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OF JOHN HAMPIDEN.

OBIT. 1643.

THERE appeared in the Morning Chronicle newspaper, about the month of August, 1828, an account of certain proceedings at Great Hampden, Bucks, in which the chief actors were, the late Lord Nugent, and the parson of the parish, named (I think) Lovett, or Lovel. The account purported to be furnished by Lord Nugent himself; but many years afterwards, his lordship, becoming in some sort ashamed of the part he had borne in the affair, thought fit (as I have been informed) to deny his participation therein. As an impartial witness, I think it right to prefix to the lines below a short narrative of what came under my knowledge in reference to this transaction, about two years after its occurrence. Feeling a deep interest in the personal history and character of John Hampden, my husband and I made a journey to the place where he had lived as an opulent country gentleman, and where his remains were known to lie; I may not say to repose, since they had been disturbed by the irreverent curiosity of the parties already named. Whilst halting at a retired alehouse, on a common about a mile distant from Great Hampden house, to refresh our horses, I entered into conversation with the woman who kept it. “Were you living here (I asked) when Lord Nugent and his friends had Mr. John Hampden digged up out of his grave?" “Yes, sure; I were up at the church early next morning, and seed the poor gentleman in his coffin, He were stayed up with a shovel, set against his back, and he were left so all night.” “What colour was his hair? did you look well at it?” “Yes; it were a kind of a reddy-brown colour, But there, I can show you some on it, if so be as you cares about him.” “Why, certainly; I should be very pleased to do so. But how came you to possess any?” . “Because I cut some off his head with my scithers, and I’ve got it now, up-stairs.” “Go and fetch it me, them.” The good woman went, and in a few minutes brought me a shabby piece of paper, containing a small quantity of brown hair. I asked her what induced her to cut it from Mr. Hampden's head? She replied that she had been told he was a very great man once upon a time, and so she thought it would be “a remembrance of a famous gentleman.” What made him such, she knew not, she said. I bore away the precious relic, giving the woman what I thought sufficientin exchange. Pursuing Our way to the church, situate almost at the door of the ancient mansion within the walls of which the foremost members of the “party of resistance” were wont, in 1643, to hold their councils, we soon succeeded in meeting with the parish sexton, who was fetched from his cottage, a short mile from thence. After spending some time in the church, looking at

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the monuments of the Hampdens, I asked the sexton
whether he had been concerned in the disinterment
of Mr. John Hampden's body, in 1828.
“I was,” answered he ; “and I do not think I ever
did anything in all my life of which I so much
repented afterwards.”
“Why did you take part in the business?” I
inquired.
“Well, you see, our parson was my master, like,
and he told me to take up the paving and go down
into the vault, and so I did as I was ordered, with-
out thinking; and me and another man fetched up
two or three coffins for Lord Nugent and the t'other
gentlemen to examine.”
“And you found the coffin at last, wherein John
Hampden lay, did you?”
“Yes.”
They knew it to be him, the sexton said, by the
fact of the right hand being severed from the arm,
near the wrist. It lay by the side of the body, and
was wrapped in cerecloth, apart from the arm. The
body had also cerecloth round it, but the cloth had
decayed a good deal. The face was still partly pre-
served by the embalming matter, and a small brown
moustache could be perceived on the upper lip. The
body was that of a well-built man of about five
feet eight or nine inches in height; not that of a tall
Isla Il.
When the curiosity of Lord Nugent had been so
far gratified as that the actual remains of our dis-
tinguished patriot were exposed to his gaze, he pro-
ceeded to take still greater liberties with this illus-
trious man's bones. The sexton was directed to
T

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