THE letters of Dorothy Osborne1 have attracted many readers to whom some detailed account of her father’s life may be interesting. I am the more emboldened to put forward this slight sketch of his career because, with him as with his daughter, the story is told mainly by his own letters, — letters which seem to me instinct with graphic force, giving us not only the portrait of their author, but also in some sense a picture of his surroundings. The chief authority on which I have drawn for material has been Ferdinand Brock Tupper’s Chronicles of Castle Cornet, an honest and entertaining volume, now, unfortunately, out of print and difficult to obtain. Those who desire to know more about Sir Peter will find in the same author’s History of Guernsey (second edition, 1876) a somewhat shorter but equally accurate and particular account of the period. Various local and English histories, with state papers and a few domestic manuscripts, have enabled me to add something to Mr. Tapper’s chronicles, and to put together the following story of Sir Peter Osborne. Stiff, conventional, and incomplete, like all mosaics of this kind, I must readily confess it to be, but not perhaps wholly without a living interest.

Of the Osborne family it is not necessary to speak here at length. They seem to have been a race of landed gentry from time immemorial, coming from the north country to Purleigh, in Essex, where they remained some hundred years. Sir John Osborne, Sir Peter’s father, first planted the family at Chicksands, in Bedfordshire, but his son Peter was probably born at Purleigh, in 1585. Sir Peter’s mother was Dorothy Barlee, granddaughter of Richard, Lord Rich, Lord Chancellor of England in the reign of Henry VIII.; and this is perhaps sufficient genealogy to satisfy us of his aristocratic descent. It was James I. who made him lieutenant-governor of Guernsey in 1621, when he was thirtysix years of age. At this time Sir John was living, and his son was probably glad to obtain this independent position, especially as there was attached to the post the reversion of the governorship of Guernsey in the event of the death of the Earl of Danby. By his marriage with Dorothy Danvers, daughter of Sir John Danvers and sister of the Earl of Danby, Sir Peter allied himself with a family that afterwards espoused the cause of Cromwell, and this alliance was of service to him in the troublous times to come. In 1628, Sir John died, and Sir Peter became thereby Treasurer’s Remembrancer in the Exchequer, a valuable hereditary office which had been held by his grandfather in the time of Edward VI.

The above scraps of information are all that can be collected about Sir Peter Osborne prior to 1648. Indeed, he would have passed away from the world wholly forgotten, a quiet English gentleman, a stern, unpopular ruler of the people of Guernsey, if it had not been for the civil war. This called upon him to act as he thought, and so it was that Sir Peter, like many another English worthy, showed the world the heroic English nature that lay dormant within him. His defense of Castle Cornet remains his “carte de visite to posterity,” as a modern writer hath it, which for two hundred years no one saw fit to print, publish, and set in some literary shopwindow for the public to gaze at and purchase if they would. How it comes to pass that hitherto Sir Peter has escaped the immortality of the history books is indeed somewhat a mystery. But blind chance rather than any wise human selection seems to thrust one man forward as historical hero, to consign another in forgotten manuscripts to the oaken family chest of oblivion, while many hundred ignoble men, of low birth, in silent heroism made history, passed away, and today are nameless.

At the end of the year 1642, Sir Peter Osborne had been deputy-governor of Guernsey, resident in Castle Cornet more or less continuously, for some twenty years. The mere fact that he lived on an island rock, whence it was difficult to hold social intercourse with the gentry of Guernsey, probably did much to estrange him from the people, He was not in any large sense a ruler or leader of men. An uncompromising royalist; a man full of obstinate devotion to the king and his cause ; one of the last of the aristocrats, belonging by birth, education, and temperament to the class that Cromwell came to destroy, one would not expect to find in him a successful governor of Guernsey at this period. He took no pains to make himself loved by the inhabitants of Guernsey. He disliked and distrusted their religious and political principles, and expressed his opinions openly. But although complaints and counter-complaints had already been made to the authorities in England by Sir Peter and the Guernsey people, there was no evidence of any open rupture between the parties until the beginning of 1643. In March of that year, the government of the bailiwick of Guernsey, which included Alderney and Sark, was provisionally vested in twelve jurats ; Peter de Beauvoir des Granges being appointed president. The Parliament at least spoke boldly in its instructions to the jurats, who were ordered to seize upon the person of Sir Peter Osborne, knight, deputy governor of the island of Guernsey, and upon the castle now in his custody; and to send him in safe custody to the Parliament, to answer such offences, contempts, and other misdemeanours as shall he objected against him.”

The order must have had its humorous side to the poor jurats, sitting helpless at St. Peter’s Port, gazing from their council chamber at the impregnable castle held by Sir Peter. Then querulously they reply to the Parliament, pointing out the impossibility of the task so lightly set them. “Already,” they say, “ Sir Peter obstructs all shipping from entering into or sailing out of the harbour, even the fishing boats. Nor will he allow strangers to go out to sea ; and if this blockade continues it will he the utter ending of this island.” Thus in March, 1643, began the siege and the blockade which lasted for nine weary years.

News soon reached England that the struggle had commenced. The fortress was regarded, not unnaturally, as the key to the English Channel and the outpost of royalist Jersey. While Castle Cornet stood firm for the king, Guernsey was useless to the Parliament. The castle, which is now but the termination of a large breakwater, was then an almost impregnable island fortress, commanding the entrance to St. Peter’s Port, the harbor of Guernsey. In the centre was a donjon keep, where the watchman stood on the lookout, gazing across the placid ocean plains, marking the gulls dip lazily towards the tide gently covering the rocks at his feet, or sheltering himself from the storms as best he might, while the sullen waters beat around the castle and the mists separated him further from the land. Ever and anon, as he sighted a vessel approaching, it was his duty to strike twice upon the castle bell to warn the inmates. Close to the tower clustered the houses and barracks of the soldiers, around which were double walks, turreted, frowning with machicolations, the outer ramparts set down on the very rock itself, standing at places deep in green water at all tides. From a print of somewhat later date there appears to have been an avenue of trees or shrubs along one of the outer walls. This, had it existed in Sir Peter’s time, would probably have been cut down for firewood early in the siege. Well might King Charles be anxious about the fate of such a castle as this.

