Alexander Meyrick Broadley.

The royal miracle; a collection of rare tracts, broadsides, letters, prints, & ballads concerning the wanderings of Charles II. after th online

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Online LibraryAlexander Meyrick BroadleyThe royal miracle; a collection of rare tracts, broadsides, letters, prints, & ballads concerning the wanderings of Charles II. after th → online text (page 10 of 22)
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senteth, and having promised the Kings, presence there, three dayes
after, about ten of the Clock, he returneth.

But Mr. Norton's Wife the night before was brought to bed, and
in her travel escapes not without the greatest danger, so that she
cannot possibly be left by her Sister (for so they called Mrs. Jane) in
these her extremities. Therefore, that they might make a handsome
excuse for their sudden departure, they feigned Letters, lately dated,
and to be sent from Mrs. Janes Father, a Gentleman now well stricken
in years ; in which Letters he complains. That since Mrs. Janes coming
away, he hath been extremely sick, and doth at present very much want her
company ; and therefore commands, that without any delay or excuse what-
ever, if she esteem the life of a Parent, she hasten home with all the speed
that may he. The Letters being brought, and the news dispersed



Miraculum - Basilicon

throughout the Family, Mrs. Jane^ and Mr. Lassels (leaving Mrs. Nor-
ton in child-bed) with the Serving-man, whom his sacred Majesty now
represents, take their leaves of this Family. Henry Rogers, who had
brought the Lord Wilmot from Sir John Winter s, House, to Mr. Nor-
ton s^ becomes the Conductor in this Journey, and from hence they
determine to take up their first quarters at Castle-Carezv, being
distant about seven Miles on this side Trent. As the time drew
nigh, that the King was to come there, Mr. Windham, with his Wife>
went forth to meet him, as if they intended to goe a walking, and
privately conveigh in the King, by one designed for that purpose :
Mrs. Jane, in the interim, with Mr. Lassels, goe in openly, as if"
they had been some Kindred of Mr. Wi?idham's, coming a great
Journey, and had determined to be gone from thence the next

In this place his sacred Majesty remained securely for nineteen
dayes, looking out for a convenient Passage, to which end many wayes
were attempted, though to no purpose. But it happened upon a
certain day, that the Bells being rung very merrily, contrary to the
common custom, by the Country Fellows, and the King enquiring the
reason of this unusual Recreation, was told, it was for joy the King
was dead, which was then the news current about the Country. Whilst
it was long and often consulted concerning his Majesties transportation,
a certain Merchant (whose name was Elsden) came into the mind of Mr.
Windham, formerly a Captain under his Royal Father, who since that
time had used the gainful Trade of a Merchant, in the Town of Lime,
in whose power it was peradventure to provide a Ship, because he
remembred that this Merchant procured a Transportation for the Lord
Barkley, when he was in great distress. Therefore Mr. Windham is
sent unto him, to enquire, whether he was able safely to transport the
Lord Wilmot, and another Nohle-man, who had lately escap'd at Wor-
cester Fight. He willingly consents unto it, and goes presently to
Charmouth, a place bordering nigh Lime ; where applying himself to a

The Royal Miracle

Master of a Vessel,* but first of all conjuring him to secresie, asketh
him, whether he were willing to perform a faithful piece of service to
Lord Wilmoty by transporting him, and his Servant, into France. The
man assents unto it, and conditions with the Captain for threescore
pounds, to be paid him, by a Bill under his hand, after the Noble-man
is arrived in France: The day and hour are appointed, when these
ought to come aboard, in order to their Passage.

Hitherto all things quadrate well with their expectation, only they
want a pretence for their tarrying in the Inn, untill every thing shall
be in readiness for their Transportation ; to this end Henry Peters
(a Servant of Mr. Windhants, and one that was privy to the business)
goeth to oi\Q Margaret Wade.,] the Hostess at the Sign of the Oueens-
Armes at Charmouth, and amongst many other discourses, he declares
himself to be a Servant to a Noble Gentleman, who did most entirely
affect a young Lady, whose Parents were dead, and that she lived not
far from thence ; and also, that this Gentlewoman did as dearly love
him again ; but her Guardian was altogether an Enemy to the Match ;
wherefore he determines to steal her away privately in the night, and
so to marry her. Therefore he demands, whether for a few hours she
would entertain them ; and withall, presents her with a small Gift, in
token of a more plentiful Reward, and so drinks a Glass of Wine
unto her. The Woman being tempted with the Present, and also
touched with commiseration towards the young Lady, willingly
promiseth her assistance in order to the work. Therefore the King
leaving Trent, rides towards | Charmouth, carrying Mrs. Julian Conesby
(who was also privy to the Design) upon the same Horse behind him,
that she might represent the person of the Bride : The Lord Wilmot,

* Stephen Limbry of Charmouth. He died there in 1676 and was buried on July 14
in that year.

t Margaret Wade died in 16S5, the year of Monmouth's Rebellion. She was buried
at Charmouth on March 23rd.

