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Lord Strafford Thomas Wentworth

(1593—1641) lord lieutenant of Ireland


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(1593–1641)

English statesman. A Member of Parliament from 1614, he entered the service of Charles I in 1628. Although he had previously opposed royal policies, he was a believer in firm government and accepted preferment in order to uphold the king's power. Thenceforth, as Lord President of the Council of the North (1628) and Lord Deputy of Ireland (1633), he was the principal exponent of the policy of “Thorough”, putting the royal will into effect with the utmost authority. His autocratic style made him extremely unpopular, and most of his achievements in the north and Ireland turned out to be temporary. On the outbreak of the Bishops' Wars he was recalled by Charles to England. Now at the centre of affairs for the first time, he could not avert the approaching English Civil War. He was created Earl of Strafford in January 1640, but impeached for treason in the same year. Opposition members of the Long Parliament claimed that Strafford was about to impose a Catholic dictatorship on England and he was executed under Act of Attainder.


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