List Of Contents | Contents of Miscellanies upon Various Subjects
< < Previous Page     Next Page > >

desire you to forget, for you are now awake." To which Mr. Donne's
reply was, "I cannot be surer that I now live, than that I have not
slept since I saw you, and am sure that at her second appearing, she
stopt and lookt me in the face and vanished." - Rest and sleep had not
altered Mr. Donne's opinion the next day, for he then affirmed this
vision with a more deliberate, and so confirmed a confidence, that he
inclined Sir Robert to a faint belief, that the vision was true. It is
truly said, that desire and doubt have no rest, and it proved so with
Sir Robert, for he immediately sent a servant to Drury-House, with a
charge to hasten back and bring him word whether Mrs. Donne were
alive ? and if alive, in what condition she was as to her health. The
twelfth day the messenger returned with this account-that he found and
left Mrs. Donne very sad, sick in her bed, and that, after a long and
dangerous labour, she had been delivered of a dead child: and upon
examination, the abortion proved to be the same day, and about the
very hour, that Mr. Donne affirmed he saw her pass by him in his

Henry IV. King of France, not long before he was stabbed by Ravillac,
as he was hunting in the forest (I think of Fontaine-Bleau), met in a
thicket, the Gros Venure, who said to him, "Demandez vous?" or "Entendez
vous?" He could not tell whether of the two.

There is a tradition (which I have heard from persons of honour), that
as the Protector Seymour and his Dutchess were walking in the gallery
at Sheen (in Surrey), both of them did see a hand with a bloody sword
come out of the wall. He was afterwards beheaded.

Sir John Burroughes being sent envoy to the Emperor by King Charles I.
did take his eldest son Caisho Burroughes along with him, and taking
his journey through Italy, left his son at Florence, to learn the
language; where he having an intrigue with a beautiful courtisan
(mistress of the Grand Duke), their familiarity became so public, that
it came to the Duke's ear, who took a resolution to have him murdered;
but Caisho having had timely notice of the Duke's design, by some of
the English there, immediately left the city without acquainting his
mistress with it, and came to England; whereupon the Duke being
disappointed of his revenge, fell upon his mistress in most
reproachful language; she on the other side, resenting the sudden
departure of her gallant, of whom she was most passionately enamoured,
killed herself. At the same moment that she expired, she did appear to
Caisho, at his lodgings in London; Colonel Remes* was then in bed with
him, who saw her as well as he; giving him an account of her
resentments of his ingratitude to her, in leaving her so suddenly, and
exposing her to the fury of the Duke, not omitting her own tragical
exit, adding withal, that he should be slain in a duel, which
accordingly happened; and thus she appeared to him frequently, even
when his younger brother (who afterwards was Sir John) was in bed with
him. As often as she did appear, he would cry out with great
shrieking, and trembling of his body, as anguish of mind, saying, 0
God ! here she comes, she comes, and at this rate she appeared till he
was killed; she appeared to him the morning before he was killed. Some
of my acquaintance have told me, that he was one of the most beautiful
men in England, and very valiant, but proud and blood-thirsty.

* This Colonel Remes was a Parliament man, and did belong to the
wardrobe, tempore Caroli II.

This story was so common, that King Charles I. Sent for Caisho
Burroughes's father, whom he examined as to the truth of the matter;
who did (together with Colonel Remes) aver the matter of fact to be
true, so that the King thought it worth his while to send to Florence,
to enquire at what time this unhappy lady killed herself; it was found
to be the same minute that she first appeared to Caisho, being in bed
with Colonel Remes. This relation I had from my worthy friend Mr.
Monson, who had it from Sir John's own mouth, brother of Caisho; he
had also the same account from his own father, who was intimately
acquainted with old Sir John Burroughes, and both his sons, and says,
as often as Caisho related this, he wept bitterly.

Anno 1647, the Lord Mohun's son and heir (a gallant gentleman,
valiant, and a great master of fencing and horsemanship), had a
quarrel with Prince Griffin; there was a challenge, and they were to
fight on horse-back in Chelsea-fields in the morning: Mr. Mohun went
accordingly to meet him; but about Ebury-Farm, he was met by some who
quarrelled with him and pistoled him; it was believed, by the order of
Prince Griffin; for he was sure, that Mr. Mohun, being so much the
better horse-man, &c. would have killed him, had they fought.

