Diary of Isabella Twysden aka Saunders 1645 1651

1643 Trial and Execution of the Hothams

1645 Execution of Archbishop William Laud

1645 Battle of Naseby

Diary of Isabella Twysden aka Saunders 1645 1651 is in Diaries.

Diary of Isabella Twysden 1645 1651: Introduction





THIS Diary of Lady Twysden's is in the British Museum, Additional Manuscripts numbered 34169; it was sold at Sotheby's to the Museum in 1892.

Isabella was the third and youngest daughter of Sir Nicholas Saunder (79) of Nonsuch, near Swell in Surrey. Born in 1605, she married in 1635 and died in 1657. Sir Roger (44) was thirty-seven at the time of his marriage.

Sir Roger's mother (68) liked to be attended by a young lady in waiting, and Isabella Saunder (37) was performing this function in 1633, possibly because her father (79) had ruined himself over the New River, Isabella inherited the heraldic achievements of the Saunder family, as her only brother died unmarried, but was heir to nothing else.

Sir Nicholas had been a partner with Sir Hugh Myddleton (82) when in 1607-13 he carried out the New River Scheme for providing London with water. Straitness of circumstances seems to have made Lady Isabella very careful over household management and keeping accounts.

Sir Roger was arrested in April 1642 and imprisoned by the Parliament for his share in supporting the Petition of Kent, which asked that all things should be done according to law. His estates were sequestrated and Lady Isabella was granted a fifth part of the incomings for her maintenance at Roydon Hall. His Journal is printed in the first four volumes of Archceologia Cantiana. In Additional MSS. 34161 there is a letter written by Sir Roger, dated May 1642.

"My dear hart, I inquire by you of what state the derre are, and wonder much they are so backward they thriving most in such weather. I thank thee for thy sugar cakes my good hart which will be very useful to me. I cannot enough commend my brother Thomas usage of me so full of love and care as is imaginable, farewell again and again, my own dear hart whom I never knew what it was to be parted from tyl now"..

In the East Peckham Register there is an entry: " 1639 Dame Isabella Twisden not hauing Mr health and being a sickly woman, albeit this time of Lent abstinence fro flesh is to be used yet for my part I hold it tolerable for hir to eate flesh: Ita testat. Francis Worrall Vic: " The Vicar was among the many clergy ejected under the Long Parliament in 1644. A local grumble was that the parishioners complained that sermons were too infrequent. On the Monument to Sir Roger in East Peckham Church, erected by his son in 1689 there is the following inscription to his wife:—.

Uxorem duxit Isabellam Mcolai Sanderi Equitis Aurati in Comitatu Surriae FUiam Natu Minimam: Feminam Selectissimis et Sanctissimis moribus preaditam, Quae ut Marito diu oppresso et incarerato consuleret, magnos turn Labores turn Incommoda, rara patientis, prudentiaque subiit. Et tandem sicut pie vixit, maxima pietate etiam xi die mensis Martii Anno Dni ad computationem Anglicanam 1656/7 aetatis vero suae 52, vitam finivit, atque Mo juxta Maritum sepulta jacet.

On the tombstone itself the inscription is Isabella Twysden, Quae obiit XI die, condita XVIII die, mensis Martii. Hie expectat resurrectionem. MDCLVI. On the stone, in the pavement of the Twysden chapel, there are the matrices of an inscription and three shields.

Lady Twysden died in Sir Roger's little house at Westminster, and was carried to East Peckham for burial. Their issue was three sons and three daughters, the eldest being twenty-one when she died.

When the Diary begins in January 1645, the Civil War was at its height; in June of that year the battle of Naseby was fought. This battle destroyed the King's army in the field, and within another twelve months the garrisons in castle and town were subdued. The city of Oxford capitulated on June 24th, 1646; The Diary is that of a lady living in troubled times, her husband imprisoned, the estate despoiled; leading men in the State brought to execution. The first entry is that Sir John Hotham and his son were executed on Tower Hill. Sir John Hotham was a cousin of Sir Hugh Cholmley the husband of Sir Roger's sister. A later entry is " cap: Brown Bushill was beheaded on Tower Hill by the parle for adhering to the King". Brown Bushill was a sea captain, his mother being Dorothy Cholmley. Even after the Restoration under Charles II there was a family tragedy, Sir Thomas Twisden, Sir Roger's brother, was one of the judges who sentenced Sir Harry Vane to death, his own cousin and near neighbour. They were anxious times of house searchings and imprisonments, and none knew what might come next. On the tombstone of Sir Hugh Cholmley's wife, Elizabeth Twysden Lady Cholmley, are the words " she was very beautifull, of great injenuity a discerning judg* in great dangers had a courage above her sex of a most noble nature compassionate to all in distresse ". Sir Hugh Cholmley mentioned frequently in the Diary is called " my bro. cho"..

