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Vane
Published by EF041008 on 2008/10/25

Sir  Henry Vane was born in 1613.In 1631, his father found a position for him working with the Ambassador of England in the Court of Ferdinand II in Vienna. There he acquired diplomatic experience.

Having  been a Puritan since childhood, Vane went to North America in 1635 and became Governor of Massachusetts in 1636.He arrived at a time when great tensions erupted between the Pequot Indians
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Sir  Henry Vane was born in 1613, the son of Sir Henry Vane the Elder, Secretary of State of King Charles I of England. Born into privilege, he attended Westminster School, then Magdalen College, Oxford.

In 1631, his father found a position for him working with the Ambassador of England in the Court of Ferdinand II in Vienna. There he acquired diplomatic experience.

Having  been a Puritan since childhood, Vane went to North America in 1635 and became Governor of Massachusetts in 1636.



                            A Brief History of the Pequot war:              Pequot Plantation: The Story of an Early Colonial Settlement


He arrived at a time when great tensions erupted between the Pequot Indians, Great Sachem Sassacus whose father Tatobem had been killed by the Dutch, and the English who were allied with the Mohican and Narragansett Indians. One Englishman, a pirate by trade, had been killed.

Vane was unable to prevent war or the massacre that took place in the fortified village of Missitouc (Mystic), where several hundred people, including women and children were killed. In 1638, the Treaty of Hartford was signed, outlawing the Pequot Indians. Some managed to regroup outside of the area, forming in essence the first Indian Reservation.

During Vane’s term, Harvard University was created.

His support for
Anne Hutchinson and a long rivalry with John Winthrop led him to return to England in 1637. He received a noble title in 1640, and in the same year he married Frances Wray.

                           History of Connecticut: History of Connecticut, Pequot War, Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, Connecticut Colony, History of Connecticut industry, ... of the Connecticut Constitution, Ku Klux Klan         History of the Pequot War: The Contemporary Accounts of Mason, Underhill, Vincent, and Gardener

Vane participated in the 20-year siege of the Long Parliament, convened after Charles I revoked the Short Parliament while in the throws of grave strikes in the country. The Long Parliament was dominated by Puritans who insisted that it could not be dissolved except by its consent. It sentenced King’s advisor Count Strafford to death.

Vane was involved in the trial of Count Strafford when he authorized John Pym, leader of the Puritan Party, to use papers he had hidden in the office of his father, Vane the Elder. These papers proved the accusations against Strafford and sealed the inevitability of his death sentence in 1641.

Vane justified the betrayal to his father by claiming his reasons were purely patriotic. King Charles stripped both Vane and his father of their offices. The House of Commons voted to restore Vane the Younger to his functions in the Treasury of the Navy.

In 1642, civil war broke out between the knights, partisans of the King (including Anglicans, the high nobility and peasants), and the Parliamentary partisans or Roundheads (Puritans, lower status country nobility and the urban bourgeois class).

                                                          Mystic Fiasco How the Indians Won the Pequot War

The Roundheads gained the upper hand when Cromwell, country nobleman and head of the radical Puritans, reorganized the Parliament’s forces and managed to defeat Charles I, decapitating him in 1649.

Vane was valuable in raising the funds necessary to end the Civil War to the benefit of the Puritans.

In spite of  his opposition to regicide, he became quite active in the administration of the Commonwealth and he was elected to the Council of State in 1649.

In 1652, he was sent to Scotland to negotiate unification with England. He still maintained ties with Cromwell. He was named Lord Admiral, reorganizing the naval administration. In this role, it was determined that he was partly responsible for the victory when work broke out against the Dutch.

Upon the death of Cromwell and the institution of the restoration of the Monarchy, Vane was banished from London, then sentenced to death and decapitated on Tower Hill in 1662
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This article was written by Emmanuelle Falsanisi.

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