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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parts, notwithstanding all the parsonS bawling & the strong prob-

182



1



The Letter of JVilliam Ellesdon

abilities upon wch theyre Conjectures seemed to be grounded, utterly
rejected his counsaile, fearing lest he should make himself ridiculous
to all the Countrey by such an undertaking.

As to the Hostler his imprudent managing of his mischievous
intention discovered itself 2 ways, first in his having recourse to the
parson, whereas, with greater likelyhood of successe he might have
taken the advise Sc assistance of his fellow-souldiers, three whereof,
being very desperate enemies to his Ma'-Z were at that time In-
habitants of Charmouth & his nearest neighbours. In the next
place his egredgious folly was further manifested in his delaying to
acquaint his Captain at Lyme with his suspicions abovenamed untill
12 of the clock that day. For had it not been for this neglect of
his, his Ma!i!! escape would have been (in reason's eye) impossible,
his Captain Macey having no sooner received the report of these
surmizes, and Information, on wt horses & in wt equipage, wch way
the persons suspected made theyr departure from Charmouth ; but,
having (in all liklyhood) the promised Reward of such mischievous
diligence in his eye, he instantly resolves to leave no means un-
attempted, that with least shadowe of probability might conduce to
his Ma^^ Attachmt.

In pursuance of which Resolves he presently mounts & Setting
spurrs to his horse in a full career he rides towards Bridport, where,
at his arrivell after little inquiry made he was given to understand
that some persons, with whom the descriptions he had received most
exactly suited had dined at ye George that day, but not long before
his cominge were departed towards Dorchester. This, therefore, was
the next place to which he posted (the wings of covetousness &
Ambition nimbly transporting his mind then it was possible his horse
could convey his body) which he no sooner entered, but (as it he had
been to execute some warrant for the apprehending of the most
notorious felon in the Kingdome) with the utmost hast ' (the Souldiers
everywhere about that time being proudly inquisitive into the names,
qualities, affairs and businesses of strangers) had not God in his
infinite mercy incapacitated them for such like actings here, by cutting
out work of another nature for them. For having a woman in theyr
company, who not long after theyr coming thither fell in travaile, and
was delivered of a child : the Officers & other inhabitants of the said
parish (having notice thereof) contested so long with them, about free-
ing their parish from the Burthen of its maintenance, till sleep &
drouzynesse had rendered theyr heads unfit for anything but theyr
pillowes. Upon which whilst they soundly slept, his Ma^i: together
with his Attendants arising some houers before day, and taking the
opportunity of that time of silence retired themselves undiscovered
unto Trent.

Where after his Ma^ had concealed himself about a weeke he
departed thence to one Mistress Hyde's near Salisbury. What after-
wards passed I must needs leave to others that had the honor to know
it, being myself unable to spinne the thread of this History any
longer.

Thus have I (Right Honourable) without the least violation of
Truth's Chastity made a brief Collection of those never to be forgotten
miracles Providence wrought by the hands of Omnipotency for the

185



The Royal Miracle



Conservation of his most Sacred Maiz in the midst of the many Perills
he was exposed to in the West of Dorset, which came within my
Cognizance, which I humbly lay (such as it is) at yor Lordships feet,
being hereunto prompted upon the following considerations. First
that I might present yor Honor with some new matter for your
meditations, having frequently observed yor Lordship to be much
delighted both in moving & also in hearinge discourses upon this
subjects. Secondly that yor Lordship by recounting in the hearing of
others these Dei Magnalia may quicken & excite them to a serious
minding & due improvement of the Infinite wisdome, power & good-
nesse of the Most Highe God (the great preserver even of Kings)
manifested in wt hath been the subject matter of the precedent Narra-
tive. Lastly, that I might leave in yor Honors hands some monument
of my reall gratitude for the many Favors yor Lordship hath been
pleased to conferre on me. But it is time for me to remember what
the Poet said to his Augustus

In publica commoda peccem,

Si longo sermone mover tua tempora

Lest, therefore, I showld offend through my unseasonable pro-
lixity, having first with all submission craved yor Lordships Pardon for
this my great Presumption in tendering to yor Lordship whom the
world justly esteems so absolute a Master of Speech, such a rude &
unpolisht Story, I shall only begg the honour to subscribe myself.

My Lord
Your Lordships
Most humbly devoted servant
Will : Ellesdon *



* For further particulars concerning William Ellesdon see Appendix VIII, pp. 295-6.

186



IX

Captain Gregory Alford's Narrative

of the Adventures of Charles II

in West Dorset,* September, 165 1

(Transcribed from the MS. in the Bodleian Library)



■"■ See Historical Introduction, ante, pp. 42-3, and/o//, pp. 293-6



CAPT. ALFORD'S NARRATIVE.*

The R' Hono'^'^' the L'^ Keeper of the great Seal of England, having (fol. i)
desir'd me to give him an Ace* of what 1 knew of his Ma*'^''
most miraculous Escape, and the great danger he passed through
after he came from Worcester, do here do it, as followeth.

His Ma^'^ came to that Loial Gentleman's House S' Francis
Windham at Trent in the County of Somerset within 3 Miles of
Shirborn : And being there his Ma'''^ well knowing the trust he might
repose in Coll. Giles Strangwaies, sent S"" Francis Windham to consult
w'^ him, as to his preservacion, & Escape ; and to desire him to send
him what Money he could. The said Coll'! Father being then living,
he had no great Command of money ; and for Reasons then best
known to himself, would not communicate such a Secret to his Father ;
but readily fetch'd loo^'- in Gold (protesting, it was all he had)


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