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

The Life of John Hutchinson: 1664

The colonel endured his prison patiently till the trial of those they called conspirators in Yorkshire was over; but when he had lain from November till Candlemas term in prison, he sent his wife to Secretary Bennett to desire that such persons as had business with him might have the liberty to come to him. She had before been with some of the privy council who were her husband’s friends and allies, to complain of his unjust imprisonment, and his harsh usage there, contrary to all law from the beginning to the ending, even their own laws; and they had told her that they were sensible of it, but that they only stood for cyphers, while the chancellor and Bennett managed all things without their privity, in most oppressive and illegal ways. She, as she was advised, went therefore to Bennett and told him that, by reason of some engagements for money her husband had upon his estate, this very close imprisonment had been infinitely prejudicial to him, both his tenants and his creditors taking advantage of his incapacity (by reason of his close restraint) to defend himself, or to speak with lawyers or others about affairs that nearly concerned his estate; besides the neglect of all his business, and the intolerable charge and inconvenience of his disordered family, dispersed into three several places, which would suddenly bring ruin upon his whole family, besides the destruction of his health. Bennett told her, her husband was a very unfortunate person in regard of his former crimes. She told him she had rather hoped he had been happy in being comprised in the act of oblivion, which allowed him not to be remembered as a criminal; and that she had chosen to make her addresses to him in this occasion, because some of the council had told her the king left all the management of these things to him. He was very urgent with her to know who it was that informed her that he was the sole actor in these businesses; but she desired to be excused from naming any author in that thing, which she had not mentioned but that she thought it his honour to own; but he told her he would not move for any more liberty for her husband than he had, unless he could be secured it might be done with more safety to his majesty than he could apprehend it. ‘But’, said he, ‘Mrs. Hutchinson, I have some papers of yours which I would show, not to examine you, but to see whether you will inform me anything of them’. She told him she had curiosity enough to see anything that passed under her name; whereupon he called forth his man, who brought out a great bundle of papers, called examinations, taken at Grantham, of passages between Mrs. Hutchinson and Mrs. Vane. First he showed her a character which contained cyphers for the names of many gentlemen and women who were not very distant neighbours, with others whom she knew not at all. She told him she understood nothing at all of that paper; then he turned down the rest, and showed her a letter, beginning, ‘My dear Amaranta’; which she told him she knew not at all. ‘But’, said he, ‘you will yet own your own hand’; and showed her among these papers the copy of the letter that was sent to the house of parliament in her husband’s name, written in her hand, which when she saw she was a little confounded, wondering how it should come into his hands; but she told him that she could not absolutely say that was her writing, though it had some resemblance. So when she had again urged the business she came for, and could obtain nothing from him, she went away, and left in the room with the secretary, Sir Robert Biron, a cousin-german of her husband’s, who had by chance come in thither upon some business of his own, and had stood by while she urged to the secretary the mischief and ruin her husband’s imprisonment brought upon his family and estate. As soon as she was gone, the secretary told Sir Robert that he had heard Mrs. Hutchinson relate the sad condition of her husband and his house; ‘and’, said he, ‘you may here take notice how the justice of God pursues those murtherers, that, though the king pardoned both his life and his estate, yet by the hand of the divine justice they were now like to come to ruin for that crime’; which words being told Mr. Hutchinson, he laughed much at the simple folly of the man, who could call his own illegal persecutions and oppressions of innocence the judgments of God. The papers which he showed Mrs. Hutchinson she after learned to have been some letters between Mrs. Vane, one of Sir Henry Vane’s daughters, and one Mrs. Hutchinson, a gentlewoman that used to come thither, filled with such frivolous intelligence of private amours and intrigues as young people used to communicate to their confidants, and such as any wise statesman would have believed himself affronted to have had brought to him, and not made such politic inquiries, and imprisoned those with whom they were found, about so unconcerning a matter.

Mr. Henry Nevill and Mr. Salloway had been put into the Tower about the same suspicion which they had of Mr. Hutchinson—a northern plot, for which there was a peculiar assizes, and some men were executed; and the judges, at their return, said that their confessions almost amounted to treason; but that almost served their turns. As soon as those assizes were past, Mr. Hutchinson sent to Mr. Nevill and Mr. Salloway, that he thought it now time for them to endeavour their liberty, and therefore desired to know what course they intended to proceed in, that they might all take one way. They both sent Mr. Hutchinson word that they looked upon him as the best befriended, and they were resolved to see first what success he had, and to make him their leading card. Hereupon he, fearful of doing anything which they could not, sat still deliberating, while they, without giving him the least notice, wrought their own liberties secretly, Mr. Nevill desiring to travel, and Mr. Salloway making such a false, flattering petition, that no honest man could make such another, and a less after his would have but more exasperated. It took so, that immediately he had his liberty, both of them taking some oaths to confirm their loyalty, which were given them by the clerk of the Tower. They had a mind at court Mr. Hutchinson should have made such another petition, and therefore Salloway’s was showed to a friend of his; the words of which were, ‘That since God by his miraculous providence had set his majesty over us, he had acquiesced thankfully under it, and never, not so much as in thought, made a wish against it’; and promises of the like nature: which perhaps were no truer than the professions, for they were utterly false; for at his first coming into the Tower no man had muttered more than he, who scarce refrained even blasphemies against God himself for bringing him into bondage. After his release he went to their common prayer, and pleased them so well that it was said they would give him an office. But when they found that, notwithstanding their hint, Mr. Hutchinson would not follow his example, their malice grew very bitter against him at the court, insomuch that a gentleman having treated with Mrs. Hutchinson for a niece of his, to whom he was guardian, that would have been a convenient fortune for his son, the Chancellor sent for the gentleman and peremptorily forbade him to proceed in the affair, and openly said, ‘he must keep their family down’.

