Private Life of Thomas Wentworth

In 1629 November, Wentworth assumed the role of privy counselor. In 1632 in January, he became Ireland’s Lord Deputy (he came to Dublin in 1633 in July). Not long afterwards, he experienced the demise of his loving second wife Arabella, while giving birth.

In spite of mourning Arabella, in 1632 he experienced a third marriage with Elizabeth Rhodes which brought joy also. However, through a weird lack of decision, he failed to make a public declaration of it for nearly one year. By this time, destructive gossip regarding the availability of a youthful lady in his home (who was believed to be his mistress) had spread widely.

According to Wedgwood, it was normal for Wentworth to disregard the negative notion that acts such as these might present to the community. Afterwards, rumors linked his name with Eleanor Loftus, Lord Chancellor Loftus’ daughter in law. However, even though they had a great friendship and her demise in 1639 appears to have made him mourn, no proof exists that they were more than friends.

His Work

While in Ireland Wentworth was forced to handle individuals who embraced national unity. Among them were English colonists who had been presented at times. Some such as the ancient Norman settlers were Roman Catholics while the importations that happened later were reserved and retained their Protestantism.

Here, in his government, he demonstrated the most amazing skills as a ruler. Sir Thomas Roe wrote to Elizabeth (Bohemia); ‘Ireland’s lord deputy performs amazing feats and rules similar to a king. He has made the kingdom give us an illustration of coveting. This is through having parliaments and having informed knowledge on the way to use them.’

He transformed the administration and generally eliminated the inept English officials. He managed to do this by controlling the parliaments that gave him essential grants and protected their collaboration in numerous helpful legislative endorsements.

He began a new trade with Spain (victualling), encouraged creation of linen and motivated the formation of the country’s resources in a lot of directions.  Court of Castle Chamber, Star Chamber’s Irish equivalent was changed into a standard and effective section of the Irish government.

There was an increase of customs duties in 1633-34 from slightly more than £25,000 to £57,000 in 1637 -38. An army was set up by Wentworth, getting rid of piracy established in Church of Ireland and saved the property of the church.

His powerful government reduced the domination of the rich over the destitute. Still, these positive steps were all performed by arbitrary techniques that triggered hatred for them. Their objective was not for the Irish to become successful, but to assist the English exchequer. Wentworth concealed the trade in cloth, ‘in case it is used to discriminate against England’s main commodity.’

Castle Chamber, similar to its model Star Chamber was alleged to have carried out cruel and arbitrary procedures; personal instances of unjustness such as the ones of Robert Esmonde. He was the captain of a ship and cousin to Lord Esmonde (Lawrence Esmonde) who was charged with evading customs. Wentworth was accused of beating him, leading to his death.

Lord Mountnorris and Lord Chancellor Loftus were the last ones that Wentworth made to be condemned to death to get his office resignation and then set free.

Legislation guarantees like the allowances called ‘The Graces’ were not sustained.