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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because his Countenance was more sullied than ordinary, and his head
spoyled of the former ornament of his hair, did obscure his Majestical
presence ; or the Doctor's mind astonished with so unexpected an
object, had blunted his sight ; certain it is, that he could not find
Charles in Charles ; till having longer, and more earnestly beheld him,
at last, full of joy, he threw himself at the feet of his dear Lord and
Master, as well to deprecate the fault of his slow duty, as to give vent
to his passionate gratulations.

The next day (the fame of this accident having speedily reached


The Royal Miracle

Paris) the Queen of England, the Duke of Orleans, with a great
Company of Nobles, goe forth to welcome him, and conduct him into
the City, with great applause of the People. They embrace him, they
pronounce him preserved for the Joy and Delight of Mankind, they
call him 7he Hofe and Strength of England, they heartily pray, that
God would ever keep and preserve him.

Thus did that sacred Person escape the snares and malice of his
blood-thirsty Enemies, by whom all true English men triumph over
their Persecutors ; of whose precious Life, if God himself had not
taken the charge, it had very many times unavoidably perished, and
been utterly destroyed. That amongst so many Persons of the mean-
est rank, so many of a contrary Religion, so many of the Female Sex
(whose natural proness is not easily restrained from pratling) so many
timorous, to whom 'tis death enough to hear it threatned, and lastly,
so many poor or penyless Persons, and of broken Fortunes, who
could not but well approve the tender of a great summ, that for two
Months together, he should not be betrayed, is plainly (if ever there
were a greater) the most Miraculous Work of a Divine Hand.



Claustrum Regale

* i.e. " The King's place of retirement unlocked." The word Claustrum is very rarely
used in the singular.


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LONDON ,^ 'v. f,yA?'''^^//c'i^ Tf//c

The Title-pa(;e of the First Edition of Anne Wyndham's
Claustrum Regale Reseratum (1667)

(From the copy in Possession of the ivriter)




Most Excellent

This little Book having obtained liberty, after a long Imprison-
ment, to walk abroad, prostrates itself at Your Majesties feet for
patronage and protection. In it Your Majesty may behold God's
wonderful Mercy & Providence, in keeping and preserving our
Gracious Soveraign from the hands of His Enemies, when they so
pleased themselves with the hopes of seising this Sacred Person after
the Battel of Worcester, as they had invented & prepared new ways
to afflict His Majesty, such as till then never entered into the hearts of
the worst Tyrants before them. But it pleased God to frustrate the
hopes & designs of the King's Adversaries, and to restore His
Majesty to His Fathers Throne : which that he may long enjoy with
Your Majesty, in Health, Peace & Happiness, Is, and shall be the
prayers of

Your Majestie's

Most obedient & most
Faithful Servant

Anne Wyndham*

See Introduction, p. 40.

The Royal Miracle

Claustrum Regale Reseratum


The King's




How that after the Battel of Worcester^ His Sacred Majesty most
wonderfully escaped the hands of his blood-thirsty Enemies, and
(under a Disguise, in the company of Mrs Jane Lane) safely arrived
at Abbots Leigh in Somersetshire, (the seat of Sir George Norton,
lying near to the City of Bristol) hath been fully published unto the
World. His Majesties Journey from thence to the house of Colonel
Francis Wyndham at Trent in the same County, his Stay there, his
Endeavour (though frustrate) to get over into France, his Return
to Trent, his final Departure thence to his happy Transportation, are
the subject of this present Relation. A Story, in which the Constella-
tions of Providence are so refulgent, that their light is sufficient to
confute all the Atheists of the world, and to enforce all persons (whose
faculties are not pertinaciously depraved) to acknowledge a watchful
Eye of GOD from above, looking upon all the Actions of Men here
below, making even the most wicked subservient to his just &
glorious designs. And indeed, whatsoever the Antients fabled of
Gyges's Ring, by which he could render himself Invisible, or the Poets
fancied of their Gods, who usually carried their chief Favourites in the
Clouds, and by drawing those aerial Curtains, did so conceal them,
that they were heard & seen of none, whilst they both heard & saw
others, is here most certainly verified. For, the Almxighty so closely
covered the King with the wing of his Protection, and so clouded the
Understanding of his cruel Enemies that the most piercing Eye of



Claustrum Regale Reseratum

Malice could not see, nor the most Barbarously-bloody Hand offer
Violence to his Sacred Person. . . .