At first all is bustle and busy preparation. The king himself writes from his court at Oxford, to greet his trusty and well-beloved Sir Peter with ample promises of succors of men and provisions, and further assurances of personal emolument and allowances. Sir Peter, meanwhile, draws up stringent articles for his garrison, and in a zealous and martial spirit administers an oath to all his soldiers. The articles are full and particular : “ That no soldier do reveal the secrets of the house, upon pain to be shot to death.” “That none shall be found to put off their clothes in the night so long as the water shall be passable on foot between the castle and the town, upon pain of severe punishment at the governor’s discretion.” Swearing, cursing, discord, and quarrel were punished by a fine of “ paying to the poor-box twopence at the first fault,” “ and afterwards imprisonment.” Drawing blood or striking within the house meant the loss of the combatant’s right hand. All regulations were made for a time of war, for a house in a state of siege, doubtless with little thought of the years of weary watching and waiting that the governor and his men would have to undergo.

On the 16th of September, Russell, the parliamentary governor of Guernsey, formally called upon Sir Peter to resign his command, and Sir Peter replied in the following terms : —

“For the surrender of this castle without His Majesty’s pleasure, signified under his royal signature, or by the right Honorable the Earl of Dauby, — these islands being in no way subordinate to other jurisdiction, but to His Majesty alone, as part of his most ancient patrimony enjoyed by those princes his glorious predecessors, before that, by claim or conquest they came to have interest in the crown of England,—no summons by virtue of what power whatsoever, hath command here, nor can make me deliver it up to any but to him, by whom I am trusted and to whom I am sworn, that have never yet made oath but only to the king. And God I hope, whose great name I have sworn by, will never so much forsake me but I shall keep that resolution (by yourself misnamed obstinacy) to maintain unto my sovereign that faith inviolate unto my last.”

The point about the subjection of the Channel Islands to his Majesty alone is a happy one, and probably pleased its author as thoroughly as it must have irritated the parliamentary governor.

The first incident of the siege was the capture of prisoners by one Captain George Bowden. He came under a commission of Prince Maurice, and by treachery induced three of the Guernsey jurats, De Beauvoir, Carey, and De Havilland, to come on board his ship. Captain Bowden, who was an illiterate privateer, probably lighting as much for his own personal ends as for love of the cause, wanted to carry his prisoners to Dartmouth, they having promised him fifty jacobuses if he would do so. Sir Peter, however, would have none of it, and sent his boat with peremptory demand for the prisoners ; and he not seeming to Captain Bowden the kind of man it was wise to quarrel with, and being manifestly a useless man to parley with, they were delivered up. Sir Peter was very hopeful now of treaty with the island. Meanwhile, he put his prisoners in a chamber alone, an underground dungeon, in which there happened to be a quantity of old match. There they remained for more than a month, until they bethought themselves to cut through the floor of their prison and get at the wet match below, which they twisted into cotton ropes, and then, on Sunday, December 3, when the tide was low, dropped out of their window and over the walls of the castle on to the sand. The sentry saw them and gave the alarm, hut it was too late. The grapeshot of the cannon fell around them harmlessly, as they ran along the western beach, and the congregation rushed out of the church to welcome the escape of their three jurats. Thus were Sir Peter’s hopes of bringing the island to terms roughly put an end to, and at the close of the year 1643 the siege and the blockade seemed to have no future of hope for either party.

In June of this year, the Parliament had appointed the Earl of Warwick governor of Guernsey and Jersey, and he wrote several letters of exhortation and remonstrance to the islanders, who indeed did all that men could do in face of the determination and impregnable position of Sir Peter in his own island stronghold. Sir Peter, too, addressed the jurats in February, 1644, trying to call them to what he considered a sense of duty, in an answer to the parliamentary commissioners who had offered him some sort of amnesty.

It scarcely need be said that his dignified remonstrances had no effect upon the jurats. The good men of the world all seemed to he at cross-purposes, their ideals of duty and fidelity were dissimilar, and the times were too much out of joint for any hope of peace. In June, 1644, the Earl of Warwick bethought himself to address a letter to Sir Peter, offering terms of peace. This and Sir Peter’s answer, melancholy in their courtesies, cheerful in their irrevocable honesty of purpose, are worth printing at length, as illustrative of the situation at home and in Guernsey. “The tempestuous storm,” as Sir Peter says, “blows us one against the other.” Indeed, there is at this moment no safe anchorage for these two men in the same roadstead.

SIR, - Our ancient acquaintance, the relation I have to your family, and the affection I bear to your person, have made me studious to serve you. And upon the result of my thoughts no way offers itself with equal advantage to my being a remembrancer of that danger that may ensue your declining the Parliament. Your ingenuity (I am sure) doth easily discern how closely our religion and dearest interests are bound up in the parliament of England. And though happily the integrity of this present parliament may be obscured, and not so obvious to your apprehension in respect to the mistiness and uncertainty of those mediums that convey their proceedings ; yet, surely did you see them near hand or had you any inspection of their bosoms (which is only God’s Prerogative) you would discover nothing in their designs but loyalty and duty to his majesty’s person and just rights, sincerity to religion in the truth and power of it, and resolution to maintain in full vigour those laws that are our common inheritance, and by which our liberties and properties are preserved. And though a sad necessity hath forced them into ways not usual, yet, if you examine them with an impartial judgment, you shall find them all to stand in order to and in a full conjunction with these ends. I know the pretences offered by those advisers of his majesty to this distance from his great council, would fain be thought specious. But, certainly their cause hath little to say for itself that relies for supportment upon the counsels of persons (heretofore in quiet times) eminently opposite to the peace and honour of this nation : upon the adherence of Papists (the professed and active underminers of our happiness) ; upon the razing of the parliaments, the most established foundation of our security ; and upon their procuring of a cruel peace with those bloody rebels in Ireland, that have waded in the blood and ruin of so many thousand protestants and innocent souls. Though I will not deny that some persons of honour are engaged on that side, by means of relations, misconstructions, or other accidental temptations, which bias them from those ways of honour and peace, to which their own principles would otherwise have a tendency. God will in due time plead the cause of his servants, and as both parties have appealed to the Judge of all the world, so He will at last give a righteous determination. In the meantime you may believe that he hath honoured the Parliament with many late (as well as former) successes : their armies being raised to a height of strength and honour above the proportion of their late visible means. The King’s army lately flying before them ; his own person withdrawing to Woodstock, and afterwards more privately to Oxford; Oxford being besieged by an army of 20,000 men; York supposed by this time to be secured under the Parliament’s power, and with it the whole north given over by the other side for lost. The Scotch Army being numerous and resolved ; the large disturbances in Scotland quieted, and the fomentors driven, some into the mountains, others into Newcastle to which town their pursuers have pursued them and do there besiege them ; the western parts being in a posture to close with any strength that shall appear for their countenance. All these I have received from good and unquestionable hands not many days since, which may contribute something to your own judgment and disposition for persuading a return to the Parliament from whom you have departed. As a preparation and good step wliereunto, I offer to your consideration ; that, by his majesty’s authority residing in them, I am appointed governor of Guernsey; my LieutenantGovernor Russell officiating under me, by authority lawfully derived. The castle in Guernsey, now in your hands, standeth out by your commands against that authority, wherein if you persist I leave to your wisdom to determine the peril. The losses of the kingdom are great, and reparation will be had out of their estates who hath kindled that fire that hath hear consumed us, or shall continue to blow it into a greater flame. Opportunities are precious. If you shall deliver up the castle to my lieutenant-governor for the use of his majesty and the parliament, I shall lay out myself and my interest to the uttermost in making your peace with the parliament, not doubting but to effect it. I have also taken order with Captain Jordan, in that case, to give safe convoy to yourself and lady to Portsmouth, or any other friendly port in the South, and for that purpose attend her at St. Malo ; however (in any case) to transport her ladyship with safety to Portsmouth, I being moved in that behalf by our noble friend and your brother. Sir John Danvers. This intimation is the proceed of mere love, which, whether you embrace or no, I shall still continue all those good wishes and offices of respect that may become,

