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Lucy Hutchinson (1620–1681). Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson. 1906.

The Life of John Hutchinson: 1660

One observation of the colonel I cannot omit, that the secluded members whom Monk brought in were, many of them, so brought over to a commonwealth that, if Sir Arthur Haslerig and his party had not forsaken their places because they would not sit with them, they had made the stronger party in the house, which by reason of their going off were after in all things out-voted.

Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper at that time insinuated himself into a particular friendship with the colonel, and made him all the honourable pretences that can be imagined; called him his dear friend, and caressed him with such embraces as none but a traitor as vile as himself could have suspected; yet was he the most intimate of Monk’s confidants. Whereupon some few days before the rising of that house, when it began to be too apparent which way Monk inclined, the colonel, upon the confidence of his friendship, entreated him to tell him what were Monk’s intentions, that he and others might consider their safety, who were likely to be given up as a public sacrifice. Cooper denied to the death any intention besides a commonwealth; ‘but’, said he, with the greatest semblance of reality that can be put on, ‘if the violence of the people should bring the king upon us, let me be damned, body and soul, if ever I see a hair of any man’s head touched, or a penny of any man’s estate, upon this quarrel’. This he backed with so many and so deep protestations of that kind, as made the colonel, after his treachery was apparent, detest him of all mankind, and think himself obliged, if ever he had opportunity, to procure exemplary justice on him, who was so vile a wretch as to sit himself and sentence some of those that died. And although this man joined with those who laboured the colonel’s particular deliverance, yet the colonel, to his dying day, abhorred the mention of his name, and held him for a more execrable traitor than Monk himself. At this time the colonel, as before, was by many of his friends attempted every way to fall in with the king’s interest, and often offered both pardon and preferment, if he could be wrought off from his party, whose danger was now laid before him: but they could no way move him. A gentleman that had been employed to tamper with him told me, that he found him so unmovable, that one time he and a certain lord being in the colonel’s company, and having begun their vain insinuations, he, to decline them, seeing Cooper, went away with him; upon which this lord, that had some tenderness for the colonel, ‘Well’, said he, to this gentleman, ‘the colonel is a ruined man; he believes that traitor, which will ruin him’. When they could not work into him one way, some, that were most kindly concerned in him, persuaded him to absent himself and not act for the parliament, and undertook with their lives to secure him, but he would not. He foresaw the mischief, and resolved to stay in his duty, waiting upon God, who accordingly was good to him. Some, when they saw Monk had betrayed them, would have fallen in with Lambert, but the colonel thought any destruction was to be chosen before the sin of joining with such a wretch.

Now was that glorious parliament come to a period, not more fatal to itself than to the three nations, whose sun of liberty then set, and all their glory gave place to the foulest mists that ever overspread a miserable people. A new parliament was to be chosen, and the county of Nottingham yet had such respect for Colonel Hutchinson, that they fixed their eyes on him to be their knight, but Mr. William Pierrepont having a great desire to bring in his son-in-law, the Lord Haughton, to be his fellow-knight, the colonel would not come into the town till election was passed; which if he had, he had been chosen without desiring it; for many people came, and when they saw he would not stand, returned and voted for none, among whom were fifty freeholders of the town of Newark.

