A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 2, General; Ashford, East Bedfont With Hatton, Feltham, Hampton With Hampton Wick, Hanworth, Laleham, Littleton. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Middlesex is bounded on the south, east, and west sides by the rivers Thames, Lea, and Colne respectively. The district thus formed seems to have been an uninhabited borderland in British times, (fn. 1) a desolate tract round Roman London, (fn. 2) and presents itself later as the portion left over when the neighbouring counties had been colonized by the Anglo-Saxons. The three rivers formed the natural boundaries to a physically unattractive country, over which stretched a mass of forest in the north, a marsh in the southeast, and a barren heath in the south-west. The northern boundary points to a later period, to the time when manorial estates were formed. The irregular outline seems to make a special effort to exclude Totteridge, High and East Barnet, and Monken Hadley from Middlesex, and includes South Mimms, while leaving North Mimms to Hertfordshire. This irregularity is explained when we find that the entire north-eastern portion of Middlesex consisted of the manors of Enfield and Edmonton, including South Mimms. These large and thinly populated manors stretched into the forest which was known later as Enfield Chase, until they met the confines of Totteridge, an outlying portion of the bishop of Ely's manor of Hatfield; (fn. 3) of High and East Barnet, which belonged to the abbey of St. Albans; of Hadley and North Mimms, which were given by Geoffrey de Mandeville to Walden Abbey. Friern Barnet is thus cut off from the other Barnets, and lies in Middlesex, because it formed part of the manor of Whetstone and belonged to the priory of St. John of Jerusalem at Clerkenwell. (fn. 4)
It is uncertain when Middlesex was divided into hundreds. Six appear in the Domesday Survey and six remain to-day, although 'Houeslaw' (Hounslow) Hundred is now called Isleworth, and a large portion of Ossulstone Hundred has been included in the county of London since 1888.
London has naturally been the all-dominating factor in the political history of Middlesex, although the City is not in Middlesex. We see her influence in the lack of independent county history; in the smallness of the population in early times, as well as in the ever-increasing multitudes of to-day; in the absence of county nobility and gentry, as well as in the unimportance of her towns.
Little is known of the early history of Middlesex. The marshy valley of the Lea, and the forest stretching northwards from the heights of Hampstead and Highgate, saved it for a time from the incursions of the East Saxons, and the wide channel of the Thames and the fortifications of London, from the settlers in Kent and Sussex. (fn. 5) It was only after South Britain had been conquered, and the advance of the East Saxons up the Essex river valleys had led to the fall of Verulamium, that the tide of invasion trickled into Middlesex from the north-west, down the great Roman road, Watling Street. London fell before 552, and whether inhabited or not during the next fifty years, (fn. 6) it is certain that it was in the hands of the East Saxons in 604, (fn. 7) so that the colonization of Middlesex must have taken place during the latter half of the sixth century. The settlers in the district west of London are known afterwards as the Middle Saxons, but it is clear that they were only an offshoot of the East Saxons from the fact that, with London, they always belonged to the kingdom of Essex, and that Middlesex formed part of the East Saxon bishopric of London. (fn. 8) Thus Middlesex was never a separate kingdom. The first contemporary mention shows it to be already under double subjection, for in 704 the king of the East Saxons, himself a tributary of Mercia, granted a piece of land in Twickenham, 'in provincia quae nuncapatur Middelseaxon.' (fn. 9) It was indeed but sparsely inhabited, the settlers dwelling far apart along the banks of the Thames, and still farther apart in the valleys of the Brent and the Colne, and the tributaries of the Lea.
Middlesex suffered terribly and consecutively from the Danish invasions, chiefly because the Thames offered so excellent a winter harbour for the invaders, and London was the goal of many an expedition.
In 879 a body of Vikings, coming from Chippenham and Cirencester where the main army was assembled, 'sat down at Fulham on the Thames.' (fn. 10) These were there joined by another army which had been driven out of Flanders by Charles II, and after both forces had spent the winter at Fulham, they departed in the spring to make a renewed attack on Ghent. (fn. 11) According to the Treaty of Wedmore in 879, the boundary between Danes and English was fixed at the River Lea, (fn. 12) but the district between the Lea and the Brent seems to have remained in Danish hands until 886, (fn. 13) when Alfred gained possession of London (and therefore of Middlesex), and was in a position to restore or 're-settle it.' (fn. 14)
In 1009, after harassing the south-eastern counties, the Danes took up their winter quarters on the Thames. (fn. 15) After mid-winter they went through the Chilterns to plunder the country round Oxford. As they were returning in two divisions, as though to attack London, they were met by the news that a force was gathered against them in London. The northern division therefore crossed the Thames at Staines, and both went back through Surrey to their ships to spend Lent in repairing them, but Middlesex was again ravaged during the year. (fn. 16) In Edmund Ironside's campaign against Cnut in 1016 the last of his four great battles was fought at Brentford. Edmund had set out to recover Wessex from the Danes after he had been chosen king by the citizens of London. He had gained two victories at Penselwood and at Sherston, but while he was collecting fresh forces Cnut had laid siege to London. Edmund with his reinforcements marched along the north bank of the Thames (fn. 17) and won a third battle, which compelled the Danes to raise the siege and flee to their ships. Two days later he defeated them for a fourth time, and drove them in flight across the Thames. (fn. 18) Apparently a great number of the English pressed the pursuit in advance of their main body, and in their eagerness to spoil the enemy were by their own carelessness drowned in the river. This battle did not finally disperse the enemy, however, for as soon as Edmund had departed into Wessex, London was again besieged, ' but Almighty God saved it.' (fn. 19)
Middlesex is not mentioned in the list of shires whose troops mustered at Hastings, but the sheriff of the Middle Saxons, the Staller Esegar, played a prominent part as leader of the London contingent. (fn. 20) He was wounded in the battle, and was carried back to London to conduct its defence against the Conqueror. William marched westward from Southwark to Wallingford, and then northward to Berkhampstead, in order that his triumphant progress might isolate London, and bring it to submission rather by intimidation than by direct attack. When his army entered Middlesex from the north-west London had already come to terms, so that though the northern districts round Enfield, Edmonton, and Tottenham suffered from the passage of his army, yet his march was on the whole peaceful. (fn. 21)
The Norman Conquest brought perhaps less change to Middlesex than to any county. It is said that William gave to Geoffrey de Mandeville all the lands which had been held by the Staller Esegar, (fn. 22) and apparently Geoffrey occupied much the same position with regard to London and Middlesex as was filled by the Staller before the Conquest. His son and heir, William de Mandeville, was made Constable of the Tower. (fn. 23) The greater part of the land in Middlesex had been, and continued to be, in ecclesiastical hands. The king held no manor in the county, and had only a few houses and some acres of 'No man's land.' (fn. 24) There were only twenty-four tenants-in-chief. The lay holders, either English or Norman, held a very small proportion of the land compared with the large holdings of the bishop of London and the abbot of Westminster, (fn. 25) and many of the lay tenants, such as Geoffrey de Mandeville and Earl Roger, possessed vastly greater estates in other counties than those which they held in Middlesex.
Owing to the unimportance of the lay tenures, it was saved from the evils which attended the building of feudal castles, not one being raised within its boundaries.
In William II's reign the only incident of importance connected with Middlesex occurred in 1095. The quarrel between the king and Archbishop Anselm was then at its height, and the Council of Rockingham had been held in the spring of that year to discuss the question of the recognition of Urban II as pope. Anselm kept Whitsuntide at Mortlake, but immediately after the festival he was summoned to the neighbourhood of Windsor where the king then held his court, and therefore came to his manor of Hayes. He was visited there the day after his arrival by nearly all the bishops, who tried to prevail on him to make his peace by a payment of money to the king. (fn. 26) He refused to buy the king's friendship, and refused also to accept the pallium which had been sent privately to William from Rome. The bishops retired discomfited, and William, realizing that Anselm was inflexible, and being already concerned with Mowbray's threatened rebellion in the north, sent messages of reconciliation to Hayes. (fn. 27) A few days later the king and archbishop met publicly as friends at Windsor.
The most important aspect of the history of Middlesex under the Normans and Angevins is to be found in the definition of the county's relation to London. Henry I granted Middlesex to the city of London to farm for £300 per annum, and granted to the citizens the right to appoint from among themselves whom they would to be sheriff. (fn. 28) It cannot be said that the grant of the sheriffwick made the county a dependency of the City, but rather that London and Middlesex were from that time to be regarded as one from an administrative point of view. (fn. 29) The citizens were to be responsible for the City and shire as a unity, not for the City and its dependency. (fn. 30) Both the 'firma' and the shrievalty are spoken of sometimes as of ' London, ' (fn. 31) sometimes as of 'Middlesex,' and sometimes as of ' London and Middlesex,' (fn. 32) but 'for fiscal purposes, London and Middlesex under any name are indivisible.' (fn. 33) The relation between the City and shire remained on this basis until the Local Government Act of 1888, although the grant was a frequent cause of dispute between London and the crown, and was on occasion temporarily withdrawn. As early as 1130 the citizens had been deprived of their right to elect the sheriff, for in that year they paid 100 marks that they might have a sheriff of their own choice. (fn. 34)
The Civil War of Stephen's reign fell as heavily on Middlesex as on the rest of England. In the summer of 1141 the empress came towards London after the election at Winchester. She received a deputation of Londoners at St. Albans, and then leaving the abbey proceeded by the old Roman road through Edgeware towards Westminster. (fn. 35) She was met by the citizens and rulers of London when nearing the City. (fn. 36) Geoffrey de Mandeville, grandson of the Geoffrey of the time of William I, was then at the height of his power. He was practically master of London as hereditary constable of the Tower, and one of the empress's first acts was to confirm the charter of the earldom and shrievalty of Essex granted to him by Stephen. (fn. 37) Meanwhile the queen was marching on London from Kent. She crossed the Thames and, ravaging Middlesex, spread a belt of desolation round the City. (fn. 38) The Londoners, who were already incensed against the empress, rose in arms for the queen. Matilda was forced to leave the City with all haste, and having galloped clear of the suburbs, her followers fleeing in all directions, she took the road towards Oxford. (fn. 39)
London admitted the queen, and Geoffrey de Mandeville made his peace with her likewise. To signalize his defection from the empress, he sallied out of the Tower and seized Sigillo, whom Matilda had lately installed as bishop of London, (fn. 40) and who was then at the episcopal manor of Fulham. (fn. 41) It is said that he held Sigillo to ransom for an enormous sum, but the bishop was present at Matilda's court a month later. (fn. 42) After Geoffrey had assisted at the liberation of Stephen, (fn. 43) and after the latter had been crowned for the second time at Canterbury, the king granted him the shrievalty of London and Middlesex, and of Herts. as well as that of Essex, which he already held. (fn. 44) Even these privileges could not hold him to Stephen's side. He deserted to the empress in six months' time, but after she left England he was captured and deprived of his lands by Stephen. From that time until his tragic death in September, 1143, his power was broken. Of his estates in Middlesex he gave the churches of Enfield, Edmonton, South Mimms, Northolt, with the hermitage of Hadley, to endow Walden Abbey, (fn. 45) which he had founded in 1136.
