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ney, about a business importing so little, as far as it relates to me; whereas, if my poor opinion may not be rejected by you, I have to offer to that? which I think the most noble end, to wit, The Commemoration of that great Mercy at Dunbar, and the Gratuity to the Army. Which might be better expressed upon the Medal, by engraving, as on the one side the Parliament, which I hear was intended and will do singularly well, so on the other side an Army, with this Inscription over the head of it, The Lord of Hosts, which was our Word that day. Wherefore, if I may beg it as a favour from you, I most earnestly beseech you, if I may do it without offence, that it may be so. And if you think not fit to have it as I offer, you may alter it as you see cause ; only I do think I may truly say, it will be very thankfully acknowledged by me, if you will spare the having my Effigies in it.
The Gentleman's pains and trouble hither have been very great; and I shall make it my second suit unto you that you will please to confer upon him that Employment which Nicholas Briot had before him : indeed the man is ingenious, and worthy of encouragement. I may not presume much ; but if, at my request, and for my sake, he may obtain this favour, I shall put it upon the account of my obligations, which are not few; and, I hope, shall be found ready to acknowledge it,' and to approve myself,
OLIVER CROMWELL.* 1 I should vote exclusively for that.
* Harris, p. 519.
· Of. Nicholas Briot and Mr. Symonds,' since they have the honour of a passing relation to the Lord General, and still enjoy, or suffer, a kind of ghost-existence in the Dilettante memory, we may subjoin, rather than cancel, the following authentic particulars. In the Commons Journals of 20th August, 1642, it is : Ordered, That the Earl of Warwick,' now Admiral of our Fleet, ' be desired that Monsieur Bryatt may have delivery
of his wearing apparel ; and all his other goods stayed at • Scarborough, not belonging to Minting and Coining of • Moneys.' — This Nicholas Bryatt, or Briot, then, must have been Chief Engraver for the Mint at the beginning of the Civil Wars. We perceive, he has gone to the King northward; but is here stopt at Scarborough, with all his baggage, by Warwick the Lord High Admiral: and is to get away. What became of him afterwards, or what was his history before, no man and hardly any Dilettante knows.
Symonds, Symons, or as the moderns call him, Simon, is still known as an approved Medal-maker. In the Commons Journals of 17th December, 1651, we find : Ordered, That it • be referred to the Council of State to take order that the ósum of 3001. be paid unto Thomas Symons, which was agreed • by the Committee appointed for that purpose to be paid unto * him, for the Two Great Seals made by him, and the materials • thereof: And that the said Council do take consideration of ' what farther recompense is fit to be given unto him for his * extraordinary pains therein ; and give order for the payment
of such sum of money as they shall think fit in respect thereof.
An earlier entry, which still more concerns us here, is an Order, in favour of one whose name has not reached the Clerk, and is now indicated only by stars, That the Council of State shall pay him for making the Statue of the General,?-doubtless this Medal or Effigies of the General; the name indicated
by stars being again that of Symonds. The Order, we observe, has the same date as the present Letter. The Medal of Cromwell, executed on this occasion, still exists, and is said to be a good likeness. The Committee-men had not taken my Lord General's advice about the Parliament, about the Army with the Lord of Hosts, and the total omitting of his own Effigies. Vertue published Engravings of all these Medals of Simon (as he spells him) in the year 1753.
The Two Great Seals,' mentioned in the Excerpt above, are also worth a word from us. There had a good few Great Seals to be made in the course of this War; all by Symonds : of whom, with reference thereto, we find, in authentic quarters, various notices, of years long prior and posterior to this. The first of all the new Great Seals' was the one made, after infinite debates and hesitations, in 1643, when Lord Keeper Lyttleton ran away with the original : Symonds was the maker of this, as other entries of the same Rhadamanthine Commons Journals instruct us : On the 11th July, 1643, Henry Marten is to bring the man' that will make the new Great Seal, and let us see him tomorrow;' which man it turns out, at sight of him, not tomorrow,' but a week after, on the 19th July, is "Mr. Simonds,' —who, we find farther, is to have 1001. for his work; 401. in hand, 301. so soon as his work is done, and the other 301. one knows not when. Symonds made the Seal duly; but as for his payment, we fear it was not very duly made. Of course when the Commonwealth and Council of State began, a couple of new Great Seals were needed; and these too, as we see above, Symonds made; and is to be paid for them, and for the General's Statue'; — which we hope he was, but are not sure!
