« PreviousContinue »
came thither, and they supposed the King with them, but they made no stay in the village, but presently departed; they were, hereupon, so eager in the pursuit, that, after enquiring which way they took, they followed the rout, and made no further search there; the King straight heard this, by the two aforesaid scouts, who straggled for intelligence into the tow).
All this day, being Thursday, the King continued in the wood, upon the ground, Richard Pendrili being constantly with him, and sometimes the other two brothers: it proved to be a very rainy day, and the King was wet with showers; thereupon, Francis Yates's wife came into the wood, and brought the King a blanket, which she threw over his shoulders, to keep bim dry; she also brought him his first meat he eat there, riz. a mess of milk, eggs, and sugar, in a black earthen ,cup, which the King guessed to be milk and apples, and said he loved it very well. After he had drank some of it, and eaten part in a pewter spoon, he gave the rest to George, and bid him eat, for it was very good. There was nothing of moment passed this day in court, but only the King exchanged his wood-bill for Francis Yates's broom-hook, which was something lighter.
They had much ado, all that day, to teach and fashion his Majesty to their country guise, and to order his steps, and straight body, to a lobbing Jobson's gate, and were forced, every foot, to mind him of it; for the language, his Majesty's most gracious converse with his people, in his journey to, and at Worcester, had rendered it very easy, and very tuneable to him.
About five o'clock that evening, the King, with the retinue of Richard, Humphry, George, and Francis Yates, left the wood, and betook himself to Richard's house, where he went under the name of William Jones, a wood-cutter, newly come thither for work. Against his coming, the good wife, for his entertainment at supper, was preparing a fricasy of bacon and eggs; and, whilst that was doing, the King held on his knee their daughter Nan. After he had cat a little, he asked Richard to eat, who replied, yea, Sir, I will; whereto his Majesty answered, you have a better stomach than I, for you have eaten five times tu-day already. After supper ended, the King, according to his resolution to pass into Wales, prepared, when it should be dusky, to depart; before he went, Jane Pendrill, the mother of the five brethren, came to see the King, before whom she blessed God, that had so honoured her children, in making them the instruments, as she hoped, of his Majesty's safeguard and deliverance. Here Francis Yates offered the King thirty shillings in silver; the King accepted ten, and bid him put the other up. Humphry would have gone before, to see and view about, but the King would not let him; it being now near night, they took their leave of the King upon their knees, beseeching God to guide and bless him.
So the King and Richard only departed, to go to one Mr. Francis Wolfe of Madely, there to take passage into Wales. On the way, they were to pass by a mill, at a place called Evelin, and going over (it was about nine o'clock at night) the bridge of the said mill, the miller steps forth, and demanded, who goes there; having a quarter-staff, or a
good cudgel, in his hand; to which Richard, being foremost, thought it not safe to reply; but, the water being shallow, leaped off the bridge into it, and the King did the like, following Richard by the noise and rattling of his leather breeches; the miller being glad he was so rid of them, for, as it afterwards appeared, here were some of the King's scattered soldiers in his mill, anu he supposed the other to be parliamentarians, that were upon the scent for his distressed guests.
Being come to Madely, to the said Mr. Francis Wolse's, late that night, they understood there was no passage over the water into Wales, and that it was very dangerous to abide there, the country being, every where about, laid with soldiers; nor durst he entertain them in his house, but shewed them a hay-mow, where they might lodge; and there the King and Richard continued all that night, and the next day, being Friday; and that night, with the conveyance of a maid of this Mr. Wolfe's, who brought the King two miles on his way, they retreated back again to Richard's house. Master Wolfe lent the King some small sum of money.
This design being crossed, Saturday morning, without any stay at Richard's, the King and he went to a house of Mrs. Giffard's, called Boscabel, where William Pendrill and his wife dwelt as housekeepers for the said Giffard, who received him joyfully; but the King's feet were so blistered, with travelling in such coarse and stiff accoutrements, as he wore on his feet, and lying in them, that he was scarce able to stand or go; which William's wife perceiving, she stripped off his stockings, and cut the blisters, and washed bis feet, and gave the King some ease.
