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LETTERS LXXXI. XC.
On Tuesday, 30th January, 1648-9, it is ordered in the Commons House, “That the Post be stayed until tomorrow morning, ten of the clock :' and the same afternoon, the King's Execution having now taken place, Edward Dendy, Sergeant at Arms, with due trumpeters, pursuivants and horse-troops, notifies, loud as he can blow, at Cheapside and elsewhere, openly to all men, That whosoever shall proclaim a new King, Charles Second or another, without authority of Parliament, in this Nation of England, shall be a Traitor and suffer death. For which service, on the morrow, each trumpeter receives'ten shillings' of the public money, and Sergeant Dendy himself-shall see what he will receive. And all Sheriffs, ayors of Towns and such like are to do the same in their respective localities, that the fact be known to every one.
After which follow, in Parliament and out of it, such debatings, committee-ings, consultings towards a Settlement of this Nation, as the reader can in a dim way sufficiently fancy for himself on considering the two following facts.
First, That on February 13th, Major Thomas Scott, an honourable Member whom we shall afterwards know better, brings in his Report or Ordinance for a CounciL OF STATE, to be henceforth the Executive among us; which Council, to the number of Forty-one Persons, is thereupon nominated by Parliament; and begins its Sessions at Derby House on the 17th. Bradshaw, Fairfax, Cromwell, Whitlocke, Harry Marten, Ludlow, Vane the Younger, and others whom we know, are of this Council.
Second, That, after much adjustment and new-modelling, new Great Seals, new Judges, Sergeants-maces, there comes out, on May 19th, an emphatic Act, brief as Sparta, in these words :
Commons Journals, vi. 126 ; Scobell's Acts and Ordinances (London, 1658, 1657), ii. 3.
• Be it declared and enacted by this present Parliament, and by ' the authority of the same: That the People of England, and of • all the dominions and territories thereunto belonging, are and shall be, and are hereby constituted, made, established and 'confirmed to be, A Commonwealth or Free-State ; and shall ' from henceforth be governed as a Commonwealth and Free
State, — by the Supreme Authority of this Nation the Represen* tatives of the People in Parliament, and by such as they shall
appoint and constitute officers and ministers under them for *the good of the People ; and that without any King or House
of Lords.'1— What modelling and consulting has been needed in the interim the reader shall conceive.
Strangely enough, among which great national transactions the following small family-matters again turn up; asserting that they too had right to happen in this world, and keep memory of themselves, -and shew how a Lieutenant-General's mind, busy pulling down Idolatrous Kingships, and setting up Religious Commonwealths, has withal an idle eldest Son to marry !
There occurred a stick, as we saw some time ago, in this Marriage-treaty: but now it gathers life again ;-and, not to agitate the reader's sympathies overmuch, we will say at once that it took effect this time; that Richard Cromwell was actually wedded to Dorothy Mayor, at Hursley, on Mayday 1649;' and, one point fairly settled at last !—But now mark farther how Anne, second daughter of the House of Hursley, came to be married not long after to 'John Dunch of Pusey in Berkshire ;' which Dunch of Pusey had a turn for collecting Letters. How Dunch, groping about Hursley in subsequent years, found ‘Seventeen Letters of Cromwell, and collected them, and laid them up at Pusey; how, after a century or so, Horace Walpole, likewise a collector of Letters, got his eye upon them; transcribed them, imparted them to dull Harris. From whom, accordingly, here they still are and continue. This present fascicle of Ten is drawn principally from the Pusey stock; the remainder will introduce themselves in due course.
Scobell, ii. 30; Commons Journals, 19 May. 2 Letter L. vol. i. p. 329. 3 Noble, i. 188.
4 Harris, p. 504.