When it became evident early in 1642 that accomodation between king and parliament was impossible, Edward Hyde secured permission from the House of Commons to retire to his family estates in Wiltshire. He pleaded ill-health and the need of country air. He fully intended, however, to join the king and the court at York but did not dare let his purpose become known for fear that parliament’s leaders might attempt to detain him in London. On his way north he stopped at Oxford where he stayed overnight with his friend, the warden of All Souls College.


Parliamentary Committee Family Estate Wagon Train Strategy Committee Parliamentary Control 
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  1. 1.
    Clarendon, History of the Rebellion, II, 330, n.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Burrows, Worthies, p. 165.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See Barwick, p. 24, where he reports that St. John’s College, Cambridge, supplied plate in excess of £ 2000. Barwick, who was at St. John’s at the time, relates the Cromwell incident.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Another loan from the same source, attempted after Edgehill in January, 1643, was not nearly so successful. Cromwell was not to be outwitted a second time, and Oxford was able to give very little. Burrows, Worthies, p. 165.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See DNB, Hyde’s biography, for his residence in those years.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    For these details of Hammond’s life, see his biography in the DNB and J. Fell, Life of Henry Hammond (Oxford, 1847), Introduction.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Clarendon, History of the Rebellion, II, 583.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    I. Walton, Lives (London, 1678), p. 451.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lambeth MSS. #943 contains this vow, probably written in the king’s own hand.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    The deference shown Sheldon by such persons as Samuel Fell, the Oxford vice-chancellor, and other college heads when they were concerting strategy, and by Bishop Duppa and Robert Sanderson while they were treating with parliament on the Isle of Wight, can only be explained by the increased stature which he now possessed. Sheldon had become the man who had to be satisfied in Church affairs.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    DNB, Henderson’s Biography. Henderson died in late summer, supposedly brokenhearted at his failure to convert the king to Presbyterianism.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    The king’s arguments, which we are told were effective at Newcastle, see Ibid., may have been rehearsed with Charles by Sheldon and his friends in the weeks before the Stuart monarch left Oxford. He was talking with Sheldon and the other chaplains almost every day in that period and all arguments would certainly have been thoroughly canvassed. In addition, these same points were debated with Henderson at the Uxbridge treaty negotiations where Henderson had been their principal opponent. They would therefore have been thoroughly familiar with the thrust of his argument and would have “prepped” the king accordingly.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sir Giles Isham (ed.), The Correspondence of Bishop Duppa and Sir Justinian Isham, 1650–1660 (Northamptonshire Record Society, Vol. XVII; London, 1956), p. xxiii. Also CSP, Clarendon, I, 335.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fell, p. xxxix.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    J. Cosin. The Correspondence of John Cosin. (The Publications of the Surtees Society. Vol. iii, 1868; London, 1869), Part I, 232. Under no conditions would the commissioners stay to take part in this “popish” service. Instead they departed for a church in town. Here they were equally nonplussed to find an Ironsides officer in his buff coat and sword preaching against the Presbyterian government in London as “anti-Christian.”Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Fell, p. xxxix.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    See below, pp. 23ff.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Fell, p. xxxix.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Clarendon, History of the Rebellion, IV, 228, states that Morley and Sanderson joined Sheldon and the king almost immediately.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    CSP, Clarendon, I, 384, Hyde to Earle, July 15,1647.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ibid., I, 384, Hyde to Sheldon, July 26, 1647.Google Scholar
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    See CSP, Clarendon, I, 380–400, where Sheldon is writing regularly to Hyde sending him the king’s instructions.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    D. Neal, History of the Puritans, (London, 1837), II, 545.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    As late as the middle of January, 1649, Sheldon was still quite confident that although the army-dominated Rump parliament might try their monarch, they would never dare do him any personal harm. See a letter from Sheldon to Hammond, January 15,1648/9, Theologian and Ecclesiastic, VI, 77.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Charles had requested Sheldon and Hammond, but they were in prison at Oxford and parliament refused to release them for the conference.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Duppa to Sheldon, Oct. 19,1648. Lambeth MSS. #943.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    See especially Sanderson to Sheldon, Sept. 25, 1648, ibid. Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    This trait of Charles is shown particularly in January, 1642. He had just made Hyde responsible for all royal activities in the House of Commons, but influenced by Digby, he shortly after attempted to arrest the five members without ever informing Hyde of his intentions. See DNB, Hyde’s biography, for his angry reactions to this incident.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    See below p. 25.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    There is no evidence to support this point except as is noted in the following sentences. Yet it seems certain that Sheldon knew nothing of the projected flight or else advised against it. His was a practical mind, and he seldom made a move without carefully planning it and knowing exactly what he expected to accomplish. The king’s penchant for sudden, rash, ill-planned action could only have been abhorred by someone of his make-up and temperament.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    See Egerton MSS. 2618, British Museum, Charles to Fairfax, Nov. 27, 1647, where the king announced the arrival of Sheldon and his friends and requested permission for them to remain with him.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Fell, p. xxxix.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Samuel Parker, History of His Own Times (London, 1777), p. 51.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Many of the Cambridge college heads were imprisoned below decks in a coal scow, under horrible conditions, and were even in imminent danger for some time of being sold into slavery in Barbados. See Barwick, p. 37.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    See I. Walton, p. 450, and M. Burrows, (ed.), The Register of the Parliamentary Visitors, of the University of Oxford (Camden Society Publications, New Series, Vol. 29,1881), p. lxiii, for the membership.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Ibid. Burrows calls this position paper a “skillful” bit of pleading.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Most of these events are given in Burrows’, introduction, ibid. However, in some places Burrows’ account is sketchy and one must go to the Wood MSS. f. 35, the Bodleian Library, where many of the documents produced by the strategy committee are available.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    E. H. Plumptre, Life of Thomas Ken (London, 1890), I, 40, describes this act in some detail.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    See Burrows, Worthies of All Souls, p. 130.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Burrows, Register of Parliamentary Visitors, p. lxiii.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Wood MSS. f. 35.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Sheldon returned to Oxford and remained there during most of October. This indicates that with Fell in prison, and himself and Hammond at Hampton Court waiting upon the king, a leadership problem had been created by the visitors’ action in regard to Fell. See Wood MSS. f. 35, where Sheldon is cited to appear before the visitors in mid-October.Google Scholar
  43. 48.
  44. 44.
  45. 45.
    Which Potter this is, it is difficult to say. There were four Potters at Oxford in the thirties. Edward Potter, the Head of Queen’s College, who had accompanied Sheldon and Steward to Uxbridge, died in 1646, so it would not have been he.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Wood MSS. f. 35, Barlow to Sheldon, no date, but late in 1647.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Barlow’s Biography, DNB. Sheldon probably was behind these broadsides. He was well aware of the value of creating public opinion and gave it more and more attention throughout his career.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    When Fell appeared before the parliamentary committee in London, Pembroke denounced him as “an incendiary of the whole kingdom,” wanted to see him “whipped through the streets and hanged.” Wood MSS. f. 35, Fell to Sheldon, Nov. 13,1647.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Theologian and Ecclesiastic, VI, 163.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Plumptre, I, 140.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    This interesting by-play is recorded by Walker, Sufferings of the Clergy (London, 1714), II, 98.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Burrows, Register of Parliamentary Visitors, p. lxviii.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Wood MSS. f. 35, Barlow to Sheldon, Dec. 11, 1647.Google Scholar
  54. 54.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1973

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  • Victor D. Sutch

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