But before the several Particulars of this story are laid open, two
Questions (easily foreseen) which will be readily asked by every Reader,
call for an Answer. The one is, Why this Relation so much expected,
so much longed for, has been kept up all this while from publick view .''
And the other, How it came to pass, that now it takes the liberty to walk
abroad } Concerning the first, it must be known, that a Narrative of
these Passages was (by especial command from his Majesty) written
by the Colonels own hand, immediately after the Kings return into
England ; which (being presented to his Majesty) was laid up in the
Royal Cabinet, there to rest for some time, it being the King's pleasure
(for reasons best known to his Sacred self) that it should not then be

And as his Majesties command to keep it private, is a satisfactory
answer to the first ; so, his licence now obtained that it might travel
abroad, may sufficiently resolve the second question. But besides this,
many prevalent reasons there are, which plead for a publication ; the
chief of which are briefly these. That the implacable Enemies of this
Crown may be for ever silenced & ashamed ; who having neither Law,
nor Religion to patronize their unjust undertakings, construed a bare
Permission to be a Divine Approbation of their Actions ; and (taking
the Almighty to be such a one as themselves) blasphemously entitled
God to be the Author of all their wickedness. But the arm of God
stretched out from heaven to the rescue of the King, cutting off the
clue of their Success, even then when they thought they had spun
up their thread, hath not left them so much as an apron of fig-leaves
to cover the nakedness of their most shameful proceedings.

The next is, That the Truth of his Majesties Escape (being
minced by some, mistaken by others, and not fully set forth by any)
might appear in its native beauty & splendor : That as every dust of
gold is gold, and every ray of light is light ; so every jot & title


The Royal Miracle

of Truth being Truth, not one grain of the Treasure, not one beam of
the lustre of this Story might be lost or clouded ; it being so rare, so
excellent, that aged Time out of all the Archives of Antiquity can
hardly produce a Parallel. Singularly admirable indeed it is, if we
consider the Circumstances & Actors. The Colonel (who chiefly
designed, and moved in this great afi^air) could not have had the
freedom to have served his Majesty, had he not been a prisoner ; his
very Confinement giving him both a liberty, and protection to act.
For, coming home from Weymouth upon his Parole, he had the
opportunity to travel freely & safely, without fear of being stopped,
or taken up : and being newly removed from Sherborne to Trent, the
jealous eye of Somersetshire Potentates had scare then found him out,
whose malevolent Aspect afterwards seldom suffered him to live at
home, and too too often furnished his house with very unwelcom
guests. Others, who contributed their assistance, were persons of both
sexes, and of very different conditions & qualities : And although
their endeavours often proved successless, though they received dis-
couragements on one hand, were terrified with threats on the other ;
That a seal of silence should be imprinted upon the lips of Women,
who are become proverbial for their garrulity ; That faithfulness &
constancie should guard the hearts of Servants, who are usually
corrupted with rewards, or affrighted with punishments (most power-
ful passions, heightened by Capital animadversions proclaimed against
All that should conceal, and large Remunerations promised to such as
should discover the King) could work nothing upon any single person,
so as to remove him or her from their respective duty, but that all
should so harmoniously concenter, both in the Design, and also after-
ward keep themselves so long close shut up under the lock of secrecy,
that nothing could be discovered by the most exquisite art & cunning,
till the blessed iRestauration of his Majesty to his glorious Throne, so
filled their hearts with joy, that it broke open the door of their lips,
and let their tongue loose to tell the Miracle to the amazed World,


Claustrum Regale Reseratum

would (were not the Persons yet alive, and the story fresh in memory)
rarifie it into a Romance.

