Saturday, December 10, 2011

Anne Hyde

‘Monday 10 December 1660…So hearing that the Duke of York is gone down this morning, to see the ship sunk yesterday at Woolwich, he and I returned by his coach to the office, and after that to dinner. After dinner he came to me again and sat with me at my house, ands among other discourse he told me that it is expected that the Duke will marry the Lord Chancellor’s daughter at last which is likely to be the ruin of Mr. Davis and my Lord Barkley, who have carried themselves so high against the Chancellor; Sir Chas. Barkley swearing that he and others had lain with her often, which all believe to be a lie…’

Samuel Pepys refers to the Lord Chancellor’s daughter, in his diary entry for December 10, 1660.  The woman in question is Anne Hyde.  The Duke of York did marry her.  Walter Scott mentions Ms. Hyde in his biographical sketch, the”Life of Dryden”:

   The conversion of Dryden [to Catholicism] did not long remain unrewarded, nor was his pen suffered to be idle in the cause which he had adopted. On the 4th of March, 1685-6, an hundred pounds a-year, payable quarterly, was added to his pension; and probably he found himself more at ease under the regular and economical government of James, than when his support depended on the exhausted exchequer of Charles. Soon after the granting of this boon, he was employed to defend the reasons of conversion to the Catholic faith, alleged by Anne Hyde, Duchess of York, which, together with two papers on a similar subject, said to have been found in Charles the Second's strong box, James had with great rashness given to the public. Stillingfleet, now at the head of the champions of the Protestant faith, published some sharp remarks on these papers. Another hand, probably that of a Jesuit, was employed to vindicate against him the royal grounds of conversion; while to Dryden was committed the charge of defending those alleged by the Duchess. The tone of Dryden's apology was, to say the least, highly injudicious, and adapted to irritate the feelings of the clergy of the Established.’

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