The Autobiography of Anne Halkett

[She acquiesces in Thomas Howard's pursuit of her, and is later humiliated by his disregard and marriage to a someone else, pp. 3 - 19]

[p. 3] In the yeare 1644 I confese I was guilty of an act of disobedience, for I gave way to the adrese of a person whom my mother, att the first time that ever hee had occation to bee conversantt with mee, had absolutely discharged mee ever to allow of: And though before ever I saw him severalls did tell mee that there would bee something more than ordinary betwixt him and mee (which I believe they [p. 4] fudged from the great friendship betwixt his sister and mee, for wee were seldome assunder att London, and shee and I were bedfellows when shee came to my sister's house att Charleton, where for the most part shee staid while wee continued in the country,) yett he was halfe a yeare in my company before I discovered anything of a particular inclination for mee more than another; and, as I was civill to him both for his owne merit and his sister sake, so any particular civility I received from him I looked upon it as flowing from the affection hee had to his sister, and her kindness to mee.1

After that time, itt seemes hee was nott so much master of himselfe as to conceale itt any longer. And having never any opertunity of being alone with mee to speake himselfe, hee imployed a young gentleman (whose confidentt he was in an amour betwixt him and my Lady Anne his cousin-german,) to tell mee how much hee had indeavored all this time to smother his passion, which he said began the first time that ever hee saw mee, and now was come to that height that if I did nott give him some hopes of faver he was resolved to goe back againe into France (from whence he had come when I first saw him) and turn Capucin.

Though this discourse disturbed mee, yett I was a weeke or ten days before I would be persuaded so much as to heare him speake of this subject, and desired his friend to representt severall disadvantages that itt would bee to him to pursue such a designe. And, knowing that his father had sentt for him outt of France with an intention to marry him to sum rich match that might improve his fortune, itt would be high ingratitude in mee to doe anything to hinder such a designe, since his father had beene so obliging to my mother and sister as to use his Lords interest with ye Parliamentt to preventt the ruine of my brother's howse and k[in ?];2 butt when all I could say to him by his friend could not prevaile, butt that hee grewe so ill and discontented that all the howse tooke notice, I did yield so farre to comply with his desire as to give him liberty one day when I was walking in the gallery to come there and speake to mee.

What he saide was handsome and short, butt much disordered, for hee [p. 5] looked pale as death, and his hande trembled when he tooke mine to lead mee, and with a great sigh said, "If I loved you lese I could say more."

I told him I could nott butt thinke myselfe much obleeged to him for his good opinion of mee, butt itt would be a higher obligation to confirme his esteeme of mee by following my advice, which I should now give him my selfe, since hee would not receave itt by his friend. I used many arguements to diswade him from pursuing what hee proposed. And, in conclusion, told him I was 2 or 3 yeare older than hee, and were there no other objection, yett that was of such weight with mee as would never lett mee allow his further adrese.

"Madam, (said he,) what I love in you may well increase, butt I am sure itt can never decay."

I left arguing, and told him I would advise him to consult with his owne reason, and that would lett him see I had more respect to him in denying than in granting what with so much passion he desired.

After that hee sought, and I shunned, all opertunittys of private discourse with him; butt one day, in the garden, his friend tooke his sister [Anne Howard, daughter of Lord Howard of Escrick] by the hand and lead her into another walke, and left him and I together: and hee, with very much seriousnese, began to tell mee that hee had observed ever since hee had discovered his affection to mee that I was more reserved and avoided all converse with him, and therefore, since hee had no hopes of my faver, hee was resolved to leave England, since he could not bee hapy in itt. And that what ever became of him it might make him displease either his father or his friends I was the occation of it, for if I would not give him hopes of marying him hee was resolved to putt him selfe outt of a capacity of marying any other, and go imediately into a conventt. And that he had taken order to have post horses ready against the next day.

I confese this discourse disturbed mee, for though I had had noe respect for him, his sister [again Anne Howard, Lord Howard's daughter], or his family, yett relligion was a tye upon mee to endeaver the prevention of the hazard of his soule. I looked on this as a violent passion which would nott last long, and perhaps might grow the more by beeing resisted, [p. 6] when as a seeming complaisance might lessen itt. I told him I was sory to have him intertaine such thoughts as could nott butt bee a ruine to him and a great affliction to all his relations, which I would willingly preventt if itt were in my power.