Some time before the writs for the new elections came, the town of Nottingham, as almost all the rest of the island, began to grow mad, and to declare themselves so, in their desires of the king. The boys, set on by their fathers and masters got drums and colours, and marched up and down the town, and trained themselves in a military posture, and offered many affronts to the soldiers of the army that were quartered there, which were two troops of Colonel Hacker’s regiment. Insomuch that one night there were about forty of the soldiers hurt and wounded with stones, upon the occasion of taking away the drums, when the youths were gathering together to make bonfires to burn the Rump, as the custom of those mad days was. The soldiers, provoked to rage, shot again, and killed in the scuffle two presbyterians, whereof one was an elder, and an old professor; and one that had been a great zealot for the cause, and master of the magazine of Nottingham Castle. He was only standing at his own door, and whether by chance or on purpose shot, or by whom, it is not certain; but true it is, that at that time the presbyterians were more inveterately bitter against the fanatics than even the cavaliers themselves, and they set on these boys. But upon the killing of this man they were hugely enraged, and prayed very seditiously in their pulpits, and began openly to desire the king; not for good will to him neither, but for destruction to all the fanatics. One of the ministers, who were great leaders of the people, had been firmly engaged in Booth’s rebellion, and very many of the godly led in, who, by the timely suppression of those who began the insurrection in Nottingham, were prevented from declaring themselves openly. Colonel Hutchinson was as merciful as he could safely be, in not setting on too strict inquisition; but privately admonishing such as were not passed hopes of becoming good commonwealth’s men, if it were possible that the labouring state might outlive the present storm. Upon this bustle in the town of Nottingham the soldiers were horribly incensed, and the townsmen ready to take part with the boys; whereupon the soldiers drew into the meadows near the town, and sent for the regiment, resolving to execute their vengeance on the town, and the townsmen again were mustering to encounter them. Mrs. Hutchinson by chance coming into the town, and being acquainted with the captains, persuaded them to do nothing in a tumultuary way, however provoked, but to complain to the general, and let him decide the business.

The men, at her entreaty, were content so to do, the townsmen also consenting to restrain their children and servants, and keep the public peace; while it was agreed that both of them should send up together a true information to the general concerning the late quarrel. But one of the officers, more enraged than the rest, went immediately away to Monk, and complained to him of the malice of the presbyterian and cavalier against the soldiers. He, without asking more on the other side, signed a warrant to Colonel Hacker, to let loose the fury of his regiment upon the town, and plunder all they judged guilty; with which the officer immediately went away. Colonel Hutchinson being at that time at the general’s lodging, my Lord Howard told him what order against the town of Nottingham had just been sent down. The colonel, who had been by his wife informed of the disorders there, went to the general, and prevailed with him for a countermand of all hostility against the town, till he should hear and determine the business; which countermand the colonel sent immediately by one of the townsmen, who, though he rid post, came not till Colonel Hacker, with all his regiment, were come into the town before him, and the soldiers were in some of the houses beginning to rifle them. Wherefore the countermand coming so seasonably from Colonel Hutchinson, they could not but look upon him as their deliverer; and this being done a very few days before the election for the next parliament, when the colonel came to town and had waived the county, they generally pitched upon him for the town. But then Dr. Plumptre laboured all he could to get the burgess-ship for himself, and to put by the colonel, with the basest scandals he and two or three of his associates could raise. Mr. Arthur Stanhope, in whose house the soldiers were entered to plunder, being pitched upon for the other burgess, and having a great party in the town, was dealt with to desert the colonel, and offered all Plumptre’s party; but he, on the other side, laboured more for the colonel than for himself, and at length, when the election day came, Mr. Stanhope and the colonel were clearly chosen.

The colonel and Mr. Stanhope went up to the parliament, which began on the 25th day of April, 1660; to whom the king sending a declaration from Breda, which promised, or at least intimated, liberty of conscience, remission of all offences, enjoyment of liberties and estates; they voted to send commissioners to invite him. And almost all the gentry of all parties went, some to fetch him over, some to meet him at the seaside, some to fetch him into London, into which he entered on the 29th day of May, with an universal joy and triumph, even to his own amazement; who, when he saw all the nobility and gentry of the land flowing in to him, asked where were his enemies? For he saw nothing but prostrates, expressing all the love that could make a prince happy. Indeed it was a wonder in that day to see the mutability of some, and the hypocrisy of others, and the servile flattery of all. Monk, like his better genius, conducted him, and was adored like one that had brought all the glory and felicity of mankind home with this prince.

The officers of the army had made themselves as fine as the courtiers, and every one hoped in this change to change their condition, and disowned all things they before had advised. Every ballad-singer sung up and down the streets ribald rhymes, made in reproach of the late commonwealth, and of all those worthies that therein endeavoured the people’s freedom and happiness.

