Category Archives: Mabbott

Life continues

Wow, it has been half a year since my last post.  Well, life gets in the way sometimes.  It isn’t like I haven’t been doing a lot of writing anyway.  In short, my wife is pregnant and we are expecting in about a month, we bought a house about a month ago, and I have been working furiously on my dissertation to try to get as much done as possible.  It won’t be be done before the baby arrives, but I just have one chapter, an introduction, and revisions left. So there is that.

I recently (two days ago) made a rather significant discovery.  I’ll have more on that in the future, but for now I’ll just say that Mabbott made a very serious attempt to control the news industry during his career as licenser.  I would only call if half successful, but it was brilliant nonetheless.  And it really pissed off Henry Walker.

So I now have chapters 1, 2, 3, and 5 completed.  I am currently working on the chapter focusing on the Moderate and some of the other parliamentary newsbooks, looking for signs of news sharing or anything else that might be of interest.  This is somewhat worn territory, but since my interests are more specific, it will hopefully still yield something useful.  I am trying to track Mabbott’s political and career development in the period.

I will try to post something of what I’ve done for the other chapters in the next week or two.  Maybe I’ll review some of the articles I’ve read recently.  I had to do some thinking about the public sphere and its relation to my research, so that might interest somebody out there.

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Filed under Henry Walker, Mabbott, Public Sphere, Uncategorized

The unfortunate Moss family

This is the story of how I depressed myself one day:

The other day I was trying to track down Elizabeth Moss.  The Moss(e) family was connected to William Clarke and Gilbert Mabbott, though the relationship is still unclear to me.  One HMC editor thought that Clarke may have been adopted into the Moss family, though there isn’t enough proof for that kind of assertion.  Certainly, Clarke does receive a letter from someone he calls “Mother Mosse.”

I found that there were a John and Elizabeth Moss who were having children, also named John and Elizabeth, in the later 1640s and early 1650s, this would have made them around the same age as Gilbert and William.  The baptisms were held at St. Margaret’s, the same place that Mabbott would have his children baptized.

My next piece of evidence was a letter (29 October 1650) from Mabbott’s and Clarke’s brother-in-law, Hilliard Kympton, to Clarke.  He said that he was “from my hart sorry for Mr. Moss” and that Elizabeth was “like a woman distracted” and a “miserable wretch.”  He then says the kinds of things that a person says when something terrible had happened.  At this point, I was excited by the mystery, and dug into my materials to see what I could find.

From there I found in an HMC volume two letters, drafted by Clarke, in which Elizabeth was trying to negotiate with the royalists for the release of her husband.  They were dated 1 January 1651.  Okay, so it looks like she was upset because John had been captured by royalists.  It is also clear that Elizabeth and Clarke had been trying to arrange some kind of prisoner transfer, but Cromwell decided that Moss was not worth the trade offered.  Elizabeth then tried to offer money.

I’m still not sure what exactly John Moss did, but it was apparent from the above letters that he was not part of the army, but he was connected to the war effort.  I found in the CSPD that there had been a John Mosse who brought some news to the Committee of Both Houses about the capture of Col. Powell.  At this point, I wonder about this whole family group.  Since I know that Hilliard was also involved with the New Model, it’s clear that there was a whole series of connected families that made their livings as civilian support for the military.  I guess I shouldn’t find that surprising, but I do.

Now I finally find the last piece of the puzzle.  On 25 June 1652, Elizabeth Mosse received £50 from the Council of State, “her husband having lost his life in the service.”  It looks like John was captured by royalists, held for negotiations, and when Clarke and Elizabeth couldn’t convince Cromwell to make a trade and couldn’t put together enough money to make it worthwhile, the royalists executed him.

For some reason, I just keep imagining how painful that must have been.  Can you imagine?  So much anger and pain and guilt.  I don’t know why, I just can’t shake it.  I think it might be because of that letter by Hilliard Kympton.  I just imagine how distraught Elizabeth must have been.  Then, she had the hope of some kind of prisoner exchange. Everything was going to be alright!  Then Cromwell said no, and they didn’t have the resources to pay the ransom.  It’s just awful.

Well, now I’ve gone and depressed myself again.  On a more positive note, Kympton married a Susan Moss, who, I’m guessing, was the offspring of John and Elizabeth.  However, since I know that Kympton remarried once, if not twice, Susan probably didn’t last all that long either.  I still have more looking to do in the parish registers, but at least I’ve figured the broad outlines of the Moss family tragedy.  Now I need a drink.

