Silius Titus

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Silius Titus (1623–1704), of Bushey, was an English politician, Captain of Deal Castle, and Groom of the Bedchamber to King Charles II. Colonel Titus was an organiser in the attempted escape of King Charles I from Carisbrooke Castle. [1]

Bushey town in Hertfordshire, England, UK

Bushey is a town in the Hertsmere borough of Hertfordshire in the East of England. It has a population of 24,000. Bushey Heath is a large neighbourhood south east of Bushey on the boundary with the London Borough of Harrow reaching elevations of 165 metres (541 ft) above sea level.

Charles II of England King of England, Ireland and Scotland

Charles II was king of England, Scotland and Ireland. He was king of Scotland from 1649 until his deposition in 1651, and king of England, Scotland and Ireland from the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 until his death.

Charles I of England 17th-century monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland

Charles I was the monarch over the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649.

Contents

Early life

He was born in London, the son of Silas Titus, a salter and Constatia (Constance) Colley. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, where he matriculated in 1638, and the Middle Temple.

Christ Church, Oxford constituent college of the University of Oxford in England

Christ Church is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. Christ Church is a joint foundation of the college and the Cathedral of the Oxford diocese, which serves as the college chapel and whose dean is ex officio the college head.

Killing No Murder

Photo of the French edition of Killing No Murder KillingNoMurder1.jpg
Photo of the French edition of Killing No Murder

Titus began his political aspirations by writing a pamphlet titled Killing No Murder in 1657 during The Protectorate period of the English Interregnum era of English history. The pamphlet advocated the assassination of Oliver Cromwell. Due to the danger involved in writing such a politically charged opinion against the Protector, Killing No Murder was published under the pseudonym 'William Allen'.

<i>Killing No Murder</i>

Killing No Murder is a pamphlet published in 1657 during The Protectorate period of the English Interregnum era of English history. The pamphlet of disputed authorship advocates the assassination of Oliver Cromwell. The publication was in high demand at the time of its distribution. Cromwell was said to have been so disturbed after the publication of Killing No Murder that he never spent more than two nights in the same place and always took extreme precaution in planning his travel.

The Protectorate Period during the Commonwealth under the rule of the Lord Protector

The Protectorate was the period during the Commonwealth when England and Wales, Ireland and Scotland were governed by a Lord Protector as a republic. The Protectorate began in 1653 when, following the dissolution of the Rump Parliament and then Barebone's Parliament, Oliver Cromwell was appointed Lord Protector of the Commonwealth under the terms of the Instrument of Government. In 1659 the Protectorate Parliament was dissolved by the Committee of Safety as Richard Cromwell, who had succeeded his father as Lord Protector, was unable to keep control of the Parliament and the Army. This marked the end of the Protectorate and the start of a second period of rule by the Rump Parliament as the legislature and the Council of State as the executive.

An interregnum is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organization, or social order. Archetypally, it was the period of time between the reign of one monarch and the next, and the concepts of interregnum and regency therefore overlap. Historically, the longer and heavier interregna were typically accompanied by widespread unrest, civil and succession wars between warlords, and power vacuums filled by foreign invasions or the emergence of a new power. A failed state is usually in interregnum.

Cromwell was said to have been so disturbed after the publication of Killing No Murder that he never spent more than two nights in the same place and always took extreme precaution in planning his travel.

Titus's authorship of this pamphlet has been disputed in some circles; it has also been attributed to Edward Sexby, [2] or a man by the real name of William Allen. These attributions are usually unfounded as King Charles II awarded Titus the title of Groom of the Bedchamber for his service in authoring the work.

Colonel Edward Sexby or Saxby was an English Puritan soldier and Leveller in the army of Oliver Cromwell. Later he turned against Cromwell and plotted his assassination.

Political life

Silius Titus first took up arms for the Parliament. Although he was a strong Presbyterian Titus became an ardent Royalist devoted to Charles I and King Charles II. [3]

Cavalier royalist supporter during and following the English Civil War

The term Cavalier was first used by Roundheads as a term of abuse for the wealthier Royalist supporters of King Charles I and his son Charles II of England during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration. It was later adopted by the Royalists themselves. Although it referred originally to political and social attitudes and behaviour, of which clothing was a very small part, it has subsequently become strongly identified with the fashionable clothing of the court at the time. Prince Rupert, commander of much of Charles I's cavalry, is often considered to be an archetypal Cavalier.

