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WITH THE KING AT OXFORD ***




Produced by sp1nd and the Online Distributed Proofreading
Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from
images generously made available by The Internet Archive)






[Illustration: _A Musketeer._
_HANHART LITH._]



With the KING at OXFORD

_A TALE OF THE GREAT REBELLION_


BY THE

Rev. Alfred J. Church, M.A.

_Professor of Latin in University College, London_

_Author of "Stories from Homer"_


_With Sixteen Illustrations_


LONDON
SEELEY & CO., 46, 47 & 48, ESSEX STREET, STRAND
(_LATE OF 54, FLEET STREET_)

1886

_All Rights Reserved_




TO

George William Fleetwood Bury,

PHYSICIAN AND FRIEND,

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED.




I cannot allow this book to appear without the expression of my thanks
to the Rev. Andrew Clark, Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, who very
kindly put at my service a number of interesting records of the domestic
history of the College.

A. C.

HADLEY GREEN,
_October, 1885_.




CONTENTS


CHAP. PAGE

I. OF MY BIRTH AND BRINGING-UP 1

II. OF MY SOJOURN IN LONDON 13

III. OF THE PLAGUE AND OTHER MATTERS 26

IV. OF THINGS AT HOME 40

V. OF THINGS AT OXFORD 52

VI. OF THE KING'S GOING TO WORCESTER 65

VII. OF THE FIGHT AT COPREDY BRIDGE 81

VIII. OF THE PLAGUE AT OXFORD AND OTHER MATTERS 93

IX. BEFORE NASEBY 105

X. OF NASEBY FIGHT 120

XI. AFTER NASEBY 131

XII. OF MY FATHER'S END AND OTHER MATTERS 152

XIII. OF MY COMING BACK TO OXFORD 174

XIV. OF BODLEY'S LIBRARY 185

XV. OF THE VISITORS AT OXFORD 197

XVI. OF MY KINSFOLK AT ENSTONE 209

XVII. OF MY GOING TO LONDON 224

XVIII. OF THE TRIAL OF THE KING 238

XIX. OF THE KING'S DEATH 252

XX. OF MATTERS AT ENSTONE 263

XXI. OF MY ADVENTURES AT SEA 275

EPILOGUE 293




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


PAGE

A MUSKETEER _Frontispiece_

LONDON BRIDGE 14

FRIAR BACON'S HOUSE 70

KING CHARLES THE FIRST 72

HALT OF OFFICERS 76

A GUNNER 88

MERTON COLLEGE, OXFORD 96

A CAVALRY SKIRMISH 122

A PIKEMAN 126

GATEWAY OF CHRISTCHURCH, OXFORD 176

THE LAST ABBOT OF OSENEY 178

THE BODLEIAN LIBRARY, OXFORD 190

PORCH OF ST. MARY'S, OXFORD 202

VICE-CHANCELLOR AND ESQUIRE BEDELLS 204

THE TRIAL OF KING CHARLES 248

THE EXECUTION OF THE KING 260




With the KING at OXFORD




CHAPTER I.

OF MY BIRTH AND BRINGING-UP.