He said itt was absolutely in my power, for if I would promise to marry him hee should esteeme himselfe the most hapy man living, and hee would waite what ever time I thought most convenientt for itt. I replied I thought it was unreasonable to urge mee to promise that which ere long hee might repentt the asking; butt this I would promise to sattisfy him, that I would not marry till I saw him first maried. Hee kist my hand upon that with as much joy as if I had confirmed to him his greatest hapinese, and said hee could desire noe more, for hee was secure I should never see nor heare of that till itt was to my selfe. Upon this wee parted both well pleased, for hee thought hee had gained much in what I promised, and I looked upon my promise as a cure to him, butt noe inconvenience to myself, since I had noe inclination to marry any. And though I had, a delay in itt was the least returne I could make to soe deserving a person.

Butt I deceaved myselfe by thinking this was the way to moderate his passion, for now hee gave way to itt without any restraintt, and thought himselfe soe secure of mee as if there had beene nothing to opose itt, though hee managed itt with that discretion that it was scarce visible to any within the howse; nott so much as either his sister or mine had the least suspittion of it, for I had injoyned him not to lett them or any other know what his designes were, because I would not have them accesory, what ever fault might bee in the prosecution of itt.

Thus it continued till towards winter that his sister [Anne Howard, Lord Howard's daughter] was to goe home to her father againe, and then, knowing hee would want much of the opertunity hee had to converse with mee, hee was then very importunate to have mee consent to marry him privately, which itt seemes hee pleased himselfe so with the hopes of prevailing with me that he had provided a wedding ring and a minister to marry us. I was much unsattisfied with his going that lengh, and, in short, told him hee need never expect I would marry [p. 7] him without his father and my mother's consent; if that could be obtained, I should willingly give him the sattisfaction hee desired, butt withoutt that I could not expect God's blesing neither upon him nor mee, and I would doe nothing that was so certaine a way to bring ruine upon us both. Hee used many arguments from the examples of others who had practised the same, and was hapy both in their parents' faver and in one another, butt, finding mee fixt beyond any persuasion, hee resolved to acquaintt my sister [Elizabeth, wife of Sir Henry Newton] with itt, and to imploy her to speake of itt to his father and my mother.

Shee very unwillingly undertooke it, because shee knew itt would be a surprise to them, and very unwellcome. Butt his impertunity prevailed, and shee first acquainted my mother with itt; who was so pasionately offended with the proposall that, wheras his father might have beene brought to have given his consentt (having ever had a good opinion of mee and very civill), shee did so exasperate him against itt, that nothing could sattisfy her but presently to putt itt to Mr. H.'s [Thomas Howard's] choice either presently to marry a rich cittisen's daughter that his father had designed for him, or els to leave England.

The reason I believe that made my mother the more incensed was, first that itt was what in the beginning of our aquaintance shee had absolutely discharged my having a thought of allowing such an adrese; and though in some respect his quality was above mine, and therefore better then any shee could expect for mee, yett my Lord H.'s [Edward, Lord Howard's] fortune was such as had need of a more considerable portion then my mother could give mee, or els it must ruine his younger chilldren, and therefore my mother would not consentt to itt, though my Lord H. [Edward, Lord Howard] did offer to doe the uttmost his condition would allow him if shee would lett me take my hazard with his son. Butt my mother would nott bee persuaded to itt upon noe consideration, lest any should have thought itt was begun with her allowance; and to take away the suspittion of that did, I believe, make her the more violent in oposing itt, and the more seavere to mee.

My sister [Elizabeth, Lady Newton] made choice of Sunday to speake of itt. First, because shee thought that day might putt them both in a [p. 8] calmer frame to heare her, and confine there passion, since it would bee the next day before they would determine anything. Butt finding both by my mother and my L. H. [Edward, Lord Howard] that they intended nothing butt to part us, so as never to meet againe, except it was as strangers, Mr. H. [Thomas Howard] was very importunate to have an opertunity to speake with mee that night, which I gave.