The presbyterians were now the white boys, and according to their nature fell a thirsting, then hunting after blood, urging that God’s blessing could not be upon the land, till justice had cleansed it from the late king’s blood. First that fact was disowned, then all the acts made after it rendered void, then an inquisition made after those that were guilty thereof, but only seven nominated of them that sat in judgment on that prince, for exemplary justice, and a proclamation sent for the rest to come in, upon penalty of losing their estates.

While these things were debating in the house, at the first, divers persons concerned in that business sat there, and when the business came into question, every one of them spoke to it according to their present sense. But Mr. Lenthall, son to the late Speaker of that parliament, when the presbyterians first called that business into question, though not at all concerned in it himself, stood up and made so handsome and honourable a speech in defence of them all, as deserves eternal honour. But the presbyterians called him to the bar for it, where, though he mitigated some expressions, which might be ill taken of the house, yet he spoke so generously, as it is never to be forgotten of him. Herein he behaved himself with so much courage and honour as was not matched at that time in England, for which he was looked on with an evil eye, and, upon a pretence of treason, put in prison; from whence his father’s money, and the lieutenant of the Tower’s jealousy, delivered him. When it came to Ingoldsby’s turn, he, with many tears, professed his repentance for that murther, and told a false tale, how Cromwell held his hand, and forced him to subscribe the sentence, and made a most whining recantation, after which he retired; and another had almost ended, when Colonel Hutchinson, who was not there at the beginning, came in, and was told what they were about, and that it would be expected he should say something. He was surprised with a thing he expected not, yet neither then, nor in any the like occasion, did he ever fail himself, but told them, ‘That for his acting in those days, if he had erred, it was the inexperience of his age, and the defect of his judgment, and not the malice of his heart, which had ever prompted him to pursue the general advantage of his country more than his own; and if the sacrifice of him might conduce to the public peace and settlement, he should freely submit his life and fortunes to their dispose; that the vain expense of his age, and the great debts his public employments had run him into, as they were testimonies that neither avarice nor any other interest had carried him on, so they yielded him just cause to repent that he ever forsook his own blessed quiet, to embark in such a troubled sea, where he had made shipwreck of all things but a good conscience; and as to that particular action of the king, he desired them to believe he had that sense of it that befitted an Englishman, a Christian, and a gentleman’. What he expressed was to this effect, but so very handsomely delivered, that it generally took the whole house; only one gentleman stood up and said, he had expressed himself as one that was much more sorry for the events and consequences than the actions; but another replied, that when a man’s words might admit of two interpretations, it befitted gentlemen always to receive that which might be most favourable. As soon as the colonel had spoken, he retired into a room where Ingoldsby was with his eyes yet red, who had called up a little spite to succeed his whinings, and embracing Col. Hutchinson, ‘O colonel’, said he, ‘did I ever imagine we could be brought to this? Could I have suspected it, when I brought them Lambert in the other day, this sword should have redeemed us from being dealt with as criminals, by that people for whom we had so gloriously exposed ourselves?’ The colonel told him he had foreseen, ever since those usurpers thrust out the lawful authority of the land to enthrone themselves, it could end in nothing else; but the integrity of his heart, in all he had done, made him as cheerfully ready to suffer as to triumph in a good cause. The result of the house that day was to suspend Colonel Hutchinson and the rest from sitting in the house. Monk, after all his great professions, now sat still, and had not one word to interpose for any person, but was as forward to set vengeance on foot as any man.