The reproaches & scandals, by which some envious persons have
sought to diminish & vilifie the faithful services, which the Colonel
out of the integrity of his soul performed unto his Majesty, shall not
here be mentioned : Because by taking up dirt to bespatter him, they
defile their own hands, & the gun they level at his Reputation, recoils
to the wounding of their own.

These things thus promised, by way of Introduction, open the
Gate, through which you may enter, and in the ensuing Pages (as in
several Tables) take a full view of the Particulars.

The Disguise his Majesty put on, secured him from the Cruelty
of his Enemies ; but could not altogether hide him from the prying
eyes of his dutiful Subjects. For in the time of his stay at Leigh, one
John Pofe (then Butler to Sir George Norton, but formerly a Soldier for
the King in the West) through all these clouds espied the most
Illustrious Person of the King. With him his Majesty (after he was
himself discovered) was pleased familiarly to discourse ; And speaking
of the great sufferings of very many of his Friends in the Western
parts (most whereof were well known to Pope) his Majesty enquired
if he knew Colonel Francis Wyndham, who (in the time of the late
Wars) was Governor of Dunster Castle P Very well. Sir, answered
Pope. The King then demanded what was become of him ? Pope
replies. That the Colonel had married Mrs Anne Gerard, one of the
daughters & heiresses of Thomas Gerard Esq ; late of Trent in
Somersetshire, and that he had newly brought thither his Mother (the
Lady Wyndham) his Wife & family, and that he believed the Colonel
intended there to reside & live. His Majesty having received the
intelligence concerning the Colonel, together with an exact information
of the scituation of Trent, sought an opportunity to Speak with Mrj
Lane (from whom, the better to conceal himself, he then kept at a
distance) and by means of Mr Lassels (who accompanied the King in


The Royal Miracle

this journey) obteining his desire, his Majesty with much contentment
imparted to Mfj Lane what Fo'pe had informed him concerning Colonel
Wy^idham, and his habitation ; telling her withall, That if she could
bring him thither, he should not much doubt of his safety.

In this very point of times comes the Lord Henry Wilmot (since
Earl of Rochester) from Dirham in Gloucestershire (the seat of John
Winter Esq ; a person of known loyalty & integrity) to Leigh. My
Lord had attended his Majesty in his passage Westward, and on
Friday morning {September the 13) met accidentally Captain Thomas
Ahington of Dozudswell in the County the Gloucester at Pinbury Park ;
and being known by the Captain (who had served under his Lordship
in the Wars) was that night by him conducted to Mr Winter s, from
whom his Lordship (as he has often since acknowledged) received
great Civilities. Mfj Lane presently reveals to Lord Wilmot the
KingS resolution to remove to Trent ; whereupon my Lord demanded
of Henry Rogers (Mr Winter's servant, and his Lordships guide from
Dirham to Leigh) whether he knew Trent P He answered, that
Colonel Wyndham & his Master had married two Sisters, and that
he had often Waited on his Master thither. These things so happily
concurring, his Majesty commanded the Lord Wilmot to haste to
Trent, and to ascertain the Colonel of his speedy Approach.

His Lordship took leave, and continuing Rogers for his guide,
with one Robert Swan, arrived at Trent the sixteenth of September.
Rogers was sent in forthwith to the Colonel to acquaint him, that
a Gentleman a friend of his, desired the favour of him, that he
would please to step forth & speak with him. The Colonel enquir-
ing of Rogers, whether he knew the Gentleman or his business .''
answered, No, he understood nothing at all, but only that he was
called by the name of Mr. Morton. Then without further discourse
the Colonel came forth, and found the Gentleman walking near the
Stable ; whom as soon as he approached, (although it was somewhat
dark) he saluted by the title of My Lord Wilmot. His Lordship


Claustrum Regale Reseratum

seemed to wonder that he should be known, but it was nothing
strange considering the Colonels former acquaintance with him, being
one of the first that engaged under his Command, in his late Majesties
service : Besides, his Lordship was not in the least altered, except
a Hawk on his fist, and a Lure by his side might pass for a Dis-
guise. This Confidence of his Lordship really begat admiration in
the Colonel, calling to mind the great danger he was in, and whose
Harbinger he was ; For he advertised the Colonel, that the King
himself was on his way to Trent, intending that very night to lodge
at Castle Cary (a town six miles thence) hoping by Gods assistance,
to be with him about ten of the clock next morning.

