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Oliver's whole life; but cannot take effect. Vain for a
Christian King and his cuimingest Chancellors to summon
all the sinners of the Earth, and whatever of necessitous
Truculent-Flunkeyism there may be, and to bid, in the
name of Heaven and of another place, for the Head of
Oliver Cromwell; once for all, they cannot have it, that
Head of Cromwell ; not till he has entirely done with it,
and can make them welcome to their benefit from it.


"!N the month of October, 1655," there was seen a
strange sight at Bristol in the West. A Procession of
Eight Persons ; one, a man on horseback, riding single ; the
others, men and women, partly riding double, partly on foot,
in the muddiest highway, in the wettest weather ; singing,
all but the single rider, at whose bridle splash and walk two
women : " Hosannah ! Holy, holy ! Lord God of Sabaoth ! "
and other things, " in a buzzing tone," which the impartial
hearer could not make out. The single-rider is a rawboned


male figure, " with lank hair reaching below his cheeks ; "
hat drawn close over his brows ; " nose rising slightly in the
middle ; " of abstruse " down look," and large dangerous
jaws strictly closed : he sings not ; sits there covered ; and
is sung to by the others bare. Amid pouring deluges, and
mud knee-deep : " so that the rain ran in at their necks, and
they vented it at their hose and breeches " : a spectacle to
the West of England and Posterity ! Singing as above ;
answering no question except in song. From Bedminster
to Ratcliffe Gate, along the streets to the High Cross of
Bristol: at the High Cross they are laid hold of by the
Authorities ; turn out to be James Nayler and Company.
James Nayler, " from Andersloe " or Ardsley " in York-
shire," heretofore a Trooper under Lambert ; now a Qua-
ker and something more. Infatuated Nayler and Com-
pany; given up to Enthusiasm, to Animal-Magnetism, to
Chaos and Bedlam in one shape or other ! Who will need
to be coerced by the Major-Generals, I think ; to be for-
warded to London, and there sifted and cross-questioned.
Is not the Spiritualism of England developing itself in
strange forms ? The Hydra, royalist and sansculottic, has
many heads.


THE Grand Sea- Armament which sailed from Portsmouth
at Christmas, 1654, proved unsuccessful. It went west-
ward ; opened its sealed Instructions at a certain latitude ;
found that they were instructions to attack Hispaniola, to
attack the Spanish Power in the West Indies ; it did attack
Hispaniola, and lamentably failed; attacked the Spanish
Power in the West Indies, and has hitherto realized almost
nothing, a mere waste Island of Jamaica, to all* appear-
ance little worth the keeping at such cost. It is hitherto


the unsuccessfulest enterprise Oliver Cromwell ever had
concern with. Desborow fitted it out at Portsmouth, while
the Lord Protector was busy with his First refractory Ped-
ant Parliament ; there are faults imputed to Desborow : but
the grand fault the Lord Protector imputes to himself, That
he chose, or sanctioned the choice of Generals, improper to
command it. Sea-General Penn, Land-General Venables,
they were unfortunate, they were incompetent ; fell into
disagreements, into distempers of the bowels ; had crit-
ical Civil Commissioners with them, too, who did not mend
the matter. Venables lay " six weeks in bed," very ill of
sad West-India maladies ; for the rest, a covetous lazy dog,
who cared nothing for the business, but wanted to be home
at his Irish Government again. Penn is Father of Penn
the Pennsylvanian Quaker ; a man somewhat quick of tem-
per " like to break his heart," when affairs went wrong ;
unfit to right them again. The two Generals came volun-
tarily home in the end of last August [1655], leaving the
wreck of their forces in Jamaica; and were straightway
lodged in the Tower for quitting their post.