The effect of the military operations in Middlesex and of the continual anarchy of Stephen's reign is shown in the Pipe Rolls under Henry II. Of the £85 0s. 6d. danegeld due from the county in Henry's second year, £10 or nearly one-eighth of the whole, comes under the heading in wasto. (fn. 46)
We hear nothing of Middlesex during the reign of Henry II except in connexion with the demands made by the king upon London. The yearly farm for the City and shire was raised above the original sum of £300, and was not reduced until John's reign. The right to appoint the sheriffs was not exercised by the Londoners under Henry and his successor, and in the charter granted by Henry to the citizens no mention is made of Middlesex being let to farm. (fn. 47) The king strengthened his hold on the City and shire just as he increased his control over the barons. In 1174 Brichter de Haverhalle and Peter Fitz Walter held office, not as sheriffs, but as 'custodes, ' showing that they were acting as the direct agents of the crown. Two years later the farm was raised to £490. John was frequently at Fulham during the early part of his reign, (fn. 48) but nothing of importance occurred in the county until the crisis of 1215 drew near. In May, 1215, safe-conduct was granted to the archbishop to come to Staines to treat of peace with the barons. (fn. 49) On 8 June safe-conduct was granted to all who would come to treat with the king at Staines, (fn. 50) but the signing of the Great Charter took place just beyond our boundaries. During the nominal peace which followed London remained in the hands of the barons until 15 August. (fn. 51) Fitz Walter, the baronial leader, was so fearful of treachery on the king's part that he thought it wiser to postpone the tournament fixed at Stamford for the Monday of the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, and ordered that it should be held instead on Hounslow Heath, (fn. 52) so that the barons should be in a better position to protect London if need arose. To this tournament came Walter de Albini by special invitation, for he represented the barons who were less hostile to the king. (fn. 53)
When Louis of France was called upon to act as arbitrator between the two parties, a conference was held at Hounslow during the first months of the reign of Henry III. Safe-conduct was granted to four peers and twenty knights on the Dauphin's side, to meet an equal number of peers and knights representing the king. (fn. 54) The conference known as the Treaty of Lambeth was possibly held at Staines, when Henry under the guidance of William Earl Marshal concluded peace with Louis and the baronial party. (fn. 55)
There was a continual struggle between the king and the Londoners during the early part of Henry's reign. In 1227 the citizens secured a reduction of the farm for London and Middlesex to £300, (fn. 56) but the disputes with regard to the shrievalty soon broke out again, and Henry took the City into his own hand on the least excuse. About 1250 a quarrel arose between the citizens and the abbot of Westminster over a concession made by the king to the abbot which in some way infringed the rights of the citizens in the county of Middlesex. (fn. 57) The king had rcourse to his usual expedient, and took the City into his hand, and the dispute lasted for fifteen years, at the end of which the Exchequer Court decided in favour of the Londoners. (fn. 58)
The later struggle between Henry and the barons came to a crisis in the summer of 1263, when the king refused to confirm the Provisions of Oxford, and Simon de Montfort raised the banner of revolt. The king's brother Richard, earl of Cornwall and king of the Romans, took upon himself the post of arbitrator. Henry had granted him the large manor of Isleworth, (fn. 59) and during the negotiations held from 29 June to 15 July, Simon de Montfort lay at Isleworth, probably Richard's palace, while his adherents pitched their tents in Isleworth or ' Thistleworthe ' Park. (fn. 60) A temporary peace was concluded on 15 July, (fn. 61) by which the barons gained their demands, Hugh le Despenser being confirmed in the office of justiciar, and the Tower of London being given into his custody, while Henry returned to Westminster. Simon de Montfort was practically ruler of the kingdom, and throughout July and August (fn. 62) he remained at Isleworth conducting negotiations with the Welsh. The following February the king of the Romans was at Windsor, organizing resistance to the barons with Prince Edward. (fn. 63) London declared energetically for de Montfort, and was greatly incensed with Richard for his espousal of the king's cause, for which he was denounced by the patriotic song writers of the day. (fn. 64) On 31 March 1264 the Londoners, led by Hugh Despenser, Thomas Piwelsdon, and Stephen Bukerelle, set out for Isleworth, (fn. 65) and there laid waste the whole manor, set fire to the manor-place and destroyed the ' water-mills and other commodities' belonging to the king of the Romans. (fn. 66) After this act of violence Richard threw himself vigorously into the campaign on the king's side, (fn. 67) and was present shortly afterwards with Henry at the taking of Northampton. (fn. 68) The citizens were punished for the outrage when Henry had regained the upper hand, and were forced to pay 1,000 marks for Richard's losses at Isleworth. (fn. 69) Richard was indeed loaded with debt before the war ended, for he supplied Henry with money and provisions for the campaign against the ' Disinherited ' in the Isle of Ely. (fn. 70)
While this campaign was still in progress the earl of Gloucester, who had retired to his estates to mark his dissatisfaction with the terms of the Dictum of Kenilworth, (fn. 71) marched suddenly upon London, and demanded the removal of aliens and the restitution of their lands to the 'Disinherited.' (fn. 72) London admitted him on 8 April. (fn. 73) Four days later he was joined by D'Eyville and other disinherited lords from the north, but he forced them to remain outside the City until after Easter (17 April). (fn. 74) Hearing of Gloucester's action, the king marched south, raising as many men as he could by borrowing on the shrines, jewels, and relics of Westminster. (fn. 75) He met Prince Edward at Cambridge, and together they went to Windsor, where the royal army daily increased. (fn. 76) Gloucester and his friends were somewhat dismayed and sent overtures of peace which, however, were not well received. Whereupon they 'appointed' to give the king battle upon Hounslow Heath on 5 May. Their hearts failed them, however, for ' the king coming thither in the morning found no man to resist him,' and after he had stayed there awhile, he marched towards London and passing into Essex, took up his abode at Stratford Abbey, while his army encamped about (East) Ham. (fn. 77) The king of the Romans again acted as mediator, and after several weeks of negotiation peace was concluded, (fn. 78) the earl of Gloucester receiving liberal terms for himself and the 'Disinherited,' and a pardon for the citizens of London who had taken his part. (fn. 79)
We hear nothing of Middlesex during the early years of Edward I. During the latter half of his reign the effects of the king's pecuniary difficulties fell on the county as on the rest of England. Repeated orders were sent to the sheriff for the enforcement of knighthood. In one instance, in February, 1292, all freeholders of land of the annual value of £40 were ordered to receive knighthood, and in January, 1293, the estates of defaulters were seized by the king's orders. (fn. 80) In 1294 war was declared against France, and Middlesex sent a quota of men to follow the king into Gascony. (fn. 81) The following year 4,000 cross-bow men and archers were supplied by Middlesex, with Essex, Herts. and London, to meet at Winchelsea in readiness to cross the seas. (fn. 82)
Edward was forced, by the need of money for the Scottish war, to promise the re-confirmation of the charters on his return from the Scottish campaign of 1298. A great council, therefore, was held at Stepney on 8 March, 1299, in the house of Henry Walleis, mayor of London. (fn. 83) The earls pressed Edward to fulfil his promise, but the king refused to give his answer till the following day. In the night he left the City and took up his quarters in the suburbs, (fn. 84) declaring to the lords who followed him, the next day, that he removed for the sake of the purer air. He agreed to the confirmation of the charters, however, and it was not until the people were assembled at St. Paul's Churchyard that they discovered his addition to the Charter of Forests-'saving the rights of the crown.' (fn. 85)
There is nothing of interest to record in the history of Middlesex during the early part of the fourteenth century. The burden of the Scottish and Welsh wars fell on the county, although it was beyond the region of actual warfare. Orders for the distraint of knighthood and summonses for the county's quota to appear on either border form the chief records during this period. Those specially summoned to serve against the Scots in 1301 were Richard de Windsor, who had already represented Middlesex in the Parliaments of 1297-9, Henry de Enfield, who had attended the Parliament at Salisbury amongst other justices of the peace in 1277, John de Bello Campo, and Adam Badyk. (fn. 86)
The Mandeville estates were at this time held by the Bohuns, earls of Hereford, a Humphrey de Bohun having married Maud, the Mandeville heiress. The Humphrey de Bohun of the reign of Edward III, who had succeeded to the title and lands of the earls of Essex and of Hereford in 1335, (fn. 87) served the king in France in the expedition for the relief of Aiguillon. On his return to England he obtained a licence to fortify and embattle his manor-house at Enfield. (fn. 88)
Middlesex was the scene of the climax of the Peasant Revolt in 1381. The Commons of Essex entered the county on the Festival of Corpus Christi (13 June). (fn. 89) On that morning they went to Highbury, led by Jack Straw, and there set fire to the hospital of St. John of Clerkenwell, causing much damage and loss to the Hospitallers. (fn. 90) Some of the Commons then returned to London, but the greater number remained on the scene of the outrage, surrounding the ruined house which had lately been built for the hospital by Sir Robert Hales, (fn. 91) and the remains of which came to be known as ' Jack Straw's Castle.' (fn. 92) On the following morning (Friday), the peasants of St. Albans and Barnet, marching into London, found the Essex insurgents still gathered round the burning ruins. (fn. 93) Jack Straw, as leader, received the new comers, and immediately exacted from them an oath of fealty to King Richard and the Commons of England. (fn. 94) Meanwhile the peasants of Kent and Surrey had entered London, and after committing many outrages in the City and in Westminster, they finally passed through Holborn and burnt the hospital of St. John at Clerkenwell. (fn. 95) That night, the insurgents were in three bodies: those who were still burning and wrecking in Highbury and Clerkenwell ; and those who were encamped at Mile End, and on Tower Hill respectively.
The Mile End insurgents demanded that the king should come to them in person, immediately and unarmed. (fn. 96) Accordingly he rode out at seven o'clock in the morning, accompanied by his mother in a ' whirlecote,' the mayor of London, and many earls, knights, and esquires. (fn. 97) He was surrounded by 60,000 petitioners, who demanded the abolition of slavery, the reduction of rents, and free liberty to buy and sell at fairs and markets. (fn. 98) By granting their demands and by giving a charter of liberties to each parish, Richard persuaded the Commons to return to their homes, not, however, before they had dragged the archbishop of Canterbury and the prior of St. John of Clerkenwell from the Tower, and summarily beheaded them. (fn. 99)
On the following day the king proclaimed that he would meet the remainder of the insurgents two miles beyond the North-West gate. (fn. 100) He rode to the appointed place in the morning and took up his position, surrounded by the nobles, near the priory of St. Bartholomew, the Commons being drawn up to the west and further from the City. (fn. 101) The story is well known of how Wat Tyler rode up to the king and saluting him familiarly, rehearsed the demands of the peasants, and then having threatened the valet de Kent, who stood among the king's retinue, was struck to the ground by William Walworth, mayor of London. (fn. 102) The king's marvellous presence of mind saved the situation, and while he led the Commons to the field of St. John of Clerkenwell, (fn. 103) the mayor rode with all haste to London for armed help. Tyler was carried into St. Bartholomew's priory, but on Walworth's return he was brought out and executed, and his head and that of Jack Straw replaced those of the archbishop and the prior of St. John's on London Bridge. (fn. 104) The mass of the Commons were meanwhile surrounded in Clerkenwell Fields, and would have been slaughtered if the king had not intervened to spare them. (fn. 105) After quiet was restored, he knighted the mayor, Nicholas Brembre, John Philpot, and Ralph Laundre, beneath the standard. (fn. 106)
At the end of the same reign, during the struggle between Richard II and the barons, the latter marched into Middlesex under Thomas of Woodstock, duke of Gloucester. The king had spent the year in a royal progress with the object of consolidating his friends, and in the late summer had gained the favourable decision of the five judges at Nottingham, which declared the Commission of Regency to be illegal. (fn. 107) In November he marched into London intending to prevent by force the renewal of the Commission, and to punish as traitors those who had originated it. News of his intention reached the duke of Gloucester, and on 12 November the king was surprised to learn that he and Warwick were marching on London with an armed force, and were already only a few miles north of the City. (fn. 108) The earl of Arundel joined them at their camp in Hornsey Park near Highgate. (fn. 109) The king thought of resistance, but London refused to fight, and Richard's adherents sympathized too keenly with Gloucester's demand for the removal of the aliens ' to get their heads broken for de Veer's sake,' as the earl of Northumberland said. (fn. 110) Richard could only issue a proclamation forbidding the citizens to assist or sell provisions to the enemy. This was met on the part of the barons by an advance to Hackney with 4,000 men. They dispatched a letter to the mayor and aldermen assuring the City that their only object was to deliver the king from traitors. On 13 November they were joined by the earls of Derby and Nottingham, (fn. 111) and on the following day at Waltham Abbey, just beyond the north-east boundary of Middlesex, they ' appealed' five of the king's favourites of treason, which charge they repeated three days later at Westminster. (fn. 112)
The accession of Henry of Lancaster to the throne led to the increase of royal influence in Middlesex. Before he came to the throne Henry had married Mary, one of the de Bohun heiresses, (fn. 113) and thus the manor of Enfield came into the hands of the crown. The whole estate, that is from Barnet to Enfield, and from Potters Bar to Winchmore Hill and Southgate, was strictly preserved, and became a favourite royal hunting-ground.
The rebellions and wars of the reign of Henry IV scarcely affected Middlesex, and we hear very little of it during the early fifteenth century. In 1414 a great meeting was secretly arranged by the Lollards to be held in St. Giles's Fields. (fn. 114) Their intention was said to be to seize and even to put to death the king and his brothers, to destroy Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's, and to proclaim Sir John Oldcastle as Regent. (fn. 115) It was expected that thousands of apprentices from London would muster in the fields, and that Oldcastle would place himself at the head of the insurgents. The date and place of the meeting were, however, made known to the king. He came quietly to Westminster from Eltham where he had been keeping Christmas, and on the evening fixed, the Sunday after Twelfth Day, he set out for St. Giles' Fields with a small body of companions. (fn. 116) Panic seized the rebels on the news of his approach, and they scattered in all haste, though many were killed and others taken prisoners. (fn. 117)
Jack Cade's rebellion, in the following reign, had little to do with the county. Apparently no Middlesex men joined the rebels. (fn. 118) Cade and the men of Kent and Sussex entered London from Southwark, and Mile End seems to have been the only place north of the river that was affected by the insurrection. (fn. 119) On the same day on which Lord Say was executed in Cheapside, his son-in-law Cromer, the former sheriff of Kent, who had been committed to the Fleet prison for extortion, (fn. 120) was led out by the rebels to Mile End, and there, without any judgement, his head was smitten off in Cade's presence. (fn. 121) Cade and his followers seem then to have returned to the City bearing the heads of Cromer and Lord Say on poles to London Bridge.
Middlesex suffered but little during the Wars of the Roses, having no great baronial houses to lose, and being overshadowed by London's predilection for the White Rose. Except for the passage of armies to and from London, and in 1461, when the county was in danger of devastation after the second battle of St. Albans, the tide of war did not come very near our boundaries during the early part of the war. On the latter occasion, the known hostility of the Londoners deterred the queen from nearer approach to the city. (fn. 122) On 25 February, 1461, Edward of York entered London, and the men of all the neighbouring counties flocked to his standard. On 2 March an enthusiastic crowd offered him the crown at Clerkenwell, and he was crowned on the following day at Westminster. (fn. 123) Four years later Henry VI was brought a prisoner to London after his capture in Lancashire. He was met on 24 July by the earl of Warwick at Islington, (fn. 124) where his gilt spurs were struck from his feet, and he was taken in bonds and under strong escort to the Tower. (fn. 125) The short period of his restoration in 1471 brought about the most important battle to which Middlesex can lay claim.