J T/iey come there upon St. Matthew; day^ about ^. or 6. in the Evening.




Colonel Windham^ and Henry Peters accompanying them, they meet
with Mr. Elsden, and are brought into a private House.

Here his sacred Majesty makes himself known to Mr. Elsden,
giving him a small Present, as a pledge of his future gratitude. From
hence the Merchant rides to Lime, that he might acquaint the Master
of the Vessel, to have all things in readiness, in order to the Voyage,
at the time appointed : The King, with the rest, remain at the Inn in
Charmouth ; but Henry Peters is to wait the coming of the Boat ; he
returns, having tarried untill break of day, and informs them, that
there is no Boat come ; upon which news they are all troubled, and
enter into a new consultation : Here is found no place for his Majesty
to remain in, that is free from danger, and the King resolves not to
tarry one minute.

A short consultation being had, the King, with Mrs. Julian
Conesby, attended with Colonel Windham, rides towards Bridport, and
tarry there, at the Sign of the George, being the Inn appointed for the
coming of the Lord Wilmot, with Henry Peters, the one being to ride
to Lime, to enquire of the Merchant the reason of this prevarication ;
the other being to remain in the Inn, under pretence of new shooing
his Horse. But Mr. Elsden, who thought they had been half their
Voyage, doth exceedingly admire this breach of promise ; neither was
he able to conjecture, what the cause of it should be ; unless, it being
the time of the Fair (for it was kept that day at Lime) whilst he is
taking his leave of his Friends, he drinks hard, and so forgets his
promise. But afterwards it appears, that the Ship-Master returning
home to his House, that so he might furnish himself with Linneni
and other Necessaries, for the Voyage^ his Wife keeps him, by locking
the Doors upon him. For upon the Fair day, there was Proclamation
made in the Town, by which it was declared, 'That no man living, on
fain of death, was to assist the King, or to conceal him ; and a thousaiid
founds is to be given to a7iy man that shall discover him. By reason of
which, this poor Woman is so affrighted, that she fears her Husband,

The Royal Miracle

for this good Office (for he had confess'd to his Wife, that he had
undertaken to do it) would be taken, and hang'd. Therefore with
prayers, tears, and almost offering violence to him, she endeavours
against it ; at length she thunders with such Out-cries, as she was like
to gather all her Neighbours about their ears, therefore being over-
come by her importunity, he remain'd at home, and commits himself
to be govern'd by the will of his Wife.

The King travelling towards Bridporty Colonel Windham rides at
a little distance before him, that he might try the way ; but coming
nigh the Town, he perceives it full of Souldiers ; For a Muster was
appointed upon that day, and Souldiers were to be drawn out by
Captain Hayns, for the taking Jarsey. Wherefore Mr. Windham
adviseth the King some other way ; but his Majesty rides boldly into
the Town, lest he should seem to deceive the Lord Wilmot, and
partly also that he might refresh himself, being tyr'd with travel and
watching, and together that he might expect the return of the Lord
Wilmot thither. Colonel Windham prepares a Chamber, and Victualls
for them, which was not a little difficult to be had, where there were
so many Guests in the Inn. In the mean time the King leads the
Horses into the Stable, and is very careful about them, and also talks
with the Souldiers in the Court concerning the Voyage. But Horton
the Hostler beholding his countenance, as he deliver'd the Horses,
cryes out aloud. Ho Friend ! I am glad to see thee here^ I know you
well. How so F (said the King) At Exeter, saith he : (at which place
the King remained for some time in the heat of the Wars) / lived
there Eleven years in an Inn. And I likewise (said the King) did serve
Mr. Porter : / am glad that I have met with my old acquaintance ; hut
I see now thou art full oj business^ that thou canst not possibly drink with
me ; hut when I shall chance to return from London, we will talk more
freely concerning our old affairs. Being taken with these promises, but
especially being confounded with the multitude of his business, or else
God casting a cloud before his eyes, he forbears any farther discourse.