In James-street, in Covent-Garden, did then lodge a gentlewoman, a
handsome woman, but common, who was Mr. Mohun's sweet heart. Mr. Mohun
was murdered about ten o'clock in the morning; and at that very time,
his mistress being in bed, saw Mr. Mahon come to her bed-side, draw
the curtain, look upon her and go away; she called after him, but no
answer: she knocked for her maid, asked her for Mr. Mohun; she said
she did not see him, and had the key of her chamber-door in her
pocket. This account my friend aforesaid, had from the gentle-woman's
own mouth, and her maid's.

A parallel story to this, is, that Mr. Brown, (brother- in-law to the
Lord Coningsby) discovered his being murdered to several. His phantom
appeared to his sister and her maid in Fleet-street, about the time
he was killed in Herefordshire, which was about a year since. 1693.

Sir Walter Long of Draycot, (grandfather of Sir James Long) had two
wives; the first a daughter of Sir Thomas Packington in
Worcestershire; by whom he had a son: his second wife was a daughter
of Sir John Thynne of Long-Leat; by whom he had several sons and
daughters. The second wife did use much artifice to render the son by
the first wife, (who had not much Promethean fire) odious to his
father; she would get her acquaintance to make him drunk, and then
expose him in that condition to his father; in fine, she never left
off her attempts, till she got Sir Walter to disinherit him. She laid
the scene for doing this at Bath, at the assizes, where was her
brother Sir Egrimond Thynne, an eminent serjeant at law, who drew the
writing; and his clerk was to sit up all night to engross it; as he
was writing, he perceived a shadow on the parchment, from the candle;
he looked up, and there appeared a hand, which immediately vanished;
he was startled at it, but thought it might be only his fancy, being
sleepy; so he writ on; by and by a fine white hand interposed between
the writing and the candle (he could discern it was a woman's hand)
but vanished as before; I have forgot, it appeared a third time. But
with that the clerk threw down his pen, and would engross no more, but
goes and tells his master of it, and absolutely refused to do it. But
it was done by somebody, and Sir Walter Long was prevailed with to
seal and sign it. He lived not long after; and his body did not go
quiet to the grave, it being arrested at the church porch by the
trustees of the first lady. The heir's relations took his part, and
commenced a suit against Sir Walter (the second son) and compelled him
to accept of a moiety of the estate; so the eldest son kept South-
Wraxhall, and Sir Walter, the second son, Draycot-Cernes, &c. This was
about the middle of the reign of King James I.

I must not forget an apparition in my country, which appeared several
times to Doctor Turbervile's sister, at Salisbury; which is much
talked of. One married a second wife, and contrary to the agreement
and settlement at the first wife's marriage, did wrong the children by
the first venter. The settlement was hid behind a wainscot in the
chamber where the Doctor's sister did lie: and the apparition of the
first wife did discover it to her. By which means right was done to
the first wife's children. The apparition told her that she wandered
in the air, and was now going to God. Dr. Turbervile (oculist) did
affirm this to be true. See Mr. Glanvill's "Sadducismus Triumphatus".

To one Mr. Towes, who had been schoolfellow with Sir George Villers,
the father of the first Duke of Buckingham, (and was his friend and
neighbour) as he lay in his bed awake, (and it was day-light) came
into his chamber, the phantom of his dear friend Sir George Villers:
said Mr. Towes to him, why, you are dead, what make you here ? said
the Knight, I am dead, but cannot rest in peace for the wickedness and
abomination of my son George, at Court. I do appear to you, to tell
him of it, and to advise and dehort him from his evil ways. Said Mr.
Towes, the Duke will not believe me, but will say that I am mad, or
doat. Said Sir George, go to him from me, and tell him by such a token
(a mole) that he had in some secret place, which none but himself knew
of. Accordingly Mr. Towes went to the Duke, who laughed at his
message. At his return home the phantom appeared again, and told him
that the Duke would be stabbed (he drew out a dagger) a quarter of a
year after: and you shall outlive him half a year; and the warning
that you shall have of your death, will be, that your nose will fall a
bleeding. All which accordingly fell out so. This account I have had
(in the main) from two or three; but Sir William Dugdale affirms what
I have here taken from him to be true, and that the apparition told
him of several things to come, which proved true, e. g. of a prisoner
in the Tower, that shall be honourably delivered. This Mr. Towes had
so often the ghost of his old friend appear to him, that it was not at
all terrible to him. He was surveyor of the works at Windsor, (by the
favour of the Duke) being then sitting in the hall, he cried out, the
Duke of Buckingham is stabbed: he was stabbed that very moment.

This relation Sir William Dugdale had from Mr. Pine, (neighbour to Mr.
Towes without Bishops-gate) they were both great lovers of music, and
sworn brothers. Mr. W. Lilly, astrologer, did print this story false,
which made Sir Edmund Wyndham (who married Mr. Pine's daughter) give
to Sir George Hollis this true account contrary to Mr. Lilly.