Edward of York landed in March of that year after his brief exile. He was proclaimed king at Nottingham, and marched towards London, closely followed by the earl of Warwick. London admitted the Yorkist army on Maundy Thursday (11 April). (fn. 126) Warwick hoped that Edward would keep Easter in London, and that he might then take him by surprise. In this, however, he was disappointed. Edward allowed his forces to rest on Good Friday, but on the Saturday set out to meet the enemy. (fn. 127) Knowing that his throne hung upon the forthcoming battle, he spared no pains to render his army efficient. 'Harness, weapons, horses, all engines, instruments meet for the war, he neither forgot nor slackly furnished. What shall I say more? He determined clearly to spend all his riches, yea all that he could imagine upon the chance of this battle ; firmly believing that this conflict should knit up all his labour and bring him to quietness.' (fn. 128) Henry VI, again dethroned and a prisoner, went in his train, both as a precaution against treachery in his rear, and as a protection in case the battle should go against him. (fn. 129)
Warwick had marched meanwhile from St. Albans, and had taken up a position on Gladesmore Heath, on the northern outskirts of Barnet. (fn. 130) He encamped there on the night of Easter Eve, hoping from that position to take the enemy's troops in detail as they came out of the narrow village of Barnet. Edward was too wary a soldier to be caught in this trap. Marching north towards Barnet he sent his advance-guard to drive Warwick's outposts from the town, but would allow none of his main body to enter it. (fn. 131) He drew his forces under cover of darkness very quietly to the right and took up a position on the then uninclosed slopes which fell eastward from the Hatfield-Barnet road on which Warwick's left was stationed. (fn. 132) But the manæuvre was not effected so quietly that Warwick did not detect it. He accordingly opened fire on the unseen foe, but not until Edward's forces were mostly under cover of the hill, so that the Lancastrian guns overshot their mark, (fn. 133) and Warwick had to be content to draw up his troops along the high road, where they passed the night under the hedge-side. (fn. 134) Edward would allow no guns to be fired in reply, so that his exact position should not be betrayed. He ordered the advance before sunrise on Easter morning, (fn. 135) and without any blowing of trumpets, and taking advantage of the thick mist, (fn. 136) the Yorkists fell upon the enemy. Warwick's right wing under the earl of Oxford and Lord Montagu swept across the heath and overpowered Hastings on the Yorkist left, driving him from the field. (fn. 137) His troops fled through Barnet, and spread the news even as far as London that Edward was already defeated. (fn. 138) Similar misfortune befell the Lancastrian left under the duke of Exeter, for they were driven back and overpowered by Gloucester on the Yorkist right. Consequently the positions of the forces were now so altered that the Yorkists faced south and the Lancastrians faced north. (fn. 139) Meanwhile the fight in the centre raged fiercely, Edward himself displaying great prowess. (fn. 140) The mist had lain so thick on the ground that the centre was unconscious of the triumph of the Lancastrian left, and Oxford's men returning from the pursuit of Edward's right wing were themselves mistaken for Yorkists, and before the mistake could be discovered, Warwick's men had fallen upon them. Oxford raised the cry of treason and fled from the field. (fn. 141) Edward, quick to take advantage of the confusion, pressed the attack hard, and after heavy fighting won the day. The Kingmaker was among the slain, but accounts vary as to the manner in which he met his death. (fn. 142) That commonly accepted is that he was fighting on toot, but when he saw that the day was lost, he hurried to his horse which was tethered near a wood, intending to escape, but encumbered by his heavy armour, he could not ride away before he was surrounded by the enemy and slain. (fn. 143) Whatever the manner of his death, his body and that of his brother Montagu were taken to London by the victorious Yorkists, and there exposed for several days. Of the Lancastrian leaders, Oxford alone escaped unhurt. (fn. 144) The duke of Exeter was badly wounded ; Sir William Tyrell, Sir Lewis Johns and many knights were killed. Edward also lost many adherents, among them Lord Cromwell, Lord Berners, Lord Say, and many others. (fn. 145)
The battle over, Edward refreshed himself at Barnet and proceeded to London. (fn. 146) A dozen years later his son passed along the same road to his coronation. He was in the charge of Richard of Gloucester, who had led the Yorkist right at Barnet, and who had just gained possession of his nephew's person by taking him from the guardianship of the Woodvilles. The royal party was met at Hornsey Park by the mayor and 500 citizens of London, (fn. 147) who escorted the boy-king to the capital, whence his mother had fled to sanctuary at Westminster on hearing that Gloucester, and not her brother, was approaching in charge of her son.
Under the Tudors, Middlesex began to assume its modern aspect. The Dissolution of the Monasteries was the first step towards transforming the county into a residential neighbourhood for London. The Church continued to be a great landowner in the county, but many small estates came into the hands of the king, who would grant them for short periods to favourites, statesmen or merchants of London. There was hardly a man of distinction who did not at some time in his career build a house or own a small property in Middlesex. These small estates, however, were so continually changing hands, so frequently falling to the crown and being re-granted, so often sold, divided, and forfeited, as practically to prevent the growth of a county gentry, (fn. 148) and thus to keep Middlesex from taking an independent part in the history of the time. The growing importance of London brought greater natural prosperity and increasing civilization to the county, but little corporate unity.
On the other hand, Middlesex saw much of the personages if not of the events of the time. Naturally the sovereign was continually passing through the county on his way to and from the capital. Thus in August, 1487, Henry VII was welcomed at Islington on his return from suppressing Lambert Simnel's rebellion. (fn. 149) In November of the same year, when he was journeying to London for the coronation of the queen, they were both met at Hornsey Park by sheriffs, with the mayor and principal commoners of London. (fn. 150) Under Henry VIII Middlesex became very popular with the royal family, both as a nursery for the younger members and as a place of recreation for those whom affairs of state kept within a day's journey from Westminster. In 1514 Wolsey obtained a ninety-nine years' lease of Hampton Manor from the priory of St. John of Jerusalem, (fn. 151) and began to build his magnificent palace, so magnificent that he found it prudent to offer it as a present to the king a year after it was completed. Wolsey was still allowed to use the palace himself on occasions, and in 1527, by the king's desire, he entertained Montmorenci, the French ambassador, in gorgeous state. (fn. 152) Three years later the cardinal passed through the county on his way to York, in deep disgrace and in comparative poverty. Nevertheless his train numbered a hundred and threescore persons, and he had twelve carts to carry 'his stuffe of his owne' and three score other carts for his 'daily carriage of necessities.' Coming from Richmond at the beginning of Passion Week he stayed for a night at the abbot of Westminster's house at Hendon, (fn. 153) and passed on the next day to a 'place where my lady Parry lay, called the Rye,' never to journey so far south again. Very different was the exit from our stage of Wolsey's successor to the chancellorship. Sir Thomas More passed the period after his retirement from public life at Chelsea on the estate which he had bought about 1520. (fn. 154) Very soon after the passing of the Act of Supremacy, he was summoned to take the oath at Lambeth. (fn. 155) Before setting out he went to Chelsea parish church 'to be confessed, to heare masse, and to be housed,' and then with forboding in his heart, bade farewell to his wife and family. Accompanied by his son-in-law, Roper, and his four servants, he took boat for Lambeth 'wherein sitting still sadly awhile, at the last he suddenly sounded me in the ear and said "Son Roper, I thank my God the field is won." ' (fn. 156) Henry VIII spent much of his time at Hampton Court after Wolsey's death. Here Edward was born, (fn. 157) and here twelve days later Jane Seymour died. Here Catherine Howard was disgraced, and here Henry married his sixth wife. The unfortunate Catherine Howard was confined at Syon House (fn. 158) from 14 November until three days before her execution, where she was ' kept very strict, but served as a queen.' (fn. 159) In 1547, Henry's corpse rested at Syon as the magnificent funeral procession was on its way to Windsor. (fn. 160) The heir to the throne was at Hertford when Henry died, whence he was brought privately to Enfield by the earl of Hertford and Sir Anthony Browne. (fn. 161) There he and his sister Elizabeth heard with many tears the news of their father's death, and on the following day (31 January), Edward made his state entry into London. (fn. 162)
Edward VI spent the summers of his reign at Hampton Court. He was there also in the October of 1549 when Somerset's ecclesiastical and economic policy brought his Protectorate to a close. The council was assembled in London 'thinking to meet with the Lord Protector to make him amend his disorders.' (fn. 163) Somerset wrote from Hampton Court in Edward's name asking why they gathered together their 'powers' and requesting that they should come peaceably to consult with him. But the following day, having heard how closely the council consulted together, (fn. 164) and guessing the hostility of their intentions towards him, he made ready to defend himself at Hampton Court. He had the palace gates repaired and brought down about five hundred ' harnesses' from the armoury for his own and the king's men. (fn. 165) He raised the country side, summoning all the king's loving subjects to repair to Hampton Court, 'in most defensible array, with harness and weapons to defend his most royal person and his most entirely beloved uncle, the Lord Protector,' against whom a conspiracy was suspected. (fn. 166) He requested the aid of the earl of Oxford's servants, asked Sir Henry Seymour to levy horse and foot, and wrote under the king's signet to the mayor, aldermen and citizens of London to send one thousand men 'well harnessed and with good and convenient weapons' to Hampton Court. (fn. 167) Then not content with these precautions, he decided to remove the king to Windsor. (fn. 168) Accordingly they set out between nine and ten o'clock of the same evening (6 October). He was subsequently charged with having alarmed the king by telling him that his life was in danger, and with having injured his health by the hasty removal to Windsor. (fn. 169) Somerset treated with the council by letter, (fn. 170) but on 14 October the lords came in person to the castle and carried him a prisoner through Holborn to the Tower. (fn. 171) The king returned the same day to Hampton Court, seemingly little affected by his uncle's fate, and the council met on 15 October to reorganize the government in the favour of Warwick. One of those who gained by this coup d'état was Sir Thomas Wroth of Durrants near Enfield, who was then made one of the four principal gentlemen of the king's privy chamber. It was the duty of two of these gentlemen to be always with the king, and in consideration of 'the singular care and travail that they should have about the king's person,' and also to secure their fidelity to Warwick, their salaries of £50 were increased by yet another £50. (fn. 172) Wroth was already a favourite of the king, having been appointed a gentleman of the chamber to Edward before his accession, a post which he owed to Cranmer's influence. (fn. 173) During the campaign of Pinkie, Wroth had been sent to Scotland in order that Edward might have a full and trustworthy account of the war. (fn. 174) After Somerset's fall he was made keeper of Syon House, which then reverted to the king until 1553, when it was granted to the duke of Northumberland. (fn. 175) Wroth was an ardent Protestant, and as such was privy to Northumberland's schemes to continue the Protestant succession after Edward's death.
