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From 1657. Last Royalist Plot.
[Vol. iii. p. 353.]
1. To Our trusty and well-beloved the Vicechancellor and Convocation of our
Univertity of Oxford.
Teustt and well-beloved, — We greet you well. Amongst the many parts of that Government which is entrusted to us, we do look upon the Universities as meriting very much of our care and thoughts: And finding that the place of Chancellor of our University ofOxford is at present inOurself; and withal judging that the continuance thereof in our hands may not be so consistent with the present constitution of affairs, —
We have therefore thought fit to resign the said Office, as we hereby do; and to leave you at freedom to elect some such other person thereunto, as you shall conceive meet for the execution thereof.
Our will and pleasure therefore is, That you do proceed to the election of a Chancellor with your first conveniency. Not doubting but you will, in your choice, have a just regard to the advancement and encouragement of Piety and Learning, and to the continuing and further settling of good Order and Government amongst you; which you may easily find yourselves obliged to have principally in your consideration and design, whether you respect the University itself, or the good of the Commonwealth upon which it hath so great an in-' fluence. And although our relation to you may by this means in some sort be changed, yet you may be confident we shall still retain a real affection to you, and be ready upon all occasions to seek and promote your good. . Given at Whitehall, this 3d day of July 1657.§
§ Archives of Oxford University. Communicated by the Rev. Dr. Bllsi.
2. To Our trusty and well-beloved the Bailiffs and Free Burgesses of our Town of Oswestry: These.
Trusty and well-beloved, — We, being informed that the Free School of our Town of Oswestry is now void of a Head Schoolmaster settled there, by reason of the delinquency and ejection of Edward Paine late Schoolmaster thereof.
Have thought fit to recommend unto you Mr. John Evans, the son of Matthew Evans late of Penegos in the County of Montgomery, as as fit person, both for piety and learning, to be Head Schoolmaster of the said School; and That, so far as in yourselves "is," the said Mr. Evans may be forthwith settled and invested there accordingly.
Which Act of yours we shall be ready to confirm, if it be adjudged requisite and proper for us. And not doubting of the performance of this our pleasure, we commit you to God.
Given at Whitehall, this 13th day of July 1657.§
3. To Our trusty and well-beloved the Mayor, Aldermen, and Common J Council of our City of Gloucester: These,
Trusty and well-beloved, — We greet you well. I do hear on all hands that the Cavalier party are designing to put us into blood. We are, I hope, taking the best care we can, by the blessing of God, to obviate this danger; but our intelligr ence on all hands being, that they have a design upon your City, we could not but warn you thereof, and give you authority, as we do hereby,
To put yourselves into the best posture you can for your pwn defence, by raising your Militia by virtue of ,'your Commissioners formerly sent to you, and putting them in a readiness for the purpose aforesaid, Letting you also know that, for your better encouragement herein, you shall have a troop. pf horse sent you to quarter in or near your Town.
t Endowed Grammar Schools, by N. Carliile (London, 1818), II. 369, Art. Salop.
We desire yon to let us hear from you from tiiie to time what occurs to you touching the Malignant party: and so we bid you farewell.
Given at Whitehall, this 2d of December 1657. §
A Paper of the same date, of precisely the same purport, directed to the Authorities at Bristol, has come to us; another out of many then sent: but of course only one, if even one, requires to be inserted here.
4. Letter written directly on dissolving the Parliament; probably one of many, to the like effect, despatched that day:
For Colonel Cox, Captain of the Militia Troop in our County of Hertford;
To be left with the Postmaster of St. Albans: to be speedily sent.
By our last Letters to you, we acquainted you what danger- the Commonwealth was then in from the old Cavalier Pqjrty (who were designing new insurrections within us, whilst their Head and Master was contriving to invade us from abroad); — and thereupon desired your care and vigilancy for preserving the peace, and apprehending all dangerous persons.
Our intelligence of that kind still continues. And we are more assured of their resolutions to put in execution their designs aforesaid within a very short time; "they" being much encouraged from some late actings of some turbulent and unquiet spirits, as well in this Town as elsewhere, who, to frustrate and render vain and fruitless all those good hopes of Settlement which we had conceived from the proceedings of Parliament before their Adjournment in June last, framed a treasonable Petition to the House of Commons, by the name of the "Parliament of the Commonwealth of England;" designing thereby not only the overthrow of the late Petition and Advice of the Parliament, but of all that hath been done these seven years; hoping thereby to bring all things into con
, i City Recordi of Gloucester (is Bibliothoca Clouceatreasia, p. 419.
fusion; — and,were in a very tumultuous manner procuring subscriptions thereunto, giving out that they were encouraged to it by some Members of the House of Commons.
And the truth is, the Debates that have been in that House since their last meeting have had a tendency to the stirring-up and cherishing such humours; — having done nothing in fourteen days but debate Whether they should own the Government of these Nations, as it is contained in the Petition and Advice, which the Parliament at their former sitting had invited us to accept of, and had sworn us unto; they themselves also having taken an Oath upon it before they went into the House. And we', judging these things to have in them very dangerous consequences to the Peace of this Nation, and to the loosening all the bonds of Government; and being hopeless of obtaining supplies of Money, for answering the exigencies of the Nation, from such men as are not satisfied with the Foundation we stand upon, — thought it of absolute necessity to dissolve this present Parliament; — which I have done this day: — And to give you notice thereof; that you, with your Troop, may be most vigilant for the suppressing of any disturbance which may arise from any party whatsoever. And if you can hear of any persons who have been active to promote the aforesaid treasonable Petition, that you apprehend them, and give an account thereof to us forthwith. And we do further let you know, That we are sensible of your want of pay for yourself and Troop; and do assure you that effectual care shall be taken therein, and that without delay. And so I rest,
Your loving friend,
Ouver P. §
5. For the Commanders of the Militia of the City of Gloucester: These.
Gentlemen, Whitehall, 11th March 1657.
We are informed that the Enemy from Flanders intend to
invade us very suddenly, and to that purpose Twenty-two
Ships of War ready in the Harbour of Ostend, and are pre
§ Gentleman's Magazine (London, 1788), lviii. 313.
paring others also which they have bought in Holland, and some men are ready to be put on board them. And at the same time an Insurrection is intended in this Nation. And the time for the executing these designs is intended by them to be very sudden.
We have therefore thought fit to give you notice hereof; and to signify to you our pleasure, That you put yourselves into the best posture you can for the securing the City of Gloucester, and put the arms into such hands as are true and faithful to us and this Commonwealth. We desire you to be very careful, and to let us hear from you of the receipt of this, and what you shall do in pursuance of this Letter. I rest,
Your very assured friend, t
Oliver P. §
[Vol. iii. p. 365.]
1. That John Castle be made Master of Arts:
To Our trusty and well-helmed the Vieechancellor and Senate of Our
Trusty and well-beloved, — Whereas by bur appointment several Students in our University of Cambridge have been invited abroad to preach the Gospel in our Fleet, and for their encouragement have been by us assured that they should not suffer any prejudice in the University by reason of their absence in the said service: And whereas a petition hath been exhibited on the behalf of Mr. John Castle of Trinity College, showing that whilst he was abroad as Minister in the Newcastle Frigate, he was disappointed of taking his degree of Master of Arts (as by course he ought), and that he cannot now, since his return, commence without the loss of one year's
f City Records of Gloucester (In Bibliotheca Gloucestrensis, p. 421).