Page images

wards brought into collision with the will It was in vain that the loyal pursuers of this doughty little Pope: and to him came to New Haven, after the little genethe regicides owed it, that they finally died ral had thus got his forces prepared for the in America.

contest. Wellington, with the forest of The government at home seems really to Soignies behind him, at Waterloo, was not have been in earnest in the matter, and a half so confident of wearing out Napoleon, royal command was not long in reaching as Davenport was of beating back King Endicott, requiring him to do all in his Charles the Second, in his presumptuous power for the arrest of the runaways. He attempt to govern his Puritan colonies. seems to have been scared into something Accordingly, when the pursuers waited on like obedience, and two zealous young roy-Governor Leete, they found his conscience alists offering their services as pursuers, he peculiarly tender to the fact, that they were was obliged to despatch them to New Ha- not provided with the original of his Maven. So vigorously did these young men jesty's command, which he felt it his duty prosecute their errand, that but for the to see, before he could move in the busibustling fanaticism of Davenport, they ness. He finally yielded so far, however, would certainly have redeemed the honor as to direct a warrant to certain catchpoles, of the colonies, and given their lordships at requiring them to take the runaways, acWestminster Hall the trouble of two more companying it, as it would seem,

with state trials. For its own sake, no one, in- assurances of affectionate condolence, deed, can be sorry that such was not the should they happen to let the criminals, result. But when one thinks how many when captured, effect a violent escape. A curious details of history would have trans- preconcerted farce was enacted, to satisfy pired on the trials of such prominent rebels, the forms of law, the bailiffs seizing the it seems a pity that they could not have regicides a mile or two from town, as they been made serviceable in this way, and were making for East Rock; and they very then set with Prynne, to do penance among sturdily defending themselves, till the offithe old parchments in the Tower.

cers had received bruises enough, to excuse The governor of the New Haven colony, their return without them. But after this one Leete, lived a few miles out of the pleasant little exercise, the regicides had town, but not far enough off to be out of an escape of a more really fortunate chathe control of Davenport, whose spiritual racter, and quite in the style of King Charles drill had got him in good order for the ex- Second's Boscobel adventures. For while pected encounter. That painstaking pas- cooling themselves under a bridge, they distor had, moreover, felt it his duty to give covered the young Bostonians galloping that no uncertain blast of preparation on his way, and had only time to lie close, when Sabbath-day trumpet, and had sounded a smart quadrupedal hexameter was thunforth his deep concern for the souls com- dered over their heads, as they lay peering mitted to his care, should they, by any up through the chinks of the bridge at their temptation of the devil, be led to think it furious pursuers. No doubt the classic ear scriptural to obey the king and magistrate, of Goffe, the Oxford Master of Arts, was instead of him, their conscience-keeper and singularly refreshed with the delightful dogmatist. With a skill in the application prosody, which the retiring horse-hoofs of holy writ, peculiar to the Hugh Peters' still drummed on the dusty plain; but school of divinity, he had laboriously they seem to have been so seriously alarmpounded his cushion, in some thirty ored by their escape, that if they ever smiled forty illustrations of the following text from again, they certainly had little cause for the prophet Isaiah : “ Hide the outcasts, their good' humor ; for that very day they bewray not him that wandereth. Let mine took to the woods, and entered upon a long outcasts dwell with thee, Moab! be thou a and wretched life of perpetual apprehencovert to them from the face of the spoiler."'* sion, from which death, in any shape, After this exposition, there was of course would have been, to better men, a comno dispute as to duty. The Pope is a de-fortable relief. They immediately directed ceiver, and Catholic Councils are lies; but their course towards West Rock, where, when was a Puritan preacher ever doubted, with an old hatchet which they found in by his followers, to be an oracle from the forest, they built themselves a booth heaven?

in a spot which is still called, from the cir

cumstance, “ Hatchet-Harbor." Here they *Isaiah xv.., 3.

