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32 silver pieces, 4} yards of gold and silver galoon, and a silver sugar. · spoon) to Mr. Matthew Apletre, of London by the said Collectors Webb, Vivers, and King, for £335. viz.
One parcel of Hops about one hundred weight 2 0 0
14 0 0 5 quarters of Malt
. . . 500
4 Hoggs, 2 Sheep, 4 parcels of deal boards,
parcel of tyer wood . . . 241 0 0 After sale of the said goods, upon appointing collectors for every division, the said collectors Lester, Apletre, and Churchill being appointed col. lectors for that hundred before delivery of the said goods did enter upon
the same by warrant from the Committee. Before delivery of the said goods the timber was disposed of by ordinance
of Parliament for the building of a minister's house, a gaol, and to be
employed for other uses in the town of Banbury. The corn was eat up and spent by the soldiers. The rest of the goods to be accounted for by the buyer thereof. The crop of corn growing upon the ground and all the estate was entered
upon by Sir Robert Pye, who did produce a title unto the same, which, not being then entered, is necessary to be enquired into. * The said pieces of silver and lace sold by the said collectors Webb and
Vivers for £2. 08. 6d.
We collect from this document something of the style in which Mr. Powel had lived, and at the same time we see how severely the then dominant party had dealt with him.
* The title was a mortgage which Sir Robert afterwards assigned to John Pye.
He lived not quite six months after these proceedings, dying at the house of his son-in-law Milton, on or about the first of January, 1646-7.
He left a widow Anne Powel, with eight children. She had brought him £3000 fortune, and was now left almost penniless. For what Milton did to serve her I must refer the reader to Mr. Todd's collection of documents. But it may be added that she was the daughter of Robert Moulton of Honyborne, in the County of Worcester, Gentleman, * by Mary his wife, daughter of Richard Archdale of Whatley, in the neighbourhood of Shotover. This appears in the Visitation of London, 1634, where her four brothers, John, Abraham, Cyprian, and Virgil Archdale are mentioned. A sister of Mary Archdale married John Stampe of Halton, gentleman. Matthew Archdale of Wycombe, who headed the soldiers when they broke up the meeting held by Milton's friends the Quakers, Pennington, Elwood, and others at Wycomb, was of this family. See for the particulars Elwood's account of his own life.
Sir Robert Pye was living at Forest Hill, at Christmas, 1647, as was also dame Ursula Whorwood. But the Powels seem to have returned, for in the roll of persons contributing to the Hearth Tax in 1665, the principal person at Forest Hill is a Richard Powel, probably a brother-in-law of Milton, who was charged for seven hearths.
“Perhaps it was in 1653 that Milton lost his first wife.” It is remarkable that neither the precise time of her death nor the place of her interment has been discovered. It is
* William Moulton and Milicent his wife were living at Todenham, co. Gloc in the 42nd of Elizabeth, where they assign tythe at Church Hony. borne to William Bond of London, Esquire.
said that she died in child-bed, and if so it seems that it must have been at the birth of his daughter Deborah on the 2nd of May, 1652. She is the youngest child whose birth is entered by Milton, in a family Bible, of which we have the following valuable notice by Dr. Birch :
Additional MSS. in the Museum 4244 f. 53.—"1749-50, January 6. I visited Mrs. Foster, grand-daughter to Milton, who keeps a chandler's shop in Cock Lane near Shoreditch Church, where she told me she had lived about a year, having lived about seven years in Lower Holloway, after removing from Pelham Street, Spital Fields, where I saw her in February 1737-8. Her brother, Mr. Clarke, died at her house at Lower Holloway, as did likewise, at above ninety years of age, her cousin Mrs. Milton, niece of Milton and daughter of his brother Sir Christopher Milton. I presented her five guineas from Mr. Yorke. She shewed me her grandmother's Bible in octavo, printed by Young in 1636, on a blank leaf of which Milton has entered with his own bands the births of his children as follows :
Anne, my daughter, was born July the 29th, the day of the Monthly Fast, between six and seven, or about half-an-hour after six : she living 1646.