Other new Seals, Great and Not-so-great, in the subsequent * Commons Journals, 4 February, 1650-1. Harris, p. 518.,
Commons Journals, iii. 162, 174.
mutations, were needed; and assiduous Symonds made them all. Nevertheless, in 1659, when the Protectorate under Richard was staggering towards ruin, we find Mr. Thomas Symonds Chief Graver of the Mint and Seals,' repeatedly turning up with new Seals, new order for payment, and new indication that the order was but incompletely complied with. May 14th, 1659, he has made a new and newest Great Seal; he is to be paid for that, and ‘for the former, for which he yet remains unsatisfied. Also on the 24th May, 1659,2 the Council of State get a new Seal from him. Then on the 22d August, on the Rump Parliament's re-assembling, he makes a 'new Parliament Seal ;' and presents a modest Petition to have his money paid him: order is granted very promptly to that end;
his debt to be paid for this Seal, and for all former work * done by him ;'- we hope, with complete effect.3
The Restoration soon followed, and Symonds continued still in the Mint under Charles II. ; when it is not very likely his claims were much better attended to; the brave Hollar, and other brave Artists, having their own difficulties to get life kept-in, during those rare times, Mr. Rigmarole !—Symonds, we see, did get the place of Nicholas Briot; and found it, like other brave men's places, full of hard work and short rations, Enough now of Symonds and the Seals and Effigies.
ALONG with Symonds, various English strangers, we perceive, are arriving or arrived, on miscellaneous business with the Commons Journals, vii. 654.
' Ibid. vii, 663. 3 Ibid. vii. 654, 663, 765.
Lord General in his Winter-quarters. Part of the Oxford Caput is here in Edinburgh, with a very high testimony of respect;' whom, in those same hours, the Lord General dismisses honourably with their Answer.
We are to premise that Oxford University, which at the end of the First Civil War had been found in a most broken, Malignant, altogether waste and ruinous condition, was afterwards, not without difficulty, and immense patience on the part of the Parliament Commissioners, radically reformed. Philip Earl of Pembroke, he of the loud voice, who dined once with Bulstrode in the Guildhall ;' he, as Chancellor of the University, had at last to go down in person, in the Spring of 1648;put the intemperate Dr. Fell, incorrigible otherwise, under lock and key; left the incorrigible Mrs. Dr. Fell, 'whom the soldiers had to carry out in her chair,' sitting in the quadrangle;' appointed a new Vice-Chancellor, new Heads where needful,
-and, on the whole, swept the University clean of much loud Nonsense, and left some Piety and Sense, the best he could meet with, at work there in its stead. At work, with earnest diligence and good success, as it has since continued actually to be, - for the contemporary clamours and Querelas about Vandalism, Destruction of Learning, and so forth, prove on examination to be mere agonised shrieks, and unmelodious hysterical wind, forgettable by all creatures. Not easily before or since could the Two Universities give such account of them
I Antea, vol. ii. p. 163.
3 Act and Visitors' names in Scobell, i. 116 (1 May, 1647); see Commons Journals, v. 83-142 (10 February—15 April, 1647): 8 March, 1647-8, Chancellor Pembroke is to go (Neal, ii. 307 ; Walker, i. 133); makes report, and is thanked, 21 April, 1648 (Commons Journals, v. 538). Copious history of the proceedings, from the Puritan side, in Neal, ii. 290-314; and from the Royalist side, in Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, i. 124-142, which latter, amid its tempestuous froth, has many entertaining traits.