At this joyful news the Colonel was transported (there having
run a report, that his Majesty was slain in the Fight at Worcester)
and giving God thanks for his wonderful mercy, he assured his
Lordship, That for his Majesties -preservation he would value neither
his life, family, nor fortune, and would never injure his Majesties con-
fidence of him ; Not doubting, hut that God who had led his Majesty
through the midst of such inexpressible dangers, would deliver him from
all these barbarous threats, and bloody inventions of his Enemies. With
these & such like expressions, the Colonel brought the Lord Wilmot
into his parlour, where he received an exact account of his Majesties
condition & present affairs.

Next morning, the Colonel found it necessary to acquaint the
Lady Wyndham his mother, and also his own Lady, with the par-
ticulars the Lord Wilmot had overnight imparted to him, concerning
the King. The relation he gave them, did not (through the weak-
ness of their sex) bring upon them any womanish passion, but sur-
prized with joy, they most cheerfully resolve (without the least show
of fear) to hazard all, for the safety of the King. And so (begging
Gods blessing upon their future endeavours) they contrive how his
Majesty might be brought into the house, without any suspicion to
their family, consisting of above twenty persons. Amongst them


The Royal Miracle

therefore, Mrs 'Juliana Coningshy (the Lady Wyndhams neece) Elianor
Withers, Joan Halsenoth, and Henry Peters* (whose loyalty to the King,
and fidelity to themselves, they had sufficiently experienced) are made
privy to their design. Next they consider what Chambers are fittest
for his Majesties reception. Four are made choice of ; amongst
which, the Lady Wyndham's was counted most convenient for the
day-time, where the servants might wait with most freedom upon his
Majesty. Then a safe place is provided to retreat unto, in case of
search, or imminent danger : And lastly. Employments are designed
to remove all others out of the way at the instant of his Majesties
arrival. All which after a while, answered their desires, even beyond
their expectation.

Between nine and ten the next morning the Colonel & his Lady
walking towards the fields adjoining to the house, espied the King
riding before Airs Lane, & Mr Lassels in their company. As soon
as his Majesty came near the Colonel, He called to him Frank, Frank!
how dost thou do? By which gracious pleasance the Colonel perceived,
that though his Majesties habit & countenance were much changed,
yet his Heroick spirit was the same, and his mind immutable. The
Colonel (to avoid the jealous eyes of some neighbours) instantly con-
veyed the King & Mrs Lane into the Lady Wyndham's Chamber,
where the passions of Joy and Sorrow did a while combat in them,
who beheld his Sacred Person : For what loyal eyes could look upon so
Glorious a Prince thus eclypsed, and not pay unto him the homage of
tears ? But the consideration of his Majesties safety, the gracious
words of his own mouth confuting the sad reports of his untimely
death, together with the hope of his future preservation, soon dried
them up. In a short time the Colonel brought the Lord Wilmot to the
King, and then the Ladies withdrew into the Parlour, having first
agreed to call Mrs Lane Cousin, and to entertain her with the same

* I have failed to find any mention of these persons in the parish registers of Trent,
where the writer of Claustrum Regale Reseratum is buried.


Claustrum Regale Reseratum

familiarity as if she had been their near Relation. That day she stayed
at 7rent^ and the next morning early Mr Lassels & she departed.

