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Walton, and might be supposed to have been accurately informed of the fact, he continued "in Chancery Lane till about 164a (at which time he found it dangerous for honest men to be there), he left that city, and lived sometimes at Stafford and elsewhere, but mostly in the families of the eminent clergymen of England, of whom he was much beloved." The part of this statement which fixes Walton's removal from London to the year 1643 has been proved erroneous, because he did not leave Chancery Lane until ahout August 1644; and as he was certainly in London in January 1645, and in December 1647, and, as will be afterwards shown, was living there in 165o, it is extremely doubtful when, if ever, he retired to Stafford. Very little has been discovered respecting him between 1645 and 165o; and it does not appear that he printed anything in that period; but it has been confidently stated by many writers that Walton sought seclusion and safety during the civil wars, in a cottage of his own near to his native town of Stafford, where he indulged in his favourite pursuits of literature and angling. Disgusted with public events, and grieved to the heart at the murder of his sovereign, the destruction of the Episcopal Church, and the dispersion and distress of its conscientious ministers, among the most eminent of whom were many of his dearest friends, he probably refrained from reflecting upon events which he could only bitterly deplore; but it is nearly certain that he did not leave London, excepting for temporary and occasional visits to Stafford, until after the Restoration.
Mr Bowles, in his Life of Bishop Ken,4 has not only assumed that Dr Morley was Walton's guest, at his cottage in Staffordshire, from April 1648 until the first week in May 1649,5 but he exercised the poetical talents for which he is justly celebrated, by imagining a dialogue to have taken place between Morley and Walton and his wife during Morley's visit. It is always painful to destroy the fabrics of genius; but biography is not a proper field for flights of poesy; and however pleasing might be such an episode in the life of Walton, as his having afforded shelter to the venerable Morley in his adversity, contrasting, as it would forcibly have done, with Walton's having passed the latter years of his life in the episcopal re"sidences of that eminent person, it must nevertheless be said, that there is no evidence that Morley ever visited Walton in Staffordshire, or that he was indebted to him for any particular services.
* Life of Ken, vol. i. p. 139. Mr Bowles' authority for stating that Morley took shelter with Walton in Staffordshire, after his ejection from Oxfordi appears to have been derived from traditional information only. Ihid. pp. 93-95.
5 Vol . i. p. 99, ct seq.
It is remarkable that no other allusion should occur in Walton's works to his having resided at or in the neighhourhood of Stafford, than a line in the song called "The Angler's Wish," before mentioned, wherein he says that one of his desires is to
"Loiter long days near Shalvford brook,"
the name of the part of the river Sow, ahout five miles from Stafford, which runs through the land bequeathed by Walton to the corporation of that town for charitable purposes; but as this wishl may have been formed at a distance from the locality, it is no proof that the writer was habitually indulging in the gratification, at the time when the desire for it was expressed. That Walton visited Stafford occasionally is however indisputable.
On the iith of March 1648, and probably in London, Mrs Walton, was delivered of a daughter, who received her mother's name of Anne. This event is recorded in Walton's handwriting, with many other entries of a similar nature, in a copy of his prayer-hook6 formerly belonging to Dr Hawes; and as it is a very interesting relic of the original owner, and has been celebrated by Mr Bowles,7 it is proper to state that the book in question is a small folio edition of "The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of England," printed by Barker in 1639; and that it has always remained in the possession of his descendants.
Before the year 165o Walton took a house in the parish of Clerkenwell, where Mrs Walton gave birth to a son, who was baptized in St James's Church by the name of Isaak, on the 1oth of February 165o; but this child lived only a few months, and was buried at Clerkenwcll on the 1oth of June following.8 The disappointment which Walton had frequently experienced in not having a son to inherit his good name, was however happily compensated in the ensuing year, when his wife was again delivered of a hoy, of whose birth the annexed account was written by his father in the family prayer-book, which agrees with the parish •' register of Clerkenwell : 0 " My last son Isaac, horn the 7th of September 1651, at half an hour after two o'clock in the afternoon, being Sunday,,and so was baptized in the evening by Mr Thrus
6 "My doghter Anne horne the eleventh of March 1647." [1647-8.]
