William Ansell Day.

The Pythouse papers: correspondence concerning the civil war, the Popish plot, and a contested election in 1680. Transcribed from mss. in the possession of V.F. Benett-Stanford online

. (page 12 of 13)
Online LibraryWilliam Ansell DayThe Pythouse papers: correspondence concerning the civil war, the Popish plot, and a contested election in 1680. Transcribed from mss. in the possession of V.F. Benett-Stanford → online text (page 12 of 13)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


of y*" Parliam* before my letters could come to y'^ hands ;
but now there is some latter newes w'''' praps you have
not heard, & y' is a second pte to y^ olde tune of
Shameing y*' Plott ; by suborneing of Wittnesses to
sweare severall things whereby to asperce & cast an
odium on y^ Duke of Monmouth & severall other Peeres,
thereby to lighten y* burthen of y^ Papist Lords, y^
pticulers of y*" story I cannot give you, but this is certaine
y' Mr Christian one y^ belongs to y" Earl of Danby is
taken into custody, & it is s'^ y* Blood is likwise appre-
hended, for y^ same fact w^^ three or fowre more, this is
all at psent, with my humble duty to yo'' self & due
respects to all my relations, wisheing all happinesse to
attend you, I take my leave & remain

Your most dutifull Sonn

WM. BENETT

Jan 31st

1679



[No. 58.]

Hon** Mother

This last weeke I writ to you to desire a returne



n

for some money, but now you need not send any bill,
for Mr Cray is in towne & I shall be supplyed by him.
I doe thinke to begin my journey towards you on
Thursday y*" i6th instant, (if I can make ready y""
businesse by y* tyme) therefore I would have my horse
to meet me at Basingstoake on y* day, if you doe not
heare from me to y^ contrary, by y* next post. This
day y*= King in Councell declared y^ Parliam* to be
desolved, & y* a new one shall meet y^ seventh of
October. Heare have ben a report y* there was an at-
tempt made upon y^ King's pson to kill him, at Windsor,
but I thinke there is little truth in it : if you heare of
a small Prophett y* is lately come to towne, about 3 years
old, & three foot high, y' can speake all languages
as you may take my word for it, y^ it is a lye, for, there
is noe more in it but this, y^ father or some other pson
soe soone as y^ childe could speake hath taught it some
few words of Latine & Greeke. Thus w'^ my duty
to yo"" self and kinde respects to all my relations, I take
leave & remaine

Yo" most dutifull Sonn

WM. BENETT

July y"" loth,
1679

These

ffor his honor*^ mother

Mrs. Elizabeth Benett at

Norton Bavent nere

Warminster Wilts.



[No. 59.]

Hon^ Mother

Yesterday in ye afternoone I came to London,



74

my journey was something stormey untill I came to
Gosper nere Portsmouth, w^*" is a place lately fortified
both ags^ ye land & sea. Y^ sea forts lyes conveniently
to impede ye passage of ships y^ shall come into y®
harbor beyond Portsmouth & y^ land works may serve
to secure those forts if any enemy should land at ye
back of them. Portsmouth itselfe is very strong and
they are hard at work to make it stronger. I suppose
you have heard of ye Parliamts being prorogued untill
y^ 26th of January. The People talks veryloudeof these
often putting off of Parliamts & seeme to be much
discontented. It is said y* the Duke of York is to goe
for Scotland next Twesday, this day he went into ye
Citty to dyne there, w'^ the Artillery men at there
accustomed feast, & hereby he may easily pceave y^
affections of y^ People towards him, for as he passed
through Cheapeside y*= multitude gazed at him, but did
not soe much as shew him y® respect of putting off their
hats, this the newest newes of ye towne y^ I can enter-
taine you w^^ at p^'sent, therefore shall take my leave
& w*'' my humble duty to yo' self and kinde respects to
all my relations. Wisheing you health & happinesse
I remain

Yo'^ most dutifull Sonn

WM. BENETT

October ye 20th [or 27th]
1679



[No. 60.]