Mr. Thomas Ellyot, Groom of the bedchamber, married Sir Edmund
Wyndham's daughter, and had the roll (of near a quire of paper) of the
conferences of the apparition and Mr. Towes. Mr. Ellyot was wont to
say, that Mr. Towes was (not a bigot, or did trouble himself much
about a religion, but was) a man of great morals.

Sir William Dugdale did farther inform me that Major General Middleton
(since Lord) went into the Highlands of Scotland, to endeavour to make
a party for King Charles I. An old gentleman (that was second-sighted)
came and told him, that his endeavour was good, but he would be
unsuccessful: and moreover, "that they would put the King to death:
And that several other attempts would be made, but all in vain: but
that his son would come in, but not reign; but at last would be
restored." This Lord Middleton had a great friendship with the Laird
Bocconi, and they had made an agreement, that the first of them that
died should appear to the other in extremity. The Lord Middleton was
taken prisoner at Worcester fight, and was prisoner in the Tower of
London, under three locks. Lying in his bed pensive, Bocconi appeared
to him; my Lord Middleton asked him if he were dead or alive ? he
said, dead, and that he was a ghost; and told him, that within three
days he should escape, and he did so, in his wife's cloaths. When he
had done his message, he gave a frisk, and said,

      Givenni Givanni 'tis very strange,
      In the world to see so sudden a change.

And then gathered up and vanished. This account Sir William Dugdale
had from the Bishop of Edinburgh. And this, and the former account he
hath writ in a book of miscellanies, which I have seen, and is now
reposited with other books of his in the Musaeum at Oxford.

Anno 1670, not far from Cirencester, was an apparition: being
demanded, whether a good spirit, or a bad ? returned no answer, but
disappeared with a curious perfume and most melodious twang. Mr. W.
Lilly believes it was a fairy. So Propertius.

      Omnia finierat; tenues secessit in auras:
      Mansit odor; posses scire fuisse Deam.

      Here, her speech ending, fled the beauteous fair,
      Melting th' embodied form to thinner air,
      Whom the remaining scent a goddess did declare.

The learned Henry Jacob, fellow of Merton college in Oxford, died at
Dr. Jacob's, M. D. house in Canterbury. About a week after his death,
the doctor being in bed and awake, and the moon shining bright, saw
his cousin Henry standing by his bed, in his shirt, with a white cap
on his head and his beard-mustachoes turning up, as when he was alive.
The doctor pinched himself, and was sure he was awaked: he turned to
the other side from him; and, after some time, took courage to turn
the other way again towards him, and Henry Jacob stood there still; he
should have spoken to him, but he did not; for which he has been ever
since sorry. About half an hour after, he vanished. Not long after
this, the cook-maid, going to the wood-pile to fetch wood to dress
supper, saw him standing in his shirt upon the wood-pile.* This
account I had in a letter from Doctor Jacob, 1673, relating to his
life, for Mr. Anthony Wood; which is now in his hands.

* See the whole story in Ath. & Fasti Oxon. Part 2, p. 91.

When Henry Jacob died, he would fain have spoken to the Doctor, but
could not, his tongue faltered, ** 'Tis imagined he would have told
Doctor Jacob, with what person he had deposited his manuscripts of his
own writing; they were all the riches he had, 'tis suspected that one
had them and printed them under his own name. --- See there in the said
Athenae, vol. or part 2. p. 90.

** This very story Dr. Jacob told me himself, being then at Lord
Teynham's, in Kent, where he was then physician to my eldest son;
whom he recovered from a fever, (A. Wood's note.)

T, M. Esq., an old acquaintance of mine, hath assured me that about a
quarter of a year after his first wife's death, as he lay in bed awake
with his grand-child, his wife opened the closet-door, and came into
the chamber by the bedside, and looked upon him and stooped down and
kissed him; her lips were warm, he fancied they would have been cold.
He was about to have embraced her, but was afraid it might have done
him hurt. When she went from him, he asked her when he should see her
again ? she turned about and smiled, but said nothing. The closet door
striked as it used to do, both at her coming in and going out. He had
every night a great coal fire in his chamber, which gave a light as
clear almost as a candle. He was hypochondriacal; he married two
wives since, the latter end of his life was uneasy.

Anno 165-.-- At---in the Moorlands in Staffordshire, lived a poor old
man, who had been a long time lame. One Sunday, in the afternoon, he
being alone, one knocked at his door: he bade him open it, and come
in. The Stranger desired a cup of beer; the lame man desired him to

< < Previous Page     Next Page > >

Other sites: