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LETTERS FROM THE STOWE MANUSCRIPTS.1
THE letters here printed are taken from the Stowe MSS., which were purchased with the remainder of the Ashburnham collection a few years ago by the British Museum. letters relating to Yorkshire have been copied. The first section extends over a period of eight years, and embraces the earlier years of the Restoration.
The earlier letters relate, as would be expected, to military matters, and refer to the arrangements which facilitated the Restoration. One of the correspondents was Colonel Charles Fairfax, an uncle of the Parliamentary General. His near relationship to such an important person, and his position as Governor of the strongly-fortified town of Hull, made his concurrence in all military measures indispensable. Sir John Hotham, whose grandfather by his refusal when governor of Hull, to admit Charles into that town, was the first to overtly resist the royal authority, now, remembering his father's and grandfather's executions for their tardy adherence to the King's cause, reminds Fairfax that they both had the same object in view, the safety of the nation, and prays him to go hand-in-hand in prosecution of that cause. The well-known ingratitude of the Restoration Government to their adherents who had suffered during the Civil Wars, is well shown by No. V., where the widow of a Loyalist soldier, who had consistently adhered to the King's side, was compelled to content herself with a brief, or licence to beg, as a recompense for her husband's services as cannoneer under the Marquess of Newcastle at Hessay Moot and other places for several years, besides being wounded and imprisoned. The other letters contain no political allusions.
The Thoresby letters are chiefly concerned with mercantile matters. The two brothers, John Thoresby in Leeds, and George Thoresby in Newcastle, seem to have been partners
The genealogical notes are for the most part due to Mr. J. W. Clay, F.S.A.
in a kind of banking business, drawing bills on one another. Their financial operations extended as far as Edinburgh. A correspondent there, named Campbell, owed John Thoresby at Leeds 20li., which he was requested to pay to the brother at Newcastle. This Campbell effected by obtaining a bill for that amount, payable three days after sight, from Mr. Lermont of Edinburgh, drawn on a merchant at Newcastle, named Robert Huntley, but to prevent mishaps the bill was sent to a brother Scot, Robert Ker, who was living at the sign of the Groat Market in Newcastle. This transaction gives an example of the cumbrous method by which money was transmitted at that time. Although the Thoresbys were merchants, they never forgot that they claimed to belong to a family a member of which had once occupied the archiepiscopal throne at York. If we may trust the assertions in one letter (No. XIII.), George Thoresby unlawfully kept a pedigree of the family, belonging to a Mrs. Mitford, and had to be threatened with legal proceedings if he did not return it. The antiquity of the pedigree and the exactness in the intermarriages had already obliged the owners to go to law to recover it from previous borrowers.
The letters of Henry Gyles, the glass-painter, Sylvanus Morgan, the arms-painter, and William Lodge, the portraitpainter and engraver, introduce us into the small art circle then living at York. The letters of Gyles and Morgan are very dry and jejune, but those of Lodge and his mother make us regret that more of their correspondence has not been preserved. The picture presented, of perfect confidence between mother and son, is very pleasing. The son, though not yet nineteen, was already turning his thoughts to art. This fancy, and a desire to leave Cambridge for Oxford, as being more wholesome, made his mother very anxious. She wrote (No. XIV.), praying him not to harbour such foolish fancies, but to free himself from that unsettled humour, and employ his time in fitting himself for the Inns of Court. His answer has been lost, but a letter he wrote in reply to one from his mother, dated four months later, is preserved. Limning, as he terms it, was still his great interest, but he promises his mother that it shall only be a recreation an hour after dinner, and so no hindrance, but rather a furtherance of things of greater concernment, meaning, no doubt, his university and law studies. However, in the long run,
art was triumphant. It would be interesting to know whether the cousin Lambert, whose directions in art he desired to secure, was any relation of the well-known General Lambert, who solaced his long hours of imprisonment with painting. Lodge's preference for burning his shins with his lass over his mother's fire with toast and ale, to going to chapel every cold morning before six o'clock, sometimes unbuttoned, and with loose kneestrings, will be shared by modern undergraduates, though the hours for chapel are far more reasonable now.
MAJOR RALPH WATERHOUSE TO COLONEL CHARLES FAIRFAX. APRIL 15, 1660.
(Stowe MSS., Vol. 744, p. 38.)
May it please yor honor,
I received the inclosed from my Coll: ye last night wth a command to transmitt ye same to you wth all speed, wth wch I shall make bold to acquaint you that I shall be very carefull to returne ye money becomeing due to all such sicke and lame souldiers as formerly belonged to these companyes wch yor honor either haue or shall entertaine, and in case you haue not vacansies sufficient for them all att present, if you be pleased to send up twenty or thirty marching men hither, by wch meanes you may make rome for ye other. You will thereby perpetually obleige
Yor most humble and
Yorke ye 15th of
I thought good to acquaint yor honor that ye enclosed came open to my hands.
Dorso:-For the honorable Coll: Charles
Fairfax, Governor of Hull.
SIR JOHN HOTHAM, BART. TO THE SAME. APRIL 16, 1660.3
(Ibid., p. 40.)
