[From Lancashire Worthies, 1874]
[still being edited - sorry]
To the anxiety given poor Lady Derby by the imprisonment of her daughters were soon added other maternal sorrows arising out of the conduct of her eldest son. The young Lord Strange had quitted France, and was living in idleness " in Holland, to the great indignation of the high-spirited lady who had defended Latham House, and who was pained to see the heir to the Earldom of Derby wasting his days in inglorious ease or inaction. " We have written to your nephew," she says in a letter to her sister-in-law, " desiring him to return to France that he may see a campaign there, for it is shameful for a person of his age" -not twenty-three-" never yet to have seen anything. He has received some hints of this kind from those about him, which have piqued him greatly and inspired him with a desire to see service, for which I do not blame him." This creditable inspiration seems to have been neutralised, however, by an attachment which Lord Strange had conceived for a certain " Mademoiselle de Rupa, a young German lady of good family, but without fortune or rank," said to have been " maid of honour to Elizabeth Queen of Bohemia." In spite of the opposition of his parents the young gentleman married Mademoiselle, nay, before the end of the year 1650 he seems to have come over to England to make his peace with the parliament and save what could be saved of the family estates. For these offences neither father nor mother ever forgave him. Not long afterwards Lord Derby commemorated his paternal ire in a will, a section of which ran thus -" I give and bequeath to my most gracious Sovereign and liege Lord, King Charles, the second of that name, one cup of fine gold of the value of one hundred pounds, humbly beseeching his Majesty, if God shall call me out of the world before I see my estates settled-by his grace and favour, my chief honour and estate may descend upon my son Edward and his issue male, and in default of him upon my son William and his issue male, or in default of any such issue upon my daughter Mary and her two sisters Catherine and Amelia successively ; and this by reason of my just sense against Charles, my eldest son, for his disobedience to his Majesty "-and myself !-'I in the matter of this marriage, as his Majesty well knows, and for his going to join the rebels of England at this time, to the great grief of his parents, by which he hath brought a stain upon their blood if he were permitted to inherit." The young gentleman himself protested that he had no thought of "joining the rebels," actively or disloyally. " Some people," he writes to his aunt, the Duchesse de la Tremoille, in the December of 1650, "have sent me word that if my father did not make his peace with the parliament within two months neither he nor any of his race after him should enjoy his estates in that country; urging upon me that, since they were sure the Parliamentarians would never come to terms with my father, I should do well to go over and make terms with them on my own account, which being done my father might enjoy his property in my name. I do not wish to say anything about this to my father and mother until I have your approval of it. I hope you have not so bad an opinion of me as to think that in this matter I look to my own profit so much as to the good of our house ; whatever advantage I may reap from this negotiation, my chief desire is that I may bring back the waters to their source." 1 In spite, however, of such excuses made to himself and to others, these and subsequent offences, real or supposed, alienated from him not only his father but his mother, in whose will, written long afterwards, stands the significant record, " I give to my son Charles Earl of Derby, the sum of five pounds." On hearing the news of the contemplated Rupa-match, her excitement and anger were so great that she rushed from the Isle of Man to make her way, if possible, to Holland, and have the marriage broken off or deferred. The following letter to her sister-in-law, written from Kirkcudbright in the August of 1650, thus chronicles her movements with that object:-" Dear Sister,-I had the honour of writing to you two days before my departure from the Isle of Man, which was on the 26th of last month, when I told you my resolution to go through this country to Holland, to remedy, if possible, this sad business "-of her son's marriage- " but finding that the English army had come here in great force I could not travel without a passport. I have sent to ask for one, and I shall wait for it in the Isle of Man, to which place I return today, please God. With a fair wind it is but a ten hours' voyage. I have been here fifteen days, suffering every imaginable inconvenience, being reduced to eat oaten bread "-the oat-cakes of Scotland-" and some of us to lodge in the house of the chief person of the place, though I never saw anything so dirty "-the dirtier the cosier !-" But this is nothing to the religion. I fear greatly the result of the war, and I assure you that those who are in power are not so much in favour of monarchy as against the Duke of Hamilton and his faction. The King, Charles II., behaves with wonderful prudence; he is obliged to listen continually to sermons against his father, blaming him for all the blood that was shed ; and those which I have heard in this place are horrible, having nothing of devotion in them, nor explaining any point of religion, but being full of sedition, naming people by their names, and treating of everything with such ignorance, and without the least respect or reverence, that I am so scandalised I do not think I could live with a quiet conscience among these atheists (i). I shall do my utmost to make out my journey from the island ; if my passport comes, as I have reason to hope it will, I shall certainly attempt it. But if it does not, look with compassion, dear sister, on this 'unfortunate affair, which is of so much consequence to my poor distressed family. Have pity on an unfortunate mother distracted with grief, for I know not what to do. If my passport is refused, I see no means of breaking off this affair by personal interference, unless you would take it in hand with that prudence and skill with which you manage whatever you are pleased to undertake." 1 The passport did not come. The marriage did take place. But for poor Lady Derby a still greater disaster was at hand than the misalliance of her eldest son.
Some twelve months after Lady Derby wrote her letter from Kirkcudbright, his Majesty King Charles II. was on the road from Scotland to England. The year before, Cromwell had gained the victory of Dunbar (2d September 1650), and marching this way and that was subduing the whole of Scotland, until Charles at Stirling found his position untenable. The King and his advisers accordingly resolved on a desperate movement, an expedition into England, fancying that Royalism might have a chance again, the English Presbyterians and Moderates being now alienated from the Commonwealth. Charles with his Scotch army entered England, on the 6th of August 1651, by way of Carlisle and, with Cromwell following in his rear, took his southward way through Lancashire, which he hoped to raise. From his Island home the loyal Lord Derby hastened to the aid of his Sovereign as soon as he heard the news and received the royal summons. On the 1st of September 1651 Lady Derby writes thus from the Isle of Man :-" We are still existing here, by the goodness of God, who has permitted my husband to reach the King his master in safety with a considerable force. He took with him ten ships which nothing but God's help could have brought there safely, for since his departure we have been harassed by the enemy's ships. He left this on Wednesday and landed in England on the 15th, in a part of Lancashire called Wyre water. I hear that the King received him with great joy and with every mark of affection. I wait impatiently for further particulars, which I much fear will not arrive soon, on account of the enemy's ships which infest this coast." 