Page images


'To his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, General of the Parliament's Army, at Windsor: These.'

'London, 7th March, 1647.'


It hath pleased God to raise me out of a dangerous sickness; and I do most willingly acknowledge that the Lord hath, in this visitation, exercised the bowels of a father towards me. I received in myself the sentence of death, that I might learn to trust in Him that raiseth from the dead, and have no confidence in the flesh. It's a blessed thing to die daily. For what is there in this world to be accounted of! The best men according to the flesh, and things, are lighter than vanity. I find this only good, To love the Lord and His poor despised people, to do for them, and to be ready to suffer with them :—and he that is found worthy of this hath obtained great favor from the Lord; and he that is established in this shall (being confirmed to Christ and the rest of the Body*) participate in the glory of a Resurrection which will answer all.f

Sir, I must thankfully confess your favor in your last Letter. I see I am not forgotten; and truly, to be kept in your remembrance is very great satisfaction to me; for I can say in the simplicity of my heart, I put a high and true value upon your love,—which when I forget I shall cease to be a grateful and an honest man.

I most humbly beg my service may be presented to your Lady, to whom I wish all happiness, ancj establishment in the truth. Sir, my prayers are for you, as becomes

Your Excellency's

Most humble servant,

Oliver Cromwell. 'P.S.' Sir, Mr. Rushworth will write to you about the Quartering, and the Letter lately sent; and therefore I forbear.J


From the Committee of the Lords and Commons sitting at Derby House, Sir John Evelyn reports a certain offer from Lieutenant-General Cromwell; which is read in the words following:

* Christ's Body, his Church.

t Turns now to the margin of the sheet, lengthwise.

tSloane's Mss., 1519, fol. 79.

'To the Honorable the Committee of Lords and Commons for the Affairs of Ireland, sitting at Derby House: The Offer of Lieutenant-General Cromwell for the Service of Ireland.'

21» Martii, 1647.

The two Houses of Parliament having lately bestowed l,680i. per annum upon me and my heirs, out of the Earl of Worcester's Estate; the necessity of affairs requiring assistance, I do hereby offer one thousand pounds annually to be paid out of the rents of the said lands; that is to say, 500Z. out of the next Michaelmas rent, and so on, by the half year, for the space of five years, if the War in Ireland shall so long continue, or that I live so long; to be employed for the service of Ireland, as the Parliament shall please to appoint; provided the said yearly rent of 1,6807. become not to be suspended by war or other accident.

And whereas there is an arrear of Pay due unto me whilst I was Lieutenant-General unto the Earl of Manchester, of about 1,500Z., audited and stated; as also a great arrear due for about Two Years' being Governor of the Isle of Ely: I do hereby discharge the State from all or any claim to be made by me thereunto.

Oliver Cromwell.*

'Ordered, That the House doth accept the Free Offer of Lieutenant-General Cromwell, testifying his zeal and good affection.' My splenetic little gentleman in grey, with the little stick in his hand, takes no notice of this; which modifies materially what the Chepstow Connoisseurs and 'their five or six thousand a-year' reported lately!


Heee is Norton and the Marriage again. Here are news out of Scotland that the Malignant Party, the Duke of Hamilton's Faction, are taking the lead there; and about getting up an Army to attack us, and deliver the King from Sectaries :f Reverend Stephen Marshall reports the news. Let us read:

* Commons Journals, v., 513. t Rushworth, vii., 1040, &<•

For my noble friend Colonel Richard Norton: These.

Farnham, 28th March, 1648.

Dear Dick,

It had been a favor indeed to have met you here at Farnham. But I hear you are a man of great business; therefore I say no more:—if it be a favor to the House of Commons to enjoy you, what is it to me! But, in good earnest, when will you and your Brother Russel be a little honest, and attend your charge there 1 Surely some expect it; especially the good fellows who chose you !—

I have met with Mr. Mayor; we spent two or three hours together last night. I perceive the gentleman is very wise and honest; and indeed much to be valued. Some things of common fame * did a little stick: I gladly heard his doubts, and gave such answer as was next at hand,—I believe, to some satisfaction. Nevertheless I exceedingly liked the gentleman's plainness and free dealing with me. I know God has been above all ill reports, and will in His own time vindicate me; I have no cause to complain. I see nothing but that this particular business between him and me may go on. The Lord's will be done.

For news out of the North there is little; only the Malignant Party is prevailing in the Parliament of Scotland. They are earnest for a war; the Ministers f oppose as yet. Mr. Marshall is returned, who says so. And so do many of our Letters. Their great Committee of Danger have two Malignants for one right. It's said they have voted an Army of 40,000 in Parliament; so say some of Yesterday's Letters. But I account my news ill bestowed, because upon an idle person.