7 Life of Ken, vol. i. passim.
8 "lsaacke Sonne to Isaack Walton and . . . ux. x'pened 1oth February 1649."— Register of St James's, Clerkenwell.
"Isaacke sonn to Isaack Walton, [buried] 1oth Tune 165o."—Ibid.
• "Isaack son to Isaack Walton and . . . x pened 7th September 1651."—Register cf the parish of Clerkenwell. which also contains the following entrv of a son of Gl-orgt Walton: "Abraham sou to Geo. Walton, [buried] 18th March 1653.u
tros,1 in my house in Clerkenwell, Mr Henry Davison and brother Beauchamp were his god-fathers, and Mrs Row his god-mother."
Of the parties here mentioned all which can be said is that Mr Thrustros was apparently the rector or curate of ClerkenwelL Mr Henry Davison was a member of Gray's Inn, and was probably descended from Secretary Davison, the connection between whose family and that of Cranmer has been pointed out.8 Walton's "brother Beauchamp" was James Beacham, a goldsmith of London, and the hushand of Martha Ken, Mrs Walton's half-sister. Mrs Row was probably the wife cither of the "Nat or R. Roe" who accompanied Walton in his fishing excursions, and who were distantly related to him.
In 1651 Walton published a collection of the writings of Sir Henry Wotton under the title of "Reliquiae Wottonianae," with a memoir of the author.3 He was induced to become Wotton's biographer at the solicitation of Sir Edward Bysshe, Clarencieux King-of-Arms, Charles Cotton, whose name is identified with "The Complete Angler," and Nicholas Oudert, the confidential servant of Wotton; and the manner in which he executed the task they imposed upon him, fully justified their request. With his wonted modesty he thus speaks of the motives by which he was influenced :—
"Sir Henry Wotton was a branch of such a kindred as left a stock of reputation to their posterity; such reputation as might kindle a generous emulation in strangers, and preserve a noble ambition in those of his name and family to perform actions worthy of their ancestors. And that Sir Henry Wotton did so, might appear more perfectly than my pen can express it, if, of his many surviving friends, some one of higher parts and employment had been pleased to have commended his to posterity; but since some years are now past, and they have all (I know not why) forlxirne to do it, my gratitude to the memory of my dead friend, and the renewed request of one * that still lives (Mr Nicholas Oudert) solicitous to see this
1 See Nole B.
8 The will of "Henry Davison, of Gray's Inn, gentleman," was dated on the 3d of April, and proved on the 3oth of May 165a. He does not appear to have been married, but had two sisters, Jane, then the wife of Richard Cleare, and Maiy, who was unmarried. A Mr Henry Neville was his executor.
8 Sir Jobn Hawkins (p. 17) conjectures that the Life of Wotton was finished in 1644, because in the preface to the collected edition of Wallon's Lives, he says, "havini; written these two Lives" fof Donne and Wotton], he "lay quiet twenty years" before he commenced the Life of Hooker, which appeared in 1664. Walton is not always exact in his dates; but Hawkins's suggesnon seems to be erroneous from Walton's stating lhat it was printed as fast as it was written, the MS. being supplied to the printer in detached pieces. Vide p. xliii. postea.
* In the first two editions of the " Reliquiae Wottonianae," this passage is so written: and "Mr Nic. Oudert" only is referred to; but in the third edition, printed in 167a, it is altered to "of some that still life" and the marginal note is as follows : "Sir Edward Bish, Clarentieux King-of-Arms, Mr Charles Cotton, and Mr Nic. Oudert, sometime Sir Henry Wotton's servant."
duty performed; these have had a power to persuade me to undertake it; which truly I have not done but with some distrust of mine own abilities, and yet so far from despair, that I am modestly confident my humble language shall be accepted, because I present all readers with a commixture of truth, and Sir Henry Wotton's merits."