Sr, I haue receiued a commission from the Council of State for a regiment of the militia horse to be raised in this county, which the
2 The seal bears the Waterhouse arms, or a pile engrailed sable. Charles Fairfax was uncle of the great Lord Fairfax, and Governor of Hull in 1660. Died at
Menston and buried at Otley, Dec. 22, 1673. The Restoration was in progress at this time. Charles II. entered London on May 29.
Commissioners intend to raise with what speed conveniently they can. Sr, my desire therefore is (since wee are engaged in one common cause, viz., the safety of the nation), that wee goe hand in hand in prosecution of that cause, and in it I shall not doubt of your assistance uppon occations, and doe assure I shall approue my selfe, S, Your most faithfull seruant, Jo: Hotham.
My commission is alsoe signed by the generall.
Charles Fairfax, Esq',
Gouernour of Hull.
Rise, April 16, 60.
RICHARD TOMBRELL TO WILLIAM LOWTHER, ESQ.+
(Ibid., p. 53.)
Sir, I had the lyst of my regiment signed by the Deputie Leuetenants before wee parted at Shereborne, soe I cann now signe to your company which I perceive you took that night, or els I had sent you itt by this bearer. I am verie busie in sending ye other companyes to ye rest of ye officers.
Yesterday my leuetenant of horse, Mr. Ireland, gaue mee some assurance that St Francis Bland was pleasd to lyst himselfe a volunteere in my troope, which is a noble favour. Yett I assure you, I did not well relish itt till I had your probatum, because itt happilie might proceede from some suddaine humor, and I should be loath to entertain any thoughts that might iustly prouoke you to any hard opinion of mee. But really I thinke itt not a misse (if itt suite with your judgement), to giue him ye first command of foote next yourselfe, though I haue promised itt to Capt: Bailden, and itt will be soe much ye better because when ye regiment moues, wee are like to bee with him ourselves, which may preuent those disorders which happilie he may incurr if left as a single person. I doubt not but wee shall gett him an able leutenant. I the rather maid this dispatch because I intend to send tomorrow to my Lord Langdale for commissions for those Captaines in my regiment onprovided for, and if you or I can obtaine Sr Francis Bland's consent I shall insert his name for one. I pray, Sr, be pleasd to vse your perswasions with him and lett mee know your iudgment in itt, and accordingly I shall moue and not otherways. The rest giues you my
3 Son of John Hotham, and grandson of Sir John Hotham, Bart., who were respectively executed on Jan. 1 and 2, 1644-5.
A younger son of Sir John Lowther of Westmoreland. He lived in Leeds, and afterwards at Swillington (where his descendants still reside). He also had property at Great Preston and Garforth.
One of the Council of the North, M.P. Pontefract, 1661-1678, knighted 1661, and a commissioner of customs. Died Feb., 1687, having married Jane, daughter of William Busfield of Leeds, merchant, by whom he had numerous issue. His daughter Jane married Sir Francis Bland of Kippax, Bart., who died in Nov., 1663.
seruice, as alsoe tendred to your Ladie with ye rest of my noble cosens, soe conclude vs
MR. T. CAMPBELL OF EDINBURGH TO MR. GEORGE THORESBY OF NEWCASTLE." MAY 31, 1662.
(Ibid., p. 59.)
Edr, Last Maii, 1662.
Sr, From Newcastell your bror John Thorsby att Leeds did accquent me, yt he had left wt you one bill of twentie purds, resting by me to him, and ordered me to remite ye money to you, which accordeingly I heaue done by one bill wt this night's post, draune by on Rot Lermont of Edr upon Mr Robert Huntly, marchand, in Newcastell, payabill upon thrie days seight. The bill is sent to Mr Rot Ker, marchand, of whom demaund ye money, and to him, or his wyfe, or any that yt will pay you ye money, delaiver my bill off this. S', I pray you wryt to your bro, for I am confident ze will gett ye money as I heave ordred. If not, wryt to me by ye first occasione. I heave no other subject att
p'nt. Houpeing to sie you very shortly, God willing, I shall remane, Sir, Your assured freind
CERTIFICATE OF LOYAL SERVICE TO WILLIAM BURLEY OF CAWOOD. AUG. 15, 1662.
(Ibid., p. 60.)
Whereas his Matie hath beene gratiously pleased to looke upon the sufferings of those that haue beene faithfull to his late father of ever blessed memory and his Matie that now is, and towards their sufferings, hath not onely by his Act of Parlament taken care for those that haue beene comission officers, but likewise comon soldiers and cannoneares, that haue beene faithfull as aforesaid, and never in all these vnhappie times revolted from their loyallty and faithfullness to their said Mats, Therefore wee whose names are herevnder subscribed doe know and humblely certiffie to the Comers and all others whome it may concerne,
5 The seal bears a chevron between
three escallops. Crest, a tree.
6 Although this letter has no address, there can be little doubt it was written to
George Thoresby, a merchant at Newcastle-on-Tyne, younger brother of John Thoresby of Leeds. See No. IX.