George Nugent Grenville Nugent.

Some memorials of John Hampden : his party and his times online

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the wisely moderate and the scrupulously good who have usually
the greatest difficulty in deciding for themselves. It is they
therefore who have the greatest risk to run of differing from
each other in their decisions. And if this were remembered
in reviewing the conduct of men and parties in difficult times,
there would be more charity and more truth in the conclusions
both of those who act in public affairs and of those who write
about them.

At the head of those who, friends of liberty, when the
contest became irreconcilable between King and people, took
part, for the sake of the monarchy, with the King, and who,
having taken that part, clove to it with eagerness and fidelity,
at the head of these Lord Falkland may not improperly be
placed. On the motives""6l his conduct, at a crisis to him of
such unhappiness, there seems to be no stain ; nor is there any
cause assigned for his change of parties, at the time and in the
manner in which it happened, that can be a dishonour to his
memory. It was not, like Colepeper's, to be suspected of
having arisen from any appetiteTfor office ; for dates and facts
show that he abstained from serving the King, in place, until
he ran the risk, by further refusal, of encouraging a sup-
position that he declined to render himself answerable for the
advice he gave. And then he eagerly embraced the office for
the sake of the responsibility it imposed. It was not, like
Hyde's, mixed up with any jealousies or resentments ; for he
long resisted the persuasions of Hyde to think ill of the inten-
tions of those against whose acts he thought it necessary to
protest. Least of all was it from a spirit of intrigue, or
of self-advancement by unworthy artifices, such as suited


the minds and morals of many factious men; for we have
other testimony corroborative of that of Clarendon, that the
scrupulous virtue of Falkland forbade him generally from
recurring to such means of information or assistance as could
not be given without violation of morality and honour.*
Indeed we may well believe his friend's eloquent tribute to be
but little exaggerated, and that it was but the truth to say
that he took more pains to avoid office than most men do to
gain itT-imd-Hrat her Treed no means to persuade the King to
besfow office upon him, but deserving it.

Unqualified and unsuspected praise may also be given to
some others who followed in his course : high-minded and
steady friends of liberty, who yet, to use the metaphor of one
of them, 'had they seen the Crown of England on a hedge
' stake/ would have remained with it to the death to defend it.
Among these we may fairly class Lord Hertford, Lord
Dunsmore, Lord Capel, Lord Paget, and' J$ir "Ralph HopTon.
OTothers, who" subscribed TugTi and honourable names to the
Declaration which was drawn out under the shadow of the
King's standard, such as Newcastle, Paulet, Northampton.
Derby, and Lindsey, the fir st~oi' w horn was appointed General
of the King's Korthern Army, and the last Lieutenant General
in Chief of the forces which he himself commanded in person,
little need be said but. that, from the beginning, and to the
utmost extent, supporters of the policy of the King, they
were bold, uncompromising, and faithful to him, in his need.
Some there were, on that side, such as Saville, and Salisbury,
and some who began by taking the field with the parliamentary
party, such as Goring, Clare, Northumberland, Holland (and
unhappily we must add, afterwards, Bedford too), who changed
more than once in the course of the war, concerning whom
the less enquiry is made with reference to the purity of their
apparent motives the more charitably will their memories be

* The only exception I can find is in the correspondence, which he
conducted for the King, with the conspirators in Waller's plot. It would
be most unjust to impeach the honour of a public man, because, in the
furtherance of a great cause, he may be obliged, on occasions, to accept
the services of unworthy agents. Xor does this cast any blame on
Falkland. But Clarendon was not justified, with all that he must have
known of the missions of Mr. Alexander Hampden and of the Lady
Aubigny, in saying that Falkland ' could never bring himself to give any
' countenance or entertainment ' to such as ' by communication of guilt or
' dissimulation of manners, wind themselves into such trusts and secrets
.' as enable them to make discoveries.'


dealt with. Such there must be at all times, who, to the
great damage of public liberty, join the popular cause on
account of private disgusts, of personal expectations, or for
the sake of becoming important, in the only way open to
them, by tampering alternately with both parties.

Sir Edmund Verney was appointed Standard-bearer to the
King. " He had notaste for courts, had ever sided with the
country party in Parliament, and not only felt, but expressed,
doubts of the justice of the cause on which he was entering.*
He stated, as his sole motive, a soldier-like reason, showing
more anxiety not to do wrong than reflection to guide him in
doing right, of the sincerity of which, however, from the
hour when he reluctantly raised the standard to that at which
he bravely died defending it, there is no ground of doubt.
He said ' he had eaten the King's bread/ and was therefore
bound to his service in personal honour; otherwise he dis-
approved of the cause in which he was engaged :t a sentiment
fit only for a feudal vassal, which had carelessly been allowed
a place in the heart of a high-minded gentleman.

