Abbildungen der Seite

who should express most respect, and, by an extraordinary officiousness, redeem their late slightings."

Harrison, one of the leaders of the new order of saints, had his share of duplicity and aristocracy. Spain, acting upon motives extremely similar to those just described, thought proper to acknowledge the English Republic, by sending ambassadors to England. This representative of Royalty could be received in no other way than by the Parliament; accordingly Harrison, the day before that appointed for his reception, admonished those whom he observed to be richly dressed, to labour to shine before their new friends in wisdom and piety, rather than in gold and silver, which did not become saints. that the next day, when the ambassadors came," says Mrs. Hutchinson, “ they should not set themselves out in gorgeous habits, which were unsuitable to holy professions.” The Colonel (Hutchinson) although he was not convinced of any misbecoming bravery in the suit he wore that day,

hich was but of sad coloured cloth, trimmed with gold and silver points and buttons, yet, because he would not appear offensive in the religious persons, the next day he went in a plain black suit, and so did all the other gentlemen; but Harrison came that day in a scarlet coat and cloak, both laden with gold and silver lace, and the coat so covered with foil, that scarcely could

“ And,

eyes of


one discern the ground; and, in this glittering habit, sat himself just under the speaker's chair."

It is barely within the comprehension of a modern Englishman to conceive the dreadful state to which their ancestors were generally reduced by the rancorous enmities and jealousies of the leaders of the revolt and their

opponents. Almost all the garrisons belonging to the Parliament were infested by persons who endeavoured to supplant those in authority. Indeed, this was frequently accomplished when men of integrity and spirit commanded; as it was impossible they could contend against the little, contemptible arts practised in the Parliament, in conjunction with those under their orders, through the medium of complaints and insinuations. The members alluded to were much detested, and termed the worstedstocking men. “Some as violently curbed their Committees, as the Committees factiously molested them,” continues our fair authoress. “ Nor was the faction only in particular garrisons; but the Parliament house itself began to fall into the two great oppositions of Presbytery and Independency; and, as if discord had infested the whole English air with an epidemical heat, burning and dissension in all places, even the King's councils and garrisons were as factiously divided.”

Monopoly existed in full vigour about 1640; when sir Nicholas Crispe, as it is quaintly ex


who says,

pressed in the · Perfect Journal,' was on his knees in the House of Commons for a monopolist in red lead and copperas. Mr. Goring was accused of the same offence, in his speculations upon the sale of tobacco; but he escaped by transferring the charge to his father, the lord Goring. And, on the first day of December, “ there were fifty monopolists discovered in the House.”

The Parliament published in 1643, “ The First Century of Scandalous, Malignant Priests, made and admitted into Benefices by the Prelates in whose hands the Ordination of Ministers and Government of the Church hath been;" which is accompanied by a Preface signed John White;

“ In this book thou shalt have an assay of the gall and wormwood of the Episcopal Government taken out of London, the Metropolis, and of the Counties adjacent, that, when thou seest what vermine crawls upon and devours the principal and vital parts, thou mayst reflect with a mournful heart


the more miserable condition of Wales, and of the North, the more remote parts of this kingdom; where, upon scrutiny, will be easily found many for one as vile and abominable as these. And, if thou wouldest have the people perish for want of vision, or empoisoned with the destructive errors of Popery and Arminianism, and the land yet more defiled with cursing, swearing, drunkenness, whoredome,


sodomie, then put thy shoulders still to the support of the said Church Government and Governors."

Admitting this “ First Century" to be a correct representation of the manners of 1643, no age or country ever before exhibited a scene of

parallel depravity. But as there are no more than 100 instances detailed from, at least, 15,000 beneficed and unbeneficed priests' conduct, we may presume that a little party spirit operated in the breast of the compiler; from whose charges we select some circumstances which will explain customs then prevailing.

“ Thomas Thrall, of St. Mary Mounthaw," he says,

was a common haunter of taverns and alehouses, who not only read the Book of Sports from the pulpit, but encited his hearers to practise them; himself setting the example by playing at cudgels. Philip Leigh, vicar of Redburn, is accused, amongst other enormities, of drinking healths. Edward Jenkinson, of Panfield, Essex, added to his other offences the crime of calling the godly, reverend ministers, roasted dogs, which draw away other men's pigeons. Richard Hart practised a curious custom in drinking, according to Mr. White, by “ drawing his parishioners with him to his house, forcing them there to drink until they be drunk, causing every one to east a die in their course, and to drink up so many cups as fell to their chance.” Cuth


bert Dale seeing a stranger in the Church put on his hat in sermon time, he openly then called him "

sawcy, unmannerly clown; and bid the churchwardens take notice of him ;" and the next Lord's day took occasion in his sermon again to speak of him, being then absent, and to call him “ lobb, saucy goose, idiot, a wigeon, a cuckoo; saying he was a scabbed sheep, a straggler, &c.” Thomas Geary indulged in the practice of calling his auditors“ sowded pigs, bursten rams, and speckled frogs." Thomas Staple annexed to his misdeeds of a grosser nature, the drinking of healths round a joint stool.

There is a custom mentioned in the “ Perfect Journal,” which, I believe, is entirely disused at

present. On the 28th day of November, 1640, “ Master Prin and Master Burton came into London, being met and accompanied with many thousands of horse and foot, and rode with rosemary and bayes in their hands and hats : which is generally esteemed the greatest affront that ever was given to the Courts of Justice in England.”

The grave, religious, sententious, and moralizing manners of the City of London towards the close of the reign of Charles I. cannot be better illustrated than by presenting my readers with the first number of what we should term a newspaper, did not those of the present day differ from it as essentially as a narrative from a sermon. It is, however, certain that “ New Christian


« ZurückWeiter »