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she tells him how wretched she was without him. And he swears with the most extravagant protestations, and the most sincere belief that they are true, that she is the only woman he ever loved, and that, if he hadn't had her, his life would have been an empty blank.
And Norah's fate is a respectful remembrance in local hearts, and a tearful remark from Mrs. Marcus, “ It was the third time, you see.” This, and silence in Swiftwater churchyard. Her hopes and dreams are dead. The castles in the air have vanished from her eyes; the pony she wanted to drive has never been foaled or broken-never will be or, if it has been and is, it is the pony Mrs. Vale drives so gracefully about her neighbourhood that all the people turn to look admiringly after her.
More than these things have come to pass in Swiftwater in these later days. They have built the bridge. It is a particularly ugly iron structure, and stands where Norah's ferry used to be : her old occupation is as dead as she. The only thing perhaps that hasn't greatly changed in Swiftwater is Mr. Noakes, who grows especially beautiful flowers with especial care and makes them into wreaths, and enters Swiftwater churchyard by stealth, looking very stout beneath his coat, and comes out again presently, wet-eyed and very thin.
THE LORD PROTECTOR'S MASTER
OF THE HORSE.
THERE are some curious narratives and glimpses of history
hidden away among the files of Chancery Bills and Answers in the Record Office. Upon several such the writer came recently in the course of some researches as to the children of Elizabeth Claypole, the favourite daughter of Oliver Cromwell ; and it is thought that the pictures afforded by them in their quaint detail and incidental allusions may not be without interest even to the general reader.
John Claypole, eldest son of John Claypole, of Norborough, or Northborough, in Northamptonshire, was married, at the age of twenty, to Elizabeth, second daughter of Oliver Cromwell. Residing at the court of his father-in-law during the Protectorate, he held the post of Master of the Horse, besides other offices of dignity, and sat in Cromwell's House of Lords. But in 1658 his wife and her father died, and, although he retained his offices during the short Protectorate of his brother-in-law, the downfall of Richard Cromwell and the restoration of the Monarchy naturally terminated his connection with Whitehall.
It is in the year after the Restoration that John Claypole's law troubles appear to begin. In the autumn of 1661 three actions were brought against him at the common law by Edwin Rich, John Elliot, and Ralph Silverton respectively. Edwin Rich sued him for £50 for money lent, John Elliot for £38. 135. 5d. for goods, and Ralph Silverton for £56. 1os. 5d. for a parcel of fringe and silk. Alleging his inability to procure evidence to combat these claims, John Claypole presented a petition in each case to the Lord Chancellor, Clarendon. One Charles Rich, he said, was at the bottom of all the mischief. Charles Rich was Gentleman of the Horse under Claypole, and we find his name in the State papers in Oliver's time as “His Highness's Avenor,” and in 1659 as “Keeper of State Coaches.” Rich, laying out money in the course of his service, and taking up “divers comodityes and necessaryes,” not satisfied by the
Cromwells, sought to make Claypole liable, and pretended that to satisfy some of these claims he had borrowed £50 from Edwin Rich, his brother, for Claypole's use and by his authority ; the fact being, so the petitioner stated, that Edwin Rich was an entire stranger to Claypole, and that his brother had used his name simply to extort money, Charles having been reimbursed all moneys laid out by him in his service. As for Elliot and Silverton's claims, they arose, Claypole said, in the same way, being claims incurred in the service of the Cromwells, and for which he was in no way personally liable, and he charged Charles Rich in each case with combination and confederacy.
All the defendants filed answers to John Claypole's bills, but, in the meantime, they had each prosecuted their common law actions to trial and had each obtained a verdict. Oliver Cromwell's son-inlaw pleading a discharge of debts by Oliver and Richard stood at a disadvantage. Edwin Rich asserts that Charles came to him as an urgent messenger from Claypole, and that, although he himself had no great acquaintance with Claypole, yet “conceiving him to be a man of vallue and worth, and the other defendant being this defendant's brother haveinge such imployment and trust under him the complainant, hee this defendant thought he might with safety lend the same.”
Charles volunteers a little more information. The Duke de Crequy, Ambassador Extraordinary from France, gave fifty pistolls of gold for certain of Cromwell's coachmen, postilions, or footmen, who it may be supposed attended on him during his stay in the capital. This sum Claypole intercepted and detained during the remaining lifetime of Oliver and the Protectorate of his son ; but after the change of Government in May 1659, being "eagerly called upon and pursued” by such coachmen, postilions, and footmen, and“ in danger of being petisoned against att the then Counsell of State . . . and being then, as hee pretended, in some distresse for present money to stopp their clamor,” he sent Charles specially to his brother, importuning him to make the loan and promising to give his bond for repayment.
