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Not long afterwards followed the trial of the unhappy monarch. “After the purgation of the House," says his biographer, “upon new debate of the Treaty of the Isle of Wight, it was concluded dangerous to the realm, and destructive to the better interest, and the trial of the King was determined. He was sent for to Westminster, and a commission given forth to a court of high justice, whereof Bradshaw, Serjeant at Law, was President; and divers honourable persons of the Parliament, city, and army, nominated commissioners. Among them Colonel Hutchinson was one, who very much against his own will, was put in; but looking upon himself as called hereunto, durst not refuse it, as holding himself obliged by the covenant of God, and the public trust of his country reposed in him, although he was not ignorant of the danger he run, as the condition of things then was.”
As he voted for the death of the King, Mrs. H. justifies it in the following words: “As for Mr. Hutchinson, although he was very much confirmed in his judgment concerning the cause, yet here being called to an extraordinary action, whereof many were of several minds, he addressed himself to God, by prayer, desiring the Lord that if through any human frailty he were led into any error or false opinion, in these great transactions, he would open his eyes and not suffer him to proceed, but that he would confirm his spirit in the truth, and lead him by right enlightened çonscience ; and finding no check, but a confirmation in his conscience, that it was his duty to act as he did, he upon serious debate, both privately and in addresses to God, and in conferences with conscientious upright unbiassed persons, proceeded to sign the sentence
against the King. Although he did not then believe, but it might one day come to be again disputed among men; yet both he and others thought, they could not refuse it without giving up the people of God, whom they had led forth, and engaged themselves unto by the oath of God, into the hands of God's and their enemies; and therefore he cast himself upon God's protection, acting according to the dictates of a conscience, which he had sought the Lord to guide, and, accordingly, the Lord did signalize his favours to him.”
He soon saw through Cromwell's designs of private ambition, and was treated by him accordingly. He still however attended his duty in Parliament. “The only recreation he had during his residence at London was in seeking out all the rare artists he could hear of, and in considering their works in paintings, sculptures, gravings, and all other such curiosities, insomuch that he became a great virtuoso and patron of ingenuity. Being loath that the land should be disfurnished of all the rarities that were in it, whereof many were set to sale in the King's and divers noblemen's collections, he laid out about two thousand pounds in the choicest pieces of painting, most of which were bought out of the King's goods, which were given to his servants to pay their wages: to them the Colonel gave ready money, and bought so good pennyworths, that they were valued much more worth than they cost. These he brought down into the country, intending a very neat cabinet for them; and these, with the surveying of his buildings, and improving by enclosure the place he lived in, employed him at home, and, for a little time, hawks abroad; but when a very sober fellow,
that whole country
that never was guilty of the usual vices of that generation of men, rage and swearing, died, he gave over bis hawks, and pleased himself with music, and again fell to the practice of his viol, on which he played excellently well; and entertaining tutors for the diversion and education of his children in all sorts of music, he pleased himself in these innocent recreations during Oliver's mutable reign. As he had great delight, so he had great judgment, in music, and advanced his children's practice more than their tutors: he also was a great supervisor of their learning, and indeed himself a tutor to them all, besides all those tutors which he liberally entertained in his house for them. He spared not any cost for the education of both his sons and daughters in languages, sciences, music, dancing, and all other qualities befitting their father's house. He was himself their instructor in humility, sobriety, and all godliness and virtue, which he rather strove to make them exercise with love and delight, than by constraint. As other things were his delight, this only lie made his business, to attend the education of his chil. dren, and the government of his own house and town. This he performed so well that never was any man more feared and loved than he, by all his domestics, tenants, and hired workmen. He was loved with such a fear and reverence, as restrained all rude familiarity and insolent presumptions in those who were under him, and he was feared with so much love, that they all delighted to do his pleasure.”
" As for the public business of the country, he could not act in any office under the Protector's power, and therefore coufined himself to his own, which the
whole country about hini were grieved at, and would father come to him for council as a private neighbour, than to any of the men in power for greater help.”
" In the interim Cromwell and his army grew wauton with their power, and invented a thousand tricks of Government, 'which, when nobody opposed, they themselves fell to dislike and vary every day.”
Mrs. Hutchinson observes of Richard Cromwell, that “ he was so flexible to good councils, that there - tas nothing desirable in a Prince, which might not
have been hoped in him, but a great spirit and a just title, the first of which sometimes doth more hurt than good in a Sovereign, the latter would have bcen supplied by the people’s deserved approbation.”
During the events that immediately preceded the Restoration, “the Colonel was by many of his friends attempted every way to fall in with the King's interest, and often offered both pardon and preferment, if he could be wrought off from his party, whose danger was now laid before him; but they could no way move him."
He was chosen in the new parliament to represent the town of Nottingham, and on the twenty-fifth of April, 1660, went up to attend his duty there. On the 29th of May Charles the Second again entered London. They, who had acted a principal part in the late times, and who now sat in the house, were expected to make some recantation of their conduct. When it came to Colonel H.'s turn, he said, “ that for his acting in those days, if he had erred, it was the inexperience of his age, and the defect of his judgnient, and not the malice of his heart, which had ever prompted him to pursue the general advantage of his
country more than his own, and if the sacrifice of him could induce to the public peace and settlement, he should freely submit his life and fortunes to their dispose; that the vain expense of his age, and the great debts his public employments had run him into, as they were testimonies that neither avarice nor any other interest had carried him on, so they yielded him just cause to repent, that he ever forsook his own blessed quiet to embark in such a troubled sea, where he made shipwreck of all things, but a good conscience, and, as to that particular action of the King, he desired them to believe, that he had that sense of it, that befitted an Englishman, a Christian, and a gentleman."
The result of the house that day was to suspend Colonel Hutchinson and the rest from sitting in the house. But he was not one of the seven, who were excepted from mercy.
Yet afterwards although he was cleared both for life and estate in the House of Commons, not answering the court expectations in public recantations, and dissembled repentance, and applause of their cruelty to his fellows, the Chancellor was cruelly exasperated against him, and there were very high endeavours to have razed him out of the act of oblivion ; but Sir Allen Apsley's interest, and most fervent endeavours for him turned the scales in his favour."
He now retired into the country, but, while he saw his old compatriots suffering, he was ill satisfied with himself for accepting mercy.
He continued retired, all that winter, and the next summer; but it seems that his enemies continued to cherish their malice against him, and only watched for