Royalty Restored or London under Charles II.
J. Fitzgerald Molloy

Part 1 out of 7


Note: Footnotes have been inserted into this etext in square
brackets ("[]") close to the place where they were
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Text in italics has been written in capital letters.









In common with all readers of the English language, I owe you a
debt of gratitude, the which I rejoice to acknowledge, even in so
poor a manner as by dedicating this work to you.

Believe me,

Faithfully yours always, J. FITZGERALD MOLLOY.



No social history of the court of Charles II. has heretofore been
written. The Grammont Memoirs, devoid of date and detail, and
addressed "to those who read only for amusement," present but
brief imperfect sketches of the wits and beauties who thronged
the court of the merry monarch whilst the brilliant Frenchman
sojourned in England. Pepys, during the first nine years of the
Restoration, narrates such gossip as reached him regarding
Whitehall and the practices that obtained there. Evelyn records
some trifling actions of the king and his courtiers, with a view
of pointing a moral, rather than from a desire of adorning a

To supply this want in our literature, I have endeavoured to
present a picture of the domestic life of a king, whose name
recalls pages of the brightest romance and strangest gallantry in
our chronicles. To this I have added a study of London during
his reign, taken as far as possible from rare, and invariably
from authentic sources. It will readily be seen this work,
embracing such subjects, could alone have resulted from careful
study and untiring consultation of diaries, records, memoirs,
letters, pamphlets, tracts, and papers left by contemporaries
familiar with the court and capital. The accomplishment of such
a task necessitated an expenditure of time, and devotion to
labour, such as in these fretful and impatient days is seldom
bestowed on work.

As in previous volumes I have writ no fact is set down without
authority, so likewise the same rule is pursued in these; and for
such as desire to test the accuracy thereof, or follow at further
length statements necessarily abbreviated, a list is appended of
the principal literature consulted. And inasmuch as I have found
pleasure in this work, so may my gentle readers derive profit
therefrom; and as I have laboured, so may they enjoy. Expressing
which fair wishes, and moreover commending myself unto their love
and service, I humbly take my leave.




"Elenchus Motuum Nuperorum." Heath's "Flagellum; or, the Life
and Death of Oliver Cromwell." Banks' "Life of Cromwell."
"Review of the Political Life of Cromwell." "A Modest
Vindication of Oliver Cromwell." "The Machivilian Cromwellist."
Kimber's "Life of Cromwell." "The World Mistaken in Oliver
Cromwell"(1668). "A Letter of Comfort to Richard Cromwell."
"Letters from Fairfax to Cromwell." "Cromwell's Letters and
Speeches." "A Collection of Several Passages concerning Cromwell
in his Sickness." "The Protector's Declaration against the Royal
Family of the Stuarts." "Memoirs of Cromwell and his Children,
supposed to be written by himself." "Narrative of the
Proceedings of the English Army in Scotland." "An Account of the
Last Houres of the late renowned Oliver, Lord Protector" (1659).
"Sedition Scourged." Heath's "Chronicles of the late Intestine
War." Welwood's "Memoirs of Transactions in England." "Memoirs
of Edmund Ludlow, M.P., in the year 1640." Forster's "Statesmen
of the Commonwealth." "Killing No Murther." Thurloe's "State
Papers." Lord Clarendon's "State Papers." Tatham's "Aqua
Triumphalis." "The Public Intelligencer." "Mercurius
Politicus." "The Parliamentary Intelligencer. Lyon's "Personal
History of Charles II." "The Boscobel Tracts, relating to the
Escape of Charles II." "An Exact Narrative of his Majesty's
Escape from Worcester. "Several Passages relating to the
Declared King of Scots both by Sea and Land." "Charles II.'s
Declaration to his Loving Subjects in the Kingdom of England."
"England's Joy; or, a Relation of the most Remarkable Passages
from his Majesty's Arrival at Dover to his Entrance at
Whitehall." "Copies of Two Papers written by the King." "His
Majesty's Gracious Message to General Monk." "King Charles, His
Starre." "A Speech spoken by a Blew-Coat of Christ's Hospital to
his Sacred Majesty." "Monarchy Revived." "The History of Charles
II., by a Person of Quality." Lady Fanshawe's "Memoirs." "The
Character of Charles II., written by an Impartial Hand and
exposed to Public View." "Sports and Pastimes of the English
People." "A History of Domestic Manners and Sentiments in
England." Wright's "Homes of Other Days." Idalcomb's "Anecdotes
of Manners and Customs of London." Pepys' "Diary." Evelyn's
"Diary." Grammont's "Memoirs." Lord Romney's "Diary of the Times
of Charles II." "The Life and Adventures of Colonel Blood."
"Diary of Dr. Edward Lake, Court Chaplain." Bishop Burnet's
"History of His Own Times." Oldmixon's "Court Tales." Madame
Dunois' "Memoirs of the English Court." Heath's "Glories and
Triumphs of Charles II." "Continuation of the Life of Edward,
Earl of Clarendon." "Original Correspondence of Lord Clarendon."
"The Memoirs of Sir John Reresby." Lister's "Life of Clarendon.
Brain Fairfax's "Memoirs of the Duke of Buckingham." "Letters of
Philip, Second Earl of Chesterfield." Aubrey's "Memoirs." "The
Life of Mr. Anthony a Wood, written by Himself." Elias Ashmole's
"Memoirs of his Life." Luttrell's "Diary." "The Althorp Memoirs"
(privately printed). Lord Broghill's "Memoirs." "Memoir of
Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland" (privately printed). Aubrey's
"Lives of Eminent Men." Count Magalotti's "Travels in England."
"The Secret History of Whitehall: consisting of Secret Memoirs
which have hitherto lain conceal'd as not being discoverable by
any other hand." "Athenae Oxonienses." Lord Rochester's Works.
Brown's "Miscellanea Aulica." The Works of Andrew Marvell.
"State Tracts, relating to the Government from the year 1660 to
1689." "Antiquities of the Crown and State of Old England."
"Narrative of the Families exposed to the Great Plague of London."
"Loimologia; or, an Historical Account of the Plague in 1665."
"A Collection of very Valuable and Scarce Pieces relating to the
Last Plague in 1665." "London's Dreadful Visitation." "Letter
of Dr, Hedges to a Person of Quality." "God's Terrible Voice in
the City: a Narrative of the late Dreadful Judgments by Plague
and Fire." "Pestis; a Collection of Scarce Papers relating to
the Plague." "An Account of the Fire of London, published by
authority." Lord Clarendon's "Account of the Great Fire." "A
Voyage into England, containing many things relating to the State
of Learning, Religion, and other Curiosities of that Kingdom," by
Mons. Sorbiere. Carte's "Life of James, Duke of Ormond."
Carte's "History of England." Lord Somers' "Collection of Scarce
and Valuable Tracts." "Memoirs of the Duchess of Mazarine."
"Secret History of the Duchess of Portsmouth." St. Evremond's
"Memoirs." "Curialia; or, an Historical Account of some Branches
of the Royal Household." "Parliamentary History." Oldmixon's
"History of the Stuarts." Ellis's "Original Letters." Charles
James Fox's "History of James II." Sir George L'Estrange's
"Brief History of the Times." Lord Romney's "Diary of the Times
of Charles II." Clarke's "Life of James II." "Vindication of
the English Catholics." "The Tryals, Conviction and Sentence of
Titus Oates." "A Modest Vindication of Oates." "Tracts on the
Popish Plot." Macpherson's "Original Papers." A. Marvell's
"Account of Popery." "An Exact Discovery of the Mystery of
Iniquity as Practised among the Jesuits." Smith's "Streets of
London." "London Cries." Seymour's "Survey of the Cities of
London and Westminster." Stow's "Survey of London and
Westminster." "Angliae Metropolis." Dr. Laune's "Present State
of London, 1681." Sir Roger North's "Examn." "The Character of
a Coffee House." Stow's "Chronicles of Fashion." Fairholt's
"Costume in England." "A Just and Seasonable Reprehension of
Naked Breasts and Shoulders." Sir William Petty's "Observations
of the City of London." John Ogilvy's "London Surveyed." R.
Burton's "Historical Remarks." Dr. Birch's "History of the Royal
Society of London." "A Century of Inventions." Wild's "History
of the Royal Society." "The Philosophical Transactions of the
Royal Society." Richardson's "Life of Milton." Philip's "Life
of Milton." Johnson's "Lives of the Poets." Aubrey's
"Collections for the Life of Milton." Langbaine's "Lives and
Characters of the English Dramatic Poets." "Some Remarkable
Passages in the Life of Mr. Wycherley." "Some Account of what
Occurred at the King's Death," by Richard Huddlestone, O.S.B. "A
True Narrative of the late King's Death."




Cromwell is sick unto death.--Fears and suspicions.--Killing no
Murder.--A memorable storm.--The end of all.--Richard Cromwell
made Protector,--He refuses to shed blood. Disturbance and
dissatisfaction.--Downfall of Richard.--Charles Stuart proclaimed
king.--Rejoicement of the nation.--The king comes into his own.--
Entry into London.--Public joy and festivity.


The story of the king's escape.--He accepts the Covenant, and
lands in Scotland.--Crowned at Scone.--Proclaimed king at
Carlisle.--The battle of Worcester,--Bravery of Charles.--
Disloyalty of the Scottish cavalry.--The Royalists defeated.--
The king's flight.--Seeks refuge in Boscobel Wood. The faithful
Pendrells.--Striving to cross the Severn.--Hiding in an oak
tree.--Sheltered by Master Lane. Sets out with Mistress Lane.--
Perilous escapes.--On the road.--The king is recognised.--
Strange adventures.--His last night in England.


Celebration of the king's return. Those who flocked to
Whitehall.--My Lord Cleveland's gentlemen.--Sir Thomas Allen's
supper.--Touching for king's evil.--That none might lose their
labour--The man with the fungus nose.--The memory of the
regicides.--Cromwell's effigy.--Ghastly scene at Tyburn.--The
king's clemency.--The Coronation procession.--Sights and scenes
by the way.--His majesty is crowned


The king's character.--His proverbial grace.--He tells a story
well.--"A warmth and sweetness of the blood."--Beautiful Barbara
Palmer.--Her intrigue with my Lord Chesterfield.--James, Duke of
York. His early days.--Escape from St. James's.--Fights in the
service of France.--Marriage with Anne Hyde.--Sensation at
Court.--The Duke of Gloucester's death.--The Princess of Orange.
--Schemes against the Duke of York's peace.--The "lewd informer."
--Anne Hyde is acknowledged Duchess of York.


Morality of the restoration.--Puritan piety.--Cromwell's
intrigues.--Conduct of women under the Republic.--Some notable
courtiers.--The Duke of Ormond and his family.--Lord St. Albans
and Henry Jermyn.--His Grace of Buckingham and Mistress Fairfax.
--Lord Rochester.--Delights all hearts.--The king's projected
marriage.--Catherine of Braganza.--His majesty's speech.--A royal
love-letter.--The new queen sets sail.


The king's intrigue with Barbara Palmer.--The queen arrives at
Portsmouth.--Visited by the Duke of York.--The king leaves town.
--First interview with his bride.--His letter to the lord
chancellor.--Royal marriage and festivities.--Arrival at Hampton
Court Palace.--Prospects of a happy union.--Lady Castlemaine
gives birth to a second child.--The king's infatuation.--Mistress
and wife.--The queen's misery.--The king's cruelty.--Lord
Clarendon's messages.--His majesty resolves to break the queen's
spirit.--End of the domestic quarrel.