I became acquainted with one Sperry, the

[ocr errors]

woodman who finally fitted up the cave, it is remarkable how timid they had become, and introduced them to their life in the and how long they supported their patient rock.

mousing in the dark. Nothing seems to have It seems that on stormy days, and some-inspired them with confidence after this. times for mere change of air, the poor Trog- The pursuers returned to Boston, and made lodytes would come down the mountain, an indignant report of the contempt with and stay a while with the woodman at his which his Majesty's authority had been house. They had lived about a month in treated at New Haven ; all which had no their cave, when such an excursion to the other effect than to give color to a formal woodman's had nearly cost them their declaration of the united colonies of New liberty. The pursuers, meantime, had ac- England, that an ineffectualthough thorough complished a wild-goose chase to New York, search had been made. On this the hue and had returned, after more perils and and cry was suffered to stop ; but the regitroubles than the regicides were worth. cides still kept close, and shunned the light Somehow or other, they got scent of their of day. Who would have believed that the game this time, and actually came upon lusty Goffe and Whalley, whose fierce files of them at Sperry's before they had any no- musqueteers seemed once their very shadow, tice of their approach. Fortune favoring could have subsided into such decorous subthem, however, they escaped by a back-jects, as to live for three lustres in the heart door, and got up to their nest, without giv- of a village, so quietly, that, save their ing a glimpse of themselves to the pursuers, feeder, not a soul ever saw or heard of or even leaving any trace of their visit to them. Yet so it proved ; for so much do favor a suspicion that they had recently circumstances make the difference between been in Sperry's protection. But Leete, the anchorite and the revolutionist, and so who had received at last the original war- possible is it for the same character to be rant, and thus was relieved of his scruples, very noisy and very still. seems to have been so alarmed about this After two months more in the cave, they time, that he sent word to the fugitives probably found it time to go into winter that they must hold themselves ready to quarters, and accordingly shifted to a vilsurrender, if it should prove requisite for lage a little westward of New Haven, where his own safety and that of the town. To one Tompkins received them into his cellar. the credit of the poor men, on receiving There they managed to survive two years, this notice, they came out of their cave like during which their only recreation seems to brave fellows, and went over to their cow- have been, the sorry one of hearing a maid ardly protector, offering to give themselves abuse them, as she sang an old royalist balup immediately.

lad over their heads. Even this was some Here the redoubtable Davenport again relief to the monotony of their life in the interfered, and though all the colony began cellar, and they would often get their to be of another opinion, he fairly drubbed attendant to set it agoing. The girl, dethe prudent Leete into a postponement of lighted to find her voice in request, and the time of surrender, and Goffe and little dreaming what an audience she had Whalley were accordingly respited for a in the pit, would accordingly strike up with week, during which they lived in painful great effect, and fugue away on the names suspense, in the cellar of a neighboring of Goffe and Whalley, and their fellow warehouse, supplied with food from the Roundheads, like another Wildrake. Pergovernor's table, but never admitted to his haps the worthies in the cellar consoled presence. Meantime, the bustling pastor themselves with recalling the palmy days, preached and exhorted, and stirred up all when the same song, trolled out on the the important settlers to take his part night air from some royalist pothouse, had against the timorous counsels of the gover- been their excuse for.displaying their viginor, and finally succeeded in preventing the lant police, and putting under arrest any surrender altogether; and the fugitives number of drunken malignants. went back to their cave, never again to show If they had any additional consolation, themselves openly before men, though their it seems to have been derived from an endays were prolonged through half another thusiastic interpretation of Holy Writ, in lifetime.

which, after the manner of their religion, It seems incredible that there was any they saw their own peculiar history very real call for such singular caution, under minutely foreshadowed. They had heard the loose reign of Charles the Second : yet of the sad end of Hugh Peters, and his con

