Page images

by this time, 'Limborch being prominent among them, as well as his older acquaintance, Dr. Peter Guenellon, and Guenellon's father-in-law, Dr. Veen. When the demand for his surrender was made in May, 1685, he was at Utrecht, whither he had gone from Amsterdam in the previous December. Either during his short autumn stay in Amsterdam, or during his longer residence there in the early part of 1684, he had been anxious, we are told, to lodge in Guenellon's house ; but Guenellon had declined the proposal, “because it was not the custom of their city to entertain strangers, though otherwise he had a great esteem for him, and was very well pleased with his visits." " But when Dr. Guenellon perceived the danger Mr. Locke was in,” it is added, "and that it was time to do him a kindness, he kindly persuaded his father-in-law, Dr. Veen, to entertain him in his house, and wrote to Utrecht to inform him of this arrangement.” Guenellon did more than that. "He consulted one of the chief magistrates of the town to know if Mr. Locke might be safe there; who replied that he could not protect him if the king of England sent for him, but that he would not betray bim, and, if inquiry was made, would not fail to give notice of it to Dr. Veen.” 1

Limborch was the bearer of Guenellon's letter to Locke, reporting the plans that had been made for his safety. By Dr. Veen's direction,” he said, “I offered him his house as a place of concealment, in which he could stay without any one's knowledge. I took him there, often visited him in his solitude, and conversed with him for many hours at a time. All his friends' letters were, by his desire, sent to me to be forwarded to him, so that his honourable hiding-place might not be discovered. He

1 Le Clerc, . Eloge de M. Locke.'

entrusted to me his will and other valuables, and gave me in writing the names of his nearest relatives, in order that I might communicate with them if anything happened to him."1 These extreme precautions show how great was Locke’s alarm, and perhaps justify his friend Le Clerc's assertion that “his temper was rather timorous than courageous.” Not unlike Hobbes in some other respects, he was a little like him in this.

While his friends in Amsterdam were thus helping Locke to hide for his life, as he thought, his friends in London were working no less heartily in his interests. The most active of these—or at any rate, through that strange concurrence of accidents or plots which just then made a quaker the most influential courtier of the catholic monarch, the most capable—was William Penn whom Locke had known as a promising youth at Oxford, and had probably, then and afterwards, helped in unre

“Musidore "—that is, James Tyrrellwrote his old friend David Thomas to him, at about this time, “ tells me Will. Penn hath moved the king for pardon for you, which was as readily granted, I said if you either wanted or desired it, you would move by your friend here, and you would write your own sense of it.”?

The “friend here,” to whom Thomas alluded, was probably the Earl of Pembroke, who, either independently or in conjunction with Penn, was also doing his utmost to help Locke, “I have often writ to you with great

1 MSS. in the Remonstrants' Library; Limborch to Lady Masham, [24] 13 March, 1704-5.

? Lord King, p. 159. Lord King assigns this note to November, 1687 — clearly an incorrect date. Lady Masham, in the letter to Le Clerc which has been so often quoted, confirms the report of Penn's having procured the offer of a pardon for Locke, but assigns it to the beginning of James's

corded ways.

satisfaction in hopes of an answer," he said in a jubilant letter. “You will easily conclude, therefore, with how much more I write now, since it will be the occasion of enjoying your company here in England. I need not tell you that I have omitted no opportunity of contradicting all false reports to the king, and, as in so good a cause none can but succeed, I have so satisfied the king that he has assured me he will never believe any ill reports of you. He bid me write to you to come over.

I told him I would then bring you to kiss his hand, and he was fully satisfied I should. Pray, for my sake, let me see you before the summer be over. I believe you will not mistrust me; I am sure none can the king's word. You having so many friends, lest you should mistake who I am, I must subscribe myself, your friend Pembroke.” 1

But Locke did distrust King James's word; and did not at all care about kissing the king's hand. Irksome as he found his close hiding in Dr. Veen's house, moreover, he preferred it to such life in England as would then be possible to him, especially on the disgraceful terms implied in his proffered pardon. He was doubtless grateful for the well-meant efforts of his friends on his behalf; but he proudly answered that "he had no occasion for a pardon, having been guilty of no crime.”?

