[From Draper The House of Stanley]

[Footnotes TB corrected]

[Dying Speech of James & Remaining Period of the Commonwealth]

The Earl’s LAST ADDRESS appears as a tract in the King’s Collection, and is said to have been taken down in short-hand by two clerks, one of whom was James Roscow, of Bolton, who is supposed to have been of moderate Presbyterian principles, and, consequently, favourable to the Royalists at this particular time. In this version of the Earl’s speech, the reader will at once recognize the simple, yet touching pathos which invariably marks the Earl’s other compositions, as well as that keen and sensitive feeling which he manifested in his petition against Bolton being fixed as the place for his execution ; but where now, happily, finding the occasion for his fears not realised, amidst the unexpected sympathy of his hearers, he is again, in his last moments, encouraged to rebut the malicious imputation of his enemies that he was a man of blood," and to exclaim in the triumph of innocency, even in the dreaded town of Bolton —" God be thanked ! there is no man that revileth me !".— The Earl’s last speech and some of the incidents that occurred during its delivery are thus given in Roscow’s report :—." Now that it pleaseth God to take away my life, I am glad to see that in this town, where some were made believe I was a Man of Blood, I was slandered to be the death of many. It was my desire the last time I came into this Country to come hither as to a people that ought to serve the King, as I conceive upon good grounds. It was said that I was accustomed to be a Man of Blood, but it doth not lie upon my Conscience, for I was wrongfully belyed. I thank God I desire peace ; I was born in Honour, and I hope I shall dye in Honour : I had a fair Estate, and did not need to mend it; I had good friends, and was respected, and did respect ; they were ready to do for me, and I was ready to do for them ; I have done nothing but, as my ancestors, to do you good ; it was the King that òalled me iii, and I 4ought it my duty to wait~upon his Highness to do him service.’ Then there arose agreat tumult among the people ; after which he said (looking all round him), I thought. to have said more, but I have said. I cannot say much more to you of my good will to this town of ~ Bolton, and I can say no more, but the Lord bless you. I forgive you all, and desire , to be forgiven of you all, for I put my trust in Jesus Christ.’ And looking about him ho said, I did never deserve this , hard measure from above. Honest friends (you that are Souldiers), my life is taken away after Quarter given, by a Council of War, which was never done before.’ And walking up and down the scaffold, he said, "The Lord bless you all ; the Son of God bless you all of this town of Bolton, Manchester, and especially Lancashire, and God send that you may have a King again, and Laws. I die like a Christian, a Souldier, and Christ’s Souldier.’ And sitting down in his chair, he said to a Souldier that had been his keeper, They are not ready,’ (meaning the block was not ready), and bade him commend him to all his friends "Chester, and tell them I die like a Souldier ,'and seeing the coffin to be opened, he said, I hope when I am imprisoned in this, the Watchmen will not lie by me with their swords.’ And walking up and down the Scaffold, he looked about him and said, There is no man that revileth me, God be thanked !’ And looking upon them that were on the Scaffold, he said, ' What do you stay for ? It is hard that I cannot get a block to have my head cut off.’ He looking upon the Executioner said, ' Thy Coat is too burly that thou canst not hit right, the Lord help thee and forgive thee.’ Then bowing to Mr. Henry Bridgman,* he said, They have brought me hither too soon, the block is not ready for me, Mr. Bridgman ; tell your brother I take it as a great mercy of God that I am brought hither, for I might have dyed in the midst of a Battel, and have not dyed so well, for now I have time to make my peace with God.’ And turning him to James Roscow (one of the two clerks that writ his Speech in short-hand), he said, Do you write what I say ? It may be I say not well, but my meaning is good.’ And looking upon the block, he said to one of his men, Lay down your neck upon the block, and see how it will fit,’ but he refused : and a Trumpeter that was upon the Scaffold, layd down his neck to try how it would fit ; after that he layd down his own neck upon the block, and rose up again, and caused the block to be turned, and laying his neck upon it again, said, ' Do not strike yet.’ And when he rose up, he went about the Scaffold and said, I desire your Prayers, pray for me, the Lord blesse you all ! the Lord blesse this poor Nation !‘ Then he gave his handkerchiefs out of his two pockets to his servants. Then he kneeled down and prayed privately, and then laid down his neck upon the block, and said to the Executioner, When I lift up my hand, then give the blow ;‘ and just when he gave the sign, one of his servants said, 'Good, my lord, let me speak one word before,’ and looking up, he said, I have given you a sign, but you have ill missd it.’ And being upon his knees, he said, Honest friends, I thank God I fear not death ; I rejoyce to serve God, my King, and Country ; I am sorry to leave some of my Christian Friends, but I hope the Lord will keep them, and bless them : the Lord of Heaven bless my Wife and poor Children, the Lord bless his People and my good King.’ And laying his head upon the block, he said, ' Let the whole Earth be filled with His Glory !’ and giving the last sign by holding up his hand, his head was severed from his body with one blow.2

Thus was brought to a close the earthly career of James, seventh Earl of Derby, amidst the sighs, sobs, and prayers of the people of the town ; and never did man put off mortality and leave his " earthly tabernacle " with a better courage, nor look upon his bloody and malicious enemies with more Christian charity and pity. The body was now placed in the coffin which had been prepared for its reception, and the following couplet was thrown in by some unknown hand

Wit, bounty, courage, all three here in one lie dead;
A Stanley’s hand, Vera’s heart, and Cecil’s head.

The same night Lord Strange caused the remains of the Earl to be conveyed to Wigan ; and on the following day they were removed to Ormskirk, and deposited in the Derby vault, in which reposed the remains of his illustrious ancestors.