Lady Jane Grey spent the greater part of her life in Middlesex. (fn. 176) She entered the household of Queen Catherine Parr when barely nine years old, and continued to live with Catherine and her second husband, Lord Thomas Seymour, both at Chelsea and at Hanworth. (fn. 177) After Seymour's impeachment and the fall of his brother Somerset, Jane's father allied himself closely with the Dudleys, and in 1553 brought his family to East Sheen, on the Surrey side of the river, in order to be near Northumberland's house at Syon. A marriage was arranged for Jane with Northumberland's fourth son, Guildford Dudley, as part of the plot to win the succession from the Tudors to the Dudleys. The marriage took place on Whit-Sunday (21 May, 1553) at Northumberland's London house in the Strand, (fn. 178) after which Jane went to live with her husband's parents in order that she might be at hand when Edward should die. She detested the duke and duchess, and after some trouble, obtained permission to retire 'for recreation' to Chelsea Place, which then belonged to Northumberland. (fn. 179) She was taken so ill there as to imagine herself to be poisoned. (fn. 180)
Edward VI died on 6 July. (fn. 181) Northumberland took great precautions that the news of the king's death might be kept secret, in order to secure the persons of his sisters, so no public announcement was made until 8 July. (fn. 182) Jane was still at Chelsea. Thither came Lady Sidney (fn. 183) on the ninth, with the news that Jane must repair the same night to Syon House, (fn. 184) where she must appear before the assembled council. They went up the river in a barge, the tide running so strongly that it was two hours before they reached Syon House. Lady Jane has herself described the scene which followed ; the deference of Northampton, Arundel, and Pembroke ; her astonishment when her own mother and mother-in-law paid their homage. (fn. 185) Finally, the duke of Northumberland, as president of the council, declared the death of the king, and that Edward had left the crown by his will to Lady Jane. The lords of the council then performed their homage, swearing to support her to the death, 'whilst I having heard all this, remained as stunned, and out of myself.' Bewildered and full of foreboding, surrounded by those she hated and feared, yet unable, a girl of sixteen, to withstand their will, Lady Jane fell to the ground, wept, lamented the death of the king, swooned-and submitted. (fn. 186) The next day she was conducted to Westminster and then to the Tower, as much a prisoner then, as the gorgeous procession swept down the river, as when, the nine days' reign at an end, she was at the mercy of Queen Mary. (fn. 187)
All the lords and ladies near London flocked in to see the coronation, but the popular feeling in Middlesex ran very strongly against Northumberland. As he rode out through Shoreditch a few days later on his mission to fetch Mary from Newmarket he remarked to one who rode near him 'The people press to see us, but not one sayeth God spede us.' (fn. 188) When, as Mary's prisoner, he again passed through the place, 'all the people reviled him and called him traitor and heretic.' (fn. 189) Mary's triumphant entry took place on 30 July. The last miles of her progress through Middlesex were thronged with crowds, whose enthusiasm left no doubt as to the popularity of her cause. The Princess Elizabeth rode out from Somerset House to meet her sister, and at Whitechapel the mayor and aldermen delivered up the sword of the City to the new queen. (fn. 190)
It was fortunate for Sir Thomas Wroth that he was not one of those who suffered for the attempt to oust Mary from the throne. He must have been acquainted with the whole scheme, as he was in attendance on Edward VI till the last, (fn. 191) and signed the letters patent limiting the crown to Lady Jane Grey, but fortunately for himself he took no active part in the rebellion. He was sent to the Tower on 27 July, but was very soon released. In January, 1553-4, when Suffolk was meditating the second rising, Wroth was urged to join, but he prudently refrained. Bishop Gardiner proposed his arrest, (fn. 192) but Wroth escaped, probably through the influence of his son-in-law, Lord Rich, and he spent the remainder of Mary's reign abroad, mostly at Frankfort and Strasburg. (fn. 193)
In February, 1553-4, the queen's intended marriage with Philip of Spain brought about the rebellion of Wyatt and the men of Kent. (fn. 194) On the night of Shrove Tuesday (6 February) the insurgents crossed the Thames at Kingston, intending to pass quickly through southern Middlesex and to gain an entrance to the City in the early morning. (fn. 195) But before they reached Brentford their advance was discovered; (fn. 196) and the news being carried to London, the queen's forces had ample time in which to take up a strong position across the road by which Wyatt must advance. (fn. 197) As Wyatt had been delayed by the dismounting of a piece of artillery, when he heard that London was already warned of his approach, he encamped for the night to refresh his men, who were very weary and faint from want of food. (fn. 198) By ten o'clock the following morning Wyatt was advancing through Kensington, and on reaching the corner of Hyde Park he found the queen's troops, under the earl of Pembroke, drawn up across his path. After a sharp skirmish Wyatt's little force was cut in two. Those in the rear found it impossible to rejoin their leader and as many as were able fled back, along the way they had come, to Brentford. (fn. 199) Wyatt still went forward, but the story of his subsequent battle at Charing Cross (fn. 200) and of his disappointment at Ludgate belong to the history of Westminster and London. (fn. 201)
Wyatt's rebellion nearly cost Princess Elizabeth her life. The queen sent for her sister to come from Ashridge, Hertfordshire, to answer the charge of implication in the plot, and sent the royal physician to see that Elizabeth did not evade the command by pleading illness. (fn. 202) Starting on the day of Lady Jane Grey's execution, (fn. 203) and travelling very slowly, Elizabeth came on the third night of her journey to 'Mr. Dodd's at Mimms,' and on the fourth to Mr. Cholmeley's at Highgate, where she stayed for more than a week, too ill to proceed. (fn. 204) It is little wonder that Elizabeth journeyed slowly, nor that she could truly plead ill-health, for the future looked black enough. There were gibbets at each of the City gates, and the public buildings were crowded with the heads of the noblest in the land. (fn. 205) Whatever her fears, Elizabeth showed a brave front. On the day on which she entered London, the same morning that Suffolk was executed, the road from Highgate was thronged with gazing and weeping crowds. (fn. 206) She bade her attendants uncover the litter in which she was carried so that the people might see her as she sat clothed in white ; and though her countenance was pale, her bearing was 'proud, lofty, and disdainful, by which she endeavoured to conceal her trouble.' (fn. 207) Elizabeth's popularity, as well as her own prudence and wit, saved her life; but the following Christmas she was again journeying through Middlesex uncertain of her fate, this time to appear before Mary at Hampton Court. She was brought under strong escort from Woodstock, and on her way stayed for a night at the George Inn at Colnbrook, on the borders of Middlesex and Buckinghamshire. (fn. 208) There she was met by sixty gentlemen and yeomen from her own retinue at Somerset House, 'much to all their comforts,' for they had not seen her for several months. (fn. 209) They were not to receive much comfort from their meeting, for Sir Henry Benefield, who had the custody of Elizabeth, would not allow them to approach near enough to speak to her, but commanded them in the queen's name immediately to leave the town, 'to both their own and her grace's no little heaviness.' (fn. 210) Hardly reassured by this incident, Elizabeth reached Hampton Court the next night, and found herself installed in 'the prince's lodgings,' with the doors locked and guarded. She was left for several days to wonder what fate was in store for her, occasionally visited by Bishop Gardiner, who vainly tried to extort from her some confession of conspiracy against the queen. (fn. 211) Her suspense was ended one night when at ten o'clock she received a summons to the queen's presence. Imagining herself to be in great danger, and requesting the prayers of her attendant-' for she could not tell if she should ever see her again'-she followed Sir Henry Benefield through the garden and up the stairs which led to the queen's lodgings. (fn. 212) But her fears proved groundless. The expectation of an heir to the throne made the queen look upon her sister as a far less dangerous rival than hitherto, and Philip of Spain was anxious to please the English people, and that the popular princess should join the royal festivities at Christmastide. A reconciliation took place between the sisters, (fn. 213) and throughout the brilliant scenes of the following days Elizabeth was recognized as the second royal personage in the realm. (fn. 214)
Elizabeth was always a familiar and popular figure in Middlesex. She had spent the greater part of her youth at Chelsea (fn. 215) and at Enfield, (fn. 216) and during Mary's reign she was allowed to hunt in Enfield Chase. (fn. 217) On her accession in November, 1558, huge multitudes crowded to welcome her at Highgate, and to witness the procession of bishops kneel by the wayside to offer their allegiance ; which was graciously accepted except in the case of Bishop Bonner, to whom Elizabeth refused her hand. (fn. 218)
During the early part of her reign Elizabeth often returned to Elsing Hall at Enfield, (fn. 219) and in 1578 she honoured Sir Thomas Gresham, at Osterley, with a visit, when he entertained her with great magnificence. (fn. 220) Hampton Court was one of her favourite residences, and she kept Christmas there in 1572 and 1593.
Great indignation was aroused in 1586 by Babington's conspiracy against the queen's life. Babington had been detained at Walsingham's house in London, apparently as his guest, until one night he discovered that the all-powerful minister was fully informed of his intention to assassinate the queen. (fn. 221) Babington immediately took to flight, and having warned his fellow-conspirators they all fled to St. John's Wood, (fn. 222) which then afforded good covert to robbers and outlaws. To disguise Babington his friends cut off his hair and 'besmeared and soiled the natural beauty of his face with green walnut shells.' (fn. 223) 'Being constrained by famine' they went to Okington at Harrow-on-the-Hill, a house belonging to a Roman Catholic family of the name of Bellamy. There they were hidden in a barn, fed, and clothed 'in rusticall habit.' Warrants had been issued for their arrest, and such was the popular indignation aroused by Walsingham's exaggerated reports of the plot (fn. 224) that the fugitives did not dare try to make their escape. When they had been in hiding for ten days, however, they were discovered, and were taken to London for their trial. Suspicion fell heavily on all recusants living within a few miles to the north of London. (fn. 225) Many houses were searched, (fn. 226) and many persons examined. The Bellamies suffered severely for having aided the fugitives; Mrs. Bellamy was committed to the Fleet Prison, and her son Jerome was executed on the charge of having 'aided and relieved Babington, Barnewell, and Dune in the woods and in his mother's hay-barn after that he understood that search was made for them as traitors for conspiring the death of the queen's majesty.' (fn. 227)
Two years later the whole county was in a bustle of preparation to resist the Spanish invasion. The conduct of military affairs in Middlesex lay mostly in the hands of Sir Gilbert Gerard, Sir Robert Wroth, and Sir Owen Hopton. (fn. 228) Under their direction, the quota of men for the county was drilled for many months before the invader sailed. (fn. 229) In April 1,500 men were raised, in June 1,000 more, and in July, thirtyfive lances, and eighty-eight light horse. (fn. 230) Middlesex with Warwickshire and Leicestershire supplied the guard for the queen's person, and in July, 1,000 of the county's trained bands were specially detailed for this purpose. (fn. 231) When the army was finally mustered, it was quartered largely in East Ham and Hackney, to protect the queen, and to defend Kent and Essex as need arose. (fn. 232) The tense expectation ended at last, the enemy hove in sight, the long-prepared beacons were lighted, and 'high on bleak Hampstead's swarthy moor, they started for the North.'
We hear little of Middlesex during the rest of Elizabeth's reign, and as little during the reign of her successor. James was given a hearty welcome on his accession, when he journeyed from Scotland to London. At Theobalds (Hertfordshire) he created many new knights, among whom was Sir Vincent Skinner of Middlesex. On his way thence to London (7 May) he was met on the boundaries of the county by the sheriffs of London and Middlesex, and at Stamford Hill by the chief gentlemen of the hundreds. Of these, Sir Thomas Fowler, Sir Hugh Losse, and Sir Arthur Attie were knighted at the Charterhouse on 11 May. (fn. 233) James took such a fancy to Theobalds, when he stayed there on his way to London, that he took possession of it, giving the Cecils, to whom it belonged, their present estate at Hatfield. In 1608 he caused his house at Enfield to be pulled down, and the materials removed to Theobalds, (fn. 234) so that Enfield did not see so much of court life as hitherto.
