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SIR EDWARD HYDE
SIR. RICHARD BROWNE.
THE letters now to be given, also from the papers of Sir Richard Browne, will be found to throw additional and valuable light on the condition of the various members of the royal family and their adherents during the interval between the death of Charles the First and the Restoration. Only the first two letters of the series are of earlier date. These were written (in 1646) from Jersey, whither Hyde had accompanied the Prince of Wales, afterwards Charles the Second; having been named of his Council in the preceding year. His object at this time was to counteract the intrigues of the Queen to get possession of the Prince; and the desF.; tone in which these letters are written marks the gilure of that design. The first is dated but a few days after the Prince had left Jersey to join his mother in Paris. Jersey was now under the government of Lord Jermyn, the Queen's favourite; but his deputy, Sir George Carteret, was Hyde's intimate friend; and with him he remained, solaced also by the friendly intercourse of Lords Hopton and Capel, and engaged in the composition of his History of the Rebellion, which he had begun at Scilly not many weeks before. He did not quit this retreat till 1648. During the same period Sir Edward Nicholas was at Caen in Normandy, and afterwards in Holland, where, on being obliged to fly from England, he had the King's permission to reside. Lord Digby also, to whom frequent reference is made, had been in Ireland at the time of the Prince's flight to Jersey, but joined him soon after with two frigates and two hundred soldiers, strenuously to advise an attempt upon Ireland, in which the Primce refused to engage. On quitting Jersey, in 1648, Hyde joined Charles in Holland (his Life gives an interesting notice of his adventures on that occasion), and soon after the King's death he was sent Ambassador to Spain, from which country he rejoined Charles in France, and was appointed Resident at Antwerp, where he remained during the unsuccessful Scotch campaign, and till he and his master again met after the escape from the field of Worcester. In the latter passages of the Correspondence, to which these events bring us, so many allusions occur to the royal fleet that it may be desirable to describe its position at the time. When Charles "I. perished on the scaffold, a portion of the navy revolted from the Parliament, and sailed to Holland in aid of the Royal exiles. These ships were put under the command of Prince Rupert, and were employed by him in a predatory warfare against the Commonwealth, besides making several attempts on the Eastern coast of England in aid of the small Royal party still existing there; after which they proceeded to the Irish coast, where they took some valuable prizes. The Parliament sent Blake after them; but in 1649, Rupert, having forced his way through Blake's fleet, continued to capture English ships, apparently on his own account, and indeed without either asking for, or receiving, any orders from the young exiled King. He then proceeded for Portugal, but was forced off by Blake, so that he was obliged to fly for the Mediterranean, where he commenced aggressions on the Spaniards, and having afterwards repaired and refitted at Toulon, from whence he found it necessary to retire, sailed, in 1650, for the West Indies. At this period Scilly and Jersey sent out swarms of privateers; but those islands being captured by the Parliamentary forces, the freebooters were obliged to bring their prizes into the ports of Britanny; and, in return for the sanction of Royal Commissions, were called upon to pay certain droits into the King's Exchequer. To that arrangement many of the following Letters refer. In 1652, Rupert arrived at Nantes on his return from the West Indies, after suffering heavy losses from storms; so that, in fact, he only brought back one man of war, and three or four other vessels, being the sole remains of twenty-five ships of force of which his squadron originally consisted: and these he was compelled to sell to pay his seamen, under circumstances which will be found illustrated in the ensuing Correspondence. Finally, it may be convenient to bring to the reader's recollection that the young King staid at Paris until 1654, when he proceeded through Flanders to Spa ; thence to Aix-la-Chapelle, and ultimately to Cologne; and that in January 1658, he was at Bruges, where he appointed Sir Edward Hyde, his Chancellor of the Exchequer up to that period, to be Lord Chancellor of England. It is of course needless to add that the men among whom these highsounding titles were thus exchanged continued still to be as powerless as they were poor; they found themselves destitute even of the ordinary comforts of existence; yet, as the letters now printed show, this little exiled Court had its intrigues, jealousies, fears, and hopes, in quite as great an abundance as when, after the lapse of a few years, it was “restored” to Whitehall and St. James's,
Sir Edward Hyde to Sir Richard Browne.'
That you receaued not an answer to your very kinde letter of the 4 of June, by some of the Princes trayne, you must impute to that agony of minde, which was necessary to oppresse me, at the partinge fro’so pretious a jewell, and with so many good frends; I hope I shall be agayne restored to them, however that all happinesse will crowne ther counsells; whilst I with some very good frends of yours pray for them, in this poore islande; you will very much refresh vs with your correspondence, that wee may vnderstande the hopes, and progresse of that prosperity wee pray for. I doe not in the least degree apprehend a possibility of a peace betweene the Scotts & the Independ’ts, but feare more the manner of the warr, least in opposicon to the nacon all the English turne Independits; which sure may be praeuented: I believe the crisis is at hande: I wish you all happinesse, beinge,
5 Your very affectionate Serv', EDW. HYDE. JARsy, this 12 of July, 1646.
I beseech you remember my seruice to Mr. Nicolls,” and desyre him, if Coll. Murray” should
* The reasons for the despondency expressed in this letter are fully detailed in Clarendon's Life, and also in the second volume of his State Papers, p. 276. The justice of the opinions expressed in it received speedy and full verification. See also the Clarendon State Papers, vol. ii., p. 239, for the King's reasons respecting the Prince's visit to the Court of France; and p. 307, for further observations on the “Scots and Independents.”
* Who this Mr. Nicolls was, does not appear; for though Sir Edward Nicholas's name is sometimes spelled so in these letters, yet being then knighted he would have been called Mr. Secretary, as Sir Edward Herbert is often called Mr. Attorney.
* Colonel Charles Murray, a companion of the Prince from Jersey to Paris. There is a humorous letter from him in the Clarendon State Papers, vol. ii., p. 255, describing the arrival of the Prince in the French capital, and subsequently at Fontainbleau.
not be at Courte, that he keepe my letter to him, in his handes, till he see him; and that he deliuer it to mone else. Your favour (S) for this to S. H. Mackeworth."
Sir Ric. Browne,
Sir Edward Hyde to Sir Richard Browne. So, I haue this day receaued yours of the 18. of August,” and by your leaue continue the giuinge you this trouble; by this tyme I hope his Highnesse hath had so good a recepcon at fountainebleau,” that hath made some amends for the former wante of ceremony: Methinkes the imaginacons that it is possible for the Kinge to submitt to those wyle proposicons," is the next treason to the makinge them, ther beinge in them no seedes left, out of which Monarchy may agayne possibly springe: and therfore I longe to heare how our brethren of Scotland comporte themselves upon his refusall, which yet I doe not exspecte will be positive, but such a one as they at London will vote to be a refusall: I beseech you let me heare, how your intelligence from London diposes the Catholiques ther, I suppose that party cleaues to the Independ’ts, and I am sure had hearetofore fayre promises from them; and can have no hope from the 1 The first Baronet of that name, of Normanton, in Rutlandshire; brother to the “brave and honest” Sir Francis, who distinguished himself in the Civil War, as Major General to the Marquis of Newcastle, and who afterwards served in the Low Countries, during Charles's exile. * This is perhaps a mistake for July; or, if correctly written, its apparent anticipation of date may have arisen from Sir Richard using the Gregorian style, from Paris, whilst Sir Edward preserved the old style, in conformity with English custom. * The letter, spoken of in the preceding postscript, for Colonel Murray, appears to have been written on the subject of the Prince's reception at the French Court. * The propositions here alluded to are mentioned in preceding letters and notes.