London No'^^'y 6th 1679
Hon^ Mother

There have been lately a greate discovery made



75

of y*= fained -Presbiterian plott y' was soe much buss'd
about in ye Country ; ye noise whereof, I beleeve
is sufficiently spread into all pts of y*= nation ; the
Papists intending thereby to through off ye odium of
theire plott from themselfs, thought to cast it upon y*=
Presbiterians; for w'^ purpose they used these artifisses;
first to seduce y'^ Kings evidence, viz. Mr Dugdall,*
a man of y*" most unblemished reputation of all y^
discoverers, & sollicited him w*^ y^ promise of greate
rewards, to recant all y* he had given in evidence
ag' y*' preists & Jesuits he resolveing to finde out y^
depth of there designe lead them on with hopes ; but
w*^ all imparted the affaire to severall psons of quality
who at y^ meeteings of Dudgall and Pasborough (whoe
was ye man y* sollicited him) were placed, soe in private
corners, y' they might heare ye discourse, but meeteing
w^^ severall delayes Pasborough did begin to be jealous
of Dugdall ; whereupon, he found out some means to
acquainte y'^ King & Councill, y* Dugdall offered to
recant, for a sume of money ; thereby, thinkeing to
disparage his evidence : but upon examination Dugdall
was cleared in his reputation ; and Pasborough co-
mitted to Newate & to back this stratagem there was
another devise, & as it was to be acted after y^ other
had taken effect, soe it happenned to be discovered
miraculously in y^ like order, they haveing poynted out
severall psons for destruction whom they thought was
ag' there interest, both of ye nobility and gentry, in

* Burnet says of Dugdale * * * " This" (the behaviour of the con-
demned Papists on the scaffold) " began to shake the credit of the
evidence, when a more composed and credible person came in to
support it. One Dugdale, that had been Lord Aston's bailiff, and lived
in a fair reputation in the country, was put in prison for refusing the
oaths of allegiance and supremacy." — Burnet's ' Own Times,' vol. i.
p. 444, edit. 1724.



76

order hereunto, there was one Dangerfeild* alias Willoby,
y* came to a house where one Collonell Mansell lodged,
& took up lodgeings for himselfe, & haveing in a short
tyme an opptunity to goe into ye Collonells chamber,
when he was out of y*" way, under ptence of seeing it ;
placed some letters of treasonable matters behinde his
bed ; and then goes to y"" costome house & informes y*"
officers, y* there was in this Mansells chamber phibited
goods to y"" value of 2000/. & bring them to search,
but they not findeing any such goods, this informer,
wished them to looke behinde ye bed, where immediately
they found ye fores^ papers w''^ being carried to ye
Councell Mansell was sent for & upon examination of y^
matter y" cheat was discovered & the informer sent to
prison * * * * * * it is s*^ have discovered
ye whole affaire now in the middest of these * * *
******* happened that S" William Waller
had some item or suspition that there might be some-
thing of moment in one Mrs. Selliers house where
the S* Omers witnesses lodged & in searcheing found
in the bottom of a meale tub a booke w"^ is a com-
pendium of the whole designe & about 2 dayes since
he found out more of Harcortes papers with a legier
booke, y^ confirmeth ye truth of ye first plott. In this
last villanous contrivance' it is s"^ that Sir Robert Paten
whoe is elected K' of Parliam* for Midd is deeply
concerned & it was farther designed y^ Blood whoe
stole y^ Crown, should be first seised & accused for
designeing to kill y^ King, whoe for y'= sake of his
pardon should impeach all those y^ they had designed
for destruction, & when this was don ye King should be

* " Dangerfield, a subtle and dexterous man, who had gone through
all the shapes and practices of roguery, and in particular was a false

coiner, undertook now to coin a plot for the ends of the Papists."

Burnet's ' Own Times,' vol. i. p 475.



n

on a sudden made away ; I doe not heare y' there is
any evidence ag* Blood or y* he is secured. Ye
Lady Powis is comitted for being an abettor in this
plott, & soe is ye L*^ Castlemaine. Haveing noe more
at psent I shall take my leave w**" my humble duty to
yo"" self & kind respects to all my relations & remaine

Yo^ most dutifull Sonn .

WM. BENETT



LETTERS FROM



WILLIAM BENNETT



TO



COLONEL BENETT.