2 After this scrap of a letter, there is a blank in Lady Derby's correspondence for six months, during which befell many events interesting to her and to England. With three hundred Manxmen and several English gentle men whom he had sheltered in the Isle of Man, on the '5th of August (1651) Lord Derby landed from his vessels c~ on the north side of the river Wyre upon Preesal sands, opposite Rossall Warren." Next day he visited what remained of Latham House, seeing it then for the last time. He proceeded to Preston, which town he made his headquarters, and there he remained, recruiting for the King and negotiating with the Lancashire Presbyterians, while Charles marched southwards to Worcester ', " a city of slight garrison and loyal mayor." Charles had taken the covenant, and the heads of Lancashire Presbyterianism wished to make it a condition of joining the King that Lord Derby should follow in this respect his royal master's example. Their demand was met by a prompt and peremptory refusal, in spite of which, however, a good many Presbyterians seem to have joined him. He had despatched a number of men to the royal army and had marched to take possession of Wigan when, near Wigan Lane, he and his troops were confronted by Colonel Robert Lilburne and a superior Parliamentary force. Lord Derby and his second in command, Sir Thomas Tyldesley, a brilliant and gallant Cavalier, fought with the utmost courage, but in vain. Sir Thomas was killed, and Lord Derby, severely wounded, had to take refuge in a friend's house at Wigan where he evaded the search of the enemy. This was on the 25th of August. Despite his wounds he started immediately for Worcester, where Charles had Raised his standard on the 22d. Stealing southward in disguise, finding friendly shelter here and there, from the Penderells at famous Boscobel among other places, Lord Derby at last with difficulty and still suffering severely from his wounds reached Worcester on the 31st of August. The battle of Worcester, Cromwell's " crowning mercy," was fought on the 3d of September, and Lord Derby accompanied the King in his evening flight. He left his royal master safe in the hands of the Penderells, and with Lord Lauderdale, Lord Talbot, and forty troopers started in the hope of overtaking the remains of the Scotch army which was in rapid retreat northward. " I escaped," he wrote afterwards to his Countess, " one great danger at Wigan, and I met with a greater at Worcester. I was not so fortunate as to meet with any that would kill me, for the Lord Lauderdale "-Lotherdaile in or~*,a~-" and I having tired horses, we were not thought worth the killing, for we had quarter given by one Captain Edge, a Lancashire man; and one that was so civil to me that I and all that love me are beholden to him." This was Oliver Edge, who belonged to "a family of second-class gentry, resident in Rusholme," and like "their grander neighbours, the Birches and the ~Worsleys," had been among the earliest favourers of Independency in that district, A rather curious account of Lord Derby's capture is given in the Memoirs of Captain Hodgson I (Carlyle's " pudding-headed Yorkshire friend"), seemingly an officer in Edge's regiment, which, proceeding from Manchester towards Worcester, had reached Nantwich. "Marching," he says, " one morning upon the downs from Whitchurch in Staffordshire, a countryman comes riding in haste and informs us of a great party of horse that was coming on, and if we made haste we might take a bridge before them, and hinder a pass, and secure ourselves. And the foot being so zealous would compare with the horse, took the pass, and prevented the Scots. The Scots seeing themselves stopt, marched another road towards Nantwich, which was about half a mile off us, and we had a party of horse and foot drawn out to interrupt thein, and our soldiers had pleasant work with them while they marched by"-the poor, beaten, wearied men, crowed over by pudding-headed Hodgson !-'I They were by computation about five or six hundred men, and our musketeers would have gone into the lane and taken by the bridle the best-like person they saw, and brought him out without a stroke, so low was the Scot brought. But the most remarkable thing," Hodgson continues, " was that Oliver Edge, one of our captains, had a mind to see what had become of the forlorn ; hearing such a great firing . . . he spies a party of horse behind him in the fields, and having no order to be there he retreats towards the regiment, but they called upon him and asked if he was an officer; and drawing towards them, about eighteen or twenty horsemen lighted, and told him they would surrender themselves prisoners ; there was the Earl of Derby, the Earl of Lauderdale, Sinclair, and a fourth. These became prisoners to one single captain, but the soldiers fell in with him immediately."
Lord Derby and the companions of his flight soon found themselves close captives in Chester Castle. He had fancied, when surrendering to Edge, that he would be entitled to the immunities of a prisoner of war, and perhaps this fancy induced a surrender, which would otherwise in the circumstances seem singular, unless indeed the horses of himself and his companions were so tired out that they felt the impossibility of flight further a-field. He was soon undeceived. On the 11 th of September, only eight days after the battle of Worcester, the parliament resolved that the Earl should be tried at Chester by a court-martial, under a commission from the Lord-General Cromwell. A month or so before, when it was known that the King was on his march from Scotland to England, an Act had been hurriedly passed " prohibiting correspondence with Charles Stuart and his party," as high treason against the Commonwealth, and for having disobeyed the prohibition Lord Derby was to be tried for his life. Presumably, it was after hearing of this decision at headquarters that the Earl wrote, at Chester Castle, to his Countess in the Isle of Man, the letter from which has been already given an extract describing his capture. In it he advised his wife to treat with the Commonwealth on conditions explained to her in a missive to be delivered to her by a faithful follower, sent to her for the purpose. The following passage of the letter breathes the spirit of the English nobleman:-" Take it not as from a prisoner, for if I be never so close "-in confinement-"my heart is my own, free still as the best, and I scorned" - would scorn -,I to be compelled to your prejudice, though by the severest torture. I had procured Baggarley, who was prisoner in this town, to come over to you to satisfy my letter. I have told him my reasons, and he will tell them you, which done may save the spilling of blood in that island and, maybe, of some here, which is dear to you; but of that," he adds finely, "take no case, neither treat at all for it, for I perceive it will do you more hurt than good." He passes then to the subject of their children :-" Have a care, my dear soul of yourself and of my dear Mall, my dear Ned, and Billy. As for those here "-the two of his daughters who had been at Knowsley and were now at Chester-" I give them the best advice I can. It is not with us as heretofore. My son with his bed-fellow and my nephew Stanley have come to see me. Of them all I will say nothing at this time, excepting that my son shows great affection, and is gone to Lon don, with exceeding concern and passion of my good. He is changed for the better, I thank God, which would have been great comfort to me if I had more to leave him, or that he had better provided for himself." After a reference to the missive as well as oral messages which Baggarley was to deliver to her about treating for the Isle of Man, the brave Earl proceeds:-" You know how much that place is my darling, but since it is God's will to dispose thus of this nation and of Scotland, and I believe of Ireland too, there is no more to be said of the Isle of Man, but to refer all to the good will of God, and to get the best conditions you can for yourself and our poor friends there, and those that came over with me; and so trust God, and begin the world again, though near to winter. The Lord of heaven bless you and comfort you and my poor children! The Son of God, whose blood was shed to do us good, preserve our lives that we may meet "again on earth, however "-that is, but if not on earth, then "in heaven, where we shall never be plundered. And so I rest, everlastingly, your faithful DERBY."
" My son with his bed-fellow "-Lord Derby seems to shrink from calling her " wife "-was Charles and the lady whom the Countess of Derby loved to style Delilah. Charles had hurried to Chester on hearing of the capture of his father, and did all that a son ought to do and could do in the great and sad emergency. His conduct seems to have touched his father's heart, though it did not lead Lord Derby to alter the will, already referred to, made in the preceding August.1 With the certain prospect of death before him Lord Derby wrote to his Countess on the 12th of October
I must forgive all the world, else I could not go out of it as a good Christian ought to do, and I hold myself in duty bound -,and in discretion to desire you to forgive my son and his bed-fellow. She hath more judgment than I looked for, which is not a little pleasing to me, and it may be of good use to him and the rest of our children. She takes care of him, and I am deceived much if you and I have not been greatly misinformed when we were told ill of her. I hope you will have reason to think so too."
