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TWO LETTERS Written by Mr HARRIS In Vindication of Himſelfe from the known ſlanders of an unknown Author.

To my Reverend friend M. Harris.


IT will not (I hope) offend you to ſee your pri­vate Letters made publique, it concernes you, and others, to vindicate your ſelves in this Catching age, and the ſooner 'tis done the better, Chide me if you will, yet I will be

Yours ſtill, W. T.

Printed in the Years 1648.


TO Your three Queries, touching

  • 1. Non-reſi­dency,
  • 2. Exchange of Churches,
  • 3. And my Pluralities,

I pray ac­cept (in this my haſte) this ſhort anſwere. For the firſt, I am ſtill the ſame (whether you ſpeake of the Locus or Officium) that then I was, when I Preached and Publiſhed that my Concio ad Clerum in your hands.

For the ſecond, I conceive that a Paſtor in his removes ſhould be rather Paſſive then Active, and fit downe by the concluſion of old〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

For the third, I muſt needs ſay more then ever I inten­ded, by reaſon of a freſh charge upon me from Oxford this inſtant Aprill. I acknowledge a double error.

  • 1. That I yeelded ſo farre, as to beare the name of ſome livings, 'till ſome unwelcome ſuitors were ſlaved off, and others more deſired were wrought in.
  • 2. That I was too confident, that no man would con­ceive that I intended to hold foure or five livings at theſe years, being ſo neare my grave, and at this time, When pluralities are ſo decryed and damned, eſpecially ſeeing in my younger daies, I ſatisfied my ſelfe with one ſmall3 Benefice, though then I had offers of more, and that then when Non-reſidency was more in faſhion and credit, and more diſpenſable then now it is. Thus farre I have erred, and for this I crave pardon. But now whereas it is pre­tended that filthy lucre hath ſo farre tranſported mee that I have heaped Living upon Living to a great num­ber, and to no leſſe a value, then 14. or 1500l per annum, I doe profeſſe unto you in the words of Truth and Sobrie­ty, I never yet received 300l per annum declaro in one yeare from any Church Living or Livings, and whereas an audit is made of the very particulars, be not weary if I touch upon each particular. The firſt inſtance is Hanwell, there I lived forty years, and there had died, had I not been called away by publique Order, and before I might returne, my Living and Goods ſeized to anothers uſe. During which my abſence, I was never called to any ſet­led, though invited to many ſequeſtred places, The firſt place I undertook, when Hanwell was taken away, was that at Bhiſhops-gate (not daring to venture upon that at the Temple) there I was (at the Parliaments pleaſure) till Hanwell was againe opened unto mee, touching which I cannot give you a full account without ſome trouble to you, and ſome reflection upon deareſt friends, only this in ſumme. I am ſo willing to owne that for my old love (as Pegaſus tearmes it) that I preferre it to any place in the World, were there ſutable accommodations, but the parſonage houſe being defaced, the Mounds and Standards removed, many of my Goods, Books, and o­ther implements and utenſils Pillaged, my own proper Houſes thereabouts, turned to aſhes by the fury of flame and Sword, It was not in my power to repaire my ſelfe, nor in the Peoples to recruit me: true it is; ſome over­tures have been made, ſome time ſpent in projecting a re­ſettlement, but obſtructions have been very great. Mean­while, what offers have been made on my part, what ſuits on the Peoples part, how the place hath been ſup­plied4 what monies have come at any time to my purſe (Souldiers, Aſſiſtants and other emergencies anſwered) I had rather the moſt knowing Inhabitants would ſpeake then my ſelfe, who (I believe) will ſmile at Pegaſus his A­rithmetique in ſumming all up to 160l per annum with an &c.

The Second place is Biſhops-gate, how neare that reach­eth to 400l per annum, M. Fuller (there ſetled) by this time finds, would this Auditor help me to my arrear's for times paſt, he ſhould have my now hundreds thence, for one of his Pegaſus ſhooe-nailes.

The third is Hanbury, It pleaſed Oxford-ſhire Committee, out of their good thoughts of me and deſire of my Neigh­bourhood, to deſigne that for me, yea to ſend me (with­out my ſuite) an order for it, this I kept by me a while, and in fine deſired them to excuſe me, and how ever I might (if I would) have made ſome profit of the place, yet I aſſure you, and the Pariſhioners will atteſt the ſame, the place was never worth 3d to me; whether in it ſelfe it a­mounts to towards 300l or no, M. Rogers (the Incum­bent) beſt knowes, and this reporter (within ſixe miles of the place) may know the truth in the premiſes, if it be not grievous to him to know the truth and my inno­cency.