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Filed under Mabbott, New Model, William Clarke

Censorship as language

Sorry for the delay.  I recently finished a little foray into a series of censorship events (let’s just go with that for a term) in 1645-6.  I will try to sum up.

To set the scene, parliament, the Scots, and the king are trying to come to some kind of peace.  Unfortunately, everybody wants something different, and all are keen to justify their behavior and demands to the larger public.  In a series of pamphlets, the Scots Commissioners tried to make their case.  For the most part, these pamphlets were made up of the Scots Commissioners’ own papers.  Parliament responded by making gestures through censorship. When it finally succeeded in censoring an entire Scot pamphlet, it appeased the Commissioners by making another gesture.

Parliament had a difficult time trying to silence the Commissioners.  On one occasion, it made an inquiry into an offending pamphlet clearly published with the Commissioners’ consent, only to let the matter drop.  Without punishing anyone, parliament was trying to make its displeasure clear.

On another occasion, parliament ordered the preface and introduction to a Scot pamphlet burnt, condemning David Buchanan, a friend of the Commissioners and author of the preface as well as another condemned pamphlet.  Buchanan was relatively safe to attack, but the Scots managed to smuggle him out of England in time anyway.  The pamphlet also contained 3 of the Scots’ papers, which were left unscathed by the flames.  Parliament managed to avoid an open conflict with the Scots by not burning their papers, but successfully conveyed its displeasure with the pamphlet.  As well, parliament seems to have intentionally avoided carrying out a further inquiry into the authorship of the introduction after it discovered that it was likely authored by either the Commissioners’ secretary or the earl of Lauderdale.  Parliament thus sidestepped another complication by avoiding knowingly condemning a work by the Commissioners themselves.  This was certainly a more threatening gesture, but fell far short of censoring the Scots.

In one final move, parliament managed to block the publication of some of the earl of Loudoun’s speeches in a conference with parliament.  The Scots were offended and made a few attempts to retrieve the seized pamphlets.  Parliament could not return the pamphlets, but not wishing to force a breach with the Scots, appear to have tried to mollify them with a further act of censorship.  This time, it brought in Henry Walker for publishing a pamphlet that had particularly offended the Scots.  Walker claimed that he had received Mabbott’s permission for publication, and parliament ordered him to bring in proof.  As far as I can tell, that is where the matter ended.  Unable to satisfy the Scots’ demand for the return of their papers, parliament made another gesture, this time toward censoring an offender against the Scots, again without punishing anyone.

There is certainly a language to all of this.  I find it useful to remember that censorship was a tool in the early modern government’s toolbox which could be used for many purposes.  Here, it was a soft sort of diplomacy.  It also carried some important ramifications for some of the publishers, printers, and authors involved, their allegiances, and Mabbott, but I think that is a story for another time.

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Filed under censorship, Henry Walker, Long Parliament, Mabbott, Print Culture, Samuel Pecke

Skippon, Bethan, Mabbott, and the Provost Marshall

I will have something up on Tolmie soon, but first I thought I would discuss a little problem I have finally solved.  On Aug. 31, 1648, Mabbott requested further (but unrecorded) powers for suppressing illegal printing.  Most sources report that Parliament was happy with his suggestions, and the matter was promptly referred to a committee.  On Sept. 13, the Commons, following a report from Derby House, appointed Capt. Francis Bethan as Provost Marshall with the power, among others, to suppress pamphlets.  Historians have assumed that Bethan was given the powers that Mabbott had requested for himself.  The insinuation is that this was a repudiation of Mabbott as licenser.  This interpretation has never set entirely well with me.

For starters, nowhere do we have any indication that Bethan was granted the powers that Mabbott had requested.  The only suggestion that the two were connected in that way comes from Mercurius Elencticus, a royalist newsbook, which reported that Mabbott, “upon second Thoughts and the secret Checks and Twitches his Conscience gave him, he declined the Imployment,” and thus it was granted to Bethan.  J. B. Williams (Muddiman) bought this line in toto.  As nearly as I can tell, this is the only source that puts Mabbott’s request and Bethan’s appointment together, but Elencticus‘s specious claim lived on through Williams and into the modern historiography.  Fortunately, no one else that I have seen seems to believe that Mabbott’s conscience kept him from taking the job.

In case you are wondering why you’ve never heard of Bethan before, it would probably be because he came out of nowhere.  I have no idea who he is, and apparently neither did the newsbook editors and parliamentary clerks who gave several different versions of his name: Bethen, Bethan, Betham, Bethum, Bethel…  I suppose I could understand the first four, but Bethel?  That one was from Pragmaticus.

