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Major-General Browne threw fresh fuel on the fire by discoursing of his personal grievances, (December, 1649).
Disbrowe and others followed against or for the reception of the petition.
Sir A. Hazelrigge was permitted to speak again to the matter of the petition, and he did so warmly in the following words :
"The tenderness of liberty is great; specially in times of peace. We have had no war these 7 years. "Twere a little rebellion, [the Rising in the West] and some suffered. Blessed be God we have had none since. These men deny that they were ever sentenced, charged, or in arms. Some were acquitted by ignoramus. These men are now sold into slavery amongst beasts. I could hardly hold from weeping when I heard the petition.
The Cavaliers case to-day may be the Roundheads to-morrow. Do you not remember the abhorrence of the Parliament of the hanging of a man by Martial Law in the French Expedition . I am no Cavalier but if our liberties are come to this we have fought fair and caught a frog."
And after a speaker or two' (one of whom told of the sending abroad of two or three thousand protestants-the Dunbar prisoners, 1651), General Ludlow said
"If the man had been in prison, he would not have moved for his liberty. The matter should be referred to a Committee."
And so the debate went on from hour to hour till "the chair broke through and rose without a question!"; but we gather from the above debate, what a wretched life those who went to Barbadoes experienced. Some appear to have been bound by deed to serve for
1 Clarendon State Papers. Vol. iii., p. 447.
Mr. Bever to the Lord Chancellor Hyde.
"The House is now upon a petition delivered to them from 50 gentlemen that were sold for slaves to the Barbadoes, by one North that belonged to his late Highness, and the Secretary Thurloe is accused for having a hand in it; whereupon Mr. Secretary said he had not thought to have lived to this day to see such a thing as this brought before a Parliament, that was so justly and legally done by lawful authority, and that for reasons of State they must find 200 men, who they had notice were come over. Sir Henry Vane made reply, that he must use his own words, that he did not think to have lived to see the day that freeborn Englishmen (by their own countrymen) should be sold for slaves by such an arbitrary Government. Mr. Secretary presses what he can to possess the House that there is a plot in hand, and therefore he would have the Parliament set out an Act of Banishment, but as yet it is refused; and further, he relates that whilst the Cavaliers are petitioning for redress to the House, they are plotting to destroy both His Highness and them; whereupon one made answer, that he did believe that gentleman that spake last, would bring all men under the notion of Cavaliers, that did seek redress for the injuries done them by this arbitrary Government. This is all I shall trouble you with at present, but only that I am cordially Sir,
April 1, 1659,"
(Mr. Bever apparently dives into the anonymous)
five years, as overseers of labour; others however were probably made to labour in the plantations or enter domestic service. So far as
1In Dr. Calamy's Continuation (Vol. ii., p. 793), a letter from Jamaica, some years later, mentions that they had few other servants there than slaves kidnapped from Guinea, "except some from Newgate."
The following furnishes further information (See 4 Thur., p. 49):The Governor of Barbadoes to the Protector. "May it Please your Highnes,
By my last bearing date the 3rd of this month, I gave your highness some account of the receipt of your missive unto me, bearing date the 13th of June [June 31st, says letter September 3rd; this letter does not add to our information about the prisoners]. In it your highnesse was pleased to take notice, that notorious delinquents and offendors sent to this island by your highness's express commands, here to remaine during your highness pleasure, have gone off this place, and returned back into their country, without warrant from your highness and council. Should I stand guilty of so high a contempt to your highness's authority, I should justly merit your highness's displeasure, and a censure suitable to so great a miscarriage; but having never received any commands from your highness, and from the lords of your highness's council, or any other order, that ever came to my hands, or have been signified unto me, declaring such persons to have been so sent, and prohibiting such being here not to depart from their place, until your highness's and councill's pleasure were made known, I humbly desire, I may stand clear in your highness's opinion as to any such miscarriage. Upon receipt of your bighness's general order and commands therein, I caused the enclosed writing to be published throughout this island. Such persons as hitherto we have had brought to this place from England, Scotland and Ireland, prisoners of war, and others as servants have been brought and landed on merchants particular accounts, who for their passage, transporting them hither, and their disbursements on them, claim a propriety in such as they bring, with a liberty to dispose of them by assignments to the inhabitants of this place for a term of 4, 5, 6, and 7 years, to serve for the consideration of a sum of money and goods to them paid; which term of years they are assigned for, being expired, and the party assigned purchasing with money, goods, or credit, the term of years he is to serve by the law and custom of that place, is free to stay or depart hence. Having now received your highness's commands, such as your highness shall please to require to stay here, I shall, to the utmost possibility of means to be used, labour to keep them with us.
Here lately arrived colonel Gardiner, major Thomas and some others, whom from private hands I have received intelligence were prisoners in your highness's tower of London, and by order of your highness and couucil transported hither, to remain on this island until your highness's pleasure be further made known. I judge it my duty to let your highness know, that no such order or command hath as yet come to my hands, the same persons having applied unto me to know upon what account they are here, and by what authority here detained; myself and council having judged it ne cessary to confine them to a particular plantation within this island, from thence not to depart, until your highness's pleasure, as to the said prisoners, be made known to us.
