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In the year 1632 Sir Arthur Capell died ;' his grandson succeeded to the estates, and seems to have in no way lost the popularity which such munificent hospitality and extensive charity had attached to the name.*
“ With an old study fill'd full of learned old books ;
With an old reverend chaplain, you might know him by his looks ;
And an old kitchen that maintain'd half a dozen old cooks.
To call in all his old neighbours with bagpipe and drum,
*And old liquor able to make a cat speak and man dumb.” This song has been changed in modern times to “The Good Old English Gentleman.'
Parish Register of Little Hadham, Herts : he was buried April 11th, 1632.
* A very shocking event appears to have taken place near Hadham in the year 1636, and is thus related in a letter from London, Sir Arthur Capell must have been the uncle to "young Mr. Capell,” to whom Hadham belonged :
“ London, May 4, 1636. ... " Sunday the news came to court that Sir Arthur Capell had “ slain Sir Thomas Lenthropp in a duel at Hadham (young Mr. Capell's), “ in Hertfordshire ; a couple of very honest, fair-conditioned men, and “old friends in a very strict manner, the business they fell out upon being " of no consideration. Sir Thomas Lenthropp said Sir Arthur Capell told “him my Lord Howard was not pleased that he, my Lord of Dover, “ Mr. Capell, and many country gentlemen besides, came to hawk upon “ grounds which were in his Lordship’s liberty, he being there ; and that “ they neither came to him nor sent to him, as if my Lord Howard had “ not been considerable ; and this was a good while since. Sir Arthur “ Capell had forgot he told Sir Thomas Lenthropp so much ; “but,' saith “ he, if I had told you so much, must you, therefore, make me the "author?' They were made friends ; but Sir Thomas Lenthropp, two or " three hours after, pressed hard upon Sir Arthur Capell to fight, that he “could not avoid it. So, to the next close they went, where Sir Arthur “ Capell, at the second pass, ran him through the heart. All cry shame “ of the company that did not presently reconcile this difference.”—Letter from Mr. E. R. to Sir Thomas Puckering. Vide • The Court and Times of Charles I.,' vol. ii. p. 248.
He was beloved and respected in his county, and on the calling together of Parliament in April, 1640, he was chosen one of the representatives for Hertfordshire. During the session of that short-lived Parliament his name appears in the journals on one or two Committees. He was again elected in the following November member for the county of Herts, and his conduct in the outset of his public life showed that he was influenced by that deep sense of existing grievances, which certainly the warmest and the wisest of the friends to monarchy had most reason to fear and to deplore. Whilst to Hampden's name justly belongs the glory of being identified with the resistance to an illegal tax; whilst the first step to Falkland's parliamentary fame was his speech on the subject of ship-money; to Arthur Capell is due the honour of being “the first member “ that stood up at this time to represent the grievances 66 of his country.”
On the 5th of December he presented a petition in the names “ of the inhabitants in and about the town " of Watford, in the county of Herts, setting forth the “ burden and oppressions of the people, during the « long intermission of Parliament, in their consciences, “ liberties, and properties, and particularly in the heavy “ tax of ship-money.”3 Of his speech there is no report, but the presentation of the petition produced “ a debate on that matter which had so long filled the “ nation with clamour as a most capital grievance,”
· Rushworth, vol. iv. p. 21. % Commons' Journals, Dec. 5, 1640, vol. ii. p. 45. 8 Rushworth, vol. iv. p. 21. • Nalson's Coll., vol. i. p. 654.
and the consideration of it was referred to a Committee, of which Arthur Capell was a member. A week after the opening of Parliament his name appears on a Committee appointed on Lord Digby's motion to draw up the Remonstrance on the state of the kingdom.'