Mrs. Hutchinson, whom to keep quiet, her husband had hitherto persuaded that no man would lose or suffer by this change, at this beginning was awakened, and saw that he was ambitious of being a public sacrifice, and therefore, herein only in her whole life, resolved to disobey him, and to improve all the affection he had to her for his safety, and prevailed with him to retire; for she said, she would not live to see him a prisoner. With her unquietness, she drove him out of her own lodgings into the custody of a friend, in order to his further retreat, if occasion should be, and then made it her business to solicit all her friends for his safety. Meanwhile, it was first resolved, in the house, that mercy should be shown to some, and exemplary justice to others; then the number was defined, and voted it should not exceed seven; then upon the king’s own solicitation, that his subjects should be put out of their fears, those seven named; and after that a proclamation sent for the rest to come in. Colonel Hutchinson not being of the number of those seven, was advised by all his friends to surrender himself, in order to securing his estate, and he was very earnest to do it, when Mrs. Hutchinson would by no means hear of it; but being exceedingly urged by his friends, that she would hereby obstinately lose all their estate, she would not yet consent that the colonel should give himself into custody, and she had wrought him to a strong engagement, that he would not dispose of himself without her. At length, being accused of obstinacy, in not giving him up, she devised a way to try the house, and writ a letter in his name to the Speaker, to urge what might be in his favour, and to let him know, that by reason of some inconveniency it might be to him, he desired not to come under custody, and yet should be ready to appear at their call; and if they intended any mercy to him, he begged they would begin it in permitting him his liberty upon his parole, till they should finally determine of him. This letter she conceived would try the temper of the house; if they granted this, she had her end, for he was still free; if they denied it, she might be satisfied in keeping him from surrendering himself.

Having contrived and written this letter, before she carried it to the colonel, a friend came to her out of the house, near which her lodgings then were, and told her that if they had any ground to begin, the house was that day in a most excellent temper towards her husband; whereupon she writ her husband’s name to the letter, and ventured to send it in, being used sometimes to write the letters he dictated, and her character not much differing from his. These gentlemen who were moved to try this opportunity, were not of the friends she relied on; but God, to show that it was he, not they, sent two common friends, who had so good success that the letter was very well received; and upon that occasion all of all parties spoke so kindly and effectually for him, that he had not only what he desired, but was voted to be free without any engagement; and his punishment was only that he should be discharged from the present parliament, and from all office, military or civil, in the state for ever; and upon his petition of thanks, for this, his estate also was voted to be free from all mulcts and confiscations. Many providential circumstances concurred in this thing. That which put the house into so good a humour towards the colonel that day, was, that having taken the business of the king’s trial into consideration, certain committees were found to be appointed to order the preparation of the court, the chairs and cushions, and other formalities, wherein Colonel Hutchinson had nothing to do; but when they had passed their votes for his absolute discharge and came to the sitting of the court, he was found not to have been one day away. A rogue that had been one of their clerks had brought in all these informations; and above all, poor Mrs. Hacker, thinking to save her husband, had brought up the warrant for execution, with all their hands and seals.

Sir Allen Apsley too, who, with all the kindest zeal of friendship that can be imagined, endeavoured to bring off the colonel, used some artifice in engaging friends for him. There was a young gentleman, a kinsman of his, who thirstily aspired after preferment, and Sir Allen had given him hopes, upon his effectual endeavours for the colonel, to introduce him; who being a person that had understanding enough, made no conscience of truth, when an officious lie might serve his turn. This man, although he owed his life to the colonel, and had a thousand obligations to Mrs. Hutchinson’s parents, yet not for their sakes, nor for virtue, nor for gratitude, but for his own hopes, which he had of Sir Allen Apsley, told some of the leading men among the court party, that it was the king’s desire to have favour shown to the colonel; whereupon Mr. Palmer, since Castlemaine, was the first man that spoke for the colonel, whom Finch most eloquently seconded. Then Sir George Booth and his party all appeared for the colonel, in gratitude for his civility to them. For when the parliament had passed by the rebellion of Lambert and Fleetwood, and those who joined with them, and would not make their offences capital, he had told the house, they could not without great partiality punish these, and had moved much in their favour. Mr. Pierrepont, and all the old sage parliament men, out of very hearty kindness, spoke and laboured very effectually to bring him clear off; and there was not at that day any man that received a more general testimony of love and good esteem from all parties than he did, not one of the most violent hunters of blood opposing favour, and divers most worthy persons giving a true and honourable testimony of him. Although they knew his principles to be contrary to theirs, yet they so justified his clear and upright carriage, according to his own persuasion, as was a record much advancing his honour, and such as no man else in that day received.

Yet though he very well deserved it, I cannot so much attribute that universal concurrence that was in the whole house to express esteem of him and desire to save him, to their justice and gratitude, as to an overruling power of Him that orders all men’s hearts, who was then pleased to reserve his servant, even by the good and true testimony of some that after hated him and sought his ruin, for the perseverance in that goodness, which then forced them to be his advocates; for even the worst and basest men have a secret conviction of worth and virtue, which they never dare to persecute in its own name. The colonel being thus discharged, the house retired to a lodging further from Westminster, and lay very private in the town, not coming into any company of one sort or other, waiting till the act of oblivion were perfected, to go down again into the country; but when the act came to be passed in the house, then the Lord Lexington set divers friends on work in the commons’ house to get a proviso inserted, that the Newarkers’ money, which he paid into the committee of Haberdashers’ Hall, and was by that committee paid to the colonel for his pay, might, with all the use of it, be paid out of the colonel’s estate. He forged many false pretences to obtain this; but it was rejected in the commons’ house, and the bill going up to the lords, was passed without any provisoes. Only the gentlemen that were the late king’s judges, and who were decoyed to surrender themselves to custody by the house’s proclamation, after they had voted only seven to suffer, were now given up to a trial, both for their lives and estates, and put into close prison; where they were miserably kept, brought shortly after to trial, condemned, all their estates confiscated and taken away, themselves kept in miserable bondage under that inhuman, bloody jailor, the lieutenant of the Tower, who stifled some of them to death for want of air; and when they had not one penny, but what was given them to feed themselves and their families, exacted abominable rates for bare, unfurnished prisons; of some forty pounds for one miserable chamber; of others double, besides undue and unjust fees, which their poor wives were forced to beg and engage their jointures and make miserable shifts for; and yet this rogue had all this while three pounds a week paid out of the exchequer for every one of them. At last, when this would not kill them fast enough, and when some alms were thus privately stolen in to them, they were sent away to remote and dismal islands, where relief could not reach them, nor any of their relations take care of them: in this a thousand times more miserable than those that died, who were thereby prevented from the eternal infamy and remorse, which hope of life and estate made these poor men bring upon themselves, by base and false recantations of their own judgments, against their consciences; which they wounded for no advantage, but lived ever after in misery themselves, augmented by seeing the misery of their wretched families, and in the daily apprehension of death, which, without any more formality, they are to expect whenever the tyrant gives the word. And these are the ‘tender MERCIES of the wicked!’ Among which I cannot forget one passage that I saw. Monk and his wife, before they were removed to the Tower, while they were yet prisoners at Lambeth House, came one evening to the garden and caused them to be brought down only to stare at them,—which was such a barbarism, for that man, who had betrayed so many poor men to death and misery that never hurt him, but who had honoured him, and had trusted their lives and interest with him, to glut his bloody eyes with beholding them in their bondage, as no story can parallel the inhumanity of.

Colonel Scroope, who had been cleared by vote as the colonel was, was afterwards razed out for nothing, and had the honour to die a noble martyr.

Although the colonel was cleared both for life and estate in the house of commons, yet he not answering the court expectations in public recantations and dissembled repentance, and applause of their cruelty to his fellows, the chancellor was cruelly exasperated against him, and there were very high endeavours to have razed him out of the act of oblivion. But then Sir Allen Apsley solicited all his friends, as it had been for his own life, and divers honourable persons drew up a certificate, with all the advantage they could, to procure him favour; who in all things that were not against the interest of the state had ever pitied and protected them in their distresses. The Countess of Rochester writ a very effectual letter to the Earl of Manchester, making her request that the favour to him might be confirmed as an obligation to her, to quit some that she, and, as she supposed, her lord had received from him. This letter was read in the house, and Sir Allen Apsley’s candidate for preferment again made no conscience of deceiving several lords that the preserving of the colonel would be acceptable to the king and the chancellor, who he now knew hated his life. Many lords also of the colonel’s relations and acquaintance, out of kindness and gratitude (for there was not one of them whom he had not in his day more or less obliged), used very hearty endeavours for him. Yet Sir Allen Apsley’s interest and most fervent endeavours for him, was that which only turned the scales, and the colonel was not excepted in the act of oblivion to anything but offices.