In speaking of the character of Lord Derby, Clarendon observes that he " was a man of unquestionable loyalty, of great honour, and clear courage." As a soldier the Earl was brave almost to rashness, and was well qualified to act as a leader in any bold exercise that required promptitude and decision. he enjoyed the confidence of his followers, and, as has been observed, posterity will still wonder how he could, for a single day, sustain the cause of Lancashire, when the King had taken the flower of his tenantry, and almost all his ammunition, and sent him thus unprovided to oppose the overwhelming forces of the King’s enemies in the county. As a politician, the firm attachment of his friends in Lancashire, including many of the nobles of the county, and the constant fidelity of the inhabitants of the Isle of Man, over whom he exercised the functions of a sovereign, afford convincing proof of his talents, and of an intimate knowledge of the human heart.3 The envy of Charles I.’s courtiers excluded him from the councils of that unfortunate monarch, whose cool and suspicious disposition was not in accordance with that of the " frank, bold, and manly peer ;" and the attachment of the Earl of Derby to Charles must consequently have originated in an honourable and conscientious adherence to his oath of allegiance, which was the prime motive for his endurance of neglect and misrepresentation, and for continuing his exertions in the Royalist cause at the hazard of con-fiscation and an ignominious and cruel death, but which has cast a l~alo over the cause for which he endured, fought, and suffered so much.

Notwithstanding the troublous times in which it was the lot of the Earl of Derby to move, and take so prominent a part and suffer so much, he stands boldly out as a consistent and loyal patriot and a Christian—his patriotism being sanctifled by his religious convictions, and the genuineness of his religious convictions proved by the unswerving loyalty . of his trying and spotless career. Lord Derby’s religion was a practical religion, and contrasted very favourably with that conventicle C~ piety," or self-betraying hypocrisy, which marked too plainly the career of many of his enemies connected with the Parliament. His religion was not an assumed religion, but an inward and lively religion, which guided his actions and supported him under his numerous and overwhelming trials. He was a man of prayer, and his lordship’s " Morning Prayer" shows how deeply. he was impressed with the conviction of his own littleness in the sight of God, and of the necessity of Divine aid to support him. He was not a loud professor of Christianity, but lie lived the life of the Christian, and as his life had been, such was his death. One of his lordship’s morning private prayers has been preserved, and is as follows :—

O Almighty Lord God I Thou that hearest prayer, assist me now in my devotion. By the. help of Thy blessed Spirit, make me to have so right a sense of my sins, that I may be humbled before Thee, and of Thy mercy that I may be raised and comforted by Thee. O Lord, make me tremble to consider Thee a.most mighty and terrible God, and make me again rejoice to know Thee a most loving and merciful Father. Make me zealous of Thy glory, and thankful for Thy bounties ; make me know my wants and the frailties of my nature, and be earnest in my prayer that Thou wilt forgive all my misdeeds ; make me in my address to Thee to have a present mind, and no cares, wandering thoughts or desfres elsewhere, or separate from Thee ; make me so to pray that I may obtain of Thee mercy, and the relief of all my necessities ; for the sake of Thy blessed Son and my Redeemer, the holy Jesus. Amen.

Another valuable and pleasing feature in the character of the Earl of Derby is the true philosophic knowledge he possessed of the human heart and mind, and of the true qualifications for a ruler, as evidenced in the twenty-seven " aphorisms " drawn up by his lordship for the guidance of his son, Lord strange, which embrace sound practical instruction, and display a high mental training and an intimate acquaintance with the bias of the human heart, as well as with the checks and influences indispensable to the right cultivation of the heart and mind for the right discharge of their personal and social and public duties. These choice instructions to Lord Strange are

1, Of all things seek ye to know the Word of God, and the Kingdom of God.—2, Know that about God there is neither greatness, place, quality, figure, or time, for he is all, through all, and about all.—3, This Word, O Son ! worship and adore : and the only service of God is not to be evil.—4, Remember that virtue, honesty, and religion, are the grounds and ends of all good men’s actions.—5, Build more upon an honest man’s word than a bad man’s bond—6, Trust not any man that has not approved himself a man of sound principles, and a good conscience ; for he who is false to God can never be a true man.—7, Remember that he is a happy king who loves his people, and is beloved by them.—8, That the strength of a king is in the love of his people.—9, That princes ought to be better than other men, because they command and rule all.—10, That a good prince ought first to preserve the service of God and his church, and next the commonwealth, before his own pleasure.—l1, That he can never be a good statesman that regardeth not the public more than his own advantage.—12, That honour is the reward of virtue, but gotten with labour, and held with danger.—13. That counsel without resolution and execution is but wind.—.14, That division in council is most dangerous.—15, That attempts are most probable when wisely formed, and secretly and speedily executed.—16, That union is the strength, and division the ruin of any body politic.—17, That the taking or losing an opportunity was the gaining or losing a project or fortune.—18, That war is soon kindled, but peace very hardly procured.—19, That war is the curse, and peace the blessing of God upon a nation.—21), That a nation gaineth more by one year’s peace than ten years’ war.—21 , That a nation can never be rich that hath not trade and commerce with other nations.— 22, That no man can get riches of himself, but by means and assistance of others.—23, That riches are God’s blessing to such that use them well, and his curse to such as do not.— 24, That all things in the world are valuable as we esteem them ; for a little to him that thinketh it enough is great riches.—25, That wild, lewd, and unthrifty youth is frequently the parents’ fault in making them men seven years too soon.—26, That youth are guilty of much folly and extravagance, having but children’s judgments, therefore should be in-structed and governed with the greatest prudence and tenderness.—27, That the better to prevent the follies of youth, the ancient Romans had a law, by which their sons were not permitted. to possess their father’s estate until they arrived at the age of twenty-five years.

In the Earl’s letters to Lord Strange we also meet with many sapient injunctions and observations, which shew his good sense and his ability to give instruction to one destined to be his successor as King of the Isle of Man, and for the proper discharge of the duties of whose important position many of the foregoing aphorisms were intended to prepare Lord Strange. With respect to choosing a wife, and on other matters, he counsels Lord Strange as follows :—.

When you arrive at man’s estate, use great caution in the choice of a wife, for as that is ill or well done, so is the whole life likely to be afterwards. It is like a project in war, wherein a man can probably err but once. If your estate be good, match near home and at leisure ; but if weak or encumbered, marry afar off and quickly. Inquire well into her disposition, and how her parents have been in their youth. Let her not be poor, how generous soever ; for a man can buy nothing in a market with gentility : nor choose an uncomely creature for wealth ; for it will cause contempt in others, and loathing with you. Choose not a dwarf or a fool ; the children of one will be pigmies, and the other your disgrace by a continual clack ; and there is nothing more fulsome than a she-fool. As to your housekeeping, let it be moderate, rather plentiful than niggardly ; for no man ever grew poor by keeping an orderly table, Banish drunkenness as a bane to health, consuming much, and making no show. * * * * Undertake no suit against a poor man on receiving much wrong, for you will make him your equal ; and it is but a base conquest where there is no resistance.