A little after, when the Lord Wilmot past through the Town,
they take Horse, and riding direct towards London^ they meet many
Travellers, amongst whom one formerly a Servant to King Charles
the First ; therefore they thought it most convenient to leave the
common Road, and take the next Pass upon the left hand ; and riding
on for a considerable time, and the night approaching,* they come to
a Village called Brod- Windsor, Colonel JVindhani rides before, to en-
quire where they were, and the name of the Village, and whither the
way led : and as Providence would have it, happily meets with one
Jones, an Inn-keeper, formerly a Servant of his, and one who had also
served the King. He blest this good fortune, and kindly treats him,
and because night had surpriz'd them, he easily obtains the accommo-
dation of a nights lodging, for himself, and his Companions. But it
was not long after this, that the Constable comes, attended with forty
Souldiers at his heels, to quarter, at least in part of the House ; the
Souldiers being to hasten to the V^aterside, and from thence to be
transported to Jarsey. Now the House was so stuft with these, that
his sacred Majesty was forced to a very great straight ; neither is this
the end of his trouble ; for about midnight, a Leagerf- Wench, which
followed the Souldiers, falls in travel for Child ; being noised abroad,
the people of the Village run together, and with great Clamour, scold
and wrangle with the Souldiers, about the nursing of the Child, and
charge for the maintenance of the Mother ; untill the day appearing,
they are wearied with chiding, and the Souldiers being ready, hasten
to take shipping.

Amongst these things, it will appear very remarkable, if we look
back a little to the affairs of Charmouth ; For it had almost come to
pass, that the tarrying of the Lord Wilmot there, in order to the
shooing of his Horse, had cost him dearly, by reason of a discourse

* This refers to the " Miraculous Divergence," or the King's escape by turning out of the
Dorchester Road into Lee Lane, Bradpole, on Tuesday, September 23, 1651 (see/o;/,p. 265).
t Leager — camp. A camp-follower.

This Hostler
that it was
the King all
the night, and
told his Mistress
so much ; hut
she told him,
he teas mis-
taken, and
that it was
not so ; but
that he was
a fery good
Friend of
hers, though
she her self
believed it

The Royal Miracle

kVestley is
' Noncon-
', and
y the prac-

Physkk in
Tie place :
'd a good
zvoman, That
s confident,
■ the Ki?ig
)me in again,
luld love
"*rayers ; for
e not been
onger than
iry at his
:ions, he had

snapt him.

arising between one Henry Hull the Hostler, and one Hammet a Smitk
in that place ; for the Smith asking from whence these Gentlemen
came ? The Hostler answereth, From Exeter, as they say. To whom
the S^nith replies, But I am confident that these Shooes were made arid
set in the North. Moreover, other things being called into examina-
tion, viz. that the Horses were not unsadled for the night, and the
Travellers themselves had likewise remain'd the whole night without
sleeping, and that their Servant went forth from the hm exceeding
early in the morning : From these things, they presently conclude,
that these are Noblemen, who escaped from the Battel at Worcester,
and, by many windings and turnings, are come down into these parts,
and perchance the King himself is amongst them. From hence the
hope of great reward being conceived, the Hostler goes to one Westley,*
the puny Parson of the place, and a most devoted Friend to the
Parricides, to ask his advice, what is to be done in the Case. But
he being at his Morning Exercise, ought not to be disturbed ; neithre
durst the Hostler await the end of his long-breathed f Devotions, for
fear he should lose his Scutee,]: at the Gentleman's departing, and
therefore returning without his Errands end, suffers the Gentleman
to ride away unmolested. This Story being noised abroad by the
Smith, behold how Westley, this pittifull dwindling Parson, posteth
to the /«w-keeper, and with most eager Blatterations catechiseth him
concerning what Travellers he had lodged that night ; from whence
they came, and whither they would ; and what they did there ; but
his suspitions being increased by the answers he received, he runs
to Butler'^ the next Justice of the Peace, requiring a Warrant, in which

* See ante, Introduction, p. 41.

t Or bloody Prayers.

X A present ef money. A scute in the reign of Henry V was declared to be worth
half a noble.

§ Robert Butler, J. P., was included in the Commission of the Peace for Dorset in
1647. Was a prominent Committee-man and sometime Governor of Wareham. Fide
Canon Mayo's Dorset Standing Committee, 1 646-1 650.



he would excite and stir up the people, upon all quarters, together
with the Souldiers, to endeavour the apprehending of the King ; the
Justice refusing to do it, Ca-ptain Massy, now living in Lime, and
seeing the matter required hast, gathers as many Souldiers as he was
able, and followeth after them, directly in the way towards London,
until he came to Dorcester. But as it was clear, by a most Divine
Instinct the King was turned another way, and so the Captain losing
his hopes, returns from whence he came.