The provisoes to the act of oblivion were all cut off, and it was determined that those things should pass in particular acts; when the Lord Lexington got one for that Newark money to be repaid out of the colonel’s estate, with all the interest for fourteen years. This act was committed, and the colonel had counsel to plead against it, and the Marquess of Dorchester having the chair, was wonderful civil to the colonel. The adverse counsel, having been men that practised under the parliament, thought they could no way ingratiate themselves so well as by making invectives against those they formerly clawed with, and when, quite beside their matter, they fell into railings against the injustice of the former times and scandals of the colonel, the marquis checked them severely, and bade them mind their cause: but Mr. Finch, one of the colonel’s counsel, after a lawyer had made a long railing speech, which held them a tedious while, he replying, ‘My lord’, said he, ‘this gentleman hath taken up a great deal of time to tell your lordship how unjust that parliament was, how their committees perverted judgment and right, which he sets forth with all his power of language to make them odious, and in conclusion would persuade your lordship therefore to do the same things’. After the hearing at the committee, a report was made so favourable for the colonel that the bill was cast aside, and the house being then ready to adjourn, most of the colonel’s friends went out of town, which opportunity Lexington taking notice of, the very last day in a huddle got the bill past the lords’ house.

Then the colonel went down into the country, and found it necessary to reduce and change his family, which were many of them people he took in for charity, when they could nowhere else be received; and they had been more humble and dutiful while they were under hatches, but now might find better preferments, and were not to be confided in; yet he dismissed not any of them without bountiful rewards, and such kind dismissions as none but that false generation would not have been obliged by. But some of them soon after betrayed him as much as was in their power, whose prudence had so lived with them, that they knew nothing that could hurt his person.

When the colonel saw how the other poor gentlemen were trepanned that were brought in by proclamation, and how the whole cause itself, from the beginning to the ending, was betrayed and condemned, notwithstanding that he himself, by a wonderfully overruling providence of God, in that day was preserved; yet he looked upon himself as judged in their judgment, and executed in their execution; and although he was most thankful to God, yet he was not very well satisfied in himself for accepting the deliverance. His wife, who thought she had never deserved so well of him, as in the endeavours and labours she exercised to bring him off, never displeased him more in her life, and had much ado to persuade him to be contented with his deliverance; which, as it was eminently wrought by God, he acknowledged it with thankfulness. But while he saw others suffer, he suffered with them in his mind, and, had not his wife persuaded him, had offered himself a voluntary sacrifice; but being by her convinced that God’s eminent appearance seemed to have singled him out for preservation, he with thanks acquiesced in that thing; and further remembering that he was but young at that time when he entered into this engagement, and that many who had preached and led the people into it, and of that parliament who had declared it to be treason not to advance and promote that cause, were all now apostatized, and as much preached against it, and called it rebellion and murther, and sat on the tribunal to judge it; he again reflected seriously upon all that was past, and begged humbly of God to enlighten him and show him his sin if ignorance or misunderstanding had led him into error. But the more he examined the cause from the first, the more he became confirmed in it, and from that time set himself to a more diligent study of the scriptures, whereby he attained confirmation in many principles he had before, and daily greater enlightenings concerning the free grace and love of God in Jesus Christ, and the spiritual worship under the gospel, and the gospel liberty, which ought not to be subjected to the wills and ordinances of men in the service of God. This made him rejoice in all he had done in the Lord’s cause, and he would often say, the Lord had not thus eminently preserved him for nothing, but that he was yet kept for some eminent service or suffering in this cause; although having been freely pardoned by the present powers, he resolved not to do anything against the king, but thought himself obliged to sit still and wish his prosperity in all things that were not destructive to the interest of Christ and his members on earth; yet as he could not wish well to any ill way, so he believed that God had set him aside, and that therefore he ought to mourn in silence and retiredness, while he lay under this obligation.