My sister beeing only with mee, we came downe together to the roome I apointed to meett with him. I confese I never saw those two pasions of love and regrett more truly represented, nor could any person exprese greater affection and resolution of constancy, which with many solemne oaths hee sealed of never loving or marying any butt my selfe. I was not sattisfied with his swearing to future performances, since I said both hee and I might find itt most convenient to retract; but this I did assure him, as long as hee was constantt hee should never find a change in mee, for though duty did oblieege mee nott to marry any withoutt my mother's consentt, yett itt would nott tye mee to marry without my owne.

My sister at this rises, and said, "I did nott thinke you would have ingaged me to be a wittnese of both your resolutions to continue what I expected you would rather have laid aside, and therefore I will leave you."

"Oh, madam, (said hee,) can you imagine I love att that rate as to have itt shaken with any storme? Noe; were I secure your sister would not suffer in my absence by her mother's sevearity I would nott care what misery I were exposed to; butt to thinke I should bee the occation of trouble to the person in the earth that I love most is unsuportable;" and with that hee fell downe in a chaire that was behind him, but as one without all sence, which I must confese did so much move mee, that laing aside all former distance I had kept him att, I sat downe upon his knee, and laying my head neare his I suffred him to kisse mee, which was a liberty I never gave before, nor had nott then had I nott seene him so overcome with griefe, which I endeavored to supprese with all the incouragement I could, butt still presing him to be obedientt to his father, either in going abroad or staying att home, as hee thought most convenient.

"Noe, [p. 9] (says he,) since they will not allow mee to converse with you, France will bee more agreeable to mee then England, nor will I goe there except I have liberty to come here againe and take my leave of you." To that I could not disagree if they thought fitt to allow itt; and so my sister and I left him, butt she durst nott owne to my mother where shee had beene.

The next morning early my Lord H. [Edward, Lord Howard] went away, and tooke with him his son and daughter, and left me to the seaveritys of my offended mother, who nothing could pacify. Affter she had called for me, and said as many bitter things as passion could dictate upon such a subject, shee discharged mee to see him, and did solemnly vow that if shee should heare I did see Mr. H. [Thomas Howard] shee would turne mee outt of her doores, and never owne mee againe. All I said to that part was that itt should be against my will if ever shee heard of itt.

Upon Tuesday my Lord H. [Edward, Lord Howard] writt to my mother that hee had determined to send his son to France, and that upon Thursday after he was to begin his journy; butt all he desired before hee wentt was to have liberty to see mee, which he thought was a sattisfaction could nott bee denyed him, and therefore desired my mother's consentt to itt; which shee gave upon the condittion that hee should only come in and take his leave of mee, butt nott to have any converse but what shee should bee a wittnese of her selfe. This would nott att all please Mr. H. [Howard], and therfore seemed to lay the desire of itt aside.

In the meane time my chamber and liberty of lying alone was taken from mee, and my sister's woman was to bee my guardian, who watched sufficiently so that I had not the least opertunity either day or night to bee without her. Upon Thursday morning early my mother sentt a man of my sister's (whose name I must mention with the rest that att that [time] was in the familly, for there was Moses, Aron, and Miriam all at one time in itt, and none either related or acquainted together till they mett there) -- this Moses was sent to my Lord H.[Edward, Lord Howard] with a letter to inquire if his son were gone.

I must here relate a little odd incounter which agravated my misfortune. There came no returne till night, and [p. 10] having gott liberty to walke in the hall my mother sent a child of my sister's and bid him walke with mee, and keepe mee company. I had not beene there a quarter of an hower butt my maid Miriam came to mee and told mee shee was walkeing at the backe gate and Mr. H. [Howard] came to her and sentt her to desire mee to come there and speake butt two or three words with him, for hee had sworne nott to goe away without seeing mee, nor would hee come in to see my mother, for he had left London that morning very early and had rod up and downe that part of the country only till itt was the gloome of the evening to have the more privacy in comming to see mee. I bid her goe back and tell him I durst not see him because of my mother's oath and her discharge. While shee was presing me to run to the gate, and I was neere to take the start, the child cried outt, "0, my aunt is going;" which stoped me, and I sent her away to tell the reason why I could nott come. I still staid walking in the hall till shee returned, wondring shee staid so long. When shee came, shee was hardly able to speake, and with great disorder said, "I believe you are the most unfortunate person living, for I thinke Mr. H. [Howard] is killed."