As yet no public monument has been erected to the memory of the Earl of Derby ; but it is satisfactory to observe that a numerous and influential committee of noblemen and gentle-men of England have determined to erect a memorial statue, in the town of Bolton, of. James Earl of Derby. The idea seems to have originated with the members of the Chetham Society ; and immediately upon the idea being suggested of raising a statue of the Earl it met with the warm approval of the gentlemen of Bolton, a number of whom formed them-selves into a committee, and eventually commissioned W. Calder Marshall, Esq., R.A., to prepare a model sketch of the Earl in the act of addressing the people from the scaffold. The model has already been prepared, and has been approved by the committee as the model for the intended memorial statue. The dominant sentiment conveyed by the statue is profound resignation, not, however, without some touch of regret for the illegality of the death about to be inflicted by order of the Parliament, " after quarter given " at the time he surrendered himself a prisoner ; and this feeling in its subdued expression is quite in keeping with the Earl yearning for the people while he stood upon the scaffold, and praying, with almost his last breath, that " God would soon again send them a king and laws." The precise time, however, supposed to be represented by the statue is just when the Earl, after kissing the scaffold and addressing the people looks towards the church, saying, " I will look towards Thy sanctuary whilst I am here, and I hope to live in Thy heavenly sanctuary here-after.". The costume of the Earl is also looked upon as being unexceptionably accurate. As the Earl was made a prisoner while on the march, he is supposed to have worn, with or without the breastplate, the familiar buff doublet peculiar to the time,—the garb which Sir Walter Scott has made . Sir Geoffrey Peveril describe with characteristic bluffness as the dress worn by that gallant Royalist even when he led his lady to the altar. The only decoration introduced by Mr. Marshall in his sketch is that of the George, which the Earl put on, on the morning of his execution, and which he instructed Lord Strange to return after his death to his gracious Soveroign, as he received it, " spotless and free from any stain, according to the honourable example of his ancestors." The artist has also displayed equal care in the minuter details, the collar and cuffs being closely in accordance with the least questioned portraits of the Earl, whose dress is invariably distinguished by an almost total absence of ornamentation, the very edges being plain, and not vandyked, as is commonly to be seen in most of the portraits of the period , and considering the great simplicity of the Earl’s character, it is hardly to. be .doubted that the usual dress of Earl James was such as to "proclaim the man " who could find comfort in dying on the scaffold " a souldier, a Christian, and Christ’s souldier."*

In the beginning of October, whilst the Earl of Derby was a prisoner at Chester, Captain Young, on board the President frigate, by the command of the Parliamentarian leaders, summoned the Isle of Man to surrender ; but the Countess of Derby, not knowing the fate of the Royalists in England, and being still determined to hold and defend the island for the Earl and the Royalist cause with the same noble spirit and fidelity to her husband that had been so often heroically and successfully displayed during the siege at Lathom, returned the answer that —" Lady Derby keeps the island by her Lord’s commands, and without his orders she will not deliver it up ; being in duty bound to obey her Lord’s commands."

The Earl of Derby, however, having suffered a fate similar to that of the late King and others who had sacrificed their lives and their all on behalf of the interests of royalty, the attention of the Parliamentarians was now specially directed to the object of forcibly seizing from the widowed Countess of Derby the little kingdom of Man, which had afforded a home and a shelter to many gallant Royalists from the fury of the enemy, and was then the only place in the three kingdoms resisting their power : Accordingly, on the 25th of October, 1651, a very formidable fleet of ten ships and a considerable force of military appeared before the island, under the joint command of the two worthies Duckinfield and Birch. At this time the governor of the island, under the Countess, was Sir Philip Musgrave, a renowned Cavalier, and of an ancient Cumberland family, who, with Sir Thomas Armstrong and his brother (the former of whom held Peel Castle, and the latter commanded at Rushen) resolved to hold the island against the Parliament for the King.

The letters written by the Earl of Derby just before his death and confided to Captain Baggerley, had not yet been delivered to the Countess (Baggerley himself being a prisoner at Chester), consequently she was not acquainted with the affectionate and dying will and advice of the Earl that she should no longer resist a power that then had " command of three kingdoms ;" nor does it appear when Baggerley was permitted to deliver the Earl’s last letters to the Countess, and to acquaint her with the will of the Earl touching the occupation of the island against the Parliamentarians. Of the fact that Duckinfield knew that it was the will of the Earl of Derby that the Countess should not hold out any longer against a power so unequal there can be no doubt, but of this be had not the gallantry to avail himself, and So, laying aside eten the customary form of a summons to surrender, he wrote a flippant and ungallant letter to the Countess, wherein he gives her the first intimation of her sad loss and bereavement by speaking of " the late Earl, her husband," and informing her that he was about to take possession of the island.* It was in vain that Musgrave and Armstrong continued firm to their purpose, for, on Duckinfleld approaching the shore, the Manxmen, either from fear or sedition, put off in their boats to meet and welcome the invaders, whom they landed triumphantly on the island ; and Captain Christian, of whose former seditions and infidelity Lord Derby speaks in his letter to Charles, Lord Strange, already noticed, placed himself at the head of the invaders, and treacherously surrendered the island almost without conditions, and was the agent by whom the widowed Countess and her young fatherless children and the governors of both castles were seized in the middle of the night,, and handed over as prisoners to the " tender mercies" of Duckinfield and Birch, who falsely informed the Countess that Captain Christian " had surrendered the island upon articles." The Countess and her children being thus betrayed into the hands of their enemies, the grand object of the Parliamentarians was attained ; but, as Hume observes, the Countess had " the glory of being the last person in the three kingdoms, and in all their dependent dominions, who submitted to the victorious Commonwealth ;" and it is worthy of note, as an interesting historical fact, that as Charlotte de la Tremouille Countess of Derby was the last to submit, the Earl of Derby had been the first to strike a blow in these civil wars on behalf of Royalty and the Church.

