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The following Letter from George Evelyn, Esq., elder brother of Mr. J. E. when at College, to his father Richard at Wotton, 26 Sept., 1636, giving an account of the Visit made by the King and Queen to the University of Oxford, with some particulars respecting himself, contains some curious matter.
“I know you have long desired to hear of my welfare, and the total series of his Majesty's entertainment whilst he was fixed in the centre of our Academy.
“The Archbishop our Lord Chancellor [Laud] and many Bishops, Doctor Bayley our Vice-Chancellor, with the rest of the Doctors of the University, together with the Mayor of the City, and his brethren, rode out in state to meet his Majesty, the Bishops in their pontifical robes, the Doctors in their scarlet gowns and their black caps (being the habit of the University), the Mayor and Aldermen in their scarlet gowns, and sixty other townsmen all in black satin doublets and in old fashion jackets. At the appropinquation of the King, after the beadles' staves were delivered up to his Majesty in token that they yielded up all their authority to him, the Vice-Chancellor spoke a speech to the King, and presented him with a Bible in the University’s behalf, the Queen with Camden's Britannia in English, and the Prince Elect (as I took it) with Croke's Politics; all of them with gloves (because Oxford is famous for gloves.") A little nigher the City where the City bounds are terminated, the Mayor presented his Majesty with a large gilt cup, et tenet vicinitatem opinio, the Recorder of the City made a speech to his Majesty. In the entrance of the University, at St. John's College, he was detained with another speech made by a Fellow of the house. The speech being ended, he went to Christ-church, scholars standing on both sides of the street, according to their degrees, and in their formalities, clamantes, Vivat Reac noster Carolus / Being entered Christ-church, he had another speech
* Gloves always made part of a present from Corporate Bodies at that time, more or less ornamented with rich fringes according to the quality of the persons to whom they were offered.
made by the University orator, and student of the same house : the subject of all which speeches being this, expressing their joy and his welcome to the University. Then, retiring himself a little, he went to prayers; they being ended, soon after to supper, and then to the play, whose subject was the Calming of the Passions; but it was generally misliked of the Court, because it was so grave; but especially because they understood it not. This was the first day's entertainment. “The next morning, he had a sermon in Christ-church, preached by Browne, the Proctor of the University, and a student of the house. The sermon being ended, the Prince Elect and Prince Rupert went to St. Mary's, where there was a congregation, and Prince Rupert created Master of Arts, also many nobles with him. The reason why the Prince Elect was not created Master of Arts, was because Cambridge our sister had created him before. The congregation done, the King, Queen, and all the nobles went to the Schools (the glory of Christendom) where in the public Library, his Majesty heard another speech, spoken by my Lord Chamberlain's third son, and of Exeter College, which speech the King liked well. From the schools the King went to St. John's to dinner, where the Archbishop entertained his Majesty with a magnificent dinner and costly banquet [dessert]. Then with a play made by the same house. The play being ended, he went to Christchurch ; and, after supper, to another play, called the Royal Slave,” all the actors performing in a Persian habit, which play much delighted his Majesty and all the nobles, commending it for the best that ever was acted. “The next morning, he departed from the University, all the Doctors kissing his hand, his Majesty expressing his kingly love to the University, and his countenance demonstrating unto us, that he was well pleased with this his entertainment made by us scholars. “After the King's departure, there was a Congregation called, where many Doctors, some Masters of Art, and a few Bachelors were created, they procuring it by making friends to the Palsgrave. There were very few that went out that are now resident, most of them were Lords and gentlemen. A Doctor of Divinity and Bachelor of Arts were created of our house [Trinity], but they made special friends to get it. “With the £30 you sent me I have furnished me with those necessaries I wanted, and have made me two suits, one of them being a black satin doublet and black cloth breeches, the other a white satin doublet and scarlet hose ; the scarlet hose I shall wear but little here, but it will be comely for me to wear in the country. “Your desire was that I should be as frugal in my expenses as I could, and I assure you, honoured Sir, I have been ; I have spent none of it in riot or toys. You hoped it would be sufficient to furnish me and discharge my battels for this quarter; but I fear it will not, therefore I humbly entreat you to send me 4:6. I know what I have already, and with this I send for, will be more than enough to discharge these months; but I know not what occasion may fall out. “Trin. Coll. Oxon, 26 July, 1636.”
* By William Cartwright, a student of that College. In this play one of his fellow-students (afterwards the famous Dr. Busby) performed a part (that of Cratander) so excellently well, and with so much applause, that it is said he had almost determined to commence actor on the public stage.