Any one that hath ever knowne what gratitude was, may imagine how these words disordered me; butt, impatientt to know how (I was resolved to hazard my mother's displeasure rather then nott see him), shee told me that while shee was telling him my answeare there came a fellow with a great club behind him and strucke him downe dead, and others had seazed upon Mr. T. [Tindall] (who formerly had beene his governer, and was now intrusted to see him safe on ship boord,) and his man.3 The reason of this was from what there was too many sad examples of att that time when the devision was betwixt the King and Parliament, for to betray a master or a friend was looked upon as doing God good service.

My brother-in-law Sir Henry Newton had beene long from home in attendance on the King, for whose service hee had raised a troope of horse upon his owne expence, and had upon all occations testified his loyalty, for which all his estate was sequestred, and with much dificulty my sister [Elizabeth] [p. 11] gott liberty to live in her owne house, and had the fifth part to live upon, which was obtained with impertunity. There was one of my brother's tenants called Musgrove, who was a very great rouge [sic: rogue], who farmed my brother's land of the Parliamentt, and was imployed by them as a spye to discover any of the Cavaliers that should come within his knowledge: hee, observing 3 gentlemen upon good horse scoutting about all day and keeping att a distance from the high way, aprehends itt was my brother who had comeprivately home to see my sister, and resolves to watch when hee came neere the house, and had followed so close as to come behind and give Mr. H. [Thomas Howard] that stroake, thinking itt had beene my brother Newton, and seased upon his governor [Tindall] and servantt (the post boy being left att some distance with the horses).

In the midst of this disorder Moses came there, and Miriam having told what the occation of itt was, hee told Musgrove itt was my Lord H. [Edward, Lord Howard] son hee [Musgrove] had used so; upon which hee and his complices wentt imediately away, and Moses and Mr. H.'s [Thomas Howard's] man caried him [Howard] into an alehouse hard by and laid him on a bed, where hee lay some time before hee came to himselfe. So, hearing all was quiett againe, and that hee had noe hurt, only stonished with the blow, I wentt into the roome where I had left my mother and sister, which being att a good distance from the backe gate they had heard nothing of the tumult that had been there.

A litle after Moses came in and delivered a letter from my Lord Howard, which affter my mother had read, she asked what news att London. Hee answeared, the greatest hee could tell was that Mr. H. [Thomas Howard] wentt away that morning early post to Deepe, and was going to France, butt hee could nott learne the reason of it. My mother and sister seemed to wonder att itt, for none in the familly except my maid knew any thing that had fallen outt, or had any suspition I was concerned in itt, but my mother and sister.

After Moses went out my mother asked mee if I was nott ashamed to thinke that it would be said my Lord H. [Edward, Lord Howard] was forced to send away his son to secure him from mee. I said I could not butt regrett whatever had occationed her displeasure or [p. 12] his punishmentt, butt I was guilty of noe unhandsome action to make mee ashamed, and therefore, whatever were my present misfortune, I was confidentt to evidence before I died that noe child shee had had greater love and respect to her or more obedience; to which shee replied, It seems you have a good opinion of yourselfe.

My mother now beleeving Mr. H. [Howard] gone, I was nott as former nights sentt to my bed and the guard upon mee that was usuall,butt I staid in my mother's chamber till shee and my sister (who lay together) was a'bed.

In the meane time Mr. H. [Howard] had sentt for Moses and told him what ever misfortune he might suffer by his stay there hee was fully determined nott to goe away without seeing mee, and desired I would come to the banketting howse in the garden and hee would come to the window and speake to mee; which he told mee, and with all that Mr. T. [Tindall] (who was a very serious good man) did earnestly intreat mee to condescend to his desire to preventt what might be more inconvenientt to us both. I sent him word when my mother was a'bed I would contrive some way to sattisfy him, butt nott where hee proposed, because it was within the view of my mother's chamber window.

After I had left my mother and sister in there bed I wentt alone in the darke through my brother's closett to the chamber where I lay, and as I entered the roome I laid my hand upon my eyes, and with a sad sigh said, 'Was ever creature so unfortunate and putt to such a sad deficulty, either to make Mr. H. [Howard] forsworne if hee see mee nott, or if I doe see him my mother will bee foresworne if shee doth nott expose mee to the utmost rigour her anger can inventt!'