My father was the son of a gentleman of Oxfordshire that had a small
estate near to the town of Eynsham, in that county. The monks of
Eynsham Priory had the land afore-time; and 'twas said that here, as
elsewhere, there was a curse upon such as held for their own uses that
which had been dedicated to God's service. How this may be I know not,
though there are notable instances - as, to wit, the Russells - in which
no visible curse has fallen on the holders of such goods; but it is
certain that my father's forbears wasted their estate grievously.
Being but the third son, he had scarce, in any case, tarried at home;
but, matters being as they were, the emptiness of the family purse
drove him out betimes into the world. Being of good birth and breeding
he got, without much ado, a place about the Court, which was not,
however, much to his liking. I have heard him say - and this, though,
as will be seen hereafter, he was a great lover of monarchy - that,
between a weak king and villainous courtiers, Whitehall was no place
for an honest gentleman. Robert Carr, that was afterwards Earl of
Somerset, he liked little, and George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, he
liked yet less, being, as he was wont to say, by so much a greater
villain than Somerset as a duke is greater than an earl. He was right
glad, therefore, to leave the "sunshine of the Royal presence;" for so
did men speak of the Court in the hyperbolical language of those
times, even for so dismal and outlandish a part as Ireland. But I know
not whether he did not wish himself back, for of Ireland he would
never afterwards speak with any measure of patience, declaring that he
knew not which were the worse, the greediness and cruelty of the
English conquerors, or the savagery and unreason of the native people.
Here he tarried for some three or four years, having, indeed, had
bestowed upon him an estate, which, for its boundaries, at least, was
of considerable magnitude, but from which he received nothing but
trouble. Who hath it now I know not; and, indeed, he charged me to
have nought to do with it, saying - for I remember his very words - "If
they will give thee the whole island in fee, say them nay, for it is
fit for nothing but to be drowned under the sea." Yet his next venture
was not one whit happier, as will be readily concluded, when I say
that he took service with Sir Walter Raleigh, whom he chanced to fall
in with at Cork, at which place Sir Walter touched on his way to the
Indies in search of gold. Gold got they none, but of hard blows not a
few, and of pains and sickness still more. My father was with the
boats that sailed up the river Orinoco, and caught in his arms, I have
heard him say, Walter Raleigh the younger, when this last was slain by
a bullet from a Spanish arquebuse. From this voyage he came back
beggared in and purse not a little broken in health; to the end of his
days indeed he suffered much at times from the fever that he
contracted in those parts. The year following that wherein Raleigh was
beheaded, came what seemed at the first sight good news, namely, that
the Bohemians had bestowed the crown of their country upon the Elector
of Bavaria, husband to the Princess Elizabeth, the king's daughter.
Thereupon there arose such a tumult of joy throughout the country as
the oldest man living scarce remembered to have heard before. There
was nothing too good to be hoped for as about to come from this
promotion. Indeed, I have heard my father say that he was himself
present when the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. Abbott) preached a
sermon wherein he declared that this event was foretold in Scripture,
naming even the chapter and verse, which were, if I remember right, in
the Book of the Revelation. My father was carried away with the rest,
and having, as may well be thought, a special gift for choosing for
his own that which should be the losing side, forthwith took service
with the Elector, to whom King James, though scarce approving of the
cause, sent at this time auxiliaries to the number of four thousand.
In this army my father had a captain's commission, with pay to the
amount of four shillings by the day - handsome wages, only that he
never received of them so much as a doit. Nor did the campaign
recompense the defect of gains by any excess of glory. It was, indeed,
as barren of laurels as of gold; and my father, who, being favourably
known of old time by the Princess, was appointed to command the guard
of the Elector, arrived in his Highness's company at the Hague without
a penny in his pocket, and scarce a coat to his back.

But now behold a turn of Fortune's wheel. While he lingered in
Holland, not from choice, indeed, but from compulsion, seeing that he
did not possess the wherewithal to pay his passage to England, came
news of an inheritance that had fallen to him, being nothing less - or,
may be, I should rather say, considering its poverty, nothing
more - than the family estate. This fell to my father by the death of
his two elder brothers, who both expired of a fever on the same day.
And this day, so strangely do things fall together in this world, was
the very same as that on which all his worldly hopes seemed to have
been overset, that is, the 8th of November, in the year 1620, when the
Elector Palatine was utterly defeated by the Duke of Bohemia. My
father then, coming, as I have said, to Holland, this same winter with
the Elector, there heard of his inheritance, not, indeed, without some
natural regret for the cause that had brought it to him, yet, because
his brothers were older by far, and akin by half-blood only, and
stranger's by long interruption of acquaintance, not sorrowful
overmuch.