8o



[No. 6i.]

LETTERS FROM WILLIAM BENNETT TO

COLONEL BENETT.

From Sturmister Mill.

Oct° ye I, *]"]
Dear Cosin

Tho ffarr hath now brought the good newes that
Oberton writeinges are found ; he will give, you a fifarther
account of that. Cosin a peice of land that I very well
know, is now to be sold, all good pasture ground & noe
doubt in the title I alwayes tooke it to be under set at
least lo/. per ann : it lyes in MarnhuU parish, yet but a
mile from Margrett Marsh, I suppose nothinge can be
bought that wil be more certaine of a good tenant, to
take any time what soever, & noe danger of payment of
y*= rent, it is one Mr. Joanes land of Lime a very rich
man, & right honest worthy gentleman, he did not set
it to sale, but I desired Mr Burbidge his brother in Law
to aske him whether he would part with it, he have sent
me a price, & I shall speake with him myselfe next
weeke about it, the value of ye land as now set is a
hundred & five pounds per ann. S' yf you have noe
desire to purchese, I doe by noe meanes endeavor to
pswade you unto it ; yet pray give mee a line by y^ very
next post, in answere unto this, yf it be noe kindnesse
unto you a freind of mine I very well know will gladly
accept it, you are to take notice y* there is noe house
on y^ land, my most faithfull service p'sented unto all
my very good freinds, I meane those what went unto
London with you.

for ever y^ same whilst yo' Unckell

WILL BENNETT



8i



[No. 62.]

Shafton Octo y^ 13. *]"]
Good Cosin

A wensday last I was at your ffarme at Codford,
& the next morn : Jefery & I was there againe but to
noe purpose at all ; for Mr Ingrum & some others ; have
quite altered y^ ffarmer last resolves for the errable that
belongs to y^ farme the Cow Lease & house was the
only bargaine he now p'^ferred rent for, that I did not
thinke fit to consent unto & soe we parted, he beinge
willinge to speake with you about y^ errable & Cow
lease. Cosin I am told y" ffarmer Shephard of Litle
Ambesbury, wants a ffarme at this instant of time for
his Lanlord have sold that he now lives in, & y^ pur-
chaser comes to live in y^ farme I have sent unto him
about yo'' haveing some acquaintance with him myselfe
the onely thinge I doubpt of yf it he comes to view your
farme, is the very meanesse of your house & a stable
not fit for any good cart horse to stand in, I thinke it
wil be some what hard to gett a good sufficient tenant,
to be pleased with y^ house & much more dislike unto
y^ stable, I shall make it part of my buishnesse to set
your ffarme against you come downe.

Sir

Your sistere Patience desires me to p^sent her
humble service to her freinds & shee likewise intreats
my Bro. Matth : Bennett & your advice as in relation to
Mr. Bishope & herselfe noe nuptiall vow is to be made,
but with your good likeinge his estate I have seen about
^v^ hundred & fiftie pounds p an ; engagements are not
fit to be named on Letters, yf you please a line in
answere is desired to her concerne. Jefery p^sent his

M



82

humble service, & desired me to satisfie my deare Cosen,
& yo Lady with what she desired, sheepe bought at
Shrowton 1080 at 10^ a peice more at Shrowton 40 at
7/6 a peice 10 shillinges giv^'' back againe 100 sheepe
from Stofton farme 11' a peice 100 sheepe from y^
farmer Turke 12^ a peice from John Imprum 80 sheepe
1 2^ a peice in the whole 500 sheepe 2 hundred sold from
Codford at 14^ a peice the same

W. B.



[No. 63.]

East Orch, June ye 13, yS.
Dear Cosin,

I have yo*"^ of ye 11 now before me, and Mr.
Churchill or by his order shal be payd loolb upon sight.
Jeffrey Long is now with me, he canot returne you any
mony, I have ordered him to bringe what mony he can
make upp, unto Mr. Dibben and myself a Satterday
next, wee will returne it unto you, (yf possible to be done)
by Carryer, yf not otherwise.