The first edition of the " Reliquiae Wottonianae " was dedicated to Mary Baroness Wotton, daughter of Sir Arthur Throckmorton, and widow of Thomas, second Lord Wotton, of Marley, the nephew of Sir Henry Wotton, and to her three daughters, Katherine, wife of Henry Lord Stanhope (eldest son of Philip, first Earl of Chesterfield), who was afterwards created Countess of Chesterfield for life; Margaret, wife of Sir Jobn Tufton; and Ann, the wife of Sir Edward Hales. Walton's dedication has the singular merit of being free from the servility and nauseous flattery by which similar productions were then, and have since been, too often defaced: he says,
"Since books seem by custom to challenge a dedication, justice would not allow, that what either was, or concerned Sir Henry Wotton, should be appropriated to any other persons; not only for that nearness of alliance and blood (by which you may challenge a civil right to what was his); but, by a title of that entireness of affection, which was in you to each other, when Sir Henry Wotton had a being upon earth. And since yours was a friendship made up of generous principles, as I cannot doubt but these endeavours to preserve his memory will be acceptable to all that loved him; so especially to you, from whom I have had such encouragements as hath emboldened me to this dedication. Which you are most humbly entreated may be accepted from your very real servant, I. W."
The Life of Wotton was very hastily printed, the cause of which is not mentioned; and the author deprecates censure for any incongruities by saying that "the printer fetched it so fast by pieces from the relator, that he never saw what he had writ altogether till it was past the press." In the memoir he apologises for some deficiencies in consequence of the State Paper Office "having now suffered a strange alienation ; "5 and he adds, "indeed I want time too, for the printer's press stays for what is written ;" but as the work ran through several editions, he was enabled to correct the memoir; and in no department of literature is the opportunity of improving a first edition so necessary as in History or Biography. Nearly every line of works of that nature contains either a date or a fact, accuracy in which must be attained by repeated revision; and they can only be rendered complete, by the introduction, from time to time, of such information as subsequent discoveries may bring to light.
5 Walton's Lives, ed. Zouch, I. a39,
A congeniality of disposition and pursuits, particularly in that of Angling,0 produced a great intimacy between Walton and Wotton; and he was probably the " friend" who is alluded to in the following lines in Wotton's " Description of the Spring, on a Bank, as I sat a-fishing:"
"The jealous Trout, that low did lie,
Two letters from Sir Henry Wotton to Walton are inserted in the "Reliquiae Wottonianoe," the dates of which are not preserved. The first, in answer to Walton's request that he would write the Life of their common friend Dr Donne, has been noticed; but the second letter, in which he sent Walton the following beautiful hymn written at night during a severe illness, exhibits the estimation in which his society and virtues were held by that eminent person, in vivid colours:
"My Worthy Friend,—Since I last saw you, I have been confined to my chamber by a quotidian fever, I thank God, of more contumacy than malignity. It had once left me, as I thought, but it was only to fetch more company, returning with a surcrew of those splenetic vapours, that are called hypochondriacal; of which most say the cure is good company; and I desire no better physician than yourself. I have in one of those fits endeavoured to make it more easy by composing a short Hymn; and since I have apparelled my best thoughts so lightly as in verse, I hope I shall be pardoned a second vanity, if I communicate it with such a friend as yourself; to whom I wish a cheerful spirit, and a thankful heart to value it, as one of the greatest blessings of our good God, in whose dear love I leave you, remaining, your poor friend to serve you, H. WOTTON.'
"Oh thou great Power 1 in whom I move,
And cleanse my sordid soul within,
By thy Christ's blood, the bath of sin.
No hallowed oils, no grains I need,
Oh precious Ransom 1 which once paid
That Consummatum est was said.
And said by him, that said no more,
My life, my strength, my joy, my all - H. Wotton."
Soon after the fatal battle of Worcester, which was fought on the 3d of September 1651, Walton's loyalty caused him to be