There is good reason that most contemporaries did not comment on the connection between Mabbott’s proposals and Bethan’s appointment.  Suppressing pamphlets was one of the smaller aspects of Bethan’s commission.  The order from the Commons on Sept. 13, following the report of Richard Knightley from the Derby House committee, read:

Ordered, That Francis Bethan have a Commission granted unto him to be Provost Marshal, for Apprehension of such as are within Twenty Miles of London, without the Liberties of the City, against the Ordinances of Parliament; and of other dangerous Persons that have listed, or are listing themselves: And that the said Provost Marshal have Power to apprehend and surprise all such Person or Persons as sell, sing, or publish, Ballads or Books, scandalous to the Parliament, or their Proceedings; and to suppress Playhouses, and apprehend the Players; and keep the said Persons apprehended in Custody; and carry them to the Committees of the Militias of the several Counties and Places where they shall be apprehended; to take Course with them, according to Ordinance of Parliament: The said Power to continue for Three Months.

As you can see, there isn’t really any indication that he was being granted whatever powers it was that Mabbott had requested.  Moreover, according to the original report in the CSPD from Derby House on Aug. 7, Bethan was originally only going to be recommended for the former part of the commission, rounding up malignants around London.  The responsibility for plays, ballads, and books was added at some later date.  Bethan’s ultimate appointment as Provost Marshall on Sept. 13 had clearly been intended, originally, for a separate purpose, beyond the suppression of pamphlets.  One also has to wonder about the delay from Derby House’s decision on Aug. 7 and its report on Sept. 13 (and the Lords’ concurrence on the 23rd).

I would argue that, rather than a repudiation of Mabbott, Bethan’s commission was an attempt to buttress Independent control in the metropolis.  The explanation lies in Skippon and the City.

Major-General Skippon had been in charge of the security of London and the surrounding areas.  While it would at first seem that Bethan’s duties would overlap with Skippon’s and thus undermine him, Skippon would never have agreed to his appointment were that the likely outcome.  Skippon was on the Derby House Committee, which was no longer under Presbyterian control, and was present on the day that the committee decided on its recommendation.

Skippon had also been called on to help suppress suppress stages and plays in Middlesex alongside the Committee of the militia of Westminster (CJ, July 26, 1648).  Considering the seemingly ad hoc nature of Bethan’s commission, it appears that Bethan was being enrolled to help Skippon in performing his various duties.  Defense of London (and its morals, evidently) required more than one man, especially when City government had so decisively turned away from him.

In the same way, Bethan was also to aid Mabbott, who was clearly incapable of halting unlicensed publication and was indeed asking for further powers.  While this could have been an attempt to undermine Mabbott, Skippon’s alliance with the army would have made him and Mabbott allies.  It is more likely that this was an attempt to strengthen Independent authority around an increasingly royalist London.

The fact that Derby House did not convey its request until Sept. 13, two weeks after the successful conclusion of the siege of Colchester, indicates that the move was not solely concerned with royalist invasion.  Rather, it would likely have been a result of the increasingly hostile mood in the capital (partly a result of the influx of royalists leaving Colchester).  Bethan’s official charge as Provost Marshall was “for the Safeguard of the Parliament.”  This is perhaps why the Commons and Lords agreed to the recommendation, but were very slow to go about it.  The Lords likely held out hope that Bethan would be more congenial, as their very next order of business after confirming Bethan was to order an inquiry into the authorship of the Moderate.  It is almost enough to make wonder if Bethan was chosen expressly because he was a nobody; it was not immediately obvious for whom he would be working.

There is certainly some guesswork in the story so far, but I think that it is plain enough that Bethan’s appointment was part of something much larger than Gilbert Mabbott (who would have imagined such a thing?).  Because of Skippon’s seat at Derby House, I have assumed that Bethan’s appointment had his blessing.  Parliament’s own fears about insurrection rather than invasion drove them to ultimately accept Bethan as Provost Marshall.  I argue that the move was meant to give support to both Skippon and Mabbott in keeping London and its presses in line.

