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Title: The political career of Laurence Hyde, Earl of Rochester, as it illustrates government policy and party groupings under Charles II and James II
Author: Yates, Margaret F.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1935
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Laurence Hyde is a figure of the late Restoration as his political career only began after his exiled father's death. In the seventies he was an insignificant member of the Court Party in the Commons which was organised by Danby in opposition to the strong country party. During this period Hyde played an official diplomatic role in the vacillating policy of England towards the Nimuegen settlements from 1676 to 1678. This uncertain policy was forced on Charles II partly by his secret French entanglements, partly by Danby's ardent anti-Gallicanism, and partly by the reluctance of the suspicious Commons to supply the men and money necessary for the Anglo-Dutch alliance which they had demanded. These complexities led to Danby's failure in 1678; and the Popish Plot crisis then arising, not only caused his own downfall but completely overshadowed foreign affairs. The resulting Exclusion struggle gradually deprived the Crown of the mass of Court Party support and gave a few younger courtiers, notably the Yorkist Hyde, an opportunity to advance rapidly in the understaffed royal government. Hyde played a confidential part in completing the secret French money treaty of 1681 which enabled Charles to win an unexpected victory over the Exclusionists. For the next four years he reaped the reward of fidelity in the leadership of the reactionary government of the High Tories. James II's accession made Hyde's position apparently supreme, but the fanatical Catholic policy which the King soon displayed split the High Tory party into two irreconcilable groups: one devoted to Anglicanism, the other to the prerogative. Hyde, devoted to both ideals and tom between the two, had no definite policy in 1688 and thus incurred the opprobrium of both James and Orange. His inevitable political decline after 1688 epitomises the break up of the old Church and State party upon which his father had believed the Restoration settlement was founded.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: European History