Mr. Hutchinson was not at all dismayed, but wonderfully pleased with all these things, and told his wife this captivity was the happiest release in the world to him; for before, although he had made no express engagement, yet, in regard his life and estate had been freely left him when they took away others, he thought himself obliged to sit still all the while this king reigned, whatever opportunity he might have; but now he thought this usage had utterly disobliged him from, all ties either of honour or conscience, and that he was free to act as prudence should hereafter lead him, and that he thought not his liberty out of prison worth the purchase by any future engagement, which would again fetter him in obligations to such persons as every day more and more manifested themselves enemies to all just and godly interest. He therefore charged his wife that she should not make applications to any person whatsoever, and made it his earnest request to Sir Allen Apsley to let him stand and fall to his own innocency, and to undertake nothing for him, which, if he did, he told him he would disown. Mrs. Hutchinson, remembering how much she had displeased him in saving him before, submitted now to suffer with him, according to his own will, who, as he would do nothing that might entangle him for his freedom, so he patiently suffered their unjust bondage, and had no guilt found in him; yet was cruelly and maliciously persecuted and hated; and criminals, with threats and promises, were tried all ways to see if they could have brought out any accusation against him, but all they could arrive to was only that he was an unchanged person, yet they kept him still as close prisoner as at the first. After Salloway was released, Sir Allen Apsley asking the Chancellor why his brother was not let out as Salloway; ‘What!’ said the Chancellor, ‘make you no difference between your brother and Salloway?’ Sir Allen replied, he thought his brother as innocent. ‘Surely’, said the Chancellor, ‘there is a great difference; Salloway conforms to the government, and goes to church, but your brother is the most unchanged person of the party’.

The colonel, at last, with some other prisoners were deliberating to sue out a habeas corpus, and in order thereunto sent to the lieutenant of the Tower to desire a copy of the warrant whereby he stood committed, which indeed was so imperfect that he could not legally be kept upon that, for there was neither his Christen name nor any place of residence mentioned in it, so that any other Hutchinson might have as well been kept upon it as he; but the lieutenant refused to give him a copy, and his jailer told the prisoner it was altered after they had kept him four or five months in prison: then the colonel writ to Bennett, but neither could he obtain any copy of his commitment from him.

After this a friend gave him notice that they had a design to transport him to some island or plantation; whereupon he wrote a narrative of his imprisonment, and procured it to be secretly printed, to have left behind him, if he had been sent away, to acquaint the parliament, which was then shortly to assemble, and to leave with his friends; but he kept it in the meantime privately.

At length, through the lies that the lieutenant of the Tower made of his prisoners, and the malice of their wicked persecutors, who envied even the bread which charity sent in to feed some of the men whose estates were wholly taken away, warrants were signed for carrying away most of the prisoners, some to Tangier, and to other barbarous and distant places: among the rest Colonel Hutchinson was destined to the Isle of Man, which Sir Allen Apsley hearing of, told the king he had some private business of trusts with the colonel concerning his own estate, for which he obtained that he might be respited three months, and have liberty for lawyers to come to him. But when the colonel heard of it, he was more displeased with this petty favour than with all their rigour, and had resolved to have done something to reverse it, but that his wife persuaded him to rest till she made a short voyage into the country to fetch him supplies, which he did.

As soon as she was gone, the lieutenant of the Tower sent his jailer, Mr. Edward Cresset, early in the morning, upon the 16th day of April, 1664, to fetch Mr. Hutchinson to his lodgings, whither being come, Cresset withdrew, and the lieutenant told Mr. Hutchinson that he had been civil to him in permitting his children to come to him with their mother, and yet he had not paid him his fees and dues, although that warrant which allowed the access of his wife did not mention his children, and therefore he now demanded his dues. Mr. Hutchinson told him, ‘At his departure out of the Tower he should not be behindhand with him for the civility of suffering his children to come to him’. Robinson replied, ‘That signified nothing, he expected his dues, and would have them’. Mr. Hutchinson answered, ‘His was not every prisoner’s condition, for he had been now twenty-four weeks kept close prisoner, and yet never knew accuser nor accusation against him, and therefore he should desire to consider before he parted from his money; but for any civilities he should repay them’. Robinson said, ‘He meddled with no man’s crimes, but whether guilty or not guilty, he expected his dues, which he could recover by law if they were refused’. Mr. Hutchinson asking, ‘What they were?’ He said, ‘Fifty pounds’. Further demanding, ‘By what law they were due, so as he could recover them?’ Robinson answered, ‘By custom’. Mr. Hutchinson told him ‘He was confident that pretence would not recover them; and if he thought it would, he would go to a civil and fair trial with him the next term; yet due or not due, what civilities he either had or should afford him, he would recompense at parting’. Robinson answered. ‘He stood upon his right, and he would make Mr. Hutchinson, or somebody else, pay it’. Mr. Hutchinson told him, ‘He knew not whom he meant by somebody else, but if his liberty were taken from him without any reason that he knew, he would not so part with his money, if he could help it’. He then, in anger, said, ‘He would lock him up close, and let nobody come at him’. Mr. Hutchinson told him, ‘He could be locked no closer than he had been all this time, and he hoped he would not forbid those coming to him who had warrant from the secretary; for the rest he might use his pleasure’. He, in fury, commanded to take away Mr. Hutchinson and lock him up, that no person might come at him; and gave order at the Tower Gates to keep out his children and all his relations that should come to inquire for him; and he sent word to Serjeant Fountaine, who had an order to come in, that he should not be admitted, although his business was of great concernment to others, and not to Colonel Hutchinson, who being a trustee for some of his relations, was to have made some settlements in their affairs; which could not be done, but they, to their prejudice, were forced to go without it. Although his commands were executed to the full, yet Mr. Hutchinson’s eldest son found means to steal into the Tower, and to inform his father of a malicious lie which the lieutenant had made of him at court, that day that he fell out with him; which was this.—Robinson told the king, that when Mr. Henningham and others were carried out of the Tower to be shipped away, Mr. Hutchinson, looking out of his window, bade them take courage they should yet have a day for it. This lie coming to Mr. Hutchinson’s knowledge the 19th of April, moved him more than all his other base usage; whereupon he wrote a letter to Robinson, to tell him he should have had a care of provoking his prisoners to speak, who had so much exposed himself to every one of them; and to let him know what he himself had observed and could prove, he drew it up under certain heads, which he told him, if he continued his vile usage of him, he would publish. The articles were:

