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mistake as to this date, inasmuch as the Scots' answer, dated March 18th,' acknowledged the receipt of this letter the preceding day.”2
The Scots declared in their answer that the principal cause of their present undertaking was their “ Christian “ duty to religion, loyalty, and tender regard to his “ Majesty's honour and safety, and prevention of them“ selves from ruin and destruction ; that the invitation “ of the Parliament in behalf of their brethren in “ England was their special motive to the same.”3 They professed themselves unable to see that the forced absence of so large a body of members of Parliament could affect the validity of their acts, and concluded by recommending their Lordships to join in taking the covenant, which they enclosed for that purpose. Thus ended any present hopes of peace; and though the failure of the combined efforts of the King, the Lords, and the Commons, then assembled at Oxford, to effect a reconciliation, may have increased the feelings of hostility towards those who rejected such overtures, the attempt must have afforded to those who had joined in good faith for that purpose the consolatory reflection that they had at least striven to spare the country the miseries of a protracted war. It is not improbable that the letter was written and agreed to at the time he mentions; but though some delay in collecting the signatures may have occurred between the sending and the receiving the letter, it is very improbable that a letter sent by express should have taken from the end of November to the 17th of March to arrive at its destination.
· Clarendon's ' Hist. of the Reb.,' Appendix E, vol. iv. p. 630.
It was just about the time when this interchange of letters took place between the Lords of the Privy Council in Scotland and the Lords in England that the Parliament at Westminster concluded an arrangement that had been pending for some inonths, and, though deeply interesting to the parental feeling of the King, he was denied all power of interference on the subject. His younger children were in the hands of Parliament. On the 2nd of July, 1643, it was proposed by the House of Commons that Lady Vere should be appointed governess to the royal children. Whether this proposition was disapproved of by the Lords, or declined by her, does not appear, but on the 29th of the same month (July) the House of Commons desired the concurrence of the Lords to their vote that the Countess of Dorset should be appointed as governess to the royal children. Many messages and conferences took place between the two Houses on the subject of attendants and establishments for the King's children. On the 16th of December a touching letter was addressed to the House of Lords by the young Princess Elizabeth, then only eight years old, remonstrating against her old servants being removed. On the 2nd of March, 1643-4, the King tried to regain possession of his
? Lord Clarendon speaks of the King's three younger children (vide vol. v. p. 9); but the King's younger children, at that time, were only the Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Gloucester. The Princess Anne had died in December, 1640, and the Princess Henrietta Anne was not born till June, 1644.
. Mary, daughter of Sir George Curzon, and wife to Edward Sackville, Earl of Dorset. & Appendix 1. VOL. I.
children, and a letter was addressed by the Earl of Forth to the Earl of Essex, saying that, if he would send the children with a safe-conduct to Oxford, he would give the Earl of Lothian in exchange. The letter was despatched to the Lords, “but the House utterly disliked “ that the King's children should be sent to Oxford.”!
On the 19th of March the two Houses came to an agreement on the list of the establishment for the King's children, at the head of which the Countess of Dorset was named as governess; and on the 12th of April, 1644, an oath or covenant was framed to be taken by the women-servants attending the royal children at St. James's, the purport of which was to swear entire fidelity to the Parliament."
Though the selection of the Countess of Dorset as governess could not be displeasing to the King,' his con
Lords' Journ., vol. vi. p. 446. ? Appendix I.
$ They were required to swear that neither word nor message to or from Oxford or elsewhere, concerning the removal of the children, or anything prejudicial to the children, or to either or both Houses, or any member of that House, should pass without being immediately revealed to at least three of the members of that committee, appointed by both Houses, “ for regulating the household at St. James's.”
4 The manner in which Lord Clarendon names the appointment of those to whom the care of the King's children was given is not consistent with the facts as they stand in the Journals. Upon two different occasions (vol. v. pp. 453, 471) Lord Clarendon mentions the Countess of Dorset as the person selected by the King to be governess to his children, and alludes (ibid., p. 9) to the Parliament having taken them “from the governess in “ whose hands he had placed them,” and “ put them in the custody of “ one in whom he (the King) could have the less confidence because it " was one in whom the Parliament confided so much.” He also says (p. 453) that the King had left his children under the tuition of the Countess of Dorset, “ but from the death of that Countess the Parliament “ had presumed, that they might be sure to keep them in their power, to
trol over his younger children had passed from his hands, and he now turned anxiously to consider what course to pursue with respect to the disposal of his two eldest sons, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York, who were both with him at Oxford. He had hitherto been so resolved that the Prince of Wales should never quit him, that he had been comparatively indifferent as to what governor or servants he put about him. To superintend his education, to form his character, and to guide his conduct, was to be the work of his own parental care; but the more gloomy aspect of his affairs shook this cherished resolution. He now began to say that “ himself and the Prince were too much to venture in “ one bottom; that it was time to unboy him by putting “ him into some action and acquaintance with business “out of his own sight;” and after much consultation with Lord Digby, Lord Culpepper, and Sir Edward Hyde, he determined on sending the Prince from him.
On the 15th of May a letter was addressed by the
“ put them into the custody of the Lady Vere, an old lady much in their “ favour, but not at all ambitious of that charge, though there was a “ competent allowance assigned for their support.” The facts as presented by the Journals are, that Lady Vere was proposed as their governess by the House of Commons on the 2nd of July, 1643, and on the 29th the Countess of Dorset was proposed by the House of Commons, and appointed. Shortly before her death the Earl and Countess of Northumberland were appointed by Parliament to have the care of the children, but did not enter upon that charge till her decease, May 17, 1645, when a messenger was sent to Oxford to acquaint her husband with her death, and her funeral and debts were ordered to be paid out of the maintenance allotted to her by the Committee of both Houses for the King's children.- Com. Journals, vol. iv. p. 147. · Clarendon's Hist, of the Rebellion,' vol. v. p. 9.
Marquis of Hertford to the Earl of Essex, announcing the King's pleasure that the Prince should now reside in Cornwall, and desiring a pass for “such furniture and “ other utensils as were necessary for him.” At the same time he enclosed another letter from the Earl of Berkshire to Sir David Cuningham, desiring him to send down to Oxford a trusty messenger with the transcript of former precedents concerning the Prince of Wales taking possession of the duchy of Cornwall. These letters were immediately forwarded to the House of Lords, and both requests were at once refused, on the ground “that, if the Prince should go into the western “ parts under this pretence to settle in Cornwall, it “ might be of ill consequence to the public, for thereby “ the Prince might draw away the affections of the “ people from the service of the Commonwealth."
This refusal from Parliament did not, however, alter, though it may have delayed, the King's resolution on the subject of the Prince's departure. It was intended at first he should go no further than Bristol, though his ultimate destination was to be the west. The King talked openly of his intention of sending him away; and lest this change from his former declared resolution of keeping his son always with him should create suspicion of any secret intention of sending him to the Queen, who was now in France, the King made choice at once of those counsellors to be about the Prince whose ap
i Com. Journals, vol. vi. p. 558.
$ The Queen had been forced to fly from Exeter at the end of June, a fortnight only after the birth of her youngest child, the Princess Henrietta Anne,