In the midst of this dispute with myselfe what I should doe, my hand beeing still upon my eyes, itt presently came in my mind that if I blindfolded my eyes that would secure mee from seeing him, and so I did not transgrese against my mother, and hee might that way satisfy himselfe by speaking with mee.4 I had as much joy in finding outt this meanes to yeeld to him withoutt disquiett to my selfe as if itt had beene of more considerable consequence. Imediately I sentt Moses to tell him upon what condittions I would speake with him; first, that hee must allow mee to [p. 13] have my eyes covered, and that hee should bring Mr. T. [Tindall] with him, and if thus hee were sattisfied I ordered him to bring them in the backe way into the cellar, where I with Miriam would meett them the other way; which they did.

As soon as Mr. H. [Howard] saw mee hee much importuned the taking away the covert from my eyes; which I not suffering, hee left disputing that, to employ the litle time hee had in regretting my nott yielding to his importunity to marry him before his affection was discovered to his father and my mother, for had itt beene once past there power to undoe, they would [have] beene sooner sattisfied, and wee might have been hapy together and not indured this sad separation. I told him I was sory for beeing the occation of his discontentt, butt I could nott repentt the doing my duty what ever ill successe itt had, for I ever looked upon marying withoutt consentt of parentts as the highest act of ingratitude and disobedience that chilldren could committ, and I resolved never to bee guilty of itt. I found his greatest trouble was the feare hee had that my mother in his absence would force me to marry M. L. (who was a gentleman of a good fortune who some people thought had a respect for mee). To this I gave him as much assurance as I could that neither hee nor any other person liveing should lessen his interest till hee gave mee reason for itt himselfe. Itt is unnesesary to repeatt the solemne oaths hee made never to love nor marry any other, for, as I did nott aprove of itt then, so I will nott now agravate his crime by mentioning them. Butt there was nothing he left unsaid that could exprese a sinceare vertuous true affection.

Mr. T. [Tindall] (who with Moses and Miriam had all this time beene so civill to us both as to retire att such a distance as nott to heare what wee said,) came and interupted him, and desired him to take his leave, lest longer stay might be prejudiciall to us all. I called for a botlle of wine, and giving Mr. T. [Tindall] thankes for his civility and care, drunk to him, wishing a good and hapy journey to Mr. H [Howard].

So taking a farewell5 of them both, I wentt up the way I came, and left them to Moses' care to conduct them outt quiettly as hee led them in.

[p. 14] This was not so secrettly done butt some of the howse observed more noise than ordinarily used to bee att that time of night, and by sattisfying there curiosity in looking outt discovred the occation of itt; butt they were all so just as none of them ever aquainted my mother with itt, though I did not conceale itt from my sister [Elizabeth, Lady Newton] the first opertunity I had to bee alone with her.

I was in hopes, affter some time that Mr. H. [Howard] was gone, my mother would have receaved mee into her faver againe, butt the longer time shee had to consider of my fault the more shee did agravate itt. And though my Lord H. [Edward. Lord Howard] (who returned shortly affter with his daughter [Anne Howard]) and my sister [Elizabeth] did use all the argumentts imaginable to persuade her to bee reconciled to mee, yet nothing would prevaile, except I would solemly promise never to thinke more of Mr. H. [Thomas Howard] and that I would marry another whom shee thought fitt to propose; to which I beged her pardon, for till Mr. H. [Thomas Howard] was first maried I was fully determined to marry noe person living. Shee asked mee if I was such a foole as to believe he would be constantt. I said I did; but if he were nott, itt should bee his fault, nott mine, for I resolved nott to make him guilty by example.

Many were employed to speake to mee. Some used good words, some ill; butt one that was most seavare, after I had heard her with much patience raile a long time, when she could say noe more I gave a true accountt how innocentt I was from having any design upon Mr. H. [Thomas Howard] and related what I have allready mentioned of the progrese of his affection; which when she heard, shee sadly wept and beged my pardon, and promised to doe mee all the service shee could; and I beleeve shee did, for shee had much influence upon my Lord H. [Edward, Lord Howard] (having beene with his lady from a child), and did give so good a caracter of mee and my proceedings in that affaire with his son [Thomas Howard], that hee againe made an offer to my mother to send for his son if shee would consentt to the mariage; butt shee would nott heare itt spoken of, butt said shee rather I were buried than bring so much mine to the familly shee honored.

