He was born in Ware Park, Hertfordshire, and educated at Jesus College, Cambridge. He travelled on the Continent, and when the English Civil War broke out sided with the King and was sent to Spain to obtain money for the cause. He acted as Latin Secretary to Charles II, when in Holland. He was a royalist in the English Civil War, and was captured at the Battle of Worcester.
After the Restoration he held various appointments, and was Ambassador to Portugal and then to Spain successively. He served as Member of Parliament for Cambridge University from 1661 until his death in Madrid.
He translated Giovanni Battista Guarini's Pastor Fido, Selected Parts of Horace, and The Lusiad of Camoens, the first English translation of the latter work (circulated from 1655 or earlier).
His wife, nee Anne Harrison, wrote memoirs of her own life.
Let us use it while we may
Snatch those joys that haste away!
Earth her winter coat may cast,
And renew her beauty past:
Spring, the year's youth, fair mother of new flowers,
New leaves, new loves, drawn by the winged hours,
Thou art return'd; - but the felicity