1st. That Robinson had affirmed that the king gave no allowance to his prisoners, not so much as to those who had all their estates taken from them; and accordingly he gave them none, but converted what the king allowed to his own use and threatened some of the prisoners with death, if they offered to demand it; and suffered others, at twelve of the clock at night, to make such a miserable outcry for bread, that it was heard into some parts of the city, and one was absolutely starved to death for want of relief; although the king at that time told a prisoner, that he took more care for the prisoners than for his own table.

2nd. That he set down to the king seven pounds a week for one prisoner for whom he never laid out about twenty-seven or thirty shillings a week at the most.

3rd. That he not only kept back the prisoners’ allowances, but exacted of them excessive rents for bare prison lodgings, and empty warders’ houses, unfurnished; and if they have not punctually paid him, hath stifled them up by close imprisonment, without any order, although he knew they had not a penny to buy bread, but what came from the charity of good people.

4th. That he received salary of the king for forty warders, and had not near so many, but filled up the list with false names, and took the pay to himself.

5th. That when he had received money for those warders he kept, he had detained it many months, to his own use, while the poor men were thereby in miserable wants.

6th. That he sold the warders’ places, and let them houses at a dear rate, and yet took the most considerable prisoners, which ought to have been committed to them, into his own house, and made them pay him excessive rates for bed-rooms, and set his man, Cresset, over them, making them pay him for attendance what the warders should have had.

7th. That he made many false musters in his own company belonging to the Tower, and though he had received the soldiers’ money, was run in arrears to them five or six pounds a man; at which they cruelly murmured, because by this means their maintenance was straitened, and their duty brought more frequent upon them.

8th. That notwithstanding all his defrauding, oppressive, and exacting ways of raising money, he had ungratefully complained of the king’s scanty recompense of his service.

9th. That after the starving of the poor prisoners and their miserable outcry, when shame forced him to allow about a dozen poor tradesmen ten shilling apiece, though at that time he received forty from the king for each of them, he and his man, Cresset, denied the king’s allowance, and said it was his own charity.

10th. That he was frequently drunk, out of the Tower till twelve, one, and two of the clock, and threatened one of the warders, who came one night to fetch him home, with Newgate, and spited him even after.

All these things being notoriously true, this letter put him into a great rage, and a no less dread that the colonel, as he had threatened him, would publish it; whereupon, as soon as these things were laid to his charge, within ten days he paid his soldiers fifteen months’ pay out of twenty-two due to them when the letter was written, he having all that while kept back eighteen pence a week out of every soldier’s pay; and the soldiers, understanding that Colonel Hutchinson’s observations of his fraud had procured them this satisfaction, used to give him thanks when they came to stand sentinels at his door.

Presently after he received the letter, he went to Sir Allen Apsley and complained to him that the colonel had sent him a vile letter, but did not show it Sir Allen, as he sent word to the colonel he would; whereupon Sir Allen Apsley sent Mr. George Hutchinson with a letter to Sir John Robinson, to tell him that if he would let him go to his brother, he doubted not but it would be a good means to persuade the colonel to pay him his fees, and to reconcile differences between them. Sir John, upon the 21st of April, went along with Mr. George Hutchinson to his brother, and, at his entrance, in a passion began to quarrel at the colonel’s sour looks; who told him, if he had known they would not have pleased him, and had had notice of his coming, he would have set them in a glass for him. Then Robinson told him, in a rage, he had written him a libel. Mr. Hutchinson answered it was no libel, for he had set his name to it, and they were truths, which if he put him to, he could prove by sufficient testimonies. Whereupon he fell into horrible railing and cruel language, but by Mr. George Hutchinson’s interposition at length all was pacified, and he was fairly going out of the room with Mr. George Hutchinson, when his man Cresset, reminding him that the colonel had a foul copy of his letter, and had said he would send to Sir Allen, who had desired to see it; Robinson resolved to take that draught away from him; but the colonel, foreseeing that, had sent copies of it long before out of the Tower, which Robinson’s dull head not dreaming of, came back and insolently commanded the colonel to give him the first draught of the letter. The colonel desired to be excused, whereupon Robinson said he would have his pockets searched, and accordingly bade Cresset feel in them. He, a little moved, took a bottle in his hand, and bade Cresset forbear, if he loved his head, and told Sir John if he had any warrant to search him from the king or council, he would submit to it, but otherwise he would not suffer it, especially for a paper which was only of private concernment between them; for all this, when Sir John saw that Cresset durst not approach the colonel, he commanded one Wale, a warder, to search his pockets, who coming with entreaties to the colonel to permit it, he suffered him. And then the lieutenant caused a little dressing-box which the colonel had to be opened, and took away all the papers he found in it, among which there was one wherein the colonel had written a verse out of the 43rd Psalm, it was the first verse, to be joined with the narrative of his imprisonment, that he had provided to leave behind him for the satisfaction of his friends. This paper Robinson carried to court, and said, that by the deceitful and unjust man the colonel intended the king, although the application was of his own making. In the meantime, while they were ransacking his box and pockets Robinson fell a-railing at the colonel, giving him the base terms of rebel and murtherer, and such language as none could have learned, but such as had been conversant among the civil society of Picked-hatch, Turnbull Street, and Billings Gate, near which last place the hero had his education. When the colonel patiently told him he transgressed the act of oblivion, he said he knew that well enough, and bade him sue out his remedy; then in fury and rage turned the colonel’s servant out of his chamber, who had been locked up with him all the time of his imprisonment, and left him altogether unattended, which having never been before in his whole life, put him into a cold and a flux, with a feverish distemper: but the greatness of his mind was not broken by the feebleness of his constitution, nor by the barbarous inhumanity of his jailers, which he received with disdain, and laughed at them, but lost not anger on them.