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

federates, which they were persuaded was | classed according to their fate, with some the slaying of the two witnesses, predicted touching evidences of the melancholy huin the Apocalypse ; * and they now looked mor in which the records had been set in sure and certain hope for the year 1666, down. It is a table of sixty-nine as great which they presumed would be marked by rogues, or as deluded fanatics, as have left some great revolution, probably on account their names on the page of English history; of its containing “the number of the but there they stand on Goffe's list, a doleBeasts."| But after two years in this cel- ful registry indeed, lar, there arrived in Boston certain royal

“Some slain in war, commissioners, in fear of whom they again Some haunted by the ghosts they had deposed;" retreated to their cave, and stayed there two months, till the wild beasts drove them but all noted by the wanderer as his friends, away. About the same time, an Indian “ faithful and just to him.” Twenty-six getting sight of their tracks, and finding are marked as certainly dead; others, as their cave with a bed in it, made such an condemned and in the Tower; some as fuado about this discovery, that they were gitives, and some, as quietly surviving obliged to abandon New Haven for ever. It their ruin and disgrace. How dark must is probable that Davenport now counselled have been the past and the future alike to men their removal, and provided their retreat; whose histories were told in such chronicles; for one Russell, the pastor of Hadley, a but thus timorously from their “ loop-hole backwood settlement in Massachusetts, en- retreat,” did they look out on the Great gaged to receive and lodge them; and Babel; and saw their cherished year of thither they went by star-light marches, a the Beasts go by, and still no change; and distance of one hundred miles, through then consoled themselves with hoping there forests, where, if “there is a pleasure in was some slight error in the vulgar computhe pathless woods," they probably found tation; and so hoped on against hope, and it the only one in their journey. Rogues kept in secret their awful memories, and as they were, who can help pitying them, perchance with occasional misgivings of thus skulking along by night through an judgment to come, pondered them in their American wilderness, in terror of a king, hearts. three thousand miles away, who all the At Hadley they had one remarkable while was revelling with his harlots, and visitor, from whom they probably learned showing as little regard for the memory of much gloomy gossip about things at home. his father, as any regicide could desire ? In 1665, John Dixwell joined them, having

At Hadley, pastor Russell received them made his escape to the colonies with astointo his kitchen, and then into a closet, nishing secresy. He seems to have been a from which, by a trap-door, they were let venturous fellow, who was far from willing down into the cellar—there to live long to spend his days in a cellar, and accordyears, and there to die, and there-one of ingly he soon left them to their own comthem--to be buried, for a time. While pany, and went, nobody knows where ; but dwelling in this cellar, poor Goffe kept a it is certain that in 1672, he appeared in record of his daily life ; and it is much to New Haven as Mr. James Davids, took a be regretted that this curious journal wife, and settled down with every sign of perished at Boston, in the succeeding cen-determination to die in his bed. The first tury, during the riots about the Stamp Act, Mrs. Davids dying without issue, we find in which several houses were burned him, a few years after, married again, beScraps of it still exist, however, in copies; getting children, and supporting the repuand enough is known of it, to prove that tation of a grave citizen, who kept rather the exiles were kept in constant information shy of his neighbors, and was fond of long of the progress of events in England ; that prosy talks with his minister—the successor Goffe corresponded with his wife, address- of Davenport, who seems to have rested ing her as his mother, and signing himself from his labors. I wonder if those talks Walter Goldsmith; and that pastor Russell were so prosy? The good wife of the house was supplied with remittances for their sup- supposed Mr. Davids and her husband enport. One leaf of the diary which, fortu- gaged in edifying conclave upon the five nately, was copied, is a mournful catalogue points of Calvinism : but who does not of the regicides, and their accomplices, all envy that drowsy New England pastor the

stories he heard of the great events of the • Rev. xi., 8. + Rev. xiii., 18. Rebellion, from the lips of one who had


