Francis Turner, Bishop of Ely Chapter IV.
THE new sovereigns had observed with uneasiness the absence of the Bishop of Ely from their coronation, and the unconcealed attitude of loyalty he had assumed towards King James. William departed for Ireland, and Mary caused the oath of allegiance to her consort and herself to be tendered to Turner and the other nonjuring bishops, on the 1st of August. It was unhesitatingly rejected by Turner, and his suspension from his episcopate followed as a matter of course.
Then the bishops of London and St. Asaph were commissioned to tell him and the other nonjuring bishops, that if they would only remain quiescent, their Majesties, King William and Queen Mary, would not proceed to extremities with them, but, refraining from appointing successors to supersede them in their sees, would leave them in quiet possession of their revenue, and dignities; but they took no notice of this conciliatory intimation. Sentence of deprivation followed in consequence, on the 1st of February, 1690. Turner boldly protested against the validity of this sentence in the marketplace of Ely, and courageously continued to preach in his robes every Sunday, in the chapel of Ely House, Hatton Garden. His ministry was attended by thronging crowds, among whom the queen's uncle, the Earl of Clarendon, always appeared in a conspicuous place.
In the absence of King William, Queen Mary thought it more prudent, instead of taking active measures, to send Lloyd, Bishop of St. Asaph, to tell Turner privately, "that their Majesties having been informed of the great resort of people to his chapel, were highly displeased, and he advised him therefore, as a friend, to shut it up for the time to come."
The deprived bishop did not submit till a second intimation of the peril he was incurring by his con-tumacity.
"On Tuesday, February llth," notes the Earl of Clarendon in his diary, "the Bishop of Ely dined with me. He told me that ' the Bishop of St. Asaph had been with him again, and told him plainly he must let no more company come to his chapel;' so that I perceive all people are to have liberty of conscience, but those of the true Church of England."
The queen next assumed a threatening attitude, and although he was her uncle, proceeded to arrest the Earl of Clarendon, the ostensible friend and comforter of the nonjuring bishops, committed him to a prison-lodging in the Tower, and ordered his door to be padlocked.
Francis Turner fearlessly came to visit his incarcerated friend on the 18th of July, but was only permitted to see him in the presence of a warder. He came again on the 21st and 25th, but was told that the queen had expressly forbidden his access to the noble prisoner, and he was never again admitted. Instead of becoming more cautious in his demeanour after this warning, Turner's impulsive proceedings often caused uneasiness to the more prudent among his deprived brethren, in evidence of which is the following passage in a letter from Frampton, Bishop of Gloucester, to Thomas Turner.
"To your good brother, if you can send it without peril to yourself, my hearty and kind respects, as he sent to me from my lord of Norwich. I was offended with his letter into France in all our names as well as his own, because I thought it was most rash and unjustifiable; but I have digested it long ago, and now am as perfectly his as he can be mine."
By the loss of the bishopric of Ely, Turner was delivered from the harassing turmoil of a weary lawsuit that had been going on ever since the days of Queen Elizabeth, between the Hatton family and the bishops of Ely, for the valuable demesne of Hatton Garden and Hatton House. Cox, Bishop of Ely, having been compelled, in the twentieth year of that sovereign, to grant a lease to her then favourite, Sir Christopher Hatton, of the spacious London palace of the diocese of Ely, with the garden, which was four hundred feet long and almost as many broad, and fourteen acres of pasture at the end thereof, at almost a nominal rent for the term of twenty-one years. Not content with this, Sir Christopher told the queen that he had laid out 19,905l. in repairing the house, and he feared he should lose the money unless the bishop or his successors were compelled to pay or bind themselves to pay that sum. Whereupon the queen wrote to Cox, "that he should make the premises over to her until he or his successors had paid the money claimed by the tenant, and whatever he should please lay out on the estate."
