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recorded) of which the old entrance gate and chapel are all that now remains, (the family having since removed their residence to Kellerton, at a mile's distance,) became thus unhappily distinguished, less, probably, on account of its strength as a fortress, than from its situation at five miles distance from, and commanding the eastern approach to, the western capital.
We have seen that, in the summer of 1643, the house of Columbjohn was employed as a royalist garrison, to keep in check the parliament forces at Exeter. It was at this period the jointure house of the Lady Elinour Vincent, (Sir John Acland's mother,) who, after the death of her first husband, Arthur Acland, Esq., had become the wife of Sir Francis Vincent, and appears to have then been in her second widowhood. The earliest document we have to refer to, is dated 22d August, 1643, and indorsed, "The grant of eight oxen of the Lady Button's, for £20."
"Forasmuch as the Lady Vincent hath been heretofore plundered by the militia forces of cattle, horses, sheep, and other goods, to the value of £400., and being now possessed of eight oxen, (lately the goods of the Lady Martha Button, who is disaffected to his majesty's service,) These are to authorise the said Lady Vincent to detain and keep the said oxen to her own proper use, she paying forthwith the moiety of the value of them to the use of his majesty's army. The marshal general is to value the said oxen, and return the money to the tre".... (probably, treasury.) "Given under my hand, this 22d Aug. 1643.
(Signed) JOHN BERKELEY."
Indorsed, “A note of my Lady's losses"—and, in another place, "A note of my Lady Vincent's damages by parliament.
"A particular of cattle, horses, and sheep, plundered by commission from Richard Evans and others.
If the eight oxen belonging to the Lady Button, after deducting therefrom the moiety of the value for the use of the
king's army, were the only compensation to this unfortunate dowager, in lieu of all these losses, it must be admitted that her loyalty (whether forced or voluntary) had already cost her sufficiently dear.
In the autumn of 1645, a short time previous to the entry of Fairfax into Devonshire, and the investment of Exeter, this good lady died, having (as it appears) by a nuncupation will, made in her last sickness, disposed of all her property "among her son, Sir John Acland, his lady, and children”—and (of the date of the 6th of September in that year,) we have the following "Note of plate at Killerton, taken and sent to London"probably for the sake of safe custody-since it does not appear upon the face of the document that it relates to plundered articles. It is curious, as exhibiting the interior of an English country gentleman's plate cupboard, in the time of Charles the First.
"Imprimis, One great voyder and knife, with my Lady Vincent's arms thereon.
Item, One basin and ewer. One washing basin and ewer. Two great flaggons. One skinker. Two candlesticks. Two bowls, with bears' heads. One great salt, with my lady's arms. Two hooped tankards, the one with my lady's arms. Six plates, with bears' heads. One chaffing dish. Six saucers, with my lady's arms. One dozen of spoons, with the letter E. One great dish for cream, with Sir F. and my lady's arms. One fruit dish, parcell-gilt. One posset, with a cover and cock to it. One little caudle cup, with three legs and cover. One other posset, with cover and three legs. One silver snuffer. One goblet, embossed. One stone tankard, hooped, and crowned with silver. One skillet, with my lady's arms. One little cup, with two bows. One cullender and scumming dish. Long spoon for preserves. One porringer. One little cup, with one bow. Perfuming pan. Fruit dish. Pestle and Mortar. One tankard, with a great belly. One porringer. One gilt cup with cover."
Our loyal baronet-(he had been invested with that dignity only the year preceding*-) was not destined to enjoy the fruits of the inheritance which thus devolved upon him. Ano
* Lord Clarendon assigns to him the honour of having, at this period, alone sustained the royal cause in the county of Devon. His patent of baronet, granted the day of 1644, is said to have been lost during the confusion that followed, and the title was dropped by his two elder sons and grandson, who were successively entitled to assume it after him. It was not till after the accession of his third son, Sir Hugh Acland, (commonly styled the fifth baronet) that the grant was renewed with precedure according to the date of the first creation.
ther curious document, in his own hand-writing, will explain the nature and extent of the losses which he incurred almost immediately on coming into possession of it. It is indorsed—
"A particular of my quartering, payments, and disbursements, for the parliament army, and towards the parliament, during the leaguer before Exeter, 1645, and since." And the following are its
"Imprimis, 71 acres of hay £71.
Item, 34 acres of oats £68.
3 acres of beans £9.
Item, 12 fat cattle £60. Eighty fat sheep £40.
In barley and malt £20. In wheat straw £20
Item, The houses of Columbjohn and Killerton, during this time, were rifled and spoiled, to the value of £35. Item, Paid during this time to the garrison of Poltimore, for taxes, £12 14s.
Item, To the garrison of Stoke Cannon, £7.
Item, To Lieut. Bernard, for quartering, £4.
Item, Quartering and payments at other places during the time, £40. Lost in horses by the parliament army, then and before, which were plundered away, £—
Item, Paid towards my composition at Goldsmith's Hall £863. Item, Expended about the perception thereof, and since, being put to a great trouble by one Evans of Exeter, Brewer, £Item, All my household goods are detained from me, and seized by the said Evans, to the value of £—
Item, All my Estate hath been sequestered by the parliament since August 1646; insomuch, that I was debarred from granting of Estates, to raise money to pay my fine at Goldsmith's Hall, and other debts, to my damage, of (at least) £1500.