Some scenes of the conspiracy of 1605 took place in the county, though none of the plotters were Middlesex men. Garnet had lodgings at Enfield, where the conspirators occasionally met. (fn. 235) During the ten days before Parliament assembled, Catesby and Fawkes came to White Webbes, a house in Enfield Chase, where they were visited by Thomas Winter. (fn. 236) The famous letter by which Tresham conveyed his mysterious warning to Lord Monteagle was received by the latter at his house in Hoxton, where he dined on the evening of 26 October. (fn. 237) The following morning, Winter went to White Webbes to tell Catesby his suspicions of Tresham, and to entreat him to give up the enterprise, and flee the country. Catesby, however, was cool and firm and decided to wait until the 30 October, when Fawkes would rejoin him, and could be sent to examine the cellar at Westminster. A week later, the conspirators were riding for their lives along the road from London to Ashby St. Legers-Catesby and John Wright first, then Christopher Wright and Percy ; in the afternoon Rokewood overtook Keyes at Highgate, and lastly came Winter. Percy had promised to give all he could get from the earl of Northumberland's rents to the cause, and expected to raise about £4,000. (fn. 238) For this reason he went to Syon House on 4 November, on the night of which Fawkes was seized in the cellar. Syon House and Isleworth manor had only been granted to Northumberland the preceding year, and he was now 'treated with uncommon rigour by the Star Chamber, for what at most amounted to a presumption of being privy to the Gunpowder Plot.' (fn. 239) Feeling ran so high at the time, that even a 'presumption' was sufficient on which to fine the earl £30,000, and to confine him in the Tower for fifteen years. Northumberland offered his Isleworth estates to the king in payment of the fine, but they were not accepted, and he was forced to remain a prisoner until 1621. (fn. 240)
During the reign of Charles I, there was a great deal of opposition in Middlesex to the king's methods of raising money. The committee raised to collect the forced loan of September, 1626, reported in October that John Brookes, Edward Bastwick, and William Webb had contemptuously refused to contribute. (fn. 241) To which the king replied that those who would not serve him with their purses should serve with their persons, and ordered that they should be enrolled forthwith among the soldiers. (fn. 242) Thirteen more persons 'all of reasonable ability' refused to contribute on the following day, and warrants were issued against them. (fn. 243) The burden of ship-money (fn. 244) was felt all the more severely in Middlesex because the county suffered severely at this time from repeated visits of the plague. The districts round London naturally suffered most both from depopulation and from the interruption to trade. (fn. 245) The county had originally been assessed at £5,500, but the sum was reduced to £5,000. (fn. 246) The whole abatement of £500 was taken off the hundred of Ossulstone, upon which there arose great outcry from the hundreds of Elthorne, Spelthorne, and Isleworth, urging that those hundreds had to bear the charges of watch and ward at Hampton Court, as well as the extraordinary carriage for His Majesty's provisions to the Court, (fn. 247) and that therefore they were as much entitled to share the abatement as was the hundred of Ossulstone. Complaints did not only come from the poverty stricken. In 1636, the inhabitants of Chelsea, a suburb which was then increasing in favour with the well-to-do, discovered that they were taxed at a higher rate than the larger district of Acton. (fn. 248) The sheriffs replied to their complaints that Chelsea was rated so highly because of the persons of honour and quality who had summer houses there, and who owned land and property elsewhere. (fn. 249) In 1639, there was actual resistance to the collectors of ship-money in the hundred of Gore, and no less than forty distresses were taken at Harrow-on-the-Hill alone. (fn. 250)
In 1640, the levies for the Scottish War and the demand for coatand-conduct money were greatly resented, (fn. 251) and such was the state of discontent in Middlesex, that in May the trained bands were ordered to be exercised on all holidays, in order to prevent riots. (fn. 252)
In January, 1642, some of the Middlesex trained bands were stationed in the new guard-house built by the king at Whitehall, (fn. 253) which it was said so frightened the Commons that they decided to hold their Committee meetings at the Guildhall. On the occasion of the attempted arrest of the five members, the Commons 'who had been very high before the King came,' sent for troops to the City. But failing to obtain them, they sent to the trained bands in the corps-de-garde at Whitehall, 'but they (the trained bands), stayed still.' (fn. 254) Two days later, the Committee of the Commons, sitting at the Guildhall, stated that it was necessary for the safety of both Houses of Parliament that the sheriffs of Middlesex and London should attend with the 'posse comitatus.' (fn. 255)
As far as Middlesex was concerned, the crisis of the Civil War came very early in the struggle. In September, 1642, Essex passed through on his way to face the king, taking with him his coffin, scutcheon and winding-sheet as a sign that he would be faithful to the death. (fn. 256) Then came Edgehill, and then the king's march southward. London was in a panic, and when the king reached Reading on 2 November, the news was received 'with the greatest horror.' The peace-party, led by the earl of Northumberland, hourly increased in power. Negotiations were opened with Charles, but he received them coldly. He had information each night of what passed in Parliament during the day, and to quicken the desire for peace, he advanced to Colnbrook, (fn. 257) 'this indeed exalted their appetite to peace.' (fn. 258) On 11 November, an embassy was sent to Colnbrook, consisting of the earls of Northumberland and Pembroke, Lord Wenman, William Pierpoint, and Sir John Hippesley, carrying a petition from Parliament 'for the removal of these bloody distempers.' (fn. 259) On receiving the petition, Charles tried to gain some immediate advantage by proposing that Windsor should be yielded to him as a convenient place from which negotiations might be held. To the surprise of Parliament, Charles said nothing about a cessation of arms pending the negotiations. Therefore the Houses thought it prudent to order Essex (who had just brought back the remnant of his army from Edgehill), to take the field ; but they ordered that he should abstain from any open act of hostility while they sent again to the king to point out these omissions. (fn. 260) Clarendon admits that Charles had returned such an answer to Parliament as would lead them to suppose that he would approach no nearer to London while negotiations were pending. But he says that Prince Rupert had already advanced towards Brentford, that the king was bound to follow him in order to support the cavalry. (fn. 261) Charles himself wrote on the following day that on the night of 11 November, 'after the departure of the Committee of both Houses with our gracious answer to their petition, we received certain information that the earl of Essex had drawn his forces out of London towards us, which has necessitated our sudden resolution to march with our forces to Brainceford.' (fn. 262) He still protested his readiness to negotiate, and stated that he would receive terms at Brentford. Parliament then sent to the king to explain that their forces were instructed not to open hostilities, but the messenger found an engagement already in progress, and returned without fulfilling his mission. (fn. 263)
Whatever the explanation, the facts were that on the morning of 12 November, Rupert appeared suddenly through the mist (fn. 264) which lay heavily on the ground near the river, and fell on Hollis's regiment, (fn. 265) which had taken up a position just west of Brentford. Hollis was forced back into the town, where Brook's regiment was quartered. Here the two regiments maintained an unequal fight, having barricaded the narrow entrance to the town, and 'cast up some little breastwork at the most convenient places.' (fn. 266) The whole of Charles's army seems to have come up before the place was taken. (fn. 267) A Welsh regiment which had been 'faulty' at Edgehill, now recovered its honour and forced the barricades. 'After a very warm service, the King's troops entered the town.' (fn. 268) The chief officers and many soldiers on the Parliamentary side were killed, besides many who were drowned in the river in their attempts to escape; eleven colours and fifteen pieces of cannon, besides large quantities of ammunition were captured by the Royalists. (fn. 269) The town was plundered unmercifully, and before nightfall was thoroughly sacked. (fn. 270) That night most of the king's army 'lay in the cold fields.' (fn. 271)
During the day of this attack on Brentford the Parliamentary army in and about London drew together with all haste. The life guards were already mustered in Chelsea Fields when they heard the sound of the volleys in the west. (fn. 272) 'With unspeakable expedition' Essex gathered the trained bands together 'with their brightest equipage.' (fn. 273) All through the evening of 12 November, his forces streamed out along the Bath road, until by eight o'clock on the morning of the thirteenth, a large body of troops was drawn up on Turnham Green. (fn. 274) This army was nearly twice the size of the king's, but was of very mixed composition. There were a few veterans who had fought at Edgehill, but the greater part consisted of trained bands, and untrained volunteers, who were incapable of the complicated evolutions necessary for a successful attack on the enemy. On the defensive, the stubborn spirit of the troops made them a formidable array, nerved as they were by the popular report that if the king once entered London, he would allow Rupert to pillage the City unrestrained.
The king was in a difficult position. It would be madness to attack Essex's superior force, for 'he had no convenient place for his horse (which is the greatest pillar of the army to fight).' (fn. 275) Yet it was useless to stay where he was, while the enemy increased the strength of their position, and while a force of 3,000 men was stationed under Sir John Ramsay in his rear, holding the bridge at Kingston for the Parliament. (fn. 276) Essex was strongly urged to order Ramsay to attack the king's rear, but the professional soldiers in the army were much opposed to the scheme, and finally Ramsay was ordered to fall back along the south side of the Thames to defend London Bridge. (fn. 277) Later in the day Essex sent Hampden to sweep round the flank of the king's army, and it was probably this force which took part in the skirmish on a hill near Acton; but the professionals prevailed upon Essex to recall Hampden before the manæuvre was complete. (fn. 278) The armies remained facing one another all that day, a few cannon shots only being exchanged, and many were the complaints of inactivity among the Parliamentarians. (fn. 279) A great number of spectators had ridden out of London to see the fight, and these were bold enough when all was quiet, but hastily galloped away whenever the king's army showed signs of movement-to the demoralization of the recruits, a few of whom took the opportunity to decamp at each stampede. (fn. 280)
Towards evening, as the king found that Essex did not mean to attack him, he drew off his troops towards Kingston, leaving only a small force between Old and New Brentford to cover his retreat. (fn. 281) These followed the main body as soon as they were fired upon, and Essex took possession of Brentford without striking a blow. (fn. 282) He was at once surrounded by a hungry crowd of the plundered townspeople, who declared that the town had been stripped and clamoured for food. Fortunately the wives and sisters of the citizens in the trained bands had provided a goodly supply of loaves for their husbands and brothers, and these were devoted to the stricken inhabitants of Brentford. (fn. 283)
The Royalists in Kingston welcomed Charles and gave him the command of the bridge (the first above the City in those days). Essex feared that the king meant to make his way into Kent where he had many partisans among the gentry. The earl therefore threw a bridge of boats across the Thames from Fulham to Putney, so that he could speedily transfer his army to Surrey if necessary. (fn. 284) But Charles made no attempt to go into Kent. The army took up its quarters in Kingston, while he stayed the night at Hampton Court (fn. 285) before removing to Oatlands. His troops shortly withdrew to Reading, and on 29 November Oxford became the royal head quarters.
The engagement at Brentford and the action of the following day formed a turning-point in the struggle between the king and the Parliament. It was now certain that the war must be prolonged. Charles's march towards London had seemed like a triumphal progress, but it had been checked by a hastily gathered army, and his troops never again approached so near to the capital. His conduct in ordering or allowing the attack on Brentford while negotiations were pending, though no doubt defensible on military grounds, was most strongly resented both in London and Middlesex, and did much to turn the scale of favour against him. (fn. 286) The petition of the plundered inhabitants of Brentford, and the generous response to the order for a collection to be made in their aid, show with what feelings Middlesex regarded the royal army. (fn. 287)
Although after November, 1642, the royal cause had little chance of success in Middlesex, yet many of the gentry of the county belonged to the king's party and followed him to Oxford. Sir Arthur Aston of Fulham distinguished himself at Edgehill by driving the right wing of the Parliamentary army from the field. (fn. 288) He was made commander of Reading when the king went to Oxford, and was probably at the taking of Bristol. Later he was made governor of Oxford, where he was much hated for his cruelty and imperious temper. (fn. 289) Among those who followed the king to Oxford were John Cary of Marylebone Park, Sir Francis Rowse of Hedgstone Manor, Harrow, and Sir Henry Wroth of Durrants. Sir Henry Spiller of Laleham took up arms for the king, as did also Sir Robert Fenn and his son, and Sir John Kaye. (fn. 290) One of the most conspicuous figures in Middlesex at this time was Henry Rich, earl of Holland, who owned Holland House in Kensington. He was a man of ability, and had been prominent at court during the early part of the reign, but his lack of principle and instability of character prevented him when the crisis came from serving either side with success or fidelity. Before the war he had attached himself to the queen's party, and was made general of the horse when war broke out with Scotland. (fn. 291) When the army was disbanded he retired to Holland House, having received some imaginary cause for offence. (fn. 292) At the opening of the Civil War, Holland sided with the Parliament, and was present with Essex at the battle of Turnham Green; indeed the Parliamentary historians lay it to his account that Essex made no decisive action against the king that day. (fn. 293) In August, 1643, when the peers who had remained at Westminster began to leave their seats, Holland set out with Bedford to join the king at Oxford. (fn. 294) They were stopped at Wallingford while the king deliberated whether they should be received or not. All considerations of prudence counselled a warm welcome, but the Royalist hopes were high at that time, and under the queen's influence the majority of the council urged that the fugitives should be treated with scorn. (fn. 295) Charles took a middle course. The earls were to be allowed to come to Oxford, but every one was to treat them as he thought best. Holland received nothing but cold looks, and though he followed the king to Colchester and was present at Newbury, he was disappointed in the hope that he would be restored to his office as groom of the stole. He still refused to acknowledge that he had committed any offence in siding with the rebels, and leaving the king's party on 6 November he threw himself at the feet of Parliament, 'which after a short imprisonment gave him leave to live in his own house without further considering him as a man able to do little good or harm.' (fn. 296) He employed his time in publishing a declaration of the causes of his going to and returning from Oxford, which lost him the regard of the few friends he still retained.
After Brentford, Middlesex was completely at the disposal of Parliament. The proceedings of the Committee for the Advance of Money fell very heavily on the county in 1643. The object of the committee was to furnish the sinews of war, and at first its exactions fell mainly on those within a twenty-mile radius of London. No distinction of party was made in the first instances, but gradually delinquents came to be more frequently and heavily taxed. In April, 1643, Sir Nicholas Crispe, whose house in Lime Street was sold 'by the candle,' also had his estate at Hammersmith despoiled, and his goods carried to London for the use of the Parliament. (fn. 297) Sir Thomas Allen, who lived at Finchley, was assessed at £1,000, and his household goods were distrained for arrears. (fn. 298) There is a long list of those who were called upon to pay sums varying from £200 to £2,000. (fn. 299) Sir John Wolfenstone of Stanmore was said to have lost £100,000 during the war by fines, and by the seizure of his estates. (fn. 300)
The country round London, and especially the south-western portion of Middlesex, was used as a camping and recruiting ground for the Parliamentary armies. In August, 1643, when Essex was about to raise the siege of Gloucester, the rendezvous for the army was appointed for Hounslow Heath. Some of the Commons who rode out to inspect the troops reported them to be 'a very shattered and broken body,' and found their general in a very dispirited condition. (fn. 301) They used every effort to recruit the army (fn. 302) and such was their energy that in three weeks three regiments of auxiliary forces had been raised, and these with three regiments of London trained bands gave Essex an additional 5,000 men. (fn. 303) On Saturday, 26 August, he broke camp from his last stations at Colnbrook and Uxbridge with an army 'so full of patience as that with one fortnight's pay (being much in arrears) they were content to march against all these difficulties.' (fn. 304) When Essex returned in triumph at the end of September, he held a review of all the London trained bands in Finsbury Fields.
In May, 1643, great alarm was felt lest the king should march against London, and trenches were hastily made on all the approaches to the City, such as at Islington, in the fields near St. Pancras, and at Mile End, at which men, and even women and children, worked day and night. (fn. 305) There was another alarm in the campaign of 1644, when Essex and Waller had separated and the king entered Buckinghamshire with Waller hopelessly in the rear. A force was hastily collected, with which Major-general Browne was ordered to defend the country between London and the king. On 25 June Sir Gilbert Gerrard reported four thousand men to be ready in Middlesex. (fn. 306) Two days earlier his own regiment, which he had raised in the county, was ordered to march to Hertford under Browne. (fn. 307) The rest of the force was composed of men from the eastern counties of a non-military character, but luckily for Browne's little force the king could not shake off Waller and on 29 June fought at Cropredy Bridge.