Elliot, suing as executor of his father, asserts that his claim is for fruit supplied by his father, and "used and eaten in the complainant's own house.” The goods were bought by Mrs. Katherine Gardner, widow, servant and housekeeper to Claypole, and would not have been delivered if she had not stated that Claypole would pay for them.
Silverton states that Charles Rich bought the fringe and silk for
which he sues expressly as servant and agent of Claypole, and that they were used for Claypole's own coach. Both he and Elliot add that Claypole is much mistaken if he thinks that they bring their actions to “draw a composition” from him, for they intend to make no composition, and to receive nothing less than the whole amount claimed together with their costs. The line taken up by Charles Rich in his answers is wary enough. Claypole, he says, accuses him of having received moneys from the Cromwells for which he has not properly accounted. The Cromwells are no parties to these suits, and Claypole is not entitled to question him on the subject or to demand any account. As to the charge of prosecuting actions in the names of the other defendants, “he is advised that he ought not to be compelled to answer, for that if it be true the same tendeth to champerty and maintenance, and soe consequently punishable and examinable elsewhere and not in this honourable Court.” Whatever one may think of Rich, it is evident that the ex-Master of the Horse got the worst of it in all these actions. Rather more than three years later we find Charles Rich again to the fore. John Claypole had filed a bill of complaint against him, calling him to account for moneys belonging to him which he stated were in his hands. Rich files his answer in April 1665, in which he states that no proper settlement had been come to between them since January 1656, but he sets out in a long schedule the various items which he had disbursed for Claypole since that date, for only part of which he had received satisfaction. Whether he was endeavouring to impose on Claypole or not we cannot say, but the items in the schedule itself are evidently genuine, and afford an interesting glimpse into the customs and expenditure of the time. There is just enough of domestic and family interest to whet the appetite and make one wish for more. Thus, we find 24; 1.4s. 6d. expended “ffor a black belt, spurrs, and whipp for Mr. Cromwell Claypoole,” and further on he is provided with arrows, gloves, a velvet pouch and girdle, while his cousin, “Mr. Henry Ireton,” Bridget Cromwell's boy, has the same things with the addition of a quiver. Hobbyhorses are bought for Richard Cromwell's boy, “Mr. Olliver Cromwell,” at a cost of 5s. One of the heaviest items is the upholstering of a coach for the Lady Protectress. The velvet for it, at 24s, a yard, cost £38; damask and “black surge” came to 24, 15 more, while ninety ounces of fringe, tufted and plain, cost 4, 1o. 3s. Two black chariots with black trimmings were probably used in connection with the Protector's funeral. Pomanders cost 4, 2, and a
quart of orangeflower water 55. £1. 1os. was paid for mending an amber hour-glass, and 6s. for a plush box for it. A golden watch and a case for a gold clock cost £12. 155. Black hats "for the page cost £r. and 255., and knit silk hose varied from 155. to 235. a pair. £ 1. os. 2d. is spent for “wyne and cakes and rosemary used at the buriall” of one James Sleighton, and 255. "for the use of a velvett pall” at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields on the same occasion. A young black gelding is bought for £15, and “a grey nagg " for £14 The schedule closes with a curious series of items for obtaining information as to the proper management of the stables. Books of account are procured relating to the stables in the late King's time. Three journeys to “debtford” and one into Leicestershire are undertaken for this purpose. When these books were received, one Mr. Thompson was paid £2 for transcribing some pages of them and binding them up in vellum with silk strings. Gratuities were also paid to several servants of Charles I. for information, 225. in particular being “expended with and upon one of the late King's equerryes to gaine knowledge of the management of the affaires of the stables.” It seems odd, to say the least of it, that items such as these should not have been discharged at the time. The total amount of the schedule is £1,116.
The next lawsuit in which we find John Claypole involved is of a curious nature. It was brought by Robert Phelps, an apothecary, for medicines supplied to the Lady Claypole in her last illness, and which nearly eleven years after her death remained unsatisfied Claypole petitioned Sir Orlando Bridgman, Keeper of the Great Seal against the claim, requesting a writ of subpæna to Phelps to appear and answer. Phelps, he said, was “sworn servant and apothecary to the household of Oliver Cromwell, then pretended or reputed Protector of the then reputed comonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, or then soe styled and obeyed,” and it was his place to deliver all medicines required by the Protector's family, children, and servants, and bring in his bills to the office of the Green-cloth belonging to the household. This he did, and when Richard Cromwell was deposed he sent in what bills were then undischarged to the Parliament, and agreed to be bound by what they might order, making no claim against Claypole personally. Some years later, about 1663 or 1664, pretending that there was still £234. 145. 24. due to him, Phelps made application to Oliver's widow, who paid him several sums of money, and for further satisfaction gave him a diamond ring or other jewels worth £300 as a pledge or security for the balance, so that by these means he had received more than