A great Armament of Thirty, nay of Sixty ships ; of
Four-thousand soldiers, two regiments of whom were vet-
erans, the rest a somewhat sad miscellany of broken Royal-
ists, unruly Levellers, and the like, who would volunteer,
whom Venables augmented at Barbadoes, with a still more
unruly set to Nine-thousand : this great Armament the
Lord Protector has strenuously hurled, as a sudden fiery
bolt, into the dark Domdaniel of Spanish Iniquity in the far
West ; and it has exploded there, almost without effect
The Armament saw Hispaniola, and Hispaniola with fear
and wonder saw it, on the 14th of April, 1055: but the
Armament, a sad miscellany of distempered unruly persons,
durst not land " where Drake had landed," and at once take
the Town and Island : the Armament hovered hither and
thither; and at last agreed to land some sixty miles off:


marched therefrom through thick-tangled woods, under trop-
ical heats, till it was nearly dead with mere marching;
was then set upon by ambuscadoes ; fought miserably ill,
the unruly persons of it, or would not fight at all; fled
back" to its ships a mass of miserable disorganic ruin ; and
" dying there at the rate of two-hundred a day," made for

Jamaica, a poor unpopulous Island, was quickly taken, as
rioh Hispaniola might have been, and the Spaniards were
driven away : but to men in biliary humor it seemed hardly
worth the taking or the keeping. " Immense Proves of
wild cattle: cows and horses, run about Jamaica"; dusky
Spaniards dwell in hatos, in unswept shealings : " 80,000
hogs are killed every year for the sake of their lard, which
is sold under the name of hog's-butter at Carthagena " : but
what can we do with all that ! The poor Armament con-
tinuing to die as if by murrain, and all things looking worse
and worse to poor biliary Generals. Sea- General Penn set
sail for home, whom Land- General Venables swiftly fol-
lowed: leaving Vice-Admiral Goodson, " Major- General
Fortescue," or almost whosoever liked, to manage in their
absence, and their ruined moribund forces to die as they
could ; and are now lodged in the Tower, as they de-
served to be. The Lord Protector, and virtually England
with him, had hoped to see the dark empire of bloody
Antichristian Spain a little shaken in the West; some
reparation got for its inhuman massacrings, and long con-
tinued tyrannies, massacrings, exterminations of us, " at
St. Kitts in 1629, at Tortuga in 1637, at Santa Cruz
in 1650 " : so, in the name of England, had this Lord Pro-
tector hoped ; and he has now to take his disappointment.

The ulterior history of these "Western Affairs, of this new
Jamaica under Cromwell, lies far dislocated, drowned deep,
in the Slumber-Lakes of Thurloe and Company ; in a most
dark, stupefied, and altogether dismal condition. A history


indeed, which, as you painfully fish it up and by d<

Aen it to life, is in itself sufficiently dismal. Not
much to be intermeddled with here. The English loft in
Jamaica, the English sue .hither, prospe

as lu-ed be: still die. soldiers and settlers of them,
frightful rate per day : languish, for most part, astonished in
their sultry strange new element : and cannot be brought to
front with right manhood the deadly inextricable jungle of
tropical confusions, oim-r and inner, in which they find them-

l>rave Governors, For;<sene, Sedg-.vick. r.rayne.

* :ber, die rapidly, of the climate and of broken
heart ; their life-tire all > B, in that dark chaos, and

no result visible. It is painful to read what misbe-
havior there is. what difficulties there are.

Almost the one strady light-point in the business is the
Protector's own spirit of determination. If England have
now a West-India Im< 1 Jamaica be an Island
worth something, it is to this Protector mainly that we owe
it. Here too. as in former dark Hope shines in
him, like a pillar if fire, when it has gone out in all the
others." Having put his hand to this work, he will r
any discouragement turn back. Jamaica shall yet be a col-
ony ; Spain and its dark Domdaniel shall yet be smitten to
the heart, the enemies of God and His Gospel, by the
soldiers and servants of God. It must, and it shall. We
have failed in the West, but not wholly ; in the West and in
the East, by sea and by land, as occasion shall be min-
istered, we will try it again and again Reinforce-
ment went on the back of reinforcement, during this Pro-
tector's lifetime; "a Thousand Irish Girls" went; not to
speak of the rogue-aud-vagabond species from Scotland.
"we can help you" at any time "to two or three hundred
of these," And so at length a West-India Interest did take
root; and bears spices and poisous, and other produce, to
this day.



