Sir Charles Sedley (1639-1701)

HE was extremely active in effecting the Revolution, which was thought the more extraordinary, as he had received favours from King James II. That Prince, it seems, had fallen in love with a daughter of Sir Charles's, who was not very handsome; for James was remarkable for dedicating his affections to women who were not great beauties; in consequence of his intrigue with her, and in order to give her greater lustre in life, he created Miss Sedley Countess of Dorchester. This honour, so far from pleasing, greatly shocked Sir Charles. However libertine himself had been, yet he could not bear the thoughts of his daughter's dishonour; and with regard to this her exaltation, he only considered it as rendering her more conspicuously infamous. He therefore conceived a hatred to James, and readily joined to dispossess him of his throne and dominions.

Being asked one day, why he appeared so warm against the King, who had created his daughter a Countess, `It is from a principle of gratitude I am so warm,' returns Sir Charles; `for since his Majesty has made my daughter a Countess, it is fit I should do all I can to make his daughter a Queen.'

From Cibber, Lives, iii. 97-8.

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