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ILLUSTRATIONS

Westminster Hall, &c. (from Hollar's engraving).

Kyngeston upon Hull (from Hollar's engraving)

Facsimile of Marvell's Letter to Cromwell .

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I.

LETTERS TO THE HULL CORPORATION

I.

For the right worpfull, Christopher Richardson, Mayor, and the Aldermen his Brethren, of Kingston upon Hull.

Gentlemen, my worthy friends,

Although during the necessary absence of my partner Mr Ramsden I write but with halfe a penn, and can scarce perswade myselfe to send you so imperfect an account of your own and the publick affairs as I needs must for want of his assistance, yet I had rather expose mine own defects to your good interpretation then excuse thereby a totall neglect of my duty and that trust which is divided upon me. At my 10 late absence out of Town I had taken such order that if you had commanded me any thing I might soon haue received it & so returned on purpose to this place to haue obeyed you. But hearing nothing of that nature, howeuer I was present the first day of the Parliaments sitting, and tooke care to write to Mr Maior what work we had cut out. Since when we haue had litle new but onely been making a progresse in those things I then mentioned. There is yet brought in an Act in which of all others your corporation is the least concerned that is where wives shall refuse to cohabit with their husbands, that in such case the husband shall not be liable to pay any debts which she shall 20 run into for clothing diet lodging or other expenses. I wish with all my heart you were no more touched in a vote that we haue made for bringing in an Act of a new Assessment for six moneths of 70000li per mensem to begin next January. The truth is the delay ere monyes can be got in eats up a great part of all that is levying and that growing charge of the Army and Navy doubles upon us. And that is all that can be said for excuse of our selues to the Country to whom we had giuen our own hopes of no further Sessment to be raised, but must now needs incurre the censure of improvidence before or prodigality now, though it becomes no private member, the resolution having passed 30 the house to interpose further his own judgement in a thing that can not be remedied and it will be each mans ingenuity not to grudge an after-payment for that settlement & freedome from Armyes & Navyes wch before he would haue been glad to purchase with his

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whole fortune. There remain some eight Regiments to be disbanded but those all horse in a manner and some seauenteen shipps to be payd of that haue laid so long upon charge in the harbour beside fourscore shipps wch are reckoned to us for this winter guard But after that all things are to go upon his Majestyes own purse out of the Tunnage & Poundage & his other revenues. But there being so great a provision made for mony I doubt not but ere we rise to see the whole army disbanded &, according to the Act, hope to see your Town once more ungarrisond, in wch I should be glad & happy to 1o be instrumentall to the uttermost For I can not but remember, though then a child, those blessed days when the youth of your own town were trained for your militia, and did methought become their arms much better then any soldiers that I haue seen there since. And it will not be amisse if you please (now that we are about a new Act of regulating the Militia that it may be as a standing strength but not as ill as a perpetuall Army to the Nation) to signify to me any thing in that matter that were according to your ancient custome & desirable for you. For though I can promise litle yet I intend all things for your service. The Act for review of the Poll bill proceeds 20 & that for making this declaration of his Majesty a Law in religious

matters. Order likewise is giuen for drawing up all the votes made during our last sitting in the businesse of Sales of Bishops & Deans & Chapters lands into an Act wch I should be glad to see passd. The purchasers the other day offerd the house 60000oli in ready mony & to make the Bishops &c: revenue as good or better then before. But the House thought it not fit or seasonable to hearken to it. We are so much the more concernd to see that great interest of the purchasers satisfyed & quieted at least in that way which our own votes haue propounded. On Munday next we are to return to the 30 consideration of apportioning 100000li p anñ upon all the lands in the nation in lieu of the Court of Wards. The debate among the Countyes each thinking it selfe over-rated makes the successe of that businesse somthing casuall & truly I shall not assist it much for my part for it is litle reason that your Town should contribute in that charge. The Excise bill for longer continuance (I wish it proue not too long) will come in also next weeke And I foresee we shall be called upon shortly to effect our vote made the former sitting of raising his Majesties revenue to 120000oli per Annum I do not love to write so much of this mony news But I thinke you haue observed that Parliaments 40 haue been always made use of to that purpose, and though we may buy gold too deare yet we must at any rate be glad of Peace Freedome & a good Conscience. Mr Maior tells me your duplicates of the Poll

are coming up I shall go with them to the Exchequer & make your excuse if any be requisite. My long silence hath made me now trespasse on the other hand in a long letter but I doubt not of your good construction of so much familiarity and trouble from

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20

Having received yours by Mr Winchester, I accordingly went this morning and gaue your duplicate into the hands of the Lord Chiefe Baron and he remained fully satisfied of your diligence in that businesse: So that you need not be any more thoughtfull upon that account. Yesterday the House was in debate concerning the proportions that were brought in for laying 100000li perpetuall upon all the lands in the seuerall Countyes of England in lieu of the Court of Wards, but came to no resolution therein adjourning the debate at large concerning any other way of compensation till to morrow. But zo it seemed by the then debate that by reason of this new six months Assesment the house would not judge it seasonable to put this new Land-rate upon the people & inclined rather to settle the 100000li out of the Excise of Ale & beere some offerd as it is more just that onely the Lands in Capite wch receive the benefit should be taxed with the revenue And others were euen content or belieued it must come to that that the Court of Wards should continue. The issue is uncertaine. A Bill was to day carried up to the Lords for calling in the arrears of the last 12 months & 6 months Assesment. An Impeachment was orderd to be carried up to the Lords against one 30 Drake a merchant in London for writing a seditious book called the Long Parlament revived & attempting to prove that it is not yet legally dissolued. The Queen is next Moneth for France & the Princess Henrietta her daughter to be married, as tis credibly reported to the Duke of Anjou the French kings brother I haue no more at present but to remaine

Gentlemen,

Your most affectionate friend & servant

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Andr: Marvell.

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