Now comes ſequeſtred Peterfield, then to be left when I goe to Oxford: this is not above forſooth 5. or 600l per annum, warily ſpoken, he might have made another re­move, and ſaid not above ſo many 1000l, what 'tis in this negative and indefinite way it skilles not much, what I have received, the Sequeſtrator hath aſſerted under his hand, and if Pegaſus will give me 150l for my 500l per an­num (all things diſcharged) I will give him Bridle and Saddle into the bargaine.

As for his 4s per diem in the Aſſembly, he underſtands as little how and to whom that is paid, as I doe of his 10s for Apoſtle-ſhip in Oxford vaine man, who is at leiſure5 thus to throw away time, and to pleaſe himſelfe in his own froth) knowes he better then I what I have received or doe intend, whether I ſettle upon Garſington (an other inſtance annexed to the Colledge) or no: whether it were poſſible for me (if I were willing) to hold many Parſona­ges now or not: or ſay I could and would, knowes he ne­ver a man (never a worthy man in his eye) who hathhad 15. or 1600l per annum, and how comes he to be ſo angry with one, and ſo indulgent to another in the ſame cauſe, but the Lord forgive his keenes, not againſt me only, but againſt more deſerving men. Sir I returne to you, I crave pardon for this digreſſion, if this little will ſatisfy you, or any with you, I am glad, if not, I ſhall doe more at more leaſure, for I am reſolved that no Pluraliſt ſhall juſtly quote me. I am now a dying man, and I had rather dye this day, then live one more therein to give juſt offence to the Church of God, to his Grace I now leave you, and

Am Sir Your Servant in Chriſt R. H.

YOUR Letter overtook me in my Jorny, you will pardon me, if I anſwer the Con­tents currente calamo.

1. To the exception againſt me and my Bretheren for Pluralities, this I ſay for them, I hope it is cauſeleſſe, I have often heard their defence, and know that diverſe of them have bin hardly put to it, but ſomewhat. (I conceive) will be ſhortly done in their Vindication, and I will not anticipate. 2ly, For my ſelfe, I think I may ſay with­out breach of modeſty, ſum extra noxam ſed non eſt facile pur­gatu, I was a little too confident of a faire and Candid in­terpretation of my actions and intentions, and therefore made not haſt enough, and that which ſwayed me was this. It was told me that ſome places (offered me) would ſuffer, in caſe uſe were not made of my name for a ſeaſon. 2ly, I was willing (an option being granted, and I be­ing now to ſettle once for all for ought I knew) to ſee what place would ſuit beſt with my ſtrength for the Charge, and with my health for the Ayre, and thereupon ſome time runne out before I (who was not my ſelfe) could refolve, but it was never intended on any hand, that I ſhould hold any more places then one, nay it never came into my thoughts. There is now from Oxford (as you ſeem to intimate) ſomewhat ſaid with no good affection, nay all heightned, ad Conflandum odium & invidiam, things ſo re­preſented as if I had no leſſe then 4 or 5 Livings of great Value at one time, whereas you know that I never had any place (which I could call mine) but only one, the reſt of­fered me were many (upon ſeverall occaſions) but all7 Sequeſtred, Tenable (yea and Tithable too) at the plea­ſure of others. What reaſon I had to part ſuddainly with a more certaine, for a leſſe certaine thing, doe you judge. All the reſt of thoſe places (ſo offered) are for ought I know diſpoſed of, ſome I never ſaw, from others I never re­ceived Penny, the only Sequeſtred place that is in queſtion is Peterfield, this was with much nobleneſſe at firſt conferred, with much feare and ſlownes undertaken, ſupplyed (by reaſon of my attendance elſewhere, and the Sequeſtra­tours and Pariſhioners refuſing to take the means and pleaſe themſelves in the choyce of the Aſſiſtants) with much difficulty, ſubmitted to that honourable Committee againe upon my derignement for Oxford, and now (the re­ſult of Oxford buſineſſe being known) to be (according to a former engagement) for ever acquitted, or only reſided up­on. As for Hanwell, when a Succeſſour was named by the Patron, I thought the worke done, but it proved otherwiſe. At preſent I ſay this. 1. I was called thence 2. The place was taken from me. 3. Since it returned, I have made theſe offers, 1. That in-caſe the Pariſhioners would make the place habitable, I would (with leave) there live and dye, or 2. That I would reſigne it to ſuch a man as they (and others concerned) liked, ſo as I might be freed of Delapidations, nay Devaſtations made by Souldi­ers, and 3. In the meane, till Patron and People could con­curre in a man, I offered that he who Offciated ſhould take all, Conditionally that he would doe and pay all, there re­maines but one thing more, and that's this, that I Petition the Parliament either to relieve me in my great loſſes and returne me thither, or elſe put in a ſuflicient man, in caſe there be not a ſpeedy Concurrence, (as I truft there will be now) in ſuch a man as I have ingaged my ſelfe to leave upon the place. Thus you have the naked truth repreſented here­in, what you diſlike I deſire to know that I may Correct it. Sir I am ſo little taken with great places, that my higheſt ambition is ſome private Hoſpitall, and ſo tyred with a Pa­ſtorall Charge, that I diſlike nothing ſo much in my lott at8 Oxford, as that. Hitherto I have bin paſſive in all the places I ever had, and now I would gladly ſit down in ſilence, and goe to my grave in peace, and this is all I can ſtay to ſay to your firſt Quere.