Your assured friend,


Aboard his Majesty’s ship the James,
At anchor, before Lynn.
June 7th, 1644.

To which Sir Peter replies : —

MY LORD, – Your first lines bring me into a sad remembrance of that much valued happiness which in your Lordship’s favours, and those of your most honourable family, I have formerly enjoyed and, by what I now suffer under your name, appear to have lost in the changes produced by these miserable times. Yet I shall not depart from that affection and true respect I shall ever bear to your family, though it gives great increase to the sense of my troubles, that I find them laid Upon me by your hand. But, how sharply soever that, being gpided by others, may be pressed against me, I nevertheless hope your long knowledge of me will still suggest on my behalf, in the secret of your breast, that no bias is like to draw my course away from the direct way of an honest man, which estimation I prefer to all things else. And, since there is nothing more precious in this world than a good name, nor that more eonduceth to the next than to preserve a clear conscience, I shall most carefully avoid to receive a stain in the one, and so near the evening of my life to take a burden on the other. Both these oppose my obedience to your lordship’s command for the delivery up of this castle to that officer of yours, you name, which many strong engagements oblige me not to do, tied by the faith of a trust and the bond of an oath, lawfully given and sincerely taken, whereof no authority can acquit me, nor may keep me from the shame that would follow me living, and accuse me dead. Moreover, these islands, reserved by all princes to their own peculiar, and governed by the laws of Normandy, of which they are part, have never had to do with parliaments, whose ordinances and commands not to extend hath been ever accounted one of their chiefest freedoms, until some factious persons of late years, for ambitious and private ends, attempted this innovation, with intention only to make deceitfully use of their power, without yielding submission unto it as of right. Who never yet have been in any kinds provoked by any payments or taxes imposed by the King to seek out new protection, His Majesty having in no one particular made his government heavy or grievous to them. And I, for my part, decline neither parliament nor other inquisition, might this charge intrusted to me leave me free and at liberty. For, excepting a few mutinous spirits that were of necessity to find pretence to set on foot their designs, the greater numbers and generality, with one voice, acknowledge there is nothing at all to be objected to me. Of this all the English, brought against me as enemies, have the truth and ingenuity to be my witnesses. My answer, long since given to a former summons, I am well assured your lordship hath seen, which makes me forbear the tediousness of a longer reply. And, knowing it little pertinent to enter here into a contestation concerning my right in this government, I only, with your lordship’s permission, say this, that if the times were even to me, I should not have much cause to mistrust the state of my title, nor between another and me to refuse yourself for one of my Judges, so honourable and just I believe you. In conclusion therefore, my lord, to weary you no further, I am most heartily sorry my ardent desires can find no hope in your lordship’s letter, of a happy accommodation of those woeful troubles, which would prove a glorious and blessed work for those that were the peacemakers. It duly hath my wishes and prayers every day. And now in my last words, I humbly beseech your lordship to be pleased in brief to receive my most humble thanks for those noble expressions of your favourable inclination towards me, which truly I believe your goodness in, although this tempestuous storm blows us one against the other, and doubt not, however this world goes, but that we shall all meet friends in heaven. Presenting you likewise, with most humble acknowledgements for your consideration of that desolate fugitive, my wife, driven to seek refuge and her safety amongst strangers, whom with her children I must leave to their patience and their great God, that, brought to the lowest extremity, can raise them up again, whose blessed will be done both in them and me. If I perish, your lordship will lose a most faithful well wisher in me, that, determined by God’s assistance to make good this place like an honest man, am nevertheless,

Your lordship’s humble servant This sad but necessary business of answering the earl’s letter being disposed of, nothing remained but the common round of military duties, the continuous lookout for supplies, the constant enforcing of discipline among ill-paid and badly-fed men. Colonel George Carteret, the royalist governor of Jersey, is no honest friend to Sir Peter, He was, at the Restoration, made vice-chamberlain to the king and treasurer of the navy, and is a prominent official figure in Charles II.’s reign, as readers of Pepys will remember; an ambitious, self-seeking man, managing his governorship to good personal profit, even in these days, by privateering and like means. Now, in August, 1644, he sends word that Lady Osborne, who has been aiding her husband with supplies, as far as may he, from St. Malo, has gone with her son in a Parliament ship bound for London. “ I know not what fears and doubts of the success of things may work upon women,” he writes maliciously, hinting that Lady Osborne has gone home to her brother and his friends, tired of the siege and faithless to the cause, Sir George speaks of his desire to help Castle Cornet, of the three thousand livres he is already out of pocket, and of another thousand livres “ lent in money at several times to your lady.” This letter, the only news of the outside world reaching Sir Peter in the summer of 1644, must have roused many dismal thoughts in the mind of the stout old cavalier, as he paced the ramparts of his castle. These lie clearly mirrored in a letter to his friend, Amias Andros, a Guernsey gentleman, now in Jersey, to whom he writes about tills time as follows : —


CASTLE CORNET, June 22nd, 1644.