The said inheritance was, as may be gathered from what has been
written above, a mighty poor thing, being, after all debts and
encumbrances were paid, but of sixty pounds value by the year at the
most. Nevertheless, for a poor, battered soldier that had no way to
earn his bread, 'twas by no means to be despised. Veterans that have
passed through the wars - if my father, that was but just thirty years
of age, may be so called - do commonly love the quietude of a country
retreat (and it was thus that Augustus C├Žsar and others did reward
their legions); and my father affected this manner of life as readily
as did ever old soldier in the world, and, being a man of useful
parts, he turned his sword into a ploughshare with good result, and
this not only of profit of money, but of health also. Being thus set
up, both in body and estate, he took courage to ask in marriage a
maiden of those parts, Cicely Harland by name. She was the daughter of
a gentleman that had a like estate with my father, only it was without
encumbrance, so that Mistress Cicely was not ill-provided with a
portion. My father, whose name - for this I have not yet mentioned - was
Philip Dashwood, married Mistress Cicely Harland in the month of
September, 1623. Of this marriage were born two children; first, my
sister Dorothy, in August, 1624, and secondly myself, a Philip also,
who came into this troublesome world on Christmas Day, 1625, having as
my birthright, as the gossips say, the gift of seeing spirits, though
this I have never yet, to my knowledge, enjoyed. My first teaching,
save the very rudiments which my dear mother did impart to me, was
from Master William Hearnden, parson of the parish, to which, indeed,
he had been presented by my father in the vacancy before described.
They had been close friends in that luckless campaigning in Bohemia,
where Master Hearnden was chaplain to the English regiment - ay, and on
occasion also, I have heard say, captain also; for he was, as the
country folk say, "a man of his hands." Not the less was he a virtuous
and godly clerk, and a sound scholar also, and with a rare gift which
scholars, be they ever so sound, have not always - of teaching that
which he knew.

On January the 6th, 1633, being then twelve days past my eighth
birthday, I was entered of the Merchant Taylors' School, at Laurence
Pountney, in the City of London, by the presentation of William
Harford, kinsman to my mother, that was one of the Court of the said
Company. Mr. Edwards was then master of the school, and remained so
during the time of my continuance there.

At the first I lodged in the house of Master William Rushworth, that
was a merchant of timber, and dwelt in the Strand, of whom and of
whose house more hereafter.

Within a few weeks of my coming I saw what my elders told me was the
finest spectacle that had been seen in London within the memory of
man, that is, a mighty grand masquerade, with which the gentlemen of
the four Inns of Court entertained their Majesties King Charles, and
Henrietta of France, his Queen. I was yet too much of a child to have
any clear understanding of what I saw, though the number of men and
horses, the splendour of scarlet and purple, of gold and silver, and
all the magnificence of the show made a notable mark on my mind. But I
heard much talk about it in after times; and, indeed, till the late
troubles came upon the country, there was nothing of which there was
more frequent mention than of this same masquerade. Thus it came to
pass that, filling up what I observed at the time with that which I
heard afterwards, I came to have such a notion of the matter as might
have been conceived by one much older than I then was. If, therefore,
I may join together what was afterwards told to me with what I
remember of myself, this masquerade was shown on Candlemas Day, which
is the second day of February, the procession starting from Chancery
Lane when it was now dusk. First came twenty footmen in scarlet
liveries, with silver lace, each carrying a torch. These were the
Marshal's men that cleared the way, and with them came the Marshal
himself, an extraordinary proper handsome gentleman, riding one of the
King's horses, with two lackeys, each carrying a torch, and a page
that bare his cloak. After these came a hundred gentlemen, five and
twenty from each Inn of Court, riding on horses, the finest that could
be found in London, and apparelled as bravely as men could be. After
these again came what was styled the antimasque, cripples and beggars
on horseback, mounted on the poorest, leanest jades that could be
gotten out of the dirt-carts and elsewhere. These had their proper
music of keys and tongs, making the queerest noise that can be
imagined, but yet with a sort of concert. Then followed another
antimasque, this time of birds. The first portion was men on
horseback, playing on pipes and whistles, and other instruments by
which the notes of birds may be imitated; the second was the birds
themselves, among which I specially noted an owl in an ivy bush. What
these creatures were I knew not at the time, but learnt afterwards
that they were little boys put into covers of the shapes of the birds.
After these came that which pleased the people mightily, and at which
I laughed heartily myself, though not knowing why: this was a satire
on the projectors and monopolisers from whom the realm had long
suffered. First there was a man riding on a very mean steed that had a
great bit in his mouth; and on the man's head was a bit, with reins
and headstall fastened to it, and a petition written for a patent that
no one in the kingdom should ride their horses save with such bits as
they might buy of him. Second to him was another with a bunch of
carrots on his head and a capon in his fist, and he had a petition
also for a patent, that none should fatten capons save with carrots
and by his licence. Behind these came other horsemen, and last of all
four chariots, one for each Inn of Court, these being the most
splendid of all. The King and Queen were so mightily pleased with this
pageant that they desired to see it again. Thereupon the Lord Mayor
invited their Majesties to a banquet in the Merchant Taylors' Hall,
and the same masque was there again performed, the procession having
gone eastward this time. And we scholars of the school were privileged
to see it from a gallery that was set apart for us.