By this time, at least in the mind of the Earl himself, all hope was over. The court-martial began its sittings on the 29th of September, but his death was a foregone conclusion, and the very place of his execution had been decided on. On the day itself of the meeting of the court-martial, an official person in London, writing to the Commonwealth-Resident at Hamburg, made the confident announcement, " Derby will be tried at Chester and die at Bolton." The Earl, on being interrogated, admitted all the allegations on which he was tried. Only when the President, reading the Act of Parliament with a breach of which he was charged, came to the words, " and such as shall suffer death shall also forfeit all his and their lands and goods and other estate, as in case of high treason," Lord Derby exclaimed, " I am no traitor neither "-" Sir," rejoined the President, a Colonel Mackworth, " your words are contemptible. You must be silent during the reading of the Act and your charge." The articles of charge having been delivered to him, next day, the 30th, the Earl was brought to the bar, and on the 1st of October he made his defence, a summary of' which is preserved among the manuscripts at Knowsley. He was being tried, he said " by a court-martial, and, therefore, their proceedings were to be regulated in accordance with the laws of war. Captain Edge, he urged, had given him quarter for life, and this, he pleaded, "was a good bar to avoid trial for life by a council of war. Quarter given by 'the meanest soldier, if not forbidden, obliges as far as if the general had done it." From the official record of the proceedings of the court martial, it would appear that after this statement a member interposed the objection that, if such an argument were valid, any private soldier, by giving quarter, might pardon treason. " To this, I say," was Lord Derby's rejoinder, "I plead it not as an absolute pardon, but as a bar to a court-martial. The profession of a soldier," according to the Knowsley MS., Lord Derby proceeded, " hath danger enough in it, and he needs not to add any to destroy the right of arms. I am before you as a court-martial ; it may be that some or most of you have in some action or other, since these troubles began, received quarter for your lives, and would it not be hard measure that any court-martial should try you afterwards? If this quarter be foiled or nulled, all the treaties, articles, terms, or conclusions since the wars began may be examinable by any subsequent court-martial. Nay, by this, the sword, the law of arms, all military interest and your own safety is judged and jeoparded as well as mine. But I shall not multiply ~) arguments, " presuming you will judge by laws of war, in which capacity only you sit, and that you will in religion and justice allow that plea which is universally, even in all parts of the world, allowable. If you be dissatisfied, I pray that, as an essential to justice, I may have a Doctor of the Civil Laws assigned, or, at least, liberty to produce their books of opinions, and in the interim you suspend your sentence." Passing to another branch of the charge, and to the Act of Parliament under which he was tried, Lord Derby continued thus, "Touching my levying of forces in the Isle of Man and invading England, I might plead myself (and that truly) a stranger to all acts for treason, and in particular to the Act of the twelfth of August; and that the Isle of Mati is not particularly named in any of the Acts touching treason, and being not particularly named, those Acts reach not nor bind those of the island, and told especially that I was in the Isle of Man when the last Act vas made "-that of August, declaring it treasonable to 1 correspondence or communication with the King-'land the law looks not backward ; and whilst I was in England " -levying troops, fighting in Wigan Lane and on Worcesterfield-" I was under an unlikelihood and impossibility of knowing the new Acts (and in martial law, ignorantiajurif is a good plea), which I leave to judgment, having, as to the rnatter-of-fact, confessed and submitted to the parliament's mercy." Finally, " I do, as to your military power, earnestly plead quarter as a bar to your further trial of me, and doubt not but you will deeply weigh a point so considerable both to your own consciences and concernments, before you proceed to sentence, and admit my appeal to his Excellency, the Lord-General Cromwell "--the victor of Worcester, and unmistakably the first and most powerful man in England. In vain ; the same afternoon the court-martial, with only two dissentients, rejected the plea of quarter, adjudged Lord Derby worthy of death, and condemned him to be executed " by severing his head from his body " at Bolton on the coming 16th of October, a day close at hand.
Meanwhile, Lord Derby's eldest son had not been idle. On the very day of the meeting of the court-martial was drawn up, on Lord Derby's behalf, the first of three petitions to the authorities, which, though signed by him, do not, from a certain humility in their tone, seem to have been his actual composition. This first petition was to the Council of State, of which the famous Bradshaw (a Cheshire man) was President, and a brother of his, Colonel Bradshaw, a member of the court-martial, is said, though voting for the rejection of Lord Derby's pleas, to have exerted in favour of the condemned nobleman what influence he possessed with his powerful relative the Lord President of the Council. In the petition to the Council of State, Lord Derby was spoken of as having " unfortunately been in arms in the late wars," and as having certified his willingness " to direct his wife in the Isle of Man" to have the military strength of that island delivered to the power of the parliament of England, upon such conditions ; and with respect to the petitioner, his wife and children and their deplorable estate, as in the mercy and indulgence of the parliament of the renowned Lord-General "Cromwell-" should be thought fit." The surrender of the Isle of Man was the one offer which might tempt, it was thought, the powers that were to spare Lord Derby's life.
'Your petitioner," the document continued, "doth thereupon most humbly supplicate this honourable Council of State to mediate and intercede for him upon this annexed petition to that High Court of Parliament for such good conditions as in their great goodness and wisdom they shall vouchsafe, and that, for the better and more speedy effecting of their commands therein, that your petitioner may have liberty to send over some discreet and able person to the island to his wife, such as she may rely upon, to the end she may be prepared to perform the commands of the parliament thereupon." The "annexed petition," dated the same day, the 29th September 1651, begins with the humble enough avowal that the petitioner " acknowledgeth he is conscious to himself that in the midst of the late great and various changes of the Commonwealth he hath justly incurred the penalty of the laws and the displeasure of the Supreme judicature." Nevertheless, his "hope and confidence is that, in the midst of his misery and of your honours' judgment, you will be pleased to imitate the most high God (who exalts Himself to be gracious) and extend your favour and goodness, not only to your petitioner, but to his lady and harmless posterity in that eminent manner, that in all titne to come it may be as an indissoluble obligation on him and them, for ever hereafter, to deserve and endeavour the future peace and prosperity of this Commonwealth." The petitioner wound up with an offer to surrender the Isle of Man, " though he humbly conceived it to be a distinct interest from England." A third petition or memorial, very brief, with an enclosure containing the pleas urged before the Court Martial, was sent to Cromwell himself
Probably it was to present these petitions and memorials that, according to Seacome (confusing them with a letter to Speaker Lenthall, afterwards referred to), "the Lord Strange "-Charles, of the misalliance-" having beforehand laid horses ready, rode post to London in one day and night." Whether this were so or not they were fruitless ; and it seems that no member of the House of Commons could be induced to present the petition to the Rump. When the day fixed for the execution was very near-on the 11th of October-a pathetic letter was written by Lord Derby, or in his name, to Lenthall, the Speaker of the House of Commons, accompanied by a petition to that assernbly-probably the same document of which an abstract has been given. Addressed, " For the Right Honourable, William Lenthall, Esq., Speaker of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of England "-now a mere Rump of the House of Commons, the House of Peers having been abolished-this rather touching epistle ran as follows :" Sir,-Being now, by the will of God, for aught I know, brought to the last minutes of my life, I once more humbly pray the parliament will be pleased to hear me before my death. I plead nothing in vindication of my offences, but humbly cast myself down at the parliament's feet, begging their mercy. I have several times addressed my humble petition for life,. and now again crave leave to submit myself to their mercy, with the assurance that the Isle of Man shall be given up to such hands as the parliament intrust to receive it ; with this further engagement (which I shall confirm by sureties) that I shall never act or endeavour anything against the established power of this nation, but end my days in prison or banishment as the House shall think fit." But if death must be his doom, let him be spared one needless pang and . disgrace :-" Sir,-It is a greater affliction to me than death itself that I am sentenced to die at Bolton, so that the nation will look upon me as a sacrifice for that blood, which some have unjustly cast upon me "the so-called "Bolton Massacre"-" and from which I hope I am acquitted in your opinions, and the judgment of good men, having cleared myself by undeniable evidence. Indeed, at my trial it was never mentioned against me, and yet they adjudge me to suffer at Bolton, as if, indeed, I had been guilty. I beg a respite for my life upon that issue that if I do not acquit myself from that imputation, let me die without mercy. But, sir, if the parliament have not this mercy for me, I humbly pray the place appointed for my death may be altered, and that if the parliament think it not fit to give me time to live, they will be pleased to give me tiine to die, in respitiiig my life for some time, whilst I may fit myself for death ; since thus long I have been per suaded by Colonel Dukinfield that parliament would give me my life. Sir, I submit myself, my family, wife, and children to the mercy of parliament, and shall live or die, Sir, your contented and humble Servant, DERBY." On the margin there was this postscript, as we should call it :-" Sir, I humbly beg the favour that the petition of a dying man here enclosed, may by your favour be read to the House." By a later hand the packet is endorsed,.