Their majesties arrive at Whitehall.--My Lady Castlemaine a
spectator.--Young Mr. Crofts.--New arrivals at court.--The
Hamilton family.--The Chevalier de Grammont.--Mrs. Middleton and
Miss Kirke.--At the queen's ball.--La belle Hamilton.--The queen
mother at Somerset House.--The Duke of Monmouth's marriage.--Fair
Frances Stuart.--Those who court her favour.--The king's passion.


The Duke of York's intrigues.--My Lady Chesterfield and his royal
highness.--The story of Lady Southesk's love,--Lord Arran plays
the guitar.--Lord Chesterfield is jealous.--The countess is taken
from court.--Mistress Margaret Brooks and the king.--Lady Denham
and the duke.--Sir John goes mad.--My lady is poisoned.


Court life under the merry monarch.--Riding in Hyde Park.--
Sailing on the Thames.--Ball at Whitehall.--Petit soupers.--What
happened at Lady Gerrard's.--Lady Castlemaine quarrels with the
king.--Flight to Richmond.--The queen falls ill.--The king's
grief and remorse.--Her majesty speaks.--Her secret sorrow finds
voice in delirium.--Frances Stuart has hopes.--The queen


Notorious courtiers.--My Lord Rochester's satires.--Places a
watch on certain ladies of quality.--His majesty becomes
indignant.--Rochester retires to the country.--Dons a disguise
and returns to town.--Practises astrology.--Two maids of honour
seek adventure.--Mishaps which befell them.--Rochester forgiven.
--The Duke of Buckingham.--Lady Shrewsbury and her victims.--
Captain Howard's duel.--Lord Shrewsbury avenges his honour.--A
strange story.--Colonel Blood attempts an abduction.--Endeavours
to steal the regalia.--The king converses with him.


Terror falls upon the people.--Rumours of a plague.--A sign in
the heavens.--Flight from the capital.--Preparations against the
dreaded enemy.--Dr. Boghurst's testimony.--God's terrible voice
in the city.--Rules made by the lord mayor.--Massacre of
animals.--O, dire death!--Spread of the distemper.--Horrible
sights.--State of the deserted capital.--"Bring out your dead."
--Ashes to ashes.--Fires are lighted.--Relief of the poor.--The
mortality bills.


A cry of fire by night.--Fright and confusion.--The lord mayor is
unmanned.--Spread of the flames.--Condition of the streets.--
Distressful scenes.--Destruction of the Royal Exchange.--Efforts
of the king and the Duke of York.--Strange rumours and alarms,
St. Paul's is doomed.--The flames checked.--A ruined city as seen
by day and night.--Wretched state of the people.--Investigation
into the origin of the fire.--A new city arises.


The court repairs to Oxford--Lady Castlemaine's son.--Their
majesties return to Whitehall.--The king quarrels with his
mistress.--Miss Stuart contemplates marriage.--Lady Castlemaine
attempts revenge.--Charles makes an unpleasant discovery.--The
maid of honour elopes.--His majesty rows down the Thames.--Lady
Castlemaine's intrigues.--Fresh quarrels at court.--The king on
his knees.


The kingdom in peril.--The chancellor falls under his majesty's
displeasure.--The Duke of Buckingham's mimicry.--Lady
Castlemaine's malice.--Lord Clarendon's fall.--The Duke of Ormond
offends the king's mistress.--She covers him with abuse.--Plots
against the Duke of York.--Schemes for a royal divorce.--Moll
Davis and Nell Gwynn.--The king and the comedian.--Lady
Castlemaine abandons herself to great disorders.--Young Jack
Spencer.--The countess intrigues with an acrobat.--Talk of the
town.--The mistress created a duchess.


Louise de Querouaille.--The Triple Alliance.--Louise is created
Duchess of Portsmouth,--Her grace and the impudent comedian.--
Madam Ellen moves in society. The young Duke of St. Albans.--
Strange story of the Duchess of Mazarine.--Entertaining the wits
at Chelsea.--Luxurious suppers.--profligacy and wit.


A storm threatens the kingdom--The Duke of York is touched in his
conscience.--His interview with Father Simons.--The king declares
his mind.--The Duchess of York becomes a catholic.--The
circumstances of her death.--The Test Act introduced.--Agitation
of the nation.--The Duke of York marries again.--Lord
Shaftesbury's schemes.--The Duke of Monmouth.--William of Orange
and the Princess Mary.--Their marriage and departure from


The threatened storm bursts.--History of Titus Oates and Dr.
Tonge.--A dark scheme concocted.--The king is warned of danger.
--The narrative of a horrid plot laid before the treasurer.--
Forged letters.--Titus Oates before the council.--His blunders.
--A mysterious murder.--Terror of the citizens.--Lord
Shaftesbury's schemes.--Papists are banished from the capital.--
Catholic peers committed to the Tower.--Oates is encouraged.


Reward for the discovery of murderers.--Bedlow's character and
evidence.--His strange story.--Development of the "horrid plot."
--William Staley is made a victim.--Three Jesuits hung.--Titus
Oates pronounced the saviour of his country.--Striving to ruin
the queen.--Monstrous story of Bedlow and Oates.--The king
protects her majesty.--Five Jesuits executed.--Fresh rumours
concerning the papists.--Bill to exclude the Duke of York.--Lord
Stafford is tried.--Scene at Tower Hill.--Fate of the


London under Charles II.--Condition and appearance of the
thoroughfares.--Coffee is first drunk in the capital.--Taverns
and their frequenters.--The city by night.--Wicked people do
creep about.--Companies of young gentlemen.--The Duke of Monmouth
kills a beadle.--Sir Charles Sedley's frolic.--Stately houses of
the nobility.--St. James's Park.--Amusement of the town.--At
Bartholomew Fair.--Bull, bear, and dog fights.--Some quaint


Court customs in the days of the merry monarch.--Dining in
public.--The Duke of Tuscany's supper to the king.--
Entertainment of guests by mountebanks.--Gaming at court.--Lady
Castlemaine's losses.--A fatal duel.--Dress of the period.--
Riding-habits first seen.--His majesty invents a national
costume.--Introduction of the penny post.--Divorce suits are
known.--Society of Antiquaries.--Lord Worcester's inventions.--
The Duchess of Newcastle.


A period rich in literature.--John Milton's early life.--Writing
"Paradise Lost."--Its publication and success.--His later works
and death.--John Dryden gossips with wits and players.--Lord
Rochester's revenge.--Elkanah Settle.--John Crowne.--Thomas Otway
rich in miseries.--Dryden assailed by villains.--The ingenious
Abraham Cowley.--The author of "Hudibras."--Young Will Wycherley
and Lady Castlemaine. The story of his marriage.--Andrew
Marvell, poet and politician.--John Bunyan.


Time's flight leaves the king unchanged.--The Rye House
conspiracy.--Profligacy of the court.--The three duchesses.--The
king is taken ill.--The capital in consternation.--Dr. Ken
questions his majesty.--A Benedictine monk is sent for.--Charles
professes catholicity and receives the Sacraments.--Farewell to
all.--His last night on earth.--Daybreak and death.--He rests in






Cromwell is sick unto death.--Fears and suspicions.--Killing no
Murder.--A memorable storm.--The end of all.--Richard Cromwell
made Protector.--He refuses to shed blood.--Disturbance and
dissatisfaction.--Downfall of Richard.--Charles Stuart proclaimed
king.--Rejoicement of the nation.--The king comes into his own.
--Entry into London.--Public joy and satisfaction.

On the 30th of January, 1649, Charles I. was beheaded. In the
last days of August in the year of grace 1658, Oliver Cromwell
lay sick unto death at the Palace of Whitehall. On the 27th day
of June in the previous year, he had, in the Presence of the
Judges of the land, the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City, and
Members of Parliament assembled at Westminster Hall, seated
himself on the coronation chair of the Stuarts, assumed the title
of Lord Protector, donned a robe of violet velvet, girt his loins
with a sword of state, and grasped the sceptre, symbolic of
kingly power. From that hour distrust beset his days, his nights
were fraught with fear. All his keen and subtle foresight, his
strong and restless energies, had since then been exerted in
suppressing plots against his power, and detecting schemes
against his life, concocted by the Republicans whose liberty he
had betrayed, and by the Royalists whose king he had beheaded.

Soon after he had assumed the title of Lord High Protector, a
most daring pamphlet, openly advocating his assassination, was
circulated in vast numbers throughout the kingdom. It was
entitled "Killing no Murder," and was dedicated in language
outrageously bold to His Highness Oliver Cromwell. "To your
Highness justly belongs the honour of dying for the people," it
stated, "and it cannot but be an unspeakable consolation to you,
in the last moments of your life, to consider with how much
benefit to the world you are likely to leave it. It is then
only, my lord, the titles you now usurp will be truly yours; you
will then be, indeed, the deliverer of your country, and free it
from a bondage little inferior to that from which Moses delivered
his, you will then be that true reformer which you would now be
thought; religion shall then be restored, liberty asserted, and
Parliaments have those privileges they have sought for. All this
we hope from your Highness's happy expiration. To hasten this
great good is the chief end of my writing this paper; and if it
have the effects I hope it will, your Highness will quickly be
out of the reach of men's malice, and your enemies will only be
able to wound you in your memory, which strokes you will not

The possession of life becomes dearest when its forfeiture is
threatened, and therefore Cromwell took all possible means to
guard against treachery--the only foe he feared, and feared
exceedingly. "His sleeps were disturbed with the apprehensions
of those dangers the day presented unto him in the approaches of
any strange face, whose motion he would most fixedly attend,"
writes James Heath, gentleman, in his "Chronicles," published in
1675. "Above all, he very carefully observed such whose mind or
aspect were featured with any chearful and debonair lineaments;
for such he boded were they that would despatch him; to that
purpose he always went secretly armed, both offensive and
defensive; and never stirred without a great guard. In his usual
journey between Whitehall and Hampton Court, by several roads, he
drove full speed in the summer time, making such a dust with his
life-guard, part before and part behinde, at a convenient
distance, for fear of choaking him with it, that one could hardly
see for a quarter of an hour together, and always came in some
private way or other." The same authority, in his "Life of
Cromwell," states of him, "It was his constant custom to shift
and change his lodging, to which he passed through twenty several
locks, and out of which he had four or five ways to avoid
pursuit." Welwood, in his "Memoirs," adds the Protector wore a
coat of mail beneath his dress, and carried a poniard under his

Nor was this all. According to the "Chronicle of the late
Intestine War," Cromwell "would sometimes pretend to be merry,
and invite persons, of whom he had some suspicion, to his cups,
and then drill out of their open hearts such secrets as he wisht
for. He had freaks also to divert the vexations of his misgiving
thoughts, calling on by the beat of drum his footguards, like a
kennel of hounds to snatch away the scraps and reliques of his
table. He said every man's hand was against him, and that he ran
daily into further perplexities, out of which it was impossible
to extricate, or secure himself therein, without running into
further danger; so that he began to alter much in the tenour of
his former converse, and to run and transform into the manners of
the ancient tyrants, thinking to please and mitigate his own
tortures with the sufferings of others."

But now the fate his vigilance had hitherto combated at last
overtook him in a manner impossible to evade. He was attacked by
divers infirmities, but for some time made no outward sign of his
suffering, until one day five physicians came and waited on him,
as Dr. George Bate states in his ELENCHUS MOTUUM NUPERORUM. And
one of them, feeling his pulse, declared his Highness suffered
from an intermittent fever; hearing which "he looked pale, fell
into a cold sweat, almost fainted away, and orders himself to be
carried to bed." His fright, however, was but momentary. He was
resolved to live. He had succeeded in raising himself to a
position of vast power, but had failed in attaining the great
object of his ambition--the crowned sovereignty of the nation he
had stirred to its centre, and conquered to its furthest limits.
Brought face to face with death, his indomitable will, which had
shaped untoward circumstances to his accord with a force like
unto fate itself, now determined to conquer his shadowy enemy
which alone intercepted his path to the throne. Therefore as he
lay in bed he said to those around him with that sanctity of
speech which had cloaked his cruellest deeds and dissembled his
most ambitious designs, "I would be willing to live to be further
serviceable to God and his people."