The same time, or near thereupon, that noble colonel, Careless, who, as is said before, made good the King's rear at Worcester, and had fought his way through; after he had been two days at one David Jones's, living in the Heath in Tong Parish, and there by him secured (for this colonel had lain three quarters of a year before obscured in this country, when he had been narrowly, every where, searched after) was brought, by one Elisabeth Burgess, to this same house of Boscabel; and there his Majesty and he met, but the colonel was so overjoyed with the sight of the King, his master, in such sure andsafe bands, that he could not refrain weeping, and the King was himself moved with the same passion.
After a short conference, and but inchoated counsel of the King's probablest means of escape, it was resolved by them, to betake themselves to the wood again; and accordingly, about nine of the clock, that Saturday morning, the sixth of September, they went into the wood, and Colonel Careless brought and led the King to that so much celebrated oak, where before he had himself been lodged. This tree is not hollow, but of a sound firm trunk, only, about the middle of it, there is a hole in it, about the bigness of a man's head, from whence it absurdly and abusively, in respect of its deserved perpetual growth to out-last time itself, is called hollow; and, by the help of William Pen. drill's wood-ladder, they got up into the boughs and branches of the tree, which were very thick and well spread, full of leaves; so that it was impossible for any one to discern through them.
When they were both up, William gave them up two pillows to lie upon between the thickest of the branches, and the King, being overwearied with his travel and sore journey, began to be very sleepy; the colonel, to accommodate him the best he could, desired his Majesty, to lay his head in his lap, and rest the other parts of his body upon the pillow, which the King did; and after he had taken a good nap (WilLiam and his wife Joan still peaking up and down, and she commonly near the place, with a nut-hook in her hand gathering of sticks) awaked very hungry, and wished he had something to eat; whereupon, the colonel plucked out of his pocket a good lunchion of bread and cheese, which Joan Pendrill had given him for provant for that day, and had wrapped it up in a clean linnen cloth, of which the King fed very heartily, and was well pleased with the service, and commended highly his good chear; and some other small relief he had, which was put up in the tree, with a long hook stick.
In the mean while, Richard Pendrill, the first esquire, was sent to Wolver-hampton, some three miles thence, being a market-town, to buy wine and bisket, and some other necessary refreshments for the King; and withal to speak with one Mr. George Manwaring, a person of known integrity and loyalty from Colonel Careless, with some instructions about the King's removal, though not expresly the King, but one of that ruined party; in effect it was to how of him, whether he knew of any sure privacy for two such persons; to which he answered he had not himself, but would enquire if a friend of his, one Mr. Whitgrave of Mosely, formerly and again to be spoken of here, could do it. So that we may see what a loyal honest combination and secrecy there was between all these persons; and then Richard returned with his wine, &c. to the King, who, towards the evening, came down by the same ladder from the tree, and was brought into the garden of Boscabel house, where he sat in the bower of it, and drank part of the wine till towards night.
Neither was Humphry Pendrill, the miller, unemployed all this while, but was sent to get intelligence, how things went. And, the easier to come by it, he was sent to a captain of the Rump, one Broadway, formerly a heel-maker, under pretence of carrying him twentyshillings, for the pay of a man in the new raised militia of their county for their mistress. While he was there, in came a colonel of the rebels, and asked for Captain Broadway, on purpose to know what further enquiry had been made at White-Ladies for the King, relating to Broadway the story of it; to which he replied he knew nothing of it further than rumour, but that there was one of that place, in the house that could give him an account of it. So Humphry was called, and several questions put to bim, which he evaded, but confessed that the King had been there, as was supposed; but there was no likelihood for him to stay there, for there were three families in the house, and all at difference with one another. The colonel told him there was a thousand pounds offered to any, that would take or discover him, and that they doubted not, but within a day or two to bave him delivered into their hands.
These tidings Humphry brought with him, and omitted not to tell his Majesty of the price his rebels had set on him; at the telling of which, the King looked something dismayed, as having trusted his life into the hands of so poor men, whom such a sum as that, though both detestable, and of inconsiderable value to the purchase, might pervert from their allegiance and fidelity; which made Humphry to be exceedingly troubled for his rasbness, while Colonel Careless assured the King, if it were one hundred thousand pounds, it were to no more purpose, and that he would engage his soul for their truth; which Humphry also, with many urgent asseverations, did second.
It was late, and the King was very hungry, and had a mind to a loin of mutton, and, being come into the house, asked William, if he could not get him such a joint; to which, he replied, that he had it not of his own, but he would make bold at that time, and for that occasion, with one of his master's sheep in the cote; which instantly he did, and brought it into the ground-cellar, where the colonel, not having the patience to stay while he fetched a knife, stabbed it with his dagger; and when William came down, they hung it upon a door, and flead it, and brought up a hind quarter to the King, who presently fell a chopping of the loin to pieces, or, as they called it then, into Scotch Collops, which the colonel clapped into the pan, while the King held it and fried it.
