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To my loving friend, Mr. Willingham, at his House in Swithin's Lane .
• London, February, 1640."*
I desire you to send me the Reasons of the Scots to enforce their desire of Uniformity in Religion, expressed in their 8th Article; I mean that which I had before of you. I would peruse it against we fall upon that Debate, which will be speedily. Yours,
There is a great quantity of intricate investigation requisite to date this small undated Note, and make it entirely transparent ! The Scotch Treaty, begun at Ripon, is going on,-never ended: the agitation about abolishing Bishops had just begun, in the House and out of it.
On Friday, 11th December, 1640, the Londoners present their celebrated • Petition, signed by 15,000 hands, craving to have Bishops and their Ceremonies radically reformed.
Then on Saturday, 23d January, 1640–), comes the still more celebrated Petition and Remonstrance from 700 Ministers of the Church of England, 'I to the like effect; upon which Documents, especially upon the latter, ensue strenuous debatings ;8 ensues a Committee of Twenty-four;' a Bill to abolish Superstition and
Idolatry; and, in a week or two, a Bill to take away the ( Bishops? Votes in Parliament: Bills recommended by the said
Committee. A diligent Committee, which heard much evidence,
The words within single commas, here as always in the Text of Cromwell's Letters, are mine, not his : the date in this instance is conjectural or inferential. † Harris, p. 517.
Commons Journals, ii., 72. § Commons Journals, ii., 81; 8 and 9 of February. See Baillie's Letters, i., 302; and Rushworth, iv. 93 and 174.
and theological debating, from Dr. Burgess and others. Their Bishops-Bill, not without hot arguing, passed through the Commons; was rejected by the Lords ;-took effect, however, in a much heavier shape, within year and day. Young Sir Ralph Varney, son of Edmund the Standard-bearer, has preserved very careful Notes of the theological revelations and profound arguments, heard in this Committee from Dr. Burgess and others; intensely interesting at that time to all ingenuous young gentlemen; a mere torpor now to all persons.
In fact, the whole world, as we perceive, in this Spring of 1641, is getting on fire with episcopal, anti-episcopal emotion; and the Scotch Commissioners, with their Desire of Uniformity, are naturally the centre of the latter. Bishop Hall, Smectymnuus, and one Mr. Milton' near St. Bride's Church,' are all getting their Pamphlets ready.-The assiduous contemporary individual who collected the huge stock of Loose Printing now known as King's Pamphlets in the British Museum, usually writes the date on the title-page of each ; but has, with a curious infelicity, omitted it in the case of Milton's Pamphlets, which accordingly remain undatable except approximately.
The exact copy of the Scotch Demands towards a Treaty I have not yet met with, though doubtless it is in print amid the unsorted Rubbish-Mountains of the British Museum. Notices of it are to be seen in Baillie, also in Rushworth.* The first Seven Articles relate to secularities; payment of damages; punishment of incendiaries, and so forth; the Seventh is the recalling' of the King's Proclamations against the Scots : 'the Eighth, anent a solid peace betwixt the Nations,' involves this matter of Uniformity in Religion, and therefore is of weightier moment. Baillie says, “For the Eighth great Demand some days were spent in preparation.' The Lords would have made no difficulty about dismantling Berwick and Carlisle, or such like, but they found that the whole matter was to involve the permanent relations of England, therefore they delayed ; 'we expect it this very day,' says Baillie (28th February, 1640–1). Oliver Cromwell also expects it this very day, or speedily,'—and therefore writes to Mr. Willingham for a sight of the documents again.
* Baillie, i., 297 et antea et postea ; Rushworth, iv., 166.
Whoever wishes to trace the emergence, re-emergence, slow ambiguous progress, and dim issue of this Eighth Article,' may consult the opaque but authentic Commons Journals, and strive to elucidate the same by poor old brown Pamphlets, in the places cited below.* It was not finally voted in the affirmative till the middle of May ; and then still it was far from being ended. It ended, properly, in the Summoning of a Westminster Assembly of Divines,' To ascertain for us how the two Nations' may
best attain to · Uniformity of Religion.'
This · Mr. Willingham my loving friend,' of whom I have found no other vestige anywhere in Nature, is presumably a London Puritan concerned in the London Petition and other such matters, to whom the Member for Cambridge, a man of known zeal, good connexion, and growing weight, is worth convincing.