In the Edition of Sir Richard Baker's Chronicle, published with additions by Edward Philips (Milton's nephew), there is an account of the transactions between Mr. Evelyn and Colonel Morley, relative to the latter's being urged by Mr. Evelyn, after Cromwell's death, to declare for the King. In a subsequent edition, in 1730, this account is considerably altered. Amongst Mr. Evelyn's papers at Wotton, there is the original account drawn up by Sir Thomas Clarges, and sent to Mr. Philips; it is in Sir Thomas's own handwriting, was evidently sent to Mr. Evelyn for his perusal, and is thus indorsed by him :
y. Sir Thomas Clarges's (brother-in-law to the Duke of Albemarle) insertion
of what concerned Mr. Evelyn and Colonel Morley in continuation of the History written by Mr. Philips, and added to Sir Rich. Baker's Chronicle. Note that my letter to Colonel Morley was not rightly copied ; there was likewise too much said concerning me, which is better, and as it ought to be in the second impression, 1664.”
Mr. Philips's account is as follows:
“In the seven hundred and nineteenth page of this History we omitted to insert a very material negociation for the King's service, attempted upon the interruption given to the Parliament by Colonel Lambert and those that joined with him therein, which was managed by Mr. Evelin, of Says Court, by Deptford, in Kent, an active, vigilant, and very industrious agent on all occasions for his Majesty's Restoration ; who, supposing the members of this suppositious Parliament could not but ill resent that affront, thought to make advantage of fixing the impression of it to the ruin of the Army, for the effecting whereof he applied himself to Colonel Herbert Morley, then newly constituted one of the five Commissioners for the command of the Army, as a person by his birth, education, and interest, unlikely to be cordially inclined to prostitute himself to the ruin of his country and the infamy of his posterity.
“Mr. Evelin gave him some visits to tempt his affection by degrees to a confidence in him, and then by consequence to engage him in his designs; and to induce him the more powerfully thereunto, he put into his hands an excellent and unanswerable hardy treatise by him written, called “An Apology for the Royal Party,’ which he backed with so good arguments and a very dextrous address in the prosecution of them, that the Colonel was wholly convinced, and recommended to him the procurement of the King's pardon for him, his brother-in-law, Mr. Fagg, and one or two more of his relations. This Mr. Evelin faithfully promised to endeavour, and taking the opportunity of Sir Samuel Tuke's going at that time into France, he by him acquainted the King (being then at Pontoise) with the relation of this affair, wherewith he was so well pleased as to declare if Colonel Morley, and those for whom he interceded, were not of those execrable judges of his blessed Royal father, they should have his pardon, and he receive such other reward as his services should deserve. Upon the sending this advice to the King, the Colonel left London, because of the jealousy which Fleetwood and Lambert had of him ; but, before he went, he desired Mr. Evelin to correspond with him in Sussex, by means of Mr. Fagg, his brother-in-law, who then lay in the Mews.
“Mr. Evelin had good reason to believe Colonel Morley very capable of serving the King at this time ; for he had a much better interest in Sussex than any of his party; whereby he might have facilitated his Majesty's reception in that county, in case his affairs had required his landing there ; but, besides his power in Sussex, he had (as he said) an influence on two of the best regiments of the Army, and good credit with many of the Officers of the Fleet.
“But, before the return from France of the King's resolution in this matter, there intervened many little changes in the posture of affairs.
“Upon the advance of General Monk in favour of the Parliament, and the general inclination of the Army to him, Colonel Morley expected the restitution of that power, and with it of his own authority, and was leagued with Walton and Hazlerigin a private treaty with Colonel Whetham, the Governor of Portsmouth, for the delivery of that garrison to them ; and Fagg went privately from London to raise a regiment in Sussex, to promote these designs; but was suppressed before he got any considerable number of men together.
“Mr. Evelin, not knowing of these intrigues, in vain endeavoured by all imaginable ways to communicate the King's pleasure to Morley, who was by this time in the garrison of Portsmouth.
“But, when the Parliament resumed their power, and he [Morley] was placed in the government of the Tower, he [Evelin] thought it expedient to renew the former negociation betwixt them for his Majesty's service, and in order thereunto, he often by visits made application to him, but could never but once procure access; and then he dismissed him with a faint answer, ‘That he would shortly wait upon him at his lodging.’