This passage yielded the King a pleasant, jocular discourse, after his arrival in France, when it amounted to a question, a very difficult case, who was cook, and who was scullion ? And the solution of the doubt, when it could not be decided by the lords then present, was referred to the judgment of his Majesty's master-cook, who affirmed, that the King was, hic et nunc, both of them,
When this nimble collation was ended, it was time for the King to betake himself to his rest, and his chamberlain William brought him to his apartment. It was a place made between two walls on purpose for secrecy, contrived at the building of the house; thither they let the King down, where he slept very incommodiously with little or no rest, for that the place was not long enough for him; and therefore, the next night, they laid him a sorry bed upon the stair-case, that the meanness of his lodging might secure him from suspicion.
My Lord Wilmot, as is said before, was all this while safe at Mr. Whitgrave's, only his care of the King made him full of trouble. His hiding-place was so sure a one, that at his first coming to it, he wished, so he gave twenty thousand pounds, that the King was either as secure, or there with him; he therefore dispatched away John Pendrill, who attended him, all along, to the White Ladies, to enquire for the King, and to give him notice of the conveniency that was at Mr. Whitgrave's; but, when he came thither, which was on Friday, the King was then gone to Madely, to Mr. Wolfe's. The next day he was sent again, and Richard's wife directed him to Boscabel, where he delivered the King his message, which the King assented unto, and resolved to remove thither.
Monday night, September the eightl, at eleven at night, was the time appointed for the King's progress to Mosely, but a horse was hard to be found. John was ordered to borrow one of one Stanton of Hatton, but he had lent his out before; when the colonel remembered that Humphry the Miller had one, and he thereupon was called and desired to lend him for the King's service; it was a kind of war-horse, that had carried many a load of provision, meal, and such like, but now he put upon him a bridle and saddle, that had outworn his tree and irons, and at the time prefixed, brought him to the gate.
As soon as the King had notice of it, out he came, and would have had none hut Colonel Careless and John to have gone along with him; but they told him, it was dangerous to venture himself with so few; they therefore intreated his Majesty, that he would give them leave to go with them, which, at their importunity, he granted.
Having mounted the King, Colonel Careless and the six orethren guarding him, two before and two behind, and one of each side, armed with clubs and bills, Humphry, leading his horse by the bridle, they began their journey. It was five miles from Boscabel to Mosely, Mr. Whitgrave's, and the way in some places miry, where the horse blundering, caused the King to suspect falling, and bid Humphry have a care; to which he answered, that that now fortunate horse had carried many a heavier weight in his time, six strike of corn, which measure the King understood not, but now had a better price on his back, the price of three kingdoms, and therefore would not now shame his master.
Their travel was soon and safe ended, and the King brought the back way to a stile that led to the house; Humphry led the horse into a ditch, and the King alighted off upon the stile; but, forgetting that most of his guard were to return home, was gone five or six steps onward, without taking leave of them, but, recalling himself, returned back and said, I am troubled that I forgot to take my leave of my friends; but if ever I come into England, by fair or foul means, I will remember you, and let me see you, whenever it shall so please God; so they all departed, but the colonel, John, and Francis Yates, who guided the King to the house.
Their master, Thomas Whitgrave, received the King, dutifully and affectionately, and brought him in to my Lord Wilmot, who, with infinite gladness, kneeled down and embraced his knees. After a little conference, his Majesty was had to his lodging, and the intrigues of it shewn him; where, after the King had rested himself that night, they entered into consultation about the escape, which had been projected by my Lord Wilmot before.
Francis Yates departed, but John staid two or three days longer with the King, while he went away. On Wednesday noon a troop of the rebels horse passed through the town, and made no stay; which John told not the King of, till afternoon, because, as he then said, he would not spoil his Majesty's dinner.
Now the King prepared and fitted himself for his journey, and one Mr. Huddlestone and Mr. Whitgrave accommodated him with boots, cloke, money, &c. and John Pendrill was sent to Mrs. Lane about it, who sent him back again with a parcel of leaves of walnuts, boiled in spring water, to colour his Majesty's hands, and alter the hue and