William Temple

Tags: Political & Legal, Authors & Artists.
William Temple
Hover your mouse over to magnify
An oval shoulder-length portrait contained within a decorative border depicting the well-known seventeenth century statesman and author William Temple. After the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 he became an MP in Ireland and was made Baronet in 1666 (his arms are displayed under the portrait, complete with the “bloody hand of Ulster”). He was sent on diplomatic missions to Brussels, the Hague and France, becoming a key figure in Charles II’s court. However, his views were not always favoured by the Stuart establishment. In 1679, seeking peace with the Dutch, he succeeded in arranging the marriage of Charles II’s niece, Mary, to William of Orange, thus paving the way for William of Orange’s invasion of 1688, and James II’s final flight. He remained loyal to the house of Stuart until the last, more by his inactions than anything else, until he quietly assumed his place under the new regime in 1688. He died in 1699, and is buried in Westminster Abbey and under a sundial in Moor Park (his English seat). (DNB)