On the 23rd of November he was on the Committee appointed to receive petitions concerning the Earl Marshall's Court. On the 4th December he was on a Committee to consider the petitions of Mr. Prynne, Mr. Burton, &c., and also the jurisdiction of the High Commission Courts of Canterbury and York, and the Court of the Star Chamber. On the 13th December he was added to that which was to prepare the charges against the Lord Keeper and the Judges. On the 14th December he was one of the Committee of Inquiry into the misdemeanors of lord lieutenants, deputy lieutenants, &c. On the 17th December he was on the Committee for considering the petition of John Bastwick;' on the 21st on one to consider the exactions of the King's officers and farmers, and also the patents for salt, soap, leather, and wines. · Commons' Journals, vol. ii. p. 25, and Rushworth, vol. iv. p. 37. . Ibid., p. 34; ibid., p. 56. 3 Commons' Journals, vol. ii. p. 44. • Ibid., vol. ii. p. 50 ; Rushworth, p. 99. 5 Dr. John Bastwick was imprisoned for libelling the prelates of the Church, and having repeated and aggravated the offence, together with Prynne and Burton, they were all sentenced to still severer punishment by order of the Star Chamber. On the 25th February this Committee determined that the proceedings against Dr. Bastwick by the Star Chamber were illegal ; that the further orders and warrants of the Council-board were illegal; and that he ought to be discharged from prison, and have reparation.—Com. Journals, vol. ii. p. 92.
6 These patents were amongst the grievances that daily affected the comfort of all ranks. The monopoly having been granted to a new com
On the 6th of March a message was sent from the House of Commons to the Lords, saying that the House had considered the Earl of Strafford's answer, “and did aver their charge of high treason against “him, and that he was guilty in such manner and “ form as he stands accused and impeached.” They desired a free conference by select committees to consider some propositions concerning the trial.”
Mr. Capell was one of the forty-eight members appointed to meet a Committee of twenty-four of the Lords, and on the 15th of April, 1641, he is mentioned as going up again with a message to desire a free conference. This conference was one of deep importance to the fate of Lord Strafford, involving, as it did, “ the question of his being heard by counsel, the pro“ ceeding by way of bill,” &c.
On the 18th of June he was on a Committee to draw a bill“ for the levying moneys upon several persons “ according to the votes of the House.” On the 22nd
pany for the making “ a new soap, the Lord Mayor was actually sent for to " the Court, where his Majesty and the Lords rebuked him for his partial “ proceeding in favour of the old soap and disparaging the new.” A poor woman was sent for from Southwark, by a warrant signed by the Lord Treasurer and three other Lords of the Council, “ for speaking invectively “ against the new soap.” The King's own household, however, furnished a good example of the inutility of patents and prohibitions. “ The new “ company of gentlemen soap-boilers have procured Mrs. Sanderson, the “ Queen's laundress, to the goodness of the new soap; but she tells her " Majesty she dares not wash her linen with any other but Castile soap; “ and the truth is, that most of those ladies that have subscribed have all “ of them their linen washed with Castile soap, and not with the new."Court of Charles I., vol. ii. p. 229.
· Com. Journals, vol. ii. p. 98. · Ibid., p. 180.
of June he was named one of the persons' to whom the Scots should address themselves for receiving the sums at the days appointed by Parliament. On the 3rd of July he was selected to carry up the following bills to the Lords, with a message to desire their Lordships, in the name of both Houses, to move his Majesty to give his assent unto all three :- 1st, the amendments and provisoes to the Star Chamber Bill; 2nd, the amendments and additions of the Bill concerning the High Commission ; 3rd, the amendments and provisoes to the Bill for the speedy provision of moneys, for disbanding the armies, and settling the peace of the two kingdoms.)
On the 6th of July he was one of the Committee for taking into consideration the sheriffs' oaths and the selling of under-sheriffs' places. On the 23rd of July the Committee for the King's army were called upon to consider the best way to effect a further continuance of the loan which the City had already made, and which the Committee declared itself ready to repay to the lenders, and also to consider the means to provide moneys by loan or otherwise."
The names of seventeen gentlemen are mentioned as declaring themselves willing to lend, and amongst that
· The others were the Earl of Warwick, Lord Mandeville, Earl of Bedford, Earl of Essex, Earl of Holland, Lord Stamford, Lord Wharton, and Lord Brook ; Mr. Martin, Sir Thomas Barrington, Sir Arthur Ingram, Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Sir Robert Pye, Mr. Bellasys, Sir Walter Earle, Sir William Litton, Sir Henry Mildmay, Sir Thomas Cheeke, Sir James Strangeways, Mr. Arthur Goodwin, Mr. Hampden, Aldermen Pennington and Soames.- Vide Journ. of the House of Com., vol. ii. p. 182.
? This was the money promised by treaty. See above, p. 34. 3 Com. Journ., vol. ii. p. 197.
* Ibid., p. 200. Ibid., p. 221. VOL. 1.