It was at this unpromising period of the King's affairs that
the brave Sir Bevjll Grenvil declared himself in the field, and
in a moment oi' general doubt and dismay, first published the
, commission of array and raised troops and occupied a line of
posts in the West. In his native county of Cornwall, which
he had long represented in Parliament, he^fifok his part,
as one who, having weighed and resolved with caution, was

Inow ready to act with determination and effect. There was no
man who had more faithfully done his duty in the House of
Commons against the arbitrary measures of the King. He
had early associated himself with the reformers of abuses, and,
personally and politically attached to Sir John Eliot, had
joined in the remonstrances upon his commitment, in one of
his letters to his wife, his 'best friend the Lady Grace Grenvil/
many of which give so amiable a view of his private virtues
and gentleness of disposition, he speaks of Eliot as being
' resolved to h^yf hint out of his imprisonment/ He had also,
much laFer, put himself at the head of a local opposition to the
ship-money^ and in 1640, presented to the House of Uom-
~the" petition and remonstrance of Watford and of other

* Sir P. Warwick's Memoirs. Clarendon, Life,
t Clarendon, Life. Ludlow's Memoirs.


towns in Hertfordshire.* But Sir Bevill seems never to have
contemplated the possibility of any justification in any case for
a subject resisting a sovereign in arms, and to have considered
the weapons of war as to be used by a good man at the
bidding of his sovereign only, and then that such bidding
always makes the use just and glorious. Such was his
feeling even as early as the first Scottish war, though under-
taken by the insurgents in defence of those very principles of
personal and religious liberty which he had always manfully
supported in parliament. In a letter to Morice, dated New- '
castle, May lo, 1639,f he says ' For my part, I go with joy s
' and comfort to venture my life in as good a cause, and with 1
' as good company, as ever Englishman did; and I do take God ,'
' to witness, if I were to choose a death, it should be no other }
' but this/ He appears to have always indulged himself in a '
melancholy foreboding, strange in so brave and fixed a mind,
of the rate which really befell him early in the civil wars.
In the following letter he justifies to an affectionate and
anxious friend his quitting his home, his children, and that
amiable and high-minded woman by whom his strong love was
so well deserved, for the purpose of entering on a service in
which he \vas, ever after, in life and death, among the foremost.
It so well lays open his pure and gallant heart, that it deserves
insertion :

To Sir Jo. Trelaicny.

Mo. Hon. S r , I have in many kindes had tryall of y r noblenes,
but in none more than in this singular expression of y r kind care
and love. 1 give also y r excell 1 Lady humble thankcs lor respect
unto my poore woman, who hath been long a faithful I much obliged
servant of your Ladyes. But, S r , for my journey, it is fixt.
I cannot coi.taine myself w th in mv doores when the k" of Eng s

1 I, 1* UJ-J- - JM^MM^^ff^^^^MTM^^^BELU-JBUiMMM>M>MMF

standard \va\r^ \\\ the field upon so just occasion tl.r cause being
such' as must make all those that dye in it little interiour to ,
martyrs. Ami, for myne owne, I desire to ac([uire a:i lionest '
name, or an in.ii' )lc grave. I never loved my life or ease so much
as to sliunn such an occasion, w ch if I should, I were unworthy of
the profession 1 have held, or to succede those ances. of mine, who ,'
have so many of them, in severall ages, sacrificed their lives for I
their country.
' S r , the barbarous and implacable enemy, (notwithstanding His

* Commons' Journals. t Hardwick Papers.


' Majesty's gracious proceedings w th them.) do continue their
' insolencies and rebellion in the highest degree, and are united in
' a body of great strength ; so as you must expect, if they be not
' prevented and mastered neer their own homes, they will be
' troublesome in y rs , and in the remotest pl s ere long.

' I am not w th out the consideration, (as you lovingly advise,) of
' my wife and family ; and as for her, I must acknowledge she hath
' ever drawne so evenly in her yoke with me as she hath never
' prest before or hung behinde me, nor ever opposed or resisted my
' will. And yet truly I have not, in this or any thing else, endea-
' voured to walke in the way of power w th her, but of reason ; and
' though her love will submit to either, yet truly my respect will not
' suffer me to urge her with power, unless I can convince with
' reason. So much for that, whereof I am willing to be accomptable
' unto so good a friend.