The news of the capture, or rather surrender of the Isle of Man, and the taking of the Countess of Derby and her child-ren prisoners, was received by the Parliamentarians in London with great exultation ; ‘ and the Parliament voted its thanks to Duckinfleld and Birch ; and the messenger who conveyed the tidings had £l00 awarded to him.

The Countess Dowager of Derby and her children were now taken and rigorously confined as prisoners. On being taken a prisoner, it is stated the Countess asked permission to reside at Peel, having planned a scheme whence to escape to France or Holland ; but this liberty was peremptorily denied her, and Rushen Castle was appointed as the place of her captivity ; and in a dismal dungeon in that castle she remained for nine long years ; and during her incarceration two of her children—Edward and William—were seized with the small-pox whilst within the cold damp walls forming their prison. The revenue of the Isle of Man, according to Whitelock, at this time was about £1500 per annum ; but all that was allowed the Countess was about £9200 in plate.

The Isle of Man, having now fell into the possession of the Parliament, was given to General Sir Thomas Fairfax, who was unquestionably a brave and an accomplished soldier, and likewise a good and humane man. In 1652, James Challoner* was appointed a commissioner for ruling the island ; and, in 1658, Sir Thomas Fairfax made him governor, and consequently he became gaoler to the Countess of Derby; and now the imprisonment of the Countess and her surviving children was somewhat relaxed, and eventually they were allowed to wander in obscurity in the island in great distress, depending for their subsistence on the alms of impoverished but faithful and sympathising friends. In this forlorn condition the Countess and her children languished till the Restoration; and to some of the incidents previous to the advent of which it may not be out of place now briefly to advert.

The whole of the country having succumbed to the Parliamentary army under Cromwell, the general now began to fix his thoughts, if not on the dignity of royalty itself, certainly on an equivalent position of authority ; but, as his aspirations strengthened, he had the mortification of seeing that the Parliament became daily more jealous of his power ; and that, without, a dissolution of Parliament was vigorously demanded ; and the House, taking the initiative, resolved to bring forward a bill admitting to a future Parliament the Presbyterians, who were now the determined foes of Cromwell and the Independents, and to dissolve immediately after passing it. This bill was brought forward on the 20th of April, 1653, but Cromwell, having his own partisans on the spot, and ready to serve his purpose, prolonged the debate while information was forwarded to him by Colonel Ingoldsby of the nature and progress of the business in the House. Cromwell, in a rage, immediately hastened to the scene of the debate, being accompanied by a body guard of 300 soldiers, when one of the most extraordinary and disgraceful scenes of which the House of Commons was ever the theatre took place within its walls. According to some historians, Cromwell entered the House alone, leaving the soldiers in the lobby ; while others inform us that they entered the house with him. One account represents him as never having taken a seat ; while, according to another, he went to his usual place, and sat listening with much impatience to the debate for some time; and then stamping with his foot, that being the signal for the soldiers to enter, he poured upon the Parliament the vilest reproaches for their tyranny, ambition, oppression, and robbery of the publics making use of the coarsest . language to the members :—" For shame," said he to the members present, " get you gone ; give place to honester men ; to those who will more faithfully discharge their trust. You are no longer a parliament. The Lord has done with you : He has chosen other instruments for carrying on this work." On Sir Peter Wentworth remonstrating, Cromwell replied, "Come, come, sir, I will put an end to your prating ! You are no parliament ! I say you are no parliament !" Sir Harry Vane indignantly exclaimed, " This is not honest ; it is against morality and common honesty" Cromwell, in a loud voice, now retorted, " Sir Harry Vane, oh, Sir Harry Vane ! he is a juggler, and has not common honesty himself ! The Lord deliver me from Sir Harry Vane !" Taking hold of Henry Martin by the cloak he said, " Thou art a whoremaster." To another, " Thou art an adulterer." To a third, " Thou art a drunkard and a glutton ;" and to a fourth, " Thou art an extortioner." He then commanded a soldier to seize ‘the mace, saying, " What shall we do with this fool’s bauble? Here take it away. It is you," addressing himself to the House, " that have forced me upon this. I have sought the Lord night and day, that he would rather slay me than put me upon this work." Sir William Lenthall, the Speaker, was ejected from the chair, and Algernon Sydney was forcibly removed. The soldiers having cleared the house, Cromwell went out last, and having ordered the doors to be locked, put the keys into his pocket, and departed to his lodgings in Whitehall This extraordinary scene appears to have taken place early on the morning of the 21st of April ; and in the afternoon of the same day, Cromwell announced to his colleagues in the Council of State the termination of their powers, as the Parliament from which they derived their authority was no longer in existence, when Bradshaw, the president, replied, " Sir, we have heard what you did at the house this morning ; and, before many hours, all England will know of it. But, sir, you are mistaken that the Parliament is dissolved. No person under heaven can dissolve them but themselves. Therefore take you notice of that."*

Cromwell, however, with the army on his side, knew and felt convinced that he had dissolved the Parliament ; and no man knew better than he did, that the existence of such a Parliament (consisting of a mere clique of about fifty members) he had thus furiously broken up, was as illegal as his own summary proceeding ; and he knew also full well that his success in the contest was but the inevitable result of two unequal parties engaged in a struggle for an illegal object, and so only afforded another instance of power displacing weakness, and not of might triumphing over right ; for the men who had been the active agents in overthrowing two branches of the constitution—the sovereign and the peers - and disgusting the majority of the landed and other commoners, could not be looked upon as a legal body. Thus justly and ingloriously and uncared for fell the last remnant of the " Long Parliament," crushed under and triumphed over by the very army it had called into existence, and under whose shield and by whose sword it had struck down royalty and murdered many of the first nobles of the land, including the Earl of Derby and others.