CHAPTER II.

OF MY SOJOURN IN LONDON.


My sojourn with Master Rushworth was but for a time. Accordingly some
three days, or thereabouts, after that I had been a spectator of the
lawyers' great masque, I changed my abode to the house of one Mr.
Timothy Drake, a woollen draper, that dwelt upon London Bridge, on the
north side. Master Drake was bound to my kinsman Master Harford, of
whom I have before spoken, by many obligations of benefits received;
and when the said uncle, being single and well advanced in years, was
unwilling to be troubled with the charge of a child, Master Drake
gladly received me; not, I suppose, without good consideration given.
It was judged to be more convenient for me to lodge upon the bridge,
which is but little more than a stone's throw from the Merchant
Taylors' School, than in the Strand; nor was I unwilling to go, but my
sojourn there was but for a very short time, as I shall presently
show.

'Twas a marvellous place this same London Bridge, more like, indeed,
to a village than a bridge, having on either side houses, some of them
being shops, as was that in which I dwelt, and some taverns, and some
private dwellings. And about the middle of the bridge stood a great
building, which they called Nonesuch House, very splendidly painted
with colours, and having wooden galleries hanging over the river,
richly ornamented with carving and gilding. This Nonesuch House
covered the whole breadth of the bridge from the one side to the
other; and in the middle of it was an arch with the road passing under
it.

[Illustration: _London Bridge._
_HANHART LITH._]

The bridge had, or, I should rather say, has (for it still stands and
will, I doubt not, stand for many ages to come) twenty arches, of
which one is blocked. They are but small, the purpose of the builder,
Peter of Colechurch, having been, it is said, thus to restrain the
ebbing of the tide, and so to make the river above the bridge more
easily navigable. I should rather think, if I may say so much without
wrong to the pious man, that in that rude age (now near upon five
centuries since) he knew not how to build bigger. And being thus small
they are still further diminished by the sterlings that are built
about the piers, to keep them from damage by ice or floods. Thus it
came to pass that of nine hundred feet (for such is the length of the
bridge from end to end) scarce two hundred remain for the waterway.
The consequence thereof is that when the water is lower than the
sterlings it rushes through the arches with a singular great violence.
How great it is may be judged from this, that in some of the arches
there is a waterfall, so to speak, of as much as two feet, when the
tide is at its strongest; and this strongest is when it is about
half-spent, running upwards; but why the flow should be stronger than
the ebb I know not, seeing that this latter is increased by the
natural current of the river. I do remember, if I may delay those that
shall read this chronicle with such childish recollections, how I
marvelled at the first at this same ebb and flow, of which I had never
before heard. On the first day of my coming to Master Drake's house,
being, as I remember, the seventh day of February, I looked out from
my chamber window about half-past five of the clock, and saw the
Thames full to his banks and flowing eastward, as by rights he should,
it being then but just past the flood. But the next time that I
chanced to cast my eyes on him, the tide having but newly begun to
flow, lo! he was dwindled to half his span, and ran westward. Of a
truth I thought that there was witchcraft, and, being a simple child,
ran down into my host's parlour, crying, "What ails the river that it
is half-spent and runs the wrong way?" and was much laughed at for my
pains.

