Laurence Hyde, 1st Earl of Rochester(1641-1711), Politician; MP for several constituencies and writer
Sitter in 15 portraits
An influential statesman who served under Charles II, James II, William III and Queen Anne. The son of statesman Edward Hyde, he entered Parliament in 1660 and was Master of the Robes from 1662 to 1675. In 1679, he was made First Lord of the Treasury and a Privy Councillor. He later served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Hyde helped defeat Whig efforts (1678-81) to exclude from the succession the Catholic James, Duke of York (later King James II), whose first wife had been Hyde's sister Anne. In 1681, he negotiated a secret French subsidy that enabled Charles II to remain independent. Hyde was created a viscount in 1681 and an earl the following year.