Middlesex supplied many men during that year for the Parliamentary armies. In March sixty horse were sent into the field. (fn. 308) After the second battle of Newbury all the forces of the county were drawn to Staines to defend the western approaches to London. (fn. 309) During the winter of 1644-5 Middlesex men were in garrison at Windsor Castle. (fn. 310) In March, 1645, 2,500 men were raised in Middlesex with London, Westminster and Southwark, and in June an additional 800 to recruit Fairfax's army. (fn. 311) A troop of forty horse were with Major-general Browne at Abingdon in January, 1644-5, when he complained of frequent desertions because of the straitness of their quarters, the scantiness of victuals, and the lack of money ; (fn. 312) 200 more were sent to him in June. (fn. 313) Four hundred foot joined Cromwell before Oxford, (fn. 314) and in June the county forces marched under Colonel Massey to relieve Taunton, and 'went forth with much cheerfulness.' When Fairfax's army was at Reading during the summer of 1645 recruiting went on apace in Middlesex.
The county suffered not only from the continual drain of men and money, but also from the billeting of troops. In January, 1643-4, a petition was presented to Parliament from the inhabitants of Middlesex and other of the south and eastern counties, (fn. 315) against ' the intolerable oppression and undoing grievance of Free Quarter' which 'has rendered us no better than mere conquered slaves' of the soldiers, who 'like so many Egyptian locusts feed so long upon us at free costs.' (fn. 316) In November, 1644, the gentlemen of Middlesex again petitioned, and Essex was desired to punish the 'particular insolencies' which were complained of. (fn. 317) In the following April Fairfax was commanded to remove his forces which lay in Middlesex, and the county was empowered to refuse lodging to such officers and soldiers as had not proper warrant from their superior officers. (fn. 318)
In 1644-5 was held that abortive conference known as the Treaty of Uxbridge. The Commissioners met on 29 January. Those representing the king were quartered on the south side of the town, those representing the Parliament were on the north side, (fn. 319) each party having a 'best inn' reserved for their use. (fn. 320) On the evening of their arrival the two parties exchanged visits. (fn. 321) Sir John Bennet's house at the Buckinghamshire end of the town was appointed as a 'treaty house,' and it was arranged that the king's party should come in by the 'foreway' and the Parliament's by the 'backway,' a room in the middle of the house having been arranged for the meetings. (fn. 322) Uxbridge was in the Parliamentary country, and the Royalists were treated as guests, but Clarendon declares that the townspeople observed that the Parliament's men did not look as much at home as did the cavaliers, and adds that the former had not that 'alacrity and serenity of mind as men use to have who do not believe themselves to be at fault.' (fn. 323) The conference was to last twenty days, not counting the days of coming and returning, nor the days spent in devotion, 'there falling out three Sundays and one fast day in those first twenty days.' On the first morning of the conference Christopher Love, a celebrated Puritan divine, preached the usual market-day sermon. He told the large congregation that the king's commissioners were come with 'hearts of blood,' and that there was as great a distance between the Treaty and peace as between heaven and hell. The Cavaliers complained, but the Parliamentarians disowned him, and he was afterwards reprimanded by Parliament. (fn. 324)
The discussions and wranglings over ecclesiastical, military and Irish questions do not belong to the history of Middlesex. The negotiations from the first were hopeless, and early served to show how unlikely was the chance of any settlement between Charles and the Parliament. The main proceedings had opened on 31 January, and they came to an end on Saturday, 22 February. On the Sunday both sides rested in the town, and spent the afternoon in exchanging farewells, 'parting with such dryness towards each other as if they scarce hoped to meet again.' The Parliament had allowed two days for the Royalists to return to Oxford as the time of year was bad for travelling, but the king's commissioners were so unwilling to run the risk of being caught on the road after the armistice ended, that they were in their coaches early enough on the Monday morning to kiss the king's hand at Oxford that night. (fn. 325)
In 1647 came the struggle between the Presbyterians in Parliament and the Independents in the army, the bone of contention which brought matters to a crisis being the control of the City Militia. There were stormy scenes in Parliament on 26 July, (fn. 326) and when the Houses met again after a four days' adjournment it was found that the Independent members with the two speakers, Lenthall and Manchester, had fled to the army. (fn. 327)
The army under Fairfax had left Bedford on 29 July en route for London, and disregarding the order of Parliament that the army should remain fifty miles from the City, Fairfax had reached Uxbridge after a hard march on 30 July. (fn. 328) A meeting was held privately at Syon House between Fairfax with his officers on the one side and the earl of Northumberland, Lord Saye and Sele, Lord Wharton, with the speakers and other members, on the other. (fn. 329) Meanwhile the Independent party in London had grown bolder, and the City had become tired of anarchy and riots, and a deputation, therefore, waited on Fairfax at his quarters on 3 August. (fn. 330) The general stated in a long declaration that the army was about to march on London, and that the eleven members of Parliament who had been previously impeached by the army must be given up immediately. (fn. 331) Then followed a dramatic scene which is supposed to have been prearranged. The whole army, 20,000 strong, was drawn up on Hounslow Heath (fn. 332) in battalions which stretched near a mile and a half in length. (fn. 333) Fairfax rode on to the Heath accompanied by the earls of Northumberland, Salisbury and Kent, Lord Grey of Wark, Lord Howard of Escrick, Lords Wharton, Saye and Sele, and Mulgrove, besides the two speakers and about a hundred members of the House of Commons. (fn. 334) The General accompanied by the said lords and gentlemen then rode along the entire length of the army from regiment to regiment. They were received with tumultuous enthusiasm, and with cries of 'Lords and Commons and a free Parliament.' (fn. 335) After this demonstration, the fugitive members took their leave of the army, some going to Syon House with the earl of Northumberland, and some to Stanwell with Lord Saye and Sele. Later in the day the Elector Palatine came on to the heath, and reviewed the army in company with Fairfax and many other gentlemen, and was also warmly greeted. (fn. 336)
Fairfax was now assured of success. Southwark had sent a message imploring his aid, and he had dispatched Colonel Raynesborough with a brigade of horse, foot and cannon from Hampton Court to take possession. (fn. 337) On the afternoon of 3 August the City surrendered, and a letter was written to Fairfax announcing this decision. He received it on the morning of the 4th at Isleworth, whither he had removed on the previous day. (fn. 338) On the 5th the whole army moved nearer to London, the General taking up his quarters at Hammersmith in the house of Sir Nicholas Crispe, who had fled to France. (fn. 339) He met the commissioners from the City at the end of the town that morning, and they announced the surrender of the forts along the river. On 6 August the fugitive members met Fairfax at the earl of Holland's house at Kensington, where they subscribed to a declaration expressing their agreement with the army in its late proceedings. (fn. 340) The whole army then marched in triumphal procession into London; Fairfax, with the Lords and Commons, was surrounded by a guard three deep, and every soldier in the force was crowned with laurels. (fn. 341)
Meanwhile the king had been taken to Stoke Abbey when the army entered Middlesex, but as soon as Fairfax had come to an agreement with the City, Charles was removed to Hampton Court. (fn. 342) Except that he must remain at the Palace, Charles was allowed absolute freedom. His friends and servants had free access to his person, and the citizens of London rode out frequently to Hampton as they had been used to do at the end of a progress. (fn. 343) Lord Capel came with news of the Royalists in Jersey, (fn. 344) and the marquis of Ormond with news from Ireland. (fn. 345) Charles was allowed also to see his children whom Parliament had placed under the care of the earl of Northumberland. They had been removed from Whitehall to Northumberland's house at Syon on account of the plague, and were within easy riding distance of Hampton Court. (fn. 346)
The months which followed were passed in negotiations with the army and with the Scots. At first Cromwell came often from his quarters at Putney to see the king, but after the latter's refusal of the Heads of Proposals, the feeling of the army rose hotly against Charles, and the Scots grew proportionately more pressing in their demands that he should throw himself into their hands. On 22 October Loudoun, Lauderdale and Lanark presented themselves at Hampton Court with a written assurance that the Scots were prepared to assist Charles in the recovery of his throne. (fn. 347) They came again on the following day, accompanied by fifty horse, and urged the king to escape under their escort. (fn. 348) Charles, however, would not take so decided a step, and when at length he decided on escape, only Ashburnham, Berkeley and Legge were in the secret. (fn. 349) His first preparations aroused the suspicions of Colonel Whalley, who was in command of the guard at the palace. At the end of October, therefore, he posted guards within as well as without, and on 1 November Ashburnham and most of the king's attendants were removed from Hampton Court. (fn. 350) On 9 November Charles received a mysterious letter informing him that the Levellers, his enemies in the army, had resolved on his death. (fn. 351) He could still communicate with Ashburnham, and that night Berkeley was brought secretly to the palace and final preparations were made for the escape. (fn. 352) On the Thursday, 11 November, the king retired early to his room; (fn. 353) horses were brought to the back door of the garden, to which there was a passage from the king's room, (fn. 354) and accompanied by Ashburnham, Berkeley and Legge he made his escape unnoticed. (fn. 355)
The alarm was given within half an hour of his departure, but the king and the fugitives were already across the river. The officers who broke into the king's apartments found only some letters on the table in the king's handwriting, and a cloak cast aside on the way to the water. (fn. 356) Colonel Whalley immediately sent word to Cromwell at Putney, who apparently hastened over to Hampton Court, and having assured himself of the king's escape dispatched the news to Speaker Lenthall. (fn. 357)
Middlesex seems to have shared the general Royalist reaction which preceded the second Civil War. The county joined with Kent, Essex, and Surrey in a declaration to the army under Fairfax in which were rehearsed the 'many miseries' of the time, and the attempts to restore prosperity to the nation by the proposed 're-establishment of his Majesty unto his royal rights, the Settlement of Religion and Liberty according unto the known received Laws, and (upon payment of their arrears) the disbanding of the army.' (fn. 358) Having affirmed the failure of the Parliament to attain 'the ends for which we first engaged them,' and that the Parliament had 'for divers years continued free-born people of England in a greater servitude than at any time since the Norman Conquest,' the gentlemen of the county announced their intention to arm, and 'by our power (God assisting) to command what we could not entreat.' To this end they 'heartily and seriously' invited the soldiers of the army either to 'repair unto us with your horses and arms,' or to go to their own homes, in which case their whole arrears should be paid. (fn. 359) Little result seems to have come of the Declaration. The second Civil War was soon over as far as Middlesex was concerned.
A general rising was planned by the queen and Jermyn, which was to follow the appearance of the Scots in England. The earl of HoMand, who through the influence of the lord of Carlisle had made his peace with the Royalists, was appointed commander-in-chief. (fn. 360) The general scheme was rendered hopeless, however, by the premature rising in Kent (21 May, 1648). After his defeat at Maidstone, Norwich, to whom Holland had given the command in Kent, heard that thousands had risen for the king in Essex, and that there were 2,000 men in arms at Bow. (fn. 361) The City refused to let him pass through, so he decided to cross the Thames below London. (fn. 362) He intended to go only to Bow and Stratford, but finding that his news had been false and that there was no force gathered to receive him, he went on to Chelmsford. About 500 men had followed him, crossing the river in boats, with their horses swimming. (fn. 363) They meant to land in Essex, but on the morning of the 4 June they found themselves in Middlesex under the Hamlets of the Tower. Here they were confronted by the regiment of the Hamletteers. Their leader, Sir William Compton, prevailed upon the regiment to let them pass on a promise to disband, but when they reached Bow Bridge they forced the turn-pike to let them through into Essex, and met Norwich, on his return from Chelmsford, at Stratford. (fn. 364) Fairfax had meanwhile sent Colonel Whalley in pursuit of the Royalists. (fn. 365) He pressed after them, but was beaten back and pursued to Mile End, where the pursuers themselves fell into an ambuscade, and were forced to retreat. The Hamletteers then returned to the attack, but were surrounded in Bow church, where they had taken refuge, and were finally released on condition that they returned to their homes. The Royalists retired behind the Lea, setting guards at the fords over the river; and when a Parliamentary force of dragoons was collected on Mile End Green, they withdrew to Stratford. (fn. 366) There were a few skirmishes at 'Bow Townes End' until 7 June, when the rising passed into Essex. (fn. 367) The earl of Holland took the field on 4 July, being forced to act prematurely because the committee at Derby House had knowledge of his intended rising. He appeared in arms at Kingston, but after four days' skirmishing in Surrey he gave up all hope of success, for he found that the Royalists did not join him, and that the number of his followers dwindled daily. (fn. 368) On 7 July the deputy-lieutenant of Middlesex was ordered to guard the bridges and ferries over the Thames, and to secure the boats on his side of the river. (fn. 369) Guards were posted in the county to prevent any person from joining the rising in Surrey. (fn. 370) Holland entered Middlesex with a small following, but without attempting an action; he pushed through the narrow lanes about Harrow on his way to St. Albans. (fn. 371) The insurrection was finally ended by his capture on 9 July at St. Neots. (fn. 372) He was condemned to death by the High Court of Justice, (fn. 373) and his firmness on the scaffold, as well as his last attempt in the king's cause, went some way towards making the Royalists forget his earlier vacillation. (fn. 374)
After the king's death Middlesex settled down quietly under the Commonwealth. Several prominent republicans lived in the county. Lambert was quartered at Holland House in 1649, (fn. 375) where, owing to his deafness, Cromwell insisted that their conference should be held in the meadow. After his difference with Cromwell, Fairfax inhabited Holland House until it was restored to the countess of Holland. Sir William Waller lived at Osterley (fn. 376) until his death in 1668. Of the regicides, Owen Rowe and Colonel John Okey lived at Hackney. (fn. 377) Many of the Royalists made their peace with the government and returned to their estates. Of these, Lord Campden, who had been a zealous Royalist, compounded for £9,000, and lived at Campden House during the Protectorate. (fn. 378) Sir John Thorowgood of Kensington, a gentlemanpensioner of Charles I, joined the republicans during the interregnum. Several Parliamentarians bought land in Middlesex during the sale of church lands, and of these Sir William Roberts, who held the manor of Neasden, (fn. 379) represented Middlesex in the Parliament which gave Cromwell the title of Protector. Some little agitation was caused in 1650 when Parliament proceeded to break up Enfield Chase into small lots, and to sell these to soldiers who had fought on the revolutionary side in the war. The inhabitants of Enfield claimed the right of common, and the rioters broke down the inclosures in the Chase. (fn. 380) Four files of soldiers were sent against them, and two petitions were sent to Parliament: one from the officers who had bought lands, the other from the inhabitants of Enfield and Edmonton. (fn. 381)
Great alarm was felt in August, 1651, when the Scots advanced into England. Barnet was appointed as the rendezvous for the forces in the south, and Middlesex was represented there by 1,000 men from the militia. (fn. 382) The news soon came of Cromwell's victory at Worcester, and the 500 Middlesex men who had marched out to Uxbridge were ordered to return home, though for over a week troops kept guard on all the main roads in the county. (fn. 383)
When Monk marched south in February, 1660, he broke up his last camp at Barnet on the third, and marched that day into London. (fn. 384) Before coming to Highgate the general drew up his forces which consisted of four regiments of foot and three of horse, 5,800 men in all, with whom he entered the City by Gray's Inn Lane and Holborn Bars. (fn. 385)
After the Restoration Court life returned to Middlesex. Charles II was frequently at Hampton Court, (fn. 386) which had fortunately escaped the fate of other crown lands, for Cromwell took a fancy to it and reserved it for his own use during the Protectorate.