The next step taken by Cromwell was that of summoning by name 139 persons, favourable to himself~, and constituting them a parliament. This Parliament, known as the " Little Parliament," and sometimes " Barebone’s Parliament," from a corruption of Praise-God Barbone, the name of a prominent and noisy and busy member of it, and a leather dealer, met at Whitehall, July 4th, 1653. It appears to have met merely for the purpose of surrendering its power to Cromwell, who was declared " Protector " by a council of the officers of his army. The little Parliament was abruptly dissolved in 1654, by the Protector, though against the advice of Whitelock and his friends generally ; but, being somewhat successful at home and abroad, he was encouraged to assemble another Parliainent in 1656 ; but finding the majority of its members in-tractable, he ordered the doors of the House to be guarded in order that no member should be admitted not having an order from the council. The Parliament thus purged voted the abolition of all title to the throne in the family of the Stuarts ; and it was even moved by Colonel Jephson that the crown should be bestowed upon Cromwell. After much wavering, however, Cromwell reluctantly rejected the offer, feeling that the danger of accepting it would be imminent, while. the increase of power, his favourite object, would be trifling. Cromwell’s treatment of his parliaments was arbitrary, and the Republican members began to exclaim, " Have we cut down tyranny in one person, and shall the nation be shackled by another ?" while the Royalists repeated the interrogation, " Hast thou, like Ahab, killed and taken possession ?" Fòr the success of the English army and navy and the home and foreign policy of. the Protector during the Commonwealth the reader is referred to the history of the time. The foreign policy of Cromwell has been variously estimated. It seems to have been imprudent for the most part, but somewhat magnanimous, enterprising, and ultimately successful, and many of his soldiers who had fought on the battle fields of Marston-moor, Naseby, Dunbar, and Worcester, had been instrumental in striking down the Spanish power in the Netherlands, and they had also fought and conquered beneath the walls of Dunkirk, under the eye of Turenne ; whilst Admiral Blake, " the Puritan Sea King," anti the Royalist Admiral Monk defeated the Dutch Admiral Van Tromp, and made the Dutch acknowledge the sovereignty claimed by the English flag in the narrow seas ; Blake having reminded his officers, " It is not our business to mind state affairs, but to keep foreigners from fooling us."

Fatigued by the pressure of public business, much concerned at the general prevalence of discontent, and harrassed by the fear of assassination, the health of Cromwell gave way, and he died of fever and ague at Whitehall, in the 60th year of his age, on the afternoon of September 3rd, 1658, the anniversary of his victories over the Royalists at Dunbar and Worcester ; and we are told that a fearful tempest raged in England, and nearly over the whole of Europe on the preceding night and morning. " His burial," says Sir Walter Scott, " was conducted with unusual pomp and magnificence " at Westminster but his corpse was not suffered to rest in peace. At the Restoration his body was disinterred by the Royalists, and having been hung at Tyburn was cast into a hole beneath the gallows."f

Oliver Cromwell was succeeded as Lord Protector by his eldest surviving son, Richard, who was then in the thirty-second year of his age, and who was proclaimed with all the pomp and ceremony usual on the accession of a sovereign4 Richard Cromwell, however, not being, like his father, a military man, Fleetwood, his brother-in-law, was appointed commander-in-chief ; while Henry Cromwell, brother of the new Protector, was at the head of the army in Ireland, as lord-deputy ; and General Monk was entrusted with the government of Scotland.

Hitherto Richard Cromwell had chiefly moved in a private sphere, leading the life of a country gentleman in Hampshire, which appears to have been most suited both to his tastes and abilities. Being, on this account, despised by the army as a peaceful civilian, he pursued the only course open to him, namely, that of summoning a Parliament, which was called in the usual form, and assembled on the 27th of January, 1659; but no sooner had the Parliament met than stormy debatee arose between those who were in favour of the Constitution as left by Oliver Cromwell and maintained by the army on the one hand, and the opposition which was formed by the Presbyterians and some concealed Cavaliers on the other. An act of recognition, however, was passed ; but, on attempting to abate the power of the military element, a rupture ensued, which proved fatal to the Parliament, for the leading officers became the heads and leaders of respective factions, which resulted in a general council being organised to maintain Richard Cromwell now retired into that obscure and humble life, from which it would have been better for his comfort if he had never ventured, burdened with enormous debts, arising partly from the pompous funeral of his father ; and though the Parliament had voted him £20,000 towards those extravagant expenses, yet he was unable to meet the claims of his creditors, and in order to escape from them, after the Restoration, he went abroad.*

Both the Parliament and the people now began to feel the want of a ruler, and their attention was directed towards their exiled Sovereign, for it was found that Fleetwood, Lambert, Desborough, and others whose names had become notorious amid the prevailing political chaos, had more ability to over-throw a government than to form one themselves. At length, however, they came to an understanding with the republican party, with whom they effected a coalition, in the repudiation of their own act, by restoring the remnant of the Long Parliament, which, six years before, they had assisted Cromwell so ignominiously to dissolve. Fresh disagreements soon succeeded this coalition movement, and the English Parliament House was again cleared by military force, and disunion in the army itself followed in the wake. At this time, General Monk marched from Scotland at the head of 7,000 troops, and arrived in London on the 4th of February, 1 660, and took up his quarters at Whitehall ; and, after ascertaining the state of the popular feeling, to the dismay of the republican party, he declared in favour of a free Parliament ; and the Presbyterian members, who had been expelled by Colonel Pride’s purgation, returned to their seats in the Long Parliament, and that remarkable body finally dissolved itself previously issuing writs for a new Parliament to meet on the 25th of April. The new Parliament consisted chiefly of Cavaliers and Presbyterians ; and Monk availed himself of a private interview with one of the King’s agents, to whom he made no secret of his wish to see Charles upon the throne, and gave assurances to further steps to effect its realisation to the best of his ability, and advised the issuing of a manifesto offering a nearly general pardon, liberty of conscience, and a confirmation of all sales of property made during the recent civil wars and troubles. On the 1st of May, letters were received from the King, one of which contained the celebrated declaration for the allaying of the fears of those who had been so long engaged in open rebellion against royalty. The following is an extract from this declaration :—

" And to the end that fear of punishment may not engage any conscious to themselves of what is past, to a perseverance in guilt to the future, by opposing the quiet and happiness of their country, in the restoration both of King, Peers, and People, to their just, ancient, and fundamental rights : We do by these presents declare, That we grant a Free and General Pardon, which we are ready upon demand, to pass under our Great Seal of England, to all our Subjects of what degree or quality soever, who within forty days after the publishing hereof, shall lay hold upon this our Grace and Favour, and shall by any public act declare their doing so, and that they return to the loyalty and obedience of good Subjects, excepting only such persons as shall hereafter be excepted by Parliament : Those only excepted, Let all our Subjects, how faulty soever, rely upon the word of a King, solemnly given by this present declaration, That no crime whatsoever, committed against us, or our royal Father, before the publication of this, shall ever rise in judgment, or be brought in question against any of them, to the least endamagement of them, either in their lives, liberties, or estates, or (as far forth as lies in our power) so much as to the prejudice of their reputations, by any reproach, or terms of distinction from the rest of our best Subjects ; we desiring and ordaining, That henceforward all notes of discord, separation, and difference of parties, be utterly abolished among all our Subjects, whom we invite and conjure to a perfect union amoiÍg themselves, under our protection, for the settlement of our just rights and theirs, in a Free Parliament, by which, upon the word of a King, we will be advised."