Sir

I most heartily thank you, in relation unto your
very kinde proferr, to doe my sone the honor as to be
taken notice of, by soe very great psons (yf you please)
pray doe not mention any thinge unto him, untill you
here againe from me about it, yf it were possible to
make him a prebend of Gloster, ye next turne y' falls,
noethinge soe good for him as I thinke.

I have spoken with Mr. Dibben alreadie about
account, & will speake with him againe to morrow. I
could wish Mr. Dibben was psnt when your account is
stated, but he is very much imployed, & you best know
whether Mr. White can well goe through with it.



83

S'" I sent you a lett : ye last weeke, I doe not
finde by yo""^ that it came unto yo hand, it was to minde
yo of loo/. I payd unto Mr. Dibben, which you pmised
to pay, when I last saw you, & made my account with
you, Tom ffarr being psent, and when I came to pay
Mr. Dibben y® loo/. I was in your debpt, he told me he
wanted y"^ other loo/. also, & I payd that loo/. likewise,
but without yo order & soe I borowed it. by reason
Mr. Cheswell failed of payinge in mony to pay Mistris
Pile, as you had ordered Mr. Dibben and myselfe
to receive, I sent a lett about it 2 months since and
mentioned y^ same unto you, but rec"^ no answere unto
y' pticular.

Mr. Bower have not payd his loolb as yet by
reason I had not y^ mortgage I would not take it, I
thinke he will pay in but 100/. of 200/. due, I have credit
enough but forth of mony at present. My ffaithful
service psented is all at psent from

Your ever obliged Unckell,

WILL BENNET.

When the good Deane of Gloster comes unto
London he wil be willing to doe any thinge in his power
as to procure y^ next grant for a prebend, but these are
great favors, to hard I doubt for me to obtaine : my
Bro. Matth once prmised to move the speaker in it.



[No. 64.]

East Orch, Jann. y*^ 7, 78.
Deare Cosin,

I rec'^ yo'' but this morn : Yo Mother hath taken
Mr. Bury 300/. into her hands & taken it as her owne
mony ; but yf you write a line unto her, she will deliver



84

ye 300/. unto Mr. Dibben & he will pay it as you shall
give order. Coll. Butler mony is altogeather uncertaine
when to be payd, yf you will be pleased to write unto
him it is the better. Mr. Bower gave notice of paying
in but 100^'.

S"" I did write unto you once before about a 100/.
I payed unto Mr. Dibben for you, since we accounted...
was 100/. of the 200/. I borrowed of Mr. Dibben to pay
Mistris Pile the day when you went from Shafton,
you & I accounted, Tom ffar being then p'sent, & there
was 100/. then due unto you from me, which you ordered
me to pay unto Mr. Dibben, & you then sayd you would
take course to pay him ye other 100/. but when I came
unto Mr. Dibben to pay my 100/. he told me that he had
not rec'^ y^ 100/. of you, soe I payd him without yo order
& borrowed y'^ 200/. likewise without yo order also, this
I sett forth at length by reason you answered not a word
unto that part of my lett : which was sent 3 weeks since
yf you doe not remember it, I hope y^ same account is
to be found, I have it all upon my booke.

As to all other concerns in yo lett : I will most
dilligendy observe. Mr. Dibben is not at home but after
I have rec"^ yo' next, a full account of what you have now
written unto me about shall be given you, my ffaithfull
service unto my good Cosin y" Lady, for ever ye same
whilst your Unckell.



WILL BENNETT.



Yf my good sister Matt^
be with yo, pray p^'sent
my service unto her and
let know Capt. Blewcoate
is very well.



85

[No. 65.J

East Orch May y^ 31 79
Deare Cosin,

In my last unto you I desired a kindnesse yf it

lay in your way for my Unckell Mr John Snouk which

is bearer hereof, he is a very honest man & I hope will

pforme his duty well in any place he shall undertake, yf

you can doe him any kindnesse, it wil be a very great

favor unto him, & shall alwayes be acknoledged by

Yo^ obliged Unckell &

Servuant

WILL BENNETT.

it is my L"^ Chancellor that have the gift of those pebends

places at Gloster I onely minde it but doe not flatter

myselfe that I have any hopes to p^vaile some of my

Cosin D'^ freinds hath told me he will begin his shute

againe, but I am told mony growes short with him. his

wittnesses had mony before hand last time, yet his Bro.