Oliver St. John the Shipmoney Lawyer, now member for Totness, has lately been made Solicitor-General; on the 2d of February, 1640–1, D'Ewes says of him, 'newly created ;'t a date worth attending to. Strafford's Trial is coming on; to begin on the 22d of March ; Strafford and Laud are safe in the Tower long since; Finch and Windebank, and other Delinquents in high places, have fled rapidly beyond seas.
* Commons Journals, ii., 84, 85; Diurnal Occurrences in Parliament (Printed for William Cooke, London, 1641,-often erroneous as to the day), 10 February, 7 March, 15 May.
Sir Simond D'Ewes's Notes of the Long Parliament (Harleian MSS., nos. 162–6), fol. 189 a; p. 156 of Transcript penes me.
IN THE LONG PARLIAMENT.
That little Note, despatched by a servant to Swithin's Lane in the Spring of 1641, and still saved by capricious destiny while so much else has been destroyed, -is all of Autographic that Oliver Cromwell has left us concerning his proceedings in the first threeand-twenty months of the Long Parliament. Months distinguished, beyond most others in History, by anxieties and endeavors, by hope and fear and swift vicissitude, to all England as well as him: distinguished on his part by much Parliamentary activity withal ; of which, unknown hitherto in History, but still capable of being known, let us wait some other opportunity of speaking. Two vague appearances of his in that scene, which are already known to most readers, we will set in their right date and place, making them faintly visible at last ; and therewith leave this part of the subject.
In D’Ewes's Manuscript above cited* are these words, relating to Monday, 9th November, 1640, the sixth day of the Long Par. liament: “Mr. Cromwell delivered the Petition of John Lilburn,'young Lilburn, who had once been Prynne's amanuensis, among other things, and whose whipping with 200 stripes from Westminster to the Fleet Prison,' had already rendered him conspicuous. This is the record of D’Ewes. To which let us now annex the following well-known passage of Sir Philip Warwick; and if the reader fancy the Speeches on the former Saturday,t and how the 6 · whole of this Monday was spent in hearing grievances of the like sort, some dim image of a strange old scene may perhaps rise upon
him. • The first time I ever took notice of Mr. Cromwell,' says Warwick, was in the very beginning of the Parliament held in November, 1640; when I,' Member for Radnor, 'vainly, thought myself a courtly young gentleman,—for we courtiers valued our. selves much upon our good clothes ! I came into the House one morning' Monday morning, 'well clad; and perceived a gentle. man speaking, whom I knew not,—very ordinarily apparelled ; for it was a plain cloth suit, which seemed to have been made by an ill country-tailor; his linen was plain, and not very clean; and I remember a speck or two of blood upon his little band, which was not much larger than his collar. His hat was without a hatband. His stature was of a good size ; his sword stuck close to his side : his countenance swoln and reddish, his voice sharp and untuneable, and his eloquence full of fervor. For the subject matter would not bear much of reason ; it being on behalf of a servant of Mr. Prynne's who had dispersed Libels; '-yes, Libels, and had come to Palaceyard for it, as we saw : ‘I sincerely profess, it lessened much my reverence unto that Great Council, for this gentleman was very much hearkened unto,'*—which was strange, seeing he had no gold lace to his coat, nor frills to his band; and otherwise, to me in my poor featherhead, seemed a some. what unhandy gentleman !
* D'Ewes, fol. 4.
† Rushworth, iv., 24, &c.
The reader may take what of these Warwick traits he can along with him, and omit what he cannot take; for though Warwick's veracity is undoubted, his memory after many years, in such an element as his had been, may be questioned. The 'band,' we may remind our readers, is a linen tippet, properly the shirtcollar of those days, which, when the hair was worn long, needed to fold itself with a good expanse of washable linen over the upper. works of the coat, and defend these and their velvets from harm. The specks of blood,' if not fabulous, we, not without general sympathy, attribute to bad razors: as for the 'hatband, one remarks that men did not speak with their hats on; and therefore will, with Sir Philip's leave, omit that. The untuneable voice,' or what a poor young gentleman in such circumstances would consider as such, is very significant to us.
Here is the other vague appearance; from Clarendon's Life.t *He,' Mr. Hyde, afterwards Lord Clarendon, 'was often heard to mention one private Committee, in which he was put accidentally into the chair; upon an Enclosure which had been made of great
Warwick, p. 247.
+ i. 78 (Oxford, 1761).