Resistance was long made to this illegal claim and tyrannical behest. At last it was conceded; but Hatton being indebted to the crown in the sum of 40,000l. at the time of his death, for his deficits as receiver of the rents of Fee Farm, the queen seized the episcopal mansion and estate in Holborn belonging to the diocese of Ely, and sold it for 7000l. to Lady Elizabeth Hatton, the niece of her great minister, Burleigh.
The succeeding bishops of Ely vainly endeavoured to obtain restitution of this valuable estate. At last it was decided that the Hatton family should pay somewhat by way of compensation. Turner's successor, Bishop Patrick, agreed to submit to the award of Tillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury, Halifax, and others, including Lord Nottingham himself, the father-in-law of the then Lady Hatton, namely, for her to keep the disputed episcopal property, on paying a hundred a year and giving the site for a now church--terms which had been refused by Turner with condign contempt.
A formidable plot against the government and life of the Dutch king was discovered next, in which the complicity of the deprived Bishop of Ely was asserted on the credit of two letters which were found among Lord Preston's papers, when he and Mr. Ashton were arrested, addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Redding, supposed to be intended for the deposed sovereign, ting James, and his queen.
The crown lawyers strove to prove that not only Turner, but all the rionjurmg bishops were implicated in the design of restoring the deposed sovereign and his family, from the following expressions in the letters, attributed to the deprived prelate:--
"I speak in the plural, because I write my elder brother's sentiments as well as my own and the rest of the family; though lessened in number, yet if we are not mightily out in our accounts, we are growing in our interest that is in Jesus."
In the other letter much the same is repeated. That these letters were written by Turner there was not the slightest proof; but they furnished a pretext for issuing a proclamation for his apprehension, together with that of William Penn. Both were so fortunate as to escape. Burnet observes "that the discovery of this correspondence gave the king a great advantage in filling the vacant sees." This is speaking plainly enough.
The plot was discovered in December. The trials of Lord Preston, Mr. Ashton, and Sir John Friend came on, and they were all condemned to die. Preston purchased his life by betraying his associates; the others perished on the scaffold. The brave Earl of Dartmouth died in the Tower. Clarendon, against whom, as the queen's uncle, it was not considered decent to push the charge of high treason to the death, was released.
When adverting to the dangerous predicament in which his friend, the Bishop of Ely, stood at the time the proclamation was issued, Sancroft observes "that it would be wonderful, considering my lord of Ely's very remarkable appearance, if he escaped." Francis Turner was singularly handsome, of a commanding height, with a finely formed Kornan nose, lofty and expansive forehead, expressive dark eyebrows and eyes, black hair, and a clear complexion. Notwithstanding these personal peculiarities, the deprived bishop obtained a safe retreat from the peril with which he was threatened.
He expresses his solicitude for his aged mother and beloved daughter, at this anxious time, in a most interesting letter to his brother, Thomas Turner, the President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, dated January 18th, 1690-1:--
"Do your utmost to keep up my mother's spirits, which I hope will never droop, and then I comfort myself in some confidence of seeing her again. For my part, I am vigorously in health, and sanguine in my expectations of better times. Commend me, with abundance of love, to my dearest daughter, and tell her that I assure myself God will bless her the better for her father's calamity, if we both do but bear it as Christianly as we ought.
"God Almighty be most gracious to you all. If you once hear that I am forced to fly, pray write to Tom Newcome about the sale to you, and direct him to advise very privately with your useful friend and mine, Mr. Gilbert, to make a deed valid in law."
The brother of the deprived bishop was then in treaty for the purchase of the reversion of the estate in which their widowed mother was jointured, that being the property of Francis Turner after her death.
The next day the following letter was addressed by the fugitive bishop to his uncle, Colonel Windebanke, a person high in the favour of the reigning sovereigns, and deep in their confidence:--
"Monday Night, Jan. 19th, 1690.