Why devote this much space to something which no one has ever really cared enough to examine before?  Well, for my own purposes, it is useful for further explaining Mabbott’s career.  More generally, it is a reminder to those of us who have become so specialized in certain brands of history (print culture, in my case) that we need to remember to consider that print was only one front in a larger political and military battle.  Having only examined Bethan’s appointment in a print context, it certainly looked like an affront to Mabbott, but by looking at the larger political context, it was clear that it was part of an Independent push to control the capital.  The appointment of Bethan as Provost Marshall ultimately did very little to effect the outcome of the conflict, but it is a useful example of Independent strategy as well as of one of the ephemeral, omnipresent, miniature political battles that made up the parliamentary war effort.

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I guess Christmas break is over

“Don’t just say ‘I love you’ — engrave it free on any new iPod and add signature gift wrapping for just $5.00.”

I saw that on the Apple store site earlier today and decided that something is wrong with the world.  With that said, I’m typing this on a mac, and my engraved iPod is resting snugly in my bag.  However, my iPod is engraved with: “He’s doing it.”  It’s a reference to The Graduate.  If you all recall the scene, Benjamin was breaking up Elaine’s wedding, and Elaine’s father was getting up to stop him, but Mrs. Robinson stopped him and whispered: “he’s doing it.”  The line doesn’t make a lot of sense, and for a year or two as an undergrad, the correct answer, when someone was doing something you didn’t understand, was “he’s doing it.”

I apologize for the very long absence, but I am sure that no one is reading this blog any longer anyway.  However, I will say that I am finishing up Murray Tolmie’s The Triumph of the Saints right now and will have something to say about it soon.

Does anyone know anything about John Mabbatt/Mabbitt, one of the leaders of a Particular Baptist congregation in London in the 1640s?  I ran across him in Tolmie, and my advisor gave me some advice on places to look for further info on him (which I haven’t done yet), but I was curious if anyone knew something about him.  I am in the process of ordering some copies of the parish registers from Mabbott’s home parish to see if perhaps he was related in some way.  It would certainly explain some of Mabbott’s later connections and activities.  From what I have seen of the registers already, the Mabbotts back in Nottingham tended to spell their names more like John than Gilbert, so I am hopeful.

I also have a hunch that a pamphlet I found recently was actually written by Mabbott.  I can’t be too certain, as there is no evidence beyond my hunch, but the author sounds a lot like the editor of the Moderate and it was published by the same publisher.

Not much else comes to mind to report.  I’ve been doing some work, playing Assassin’s Creed 2 (which is fantastic, and it’s been fun to meet Lorenzo de Medici, climb around the Duomo and the Doge’s palace, and check out the view from San Gimignano’s many towers), and otherwise staying out of trouble.  I was back East for winter break, which was interesting.  Philadelphia was freezing cold, and I learned that 19º F is physically painful, especially with wind.  I spent some time in North Carolina as well, which I will now heartily recommend to everyone.  It is a beautiful state.

I am now teaching Writing 2 for the second time.  I assigned a product test experiment for the science unit and got back some interesting results.  I now know that some gummi worms stretch much farther than others, that Bounty is certainly the best paper towel to buy (in three separate experiments), and that Kirkland trash bags hold on average 2 more pounds than Glad bags without breaking.  Oh yes, and which of three waterproof mascaras work best.  I find that one a little less useful, but I’m sure someone else would be very interested.

Anyway, I promise further thoughts on the Civil Wars and composition pedagogy in the near future.  Until then, stay classy, planet Earth.

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Dissertating and Microfilming

Isn’t that how everyone spends their days?  I am currently scanning in newsletters from the microfilm reels of the Clarke Papers, and I have been working more on one of my dissertation chapters.  I can not believe how slowly the writing goes.  Didn’t I used to write faster than this?

Right now I’m working on a section discussing Mabbott’s role as agent for the army.  In this particular chapter I am trying to steer away from discussing his licensing duties, though it will come up, in favor of more usual kinds of agent work.  Most agents were not press licensers, after all.  However, even this can be subsumed into the larger function of London agents, which seems to have primarily been the control of information.

I am also surprised at the lack of work on lobbying during the period.  This isn’t to say that it has been ignored, certainly not, but I am looking for a particular kind of lobbying, more akin to what historians like Dean and Green have found in the Tudor parliaments.  I want to see who bribed whom how much and to do what.  If anybody knows work on this for the Stuart parliaments or the Commonwealth, and not about men-of-business or undertakers, I’d really appreciate it.  Lenthall was notoriously bribeable (I’m not sure if that is a word, and if it is, that it isn’t mispelled), and considering the number of famous clerks from the period, like the Frosts, Scobell, Brown, Elsynge, Thurloe, Rushworth, etc., it seems like there should be more on this kind of matter.  I’m sure they weren’t any harder to bribe than their sixteenth-century counterparts, and they could probably offer even more interesting services.