Mu.i:s Si.MH.KroMi;, now a cashiered muster hV

is once a zealous Deptford in. I, v. :
li-ied to fi'jiii lor j,ib-r inning of these wars.

!!<, Ion -hi -trolley on the side of Liberty, bcin^

lowj then gradually got astray into !, \
c|lin;_' COUr <"-, and wandered ever d< -eper there, till day-
I it became quite dark. He waH one

i-d Corporals, or Quartermasters,
doomed to ,t I 'nirf>rd, M;vcri years ago: but he es-

ni;_'lit. ;ui'l w;i* nol -hot llu;rc; took Mi\
Scotland; got again to be Quartermaster ; was in tlj<; Over-
ton J'lot, lor Beising Monk and marching into I-^ngland,
lately; \\ h<Tcuj;on Monk ea^hiered hini : and he carne to
; lo<l^<-<! himself here, in a sulky threadbare man-
ner, in Ak-itia or elsewhere. A gloomy man and Ex-
Qii.-iri'-i master; has become one of Sexby' people, " on the;
faith of A Tin! linn Kin^"; nolliing now left of him but the
fierceness, groping some path for itself, in the utter dark.
Henry Toope, one of his Highnesses Lifeguard: gives us,
or will give us, an inkling of Sindercomb ; and we know
hin# of his courses and inventions, whieh are many.
He rode in Hyde 1'ark among his Iligbness's escort, with
; but the deed could not then be done. Leave me
the 1600, said he ; and I will find a way to do it. Sexby
left it him ami went abroad.

Inventive Sindercomb then took a House in Hammer-
smith; Garden-House, I think, "whieh had a banqueting-
room looking into the road"; road very narrow at that
part; road from Whitehall to Hampton Court on Satur-
day-afternoons. Inventive Sindercomb here set about pro-
viding blunderbusses of the due explosive force, ancient
''infernal machines," in fact, with these he will blow hi*


Highness's Coach and his Highness's self into small pieces,
if it please Heaven. It did not please Heaven, prob-
ably not Henry Toope of his Highuess's Lifeguard. This
first scheme proved a failure.

Inventive Sindercomb, to justify his 1600, had to try
something. He decided to fire Whitehall by night, and ha\ e
a stroke at his Highness in the tumult. He has " a hun-
dred swift horses, two in a stable, up and down " : set a
hundred stout ruffians on the back of these, in the nocturnal
fire ; and try Thursday, 8th January, 1656-7 ; that is to be
the Night. On the dusk of Thursday, January 8th, he with
old-trooper Cecil, his second in the business, attends Public
Worship in Whitehall Chapel ; is seen loitering there after-
wards, " near the Lord Lambert's seat." Nothing more is
seen of him : but about half-past eleven at night, the senti-
nel on guard catches a smell of fire ; finds holed wain-
scots, picked locks ; a basket of the most virulent wildfire,
" fit almost to burn through stones," with lit match slowly
creeping towards it, computed to reach it in some half-hour
hence, about the stroke of midnight! His Highness is
summoned, the Council is summoned ; alas, Toope of the
Lifeguard is examined and Sindercomb's lodging is known.
Just when the wildfire should have blazed, two Guardsmen
wait upon Sindercomb ; seize him, not without hard defence
on his part, "wherein his nose was nearly cut off" ; bring
him to his Highness. Toope testifies ; Cecil peaches :
inventive Sindercomb has failed for the last time. To the
Tower with him, to a jury of his country with him ! The
emotion in the Parliament and in the Public, next morning,
was great. It had been proposed to ring an alarm at the
moment of discovery, and summon the Trainbands ; but his
Highness would not hear of it.