By 1686 James II had succeeded in estranging every class in England by his over-zeal for the re-establishment of Roman Catholicism. Riots took place all over the country on account of the favour shown to Roman Catholics. London especially was in great excitement when the chapel in Lime Street was opened for the Elector Palatine, and the City-trained bands could not be relied upon to quell the frequent riots. In the early summer of that year the king formed the idea of establishing a large military camp on Hounslow Heath, chiefly with the object of overawing London. The army was always dear to the king's heart, and he showed the greatest interest in the formation of the camp. As early as 16 April he rode out to Hounslow himself to choose a suitable position on the Heath. (fn. 387) Here between 13,000 and 16,000 men were collected in the circumference of about 2½ miles; fourteen battalions of foot, thirty-two squadrons of horse, twenty-six pieces of artillery, besides the quantities of guns and ammunition which were dragged hither from the Tower. (fn. 388) The camp was established during May and June, and the first great review was held on 30 June. It was made an occasion of great state, and a gallery was raised for the queen, the queen dowager, and her ladies. James himself led the troops until he had passed the queens, when he dismounted, and the commander-in-chief, Lord Feversham, marched before them. (fn. 389) On another occasion, in July, the king, 'as a piece of gallantry,' made all his 4,000 horse march at two o'clock in the morning into Staines meadow to attend the queen from thence to the Heath, where she honoured Lord Arran by dining with him. (fn. 390)
The general suspicion with which the king's love for his troops was regarded made James think their presence all the more necessary. He spared no pains to render the force efficient, and gave his attention even to details of clothing, arms, and discipline. The army was soon a 'very compleat body of men.' It had the reputation of being the best paid, best equipped, and 'most sightly body of troops of any in Europe,' and raised the king's and the kingdom's credit to no little extent abroad. (fn. 391) So proud was James of his army that he could not refrain from 'descanting in his letters to the Prince of Orange on the beauty of his troops, not without a secret pleasure for the reflection that the exultation could give no great pleasure to the Prince.' (fn. 392) London had at first regarded the camp with awe, but the king's frequent visits to Hounslow and their attendant gaieties soon brought the citizens to look upon Hounslow Heath as a pleasure resort.
Mingled with the musketeers and dragoons, a multitude of fine ladies and gentlemen from Soho Square, sharpers from Whitefriars, invalids in sedans, monks in hoods and gowns, lacqueys in rich liveries, pedlars, orange girls, mischievous apprentices, and gaping clowns, were constantly passing and re-passing through the long lanes of tents . . . In truth the place was merely a gay suburb of the capital. (fn. 393)
Familiarity had the proverbial result, and London no longer feared the army, which indeed, soon ceased to be a menace to its safety. The troops on which the king had so greatly depended, and whose welfare he had rightly cherished as his own, became imbued with the temper of the City and of the nation. (fn. 394) A strong Protestant bias made itself felt among the soldiers and 'it appeared on many occasions that the army had a great animadvertence to the King's religion.' (fn. 395)
The Roman Catholic officers, whose admission to the army the king had gained by the suspension of the Test Act, were very few in number. James had a chapel in the camp, but few officers or men heard mass there, and those few were treated with great scorn by their fellows. (fn. 396) Protestant tracts were freely circulated, in which the troops were exhorted to use their arms in defence of the Bible, the Great Charter, and the Petition of Right. (fn. 397) As the crisis of 1688 drew near it became evident that the army could not be trusted if trouble arose. James still went frequently to the camp, driving there as a rule twice a week, sometimes with Major-General Worden, (fn. 398) and sometimes with the future duke of Marlborough, then Lord Churchill. (fn. 399) He went to Hounslow on the morning of the last day of the trial of the Seven Bishops. (fn. 400) Sunderland sent a courier with news of the acquittal, who was brought before the king while he was in Lord Feversham's tent. On hearing the news James exclaimed fiercely, 'So much the worse for them.' He set out shortly afterwards for London, and scarcely had he left the camp when a great shout broke out from the soldiers. The king asked what noise was that, and was answered that it was 'Nothing, that the soldiers were glad that the Bishops were acquitted.' Then James broke out, 'Do you call that nothing ?' and again said gloomily, 'So much the worse for them.' (fn. 401) The news was received with even more acclamation at the camp than elsewhere, (fn. 402) and the soldiers were soon more dreaded by the Court than ever they had been by the City. James went several times to Hounslow during July, (fn. 403) but he saw fit to break up the camp early in August. (fn. 404) The troops were scattered over the country on the excuse that they would be needed to keep order at the approaching elections, but in reality because they had become more a danger than a protection to the king. (fn. 405)
After the Revolution Middlesex was connected even more intimately than before with the life of the Court. William III very soon discovered a predilection for Hampton Court, and after he had altered and added to the palace he was seldom in London. The king's Dutch friends formed quite a colony in southern Middlesex, and after the duke of Schomberg received an English peerage he took his title from Brentford. The Princess Anne also lived at Hampton Court during the early part of the reign, and until her relations with the queen made it desirable that she should find a house of her own. While the question of her income was before Parliament she withdrew to Lord Craven's house at Kensington Gravel Pits, which he had lent as a nursery for her son, the duke of Gloucester.
Another royal palace was built by William III at Kensington. It was near enough to London for all business of state and yet it was free from the smoke which so much affected the king's asthma. Early in 1690 he bought the lease of Lord Nottingham's house at Kensington, and the palace was hastily finished on his return from the Irish campaign. (fn. 406) The political intrigues of the reign centred round Kensington and Hampton Court Palaces. The feud between the queen and Princess Anne still continued, and after the duke of Marlborough's disgrace and the duchess's subsequent exclusion from the queen's presence at Kensington, Anne fled from Hampton Court and took refuge at Syon House, (fn. 407) the property of the duke of Somerset since his marriage with the heiress of the Percies. During the winter of 1693-4 the queen was at Kensington Palace, while Anne was at Berkeley House and her son at Campden House, but as her quarrel with Queen Mary still continued, the entrée to Kensington was barred to her although open to her son. On 28 December, 1694 (O.S.), the Queen died at Kensington. Immediately after her death Somers negotiated a reconciliation between the king and his sister-inlaw. (fn. 408) Anne came to Campden House, whence she was carried in a sedan chair, for she could not walk, into the presence of the king at Kensington. Her political interests as heir-apparent being now the same as the king's, they agreed to sink the memory of many mutual injuries. (fn. 409)
On 31 December the House of Peers went in a body to Kensington to present an address to the king deploring the death of Queen Mary. The same afternoon the Commons came with a still longer address and a still more urgent appeal that the king would direct his attention to his own preservation. (fn. 410) William lived indeed in great danger of assassination by the Jacobites, and one of the many plots against his life was connected with Middlesex. In 1696 Sir George Barclay came to England from the court of St. Germains, bearing a commission from James II requiring all his loving subjects to rise in arms on his behalf. (fn. 411) Barclay interpreted his commission to mean that he should get rid of the usurper as best he could. He gathered about him a band of forty conspirators, composed of English and Irish Roman Catholics, Non-jurors, and Jacobites. (fn. 412) The place chosen for the attempt was Turnham Green, the day 15 February. The king intended to drive from Kensington Palace to hunt in Richmond Park. It was agreed that the conspirators should go in parties of two and three, some to inns at Brentford, some to inns at Turnham Green. As the king returned to the ferry at Brentford those who were posted there should ride back towards Turnham Green, and the whole band would fall upon the royal party in the lane between the two places, where the road was too narrow and the ditches too deep for the coach to turn round. (fn. 413) On the appointed day, when all was ready as arranged, news reached Barclay that the king had already returned in haste to Kensington. Information of the plot had been given by two of the conspirators, Prendergast and La Rue, and though Barclay escaped to France many of his subordinates were captured. (fn. 414) The attempt roused the greatest agitation in London, and led to the formation of the association for the protection of the king's person. (fn. 415)
The accident which caused William's death took place at Hampton Court as he was riding in the park. (fn. 416) He died at Kensington Palace, and Anne aroused great indignation among his Dutch friends by causing his body to be removed at once to Westminster, so that she might take immediate possession of Kensington Palace.
Perhaps the most conspicuous figure in Middlesex during the reign of William III was Charles Mordaunt, earl of Peterborough, admiral, general and diplomatist, who had inherited the Carey house at Fulham from his mother. In his younger days he had been an opponent of James II, (fn. 417) and at the Revolution he had been in close attendance on the Prince of Orange. (fn. 418) He held many court appointments under William, and in all his dealings-and he had much to do with the distribution of patronage-he was known as a man at once liberal and scrupulously honest. During the wars under Queen Anne Peterborough was granted a commission as admiral and commander-in-chief of the fleet with Sir Cloudesley Shovell. His greatest achievement was the siege of Barcelona, where he displayed great generalship as well as the highest personal valour. (fn. 419)
With the advent of the Hanoverian dynasty Middlesex seems to lose more and more of its individual history, and to become altogether merged in London and in the kingdom generally. The first two Georges went frequently to Hampton Court and Kensington Palace, but these ceased to be royal residences under George III. The many statesmen and men of distinction whom we find in Middlesex during the eighteenth century lived there for short periods only, and looked upon it merely as a place of residence, so they did not contribute much to the history of the county. In early Georgian times Holland House was famous for its political gatherings. Even before Addison's marriage with the dowager countess of Holland, he had had a retirement near Chelsea, within an easy walk over the fields from Holland House. (fn. 420) His marriage in 1716, though it did not conduce to his happiness, probably facilitated his official advancement. In 1717 he was Secretary of State in Sunderland's ministry, but he retired the following year and died at Holland House in 1719.
Walpole was much at Chelsea during the reign of George II. (fn. 421) News of the sudden death of George I reached him there on 14 June, 1727. Walpole's fortunes were then passing through a crisis, and his position had been greatly damaged by the invectives of the Opposition in the Craftsman. Thoroughly aware of the importance of first audience with the new king, he is said to have killed two horses in carrying the tidings of the death of George I to his successor at Richmond. (fn. 422) Meanwhile Walpole's great opponent, Bolingbroke, was settled on the other side of the county, at Dawley near Uxbridge. Here he acted the part of a country gentleman with great spirit, and had his hall painted with rakes and spades 'to countenance his calling it a farm.' (fn. 423) All the time he was taking an important though obscure part in politics, leading the attacks on Walpole in the Craftsman. (fn. 424) In the new reign, while still at Dawley, he wrote the articles signed 'John Trot' which contained such virulent attacks on Walpole's foreign policy. In 1730 he was working to bring about the combination between the opposition Whigs and the Tories, led by Sir William Wyndham, and in 1733 it was from Dawley that he inspired Wyndham's speeches on the Excise Bill. He did not leave Dawley until he retired altogether from politics to live in France.
The rebellion of 1715 had not disturbed Middlesex, and that in 1745 affected it but little. When the news reached London that the enemy was advancing south, a small army, poorly and hastily equipped, was mustered on Finchley Common, (fn. 425) whence the duke of Cumberland travelled to Culloden. The rebellion had this result: that the ensuing elections proved a great victory for the Whigs in Middlesex, owing to the publication of the lists of subscriptions which had been raised for the defence of the kingdom, whereby Jacobite proclivities were rendered only too conspicuous. Sir Roger Newdigate of Harefield had represented Middlesex since 1741. So high a Tory was he that Horace Walpole speaks of him as a half-converted Jacobite. In 1747 he made way for Sir William Beauchamp Proctor.
