By J. Sears McGee

This can be the 1st biography of Sir Simonds D'Ewes, a member of England's lengthy Parliament, Puritan, historian and antiquarian who lived from 1602–1650. D'Ewes took the Puritan aspect opposed to the supporters of King Charles I within the English Civil battle, and his huge magazine of the lengthy Parliament, with his autobiography and correspondence, supply a uniquely finished view of the lifetime of a seventeenth-century English gentleman, his evaluations, concepts and prejudices in this tumultuous time. D'Ewes left the main broad archive of private papers of any person in early glossy Europe. His lifestyles and suggestion sooner than the lengthy Parliament are rigorously analyzed, in order that the brain of 1 of the Parliamentarian competitors of King Charles I's rules should be understood extra absolutely than that of the other Member of Parliament. even though conservative in social and political phrases, D'Ewes's Puritanism avoided him from becoming a member of his Royalist more youthful brother Richard through the civil conflict that all started in 1642. D'Ewes accumulated one of many greatest inner most libraries of books and manuscripts in England in his period and used them to pursue historic and antiquarian learn. He information of nationwide and foreign occasions voraciously and conveyed his reviews of them to his acquaintances in lots of enormous quantities of letters. McGee's biography is the 1st thorough exploration of the lifestyles and concepts of this impressive observer, providing clean perception into this pivotal time in ecu heritage.

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Simonds enumerated a series of mishaps he suffered during his childhood, some of them so dangerous that his family doubted that he would reach adulthood. At the end of April 1603, when he was nearly six months old, his father insisted that his wife and child travel from Dorset back to London with him. Only twenty miles into the journey, the baby was so agitated by the “the continuall iogging of my fathers coach in those craggy & vneuen wayes” that his life was feared for, and they stopped in Dorchester.

D’Ewes was called to the bar in 1623 and appeared headed for a legal career. He followed the course of the parliaments of the 1620s with intense interest. Historians who have relied only on his autobiography will be surprised to learn that a diary he kept from 1622 to 1624 and letters written during the final years of James I’s reign show him to have been a severe critic of James and an admirer of Prince Charles. The autobiography, written in 1636–38, tells a different story. Chapter 3 (1626–31) drops the law but retains the other four categories listed above.

Early Schooling in Dorset After his return to Coxden from Dorchester, Simonds lived with his grandparents and, for varying periods, with Richard White, the vicar who had baptized him and was his first schoolmaster. He acknowledged that Mr. ” He attributed that terrible fever that had afflicted him for nearly two months to White’s failure to stop him from indulging in the contents of Coxden’s cellar. An excellent physician who lived nearby was so fearful about the boy’s health at that point that he warned grandfather Simonds that the lad might die.

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