This book offers the first major reassessment of the life and work of Sir Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington, for over a century. Arlington was one of Charles II’s chief ministers and the book charts his early years through to the careers of his descendants, examining his political development as a courtier, diplomat, linguist and politician. Authored by a series of experts in the field, the book not only shines a light on his career, but also on Charles II’s reign as a whole, on the Cavalier court and on Restoration politics. Arlington was a significant player in international politics and this is reflected in the collection’s treatment of his time abroad in the 1650s, his central role as an advisor and ambassador, and his influence in Ireland.

chapter 1|13 pages


Henry Bennet, Earl of Arlington, and his World: Court, Politics and Diplomacy in the Restoration
ByRobin Eagles, Coleman A. Dennehy

chapter 2|17 pages

‘The Inkhorn Lord’?

Locating Arlington’s Connections
ByRobin Eagles

chapter 3|21 pages

Pretending to Be Catholic?

Sir Henry Bennet, the Alliance with Spain and Stuart Dalliance with Rome, 1656–62
ByAlistair Malcolm

chapter 4|17 pages

The Earl of Arlington and Restoration Ireland 1

ByColeman A. Dennehy

chapter 5|19 pages

Catholicism and Anti-Catholicism in Arlington’s World

Polemic, Persuasion and the Conversion of Anne Hyde, Duchess of York*
ByJacqueline Rose

chapter 6|25 pages

‘Faisons meieux’

Henry Bennet, Earl of Arlington and His Political Tactics
ByAlan Marshall

chapter 7|16 pages

Arlington and Access

ByBrian Weiser

chapter 8|15 pages

‘So That my Estate May Continue in the Name and Blood of the Bennets for Ever’

The Bennet Brothers and the Perpetuation of the Bennet Family
ByCharles Littleton

chapter 9|19 pages

Naturally Born Courtiers

The FitzRoy Dukes of Grafton, 1685–1757
ByReider Payne