SIR, – IT would much amaze and trouble me if my wife should be gone for England, as won away from us. or misdoubting the event on the King’s side. But I know her resolution not to he easily changed. And there can be no other reason but want of friends and ability longer to support her self. Against necessity there is no striving, and it seems the man that gave her credit, by the troubles brought upon him, is not there now, to assist her longer. When we hear from her, I am most assured, that she was forced to take the opportunity of a good passage before her purse failed her, will be the chief reason she will allege. I that know the stock she carried have much wondered she hath so long held out; I think you have done so too. But in her absence I should lie glad to have you remain in Jersey, finding so good effects of your care and diligence so it may be without danger of giving disgust to Colonel Carteret, who is our principal stay, and without whom I so well understand my self and state, we are not to expect that any thing can he done there. As you conceive best, dispose of your self for your abiding still or cominghither.

Our people make a very honourable relation of the readiness of the most principal men of that island to impress money for the raising of a magazine of provisions for our supply, to be sent as the opportunity serves, which will give great assurance to ns, and no less honour to them to be preservers of this place, and will hereafter procure them not only thanks from the King, but his favour and reward, and lie as a spot upon his people, to the glory of their generous fidelity.

It is told me there is now to he had in Jersey a young man of the religion, and a very good surgeon that speaks English. That he lives in town without employment, and willing to come hither. If it be so, and that he hath a well furnished chest, I should be glad to have him. The worst I fear is, that he has served the Parliament, but his leaving that service shews that he hath left his affection to it, and is like to be more firm to the King’s side. Our surgeon is weary and must be dismissed or he will give us the slip.

Some half dozen good men, orderly and without wives, that I might not have their bodies here and their minds at home, would be very welcome hither to strengthen our squadrons least our men fall sick, which we cannot but look for, now winter, hard duties, and long nights come on.

Being confident that Matthew Le Pork will be of use to you in the procuring of such, as well as in other business, I have sent him again, for I fynde him very honest and careful and esteem him for it. If in this long letter I have forgotten anything, I will trust it to his relation and his memory, and now conclude with the remembrance of my service to you, and that I am,

Your loving friend,


CASTLE CORNET,August 29th, 1644.

I pray with all respect present my humble service to Mrs. Carteret.

For my loving friend, the SEIGNEUR OF SAUSMARE, at Jersey.

Later in the year, matters are by no means improving. He has no further good news from outside. The situation is becoming dismally monotonous. Sir George Carteret, the man whose battle he is fighting, a very half-hearted friend and supporter ; his wife, penniless and unprotected, fled to England ; his garrison discontented and ill supplied, —these are the doubts and distresses gnawing at his heart when, on October 3, 1644, he sits down to write to the king himself : —

“ May it please your most sacred majesty, I should not assume the boldness to offer this unto your royal hands, had I well known unto whom else to address myself. For this long siege hath kept me, if not wholly ignorant, at least in much uncertainty of English affairs, and who, under your majesty. have the managing of business now. I therefore most humbly desire this presumption may by your majesty be thus graciously excused, the extremities which I foresee we may shortly be reduced unto, pressing me to give the advertisement in time, lest peradventure the remedy may come too late. For unless we can be furnished with a speedy and complete supply, during this season that makes it unsafe for ships to lie upon us, hereafter, when they are like to return, it will grow very difficult if not impossible, to relieve this castle. Whilst I had the ability and credit to subsist, I strove upon my own strength against all necessities, the best I could. But now, unable longer to struggle with them, become too many for me, I am forced to crave assistance that I may not fail your majesty’s expectation for want of succour, which I shall never do for want of truth. Of the importance of this place there will need no other argument than the eager pursuit of those who, with such expense and diligence, seek to be masters of it. In whose resistance how much I have already endured these 20 months I willingly am silent in, lest I might seem to complain myself of that which I esteem my honour, and value as a happiness, if by any sufferings of mine, I may have done your majesty the least service. For my estate in England, it remains either sequestered or disposed away from me : which I mention with no other end but only to make it appear in what need I stand of further help, having nothing left to serve your majesty with, but my life, which likewise upon all occasions I shall, by the Grace of God, be most ready to lay down to approve myself to the last,

“Your Majesty’s most humble and loyal subject


“ From your Majesty’s fort. CASTLE CORNET, Oct. 3rd, 1644.”

About the end of October. John Osborne, who is at Jersey, manages to send his father a boat-load of provisions, the garrison at Guernsey firing a piece of ordnance on its arrival, that by such primitive telegraphy those at Jersey may know of its safe arrival. Still, Sir Peter, mewed up in his castle, hears so little of the world’s doings, and is so manifestly receiving shabby treatment at the hands of Carteret, that he writes at length to Lord Jermyn, royalist governor of Jersey, complaining of his lieutenant’s conduct, and inclosing a copy of the king’s letter in which he had been promised assistance. In this letter he insists upon the necessity of some endeavor being made to relieve the castle at once, pointing out that “ after Christmas it may be too late to think of relieving us, for about the 10th January last, the great ships with ketches and shallops, came hither to lie upon us, & we have good cause to expect them as early now. We stand in want of fuel, in much extremity, have drunk water this last half year, which we least consider, so our necessities were otherwise plentifully supplied, though it be very much for poor soldiers in winter and cold, to drink only water that undergo such hard duties as mine are put to do.”

That Carteret might have done more for Castle Cornet is clear. But Carteret is a good business man as well as a royalist, and does nothing until he sees how he is to be paid for it. Therefore, on November 25, 1644, he writes to Sir Peter: “ More I cannot do except you will be pleased to oblige yourself to repay the sums of money which I have disbursed for you. one half six months after the reduction of the island of Guernsey to the King’s obedience, and the other half eighteen months after the same with interest for that money, (for I do pay it); and in case of failing of payment upon the revenue of Guernsey, then your estate in England to be liable for it.” John Osborne, who is at St. Helier, writes two days afterwards explaining, from his point of view, Carteret’s conduct and his reasons for it, as follows : “As for the cause of Capt. Darrell’s delay, you have guessed very well at it in your letter to him, to wit, the colonel’s unsettledness and often changings. His first resolutions I have written you in my first letter, which you will receive of the captain. Now, he is determined to let you have the ketch not out. of good will; but beingnow resolved to send you nothing more, nor lay out any more money, he thinks it best not to end basely but that it shall be said be hath now sent you an extraordinary supply. He exclaims still very much that you should refuse to give him the assurance he requires, and goes about to make the country believe your intentions to him were not sincere.” The idea of obtaining an assurance from Sir Peter on the Guernsey revenues is both mean and, as Sir Peter points out, wholly unstatesmanlike. At the same time, Sir Peter does inclose some form of assurance, the exact nature of which we are unable to discover, but of which Sir Peter writes that it is one “ that may content as I conceive any reasonable man.”

CASTLE COKNET,Dec. 31, 1644.

