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Lenthall

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LENTHALL, William, English parlia mentarian: b. Henley-on-Thames, June 1591; d. Besselsleigh, 9 Nov. 1681. He was educated at Oxford, was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1616 and became a bencher in 1633. He was member of Parliament for Woodstock in the Short Parliament, April 1640, and was selected by Charles I to be speaker of the Long Parliament, beginning 3 Nov. 1640. He was a man of much pliancy of nature and was bitterly criticized as a time-server in the troubles of his day; but on the occasion of the appearance of Charles I in the House of Commons, 4 Jan. 1642, for the purpose of arresting five members, he won the gratitude of Parliament •by his dig nified refusal to disclose their whereabouts. He was shortly afterward granted the sum of 16,000 for expenses connected with "strict and long attendance" in the House. He was ap pointed master of the rolls 22 Nov. 1643 and was a commissioner of the great seal in 1646 48, having sided with Parliament at the out break of the rebellion, although he was prob ably at heart a royalist. He put the question

for the king's trial from the chair, in the belief, he afterward maintained, that the majority were in favor of clearing him. While he con fessed that much of his conduct was based upon personal cowardice he nevertheless had the courage to use his casting vote to save the lives of the Earl of Norwich, 8 March 1649, and Sir W. D'Avenant, 3 July 1650, bath royal ists. He was speaker of the first Parliament under Cromwell in 1654 and was member from Oxfordshire in 1656, and was again speaker of the Long Parliament 1659. He aided the resto ration of the Stuarts, but was not returned to the House of Commons and was deprived of his office of master of the rolls by the king. He was permitted to appear at court after tes tifying against the regicide, Thomas Scott.