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Among the victims of this oppressive regulation, was the celebrated Jeremy Taylor, who suffered a confinement of some months in Chepstow Castle. But Wood's statement respecting Wither is unfounded. If the poet "licked his fingers," it was not in the capacity of a Major-General
. Colonel Kelsey was appointed MajorGeneral of Kent and Surrey, and Colonel Goffe filled the same situation in Hampshire. On the 3rd of September, 1658, Cromwell died, and
" Listory of the Commonwealth, vol. iv. p. 242.
dum in the hands of several members as they entered the House. It was in these words :
Mind your faithful servant; for my need
Vouchsafe me justice, and I'll ask no more. His efforts were not altogether ineffectual. On the 15th of March, 1647, an order was agreed to by the Lords and Commons, for payment of 18001. out of Discoveries at Haberdashers' Hall; and on the 22nd of the same month, a further order was made for the payment of 16811. 158, 8d. out of the Excise.
Nothing, however, was gained by these orders, which do not seem to have been ever enforced, and the House was at length induced to appoint some "selected members" to provide him with a temporary employment until his claims could be adjusted. When he published his si' Quis *, in 1648, he stood recommended to a situation of considerable value, which he does not appear to have obtained.
About this time, he says, when he was living upon the charity of friends, “God providentially, beyond his hope, enabled him to purchase a considerable estate, by means of their acting against him who thereby intended their own benefit and his ruin;" and the Parliament also sold him a Manor, worth 300l. per annum, in consideration of “his debt of 16001. and more by him paid." I suppose the property alluded to belonged to the See of Win
• Weaver, in his Life and Death of Sir John Oldcastle, says, " Set up a Si Quis, give intelligence." A Si Quis was formerly a term for what we now call a hand-billo-Brit. Bib., vol. I, p. 314.
I'll fix a Si Quis (or it may be mo)
Wither's Perpetual Parliament, p. 72.
His efforts were pot altogether ineffectual. On the 15th of March, 1641, an order was agreed to by the Lords and Commons, for payment of 18001. out of Discoveries at Haberdashers' Hall; and on the 22nd of the same mouth, a further order was made for the payment
of 16911. 156. 8. out of the Excise. Nothing, however, with a temporary employment until his claims could be adjusted. When be published his Si Quis*, in 1648, he
was gained by these orders, which do not seem to bare
stood recommended to a situation of considerable value,
pose the property alluded to belonged to the See of Win
Mind your faithful servant; for Requires compassion, and deserreth heed. Though I have many rivals at your door, Vouchsafe me justice, and I'll ask no more.
been ever enforced
, and the House was at length induced some "selected members" to provide him
chester. Wither's purchases of church-lands are detailed in Gale's History of Winchester Cathedral :-
The Manor of North Walton, in Hampshire, sold to George Wither and Thomas Allen, July 5, 1648, for 9641. 138. 6d.
The Manor of Bentley and Alverstock, and Borough of Gosport, sold to George Wither and Elizabeth his wife, for 11851. 45. 5fd., September 25, 1648.
The Manor of Itchinswell and Northampton Farm, sold to Nicholas Love and George Wither, for 1756l. 9s. Id., September 28, 1648.
The Manor of Hantden, sold to George Wither for 37961. 185. 11d., March 23, 1650.
Misfortunes still followed him : the “ estate was lost again," and the Manor, after he had "enjoyed it awhile," was resold by the Parliament to a member of their own, who pretended to have a mortgage upon it, and the poet was ejected" by a Suit in Law," without any satisfaction for the loss of his purchase-money, and was even compelled to pay the expenses of the suit, with other charges, amounting to several hundred pounds.
His calls for relief, however, were not entirely disre. garded. In 1649, a few members of Parliament, “without his seeking," endeavoured to provide bim with some occupation in order to satisfy his "just demands," and he acknowledged their kindness in A Thankful Retribution. The office which they sought, unsuccessfully, to procure, seems to have been that of Register in the Court of Chancery. Instead of this, Park thinks he was appointed one of the Commissioners for levying assessments in Surrey, as appears from the Usurpation Acts of 1649-50. A gentleman of the name of Lloyd possessed a certificate, attested by Wither on the 10th of December, 1651, while acting under this Commission, and entitled, " The report of Colonel John Humphreys, and Major George Wither,
which he does not appear to have obtained.