Sir,– Much desirous to give you satisfaction (though to my own burden and disadvantage) I have now sent you an assurance that may content as I conceive any reasonable man. If it please not you, I must then appeal and refer myself to those of better judgment that will be impartial between us.

The assurance you so press upon me and peradventure hope extremities may force me to, I too plainly foresee the hazards it would encompass me with (to the great disservice of the King and my own ruin) ever to yield assent to that. No course more like to increase the obstinacy of these islanders than by engaging the profits of this Government to put myself in estate to come a needy man among them, from whom they could not but then look for more burden than ease. Nor can there be a course more dangerous to lose the hearts of my soldiers, and raise them into mutiny (who with great endurance and patience have long undergone such misery) than now at last to see all their hopes at an end, that expect their pay and rewards from those revenues. They begin already to mutter at the overture and very whisper of it. Concerning the sum you would abate for your wife’s being with mine at St. Malo, I am most assured she was received upon no such agreement, and hope my hard fortunes will never leave my wife in so ill estate, but that she will be able to give entertainment and welcome to her friends without taking money. I therefore desire you not to think upon it nor can I admit of that abatement.

Your humble servant

P. O.

Towards the end of January, 1645, the garrison must have been much in heart to receive a gracious letter from King Charles, in the following terms : —


Trusty and well beloved, we greet you well. We have received your letter of the 3rd October last, & are fully satisfied of your duty and fidelity to us, as well as with the reasons you express for requiring aid of us, after so many months siege & expenses made by you in that time. That our castle & island we cannot but esteem of very great convenience to he maintained against the rebels who have so long & earnestly sought to wrest them from us. Wherein we have endeavoured to make all the diversion of their forces that we could. For your present relief we have given effectual order to the Lord Hopton, (General of our Ordnance) and to Sir Nicholas Crisp, respectively, to send you the recruits & provisions mentioned in this note enclosed, with such speed as it may be with you before the season for the rebel ships to return thither, & the Lord Treasurer is to allow Sir Nicholas Crisp’s expenses therein upon receipts of the business in his own hands or otherwise. So as we doubt not but, by God’s assistance, you will be timely supplied with the necessaries desired & that, being thus enabled, you will’ cheerfully continue in the preservation of that place, & suppressing of any that there, or from abroad, do or shall affront our royal authority or the powers and command we have committed to your charge, wherein we do graciously acknowledge your eminent. deservings, & shall not forget in due time both to recompense them & your expenses full : and in the mean space to take care also for such further assistance to be given you as the condition of your affairs will admit. Given at our court at Oxford, the 23rd day of January 1645.

By his Majesty’s Command



governor of Guernsey.

Nothing, however, came of these kind promises, and the incident is so thoroughly characteristic of the king that I set down its conclusion here at once. John Osborne, armed, we must suppose, with the “ note enclosed,” appears to have gone to England to see that the recruits and supplies are sent to Guernsey. How he fares we may know from his own letters. He soon learns the value of the king’s promises, concerning which he writes in loyal wonder to his father. There is also a proposal of selling Guernsey to France, which John Osborne is able in some measure to hinder, and it comes to nothing.

“ When I came to Oxford,” he writes, “ by Sir Richard Cave’s means I had kissed the King’s hand & delivered my letter, I was sent to Secretary Nicholas, who wondered you had no relief from France ; for I told him you had not the worth of a farthing, nor hopes of any : About a fortnight after, I had letters to Sir Nicholas Crispe for what I asked, with a ship of defence for a convoy, who was to be paid out of the tin he hath in his hands, assured by my Lord treasurer’s letters. Now I am come hither, Sir Nicholas Crispe tells me the tin is taken out of his hands, & that the queen hath given the king a sum of money for it, & that a ship is here of 40 piece of ordnance to fetch it away for France. This is my condition. Notwithstanding, I shall not leave off so, but will endeavour my utmost to stop so much of it as to relieve you. Yet it seems strange to me the king should give me letters to furnish you upon the tin, when he hath sold it.

“ Before my coming, there was a proposition made to the king to engage the island to the French for a sum of money. Whereupon my brother Henry told the King if he consented to such a thing, that it was just you should be paid for the losses you had sustained. But the King told him he did not consent to the proposition. Since my coming it hath been proposed tire King that the French do offer themselves to reduce that island, & ask nothing till the work was done, & their officers were to be nominated by the Queen. When I had shewn the dangerous consequence & unjustness of it, it was not agreed to. These things I am glad I can let you know, for they were carried as if you were nothing concerned in it.”

Within a few weeks, whilst still at Falmouth, or rather at the neighboring town of Penryn, he writes again to his father that “ there came express letters from the King & my Lord Treasurer to Sir Nicholas Crispe with an absolute command to deliver up all tin in his hands to be sent to the Queen, so that the little hope I had was quite cut off.” This faithless folly of his royal master cost John Osborne both time and money. Meanwhile, the king s castle and garrison were being starved out. It must have needed greater strength of loyalty in Sir Peter and his men to continue their unwavering faith in kings and princes after this piece of reckless deceit practiced on them in their extremity. Perhaps Sir Peter kept the story to himself, and tried to make the best of it and square it somehow with his own honest ideals.

During the early months of the year 1645, Sir Peter, now almost at handgrips with starvation, lives on false promises and vain hopes, while Carteret continues sending backbiting and dishonest reports to Sir Richard Browne and other authorities at home. Writing in February, he has the incredible meanness to suggest to Sir Richard Browne what he must have known to he absolutely without foundation : that Sir Peter was acting the part of a traitor, and that “when Lady Osborne left St. Malo to go to the Parliament by whom she is since restored to her former livelihood, it was not without suspicion that she went to London to overture for the delivery of the Castle into their hands, sundry messengers having past to and fro between her and Sir Peter about that time.” There is no doubt that when Carteret wrote this he was greatly incensed at Sir Peter’s refusal to give him a charge on the January revenue, and he appears to have been guilty of some breach of faith in reference to such assurance as was given him by Sir Peter. But the lengthy letters and depositions referring to this further misunderstanding are not sufficiently explicit or to the purpose to be set down here. John Osborne writes home that he has no news of his mother, except that he hears from Lady Gargrave, her sister, that she is very well; and it, must have been peculiarly galling to Sir Peter, sure as be lumself was of his wife’s loyalty to the cause for which he was suffering, not to be able to contradict with authority the rumors that Carteret was so diligent in spreading abroad.

