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LETTER V.

The address of this Letter is lost; but the label of the address remains, from which it can be with certainty enough restored. Unhappily the date too is missing, which can only be restored by probable conjecture. We are in the Eastern Association still, and indeed for above a year to come.

'To my assured friend, Thomas Knyvett, Esquire, at his House of Ash. weltihorpe: These.'

'January, 1042, Norfolk.'

Sir,

1 cannot pretend any interest in you for anything I have done, nor ask any favor for any service I may do you. But because lam conscious to myself of a readiness to serve any gentleman in all possible civilities, I am bold to be beforehand with you to ask your favor on behalf of your honest poor neighbors of Hapten, who, as I am informed, are in some trouble, and are likely to be put to more, by one Robert Browne your Tenant, who, not well pleased with the way of these men, seeks their disquiet all he may.

Truly nothing moves me to desire this, more than the pity I bear them in respect of their honesties, and the trouble I hear they are likely to suffer for their consciences, and humor as the world interprets it. I am not ashamed to solicit for such as are anywhere under pressure of this kind; doing even as I would be done by. Sir, this is a quarrelsome age; and the anger seems to me to be the worse, where the ground is difference of opinion;—which to cure, to hurt men in their houses, persons or estates, will not be found an apt remedy. Sir, it w^ll not repent you to protect those poor men of Hapten from injury and oppression: which that you would is the effect of this Letter. Sir, you will not want the grateful acknowledgment, nor utmost endeavors of requital from

Your most humble servant,
Oliver Cromwell.*

* Letter once in the possession of Lord Berners, at Didlington in Norfolk; copied by or for Mr. Dawson Turner of Yarmouth, and by him com

Kny vett was the ancestor of Lord Berners. 'The Kny vetts or Knivetts of Ashwellthorpe are an old family of large property in Norfolk ;' their seat, Ashwellthorpe, is still one of Lord Berners's.

Hapton is a Parish and Hamlet some seven or eight miles south of Norwich, in the Hundred of Depwade; it is within a mile or two of this Ashwellthorpe; which was Knyvett's residence at that time. What' Robert Browne your Tenant' had in hand or view against these poor Parishioners of Hapton, must, as the adjoining circumstances are all obliterated, remain matter of conjecture only. He dimly shows himself in this Letter as an Unfriend to Puritans, who, however, have now found a Friend. They apply to Oliver; who is in those parts, on Association business, with a company of devout troopers. This Letter, full of civility and backed by devout horsemen with petronels, would doubtless procure them relief. We can fancy the date of this Letter to be, both in time and place, adjacent to that of the former. We shall fall in with Mr. Knyvett, in still graver circumstances, speedily again.

municated to me: the original, it seems, is now lost or mislaid. There never was any date of lime or place on the copy, nor is the address given as verbally exact, but only as substantially so.'

LOWESTOFF.

In the end of February, 1642-3, ' Colonel' Cromwell is at Cambridge; 'great forces from Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk' having joined him, and more still coming in.* There has been much alarm and running to and fro, over all those counties. Lord Capel hanging over them with an evident intent to plunder Cambridge, generally to plunder and ravage in this region; as Prince Rupert has cruelly done in Gloucestershire, and is now cruelly doing in Wilts and Hants. Colonel Cromwell, the soul of the whole business, must have had some bestirring of himself; some swift riding and resolving, now here, now there. Some ' 12,000 men,' however, or say even '800 men' (for rumor runs very high !) from the Associated Counties, are now at last got together about Cambridge; and Lord Capel has seen good to vanish again .f

Oh Monday, 13th March, 1642-3, Thomas Conisby, Esquire, High Sheriff of Herts, appears visibly before the House of Commons, to give account of a certain 'Pretended Commission of Array,' which he had been attempting to execute one Market-day not long since at St. Albans in that county.J Such King's Writ, or Pretended Commission of Array, the said High Sheriff had, with a great Posse Comitates round him, been executing one Market-day at St. Albans (date irrecoverably lost),—when Cromwell's dragoons dashed suddenly in upon him; laid him fast, —not without difficulty: he was first seized by 'six troopers,' but rescued by his royalist multitude; then 'twenty troopers' again seized him; 'barricadoed the inn-yard conveyed him off to London to give what account of the matter he could. Here

* Cromwelliana, p. 2; Vicars, p. 273.

t Vicars; Newspapers, 6—15 March (in Cromwelliana, p. 2). t Commons Journals, ii, 1000, 1.

