Alexander Meyrick Broadley.

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

. (page 15 of 22)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Town in Wiltshire, and dined at the George Inn, the Keeper of which was known by the
Colonel to be faithful. He sat at the Table with the King, and discoursing with the Colonel
told him the News. 'That he heard the Men of Westminster, notwithstanding their
Victory at Worcester, were in a great Maze not knowing what had become of the King ; but
the most received opinion was, that he was come in Disguise to London, and many Houses
had been searched for him there,' at which his Majesty was observed to smile. After
Dinner he familiarly asked the King, ' If he were a friend to Cxsar ? ' to which his Majesty
answering ' Yes,' then said he, * Here is a Health to King Charles ' in a Glass of Wine ;
which his Majesty and the Colonel both pledged ; and so taking Horse, at Night they arrived
at Hele."

The George Inn has undergone little material change in its internal arrangements since
165 I, although a few years ago the old sign was very unfortunately changed to that of the
"Talbot." Mr. T. H. Baker, whose "Notes on the History of Mere" are unusually valu-
able, gives me the following information concerning Christopher Phillips, the genial host of the
" George," who proved so loyal a "friend to Csesar." The name of Phillipps first appears in
the Churchwardens' Accounts of 1636 as purchasing a seat in the church. From that time
he was privileged to provide the wine for the Visitation dinners. In a survey of the Dean's
property in 1640 Christopher Phillips is the tenant of the " George" and the land still let
with it. Entries of payments to Phillips for the bread and wine used for sacramental
purposes are of frequent occurrence. Six of the children of Christopher and Sarah Phillips
were baptized at Mere from 1639, and two of them were buried there. Christopher
Phillips was buried at Mere on 26 May, 1664, and his widow died twelve years later.
Although mine host of the " George " survived the Restoration, he does not seem to have
clamoured for or received any personal reward for his loyalty in 165 i. But Mere does not
seem to have been altogether forgotten by the " Merry Monarch." On August 25, 1828, the
Salisbury and Winchester Journal informed its readers that : — " On Sunday last the town and
vicinity of Mere experienced a great treat by several merry peals from the Church bells, in
consequence of the arrival, on the Friday previous, of a new bell cast by Mr. Kingstone, bell-
founder, of Bridgwater ; and it is confidently hoped that under the superintendence of
Mr. Hayter, organist. Mere will revive in the art of bell-ringing, for which they were formerly
so famous. One of the bells bears the date of 1670, and it is generally supposed to have
been presented to the inhabitants on the restoration of Charles II for their loyalty to their
lawful, much beloved, though unfortunate Sovereign, who concealed himself about this part of
the country, and frequently honoured Mere with his royal presence, though then deprived of
its externals." On October 6, 191 1, the present Vicar of Mere, the Rev. F. E. Trotman,
presided at a luncheon given at the " George " on the occasion of the unveiling of a tablet

200





Z^ > - '-^



X


~ ^


U


~ '■•^

















^ Sf-










1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 17 18 19 20 21 22