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1607, and ended the last of September, 1607, £18. 68.; and then Francis Hall succeeding him at 2s. per diem End of his for 548 days, begun the 1st of October, Post-master. 1607, and ended the last of March, 1609, £73. 28."
It is much to be regretted that the name of each Post-master was not given for a few years earlier, as we should then have been able to arrive at the precise period when Brewster received this appointment, and this would have shown us how soon after the fall of Davison he was provided for by this government appointment. All we know on this head is, that he was in full possession on the 1st of April, 1594, and that he continued to hold the office till the 30th of September, 1607, on which day he resigned it, and a successor was appointed.
Now the holding this office explains to us in the first place how it happens that we find him inhabiting such a mansion as the Manor, which had been the residence of an archbishop, disproportionate we must believe to the circumstances of Brewster as a private man, but not so to one who had to keep relays of horses for forwarding the letters, and to find rest and refreshment for travellers on this the great highway
to the north.39 The office of Post-master on the great roads in those days was one requiring more attention and bringing with it higher responsibilities than the same office does at present, when it is little more than the receiving and iransmitting letters on a system well considered and already in full operation ; but in those days there were no cross-posts, so that the few Postmasters who were dotted about the country had to provide for very distant deliveries, which must have been done by special dispatches, as well as to discharge the functions of the inn-keeper for the travellers by
39 The stages on the Great North Road, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, are here given from the most authentic source of information :London. Newark.
In Brewster's days Rowland Whyte the lively Neighbouring correspondent of many of the nobility of
* the time was the “Post of the Court;" and it may serve to show other acquaintance at least of Brewster, if we state, that Henry Foster was during the whole of his time the post of Tuxford; John Heyford the post of Ferrybridge, and Nicholas Heyford, and after him Ralph Aslaby the post of Doncaster. Heyford and Aslaby were both names of respectable families in the south part of the West-riding of Yorkshire, corresponding in position, it may be believed, with the Brewsters. And this leads me to remark that though I cannot but. wish that Bradford had informed us that Brewster held this office, yet that his holding it is by no means inconsistent with what Bradford does relate of him. It does not, for instance, invalidate his having been at the University, or his having been in the service of a Secretary of State, and having fallen with his master. His holding this office is indeed rather favourable to these representations than the contrary, since it shows that he had some interest among those who were the dispensers of government patronage. Nor in such an office would he be precluded from nursing a brood of discontents, and from comparing political chicanery with the simplicity of the gospel, or from indulging in religious inquiry, religious meditation, and religious exercises. It would not prevent him from associating with the better part of the population around him, amongst whom there must have been many who were wrought upon by the preachers of whom we have spoken, or from being instrumental in bringing Puritan ministers to the neighbouring churches as they became vacant; and we may believe also that it supplied the means, in some measure at least, by which he maintained so much hospitality and did so much good by his purse. It does not appear in anything that is yet known of them that the Brewsters of Nottinghamshire had lands of their own, the chief source of income to gentlemen in those days who were not engaged in public employments.
expenses of Sir Timothy Hutton, the Archbishop's son, on a journey to and from London, in 1605. He paid the “Post ” at Scrooby, who must have been Brewster, for a conveyance (post-chaise) and guide to Tuxford 10 shillings, and for a caudle, supper, and breakfast, 7 shillings and 10 pence, so that he slept under Brewster's roof. On his return, he paid 8 shillings to the post of Scrooby for conveying him to Doncaster, then reckoned 7 miles; and 2 shillings for burnt sack, bread, beer, and sugar to wine, and 3 pence to the ostler.”—Hutton Volume, p. 197-204.
Brewster, we see, held the office till the last day of September, 1607. Here is another date of importance in his life ; but now arises the question, under what Circumstances circumstances did he retire from the duties he left the of his employment; was it a voluntary fülly known. or a forced resignation ? Did he retire having formed the intention of following the example of Smith by removing himself and his little church to Holland ? or, was he removed by the government of the time to signify the disapprobation which they could not but feel at seeing the countenance which he gave to the Separatists, and that he himself was in a regular course of action which, as the law then stood, was in defiance of public authority, and subjecting him to large penalties. It may be in the power of some future inquirer to answer these questions ; but for the present it must be acknowledged that it is only a proximate solution at which we can arrive; and that the probabilities seem rather to incline to its being a forced removal than a voluntary retirement. What we actually know is, that before the September of that year the Church was brought into some order : Robinson and Clifton were become the pastor and teacher, and he the elder: that in April, 1608, he had