Roots his ffamily' is now kept most part by y^ all parish

Charitie & his other witnesse is sayd by all that knowes

him that Lovell Winterburne nor any Weekes in Shafton

can come neare him yf he be told his story right, he is

your Bro. D"" Baliffe at y^ Devises & was sent by his

master unto my house a purpose to know me & there

was never a better Jury packed as Tom Beach that know

them all sayes, & it cost him a great deale of mony, one

of his Cabinett Consell hath told me all passages, & how

Roots came to sweare I made y" pmise at Mr Davy

house, where I never saw him ; I think my Bro : was

fully satisfied of Mr. Roots before those dayes & he was

not likely to send me to treat with him. But as Mr.

Eyers sayd he will sweare any thinge, yf he could but

tell what will doe it, my service to yo Lady & my good

Sister. W.B.



86

[No. 66.]

Shapton Ja y^ 15 /80
Good Cosin

I rec"^ noe answere unto my last letter pray be
soe kind by ye next. I have now gotten a returne for
yo 100/. and for a 100/. more for my Bro"" Matth Bennett
use I have sent ye 200/. bill inclosed, pray send me Mr.
Palmer receit for my 100/. rec'^ for my Bro. Matth Bennett
use, assone as he have rec*^ y"" mony. I am to mett your
tenant at Salisbury Munday next, in order to y^ settinge
yo ffarme at Codford. 6 or 8 of yo very good freinds
and myselfe am nowdrinkinge your good health in a glasse
of good sacke. I want Mr. Palmer receit for y^ fifteen
pounds that yo. Bro. Burge rec"^ of me. I mentioned y^
same in my last, but want yo answere, Mr ffreke is now
at home, I intend to wayte on him tomorrow my service
unto all our freinds in hast from

Your obliged Unckell y^ same

WILL BENNETT



[No. 67.]

Salisbury Ja y'^ 18/80
Deare Cosin

I was yeasterday with Col Butler (and I take
him to be declininge apace as to his health) I modestly
demaned yo 60/. due for interest for which he gave me a
bond when he payd y^ principall mony, he have pmised
& failed me, from time to time this 1 2 months, & now he
have named two dayes viz' Saterday come se night, 20/.
and the rest at Lady day next I wish he may be well



^7

to pay both these payments himselfe, I will take what
care in me lyeth about this concerne.

S" I mett yo Codford tenant & Jeffery at Salisbury
this day. Mr Tho Beach his wife beinge sicke could
not come, after many words & longe winded discourses
wee agreed. I have sett yo ffarme for three yeares for
two hundred & sixtie pounds p ann. I have tyed y^
ffarmer from shroudinge y* trees in y^ home or less ffarme
close, which ought to a been taken care of in his last
lease, I have also made him release his psent right in y*=
shrowdes now growing on those trees, which are his owne
by his lease I hope it wil be as well, as to keepe y^ sheepe
slight in hand, & now wee are not bound to keep a
number of sheepe, at deere rates as formerly That was
more than lo/. p ann. advance to the rent of y'^ ffarm.e
you are to have securitie good enough for payment of
rent.

I was Sunday last at Shrowton Mr. ffreke speakes
very kindly, & affectionately of you he told me y' you
had spoken some what unto him about yo p^sentation of
Chesleborne parsonage yf you have a resolve to p^'sent
him with it I wish would be soe kind as to send a letter
directed unto him by Will Matth y'^ Caryer and y*"
p'sentation also, that I may have y^ favor to deliver it
in yo name, it will come timely enough yf you send it to
me by Matth. This returne you are to take notice by
the bill I sent you now by Will Matth. Satterday next
y^ 200/. is to be called for

, Yo Unckell y*" same

WILL BENNETT.



88

[No. 68.]

Shafton, Ja y^ 22/80
Deare Cosin

An answere unto yo"^ reed Thursday as I came
from Salisbury (I sent you a lett from thence, my buish-
nesse there) I called at Shafton, and p''sently my Bro''
Hurman & Mr. Mayor came and sheWed me your Lett,
they p'sently went both of them downe to Mr. Wittaker,
he answered as formerly, y' yf y^ towne thought fitt to
chuse him, he was willinge to serve them, how farr y^
will pVaile I know not.

