m. in or shortly after 1641
Facts and Events
'Thomas Wriothesley, 4th Earl of Southampton, KG ( 'REYE-əths-lee; 10 March 1607 – 16 May 1667), styled Lord Wriothesley before 1624, was a 17th-century English statesman, a staunch supporter of Charles II who would rise to the position of Lord High Treasurer after the English Restoration. His term as treasurer began concurrently with the assumption of power by the Clarendon Ministry, but his death would precede Lord Clarendon's impeachment from the House of Commons, after which the Cabal Ministry took over government.
Lord Southampton, having acceded to the earldom in 1624, attended St. John's College, Cambridge. At first, he sided with the Parliament supporters upon the subjects leading to the English Civil War, but upon his realisation of their leaders' violence, he became a loyal supporter of Charles I. While remaining very loyal to the deposed monarch, he still vied for peace, representing the king at several peace conferences (as Encyclopædia Britannica notes, he attended at least two conferences: one in 1643, and one at Uxbridge in 1645). He was allowed to live within England, having paid the Commonwealth over £6000.
Several months after the Restoration, Lord Southampton was appointed Lord High Treasurer (8 September 1660), a position in which he would serve until his death. As the Encyclopædia Britannica notes, Lord Southampton "was remarkable for his freedom from any taint of corruption and for his efforts in the interests of economy and financial order," a noble if not completely objective view of his work as the keeper of the nation's finances. Samuel Pepys admired Southampton's integrity and the stoicism with which he endured his painful last illness, but clearly had doubts about his competence as Treasurer; in particular he graphically described the Council meeting in April 1665 where Southampton helplessly asked him where he was to find the funds requested: "Why, what means all this, Mr. Pepys? This is true, you say, but what would you have me do? I have given all I can for my life. Why will not people lend their money?"