This Parliament, really intent on settling the Nation,
could not want for emotions, in regard to such a matter!
Parliament adjourns for a week, till the roots of the Pic t are


investigated somewhat. Parliament, on reassembling, ap-
points a day of Thanksgiving for the Nation ; Friday, come
four weeks, which is February 20th, that shall be the gen-
eral Thanksgiving Day : and in the mean time we decide to
go over in a body, and congratulate his Highness. A mark

of great respect to him

On Monday, 9th February, Sindercomb was tried by a
jury in the Upper Bench ; and doomed to suffer as a traitor
and assassin, on the Saturday following. The night before
Saturday his poor Sister, though narrowly watched, smug-
gled him some poison : he went to bed, saying, " Well, this
is the last time I shall go to bed " ; the attendants heard him
snore heavily, and then cease ; they looked, and he lay dead.
" He was of that wretched sect called Soul- Sleepers, who be-
lieve that the soul falls asleep at death " ; a gloomy, far-mis-
guided man. They buried him on Tower-hill, with due igno-
miny, and there he rests ; with none but frantic Anabaptist
Sexby, or Deceptive Presbyterian Titus, to sing his praise.


LAND- GENERAL REYNOLDS has gone to the French Neth-
erlands, with Six-thousand men, to join Turenne in fighting
the Spaniards there ; and Sea-General Montague, is about
hoisting his flag to co-operate with him from the other ele-
ment. By sea and land are many things passing ; and
here in London is the loudest thing of all : not yet to be
entirely omitted by us, though now it has fallen very silent
in comparison. Inauguration of the Lord Protector ; second
and more solemn Installation of him, now that he is fully
recognized by Parliament itself. He cannot yet, as it
proves, be crowned King ; but he shall be installed in his
Protectorship with all solemnity befitting such an occasion.

Friday, 2Qth June, 1657. The Parliament and all the


world are busy with this grand affair; the labors of the
Session being now complete, the last finish being now given
to our new Instrument of Government, to our elaborate
Petition and Advice, we will add this topstone to the work,
and so amid the shoutings of mankind, disperse for the:
recess. Friday at two o'clock, " in a place prepared," duly
prepared, with all manner of " platforms," " cloths of state,"
and " seats raised one above the other," " at the upper end of
Westminster Hall." Palace Yard, and London generally,
is all a-tiptoe, out of doors. Within doors, Speaker Wid-
drington and the Master of the Ceremonies have done their
best : the Judges, the Aldermen, the Parliament, the Coun-
cil, the foreign Ambassadors, and domestic Dignitaries with-
out end ; chairs of state, cloths of state, trumpet-peals, and
acclamations of the people " Let the reader conceive it ; or
read in old pamphlets the " exact relation " of it with all the
speeches and phenomena, worthier than such things usually
are of being read.

" His Highness standing under the Cloth of State," says
Bulstrode, whose fine feelings are evidently touched by it,
" the Speaker, in the name of the Parliament, presented to
him : First, a Robe of purple velvet ; which the Speaker,
assisted by Whitlocke and others, put upon his Highness.
Then he," the Speaker, " delivered to him the Bible richly
gilt and bossed," an affecting symbolic Gift : " After that,
the Speaker girt the Sword about his Highness ; and deliv-
ered into his hand the Sceptre of massy gold. And then,
this done, he made a Speech to him on these several things
presented " ; eloquent mellifluous Speech, setting forth the
high and true significance of these several Symbols, Speech
still worth reading ; to which his Highness answered in
silence by dignified gesture only. " Then Mr. Speaker
gave him the Oath"; and so 'ended really in a solemn man-
ner. "And Mr. Manton, by prayer, recommended his
Highness, the Parliament, the Council, the Forces by land


