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“ These were the chief; a small but faithful band
Of worthies, in the breach who dared to stand,
DRYDEN, Absalom and Achitophel.
“Unqualified and unsuspected praise may also be given to some others who followed in his (Lord Falkland's] course: high-minded and steady friends of liberty, who yet, to use the metaphor of one of them, had they seen the crown of England on a hedge-stake,' would have remained with it to the death to defend it. Among these we may fairly class Lord Hertford, Lord Dunsmore, Lord Capel, Lord Paget, and Sir Ralph Hopton.”—Lord Nugent's Memorials of Hampden, vol. ii. p. 188.
LIFE OF LORD CAPELL.
Birth and Parentage of Arthur Capell — He loses his Parents at an early
age - His Grandfather's objections to his travelling Abroad - His Marriage - Death of his Grandfather — He represents the County of Herts in the Parliament of 1640 — He is again elected for Herts in the Long Parliament — His Parliamentary conduct — He is made a Peer-probably by Purchase.
Arthur, first Lord Capell, was the son of Sir Henry Capell, and of Theodosia, daughter of Sir Henry Montagu, of Boughton. Sir Henry was the son of Sir Arthur Capell, and of Margaret, daughter of John Lord Grey, of Pirgo, and was the eldest of twenty children, eleven sons and nine daughters. Sir Henry Capell was married on the 21st of August, 1600, to his first wife Theodosia, and by this marriage he had two sons and three daughters. Their eldest son, Arthur, was born 20th February, 1603. On the 14th January, 1615 (five days after the baptism of her youngest son), Lady Capell died. Sir Henry married a second time,
Sister to Edward Lord Montagu and Henry Earl of Manchester. : Parish Register of Wechley, in which parish Boughton is situated.
Clutterbuck's · Hist. of Herts,' vol, i. p. 244. * Parish Register of Hadham, Herts. s Clutterbuck's ' Hist. of Herts,' vol. i. p. 244.
to Dorothy, widow of Thomas Hoskyns, and died in May, 1622.
Arthur Capell was thus early bereaved of both his parents, and at the age of nineteen the guardianship of him devolved upon his grandfather, who is said to have superintended the remainder of his education. There is no authentic account of his having been at any place of public education, either school or college ;? and it seems that his grandfather's strong national prepossessions led him to object to his travelling abroad. It was much the custom at this time for the young nobility to travel on the Continent as a part of their education ; Sir Arthur Capell's objections must therefore have appeared as little reasonable then as they would do now. The paper containing his opinions is headed, “ Reasons against the travellinge of my grand“ chylde, Arthur Capell, into the parts beyond the sea.
“ Imprimis, His callinge is to be a countery gentill“ man, wherein there is lyttell or no use of foreane “ experience.
“2 Item. If God visitt him wh sicknes he shall " not have those helpes abroade that he shall have “ at home in his owen countery. And there lyethe “ a greate penalty upon his deathe; for his brother “ is so younge, as in all probabylyty he is like to be a
"By this marriage he had one son, who died an infant, and three daughters-Grace and Mary, ob. s. p.—and Anne, who married Thomas Westrow, of Twickenham, Esq. Vide ibid.
Lodge, in his · Illustrations of Historical Portraits,' speaks of Lord Capell having been sent to Clare College, Cambridge. The books of the College at this period are unfortunately lost, and there is no proof to be found of his having been there.
“ warde, weh will be a greate hindrance unto the family, “ boathe by the impoveryshinge the estate of the next “ heyer, and by the ill p’viding for the younger chil“ dren, his sisters, both for their educatyons and hopes “ for their preferments in maryage.
“3 Item. His tyme maye be better spent at home " than abroade, in regard that he maye study the lawes “ of the relme, maye be made acquaynted wh his " estate in his grandfather's lyfetime, whereby he shal • be better able to governe it after. Allso, if he will “ applye himselfe, he maye be a good staye and helpe “to his owlde and weak grandfather, whereby many of “ the name and family, as yet but in meane estate, “ maye be the better provided for.
• 4 Item. It is to be feared that thoroughe the “ wycked prests and Jesuites in those forane partes he “maye be perverted to the idolatrous Romane rely“ gion ; and if it be aunswered that he is so well “ grounded in trewe relygyon allready that there is no “ fear thereof, it maye be replyed agayne that he is “ very younge, and they subtyle and industrious ; and " that it is a safer waye by abstayninge from travell to “ avoyde the meanes, then for a man to thrust himself “ into the peryll w"owt any necessary occasyon." |
It may be presumed that Sir Arthur Capell's wishes respecting his grandson were complied with ; but, considering the active part subsequently taken by the younger Arthur, first as a reformer, and afterwards as a devoted loyalist, it is to be regretted that no details,
· Clutterbuck's Hist. of Herts,' from a MS. lent to him by the late George Earl of Essex.
either of his education or of his early private life, should have been handed down, that might serve as a key to the principles from which first sprang his opinions and his actions.
In November, 1626, Arthur Capell was married to Elizabeth Morrison, daughter and heir of Sir Charles Morrison, of Cassiobury, and of Mary, daughter and co-heir of Baptiste Hickes Viscount Campden. His grandfather, Sir Arthur, seems to have been much noted for the great hospitality he displayed at his country seat, Hadham Hall, Herts, and for his liberality and kindness to the poor around him. “ He was a “ gentleman of a great estate, one who followed the old “ mode of our nation; kept a bountiful house, and “ showed forth his faith by his works; extending his “ charity in such abundant manner to the poor, that “ he was bread to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, “ eyes to the blind, and legs to the lame, and might “ be justly styled a great alınoner to the King of “ kings." ' Parish Register of Watford.
Vide • Some Account of the Life of the pious and virtuous Arthur Lord Capell, Baron of Hadham,' prefixed to The excellent Contemplations, divine and moral, by Arthur Lord Capell,' published first in 1654, reprinted in 1683.
This description of Sir A. Capell's habits and hospitality seems to fulfil the poetical notion of an old English country gentleman given in a song preserved in Percy's .Reliques, published 1660, entitled “The Old and Young Courtier:'
“An old song made by an aged old pate
Of an old worshipful gentleman who had a great estate,
Like an old courtier of the Queen's