Jane Lane and Charles II

Jane Lane and Charles II

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 13, 1651 - danger at Abbots Leigh

Present building at Abbots Leigh
Saturday, September 13 began with a scare, and I don’t think I can improve on Charles’s description of the day’s events.

The buttery was the place where the butts, or barrels,
of beer were kept, and could be used as an informal eating place.
“I rose pretty early, haveing a very good Stomach, and went to the Buttery-Hatch to gett my Breakefast, where I found Pope and 2 or 3 other men in the roome, and we all fell to eateing bread and Butter, to which he gave us a very good Ale and Sack. 

The buttery hatch was where food and drink could be
handed outfrom the buttery.
Buttery Hatch, Clive House, Shrewsbury
And as I was sitting there, there was one that looked like a country fellow satt just by me, who talking gave soe particular an Account of the Battle of Worcester to the rest of the Company, that I concluded he must be one of Cromwell’s soldiers.  But I asking him how he came to give soe good an Account of that Battle, he told me that he was in the King’s Regiment.  By which I thought he meant one Coll. Kings Regiment.  But questioning him further, I perceived that he had been in my Regiment of Guards in Major Broughtons Company, that was my Major in the Battel. I asked him what kinde of a man I was, to which he answered by describeing exactly both my Cloathes and my Horse and then looking upon me he told me that the King was at least 3 fingers taller than I. Upon which I made what hast I could out of the Buttery, for feare he should indeed know me, as being more afraid when I knew he was one of our owne Soldiers then when I took him for one of the Enemys.So Pope and I went into the Hall, and just as we came into it, Mrs. Norton was comeing by through it.  Upon which, I plucking of my Hatt, and Standing with my Hatt in my hand as she past by, I observed, just as I was putting off my Hatt, that Pope looked very earnestly in my Face. But I tooke noe notice of it, but put on my Hatt againe, and went away, walking out of the House into the field.

By "hall" Charles meant the great hall, a common feature of \
medieval and Tudor houses, such as this one at Gainsburgh Hall, Lincoln
I had not been out half an hower, but comeing back I went up to the Chamber where I lay; And just as I came thether, Mr. Lassells came to me, and in a little trouble said What shall we doe? I am affraid Pope knows you, for he says very possitively to me that it is you, but I have denyed it.  Upon which I presently without more adoe asked him whether he was a very honest man or noe; whereto he answering me that he knew him to be soe honest a fellow that he durst trust him with his Life, as having beene always on our Side, I thought it better to trust him then goe away leaveing that Suspicion upon him; and thereupon sent for Pope and told him that I was very glad to meete him there and would trust him with my life as an Old acquaintance. 

"Upon which, being a discreet fellow he asked me what I intended to doe, for sayes he, I am extreamely happy I know you, for otherwise you might run greate danger in this House.  For though my Maister and Mistress are good people, yet there are at this tyme 1 or 2 in it that are very great Rogues, and I thinck I can be usefull to you in any thing you will command me.  Upon which, I told him my designe of getting a ship (if possible) at Bristoll, and to that end bad him goe that very day immeadiately to Bristoll to see if there were any Shipps goeing either to Spain or France that I might get a passage away in.
View from grounds of Abbots Leigh

Brick outbuilding at Abbots Leigh, October 2009

Abbots Leigh, stone wall in garden
Portrait of Charles on snuff box he gave to Jane Lane
I told him also that my Lord Willmot was comeing to meet me here (for he and I had agreed at Coll. Lanes, and were to meete this (very) day at Nortons); upon which, Pope told me that it was most fortunate that he knew me and had heard this from me, for that if my Lord Willmot should have come hither he would have beene most certainly knowne to Severall people in the House; and therefore he would goe and accordingly went out and mett my Lord Willmott a Myle or two off of the House, carrying him to an Ale-House not farr off, where he lodged him till it was night, and then brought him hither by a back Door into my Chamber, I still passing for a Serveing man.”

Trees at Abbots Leigh

Jane Lane

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