After these things, Mrs. Hutchinson coming out of the country was, by the lieutenant’s order, denied to see her husband, but at her lodgings she found letters from him conveyed to her every day, in spite of all his guards; and thereupon she writ to Robinson to desire to know whether the secretary had countermanded his first order for her to see her husband, or whether he denied obedience to it; whereupon Robinson sent to her to come to him the next day, but when she came he was gone forth, and she was not admitted within the gates, and thereupon she went back to her lodgings and writ him a smart letter, and sent him with it a copy of her husband’s letter, which she told him she would publish, and not suffer him to be murthered to extort undue money from him. The next day, being the Lord’s day, he sent one of the warders to entreat her to come to her husband, and the blood-hound Cresset met her at the gate, and led her to her husband, and left her all the day alone with him, which they had never before done all the time of his prison; and in the evening Sir John Robinson sent for her, and partly expostulated with her and partly flattered, and told her her husband had been sent to the Isle of Man, but that he in kindness had procured a better place for him, and that he was not covetous, but since her husband would not pay him his fees, he might use his pleasure, and she and his children and relations might freely go to him. She received this as befitted her, being in his hands, and knowing that not good nature, but fear she would have printed him, moved him to this gentler course; and this she understood, both by the inquiries his servants made of the colonel’s warder concerning her intentions, and by Robinson’s continuing, notwithstanding all his dissimulation, to make a thousand false insinuations of the colonel everywhere, and to do him all ill offices at court; if there were not a more abominable wickedness than all this practised, a lingering poison given him, which, though we had not wickedness enough to suspect then, the events that have since ensued make a little doubtful. It is certain that Cresset did make that attempt upon Sir Henry Vane and others, and two or three days before the colonel was sent away, he brought into his chamber, when he came to lock him up at night, a bottle of excellent wine, under pretence of kindness, which he, the colonel, and the warder drunk together, and the warder and the colonel both died within four months; the colonel presently after falling sick, but very unsuspicious, and we must leave it to the great day, when all crimes, how secret soever, will be made manifest, whether they added poison to all the other iniquity, whereby they certainly murthered this guiltless servant of God.

A few days after, at nine of the clock at night, after his wife was gone from him, Cresset brought the colonel a warrant, to tell him that he must, the next morning tide, go down to Sandown Castle, in Kent; which he was not surprised at, it being the barbarous custom of that place to send away the prisoners, when they had no knowledge nor time to accommodate themselves for their journey. But instead of putting him into a boat at the morning tide, about eight of the clock Sir Henry Wroth came with a party of horse to receive him of the lieutenant, and finding him sick, and not well able to endure riding in the heat of the day, he was so civil as to let him go by water in the evening tide to Gravesend, with a guard of soldiers in boats hired at his own charge, where the horse guard met him. By these means he got opportunity to take leave of his children that were in town, and about four o’clock he was sent out of the Tower, with one Gregory, designed to be his fellow-prisoner; who going over the drawbridge, turned back to the lieutenant, and told him he would have accepted it as a greater mercy if the king had commanded him to be shot to death there, rather than to send him to a distant place to be starved, he having nothing but his trade to maintain him, and his friends, from whom he should now be so far removed that he could expect nothing. The lieutenant in scorn told him, he went with a charitable man who would not suffer him to starve, whereby he exposed the malice of their intentions to the colonel; who thought it not enough to send him to a far prison not much differing from exile, but to charge with a companion, whom however his kindness might have rendered him charitable to, yet they ought not to have put upon him; neither would the colonel take notice of their imposition, though he designed kindness to the man, had he been worthy of it.

The colonel’s wife and children got a boat and followed him to Gravesend, whither also Gregory’s wife, and one that called him brother, went; and that night all the company and all the guards supped at the colonel’s charge, and many of the guards lay in the chamber with him, who, with the refreshment of the evening air, and the content he took to be out of Robinson’s claws, found himself, or through the liveliness of his spirit fancied himself, something better than he was in the Tower. The next morning, very early, his guards hurried him away on horseback; but, to speak truth, they were civil to him. His son went along with him to see the place he was sent to, and Sir Allen Apsley had procured an order for his servant to continue with him in the prison; his wife went back to London, to stay there to provide him such accommodation as she could hear he had need of.

