HYDE, Hon. Edward, Visct. Cornbury (1661-1723).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Feb. 1701

Family and Education

b. 28 Nov. 1661, o.s. of Henry Hyde, 2nd Earl of Clarendon. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 1675; Académie Foubert, Paris 1676, Padua 1678. m. 10 July 1688, Catherine, suo jure Baroness Clifton of Leighton Bromswold (d. 11 Aug. 1706), da. and h. of Henry O’Brien, Lord Ibrackan, of Great Billing, Northants., 1s. d.v.p. 1da. suc. fa. as 3rd Earl of Clarendon 31 Oct. 1709.1

Offices Held

Lt.-col. R. Dgns. 1683, col. 1685-9.

Gent. of the horse to Prince George of Denmark 1683, master of the horse 1685-90; gov. New York and New Jersey 1701-8; PC 13 Dec. 1711; envoy extraordinary to Hanover May-Aug. 1714.2

J.p. Berks. 1680-?1701, Oxon. 1685-?1701; freeman, King’s Lynn 1687; commr. for assessment, Wilts. and Westminster 1689-90.3


Lord Cornbury became an army officer and a member of Prince George’s household in 1683. Two years later he was returned for Wiltshire as a court supporter, although Thomas Bruce complained that he had to empty his purse to bring in one of a family so unpopular in that county. An inactive Member of James II’s Parliament, he was appointed to the committee for a private bill promoted by the Duke of Ormonde, and added to the committee to bring in a bill for regulating hackney coaches. After active service at the battle of Sedgemoor, he was given command of his regiment. Several matches proposed for him fell through, owing to the embarrassed circumstances of the family, and he eloped, much to his father’s distress, with Lady Clifton, ‘a young woman oddly bred, no manner of advantage, and an unavoidable charge’. He ‘began the general defection’ from James in November 1688, although few of his men followed him. At a meeting of the gentry on 5 Dec. at Salisbury, then occupied by the invaders, his readoption for the county was agreed on, and he was returned to the Convention in the following month, though he was defeated at Reading. In the debate on the state of the nation on 28 Jan. 1689 he desired an explanation of the declaration that James had abdicated and left the throne vacant, and he was one of three Members to vote against it. According to Anthony Rowe he also voted to agree with the Lords on this question on 5 Feb. He was again inactive in Parliament, in which he was named to the committee of elections and privileges in both sessions and that to consider the first mutiny bill. He was deprived of his commission in July, and voted against the motion for the dismissal of Lord Halifax. After the recess he was appointed to the committee of inquiry into the miscarriages of the war. He demanded parliamentary confirmation of Princess Anne’s pension, and on 17 Dec. acted as teller against recommitting the bill to increase her income.4

Cornbury continued to sit in the Commons as a Tory until he became governor of New York, though he did not refuse the Association in 1696. He died ‘in obscurity and deep in debt’ on 31 Mar. 1723, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. His title was inherited by his cousin, the 2nd Earl of Rochester.

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Leonard Naylor


  • 1. CSP Dom. 1676-7, p. 304; Savile Corresp. (Cam. Soc. lxxi), 42.
  • 2. CSP Dom. July-Sept. 1683, p. 215; LS13/231/24.
  • 3. Lynn Freemen, 198.
  • 4. Ailesbury Mems. 99-100; HMC Stopford-Sackville, i. i8; Clarendon Corresp. ii. 180, 216, 283; Clarke, Fas. II, ii. 215; IHR Bull. xlix. 261; HMC 11th Rep. VII, 202; Foxcroft, Halifax, ii. 89; R. Morrice, Entering Bk. 3, p. 43.