Upon occasion of an enquiry I caused lately to be made of our present condition since the last fleet's departure, and the going off with them so considerable a number of our freemen, and finding the number of English, Scots, and Irish servants remaining with us to be considerable, and the major part of them such, as have engaged in actual service against your highness and the commonwealth; myself, and council, and commission of our militia, hold it our duty humbly to present it to your highness's consideration the danger this colony might fall into, by receiving in amongst us such persons of eminency (as we are informed are to be sent to this place from England), that are not only of dangerous principles, and ready disposition to act bold attempts, to the disquiet and trouble of the nation, but qualified with parts and abilities to seduce, corrupt and head our servants, and such others as have no freeholds amongst us, to raise and joine to our destruction; and do humbly conceive, if some of those already here were removed, being too many of malignant principles, that are too ready to kindle into a fiame of disturbance by such fiery spirits, and such others prohibited to come here, it may much tend to the preservation and eontinuancy of this island's peace, as yet we do judge ourselves in a condition good enough to prevent any mischief from within, if those here, that are most likely to stir, have not such as is before expressed to come amongst them to head them; and so long as providence shall preserve the peace of our nation at home, we shall not much doubt anything of this nature here. And as for any danger to us from without, we are assured of your highness's vigilance and watchfulness to protect us. Barbadoes,
Your Highness's most humble
and most faithful servant
I have found no list of the prisoners who were sent to the West Indies, but
Rivers was concerned, this forced exile appears to have been illegal. The ignoramus should have given him his liberty; even if there were other charges which justified his detention, yet he ought not to have been transported without a trial.
And now we must form a judgement on the whole project, in which we are largely assisted by the following:
A letter of intelligence from Mr. Manning."
"The designe was thus layd: A councill erected in London, consisting of earles, lords, gentry, lawyers, and divines, who have interest in all counties. The persons I cannot name, but have a care of Strafford, Earle, Pofromor, and Vaughan, lawyers, who designe all things.† Persons employed are sworne not to discover any of them, and seldome any of them know more than one, and those hardly one another. They sitt sometimes in the Temple, and sometimes in London. The first care was, to fix in every countie some considerable and active persons; this don, then to provide armes; which don, then to treat with some persons of the army and late parliament party; which C. Grey, sir H. Benet and Browne, were ordered to doe. The account they gave was, that the levellers would engage, and Fairfax with his party by States il doman.‡ Harrison, for Charles Howard, sir Arthur Hazelrigg, and all that gange, with many of the Anabaptists, which Char. Stew. [Charles II. ]told mee. Now nothing but execution, which by some meanes was delayed, at wich Ch. Stew. [Charles II.] was impatient, and on several expresses brought by C. Maning, Seymore, J. Trelawny and Ross, and by Co. Pofromor, he sent Wilmot, Armourer, one Mr. Kalsey of the countie of Lancaster, and Mr. Harwood of Oxf. &c. The Savoy is the rendezvous, and Chases, in Covent Garden. Hen. Seymore, Progers, Denham, play the courtiers; the Ladies Thin and Shanon have their part, to carry letters, and goe up and down on errands. Ch. St. [Charles II.] with Ormond and Blase, goe into Zealand. The duke of York prepares in France for the West, Ch. Stew. for Kent, or the northern counties. All letters are to Hyde. Wilmot goeth to London, and so in to the north with Armourer. The earl of Shonbergh raiseth 2000 foot in Germany, pretending for France.
For the countie of Devon, sir Tricourteny, sir H. Polarde, &c, engage for 3000 foot and 800 horse, Sir Tricourtenay Sir H. Tichbourne, Jepson and Sanbarm engage with Wiltshire, Dorsett and Somersett, to carry 1500 horse to sir H. Lendol. For Wales, earl Carherry, lord Sherberry; in Salop, earl of
in addition to Rivers, there were Henry and Joseph Collyer. Thomas was discovered in possession of arms in London, some weeks before the Rising, and sent to the Tower. See 3 Thur., pp. 87 and 95.
• Without date, but placed between April 7th and 9th, 1655. 3 Th. 355.
+ I have not seen the original of this letter, and therefore will not at present attempt to follow the lawyers here mentioned, beyond saying that Vaughan may be John Vaughan, who in 1668 was created Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. In 1654 he was acting as John Selden's executor, and was one of the donors of that great scholar's library to the Bodleian at Oxford. See Wood's Athen. and Foss's Judges.
A name in cypher. John Wildman? Wilts Mag., vol. xiii., p. 124,
Shrewsbury, lord Menport, Sir Vincent Corbett, sir H. Thin, sir Tho. Hares &c. Midland counties, lord Will. Parham, [Willoughby, of Parham] sir William Compton, sir Robert Willis, sir Thomas Littleton, sir M. Hubevairt, sir Richard Payne, sent over to them, sir Thomas Mackworth, earle of Oxford, earle of Northampton,. County of Worcester, Coventrie, Sam. Sands, Packington, sir Talbot Hendring, Touthet, Counts [indecipherable], &c.