About this time, the king sent over a royal commission to inquire into the condition of the islands. The commissioners sat at Jersey, under the personal superintendence of Sir George Carteret. One Thomas Wright, who appears to have been Sir Peter’s bailiff, a trusted servant and his then accredited agent at Jersey, writes that the royal commissioners are entirely in the hands of Sir George Carteret. He tells Sir Peter that he and Captain Darrell are “curbed and snubbed and like to be clapt by the heels,” to teach them manners towards Sir George and the commanders. Further, he says that some well-affected men have made a collection through every parish in the land for the relief of Guernsey Castle, amounting to upwards of £300, and Sir George, “ having gotten this money into his hands,” used it for his own purposes. Nothing of which is likely to be consoling to Sir Peter in his extremities. It is under these circumstances that he writes the following account of his situation to Sir Richard Browne : —

“ At my wife’s coming to St. Malo she was wholly" guided by Sir G. Carteret whom she reposed much confidence in, and so desired to oblige that she received him and his whole family into her house, till by reason of her losses sustained, and the indirect dealing she found, she was forced to seek other assistance ; being in great danger to have been soon exhausted and disabled to give us the succour which yet she still got the means to do. For when her money was spent and plate sold, she made no difficulty among strangers to engage in a great debt for the relief of this castle, till her credit at last failed. In these straights and our great extremity, she had made a shift to send us to Jersey a seasonable relief, where, committed to Sir George’s trust, it lay two months wasting and untransferred while we were starving, brought from little to less, and in conclusion for bread to four biscuits a man for a week. The rest of our provisions growing no less scant, that where as our number was parted into three divisions, we could allow those only at night a little porrage that were then to have the watch, the other two divisions going without any thing, supperless to bed. Nor could my son Charles, sent thither of purpose to hasten away those her provisions (none other expected of Sir George) procure them before his return to St. Malo, desirous to have comforted his mother with that good news. So that, oppressed with trouble and grief, she fell into a desperate sickness, that her self, and all those about her, feared her life. Of the condition that we were in, the Parliament had from our enemies continual advertisement and employed vessel after vessel, with all the shallops the islanders could set forth, to lie day and night upon us. And they conceiving it a good time again to summon me, I received a letter to that purpose from the Earl of Warwick in very fair terms. To which I likewise made a civil answer, but such as was agreeable with my allegiance to His is Majesty, and that left him hopeless of making any change in me. I have both the letters to produce when time serves. In the midst of these distractions and miseries; my wife, sick without money, friends, and hope, was driven to embark herself for England in a ship of Holland, so far from recovery that she scarce felt the amendment of two days. Nor could that, her compelled departure, give suspicion of her going to harken to overtures for the surrender of the castle, which she with so much carefullness and expense to the uttermost of her means and credit, had so long preserved, and who had one of her sons then at Bristol in his Majesty’s service, and at her going away furnished another whom she also sent to the king ; her eldest being left with me to run the hazard of my fortunes, like to he ill enough. And though. I doubt not, but this will appear sufficient, to wash off these maliciously invented slanders, my holding of this castle ever since now ten months more, with much sufferings and extremity and without all taint of disloyalty, that must needs in this time have broken out, will shew the clearness of my innocence, and the impudence of his untruths.

“ Since her going Sir George hath from time to time deluded us with promises, and harrassed us with delays, that I have been constrained to send boat upon boat; till left at last without any to send upon what urgent necessity soever, so that we wanted men to perform the duty of our watches. And when at length he thought good to supply us with something, it was always with a scarce hand, nothing answerable to our wants, and the charge of our men that lay there, and who could not he dispatched, that the reckonings he makes in his bills ariseth to a strange proportion in extraordinaries to His Majesty’s great charge ; and yet this his Castle unsupplied, we having for this twelve month and above, never been able to allow our soldiers more than one biscuit a day, with a little porrage for their supper, and have been forced for necessity to use the stuff sent us to make candles and to dress our boats, to frye the poor John, limpets and herbs we use in the best mess, though we concealed it from them, and made no complaint, and lived thus about three weeks. The provisions, though illconditioned, carry the prices of the best, yet have I not returned back any thing he sent, how faulty so ever. In so much that, secure of that he hath not forborne to put again upon us the sorts we have found fault with, to vent and issue out to us, what he could not else tell how to dispose of. Neither Captain Darrell nor any of mine admitted to see the ehoosing, putting up, number or weight, of what he sent, he still saying ‘ cross me not,’ ‘ let me alone ’ and much displeased if any sought to look into it. His next charge is, that with fearful threats I seek to tie him to impossibilities. I know not what may appear fearfull to his apprehension. If he can make proofs of these menaces offered to him by my letters, I shall be much ashamed of my folly. Nor do I seek impossibilities, credibly informed that many in Jersey have contributed great sums for this place by express name, though their service and merit be concealed and the money be converted to other uses.

“For the breaking up of all the vessels he sends us, he knows very well from the report and view of his own people, that I never break up any, but such as his and our enemies’ shot, and foul weather made utterly unserviceable. But if it had been so as he would have it understood, as done of purpose, our extreme want of firing would have excused me, and east the blame upon him, that was continually informed of it, and yet neither sent us coal, having plenty, nor that which was our own, which we kept a twelve month, while we were forced to pull down what was combustible about our houses to burn our timber which I now much want, and at last, which I was exceedingly troubled to he reduced to do, to burn our carriages for our ordnance that were good and serviceable and our tables and our doors, &c.

“ Whereas he sayeth I turn my soldiers upon him without money or clothes. I part with none willingly, but only such as, with our hard diet being sick, would have perished here. And I hope it will he held reasonable that I should rid myself of tire sick for our own safety and their preservation. And likewise, that all places under His Majesty’s obedience should be open to receive and relieve such as have undergone so much, of whose miserable sufferings I need no witness, having the testimony of my accuser, though he sayth it to make me seem the more uncharitable to send them without money and clothes, that have neither to give them and well he knows it. The rest of his charges are so frivolous that I conceive them unworthy o£ replying to, as namely, that in so great necessity I should he consenting to the yielding up of a good shallop to our enemies (and no small boate as is pretended) laden with provisions that we stood in need of, and were hardly gotten for us by my son, together with the loss of a surgeon that had already received a good part of his wages, and whom I much solicited for, to quit me of one that I had then in mistrust, loosing with all divers provisions bespoken for my own particular use and health, which I cannot look to have procured for me again. A subtilty that my great wants, empty purse, and distance from friends was not like to permit to come into my imagination, much less to suffer me to put in execution that curious invention. As lykewise, that my son, charged to be guilty of this, is not sent to Paris as was thought, and where he might be safe, but by Sir George’s industry discovered to be in England, the same whom I now send with my answer.

