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Hyde
Hyde
371

gained him many powerful friends (Lister, i. 9; Life, i. 13). This connection was one of the motives which induced Hyde to vindicate Buckingham's memory in his earliest historical work, a tract entitled ' The Difference and Disparity between the Estate and Condition of George, Duke of Buckingham, and Robert, Earl of Essex' (Religuics Wottoniance, ed. 1685, pp. 185-202). According to Hyde's friend, Sir John Bramston, Charles I was so pleased with this piece that he wished the author to write Buckingham's life (Autobiography of Sir John Bramston, p.255).

Hyde's second marriage, 10 July 1634, with Frances, daughter of Sir Thomas Aylesbury, one of the masters of requests, still further improved his fortunes (Chester, Westminster Registers, p.167). He had been called to the bar on 22 Nov. 1633, began now seriously to devote himself to his profession, and soon acquired a good practice in the court of requests. In December 1634 he was appointed keeper of the writs and rolls of the common pleas (Bramston, p.255; Doyle, Official Baronage, i. 402). The courage and ability with which Hyde conducted the petition of the London merchants against the late lord treasurer, Portland, gained him the favour of Laud. He was consequently ' used with more countenance by all the judges in Westminster Hall and the eminent practisers, than is usually given to men of his years' (Life, i.23). His income grew, he increased his paternal estate by buying adjoining land, and he made influential friends.

Hyde began his political career as a member of the popular party. Although he did not share the hostility ot the puritans to Laud's ecclesiastical policy, nor the common animosity of the lawyers to the churchmen, he was deeply stirred by the perversions and violations of the law which marked the twelve years of the king's personal rule (1628-40). In the Short parliament of 1640 he sat for Wootton Bassett, was a member of seven important committees, and gained great applause by attacking the jurisdiction of the earl marshal's court (Lister, i. 62; Life, i. 78). According to his own account, which cannot be implicitly trusted, he endeavoured to mediate between the king and the commons, and used his influence with Laud to prevent a dissolution.

In the Long parliament Hyde represented 'Saltash, and, as before, principally directed his reforming zeal to questions connected to the administration of the law. He renewed his motion against the marshal's court, obtained a committee, and produced a report which practically abolished that institution. Hyde also acted as chairman of the committees which examined into the jurisdictions of the council of Wales and the council of the North, and gained great popularity by his speech against the latter (26 April 1641; Rushworth, iv. 230). He took a leading part in the proceedings against the judges, and laid before the lords (6 July 1641) the charge against the barons of the exchequer (ib. iv. 333). In the proceedings against Strafford he acted with the popular party, helped to prepare the articles of impeachment, was added on 25 March 1641 to the committee for expediting the trial, and on 28 April took up a message to the lords begging that special precautions might be taken to prevent Strafford's escape (Commons Journals, ii. 112, 130). Hyde's name does not appear in the list of those voting against the attainder bill, and it is hardly possible to doubt that he voted for that measure. He may have ultimately joined the party who were contented with Strafford's exclusion from affairs of state; but the story of his interview with Essex on this subject contains manifest impossibilities (Rebellion, iii. 161; Gardniner, ix. 840).

Church questions soon led Hyde to separate himself from the popular party. He opposed, in February 1641, the reception of the London petition against episcopacy, and in May the demand of the Scots for the assimilation of the English ecclesiastical system to the Scottish (ib. ix. 281, 377). He opposed also, differing for the first time with Falkland, the bill for the exclusion of the clergy from secular office, and was from the beginning the most indefatigable adversary of the Root and Branch Bill. The house went into committee on that bill on 11 July 1641, and its supporters, hoping to silence Hyde, made him chairman. In this capacity he so successfully obstructed the measure that it was dropped (Rebellion, iii. 150-6, 240-2). Hyde's attitude attracted the notice of the king, who sent for him and urged him to persist in the church's defence (Life, i. 93). At the opening of the second session his severance from his former friends was still more marked, and Secretary Nicholas recommended him to the king as one of the chief champions of the royal prerogative (Evelyn, Diary, ed. 1879, iv. 116). He resisted Pym's attempt to make the grant of supplies for the reconquest of Ireland dependent on parliament's approval of the king's choice of councillors, and opposed the Grand Remonstrance, though admitting that the narrative part of it was `true and modestly expressed' (Gardiner, x. 55, 76; Verney, Notes on the Long Parliament, pp. 121, 126). He sought by an attempted protest to prevent the print-