" A letter from the Earl of Derby of the 11th of October 1651, with the petition of the said Earl of Derby. Received 14th October 165,." In the Commons journals,l under date " '4th October 1651 " there is this brief and meagre record of the reception of Lord Derby's petition and letter:-" Mr Speaker, by way of report, acquaints the House with a letter which he had received from the Earl of Derby ; and the question being put : That the said letter be now read, the House was divided. The Yeas went forth ; Sir William Brereton"-the Member for Cheshire-" and Mr Ellis, Tellers for the Yeas, with the Yeas 22; Mr Bond and Major-general Harrison, Tellers for the Noes, with the Noes 16, so -It passed in the affirmative. A letter ftom the Earl of Derby, of the 11th day of October 1651, with a petition therein enclosed, entitled, 'The Humble Petition of the Earl of Derby,' was this day read." And the record closes. Letter and petition were of no effect: Lord Derby was to die. Seacome's version 2 of this parliamentary incident is as follows :-" His son, the Lord Strange, having beforehand laid horse ready, rode post to London in one day and night, and got his petition read in the junta by Mr Lenthall, their Speaker, which Do man else would read or receive. But Cromwell and Bradshaw had so ordered the matter that when they saw the major part of the House inclined to allow the Earl's plea, as the Speaker was putting the question, eight or nine of them quitted the House, and those left in it being under the number of forty, no question could be put." The extract just given, however, from the Commons journals shows that Seacome was gossiping, or retailing gossip, without book, since, as has been seen, in the division on the question whether Lord Derby's letter should be read, only 38 members, including the tellers, voted. "So," Seacome continues, "the Lord Strange, seeing all attempts or endeavours to save the life of his father fruitless, and of no effect, the grandees having resolved on his death, with incredible speed returned to his father, before, the hour of execution, and acquainted him with the cruel and bloody resolution of his professed and implacable enemies. His father, embracing him with all the tenderness of natural love and affection, said to him :-'Son, I thank you for your duty, diligence, and best endeavours to save my life, but since it cannot be obtained, I must submit.' And kneeling down, said, '-Domine, non mea voluntas sed tua."' 'Tis a pretty story, but as Mr Ormerod has remarked, an incredible one. Lord Strange was at Chester on Monday the 13th, and at Leigh, 197 miles from London, soon after 6, on the morning of the 15th. Moreover, as Lord Derby was to die on the 15th, it is very doubtful whether, if the prayer of his petition, presented the day before to the House of Commons had been granted, the news could have reached Chester and Bolton in time to save his life.
About a week before this, Lord Derby, with the aid of his friends, had made an attempt to escape from Chester Castle, and it was nearly successful. " During the night, on some pretext, he reached the leads over his chamber, and, being furnished outside with a long rope, by a desperate and almost incredible effort he lowered himself from the top of the castle to the ground, and escaping from the precincts of the castle, got out of the city. He had not proceeded far before his escape was discovered, and eager pursuers were soon despatched after him in all directions. He was apprehended on the Roodee "-where now every year the Chester Cup is run for-" having unfortunately, in some way unknown, discovered himself unawares to pitiless enemies instead of friends." + The result was that Lord Derby was guarded more strictly than before. When instructions were sent from London to the court-martial at Chester to make arrangements for the execution of the sentence at Bolton, some uneasiness seems to have been felt lest a rescue might be attempted, or a tumult provoked, on the occasion of the transfer to Bolton, or by the execution so near his own domain, of the greatest nobleman in Lancashire. Cromwell himself took in hand the military arrangements for the escort of the prisoner to Bolton, and for the execution there, which was to take place on Wednesday, the 15th Of October.
On the Sunday, three days before his death, Lord Derby took up his pen to write this, his last letter to his brave wife, still in the Isle of Man
"My Lord's last Letter to my lady, October 12, 1651, from Chester
"My 'DEAR HEART,-I have heretofore sent you comfortable lines, but, alas! I have now no word of comfort, saying to our last and best refuge, which is Almighty God, to whose will we must submit. And when we consider how He hath disposed of these nations, and the government thereof, we have no more to do but to lay our hands on our mouths, judging ourselves, and acknowledging our sins, joined with others, to have been the cause of their miseries, and to call on Him, with tears, for mercy.
" The governor of this place, Colonel Dukinfield, is general of the forces which go now against the Isle of Man, and however you might do for the present, in time it would be a grievous and troublesome business to resist, especially them that at this hour command three nations. Wherefore my advice is, notwithstanding my great affection to that place, that you make conditions for yourself and children, and servants and people, and such as came over with me, to the end you may go to some place of rest where you may not be concerned in war; and taking thoughts of our poor children, you may in some sort provide for them. Then prepare yourself to come to your old friends above, in that blessed place where bliss is, and no mingling" jangling ?-"of opinions.
" I conjure you, my dearest heart, by all those graces which God hath given you, that you exercise your patience in this great and strange trial. If harm come to you, then I am dead indeed, and until then I shall live in you, who is truly the best part of myself. When there is no such thing as I, then look upon yourself and my dear children there take comfort and God will bless you.
"I acknowledge the great goodness of God to have given me such a wife as you : so great an honour to my family; so excellent a companion to me; so pious-so much of all that can be said of good, as I must confess an impossibility to say enough thereof. I ask God pardon with all my soul that I have not been enough thankful for so great a benefit, and when "-if-" I have done aught that at any time might justly offend you, with joined hands I also ask your pardon.
" Baggarley and Paul "-Moreau-l"go by my directions to tell you my further reasons for the delivery of the island, according to these desires which you will see under my hand."-A note in the margin says:-" It was promised to my Lord that they should have leave to go, but not performed."
" Oh, my dear soul I 1 have reason to believe that this may be the last time that ever I shall write unto you. I thank you for all your goodness to me. For jesu's sake forgive me when at any time I have not been good to you. Comfort yourself the best you can. I must forgive all the world ; else I could not go out of it as a good Christian ought to do, and I hold myself in duty bound, and in discretion, to desire you to forgive my son and his bed-fellow " -Charles and the young lady of the mesalliance.-"She hath more judgement than I looked for, which is not a little pleasing to me, and it may be of good use to him and the rest of our children. She takes care of him, and I am deceived much if you and I have not been greatly misinformed when we were told ill of her. I hope you will have reason to think so too"-which expression of opinion the reader has heard once before.
" It will be necessary that the writings concerning the estates be sent over, to the end my son"- Charles-" may put in his claim betimes "this looks as if the Earl knew and intended the disinheriting clauses of the will to be of no effect.-" Oh, my dear, again I ask you to take comfort. When you so do, rejoice thereat I beseech you, as doing me a great favour. And for my sake keep not too strict, too severe a life, but endeavour to live for your children's sake, which, by an overmelancholy course, you cannot do, but both destroy them and yourself, and neglect my last request. The world knows you so full of virtue and piety that it will never be ill thought of if you do not keep your chamber as other widows who have not reached to that reputation which you have, and than which there is not a greater upon earth. I draw near the bottom of the paper, and I am drawing on to the grave, for presently I must away to the fatal stroke, which shows little mercy in this nation, and as for justice-the Great judge judge thereof.