My mother's anger against mee increased to that height, that for fourteene months shee never gave me her blesing, nor never spoke to mee but when itt was to reproach mee; and one day [p. 15] said with much bitternese shee did hate to see mee. That word, I confese, strucke deepely to my hart, and putt mee to my thoughts what way to dispose of myselfe to free my mother from such an object. Affter many debates with my selfe, and inquirys what life I could take to that was most inocentt, I resolved and writt to Sir Patrick Drumond, a cousin of my mother's, who was Conservator in Holland, to doe mee the favor to informe mee if itt was true that I had heard that there was a nunery in Holland for those of the Protestant relligion, and that hee would inquire upon what condittions they admitted any to there society, because if they were consistent with my relligion I did resolve upon his advertisement imediately to goe over; and desired him to hasten an answeare, and not devulge to any what I had writt to him.6

About a fortnight after my mother sent for mee one morning into her chamber, and examined mee what I had writt to Sir Patrick Drumond. I ingeniously gave her an accountt, and the reason of itt, for since I found nothing would please her that I could doe I was resolved to goe where I could most please my selfe, which was in a solitary retired life, and so free her from the sight shee hated, and since itt was upon that consideration I did nott doubt the obtaining her consentt. It seemes Sir Patrick Drumond, who was a wise and honest gentleman, aprehending discontentt had made mee take that resolution which I had writt to him about, instead of answearing my letter, writtes to my mother a very handsome serious letter, aquainting her with my intention, and concluded itt could proceed from nothing but her seavarity, perhaps upon unjust grounds, and therefore used many arguments to persuade her to returne to that wonted kindnese which shee had ever shewed to all her chilldren, and what hee was sure I would deserve, what ever opinion shee had lately entertained to the contrary. This hee presed with so much of reason and earnestnese that itt prevailed more with my mother than what ever had beene said before, and from that time she receaved mee againe to her faver, and ever affter used me more like a freind than a child.

In the meane time all care was used that might preventt Mr H. [Thomas Howard's] corespondence [p. 16] and mine. Butt he found an excuse for sending home his man, beleeving him honest and faithfull to him, and with him hee writt and sentt me a presentt, butt instead of delivering them to mee gave them to his father [Edward, Lord Howard], who otherwise disposed of them. Yett in requitall I sent backe with him a ring with five rubys, and gave him something for his paines, when hee came to me and indeavoured to vindicate himselfe by protesting that unexpectedly hee was searched as soone as ever hee entred his lord's house, and all was taken from him; butt I found afterwards hee was nott so honest as I beleeved, for hee never delivered my ring to his master, nor anything I intrusted him with.

Att this time my Lord H. [Edward, Lord Howard] had a sister [Elizabeth (Howard) Vaux, Countess of Banbury] in France, who gloried much of her witt and contrivance, and used to say shee never designed anything butt shee accomplished it.7 My Lord H. [Edward, Lord Howard] thought she was the fittest person to divert his son from his amour, and to her hee writtes, and recommends itt to her managementt; who was nott neglegent of what shee was intrusted with, as apeared in the conclusion, though her cariage was a great disapointment to Mr H. [Thomas Howard], for hee expected by her mediation to have obtained what he desired, and that made him the more willing to comply with her, who designed her own advantage by this to obliege her brother, who might bee the more usefull to her in a projected mariage shee had for her owne son.

Upon Thursday the 13. of February 1645-6, word was brought to my mother that the Countese of B. [Banbury] was come outt of France, and Mr. H. [Thomas Howard] with her, which was a great surprise to her and all his relations. My mother examined mee if I had sentt for him, or knew any thing of his comming; which I assured her I had nott, and shee said nott much more. Butt I was as much disturbed as any, sometimes thinking hee was come with an assurance from his auntt that shee would accomplish what he had so passionately desired, or els that hee had laid all thoughts of mee aside, and was come with a resolution to comply with his father's desires. The last opinion I was a litle confirmed in, having never receaved any word or [p. 17] letter from him in ten days after his returne, and meeting him accidentally where I was walking hee crosed the way, and another time was in the roome when I came in to visitt some young ladys, and neither of these times tooke any notice of mee more then of one I had never seene. I confese I was a little disordered att itt, butt made noe conclusions till I saw what time would produce.

