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a promise, he went a volunteer with the Earl of Essex.
From the entrance into this unnatural war, his natural cheerfulness and vivacity grew clouded, and a kind of sadness and dejection of spirit stole upon him, which he had never been used to; yet being one of those who believed that one battle would end all differences, and that there would be so great a victory on one side that the other would be compelled to submit to any conditions from the victor (which supposition and conclusion generally sunk into the minds of most men, and prevented the looking after many advantages that might then have been laid hold of), he resisted those indispositions. But after the king's return from Brentford, and the furious resolution of the two houses not to admit any treaty for peace, those indispositions which had before touched him grew into a perfect habit of uncheerfulness; and he who had been so exactly easy and affable to all men, that his face and countenance was always present and vacant to his company, and held any cloudiness and less pleasantness of the visage a kind of rudeness or incivility, became on a sudden less communicable; and thence very sad, pale, and exceedingly affected with the spleen. In his clothes and habit, which he had minded before always with more neatness, and industry, and expense, than is usual to so great a soul, he was not now only incurious, but too negligent; and in his reception of suitors, and the necessary or casual addresses to his place, so quick, and sharp, and severe, that there wanted not some men (strangers to his nature and disposition) who believed him proud and imperious; from which no mortal man was ever more free.
When there was any overture or hope of peace, he would be more erect and vigorous, and exceedingly solicitous to press anything which he thought might promote it; and sitting among his friends, often after a deep silence, and frequent sighs, would, with a shrill and sad accent, ingeminate the word Peace, Peace; and would passionately profess, that the very agony of the war, and the view of the calamities and desolation the kingdom did and must endure, took his sleep from him, and would shortly break his heart.' This made some think, or pretend to think, that he was much enamoured of peace, that he would have been glad the king should have bought it at any price;' which was a most unreasonable calumny. As if a man that was himself the most punctual and precise in every circumstance that might reflect upon conscience or honour, could have wished the king to have committed a trespass against either.
In the morning before the battle, as always upon action, he was very cheerful, and put himself into the first rank of the Lord Byron's regiment, then advancing upon the enemy, who had lined the hedges on both sides with musketeers; from whence he was shot with a musket in the lower part of the belly, and in the instant falling from his horse, his body was not found till the next morning; till when, there was some hope he might have been a prisoner, though his nearest friends, who knew his temper, received small comfort from that imagination. Thus fell that incomparable young man, in the four-and-thirtieth year of his age, having so much despatched the true business of life, that the eldest rarely attain to that immense knowledge, and the youngest enter not into the world with more innocency: whosoever leads such a life, needs be the less anxious upon how short warning it is taken from him.
[Character of Charles I.]
But it will not be unnecessary to add a short character of his person, that posterity may know the inestimable loss which the nation then underwent, in
being deprived of a prince whose example would have had a greater influence upon the manners and piety of the nation, than the most strict laws can have. To speak first of his private qualifications as a man, before the mention of his princely and royal virtues; he was, if ever any, the most worthy of the title of an honest man; so great a lover of justice, that no temptation could dispose him to a wrongful action, except it was so disguised to him that he believed it to be just. He had a tenderness and compassion of nature which restrained him from ever doing a hard-hearted thing; and, therefore, he was so apt to grant pardon to malefactors, that the judges of the land represented to him the damage and insecurity to the public that flowed from such his indulgence. And then he restrained himself from pardoning either murders or highway robberies, and quickly discerned the fruits of his severity by a wonderful reformation of those enormities. He was very punctual and regular in his devotions; he was never known to enter upon his recreations or sports, though never so early in the morning, before he had been at public prayers; so that on hunting days, his chaplains were bound to a very early attendance. He was likewise very strict in observing the hours of his private cabinet devotions, and was so severe an exacter of gravity and reverence in all mention of religion, that he could never endure any light or profane word, with what sharpness of wit soever it was covered; and though he was well pleased and delighted with reading verses made upon any occasion, no man durst bring before him anything that was profane or unclean. That kind of wit had never any countenance then. He was so great an example of conjugal affection, that they who did not imitate him in that particular, durst not brag of their liberty; and he did not only permit, but direct his bishops to prosecute those scandalous vices, in the ecclesiastical courts, against persons of eminence, and near relation to his service.