As desires of waking hours are answered in sleep, so in response
to his nervous craving for life he had delusive assurances of
health through the special bounty of Providence. He was
therefore presently able to announce he "had very great
discoveries of the Lord to him in his sickness, and hath some
certainty of being restored;" as Fleetwood, his son-in-law, wrote
on the 24th of August in this same year.

Accordingly, when one of the physicians came to him next morning,
the High Protector said, "Why do you look sad?" To which the man
of lore replied evasively, "So it becomes anyone who had the
weighty care of his life and health upon him." Then Cromwell to
this purpose spoke: "You think I shall die; I tell you I shall
not die this bout; I am sure on't. Don't think I am mad. I
speak the words of truth upon surer grounds than Galen or your
Hippocrates furnish you with. God Almighty himself hath given
that answer, not to my prayers alone, but also to the prayers of
those who entertain a stricter commerce and greater intimacy with
him. Ye may have skill in the nature of things, yet nature can
do more than all physicians put together, and God is far above
nature." The doctor besought him to rest, and left the room.
Outside he met one of his colleagues, to whom he gave it as his
opinion their patient had grown light-headed, and he repeated the
words which Cromwell had spoken. "Then," said his brother-
physician, "you are certainly a stranger in this house; don't you
know what was done last night? The chaplain and all their
friends being dispersed into several parts of the palace have
prayed to God for his health, and they all heard the voice of God
saying, 'He will recover,' and so they are all certain of it."

"Never, indeed, was there a greater stock of prayers going on for
any man," as Thurlow, his secretary, writes. So sure were those
around him that Providence must hearken to and grant the
fulfilment of such desires as they thought well to express, that,
as Thomas Goodwin, one of Cromwell's chaplains, said, "We asked
not for the Protector's life, for we were assured He had too
great things for this man to do, to remove him yet; but we prayed
for his speedy recovery, because his life and presence were so
necessary to divers things then of great moment to be
despatched." When this Puritanical fanatic was presently
disappointed, Bishop Burnet narrates "he had the impudence to say
to God, 'Thou hast deceived us.'"

Meanwhile the Protector lay writhing in pain and terror. His
mind was sorely troubled at remembrance of the last words spoken
by his daughter Elizabeth, who had threatened judgments upon him
because of his refusal to save the King; whilst his body was
grievously racked with a tertian fever, and a foul humour which,
beginning in his foot, worked its way steadily to his heart.
Moreover, some insight regarding his future seemed given to him
in his last days, for he appeared, as Ludlow, his contemporary,
states, "above all concerned for the reproaches he saw men would
cast upon his name, in tramping upon his ashes when dead."

On the 30th of August his danger became evident even to himself,
and all hope of life left him. For hours after the certain
approach of death became undeniably certain, he remained quiet
and speechless, seemingly heedless of the exhortation and prayers
of his chaplains, till suddenly turning to one of them, he
whispered, "Tell me, is it possible to fall from grace?" The
preacher had a soothing reply ready: "It is not," he answered.
"Then," exclaimed this unhappy man, whose soul was red with the
blood of thousands of his countrymen, "I am safe, for I know I
was once in grace." Anon he cries out, whilst tossing wildly on
his bed, "Lord, although I am a miserable and a wretched
creature, I am in covenant with Thee through grace, and I may and
will come to Thee for Thy people. Pardon such as desire to
trample upon the dust of a poor worm. And give us a good night
if it be Thy pleasure. Amen."

It was now the 2nd of September. As the evening of that day
approached he fell into a stupor, and those who watched him
thought the end had come.

Within the darkened chamber in Whitehall all was silence and
gloom; without all was tumult and fear. Before the gates of the
palace a turbulent crowd of soldiers and citizens had gathered in
impatient anxiety. Those he had raised to power, those whose
fortunes depended on his life, were steeped in gloom; those whose
principles he had outraged by his usurpation, those whose
position he had crushed by his sway, rejoiced at heart. Not only
the capital, but the whole nation, was divided into factions
which one strong hand alone had been able to control; and terror,
begotten by dire remembrances of civil war and bloodshed, abode
with all lovers of peace.

As evening closed in, the elements appeared in unison with the
distracted condition of the kingdom. Dark clouds, seeming of
ominous import to men's minds, gathered in the heavens, to be
presently torn asunder and hurried in wild flight by tempestuous
winds across the troubled sky. As night deepened, the gale
steadily increased, until it raged in boundless fury above the
whole island and the seas that rolled around its shores. In town
houses rocked on their foundations, turrets and steeples were
flung from their places; in the country great trees were
uprooted, corn-stacks levelled to the ground, and winter fruits
destroyed; whilst at sea ships sank to rise no more. This
memorable storm lasted all night, and continued until three
o'clock next afternoon, when Cromwell expired.

His body was immediately embalmed, but was of necessity interred
in great haste. Westminster Abbey, the last home of kings and
princes, was selected as the fittest resting-place for the
regicide. Though it was impossible to honour his remains by
stately ceremonials, his followers were not content to let the
occasion of his death pass with-out commemoration. They
therefore had a waxen image of him made, which they resolved to
surround with all the pomp and circumstances of royalty. For
this purpose they carried it to Somerset House--one of the late
King's palaces--and placed it on a couch of crimson velvet
beneath a canopy of state. Upon its shoulders they hung a purple
mantle, in its right hand they placed a golden sceptre, and by
its side they laid an imperial crown, probably the same which,
according to Welwood, the Protector had secretly caused to be
made and conveyed to Whitehall with a view to his coronation.
The walls and ceiling of the room in which the effigy lay were
covered by sable velvet; the passages leading to it crowded with
soldiery. After a few weeks the town grew tired of this sight,
when the waxen image was taken to another apartment, hung with
rich velvets and golden tissue, and otherwise adorned to
symbolize heaven, when it was placed upon a throne, clad "in a
shirt of fine Holland lace, doublet and breeches of Spanish
fashion with great skirts, silk stockings, shoe-strings and
gaiters suitable, and black Spanish leather shoes." Over this
attire was flung a cloak of purple velvet, and on his head was
placed a crown with many precious stones. The room was then lit,
as Ludlow narrates, "by four or five hundred candles set in flat
shining candlesticks, so placed round near the roof that the
light they gave seemed like the rays of the sun, by all which he
was represented to be now in a state of glory." Lest, indeed,
there should be any doubt as to the place where his soul abode,
Sterry, the Puritan preacher, imparted the information to all,
that the Protector "now sat with Christ at the right hand of the

But this pomp and state in no may overawed the people, who, by
pelting with mire Cromwell's escutcheon placed above the great
gate of Somerset House gave evidence of the contempt in which
they held his memory. After a lapse of over two months from the
day of his death, the effigy was carried to Westminster Abbey
with more than regal ceremony, the expenses of his lying-in-state
and of his funeral procession amounting, as stated by Walker and
Noble, to upwards of L29,000. "It was the joyfullest funeral I
ever saw," writes Evelyn, "for there were none that cried but
dogs, which the soldiers hooted away with a barbarous noise,
drinking and taking tobacco as they went."

A little while before his death Cromwell had named his eldest
surviving son, Richard, as his successor, and he was accordingly
declared Protector, with the apparent consent of the council,
soldiers, and citizens. Nor did the declaration cause any
excitement, "There is not a dog who wags his tongue, so profound
is the calm which we are in," writes Thurlow to Oliver's second
son, Henry, then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. But if the nation
in its dejection made no signs of resistance, neither did it give
any indications of satisfaction, and Richard was proclaimed "with
as few expressions of joy as had ever been observed on a like
occasion." For a brief while a stupor seemed to lull the
factious party spirit which was shortly to plunge the country
into fresh difficulties. The Cromwellians and Republicans
foresaw resistless strife, and the Royalists quietly and
hopefully abided results.

Nor had they long to wait. In the new Parliament assembled in
January, 1659, the Republicans showed themselves numerous and
bold beyond measure, and hesitated to recognise Richard Cromwell
as successor to the Protectorate. However, on the 14th of the
following month the Cromwellians gained the upper hand, when
Richard was confirmed in his title of "Lord Protector, and First
Magistrate of England, Scotland, and Ireland, with all the
territories depending thereon." Further discussion quickly
followed. "One party thinks the Protectorate cannot last; the
other that the Republican cannot raise itself again; the
indifferent hope that both will be right. It is easy to foretell
the upshot," writes Hyde. The disunion spread rapidly and
widely; not only was the Parliament divided against itself, but
so likewise was the army; and the new Protector had neither the
courage nor the ability to put down strife with a strong hand.
Richard Cromwell was a man of peaceful disposition, gentle
manners and unambitious mind, whom fate had forced into a
position for which he was in no way fitted. By one of those
strange contradictions which nature sometimes produces, he
differed in all things from his father; for not only was he
pleasure-loving, joyous, and humane, but he was, moreover, a
Royalist at heart, and continued in friendship with the Cavaliers
up to the period of his proclamation as Protector. It has been
stated that, falling on his knees, he entreated his father to
spare the life of Charles I.; it is certain he remained inactive
whilst the civil wars devastated the land; and there is evidence
to show that, during the seven months and twenty-eight days of
his Protectorship, he shrank from the perpetration of cruelty and
crime. Accordingly, when those who had at first supported his
authority eventually conspired against him, he refrained from
using his power to crush them. At this his friends were wrath.
"It is time to look about you," said Lord Howard, speaking with
the bluntness of a friend. "Empire and command are not now the
question. Your person, your life are in peril. You are the son
of Cromwell; show yourself worthy to be his son. This business
requires a bold stroke, and must be supported by a good head. Do
not suffer yourself to be daunted. I will rid you of your
enemies: do you stand by me, and only back my zeal for your
honour with your name; my head shall answer for the

Colonel Ingoldsby seconded the advice Lord Howard gave, but
Richard Cromwell hearkened to neither. "I have never done
anybody any harm, and never will," said he. "will not have a
drop of blood spilt for the preservation of my greatness, which
is a burden to me." At this Lord Howard was indignant. "Do you
think," he asked, "this moderation of yours will repair the wrong
your family has committed by its elevation? Everybody knows that
by violence your father procured the death of the late king, and
kept his sons in banishment: mercy in the present state of
affairs is unreasonable. Lay aside this pussillanimity; every
moment is precious; your enemies spend the time in acting which
we waste in consulting." "Talk no more of it," answered the
Protector. "I am thankful for your friendship, but violent
counsels suit not with me."

The climax was at hand; his fall was but a question of time. "A
wonderfull and suddaine change in ye face of ye publiq," writes
Evelyn, on the 25th of April, 1659. "Ye new Protector Richard
slighted; several pretenders and parties strove for the
Government; all anarchy and confusion. Lord have mercy on us!"

Before the month of May had expired, the House of Commons
commissioned two of its members to bid Richard Cromwell leave the
palace of Whitehall, and obtain his signature to a deed wherein
he acknowledged complete submission to Parliament. His brief
inglorious reign was therefore at an end. "As with other men,"
he wrote to the House of Commons, "I expect protection from the
present Government: I do hold myself obliged to demean myself
with all the peaceableness under it, and to procure, to the
utmost of my power, that all in whom I have any interest to do
the same." He retired into Hampshire, where he dwelt as a
private gentleman. His brother Henry resigned his position as
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and settled in Cambridgeshire. From
this time the name of Cromwell was no longer a power in the land.