I thought to have much pleasure from sojourn in the house upon the
bridge, and doubtless should have had but for the sad mishap of which
I shall shortly speak. For indeed there was much to be seen daily upon
the river. On the eastern side, looking, that is to say, towards the
sea, there were goodly ships from all parts of the world, lading and
unlading their cargoes, for through the bridge none could go; nay, the
very wherries, for the violence of the water, would not venture the
passage save at the highest or lowest of the tide; but passengers were
discharged on the one side and took boat again on the other. And on
the western side there were the barges of my Lord Mayor and of the
richer of the Companies; and barges of trade, carrying all manner of
goods and especially timber, both for building and burning; and small
boats almost without number, both of private persons and of watermen
that plied for hire. And on occasions there were races among the
watermen and also among the 'prentices of the City. And there were
other sports, notably that of tilting upon the water, in which the
vanquisher would dismount the vanquished, not indeed from his horse
but from his boat, and sometimes drive him into the water, with no
small laughter from the spectators. The bridge also afforded another
pastime, for when the tide was so far ebbed that it was possible to
stand upon the sterlings (which were at other times covered with
water) there were many fishes to be caught, for these commonly resort
where there is abundance of food to be found, as must needs be in so
great a city as London. And if any cannot conceive of the anglers'
craft as practised in the midst of such din and tumult, they may take
as a proof that the makers of anglers' tackle congregate in Crooked
Lane, which is hard by the bridge, more than in any other place in
London.

Being also a lad, for all my tender years, of an active fancy and apt
to muse by myself, and to build castles in the air, or, as some say,
in Spain, for my delight, I did not forget the story of Edward
Osborne, that was 'prentice to Sir William Hewet, clothworker, some
time Lord Mayor of London, how he leapt from the window of one of the
bridge houses, and saved his master's daughter that had been dropped
into the river by a careless maid. All the dwellers on the bridge have
the story ready, so to speak, on the tip of their tongues, as if it
were a credit to themselves; nor would I discourage the thought, for
haply it might give a lad boldness to venture his life in the like
gallant way. Hence, before I had been in the house an hour they showed
me the window from which the said Edward leapt. All the world knows, I
suppose, how he afterwards married this same daughter, and received
with her a great estate, and how he rose to great prosperity, being
Lord Mayor in the year 1583, and how his posterity are to this day
persons of great worship and renown, who will yet, if I mistake not,
rise higher in the state. 'Tis true I was no 'prentice, nor had Master
Drake a daughter, save one that must have been forty years of age at
the very least; but what are these hindrances to the fancy when it is
minded to disport in its own realms?

But now for the mishap which scattered these fancies and the hopes of
other delights, of which I have before spoken. I came, as I have said,
to sojourn with Master Drake on the seventh day of February, being, as
I remember, a Thursday; and on the Monday following my sojourn was
ended. Near to Master Drake's house dwelt Mr. John Briggs, a
needle-maker by trade, who was wont to keep up a brisk fire for the
carrying on of his craft. This being maintained at a greater height
and for a longer time together than was customary, trade being beyond
ordinary brisk, heated the woodwork adjoining, than which there is, as
I conceive, no more common cause of such mischief. This at least, was
conjectured at the time, for nothing could be known of a certainty.
What is established is, that about ten of the clock at night on Monday
aforesaid, the fire began in Mr. Briggs' house, and that so suddenly
and with such violence that he and his wife and child, a maid of about
four years (who, as being of a more convenient age and size than
Mistress Tabitha Drake, I had resolved should fall into the river and
be saved by me) escaped with their lives very hardly, having nothing
on but their shirts, and it may be said, the smoke, so near did they
come to being burned. Nor were we in much better case, save that
Master Drake and his wife and daughter, having entertained the parson
of the parish to supper ('twas in the parish of St. Magnus the Martyr)
had not yet gone to bed. Thus they were able not only to save
themselves and me, who was in bed and sound asleep, more easily, but
also to carry off some of their chief possessions. As for putting out
of the fire, little or nothing could be done. A man might have thought
that, the houses being on a bridge, there would be sufficient water at
hand to prevent a fire, how great soever. But it was not so. By
ill-luck it happened that the river was at its very lowest, so that


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