He had not been long at home before a pursuivant from the council was sent to fetch him from his house at Owthorpe, who carried him to the attorney-general. He, with all preparatory insinuations, how much he would express his gratitude to the king and his repentance for his error, if he would now deal ingenuously, in bearing testimony to what he should be examined, sifted him very thoroughly; but the colonel, who was piqued at heart that they should thus use him, to reserve him with an imagination that he would serve their turns in witnessing to the destruction of the rest, composed himself as well as he could, and resolved upon another testimony than they expected, if they had called him to any. But the attorney-general was so ill satisfied with his private examination that he would not venture a public one. He dealt with him with all the art and flatteries that could be, to make him but appear, in the least thing, to have deserted his own and embraced the king’s party; and he brought the warrant of execution to the colonel, and would fain have persuaded him to own some of the hands, and to have imparted some circumstances of the sealing, because himself was present. But the colonel answered him, that in a business transacted so many years ago, wherein life was concerned, he durst not bear testimony, having at that time been so little an observer, that he could not remember the least tittle of that most eminent circumstance, of Cromwell’s forcing Colonel Ingoldsby to set to his unwilling hand, which, if his life had depended on that circumstance, he could not have affirmed. ‘And then, Sir’, said he, ‘if I have lost so great a thing as that, it cannot be expected less eminent passages remain with me’. Then being showed the gentleman’s hands, he told him he was not well acquainted with them, as having never had commerce with the most of them by letters; and those he could own, he could only say they resembled the writings which he was acquainted with; among these he only picked out Cromwell’s, Ireton’s, and my Lord Grey’s. The attorney-general, very ill-satisfied with his private examination, dismissed him; yet was he served with a writ to appear in the court the next day. The colonel had been told that, when they were in distress for witnesses to make up their formality, Colonel Ingoldsby had put them upon sending for him, which made him give that instance to the attorney. The next day the court sat, and the colonel was fetched in and made to pass before the prisoner’s faces, but examined to nothing; which he much waited for, for the sight of the prisoners, with whom he believed himself to stand at the bar, and the sight of their judges, among whom was that vile traitor who had sold the men that trusted him; and he that openly said he abhorred the word accommodation, when moderate men would have prevented the war; and the colonel’s own dear friend, who had wished damnation to his soul if he ever suffered penny of any man’s estate, or hair of any man’s head, to be touched;—the sight of these had so provoked his spirit that, if he had been called to speak, he was resolved to have borne testimony to the cause and against the court; but they asking him nothing he went to his lodging, and so out of town, and would not come any more into their court, but sent the attorney-general word he could witness nothing, and was sick with being kept in the crowd and in the press, and therefore desired to be excused from coming any more thither. The attorney made a very malicious report of him to the chancellor and the king, insomuch as his ruin was then determined, and only opportunity watched to effect it.

When Sir A. Apsley came to the chancellor he was in a great rage and passion, and fell upon him with much vehemence. ‘O Nall’, said he, ‘what have you done? you have saved a man that would be ready, if he had opportunity, to mischief us as much as ever he did’. Sir Allen was forced to stop his mouth, and tell him, that he believed his brother a less dangerous person than those he had brought into the king’s council, meaning Maynard and Glynne; but the truth is, from that time, all kindness that any one expressed to the colonel was ill resented, and the Countess of Rochester was also severely rebuked for having appeared so kind to the colonel.