During two years subsequent to the death of Oliver the government
of England underwent various changes, and the kingdom suffered
many disorders; until, being heartily sick of anarchy, the people
desired a king might once more reign over them. accordingly,
they turned their eyes towards the son of him whom "the boldest
villany that ever any nation saw" had sent to the block. And the
time being ripe, Charles Stuart, then an exile in Breda,
despatched Sir John Grenville with royal letters to both Houses
of Parliament, likewise to the Lord Mayor of London and members
of the Common Council, to Monk, commander of the forces, and
Montagu, admiral of the fleet. These letters were received with
so universal a joy and applause, that Parliament forthwith
ordained Charles Stuart should be proclaimed "the most potent,
mighty, and undoubted King of England, Scotland and Ireland."
Moreover, both Houses agreed that an honourable body of
Commissioners, all men of great quality and birth, should be sent
to the king with letters, humbly begging his majesty would be
pleased to hasten his long-desired return into England. And
because they knew full well the royal exchequer was empty,
Parliament ordered these noble gentlemen to carry with them a
present of fifty thousand pieces of gold to the king, together
with ten thousand to his brother of York, and five thousand to
his brother of Gloucester. Nor was the City of London backwards
in sending expressions of loyalty and tokens of homage and
devotion; to evince which twenty valiant men and worthy citizens
were despatched with messages of goodwill towards him, and
presents in gold to the amount of twelve thousand pounds.

And presently Admiral Montagu arriving with his fleet upon the
coast of Holland, awaited his majesty near Scheveling; and all
things being in readiness the king with his royal brothers and a
most noble train set sail for England.

It came to pass that on the 25th day of May, 1660, a vast
concourse of nobility, gentry, and citizens had assembled at
Dover to meet and greet their sovereign king, Charles II., on his
landing. On the fair morning of that day a sound of cannon
thundering from the castle announced that the fleet, consisting
of "near forty sail of great men-of-war," which conveyed his
majesty to his own, was in sight; whereon an innumerable crowd
betook its joyful way to the shore. The sun was most gloriously
bright, the sky cloudless, the sea calm. Far out upon the blue
horizon white-winged ships could be clearly discerned. By three
o'clock in the afternoon they had reached the harbour, when the
king, embarking in a galley most richly adorned, was rowed to
shore. Then cannon roared once more from the castle, and were
answered from the beach; bells rang from church towers, and a
mighty shout went up from the hearts of the people.

In the midst of these rejoicings Charles II. landed, and the
gallant General Monk, who had been mainly instrumental in
bringing his royal master to the throne without loss of blood,
now fell upon his knees to greet his majesty. The king raised
the general from the ground, embraced and kissed him. Then the
nobility hastened to pay their duty likewise, and the Mayor and
Aldermen of Dover presented him with a most loyal address. And
presently, with the roar of cannon, the clangour of bells, the
sound of music, and the shouts of a great multitude ringing in
his ears, the king advanced on his way towards Canterbury. At
the gates of this ancient city he was met by the mayor and
aldermen, and was presented by them with a golden tankard, Here
he spent the following day, which being Sunday, he went with a
great train to the cathedral, where service according to the
Church of England, long disused by the Puritans, was restored, to
the satisfaction of many.

Setting out from Canterbury on Monday, the 29th of May--which
was, moreover, the anniversary of his birth--he journeyed to
Blackheath, where he reviewed the forces drawn up with great pomp
and military splendour to greet him, and bestowed many gracious
expressions on them. Then, having received assurances of their
loyal homage through their commander, Colonel Knight, he turned
towards London town. And the nearer he approached, the more
dense became crowds thronging to meet him; the fields on either
side the long white road being filled with persons of all
conditions, who cheered him lustily. As he passed they flung
leaves of trees and sweet May flowers beneath his horse's feet,
and waved green boughs on high, And when he came to St. George's
Fields, there was my lord mayor in his robes of new velvet,
wearing his collar of wrought gold, and attended by his aldermen
in brave apparel likewise. Going down on his knees my lord mayor
presented the king with the city sword, which his majesty with
some happy expressions of confidence gave back into his good
keeping, having first struck him with it upon the shoulder and
bade him rise up Sir Thomas Allen. Whereon that worthy man rose
to his feet and conducted the king to a large and richly adorned
pavilion, and entertained him at a splendid collation, it being
then one of the clock. And being refreshed his majesty set forth
again, and entered the city, which had never before shown so
brave and goodly an appearance as on this May day, when all the
world seemed mad with joy.

From London Bridge even to Whitehall Palace the way was lined on
one side by the train-bands of the city, and on the other by the
city companies in their rich livery gowns; to which were added a
number of gentlemen volunteers, all in white doublets, commanded
by Sir John Stanel. Across the streets hung garlands of spring
flowers that made the air most sweet, and at the corners thereof
were arches of white hawthorn in full bloom, bedecked with
streamers of gay colours. From wooden railed balconies, jutting
windows, and quaint gables hung fair tapestries, rich silks, and
stuffs of brilliant hues; and from the high red chimneys, grey
turrets, and lofty spires, floated flags bearing the royal arms
of England, and banners inscribed with such mottoes as loyalty
and affection could suggest. The windows and galleries were
filled with ladies of quality in bright dresses; the roofs and
scaffolding, with citizens of all classes, who awaited with eager
and joyous faces to salute their lord and king.

And presently, far down the line of streets, a sound was heard of
innumerable voices cheering most lustily, which every minute
became nearer and louder, till at last a blare of trumpets was
distinguished, followed by martial music, and the tramp and
confusion of a rushing crowd which suddenly parted on all sides.
Then there burst on view the first sight of that brave and
glorious cavalcade to the number of twenty thousand, which
ushered the king back unto his own. First came a troop of young
and comely gentlemen, three hundred in all, representing the
pride and valour of the kingdom, wearing cloth of silver doublets
and brandishing naked swords which flashed in the sunlight. Then
another company, less by a hundred in number, habited in rich
velvet coats, their footmen clad in purple liveries; and next a
goodly troop under the command of Sir John Robinson, all dressed
in buff coats with cloth of silver sleeves, and green scarves
most handsome to behold. These were followed by a brave troop in
blue doublets adorned with silver lace, carrying banners of red
silk fringed with gold. Then came trumpets, and seven footmen in
sea-green and silver liveries, bearing banners of blue silk,
followed by a troop in grey and blue to the number of two hundred
and twenty, and led by the most noble the Earl of Northampton.
After various other companies, all brave in apparel, came two
trumpets bearing his majesty's arms, followed by the sheriffs'
men in red cloaks and silver lace, and by a great body of
gentlemen in black velvet coats with gold chains. Next rode six
hundred brave citizens, twelve ministers, the king's life guards,
led by Sir Gilbert Gerrard, the city marshals with eight footmen,
the city waits and officers, the sheriffs and aldermen in scarlet
gowns, the maces and heralds in great splendour, the lord mayor
carrying a naked sword in his strong right hand, the Duke of
Buckingham, and General Monk, soon to be created Duke of

Now other heralds sound their trumpets with blasts that make all
hearts beat quicker; church bells ring far louder than before;
voices are raised to their highest pitch, excitement reaches its
zenith, for here, mounted on a stately horse caparisoned in royal
purple and adorned with gold, rides King Charles himself; on his
right hand his brother of York, on his left his brother of
Gloucester. Handkerchiefs are waved, flowers are flung before
his way, words of welcome fall upon his ear, in answer to which
he bows with stately grace, smiles most pleasantly, and gives
such signs of delight as "cheared the hearts of all loyal
subjects even to extasie and transportation." Last of all came
five regiments of cavalry, with back, breast, and head piece,
which "diversified the show with delight and terrour." John
Evelyn stood in the Strand and watched the procession pass, when
that worthy man thanked God the king had been restored without
bloodshed, and by the very army that had rebelled against him.
"For such a restauration was never mention'd in any history
ancient or modern, since the returne of the Jews from the
Babylonish captivity; nor so joyfull a day and so bright ever
seene in this nation, this hapning when to expect or effect it
was past all human policy."

For full seven hours this "most pompous show that ever was" wound
its way through the city, until at nine of the clock in the
evening it brought his majesty to the palace of Whitehall, where
the late king had "laid down his sacred head to be struck off
upon a block," almost twelve years before. Then the lord mayor
and his aldermen took their goodly leave, and the king entered
into the banquet hall, where the lords and commons awaited him,
and where an address was made to him by the Earl of Manchester,
Speaker to the House of Peers, congratulating him on his
miraculous preservation and happy restoration to his crown and
dignity after so long and so severe a suppression of his just
right and title. Likewise his lordship besought his majesty to
be the upright assertor of the laws and maintainer of the
liberties of his subjects. "So," said the noble earl, "shall
judgment run down like a river, and justice like a mighty stream,
and God, the God of your mercy, who hath so miraculously
preserved you, will establish your throne in righteousness and
peace." Then the king made a just and brief reply, and retired
to supper and to rest.

The worthy citizens, however, were not satisfied that their
rejoicements should end here, and "as soon as night came," says
Dr. Bate, "an artificial day was begun again, the whole city
seeming to be one great light, as, indeed, properly it was a
luminary of loyalty, the bonfires continuing till daybreak, fed
by a constant supply of wood, and maintained with an equal excess
of gladness and fewel." Wine flowed from public fountains,
volleys of shot were discharged from houses of the nobility,
drums and other musical instruments played in the streets,
citizens danced most joyfully in open places, and the effigy of
Cromwell was burned, together with the arms of the Commonwealth
with expressions of great delight.


The story of the king's escape.--He accepts the Covenant and
lands in Scotland.--Crowned at Scone.--Proclaimed king at
Carlisle.--The battle of Worcester.--Bravery of Charles.--
Disloyalty of the Scottish cavalry.--The Royalists defeated.
--The King's flight.--Seeks refuge in Boscobel Wood.--The
faithful Pendrells.--Striving to cross the Severn.--Hiding in an
oak tree.--Sheltered by Master Lane.--Sets out with Mistress
Lane.--Perilous escapes.--On the road.--The king is recognised.
--Strange adventures.--His last night in England.

That King Charles had been miraculously preserved, as my Lord
Manchester set forth, there can be no doubt. His courageous
efforts to regain the Crown at the battle of Worcester and his
subsequent escapes from the vigilant pursuits of the Cromwellian
soldiers, would, if set down in justice and with detail, present
a story more entertaining than any romance ever written. Here
they must of necessity be mentioned with brevity.

In the year 1645, Charles I., having suffered the loss of many
great battles, became fearful of the danger which threatened his
family and himself. He therefore ordered his son Charles, who
had already retired into the west, to seek refuge in the Scilly
Isles. The prince complied with his desires, and went from
thence to Paris, where his mother, Henrietta Maria, had already
taken shelter, and, after a short stay with her, travelled to the
Hague. Soon after the king was beheaded, the Scots, who regarded
that foul act with great abhorrence, invited Charles to come into
their kingdom, provided he accepted certain hard conditions,
which left the government of all civil business in the hands of
Parliament, and the regulation of all religious matters in charge
of the Presbyterians. No other prospect of regaining his rights,
and of enabling him to fight for his throne presenting itself, he
accepted what was known as the Covenant, and landed in Scotland
in 1650. He was received with the respect due to a monarch, but
placed under the surveillance forced on a prisoner. The
fanatical Presbyterians, jealous of that potent influence which
his blithe ways exercised over all with whom he associated,
neither permitted him to attend the council nor command the army;
they, however, preached to him incessantly, admonished him of his
sins and those of his parents, guarded him as a captive, and
treated him as a puppet. Meanwhile Cromwell, being made aware of
his presence in the kingdom, advanced at the head of a powerful
body into Scotland, fought and won the battle of Dunbar, stormed
and captured Leith, and took his triumphal way towards Edinburgh
town. Charles was at this time in Perth, and being impatient at
his enforced inaction whilst battles were fought in his name, and
lives lost in his cause, made his escape from the Covenanters,
with the determination of arousing the Royalists who lay in the
north. But the Scots soon overtook and recaptured him. However,
this decisive action awoke them to a better understanding of the
deference due to his position, and therefore they crowned him at
Scone on the first day of the year 1651, with much solemnity, and
subsequently made him commander of the army.

