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sorrowful confusion in every fibre, is tearing itself into "hostile halves, to carry on the voting by pike and bullet henceforth.
Brevity is very urgent on us, nevertheless we must give this other extract. Bramston the Shipmoney Judge, in trouble with the Parliament and sequestered from his place, is now likely to get into trouble with the King, whc in the last days of July has ordered him to come to York on business of importance. Judge Bramston sends his two sons, John and Frank; fresh young men, to negotiate some excuse. They ride to York in three days; stay a day at York with his Majesty; then return, 'on the same horses,' in three days,—to Skreens in Essex; which was good riding. John, one of them, has left a most watery incoherent Autobiography, now printed, but not edited, nor worth editing, except by fire to ninety-nine hundredths of it; very distracting; in which, however, there is this notable sentence; date about the middle of August, not discoverable to a day. Having been at York, and riding back on the same horses in three days:
'In our return on Sunday, near Huntingdon, between that and Cambridge, certain musketeers start out of the corn, and command us to stand; telling us we must be searched, and to that end must go before Mr. Cromwell, and give account from whence we came and whither we were going. I asked, Where Mr. CromwelF was? A soldier told us, He was four miles off. I said, It was unreasonable to carry us out of our way; if Mr. Cromwell had been there, I should have willingly given him all the satisfaction he could desire ;—and putting my hand into my pocket, I gave one of them Twelve-pence, who said we might pass. By this I saw plainly it would not be possible for my Father to get to the King with his coach ;'*—neither did he go at all, but stayed at home till he died.
September 14th. Here is a new phasis of the business. In a List of the Army under the command of the 'Earl of Essex,'f we find that Robert Earl of Essex is ' Lord General for King and Parliament' (to deliver the poor beloved King from traitors, who
* Autobiography of Sir John Bramston, Knight (Camden Society, 1845), p. 86.
t King's Pamphlets, small 4lo, no. 73.
have misled him, and cloaded his fine understanding, and rendered him as it were a beloved Parent fallen insane); that Robert Earl of Essex, we say, is Lord General for King and Parliament; that William the new Earl of Bedford is General of the Horse, and has, or is every hour getting to have, ' seventy-five troops of 60 men each ;' in every troop a Captain, a Lieutenant, a Cornet and Quartermaster, whose names are all given. In Troop Sixty-seven, the Captain is 'Oliver Cromwell,'—honorable member for Cambridge; many honorable members having now taken arms; Mr. Hampden, for example, having become Colonel Hampden,— busy drilling his men in Chalgrove Field at this very time. But moreover, in Troop Eight of Earl Bedford's Horse, we find another 'Oliver Cromwell, Cornet;'—and with real thankfulness for this poor flint-spark in the great darkness, recognize him for our honorable member's Son. His eldest Son Oliver,* now a stout young man of twenty. "Thou too, Boy Oliver, thou art fit to swing a sword. If there ever was a battle worth fighting, and to be called God's battle, it is this; thou too wilt cbme!" How a staid, most pacific, solid Farmer of three-and-forty decides on girding himself with warlike iron, and fighting, he and his, against principalities and powers, let readers who have formed any notion of this man conceive for themselves.
On Sunday, 23d October, was Edgehill Battle, called also Keinton Fight, near Keinton on the south edge of Warwickshire. In which Battle Captain Cromwell was present, and did his duty, let angry Denzil say what he will.f The Fight was indecisive; victory claimed by both sides. Captain Cromwell > told Cousin Hampden, They never would get on with a set of poor tapsters and town apprentice-people fighting against men of honor. To cope with men of honor they must have men of religion. 'Mr. Hampden answered me, It was a good notion, if it could be executed.' Oliver himself set about executing a bit of it, his share of it, by and by.
'We all thought one battle would decide it,' says Richard Baxter;%—and we were all much mistaken! This winter there
* See 67.