In 1611 Robert In 1633 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland 1600-1649 known as Charles I with M.De St Antoine. Around 1637 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland 1600-1649.

The times must have been particularly trying to Sir Roger Twysden, a moderate who had to watch extremists go to war, a supporter of law who had to watch Parliament obtain its power by the use of the sword. There was also in religious affairs unsettlement. Sir Roger was a supporter of the Reformation and wrote at length in the " Historical! Vindication " and in letters to his neighbour Thomas Whetenhall at Peckham Place. To Thomas Whetenhall he wrote against " The papall supreamacy" and " Transubstantion". But equally he was against the Presbyterianism of Parliament and their abolition of episcopacy in the " Root and Branch Bill ". In a letter printed in Arch. Cant., Vol. IV, he writes after the death of his wife: " Never man had a better wife, never children a better mother".

Serving God after the auntient manner of the English Church as it was reformed by Queen Eliz. and King James. Sir Roger had no hand in the ejection of the Vicar of Bast Peckham, the petition to the Committee of the House of Commons is endorsed with the signature of Sir Edward Bering, the member for Maidstone. There is an inscription on a window in the church in seventeenth century writing: " Here stoode the wicked image of S. Mychael a waying of soules by the lawe of Quene Elizabeth according to God's holy word is taken awaye". The wicked image was presumably removed by the successor of the ejected vicar, and its removal would hardly meet the approval of Sir Roger. The church is dedicated to St. Michael, and the image was apparently a figure in stained glass. The phrase " according to God's holy word " was a favourite one with the Parliamentarians in 1643 when adopting the Scotch Covenant. Parliament made promises of a thorough Reformation " according to the Word of God ". In the dates recorded in the Diary the years are reckoned from Easter to Easter. Mr. C. H. Dudley Ward very kindly gave me permission to make use of his Family of Twysden and Twisden, when compiling this paper. I have also made use of various MSS. in the British Museum, the Dictionary of National Biography, and S. R. Gardiner's History of the Great Civil War.

Diary of Isabella Twysden 1645

01 Jan 1645. The first of Janua Mr Jo: hothum (35) was beheaded on tower hill.

02 Jan 1645. The 2 of Janu Sr Jo: hothum (55) (father to Mr hothum) was beheaded on tower hill.

10 Jan 1645. The 10 of Janu: my lo: of canterbury (71) was beheaded on tower hill and was buried at barking church.

In 1631 Daniel Mijtens Painter 1590-1648. Portrait of William Laud Archbishop of Canterbury 1573-1645. Around 1636 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of William Laud Archbishop of Canterbury 1573-1645. Wearing a black Chimere over his white Rochet.

30 Jan 1645. the meeting over uxbridg about professions was the 30 of Janu.

27 Jan 1645. mr white the churc man about ministeres, died the 27 of Ja: and was buried the 30. in the tempell church.

NOTE. Mr. John. White was chairman of the Committee of the House of Commons to remove scandalous ministers, which was appointed in 1640. A charge of popery or of loyalty to the King (44) was sufficient to secure ejection.

In 1611 Robert In 1633 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland 1600-1649 known as Charles I with M.De St Antoine. Around 1637 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland 1600-1649.

08 Feb 1645. the 8 febri, I. came to peckham great with child, and ride all the waye a hors back, and I thank god had no hurt.

NOTE. She rode on a pillion behind George Stone the manservant, and after Charles's birth she never regained her former strength. In the East Peckham Register Charles's Baptism is dated March 7th.