' I have no suite unto you in mine owne behalfe, but for y r
' prayers and good wishes, and that, if I live to come home againe,
' you would please to continue me in the number of your servants.

' I shall give a true relation unto my very nob. friend Mr. Mo.
' (Moyle) of y r and his aunt's loving respects to him, which he hath
' good reason to be thankfull for ; and so, I beseech God to send
' you and your nob. family all health and happiness ; and, while

' i live > . T c-

' I am, Sir,
' Y r unfay. lov. and fai. serv.

' B. G.' *

To one of the proudest spirits that ever rose up against the
King iii his injustice and tyranny was joined one of the most
generous that ever lent him its aid in his need and peril. Sir
Bevillhad an almost romantic appetite for danger, which is some-
times apt, unknown to its possessor, to form a powerful quantity
in the scale in which he balances his resolves at a moment like
that of which we are now treating. The generosity of his
nature was such as to make him, at such a time, almost suspect
his own former conduct, and put himself more forward than
perhaps otherwise he would have done, when anything was to
be achieved in a cause which he now thought in its turn to be
oppressed. ' His temper and affections/ says Lord Clarendon,
' were so public, that no accident which happened could make
' any impressions in him ; and his example kept others from
' taking anything ill, or at least, seeming to do so. In a word,

* Among Lord Carteret's papers, discovered and lent to me by the
Lord Bishop of Llandaff.


' a brighter courage and a gentler disposition were never
' married together, to make the most cheerful and innocent I
' conversation/*

The King being now actually in the field, "no time was lost
in the Parliament in displaying and putting into activity all
the various preparations which it had already made for the
war. The raising of troops, and the garrisoning and fortifying
of towns, proceeded with great and increasing rapidity. The
new levies were formed into regiments and brigades. Sir
Thomas Fairfax, who had been sent down to assist Sir John
HoTIiam, began, but with small success, to collect a force,
which was destined to make head against the Marquis of
Newcastle in the north. On Sir^ William Waller, \vho had
commanded at Exeter, devolved li like charge in the west,
where Sir Ralph Hopton, Slanning, ajod Gienvjl, occupied the
greater part of the couniry, and some of the small sea-ports,
for the King. Lord Brook in Warwickshire, Lord Say and
his sons in Northamptonshire, the Earl of Bedford in Bedford-
shire, Lord Kimbolton and Cromwell in Huntingdon and
Cambridgeshire, and Lord Wliarton, Arthur Goodwyn, Mr.
West, Mr. Bulstrode, Mr. Tirrell, and Mr. Richard Grenvil the
High Sheriff, in Buckinghamshire, Skippon, and Holies, and
Stapleton, in Middlesex, and the Shenffs of Essex, TSurFey, and
BerksKire, in their respective counties, formed the militia
reinforcements for the army, which was placed under the chief
direction of the Earl of Essex. This became soon the main
army of the JAirliameut ; an~cI7 in the course of less than I
a month after the raising of the King's standard, the parlia- I
meutarian force throughout England amounted to about 25,000
men. The whole was at the disposal of the Committee of *
Public Safety. The divisions were generally placecr"un3er~the
command of such of the chiefs as had served in the wars of
Gustavus Adolphus ; and a few French and German engineers
were engaged to superintend the fortifications, and the drilling
of the artillery. The brigades and single regiments were
raised and led by such of the noblemen and country gentle-
men as were found combining with their local influence activity,
courage, and genius enough for military affairs to be entrusted
with commands. The regiments of infantry, as their clothing
became more complete, assumed the colours of their respective

* Hist. Reb.


leaders, generally such as had been worn by the serving men
of the families. Holles's were the London red-coats ; Lord
Brook's the purple ; Hampden's the green-coats ; Lord Say's
and Lord Mandeville's {fie blue. The orange, which had long
been the colour of Lord Essex's household, and now that of
hisT3o"6*y-guard, was worn in a scarf over the armour of all the
officers of the Parliament army, as the distinguishing symbol
of their cause. Each regiment also carried a small standard,
or cornet, with, on one side, the device and motto of its

