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charges against Savile to the king (Life of Newcastle, ed. Firth, p. 46). On 13 May 1643 Charles ordered Savile's transference to Oxford, that he might in person examine the accusations against him. Savile's defence (printed in Papers relating to the Delinquency of Lord Savile) was drawn up with such skill that on 5 June Nicholas told Newcastle they had nothing to answer to it; Savile received a sealed pardon from the king, and Newcastle publicly apologised for having arrested him.

Savile remained at Oxford, and resumed his place at the council and duties as treasurer. In August he advised Charles to give a cordial reception to Bedford and Holland, who came over from the parliament [see {{sc|Russell William, first Duke of Bedford], and throughout he seems to have urged the necessity of making peace. On 25 May 1644 he was created Earl of Sussex. Nevertheless he seems to have carried on a correspondence with his relatives, Sir Peter and Lady Temple, who were active parliamentarians in London. His eagerness for peace, and advocacy of the acceptance of terms which Charles thought disgraceful, brought him into disfavour (cf. Charles I to Nicholas in Evelyn, Diary and Corr. iv. 157). He was also accused of speaking disrespectfully of the king and the Oxford parliament, and the old charge of supplying Hotham with money was revived against him. On 11 Jan. 1644–5 he was once more imprisoned, and Digby, on the king's behalf, impeached him of high treason. His guilt was established by the discovery of his letter to Hotham about the terms of his composition, and it was proposed to try him by court-martial; but the House of Lords urged Savile's privilege as a peer, and no further steps were taken. About the middle of March he was released on condition that he removed to France. Savile, however, obtained a pass from Essex, the parliamentary commander, and arrived in London on the 18th (Hist. MSS. Comm. 7th Rep. App. pp. 450, 451). A contemporary letter (Carte, Original Letters, i. 80), which speaks of his being in London ‘by the king's leave,’ is some confirmation of the view maintained by the Scots commissioners that Savile was really come on the king's business (Baillie, ii. 284 et seq.). On his arrival the House of Lords committed him to the custody of black rod, but subsequently gave him leave to reside at Ashley House, Surrey, for the benefit of his health; his title as Earl of Sussex was not recognised, so he resumed his style as Lord Savile. He first entered into secret communication with Warriston and the Scots, stating that he had come from Oxford with as much trust and favour as ever he had had before, and that his only object was to make peace. Publicly, however, he maintained that he had always been in favour of the parliament, and the charge of having furnished Hotham with money which he had so skilfully refuted before the king, he now established by producing independent witnesses, as a claim to the clemency of parliament. His imprisonment at Oxford he represented as being due to his refusal to satisfy Charles of his loyalty.

His negotiations with the Scots, however, were not successful; Warriston declared that the terms proposed at Uxbridge were the minimum, and refused to treat with Savile because he suspected him of being in the king's interest. Savile accordingly turned to the independents; he told them that if an assurance could be given that the monarchy would be preserved, there would be no difficulty in bringing about such a military defection in the king's ranks as would speedily end the war. Goring would transfer his services, and Legge would open the gates of Oxford. Lord Saye consequently obtained a sub-committee to receive propositions for the surrender of the king's fortresses, and in May Fairfax was sent to besiege Oxford. Meanwhile the Scots eagerly sought to implicate Savile in a charge of corresponding with the royalists at Oxford, and procured a committee to examine him. Savile retorted by charging Holles and Whitelocke with betraying their trust when sent to convey the parliament's proposal to the king and entering into correspondence with Digby (Memoirs of Holles, 1699, pp. 38–9; Whitelocke, Memorials, pp. 155, 161; Hist. MSS. Comm. 6th Rep. App. pp. 67–8). The committee demanded the name of his informant, who was the Duchess of Buckingham; Savile refused to give it, and on 20 June he was committed to the Tower for contempt of the house. He was released on bail, by order of the House of Lords, on 26 Aug.; but on 1 Oct., on remonstrance from the commons, he was again remanded to the Tower. On 26 April 1646 he made a protestation of allegiance to parliament and took the covenant. On 5 May following he consented to give the name of his informant, and was finally released (Cary, Memorials of the Civil War, i. 21–5). His composition fine was fixed at 8,000l., which was subsequently reduced to 4,000l. of which the 1,000l. he had paid to Hotham was reckoned as part. He passed the rest of his life in retirement at Howley, dying about 1658. His will, dated 8 Nov. 1657, was proved