« PreviousContinue »
were to come over and help his Majesty: which truth is now beginning to ooze out. It would be a comfort to understand farther, what the fact soon proves, that this Peace will not hold ; the Irish
Priests and Pope's Nuncios disapproving of it. Even while Oliver writes, an Excommunication or some such Document is coming out, signec "Frater O'Farrel," " Abbas O'Teague," and the like names: poor Ormond going to Kilkenny, to join forces with the Irish rebels, is treacherously set upon, and narrowly escapes death by them.*
Concerning 'the business of Massey's men,' there are some notices in Ludlow.f The Commons had ordered Fairfax to disband them, and sent the money, as we see here; whereupon the Lords ordered him, Not. Fairfax obeyed the Commons; apologised to the Lords,—who had to submit, as their habit was. Massey's Brigade was of no particular religion; Massey's Miscellany,—' some of them will require passes to ^Ethiopia,' says ancient wit. But Massey himself was strong for Presbyterianism, for strict Drill-serjeantcy and Anti-heresy of every kind: the Lords thought his Miscellany and he might have been useful.
His Excellency, in the following Letter, is Fairfax; John Rushworth, worthy John, we already know! Fairfax has returned to the Bath, still for his health; Ragland being taken, and the War ended.
For John Rushworth, Esquire, Secretary to his Excellency, at the Bath: These.
'London,' 26th August, ' 1646.'
I must needs entreat a favor on the behalf of Major Lilburn; who has a long time wanted employment, and by reason good his necessities may grow upon him.
You should do very well to move the General to take him into
• Rushworth, vi., 416 ; Carte's Life of Ormond.
favorable thoughts. I know, a reasonable employment will content him. As for his honesty and courage, I need not speak much of 'that.' seeing he is so well known both to the General and yourself.
I desire you answer my expectation herein so far as you may. You eaall very much oblige,
Your real friend and Servant,
This is not 'Freeborn John not the Lilburn whom Cromwell spoke for, when Sir Philip Warwick took note of him; the John Lilburn 'who could not live without a quarrel; who if he were left alone in the world would have to divide himself in two, and set the John to fight with Lilburn, and the Lilburn with John!' Freeborn John is already a Lieutenant-Colonel by title; was not in the New Model at all; is already deep in quarrels,—lying in limbo since August last, for abuse of his old master Prynne.f He has quarrelled or is quarrelling with Cromwell too; calls the Assembly of Divines an Assembly of Dry-vines;—will have little else but quarrelling henceforth.—This is the Brother of Freeborn John; one of his two Brothers. Not Robert, who already is or soon becomes a Colonel in the New Model, and does not 'want employment.' This is Henry Lilburn : appointed, probably in consequence of this application, Governor of Tynemouth Castle: revolting to the Royalists, his own soldiers slew him there, in 1648. These Lilburns were from Durham County.
'Delinquents,' conquered Royalists, are now getting themselves fined, according to rigorous proportions, by a Parliament Committee, which sits, and will sit long, at Goldsmiths' Hall, making that locality very memorable to Royalist gentlemen.J
The Staffordshire Committee have sent a Deputation up to
• Sloane Mss., 1519, fol. 71:—Signature alone is Oliver's, t Wood, iii., 353.
X The proceedings of it, all now in very superior order, still lie in the State-Paper Office.
Town. They bring a Petition ; very anxious to have 2,000Z. out of their Staffordshire Delinquents from Goldsmiths' Hall, or even 4,000Z.,—to pay off their forces, and send them to Ireland ; which lie heavy on the County at present.
'To the Right Honorable Sir Thomas Fairfax, General of the Parliament's Army: These.'
Sir. 'London,' 6th October, 1646.
I would be loath to trouble you with anything; but indeed the Staffordshire Gentlemen came to me this day, and with more than ordinary impetuosity did press me to give their desires furtherance to you. Their Letter will show what they entreat of you. Truly, Sir, it may not be amiss to give them what ease may well be afforded, and the sooner the better, especially at this time.*
I have no more at present, but to let you know the business of your Army is like to come on to-morrow. You shall have account of that business so soon as I am able to give it. I humbly take leave, and rest, Your Excellency's most humble servant,
The Commons cannot grant the prayer of this Petition Staffordshire will have to rest as it is for some time. 'The business of your Army' did come on 'tomorrow ;' and assessments for a new six-months were duly voted for it, and other proper arrangements made.§
Colonel Ieeton, now Commissary-General Ireton, was wedded to Bridget Cromwell on the 15th of January last. A valiant man Once B. A. of Trinity Colllege, Oxford, and Student of the Mid
* 'and the sooner,' &c.: these words are inserted above the line by waj of caret and afterthought.
t Sloane Mss., 1519, fol. 72 :—Oliver's own hand.—Note, his signature seems always to be Oliver Cromwell, not O. Cromwell; to which practic» we shall accordingly conform, when the copy may be doubtful
t 7 December, 1646, Commons Journals, iv., 3.