His kingly virtues had some mixture and allay that hindered them from shining in full lustre, and from producing those fruits they should have been attended with. He was not in his nature very bountiful, though he gave very much. This appeared more after the Duke of Buckingham's death, after which those showers fell very rarely; and he paused too long in giving, which made those to whom he gave less sensible of the benefit. He kept state to the full, which made his court very orderly, no man presuming to be seen in a place where he had no pretence to be. He saw and observed men long before he received them about his person; and did not love strangers, nor very confident men. He was a patient hearer of causes, which he frequently accustomed himself to at the council board, and judged very well, and was dexterous in the mediating part; so that he often put an end to causes by persuasion, which the stubbornness of men's humours made dilatory in courts of justice.
He was very fearless in his person; but, in his riper years, not very enterprising. He had an excellent understanding, but was not confident enough of it; which made him oftentimes change his own opinion for a worse, and follow the advice of men that did not judge so well as himself. This made him more irresolute than the conjuncture of his affairs would admit; if he had been of a rougher and more imperious nature, he would have found more respect and duty. And his not applying some severe cures to approaching evils proceeded from the lenity of his nature, and the tenderness of his conscience, which, in all cases of blood, made him choose the softer way, and not hearken to severe counsels, how reasonably soever urged. This only restrained him from pursuing his advantage in the first Scottish expedition, when, humanly speaking, he might have reduced that nation to the most entire obedience that could have been wished. But no man
can say he had then many who advised him to it, but the contrary, by a wonderful indisposition all his council had to the war or any other fatigue. He was always a great lover of the Scottish nation, having not only been born there, but educated by that people, and besieged by them always, having few English about him till he was king; and the major number of his servants being still of that nation, who he thought could never fail him. And among these, no man had such an ascendant over him, by the humblest insinuations, as Duke Hamilton had.
As he excelled in all other virtues, so in temperance he was so strict, that he abhorred all debauchery to that degree, that, at a great festival solemnity, where he once was, when very many of the nobility of the English and Scots were entertained, being told by one who withdrew from thence, what vast draughts of wine they drank, and that there was one earl who had drank most of the rest down, and was not himself moved or altered,' the king said, that he deserved to be hanged; and that earl coming shortly after into the room where his majesty was, in some gaiety, to show how unhurt he was from that battle, the king sent one to bid him withdraw from his majesty's presence; nor did he in some days after appear before him.
So many miraculous circumstances contributed to his ruin, that men might well think that heaven and earth conspired it. Though he was, from the first declension of his power, so much betrayed by his own servants, that there were very few who remained faithful to him, yet that treachery proceeded not always from any treasonable purpose to do him any harm, but from particular and personal animosities against other men. And afterwards, the terror all men were under of the parliament, and the guilt they were conscious of themselves, made them watch all opportunities to make themselves gracious to those who could do them good; and so they became spies upon their master, and from one piece of knavery were hardened and confirmed to undertake another, till at last they had no hope of preservation but by the destruction of their master. And after all this, when a man might reasonably believe that less than a universal defection of three nations could not have reduced a great king to so ugly a fate, it is most certain that, in that very hour, when he was thus wickedly murdered in the sight of the sun, he had as great a share in the hearts and affections of his subjects in general, was as much beloved, esteemed, and longed for by the people in general of the three nations, as any of his predecessors had ever been. To conclude, he was the worthiest gentleman, the best master, the best friend, the best husband, the best father, and the best Christian, that the age in which he lived produced. And if he were not the greatest king, if he were without some parts and qualities which have made some kings great and happy, no other prince was ever unhappy who was possessed of half his virtues and endowments, and so much without any kind of vice.
Scotland, which yet he could not reasonably promise to himself in that company. But when the night covered them, he found means to withdraw himself with one or two of his own servants, whom he likewise discharged when it begun to be light; and after he had made them cut off his hair, he betook himself alone into an adjacent wood, and relied only upon Him for his preservation who alone could, and did miraculously deliver him.
