NOTES AND QUERIES. [ii s. XL MAY 29, 1915.
As the reference note proves, this quota- tion has been taken from the narrative of Lord Hopton, cited by me in my first article for its definition of "lobsters." In this Lord Hopton sets out the whole of the King's letter, with its date of " Oxford, 29 July, 1643." And, since the King did not arrive at Bristol until 2 August, this date deprives the quotation of any supposed support of Gardiner's misstatement.
In none of his narratives does Hopton countenance the theory that his peerage was conferred upon him as a result of the dispute between Hertford and Rupert, and, as a matter of fact, Hopton remained at Bristol in full command as lieutenant-governor under Rupert "to intend his health [after the accident I describe below] and to form that new garrison," as Clarendon says ('Great Rebellion,' vii. 156) in a lengthy and lucid explanation.
When Gardiner adds that the King "carried " Hopton "to Oxford," his state- ment is in contradiction with the facts. The King left Bristol on 10 August, for Gloucester, not Oxford, carried with him Rupert, not Hopton, and left Rupert to besiege Gloucester. Moreover, in Rupert's MSS. at the British Museum (Add. MSS. 18,980-2) there are some letters from Hopton to Rupert. The first eight of these are from Bristol, the earliest being dated 21 August and the last 17 Sept.', 1643. Others follow from Sodbury and other places in the West.
It is true that Clarendon states that before the King left Bristol he " sent Sir Ralph Hopton a warrant to create him a baron," but he adds, " in memory of the happy battle fought there " (at Stratton ' Great Rebel- lion,' vii. 159). Of course, Clarendon had no knowledge of the exact date of the warrant, and in any case gives no sanction whatever to Gardiner's imputation. A " warrant " and a "grant" under seal are two very different things, as every lawyer knows.
So, when it is pointed out that Lord Hopton's grant of a barony is dated 4 Sept., 1643, attention should also be drawn to the fact that a Royal grant was (is still, I believe) always preceded by a warrant of an earlier date, and required a variety of legal and technical preliminaries. There- fore the date of the grant is no evidence in proof of Gardiner's assertion.
The date of the warrant is not known, bub when Sir Bevil was killed, at the battle of Lansdown, on 5 July, 1643, his warrant was found upon his body, together with the King's letter (' Autobiography of Mrs. Mary
Delany '). Hopton may have received his warrant when Sir Bevil received his, at the hands of Dr. Coxe, who met the Cornish army at Okehampton at the end of May, 1643, bringing with him the King's letters and orders after the news of the battle of Stratton had reached him.
This alone would be sufficient to arouse suspicion that Gardiner's remarks are not justified, but there exists better evidence than this. The fact that Hopton was to receive a barony as a reward was known, even on the Parliamentary side, as early as the commencement of July.
Hopton, whose own home (not his paternal home) was at Glastonbury, was temporarily blinded by a powder explosion after the battle of Lansdown. In describing the accident, Mercurius Civicus, No. 7, for 6-13 July, 1643, states :
"There were two Captaines blown up whereof
the new Baron of Glassenbury was one, whose head is reported to be swollen, and some say he is made blinded with it."
Those who may wish to check Gardiner's assertions on these or other facts of the Cornish campaigns will find ' Bellum Civile,' edited by Sir C. E. H. Chadwyck Healey, invaluable. This book contains full tran- scripts of Hopton's and other narratives, and was published for the subscribers of the Somerset Record Society in 1902.
As explained and amplified by the news- books among the ' Thomason Tracts,' these transcripts go far towards discrediting a good deal of the earlier portion of Gardiner's ' Great Civil War.'
The first Royalist victory over Sir William Waller was gained at Lansdown on 5 July, 1643, the powder explosion by which Hopton was injured taking place on 6 July, long before Bristol was captured. Lady Waller, who seems to have been a feminine " tub -preacher," evidently wrote an ac- count of the battle, to some one in London representing it to have been a victory for Sir William. Accordingly, the number of Mercurius Civicus from which I have just quoted, appeared with a rough woodcut portrait of Sir William Waller and the legend " William a Conquerour," by way of frontis- piece. Unfortunately for the accuracy of this assertion, the battle of Round way Down, near Devizes (or " The Vies," as it was then often called), had taken place on 12 July, the day before the newsbook ap- peared (the 13th), and, owing to the arrival of reinforcements from Oxford for the Royalists, resulted in the precipitate flight of Sir William Waller.