad; always attentive to the motions of the Courts, where he refided, and punctual and exact in reporting them to his own: Of a firm and unfhaken refolution in the discharge of his duty, beyond the influence of terror, flattery, or corruption. The French Court, in particular, dreaded his experience and abilities, and would gladly have removed fo intelligent and severe an obferver from his ftation amongst them: And the Popish and Spanish party there could scarce disguise their hatred of fo zealous a fupporter of the Proteftant interest in that Kingdom. His style is clear, ftrong, and masculine, and entirely free from the pedantry and puerilities, which infected the most applauded writers of that age, Lord Bacon, Sir Henry Wotton, Dr.
Journal de Regne de Henry IV. Roi de France, par Pierre de l'Etoile, Tom. IV. p. 225, 226. edit. de la Haye, 1741. (p) Strafforde's Letters, Vol. I. p. 523. ftory and Antiquities of Effex, P. 43, 44,