[Escape of Charles II. after the Battle of Worcester.*]
Though the king could not get a body of horse to fight, he could have too many to fly with him; and he had not been many hours from Worcester, when he found about him near, if not above, four thousand of his horse. There was David Lesley with all his own equipage, as if he had not fled upon the sudden; so that good order, and regularity, and obedience, might yet have made a retreat even into Scotland itself. But there was paleness in every man's looks, and jealousy and confusion in their faces; and scarce thing could worse befall the king than a return into * The particulars of this escape are here narrated as the
author had them from the king himself."
When it was morning, and the troops which had marched all night, and who knew that when it begun to be dark the king was with them, found now that he was not there, they cared less for each other's company; and most of them who were English separated themselves, and went into other roads; and wherever twenty horse appeared of the country, which was now awake, and upon their guard to stop and arrest the runaways, the whole body of the Scottish horse would fly, and run several ways; and twenty of them would give themselves prisoners to two country fellows; however, David Lesley reached Yorkshire with above fif teen hundred horse in a body. But the jealousies increased every day; and those of his own country were so unsatisfied with his whole conduct and behaviour, that they did, that is, many of them, believe that he was corrupted by Cromwell; and the rest, who did not think so, believed him not to understand his profession, in which he had been bred from his cradle. When he was in his flight, considering one morning with the principal persons which way they should take, some proposed this and others that way, Sir William Armorer asked him, which way he thought best?' which, when he had named, the other said, he would then go the other; for, he swore, he had betrayed the king and the army all the time;' and so left him.
It is great pity that there was never a journal made of that miraculous deliverance, in which there might be seen so many visible impressions of the immediate hand of God. When the darkness of the night was over, after the king had cast himself into that wood, he discerned another man, who had gotten upon an oak in the same wood, near the place where the king had rested himself, and had slept soundly. The man upon the tree had first seen the king, and knew him, and came down to him, and was known to the king, being a gentleman of the neighbour county of Staf fordshire, who had served his late majesty during the war, and had now been one of the few who resorted to the king after his coming to Worcester. His name was Careless, who had had a command of foot, about the degree of a captain, under the Lord Loughborough. He persuaded the king, since it could not be safe for him to go out of the wood, and that, as soon as it should be fully light, the wood itself would probably be visited by those of the country, who would be searching to find those whom they might make prisoners, that he would get up into that tree where he had been, where the boughs were so thick with leaves that a man would not be discovered there without a narrower inquiry than people usually make in places which they do not suspect. The king thought it good tree, and then helped his companion to ascend after counsel, and, with the other's help, climbed into the him, where they sat all that day, and securely saw many who came purposely into the wood to look after them, and heard all their discourse, how they would use the king himself if they could take him. This shire; and though there was a highway near one wood was either in or upon the borders of Staffordside of it, where the king had entered into it, yet it any-inclosures, and Careless was not unacquainted with was large, and all other sides of it opened amongst the neighbour villages; and it was part of the king's good fortune that this gentleman, by being a Roman Catholic, was acquainted with those of that pro
fession of all degrees, who had the best opportunities of concealing him; for it must never be denied, that some of that religion had a very great share in his majesty's preservation.