Anywho, I think I’ll take a break now.  It’s been an exhausting couple of weeks, and we are throwing a party tomorrow, so I’ll need my energy.  It will be, for reasons we won’t get into, 1996-themed.  You wouldn’t believe how much of the 90s was encapsulated in music released in 1996.

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Notable Occurences and more on agents

The new Carnivalesque is up at Mercurius Politicus!  Surprisingly, my previous post is actually mentioned!  Whooo!  My thanks to Politicus for hosting the Carnivalesque and for the handful of people who read this blog.

Also mentioned in the Carnivalesque is this article over at Got Medieval.  Evidently, Johannes Gutenberg found a printing press after he tripped over a stone tablet.  A panel of experts, indeed.

I have continued my look into agenting (I don’t know if that’s a real word; if it isn’t, I hereby call dibs).  I’ve been skimming through Knowler’s 18th-century volumes of Strafford’s correspondence for clues as to his relationship with William Raylton, clerk of the council chamber and later the clerk of the privy seal.  As J. F. Merritt points out in her chapter in her edited book The Political World of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, 1621-1641, Raylton was a very key component in Strafford’s communication with London.  In fact, he seems to have performed very similar functions to Mabbott with some his patrons.  I still have to look up more secondary literature on Strafford, but I think this is definitely something useful.

I have been trying to formulate a slightly more vertical version of political history.  What I am doing still focuses on the center, Westminster and Whitehall, and I am still interested in what the grands were up to, but I also think it is necessary to look at some of the lesser known functionaries in these places.  Men like Mabbott and Raylton were there, and provided important unofficial functions, but very little record of these activities remain.  All we have are snippets, usually in other people’s correspondence.  However, we need to imagine a political world in which the machinery had its own minds and motives.  These men were official clerks, but also were in the pocket of others.  When grands conducted business in front of these people, they had to keep that in mind.  Some of them, like Mabbott, seem to have had more mercenary tendencies, while others may have been loyal to one patron.  Nonetheless, it does add another texture to the goings on in Westminster.  We need to remember that these scribes were not just cogs in the government machine, but were powerful players in their own right, and they had a great deal of information pass under or around them every day.  They were likely better informed than many of the more famous players.  Peter Beal, in In Praise of Scribes, remarks that scribes were singled out as unnaturally powerful for their humble social status.  Perhaps we should take the contemporary complaint a bit more seriously.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for today.  See you all next time!

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Mabbott in London

Hello everyone, I apologize for my long disappearance from the world.  I have been busy, suffice it to say, and more recently I have been very distracted by my city burning to the ground.  It sounds like the fire crews are starting to win the battle, and the weather finally broke, but it’s been a very miserable few days.

I have been working steadily on putting together one of my dissertation chapters.  I don’t have anything on paper yet, but I’m getting the itch to start writing, so I thought I would start here.  This chapter will be on Mabbott as a London Agent.

Old Gilbert is mostly known for his role in the news industry, and perhaps that is his major significance, but my research on him indicates that his main occupation was as a London agent to a variety of patrons, including a handful of armies (Fairfax’s, Cromwell’s, and Monck’s, and I do think these need to be divided), the Hull corporation, Leith, and a dozen or so royalists.  There is undoubtedly more, but that’s all I can find.  Some of these I do not have very much on other than intriguing tidbits, and on the rest I only have about half the story, but I think put together they tell an interesting tale.

Mabbott had been a parliamentary clerk, he was well connected in the army, and he was “fitt for many imployments” (my new dissertation title).  All of these things made him a very useful middle man: he knew most of the important movers and shakers and he knew how to get things done.  He just never shows up in any of the official records.

I have been having a hard time finding a framework in which to work out the history.  I plan to look at the news culture aspects, mainly by trying to understand his relationship to the Hull fathers.  Ian Atherton and some others have painted the nature of the relationship between newsmonger and recipient as almost being forced into a patron-client relationship in order to avoid some of the dangers inherent in disseminating news.  This worked its effects on the content of the letter, tending toward very little glossing or explanation of the news, and the placed the two parties in a more readily recognized social relationship.  Thus, the newsletter writer was made the client, and Mabbott as client, could do a lot of favors for his patrons.  At some point, people seem to have figured out that if someone had good enough connections to get the news, he might just be able to do other things, too.