When the parliament sat again, the colonel sent up his wife to solicit his business in the house, that the Lord Lexington’s bill might not pass the lower house. At her first coming to town a parliament-man, a creature of Worcester-house, being in his coach, she out of hers called to him, who was her kinsman, and desired his vigilancy to prevent her injury. ‘I could wish’, said he, ‘it had been finished last time, for your husband hath lately so ill behaved himself, that it will pass against him’. She answered, ‘I pray let my friends do but their endeavours for me, and then let it be as God will’. He, smiling at her, replied, ‘It is not now as God will, but as we will’. However, she, notwithstanding many other discouragements, waited upon the business every day, when her adversaries as diligently solicited against her. One day a friend came out of the house and told her that they were that day so engaged that she might go home and rest secure that nothing would be done; and that day most of her friends were away, and her opposites took this opportunity to bring it into the house, which was now much alienated, especially all the court party, from the colonel; but God, to show that not friends, nor diligence, preserved our estates, stirred up the hearts of strangers to do us justice, and the bill was thrown out when we had scarce one of those friends we relied on in the house.

Presently after Mrs. Hutchinson came to town, a kinsman of hers, fallen into the wicked counsels of the court, came to visit her one evening, and had been so freely drinking as to unlock his bosom, when he told her that the king had been lately among them where he was, and told them that they had saved a man, meaning Colonel Hutchinson, who would do the same thing for him he did for his father; for he was still unchanged in his principles, and readier to protect than accuse any of his associates, and would not discover any counsels or designs, or any party, though he were known to have hated them. Then this gentleman told her how contemptuous a carriage it was, that he would not own one but dead hands, and how they were resolved his pardon should never pass the seal, and what a desperate condition he was reduced to. Having thus affrighted her, then, to draw her in by examples, he told her how the late statemen’s wives came and offered them all the informations they had gathered from their husbands, and how she could not but know more than any of them; and if yet she would impart anything that might show her gratitude, she might redeem her family from ruin; and then he particularly told her how her husband had been intimate with Vane, Pierrepont, and St. John, whose counsels they knew how far they had gone in this matter, and that if she would prevent others in the declaring them, she might much advantage herself. But she told him, she perceived any safety one could buy of them was not worth the price of honour and conscience; that she knew nothing of state managements, or if she did, she would not establish herself upon any man’s blood and ruin. Then he employed all his wit to circumvent her in discourse, and to have gotten something out of her concerning some persons they aimed at, which, if he could, I believe it would have been beneficial to him; but she discerned his drift, and scorned to become an informer, and made him believe she was ignorant, though she could have enlightened him in the very thing he sought for; which they are now never likely to know much of, it being locked up in the grave, and they that survive not knowing that their secrets are removed into another cabinet. After all, natural affection working at that time with the gentleman, he in great kindness advised her that her husband should leave England. She told him he could not conveniently, and the act of oblivion being passed, she knew not why he should fear, who was resolved to do nothing that might forfeit the grace he had found. But he told her it was determined that, if there was the least pretence in the world, the colonel should be imprisoned, and never be loose again, which warning, though others of her friends said it was but an effect of his wine, the consequence proved it but too true.

She advised the colonel and persuaded him, being also advised to the same by other friends, to go out of England, but he would not: he said this was the place where God had set him, and protected him hitherto, and it would be in him a ungrateful distrust of God to forsake it. At this time he would have sold part of his estate to pay his debts, but the purchasers scrupled, desiring to see his pardon, which he not having, was fain to break off the treaty; and though all the friends he had laboured it, the chancellor utterly refused it.

There was a thousand pounds offered to one to procure it, but it was tried several times and would not pass, by reason of which he was prevented of the opportunity then to settle his estate; yet a year after a little solicitor shuffled it in among many others, and managed it so dexterously that it passed all the seals. The colonel’s estate being in mortgage with a peevish alderman, who designed to have bought it for little or nothing, he had a great trouble with him; for having procured him his money, he would not assign the mortgage, and the others would not lend the money without assignment from him, so that it put the colonel to many inconveniences and great expense.