The day being spent in the tree, it was not in the king's power to forget that he had lived two days with eating very little, and two nights with as little sleep; so that, when the night came, he was willing to make some provision for both; and he resolved, with the advice and assistance of his companion, to leave his blessed tree; and, when the night was dark, they walked through the wood into those inclosures which were farthest from any highway, and making a shift to get over hedges and ditches, after walking at least eight or nine miles, which were the more grievous to the king by the weight of his boots (for he could not put them off when he cut off his hair, for want of shoes), before morning they came to a poor cottage, the owner whereof, being a Roman Catholic, was known to Careless. He was called up, and as soon as he knew one of them, he easily concluded in what condition they both were, and presently carried them into a little barn full of hay, which was a better lodging than he had for himself. But when they were there, and had conferred with their host of the news and temper of the country, it was agreed that the danger would be the greater if they stayed together; and, therefore, that Careless should presently be gone, and should, within two days, send an honest man to the king, to guide him to some other place of security; and in the mean time his majesty should stay upon the hay-mow. The poor man had nothing for him to eat, but promised him good butter-milk; and so he was once more left alone, his companion, how weary soever, departing from him before day, the poor man of the house knowing no more than that he was a friend of the captain's, and one of those who had escaped from Worcester. The king slept very well in his lodging, till the time that his host brought him a piece of bread, and a great pot of butter-milk, which he thought the best food he ever had eaten. The poor man spoke very intelligently to him of the country, and of the people who were well or ill affected to the king, and of the great fear and terror that possessed the hearts of those who were best affected. He told him, that he himself lived by his daily labour, and that what he had brought him was the fare he and his wife had; and that he feared, if he should endeavour to procure better, it might draw suspicion upon him, and people might be apt to think he had somebody with him that was not of his own family. However, if he would have him get some meat, he would do it; but if he could bear this hard diet, he should have enough of the milk, and some of the butter that was made with it.' The king was satisfied with his reason, and would not run the hazard for a change of diet; desired only the man that he might have his company as often and as much as he could give it him there being the same reason against the poor man's discontinuing his labour, as the alteration of his fare.
his shirt too, and took the same his poor host had then on. Though he had foreseen that he must leave his boots, and his landlord had taken the best care he could to provide an old pair of shoes, yet they were not easy to him when he first put them on, and, in a short time after, grew very grievous to him. In this equipage he set out from his first lodging in the beginning of the night, under the conduct of this guide, who guided him the nearest way, crossing over hedges and ditches, that they might be in least danger of meeting passengers. This was so grievous a march, and he was so tired, that he was even ready to despair, and to prefer being taken and suffered to rest, before purchasing his safety at that price. His shoes had, after a few miles, hurt him so much, that he had thrown them away, and walked the rest of the way in his ill stockings, which were quickly worn out; and his feet, with the thorns in getting over hedges, and with the stones in other places, were so hurt and wounded, that he many times cast himself upon the ground, with a desperate and obstinate resolution to rest there till the morning, that he might shift with less torment, what hazard soever he run. But his stout guide still prevailed with him to make a new attempt, sometimes promising that the way should be better, and sometimes assuring him that he had but little farther to go; and in this distress and perplexity, before the morning they arrived at the house designed; which, though it was better than that which he had left, his lodging was still in the barn, upon straw instead of hay, a place being made as casy in it as the expectation of a guest could dispose it. Here he had such meat and porridge as such people use to have, with which, but especially with the butter and the cheese, he thought himself well feasted; and took the best care he could to be supplied with other, little better, shoes and stockings; and after his feet were enough recovered that he could go, he was conducted from thence to another poor house, within such a distance as put him not to much trouble; for having not yet in his thought which way or by what means to make his escape, all that was designed was only, by shifting from one house to another, to avoid discovery. And being now in that quarter which was more inhabited by the Roman Catholics than most other parts in England, he was led from one to another of that persuasion, and concealed with great fidelity. But he then observed that he was never carried to any gentleman's house, though that country was full of them, but only to poor houses of poor men, which only yielded him rest with very unpleasant sustenance; whether there was more danger in those better houses, in regard of the resort and the many servants, or whether the owners of great estates were the owners likewise of more fears and apprehensions.