I have no more to say to you at this time, than my prayers for the Almighty's blessings to you, my dear Mall and Ned and Billy
Amen ; sweet jesu.-Your faithful " DERBY." 1
" MY dear Mall " (the Lady Henrietta Maria Stanley, afterwards Countess of Strafford), " Ned, and Billy " were the three surviving youngest of Lord Derby's children, at this time aged respectively twenty, twelve, and ten. His three elder children, Lord Strange, the Lady Amelia- afterwards Marchioness of Athole-and the Lady Katharine-who became the wife of the first Marquis of Dorchester-were then aged respectively twenty-three, eighteen, and twenty. His elder children were with him, or near him, at Chester; but the younger were in the Isle of Man, and to them this letter of farewell had to be penned :-
"My Lord's Letter to my Lady Ofary'~-Henrietta Maria-" Mr 1-~ d., and Mr William.
MY DEAR MALL, my NED, MY BILLY,-I remember well how sad you were to part with me when I left the Isle of Man-" for England. But now I fear you will be more sad to know that you can never see me more in this world. But I charge you all to strive against too great a sorrow. You are all of you of that temper that it would do you harm. And my desires and prayers to God are that you may have a happy life. Let it be as holy a life as you can, and as little sinful.
" I can well now give that counsel, having in myself at this time so great a sense of the vanities of my life which clouds my soul ivith sorrow. Yet I rejoice to remember when I have sometimes blessed God with a pious devotion ; and it is my chief and only delight, and must be my eternal happiness.
" Love still the Archdeacon "-Rutter, the domestic chaplain of the Stanleys, and who, after the Restoration, was made Bishop of Sodor and Man.-" He will give you kood precepts. Obey your mother with cheerfulness, for you have great reason so to do, for besides that of mother, she is your example, your nurse, your councillor, your physician, your all under God. There was never, nor ever can be, a more deserving person.
" I am called away, and fear this may be the last I shall write. The Lord my God bless you and guard you. So prays your father that sorrows most at this time to part with Malckey, Neddy, and Billy.
Remember " J. DERBY."
1 " MS. vol., 4tO ; Knowsley. This letter is here printed for the first time entire., probably from Archdeacon Rutter's transcript." Raines, ii. ccxxv. note
As close to the sad story there only remains to print the narrative of Lord Derby's last days, by the faithful Baggarley, with the copy and report of his speech on the scaffold, and the account otherwise of his execution.
"A Relation of Mr Humphrey Baggarley touiching my Lords Death and some Passages before it.
Upon Monday, the 13th of October 1651, my Lord procured me liberty to wait upon him, having been close prisoner ten days. He told me the night before, Mr Slater, Colonel Dukinfield's chaplain, had been with him from the governor, to persuade his Lordship that they were confident his life was in no danger. But his Lordship told me he patiently heard his discourse but did not believe him : 'For,' said he, 'I was resolved not to be deceived with the vain hopes of this fading world.'
"After we had walked "-talked?-"a quarter of an hour and " his Lordship " had discoursed his commands to me, in order to my journey into the Isle of Man, as to his consent to my Lady to deliver it up-upon those articles his Lordship had signed for the purpose-with his affectionate protestations of honour and respect to my Lady, both for her birth and goodness as a wife, with much tenderness of his children there, especially my Lady Mary-then immediately came in one Lieutenant Smith, a rude fellow (and with his hat on), who told my Lord he came from Colonel Dukinfield, the governor, to tell his Lordship he must be ready for his journey to Bolton. He replied, ' When would you have me to go?' 'To-morrow morning, by six of the clock,' saith Smith,
Well,' said my Lord, I thank God I am readier to die than for my journey ; but commend me to the governor, and tell him by that time I will be ready for both.'
" Then said Smith, 'Doth your Lordship know any friend or servant that would do that thing your Lordship knows of? It would do well if you had a friend.' My Lord replied: ' What do you mean ? Would you have me to find one to cut off my head ?' Smith said, 'Aye, my Lord, if you could, a friend.' My Lord said, 'Nay, sir, if those men that will have my head will not find one to cut it off, let it stand where it is. I thank my God my life hath not been so bad that I should be instrumental to deprive myself of it although He hath been so merciful to me as to "' make me " ' be resolved against the worst terrors that death can put upon me ; and for me and my servants, our ways have been to prosecute a just war by honourable and just means, and not those barbarous ways men of blood which to you is a trade.' Then Smith went out, and repeated his discourse and desires to rite. I only told him my Lord had given him an answer.
" At my coming in, my Lord called for pen and ink, and writ his last letter to my Lady, and that to my Lady Mary, and his sons in the Isle of Man "- the letters already given.-" In the meantime Mr Paul Moreau, a servant of his Lordship, went and bought all the rings he could get, and my Lord wrapt them up in several papers, and writ within them and made me subscribe them to his children and servants "-last memorials and bequests of the father and the master.
"The rest of that day he spent with my Lord Strange, my Lady Katherine, and my Lady Amelia. At night about six I came to him again, when the ladies were to go away. And as we were walking, and my Lord telling me he would receive the sacrament on the next morning and on Wednesday morning both, in came the aforesaid Smith, and said : 'My Lord, the governor desires you would be ready to go in the morning by seven o'clock.' My Lord replied : 'Lieutenant, pray tell the governor I shall not have occasion to go ;o early. By nine o'clock will serve my turn, and by that time I'll be ready. If he has carnester occasion, he may take his own hour.'
" That night I stayed, and at supper my Lord was exceeding cheerful and well composed. He drank to Sir Timothy Featherstone (who was a gentleman that suffered at Chester a week after in the same cause) and said, ' Sir, be of good comfort. I go willingly before you, and God hath so strengthened me that you shall hear (by His assistance) I shall so submit both as a Christian and a soldier, to be both a comfort and an example to you.' Then he often remembered my Lady, Lady Mary, and Masters "-Stanley-" and drank to me and once to all his servants, especially to Andrew Browne, and said he hoped now that they who loved him would never forsake his wife and children; and he doubted not but God would be a Master to them, and provide for them after his death.
" In the morning my Lord delivered me the letters for the island, and said, 'Here, Baggarley, deliver these with my most tender affection to my dear wife and sweet children, which shall continue with my prayers for them to the last minute of my life. I have instructed you as to all things for your journey. But as to that sad part of it (as to them) I can say nothing, but silence and your own looks will best tell your message. The great God of Heaven direct you, and prosper and comfort them in this their great affliction.'
"Then his Lordship took leave of Sir Timothy Featherstone, much in the same words as at night. When he came to the castle gate "-the gate of Chester Castle, his journey to Bolton being now begun-" Mr Crossen and three other gentlemen which were condemned came out of the dungeon (at my Lord's request to the Marshal) and kissed his hand and wept to take their leave. My Lord said : 'Gentlemen, God bless and keep you. I hope now my blood will satisfy for all that were with me, and you will in a short time be at liberty. But if the cruelty of these men will not end there, be of good comfort. God will strengthen you to endure to the last, as He hath done me. For you shall hear I die like a Christian, a man, and a soldier, and as an obedient subject to the most just and virtuous Prince this day living in the whole world. So the prisoner and escort rode forth, accompanied by the two young Ladies Stanley in a coach."