"MOST DEAR UNCLE,
"The last thing I do in this world, or at least in this part of the world, is to take my leave of you by this hasty letter. It is not possible for me to see you, and if it were, it would not be convenient for either of us. But I have ordered the matter so as this shall not be delivered nor sent you for three or four days, and if by that time you hear of no great inconvenience befallen me, you may conclude me arrived at a place of safety, or at least gotten far enough out of harm's way.
"I give you this trouble (which I hope can never bring you the least danger) because you are the fittest, and indeed, the only friend I can rely upon to administer comfort to your good aged sister, my mother, which I entreat you to do by letter to my dear brother, the president; for while I lie under such prejudices as I do, it will be some consolation to persons so much concerned for me that I am far enough off, and mighty secure under God's holy protection. I desire my friends will believe that I am not fled for any fear I had of a speedy, fair, open trial, but of a close, expensive, odious imprisonment, which, would almost certainly have overthrown my crazy, weak constitution (which nobody knows better than you do). I dreaded not any sentence of condemnation, which, from the justice of the government, I had no reason to apprehend.
"When you go to Whitehall prayers (as you used to do), commend me with my best respects to my good lord Bishop of St. Asaph. I assure myself he is still my friend, because I am certain I am his as much as ever, and that I was always very truly and kindly. I need not entreat his good offices and his prayers; I know I have both, as he never wanted mine when he needed them.
"Tell him for anybody now to pursue me with greater hardships, as marks of infamy, forfeitures, &c., would be next to carrying enmity into the other world; for I am not likely to be farther engaged with this, unless it should please God to restore me in more settled times. His will be done by me and upon me.
"When I am where I would be (if it be God's good pleasure to preserve me), I will give you a better account, and I hope to do it speedily, for the way I go is open enough at this time, and I am under good conduct. I must entreat it, and expect it from your favour and friendship, that you will not suffer this letter of mine to go out of your hands (unless you send it to Oxford, which is best of all), nor let any copy be taken of it; for though I care not who knows I am now out of reach (so that of that you need make no mystery nor secret), yet I am advised, for many reasons, to leave the rest to conjecture, and give no aim against myself. And so, most dear sir, a long farewell to you. God Almighty be your exceeding great reward for all the tenderness you have always had for me. May it please Him to support and strengthen you too, who have felt your share of afflictions, and to bless all yours, and may He, who is the Father of the Fatherless, be gracious to all mine, and more than supply to them the want of me. Once more adieu.
"Most dear sir,
"I am your most affectionate nephew, and "Much obliged humble servant, "FEAK. EX-ELIEN.
"Impart this (I pray) to Tom Newcome (who knows nothing of me), that he, as my steward, may pay what I owe, which is little."
His next letter to his uncle is peculiarly interesting, and is only dated one week later than the preceding. He says:--
"MOST DEAR SIR,
"I pray beat down any report may be raised of my being gone into France (which is false).
"I will take it for granted that a letter which I left for you, of January 19th, was received; in that I promised a further account of myself when I was there where I would be. And I take the first opportunity to tell you I am now past the pikes, and in no danger neither of falling into any of the dikes; a word is enough to the wise. I avoid writing more plainly, lest this should fall into any disingenuous hands; for could any legal proof be made of my being out of the kingdom, some laws, which else may sleep long enough, may be waked and let loose upon me. I make no matter of it that it should be known to all that I am marched off, but that none should be able to convict me of it. For this, and many other reasons (as because kings have long hands), I neither yet tell the way I am gone nor the place whither I am going; only this much. For the little time that I was abroad heretofore, the air of a German town agreed with me far better than that of France. Where I shall fix or settle is somewhat uncertain; but if it please God to give me my own choice, it will be where I may hope to live cheapest and most incognito; to have least to do with the world, and most freedom of access to a library, or at least to a few books, but those the best. Hitherto the companion of my flight has been Homer's Odysses; where the story of Ulysses being known at his return, not to his son, but his old dog, set me a-smiling, and a-thinking whether my daughter or her donne would be the likelier to know me, as I am transformed. All my trouble is that I must not yet expect to hear from any of my friends, because I cannot assign any place where their letters might waylay me. I heartily pray for their healths and yours, and let me beg of you, sir, now to lay out your thoughts solicitously for the preservation of your good sister's life, that I may see her face with joy once more in this world (if it be God's heavenly will).