Instead of going to England he went, about the middle of September, to Cleve, where it will be remembered he had spent a few weeks more than twenty years before, when he had gone thither as secretary to Sir Walter Vane. “Though Mr. Locke experienced in Dr. Veen's house all the services that friendship and good

1 Lord King, p. 159 ; Pembroke to Locke, 20 Aug., 1685. 2- Le Clerc..

nature could render," wrote Limborch, “the confinement was painful to him, the access of only two or three friends being allowed to him. Solitude wearied him, and he wished to breathe a freer air. A certain gentleman, long known to Veen and myself, was in the habit of corresponding with Mrs. Hubner, a well-known lady, who concerned herself much with public affairs, and, while Chancellor Dankel flourished, was held in high estimation. He, after many letters had passed to and fro between them, persuaded Dr. Veen that Mr. Locke would find a safe and comfortable asylum at Cleve if he went thither. I and Dr. Guenellon objected to his going, for I knew this gentleman to be a braggart, fond of making great promises which often came to nothing; but through Veen he persuaded Mr. Locke to leave us, his friends, and go into that unknown place in order that he might enjoy more liberty. Veen and Guenellon and I conducted him to the boat which goes from here to Utrecht, and hardly could we bear to part from him. But before many weeks were over he found that the promises of his adviser were as vain as we had anticipated. So he came back to his old hiding-place in Amsterdam, and, that there might be the less chance of his being discovered, passed by the name of Dr. Van der Linden." That disguise Locke seems to have soon thrown off, on finding that there was no further danger of his arrest.

Though he declined to derive from it any other advantage than freedom in walking about the streets of Amsterdam and enjoying the society of more friends than could be admitted into Dr. Veen's little parlour, the “ pardon’ that he refused to sue for or to accept was granted to

1 MSS. in the Remonstrants' Library; Limborch to Lady Masham, [26 March-] 6 April, 1706.


him. When, in May, 1686, just a year after Skelton's demand for the surrender of Monmouth's supposed accomplices, proclamation was made by the states-general for the arrest of certain persons who had assisted in his rebellion, but who were out of reach of both Colonel Kirke and Judge Jeffreys, Locke's name was not included in the list.2

In the summer-time of 1685, after Limborch had conducted Locke from his lodgings at Utrecht to find a hiding-place in Dr. Veen's house in Amsterdam, the friendship of these two men ripened into a maturity that decayed only with death.

Veen lived somewhere near the university, in the Hoog-straat, Limborch in the seminary adjoining the remonstrants' church in the Keisers-gracht; and, while Limborch passed from the one house to the other very often to relieve his friend's solitude by welcome talk on philosophy and theology, Locke sometimes ventured out after dark to take counsel with him at his own home. He seems, for safety's sake, to have generally given notice

1 “I thought it might not be unpleasing to your lordship," Skelton wrote to the Lord President on the 20th of April, 1686, “ to know that, upon his majesty's inclining to pardon young Barnardiston and Joshua Locke, both now at Amsterdam, several others of the same party have from thence taken encouragement to hope for the like mercy, and are earnestly solicitous for it.”Foreign State Papers, Holland, in the Public Record Office. We may reasonably assume that Skelton wrote Joshua in mistake for John. I have sought in vain for any trace of a Joshua Locke in Amsterdam at this time.

2 I am indebted to Mr. Frederic Muller, the great bookseller of Amsterdam, for an original copy of this proclamation. Though Locke's name is not in it, it somewhat strangely mentions some of his Somersetshire neighbours; among others Mary Bath and George Lipp, of Wrington.

« PreviousContinue »