« PreviousContinue »
LETTERS DXXXIV., CXXXV.
HERE are two small Letters, harmlesst reminding us of far interests and of near ;—otherwise yielding no new light; bu capable of being read without commentary. Read them; and let us hasten to dissolve the poor Constitutioning Parliamen. which ought not to linger on these pages, or on any page.
LETTER CXXXlV. To Richard Benmt, Esq., Governor of Virginia : These. S Whitehall, 12th January, 1654. m t ’ Whereas the difi‘erences between the Lord Baltimore and the inhabitants of Virginia, concerning the Bounds by them respectively :laimed, are depending before our Council, and yet undetermined; and whereas we are credibly informed, you have notwithstanding gone into his Plantation in Maryland, and countenanced some people there in opposing the Lord Baltimore’s Otficers; whereby, and ,with other forces from Virginia, you have much disturbed that Colony and People, to the engendering of tumults and much bloodshed there, if not timely prevented: .
We therefore, at the request of the Lord Baltimore, and ‘ of ’ divers other Persons of Quality here, who are engaged by great adventures in his interest, do, for preventing of disturbances or tumults there, will and require you, and all others deriving any authorit from you“, To forbearllistnrbing the Lord Baltimore, or his Officers or People in Maryland; and to permit all things to remain as they were before any disturbance or alteration made by you, or by any other upon pretence of authority From you, till the said Differences above mentioned be determined by us more, and we give farther order therein.
Letter CXL.,-—26th September, 1655, ‘ To the Commissioners of Maryland.’ \ '
HERB again, while the Pedant Parliament keeps arguing and constitutioning, are discontents in the Army that threaten to develope themselves. Dangerous fermentings of F ifth-Monarchy and othenbad ingredients, in the Army'and out of it; encouraged by the Parliamentary height of temperature; Charles Stuart, on the word of a Christian King, is extensively bestirring himself. Royalist preparations, provisions of arms; Anabaptist Petitions: abroad and at home very dangerous designs on foot: but we have our eye upon them.
The Scotch Army seems, at present, the questionablest. ‘ The pay of the men is thirty weeks in arrear,’ for one thing; the Anabaptist humor needs not that addition ! Colonel Alured, we saw, had to be dismissed the Service, last year; Overton and others were questioned, and not dismissed. But now some dosperate scheme has risen among the Forces in Scotland, of deposing General Monk, of making Republican Overton Commander, --_and so marching off, all but the indispensable Garrison-troops, south into England, there to seek pay and other redress."_‘~ This Parliament, now in its Fourth Month, supplies no money; nothing but constitutional debatings. My Lord Protector had need be watchful! He again, in this December, summons Overton from Scotland; again questions him ;—sees good, this time, to commit him to the Tower,'[' and end his military services. The Army, in Scotland and elsewhere, with no settlement yet to its vague fermenting humors, and not even money to pay its arrears, is dangerous enough.
Thurloe has jotted on the back of this : ‘ A duplicate also hereof was writ. signed by his Highness.’
‘ Postea, Speech IV. ; and Thurloe, iii., 110, Am.
1' 16 January, 1654—5 (Overton’s Letter, Thurloe, iii., 110).
Does the reader recollect, a good while ago, Three Troopers, notable at the moment, who appeared once before the Long Parliament, with a. Petition from the Army in the year F orty-scven? Army Adjutators, sturdy fellows, fit for business: the names of them were Allen, Sexby, and another.* I think they got promotion shortly after ; were made Cornets, Captains, with hope of lising farther. One of them we have met since, and hardly recognized him,—-Ludlow sleepily reminds me that he is the same man :1“ Adjutant-General Allen who was deep in the PrayerMeeting at Windsori Sexby too we shall again, in sad circumstances, fall in with. Here is poor Allen for the third, and we hope last time. 4
Allen has been in Ireland, since that Prayer-Meeting; in Ireland and elsewhere, resolutely fighting, earnestly praying, as from of old ; has had many darkenings of mind ; expects, for almost a year past, ‘little good from the Governments of this world,’ one or the other. He has honored, and still would fain honor, ‘ the Person now in chief place,’ having seen in him much ‘ uprightheartedness to the Lord;’ must confess, however, ‘the late Change hath more stumbled me than any ever did ;’—and on the whole knows not what he-will resolve upon.§ We find he has resolved on quitting Ireland, for one thing; has come over to ‘ his Father-in-law, Mr. Huish’s in Devonshire ;’—and, to all appearance, is not building established-churches there ! ‘ Captain Unton Crook,’ of whom We shall hear afterwards, is an active man, son of a learned Lawyer very zealous for the Protector’s interest ;—zealous for his own and his Father’s promotion, growls Ludlow. Desborow, who fitted out the late mysterious SeaArmament on the Southern Coast (not too judiciously, I doubt), is Commander-in-chief in those parts.
