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Berkeley, Sir John, 1607-

A proprietor of New Jersey; born in 1607; was in the military service of Charles I. when the King knighted him at Berwick on the Tweed. In the civil war that afterwards ensued, he bore a conspicuous part, and he remained in exile with the royal family many years. In 1653 Berkeley was placed at the head of the Duke of York's establishment; and two years before the Restoration (1660), of that of the Prince of Wales, who, when crowned king (Charles II.), raised Berkeley to the peerage as Baron Berkeley of Stratton, in the county of Somerset. On the Restoration he became one of the privy council, and late in 1699 he was appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland. He was then one of the proprietors of New Jersey, and was not above suspicion of engaging in the corrupt practice of selling offices. Samuel Pepys, who was secretary of the Admiralty (1664), speaks of him in his Diary as “the most hot, fiery man in his discourse, without any cause,” he ever saw. Lord Berkeley was appointed ambassador extraordinary to the Court of Versailles in 1675, and died Aug. 28, 1678. See Carteret, Sir George.

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