and sea, and the whole Government and People of the
Three Nations, to the blessing and protection of God."
And then "the people gave several great shouts"; and
" the trumpets sounded ; and the Protector sat in his chair
of state, holding the Sceptre in his hand " ; a remarkat le
sight to see. "On his right sat the Ambassador of
France," on his left some other Ambassador ; and all round,
standing or sitting, were Dignitaries of the highest quality ;
"and near the Earl of Warwick, stood the Lord Viscount
Lisle, stood General Montague and Whitlocke, each of
them having a drawn sword in his hand," a sublime sight
to some of us !

And so this Solemnity transacts itself; which, at the
moment, was solemn enough ; and is not yet, at this or any
hollowest moment of Human History, intrinsically alto-
gether other. A really dignified and veritable piece of Sym-
bolism; perhaps the last we hitherto, in these quack-ridden
histrionic ages, have been privileged to see on such an occa-


His Highness, before this Monday's sun sets [Feb. 4,
1658], has begun to lodge the Anarchic Ringleaders, Roy-
alist, Fifth-Monarchist, in the Tower ; his Highness is bent
once more with all his faculty, the Talking- Apparatus being
gone, to front this Hydra, and trample it down once again.
On Saturday he summons his Officers, his Acting- Appara-
tus, to Whitehall round him ; explains to them " in a Speech
two hours long" what kind of Hydra it is; asks, Shall it con-
quer us, involve us in blood and confusion ? They answer
from their hearts, No, it shall not ! " We will stand and
fall with your Highness, we will live and die with you ! "
It is the last duel this Oliver has with any Hydra foment-



ed into life by a Talking- Apparatus ; and he again conquers
it, invincibly compresses it, as he has heretofore done.

One day, in the early days of March next, his Highness
said to Lord Broghil : An old friend of yours is in Town,
the Duke of Ormond, now lodged in Drury Lane, at the
Papist Surgeon's there ; you had better tell him to be gone !
Whereat his Lordship stared; found it a fact however ; and
his Grace of Ormond did go with exemplary speed, and got
again to Bruges and the Sacred Majesty, with report That
Cromwell had many enemies, but that the rise of the Roy-
alists was moonshine. Arid on the 12th of the month his
Highness had the Mayor and Common Council with him in
a body at Whitehall ; and " in a Speech at large " explained
to them that his Grace of Ormond was gone only " on Tues-
day last " ; that there were Spanish Invasions, Royalist In-
surrections, and Frantic-Anabaptist Insurrections rapidly
ripening ; that it would well beseem the City of London
to have its Militia in good order. To which the Mayor and
Common Council " being very sensible thereof," made zeal-
DUS response by speech and by act. In a word, the Talk-
ing-Apparatus being gone, and an Oliver Protector no\v at
the head of the Acting- Apparatus, no Insurrection, in the
eyes of reasonable persons, had any chance. The leading
Royalists shrank close into their privacies again, consid-
erable numbers of them had to shrink into durance in the
Tower. Among which latter class his Highness, justly in-
censed, and " considering," as Thurloe says, " that it was not
lit there should be a Plot of this kind every winter," had
determined that a High Court of Justice should take cogni-
zance of some. High Court of Justice is accordingly nomi-
nated as the Act of Parliament prescribes : among the par-
ties marked for Trial by it are Sir Henry Slingsby, long
since prisoner for Penruddock's business, and the Rev. Dr.
Hewit, a man of much forwardness in Royalism. Sir Henry,
prisoner in Hull and acquainted with the Chief Officers


there, has been treating with them for betrayal of the place
to his Majesty ; has even, to that end, given one of them a
Majesty's Commission ; for whose Spanish Invasion such a
Haven and Fortress would have been extremely convenient.
Reverond Dr. Hewit, preaching by sufferance, according to
the old ritual, " in St. Gregory's Church near Paul's, " to a
select disaffected audience, has farther seen good to distin-
guish himself very much by secular zeal in this business of
the Royalist Insurrection and Spanish Charles-Stuart Inva-
sion ; which has now come to nothing, and left poor Dr.
Hewit in a most questionable position. Of these two, and
of others, a High Court of Justice shall take cognizance.

