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poetical compositions, the "Heroick Stanzas on the death of Oliver Cromwell," with which his poli

P. 139: "He [our author] has ridiculed the several professions of the Lutherans, Calvinists, Presbyterians, Huguenots, Anabaptists, Independents, Quakers, &c. though I must observe by the way, that some people among the persuasions here mentioned might justly have expected better usage from him, on account of his old acquaintance in the year 1659.'

The characters of some of his relations, as transmitted by their contemporaries, adds probability to this representation. I allude particularly to the characters of Sir Gilbert Pickering, already mentioned, and Sir John Driden, (the elder brother of Erasmus, our author's father,) as given by Jeremiah Stephens, (Rector of Wotton and Quinton, in Northamptonshire, and the learned assistant of Spelman in the publication of the COUNCILS,) in his Account of the Northamptonshire Committee of Sequestration, which Walker has printed in his SUFFERINGS OF THE CLERGY, P. I. p. 91, from the manuscript papers of that gentleman :

"Sir GP- had an uncle whose ears were cropt for a libel on Archbishop Whitgift: was first a presbyterian, then an independent, then a Brownist, and afterwards an anabaptist. He was a most furious, firy, implacable man; was the principal agent in casting out most of the learned clergy; a great oppressor of the country; got a good manor for his booty of the E. of R. and a considerable purse of gold by a plunder at Lynn in Norfolk."

Sir J- D -n was never noted for ability or discretion; was a puritan by tenure, his house being an ancient college, where he possessed the church, and abused most part of it to profane uses: the chancel he turned to a barn; the body of it to a corn-chamber and

tical adversaries never ceased to reproach him, was not so much a voluntary effusion, as a tribute of

storehouse, reserving one side aisle of it for the publick service of prayers, &c. He was noted for weakness and simplicity, and never put on any business of moment, but was very furious against the clergy.”

Mr. Stephens having been used by the Northamptonshire Committee with great cruelty and injustice, some little allowance must be made for the high colouring of these portraits.

The epithet here given to Sir Gilbert Pickering is again applied to him in a song of the last age, entiled The Rump vindicated, &c.-LOYAL SONGS, vol. ii. p. 108.

"I wonder who first call'd the parliament Rump, "Some say that it was Jack Hobby;

"And some firy P[ickering]: good wits will jump,”

&c.

Being living when this song was originally published, the initial letter of his surname only was set down in the printed copy.

Sir Gilbert Pickering, as appears from the Journals of the House of Commons, was in 1649 a member of the Committee for scandalous Ministers; which, according to Walker, (SUFFERINGS OF THE CLERGY, P. I. p. 61,) “did beyond all other Committees whatsoever, as long as they continued, harrass and oppress the regular clergy.' -I find, by an Act of Cromwell made in 1654, by and with the consent of his Council, (Scobel's Acts, P. II. P. 335,)" to the end that a godly and painful ministry might be established," he was appointed one of the Commissioners for the county of Northampton (together with Sir John Dreydon, as he is there called, and some others who are characterized by Mr. Stephens,)" for the ejection

duty and gratitude to his kinsman and benefactor, a rigid puritan, a determined enemy of monarchy and the episcopal church, and an intimate friend

of scandalous, ignorant, and insufficient ministers and schoolmasters."

In the eighth of the following lines in the PROTESTANT SATIRE, it is not clear whether the writer alludes to our author's grandfather, Sir Erasmus Driden, who from the course which his sons pursued may be supposed to have been a puritan, or to Henry Pickering, his maternal grandfather, who was certainly a pastor of the true fanatical stamp, and one of the elect, having had possession of the Rectory of Aldwinckle All-Saints from 1647 till his death in 1657, probably by the ejection of some honest and loyal clergyman of the church of England. The person alluded to in the tenth line is certainly Sir Gilbert Pickering :

"But though he spares no waste of words or conscience, "He wants the Tory turn of thorough nonsense, "That thoughtless air that makes light Hodge so jolly ;"Void of all weight, he wantons in his folly. "Not so forced BAYES, whom sharp remorse attends, "While his heart loaths the cause his tongue defends;

Hourly he acts, hourly repents the sin, "And is all over grandfather within: "By day that ill-laid spirit checks,-o'nights "Old Pickering's ghost, a dreadful spectre, frights. "Returns of spleen his slacken'd speed remit, "And cramp his loose careers with intervals of wit: "While, without stop at sense, or ebb of spite, Breaking all bars, bounding o'er wrong and right, "Contented Roger gallops out of sight."

By Hodge, and Roger, was meant Sir Roger L'Estrange.

and counsellor of the Usurper. They were first published separately in the beginning of the year 1659, and afterwards united with the Verses of Waller and Sprat on the same occasion."

After the death of Cromwell, Sir Gilbert Pickering signed the instrument for proclaiming his son Richard, was one of his Council of Fourteen, and sat as a member of his House of Lords, till they were dispersed by Lambert in April 1659. Afterwards, though strongly attached to Fleetwood, he does not appear to have had any publick trust, being neither a member of the Council of State nor Committee of Safety, which in the course of that year represented the executive power. When the Restoration took place, it appears from the Commons' Journals that he presented a Petition to the House, and after debate, it was resolved that he should be "excepted out of the Act of general pardon and oblivion, in respect only of such pains, penalties, and forfeitures, (not extending to life,) as

6 The Stanzas on Cromwell, I suppose, were published separately in 1659, but I have never seen an original edition of them in that form. On the 20th of Jan. 1658-9, Henry Herringman entered in the Stationers" Register "a book called Three Poems to the happy Memory of the most renowned Oliver, late Protector; by Mr. Marvell, Mr. Dryden, and Mr. Spratt." The work, however, was published in 4to. in that year, not by Herringman, but William Wilson, and contains no poem by Marvell, but one by Waller; nor have I ever seen any verses by Marvell on Oliver's death.

7

should be thought fit to be inflicted on him by another act to be passed for that purpose." By the Act of Indemnity (12 Car. II. c. xi.) he was declared incapable of exercising any office ecclesiastical, civil, or military; but suffered in no other respect, owing, it may be presumed, to the interference of Edward Montague, whose sister he had married, and who in June 1660 was created Earl of Sandwich. Having thus escaped the storm, he retired to his native county, where he died at Tichmarsh in 1668.

After the publication of the verses on Cromwell, our author probably was not idle, though nothing of his composition is now known to have been published subsequent to that poem, and previous to the King's return. That event, as might have been expected, excited every man who had ever penned a stanza to join in the general gratulation; and in consequence the poetical pieces published on that occasion were so numerous, that they would fill a volume. Our author, with several other delinquents, readily sung his palinode, under the title of " ASTRÆA REDUX, a poem on the happy Restoration of his most sacred Majesty;" which was printed in folio in 1660; and hoped, without doubt, by the fervour of loyalty to efface all memory of his former misdoings. His adversaries, however, took care that they should not be

7 Com. Journ. vol. viii. p. 60 ;-9 June, 1660. 8 Probably in June; but I do not find it entered in the Stationers' Register.

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