Immediately after the reading of the letters and the declaration here alluded to, the Lords, who were prepared for the opportunity, voted " That according to ancient and fundamental Laws of this Kingdom, the Government is, and ought to be by King, Lords, and Commons."

The letters and declaration from the King, as well as the decisive vote of the Lords, were next read in the House of Commons, when the Commons readily agreed to the vote of the Lords, and so the King was restored without the require-ment of any of the conditions* previously demanded, and which had been the cause of so aggravated and prolonged a civil war, and of the loss of so many noble and valuable lives.

On the 8th of May, Charles, who was still at the Hague, was proclaimed King at the gate at Westminster Hall, with great solemnity ; and on the 11 th of the same month, commissioners from the Parliament and the city departed for the Hague, where the King gave them an audience on the 16th, and received the homage of Admiral Montague, and the other officers of the English navy. After remaining some days longer at the Hague, preparing for his departure, and receiving the compliments of the States, the King embarked on board the ship Naseby, on the 23rd, and arrived at Dover on the 25th, and thence proceeded the same day to Canterbury, where, on the following day, he invested General Monk with the Order of the Garter ; and on the 29th of May, being his Majesty’s birthday, he made his public entry into London, amidst the joy and acciarnations of a numberless multitude of people, flowers being strewed in the road to Whitehall, the bells ringing merrily, and the old surviving Cavaliers, who had fought at Edgehill, Naseby, and Worcester, weeping for very gladness.

During the domination of the Commonwealth, the whole body of the Cathedral clergy had been ousted by the Parliamentary or Dissenting party, and it is estimated that not less than from six to seven thousand were cruelly ejected from their livings, and some, including the Fellows of Colleges and all ejected from their livings, calculate the number at ten thousand : Gaudon states the number at from 6,000 to 7,000; Walker, 8,000 to 10,000 ; White, the chairman of the committee, 8,000 ; and Dr. Hook, in his Church Dictionary, at 7,000. Amongst those who were driven out may be mentioned John Owen, D.D., Bishop of St. Asaph, and William Roberts, D.D., Bishop of Bangor. Thomas Howell, D,D., Bishop of Bristol, was most barbarously treated. The rebel and dissenting party took the lead off the roof of his palace, and he, being thrust out of the palace, was exposed to the weather, day and night, owing to which he died soon after, and his palace was converted into a malthouse. James Usher, D.D., Bishop of Carlisle, had his residence pillaged, and he himself deprived of all his possessions, and he died a victim to the trials he endured. Dean Reeves and his wife and four children taken out of their beds at midnight, and being turned out of doors lay all night under a hedge in the wet and cold. The learned and pious John Gregory, who spent sixteen hours every day in study, was reduced to such poverty that he was compelled to retire to an obscure public-house at Kidlington Green, near Oxford, and after some years died in that obscurity. George Benson was thrust out of his rectory, and his pulpit was filled by a mere layman, who never paid him fifths for the maintenance of his wife and family. Good Joseph Hall, the Bishop of Norwich, was seized one cold frosty night at about eight o’clock and cast into prison, and after his release his property was sequestered, and himself and family abused in the vilest manner. John Cosin, D.D., Dean of Peterborough, was thrown into prison, fined, degraded, deprived, and excommunicated upon false charges connected with his religious opinions. That great champion of Protestantism, Chillingworth, was most cruelly treated, and at his burial one Francis Cheynell, a Dissenting minister, throwing the works of Chillingworth into the grave after his corpse, exclaimed, " Get thee gone, thou cursed book ; get thee into the place of rottenness, that thou mayest rot with thy author."* Henry Fowler, rector of Minchin Hampton, was seized, a sword held to his throat, beaten with pole axes, railed at for reading Common Prayer, and, although sixty-two years of age, was beaten and rendered unable to move ; then the son was attacked, and then the daughter, and knocked down several times with a pole axe, and the aged mother shared the same treatment, and then the house was plundered. John Holeshead was turned out of his church on Sunday while officiating, and a pistol held to his throat, with a threat of death if he did not comply. Dr. Hammond endured imprisonment for several months. Jereùty Taylor, one of the greatest divines that ever lived, was driven from his parish and took refuge for a time in Wales, and afterwards in Ireland. Numberless other cases might be cited to shew how the Church clergy of the day were cruelly ousted from their livings, and how the parishes were left without competent ministers, or without spiritual teachers at all

For some time previous to the year 1656, the parish of Ormskirk had been in this destitute state, when the people made an earnest request that the Rev. Nathaniel Heywood, then at Illingworth, might come and minister among them, with which request he complied, and the Countess Dowager of Derby presented him with the vicarage of Ormskirk, a pleasing example of the kind of ministers patronised by the distinguished Countess. The following is a copy of the presentation of the vicarage of Ormskirk to the Rev. Nathaniel Heywood, the original of which is still in the possession of the family of Mr. Heywood, a facsimile of which may be seen in the Life and Works of Oliver Heywood :—

CHARLOTTE, the Countess of Derby, the true and undoubted Patroness of the Vicarage of Ormskirk, in the County Palatine of Lancaster, unto the honourable the Comusissioners for approbation and admission of Public Preachers, sendeth greeting in the Lord God everlasting. I do present unto you to be admitted unto the Vicarage of Ormskirk aforesaid, being now void, my well beloved in Christ Nathaniel Heywood, minister of God’s word, humbly desiring that the said Nathaniel Heywood may be by you admitted unto the said Vicarage with its rights, members and appurtenances. And that you will be pleased to do whatsoever shall be requisite in that behalf for the making him, the said Nathaniel Heywood, Vicar of the Church of Ormekirk aforesaid, according to the late ordinances in that case made and provided. IN WITNESS whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the seventh day of August, in the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred fifty and six. DERBY.