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

himself been an actor therein! How often ing-house, around which sentinels were he filled his pipe, and puffed his pleasure, kept on patrol. The house of the pastor or laid it down at a more earnest moment, was only a few rods distant; and probably, to hear the stirring anecdotes of Oliver ; through the miserable panes that let in all how he looked ; how he spoke and com- the sun-light of their cellar, Goffe watched manded! What unwritten histories the the invasion of the Indians, and all the pastor must have learned of Strafford, - horrors of the fight, till the fires of Dunbar of Laud, -of Pym pouncing on his quarry, began to burn again in his old veins, and -of how the narrator felt, when he sat as overcoming his usual caution, sent him a regicide judge, --and of that right royal forth to his last achievement in this world, face which he had confronted without re- and perhaps his best. Of a sudden, as the lenting, with all its combined expressions, settlers were giving up all for lost, and of resignation and resolution, of kingly about to submit to a general massacre, a dignity and Christian submission. strange apparition was seen among them, ex

Time went on, and the Hadley regicides horting them to rally in the name of God. wasted away in their cellar, while Dixwell An old man, with long white locks, and of thus flourished like a bay-tree in green old unusual attire, led the last assault with the

A letter from Goffe, to his “mother most daring bravery. Not doubting that Goldsmith,” written in August, 1674, of it was an angel of God, they followed up which a copy is preserved, shows that years his blows, and in a short time repulsed the had been doing their work on the once bold savages; but their deliverer was gone. and stalwart Whalley. “ Your old friend No clue or trace could be found of his Mr. R.,” he says, using the feigned initial, coming or going. He was to them as “ is yet living, but continues in that weak Melchisedeck, “ without beginning of life, condition. He is scarce capable of any or end of days ;” and their confirmed surational discourse (his understanding, me- perstition that the Lord had sent his angel mory, and speech, doth so much fail him), in answer to their prayers, though quite in and seems not to take much notice of any accordance with their enthusiasm, was thing

:: and it's a great mercy to doubtless not a little encouraged by the him, that he hath a friend that takes plea- wily pastor himself, as an innocent means sure in being helpful to him. ... for of preventing troublesome inquiries. In though my help be but poor and weak, yet many parts of New England, it was long that ancient servant of Christ could not regarded as a miracle, and the final diswell subsist without it. The Lord help us closure of the secret has spoiled the mysto profit by all, and to wait with patience tery of a genuine old wives' tale. upon him, till we shall see what end he will About three years after this, Whalley make with us."

gave his soul to God, and was temporarily Boys grew to men, and little girls mar- buried in the cellar, where he had lived a riageable women, while they thus dwelt in death-in-life of fourteen years. Russell was the cellar; and the people of Hadley now in a great fright, and with good reason, passed in and out of their pastor's door, for a new crown officer was at work in New doubled and trebled in number around his England, with a zealous determination to house, and not a soul dreamed that such bring all offenders to justice, and if not the inhabitants lived amongst them. This re- offenders themselves, then somebody instead markable privacy accounts for the histori- of them. Edward Randolph, who has left cal fact, given as a story in “Peveril of a Judge Jeffreys' reputation in America to the Peak." * It occurred during the war this day, was a Jehu for the government, of King Philip, in 1675, the year follow- and his feelings towards the regicides are ing the date of Goffe's letter, and when well touched off by Southey, in the words Whalley must have been far gone in his de- put into his mouth in “ Oliver Newcline, so that he could not have been the man :". hero, as is so dramatically asserted, by

"Fifteen years, Bridgenorth to Julian Peveril. It was a They have hid among them the iwo regicides, fast day among the settlers, who were im- Shifting from den to cover, as we found ploring God for deliverance from an ex- I shall unkennel them, and from their holes

Where the scent lay. But, earth them as they will, pected attack of the savages; and they Drag them to light and justice.” were all assembled in their rude little meet* Holmes's American Annals, in Ann. Also

Alarmed by the energetic measures of such Notes to "Oliver Newman."