S Whitehall, 20th January, 1654. IR,
Being informed by a Letter of yours and General Desborow, also by a Letter from the High Sheriff of Devon, that Adjutant-General Allen ,doth very ill ofiices by multiplying dissatisfaction in the minds of 'men to the present Government, I desire you and the High Sheriff to make diligent inquiry after him, and try to make out what can be made in this kind, and to give me speedy notice thereof. Not doubting of your care herein, I rest, Your loving friend,
If he be gone out of the Country, learn whither he is gone, and send me word by next post.* ‘
Allen was not gone out of the Country; he was seiZed by Crook ‘in his Father-in-law Mr. Huish’s house,’ on the 31st of January, 1654-5 ; his papers searched, and himself ordered to be and continue prisoner, at a place agreed upon,—Sand in Somersetshire,—‘ under his note of hand.’ So much we learn from the imbroglios of Thurloe ;1' where also are authentic Depositions concerning Allen, ‘by Captains John Copleston' and the said Unton Crook ;’ and two Letters of Allen’s own,—one to the Protector; and one to ‘Colonel Daniel Axtel,’ the Regicide Axtel, ‘Dr. Philip Carteret, or either of them,’ enclosing that other Letter, and leaving it to them to present it or not, he himself thinking earnestly that they should. Both of these Letters, as well as Unton Crook’s to the Protector, and the authentic Deposition of Copleston and Crook against Allen, are dated February 7th, 1654-5. '
The witnesses deposed: That he has bragged to one ‘ Sir John Davis, baronet,’ of an interview he had with the Protector not long since,—wherein he, Allen, told the Protector a bit of his mind; and left him in a kind _of buff, and even at a nonplus ; and so came off to the‘West Country in a triumphant manner. Farther, he talks questionable things of Ireland, of discontents
' Lansdowue Mss., 1236, fol. 102. Superscription torn ofi';—only the Signature is in Oliver’s hand: Address supplied here by inference. 1' iii. 143; see-p. I40, 1. 1 Ibid., ii., 140.
~ there, and in laud of Lieutenant-General Ludlow ; says, There is plenty of discontent in Ireland ; he himself means to be there in February, but will first go to London again. The Country rings with rumor of his questionable speeches. He goes to ‘meetings’ about Bristol, whither many persons convene,-for Anabaptist or other purposes. Such meetings are often on weekdays. Questionabler still, he rides thither ‘with a vizard or mask over his face;’ ‘with glasses over his eyes,’—-barnacles, so to speak! Nay, questionablest of all, riding, ‘on Friday, the 5th of last month,’ month of January, 1654—5, ‘to a meeting at Luppit near Honiton, Devon,’ there rode also (but not I think to the same place !) a Mr. Hugh Courtenay, once a flaming Royalist Ofiicer in Ireland, and still a flaming zealot to the lost Cause; who spake nothing all that afternoon but mere treason, of Anabaptists that would rise in London, of, 620., dzc.‘ Allen, as we say, on the last morning of January was awoke from sleep in his Father-in-law, Mr. Huish’s, by the entrance of two armed troopers; who informed him that Captain Crook and the High Sheriff were below, and that he would have to put on his clothes, and come down.
Allen’s Letter to the Lord Protector, from Sand in Somersetshire, we rather reluctantly withhold, for want of room. A stubborn, sad, stingily respectful piece of writing : Wife and baby terribly ill off at Sand ; desires to be resigned to the Lord,
before whom both of us shall ere long nakedly appear. ;’— wetitions that at least he might be allowed ‘ to attend ordilances ;’ which surely would be reasonable ! Are there not good torses that require to be ridden with a dextrous bridle-hand,— ielicate, and yet hard and strong '! Clearly a strenuous Anabapist, this Allen ; a rugged, true-hearted, not easily governable man ; given to Fifth-Monarchy and other notions, though with a strong read to control them. Fancy him duly cashiered from the Army, iuly admonished and dismissed into private life. Then add the Colonel Overtons and Colonel Alureds, and General Ludlows and Major-General Harrisons, and also the Charles Stuarts and Christian Kings ;—and reflect once more what kind of task this of my Lord Protector’s is, and whether he needs refractory Pedant Parliaments to worsen it for him !