1 The Rev. Henry Bridgman was rector of Wigan, and one of the Earl’s chaplains, and continued the last, we are told, such dutiful and affectionate attendance as circumstances allowed to him, and was recognized by the Earl, being seated on horseback, near the scaffold, among the troopers. The rev. gentleman afterwards became Dean of Chester, and Bishop of Man. He was the younger son of Dr. John Bridgman, bishop of Chester, and manorial lord of Great Lever, Lancashire.

2 There are at least three other versions of the last address of the Earl. The one which appears in Sir Walter Scott’s edition of Somers’s Tracts, is condemned as spurious, being altogether unlike that of any known composition of the Earl’s. The one given in the Black Tribunal, though it approaches in some points to the authorised account, is condemned as being sedulously tortured into a more oratorical form, inconsistent with the noble sufferer’s characteristic simplicity. The third, which is found in Collins from Baggerley’s MS. and in Seacombe, is said to agree with his Lordship’s paper (meaning the speech composed at Leigh, on the eve of the Earl’s execution.) The genuineness of this version is generally admitted, though it seems to have been retouched and amplified by Mr. Greenhaigh and Baggerley. This version of the speech we here subjoin as supplementary to the speech given above :—" I am come and am content to die in this town, where I endeavoured to come the last time I was in Lancashire, as a place where I promised myself to be welcome; in regard to which the people have reason to be satisfied of my love and affection for them; and that they now understand sufficiently that I am not a man of blood, as some malicious-ly and falsely slandered me with, being acquitted of that by many gentlemen of great worth, who were in the fight in this town ; and I am confident there are still some in this place, who can witness my mercy and care in saving the lives of many men that day. As for my crime, as some call it, to come into this country with the King, I hope it deserves a better name ; for I did it in obedience to his Majesty’s commands, whom I hold myself obliged to obey, according to the protestation I took in Parliament in his father’s time. I confess I love monarchy, and I love my master, Charles II., of that name, whom . I proclaimed in this country to be King. The Lord bless and preserve him. I do believe and assure you, that he is a virtuous, valiant, and discreet prince ; and I wish so much happiness to the good people of this nation after my death, that he may enjoy his right, and then I am well assured, that they cannot want theirs under him. I confess here in the presence of God, I always fought for peace, and I had no other reason, for I . wanted neither estate nor honour, neither did I seek to enlarge either at the expense of others’ lives and fortunes, or the invasion of the King’s rights and prerogatives. My predecessors were, for their duty, loyalty, and good services, raised to a high condition of honour and fortune, as is well known in this country ; and it is as well known that I am condemned to die by his Majesty’s enemies, by new and unknown laws. The Lord send us our King again, and the Lord send us our Religion again ; as for that which is practised now, it hath no name ; and I think there is more talk of religion, than any real practice or good effects thereof. Truly for me I die for God, the King, and the Laws, which makes me not ashamed of my life, nor afraid at my death," At these words, a trooper is said to have called out, "We have no King, and will have no Lords ;" which gave rise to a mutiny among the soldiers, and his Lordship was interrupted, at which some of the officers were troubled, and the friends of his Lordship much grieved. Being again allowed to proceed with his address, and seeing the troops scattered in the streets, " cutting and slashing the people with their swords, the Earl observed, " Gentlemen, what is the matter, where is the guilt ? I fly not, and here is none to pursue you." This account then goes on to say that his Lordship, perceiving he might not speak, he turned himself to his servant, and gave him his papers, and commanded him to let the world know what he had to say, had he not been interrupted and hindered, the remainder of the address, being as follows, " as it was written in his Lordship’s papers under his own hand :"—" My sentence, upon which I am brought hither, was by a council of war, which council I had reason to expect would have justified my plea of quarter for life ; that being an ancient and honourable plea amongst soldiers, and not violated till this time. I am made the first precedent in this case, and I earnestly wish that no others suffer in the like manner. Now I must die, and I thank my God I am ready to die, with a good and quiet conscience, without malice to any, upon any grounds whatsoever ; though others would not shew mercy unto me upon just and fa~ir means ; but I forgive them, following the example of my Saviour, who prayed for his enemies, and so do I pray for mine. As for my faith and religion, I profess and believe in one only God, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, who died for me and all mankind and from whom I look for my Salvation ; that is, m and through His only merits and sufferings ; and I die a dutiful son of the Church of England, as it was established in my late master’s reign, and as it is yet professed in the Isle of Man, which is no small comfort to me. I thank my God for the quiet of my conscience at this time, and for the assurance of those joys which he hath promised, and are prepared for all those that love, adore, and fear Him. The GOD of Heaven bless you all, and send you peace and prosperity ; that GOD, who is truth itself, bless you with peace and truth. Amen." After the uproar was over, his Lordship, walking the scaffold, called for the executioner to come to him, and asked to see the axe, Saying, " Come friend, give it into my hands, I’ll neither hurt thee font ; it cannot hurt me, for I am not afraid of it ;" and kissing it, gave it to him again. Then he asked to see the block, which was not quite ready, and turnmg up his eyes said, " How long, good Lord, how long ?" Then putting his handinto his pocket, he gave the keadaman two pieces of gold, saying, " This is all I have, take it, and do thy work well ; and when I am upon the block, and lifting up my hands, then do your business ; but I fear your great coat will hinder or trouble you, pray put it off." Some standing by, bid him ask hip Lordship’s forgiveness, but, bemg either too sullen, or too slow, his Lord-ship forgave hun before he askedit ; and passing by the other side where his coffin stood, and spying one of his chaplains on horseback amongst the troopers, said, " Sir, remember me to your brother and friend ; you see I am ready, but the block is not ; but when I am got into my chamber, which I shall not be long out of (pointing to the coffin), I shall then be at rest, and no longer troubled with such a guard and noise as I have been ;" and, turning himself round again, he saw the block, and asked if all was ready ; then going to the place where he began his speech, he said, " Good people. I thank you for your prayers and tears ; I have heard the one and seen the other. Then bowing, he turned towards the block, and then looking towards the church, he caused the block to be turned and laid that way, saying—"I will look towards Thy sanctuary whilst I am here, and I hope to live in Thy heavenly sanctuary for ever hereafter." Then taking his doublet off, asked how he must lie, saying—" I never saw any one’s head cut off, but I will try how it fits ;" so laying him down, and stretching himself upon the block, he rose agam, and caused it to be moved a little, and looking at the executioner, said—" Be sure you remember what I told you, when I lift up my hands then do your work ;" then looking on his friends about him, said, bowing—" The Lord be with you all, pray for me ;" and, kneeling upon his knees, made a short and private prayer, ending with the Lord’s Prayer, and bowing himself again, said —" The Lord bless my wife and children, and the Lord bless us all ;" and laying his neck upon the block, and his arms stretched out, he said these words aloud :—" Blessed be God’s holy name for ever and ever.—Amen. Let the whole earth be filled with his glory."

