Thursday, December 8, 2011

John Pym

‘…There were, however, two of the household at Woodstock, who appeared not so entirely reconciled with Louis Kerneguy or his purposes. The one was Bevis, who seemed, from their first unfriendly rencontre, to have kept up a pique against their new guest, which no advances on the part of Charles were able to soften. If the page was by chance left alone with his young mistress, Bevis chose always to be of the party; came close by Alice's chair, and growled audibly when the gallant drew near her. "It is a pity," said the disguised prince, "that your Bevis is not a bull-dog, that we might dub him a roundhead at once— He is too handsome, too noble, too aristocratic, to nourish those inhospitable prejudices against a poor houseless cavalier. I am convinced the spirit of Pym1  or Hampden.

1) John Pym (1584-1643), the Parliamentary leader, prominent in the impeachment of Buckingham, Strafford and Laud. He was one of the "five members" whose attempted arrest by Charles I in January. 1, 1642 hastened the outbreak of civil war.’

Puritan John Pym was a leader in the Long Parliament, and was very much in opposition to King Charles I, as the note to the text of Walter Scott’s “Woodstock” above attests.  “Woodstock” was set in 1651, around Charles I’s son Charles II’s escape from England.  Among other accomplishments, John Pym also negotiated the Solemn League and Covenant in 1643, not long before his death, which occurred on December 8th, 1643. 

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