" After we were out of town "-near Hoole Heath, it would seem "the people weeping, my Lord, with a humble behaviour and noble carriage, about half a mile out, took leave of my Lady Katherine and Amelia, upon his knees, by the boot of the coach (lighting to that end purposely from his horse), and there prayed for them, and saluted them, and so departed. This was the saddest hour I ever saw, so much tender affection on both sides. 1
" That night, Tuesday, the 14th of October 1651, we came to Leigh, but in our way thither, as we rode along, his Lordship called me to him and bade me, when I should come into the Isle of Man, to commend him to the Archdeacon there "-the aforesaid Rutter-" and tell him he well remembered the several discourses that had passed between them concerning death and the manner of it. That he "-Lord Derby-
' 11 A finer subject for an historical picture, without requiring any luxuriance of imagination could scarcely be devised ; and it would embrace points of far deeper interest than any that were witnessed in a gorgeous scene on Hoole Heath twenty years before, when Earl james, attended by the nobility, gentry, and six hundred inhabitants of four counties, met his royal relatives and their splendid suite, and conducted them on their way to Knowsley. The Earl just alighted from his mean horse and kneeling by the side of the coach on the bare ground, near his two daughters (the elder aged twenty and the younger eighteen), his hands and eyes uplifted, his strong faith, his meek resignation, his undaunted mind, are visible in bi.s grave countenance ; the ruthless soldiery, impatient of the scene, the weepi,,g and sympathising spectators who had accompanied him all the way from Chester, with here and there a coarse and callous Republican looking with di,favour upon the affecting incident, the day being of that quiet and almost melancholy beauty which is the last lingering luxury of autumn before the drear winter arrives in all its rudeness. We are told that the cold cast wind prevailed ; and we know that the season had been wet, so that the trees were tinged with yellow, and the tints of decay were visible upon the crisping foliage, and many a scar leaf in that October morning dropped silently down from the lofty oak or sycamore, and fell from time to time on the Earl's path, reminding him of his mortality, after he had parted with his daughters on Hoole Heath, and pursued his appalling journey over execrable roads to the scaffold, which the people were refusing to erect, at Bolton. "-Raines, A Memoir of James Sevnth.Earl of Derby, ii. ccxxxiil
" had often said the thought of death could not trouble him in fight or when with a sword in his hand, but that he feared it would somewhat startle him tamely to submit to a blow upon a scaffold. 'But,' said his lordship, 'tell the Archdeacon from me that I do now find in myself an absolute change as to that opinion. For I bless my God for it, who hath put these comforts and this courage into my soul, I can as willingly now lay down my head upon a block as ever I laid it on a pillow.'
My Lord supped a competent meal, saying he would imitate his Saviour. A supper should be his last act in this world, and indeed his Saviour's own supper, before he came to his cross, which (he said) would be to-morrow. That night he spent upon his bed, from betwixt ten and eleven until six in the morning. As he laid him down upon the right side, with his hand under his face, he said, 'Methinks I lie like a monument in a church ; and to-morrow I shall really be so.' As soon as he rose, after prayer, he shirted him, and said, 'This shall be my winding-sheet, for this was constantly my meditation in this action. See,' saith he to Mr Paul "-Moreau- " see that it be not taken away from me; I will be buried in it.'
"Then he called to my Lord Strange to put on his order "-the Garter-" and said, ' Charles, even this day I will send it you again by Baggarley. Pray return it to my gracious Sovereign, when you shall be so happy as to see him; and say I sent it in all humility and gratitude as I received it, spotless and free from any stain, according to the honourable example of my ancestors.'
"Then he went to prayer, and my Lord commanded Mr Greenhalgh to read the Decalogue, and at the end of every commandment made his confession, and then received absolution and the sacrament ; after which, and prayer ended, he called for pen and ink, and wrote his last speech and a note to Sir E. S.' When we were ready to go, he drank a cup of beer to my Lady, Lady Mary, Masters, and Mr Archdeacon, and all his friends in the island, and bade me remember him unto them, and tell the Archdeacon he said the old grace which he always used in these words "-which are not given. " Then he would have walked into the church "-at Leigh-" to have seen Sir T[homas] T[yldesley]'s grave, but was not permitted, nor to ride that day upon his own horse, but they put him upon a little nag, saying they were fearful the people would rescue his Lordship."-Sir Thomas Tyldesley was the gallant Lancashire Cavalier, mentioned once before, loved by his friends and honoured by his foes, who fell in the fight of Wigan-lane. It was
Edward Savage. It would be interesting to know the purport of this note. As Sir Edward Savage was one of the executors named in the Earl's will, had it any reference to the cancelling of that document or any of its clauses? "-Note by Canon Raines.
churlish and harsh in Lord Derby's escort not to allow him to have a last look at the resting-place of his former comrade in arms.
" As we were going, in the middle "-half-" way to Bolton, the wind came easterly, which my Lord perceived, and said to me, 'Baggarley, there is a great difference betwixt me and you now, for my thoughts are fixed, and I know where I shall rest this night ; and every alteration moves you of this world, for you must leave me to go to my wife and children in the Isle of Man, and are uncertain where you shall be ; but do not leave me if possible ' "-possibly-" ' you can otherwise, until you see me buried, which shall be as I have told you.' " 1
This was said half-way between Chester and Bolton. Of what was said and done by the ill-fated Earl when Bolton was reached, there are two contemporary records. The more copious and accurate is rubricked-
The True Speech of James Earl of Derby upon the Scaffold at Bolion, in Lancashire, together- with his Deportment and Prayers before his death, on Wednesday, the 15th day of October 1652
The Earl of Derby, according to the order of the court-martial held at Chester, by which he was sentenced to die at Bolton in Lancashire, was brought to that town with a guard of horse and foot of Colonel jones's, commanded by one Southley, who received his order from Colonel Robert Dukinfield, between twelve and one of the clock, on Wednesday the 15th of October ; the people weeping, praying, and bewailing him all the way from the prison at Chester to the place of his death.
1 "There was a tradition long current in Bolton, that the Earl and some of his family had expressed a wish that his body should be buried at Ormskirk, but that his enemies desired that it should be thrown irreverently into an ordinary grave in Bolton churchyard. It was said that Colonel John Okey, f Bolton, the Earl's great political foe, forgetful of supposed wrongs, offered his Lordship every service in his power, and obtained for the Stanley family the sad privilege of interring the corpse in the Derby Chapel at Ormskirk. "-Note by Canon Raines.
2 " On the back of this MS., which is written distinctly on folio sheets of paper in the handwriting of the. seventeenth century, and is unquestionably an original document, is the following indorsement by William George Richard, ninth Earl of Derby:-'My grandfather's (of blessed memory) deportment and his speech upon the scaffold, which I read and remarked particularly upon, 13th October 1656 Knowsley.' As there were two reporters upon the scaffold at the time of the Earl's execution, and their reports would naturally find their way to Knowsley, we may conclude that this is one of them, and that Seacome's is the other. They are both the same in substance, but there are interesting variations, and some facts omitted
in one are preserved in the other."-Note by Canon Raines. The variations of Seacome's report do not seem in any case of sufficient importance to be allowed to encumber the text.
"He was brought to a house in the town"-Bolton-" near the cross, where the scaffold was raised, and, as he passed by, said: ' T'eiiio, Do.miyie, I am prepared to fulfil Thy will, O my God ! This scaffold must be my cross; blessed Saviour, I take it up willingly and follow Thee! ' From thence, going into a chamber with some friends and servants, he was advertised by the commander-in- chief that he had till three of the clock allowed him to prepare for death ; for, indeed, the scaffold was not ready, the people of the town and country generally refusing to carry so much as a plank, or strike a nail, or to lend any assistance to that work, their cry being generally in the streets, 'O sad day ! O woeful day! shall the good Earl of Derby die here ? Many sad losses have we had in the war, but none like unto this ; for now the ancient honour of our country must suffer here ! ' And to add to his trouble, most of the timber that built the scaffold was of the ruins of Latham House. But nothing could alter his Lordship's resolution and courage, for with a steadfast, composed countenance and a cheerful " voice " he called the company which were present to prayers with him, wherein he showed admirable fervency and a kind of humble importunity with Almighty God, that He would pardon his sins, be merciful to his soul, and be gracious to this land in restoring the King, laws, and liberty; and that He would be a Husband to his wife, a Father to his children, and a Friend to all those that suffered by his loss, or that had been friends to him.