- t Vicars, p. 198; Denzil Holles's Memoirs (in Mazeres's Tracts, vol. i.). X Life (London, 1696), Part i., p. 43.
arise among certain Counties 'Associations' for mutual defence, against Royalism and plunderous Rupertism ; a measure cherished by the Parliament, condemned as treasonable by the King. Of which 'Associations,' countable to the number of five or six, we name only one, that of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridge, Herts; with Lord Gray of Wark for Commander; where, and under whom, Oliver was now serving. This ' Eastern Association' is alone worth naming. All the other Associations, no man of emphasis being in the midst of them, fell in few months to pieces; only this of Cromwell's subsisted, enlarged itself, grew 'famous;—and indeed kept its own borders clear of invasion during the whole course of the War. Oliver, in the beginning of 1643, is serving there, under the Lord Gray of Wark. Besides his military duties, Oliver, as natural, was nominated of the Committee for Cambridgeshire in this Association; he is also of the Committee for Huntingdonshire, which as yet belongs to another 'Association.' Member for the Committee of Huntingdonshire; to whifch also has been nominated a ' Robert Barnard, Esquire,'*— who, however, does not sit, as I have reason to surmise!
* Husbands, i., 892; see for the other particulars, ii., 183, 327, 804, 809: Commons Journals, &c.
TnE reader recollects Mr. Robert Barnard, how, in 1630, he gol a Commission of the Peace for Huntingdon, along with ' Dr. Beard and Mr. Oliver Cromwell,' to be fellow justices there. Probablv they never sat much together, as Oliver went to St. Ives soon I after, and the two men were of opposite politics, which in those I times meant opposite religions. But here in twelve years space is a change of many things!
To my assured friend, Robert Barnard, Esquire: Present these.
• Huntingdon,' 23d January, 1642.
It's most true my Lieutenant, with some other soldiers of my troop, were at your House. I dealt'so' freely ' as to inquire after you; the reason was, I had heard you reported active against the proceedings of Parliament, and for those that disturb the • peace of this Country and the Kingdom,—with those of this Country who have had meetings not a few, to intents and purposes too too full of suspect.*
It's true, Sir, I know you have been wary in your carriages: be not too confident thereof. Subtilty may deceive you; integrity never will. With my heart I shall desire that your judgment may alter, and your practice. I come only to hinder men from increasing the rent,—from doing hurt; but not to hurt any man: nor shall I you; I hope you will give me no cause. If you do, I must be pardoned what my relation to the Public calls for.
-If your good parts be disposed that way, know me for your servant,
Be assured fair words from me shall neither deceive you of your houses nor your liberty.t
* Country is equivalent to county or region; too-too, in those days, means little more than too; suspect is suspectability, almost as proper as our modern suspicion.
t Original, in the possession of Lord Gosford at Worlingham, in Suffolk
My Copy, two Copies, of this Letter I owe to kind friends, who have carefully transcribed it from the Original at Lord Gosford's. The present Lady Gosford is ' grand-daughter of Sir Robert Barnard,' to whose lineal ancestor the Letter is addressed. The date of time is given; there never was any rlate or address of place,— which probably means that it was writti n in Huntingdon and addressed to Huntingdon, where Robert Barnard, who became Recorder of the place, is known to have resided. Oliver, in the month of January, 1642-3, is present in the Fen-country, and all over the Eastern Association, with his troop or troops; looking after disaffected perSbns; ready to disperse royalist assemblages, to seize royalist plate, to keep down disturbance, and care in every way that the Parliament Cause suffer no damage. A Lieutenant and party have gone to take some survey of Robert Barnard, Esquire; Robert Barnard, standing on the right of injured innocence, innocent till he be proved guilty, protests • Oliver responds as here, in a very characteristic way.
It was precisely in these weeks, that Oliver from Captain became Colonel: Colonel of a regiment of horse, raised on his own principles so far as might be, in that ' Eastern Association:' and' is henceforth known in the Newspapers as Colonel Cromwell. Whether on this 23d of January, he was still Captain, or had ceased to be so, no extant accessible record apprises us. On the 2d March, 1642-3,I have found him named as 'Col. Cromwell,'* and hitherto not earlier. He is getting ' men of religion' to serve in this cause,—or at least would fain get such if he might.
* Cromwelliana, p. 2.