Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Godolphin, Sidney, Earl (1645-1712), an English statesman, was born near Helstone, Cornwall. He early became a favourite of Charles II., and entered Parliament in 1668. Ten years later he was entrusted with a diplomatic mission in Holland, and in 1679 begun his connection with the Treasury. From this time forward he became one of the most influential ministers, and, though be voted for the exclusion of the Duke of York from the throne, he became Secretary of State in 1684, and when James came to the throne was only transferred from the Treasury to the Household. He was one of the last adherents of James II., but was, notwithstanding, made a Commissioner of the Treasury by William III. In spite of his known intrigues with the deposed king, he remained at the head of the Treasury from 1690 to 1696; and he was reappointed in 1700, though he was almost certainly known to have been involved in .Sir John Fenwick's plot. He was appointed Lord High Treasurer by Queen Anne, and held that office for the first eight years of her reign, during which his management of the finances was of inestimable service to Marlborough, whose daughter had married his son. He had no fixed political principles, but was invaluable as an official who was not only able but, so far as is known, also incorruptible. Circumstances caused him and Marlborough to rely upon the support of the Whigs, and during the years 1708-10 the ministry was composed for the first time of one party in the state. Godolphin ranks as one of England's ablest financiers, but cannot be considered to have been a statesman of the first rank. A life of him by the Hon. Hugh Elliot, in which some incidents in his career are very leniently.judged, appeared in 1888.