"When you meet my good lord of St. Asaph, be pleased to give him my hearty respects and services. Impart as much of this letter to him as you think proper; all of it, without any reserve, if you find him as I left him, my kind friend. (On second thoughts pray do not show it as anything of my writing.) And then do me the favour to transmit (nor let any but our friends at Oxford read it) this, for the satisfaction of my friends at Oxford, to Corpus Christi. But not by the post. Tom Newcome can send it safe, and pray let him have this enclosed. I think not fit at present to write to any of my other relations. These few lines may assure them and you, sir, to ease all your solicitude, that through the tender mercy of God I enjoy a constant vigorous health of body, and a quiet contented mind, and shall do so by the grace of God as long as He of His goodness, whatever He lays upon me, enables me to bear it. I neither want, nor am like to want anything, but the company of iny best friends, and yet I am not even now unaccompanied, and I have the world before me, as Mr. Milton says our first parents had when they were driven from Paradise.
"Remember me, pray, with all kindness to all that were ever mine, and to all yours. I am yours most affectionately."
Turner's next letter is to his faithful man of business, whom he always addresses as Honest Tom.
"I trust in God you received mine of January 26, the only letter I have writ to you was to assure you that I was got into a secure harbour, though to go a great deal further."
The fugitive prelate proceeds to communicate the following interesting particulars of himself.
"I am in my winter quarters, though not there whither I told you in my last I designed; for the weather proving very hard, with a kind of second winter, and finding a very good reception from an honest family of my own country and my own religion, I resolved to lie still some weeks (or months perhaps) to expect the spring and better days, and to refresh myself; I do not say to recover myself, for my finger has never ached, much less my heart, since I saw you. I live in hopes of seeing you all again, but that as God pleases.
"You'll not wonder if I do not name the place from whence I write this, for fear of a miscarriage by sending the bearer, for I pass here by another name, and it would be mischievous, perhaps, if my quality were known in the place where I am, and I might be pursued hither with ill offices, at least from my own countrymen; where, as I am now, I'm much at ease, and can hive cheap, for I keep no servant, and at present need none, those of the family being very ready to do all the little services for me."
He makes the following sensible reflection on the propriety of his beloved daughter conforming her habits and personal expenses to the present change in her fortunes:--
"By the way, since I am my own valet de chambre, I leave it to my good mother whether it will be decent for my daughter to have a servant to wait upon her when her father has none; especially when there are enow in the family to dress her, and more especially since herself, without an attendant, will be charge enough to her grandmother and uncle till I am in condition to reckon with them. But my great consideration," he impressively adds, "is for the good of my child, who ought to learn how to want as how to abound."
The deprived bishop does not disdain to take into consideration the welfare of the faithful attendant whom he thinks it proper, from economical motives, to dismiss from his daughter's service. "I hope," he says, "Mrs. Cliff may be easily recommended to some other service. I'm only sorry she did not dispose of herself heretofore, as I was abler to have done better by her. All I can do for her now is (if she goes, and sure 'tis necessary she should) to assign her five pounds by you, and to promise her (if it ever please God to restore me) to give her more."
He enters at large on the necessity of disposing of his landed property, to preserve it from forfeiture, and promises, "when the sums at which it is valued shall have been realized, he will tell him where the sum of 500l. in old gold has been deposited in the hands of a friend, with whom he left it for security on his hasty flight, taking only a few guineas with him for present use."
"These sums put together," he says, "will amount at least to 2000l., which, by the advice of Mr. Gilbert, I desire to place abroad at five per cent, at least, for I would be loth, for my poor dear child's sake, to go deeper than needs be into the main stock."