M colonel, and, on the other, the watchword of the Parliament

1| ' God With Us/ The Earl of Essex's bore the inscription,
' Cave,~lulsum/ words not well chosen, as, in the course of
the wars, they sometimes afforded occasion for jest among the
Cavaliers, when his regiment chanced to be seen in retreat, or
engaged in levying contributions, or in some such other duties
which were distasteful to the parts of the country over which
it was moving, and which thus gave a somewhat whimsical air
to the warning. Some of these mottos were better chosen,
and better justified. In the third year of the war, when the
second son of the Earl of Leicester, Algernon Sidney, drew
his youthful sword in that cause to which, in his old age, he
gave testimony with his blood, he inscribed his standard with
these words ' Sanctus Amor Patriae Dat Animum/ The
motto which was borne at the head of Hanipden's regiment

Si marked well its leader's public course, ' Vestigia Nulla

* ' Retrorsum/

The infantry, on account of the scarcity of the weapons of
war, during the first campaign, were variously armed, but the
greater number carried matchlocks, pikes, or pole-axes. The
cavalry were better appointed. The dragoon wore his steel
cap and gorget, back and breast plates, with tassets descending
to the knees, and he carried his long sword, and carbine and
pistols; and some of the horsemen were armed, like the
German Cravats, with long lances. Hazelrigge's regiment of
horse, from the completeness of their defensive armour,
obtained the name of the Lobsters, and Cromwell's that of the
Ironsides. Hampden's green regiment was composed entirely
ofBuckinghamshire men; and his colleague, Arthur Goodwyn
of Upper Winchenden, raised a regiment of cavalry in the
same county.

It appears from the returns of Lord Essex's army, that soon
after the outbreak of the war it must have consisted of, in the


whole, nearly fifteen thousand infantry, and fouf thousand five
hundred horse. Of the former there were twenty regiments.
The Lord General's Body Guard, and the regiments of The Earl
of Peterborough, the Earl of Stamford, Viscount Say, Viscount
Rochford, Viscount St. John, Lord Kimbolton, Lord Brook,
Lord Roberts, Lord Wharton, John Hampden, Denzil Holies,
Sir John Merrick, Sir Henry Cholmely, Sir William Constable,
Sir "William Fairfax, Charles Essex, Thomas Grantham, Thomas
Ballard, and William Bamfield. The cavalry were in seventy-
five troops. These were all raised, as were many of the
infantry regiments, at the charge of their commanders. They
were the Lord General's Life Guard of Gentlemen, and the
troops of the Earls of Bedford, Peterborough, and Stamford,
Viscounts Say, St. John, and Fielding, Lords Brook, Wharton,
Willoughby of Parham, Hastings, Grey of Groby, Sir William
Balfour, Sir William Waller, Sir Arthur Hazelrigge, Sir Walter
Erie, Sir Faithful Fortescue, Nathaniel Francis and John
Fiennes, Oliver Cromwell, Valentine Waughton, Henry Ireton,
Arthur Go'odwyn, John Dalbier, Adrian Scroope, Thomas
Hatcher, John Hotham, Sir Robert Pye, Sir William Wray,
Sir John Saunders, John Alured, Edwyn Sandys, John and
Thomas Hammond, Alexander Pym, Anthony and Henry
Mildmay, James and Thomas Temple, Arthur Evelyn, Eobert
Vivers, Hercules Langrishe, William Pretty, James Sheffield,
John Gunter, Robert and Francis Dowett, John Bird, Mathew

Draper, Dimmocke, Horatio Carey, John Neale, Edward

Ayscough, John and Francis Thompson, Edward Keighley,
Alexander Douglas, Thomas Lydcot, John Fleming, Richard
Greuvil, Thomas Tyrill, John Hale, William Balfour, George
Austin, Edward Wingate, Edward Bayntuu, Charles Chichester,
Walter Long, Edward West, William Anselm, Robert Kirle,
and Simon Rudgeley.* Sir John Merrick was, according to
the military phrase then in use, Serjeant-Major-General of this
army, the Earl of Peterborough General of the Ordnance, and
the Earl of Bedford of the Horse.