The axe by which the head of the Earl was severed from his body has a convex blade, very wide and heavy, with a short haft, and was, a few years ago, in the possession of the descendants of the executioner, at Turton.—See note in Briscoe’s Hand-book of Bolton,

3 See Baines’s Lancashire.

4 At an influential meeting held at Bolton, on the 10th April, 1863, theMayor,J.R. Wolfenden, presiding, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted :—" That a permanent record of important events in the history of the town being a duty due to posterity, it is proper to erect a statue to the Seventh Earl of Derby, who suffered death in Bolton." " That the model sketch of the proposed statue, prepared by William Calder Marshall, RA., is approved by this meeting, that, a subscription be entered into for its erection in bronze, and that the inscription on the pedestal be, James, Seventh Earl of Derby, suffered death here, 15th October, 1651.’ "—The proposed statue is intended to. be erected over the spot on which the Earl of Derby forfeited his life,


a Challoner appears to have borne a most extraordinary character. By birth and attainments he is described as a gentleman, but condescended to become a Roundhead, not from any principle either good or bad, but because he found it the stronger side, a choice men are often too prone to make ; but yet, though he had thus been favoured by the party to whom he had attached himself, he could never allow an opportunity to pass that allowed him a chance of amusing himself at their expense. The account of his death, as given by Aubrey, is very remarkable, and may not be uninteresting to the reader :—"After the restoration of Charles the 2d, he kept the castle of the Isle of Man, where he kept a pretty wench that was his concubine. When they told him the castle was demanded for his Majesty, he spake to his girl to make him a posset, which did, in a very short time, make him fall a vomiting exceedingly : and, after some time vomited nothing but blood. His retchings were so violent that the standers by were much grieved to behold it. Within three hours he died. The demandants of the castle came and saw him dead ; but he was swollen so extremely that they could not see any cia he had, and no more of his nose than the tip of it, which shewed like a wart. This account I had from Geo. Estcourt, DD., whose brother-in-law, Nathan, was one of those that cawe him."—[See also Wood’a Åthenæ.j

— .‘ a Whitelock, Rapin, and Hume.

S Cromwell was interred in Henry ITII.’s Chapel, amongst the Kings and Queens of England, and the expenses attending his funeral arc stated at £60,000.—See Rapin and Manley.

t Tales of a Grandfather.

~ In the last days of Cromwell’s illness, it is said that he was asked twice concerning his successor, when he readily answered he would have his son Richard, notwithstanding that during his protectorship he signed an instrument by which he appointed Fleetwood, his son-in-law, for his successor. Some say that Oliver had actually made Fleetwood his heir ; but one of his daughters knowing where his will was, took it away, and burned it before Fleetwood could come at it.—Fleetwood married Cromwell’s daughter Bridget, the the supremacy of the army, now threatened by the civilians. In return, the army demanded the dissolution of the Parliament, either in a peaceful way by the Protector’s own authority, or see it accomplished by the sword. The Protector, preferring the former alternative, dissolved his Parliament on the 22nd of April, and shortly afterwards signed his abdication in form, after having been Protector little more than seven months.

* He returned after an absence of twenty years and resided at Cheshunt, in Hertfordshire, at first under a feigned name, where he died in 1712, at the advanced age of 86. On the abdication of Richard Cromwell, the other members of the Cromwell family returned to their original obscurity. Oliver’s widow received the title of " her highness dowager" during the brief protectorate of her son. She finally retired to the house of her son-in-law’s Claypole, of Norborough, in Lincolnshire, where she died in 1665.

* Bishop Burnet, in the History of his own Time, informs us, that such unanimity appeared in the proceedings of the Parliament for the King’s Restoration, that there was not the least dispute among them, but upon one single point, yet that was a very important one. Sir Matthew Hale, afterwards the famous Chief-Justice, moved, That a committee might be appointed to look into the propositions that had been made, and the concessions that had been offered by the late King, and from thence digest such propositions as they should think fit to be sent over to the King. This motion appears to have been seconded, but, by whom, Bishop Burnet forgot. As such a motion was foreseen, Monk had been instructed how to answer it. He told the House, that he had information of such numbers of incendiaries still in the kingdom, that if any delay was put to the sending to the King, he could not answer for the peace either of the nation or the army. And as the King was to bring neither army nor treasure with him, either to fright or corrupt them, propositions might be as well offered to him when he should come over ; so he moved for sending commissioners immediately. This was echoed with such a shout over the House, that the motion was no more insisted on. The Bishop observes, this was indeed the great service Monk did ; and to the King’s coming without conditions may be well imputed all the errors of his reign.—pp. 88, 89—Within half a century, the dynasty which Charles II. now represented was permanently excluded from the government of the kingdom, not by an act of violence, as in the case of the late King, but by the deliberate decision of both Lords and Commons. It is worthy of remark that on the day before the " Merrie Monarch" reached the metropolis, an infant was born in northern Germany, who became in course of time George I. of England, and the ancestor of the present English Royal House of Brunswick, by which the Stuart line was supplanted.

* Walker, part ii., p. 63. Chillingworth’s Life, p. 16. See also Historical and Critical Account of the Life and Writings of W. Chillingworth, p. 361.



Back index next

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2000