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and that the secret must have been known only to a very few, for there was no suspicion that the public funeral was a mock ceremony.
Wherever, therefore, the remains were laid, it was as easy to transfer them in a hearse or carriage to any part of England as it was to bring them secretly to the Abbey, as is suggested by some. The evidence for any special suggested secret burial-place is not particularly strong. Mr. Waylen, in The House of Cromwell, 1897, pp. 220 ff., gives a long account of the burial at Newburgh Hall, in Yorkshire, where Lady Fauconberg (Frances Cromwell) lived; others say his body was taken to Naseby, the scene of his greatest victory. Is there any evidence to give Northborough the strongest claim beyond the fact that it was the residence of his favourite daughter, that he was fond of the place in his lifetime, and that his widow lived and died there? There is : “According to another tradition, the body was removed to Narborough, about twenty-five miles from Huntingdon, and for this there is some evidence worth notice. About the year 1818 the rector of Narborough was the Rev. W. Marshall. To this Mr. Marshall a very curious anecdote was communicated by Mr. Oliver Cromwell, of Cheshunt, great-grandson of Richard Cromwell's son Henry. Mr. Oliver Cromwell's mother lived to the great age of 103, and she told her son that when a young girl she was well acquainted with Richard Cromwell, who died 1712, and had often talked with one of his servants. This servant assured her, she said, that he recollected the hearse which conveyed the remains of the Protector passing through Cheshunt at night, and that he, then a lad, went on with the post-horses, which drew the hearse as far as Huntingdon, whence he was sent back with the horses.” Another tradition completes this story by asserting, in like manner, that “a body of horsemen took the remains to Huntingdon, where they were seen by Cromwell's old nurse carrying it onward north of the city.” Where did they go to? There is po great reason why Narborough in Leicestershire should be mentioned, and Narborough may be only a mis-spelling of Norborough, as Northborough was sometimes called, e.g., by Carlyle and others. Substitute, then, North
borough, which is sometimes spelt Norborough, and is twenty-five miles from Huntingdon, whilst Narborough is at least fifty, and add that to the facts previously adduced, and in default of stronger evidence for some other place of burial, Northborough seems to have as good a claim as any to be the resting-place of Cromwell's bones. And if they should ever be discovered it will probably be (1) under the high altar in the church, or (2) in the chantry, near the tomb of his beloved wife.
Our task is done. A few reflections may fitly bring it to a close. In considering the historical and antiquarian details of a locality it is ever well to pay regard to its situation and environments, and Northborough will amply repay this trouble. Situated in the midst of a boundless plain, on the confines of, though not actually within that Fen district which, within recent years, and since the carrying-out of those great drainage schemes initiated by the Duke of Bedford, and undertaken by Dutchmen brought over for the purpose, has become the richest corn-growing country in England, it is not surprising that its people have taken a certain broad outlook over affairs; and that in the great crisis of the seventeenth century, they, like the rest of their Fen neighbours, were found ranged on the side of freedom and the Parliament. So John Claypole stands beside John Hampden and Oliver Cromwell.
The people say that there is nothing monotonous in the flat country, but that on the contrary, the eye becomes so accustomed to ranging over vast distances, unimpeded by obstacles of any sort—the landscape melting on every side into the infinite depths of sky where earth and heaven meet—that among hills, or in the streets of a city, they feel “cribbed, cabined, and con
1 This idea would not necessarily be invalidated if Cromwell was really buried in Westminster Abbey, as the bones might have been conveyed secretly to their final resting-place, wherever it is.
In the will of " James Cleypole” (who bought the manor in 1572 from John Browne, draper, of London), he is described as of Northboro' als. Narborrowe, co. Northampton, Esqre.", which shows that the interchange was of long standing.
fined,” their outlook narrowed, their energies cramped. Wordsworth exclaims :
“ Two voices are there one is of the sea,
They were thy chosen music, Liberty ! ” And to the fenman the voice he hears is the same that the seaman hears in the infinite expanse of rolling waters, so that while for one set of reasons the mountaineer bas ever been a steady champion of liberty, for other and equally cogent reasons the dweller in the Fens, like the sailor, has always been an equally steady champion of the same great principle—the inalienable right of the individual to call his soul his own, untrammelled by despotic authority of any kind. The history of the Civil War of the seventeenth century shows us that the backbone of the Parliamentary Party was formed by the inhabitants of East Anglia and the Fen country. Cromwell himself was connected with St. Ives, Ely, and Huntingdon, and his Ironsides were almost to a man drawn from the seven associated counties of Norfolk. Suffolk, Essex, Herts, Cambs, Northhants, and Lincolnshire. The Cavaliers, on the other hand, were drawn from the rich and undulating districts of the Midlands, and from the south and west country. Alone among East Anglian towns Lynn stood out for the King, and was only subdued after prolonged fighting.
In a paper of this kind, and before an Association such as this, it behoves one to take an absolutely impartial view, and in these days, when the problem seems to have been solved, whether finally or not time will show, and an all-powerful democracy governs under the sceptre of a sovereign who reigns, but does not rule, it is happily not necessary to take sides either with King or Parliament. We can admire indifferently the virtues and heroisms, and point out the faults, of both parties. In Northborough the two opposing tendencies are blended and coalesce. On the one hand the Church speaks to us of Catholic order, beauty and grace, of the continuity of English history, and of what can be accomplished by social union sanctified by religion. On the other hand
the Castle, through its association with the Puritan movement in the persons of Cromwell and the Claypoles, cannot fail to enlist our sympathies to a certain extent with that great principle of liberty of individual thought and action which it represents.
For twenty years Cromwell moved in the world of affairs as the head and heart of the Puritan Revolution ; for ten years he swayed the destinies of England, and as results proved, helped to make her great. Never was he so well-known, so rightly understood, or so genuinely appreciated as today, and any place with which he was connected takes an added interest from his name. Lastly, the pathos attached to the circumstance that it was to Northborough that his widow retired in her days of neglect and poverty, that here she died and was buried in the beautiful chantry attached to the church, cannot fail to call out the sympathies of the compassionate heart, and to invest the place with an undying and poetic charm.
THE PETERBOROUGH GENTLEMEN'S
BY CHARLES DACK, ESQ.
(Read at the Peterborough Congress, July 16th, 1898.)
land; and although its original intentions
associated with the Spalding Gentlemen's Society, which was founded in 1712 by Mr. Maurice Johnson, the Secretary of the Antiquarian Society, and which is still carried on under its original rules.
The Peterborough Society was founded, August 26th, 1730, by the Rev. Timothy Neve, an original member of the Spalding Society, and the first Secretary of the Peterborough Society, Mr. John Rowell, was the first President. Amongst other original members were the Rev. Robert Smyth, a very learned antiquary and rector of Woodston. He wrote a history of Huntingdonshire, but it was unfortunately never published; he also copied inscriptions and epitaphs in the counties of Northampton, Hunts, Cambridge, Rutland and Lincoln ; including a list of those not mentioned by Browne Willis and others, in the Cathedral of this city.
In this work he was assisted by Mr. John Clement, also of Woodston; and these MSS. are now in the possession of Lord Melville. Amongst other names are Maurice Johnson, the Hon. Ed. Wortley, M.P., White Kennett, Matthew Wyldbore (in whose memory St. John's bells are rung on what is called “Wyldbore's day," the anniversary