"As for the goods at Ely, and Ely House," continues he, "it were best they were all, except the lumber, removed and sold outright, saving the wrought bed and plate, and whatever my mother desires to have saved. Speed, and all possible privacy, are necessary in their removal, and I urge their sale, not only for fear of a seizure, but lest the next episcopal usurper should press upon the goods and household stuff for dilapidations. I shall not be so civil to account with such a successor on such a score, and yet I will be just to the bishopric."
He naturally desires his friend to ascertain whether there have been any steps taken towards forfeiture or outlawry in his case. "They talked," observes he, "of a proclamation coming out for me. If there be any such thing, we shall find it in the foreign ' Gazette," where they box me about bravely, and I as securely laugh at them."
He next refers to matters of peculiar interest to him as an author and a scholar.
"My heart," continues he, "though it be not heavy, would be much lighter if I knew all my books and papers were well disposed of and secured by that worthy friend of mine own I desired to undertake it. I would be glad too, and very glad, to be sure my divinity notes and paper-books (I do not mean as yet to have those boxes sent me which are of Cranmer's transcribing, but those in my own hand) which are in. one of the great library boxes, to which you have a key, were sent superscribed to the linen merchant. When they be there he will take his time, and that way they'll come the safest, though, perhaps, not the soonest. My linen friend knows where I would have the boxes of linen and paper-books to meet me in due time. But as for letters and money, let those come a shorter cut."
A somewhat mystified direction, through what channel his correspondent was to send to him, follows, and then he shrewdly adds, "As for yourself, 'tis best you should know no more, lest you be questioned." In conclusion, he expresses solicitude for "the poor condemned lord," meaning Preston, being unconscious of the base means to which that unhappy man had resorted for the preservation of his life.
Bishop Turner remained not long in his hiding-place, but stole over to Banstead Downs, where his next letter to his brother is dated.
Banstead, July 22nd, 1690.
"MOST DEAR SIR,
"Yours of the 17th, a pregnant letter, came to me late yesternight. I shall transmit Dr. W.'s to his countryman, together with these from you. I had our own printed papers from London, and send you a parcel of them, though I take it for granted you have seen them already; they may serve to make this a packet. What effects they will have, or have had, I can hardly tell at this distance. I am informed tnat some persons are rather incensed by this means, because (by God's mercy) disappointed; but that the generality were appeased before our vindication appeared. They said, with some sense of humanity, 'that devilish charge must needs be a damnable forgery,' though all moral industry was used to make the rabble credit it, among whom it was distributed gratis, being first abbreviated into half a sheet, and tickets dispersed to set the time and place for Mr. Multitude to meet and perform the execution. Blessed be God who hath delivered, and doth deliver, in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us.
"I had special leave, at the request of my brethren, to step for a day or two to Lambeth, to consult and concur with them in this exigency. They made themselves cheerful with me in the midst of this dreadful calamity, to see how fat and fresh a man may look that has Banstead Downs for his prison, whither I returned next day, and never once crossed the water to Ely House. I can be nowhere better or easier than I am here, praised be God. who supports me in the day of my distress, so as nothing does greatly disturb me.
"I heartily wish I could give you as comfortable an account of my friend and brother of Bath and Wells as I can of myself. I sent yesterday to see him, but can hear of no amendment. The doctors bleed him often; my lord's grace apprehends they do it too frequently. He would fain get hither again, if he could recover but any tolerable health: may it please God, in whose tender mercy he trusts, not to add sorrow to our sorrow.
"I shall not fail your kind expectations of hearing weekly from me; but be mighty careful what any of you write to me; let nothing reflecting or complaining come, though never so securely, for all the snares of death compass me. A word is enough to the wise.