When he came to the castle, he found it a lamentable old ruined place, almost a mile distant from the town, the rooms all out of repair, not weather-free, no kind of accommodation either for lodging or diet, or any conveniency of life. Before he came, there were not above half a dozen soldiers in it, and a poor lieutenant with his wife and children, and two or three cannoniers, and a few guns almost dismounted, upon rotten carriages; but at the colonel’s coming thither, a company of foot more were sent from Dover to help guard the place, pitiful weak fellows, half-starved and eaten up with vermin, whom the governor of Dover cheated of half their pay, and the other half they spent in drink. These had no beds, but a nasty court of guard, where a sutler lived, within a partition made of boards, with his wife and family, and this was all the accommodation the colonel had for his victuals, which were bought at a dear rate at the town, and most horribly dressed at the sutler’s. For beds he was forced to send to an inn in the town, and at a most unconscionable rate hire three, for himself, and his man, and Captain Gregory; and to get his chamber glazed, which was a thoroughfare room, that had five doors in it, and one of them opened upon a platform, that had nothing but the bleak air of the sea, which every tide washed the foot of the castle walls; which air made the chamber so unwholesome and damp, that even in the summer time the colonel’s hat-case and trunks, and everything of leather, would be every day all covered over with mould,—wipe them as clean as you could one morning, by the next they would be mouldy again; and though the walls were four yards thick, yet it rained in through cracks in them, and then one might sweep a peck of saltpetre off of them every day, which stood in a perpetual sweat upon them. Notwithstanding all this, the colonel was very cheerful, and made the best shifts he could with things as he found them; when the lieutenant’s wife, seeing his stomach could not well bear his food, offered to board him, and so he and his man dieted with her for twenty shillings a week, he finding wine besides, and linen, etc. Whilst the sutler provided his meat, Gregory ate with him; but when he tabled with the captain, Gregory’s son coming to him, he had his meat from the town, and soon after a woman came down who left not the man destitute and comfortless. The worst part of the colonel’s sufferings in this prison was the company of this fellow, who being a fellow-prisoner and poor, and the colonel having no particular retreat, he could not wholly decline his company; and he being a carnal person, without any fear of God, or any good but rather scandalous conversation, he could take no pleasure in him; meanwhile, many of his friends gave caution to his wife concerning him, as suspecting him to be a trepanner, which we had after some cause to fear.

The captain of the castle, one Freeman, had all this while a chamber which was a little warmer, and had a bed in it, but this he reserved, intending to set a rate upon it, and this too was so dark one could not have read by the fire or the bedside without a candle at noonday.

When the colonel’s wife understood her husband’s bad accommodation, she made all the means she could through her friends to procure liberty that she might be in the castle with him, but that was absolutely denied; whereupon she and her son and daughter went to Deal, and there took lodgings, from whence they walked every day on foot to dinner and back again at night, with horrible toil and inconvenience; and they procured the captain’s wife to diet them with the colonel, where they had meat good enough, yet through the poverty of the people, and their want of all necessaries, and the faculty to order things as they should be, it was very inconvenient to them; yet the colonel endured it so cheerfully that he was never more pleasant and contented in his whole life. When no other recreations were left him, he diverted himself with sorting and shadowing cockle-shells, which his wife and daughter gathered for him, with as much delight as he used to take in the richest agates and onyxes he could compass with the most artificial engravings, which were things, when he recreated himself from more serious studies, he as much delighted in as any piece of art. But his fancy showed itself so excellent in sorting and dressing these shells, that none of us could imitate it, and the cockles began to be admired by several persons that saw them. These were but his trifling diversions, his business and continual study was the Scripture, which the more he conversed in, the more it delighted him; insomuch that his wife having brought down some books to entertain him in his solitude, he thanked her, and told her that if he should continue as long as he lived in prison, he would read nothing there but his Bible. His wife bore all her own toils joyfully enough for the love of him, but could not but be very sad at the sight of his undeserved sufferings; and he would very sweetly and kindly chide her for it, and tell her that if she were but cheerful, he should think this suffering the happiest thing that ever befell him; he would also bid her consider what reason she had to rejoice that the Lord supported him, and how much more intolerable it would have been, if the Lord had suffered his spirit to have sunk, or his patience to have been lost under this. One day when she was weeping, after he had said many things to comfort her, he gave her reasons why she should hope and be assured that this cause would revive, because the interest of God was so much involved in it that he was entitled to it. She told him she did not doubt but the cause would revive; but, said she, notwithstanding all your resolution, I know this will conquer the weakness of your constitution, and you will die in prison. He replied, I think I shall not, but if I do, my blood will be so innocent, I shall advance the cause more by my death hasting the vengeance of God upon my unjust enemies, than I could do by all the actions of my life. Another time, when she was telling him she feared they had placed him on the sea-shore but in order to transport him to Tangier, he told her, if they had, God was the same God at Tangier as at Owthorpe; prithee, said he, trust God with me; if he carry me away, he will bring me back again.

Sometimes when he would not be persuaded to do things wherein he had a liberty, for fear of putting a snare and stumbling-block before others that had not so, and when she would expostulate with him, why he should make himself a martyr for people that had been so censorious of him, and so unthankful and insensible of all his merits, he would say, he did it not for them, but for the cause they owned. When many ill usages he had received from godly people have been urged to him, he would say, that if they were truly the people of God, all their failings were to be borne; that if God had a people in the land, as he was confident he had, it was among them, and not among the cavaliers, and therefore although he should ever be severe against their miscarriages in any person in whomsoever he found them, yet he would adhere to them that owned God, how unkindly soever they dealt with him. Sometimes he would say, that if ever he should live to see the parliament power up again, he would never meddle any more either in councils or in armies; and then sometimes again, when he saw or heard of any of the debaucheries of the times, he would say, he would act only as a justice of the peace in the country, and be severe against drunkards, and suffer none in his neighbourhood. Oftentimes he would say, if ever he were at liberty in the world, he would flee the conversation of the cavaliers, and would write upon his doors,