" Rising from prayer, he sate down with a very pleasing countenance, and assured the standers-by that God had heard his prayers, which the blessed Spirit of God witnessed unto him, in the present comforts he now held in his soul. Then he entered into a discourse of his life, and beseeched God to forgive the days and time he had misspent ; and said it was his comfort that, although he had not walked so circumspectly as he ought to have done, yet he ever had a sense of his sins, and a tender respect to all the services, servants, and ordinances of his God ; and that he knew God had mercy for him-that He had strengthened and comforted him against all the terrors of death. After these and some other words to this purpose he desired his friends and the people by to pray with him again ; which when he had ended, rising from his knees, he appeared fully satisfied of a gracious return to his prayers, and never after showed any sadness in his countenance.
" His next business was with his son, the Lord Strange, whom he publicly charged to. be dutiful to his sad mother, affectionate to his distressed brothers and sisters, and studious of the peace of his cotintrs,.
1 " It is not stated that this was an inn, but oral tradition has long declared that it was the inn standing on the south side of Churchgate, and known by the sign of the Pilkington crest, 'The Man and Scythe."'-Note by Canon Raines.
'But especially,' said he, 'son, I charge you, upon my blessing and upon the blessing you expect from God, to be ever dutiful to your distressed mother, ever obedient to her commands, and ever tender how you in anything grieve or offend her. She is a person well known to the most eminent personages of England, France, Germany, and Holland ; noted for piety, prudence, and all honourable virtues ; and certainly, the more you are obedient to her the more you will increase in favour with God and man.'
"Then he desired to be private in the room himself, when lie was observed to be about half an hour upon his knees, with frequent interjections of groans and sighs, before his God. Then, when he called the
company in again, his eyes witnessed unto us that he had abundantly mixed tears with his prayers. He told us that he was very willing to leave the world, being assured by the testimony of God's Spirit that he should be carried from trouble to rest and peace, from sorrow to joy, from death to life ; and that death had no other bitterness in it to him but that it took him from his dear wife and children, whom he humbly commended to the protection and providence of a better Father. And that yet he did not doubt but that the General "-Cromwell-" and they who sate in the seat of authority, would make provision for them, hoping that his death might satisfy all those who sought his life, whoiyt he freely forgave, and desired God to do the like. Then, calling for his son, he took his leave of him, and blessed him, which indeed would have grieved any one's heart (though never so hardened) to see this tender parting of him with his son; and also with his two daughters, the Lady Katherine and the Lady Amelia Stanley' on the road betwixt Chester
and Bolton the day before"-a parting which has been already recited.
" This ended, he called the officer, and told him he was ready. On his way to the scaffold, the people prayed, and wept, and cried aloud, to whom his Lordship, with a cheerful countenance and courteous humbleness, said, 'Good people, I thank you ; and I beseech you, still pray for me, and our blessed God return your prayers back into your own bosoms. The God of Mercy bless you, the Son of God establish you in righteousness, and the Holy Ghost fill you with all comforts.'
1' Coming near the scaffold, he looked up, and said: 'God, I thank Thee that I am not afraid to go up here, though I am to die there ; there are but these few steps to my eternity.' Then kissing the ladder,
he weiit up and saluted the people. He walked a turn or two upon the scaffold ; t~en went to the cast end of the scaffold, and pulled off his liat again, and saluted the people with a cheerful countenance, and said -.I am come, by the will of my Heavenly Father, to die in this place, re, and I thank God I do, with all willingness and Idiness, submit to His most blessed will. 'Tis a idlace I desired to see when I was last in the country, both for the mutual obligations that have been betwixt this town and my family, as also for your particular respects to me, whom ' " -that is ,you,'-,, I have understood to be ready to clear me from the foul imputation that I was a man of blood, and that particularly I killed one Bootle in cold blood ' " I- the " Bolton massacre," in this statement of it shrinking to very small dimensions.-" ' I doubt not but there are here many men, present both that day the town was taken, and divers other times during this war, that can certify I preserved many lives. But I know there is not any one present that can lay the blood of any man whatsoever to my charge, unless what might casually happen in the fury and heat of battle. And why I die in this town I know not, unless it be to persuade the nation that I fall as a sacrifice for the blood which some said I shed here, from which charge I am acquitted before you, and from which I had also cleared myself before my grand judges at Westminster had they pleased to hear me before they had destroyed me, their report being hastily brought up among them by some that I hol5e God bath forgiven, and too readily drank in by others whom I pray God to forgive.
"' As for my crime (as some are pleased to term it) which was objected against me by the Council of War (for Bootle's death was never mentioned against me then, that being only secretly used to raise a prejudice against me in thejudgments of such as did not know me), my crime, I say, though I hope it deserves a far better name, was that I came into my own country with my own lawful King-I came in obedience to his Majesty's call, whom, both by the laws of God and the laws of this land. I conceived myself obliged to obey, and according to the protestation I took in parliament in the time of that blessed Prince his father. So if it be my crime, I here confess it again before God, angels, and men, that I love Monarchy as the best Government, and I die with love and honour, and for the love and honour I bear to my master that now is, Charles If. of that name, whom I myself in this county proclaimed King. The Lord bless and preserve him, and incline the hearts of those that have power in this nation to accept him to his father's throne with honour and peace. For certainly, as I believe, this nation will never be well contented, never thoroughly happy, without a King. So I believe also that King Charles II., our now lawful Kin,-, were he a stranger to this crown, were "' -is-" ' the most fit and most accomplished Prince that this day lives to take the government of this people ; his admirable piety, virtue, justice, great valour, and discretion, far above so few years ' "-poor Lord Derby !-" 'dothnowmake him in all places "' where " I he comes highly beloved, and will hereafter make him honourable arnong all nations. And I wish the people of this nation so much happiness (when my eyes are closed) that he may peaceably be received to the enjoyment of his just rights, and then they shall never want their just rights which, till then, they will always want.
"' As for my being in arms in the beginning of this war, I profess here, in the presence of God, before whom, within a few minutes, I must make an account for this profession, I only fought for peace and settling the late King, my master, in his just rights, and the maintenance of the laws of this land, and that I had no other design, intent, or purpose for my taking up arms. And for this last engagement "'coming from the Isle of Man to help Charles II.-"' I profess here again, in the presence of the same God, that I did it for the restoring my lawful Sovereign into that throne out of which his father was most unchristianly and barbarously taken by the most unjust sentence of a pretended Court of justice, and himself, against law and all justice, k~pt out and. dispossessed of ; and this was all my reason. For as for estate or quality I wanted not a sufficient competency ; neither was I ever ambitious to enlarge either, for, by the favour of my King's predecessors, my family was raised to a condition well known in this country, and now it is as well known that by his enemies I am adjudged to die, .ind that by new and monstrous laws, as making me an enemy to my country for fighting for my country, as a traitor to the laws for endeavouring to preserve the laws. But, O God, give me grace to consider 1-lim who suffered such contradiction of sinners, and, O my God, assist the King to his father's throne ! Assist the laws to their former honour, and restore Thy own religion in its purity, that all these shadows and false pretences of religion may vanish away, and our children's posterity may serve Thee in spirit and in truth !
"' Good friends, I die for the King, the laws of the land, and the Protestant religion, maintained in the Church of England, all of which I was ready to maintain with my life, so I cheerfully suffer for them in this welcome death.'
