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Annesley, Arthur (DNB00)


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ANNESLEY, ARTHUR, first EARL OF ANGLESEY (16141686), was born at Dublin on 10 July
1614. His father, Sir Francis Annesley [q .v.], better known as the Lord Mountnorris of Strafford's
rule in Ireland, had held high office under James I and Charles I for forty years. His mother's name
was Dorothy Phillips. In 1624 he was sent to England, and in 1630 to Magdalen College, Oxford,
where he took his degree in 1634 (WOOD'S Ath. Oxon. iv. 18), and Happy Future State of England,
p. 3). In the same year he joined Lincoln's Inn. Having made the grand tour, he returned to Ireland
in 1640. It is stated (COLLINS'S Peerage; Biographia Britannica) that he was then elected for
Radnor county, but that he at once lost his seat upon petition, and that Charles Price, Esq., was
elected in his place. This is a mistake. No such vote occurs in the Commons' Journals. Moreover it
appears (Parl. Hist. ii. 629) that Charles Price was the first member elected, but that he was
disabled, and that Annesley succeeded him, though it is uncertain when; and his admirer, Sir W.
Pett, says nothing about his being a member until 1647 (Happy Future State of England, p. 5). It is
affirmed also that Annesley sat in the king's parliament at Oxford in 1643, Not only, however, does
his name not occur in the list, but that of Charles Price does (Parl. Hist. iii. 219). These mistakes
have doubtless arisen from a careless misreading of the passage in Wood's Athen, (iv. 182, ed.
Bliss), from which the former notices have evidently been copied. Annesley's first public
employment was in 1645. It seemed probable that Ormond would succeed in establishing a cordial
union with the Scotch forces under Monroe in Ulster. To defeat this, Annesley (selected no doubt
for his knowledge of Irish affairs) and two others were sent over with a commission under the
great seal. Their duty was fulfilled ably and with entire success (REID, History of the Presbyterian
Church in Ireland, ii. 79, 100). In February 1647 Ormond, who was with difficulty holding Dublin
against the Irish, reluctantly applied to the parliament for help, and Annesley was placed at the
head of a second commission to conclude the matter (CARTE'S Ormond, iii. 168, 305). By the 19th
all was settled, and Dublin handed over to the parliament. Annesley appears to have identified
himself with the parliamentary as opposed to the republican party, and, according to Heath's
Chronicle (p. 420), was one of the members secluded in 1648. This appears confirmed by his
letter to Lenthall printed in England's Confusion (note to p. 182 of vol. iv. of WOOD'S Athen).
His name, however, does not appear on the list in the parliamentary history taken from the
well-known Vindication. In Richard Cromwell's parliament of 1658 he sat for the city of Dublin,
and endeavoured, with some others of the secluded members, to gain admittance into the Rump
parliament when restored by the officers in 1659 (HEATH, p. 420). For the statement (Biog. Brit.)
that he was concerned in Booth's abortive rising there seems no authority; but he was certainly in
the confidence of the royalist party, though a professed friend to the presbyterians (REID, ii. 335),
for he held a blank commission from Charles II, with Grenville, Peyton, Mordaunt, and Legge, to
treat, on the basis of a free pardon, with any of his majesty's subjects who had borne arms against
his father except the regicides (COLLINS'S Peerage). In February 1660 he was chosen president of
the council of state. In the Convention parliament he sat for Carmarthen town (Parl. Hist. iv. 8).
On 1 May he reported from the council to parliament an unopened letter from the king to Monk,
and he was on the committee for preparing an answer to that sent direct to the house. On the same
day he took part in the conference with the lords on the settlement of the government of these
nations. On 1 June he was sworn of the privy council, and on 4 June was placed on the

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