  • Procul hinc, procul este, profani!
  • and that, though he had in his former conversation with them never had any communication with their manners nor vices, yet henceforth he would never, in one kind or other, have any commerce at all with them; and indeed it was a resolution he would oftener repeat than any other he had, telling us that he was convinced there was a serpentine seed in them. Yet he had many apprehensions of the rash, hot-headed spirits of many of our party, and fears that their pride and self-conceit of their own abilities would again bring us to confusion, if ever they should have the reins again in their hands; and therefore he would bid us advise his son, if ever we lived to see a change, and would himself advise him, not to fall in with the first, how fair soever their pretences were; but to wait to see how their practices suited them. For he would say, that a hot-spirited people would first get up and pull all into confusion, and then a sober party must settle things; and he would say, Let my son stay to fall in with these. He foresaw that the courses which the king and his party took to establish themselves would be their ruin, and would say, that whenever the king had an army it would be his destruction. Once when his wife was lamenting his condition, having said many things to comfort her, he told her he could not have been without this affliction, for if he had flourished while all the people of God were corrected, he should have feared he had not been accounted among his children, as he had not shared their lot. Then would he with thankfulness repeat the kind and gentle dealings of the Lord at all times toward him, and erect a firm and mighty hope upon it, and wonderfully encourage her to bear it patiently, not only by words, but by his own admirable example.

    After Mr. Hutchinson had been some time prisoner at Sandown, the governor of the Castle came over, and would fain have let him his chamber for 20s. a week, which Mr. Hutchinson told him he would give him, if his wife might come there to him; but the governor refused that without an express order, which was endeavoured but could not be obtained. Then Freeman demanded a mark a week of the colonel for fees, but the colonel told him, except he could show how it was due by any known law, he would not pay it. Some time after, the governor of Dover came over, with the governor of Sandown and one Mr. Masters, and Freeman, consulting his master of Dover how he should get money of the colonel, the governor of Dover advised him to put him into a dungeon, but the fellow durst not attempt it. Yet some time after he came to the castle, and passing into his own chamber, through Mr. Hutchinson’s, who was there,—as he went by with his lieutenant, Moyle, at his heels, he called out to Mr. Hutchinson’s man, and bade him bid Hutchinson come to him, without any addition of so much as the title of a gentleman. Mrs. Hutchinson being then in the room with her husband, desired him she might go in with him and answer the captain’s insolency, and that he would take no notice of it, which he told her he would not, neither should she, and so they both went into the captain’s chamber, who had also called Gregory. When they were both there, the captain, turning to Moyle, said, ‘Captain Moyle, I ordain you to quarter Hutchinson and Gregory together in the next room; and if Hutchinson will make a partition at his own charge, he may have that part of the chamber that has the chimney, and for this expect a mark a week of Hutchinson, and a noble of Gregory; and if they will have any enlargement besides, they must pay for it’. Mr. Hutchinson laughed at him, and bade his wife report his usage of him to the secretary at London to whom she presently writ an account of it, and sent it to Sir Allen Apsley, desiring him either to procure a remove or an order for better accommodation, and showed this letter to Gregory before it went, representing equally his condition with her husband’s: and seeing she could not get admission into the castle, she took a house in the town, to which she intended to bring her children for the winter, had not God prevented.

    Not long after, the colonel’s brother, Mr. George Hutchinson, came down, and brought with him an order, signed by Secretary Bennett, to allow the colonel leave to walk by the sea-side with a keeper, which order Sir Allen Apsley and his lady had at length procured with some difficulty and sent him; wherein he was so well satisfied, that he thought not his prison now insupportable; neither indeed was it so to him before, for his patience and faith wonderfully carried him on under all his sufferings. As it now drew nigh to the latter end of the year, Mrs. Hutchinson, having prepared the house, was necessitated to go to Owthorpe to fetch her children, and other supplies to her husband; whom, when the time of her departure came, she left with a very sad and ill-presaging heart, rather dreading that while he lay so ready on the sea-coast, he might some time or other be shipped away to some barbarous place in her absence, than that which after ensued. The colonel comforted her all he could, and that morning she went away, ‘Now’, said he, ‘I myself begin to be loth to part with thee’. But yet, according to his usual cheerfulness, he encouraged himself and her, and sent his son along with her. His daughter and his brother stayed at Deal, who, coming to him every day, he walked out with them by the sea-side, and would discourse of the public concernments, and say that the ill-management of the state would cause discontented wild parties to mutiny and rise against the present powers, but that they would only put things in confusion; it must be a sober party that must then arise and settle them. He would often say to his son and his wife, as he did now to his brother, ‘Let not my son, how fairly soever they pretend, too rashly engage with the first, but stay to see what they make good, and engage with those who are for settlement, who will have need of men of interest to assist them; let him keep clear and take heed of too rash attempts, and he will be courted if he behave himself piously and prudently, and keep free of all faction, making the public interest only his’. He would sometimes in discourse say, that when these people once had an army up, which they seemed to aim at, that army would be their destruction, for he was very confident God would bring them down; he would often say they could not stand, and that whoever had anything to do with them could not prosper. He once made this expression, ‘Although’, said he, ‘I am free from any trucking with them, yet even that consenting submission that I had, hath brought this suffering upon me’. And he would often say, he would never have so much as a civil correspondence with any of them again; yet when he mentioned Sir Allen Apsley, he would say, he would never serve any that would not for his sake serve the person that had preserved him. When his wife went away he was exceeding well and cheerful, and so confident of seeing Owthorpe, that he gave her directions in a paper for planting trees, and many other things belonging to the house and gardens. ‘You give me’, said she, ‘these orders, as if you were to see that again’. ‘If I do not’, said he, ‘I thank God I can cheerfully forego it, but I will not distrust that God will bring me back again, and therefore I will take care to keep it while I have it’.