About this time, he says, when he was living upon the charity of friends, "God providentially, beyond his hope, enabled him to purchase a considerable estate, by of their acting against him who thereby intended their own benefit and his ruin;" and the Parliament also sold him a Manor, worth 3001. per annum, in consideration at "his debt of 16001. and more by bim paid." I sup
. Wearer, in his Life and Death of Sir John Oldcastle, says, "Set up
Si quis, gire intelligence." A Si Quis was formerly e term for what we now call a hand-bill.-Brit. Bid., vol. 1, p. 314.
111 fra Si Quis (or it may be mo)
Wither's Perpetual Parliament, p. 72.
touching the demands and accounts of M. René Angier made upon a reference to them by the Committee for the sale of the King's goods." M. Angier had been agen in France both for the King and thc Parliament.
In 1649, the poet hailed the victory of General Jone in Dublin over the troops of the Marquis of Ormond with a Thank-Oblation, which occupies six quarto pages This ode of gratulation is alluded to in one of the pe riodicals of the day. “At Westminster they are very lazy and have done very little more of public concernment but as it appears, George Withers has been very mucl busied in composing a Hymn of Praises for their grea achievement and victory against Ormond, which he pre sented most of the members with on Thursday last, il hopes they would have sung it the day after, being th thanksgiving day appointed *."
We have already seen that the orders made for Wither' relief were productive of no benefit to hiin, and on th 2nd of January, 1650, a Report upon his case was de livered to the House by Colonel Dove, from which i appeared that 39581. 158. 8d., with interest, were thei due. The Report recommended that for the 16810 charged upon the Excise, eight per cent. should be paie every six months; and that for the remainder of th sum of 39581. the Manor of Little Horksley, in Essex should be settled on Wither and his heirs. This estate which was valued by the sequestrators at a yearly ren of 2401., formed a part of the inheritance of Sir Johr Denham, whom the Report calls the poet's “chief plun derer.” Colonel Dove's suggestions were only partially adopted. The 16811. were secured, according to the recommendation of the Report, upon the Excise; bu • Mercurius Elencticus, Monday, August 27, to September 3, 1649.
touching the demands and accounts of M. René Angier,
In 1649, the poet hailed the victory of General Jones
We have already seen that the orders made for Wither's relief were productive of no benefit to him, and on the 2nd of January, 1650, a Report upon his case was delivered to the House by Colonel Dove, from which it appeared that 39581. 158. 8d., with interest
, were then
Mercuriu Elencticus, Monday, August 27, to September 3, 1609.
instead of the entire estate of Little Horksley, only 1501. was settled upon the poet in "full satisfaction and discharge of all demands," and Mr. Garland was ordered to bring in an Act for that purpose."
Neither Wither's private troubles, nor his labours as a Commissioner, prevented him from occasionally ob. serving the political world. Upon the rumour of an intention suddenly to dissolve the Parliament in Septem. ber 1652, he immediately issued a Timely Caution, comprehended in seven double trimeters. The only classical portion of the pamphlet is the title.
He also employed some of the November nights of the same year in visionary schemes for remodelling the external and internal construction of the House of Com
In the Perpetual Parliament, published April 24, 1653, he proposed to build a new House of Assembly at Whitehall, of a fair and imposing aspect, and beautified with walks and pleasant gardens. The members were to be arrayed in a senatorial robe or toga, wearing wreaths of gold around their necks, from which was to be suspended a tablet with the British Isles enamelled upon it. Annual Parliaments were to be introduced with a monthly election of Speaker: all undue influence in the return of members was to be punished with exile, and all cases of bribery in public offices, with death. A twelfth part of the representatives of England and Wales was to be chosen monthly, and for those in residence, a
Constant table of a meul a-day was to be provided at a moderate charge. Every thing connected with the institution was to be pure, noble, and disinterested.
Wither's political dreams must be numbered with