“ I come now to the last charge : being again brought to the uttermost, not above a fortnight’s bread left, and despairing of supply from Sir George, I was driven to seeke all shifts for myself, and therefore sent to Mrs. Danvers my wife’s kinswoman (that hath had her part in all her miseries) to St. Malo with my apparel and some trunks of linen left in her custody, to make trial what she could instantly get in provisions for us upon that pawn or sale: which business she so well despatched that in six dayes she came back to Jersey, in their view chased by a pirate, and narrowly escaping by running with great danger among the rocks. Yet at her coming away the next day, she could not obtain of Sir George one seaman of his (for she requested but one) the better to man her boat, in case she met with the same man of war or any other, whereof those parts were then full. The liazzard of the loss of our provisions and the best shallop I had, and which brought me the greatest supply that 1 ever received in such a boat nothing at all moving him, nor the danger and entreaty of a gentlewoman, nor the aspersions cast upon her (convinced of untruth by her return) working any remorse in him by way of compensation, to have afforded her that small courtesy.

“In conclusion touching the advice he gives for the prevention of my supposed disloyalty, so certain in his apprehension, that one of those courses must instantly be taken. If his Majesty can be brought to have my truth in doubt after so long proof of it, I silently, with all obedience submit to his Royal pleasure, though most loath, I must confess, to have such a mark of his disfavour and difference stamped upon me, as may in sorrow close up these days which in these long and many sufferings, I have the comfort and hope should have found a joyful end in his service.

“CASTLE CORNET,June 18th, 1645.”

Nor was such a letter without its effect on those in England, who were in all probability well aware of the comparative characters of Sir Peter Osborne and Sir George Carteret. Within a month there comes a note from the Prince of Wales himself, from his court at Liskeard, to Sir George Carteret, urging him to take some speedy course for transporting provisions to Sir Peter, and promising Carteret payment of the charges thereof. Matters indeed do not seem to get much better on receipt of this note, and perhaps Carteret had his difficulties in obtaining supplies, though it is clear that he might have done much more for Castle Cornet than he did. Thomas Wright, forwarding “ a little parcel of special tobacco and a dozen of pipes ” to Sir Peter, writes a gossiping letter of news from Jersey, from which we gather that Sir George was still not very gracious to the adherents of Sir Peter then sojourning at Jersey. During the next month the Prince of Wales writes to Sir Peter, promising him supplies to be sent from Cornwall, but we cannot find that these are ever sent. Indeed, on October 20th, John Osborne tells his father that there is little hope of succor from England, in the present state of affairs ; that “ the council will hearken to every thing to save money; ” and that poor Mr. Sheaffe, a Guernsey envoy, cannot get a trumpery sum of ten pounds from the Chancellor’s secretary, though it is admitted to be owing, for his charges. The state of Castle Cornet at the end of this month is set out in a report of Sir Peter to the king’s commissioners, in which, in spite of his cruel circumstances, aggravated by the meanness and trickery of others, he can still speak of his “ confidence placed in God and the King, whom I have truly served, without consideration of the ruin of myself, my wife, my children and my home, of whose princely goodness I nothing doubt, nor he I hope of my integrity.”

Sir Peter is indeed at bay with a terrible situation. Soldiers and mean persons have been found to back up the charges already made by Sir George Carteret. Mutiny in some sort is now added to his other troubles. Along with his dignified complaint to the royal commissioners at Jersey Sir Peter finds time to send a little personal note, accompanied by a draft, “ this little enclosed,” to the wife of his friend Amias Andros, who has evidently given him news of Lady Osborne and her daughter.

Goon MRS. SAMARES, – Your welcome letter is come safely to my hands, whereby I understand your happy arrival in these parts, escaped from the ill usage of your enemies. The comfort you have given me by the short account of my Wife and poor family, I humbly thank you for, of whose state I remained long doubtful. That great God, who keepeth us both, is able with his blessing to make a little enough. Amongst your kindred in Jersey, I cannot doubt you will find assistance and courtesy. Yet least your virtuous constancy and goodness for her & me (for which I hold myself much obliged) may do you prejudice, I beseech you favour me so much as to accept this little enclosed, which I present unto you with my best respects & thankfulness. But [if] you find my estimation there so little valued, that it proves to you of no use, complain of the change of my fortune and not my goodwill. Forbear I pray to look for an answer to the latter part of your letter, and have the patience not to expect your husband yet.

Your most humble servant


CASTLE CORNET, Oct. 30th, 1645.

To my worthy friend, Mrs. ELIZABETH ANDREWES SAMARES, at Jersey.

Once more, after long months of suffering, Sir Peter receives a letter front the Earl of Warwick, offering in language almost affectionate terms of peace which Sir Peter might well accept without dishonor to himself. But on the very same day that he has to write to Carteret of the petty details of his wants and necessities, Sir Peter also sits down to write another letter, refusing to stain his grand ideal of loyalty with even a word of disbelief in the king’s cause. In spite of all the misery caused by his perilous situation and the faithlessness of friends, he can still write of the “ clear cause,” and pity Lord Warwick for numbering himself among the king’s enemies. This is Sir Peter’s reply to the courteous and honorable letter of the Earl of Warwick : —

MY LORD, — That your lordship is pleased to continue me in your honourable favour, notwithstanding these distractions lead us in several courses, I acknowledge with thankfulness your goodness in it, and give your lordship assurance you shall also find in me a like constancy, full of love, respect and observance to yourself & yours. Whereof I could have small hopes to win you into the belief, and to keep you in it still, should I stain my truth with the infamy of such a falsehood to his Majesty, which might brand me for that dishonest man of whom you and all men else would then have just reason to beware. And the very expression your letter siguifieth this castle by (naming it my charge) gives me a tacit warning of the faith and duty belonging to that trust, and that cannot but make my heart rise against the motion, much more abhor a deed so hardly even to be demanded but with words that imply my shame. I have with more search and consideration examined and weighed this unlucky business, than ever to have the confidence of excusing myself with having been all this while mistaken, wherein I must then with shame enough belie my confidence and this clear cause. Your great successes, my lord, are deceitful arguments not to be relied on, human beings being subject to change. Who can tell hut that God may permit them (as in the case with Benjamin) to draw you at last within a severe revenge. Wherefore I most humbly beseech your lordship to employ rather your best endeavours in those good offices that may procure agreement and peace, seeking after that blessed reward and honour so transcendent beyond all this world can bestow. And be pleased not to despise this intimation from one that heartily desires your happiness, and is so far from affecting these unalterable quarrels, that I would yield myself willingly not only to be ruined (if that might do it) but to die for peace. Lastly, in a word, though most determinately resolved never to serve your lordship in this way you require me, I yet remain in your own particular, with all sincerity of affection and observant respect

Your lordship’s most humble &c,

CASTLK CORNET, January 15th, 1646.

