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Page 345, note *.
It is some consolation that Sir Walter Scott was equally unsuccessful. (1848.) Since the first edition of this work was published, several very ingenious conjectures touching these mysterious letters have been communicated to me; but I am convinced that the true solution has not yet been suggested. (1850.) I still greatly doubt whether the riddle has been solved. But the most plausible interpretation is one which, with some variations, occurred, almost at the same time, to myself and to several other persons; I am inclined to read “Père Mansuete A Cordelier Friar.” Mansuete, a Cordelier, was then James's confessor. To Mansuete, therefore, it pecullarly belonged to remind James of a sacred duty which had been nably neglected. The writer of the broadside must have been illing to inform the world that a soul which many devout Roman Catholics had left to perish had been snatched from destruction by the courageous charity of a woman of loose character. It is, therefore, not unlikely that he would prefer a fiction, at once probable and edifying, to a truth which could not fail to give scandal
Page 352, note f.
See also Secret Consults of the Romish Party in Ireland, 1690.
Page 361, line 30, note.
Swift, who hated Marlborough, and who was little disposed to allow any merit to those whom he hated, says, in the famous letter to Crassus, “You are no ill orator in the Senate.”
Page 391, note f.
This assertion has been met by a direct contradiction. But the fact is exactly as I have stated it. There is in the Acta of the Scottish Privy Council a hiatus extending from August, 1678, to August, 1682. The Duke of York began to reside in Scotland in December, 1679. He left Scotland, never to return, in May, 1682. (1857.)
Page 392, note *.
The editor of the Oxford edition of Burnet attempts to excuse this act by alleging that Claverhouse was then employed to intercept all communication between Argyle and Monmouth, and by supposing that John Brown may have been detected in conveying intelligence between the rebel camps. Unfortunately for this hypothesis John Brown was shot on the first of May, when both Argyle and Monmouth were in Holland, and when there was no insurrection in any part of our island.
Page 393, note *.
It has been confidently asserted, by persons who have not taken the trouble to look at the authority to which I have referred, that I have grossly calumniated these unfortunate men; that I do not understand the Calvinistic theology; and that it is impossible that members of the Church of Scotland can have refused to pray for any man, on the ground that he was not one of the elect.
I can only refer to the narrative which Wodrow has inserted in his History, and which he justly calls plain and natural. That narrative is signed by two eyewitnesses, and Wodrow, before he published it, submitted it to a third eyewitness who pronounced it strictly accurate. From that narrative I will extract the only words which bear on the point in question: “When all the three were taken, the officers consulted among themselves, and, withdrawing to the west side of the town, questioned the prisoners, particularly if they would pray for King James VII. They answered, they would pray for all within the election of grace. Balfour said, Do you question the King's election ?, They answered, sometimes they questioned their own. Upon which he swore dreadfully, and said they should die presently, because they would not pray for Christ's vicegerent, and so, without one word more, commanded Thomas Cook to go to his prayers, for he should die.”
In this narrative Wodrow saw nothing improbable; and I shall not easily be convinced that any writer now living understands the feelings and opinions of the Covenanters better than Wodrow did. (1857.)
Page 403, note *.
See also News from Westminster.
Page 442, line 13, note.
A few words [two lines] which were in the first five editions have been omitted in this place. Here and in another passage I had, as Mr. Aytoun has observed, mistaken the City Guards, which were commanded by an officer named Graham, for the Dragoons of Graham of Claverhouse.
Page 458, note *.
See also Delamere's Observations on the Attainder of the late Duke of Monmouth.
Page 466, line 13, note.
One of these weapons may still be seen in the Tower.
Page 490, note f.
A copy of this Diary, from July, 1685, to September, 1690, is among the Mackintosh papers. To the rest I was allowed access by the kindness of the Warden of All Souls' College, where the original MS. is deposited. The Delegates of the Press of the University . of Oxford have since published the whole, in six substantial volumes, which will, I am afraid, find little favor with readers who seek only for amusement, but which will always be useful as materials for history. (1857.)
Page 516, note *.
The letter of Sunderland is as follows:–
“Whitehall, Feb. 13, 1685–6. “Mr. Penne, “Her Majesty's Maids of Honour having acquainted me that they designe to employ you and Mr. Walden in making a composition with the Relations of the Maids of Taunton for the high Misdemeanour they have been guilty of, I do at their request hereby let you know that His Majesty has been pleased to give their Fines to the said Maids of Honour, and therefore recommend it to Mr. Walden and you to make the most advantageous composition you can in their behalfe. “I am, Sir, “Your humble servant, “SUNDERLAND.”
That the person to whom this letter was addressed was William Penn the Quaker was not doubted by Sir James Mackintosh who first brought it to light, or, as far as I am aware, by any other person, till after the publication of the first part of this History. It has since been confidently asserted that the letter was addressed to a certain George Penne, who appears from an old account-book lately discovered to have been concerned in a negotiation for the ransom of one of Monmouth's followers, named Azariah Pinney.
If I thought that I had committed an error, I should, I hope, have the honesty to acknowledge it. But, after full consideration, I am satisfied that Sunderland's letter was addressed to William Penn.