Divers loans of money had at various times been advanced
in aid of the Parliament. In these offers the City of London
and the Associated Company of Merchant Adventurers had
taken the lead, as early as in January the former with an
advance of fifty thousand, the latter of thirty thousand pounds,

* List of the Array raised under the command of Robert, Earl of
Essex, 1642.


and a promise of twenty thousand more for the service of
Ireland ; * and the City advanced an additional loan of a
hundred thousand. This had been assisted by voluntary
subscriptions to a great amount throughout the -country.
I There is, in Rushworth, a list consisting of the names of all
I the principal persons of the parliamentary party, affixed to
large sums subscribed for the public service, in which it appears
that John Hampden advanced two sums of a thousand pounds
each. "These payments,~"KoweverJ were inadeqtttrte~~to~~'tiie
d6"uble purpose of suppressing the rebellion in Ireland, and of
putting England in a posture of defence. Scotland had been
applied to for a ' brotherly assistance ' in the Irish affairs.
Fiennes, Stapleton, and Hampden, had been appointed by
Parliament to treat with her Commissioners for the transporting
of two thousand five hundred men from Scotland into Ireland ;
and the Scots sold this assistance at the rate of sixteen thousand
pounds, and the delivery of the town and castle of Carrickfergus
to them in pledge.f But application was now made in vain
by the Parliament to their ' brethren of Scotland ' for support
in the work of placing the country in a state of defence. The
midland counties of England, however, undertook with great
alacrity to bear tin's charge. They voluntarily subscribed their
money and their plate. The cities of London and West-
minster were forward and liberal in their contributions. The
women brought in their rings and jewels, the goldsmiths
and silversmiths their stock, and the train bands mustered
daily to exercise in Moorfields, amid the acclamations of their
fellow-citizens, who, to the no small annoyance of the old
Serjeaiit-Major-General of the London army, General Skippon,
crowded in to 'pledge healths and gratulationspITOt Witntfut
' prayers and thanksgivings, that the Lord had put it into the
' hearts of those brave defenders to stand so stoutly for his
' cause, and for the liberties of the land/;}:

Propositions for further loans of money, at an interest of
eight per cent., were now made, and, for a time, freely
answered. Buckinghamshire was foremost among the counties
with a tender of thirty thousand pounds for the public service,
for which aid it received the thanks of Parliament, through its
representatives, Hampden and Goodwyn. The arrival of

* Commons' Journals, January 15 and 24.

t Commons' Journals, January 25.

City and Country Intelligencer, August 24 to 30.


supplies of troops and money to the King, from the Dutch
and Danes, had been a main cause of alarm to the Parliament.
The sea line of defence became an object of primary import-
ance on this account, and also for cheap and easy transport of
troops and stores to the remoter parts of the island.
The fleet had been entrusted to the Earl of

as Lord High Admiral, by the Parliament, to whom his con-
duct had been most acceptable in the case of the army plot, in
which his brother had been so deeply engaged. But Nor-
thumberland was not a man to be confided in by any party.
It \vns not, perhaps, that lie was treacherous by design; but
he was naturally timid; and his high station in the country,
and the overwrought estimate which he had formed of his own
importance, and perhaps of his own abilities too, made him
reluctant to bind himself to the fortunes of any party, and
gave him a tendency to a course of trimming and intrigue, in
times when no man's interest or reputation could stand but in
close and faithful connexion with one of the two great, parties
in the State, lie had put himself, with the Xavv of England,
at the disposal of Parliament ; but, when called upon to join
the rendezvous of the fleet, he fell sick, and retired to Alnwick.
The Earl of Warwick was instantly named by ordinance to
succeed Him ; and the sailors and officers of the fleet, who had,
ever since the business of the ship money, as a body, taken
part with the merchants in favour of the popular interest,
saluted his flag, and almost unanimously declaring for King
and Parliament, placed themselves and their ships under his
command. A large detachment instantly sailed under Warwick
for the Humber.

It was now that the King, at Nottingham, made overtures
of treaty, sending the Earls of Southampton and Dorset, Sir
John Colepeper, and Sir William Udall, to present them to the
Parliament. Clarendon admits that the King was persuaded
to this by a belief that the Parliament would refuse to treat,
and thereby disgust the country, and that, during the interval,
he might gain time to forward his levies and other prepara-
tions ; aggravating the proofs of the insincere spirit in which
this was done, by citing the very words in which the proposal
was made. ' We assure you, nothing but our Christian and
' pious care to prevent the effusion of blood hath begot this
' motion ; our provision of men, arms, and money, being such
' as may secure us from further violence, till it pleases God to


' open the eyes of our people/ * An effort of duplicity,
superfluous, and quite ineffectual, since the Parliament well
knew the real state of his affairs, and had had frequent experience
of his unhappy habit of making such professions with a dis-

Online LibraryGeorge Nugent Grenville NugentSome memorials of John Hampden : his party and his times → online text (page 32 of 45)