"Now I suppose the time of your journey to the place of your residence is at hand; upon which I have something to say to you, which I have long thought on, and it is this. I understand your resolution to protest against the new election (which sure is not far off); but I do earnestly dissuade you from doing any such thing. It will do me no good, and you the greatest mischief. It will be thought but the partial affection of a brother, and be a little for your credit, but not at all for my honour or the good of the Church, that not one clergyman in my diocese, besides my own nearest relation, should make such a stand. Most of them lately very kindly, without my knowledge, petitioned for my restoring; but I have reason to expect the same men would present an Address of Abhorrence, if I myself should protest my right in opposition to a conge d'élire. I shall take another course in due time, by the help of God, and a more effectual. Meanwhile, if I have any authority, either as your bishop or your brother, I must employ it with you to prevent your undoing yourself to no great purpose. God forbid you should concur, or any way countenance such proceedings. Be absent at your choice, and as stiff in the knees afterwards as you please.
"All this advice comes not only from me, and has been well considered. Pray show Mrs. Grigg all this, because it answers a passage in her last to me, that you were resolved to fall with me. For the rest of her very friendly Christian letter, the next I send shall be one of thanks to her. Meantime, give her my hearty respects, and to my good mother much duty and services. My blessing on the poor child, now a perfect orphan, but that you are a father to her. I am,
"Most dear brother,
"Your most affectionate
"Brother in Christ.
"I hear great offence is taken at our subscribing episcopally to our paper."
Turner's next letter is to his man of business, from which we learn that he and William Penn were, for a while, companions at hide and seek.
"My last to you, dated the 8th of this month, gave you some hint that I was a little indisposed, but it was only for want of blood-letting in the Spring; and now I have done it, I thank God I have recovered perfect good temper, and live in hopes of letters from you, full charged, from Oxford. My great solicitude is still for Mr. Price's master, though yours to me speaks comfortably; pray carry him or send him my sincerest best wishes and services, and whenever you intend me a letter, first see Mr. Price, and inform yourself how matters stand. As for my friend, his fellow-sufferer, it grieves me to hear how he loses himself, dreaming to drink away sorrow. There are two other gentlemen, with whom I was joined for a third (to my great honour, so I count their reproaches). The two I mean are William Penn and James Graham. If you can learn what is become of them, and whether or no, the former, especially, has offered any bail, or be still under hatches, I should the better know what to expect myself, though I look for nothing but hardships; the best is, I am out of their clutches.
"I do not now write to my brother, for I know not where he is; I suppose keeping his residence; nor do I write again to Oxford, because I assure myself their answers are coming towards me. If my brother be in the Fens, then when you have read this send it to Oxford, safe to my mother, with all my duty to her, and all kindness to all that are hers and mine there. My brother being at my house, may take order about removing the best goods and selling the lumber. I am never like to use them, and believe that the danger of seizing is not over.
"I daily expect to hear of a successor, and then too late you may feel a seizure; an order, at least, to stir nothing, and then all is lost. The pretence of dilapidations sweeps all like a Christmas-box. Whatever comes of that or any other oppression, I am resolved, by the help of God, to be very patient, and never give way to melancholy. I study not only to be contented, but cheerful, in a very low way of living. If I were in a condition to keep a servant where I am, I would have none but honest William; and I have kept him hitherto in some hopes of my return to my station, but of that there is no prospect (though I have no despair of it in God's own time); but, in the mean time, he is out of business. Pray commend me to him, and allow him as you do, till he gets some good service or employment. Assure him, if I am ever so happy as to recover myself into tolerable condition, then, if it be to his advantage, I will not only take him again, but give him some place in recompense of his faithful services.
"On second thoughts, you were best sell my chariot, else it will be spoilt, unless my good friends at Oxford have any use of it. If it will do them any service let them have it; if not, get the most you can for it. I should be glad to be sure they had made even with you at Hanslop, and you must ply them at Sandhurst. I trust you receive the small interest from Mr. Griffin.
"Farewell, and pray for
"Yours, &c. "April 20, 1691.
"My respects to all that remember me with any favour. Assure them that I (by God's mercy) was never in better health or in better heart."