Now for your ſecond touching Oxford, it is not for me to ſay much: I love the place, I honour diverſe there who are of a different Iudgment in ſome things, and could heartily wiſh, that they would have prevented our Journey thither, and taske there, by a timely Reformation of themſelves, and free concurrence with the Parliament in that neceſſary work, for though you and I and a 1000 more, do honour that our deareſt Mother and do unfainedly deſire (aconcealement of her wants, yea) her greateſt advancement, yet we cannot de­ny but that there is need of a further Reformation, and that without prejudice to our Oaths and Priviledges, (for ought I knowe) and had that beene done long might the Students for me have enjoyed their Mother, and their Mother them. I thinke I may truely ſay, that there is none put in there by the Parliament, who had not rather ſee the place Reformed, then himſelfe preferred. For my ſelfe, if my places in City and Country be ſo many, ſo rich as they are reported, it may be reaſonably thought, that it is no great preferment for me to quitt them all (as I muſt and will if I ſettle there) for Trinity Colledge, but the truth is, I do not think that Pegaſus doth beleive that I have ſo much in my hands, nay I make a queſtion whether he would not like it well enough, that I ſhould keep more Li­vings, ſo I would leave one Colledge, and truely I am not ve­ry liquoriſh after one. Sir you ſee how apt I am to exceed whil'ſt I conferre with you. I conclude with theſe requeſts, beleive 1. That I am no friend to Nonreſidency and Plura­lities, 2. That I have not husbanded mens kindneſſes to mine owne advantage, 3. That I defire no place like my old place, ſi res eſſet integra, you will now preſent my beſt to all with you, and continue your prayers for

Your old Friend and Neighbour. R. H.

About this transcription

TextTwo letters written by Mr Harris in vindication of himselfe from the known slanders of an unknown author. To my reverend friend M. Harris. Sir, it will not (I hope) offend you to see your private letters made publique, it concernes you, and others, to vindicate your selves in the catching age, and the sooner 'tis done the better, chide me if you will, yet I will be yours still, W.T. May 2. 1648.
AuthorHarris, Robert, 1581-1658..
Extent Approx. 14 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 5 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
Additional notes

(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A87153)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 161643)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 69:E437[28])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationTwo letters written by Mr Harris in vindication of himselfe from the known slanders of an unknown author. To my reverend friend M. Harris. Sir, it will not (I hope) offend you to see your private letters made publique, it concernes you, and others, to vindicate your selves in the catching age, and the sooner 'tis done the better, chide me if you will, yet I will be yours still, W.T. May 2. 1648. Harris, Robert, 1581-1658.. 8 p. Printed [by Leonard Lichfield],[Oxford] :in the yeare. 1648.. (Mr. Harris = Robert Harris.) (A reply to: Barlow, Thomas. Pegasus.) (Place of publication and printer's name from Wing.) (The letter on the title page is attributed to Harris himself.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Barlow, Thomas, 1607-1691. -- Pegasus -- Early works to 1800.
  • Church of England -- Benefices -- Early works to 1800.
  • University of Oxford -- History -- Early works to 1800.
  • Visitations, Ecclesiastical -- Great Britain -- Early works to 1800.

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  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A87153
  • STC Wing H879
  • STC Thomason E437_28
  • STC ESTC R202372
  • EEBO-CITATION 99862685
  • PROQUEST 99862685
  • VID 161643

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