Kent, lord Tufton, sir James Peyton, Thornill, sir Ja. Many Brochman, Washington, Judge Heath's sonn,s, Hales, and scarce one out.
Cressett r m fs of Armourer, mr. Philips of Willmott, you must be in apprehending as n m y ln st mr. Davison I forgott, and let all be mentioned in the seisure; burn all for a good reason, which for my oath I cannot tell you.
There is one Fowle in Feversham, the searcher at Devon, corresponding with captain Pain at Bolein [Boulogne], conveys your enemyes to and fro.
Letters are sent often in covers to mr. Booth at Calais, mr. Boove in Zealand, Shannes and Hawkes here."
Plenty of danger to my Lord Protector here. Many of those mentioned in the above letter were arrested, including Lord Willoughby, but Wilmot (Earl of Rochester) escaped, as was his wont.
And one other the most interesting of all in conclusion-Some notes of Thurloe's on the Rising, and his reasons for advising the appointment of the Major-Generals:
"Secretary Thurloe's memorandums of the plot in March 165, and reasons for erecting a new standing militia in all the counties of England.†
Their designe was a generall insurrection through the whole land at once for destroying the present power, and to restore againe the late kinge's sonne.
To effect this,
1. They excuse to their Kinge, that they came not into hym at his march to Worcester.
2. They settle a counsell here, and appoint agents, who might sollicit all their partye, and acquaint them with their motions; and soe ordered it, that all might knowe, and yet never above 2 of them speake together.
3. They raise and collect severall great summes of money, as well for the maintenance of C. S., [Charles Stewart] as carryeinge on the warre, and letters of privy seale were sent, &c.
4. They buy and provide great stoare of armes ; some were layd up in a magazine here, and others sent up and downe in the countrye.
5. They labour to divide the armye, and to blowe up the discontent of all parties; wherein they imploy notable instruments, which doe their worke soe well, that a great part of the army should have mutinyed in Scotland, and beene
• Sir Henry Frederick Thynne, of Kempsford, Gloucestershire, whose wife is mentioned above with Lady Shannon. He was the father of Sir Thomas Thynne, the first Baron Thynne of Warminster and Viscount Weymouth, who succeded to Longleat on the murder of his relative "Tom of the ten thousand,"
✦ 4 Th,, p. 132, November, 1655.
headed by col. Overton. This was managed by correspondence with the malignant partye, and I could name the persons, that wente betweene them, and this well known to some present. This was to have a little preceded their generall insurrection.
6. They had agreed their general posts in the nation, especially these; the north where Wilmott [Earl of Rochester] was to command in chiefe; in the west Wagstaffe; and in Kent he, that was firste to appeare, was the lord Tufton; his armes and furniture for his owne person was taken, and he was to be very well assisted both with counsell and souldiers; and London, Surrey, and Sussex, were to associate with Kent. There was besides sir Thomas Peyton, one col. Gardner and Weston much imployed in this particular association; and their way of masteringe the cittye and the forces therabouts was all agreed upon, and a very great summe of money undertaken for. Another post was at Shrewsbury which was to be the rendevous of Wales. Other posts there were of lesser consequence; as in Nottinghamshire about Morpeth, Staffordshire, Cheshire, and elsewhere.
The computation of their forces made by themselves was very great; many thousands in every place, they haveinge sollicited, and some way or other acquainted most of their partye with their intentions.
7. They contrive an assassination of the lord protector to precede all this, which they thought themselves sure of doinge, but directed it should not be executed, until all their other matters were ready.
8. Great store of commissions are sent from the pretended kinge, and delivered to several partyes, to raise horse and foot.
9. The pretended kinge promises to come to them in person at such tyme as they were ready, and to be in a convenient place for that purpose.
10. The whole party here carry themselves with confidence and boldnes, have frequent meetings by themselves; speake, and drinke and swagger, as if all had beene their owne, even to the terror of the countryes; and their confidence was such, that one of their agents said about a weeke before it broke out, that if he should discover all, it were not possible to hinder it.
11. All things beinge ready, the pretended kinge removes himself from Cullen, [Cologne] where his court then was, and comes into Zeeland waytinge for the good houre haveinge sent before Wilmott, Wagstaffe, Oneale and severall others to begin.
12. They had in their eye several garrisons as Portsmouth, Plymouth, York, Hull, Newcastle, Tinmouth, Chester, Shrewsbury, Yarmouth, Lyn, and Boston, and to possess themselves of the isle of Ely. This was their designe, and they made their attempt on the 12th of March.
It's true, it fell not out accordinge to their intentions.
The great reason of all was, the Lord disappointed them, and gave us occasion to say of them, They conceived mischiefe, they travelled in iniquity, &c. Other subordinate causes were ;
It pleased God to discover a great part of their plott; that they were traced in it. The instructions given to them were brought to hand, many of their forces were seized upon; some of their money; many, very many of their partye secured and imprisoned, who were to have beene chiefe actors; the army put into a posture, and moveinge up and down on purpose to prevent their rendevous, and very considerable forces brought out of Ireland.