But wee thought it y^ best way to send for 20 or
30 of our cheifest freindes & to make them acquainted
with yo. intention to serve them againe yf they pleased ;
& I desired them to comuncate your intention to reste
of all those y* gave their voyces for you last time, this
was our whole buishnesse Thursday afternoon, part of
y* night, and Fryday & this morninge also ; we finde
them all, (save one) to stand very ffaithfully, & we have
10 or 12' voyces more than formerly.

This day I saw S' Matth : Andrew s letter to Mr.
Mayor, and he writes very kindly to his ffreindes, and
intends to come and visitt them in pson. I am very con-
fident noe one pson is able to stand in competion with
you ; but when S"" Matth And. comes and phapps treat
high I am confident Mr. B. will court him to joyne with
him ; and this may putte us to trouble & charge and some
hazard, pray consider you y' part and weigh it very well.

S^ Wm. Murrell wayte on old Grove at fferne
yeasterday, and they present their service unto you &
nothinge shal be wantinge in them to doe you any
service.



89

Wee have a speech about towne of Mr. ffownes
to stand, but I give noe credit to that report as yet.

Mr. Graye rec"^ a Lett, from my L"^ of Shaftesbury*
to this effect that, he thought Mr. Wittaker, and your
selfe very fitt psons to serve y^ Towne and Mr. Wittak

* At the period this letter was written Lord Shaftesbury was re-
garded as the leader of the Protestant party in the House of Lords.
The Parliament had been dissolved on the i8th January, 1681 (1680,
Old Style), and a new Parliament was summoned to be held at Oxford
on the 2 1 St March following. During the preceding session there had
been stormy discussions upon questions of religion, the Popish Plot and
the bill for excluding the Duke of York, on the ground of his religion,
from his succession to the throne ; and now Shaftesbury used every
effort in his power for accomplishing the same objects. In Lord
Shaftesbury's Life, by the late Mr. Christie, are to be found several
traces both of Shaftesbury's action at this particular moment, and of his
correspondence with Mr. Benett. On the former of these points it
may be well to refer to some instructions which apparently were drawn
up by him for the members of Parliament summoned at Oxford. They
consisted of four heads : — " First, We all expect that you should, to
the last, insist for a bill to exclude the Duke of York by name, and all
other Popish successors, from coming to the Imperial CroAvn of this
realm. Secondly, That you insist upon an adjustment to be made be-
twixt the King's prerogative of calling, proroguing, and dissolving Par-
liaments, and the rights of the people to have annual Parliaments to
despatch and provide for those important affairs and business that can
nowhere else be taken care of; for, without the certainty of Parlia-
ments meeting in due distance of time from each other, and their
sitting so long as shall be necessary for the despatch of the affairs of the
nation, it is not possible but that our laws, liberties, lives, and estates
should become in a short time at the will of the Prince. Thirdly, We
expect you should restore us to that liberty we and our forefathers have
enjoyed, until these last forty years, of being free from guards and mer-
cenary soldiers ; it being the inseparable right of a free nation that they
themselves, and no separate number of paid or hired men, should have
the guard of their own Prince, government, and laws. Lastly, Although
we mention these three particulars as most necessary to us, yet there
are several others of great importance which we leave to your wisdoms ;
assuring ourselves that, until you have fully provided for a complete
security against Popery and arbitrary power, you will not give any of
our money.''

In January, 1678, Lord Shaftesbury wrote to his steward: — "You
must remember to make up the account with Mr. Dibbons, and pay him

N



90

resolves as I understand not to spend any money ; I am
some what in doubt (altho he well deserves it) that will
very hardly doe y^ buishnesse effectually.

I hope you have rec"^ my Salisbury Lett, and yf
you intend to p'^sent our best freind with what I desired,


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12

Online LibraryWilliam Ansell DayThe Pythouse papers: correspondence concerning the civil war, the Popish plot, and a contested election in 1680. Transcribed from mss. in the possession of V.F. Benett-Stanford → online text (page 12 of 13)