Page images

*** And your Petitioner shall be ready to pay what shall be thought reasonable at any day that shall be appointed.

(Signed) “ JOHN MILTON.
25 Feb. 1650.
“ Mr. Brereton is desired by ye

Com's to perfect his report in Mr.
Milton's case by Tuesday next.”

“ A Particular of the lands late Richard Powell's of Forrest Hill, in the County of Oxford, now under extent, and for which John Milton, Esquire, desireth to compound.

“ The said Richard Powell was seised in his demeasne as of fee of the tythe corne of Whatley and cer->

1.60 0 0

per annum. taine cottages then of the cleare yearlye value of

“ The said Richard was seised alsoe, in his demeasne as of fee of three 20 00 yards į of land, arable and pasture, of per annum. the cleare yearly value of

“ Out of which he craveth to be allowed for the thirds which he paieth

> 26 13 4 to Mrs. Anne Powell, the Relict of the said Richard Powell, for her Dower..

“ And alsoe craveth that his just debt of three hundred poundes, as he hath deposed, may be allowed upon (

300 00 his composition.


" Whereas Richard Powell of Forrest Hill, in the County of Oxford, Gent. and William Heârne, late Cittizen and Goldsmith of London, deceased, by their writing or recognizance of the nature of a statute-staple, beareing date the eleventh day of June, which was in the third yeare of the raigne of the late King Charles of England, &c. made and provided for the recovery of debts, and taken, acknowledged, and sealed, before Sir Nicholas Hide, Knight, then Lord Cheife Justice of the Court then called the Kings Bench att Westminster, did acknowledge themselves to owe unto John Milton, then of the University of Cambridge, Gentleman, sonne of John Milton, Cittizen and Scrivener of London, the somme of five hundred poundes of lawfull money of England, which said statute or recognizance is by a writing, beareing even date therewith, defeazanced for the payment of the somme of three hundred and twelve pounds of like money unto the said John Milton the sonne, his executors, administrátors, or assignes, on the twelveth day of December then next ensuing, as by the said statute or recognizance and defeazance thereupon, whereunto relation being had more att large may appeare. Now I, John Milton, the sonne, (being one and the same partie before mentioned for Cognizee in the said statute or recognizance) doe make oath that (since the extending of the said statute) I have received att severall tymes in part of satisfaction of my said just and principall debt, with dammages for the same and my costs of suite, the somme of one hundred and fowerscore

pounds or thereabouts, and that there is yett remayneing due and oweing unto mee of my said principall money, interest, and costs of suite, the somme of three hundred pounds or thereabouts : And I doe further make oath, that neither I the said John Milton or any other for mee or by my direction, privity, or consent, have or hath released or otherwise discharged the said statute or recognizance; neither doe I knowe or conceive any reason or cause either in law, or equity,; why I should not receive the said remainder of my said debt, dammages, and costs of suite. (Signed)

sJur: coram Comris. * John MILTON. { 28°. Feb. 1650. : . : (Signed) « E. WINSLÓW.” Indorsed, “ Milton John Esq. 4°. Martii 1650.

· Fine 1301.”

Reverting now for a moment to the time of Milton's reconciliation with his wife, it was settled, we find, that she should reside in the house of a friend, till his new mansion, which he had procured in Barbican, was ready for the reception of the encreased household; her father and mother, her brothers and sisters. The biographers of the poet suppose, that they left him soon after the death of his own father, .who also, they say, then lived with him, and ended a long life in 1647. But Mr. Powell likewise then ceased to mourn over his own and the country's misery; dying in debt, 15007. ; having lost “ by the wars,” 3000l.; and leaving a widow with “scanty subsistence for herself and nine children," sued at the same time for debts in the courts of law which she was unable to pay, and deprived of property which she had been led to believe would have been secure : And it was, in consequence of his death, that his family left the roof of Milton.

· This brings us to the last scene of domestick circumstances, hitherto unexplored, in the history of Milton and his first wife; and it shews us, what is painful to see, the mother of that wife still imploring her thirds in vain, together with some reflections upon the temper and conduct of Milton.

13. “Anne Powell, the Widowe of Richard Powell of Forresthill, in ye County of Oxoñ, Esquire, maketh oath, that y? said Rich : Powell, her late Husband, died neere the first day of January, in the yeare of our Lord one thousand sixe hundred fowrtie sixe, at the howse of M'. John Milton, scituate in Barbican, London: “ Jur. cor. Com iis.

1} (Signed) “ Anne Powell." 27o. Feb. 1650. R. M.



“ To the Honoble. Comissioners for ComposiCons &c.

“The humble peticon of Anne Powell, Widow,&c.

“ Sheweth, . “That your petitioner brought a considerable

* First Series of Royalists' Compos. Papers, in his Majesty's State-Paper Office, vol. I. No. 1540. 42, 64, 65, 66, and 2. .

« PreviousContinue »