Within few days, a very honest and discreet person, one Mr Hudleston, a Benedictine monk, who attended the service of the Roman Catholics in those parts, came to him, sent by Careless, and was a very great assistance and comfort to him. And when the places to which he carried him were at too great a distance After he had rested upon this hay-mow and fed to walk, he provided him a horse, and more proper upon this diet two days and two nights, in the even-habit than the rags he wore. This man told him, ing before the third night, another fellow, a little that the Lord Wilmot lay concealed likewise in a above the condition of his host, came to the house, friend's house of his, which his majesty was very glad sent from Careless, to conduct the king to another of, and wished him to contrive some means how they house, more out of any road near which any part of might speak together,' which the other easily did; the army was like to march. It was above twelve and, within a night or two, brought them into one miles that he was to go, and was to use the same place. Wilmot told the king that he had by very caution he had done the first night, not to go in any good fortune fallen into the house of an honest gentlecommon road, which his guide knew well how to man, one Mr Lane, a person of an excellent reputaavoid. Here he new dressed himself, changing clothes tion for his fidelity to the king, but of so universal with his landlord; he had a great mind to have kept and general a good name, that, though he had a son his own shirt; but he considered, that men are not who had been a colonel in the king's service during sooner discovered by any mark in disguises than by the late war, and was then upon his way with men to having fine linen in ill clothes; and so he parted with Worcester, the very day of the defeat, men of all affec
tions in the country, and of all opinions, paid the old
The king inquired of the monk of the reputation of this gentleman, who told him, that he had a fair estate, was exceedingly beloved, and the eldest justice of peace of that county of Stafford; and though he was a very zealous Protestant, yet he lived with so much civility and candour towards the Catholics, that they would all trust him as much as they would do any of their own profession; and that he could not think of any place of so good repose and security for his majesty's repair to. The king liked the proposition, yet thought not fit to surprise the gentleman, but sent Wilmot thither again, to assure himself that he might be received there, and was willing that he should know what guest he received; which hitherto was so much concealed, that none of the houses where he had yet been, knew or seemed to suspect more than that he was one of the king's party that fled from Worcester. The monk carried him to a house at a reasonable distance, where he was to expect an account from the Lord Wilmot, who returned very punctually, with as much assurance of welcome as he could wish. And so they two went together to Mr Lane's house, where the king found he was welcome, and conveniently accommodated in such places as in a large house had been provided to conceal the persons of malignants, or to preserve goods of value from being plundered. Here he lodged and ate very well, and began to hope that he was in present safety. Wilmot turned under the care of the monk, and expected summons when any farther motion should be thought to be necessary.
bours, and those who inhabited near them, but, upon conference with their friends, could choose fit houses, at any distance, to repose themselves in security, from one end of the kingdom to another, without trusting the hospitality of a common inn; and men were very rarely deceived in their confidence upon such occa sions; but the persons with whom they were at any time, could conduct them to another house of the same
Mr Lane had a niece, or very near kinswoman, who was married to a gentleman, one Mr Norton, a person of eight or nine hundred pounds per annum, who lived within four or five miles of Bristol, which was at least four or five days' journey from the place where the king then was, but a place most to be wished for the king to be in, because he did not only know all that country very well, but knew many persons also to whom, in an extraordinary case, he durst make himself known. It was hereupon resolved that Mrs Lane should visit this cousin, who was known to be of good affections, and that she should ride behind the king, who was fitted with clothes and boots for such a service; and that a servant of her father's, in his livery, should wait upon her. A good house was easily pitched upon for the first night's lodging, where Wilmot had notice given him to meet; and in this equipage the king began his journey, the colonel keep- | ing him company at a distance, with a hawk upon his fist, and two or three spaniels, which, where there were any fields at hand, warranted him to ride out of the way, keeping his company still in his eye, and not '] seeming to be of it. In this manner they came to their first night's lodging; and they need not now | contrive to come to their journey's end about the close of the evening, for it was in the month of October far advanced, that the long journeys they made could not be despatched sooner. Here the Lord Wilmot found them, and their journeys being then adre-justed, he was instructed where he should be every night; so they were seldom seen together in the journey, and rarely lodged in the same house at night. In this manner the colonel hawked two or three days, till he had brought them within less than a day's journey of Mr Norton's house, and then he gave his hawk to the Lord Wilmot, who continued the journey in the same exercise.