However, a lot of Mabbott’s work as agent did not have much to do with news.  He was used to prosecute business in parliament and the protectorate.  This is the part I am having difficulty developing.  I have found a number of articles on the London guilds lobbying parliament and crown in the Tudor period, but I haven’t had much luck beyond that.  Derek Hirst’s article, “Making Contact: Petitions and the English Republic,” makes a persuasive  case that in the 1650s, interested parties increasingly turned to middle men to pass their petitions on to the appropriate committee or official.  Mabbott would have been exactly one of those middle men (I’ve got evidence of him doing exactly that).

The problem is that I can’t seem to find a larger historiography on the London Agent as part of the political culture.  Obviously, there had been London agents for a very long time before the 1640s, but I’m not sure where to look.  The likely forerunners would have been at Charles’s court during the Personal Rule and around the parliaments in the 1620s.  The parliaments transacted an enormous amount of private business, there surely must have been agents acting behind the scenes.  I think I’m on to something here, because as I get deeper and deeper into it, the London agent seems to have been a necessary if rather invisible part of the political culture, but I don’t have other examples to look to.  If anyone knows of anything discussing either the agent as a concept or someone who acted as an agent, I would greatly appreciate a point in the right direction.

Anyway, that’s my post for now, I will hopefully have some further thoughts to post in the next few days.  Also, I recently rewatched “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and I’ve been laughing about Paul Rudd singing “the weather outside is weather” for the last hour.  I just thought I’d mention it.

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Forecast is sunny and warm

I am back in comfortable Santa Barbara, CA now.  It is nice to go outside without a scarf.  I should do a long update after having been gone so long, but I am afraid I do not have the time just yet.  I am presenting at PCCBS this weekend and I need to finish up the paper.  It’s mostly done, but it isn’t very polished, and I think it might be a bit confusing.  Work, work, work.

It’s taken from a paper I wrote last year that I will be turning into a chapter of my dissertation.  I am looking at the publication of accounts of Charles I’s trial, and Mabbott’s role in disseminating them.  In doing so, I look at Mabbott’s relationship with two other major newsbook editors: Samuel Pecke and Henry Walker.  I find that Mabbott used his (and the army’s) relationship with Pecke to facilitate the dissemination of the version of the trial published in the Moderate.  The version in the Moderate was in turn extracted from the separate published as the Narrative.  To make a long story short, the New Model organized the publication of that account of the trial, using Mabbott and his connections in London to facilitate it.  At the same time, Mabbott’s rivalry with Walker allowed/forced Walker to publish his own account of the trial, the Notes.  Thus, the episode shows an odd mix of personal, official, and public in the production of the news.  That could be interesting, right?

My work lately has been indicating the extreme importance of Mabbott’s personal relationships throughout his careers (licenser, agent, lobbyist, embezzler, etc.) which grew as government continued to professionalize, and I will probably have more to say on that in the future.  Being a parliamentary clerk opened a lot of doors for him.

I have also found out that Mabbott was a bit of a rake, though a very energetic one.  But I digress.

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Dublin, Cambridge, and London

Sorry for my long hiatus.  Getting ready for my trip to Ireland and the UK and the first stages of the trip have proven very time-consuming.  However, I am now in the UK.  I’m at a restaurant/bar called Henry’s near the Cam which has free wireless.  I still have to finish my paper for PCCBS, but I think I’m almost done.

I’ve already been to Dublin, where I did not find very much useful, but I found out that Mabbott’s son’s wife died in 1667.  So, not very much useful.  However, I did get a chance to do some sightseeing; I may post a picture soon.  As well, if anybody every makes it out to Howth, there’s a small restaurant called The House that makes the best eggs I’ve ever had.  I will also add that the librarians and archivists at the Dublin City Archives and the Royal Irish Academy were very friendly and helpful.

Cambridge is amazingly beautiful.  I was not expecting it to be this nice.  Today I went to Sussex chapel and saw the sign that Cromwell’s head is buried somewhere nearby.  It only took 300 years to get it back in the ground.  We head to London in a few days and I have got a full docket.  I’m trying to plan out all the archival work, but there’s a lot.  It looks like I will be spending a great deal of time at the National Archives; more than I had anticipated.  Kew is nice, but I prefer the BL and the Lords Records Office, neither of which place will I be spending much time this turn.

Anyway, back to other things.  I may try to make it out to Ely tomorrow to see Cromwell’s house, but likely not.  I will try to post again soon, maybe with some pictures.  One last note: I never believed it, but the Guiness really is better in Ireland.

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