§ Vicars, p. 246; May's H;sto.-y of the Long Parliament (Guizot's Frenck Translation), ii., 19C.

he is giving account of it,—a very lame and withal an ' insolent' one, as seems to the Honorable House; which accordingly sends him to the Tower, where he' had to lie for several years. Commissions of Array are not handy to execute in the Eastern Association at present!

Here is another adventure of the same kind, with a similar result. The 'Meeting at Laystoff,' or Lowestoff in Suffolk, is mentioned in all the old Books; but John Cory, Merchant Burgess of Norwich, shall first bring us face to face with it. Assiduous Sir Symonds got a copy of Mr. Cory's Letter,* one of the thousand Letters which Honorable Members listened to in those mornings; and here now is a copy of it for the reader,—news all fresh and fresh, after waiting two hundred and two years. Old Norwich becomes visible and audible, the vanished moments buzzing again with old life,—if the reader will read well. Potts, we should premise, and Palgrave, were lately appointed Deputy Lieutenants of Norwich City ;f Cory I reckon to be almost a kind of Quasi-Mayor, the real Mayor having lately been seized for Royalism; Kny vett of Ashw.ellthorpe is transiently known to us. The other royalist gentlemen are also known to antiquaries of that region, and what their 'seats' and connexions were: bat our reader here can without damage consider merely that they were Sons of Adam, not without due seats and equipments; and read the best he can:

"To Sir John Potts, Knight Baronet, of Mannington, Norfolk. "These.

"Laus Deo.

"Norwich, 17o Martii, ]642.«

"Right honourable and worthy Sir,—I hope you came in due time to the end of your journey in health and safety; which I shall rejoice to hear. Sir, I might spare my labor in now writing; for I suppose you are better informed from other hands; only to testify my respects:

"ThoBe sent out on Monday morning, the 13th, returned that night,

• D'Ewes's Mss, f. 1139; Transcript, p. 378. t Commons Journals, 10th December, 1642.

t Means 1643 of our Style. There are yet seven fays ctf the Old Yeai to run.

with old Mr. Castle of Raveningham, and some arms of his, and of Mr. Loudon's of Alby, and of Captain Hamond's, with his leading slalf-ensign . % and drum. Mr. Castle is secured at Sheriff Greenwood's. That night letters from Yarmouth informed the Colonel,* That they had, that day, made stay of Sir John Wentworth, and of one Captain Allen from Lowestoff, who had come thither to change dollars; both of whom are yet secured;—and further, That the Town of Lowestoff had received-in divers strangers and was fortifying itself. f# The Colonel advised no man might enter in or out the gates 'of {Norwich,' that night. And the next morning, between five and six, with his five troops, with Captain Fountain's, Captain Rich's, and eighty of our Norwich Volunteers, he marched towards Lowestoff; where he was to meet with the Yarmouth Volunteers, who brought four or five pieces of ordnance. The Town 'of Lowestoff' had blocked themselves up; all except where they had placed their ordnance, which were three pieces; before which a chain was drawn to keep off the horse.

"The Colonel summoned the Town, and demanded, If they would deliver up their strangers, the Town and their army ?—promising them then favor, if so; if not, none. They yielded to deliver up their strangers, but not to the rest. Whereupon our Norwich dragoons crept under the chain before mentioned; and came within pistol-shot of their ordnance; proffering to fire upon their cannoneer,—who fled: so they gained the two pieces of ordnance, and broke the chain; and they and the horse entered the Town without more resistance. Where presently eighteen strangers yielded themselves; among whom were, of Suffolk men: Sir T. Barker, Sir John Pettus;—of Norfolk: Mr. Knyvett 'our friend' of Ashwellthorpe, Mr. Richard Catelyn's son,—some say his Father too was there in the morning; Mr. F. Cory, my unfortunate cousin, who I wish would have been better persuaded.

"Mr. Brooke, the sometime minister of Yarmouth, and some others, escaped, over the river. There was good store of pistols and other arms: I hear above fifty cases of pistols. The Colonel stayed there Tuesday and Wednesday night. I think Sir John Palgrave and Mr. Smith went yesterday to Berks. It is rumored Sir Robert Kemp hath yielded to Sir John Palgrave; how true it is I know not, for I spoke not Sir John yesterday as he came through Town. I did your message to Captain Shcwood. Not to trouble you further, I crave leave; and am ever

"Your Worship's at command,

"John Cort.

• * viz., Cromwell,' adds D'Ewes.

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