In this station the king remained in quiet and blessed security many days, receiving every day information of the general consternation the kingdom was in, out of the apprehension that his person might fall into the hands of his enemies, and of the great diligence they used to inquire for him. He saw the proclamation that was issued out and printed, in which a thousand pounds were promised to any man who would deliver and discover the person of Charles Stuart, and the penalty of high treason declared against those who presumed to harbour or conceal him, by which he saw how much he was beholden to all those who were faithful to him. It was now time to consider how he might get near the sea, from whence he might find some means to transport himself; and he was now near the middle of the kingdom, saving that it was a little more northward, where he was utterly unacquainted with all the ports, and with that coast. In the west he was best acquainted, and that coast was most proper to transport him into France, to which he was inclined. Upon this matter he communicated with those of this family to whom he was known, that is, with the old gentleman the father, a very grave and venerable person; the colonel, his eldest son, a very plain man in his discourse and behaviour, but of a fearless courage, and an integrity superior to any temptation; and a daughter of the house, of a very good wit and discretion, and very fit to bear any part in such a trust. It was a benefit, as well as an inconvenience, in those unhappy times, that the affections of all men were almost as well known as their faces, by the discovery they had made of themselves in those sad seasons in many trials and persecutions; so that men knew not only the minds of their next neigh
There was great care taken when they came to any house, that the king might be presently carried into some chamber, Mrs Lane declaring that he was a neighbour's son, whom his father had lent her to ride before her, in hope that he would the sooner recover from a quartan ague, with which he had been miserably afflicted, and was not yet free.' And by this artifice she caused a good bed to be still provided for him, and the best meat to be sent, which she often carried herself, to hinder others from doing it. There was no resting in any place till they came to Mr Norton's, nor anything extraordinary that happened in the way, save that they met many people every day in the way, who were very well known to the king; and the day that they went to Mr Norton's, they were necessarily to ride quite through the city of | Bristol-a place and people the king had been so well acquainted with, that he could not but send his eyes abroad to view the great alterations which had been made there, after his departure from thence; and when he rode near the place where the great fort had stood, he could not forbear putting his horse out of the way, and rode with his mistress behind him round about it.
They came to Mr Norton's house sooner than usual, and it being on a holiday, they saw many people about a bowling-green that was before the door; and the first man the king saw was a chaplain of his own, who was allied to the gentleman of the house, and was sitting upon the rails to see how the bowlers
played. William, by which name the king went, walked with his horse into the stable, until his mistress could provide for his retreat. Mrs Lane was very welcome to her cousin, and was presently conducted to her chamber, where she no sooner was, than she lamented the condition of a good youth who came with her, and whom she had borrowed of his After some days' stay here, and communication befather to ride before her, who was very sick, being tween the king and the Lord Wilmot by letters, the newly recovered of an ague;' and desired her cousin king came to know that Colonel Francis Windham 'that a chamber might be provided for him, and a lived within little more than a day's journey of the good fire made, for that he would go early to bed, and place where he was, of which he was very glad; for, bewas not fit to be below stairs.' A pretty little cham- sides the inclination he had to his eldest brother, whose ber was presently made ready, and a fire prepared, wife had been his nurse, this gentleman had behaved and a boy sent into the stable to call William, and himself very well during the war, and had been goto show him his chamber; who was very glad to be vernor of Dunstar castle, where the king had lodged there, freed from so much company as was below. when he was in the west. After the end of the war, Mrs Lane was put to find some excuse for making a and when all other places were surrendered in that visit at that time of the year, and so many days' jour-county, he likewise surrendered that, upon fair conney from her father, and where she had never been ditions, and made his peace, and afterwards married before, though the mistress of the house and she had a wife with a competent fortune, and lived quietly, been bred together, and friends as well as kindred. without any suspicion of having lessened his affection She pretended that she was, after a little rest, to go towards the king. into Dorsetshire to another friend.' When it was supper-time, there being broth brought to the table, Mrs Lane filled a little dish, and desired the butler who waited at the table 'to carry that dish of porridge to William, and to tell him that he should have some meat sent to him presently.' The butler carried the porridge into the chamber, with a nakpin, and spoon, and bread, and spoke kindly to the young man, who was willing to be eating.