There can be no doubt that after Francis Turner's return to England he carried on a secret correspondence with the Court of St. Germains, and was deep in Sir John Fenwick's plot. While that bold Northumbrian baronet stood at bay, nearly hunted to the death, the government blood-hounds were keen on the scent of one Grascomb, a nonjuring clergyman, who had hitherto defied all their efforts in tracking his whereabouts. Although the most active of all the pamphleteers who stirred up the fire of insurrection in those times, Grascomb walked invisible through all plots. At last he was ascertained to be in the house of a French silk-weaver, in Spitalfields. The king's messengers surrounded the house with an armed force then went in and captured a gentleman, who gave his name as Harris. He was, however, identified by several persons there as the deprived Bishop of Ely, Dr. Francis Turner. When he was questioned and asked to give an account of himself, the bishop said, very coolly, "that he had 110 other account to give, but that he came there to dine, for he did not live there, his lodgings were at Lincoln's Inn."
When he found that the government officials meant to detain him, he wrote to Secretary Vernon (who details this odd adventure in his letter to the Duke of Shrewsbury) and demanded his freedom, alleging "that he held a pass to go to France if he chose, but he had made no attempt to avail himself of it." Secretary Vernon and the other state minister, Windebanke (to whom the bishop likewise appealed), referred him to Sir William Trumbull. The oddity of the case was, that the Bishop of Ely knew as well as they did that the prime minister, Shrewsbury, was himself deep in plot, and was only watching the signs of the times to declare for King James II. The result was that Sir William Trumbull set the dauntless clerical Jacobite at liberty.
He retired to his lodgings in Lincoln's Inn, where he rested perdu, varying the monotony of seclusion by occasional visits to Moorpark, that fair oasis in the Southern Highlands of England, cultivated and improved by Sir William Temple. All the doings therein were completely isolated from the rest of the island, excepting the near town of Farnham, by the deep sands of the wild Surrey heaths. Here Francis Turner was received with great affection by that mysterious statesman, Sir William Temple. We can trace the Christian prelate's influence for good on the mind of Temple's protege, Jonathan Swift. His noble ode to Truth, written in memory of Sancroft, is endorsed as composed at the request of Dr. Turner, Bishop of Ely.
Turner's next abode was with his aged mother, near Bedford Kow, as we learn from a quaint letter to his brother, in which it appears that he was again reunited to his dearly-loved daughter. His care about the household goods Honest Tom had removed from the palace at Ely is amusing.
"MOST DEAR SIR,
"I salute you from my little new habitation, where I have lodged these two nights, but it will be two or three weeks ere we get into any settled condition. I think you were best superscribe to James, at Mrs. Turner's house, two doors beyond the sign of the Iwo Brewers in Bedford Bounds, by Bedford How. This is prolix, but I cannot shorten it. I thank'you for your last, and your promise to send up such of the goods as we need, viz., the least of the feather-beds, tfie best of tfte sarcenet quilts, the two stained quilts, the grey curtains, all the blankets. As for the other feather-bed and the hangings, pray give them house-room and use them.
"Jane cannot come at her note, nor hardly tell where it is mislaid. Yet she remembers several pairs of sheets for servants (four pairs she supposes), and tliese will be necessary. Your niece, as well as her father, is much concerned not to find her mother's pictures in miniature (except the crucifix) among all our things that are brought from Cambridge. Do me the kindness to inquire of the little gentlewoman (to whom I shall write my acknowledgments), and entreat her to recollect and help my aged memory, or rather your niece's forgetfulness, what is become of them, and where any of them were bestowed when taken down from hanging in your chamber at the old perch. Mr. Phipps was very punctual in the payment of the five guineas, for which God reward you. Mr. Mason accepts your charity with all his blushing modesty, yet with equal gratitude. Your goddaughter presents her duty and services. We are of opinion, since the weather is open, .the lumber may come time enough by water, but redouble your kindness by hastening these matters up to us. If I have anything worth imparting it shall come toward you another way.