Mary, my daughter, was born on Wednesday October 25 on the Fast Day, in the morning about six o'clock, 1645.
My son John was born on Sunday, March the 16th, at about half-anhour past nine at night, 1650.
My daughter Deborah was born the 2nd of May, being Sunday, somewhat before three of the clock in the morning, 1652.
In his wife's writing, I am the book of Mary Milton. Dr. Newton had been with her and given her a guinea sometime ago : Mr. Lauder lately, and Dr. Foster within these four days. She told me that her great-uncle Sir Christopher Milton had, besides his two daughters who died unmarried and had lived at Highgate for many years, another who was married to Mr. Pendlebury, a clergyman.”
Probably the age of the mother, Milton's first wife, did not much exceed thirty.
VIII. MILTON'S SECOND MARRIAGE.—While so much labour has been bestowed in inquiries respecting the Powels and Minshuls, the families from whom Milton received bis first and his third wife, very little inquiry has ever been bestowed on the family connections of Catherine Woodcock, the second wife, who died his “ late-espoused saint,” in February, 1657-8, and was buried at St. Margaret's, Westminster, on February 10. She is said to have died in child-bed, and the child, a daughter, is said to have soon followed her. Of her family, all that has been told us is that she was the daughter of a Captain Woodcock of Hackney, to which Mr. Todd annexes a conjecture that she was probably related to Francis Woodcock, one of the Assembly of Divines.
But if conjecture so loose as this is to be admitted in biographical writing, it might with greater plausibility be said that she was probably related to Thomas Woodcock, another Puritan divine of the time, because this Thomas Woodcock, who in the Commonwealth time had the living of St. Andrew Undershaft, when he returned from Holland, to which he had retired, settled at Hackney, and appears to have continued there till his death.* The only Captain Woodcock of the Civil war times with whose name I am acquainted, is a Captain John Woodcock, who on Oct. 6, 1653, gives a receipt for 131. 88. to the Treasurer-at-War on the disbanding of his troop: and this person may seem to have a good claim to be the father of Milton's second wife.
* Calamy's “ Account of the Ejected and Silenced Ministers," svo, 1713, p. 44.
There was a Thomas Woodcock, a scrivener in London, who died in February, 1623. He was a grandson of John Cawood the stationer, and had two sons named Thomas and John.*
IX. MILTON'S THIRD MARRIAGE.—THE MINSHULS.The poet's third wife was Mrs. Elizabeth Minshul, a Cheshire lady, related to Dr. Paget, a physician, one of Milton's most intimate friends. So much has been always known respecting her, but the particular family of Minshul to which she belonged has been unknown, and in the absence of knowledge, mistaken conjectures have been propounded, and she has been represented as being of the Minshuls of Stoke, a family of the higher kind of gentry, and connected with many of the best families of the County of Chester, an honour to which she had no pretension. +
In 1834, there appeared in a Catalogue of Manuscripts, issued by Mr. Pickering, a description of a collection of Legal Instruments, relating to the affairs of Mrs. Milton,
* See London Pedigrees, in Harl. 1444, f. 13. Thomas Woodcock the divine is said by Calamy to have been born in Rutlandshire.
† Mr. Todd declares without reserve that she was a daughter of Sir Edward Minshul of Stoke, near Nantwich. If so, she would have been descended of the Fittons of Gawsworth, and connected with the Mainwarings, by several marriages. Besides, Sir Edward was not born before 1628, and in 1649 had only two children, Edward his son and heir, and a daughter Mary. If a daughter Elizabeth had been born to him in 1650, she would have been barely fifteen when she married the blind poet. Further, what evidence we have guides us to another family of the name. Mr. Todd's work, however, is a most admirable one, both in the biographical part of it, and where he appears in the character of Editor and Annotator.