a man, Goffe, who was now released from

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

his personal attentions to his friend, ap-tion which he received of Mr. Davids and pears to have departed from Hadley for a his interesting family. It was well that they time; while Russell gave currency to a re- could answer so unaffectedly, for Andross port, that when last seen, he was on his way was ready to pick a quarrel with them, contowards Virginia. It was soon added, that ceiving himself to have received a great he had been actually recognised in New affront at the religious exercise which he York, in a farmer's attire, selling cabbages ; had honored with his presence. It seems but he probably went no further than New the clerk had felt it his duty to select a psalm Haven, where he would naturally visit Dix- not incapable of a double application, and well, and so returned to Hadley, whence which accordingly had hit Sir Edmund in a his last letter bear3 date, 1679, and where tender part, by singing “to the praise and he undoubtedly died the following year. glory of God" the somewhat insinuating

How the two bodies ever got to New Ha- staveven has long been the puzzle. It seems "Why dost thou, tyrant, boast abroad, that Russell buried Goffe at first in a grave

Thy wicked works to praise." dug partly on his own premises, and partly After this, though for forty years the righton those adjoining, intending by this strata- cous blood of a murdered king had been crygem to justify himself, should he ever be ing against him, Dixwell's boar hairs were forced to deny that the bones were in his suffered to come to the grave in a peace he garden. But, in the years 1680 and 1684, had denied to others, in 1688. Meantime, Randolph's fury being at its height, he that king had lain in his cerements at Windprobably dug up the remains of both the sor, taken away from the evil to come,regicides, and sent them to New Haven, and undisturbed alike by the malice that where they were interred secretly by Dix- pursued his name, and the far more griewell and the common gravedigger of the vous contempt that fell on his martyrplace. Some suppose, indeed, that they memory from the conduct of his two sons, were not removed till the sad results of the false as they were to his honor, recreant to Duke of Monmouth's rebellion had put the his pure example, and apostate to the holy colonists in terror of the inexorable Jeffreys. faith for which he died. Such sons had at The fate of Lady Alicia Lisle,-herself the last accomplished for the house of Stuart widow of a regicide,—who had suffered for that ruin which other enemies had, in vain, concealing two of the Duke's followers, may endeavored ; and two weeks after James very naturally have alarmed the prudent Davids was laid in his grave, came news Russell, and led him to remove all traces of which was alınost enough to wake him from his share in harboring Goffe and Whalley. the dead. “ The glorious Revolution,” as His friendship for two “unjust judges” it is called, was a" crowning mercy" to the seems to have led him to dread the acquaint-colonies; and the friends of the late regiance of a third. As for Dixwell, he lived cide now boldly produced his will, and subon in New Haven, maintaining the character mitted it to probate. It devised to his of Mr. James Davids with great respectabi- heirs a considerable estate in England, and lity, and so quietly, that Randolph seems described his own style and title as “John never to have suspected that a third regi- Dixwell, alias James Davids, of the Priory cide was hiding in America. He had one of Folkestone, in the county of Kent, Esnarrow escape, nevertheless, from another quire." zealous partisan of the crown, quite as After my visit to the West Rock, I went lynx-eyed, and even more notorious in in the early twilight to the graves of the American' history. In 1685, Sir Edmund three regicides. I found them in the rear Andross paid a visit to New Haven, and was of one of the meeting-houses, in the square, present at the public worship of the inha- very near together, and scarcely noticeable bitants, when James Davids did not fail to in the grass. They are each marked by be in his usual place, nor by his dignity of rough blocks of stone, having one face a person and demeanor to attract the special little smoothed, and rudely lettered. Dixnotice of Sir Edmund, who probably began well's tomb-stone is far better than the to think he had got scent of Goffe himself. others, and bears the fullest and most legiAfter the solemnities were over, he made ble inscription. It is possibly a little more very particular inquiries as to the remarka- than two feet high, of a red sand-stone, ble-looking worshipper, but suffered himself quite thick and heavy, and reads thus :to be diverted from more searching mea-" 1. D., Esq., deceased March yo 18th, in sures, by the natural and unstudied descrip-1 ye 82d year of his age, 1688-9.” To make

« PreviousContinue »