The Insurrection having no chance in the eyes of reason-
able Royalists, and they in consequence refusing to lead it,
the large body of tmreasouable Royalists now in London
City, or gathering thither, decide, with indignation, That they
will try it on their own score and lead it themselves. Hands
to work, then, ye unreasonable Royalists ; pipe, All hands !
Saturday the 1 oth of May, that is the night appointed : To
rise that Saturday Night ; beat drums for u Royalist Ap-
prentices," ' k fire houses at the Tower," slay this man, slay
that, and bring matters to a good issue. Alas, on the very
edge of the appointed hour, as usual, we are all seized ; the
ringleaders of us are all seized, " at the Mermaid in Cheap-
side," for Thurloe and his Highness have long known
what we were upon ! Barkstead, Governor of the Tower,
" marches into the City with five drakes," at the rattle of
which every Royalist Apprentice, and party implicated,
shakes in his shoes: and this also has gone to vapor,
leaving only for result certain new individuals of the Civic
class to give account of it to the High Court of Justice.

Tuesday, 25th May, 1658, the High Court of Justice sat ;
a formidable Sanhedrim of above a Hundred-and-thirty
heads ; consisting of " all the Judges," chief Law Officials,
and others named in the Writ, according to Act of Parlia-


ment ; sat " in Westminster Hall, at nine in the morning,
for the Trial of Sir Henry Slingsby, Knight, John Hewit,
Doctor of Divinity," and three others whom we may forget.
Sat day after day till all were judged. Poor Sir Henry, on
the first day, was condemned ; he pleaded what he could,
poor gentleman, a very constant Royalist all along ; but the
Hull business was too palpable ; he was condemned to die.
Reverend Dr. Hewit, whose proceedings also had become
very palpable, refused to plead at all ; refused even " to take
off his hat," says Carrion Heath, " till the officer was coming
to do it for him " ; had a <k Paper of Demurrers prepared by
the learned Mr. Prynne," who is now again doing business
this way ; " conducted himself not very wisely," says Bui-
strode. He likewise received sentence of death. The oth-
ers, by narrow missing, escaped ; by good luck, or the Pro-
tector's mercy, suffered nothing.

As to Slingsby and Hewit, the Protector was inexorable.
Hewit has already taken a very high line : let him perse-
vere in it! Slingsby was the Lord Fauconberg's uncle,
married to his Aunt Bellasis ; but that could not stead him,
perhaps that was but a new monition to be strict with
him. The Commonwealth of England and its Peace are not
nothing! These Royalist Plots every winter, deliveries
of garrisons to Charles Stuart, and reckless " usherings of us
into blood," shall end! Hewit and Slingsby suffered on
Tower Hill, on Monday, 8th June; amid the manifold
rumor and emotion of men. Of the City insurrectionists
six were condemned ; three of whom were executed, three
pardoned. And so the High Court of Justice dissolved
itself; and at this and not at more expense of blood, the
huge Insurrectionary movement ended, and lay silent within
its caves again.

Whether in any future year it would have tried another
rising against such a Lord Protector, one does not know,
one guesses rather in the negative. The Royalist Cause.


after so many failures, after such a sort of enterprises u on
the word of a Christian King," had naturally sunk very low.
Some twelvemonth hence, with a Commonwealth not now
under Cromwell, but only under the impulse of Cromwell,
a Christian King hastening down to the Treaty of the Pyr-
enees, where France and Spain were making Peace, found
one of the coldest receptions. Cardinal Mazarin " sent his

Online Libraryi00bostFavorite authors in prose and poetry → online text (page 48 of 66)