Hereupon the Souldiers, throughout the whole neighbour-hood,
fret, and are exceedingly concerned, and narrowly examine all private
places, and diligently search the houses of suspitious persons ; especi-
ally Sir Hugh Windham's (whose Nephew Colonel Windham was) where
they most accurately look into all the chests, and corners of the House,
and violently apprehending the whole Family, they suspect a young
Gentlewoman, of exceeding great Beauty, and rare endowments, as if
she had been the King disguised; neither did they discharge her of
this suspition, before they had tried by undoubted experiment, of what
Sex she was.

But indeed the footsteps of Kings are to be hunted with a narrower
search. Consultation being held, it is decreed, that the Kingj in the
depth of the night, is to return to Trefit; and in the mean time, the
Lord Wilmoty with Henry Peters, are to hasten to Sarisbury, that there
the Lord Wilmot might consult with Mr. John Coventry (the eldest
Son, by a second Wife, of the Lord Coventry, sometime Keeper of the
Great-Seal) by what means, either a safe Passage might be obtained for
the King beyond the Seas, or at least a new place of shelter might be
procured for him ; it being to be feared, lest his tarrying in one and
the same place so long, should at length prove the cause of his dis-
covery. At last consultation being had with Mr. Coventry^ he rides to
a Widows, by name Mrs. Hide, who lived in a Village called Heale,
about a mile distant from Sarisbury, that she might provide a private
place for the reception of his Majesty; and Mr. Robert Philips, who as


The Royal Miracle

a Colonel had served in the Wars of Charles the First, is sent to South-
amptotif to provide for a Passage. The Noble Colonel returning from
thence, informs, that there is a Ship in readiness, and all things neces-
sary in order to Transportation. But it most unhappily falls out
(whilst his sacred Majesty was coming to Mrs. Hides House) that the
same Ship was hired by the Parricides, to carry Souldiers, and Provisions,
which were to be transported for Jarsey. This hope vanishing, Colonel
Philips earnestly desires in this business the assistance of Colonel Gunter,
whom he meets withall by chance. In the mean time the King comes
by night to the Widows House, and being gladly received. Dr. Hinch-
man, now Bishop of London, amongst other Guests, sits at Table with
him ; but having supped, he discovers himself privately to the Widow,
and enquires for the retiring-place which was appointed for him ; and
although she had never seen him but once, and that only as he passed
by, which was about seven years before, yet she knew him at his very
first entrance. It is advised that he depart from thence towards London
in the Morning about Sun-rising, but wheeling about his journey, he
is to be in readiness about One of the Clock in the Afternoon, and is
to be received into the House through a back Door: For that day
there was a Fair to be kept at Sarisbury, and by this slight all the
Servants being dismist, are freed from the least mistrust, and he him-
self is to be received, without the knowledge of any : This was not only
consulted, but effected also ; for the King, with Colonel Philips, after-
wards, under a pretence only, take their leaves of Mrs. Hide, and
mounting a horseback, they goe to visit Stonhenge, but returned at the
hour appointed ; where the Colonel conveigheth away the Horses.
The King is hid in a certain private place, which they had made in
the time of the Wars, to hide their Jewells, and other Goods of
greatest consequence.

Whilst these things are in agitation, a Ship is hired, by the
industry of Colonel Gunter^ at Brighthelmsted^ amongst the Regnoie of
Sussex : which being once known, and all things necessary, in order to



a Transportation, being procured, his sacred Majesty doth now un-
feignedly take his leave of Mrs. Hide^ and with Colonel Philifs., rides
by night unto Mr. Simmo7is House, near Portsmouth ; but the next day,
towards the Evening, he goes to the Inn at Brighthelmsted ; where,
besides the King, there sate at Supper, Colonel Gunter, the Lord Wilmot,
Mr. Mansel the Merchant, and Mr. Hetershel the Master of the Vessel,
who sate opposite to the King, Mr. Tetershel rising from Supper,
calls out the Merchant, scil. Mr. Mansel^ apart by himself, and com-
plains he hath done him wrong, for he hath deceived him, substituting
the King under the person of another. Mr. Mansel strongly denies
it, and presses him to make good his promise. But he confidently on
the other side affirms that it was the King, who being meanly clothed,
doth pretend himself a Servant, and was cloak'd under the disguise of
a poor Fellow : And this he knew right well, because formerly his Ship
being bound for Nezv-Castle, to fetch Coals from thence, was seized
upon in the Downs, ^nd he, with others, desiring to be released, that he
himself dismist them. But the Merchant could not be ignorant of the
late Proclamation, in which all are forbid, under pain of death, to
administer the least help or assistance unto him ; and a large reward,
viz. a thousand pounds, is promised to any that shall discover him.
Mr. Mansel perceiving that the thing was known unto the Master,
informs the King of it privately, who understanding his temper, and the
civility of his carriage, goeth with the Lord Wilmot unto him, with
promises of large rewards, and gives him presently a sufficient Salary
for the Passage. He promising fidelity, goes from thence to prepare
all things in readiness, in order to the Voyage. The Ship was distant
about four Miles from hence, in a Village called Shoraniy half loaden
with Coals, which they had not as yet sold off; and the Seamen abiding
for the most part in Brighthelmsteed, therefore at midnight he calls
upon them that they would presently rise, and with all speed goe aboard
the Vessel, under pretence the Anchors were loose, and the Ship is now
in danger to fall upon the Rocks or Quick-sands, himself being about