Upon Tuesday the 4. of March, my Lady Anne W. [Walsingham] his cousin8 came to my mother's, and having staid a convenientt time for a visitt with my mother (for then itt was nott usuall for mothers and daughters to bee visited apart) I waited on her downe, and taking mee aside, shee told mee shee was desired by her cousin T. H. [Thomas Howard] to presentt his most faithfull service to mee, and to desire mee nott to take itt ill that hee did nott speake to me when hee mett mee, for finding his auntt nott his friend as he expected hee seemed to comply with her desire only to have the opertunity of comming home with her, and had resolved for a time to forbeare all converse with mee, and to make love to all that came in his way, butt assured mee itt was only to make his friends think hee had forgott mee, and then hee might with the lese suspition prosecute his designe, which was never to love or marry any butt mee, and this shee said hee confirmed with all the solemne oaths imaginable.

In pursuance of this he visitted all the young ladys about the towne, butt an Earles daughter gave him the most particular wellcome, whose mother not allowing him to come as a pretender shee made apointmentt with him and mett him att her cousin's howse frequently, which I knew, and hee made sport of.

The summer being now advancing, my mother and her familly wentt with my sister [Elizabeth, Lady Newton] to her house in the country [Charleton in Kent]; which beeing nott farre from London, wee heard offten how afaires wentt there, and amongst other discourse that it was reported Mr. H. [Howard] was in love with my Lady E. M. [Elizabeth Mordaunt] and shee with him, att which some smiled and said itt might bee her witt had taken him butt certainly nott her beauty (for shee had as litle of that as my selfe).9 Though these reports putt mee upon my guard yett I confese I did not beleeve hee was reall in his adrese there, neither did his sister [Anne Howard, Lord Howard's daugher], [p. 18] who was sometimes a wittnese of there converse and gave mee accountt of itt; butt I aproved nott of his way, for I thought itt could nott butt reflect upon him selfe, and injure either that lady [Lady Elizabeth Mordaunt] or mee. Butt shee tooke a way to secure her selfe; for upon the last Tuesday in July 1646, a litle before super, I receaved a letter from Mrs. H. [her friend, Anne Howard whose companion Anne Halkett will become], a particular friend of mine, who writt mee word that upon the Tuesday before Mr. H. [Howard] was privately maried to my Lady E. M. [Elizabeth Mordaunt], and the relations of both sides was unsattisfied.

I was alone in my sister's chamber when I read the letter, and flinging my selfe downe upon her bed, I said, "Is this the man for whom I have sufred so much? Since hee hath made him selfe unworthy my love, hee is unworthy my anger or concerne;" and rising imediately I wentt outt into the next roome to my super as unconcernedly as if I had never had an interest in him, nor had never lost itt.

A litle affter my mother came to the knowledge of itt from my Lord H. [Edward, Lord Howard], who was much discontented att his son's mariage, and offten wished hee had had his former choice. Nothing troubled mee more than my mother's laughing att mee, and perhaps soe did others, butt all I said was, "I thought hee had injured himself more than mee, and I much rather hee had done itt then I;" and once, I confese, in passion, being provoked by something I had heard, I said with too much seriousnese, "I pray God hee may never dye in peace till hee confese his fault, and aske mee forgivenese."

Butt I acknowledge this as a fault, and have a hundred times beged the Lord's pardon for itt; for, though in some respects itt might bee justified as wishing him repentance, yett many circumstances might make it imposible for mee to be a wittnese of itt. And God forbid that any should wantt peace for my passion!

When Miriam first heard hee was maried shee lifted up her hands and said, "Give her, 0 Lord, dry breasts, and a miscarying wombe!" which I reproved her for; butt it seemes the Lord thought fitt to grantt her request, for that lady miscaried of severall chilldren before shee brought one to the full time, and that one died presently after it was borne, which may be a lesson to teach [p. 19] people to governe there wishes and there toung, that neither may act to the prejudice of any, lest itt bee placed on there accountt att the day of reckoning.