After spending some months in reorganizing the troops, he boldly
declared his intention of marching into England, and fighting the
rebel force. Accordingly, on the 31st of July, 1651, he set out
from Sterling with an army of between eleven and twelve thousand
men. At Carlisle he was proclaimed king, and a declaration was
published in his name, granting free grace and pardon to all his
subjects in England, of whatever nature or cause their offences,
saving Cromwell, Bradshaw and Cooke. He then marched to
Lancashire, and on the 23rd of August unfurled the Royal standard
at Worcester, amidst the enthusiastic acclamations of his troops
and the loyal demonstrations of the citizens. Weary of civil
strife, depressed with fear of Cromwell's severities, and
distrustful of the Presbyterians, who chiefly composed the young
king's army, the Royalists had not gathered to his standard in
such numbers as he had anticipated. His troops, since leaving
Scotland, had been reinforced merely by two thousand men; but
Charles had hopes that fresh recruits would join him when news of
the rising got noised abroad.

The Republicans were filled with dismay at the king's determined
action, but were prompt to make a counter-move, Accordingly,
additional troops were levied, London was left to be defended by
volunteers, and Cromwell, heading an army of thirty-four thousand
men, marched against the Royalists. On the 28th of August, they
drew near Worcester, and on the 3rd of September the battle was
fought which will remain for ever famous in the annals of civil
war. On the morning of that day, the king, ascending the
cathedral tower, saw the enemy's forces advancing towards
Worcester: before reaching the city, it was necessary they
should cross the Severn, and, in order to prevent this if
possible, Charles hurried down and directed that some of his
troops, under the command of Montgomery, should defend Powick
Bridge; whilst he stationed others under Colonel Pitscottie lower
down, at a point of the river towards which the Republicans were
marching with pontoons, by means of which they intended to cross.
The young king, hopeful of victory and full of enthusiasm, rode
speedily out at the head of his troops and placed them at their
various stations. Scarcely had he done so, when he became aware
that the main body of the enemy had opened an artillery fire on
Fort Royal, which guarded the city on the south-east side. He
therefore galloped back in hot haste to headquarters, and
reconnoitred the advanced posts eastward of the city, in full
front of the enemy's fire. Meanwhile Montgomery, having
exhausted his ammunition, was obliged to retreat in disorder from
Powick Bridge, followed by the Cromwellians. The king now
courageously resolved to attack the enemy's camp at Perry Wood,
which lay south-east of Worcester. Accordingly he marched out
with the flower of his Highland infantry and the English
cavaliers, led by the Dukes of Hamilton and Buckingham.
Cromwell, seeing this, hastened to intercept the king's march,
whereon a fierce battle was bravely fought on either side.
Nothing could be more valiant than the conduct of the young king,
who showed himself wholly regardless of his life in the fierce
struggle for his rights. Twice was his horse shot under him; but
increasing danger seemed but to animate him to greater daring.
So bravely did his army fight likewise, that the Republicans at
first gave way before them. For upwards of four hours the
engagement raged with great fierceness. Cromwell subsequently
declared it was "as stiff a contest as he had ever seen," and
his experience was great. Success seemed now to crown the
Royalists, anon to favour the Roundheads. The great crisis of
the day at length arrived: the Cromwellians began to waver and
give way just as the Royalist cavalry had expended their
ammunition; the king had still three thousand Scotch cavalry in
the rear under the command of Leslie, who had not yet been called
into action. He therefore ordered them to advance; but, to his
horror, not one of these men, who had looked on as passive
spectators, made a movement. In this hour, when victory or
defeat hung upon a thread the Scots ignominiously failed their
king. Charles instantly saw he was undone. The English cavalry
continued to fight bravely, in their desperation using the butt
ends of their muskets; but they were gradually compelled to give
way before the enemy, who, seeing their condition, had renewed
the attack. The Royalists therefore fell back into the city.
When the king re-entered Worcester he saw before him a scene of
the most disastrous confusion. Royalists and Republicans
encountered and fought each other in every thoroughfare; the air
was filled with the report of muskets, the imprecations of
soldiers, the groans of wounded men, and the shrieks of women.
The streets ran red with blood. At such a sight his heart sank
within him, but, manning himself for fresh efforts, he called his
troops together and sought to incite them with courage to make a
final charge. "I would rather," he cried out, "you would shoot
me than keep me alive to see the sad consequences of this fatal
day." Those who heard him were disheartened: it was too late to
retrieve their heavy losses: most of them refused to heed him;
many sought safety in flight. Then the young king's friends,
gathering round, besought him to make good his escape; and
accordingly, with a sad heart, he rode out of St. Martin's Gate
humbled and defeated. In order to cover his retreat from the
enemy now advancing, my Lord Cleveland, Sir James Hamilton,
Colonel Careless, and some other worthy gentlemen defended
Sudbury Gate, towards which the main body of the Republicans
approached. They held this position a sufficient time to gain
the end for which it was undertaken. But at length the
Republicans, forcing open the gate, marched upon the fort,
defended by fifteen hundred soldiers under Colonel Drummond.
This loyal man refusing to surrender, the fort was speedily
stormed; and he and those of his men who survived the attack were
mercilessly put to the sword.

Dr. George Bate gives a quaint and striking picture of what
followed. "Deplorable and sad was the countenance of the town
after that," writes he; "the victorious soldiers on the one hand
killing, breaking into houses, plundering, sacking, roaring, and
threatening; on the other hand, the subdued flying, turning their
backs to be cut and slashed, and with outstretched hands begging
quarter; some, in vain resisting, sold their lives as dear as
they could, whilst the citizens to no purpose prayed, lamented,
and bewailed. All the streets are strewed with dead and mangled
bodies. Here were to be seen some that begged relief, and then
again others weltering in their own gore, who desired that at
once an end might be put to their lives and miseries. The dead
bodies lay unburied for the space of three days or more, which
was a loathsome spectacle that increased the horror of the

Concerning his subsequent dangers and narrow escapes, the king,
in his days of peace and prosperity, was wont to discourse at
length, for they had left impressions on his mind which lasted
through life. Edward Hyde, Lord Clarendon, his Lord High
Chancellor, Dr. George Bate, his learned physician, and Samuel
Pepys, Esquire, sometime Surveyor-General to the Victualling
Office, have preserved the records of that time of peril, as told
by his majesty. True, their various stories differ in minor
details, but they agree in principal facts. The king had not
ridden many miles from Worcester when he found himself surrounded
by about four thousand of his army, including the Scots under the
command of Leslie. Though they would not fight for him, they
were ready enough to fly with him. At first he thought of
betaking himself to Scotland; but having had sad proof of the
untrustworthy character of those with whom he travelled, he
feared they would further betray him if pursued by the enemy. He
therefore resolved to reach London before the news of his defeat
arrived thither, and make his escape from thence; but this scheme
presented many difficulties. Amongst the persons of quality who
accompanied him were my Lord Duke of Buckingham, the Earls of
Derby and Lauderdale, and the Lords Wilmot and Talbot. During
their journey it fell from my Lord Derby's lips, that when he had
been defeated at Wigan, one Pendrell, an honest labourer and a
Papist, had sheltered him in Boscobel House, not far distant from
where they then rode. Hearing this, the king resolved to trust
this same faithful fellow, and for the present seek such refuge
as Pendrell could afford. It was not easy, however, for his
majesty to escape the Scots; but when night came, he and his
gentlemen slipped away from the high road, which the others
continued to pursue, and made for Boscobel Wood, led by Charles
Giffard, a loyal gentleman and true. The house they sought was
situated between Tong Castle and Brewood, in a woody place most
fitting for retreat; it was, moreover, six and twenty miles from
Worcester, and stood in Shropshire, on the borders of

In order to gain this haven of rest, it was necessary for them to
pass through Stourbridge, where a troop of the Republican army
lay quartered. Midnight had fallen ere they reached the town,
which was now wrapt in darkness, and was, moreover, perfectly
still. The king and his friends, dismounting, led their horses
through the echoing streets as softly as possible, being filled
the while with dire apprehensions. Safely leaving it, they rode
into the wood until they came to the old convent of Whiteladies,
once the home of Cistercian nuns, who had long since been driven
from their peaceful retreat. The house was now the habitation of
the Giffard family, with whom George Pendrell lived as servant.
On being aroused, he came forth with a lantern, and admitted
them, when Charles Giffard made known to him in whose presence he
stood, and acquainted him with their situation. Thereupon the
honest fellow promised to serve the king faithfully, and sent
immediately for his brothers four: William, who took charge of
Boscobel House, not far removed; Humphrey, who was miller at
Whiteladies; Richard, who lived at Hobbal Grange; and John, who
was a woodman, and dwelt hard by. When they had all arrived,
Lord Derby showed them the king's majesty, and besought them for
God's sake, for their loyalty's sake, and as they valued all that
was high and sacred, to keep him safe, and forthwith seek some
place of decent shelter where he might securely lurk. This they
readily swore to compass, though they risked their lives in the

It being considered that greater safety lay in the king being
unattended, his loyal friends departed from him with many prayers
and hopes for a joyful reunion: all of them save my Lords Wilmot
and Buckingham set out to join Leslie's company, that they might
proceed together towards Scotland; but they had not marched six
miles in company with the Scots when these three thousand men and
more were overtaken and were routed by a single troop of the
enemy's horse, and my Lord Derby, being taken, was condemned and
executed. Lords Wilmot and Buckingham set out for London, to
which place it was agreed the king should follow them.

When his majesty's friends had departed, the Pendrells undertook
to disguise him; towards which end one of them cut the long locks
reaching his shoulders, another rubbed his hands and face with
dust, and a third brought him a suit of clothes. "The habit of
the king," says Pepys, "was a very greasy old grey steeple-
crowned hat, with the brims turned up, without lining or hatband,
the sweat appearing two inches deep through it round the band
place; a green cloth jump-coat, threadbare, even to the threads
being worn white, and breeches of the same, with long knees down
to the garter; with an old sweaty leathern doublet, a pair of
white flannel stockings next to his legs, and upon them a pair of
old green yarn stockings, all worn and darned at the knees, with
their feet cut off: his shoes were old, all slashed for the ease
of his feet, with little rolls of paper between his toes to keep
them from galling; and an old coarse shirt, patched both at the
neck and hands, of that very coarse sort which go by the name of
nogging shirts."

When Charles was attired in this fashion, Richard Pendrell opened
a back door and led him out into the wood; not a moment too soon,
for within half an hour Colonel Ashenhurst, with a company of
Cromwell's soldiers, rode up to Whiteladies, rushed into the
house, searched every chamber and secret place, pulled down the
wainscoting, and otherwise devastated the mansion in the search
for the king. A damp cold September morning now lengthened to a
day of gloom and depression. Rain fell in heavy torrents,
dripped from the leafless branches of trees, and saturated the
thick undergrowth and shrubs where his majesty lay hidden. Owing
to the condition of the weather, the soldiers neglected to search
Boscobel Wood; and, after uttering many threats and imprecations,
withdrew from Whiteladies. When he considered himself quite
alone, Richard Pendrell ventured forth, taking with him a
billhook, that if observed he might seem engaged in trimming
hedges; and drawing near the spot where his majesty lay, assured
him of his safety. Later on he besought an old woman, his
neighbour, to take victuals into the wood to a labourer she would
find there. Without hesitation the good woman carried some eggs,
bread, butter, and milk towards the spot indicated to her. On
seeing her the king was much alarmed fearing recognition and
dreading her garrulity; wherefore he said to her: "Can you be
true to anyone who hath served the king?" Upon which she readily
made answer: "Yes, sir; I'd die sooner than betray you." Being
reassured at this, he ate heartily.