06 Mar 1645. the 6 of march 1644 between one and 2 in the morning I was brought a bed of a boye, the 7 he was chrissened and named charles, the gossops were my bro: Tho: and Era: Twysden and my la: astlye, Jamme stode for Mr. he was borne at peckham being thursday.

11 Mar 1645. the 11 of march there was the terriblest wind, that had ben knowne sence ever the like, it did a great dele of hirt.

03 Apr 1645. the 3 of aprill a littell before 3 in the morning my sister Twysden was brought a bed of a girle at maling, it was chrissened the 5 and named Ann, without gossops, being thursday 1644/5.

13 Apr 1645. the 13 aprill there begane a rising in Kent about mersam and thereabouts, but it was presently laid being but a few.

24 Apr 1645. the 24 nurse Jane went to London.

21 Apr 1645. the 21 Sr mills Lissys tropes came in to Kent to Senack for there paye the trane bands was rased agane to goe against them, they were sent back with promises of there paye.

01 Apr 1645. the first of aprill nurs Jane had 12d for a month nursing of charls the month was not up till 2 dayes after.

14 Jun 1645. the 14 of June Sr Tho: farfax had a great victory at nasby where he took 12 peces of ornance 4000 foote sholders, and the Sc. letters.

In the handwriting of Sir Roger:

the 27 Mr Not in ye morning shewed me to Mr King to whom consigned me a prisoner then to him.

28 Jun 1645. the 28 June there was brought in to Lambeth hous from the atillirer yard 680 pore prisoners, part of those which were taken at nasby.

my part in Stockenbury wood for my 5th part, July 2 1645 was 74 cord and 6 feet and 2 load of turners timber and 2200 bavines.

In the handwriting of Sir Roger:

Mdm. when Sedry went I owed hym for 2 weekes as he sayd chamber rent wch had beene 12s a weeke and was to be payd to Sedry of this he was to have half, vide 12s wch Mr Not payd. he payd him and a 4th part of ye fee (he asked four marke for ye fee) but I would pay but after 2 so I payed him ye mony wch hee sayd he had payd Sedry for me vide 12 shillings for ye mony he sayd he payd Mr Sedry for me and ten shillings for fer or Entrance mony and this I payd in ye presence of my wife and ye gyrl 7 July.

the 15 July 1645 the earle of Summerset died.

Around 1628 John Hoskins Painter 1590-1664 (copy from original). Portrait of Robert Carr 1st Earl Somerset 1587-1645.

My nan went with my Servt whitfield into the contry to blechinly July 17.

the 24 of July my sister yelverton went to peckham.

24 July 1645 I had a letter from my sis war telling me my bro. napers death about 6 week before and harry naper like to dye.

the 12 august nan came home from my ser whit:

the 13 august Sr goirge bunklye left this world for a better at 3 o'clock in the morning 1645 and was buried that night in that church at Lambeth.

nan went the 14 to Mr harrys in Surry, august.

the 14 august Sr christofer yelverton (43) went to peckham.

the 21 august 1645 major palet about 8 o'clock at night departed this Me a right honest good man he was, and was buried the 22 in the church at Lambeth.

the 9 Sep Mr Strod (47), on of the five members, a parlement man, died.

the 11 of Sep 1645 prince rupert (25) delivered up bristoll on treaty to Sr Tho: farfax (33) for the parlement.

Around 1642. William Dobson Painter 1611-1646. Portrait of the Prince Rupert, Colonel John Russell 1620-1687 and Colonel William Murray. Before 1656 Gerrit van Honthorst Painter 1592-1656. Portrait of Prince Rupert. Around 1672 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of Prince Rupert. Around 1680 Simon Pietersz Verelst 1644-1710. Portrait of Prince Rupert.

the 18 Sep: my bro (43): and sister yelverton came from peckham agane to London.

the 12 Sep: sary Stiles went away.

the 26 nell duck came up to Lambeth to be my maid.

the 12 octo, was the first day I had the third day ague.

the 7 Nov the 20d begane to the woman for.

the 24 nov: my sister warham went from London to goe home to dorset there she came to London on milmas day before.

the 6 desem: the man had for the woman 20d 2 weeks being then due.

the 10 desem: my lord and lady of Kirry went away from Lambeth.

the 14 desem my nan came home from Mr harry.