The Royal Miracle

instantly to come after. Moreover, he appoints his Wife to buy in
the Town a Bottle of Strong- Water, and to fill another with Sack, and
to provide him his Linnen, which he was to carry with them. But she
enquires, Why he went away so late in the Night, ayid whether the
Morning would not serve his turn ? And when she perceived him more
earnest, and would not endure the least delay. It is the King (saith the
poor Woman) / believe, you are about to tra7isport : but God grant that
thou mayest he serviceable unto him, in delivering him out oj the hands of
his Enemies ; and that this may be affected, I care 7iot, if hence-forwards,
both my self, and Children, all the dayes of our lives, beg for our livings.
Also the Inn-keeper, having drank freely, goes to the King something
rudely, and taking him by the hand, kisseth it, saying. Who you are, or
from whence you come, or whither you will, I know not : Nevertheless, I
beseech God to preserve and keep you ; but if I am not mistaken, I shall
he an Earl, and my Wife a Countess.

The time for their going a Ship-board drawing nigh, they take
their Horses, and ride to the Seaside ; but the Master of the Vessel
pretends, the remainder of the Coals were to be sold by these
Merchants at the Isle of Wight^ and therefore is about to set sayl for
that place. Thay take Ship about five of the Clock in the Morning,
and spent a great part of the day in coasting about the shore ; in the
Afternoon, the Master of the Ship bends his sayls, or is about to stand
towards the Isle of Wight. But the Lord Wilmot, who pretends to be
the principal Person, as if his mind had changed with the wind, after a
little whiles dispute openly before all the Seamen (as was before agreed
between him and the Master) changes his purpose for a Voyage into
France ; and about the Evening they arrive at * Fecan, a small Port
in Normandy, and so at last obtain the welcome shore. As they sayled
along, the Master of the Ship greatly admired, that the Kings Majesty
better understood Navigation, and the order of the Voyage, than
himself. Neither is it likewise to be past by with silence, what an
* Deip. This is a mistake. It should be Fecamp.


ignorant Sea-man (as sometimes a man is ingenious by chance) very
wittily answered ; For whilst they were under sayl, the King sitting
with the Master of the Ship in the Cabin, a plain Sea-man coming in,
sits down in the next place to the King^ and there puffing with his Pipe
of 'Tobacco : which the Master of the Ship not liking, bids him
presently to goe forth with his Smoak, and not to disturb the Gentle-
man ; but he grumbling whilst he went forth, saith, J Cat may look
upon a King : which is a common Proverb used in our English Nation.

His sacred Majesty was now arrived upon the French shore, where
having first given humble thanks to Almighty God, the Watchman and
Preserver of Kings, the Governour of Sea and Land, and the most merciful
Pacifier of Wind and Waves, expresseth all kindness to the Master of
the Ship, courteously inviting him to live and abide with him ; but he
wishing the Ki^ig all prosperity, chose rather (though not without great
danger) to re-visit his own House and Family ; wherefore he takes
Ship, and the Wind suddenly turning, that very night he reacheth Pool,
a Haven in Dorsetshire, and sold his Coals there. The King coming to
Roan, takes acquaintance with two Merchants, Mr. Sambourn, and Mr.
Parker, who parting his old Clothes between them, as if they had been
the Reliques of Saints, put his Majesty into new, and more becoming
Apparel. Here Dr. Earl, now Bishop of Sarisbury (who formerly had
been his Majesties Chaplain, and was then by chance at Roan) came to
visit him, but at the first sight knew him not, whether that it were,

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Online LibraryAlexander Meyrick BroadleyThe royal miracle; a collection of rare tracts, broadsides, letters, prints, & ballads concerning the wanderings of Charles II. after th → online text (page 10 of 22)