« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
On Tuesday, 30th January, 1648-9, it is ordered in the Commons House, • That the Post be stayed until to-morrow 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, Mayors 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 Scot, an honorable 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 : • Be it declared and enacted by this present Parliament, and by
* Commons Journals, vi., 126; $cobell's Acts and Ordinances (London, 1658, 1657), ii., 3.
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 FreeState,-by the Supreme Authority of this Nation the Representatives 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.'* _ 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 show 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 agot in this Marriage-treaty : but now it gathers life again ;-and, not to agi. tate 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. + Letter XXXVI., p. 247, | Noble, i., 188.
§ Harris, p. 504.
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 never did. 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 Southamp
London, 1st February, 1648. SIR,
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 very time.
* Harris, p. 504; one of the seventeen Letters found at Pusev.