Edward Hyde & family

Various members of Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon's family are buried with him in a vault in the north ambulatory, near the steps up to Henry VII's chapel in Westminster Abbey. A gravestone recording the names was first inserted in 1867 and it has been re-cut. The inscriptions read:

Here lie buried Edward Hyde First Earl of Clarendon 4th January 1674/5.
Anne, relict [widow] of Sir Thomas Aylesbury, Bart. and mother of the first Countess 1661.
Mary, relict of Henry Hyde and mother of the first Earl 28th December 1661.
Frances, his second wife 17th August 1667.
Henry Hyde, Second Earl of Clarendon 4th November 1709.
Edward Hyde, Third Earl of Clarendon 5th April 1723.
Jane, relict of Henry Hyde, fourth Earl of Clarendon 1 June 1725.
and four of the children of the fourth E.of Clarendon, Edward 17th November 1702, Laurence 27th May 1704, Anne 2nd November 1709, Henrietta 5th July 1710.

The dates given are those of the burials.

Anne, Lady Aylesbury has no date of burial given in the register but her entry occurs between 22nd March and 29th April 1661. She was the youngest daughter of Francis Denman, rector of West Retford in Nottinghamshire, and his wife Anne (Blount). Her elder sister Barbara married Edward Darell and Anne's first husband was William Darell, probably a brother or half brother of Barbara's husband.

Her second husband Sir Thomas was a son of William Aylesbury and his wife Anne (Poole). He was a Queen's Scholar at Westminster School and later had a house in Dean's Yard (no.18 which was re-built in the 19th century) in the Abbey precincts. He was a learned mathematician, secretary to two Lord High Admirals, one of the Masters of Requests and Master of the Mint. After the death of Charles I he fled to the continent and died in Breda in 1657. Their children were William (baptised in 1612 at St Margaret's Lothbury in London who died in Jamaica in 1657 being secretary to the island's Governor), Thomas (probably died young), Frances (see Edward's entry below), Anne (baptised at St Margaret's and married there in 1637 to John Brigham), Jane (probably died young) and Barbara ( baptised in 1627 and died unmarried in Antwerp in 1652).

Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, was born on 18th February 1609, a child of Henry Hyde and his wife Mary (Langford). The Hyde family of Wiltshire were mostly lawyers by profession. He was educated at Magdalen Hall Oxford and also studied law. On 4th February 1632 he married Anne Ayliffe but she died a few months later. He married secondly at St Margaret's Westminster on 10th July 1634 Frances Aylesbury and had children Henry, Laurence, Anne and Edward. Frances had been baptised in that church on 25th August 1617. He served in Parliament and was present at the battle of Edgehill, being a Royalist during the English Civil War. He was knighted in 1643 and made Chancellor of the Exchequer. During the Civil War he spent time on the island of Jersey and wrote several works including his History of the Rebellion while on the continent. At the restoration of King Charles II he was made Earl of Clarendon in 1661 but was later impeached and banished, ending his days in exile in Rouen in France where he died on 9th December 1674.

His eldest daughter Anne Duchess of York was born on 22nd March 1638 and married James, Duke of York at Breda in 1659 and again in England in 1660. She died at St James's Palace on 31st March 1671 before her husband acceded to the throne as James II. She was buried in the royal vault in the south aisle of Henry VII's chapel, not far from where her daughters, Queen Mary II and Queen Anne, were also later buried. (Her name is inscribed on the vaultstone between the monuments of the Countess of Lennox and Mary Queen of Scots in the south aisle "Anne Hyde first wife of King James 2nd and ten of his infant children 1671")

His son Henry, 2nd Earl of Clarendon, was born on 2nd June 1638 and baptised at St Margaret's Westminster and married twice. He was a Member of Parliament, private secretary and treasurer to the Queen consort, Lord Privy Seal and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Flower Backhouse was his second wife. His death was due to asthma.

Edward, 3rd Earl of Clarendon, was the only son of Henry and his first wife Theodosia, daughter of Lord Capel. He was born in December 1661 and as Viscount Cornbury was governor of New York from 1702-1708. He had a very bad reputation and "his character and conduct were equally abhorred in both hemispheres". He secretly married Catherine O'Brien in 1688 and died in obscurity and debt. His only surviving son Edward was baptised in 1691 and as Lord Clifton took his seat in the House of Lords but died of a fever after a drinking bout and was buried on 20th February 1713, unmarried.

His daughter Theodosia married John Bligh, later Earl of Darnley, in the Abbey on 24th August 1713 and both were buried in the vault, he in 1728 and she, as Baroness Clifton of Leighton Bromswold, in 1722.

Jane, daughter of Sir William Leveson-Gower, married Henry 4th Earl of Clarendon in 1692 and on his death, aged 81, on 10th December 1753 the title became extinct. Although Henry's name does not occur in the Abbey burial register it was probable that he was buried in the vault.

Other family members

Not mentioned on the gravestone but buried in the Clarendon vault are:

Laurence Hyde, second son of Edward, who died in 1711 and Lady Henrietta Boyle his wife, died 1687. He was a Member of Parliament, Master of the Robes, Ambassador to Poland, chancellor to Queen Mary of Modena and First Lord of the Treasury among other posts. In 1682 he was created Earl of Rochester and was a Knight of the Garter.  His son Henry was also an M.P. and he had four daughters - Catherine died 1737 and is in the vault but Henrietta, Countess of Dalkeith was buried in the Ormond vault at the east end of Henry VII's chapel in 1730.

Edward Hyde, third son of the 1st Earl, was buried on 13th January 1665 having died aged 19 while a student at Oxford.

Henry Lord Hyde, third son of the 4th Earl of Clarendon and 2nd Earl of Rochester, who was buried on 12th June 1753 married Frances daughter of the Earl of Lichfield. He died from a fall from his horse in Paris. Lady Charlotte Hyde, daughter of  the 4th Earl died unmarried and was buried on 24th March 1740.

Further Reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004 for Edward (1st Earl of Clarendon), Henry (2nd Earl of Clarendon), Henry (Lord Hyde), Jane, Laurence and Edward (3rd Earl of Clarendon)

History of Parliament Online


9th December 1674


Politician; historian; diplomat


North Ambulatory

Memorial Type


Edward Hyde & family
Hyde family grave

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