“This put Mr. Evelin into so much passion that he resolved to surmount the difficulty of access by writing freely to him, which he did in this Imanner :
“To colonel. MoRLEY, LIEUTENANT of THE ToweR.* ‘SIR, “For many obligations, but especially for the last testimonies of
your confidence in my friendship, begun so long since, and considered so
When I transacted with him for delivery of the Tower of London, and to declare for the King, a little before General Monk's, and which had he done, he had received the honour that great man deserved and obtained soon after.
inviolably through so many changes, and in so universal a decadence of honour, and all that is sacred amongst men, I come with this profound acknowledgment of the favours you have done me ; and had a great desire to have made this a personal recognition and to eongratulate your return, and the dignities which your merits have acquired, and for which none does more sincerely rejoice ; could I promise myself the happiness of finding you in your station at any season wherein the Public, and more weighty concernments did afford you the leisure of receiving a visit from a person so inconsiderable as myself.
“But, since I may not hope for that good fortune, and such an opportunity of conveying my respects and the great affections which I owe you, I did presume to transmit this express; and by it, to present you with the worthiest indications of my zeal to continue in the possession of your good graces, by assuring you of my great desires to serve you in whatsoever may best conduce to your honour, and to a stability of it, beyond all that any future contingencies of things can promise: because I am confident that you have a nobler prospect upon the success of your designs than to prostitute your virtues and your conduct to serve the passions, or avarice, of any particular persons whatsoever; being (as you are) free and incontaminate, well-born, and abhorring to dishonour or enrich yourself with the spoils which by others have been ravished from our miserable, yet dearest country; and which renders them so zealous to pursue the ruin of it, by labouring to
* The letter following is taken from Mr. Evelyn's own copy.
involve men of the best natures and reputation into their own inextricable labyrinths, and to gratify that which will pay them with so much infamy in the event of things, and with so inevitable a perdition of their precious souls, when all these uncertainties (how specious soever at present) shall vanish and come to nothing. “There is now, Sir, an opportunity put into your hands, by improving whereof you may securely act for the good of your country, and the redemption of it from the insupportable tyrannies, injustice, and impieties under which it has now groaned for so many years, through the treachery of many wicked, and the mistakes of some few good men. For by this, Sir, you shall best do honour to God, and merit of your country; by this you shall secure yourself, and make your name great to succeeding ages: by this you shall crown yourself with real and lasting dignities. In sum, by this, you shall oblige even those whom you may mistake to be your greatest enemies, to embrace and cherish you as a person becoming the honour of a brave and worthy patriot, and to be rewarded with the noblest expression of it; when, by the best interpretations of your charity and obedience to the dictates of a Christian, you shall thus heap coals of fire upon their head; and which will at once give both light and warmth to this afflicted Nation, Church, and People, not to be extinguished by any more of those impostors whom God has so signally blown off the stage, to place such in their stead, as have opportunities given them of restoring us to our ancient known laws, native and most happy liberties.—It is this, Sir, which I am obliged to wish to encourage you in, and to pronounce as the worthiest testimony of my congratulations for your return ; and which, you may assure yourself, has the suffrages of the solidest and best ingredient of this whole nation. “And having said thus much, I am sure you will not look upon this letter as a servile address ; but, if you still retain that favour and goodness for the person who presents it, that I have reason to promise myself, from the integrity which I have hitherto observed in all your professions; I conjure you to believe, that you have made a perfect acquisition of my service; and, that (however events succeed) I am still the same person, greedy of an opportunity to recommend the sincerity of my affection, by doing you whatsoever service lies in my power; and I hope you shall not find me without some capacities of expressing it in effects, as well as in the words of
“In a note he adds: “Morley was at this time Lieutenant of the Tower of London, was absolute master of the City, there being very few of the rebel army anywhere near it, save at Somerset-House a trifling garrison which was marching out to re-enforce Lambert, who was marching upon the news of Monk's coming out of Scotland. He was Lieutenant of all the confederate counties of Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, &c.; his brother-in-law Governor of Portsmouth and Hampshire ; his own brother William Morley Governor of Arundel Castle; in sum, he had all the advantages he could have desired to have raised the well-affected of the City and Country universally breathing after a deliverer (uncertain as to what Monk intended), and so had absolutely prevented any [other] person or power whatever (in all appearance) from having the honour of bringing in the King, before those who were in motion could have snatched it out of his hand. Of all this I made him so sensible, when I was with him at the Tower, that nothing but his fatal diffidence of Monk's having no design to bring in his Majesty because he had [not] discovered it whilst matters were yet in the dark (but the design certainly resolved on) kept him wavering and so irresolute (though he saw the game