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assist them in difficulties, I in a friende; I wante not
for him, nor I hope shall not for the countrye's sake. I intended to have written to you by the firste returne but was disappointed i and sence his highnesse hath been soe ill that I have not bad either oppertunity or desire to sett pen to paper; we have not been without very greate feares; for his hignesses illnesse hath been such as hath put physishians to a nonplus. Our hopes are somewhat increased by this fitt of an ague, and shall it please God to goe on with his gentle hand and bring him temperately oute of this fitt, and not renew att the time his former fitt began or viset us with a quartaine, we shall have some reviving comforte, and cause to magnifie his goodnesse it, being a new life to his highnesse & the affaires as they now stand of this nation, with the protestant interest of Christendom. I believe the rum" of this dangerous illnesse liath flowen into all pts of this nation and hath caused severall persons of ill affections to prick up there eares, which will cause friends to be vigilant, for they will hope they have a gaime to play; It is a time that will discover all coloures and much of the disposition of the nation may be now gathered. I heare that those that have been enemyes, others that have been noe friends, some of boeth are startled fearing there possessions and worser conditions, not considering there affection, in this hazard his highnesse is in. It must be the goodnesse of God that shall save him, and his knowledge of the state of England and Xtchiandome; the spirritt of prayer which is powered out for him & the faith which is acted on behalf of him gives us the beste comforte & hopes : myne & my wyfe's respects to your fa. and mother. I rest yours
To my loving Friend Capt. John Dunche, 'att Hurseby
neare Winchester in Hants. These. From his Highnesse.
Whitehall, Jan. 18,---58. SR. I have written to your brother Pitman (which letter I advise may speed by your care of sending it, to what place it shall finde him) to incurridge the election of Mr. Rivet, whoe though chosen after the dispute of Mr. Whitehead & Reynolds ; yet is conceived to be the better election than either the other tow; and ought to be returned, for that it was a generall and free choyce of the electors of that place : and the dispute will not lye with Rivet: but I am informed that Whitehead will question that of Reynolds which hath ground to be disputed, Whitehead being able to lett himselfe in upon the choyce which is made at Limington; pray advise also with my fa: Major & with Rivet; & if it be as we understand the election here, then cause a returne to be made of that choyce either by Rivet's appearing, or doe it by yourself or others. The second parte of my letter is that your brother would appear at Whitechurch, for certainly W. nor the burrowgh can justifie, he taking a blanche instrument from the place, & they forgiving him such unjustifiable power & liberty. I would have you to see whether yr. brother can get himselfe in by a free and open choyce, which will be justifyed before that way of Wallop's.
Remember me to my father and mother Majors, & my sister, with one kisse to my little boye, having nothinge more but rest
I think we can justifie Whitechurch VOL. V.
as well as Wallop, if you choose one, you may choose tow,& that Dr. Walker may be the other, or rather Withers of Manningdowne whoe is an active man, and one that Wallop hath disobleiged. It is certaine the towne is free to choose, if it be as we are informed.
No. II. (Communicated by the late Rev. Dr. Birch, Secretary
to the Royal Society.) Copy of a letter of J. Aprice, a Romish priest, to Mr.
William Lynwood, at his house in Deane, Northamptonshire. Dear Brother,
Feb. 16, 1685. The great change, which is made in our nation, since I wrote to you, is the wonder of all men.
If we consider, that 'tis the divine providence, that rules over kingdoms, & the hearts of men, we should the less wonder. Who could have say'd a while ago, that
of mine should have seen two catholick kings reign over us in this nation ? But that God, who preserv'd our late king of blessed memory by so many wonderfull miracles, all his lifetime, did allso at his death call him to his mercy, by making him to be reconciled to his holy church, which he did in this manner. The day he fell ill, which was the Monday, he was no sooner recovered of his fit, but his trusty loving brother, our 'nów most gracious sovereign, fearing a relapse, put him in mind of his soul; which advice he immediately embraced, and desired no time might be lost in the execution of it. Whereupon Mr. Huddleston was commanded to attend instantly thereabouts: but the great affairs of the nation coming
perpetually before him, time could not possibly be found till Thursday. But the king finding his natural strength decay, commanded of his own accord all to retire out of the room, telling them, that he had something to communicate to his brother. Then Mr. Huddleston being brought in, that great work was done, & with that exactness, that there was nothing omitted either necessary or decent; &, as Mr. Huddleston himself has told me, by a particular instance of God's grace, the king was as ready and apt in making his confession, & all other things, as if he had been brought up a catholick all his life time: & from that moment till eight of the clock the next day, att which time his speech-left him, he was heard to say little but begging Almighty God's pardon for all offences & the like; so that we may joyfully say, God have mercy of his soul, & make him eternally participant of his kingdom of heaven.
As for our present king, he dayly gives us by his actions new hopes of a great deal of future happiness; for besides the great content & satisfaction, which seems to be in every body here, we in particular have reason to praise God for giving him so much courage and resolution to confess his faith publickly, as he did yesterday in a most eminent manner; for on Friday last he declared to the councell, that he was resolved to make known publickly to the world of what religion he was : and yesterday he came with the queen to the chapell, attended by all the nobility & gentry about court, & there received together with the queen from the hands of her almoner the most precious body and blood of our Saviour, with as much devotion as I ever
& heard all the time upon his knees two long masses. This ceremony I saw & will allways esteem the day holy, whereon it was done; for above this 126 years the like has not been seen in England. The
any man ;
mayor and aldermen of London came on Saturday last with an address to the king in the name of the city, wherein they promise to stand by him with their lives & fortunes, which I hope will be a good example to all others to do the like.
This is all but my true love to my dear sister, & all yours.
From, dear brother,
(The original letter is now in the hands of Mrs. Eyre of Stamford : and J. Aprice, above-mentioned, was a Romish priest, and relation of hers; as was also Mr. Lynwood, to whom the letter was written.)
No. III. A Copy of a Letter from the Duchess of Cleveland to
King Charles II. From the Original, now in the hands of the Earl of Berkshire, 1731. Harleyan Manuscripts, N". 7006.
Paris, Tuesday the 28th,—78. I was never so surprized in my holle life time as I was at my coming hither, to find my lady Sussex gone from my house and monastery where I left her, and this letter from her, which I here send you the copy of. I never in my holle life time heard of such government of herself as she has had, since I went into England. She has never been in the monastery two days together, but every day gone out with the ambassador, and has often lain four days together at my bouse, and sent for her meat to the ambassador, he
* Ralph Mountague, afterwards duke of Mountague.