Page images


COLONEL Norton, 'dear Dick,' was purged out by Pride ; lazy Dick and lazy Frank Russel were both purged out, or scared away, and are in the lists of the Excluded. Dick, we infer, is now somewhat estranged from Cromwell; probably both Dick and Frank : Frank returned ; Dick too, though in a fitful manner. And so, there being now no dear Norton' on the spot, the Lieutenant-General applies to Mr. Robinson, the pious Preacher at Southampton, of whom we transiently heard already; -a priest and counsellor, and acting as such, to all parties.


For my very loving Friend, Mr. Robinson, Preacher at

Southampton : These.

[ocr errors]


'London, 1st February, 1618. I thank you for your kind Letter. As to the business you mention, I desire to use this plainness with you.

When the last overture was, between me and Mr. Mayor, by the kindness of Colonel Norton,-after the meeting I had with Mr. Mayor at Farnham, I desired the Colonel (finding, as I thought, some scruples in Mr. Mayor), To know of him whether his mind was free to the thing or not. Col. Norton gave me this account, That Mr. Mayor, by reason of some matters as they then stood, was not very free thereunto. Whereupon I did acquiesce, submitting to the providence of God.

Upon your reviving of the business to me, and your Letter, I think fit to return you this answer, and to say in plainness of spirit to you: That, upon your testimony of the Gentlewoman's worth, and the common report of the piety of the Family, I shall be willing to entertain the renewing of the motion, upon such conditions as may be to mutual satisfaction. Only I think that a speedy resolution


will be very convenient to both parties. The Lord direct all to His glory. I desire your prayers therein; and rest,

Your very affectionate friend,



*February 1st,'—it is Thursday; the King was executed on Tuesday: Robinson at Southampton, I think, must have been writing at the


time. On Tuesday night last, a few hours after the King's Execution, Marquis Hamilton had escaped from Windsor, and been retaken in Southwark next morning, Wednesday morning. "Knocking at a door,' he was noticed by three troopers; who questioned him, detected him ;' and bringing him to the Parliament Authorities, made 401. a-piece by him. He will be tried speedily, by a new High Court of Justice; he and others.


To all Officers and Soldiers, and all Persons whom these

may concern.

WHEREAS John Stanley of Dalegarth, in the County of Cumberland, Esquire, hath subscribed to his Composition, and paid and secured his Fine, according to the direction of Parliament:

These are to require you to permit and suffer him and his servants quietly to pass into Dalegarth above-said, with their horses and swords, and to forbear to molest or trouble him or any of his Family there; without seizing or taking away any of his horses, or other goods or estate whatsoever; and to permit and suffer him or any of his Family, at any time, to pass to any place, about his or their oc

• Harris, p. 504 ; one of the seventeen Letters found at Pusey.
1 Cromwelliana, p. 51.

casions; without offering any injury to him or any of his Family, either at Dalegarth, or in his or their travels: As you will answer your contempt at your utmost perils. Given under my hand and seal this 2d of February, 1648.



[ocr errors]

Oliver's seal of 'six quarterings' is at the top. Of course only the seal and signature are specially his : but this one Pass may stand here as the sample of many that were then circulating,-emblem of a time of war, distress, uncertainty and danger, which then was.

The 2d of February is Friday. Yesterday, Thursday, there was question in the House of 'many Gentlemen from the Northern Counties, who do attend about Town to make their compositions,' and of what is to be done with them. The late business that ended in Preston Fight had made many new delinquents in those parts; whom now we see painfully with pale faces dancing attendance in Goldsmiths' Hall, - not to say knocking importunately at doors in the grey of the morning, in danger of their life ! Stanley of Dalegarth has happily got his composition finished, his Pass signed by the Lieutenant-General; and may go home, with subdued thankfulness, in a whole skin. Dalegarth Hall is still an estate or farm, in the southern extremity of Cumberland ; on the Esk river, in the Ravenglass district; not far from that small Lake which Tourists go to see under the name of Devock Water. Quiet life to Stanley there!


[ocr errors]

For my very worthy Friend, Richard Mayor, Esq.: These. Sir,

London,' 12th February, 1648. I RECEIVED some intimations formerly, and by the last return from Southampton a Letter from Mr. Robinson, concerning the reviving of the last year's motion touching my Son and your Daughter. Mr. Robinson was also pleased to send enclosed in his a Letter from you, bearing date the 5th of this instant February, wherein I find your willingness to entertain any good means for the completing of that business.

* Jefferson's History and Antiquities of Allerdale Ward, Cumberland (Carlisle, 1842), p. 284. p

Commons Journals, in die.

From whence I take encouragement to send my Son to wait upon you; and by him to let you know, That

my desires are, if Providence so dispose, very full and free to the thing, -if, upon an interview, there prove also a freedom in the young persons thereunto. What liberty you will give herein, I wholly submit to you.

I thought fit, in my Letter to Mr. Robinson, to mention somewhat of expedition ; because indeed I know not how soon I may be called into the field, or other occasions may remove me from hence; having for the present some liberty of stay in London. The Lord direct all to His glory.


I rest,

Your very humble servant,


Thomas Scott is big with the Council of State at present; he produces it in the House tomorrow morning, 13th February; and the List of actual Councillors, as we said, is voted the next day.

There is also frequent debate about Ireland' in these days, and what is to be done for relief of it: the Marquis of Ormond, furnished with a commission from the Prince, who now calls himself Charles II., reappeared there last year; has, with endless patience and difficulty, patched up some kind of alliance with the Papists, Nuncio Papists and Papists of the Pale; and so far as numbers go, looks very

formidable. One does not know how may be called into the field. However, there will several things turn up to be settled first.

* Harris, p. 505; one of the Pusey seventeen.'

Cromwelliana, 14 February, &c.


soon one


On the Saturday 17th February, 1648-9, more properly on Monday 19th, the Council of State first met, to constitute itself and begin despatch of business. Cromwell seems to have been their first President. At first it had been decided that they should have no constant President; but after a time, the inconveniences of such a method were seen into, and Bradshaw was appointed to the office.

The Minute-book of this Council of State, written in the clear old hand of Walter Frost, still lies complete in the State-Paper Office; as do the whole Records of the Committee of Both Kingdoms, of the Committee of Sequestrations in Goldsmiths' Hall, and

many other Committees and officialities of the Period. By the long labour of Mr. Lemon, these waste Documents, now gathered into volumes, classed, indexed, methodised, have become singularly accessible. Well read, the thousandth or perhaps tenthousandth part of them well excerpted, and the nine hundred and ninety-nine parts well forgotten, much light for what is really English History might still be gathered there. Alas, if the 30,0001. wasted in mere stupidities upon the old-parchment Record Commission, had been expended upon wise labours here! -But to our Order.'

Sir Oliver Fleming, a most gaseous but indisputable historical Figure, of uncertain genesis, uncertain habitat, glides through the old Books as · Master of the Ceremonies,' — master of one knows not well what. In the end of 1643 he clearly is nominated Master of the Ceremonies' by Parliament itself ;2 and glides out and in ever after, presiding over 'Dutch Ambassadors,' Swedish Ambassadors' and such like, to the very end of the Protectorate. A Blessed Restoration, of course, relieved him from his labours. He, for the present, wants to see some Books in the late Royal Library of St. James's. This scrap of paper still lies in the British Museum.

[ocr errors]

Commons Journals, vi. 146.
? 2 November, 1643, Commons Journals, iii. 299.

« PreviousContinue »