Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/350

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

and Regent Street. His name survives in Jermyn Street (Wheatley and Cunningham, London, ii. 284, 298, 306). D'Avenant addresses to Jermyn two of his early poems, and dedicated to him his play entitled ‘The Platonic Lovers’ (D'Avenant, Works, ed. 1673, pp. 247, 251). He is better known as the master and patron of Cowley, who acted for many years as his secretary. Andrew Marvell, in his ‘Last Instructions to a Painter,’ 1667, ll. 29–38, makes a bitter attack on Jermyn, asserting that he rose neither by wit nor courage, and describing his ‘drayman's shoulders’ and ‘butcher's mien.’ The scandalmongers of his own day affirmed that he was secretly married to Henrietta Maria during the exile, but no proof of the story has yet come to light (Pepys, Diary, 22 Nov. 1662; Reresby, Memoirs, p. 4, ed. 1735; Burnet, Own Time, ed. 1833, i. 66 n., 309 n.)

Many of Jermyn's letters are to be found among the Clarendon and Rawlinson MSS. in the Bodleian Library, in Prince Rupert's Correspondence in the British Museum, and among the ‘Domestic State Papers.’

[Authorities cited.]

C. H. F.

JERMYN, HENRY, first Baron Dover (1636–1708), born in 1636, was second son of Sir Thomas Jermyn of Rushbrooke, Suffolk, by Rebecca, who afterwards remarried Viscount Brouncker, and hence younger brother of Thomas, second Baron Jermyn, and a nephew of Henry, first earl of St. Albans [q. v.] He passed on to the continent with his relative, and may have been the ‘younger Mr. Jarmin’ mentioned by Hyde as being ill of the small-pox at St. Germains in August 1652. He obtained a post in the household of the Duke of York, and accompanied his master to Bruges in 1656 and to Holland in 1657 (Clarke, Life of James II, i. 275, 291). His favour with the widowed Princess of Orange, Mary, daughter of Charles I, obliged Charles II to intervene, and gave rise to the rumour of a private marriage (Green, Lives of the Princesses of England, vi. 261; Pepys, Diary, 21 Dec. 1660).

At the Restoration he became master of the horse to the Duke of York, and was allowed to ride at the coronation in the company of the Duke of Albemarle, a distinction of which Clarendon did not approve. He at once became a prominent figure at the court, was adopted by his uncle, and shared his uncle's reputation for gaming and debauchery. He was for a time unduly intimate with Lady Castlemaine, and afterwards fell in love with Lady Shrewsbury. The last intrigue aroused the anger of Colonel Thomas Howard, and a duel followed (August 1662) in St. James's Fields, Pall Mall, in which Rawlings, one of the seconds, was killed, and Jermyn was seriously wounded. On his recovery he made unsuccessful advances to Anthony Hamilton's sister. In 1665 Jermyn, with others, had a large grant of overflowed lands in Ireland, and on 20 Jan. 1666 he was made captain in a new company, known as the select militia or Duke of Richmond's horse.

In 1667 Jermyn renewed his acquaintance with Lady Castlemaine. ‘The king,’ wrote Pepys (29 July 1667), ‘is mad at her entertaining Jermyn.’ Accordingly he left town, and remained away above half a year, although Grammont had obtained permission for him to return in a fortnight. He was finally recalled to London by the reports of Miss Jennings's beauty, and though, as Hamilton notes (Grammont, p. 240), his residence in the country had made his manners somewhat rusty, he still carried all before him, but Miss Jennings soon tired of his company. About this time Jermyn, for a bet of 500l., rode a horse for twenty miles along a road in less than an hour, with ill effects on his health. In October 1671 he entertained Evelyn at Cheveley, his seat near Newmarket, during the races. But for the king's interposition he would have fought a duel with Lord Mulgrave in 1673, in consequence of a trifling quarrel.

Jermyn was a Roman catholic, and on the accession of James II began to take part in public affairs. On 13 May 1685 he was raised to the peerage as Lord Dover; on 17 Aug. 1686 he was sworn of the privy council, and became lord-lieutenant of Cambridgeshire. He was now one of the catholic cabal at James's court, following Castlemaine's leadership (cf. Clarke, James II, ii. 77; Reresby, Memoirs, ed. 1875, p. 353). Clarendon, writing to Rochester (2 Oct. 1686), mentioned a rumour of his appointment to the lord-lieutenancy of Ireland, and it seems that Tyrconnel expected that either himself or Dover would take Clarendon's place before Christmas. Although Dover advised James against Tyrconnel's proposal to repeal the Act of Settlement in Ireland, he did not lose James's good will. Dr. Watson was made bishop of St. Davids on 27 June 1687 by his influence, and after Rochester's fall he became a commissioner for the treasury (4 Jan. 1686–7). Etherege, then at Ratisbon, an old gambling companion, wrote a letter of congratulation on the appointment, and rallied him on his gallantries (18 Dec. 1687). In the same year he was one of those dispensed from taking oaths of office (Bramston, Autobiography, Camd. Soc., p. 283), and he acted as chamberlain when the Earl of Mulgrave was in disgrace. At the revolution Dover adhered to James, who showed his confidence