" At the words King and laws' a trooper said aloud, ' We will neither have King, lords, nor laws.' And upon a sudden the soldiers, being either surprised with fear at a strange noise that was heard or else falling into mutiny, presently fell into a tumult, riding up and down the streets, cutting and slashing the people, some being killed and many wounded. His Lordship looking on this sad spectacle said thus :
"Gentlemen, it troubles me more than my own death that others are hurt,
1 icar, die, for me. I beseech you stay your hands ! I fly not. Voit pursue not me ; and here are none to pursue you ! " But being interrupted in his speech, and not permitted to go on further (for which the officers were much troubled), he turned aside to his servant and gave him the speech "-a written one, and of which the reader has been perusing what is in all probability a faithful transcript-" into his hands, saying,' I will speak to my God, who I know will hear me, and when I am dead, let the world know what I would have said.' Here his Lordship was interrupted ; but it was as follows in his own copy under his own hand:-
" ' I am sentenced to death by a Council of War after quarter for life and assurance of honourable and safe usage by Captain Edge. I had reason to expect that the Council would have justified my pleas which have been ancient honourable, sacred, and inviolable until this time that "'-when-"' I am made the first suffering precedent; for I dare affirm it that never gentleman before, in any Christian nation, was adjudged to death by a Council of War after quarter given. I am the first, and I pray God I may be the last precedent in this case. I must die, and I thank God lam ready for it. Death would now be my choice had I the whole world in competition with it. I leave nothing behind me which I care for but my King, my wife, children, and friends, whom I trust the never-failing mercy of my God will provide for. I beseech God to show mercy to those who neither had mercy nor justice for me. My blessed Saviour taught me, by His example and command, both to pray for my enemies and to forgive my enemies. I forgive them freely, even those that contrived my ruin, and pursued me to death. I thank God I never personally offended them to my knowledge in my life ; and let me not offend against theni at my death. I forgive them freely, and pray God for Christ's sake to forgive them also.
" 'Of my faith and religion, I shall not, I hope, need to say much. Herein I hope my enemies (if now I have any) will speak for me. I profess my faith to be in God, for whom I look for my salvation, through the precious merits and sufferings of my blessed Saviour, Jesus Christ, which merits and sufferings are applied to my soul by the blessed Spirit of Comfort, the Spirit of God, by whom I am assured, in my own soul, that my God is reconciled unto me in Jesus Christ, my blessed Redeemer. I die a dutiful son to the Church of England, as it was established in that blessed saint my late master's reign, which all men of learning and temperance will acknowledge to be the most pure and agreeable to the Word of God and primitive government of any church within 12 or 1300 years since Christ, and which (to my great comfort) I left established in the Isle of Man. God preserve it there and restore it to this nation 1
And, O blessed God, I magnify Thy name that Thou gayest me the happiness -and mercy to be born in a Christiaii nation, and in a nation where Thy truth was professed in purity, with honour to Thy name and comfort to Thy people. I ascribe the comforts of Thy Holy Spirit which I feel in my bosom to the ministry of Thy Word and Sacraments conveyed unto me in Thy Church, and made effectual by the operation of the same blessed Spirit. In this faith, good people, I have lived and in this I die. Pray for me, I beseech you, and the God of mercy hear your prayers and my prayers for mine and your salvation."' Here endeth Lord Derby's written, and partly undelivered, speech.
" Presently, after the tumult was over, his Lordship called for the headsman and asked to see the axe, and taking it in his hand said, 'Friend, I will not harm it, and I am sure it cannot hurt me,' and then kissing it, said, 'Methinks this is a wedding ring, which is a sign I am to leave all the world, and eternally to be married to my Saviour.' Then putting his hand into his pocket, said to the headsman - ' Here, friend, take these two pieces, all that I have. Thou must be my priest. I pray thee do thy work well and effectually.' Then handling the rough-furred coat the headsman had on, 'This,' says he, 'will be troublesome to thee, I pray thee put it off, and do it as willingly as I put off this garment of my flesh that is now so heavy for my soul,' Then some of the standers-by bade the headsman kneel and ask his pardon; but he did not, but was surly and crabbed. But his Lordship said, 'Friend, I give thee the pardon thou wilt not ask, and God forgive thee also !' Then turning up his eyes to heaven, said aloud: I flow long, Lord, how long?' Then gently passing over the scaffold, and seeing one of his chaplains on horseback among the people, 'Good Sir,' said he, 'pray for me, and the Lord return your prayers unto your own bosom, and I pray remember me kindly to your brother, and God remember him for his love to me and mine.' Then turning towards his coffin: ' Thou art,' said he, 'my bridal-chamber. In thee I shall rest without a guard, and sleep without soldiers.' Then looking toward the block, he asked if all were ready. 'That,' says he, I methinks is very low, and yet there is but one step betwixt that and heaven.' Then turning his eyes to the people, he saluted them, and desired again their prayers ; then said, ' I see your tears and hear your sighs and groans and prayers. The God of heaven grant your supplications for me, and mine for you, and the mediation of Jesus Christ for us all.'
" Here his Lordship caused the block to be turned that he might look upon the church "-the old, no longer extant, parish church of Bolton " saying, ' Whilst I am here I will look towards Thy holy sanctuary,
The first Stanley Earl of Derby gained high rank, increased his estates, and reaped through life great worldly prosperity by the skill with which he contrived to be always on the winning side. The seventh Earl of Derby reduced the fortunes of the family to their lowest by throwing in his lot with the losing side, and he died a martyr to "principle." But the contrast between the careers of the first and the seventh Earls of Derby, and the results and close of each, forms a theme for the moralist rather than for the biographer.
1 Madame de Witt, p. 157.
I Madame de Witt, p. 158.
'Madame de Witt, p. 162.
On this rather perplexing subject of Lord Derby's will, Canon Raines has the following remarks (ii. cclxxii.) :-" At the time Earl James made his will he was not in possession of any pecuniary resources in England, and the large sums left to the younger children were therefore prospective, and charged upon both the personal and real property. The admission that the validity of the will depended upon the King's having the power and the inclination to second Lord Derby's views is clearly expressed. It had, therefore, a relation to some future time of uncertain occurrence, and the King was requested to deprive the eldest son of the titles and estates, to give them to his younger brothers in succession, and, if necessary, to confer them on the daughters. The Earl did not seek to divide his property equally among his children, and thus abolish the law of primogeniture, but simply sought to mark his strong disapprobation of disloyalty, and to enforce a principle not so much of justice or of injustice as of public policy. To those at all acquainted with the laws which regulated such matters in England, and especially with the circumstances under which the father of the seventh Earl inherited these very honours and lands, and the close entails made by the seventh Earl himself in 1626, and subsequently, this interference with the direct descent will appear almost incredible. We can only reconcile the curious facts by believing that, after the testamentary papers had been executed, the Earl had discovered that the provisions contained in it were illegal, and therefore altogether null and void, and that it had consequently ceased to exist as a formal, legal instrument. Although the will had probate granted in the proper ecclesiastical court, it does not appear to have been acted upon by the executors, nor recognised by the family ; and there is no trace of it in the litigation to which the Derby property was exposed after the Restoration, and no property was more thoroughly sifted as to its controlling powers under the Cromwell rule." The inference is that after being reconciled to his eldest son Lord Derby did not alter the unfavourable will simply because he discovered before his death that it was altogether invalid.
' Original Memoir-.f, &c. (Edinburgh, 1806), pp. 154-5.
1 Vii. 2 7. P. 173 (edition of 1821).
Baines, ii. ccxxii.
i ]~'a~ i~igloit Papers (vol. xxxix. of the Chetham Society's publications), P. 108
1 The "Captain Bootle " for the story of whose death ' at Lord Derby's hands, Royalist writers are partly responsible. they represent with a certain exultation, Lord Derby killing in cold blood, at the storm of Bolton, this Bootle, described as a servant of his, who had deserted from Latham and betrayed his mistress. Mr Beamont Lanc. Warr, P. 135, note) has sifted the story with his usual careful diligence, and shown it to be in the highest degree improbable.