His Majesty, after he had refreshed himself, commanded the
Colonel in the presence of the Lord fVilmoty to propose, what way he
thought most probable for his Escape into France; for thither he
desired with all speed to be transported. The Colonel (the King
giving him this opportunity) entertained & encouraged his Majesty
with this remarkable passage of Sir Thomas Wyndham (his Father) Who,
not long before his death {in the year 1636) called unto his five Sons,
(having not seen them together in some years before) and discoursed unto us
[said he] of the long Peace iS' Prosperity this Kingdom had enjoyed under
its Three last Glorious Monarchs: Of the many Miseries i^ Calamities
which lay sore upon our Ancestors, by the several Invasions i^ Conquests
of Foreign Nations, and likewise by Intestine Insurrections ^ Rebellions.
And notwithstanding the strange mutations i^ Changes iii England, He
shewed, how it pleased God in love to our Natio7i to preserve an ujidoubted
Succession of Kings, to sit in the Regal Throne. He me?ttio7ied the healing
Conjunction of the two Houses of York and Lancaster, and the blessed
Union of the two Crowns of England and Scotland, stopping up those
fountains of Blood, which by N ational feuds iff quarrels kept open had like
to have drowned the whole Island. He said, he feared the beautiful gar-
ment of Peace would shortly be torn in pieces through the Neglect of
Magistrates, the general Corruption of Manners, and the prevalence of a
Puritanical faction, which {if not prevented) would undermine the very
pillars of Government. My sons! We have hitherto seen serene If? quiet
times; but now prepare yourselves for cloudy t^ troublesofn. I command
you to honour iff obey our Gracious Sovereign, and in all times to adhere to
the Crown; and though the Crown should hang upon a Bush, I charge
you forsake it not. These words being spoken with much earnestness, both
in gesture if? manner extraordinary, he arose from his chair, and left us
in a deep consultation what the meaning should be of — The Crown hanging
upon a Bush. These words, Sir, (said the Colonel) made so firm an


The Royal Miracle

impression in all our breasts, that the many afflictions oj these sad Times
cannot raze out their undelible characters. Certainly these are the days
which my father pointed out in that Expression : And 1 doubt not, God
hath brought me through so many dangers, that I might shew myself both a
dutiful son, and a loyal Subject, in faithfully endeavouring to serve your
Sacred Majesty, in this your greatest Distress.

After this Rehearsal, the Colonel (in obedience to his Majesties
command) told the King, That Sir John Strangways (who had given
many testimonies of his loyalty, having two Sons, both of them Colonels
for his Royal Father) lived but four miles from Trent. That he was a
person of great fortune & interest in Dorsetshire, and therefore he
supposed that either Sir John, or his Sons, might be serviceable to his
Majesties occasions. The King in prosecution of this proposal, com-
manded the Colonel to wait on them ; and accordingly the next
morning he went over to Melbury, the place where Sir John dwelt.
No sooner was he come thither, but he met with Colonel Giles Strang-
waysy* and after usual salutations, they walked into the Park adjoyning

* Giles Strangways of Melbury, an ancestral kinsman of the Earl of llchester, played
an all-important part in Dorset history during the Civil War, although his name finds no place in
the Dictionary of National Biography. After the Restoration a superb medal in his honour
was executed by John Roettier as one of the intended series ordered by Charles II of dis-
tinguished sufferers in the royal cause. I possess specimens of it both in gold and silver.
Vide Medallic Illustrations, Vol I, pp. 333-4. The design of the reverse of the medal, i.e.
the White Tower of London, surmounted by the Royal Standard, above which the sun is
bursting from a cloud, was designed by the King himself. Giles Strangways was born at
Melbury in 161 5, commanded a regiment of horse in the King's service in the West, was
persecuted by the Parliament, heavily fined and imprisoned in the Tower with his father. At
the Restoration he represented his native county in the House of Commons, and is frequently
mentioned in Pepys's diary. In the sixteenth year of Charles II's reign he was the senior repre-
sentative of Bridport. Below Loggan's fine portrait of him is the following inscription : —

" Colonel Giles Strangways of Melbury Sampford in Dorsetshire.
The rest fame speakes, & makes his Virtues known
By's Zeale for the Church, & Loyalty to th' Throne.
The Artist in this Draft, doth Art excell
None but Himself, himself can paralell
But if his Siteel could his great Mind express,
That would appear in a much nobler Dress."


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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 11 of 22)