He became a member of parliament, successively representing Ludgershall (1660), Lostwithiel (1670–1678), Hertfordshire (1678–1679), Huntingdonshire (1679–1685) and Ludlow (1691–1695).

Ludgershall was a parliamentary borough in Wiltshire, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1295 until 1832, when the borough was abolished by the Great Reform Act.

Lostwithiel was a rotten borough in Cornwall which returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons in the English and later British Parliament from 1304 to 1832, when it was abolished by the Great Reform Act.

Hertfordshire was a county constituency covering the county of Hertfordshire in England. It returned two Knights of the Shire to the House of Commons of England until 1707, then to the House of Commons of Great Britain until 1800, and to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1800 until 1832. The Reform Act 1832 gave the county a third seat with effect from the 1832 general election.

Though not eloquent, he would often illustrate his speeches with a humor that rendered them effective. For instance, when it was complained that Titus made sport of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, he retorted that "things were not necessarily serious because they were dull". Once again, when Charles II offered to impose limitations on a Roman Catholic Church sovereign rather than exclude his brother from the throne, Titus likened such a plan to "having a lion in the lobby and then voting to secure ourselves by letting him in and chaining him, rather than by keeping him out".

Titus also served King James II but later transferred his allegiance to William III. During his life he held a number of royal appointments: Keeper of Deal Castle (1661–1669), Colonel of the Cinque Ports Militia (1661–1669), Commissioner for Assessment for Middlesex (1661–1663), for Kent (1664–1669), for Leicestershire (1673–1679), for Hertfordshire (1673–1680), and for Huntingdonshire (1677–1680), assistant, Royal Adventurers into Africa (1663), assistant, Royal Fishing Company (1664), captain of a company in the Admiral's Regiment (1666), Privy Councillor (1688), Commissioner for Trade and Plantations (1688–1674), Conservator of the Bedford Level (1679-death), deputy-lieutenant of Hertfordshire (1680–1681, 1687–1689, 1701-death) and Commissioner for Inquiry into Recusancy Fines (1687).

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in January 1669. [4]

When he died in 1704, Titus was buried at Bushey. [5] He had married c. 1645 Katherine, daughter of James Winstanley, Counsellor-at-law, of Gray's Inn and Braunstone, Leicestershire.

Mentioned in Samuel Pepys' Diary

Captain Titus was mentioned in the diary kept by Samuel Pepys on two occasions. The following excerpts come from the entries of those days.

"Very great deal of company come today, among others Mr. Bellasses, Sir Thomas Lenthropp, Sir Henry Chichley, Colonel Philip Honiwood, and Captain Titus, the last of whom my Lord showed all our cabins, and I suppose he is to take notice what room there will be for the King's entertainment." [6]

"This day with great joy Captain Titus told us the particulars of the French's expedition against Gigery upon the Barbary Coast, in the Straights, with 6,000 chosen men. They have taken the Fort of Gigery, wherein were five men and three guns, which makes the whole story of the King of France's policy and power to be laughed at." [7]

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References

  1. George Hillier. Narrative of the Attempted Escapes of Charles the First from Carisbrook Castle. Harrison & Son. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  2. Wikisource-logo.svg Tedder, Henry Richard (1911). "Pamphlets"  . In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica . 20 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 660.
  3. Robert Clutterbuck, History of Hertford ; Kingston, Civil War in Hertford; Hillier, King Charles in the I. of W.
  4. "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
  5. Parishes – Bushey | British History Online
  6. Monday 7 May 1660 (Pepys' Diary)
  7. Tuesday 11 October 1664 (Pepys' Diary)
Parliament of England
Preceded by
William Prynne
William Thomas
Member for Ludgershall
1660–1660
With: William Thomas
Succeeded by
William Ashburnham
Geoffrey Palmer
Preceded by
Charles Smythe
John Bulteel
Member for Lostwithiel
1670–1678
With: Charles Smythe
Succeeded by
Sir John Carew
Walter Kendall
Preceded by
Sir Richard Franklin
William Hale
Member for Hertfordshire
1679–1679
With: William Hale
Succeeded by
Sir Jonathan Keate
Sir Charles Caesar
Preceded by
Ralph Montagu
Ralph Apreece
Member for Huntingdonshire
1679–1685
With: Sir Thomas Proby, Bt
Succeeded by
Sir John Cotton
Sir Lionel Walden
Preceded by
Thomas Hanmer
William Gower
Member for Ludlow
1691–1695
With: Francis LLoyd
Succeeded by
Thomas Newport
Charles Baldwyn