Sunday, November 29, 2009
AS SEEN IN:
"The Tragedy of John Milton (August 13, 1660)"
'You Are There'
AS PLAYED BY:
Sir Charles Sedley, 5th Baronet (March 1639 – 20 August 1701), was an English wit, dramatist and politician, ending his career as Speaker of the House of Commons.
Sedley died at Hampstead on 20 August 1701 and was buried at Southfleet Church on the 26th.
Sedley is famous as a patron of literature in the Restoration period, and was the Francophile Lisideius of Dryden's "Essay of Dramatic Poesy". However, it was above all Sedley's wit that his contemporaries admired him for.
Sedley is also occasionally associated with a notorious gang of unbridled revellers who called themselves Ballers and who were active between 1660 and 1670. It was probably Sedley who wrote the "Ballers' Oath" on behalf of them.
Sedley's parliamentary career started in the 1660s but around 1677/78 he joined the Whig cause. When Charles II died in 1685, Sedley was illegally excluded from the parliament of his successor James II, which convened on May 1685. There can be no doubt that Sedley opposed the Catholic James and supported William of Orange in the crucial year of 1688. It was in the second Pariament of William, elected in March 1690, that Sedley was returned, his political career reaching its zenith through his becoming Speaker of the Commons. More speeches and parliamentary motions followed in 1690, including discussions on the Bill for regulating trials for High Treason, which sheds light on Sedley's political commitment after the Revolution. Sedley's speeches were included in the 1702 edition of "The Miscellaneous Works". Sedley kept his seat in Parliament until his death in 1701.