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SELECTION FROM THE CORRESPONDENCE
SIR. RICHARD BROWNE.
The subjoined extracts are taken exclusively from the letters and papers of Sir Richard Browne, Evelyn's father-in-law, of whom such frequent mention is made in the Diary and Correspondence now brought to a close. They will be found to refer chiefly to matters strictly historical, having been selected for the occasional new facts they contribute to that series of remarkable events which form the subjects of the various correspondences contained in this volume. They require little illustration, beyond what has incidentally been supplied in notes already given. The first paper contains instructions for Browne's special embassy to Holland; but, with this exception, all the extracts given relate to his official residence in Paris, in the interval between 1642 and 1651. What followed the latter year has been the subject of the correspondence just given between himself and Clarendom. If the reader refers to the Diary, vol. i., p. 288, he will oberve that it was shortly after the date when the last of these letters was written, the result of the fight of Worcester having put a decided close to all further Royalist effort for the time, that Sir Richard Browne sent his son-in-law Evelyn over to “compound with the soldiers,” and take possession of Sir Richard's seat at Sayes Court, Deptford, with a view to permanent residence, “there being now so little appearance of any change for the better, all being entirely in the rebels' hands.” Shortly after Evelyn had so left Paris, at which his young wife was to remain, with her father, till Sayes Court should be prepared for her reception, Sir Richard Browne had to communicate a piece of news of much domestic interest to his son-in-law, and his notes on the occasion may be given here not inappropriately, whether as specimens of Sir Richard's more intimate and friendly manner of writing, or as connected very closely with the family story of the Evelyns. The first is dated from Paris, on the 11th of May, 1652. “Dear Son, Dick Hoare hath formerly given you notice of the safety of your lost half, or half lost Ben: Johnson, and will also tell you by what good fortune I have (paying the half-pistole) got possession of your letter post. I am now to acquaint you, that your wife
will (God blessing her with safety) bring you a depositum you left behind you here, of far greater value, viz, a Hans in Yelde, a young cavalier, who hath within these few days unexpectedly discovered his vivacity, and plainly manifests his intention within few months to come forth, and be a citizen of this world. This (though yet a secret here) is so real a certainty, that I exceedingly joy to give you this first notice thereof. And if grandfathers love more tenderly their remote offspring, you will not I hope envy me my share in the great contentment, who so passionately wish you and yours all happiness, under God's eternal, and the temporary blessing of your ever dearly loving father, to serve you, R.I. BROWNE” —The second is dated three days later, and addressed “My son Evelyne.” Thus it runs : “Dear Son, Lest what I sent you by the last post should by accident have gone astray, I now repeat what much concerns you to know, that you may, as soon as may be, participate our joy, the nature whereolis to be diffusive. Your wife, by being since your departure so free from nausea's and other ordinary indications of child. bearing, hath so deceived us that, until very lately, we scarce other ways than in wishes thought of so great a blessing; of the certainty whereof there is now no doubt to be made, though as yet it be here so much a secret, that none but my wife and I and your maid do know it. God accomplish pros. perously this his mercy, to his glory, your comfort, and the singular contentment of your dearly loving father to serve you, RICHARD BRowNE.’ Instructions for our trusty & well-beloued Seruant
Richard Browne, Clerke of our Privy Councell
&c. (in 1640).
Hauing occasion to send a person of trust into Holland, unto our deare Sister the Queene of Bohemia, and our Nephew the Prince Elector Palatin, Wee are pleased to make choise of you for the imployment, and for your better direction there. in, to prouide you wo the Instructions following: You shall represent unto our Sister, and Nephew,'
* The Elector Palatine had been in England before this date, and was then elected Knight of the Garter. In consequence of the present negotiation, he did not proceed to England until 1643, two years afterwards. Charles the First ma already have suspected the young Prince of the design whic he afterwards did not scruple to carry into effect by joining the party arrayed against his uncle.
(wee being informed he hath a desire to passe over into these partes) how inconuenient it would be for our seruice if att present he should undertake the §. and that woall, it can noe ways aduantage is owne affaires, since we shall still haue the same care and affection for them, in his absence, as if he were present, and now especially in this Treaty between us and the States of the Wnited Provinces, and the Prince of Orange, wherein his interests shall not be forgotten. That for the paper wo" So Richard Cave hath given us, Wee find it soe directly contrary to the interests of the States, and in itselfe impracticable, that from that ground, Wee cannot hope any effects conducible to the good of our Nephewes affaires, yet in the present Treaty we are resolued to endeauour y" interest of him, and the House Palatene, soe farre as the present conjuncture of affaires will permit, it being one of the principall motiues that induced us to harcken to this Alliance w” the States, and the Prince of Orange. You are further to giue our Sister and Nephew, all reall asseurances of our loue and affection to them, and particularly of our desires, that all misunderstands (if such there chaunce to hauebin) that haue happened eitherin circumstance or otherwayes, concerning the outlertures of this Marriage” intended betweene our eldest daughter and the Prince of Oranges son, may be taken away: Wee foreseing that nothing can be of more aduantage to them in their present condition, then that there be a cleare vnderstanding, and all reall friendship betweene
* This Sir Richard Cave appears to have been much engaged in the affairs of Holland and the Palatinate. In Bromley's Collection of Royal Letters he is mentioned by the Count Palatine in a letter to the Queen of Bohemia, as Captain Cave; he was then serving in the army, and occasionally employed in diplomatic affairs.
* The marriage took place on the 2nd of May, 1641, when the Princess was only twelve years of age; and it is a curious fact in Charles's private history, that it was celebrated with great magnificence in the interval between the sentence and the execution of the Earl of Strafford.
them, and the Prince and Princesse of Orange: wo you are effectually to represent vnto them by all the arguments and reasons you can frame, and of what dangerous consequence the contrary may be to their interests and restitution.
You shall likewise give unto our Sister and Nephew, a true and particular knowledge of the state of the Treatyes betweene us and the States Ambassad" (as our principall Secretary shallinforme you) as well of that of the Marriage, as of y" Confederation, in the latter of which, we are resolued (as aforesaid) to take a special care of their interests.
You are to acquaint them, that although the two Treatyes are not come as yett to a conclusion, neuerthelesse hauing been pressed by the Prince of Orange, that his son might passe into England before his going to the Field, Wee haue so farre giuen our assent thereunto as that wee haue left it to him, to doe therein as he shall thinke fitt.
You are to impart these our Instructions vnto S' William Boswell our Resident, and totake his aduise in all things that may concerne our seruice, and you are w” him to addresse your selfe in our name to the Prince & Princesse of Orange, & to passe like offices w” them for the endeauouring & setling of a good understanding betweene our deare Sister, our Nephew, and them, according as wee soe earnestly desire, and their interest requires: Giuen under our Signe-manuall att our Court at Whitehally" 23* of Febru: 1640.
(Signed) H. WANE.
“His Maolo Instructions to Mr. Browne, going into Holland 1641.” Instructions for our trusty and welbeloued Richard Browne, Esq. one of the Clerkes of our Priry Councell, and our Agent w” our good brother the most Christian King : (in 1641). CHARLEs R. Wee hauing occasion to imploy our right trusty and right welbeloved Cousin the Earle of Leycester," * Robert Sidney, nephew of the gallant Sir Philip.