When night fell, Richard brought him into the house again, and
the king, now abandoning his intention of proceeding to London,
expressed his anxiety to reach Wales where he had many friends,
and which afforded him ready opportunities of escaping from the
kingdom. Pendrell expressed himself willing to conduct him
thither. Accordingly, about nine of the clock, they set out with
the determination of crossing the Severn, intending to pass over
a ferry between Bridgenorth and Shrewsbury. When they had walked
some hours they drew near a water-mill. "We could see the
miller," said the king in relating the story, "as I believe,
sitting at the mill-door, he being in white clothes, it being a
very dark night. He called out sturdily, 'Who goes there?' Upon
which Richard Pendrell answered, 'Neighbours going home,' or
suchlike words. Whereupon the miller cried out: 'If you be
neighbours, stand, or I will knock you down.' Upon which, we
believing there was company in the house, Richard bade me follow
him close, and he ran to a gate that went up a dirty lane up a
hill. The miller cried out: 'Rogues--rogues!' And thereupon
some men came out of the mill after us, which I believe were
soldiers; so we fell a-running, both of us up the lane as long as
we could run, it being very deep and very dirty, till at last I
bade him leap over a hedge, and lie still to hear if anybody
followed us--which we did, and continued lying down upon the
ground about half an hour, when, hearing nobody come, we
continued our way."

This led to the house of an honest gentleman named Woolfe, living
at Madeley, who was a Catholic, and loyal to his king, and as
such was known to the Pendrells. When they drew near to his
house, Richard, leaving his majesty in a field, went forward and
asked this worthy man if he would shelter one who had taken part
in the battle of Worcester; whereon he made answer he would not
venture his neck for any man unless it were the king himself,
upon which Pendrell made known to him it was his majesty who
sought refuge from him. Mr. Woolfe came out immediately and
carried the king by a back way into a barn, where he hid him for
the day, it being considered unsafe for him to stay a longer
period there, as two companies of militia were at that time
stationed in the town, and were very likely to search the house
at any minute. Moreover he advised his majesty by no means to
adventure crossing the Severn, as the strictest guard was then
kept at the ferries to prevent any Royalist fugitives from
escaping into Wales. The king was therefore obliged to retrace
his steps, and now sought Boscobel House, not far distant from
his first resting-place of Whiteladies. Arriving there, he
remained secreted in the wood, whilst Richard went to see if
soldiers were in occupation of the dwelling. There was no one
there, however, but Colonel Careless, the same good man and true
who had helped to keep Sudbury Gate whilst Charles made his

The Colonel had been hiding in the forest, and, being sore
pressed by hunger, had come to beg a little bread. Being
informed where the king was, he came forth with great joy, and,
the house not being considered a safe refuge, they both climbed
into the branches of a leafy oak, situated in an open part of the
wood, from whence they could see all round them. They carried
with them some bread and cheese and small beer, and stayed there
that day. "While we were in the tree," says the king, "we saw
soldiers going up and down in the thicket of the wood, searching
for persons escaped, we seeing them now and then peeping out of
the wood." When this danger had passed away, the king, worn out
by his sore fatigues, laid his head on his friend's breast and
slept in his arms. At night they descended, and going to
Boscobel House, were shown a secret hiding-place, such as were
then to be found in the mansions of all Catholic families, called
the priests' hole a little confined closet built between two
walls, in the principal stack of chimneys, and having a couple of
exits for the better escape of those compelled to seek its
shelter. Here the king rested in peace for a day and a night.

Meanwhile Humphrey Pendrell went into Shifnal to pay his taxes;
and it being known he had come from Whiteladies, he was
questioned closely as to whether he knew aught of Charles Stuart.
On stoutly denying all knowledge of him, he was told that any man
who discovered him would gain a thousand pounds, but he that
sheltered him would suffer death without mercy; these being the
terms of a proclamation just issued. This the honest miller on
his return narrated to the king, swearing roundly he would run
all risks for his sake. It chanced at this time one of the
Pendrells heard that my Lord Wilmot who had not been able to make
his way to London, was hiding in a very secure place, at the
house of a gentleman named Whitegrave, above seven miles distant.
This coming to the king's knowledge, he became anxious to see his
faithful friend and hold communication with him. Accordingly one
of the Pendrells was despatched to request Lord Wilmot to meet
his majesty that night, in a field close by Mr. Whitegrave's
house. And the time of night being come, the king was impatient
of delay; but his feet were sore from the rough shoes he had worn
on his journey, so that he was scarce able to walk; therefore he
was mounted on Humphrey's mill-horse, and, the four loyal
brothers forming a guard, they directed their way towards
Moseley. The king's eagerness to see Wilmot being great, he
complained of the horse's slow pace. "Can you blame him, my
liege," said Humphrey, who loved a jest, "that he goes heavily,
having the weight of three kingdoms on his back?"

When they had travelled with him a great part of the journey it
was thought safer three of them should withdraw themselves. They
therefore turned away; but scarcely had they gone when the king,
who, being lost in thought, had remained unconscious of their
departure, suddenly stopped, and caused John, who remained, to
speedily summon them back. When they returned he gave them his
hand to kiss, and, with that charm of manner which never failed
in winning friends, said to them sadly, "My sorrows make me
forget myself. I earnestly thank you all."

They kissed his hand heartily, and prayed God to save him. In
the days of his prosperity he remembered their kindness and
rewarded their loyalty.

Arriving at the trysting place the king found Mr. Whitegrave, a
Benedictine monk named Father Huddlestone, Sir John Preston, and
his brother awaiting him. It may be mentioned here this monk was
destined, many years later, to play an important part in the
closing scene of his majesty's life. Mr. Whitegrave conducted
Charles with great show of respect to his house, where the king
spoke with my Lord Wilmot, feasted well, and rested safe that
night. Next morning the worthy host had private notice given
that a company of soldiers were on their way to arrest him as one
who had served in the king's army. He, being innocent of this
charge, did not avoid them, but received them boldly at his door,
spoke confidently in his own defence, and referred them to the
testimony of his neighbours, whereon they departed quietly.

It was feared, however, the house was no longer safe, and that
another refuge had best be sought for his majesty. Therefore,
Father Huddlestone informed the king of an honest gentleman, the
owner of a fair estate some six miles removed, who was generous
and exceedingly beloved, and the eldest justice of peace in the
county of Stafford. This gentleman was named Lane, "a very
zealous Protestant, yet he lived with so much civility and
candour towards the Catholics, that they would all trust him as
much as they would any of their own profession." The king,
however, not being willing to surprise this worthy man,
immediately despatched the Benedictine to make certain of his
welcome; receiving due assurances of which he and Lord Willmot
set out by night for Master Lane's mansion, where they were
heartily received, and where Charles rested some days in blessed
security. Knowing, however, in what risk he placed those who
sheltered him, and how vigilant the pursuit after him, he became
most anxious for his safe delivery out of the kingdom. To this
end it was desirable he should draw near the west coast, and
await an opportunity of sailing from thence for France.

The members of Master Lane's family then living with him
consisted of a son and a daughter: the former a man of fearless
courage and integrity, the latter a gentlewoman of good wit and
discretion, as will be seen hereafter. Consulting, amongst
themselves as to the best means of compassing the king's escape,
it was resolved Mistress Lane should visit a kinswoman of hers
with whom she had been bred, that had married one Norton, and was
now residing within five miles of Bristol. It was likewise
decided she should ride on her journey thence behind the king, he
being habited in her father's livery, and acting as her servant;
and for greater safety her sister and her sister's husband were
to accompany them on the road. Mistress Jane Lane then procured
from a colonel of the rebel army a passport for herself and her
servant, her sister and her brother-in-law, to travel without
molestation to her cousin Mistress Norton, who was ready to lie
in. With this security Jane set out, her brother bearing them
company part of the way, with a hawk upon his fist and two or
three spaniels at his heels, which warranted him keeping the king
and his friends in sight without seeming to be of their company.

The first day's journey was not accomplished without an exciting
incident. The horse ridden by Mistress Lane and the king--now
bearing the name of William Jackson--lost a shoe; and being come
to Bromsgrove, he must dismount and lead the animal to the
village blacksmith.

"As I was holding my horse's foot," said his majesty, when
narrating the story to Mr. Pepys, "I asked the smith what news.
He told me that there was no news that he knew of, since the good
news of the beating the rogues of the Scots. I asked him whether
there was none of the English taken that joined with the Scots,
He answered he did not hear if that rogue, Charles Stuart, were
taken; but some of the others, he said, were taken. I told him
that if that rogue were taken, he deserved to be hanged more than
all the rest, for bringing in the Scots. Upon which he said I
spoke like an honest man; and so we parted."

At the end of the first day's journey they were met by Lord
Wilmot at the inn; and he continued to join them wherever they
rested at night, without appearing to travel with them by day.
Mistress Lane took all possible care to guard the king against
recognition, stating at every house of accommodation where they
tarried he was "a neighbour's son whom her father had lent her to
ride before her in hope that he would the sooner recover from a
quartan ague with which he had been miserably afflicted, and was
not yet free. "Which story served as sufficient excuse for his
going to bed betimes, and so avoiding the company of servants.
At the end of three days they arrived at their destination. Jane
Lane was warmly received by her cousin, and the whole party made
heartily welcome. Jane, however, did not entrust her secret to
Mistress Norton's keeping, but repeated her tale of the good
youth being newly recovered from ague, and desired a chamber
might be provided for him, and a good fire made that he might
retire early to bed. Her desires being obeyed, the king
withdrew, and was served with an excellent good supper by the
butler, a worthy fellow named Pope, who had been a trooper in the
army of Charles I., of blessed memory.

"The next morning" said the king continuing his strange story, "I
arose pretty early, having a very good stomach, and went to the
buttery-hatch to get my breakfast, where I found Pope and two or
three other men in the room, and we all fell to eating bread and
butter, to which he gave us very good ale and sack. And as I was
sitting there, there was one that looked like a country fellow
sat just by me, who, talking, gave so particular an account of
the battle of Worcester to the rest of the company that I
concluded he must be one of Cromwell's soldiers. But I, asking
how he came to give so good an account of that battle, he told me
he was in the King's regiment, by which I thought he meant one
Colonel King's regiment. But questioning him further, I
perceived he had been in my regiment of Guards, in Major
Broughton's company--that was my Major in the battle. I asked
him what kind of man I was; to which he answered by describing
exactly both my clothes and my horse, and then, looking upon me,
he told me that the king was at least three fingers taller than
I. Upon which I made what haste I could out of the buttery, for
fear he should indeed know me, as being more afraid when I knew
he was one of our own soldiers than when I took him for one of
the enemy's. So Pope and I went into the hall, and just as we
came into it Mistress Norton was coming by through it; upon which
I, plucking off my hat and standing with it in my hand as she
passed by, Pope looked very earnestly in my face. But I took no
notice of it, but put on my hat again and went away, walking out
of the house into the field."