In 1780, when the Gordon Riots reduced London to a state of panic, 11,000 troops were gathered round the City. (fn. 426) The Queen's Regiment and the South Hants Militia were quartered on Finchley Common. (fn. 427)
At the beginning of the nineteenth century the duke of Orleans settled at Twickenham with the duke of Montpensier and the comte de Beaujolais. Orleans returned after Napoleon's escape from Elba, and stayed until he was called to take the throne of France as Louis Philippe. (fn. 428) His house was sold to the earl of Kilmorey, who sold it again to the exiled king in 1852 for the use of the latter's son, the duc d'Aumale. From that time until 1871 Orleans House was the centre of the French loyalists. The comte de Paris lived at York House near by, the prince of Joinville at Mount Lebanon; the duc de Nemours lived at Bushey Park.
The introduction of railways has converted so large a portion of Middlesex into metropolitan suburb that the history of the latter half of the nineteenth century is somewhat barren except from a social and economic point of view. The Local Government Act of 1888 marked a new era in the county's history. (fn. 429) The Act made two great changes. (fn. 430) In the first place, a new county of London was formed, which includes a large district formerly belonging to Middlesex. London now stretches to the River Lea on the east, and northwards to include Stoke Newington, Upper Holloway, and Hampstead, and westward beyond Hammersmith. Any future alteration in the boundaries will naturally be at the expense of Middlesex. (fn. 431)
The second change made by the Local Government Act was in the appointment of the sheriff. The right to appoint the sheriff still remained in the hands of the citizens of London, but by the Act the right was transferred to the hands of the crown, as in the case of other counties. The sheriffs of London ceased to have any jurisdiction in Middlesex on the day when the first sheriff of Middlesex entered into office. (fn. 432)
The parliamentary history of Middlesex dates from 1282, when the counties south of the Trent were summoned to send representatives to Northampton. (fn. 433) Middlesex also sent representatives to the assemblies of 1283 and 1290. (fn. 434) In 1295 William de Brook and Stephen de Gravesend were chosen for the county. (fn. 435) Richard le Rous sat for Middlesex in every Parliament during the remainder of the reign of Edward I, his fellow-representative being on most occasions Richard de Windsor. The names le Rous, de Windsor, de Enefield (or de Enefeud), and de Badyk occur frequently during the fourteenth century. In 1324 the representatives are described as two of the best and most discreet, but are not designated as knights. (fn. 436) John de Wrotham sat for Middlesex in many of the Parliaments of Edward III. There were few occasions under the Tudors when one of the Wroths, his descendants, did not represent the county. Sir Robert Wroth sat in the Reformation Parliament. His son, Sir Thomas, was first returned in 1544, and with the exception of the Parliaments of the reign of Mary, he represented Middlesex practically without intermission till his death in 1573. His son, a second Sir Robert Wroth, was first returned in 1572, and again in 1585, 1588, 1601, and 1602. Sir Gilbert Gerrard represented Middlesex throughout the Long Parliament, and Sir Thomas Allen and Sir Launcelot Lake in the Restoration Parliament.
The most familiar name in connexion with Middlesex politics is that of 'Jack' Wilkes. When Wilkes offered himself as candidate for Middlesex in the general election of 1768, he had just been defeated as candidate for the City. He had already been prosecuted in 1763 for his criticism of the king's speech in No. 45 of the North Briton. (fn. 437) He had been attacked by the House of Lords for the 'Essay on Woman' (November, 1763), (fn. 438) and expelled by the Commons (he was member for Aylesbury), on account of No. 45, on 19 January, 1764. (fn. 439) On 21 February of that year he had been condemned by the Court of King's Bench as a libeller and as the author of an obscene poem, and he had later been outlawed for duelling and forced to flee to France. (fn. 440) His character was certainly not of the highest, and his personality was most unattractive. Yet when he returned from France in 1768, he found himself exalted to the position of popular idol. Technically he had suffered injustice, because the liberty of the subject had been outraged by his arrest under a general warrant for the publication of No. 45 ; and the privilege of Parliament had been denied him by his imprisonment in the Tower. But what appealed to the people was that an unpopular court, the adherents of an unpopular king, had pursued him with unexampled animosity. The country was just entering on that period of unrest and smouldering revolution in which it continued until the Reform Bill of 1832: the period which beheld the rise of democracy and the expansion of a formidable party of reform. Wilkes, the son of a rich distiller of Clerkenwell, an atheist, and a notorious evil-liver, yet appealed to the people as one who, himself a victim of tyranny, might lead them to fuller freedom. (fn. 441) He was supported because of his indomitable resistance to a king who was hated as much for the corruption by which he controlled Parliament as for the policy by which he had brought about the war with the American colonies.
In 1768, then, Wilkes was elected for Middlesex by a large majority in opposition to the established interest of men who already represented the county, and who, besides having considerable fortunes in connexion with Middlesex, were supported by the whole interest of the court. Wilkes's partisans were jubilant, forcing even the inhabitants of London to celebrate his triumph, and marking every door with the popular number '45.' (fn. 442) Their champion had, however, to appear before the Court of King's Bench on his outlawry, and he was committed on a capias utlagatum. He was rescued by the mob, but again surrendered himself. His outlawry was reversed, but he was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for libel, and to a fine of £1,000. Riots took place in his favour, and an unhappy collision between the mob and the military occurred in St. George's Fields:
Owing to his imprisonment, Wilkes was unable to take his seat in the first session of Parliament. In the second session he was expelled by the Commons on four charges, for the first three of which he had already suffered, and for the fourth (that of libel on the Secretary of State) it was not within the province of the Commons to punish him. The reason for this unconstitutional action was that the court party, to whom the Commons were bound by a process of corruption and bribery, were determined that no amount of popularity should prevail against their own dignity. The weakness and irregularity of the Commons' action was proclaimed even in the House itself by a powerful party, led by Burke, Pitt, Dowdeswell, and George Greville. (fn. 443) Wilkes's constituents were by no means overawed by the attitude of the authorities. His supporters raised £20,000 to pay his debts, and he was immediately re-elected for Middlesex. Parliament declared his election to be void. With increasing popularity, Wilkes was again elected without opposition, and again his election was declared void. (fn. 444) To prevent a repetition of the farce, Colonel Luttrell vacated his seat and offered himself as candidate for Middlesex. He obtained only 296 votes to Wilkes's 1,143, (fn. 445) but the Commons rejected Wilkes and declared Colonel Luttrell to be returned. A petition of the freeholders of Middlesex was presented to Parliament on 24 May, 1769, by Mr. Serjeant Glynn and others, (fn. 446) in which they pleaded against having a candidate forced upon the county, (fn. 447) but Colonel Luttrell's election was confirmed. As evidence of Wilkes's continued popularity he was elected successively (fn. 448) alderman, sheriff, and Lord Mayor of London, and a subscription was again raised to pay his debts. In 1774 he was returned for Middlesex and took his seat unmolested.
An exciting contest took place in 1802 between Sir Francis Burdett and Mr. William Mainwaring. Burdett was already well known as the champion of liberty of speech; he was foremost among the opposers of the government, had exposed the grievances of war taxation, and the abuse of power over those who were offensive to the ministry. (fn. 449) He had just rendered great service to the public by obtaining an inquiry into the mismanagement of Coldbath Fields Prison, where suspected persons were detained under the Habeas Corpus Suspension Acts; when it was shown that no distinction had been made between the treatment of these persons and that accorded to convicted felons. His opponent, Mainwaring, was the magistrate who had most strenuously objected to the investigation of the prison abuses, and true to their liberal principles, the freeholders of Middlesex returned Burdett by a considerable majority. (fn. 450) He sat for nearly two years, during which legal proceedings were taken for nullifying his election. In 1804 his election was declared void. There was a new contest between Burdett and Mainwaring's son, (fn. 451) which the latter won by five votes. This decision was amended in Burdett's favour the following year, but in 1806 Burdett was finally excluded, Mr. William Mellish (Mr. G. B. Mainwaring having withdrawn) and Mr. George Byng being returned after a sixteen days' poll. (fn. 452) Mr. William Mellish, who was now elected, represented Middlesex for several years. During the election of 1818 he was spoken of by The Times as 'a thick and thin man for the government and a jolly, comely, hereditary Protestant.' (fn. 453)
Mr. George Byng of Wrotham Park, a descendant of Admiral Byng, was first returned for Middlesex in the Whig interest in 1790. (fn. 454) He represented the county without intermission for fifty-six years, and was the father of the House of Commons when he died in 1847. (fn. 455) The Reform Bill of 1832 created three metropolitan boroughs, Finsbury and Marylebone, to each of which two members were assigned, and the Tower Hamlets, which returned one representative. (fn. 456) The population did not begin to increase rapidly until after the establishment of railways. The market-towns of Uxbridge, Staines, and Brentford, were still little better than villages, and only in the immediate neighbourhood of London was there any urgent need for further representation. During the next fifty years, however, the circumstances were immensely altered. Chelsea was given two members in 1867, and the Tower Hamlets was divided into two districts under the names of Hackney and the Tower Hamlets, each returning one member. (fn. 457) But further complete representation was badly needed. Twickenham, Hanwell, and Brentford now contained a large manufacturing population. The residential suburbs of London had increased tremendously. There were only two county members to represent a population of 70,000 voters. (fn. 458) By the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1884, fifteen new metropolitan boroughs were created, and the representatives of the Tower Hamlets were increased to seven. The county outside the metropolitan area was divided into seven electoral districts, Enfield, Tottenham, Hornsey, Harrow, Ealing, Brentford, and Uxbridge, each of which returns one member.
The trained bands of Middlesex ceased to exist on 25 March, 1663, when the County Militia was reorganized. (fn. 459) The trained bands of the Tower division of Middlesex, known as the Tower Hamlets, were on the other hand retained, and continued to be levied, the reason being that the Tower Hamlets were, and always had been, under the command of the constable of the Tower. (fn. 460) Future legislation continued to treat the Hamlets apart from the rest of Middlesex. When the militia was reconstituted under George II, in 1757, the number of men appointed to be raised in Middlesex was 1,160 and in the Tower Hamlets 1,600. (fn. 461) At the beginning of the next reign the quota for the county was raised to 1,600. (fn. 462) By this Act separate provision is made for the necessary qualifications of officers in the Tower Hamlets, (fn. 463) the militia of which remained on the same basis as in the time of Charles II, and consisted of two regiments of eight companies each. (fn. 464) It was reorganized in 1797, when the number of men to be levied in each parish within the division was fixed. (fn. 465) Two regiments were raised as formerly, and it was provided that one or other of these should stay always in the Tower division, whilst the other might be put under the command of such general officers as the king should be pleased to appoint, and might be required to serve at a distance not exceeding twelve miles from London. (fn. 466) By 1802 the number of men in the Middlesex Militia had fallen to 338, (fn. 467) but six years later, when England was in the stress of the Napoleonic War, the number was raised to 2,024, (fn. 468) and in 1812 to 12,162, (fn. 469) with 4,480 for the Tower Hamlets and liberties of the Tower. (fn. 470)
During the revolutionary wars at the close of the eighteenth century, several 'Loyal Associations' were formed in Middlesex. These were volunteer infantry corps on a small scale, to serve in parishes, and mainly to assist the civil authorities. The earliest of these was the Tottenham Loyal Association, (fn. 471) which was formed in 1792, and drilled regularly for three or four years. (fn. 472) The 'Hadley and South Mimms Volunteers' were among the forces reviewed in Hyde Park by George III, on 21 June, 1799. (fn. 473) The Hampstead Loyal Association was also reviewed on that occasion. It numbered probably 150 men, under the command of Josiah Boydell, esq. (fn. 474)
Middlesex also furnished a corps of volunteer cavalry, numbering 830 men, 300 of whom were members of the London and Westminster Light Horse Volunteers. Other cavalry corps were raised at Uxbridge, Islington, and Twickenham. (fn. 475) The associations were disbanded in 1802 after the Peace of Amiens, but when Napoleon threatened invasion in 1803, the Defence Act was passed, by which the lords lieutenant were empowered to raise forces in each county. The Hampstead Loyal Volunteer Infantry was then formed, (fn. 476) and a force of 108 men was raised in Barnet and district, and three companies were raised by Mr. Nathaniel Haden at Highgate. (fn. 477) There also existed at this time a mounted force, raised in Edmonton, Kensington, Ealing, and Brentford. (fn. 478) These corps were in turn disbanded in 1813-14.
The volunteer movement of 1859-60 was taken up with the greatest warmth in Middlesex, rifle corps being formed in almost every village. (fn. 479)
When the line regiments of the British Army were territorialized the old 57th became the 1st Battalion, and the old 77th the 2nd Battalion of the Duke of Cambridge's Own Middlesex Regiment. Both regiments brought great traditions of the Peninsular, Crimean, and South African (1879) wars. (fn. 480) The Royal Elthorne Militia and the Royal East Middlesex Militia now form respectively the 5th and 6th Battalions. The line and militia, with the three volunteer battalions, served in the South African War, 1900-2.