Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/33

This page needs to be proofread.

11 S. XL JAN. 9, 1915.]



book in Walker's hands. In 1912 Mr. W. A. Bradley edited and published the ' Corre- spondence of Sir Philip Sidney with Hubert Languet.'


This tract is of considerable importance, because it has been the sole source of the descriptions of Cromwell's death by all his modern biographers.

Thomas Carlyle was the first to quote it at length, ascribing it to Charles Harvey, and Carlyle's work (now very much damaged and discredited) was at first unquestioningly accepted by the historian Samuel Bawson Gardiner. Lord Morley, Lord Bosebery, and many minor writers have naturally accepted a tract which came to them on such authority, and have drawn heavily upon this pamphlet. Everywhere this docu- ment is to be found credited to Charles Harvey in the British Museum as in other libraries ; and it never seems to have dawned upon any one that it was a work of fiction, written with a very definite political motive, at a time of political crisis, and that there exists no evidence whatever justifying its ascription to Charles Harvey.

What, therefore, were Carlyle's reasons for the attribution to Harvey ?

The following passage in the ' Journal ' of George Fox, the Quaker, is the answer. Fox states of Harvey as follows :

" Hee [Cromwell] was then [at Hampton Court, a month before he died] very sicke, and Harvey told mee, which was on [sic] of his men y* waited upon him, y* ye Doctors was not willinge I should come in to speake with him."

Fox several times alludes to Harvey as either a Quaker or well disposed to Quakers, but this is the only clue he gives to Harvey's occupation. The passage does not justify the assumption that Harvey was " groom of the bed -chamber " ; though I suspect that " groom of the bed-chamber " would be best rendered nowadays by " gentleman in waiting."

Moreover, the ract I am describing con- tains a very bitter attack upon the Quakers (which I set out below), and thus is in itself evidence that Harvey had nothing to do with it. Charles Harvey appears also as the writer of a letter among the State Papers ('Cal. S.P. Dom. 1654,' p. 33), and I

think there is a manuscript in the possession of the Society of Friends making mention of him. This is all that is known of Harvey Another historian, Dr. Lingard, attributed the tract (while condemning it) to on Underwood, and I will now set out Lingard's source of information. Writing to Henry Cromwell four days after his father's death, Thurloe, Cromwell's secretary, said on 7 Sept., 1658 :

" This bearer [of the letter], Mr. Underwood, is a very sober gentleman, was of the bed-chamber to his late highness and attended him in all his sickness, and can give your excellency a full account of all that past in this sadd occasion." ' Thurloe State Papers,' vii. 374.

There was, therefore, everything to be said for Lingard's view that Underwood wrote the tract, while there was not a shadow of justification for that of Carlyle attributing it to Harvey.

But, as I have repeatedly shown, in and after the year 1648, up to 1660, in the case of every tract or book upon which the name of Bobert Ibbitson appears as publisher, without the express mention of any other author's name, Henry Walker was the writer of the tract in question. I made the assertion after repeatedly inspecting all the documents known to have been printed by Ibbitson (many hundreds in number), and after weighing and noting all the evidence available. One result of this inspection has been this present list of literary frauds by Walker.

At 11 S. iv. 262 I first attributed the tract I am now discussing to Walker and gave my evidence, both showing the origin of the tract and proving that the date of its entry in the Stationers' Registers was 7 June, 1659, nine months after Cromwell's death, and a few days after his monument in Westminster Abbey had been destroyed by order of the Bump. It was this par- ticular act which caused the conspicuous insertion of the bogus " Prayer " in the tract. And at 11 S. iii. 342 I gave an original and much different prayer, which may probably be genuine, since there is a known witness to its accuracy in Butler, one of Cromwell's " Major-Generals." No- one has yet disputed my facts, and therefore I propose now merely to add some slight corroboration of my ascrip- tion of this tract to Walker.

The title-page of the tract has an un- important variation in a second edition, preceded by a portrait of Cromwell (copy at the British Museum), but I think the example in the Thomason Collection is