Item, My house is plundered by the Earl of Stamford's men, to the loss of (at least) £"
Indorsed on this is the following
"Disbursements towards the king's service.
I raised two regiments of foot at my own expense, which cost me, £
Driven from my house into Cornwall, where I remained for the space of, £
Lost in houses by the Lord Goring's men, and other his
Quartering of soldiers and extraordinary charges in Exeter during the siege, £
* See and compare the preceding character of a sequestrator.
Disbursed and spent when I was High Sheriff, which was before my Estate fell into my hands, £——"
Upon what particular occasion this calculation was made, does not distinctly appear. It is among the private papers of the family already alluded to, and may have been compiled merely for private satisfaction; but it has more the appearance of having been intended to form the basis of a representation to be made to the existing government, by way of set-off (perhaps) against further exactions. At all events, it was at a period subsequent to the baronet's having been admitted to his first composition.
On the 9th of April, 1646, we have seen that the city of Exeter surrendered to the parliament forces, under Sir Thomas Fairfax, upon articles dated the day preceding, the substance of which is to be found in Rushworth, and other collections. Sir John Acland was included in the articles; and we are next presented with a letter from the general to the Speaker of the House of Commons, recommending him to the benefit of a composition. It is a mere formal paper, but will serve to shew the manner in which this business was ordinarily conducted.
"SIR, according to the articles agreed unto upon the surrender of Exeter, I do recommend unto your consideration Sir John Acland, of Columbjohn, in the county of Devon, knight, (a gentleman of quality in this county) for a moderate composition for his estate, and desire you will present this my request on his behalf to the honourable House of Commons, that he may partake of their favour therein accordingly. He seemed to be very sincere in continuing for the future obedient unto the parliament's commands. And, upon his address unto you, I hope he will give that further satisfaction, as to deserve your favour. Having no more to trouble you with, I rest your humble servant, FAIRFAX."
Exeter, April, 14th, 1646."
"To the Honourable Wm. Lenthall, Speaker of the House of Commons. Vera Copia."
On the 22d of July, 1646, his fine was set by the committee of Goldsmith's Hall, in the alternation, at £1727,* for onetenth, and at £4318, for one-third of the value of his returned property; and on the 4th of August, on payment of £863. 18s. (the moiety of the smaller sum) his sequestrator was suspended by an order, of which the following is a copy :
* The following paper explains the principles of the computation. Rents of assize, (in lots) per ann. £154 2s. 8d... At 6 years' value, £924 16s. Demesnes of inheritance, per ann. 320 Os. Od... At 2 years' value,. . .640 Os. In lease for one and two lives, per ann.53 12s. Od... At 1 year's value,....53 12s. In expectance.. 110...... ....At 1 year's value,.. 110 Os. In high rent and day rent paid to me, not improveable, for which we desire abatement.... 14 11s. Od.
"At the committee for compounding with delinquents, 4th Aug. 1646; Whereas, by an order of the honourable House of Commons, (23d Feb. 1645.) this committee are authorised, and enabled to suspend the sequestration of such delinquents as shall compound with the said committee, they having paid the moiety of the said fine, and given security for the other moiety; &c. these are to certify, &c. that John Akland, of Columbjohn, in the county of Devon, Esq. (it seems, they did not acknowledge the validity of his baronet's patent-) hath accordingly appeared at this committee, and submitted to the fine imposed on him, in manner as is. by the said orders directed, and paid and secured the same. And hereof, all committees, sequestrators, &c. are to take notice, and upon sight hereof, to conform hereto, and forbear to proceed upon the sequestration, to the prejudice of the estate, real or personal, of the said John Acland, compounded for according to a particular delivered under his hand, a copy whereof is herewith sent you. Unless there shall be any further estate discovered, not mentioned in the said particulars; provided always, that the said John Acland do sue forth a pardon under the great seal within six weeks after his composition shall be allowed of by both houses of parliament.
"(To the committee of parliament, for the county of Devon; and all others whom it may concern.)"
While Sir John was in London, prosecuting the affairs of this composition, his lady, with the family, appears to have been left at Exeter; the family seat being in the hands of the sequestrator, and, probably, in too dismantled a state to be occupied as a residence.
Their condition, during this anxious period, may be collected from the following letter of the lady* (dated, the 25th July, 1646,) to the steward or agent employed in transacting the business.
"CHARLES KNIGHT,-I expected every week that you would have sent for money to be returned up unto you; but hearing nothing you to that purpose, Mr. Turpin would not suffer me to return
any unto you until now. You shall now receive £600 from me, which is all you must expect from me, being all I have. You write, I must have patience, and expect better times. I was never in a sadder con
dition than now, seeing the many troubles your master is in, feeling so many of my own. I have taken the best order I can concerning my goods, within doors and without; so that now I am master of nothing. Yet I have eight soldiers (horsemen) put upon me. I am fain to buy all the provision for them and their horses. Where I intended to send my boys to school the sickness is fallen in, so that now I know not how to dispose of them. It is very ill for them being
* This lady, who appears from her letters to have been a woman of great sense and understanding, was the daughter of Sir Francis Vincent (who married for his second wife Sir John Acland's mother) by a former marriage.