I shall take speedy course in the business concerning my Tenants; for which, thanks. My service to your Lady. I am really

Your affectionate servant,

Oliver Cromwell.j

Had Cromwell come out to Farnham on military business 1 Kent is in a ticklish state; it broke out some weeks hence in open insurrection,§—as did many other places, when once the 'Scotch Army of 40,000' became a certainty.

'The business concerning my Tenants' will indicate that in Hampshire, within ken of Norton, in Fawley Park, in Itchin, Abbotston, or elsewhere, 'my Tenants' are felling wood, cutting

• against myself. t Clergy. X Harris, p. 502.

§ 24 or 25 May, 1648 (Rushworth, vii., 1128).

copses, or otherwise not behaving to perfection: but they shall be looked to.

For the rest, Norton really ought to attend his duties in Parliament! In earnest 'an idle fellow,' as Oliver in sport calls him. Given to Presbyterian notions; was purged out by Pride: dwindled subsequently into Royalism. 'Brother Russel' means only brother ,Member. He is the Frank Russel of the Letter on Marston Moor. Now Sir Francis; and sits for Cambridgeshire. A comrade of Norton's; seemingly now in his neighborhood, possibly on a visit to him.

The attendance on the House in these months is extremely thin; the divisions range from 200 to as low as 70. Nothing going on but Delinquents' lines, and abstruse negotiations with the Isle of Wight, languid Members prefer the country till seme result arrive.


Here is a new phasis of the Wedding-treaty; which, as seems, 'doth now a little stick.' Prudent Mr. Mayor insists on his advantages; nor is the Lieutenant-General behindhand. What 'lands' all these of Oliver's are in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Hampshire, no Biographer now knows. Portions of the Parliamentary Grants above alluded to; perhaps • Purchases by Debentures,' some of them. Soldiers could seldom get their Pay in money; with their ' Debentures' they had to purchase Forfeited Lands;—a somewhat uncertain investment of an uncertain currency^

The Mr. Robinson mentioned in this Letter is a pious Preacher at Southampton.* 'My two little Wenches' are Mary and Frances: Mary aged now near twelve; Frances ten.f

'For my noble friend, Colonel Richard Norton: These.

'London,' 4th April, 1648.

Dear Nortoh,

I could not in my last give you a perfect account of what passed between me and Mr. Mayor; because we were to have

* Harris, p. 504. t See antea, pp. 67, 8.

a conclusion of our speed that morning after I wrote my Letter to you.* Which we had; and having had a full view of one another's minds, we parted with this: That both would consider with our relations, and according to satisfactions given there, acquaint one another with our minds.

I cannot tell better how to do, 'in order' to give or receive satisfaction, than by you; who, as I remember, in your last, said That, if things Hid stick between us, you would use your endeavor towards a close.

The things insisted upon were these, as I take it: Mr. Mayor desired 400Z. per annum of Inheritance, lying in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, to be presently settled,t and to be for maintenance; wherein I desired to be advised by my Wife. I offered the Land in Hampshire for present maintenance ; which I dare say, with copses and ordinary fells,| will be, communibus annis, 500Z. per annum: 'and ' besides 'this,' 500Z. per annum in Tenants' hands holding but for one life; and about 300Z. per annum, some for two lives, some for three lives. But as to this, if the latter offer be not liked of, I shall be willing a farther conference be held in 'regard to' the first.

In point of jointure I shall give satisfaction. And as to the settlement of lands given me by the Parliament, satisfaction to be given in like manner, according as we discoursed. 'And' in what else was demanded of me, I am willing, so far as I remember any demand was, to give satisfaction. Only, I having been informed by Mr. Robinson that Mr. Mayor did, upon a former match, offer to settle the Manor wherein he lived, and to give 2,000Z. in money, I did insist upon that; and do desire •t may not be with difficulty. The money I shall need for my two little Wenches; and thereby I shall free my Son from being charged with them. Mr. Mayor parts with nothing at present but that money: ex- „ cept the board ' of the young Pair,' which I should not be unwilling to give them, to enjoy the comforts of their society;—which it's reason he smart for, if he will rob me altogether of them.

Truly the land to be settled,—both what the Parliament gives me, and my own,—is very little less than 3,000Z. per annum, all things considered, if I be rightly informed. And a Lawyer of Lincoln's Inn, having searched all the Marquis of Worcester's writings, which were taken at Ragland and sent for by the Parliament, and this Gentleman appointed by the Committee to search tha said writings,—assures me there is nr scruple concerning the title. And it so fell out that this Gentleman who searched was my own Lawyer, a very godly able man, and my dear

* Letter XXXIII.

t on the Future Pair. J fellings.

« PreviousContinue »