    The third of September, being Saturday, he had been walking by the sea-side, and coming home found himself aguish, with a kind of shivering and pain in his bones, and went to bed and sweat exceedingly: the next day was a little better, and went down, and on the Monday, expecting another fit, which came upon him, lay in bed all day, and rose again the next day, but went not down; and after that he slept no more till his last sleep came upon him, but continued in a feverish distemper, with violent sweatings, after which he used to rise out of his bed to refresh him, and when he was up used to read much in his Bible. He had appointed his wife, when she went away, to send him the Dutch Annotations on the Bible, and she had sent it down with some other things; which he presently caused to be brought him, though he was in his bed, and some places in the Epistle to the Romans read, which having heard, ‘These annotators’, said he, ‘are short’; and then looking over some notes upon that Epistle, which his wife had left in a book she had gathered from him; ‘I have’, said he, ‘discovered much more of the mystery of truth in that Epistle, and when my wife returns I will make her set it down; for’, said he, ‘I will no more observe their cross humours, but when her children are near, I will have her in my chamber with me, and they shall not pluck her out of my arms; and then, in the winter nights, she shall collect several observations I have made of this Epistle since I came into prison’. The continual study of the Scriptures did infinitely ravish and refine his soul, and take it off from all lower exercise, and he continued it in his sickness even to the last, desiring his brother, when he was in bed and could not read himself, to read it to him. He found himself every day grow weaker, yet was not exceeding sick, only he could not sleep at all, day nor night. There was a country physician at Deal, who had formerly belonged to the army, and had some gifts, and used to exercise them among godly people in their meetings; but having been taken there once by the persecutors, and being married to a wicked unquiet woman, she and the love of the world perverted him to forsake all religious meetings; yet the man continued civil and fair-conditioned, and was much employed thereabouts. He being sent for to Mr. Hutchinson, found that on Friday his mouth grew very sore, whereupon he told Mr. George Hutchinson that he distrusted his own skill in looking to it, and apprehended some danger, and advised him to send for a very famous physician that was at Canterbury, which they did, and he came on Saturday. As he came along he inquired of the messenger that fetched him what kind of person the colonel was, and how he had lived, and been accustomed, and which chamber of the castle he was now lodged in? Which when the man had told him, he said his journey would be to no purpose, for that chamber had killed him. Accordingly, when he came, he told the colonel’s brother, on Saturday night, that he apprehended danger, and appointed some remedies, and some applications to his temples, and a cordial to procure rest, but it had no effect. There was a nurse watched in his chamber, and she told them after his death that she heard him pray in the night, with the deepest sighs that ever she heard. The next morning, before the doctor and his daughter, and brother and servant came to him, the gentlewoman of the castle came up and asked him how he did? He told her, incomparably well, and full of faith.

    Some time after, when the doctor came, he told his brother that the fever had seized his head, and that he believed he would fall into ravings and die, and therefore wished him, if he had anything to say to him, to speak while he was in perfect sense. So Mr. George Hutchinson came to him, and told him he believed he could not live, and therefore desired him if he had anything to do, to despatch it, for he believed his end was approaching. The colonel, without the least dejection or amazement, replied, very composedly and cheerfully, ‘The will of the Lord be done: I am ready for it.’ And then he told them that he did now confirm the will he wrote in the Tower for his last will and testament, and all others to be void. The doctor, who had, when religion was in fashion, been a pretender to it, came to him and asked him if his peace was made with God; to which he replied, ‘I hope you do not think me so ill a Christian, to have been thus long in prison, and have that to do now!’ The doctor asked him concerning the ground of his hope; to which he answered, ‘There’s none but Christ, none but Christ, in whom I have unspeakable joy, more than I can express; yet I should utter more, but that the soreness of my mouth makes it difficult for me to speak’. Then they asked him where he would be buried? He told them, in his vault at Owthorpe; his brother told him it would be a long way to carry him: he answered, ‘Let my wife order the manner of it as she will, only I would lie there’. He left a kind message to his wife, ‘Let her’, said he, ‘as she is above other women, show herself, in this occasion, a good Christian, and above the pitch of ordinary women’. He commanded his daughter who was present to tell the rest, that he would have them all guided by her counsels; and left with his brother the same message to his eldest son. ‘I would’, said he, ‘have spoken to my wife and son, but it is not the will of God’; then, as he was going to utter something, ‘Here’s none but friends’; his brother minded him that the doctor was present. ‘Oh, I thank you’, said he; and such was their amazement in their sorrow, that they did not think of speaking to the doctor to retire, but lost what he would have said, which I am confident was some advice to his son how to demean himself in public concernments. He lay all the day very sensible and very cheerful, to the admiration of both the doctors and all that saw him; and as his daughter sat weeping by him, ‘Fie, Bab’, said he, ‘do you mourn for me as for one without hope? There is hope’. He desired his brother to remember him to Sir Allen Apsley, and tell him that he hoped God would reward his labour of love to him. While he was thus speaking to them, his spirits decayed exceedingly fast, and his pulse grew very low, and his head already was earth in the upper part; yet he raised himself in his bed. ‘And now’, said he to the doctor, ‘I would fain know your reason why you fancy me dying; I feel nothing in myself; my head is well, my heart is well, and I have no pain nor sickness anywhere’. The doctor, seeing this, was amazed; ‘Sir’, said he, ‘I would be glad to be deceived’; and being at a stand, he told Mr. George Hutchinson he was surprised, and knew not what to think, to see him so cheerful and undisturbed, when his pulse was gone; which if it were not death, must be some strange working of the spleen, and therefore advised him to send away for Dr. Ridgely, which he would before have done, but that the doctor told him he feared it would be vain, and that he would be dead before the doctor could come. While they were preparing to write, the colonel spoke only those two words: ‘’Tis as I would have it: ’tis where I would have it’; and spoke no more, for convulsions wrought his mouth, yet did his sense remain perfect to his last breath; for when some named Mrs. Hutchinson, and said, ‘Alas, how will she be surprised!’ he fetched a sigh, and within a little while departed; his countenance settling so amiably and cheerful in death, that he looked after he was dead as he used to do when best pleased in life. It was observable that at the same hour, and the same day of the month, and the same day of the week, that the wicked soldiers fetched him out of his own rest and quiet condition at home, eleven months before, the Lord of hosts sent his holy angels to fetch him out of their cruel hands up to his everlasting and blessed rest above; this being the Lord’s day, about seven o’clock at night, the eleventh day of September, 1664; that the same day and hour, the eleventh of October, 1663.

