Lucius Cary, Viscount of Falkland, and Arthur Lord Capel, Baron of Hadham. Also, the Catholics Thomas White and Walter Montagu, the reclaimed Protestant William Chillingworth, and the Protestant prelate John Pearson

It would be a huge task to collect the works of all those who fought and died in the cause of Charles I, but here are a couple of works. Lucius Cary (1610-43) can be said to have given his life for his belief in moderation, and the death of Arthur Capel (1610?-49) is noteworthy because he did not simply die in battle, as Cary did, but was captured and subsequently beheaded.


       A Discourse of Infallibility. With Mr. Thomas White's Answer to it, and a Reply to him; By Sr. Lucius Cary. late Lord Viscount of Falkland. Also Mr. Walter Mountague (Abbot of Nanteul) his paper against Protestantism; and his Lordship's answer thereunto, with Mr John Pearson's Preface. The Second Edition. To which are now added two discourses of Episcopacys by the said Viscount Falkland, and his Friend Mr. William Chillingworth. Published according to the Original Copies. (London, Printed for William Nealand, Bookseller in Cambridge, and are to be sold there, and at the Crown in Duck-lane 1660. Quarto, [18]+14+[26]+296+[2].) Very good, in a worn contemporary binding, with cracked hinges.

      Lucius Cary was a gregarious and well-liked lover of literature and theology. It is unclear whether he had Catholic sympathies, but his close friend William Chillingworth (1602-44) was a Catholic convert, who went to Douai in 1630. Chillingworth had been talked out of his Catholicism by his godfather, William Laud, and reconverted to Protestantism in 1634, becoming a minister of the Church of England in 1638. In the same year he published The Religion of Protestants a Safe Way to Salvation. Chillingworth was - like John Pearson (1613-86), whose preface appears in the above work - a chaplain in Charles I's army; he died a prisoner of the Roundheads in 1643.

       Cary was an opponent both of Laud's system of religious governance and of Strafford's system of political governance, but he was unswervingly loyal to the King. He was made Secretary of State on January 1st, 1642, and killed on September 20th, 1643, at the First Battle of Newbury. He was an unusual man, standing for religious and constitutional freedom at a time when intolerance and extremism were rampant. A Discourse of Infallibility, first published in 1651, embodies his moderate ideals.

      Thomas White (1593-1676), the Catholic controversialist whose views are included in A Discourse of Infallibility as a foil for Cary's, fell foul of Catholic orthodoxy over a number of issues, of which papal infallibility was one. Walter Montagu (1603-1677), Catholic convert and secret agent, helped to arrange the mission between Charles and Henrietta Maria, and remained her friend for life; their son, Henry, Duke of Gloucester, was entrusted to his care in 1654. In 1642 Montagu was captured by the Roundheads and imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1643. He was released in 1647, kept under house arrest, and expelled from the country in 1649, after which he became the Abbot of Nanteuil. He risked his life making a clandestine visit to England in 1660, to visit his brother.



Excellent Contemplations, Divine and Moral. Written by the Magnanimous and truly Loyal Arthur Lord Capel, Baron of Hadham, Together with some Account of his Life, and his Letters to several Persons while he was Prisoner...Likewise his Affectionate Letters to his Lady, the day before his Death...and his last Speech at his Suffering...With his Pious Advice to his Son the late Earl of Essex. (London, Printed for Nath. Crouch at the Bell in the Poultry near Cheapside, 1683, 8vo, pp. 203 [misprinted as 223] +9.) A very good copy, in a half-leather binding.

     Arthur Capel, Lord of Hadham (1610?-1649), was one of those who spoke out in Parliament (in November 1640) against the burdens imposed on the people by the king's warmaking activities, but when it came to actively making war against the king Capel cast in his lot with the king who, from 1641 on, "had no adherent more faithful and devoted" (DNB). He was taken prisoner by the Roundheads at the end of the war (1648), escaped briefly and was recaptured, and was beheaded on March 8th, 1649.The book shown here was published during the reign of King Charles II, and contains his Excellent Contemplations (first published in 1655 as Daily Observations and Meditations), together with his letters, which had been published previously in 1654.

      The timing of this publication is highly significant; Capel's son, the Earl of Essex, whose name appears on the title page, had just been put to death for supposedly plotting the death of Charles II (the Rye House Plot, q.v.). There is a bitter symmetry in the death of Arthur Capel, senior, in the service of Charles Stuart I and Arthur Capel, junior, at the hands of Charles Stuart II, that readers of the time could scarcely have missed.


      I suppose what impresses me most about these two books is that both Cary and Capel were by nature contemplative men, driven to action by the exigencies of the time and sacrificing their lives out of a sense of honour. They were not persecuted for their beliefs in the sense that many of the others whose names feature in these pages were, perhaps, but they stood up for what they believed was right, and died for it courageously.