When he returned, however, the butler followed him into a private
room, and going down on his stiff knees, said, with tears in his
old eyes, he was rejoiced to see his majesty in safety. The king
affected to laugh at him, and asked him what he meant; but Pope
told him he knew him well, for before he was a trooper in his
father's service he had been falconer to Sir Thomas Jermyn, groom
of the bedchamber to the king when he was a boy. Charles saw it
was useless longer to deny himself, and therefore said he
believed him to be a very honest man, and besought he would not
reveal what he knew to anyone. This the old man readily
promised, and faithfully kept his word. Having spent a couple of
days at Norton's, the king, by advice of Lord Wilmot, went to the
house of a true friend and loyal man, one Colonel Windham, who
lived at Trent. This town was notable as a very hotbed of
republicanism; a proof of which was afforded his majesty on the
very day of his entrance. As he rode into the principal street,
still disguised as a waiting man to Mistress Lane, he heard a
great ringing of bells, and the tumult of many voices, and saw a
vast concourse of people gathered in the churchyard close by. On
asking the cause he was informed one of Cromwell's troopers was
telling the people he had killed Charles Stuart, whose buff coat
he then wore; whereon the rebels rang the church bells, and were
about to make a great bonfire for joy.

Having brought him to Trent, Mistress Lane returned home,
carrying with her the king's friendship and gratitude, of which
he gave her ample proof when he came unto the throne. Charles
stayed at Colonel Windham's over a week, whilst that gallant man
was secretly striving to hire a ship for his majesty's safe
transportation into France. Presently succeeding in this object,
the king, yet wearing his livery, and now riding before Mistress
Judith Coningsby, cousin of Colonel Windham, started with high
hopes for Lyme; but at the last moment the captain of the vessel
failed him, and he was again left in a state of painful
uncertainty and danger. Lord Wilmot was sent to ascertain the
cause of this disappointment, and for greater safety the king
rode on to Burport with his friends. Being come to the outskirts
of the town, they were alarmed at finding the streets in a state
of confusion, and full of Cromwell's soldiers, fifteen hundred of
whom were about to embark for Jersey. His majesty's coolness and
presence of mind did not fail him; he resolved to ride boldly
into the town, and hire a chamber at the best inn. The yard of
the hostelry was likewise crowded with troopers; but this did not
dismay his majesty.

"I alighted," said he, "and taking the horses, thought it the
best way to go blundering in among them, and lead them through
the middle of the soldiers into the stable; which I did, and they
were very angry with me for my rudeness. As soon as I came into
the stable I took the bridle off the horses, and called the
ostler to me to help me, and to give the horses some oats. And
as the hostler was helping me to feed the horses, 'Sure, sir,'
says he, 'I know your face?' which was no very pleasant question
to me. But I thought the best way was to ask him where he had
lived, or whether he had always lived there or no. He told me
that he was but newly come thither; that he was born in Exeter,
and had been ostler in an inn there, hard by one Mr. Potter's, a
merchant in whose house I had lain in the time of the war. So I
thought it best to give the fellow no further occasion of
thinking where he had seen me, for fear he should guess right at
last; therefore I told him, 'Friend, certainly you have seen me
then at Mr. Potter's, for I served him a good while above a
year.' 'Oh,' says he, 'then I remember you a boy there;' and with
that was put off from thinking any more on it, but desired that
we might drink a pot of beer together, which I excused by saying
that I must go wait on my master, and get his dinner ready for
him; but told him that my master was going to London, and would
return about three weeks hence, when he would be there, and I
would not fail to drink a pot with him."

The king and his friends, having dined at the inn, got word that
the master of the ship, suspecting that it was some dangerous
employment he had been hired for, absolutely refused to fulfil
his contract. Therefore they, being sad at heart and fearful,
retraced their steps to Trent, and presently his majesty went
further into Sussex, and abode with a staunch Royalist, one
Colonel Gunter, who resided within four miles of Salisbury. This
excellent man at last succeeded in hiring a ship to carry away
the king, and so Charles made another journey to Brighthelmstone,
where he met the captain of the vessel and the merchant that had
hired her on behalf of Colonel Gunter, both of whom had been kept
in ignorance of their future passenger's identity. Arriving at
Brighthelmstone, they entered an inn and ordered supper, during
which the captain more than once looked hard at the king. And
the meal being ended, the captain called the merchant aside and
said he was not dealt with fairly, inasmuch as he had not been
told the king was the person to be conveyed from thence. The
merchant, not being so wise as the master, denied such was the
case; but the honest fellow told him not to be troubled. "For I
think," said he, "I do God and my country good service in
preserving the king: and by the grace of God I will venture my
life and all for him, and set him safely on shore, if I can, in

Nor was this the last of his majesty's numerous risks, for being
presently left alone, he stood thoughtful and somewhat melancholy
by the fire, resting one hand on a chair; and the landlord,
coming in and seeing him engaged in this manner, softly advanced,
suddenly kissed the king's hand, and said, "God bless you,
wherever you go." Charles started, and would have denied
himself; but the landlord cried out, "'Fore God, your majesty may
trust me; and," he added, "I have no doubt, before I die, to be a
lord, and my wife a lady."

That night, the last his majesty was to spend in England for many
years, he was sad and depressed. The scenes of bloodshed he had
witnessed, the imminent dangers he had escaped, were vividly
present to his mind. The past was fraught with horror; the
future held no hope. Though a king, he was about to become an
outcast from his realm. Surmising his thoughts, his companions
sought to cheer him. Now the long-desired moment of escape was
at hand, no one thought of repose. The little vessel in which he
intended sailing lay dry upon the shore, the tide being at low
water. The king and his friends, the merchant, the captain, and
the landlord, sat in the well-lighted cosy parlour of the seaport
inn, smoking, playing cards, telling stories and drinking good

With all such diversions the hours wore heavily away. Their
noisy joviality had an undercurrent of sadness; jokes failed to
amuse; laughter seemed forced; words, mirthful in leaving the
lips, sounded ominous on reaching the ear. At four o'clock the
captain rose to survey his ship, and presently returned saying
the tide had risen. Thereon the king and his friends prepared to
depart. A damp, chilly November fog hung over the sea, hiding
its wide expanse without deadening its monotonous moan. A
procession of black figures leaving the inn sped noiselessly
through darkness. Arriving at the shore, those who were not to
accompany his majesty, knelt and kissed his hand. Then he, with
Lord Wilmot and the captain, climbed on board the vessel and
entered the cabin. The fog had turned to rain. Four hours
later, the tide being favourable, the ship sailed out of port,
and in due time the king was safely landed in France.


Celebration of the Kings return.--Those who flocked to Whitehall
My Lord Cleveland's gentlemen.--Sir Thomas Allen's supper.--
Touching for King's evil.--That none might lose their labour.--
The man with the fungus nose.--The memory of the regicides.--
Cromwell's effigy.--Ghastly scene at Tyburn.--The King's
clemency.--The Coronation procession.--Sights and scenes by the
way.--His Majesty is crowned.

The return of the king and his court was a signal for universal
joy throughout the nation in general and the capital in
particular. For weeks and months subsequent to his majesty's
triumphal entry, the town did not subside from its condition of
excitement and revelry to its customary quietude and sobriety.
Feasts by day were succeeded by entertainments at night; "and
under colour of drinking the king's health," says Bishop Burnet,
"there were great disorder and much riot."

It seemed as if the people could not sufficiently express their
delight at the presence of the young king amongst them, or
satisfy their desire of seeing him. When clad in rich velvets
and costly lace, adorned with many jewels and waving feathers, he
walked in Hyde Park attended by an "abundance of gallantry," or
went to Whitehall Chapel, where "the organs and singing-men in
surplices" were first heard by Mr. Pepys, a vast crowd of loyal
subjects attended him on his way. Likewise, when, preceded by
heralds, he journeyed by water in his barge to open Parliament,
the river was crowded with innumerable boats, and the banks lined
with a great concourse anxious for sight of him. Nor were his
subjects satisfied by the glimpses obtained of him on such
occasions; they must needs behold their king surrounded by the
insignia of royalty in the palace of his ancestors, and flocked
thither in numbers. "The eagerness of men, women, and children
to see his majesty, and kisse his hands was so greate," says
Evelyn, "that he had scarce leisure to eate for some dayes,
coming as they did from all parts of the nation: and the king
being as willing to give them that satisfaction, would have none
kept out, but gave free access to all sorts of people." Indeed
his loyal subjects were no less pleased with him than he with
them; and in faith he was sorry, he declared, in that delicate
strain of irony that ran like a bright thread throughout the
whole pattern of his speech, he had not come over before, for
every man he encountered was glad to see him.

Day after day, week after week, the Palace of Whitehall presented
a scene of ceaseless bustle. Courtiers, ambassadors,
politicians, soldiers, and citizens crowded the antechambers,
flocked through the galleries, and tarried in the courtyards.
Deputations from all the shires and chief towns in the three
kingdoms, bearing messages of congratulation and loyalty, were
presented to the king. First of all came the worshipful lord
mayor, aldermen and council of the city of London, in great pomp
and state; when the common-sergeant made a speech to his majesty
respecting the affection of the city towards him, and the lord
mayor, on hospitable thoughts intent, besought the honour of his
company to dinner, the which Charles promised him most readily.
And the same day the commissioners from Ireland presented
themselves, headed by Sir James Barry, who delivered himself of a
fine address regarding the love his majesty's Irish subjects bore
him; as proof of which he presented the monarch with a bill for
twenty thousand pounds, that had been duly accepted by Alderman
Thomas Viner, a right wealthy man and true. Likewise came the
deputy steward and burgesses of the city of Westminster, arrayed
in the glory of new scarlet gowns; and the French, Italian, and
Dutch ministers, when Monsieur Stoope pronounced an harangue with
great eloquence. Also the vice-chancellor of the University of
Oxford, with divers doctors, bachelors of divinity, proctors, and
masters of arts of the same learned university, who, having first
met at the Temple Church, went by two and two, according to their
seniority, to Essex House, that they might wait on the most noble
the Marquis of Hertford, then chancellor. Accompanied by him,
and preceded by eight esquires and yeomen beadles, having their
staves, and three of them wearing gold chains, they presented
themselves before the king, and spoke him words of loyalty and
greeting. The heads of the colleges and halls of Cambridge, with
some masters of arts, in like manner journeyed to Whitehall, when
Dr. Love delivered a learned Latin oration, expressive of their
devotion to royalty in the person of their most illustrious

Amongst others came, one day, my Lord Cleveland at the head of a
hundred gentlemen, many of them being officers who had formerly
served under him, and other gentlemen who had ridden to meet the
king when coming unto his own; and having arrived at Whitehall,
they knelt down in the matted gallery, when his majesty "was
pleased to walk along," says MERCURIUS PUBLICUS, "and give
everyone of them the honour to kiss his hand, which favour was so
highly received by them, that they could no longer stifle their
joy, but as his majesty was walking out (a thing thought unusual
at court) they brake out into a loud shouting."

Then the nobility entertained the king and his royal brothers
with much magnificence, his Excellency Lord General Monk first
giving at his residence in the Cockpit, a great supper, after
which "he entertained his majesty with several sorts of musick;"
Next Earl Pembroke gave a rare banquet; also the Duke of
Buckingham, my Lord Lumley, and many others. Nor was my lord
mayor, Sir Thomas Allen, behindhand in extending hospitality to
the king, whom he invited to sup with him. This feast, having no
connection with the civic entertainments, was held at good Sir
Thomas's house. The royal brothers of York and Gloucester were
likewise bidden, together with several of the nobility and gentry
of high degree. Previous to supper being served, the lord mayor
brought his majesty a napkin dipped in rose-water, and offered it
kneeling; when his majesty had wiped his hands, he sat down at a
table raised by an ascent, the Duke of York on his right hand,
and the Duke of Gloucester on his left. They were served with
three several courses, at each of which the tablecloth was
shifted, and at every dish which his majesty or the dukes tasted,
the napkins were moreover changed. At another table in the same
room sat his Excellency the Lord General, the Duke of Buckingham,
the Marquis of Ormond, the Earl of Oxford, Earl of Norwich, Earl
of St. Albans, Lords De la Ware, Sands, Berkeley, and several
other of the nobility, with knights and gentlemen of great
quality. Sir John Robinson, alderman of London, proposed his
majesty's health, which was pledged standing by all present. His
majesty was the while entertained with a variety of rare music.
This supper was given on the 16th of June; and a couple of weeks
later, on the 5th of July, the king went "with as much pompe and
splendour as any earthly prince could do to the greate Citty
feast, the first they had invited him to since his returne."