    The two doctors, though mere strangers to him, were so moved that they both wept as if it had been their brother; and he of Canterbury said, he had been with many eminent persons, but he never in his whole life saw any one receive death with more Christian courage, and constancy of mind, and stedfastness of faith, than the colonel had expressed from the first to the last; so that, considering the height of his fever, and his want of rest, there was an evidence of a divine assistance that overruled all the powers and operations of nature. This doctor, who was called Dr. Jachin, had most curiously and strictly observed all his motions. I know not by what impulse, but he after said, in regard of the colonel’s former engagements, he knew he should be examined of all circumstances, and therefore was resolved diligently to observe them; and as he guessed, it after fell out, for the gentlemen of the country, being of the royal party, were busy in their inquiries, which the doctor answered with such truth and clearness as made them ready to burst with envy at the peace and joy the Lord was pleased to give his servant, in taking him out of this wicked world. I am apt to think that it was not alone tenderness of nature, but conviction of their own disturbed peace, which drew those tears from the doctors, when they saw in him that blessed peace and joy which crowns the Lord’s constant martyrs: whatever it were, the men were faithful in divulging the glory of the Lord’s wonderful presence with his servant.

    As soon as the colonel was dead, his brother sent away a messenger to carry the sad news to his house, and caused his body to be embalmed in order to his funeral as he had thrice ordered. When he was embowelled, all his inwards were found exceeding sound, and no taint in any part only two or three purple spots on his lungs: his gall, the doctor said, was the largest that ever he saw in any man, and observed it to be a miracle of grace that he had been so patient as he had seen him.

    Some two or three days before the colonel fell sick, Freeman, the captain of the castle, had sent down a very strict order that the colonel should carry nothing out of the castle; in pursuance of which the soldiers would not suffer them to take out his beds, and furniture, and clothes, which Mr. Hutchinson forbore till an order came for them.

    As soon as the news came to Owthorpe, the colonel’s two eldest sons and all his household servants went up to London with his horses, and made ready a hearse, tricked with scutcheons and six horses in mourning, with a mourning coach and six horses to wait on it, and came down to Deal with an order from the secretary for the body; but when they came thither, Captain Freeman, in spite, would not deliver it, because Mrs. Hutchinson herself was not come to fetch it; so they were forced, at an intolerable expense, to keep all this equipage at Deal, while they sent to the secretary for another order, which they got directed to the lieutenant in the absence of the captain, and as soon as it came they delivered it to him, who immediately suffered them to take away the body, which they did at that very hour, though it was night, fearing a further dispute with Freeman. For he, after the body had been ten days embalmed, said he would have a jury empanelled, and a coroner to sit upon it, to see whether he died a natural death. Mr. Hutchinson asked him why he urged that, when it lay on their side to have sought satisfaction. He said he must do it to clear the king’s garrison. Mr. Hutchinson told him he had slipped his time; it should have been done at the first, before the embalming. He said he would have it unlapped, and accordingly be sent for a coroner and a jury, who, when they came, would not unlap the body, but called those persons that were about him, and examined them as to the occasion of his death. They made affidavit, which remains yet upon record, that the doctor said the place had killed him, and, satisfied with this, they did not unlap the body. As it came into Deal, Freeman met it, and said, if he had been in the castle they should not have had it till they had paid the money he demanded; which, when he could not justify any right to by law, he began to beg most basely and unworthily, but neither had anything given him for that. However, though the secretary had also ordered the colonel should have his things out, yet he detained all he found in the castle, his trunks, and beds, and furniture, which could never be gotten out of his hands. Although this spite of his put the colonel’s family to an excessive charge in staying so long in that cut-throat town of Deal, yet there was a providence of the Lord in it; for the colonel’s daughter who was there, through grief had contracted a violent sickness, which took her with great severity, and wrought off of her stomach in black vomits, that made her for the present desperately ill, and the doctor that was with her said that if she had then been in her journey, as she would have been had they not been delayed by his cruel spite, she could not have lived.

    The next day after they had gotten out the body, they brought it with a handsome private equipage to Canterbury, and so forward towards London, meeting no affronts in their way but at one town, where there was a fair, and the priest of the place came out, with his clerk in his fool’s coat, to offer them burial, and to stop their hearse laid hold on the horses, whom when the attendants put by, the wicked rout at the fair took part with them, and set upon the horsemen; but they broke several of their heads, and made their way clear, having beaten off all the town and the fair, and came on to London. They passed through Southwark, over the bridge, and through the whole heart of the city, to their lodging in Holborn, in the day time, and had not one reviling word or indignity offered them all the way, but several people were very much moved at that sad witness of the murderous cruelty of the men then in power.

    From London he was brought down to Owthorpe, very seriously bewailed all the way he came along by all those who had been better acquainted with his worth than the strangers were among whom he died, and was brought home with honour to his grave through the dominions of his murtherers, who were ashamed of his glories, which all their tyrannies could not extinguish with his life.