£ 1 October, 1616, Commons Journals, iv., 687.
dle Temple; then a gentleman trooper in my Lord General Essex's Lifeguard; now Colonel of Horse, soon Member of Parliament; rapidly rising. A Nottinghamshire man ; has known the Lieutenant-General ever since the Eastern-Association times. Cornbury, not now conspicuous on the maps, is in the West, near the Devizes, at which latter Town Fairfax and Ireton have just been, disbanding Massey's Brigade. The following Letter will require no commentary.
For my beloved Daughter, Bridget Ireton, at Cornbury, the General's Quarters: These.
London, 25th October, 1646.
I write not to thy Husband; partly to avoid trouble, for one line of mine begets many of his, which I doubt makes him sit up too late; partly because I am myself indisposed* at this time, having some other considerations.
Your Friends at Ely are well; your sister Claypole is, I trust in mercy, exercised with some perplexed thoughts. She sees her own vanity and carnal mind: bewailing it: she seeks after (as I hope also) what will satisfy. And thus to be a seeker is to be of the best sect next to a finder; and such an one shall every faithful humble seeker be at the end. Happy seeker, happy finder! Who ever tasted that the Lord is gracious, without some sense of self, vanity and badness 1 Who ever tasted that graciousness of His, and could go lessf in desire,—less than pressing after full enjoyment? Dear Heart, press on; let not Husband, let not anything cool thy affections after Christ. I hope hej will be an occasion to inflame them. That which is best worthy of love in thy Husband is that of the image of Christ he bears. Look on that, and love it-best, and all the rest for that. I pray for thee and him; do so for me.
My service and dear affections to the General and Generaless. I hear she is rery kind to thee; it adds to all other obligations. I am
Thy dear Father,
* not in the mood at this time, having other matters in view. \ less is an adjective; to go, in such case signifies to become, t thy Husband.
§ * A Copy of Oliver Cromwell's Letter to his Daughter Ireton, exactly taken from the Original * Harleian Mss., no. 6988, fol. 224 (not mentioned in Harlehn Catalogue).—In another Copy sent me, which e-actly com
Bridget Ireton is now Twenty-two. Her Sister Claypole (Elizabeth Cromwell) is five years younger. They were both wedded last Spring. 'Your Friends at Ely' may indicate that the Cromwell Family was still resident in that City; though, I think, they not long afterwards removed to London. Their first residence here was King-street, Westminster ;* Oliver for the present lodges in Drury Lane: fashionable quarters both, in those times.
General Fairfax had been in Town only three days before, attending poor Essex's Funeral: a mournful pageant, consisting of ' both the Houses, Fairfax and all the Civil and Military Officers then in Town, the Forces of the City, a very great number of coaches and multitudes of people ;' with Mr. Vines to preach; —regardless of expense, 5,0007. being allowed for it.f
The intricate Scotch negotiations have at last ended. The paying of the Scots their first instalment, and getting them to march away in peace, and leave the King to our disposal, is the great affair that has occupied Parliament ever since his Majesty refused the Propositions. Not till Monday the 21st December could it be got 'perfected* or ' almost perfected.' After a busy day spent in the Commons House on that affair,J Oliver writes the following Letter to Fairfax. The ' Major-General' is Skippon. Fairfax, 'since he left Town,' is most likely about Nottingham, the headquarters of his Army, which had been drawing rather Northward, ever since the King appeared among the Scots. Fairfax
sponds, is this Note: 'Memo.: The above Lett' of Oliver Cromwell Jno Caswell Mercht of London had from his Mother Linington, who had it from old Mrs. Warner, who liv'd with Oliver Cromwell's Daughter. — And was Copied Trom the Original Letter, which is in the hands of John Warner Esqr of Swanzey, by Chas Norris, 25th Mar.: 1749.'
* Cromwelliana, p. 60.
t Rushworth, vi., 239; Whitlocke, p. 230.
t Commons Journals,!., 22,3.