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Sir Henry Vane the Younger

(1613-1662), Revolutionary

Sitter associated with 14 portraits

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Laurie Pettitt

03 March 2017, 18:24

This man was quite amazing but there was one thing that sullied his otherwise amazing reputation. We'll deal with that Later.
There are a number of American writers about Vane, particularly in relation to his dealings with Roger Williams. Vane became Governor of Massachusetts at the age of 26. The Church in Boston had, as many people do given freedom of conscience, closed its doors and its mind to new thinking. Vane left Massachusetts in tears.
The next thing Vane was involoved in, and it was a shabby involvement, was in the trial of Strafford (Thomas Wentworth). It can only be called Skulduggery. Old Wentworth recalled a conversation. Young Wentworth first claimed to know nothing about it and later claimed to have seen a written note of Strafford offering to use his Irish Army to reduce England. It was never so. In closed council, Strafford had suggested using the Irish Army to reduce the quarrelsome Scots. Vane told porkies. Worse still, the porkies were in retaliation for Strafford claiming the title of Baron of Raby for his son; a title that the Vanes had been after for years.
Vane almost redeemed himself in his efforts in Parliament and his amazing ability to supply Cromwell's army on the move. THen..... He was part of the Parliament who had attempted to undo the Instrument of State (2 houses and a ruler) and put themselves into power infefinitely, replacing members, not by votes, but by their own selection (A bit like New Labour). Vane, a strong Republican never dropped the 'Sir' in his title, which always struck me as a bit 'iffy'. Later he became involved with the Looney Tune 5th Monarchists, expecting to rule England until the Second Coming.
Although not a Regicide, Vane was thought too dangerous to live and his 'Death' speech so concerned the Powers that be that they drowned him out with trumpets.
Hard to sum him up. But.... At heart, like us all, a good man with flaws.

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