This answer to the Earl of Warwick, the purport of which became known to Carteret and the royalists in England, made Sir Peter an object of greater sympathy than heretofore. It was apparently clear to the Prince of Wales that nothing could be done to make Carteret and Sir Peter work together, and he and his council came to the not unusual decision of statesmen, that the honest man must he shelved, and the self-seeking politician retained. Carteret is said, during these wars, to have made £60,000 by privation, that is by robbing English (rebel) merchandise vessels, and the court could not disoblige so valuable an ally. A pleasant letter was therefore written to Sir Peter by the Prince of Wales, and carried to him by Sir Thomas Fanshawe, in February, 1646, “with such full instructions and with such present accommodation for that garrison in some reasonable measure as we hope shall produce a very good effect.” About the same time Sir Edward Hyde writes a courteous and conciliatory letter from Pendennis Castle. But Sir Peter sees that it is intended he shall resign his command, and, after an interview with Sir Thomas Fansliawe, he “who looks for nothing in this business but merely your Highness’ pleasure,” he expresses to the prince his desire to hear and submit to his command. This note, written to Sir Thomas Fanshawe somewhere about May, 1646, shows how utterly unselfish are his endeavours to do the king service. He had gained what many another honest soldier gained in that service, — ruin. His wife and family are refugees somewhere in England; one of his sons has been killed fighting for the king; and he himself, after holding out against a terrible siege, but weakly supported from outside, is now forced to give up his command, — forced to do so, indeed, not by his own incapacity, but because he sees that Carteret is necessary to the royal cause, and that Carteret will never assist Castle Cornet while he remains there. He writes to Sir Thomas Fanshawe, asking to he allowed to retire to St. Malo : —

SIR, — I write this to yourself, under the confidenee you have given me, beseeching you to consider what I have put into your trust, much dearer than my life, whereof I cannot hope, with others for consideration, when I see none had of my son thus near His Highness’ protection, I having lost his brother so lately in the King’s service. I beseech you, therefore, not to transfer the care of me into other hands, that have committed myself into yours, & rely upon your assurance and integrity not list’d to fail your friend. I pray, make way rather for my direct going to St. Malo, where I may for awhile quietly recollect myself and recover some patience for what I suffer and foresee I am still like to do.

Thus, in May, 1646, he voluntarily resigned his command to Sir Baldwin Wake, whom he formally appointed his lieutenant-governor. Not until three years after the execution of Charles I., when the battle of Worcester bad been fought and Jersey given up to the Parliamentarians, did Castle Cornet surrender. Then, on Friday, December 19, 1651, the royalists, under command of Colonel Roger Burgess, left the castle with full honors of war, “ drums beating, ensigns displayed, bullet in mouth, and match lighted at both ends.” Even when they laid down their arms, it was with the honorable exception of their swords, which they were permitted to wear.

It would have gladdened Sir Peter’s heart if he could have been with his faithful garrison on that day, for they had at least been faithful above all others of the king’s servants. But in 1651 Sir Peter was at his own home in Chicksands, already an old man, worn out with years and disappointment, lonely and forgotten, waiting somewhat hopelessly for the end to come. After leaving Castle Cornet, he appears to have stayed at St. Malo, spending his energies and substance in endeavoring to provision his beloved castle. The court party had, of course, been able to do little or nothing of what they promised when he left Castle Cornet at their request, and in 1649 he found himself poverty-stricken and abandoned in St. Malo, with his English home, as far as he could learn, sold and taken from him. It is under these circumstances that he announces to King Charles II. his intention of returning to England, in the following letter :

“ May it please your most excellent Majesty, I have lately had notice from England that the small proportion that remains of my estate is to be sold, and no consideration out of it to be had, either for my wife or children if I come not to a composition for it. This and the extreme wants I suffer in this place, with the little consideration hath been had of them (having received nothing for my maintenance since my being here, nor any part of that was promised me at my retiring from Guernsey Castle) have at length driven me to the necessity of thinking upon that which of all things I was the least inclined to, and to look after that little that is left of my own. But this I can now resolve on with greater satisfaction by how much I may seem less useful to your Service: And as, by your Majesty’s command, I suspended the exercise of my government, so do I still leave it in those hands where you were pleased I should commit it. Only I beseech your Majesty in equity to consider the right I have in it, and for it what I have left and that I may not suffer from both sides, only because I have been honest. For be pleased Sir, to give me leave to say. that certainly I have served your Majesty and your Royal father with a sincere integrity, against which neither temptations nor discouragement have prevailed, and have submitted to your will with that quiet obedience ; that I have not at all considered my interests, and hardly my honour, when that that was called your service, was but said to be concerned. And after all, the chiefest request I have to make is, that God, in his good time would restore your Majesty to your rights, and then I am certain your goodness will consider mine, and if in any thing I have deserved your gracious regard, be pleased then to look upon me and my children, and only so much as your Majesty’s own justice and honour shall judge me worthy the esteem of

Yours &c.”

Thus he bade farewell to the king he would still have served if it had been in his power to do so. Upon his return to England we find him living at Chicksands Priory, the influence of his wife’s friends gaining him perhaps some considerationh out of his sequestered estate. His wife died early in 1652, and he remained in retirement at Chicksands, drifting rapidly into old age. On April 14, 1653, he was taken suddenly ill in the priory chapel. For a year he lay ill, tenderly nursed, we may he sure, by his daughter Dorothy, who writes one, at least, of her letters to Temple while sitting up at night watching by his bedside. Toward the spring of the next year he grew gradually worse, and at length died on Saturday, March 11th, at eleven o’clock of the night, being within two months of sixty-nine years old. He was buried at Campion, and a tablet to his memory may still be seen in the church there, with an inscription speaking his praise. For ourselves, we do not, I think, need monument or tablet. He has unconsciously drawn a clear outline of his character in these letters, which will remain his best epitaph. His defense of Castle Cornet, his singleminded love for his king, and the stern, uncompromising honesty of his life will be engraven on the memory of all who read his story in these his own words. Wiser men and greater men there were many in those stirring times, but none more valiant, honorable, and true-hearted than Sir Peter Osborne.

Edward Abbott Parry.

  1. 1 See Atlantic Monthly for December, 1888, page 840.