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'doomed their king to die.'
These facts were
proved when Marten was tried in 1660. With all this, his manners were so elegant, and his quickness of thought, vivacity, and charming gaiety so great, that he appears to have fascinated the grave and austere Republican chiefs, and to have influenced them a great deal in their counsels.
To this inconsistent character were referred all the alterations ordered to be made in the Great Seal and public arms after the king's death, and the establishment of the Commonwealth. On the Great Seal, by his orders, one side displayed a map of England; the reverse a picture of the House of Commons, with this legend round it: In the first year of freedom, by God's blessing, restored, 1648.' The current coin of the realm displayed St. George's Cross-a strange emblem for Henry Marten to have chosen-encircled with a palm and olive branch, and the words 'The Commonwealth of England,' and on the other side 'God with us, 1648;' and some royalist wit is said to have exclaimed, on taking one of those coins, 'that God and the Commonwealth were not on the same side.'
The Republican party appeared as if unable to
recompense Marten sufficiently for the services he had rendered, as they thought, to his country.
In 1649, the House of Commons settled a thousand a year on him out of the Duke of Buckingham's estate at Emersham; and he was constantly having presents of money-at one time as large a sum as twenty-five thousand pounds-on various pretences, such as his having advanced money for the public service.
When Oliver Cromwell dispersed the Long Parliament, Marten fell into great pecuniary difficulties. He had dissipated his fine property in Berkshire by his reckless extravagance; and all that Oliver Cromwell could do was to give him three thousand pounds; but that sum did not keep him out of prison, and he was sent to the Bench.
When Charles the Second returned to England at the Restoration, Marten's name was absolutely excepted from the benefit of the Act of Oblivion' passed by that monarch.
Marten, however, wisely surrendered himself. He was put on his trial on the 10th of October 1660, at the Sessions House in the Old Bailey, and was found guilty of high treason.
He petitioned Parliament for mercy; and although many of the graver and more sober members of the House of Commons were for his punishment by death, so great had been his former popularity, and so many in that assemblage had known him in former days, that he obtained a reprieve from the sentence of death, which was changed to that of imprisonment for life.
After occupying two or three prisons, he was finally sent to Chepstow Castle, accompanied by his wife and family.
They viewed his crime in its just colours; though Marten, unrepentant to the last, would often burst forth into bitter invective against the rigour of his punishment.
Henry Marten remained in Chepstow Castle twenty years, and died, suddenly, in 1681, at seventy-eight years of age, broken down in health, fortune, and spirits. His remains were buried in the chancel of Chepstow Church, till one of the vicars of the parish had them removed, objecting that even the lifeless body of a regicide should not be allowed near the altar of a church.
It is a relief to turn from the story of a man
like Marten, and contemplate the Christian life of the celebrated divine, Jeremy Taylor, also a prisoner in Chepstow Castle, not for disloyalty, but for fidelity to the fortunes of Charles the First.
Although this eminent student and man of letters was respectably descended - his father being a lineal descendant of Dr. Rowland Taylor, who was chaplain to Archbishop Cranmer,—his origin seems humble to us, as he was the son of a barber.
He was born in the year 1613, eleven years later than Marten, and did as much good in the world as the former did mischief. His ancestor, Rowland Taylor, suffered death at the stake, on Oldham Common, near Hadleigh, in Suffolk, in the third year of Queen Mary's reign, and died amid the lamentations of the people of that place, where he had been rector.
Dr. Rowland Taylor was well known for his abilities and talents, and sufficiently eminent as a reformer to be persecuted in those days.
Bishop Gardiner signed his death-warrant, and is said to have coveted Dr. Taylor's family pro
perty; at any rate, after his death, that wicked bishop began a house for himself on the estate, and thus the martyr's family sank to an obscure station, inheriting no wealth of patrimony or lands, save a love of learning and talent. Jeremy Taylor seems to have had a good education from his father, the barber, who was reasonably learned,' and 'grounded his children in grammar and the mathematics.' He is said to have been put to school at three years of age, and at thirteen he was sent to Caius College, Cambridge. This was in 1626. Very soon after he had been ordained, in 1633, and after he had taken his degree as Master of Arts, a friend of his, named Risden, who was lecturer at St. Paul's Cathedral, asked Taylor to preach for him.
He was then only twenty years of age, and graceful in voice, manner, and person. When he ascended into the pulpit his youthful appearance interested the congregation; but their interest grew into admiration, as they listened to the varied richness of his style, and the clearness of the arguments which he used to enforce the truths of revelation.