But whilst entertainments were given, and diversions occupied the
town, Charles was called upon to touch for the evil, an
affliction then most prevalent throughout the kingdom. According
to a time-honoured belief which obtained until the coming of
George I., when faith in the divinity of kings was no longer
possible to the most ignorant, the monarch's touch was credited
with healing this most grievous disease. Majesty in those days
was sacred, and superstition rife. Accordingly we read in
MERCURIUS PUBLICUS that, "The kingdom having for a long time, by
reason of his majesty's absence, been troubled with the evil,
great numbers flocked for cure. Saturday being appointed by his
majesty to touch such as were so troubled, a great company of
poor afflicted creatures were met together, many brought in
chairs and baskets; and being appointed by his majesty to repair
to the banqueting house, the king sat in a chair of state, where
he stroked all that were brought to him, and then put about each
of their necks a white ribbon with an angel of gold on it. In
this manner his majesty stroked above six hundred; and such was
his princely patience and tenderness to the poor afflicted
creatures, that though it took up a long time, the king, being
never weary of well doing, was pleased to make inquiry whether
there were any more that had not been touched. After prayers
were ended the Duke of Buckingham brought a towel, and the Earl
of Pembroke a basin and ewer, who, after they had made their
obeysance to his majesty, kneeled down till his majesty had

This was on the 23rd of June, a few days earlier than the date
fixed by Evelyn as that on which the king first began "touch for
ye evil." A week later we find he stroked as many as two hundred
and fifty persons. Friday was then appointed as the day for
those suffering from this disease to come before the king; it was
moreover decided that only two hundred persons should be
presented each week and these were first to repair to Mr. Knight,
his majesty's surgeon, living at the Cross Guns, in Russell
Street, Covent Garden, over against the Rose tavern, for tickets
of admission. "That none might lose their labour." the same Mr.
Knight made it known to the public he would be at home on
Wednesdays and Thursdays, from two till six of the clock; and if
any person of quality should send for him he would wait upon them
at their lodgings. The disease must indeed have been rife: week
after week those afflicted continued to present themselves, and
we read that, towards the end of July, "notwithstanding all
discouragements by the hot weather and the multitude of sick and
infirm people, his majesty abated not one of his accustomed
number, but touched full two hundred: an high conviction of all
such physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries that pretend self-
preservation when the languishing patient requires their
assistance." Indeed, there were some who placed boundless faith
in the king's power of healing by touch; amongst whom was one
Avis Evans, whom Aubrey, in his "Miscellanies," records "had a
fungus nose, and said it was revealed to him that the king's hand
would cure him. And at the first coming of King Charles II. into
St. James's Park, he kissed the king's hand, and rubbed his nose
with it, which disturbed the king, but cured him."

The universal joy which filled the nation at the restoration of
his majesty was accompanied, as might be expected, by bitter
hatred towards the leaders of Republicanism, especially towards
such as had condemned the late king to death. The chief objects
of popular horror now, however, lay in their graves; but the
sanctity of death was neither permitted to save their memories
from vituperation nor their remains from moltestation.
Accordingly, through many days in June the effigy of Cromwell,
which had been crowned with a royal diadem, draped with a purple
mantle, in Somerset House, and afterwards borne with all
imaginable pomp to Westminster Abbey, was now exposed at one of
the windows at Whitehall with a rope fixed round its neck, by way
of hinting at the death which the original deserved. But this
mark of execration was not sufficient to satisfy the public mind,
and seven months later, on the 30th of January, 1661, the
anniversary of the murder of Charles I., the bodies of Oliver
Cromwell, Henry Ireton, and John Bradshaw were taken from their
resting places in Westminster Abbey, and drawn on hurdles to
Tyburn, the well-known site of public executions. "All the way
the universal outcry and curses of the people went along with
them," says MERCURIUS PUBLICUS. "When these three carcasses
arrived at Tyburn, they were pulled out of their coffins, and
hanged at the several angles of that triple tree, where they hung
till the sun was set; after which they were taken down, their
heads cut off; and their loathsome trunks thrown into a deep hole
under the gallows. The heads of those three notorious regicides,
Oliver Cromwell, John Bradshaw, and Ireton are set upon poles on
the top of Westminster Hall by the common hangman. Bradshaw
placed in the middle (over that part where the monstrous high
court of justice sat), Cromwell and his son-in-law Ireton on
either side of Bradshaw."

Before this ghastly execution took place, Parliament had brought
to justice such offenders against the late king's government and
life as were in its power. According to the declaration made by
the king at Breda, a full and general pardon was extended to all
rebellious subjects, excepting such persons as should be
hereafter excepted by Parliament. By reason of this clause, some
who had been most violent in their persecution of royalty were
committed to the Tower before the arrival of his majesty, others
fled from the country, but had, on another proclamation summoning
them to surrender themselves, returned in hope of obtaining
pardon. Thirty in all were tried at the Old Bailey before the
Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer and a special jury of knights
and gentlemen of quality in the county of Middlesex. Twenty-nine
of these were condemned to death. The king was singularly free
from desires of revenge; but many of his council were strangers
to clemency, and, under the guise of loyalty to the crown, sought
satisfaction for private wrongs by urging severest measures. The
monarch, however, shrank from staining the commencement of his
reign with bloodshed and advocated mercy. In a speech delivered
to the House of Lords he insisted that, as a point of honour, he
was bound to make good the assurances given in his proclamation
of Breda, "which if I had not made," he continued, "I am
persuaded that neither I nor you had now been here. I pray,
therefore, let us not deceive those who brought or permitted us
to come together; and I earnestly desire you to depart from all
particular animosities and revenge or memory of past
provocations." Accordingly, but ten of those on whom sentence of
death had been passed were executed, the remainder being
committed to the Tower. That they were not also hung was,
according to the mild and merciful Dr. Reeves, Dean of
Westminster, "a main cause of God's punishing the land" in the
future time. For those destined to suffer, a gibbet was erected
at Charing Cross, that the traitors might in their last moments
see the spot where the late king had been executed. Having been
half hung, they were taken down, when their heads were severed
from their trunks and set up on poles at the south-east end of
Westminster Hall, whilst their bodies were quartered and exposed
upon the city gates.

Burnet tells us that "the regicides being odious beyond all
expression, the trials and executions of the first who suffered
were run to by crowds, and all the people seemed pleased with the
sight;" yet by degrees these cruel and ghastly spectacles became
distasteful and disgusting. "I saw not their executions," says
Evelyn, speaking of four of the traitors who had suffered death
on the 17th of October, "but met their quarters mangled and cutt
and reeking as they were brought from the gallows in baskets on
the hurdle. Oh the miraculous providence of God!"

Seven months later, the people were diverted by the more cheerful
pageant of the king's coronation, which was conducted with great
magnificence. "Two days," as Heath narrates, "were allotted to
the consummation of this great and most celebrated action, the
wonder, admiration and delight of all persons, both foreign and
domestick." Early on the morning of the 22nd of May, the day
being Monday, the king left Whitehall, by water, for the Tower,
in order that he might, according to ancient custom, proceed
through the city to Westminster Abbey. It was noticed that it
had previously rained for a month together, but on this and the
next day "it pleased God that not one drop fell on the king's
triumph." At ten o'clock the roaring of cannon announced the
procession had left the Tower on its way to Whitehall, where his
majesty was to rest the night. The splendour of the pageant was
such as had never before been witnessed. The procession was
headed by the king's council at law, the masters of chancery and
judges, who were followed by the lords according to their rank,
so numerous in all, that those who rode first reached Fleet
Street, whilst the king was yet in the Tower.

No expense was spared by those who formed part of that wonderful
cavalcade, towards rendering their appearance magnificent. Heath
tells us it was incredible to think "what costly cloathes were
worn that day. The cloaks could hardly be seen what silk or
satin they were made of, for the gold and silver laces and
embroidery that was laid upon them; the like also was seen on
their foot-cloathes. Besides the inestimable value and treasures
of diamonds, pearls, and other jewels worn upon their backs and
in their hats, not to mention the sumptuous and rich liveries of
their pages and footmen, some suits of liveries amounting to
fifteen hundred pounds." Nor had the city hesitated in lavishing
vast sums towards decorating the streets through which the king
was to pass. Four triumphal arches were erected, that were left
standing for a year in memory of this joyful day. These were
"composed" by John Ogilby, Esquire; and were respectively
erected in Leadenhall Street, the Exchange on Cornhill, Wood
Street, and Fleet Street.

The thoroughfares were newly gravelled, railed all the way on
both sides, and lined with the city companies and trained bands.
The "relation of his majesty's entertainment passing through the
City of London," as narrated by John Ogilby, and by the papers of
the day, is extremely quaint and interesting, but too long for
detailed description. During the monarch's progress through
"Crouched Friers," he was diverted with music discoursed by a
band of eight waits, placed upon a stage. At Aldgate, and at
several other stages of his journey, he was received in like
manner. Arriving at the great arch in Leadenhall Street, his
ears were greeted by sounds of trumpets and drums playing
marches; when they had finishes, a short scene was enacted on a
balcony of the arch, by figures representing Monarchy, Rebellion,
and Loyalty. Then the great procession wended its way to the
East India House, situate in the same street, when the East India
Company took occasion to express their dutiful affections, in a
manner "wholly designed by person of quality." As the king
advanced, a youth in an Indian habit, attended by two
blackamoors, knelt down before his majesty's horse, and delivered
himself of some execrable verse, which he had no sooner ended
than another youth in an Indian vest, mounted on a camel, was led
forwards and delivered some lines praying his majesty's subjects
might never see the sun set on his crown or dignity. The camel,
it my be noticed, bore panniers filled with pearls, spices, and
silks, destined to be scattered among the spectators. At
Cornhill was a conduit, surmounted by eight wenches representing
nymphs--a sight which must have rejoiced the king's heart; and on
the tower of this same fountain sounded "a noise of seven
trumpets." Another fountain flowed with wine and water; and on
his way the king heard several speeches delivered by various
symbolic figures. One of these, who made a particularly fine
harangue, represented the River Thames, as a gentleman whose
"garment loose and flowing, coloured blue and white, waved like
water, flags and ozier-like long hair falling o'er his shoulders;
his beard long, sea-green, and white." And so by slow degrees
the king came to Temple Bar, where he was entertained by "a view
of a delightful boscage, full of several beasts, both tame and
savage, as also several living figures and music of eight waits."
And having passed through Temple Bar into his ancient and native
city of Westminster, the head bailiff in a scarlet robe and the
high constable, likewise in scarlet, on behalf of the dean,
chapter, city, and liberty, received his majesty with great
expressions of joy.

Never had there been so goodly a show so grand a procession; the
citizens, still delighted with their young king, had certainly
excelled in doing him honour, and some foreigners, Heaton says,
"acknowledged themselves never to have seen among all the great
magnificences of the world any to come near or equal this: even
the vaunting French confessed their pomps of the late marriage
with the Infanta of Spain, at their majesties' entrance into
Paris, to be inferior in its state, gallantry, and riches unto
this most illustrious cavalcade." Amongst those who witnessed


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