Much has been said about the way in which the name is spelt. The Quaker, we are told, was not Mr. Penne, but Mr. Penn. I feel assured that no person conversant with the books and manuscripts of the seventeenth century will attach any importance to this argument. It is notorious that a proper name was then thought to be well spelt if the sound were preserved. To go no further than the persons who, in Penn's time, held the Great Seal, one of them is sometimes Hyde and sometimes Hide: another is Jefferies, Jef. fries, Jeffereys, and Jeffreys: a third is Somers, Sommers, and Summers: a fourth is Wright and Wrighte; and a fifth is Cowper and Cooper. The Quaker's name was spelt in three ways. He, and his father the Admiral before him, invariably, as far as I have observed, spelt it Penn: but most people spelt it Pen; and there were some who adhered to the ancient form, Penne. For example,
William the father is Penne in a letter from Disbrowe to Thurloe, dated on the 7th of December, 1654; and William the son is Penne in a newsletter of the 22d of September, 1688, printed in the Ellis Correspondence. In Richard Ward's Life and Letters of Henry More, printed in 1710, the name of the Quaker will be found spelt in all the three ways, Penn in the index, Pen in page 197, and Penne in page 311. The name is Penne in the Commission which the Admiral carried out with him on his expedition to the West Indies. Burchett, who became Secretary to the Admiralty soon after the Revolution, and remained in office long after the accession of the House of Hanover, always, in his Naval History, wrote the name Penne. Surely it cannot be thought strange that an old-fashioned spelling, in which the Secretary of the Admiralty persisted so late as 1720, should have been used at the office of the Secretary of State in 1686. I am quite confident that, if the letter which we are considering had been of a different kind, if Mr. Penne had been informed that, in consequence of his earnest intercession, the King had been graciously pleased to grant a free pardon to the Taunton girls, and if I had attempted to deprive the Quaker of the credit of that intercession on the ground that his name was not Penne, the very persons who now complain so bitterly that I am unjust to his memory would have complained quite as bitterly, and, I must say, with much more reason. I think myself, therefore, perfectly justified in considering the names, Penn and Penne, as the same. To which, then, of the two persons who bore that name, George or William, is it probable that the letter of the Secretary of State was addressed ? George was evidently an adventurer of a very low class. All that we learn about him from the papers of the Pinney family is that he was employed in the purchase of a pardon for the younger son of a dissenting minister. The whole sum which appears to have }. through George's hands on this occasion was sixty-five pounds. is commission on the transaction must, therefore, have been small. The only other information which we have about him is that he, some time later, applied to the government for a favour which was very far from being an honour. In England the Groom Porter of the Palace had a jurisdiction over games of chance, and made some very dirty gain by issuing lottery tickets and licensing hazard tables. George appears to have petitioned for a similar privilege in the American colonies. William Penn was, during the reign of James the Second, the most active and powerful solicitor about the Court. I will quote the words of his admirer Croese. “Quum autem Pennus tanta gratia plurimum apud regem valeret, et per id perplures sibi amicos acquireret, illum omnes, etiam qui modo aliqua notitia erant conjuncti, quoties aliquid a rege postulandum agendumve apud regem esset, adire, ambire, orare, ut eos apud regem adjuvaret.” He was overwhelmed by business of this kind, “obrutus negotiationibus curationibusque” His house and the approaches to it were every day blocked up by crowds of persons who came to request his good of: fices; “domus ac vestibula quotidie referta clientium et supplicantium.” From the Fountainhall papers it appears that his influence was felt even in the highlands of Scotland. We learn from himself that, at this time, he was always toiling for others, that he was a daily suitor at Whitehall, and that, if he had chosen to sell his influence, he could, in little more than three years, have put twenty thousand pounds into his pocket, and obtained a hundred thousand more for the improvement of the colony of which he was proprietor. Such was the position of these two men. Which of them, then, was the more likely to be employed in the matter to which Sunderland's letter related 2 Was it George or William, an agent of the lowest or of the highest class? The persons interested were ladies of rank and fashion, resident at the palace, where George would hardly have been admitted into an outer room, but where William was every day in the presence chamber and was frequently called into the closet. The greatest nobles in the kingdom were zealous and active in the cause of their fair friends, nobles with whom William lived in habits of familiar intercourse, but who would hardly have thought George fit company for their grooms. The sum in question was seven thousand pounds, a sum not large when compared with the masses of wealth with which William had constantly to deal, but more than a hundred times as large as the only ransom which is known to have passed through the hands of George. These considerations would suffice to raise a strong presumption that Sunderland's letter was addressed to William, and not to George : but there is a still stronger argument behind. It is most important to observe that the person to whom this letter was addressed was not the first person whom the Maids of Honor had requested to act for them. They applied to him, because another person, to whom they had previously applied, had, after some correspondence, declined the office. From their first application we learn with certainty what sort of person they wished to employ. If their first application had been made to some obscure pettifogger or needy gambler, we should be warranted in believing that the Penne to whom their second application was made was George. If, on the other hand, their first application was made to a gentleman of the. highest consideration, we can hardly be wrong in saying that the Penne to whom their second application was made must have been William. To whom, then, was their first application made 2 It was to Sir Francis Warre of Hestercombe, a Baronet and a Member of Parliament. The letters are still extant in which the Duke of Somerset, the proud Duke, not a man very likely to have corresponded with George Penne, pressed Sir Francis to undertake the commission. The latest of those letters is dated about three weeks before Sunderland's letter to Mr. Penne. Somerset tells Sir Francis that the town clerk of Bridgewater, whose name, I may remark in passung, is spelt sometimes Bird and sometimes Birde, had offered his