Nott only was this couple unfortunate in the chilldren, butt in one another, for itt was too well knowne how short a time continued the sattisfaction they had in one another. Nor did his aunt the Countese of Banbery, who first putt him ...

(Pages 24 and 25 [of manuscript] were destroyed)

[1 The young man was Thomas Howard, oldest son of Edward, Lord Howard of Escrick. Thomas's sister and Anne's friend is Anne Howard, Lord Howard's daughter; she subsequently married her cousin, Charles Howard, and Anne become (in effect) her companion later on. See below. Thomas Howard's sister is also named Anne Howard, and we have a cousin-germaine named Anne Howard too; this last Lady Anne was daughter of the second earl of Suffolk and married Thomas Walsingham. The estate Charleton was owned by our Anne [Murray, later Lady Halkett]'s sister's husband, Sir Henry Newton, and was in Kent.

Cummings, AH, 656-57, adds some more details: Although Anne (apparently much younger than her sister) lived in St Martin's Lane with her mother, they frequently visited Charleton. The household consisted of Lady Newton, her children, Elizabeth's "severe and managing mother," "spirited younger sister (Anne herself," and Anne's friend, Anne Howard." The servants all had Biblical names: Moses, Aaron and Miriam." So we see that Anne's companion-maid, Miriam, came to her through Elizabeth. Charleton was a secluded place, and early in the war Henry Newton went to Oxford to attend the king, and "raised a troop of horse for the Royalist army." Anne also mentions "a child of her sister's," so there were at least two of Elizabeth and Henry Newton's children there too. EM]

[2 Thomas Howard's father, Edward, first Lord Howard of Escrick, had mediated with the Parliamentarians to reduce the heavy fines levied on Anne's brother-in-law, Sir Henry Newton, who had fought in the king's army. Later on Newton appeared to change sides, and sat in Commons after the dissolution of the House of Lords. The Murrays and their connections are not truly powerful people as were the Howards. It should be noticed that Anne is forced to take on the burden of placating the young heir, but if anything happens to displease the Howards, she will be blamed; if she loses her reputation therefore (she is openly blamed by him for his attraction to her), she will be blamed. She has no good choices in this situation, is herself the one continually distrusted whose interests are not of concern to anyone but herself. Her one hope to retrieve herself if he does not stop pursuing (harassing?, stalking?) her is (paradoxically) to marry him. She seems not keen on that for more reasons than that she is 3 years older than him. EM]

[3 John F. Tindall, Thomas Howard's tutor at Corpus Christi Collee, Cambridge. EM]

[4 The strategem may reveal Anne's reading: both Lois Potter and Sharon Cadman Seelig note an exact parallel strategem in Abraham Cowley's The Guardian. See Lois Potter, Secret Rites and Secret Writing: Royalist Literature, 1641-1660 [Cambridge UP, 1980]:80, and Sharon Cadman Seelig, Autobiography and Gender in Early Modern Literature, Reading Women's Lives, 1600-1680 [Cambridge UP, 2006]:186n12. EM]

[5 This was upon Thursday night the 10th of October, 1644 [Anne Halkett's note, so this date was important to her. EM].

[6 Loftis, Memoirs, says "Drummond was an influential and widely-respected man ... A 'Conservator was an 'officer appointed to protect the rights and settle the disputes of Scottish merchants in foreign ports or places of trade' (OED)." Anne then has applied to someone her mother would not want to offend and who could presumably have helped her find a respectable and safe place to live in Holland. EM]

[7 This is Elizabeth Howard Knollys Vaux, Countess of Banbury, then living in France (1643-44). EM]

[8 Lady Anne Walsingham. The same cousin-germaine to Thomas Howard mentioned in note 1 above. EM]

[9 The earl's daughter mentioned just above: Lady Elizabeth Mordaunt was daughter to John, first Earl of Peterborough (1599-1643). Lady Elizabeth Mordaunt and Thomas Howard were married 21 July 1646. This is one of the rare remarks (perhaps the only one) Anne makes about her appearance. Simon Couper describes her as having a "Pleasant Countenance" but says nothing else about her appearance. Since it's so typical to exaggerate and attribute great beauty to someone who is pretty (say), the omission is probably significant; i.e., Anne was considered homely, see Couper 1701 Life, 55. EM]

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