Sir Henry Bennet (January 30, 1618 – July 28, 1685) was a loyal supporter and member of Charles II’s Cabal ministry – so named after the initials of the five ministers who were in it (The Lord Clifford of Chudleigh, The Earl of Arlington, The Duke of Buckingham, The Lord Ashley, and The Duke of Lauderdale) who formed the council’s Committee for Foreign Affairs. It was this quintet, which had wrongly been thought to have met at Ham House, who worked against the interests of the country to the benefit of the monarch. Arlington’s rise to influence began much earlier. When the Civil War broke out he joined the Royalist cause and in 1650 followed the family into exile, an act for which he was later rewarded for with the Earldom of Arlington and land in Green Park and the Manor of Tottenham Court. His residence in London was Arlington House, which he constructed when his previous home Goring House burned down in 1674, this residence would be succeeded by Buckingham House which became Buckingham Palace. Even though his connections with Richmond might not be as established as once thought, he did lay claim to being a relative of Dorothy Bennett, daughter of Sir Henry Bennett, whose marriage to Sir Henry Capel laid the foundations for the gardens at Kew. For it was thanks to her husband (an obsessive gardener) that land she had inherited in the area were landscaped and new and exotic plants were nuitured.
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