The butler, looking narrowly upon him, fell upon his knees, and with tears told him, he was glad to see his majesty. The king was infinitely surprised, yet recollected himself enough to laugh at the man, and to ask him what he meant?' The man had been falconer to Sir Thomas Jermyn, and made it appear that he knew well enough to whom he spoke, repeating some particulars which the king had not forgot. Whereupon the king conjured him 'not to speak of what he knew, so much as to his master, though he believed him a very honest man.' The fellow promised, and kept his word; and the king was the better waited upon during the time of his abode there.
Dr Gorges, the king's chaplain, being a gentleman of a good family near that place, and allied to Mr Norton, supped with them; and being a man of a cheerful conversation, asked Mrs Lane many questions concerning William, of whom he saw she was so careful, by sending up meat to him, how long his ague had been gone? and whether he had purged since it left him? and the like; to which she gave such answers as occurred. The doctor, from the final prevalence of the Parliament, had, as many others of that function had done, declined his profession, and pretended to study physic. As soon as supper was done, out of good nature, and without telling anybody, he went to see William. The king saw him coming into the chamber, and withdrew to the inside of the bed, that he might be farthest from the candle; and the doctor came and sat down by him, felt his pulse, and asked him many questions, which he answered in as few words as was possible, and expressing great inclination to go to his bed; to which the doctor left him, and went to Mrs Lane, and told her that he had been with William, and that he would do well;' and advised her what she should do if his ague returned. The next morning the doctor went away, so that the king saw him no more. The next day, the Lord Wilmot came to the house with his hawk, to see Mrs Lane, and so conferred with William, who was to consider what he was to do. They thought it necessary to rest some days, till they were informed what port lay most convenient for them, and what person lived nearest to it, upon whose fidelity they might rely;
and the king gave him directions to inquire after some persons, and some other particulars, of which when he should be fully instructed, he should return again to him. In the mean time, Wilmot lodged at a house not far from Mr Norton's, to which he had been recommended.
The king sent Wilmot to him, and acquainted him where he was, and that he would gladly speak with him.' It was not hard for him to choose a good place where to meet, and thereupon the day was appointed. After the king had taken his leave of Mrs Lane, who remained with her cousin Norton, the king and the Lord Wilmot met the colonel; and in the way he met, in a town through which they passed, Mr Kirton, a servant of the king's, who well knew the Lord Wilmot, who had no other disguise than the hawk, but took no notice of him, nor suspected the king to be there; yet that day made the king more wary of having him in his company upon the way. At the place of meeting, they rested only one night, and then the king went to the colonel's house, where he rested many days, whilst the colonel projected at what place the king might embark, and how they might procure a vessel to be ready there, which was not easy to find, there being so great a fear possessing those who were honest, that it was hard to procure any vessel that was outward-bound to take in any passenger.
There was a gentleman, one Mr Ellison, who lived near Lyme, in Dorsetshire, and was well known to Colonel Windham, having been a captain in the king's army, and was still looked upon as a very honest man. With him the colonel consulted how they might get a vessel to be ready to take in a couple of gentlemen, friends of his, who were in danger to be arrested, and transport them into France. Though no man would ask who the persons were, yet it could not but be suspected who they were; at least they concluded that it was some of Worcester party. Lyme was generally as malicious and disaffected a town to the king's interest as any town in England could be, yet there was in it a master of a bark, of whose honesty this captain was very confident. This man was lately returned from France, and had unladen his vessel, when Ellison asked him when he would make another voyage? And he answered, as soon as he could get lading for his ship.' The other asked whether he would undertake to carry over a couple of gentlemen, and land them in France, if he might be as well paid for his voyage as he used to be when he was freighted by the merchants? In conclusion, he told him he should receive fifty pounds for his fare.' The large recompense had that effect, that the man undertook it; though he said he must make his provision very secretly, for that he might be well suspected for going to sea again without being freighted, after he was so newly returned.' Colonel Windham being advertised of this, came, together with the Lord Wilmot, to the captain's house, from whence the lord and the captain rid to a house near Lyme, where the master of the bark met them; and the Lord Wilmot being