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guessed where the heat of the action was, viz. in the field of Naseby, Com. Northampton : which accordingly, was thus performed : At midnight, soon after his death, the body (being first embalmed and wrapt in a leaden coffin) was in a hearse conveyed to the said field, Mr. Barkstead himself attending by order of his father, close to the hearse. Being come to the field, they found, about the midst of it, a grave dug about nine foot deep, with the green sod carefully laid on one side, and the mould on the other; in which the coffin being put, the grave was instantly filled
up, and the green sod laid exactly flat upon it, care being taken that the surplus mould should be clean removed. Soon after the like care was taken that the field should be entirely ploughed up, and it was sown three or four years successively with corn.' -Several other material circumstances, says the forementioned author, the said Mr. Barkstead (who now frequents Richard's Coffee House within Temple Bar) relates, too long to be here inserted.
“It is, I think pretty certain that Oliver's corpse was not really interred in Westminster Abbey; and consequently, that it was not his body that was afterwards taken up and hanged at Tyburn for his ; but whether this account of its being buried in Nasby field, or the other of its being sunk in the Thames, is most probable, I cannot say. What is said of the former we have seen ; and the other was related by a gentlewoman who attended Oliver in his last sickness, as we are told by the author of the History of England, during the reigns of the Royal House of Stuart. She told him that the day after the Protector's death, it was consulted how to dispose of his corpse; when it was concluded, that considering the malice of the cavaliers, it was most certain they would insult the body of their most dreadful enemy, if ever it should be in their power ; to prevent which it was resolved to wrap it up in lead, to put it on board a barge, and sink it in the deepest part of the Thames; which was undertaken and performed by two of his near relations, and some trusty soldiers, the following night."
I do not think it worth while to enter further into the subject. With many other hypotheses not saved from the gulph of oblivion by the pen of faithful historians, it will probably remain unsettled, and hardly be considered worthy of further investigation.
The form of this mound has been preserved, and the annexed illustration presents a fair view as seen in the approach to it from the chapel. A stone slab, with a copy of the epitaph inscribed on Dr. Watts's tomb, in Bunhill Fields, is placed upon it.
Repulsive to many as always will be the characters of those who, from the best, and it may even be from justifiable, motives, take an active part against the sovereign authority—the memory of Fleetwood ought to be rescued from the opprobrium which deservedly rests upon the names and characters of some of his contemporaries. Mr. Southey says, that
Fleetwood is known as one who was more remarkable for his ambition than his abilities; but, in Dr. Watts's words, his name is in honour among the churches,” and not undeservedly; for, that he was an amiable man in the relations of private life appears certain, and he gave proof of being a conscientious one, both in prosperity, and what to him were evil days. When fiscal persecution was at its worst height, the fine levied at
Stoke Newington upon Sir John Hartopp and others, (upon whom it is probable that a small portion of the burden fell) amounted to 6,000 or 7,000 pounds.*
Fleetwood's character must have possessed recommendations in the eyes of his enemies, and this is proved by the leniency with which he was treated after the Restoration, and by being allowed to retire to his seat at Newington, where he at last ended his days in peace, -and, as a quiet and inoffensive citizen, far more“ sinned against than sinning.
The burial of Fleetwood's wife is thus entered in the parish register of Stoke Newing
“Bridget Fleetwood, buried September
5th, 1681." The general died in 1692, and was buried in Bunhill Fields.
The far more interesting associations which attach themselves to Abney Park by its connexion with Isaac Watts were amongst the most important results of Fleetwood's residence here ; for Sir John Hartopp, whose family possessed large landed estates in the county of Leicester, married one of his daughters. This lady is stated not to have been the issue of his
* The epithet“ fiscal” is, perhaps, an inappropriate mode of describing the tyranny and injustice of taxing conscience, for the benefit of the hierarchy and priesthood of that age. The “ fiscal" nature of the persecution was the least atrocious part of the system.
marriage with Ireton's widow, but by a former wife, who was sole heiress of Thomas Smith, Esq. of Winston, in Norfolk. As instructor of Sir John Hartopp's children, Dr. Watts, then but a very young man, commenced his long connexion with Stoke Newington and this estate.*
ISAAC WATTS, Celebrated for his wisdom-revered for his piety—beloved for his constant but unostentatious charity-commanding the respect of the learned and unlearned—the companion of philosophers, and the guide of childhood—the instructor of youth, and the comforter of the afflicted, the aged, and the dying, — ISAAC Watts, the Poet, the Logician, and the Divine, deserves, and has obtained a more imperishable record, than the short biography of these humble pages can bestow; and it may be safely predicted that, whenever and whereever the English language shall be spokenthen and there will the innocent prattle of childhood, and the aspirations of old age, alike freshen the memory of his name.
Abney Park is consecrated, in the best and purest meaning of the term, to the minds and feelings of all intelligent Christians, by its having been the favoured residence of this gifted man,-for we have seen that, in the turret of the venerable mansion which adorns the ground, many of his works-literary and religious-were composed; some of the ancient trees which now throw their broad shadows over the tombs of the departed were planted by his hands; and here, after a life of labour, and almost constant physical pain, and never-ceasing endeavours to do good, he closed his eyes in peace. To such a man may be safely applied the beatitude of the Apocalypse :
* “ Came to Sir John Hartopp's, to be a tutor to his son at Newington, Oct. 15, 1696.”—Dr. Watts's Diary.
“ Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, for they rest from their labours, and THEIR WORKS DO FOLLOW
It would be an omission, almost inexcusable, to close the notice of the historical and other interesting associations of the Abney Park Cemetery, without some allusion to the life and works of this excellent man. The author cannot but avow, what would else be at once discerned, his utter incompetency to present an original criticism upon the subject, although he has endeavoured to prepare himself for the task, by a careful perusal of the various biographies which have been published. The principal of these are the composition of Dr. Johnson, forming one of the “ Lives of the Poets ;” the work of Dr. Gibbons, the friend and contemporary of Watts; a brief account published by the late Mr. Palmer, of Hackney; and the more finished and comprehensive work of the Rev. Mr. Milner, the author of the “ Seven Churches of Asia."
The work of Mr. Palmer was intended, in