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Though Sir Anthony carried this cause, his A.D. 1634. estate suffered very much by the hasty and Instance of clandestine sale of such a part of it. However, sity. it furnished him with an opportunity, some years afterwards, of showing his generous and reconcileable temper. Rockborne, which was his father's seat, was sold to Mr. Tregonwell, who was in such haste for the purchase, that he was not sufficiently careful in examining the title. Sir Anthony discovered that this estate had been entailed at his father's marriage, and that his
trove, presently issued out writs for providing twenty-seven ships of so many tons, with guns, gunpowder, tackle, and all other things necessary. But this business no sooner ripened than the author of it dyeth.” This account is repeated by many old authors, and particularly by Heylyn in his Life of Laud, who gives a circumstantial account of the manner in which Noy had long preserved all the extracts and precedents in favour of naval aids that he could gather from the old records, which formed his favourite study. “ He kept them," says Heylyn,“ in the coffin of a pye which had been sent him by his mother, and kept there till the mouldiness and corruption had perished many of his papers.” But notwithstanding this story, and notwithstanding the reported remark of Laud, that, of a layman, Noy was the man who had rendered his majesty greater service than any other in his kingdom, it is impossible that Noy could have originated this idea, since it was acted upon, although not to the same extent, before Noy had received the attorney-generalship as the price of his desertion,
A.D. 1634. father had not levied any fine to cut off the
entail. He, therefore, immediately commenced a suit against Mr. Tregon well, who was grandson and heir of the purchaser. Mr. Tregonwell, whether from a sense of a defect in his title, or the injustice of his grandfather, proposed to Sir Anthony (who was his relation) that, if he might be permitted to enjoy that estate during his life, he would not only consent that it should return to Sir Anthony, but as he had himself no children, he would settle
and while he was yet a keen and able advocate of the popular cause.
His conduct to our young baronet is not the only instance of kindness related of Noy. He was one day in court when a case was being tried in which a poor widow. was the defendant. Three graziers at a fair had left a sum of money with her, and one of them coming back, received the whole sum deposited, and ran away. The other two then sued the woman for delivering what she had received from the three before the three came and demanded it. The widow's counsel bad abandoned the case in despair, and the jury were about to return their verdict for the plaintiff's when Noy, who was not retained, took part in the defence. “ The defendant,” he said, “ has received the money of the three together ; that she confesses. She was not to deliver it until the same three demanded it; that the plantiff's insist. Agreed. Well, the money is ready; let the three come together to receive it, and it shall be paid.” This defence soon put an end to the action.
replied, that he would not consent to Mr. Tregonwell's settling his own estate to the prejudice of his family; nay more, since Mr. Tregonwell had been so frank in his offer, he should not only retain Rockborne for his own life, but his wife should hold it for her’s also, in case she should survive; and upon these terms he concluded an agreement with Mr. Tregonwell, who enjoyed that estate near forty years.
In the year 1636 Sir Anthony went to Exeter A.D. 1636. College at Oxford, under the immediate tuition of his couof Dr. Prideaux, rector of the college. The circumstances of his affairs obliged him to go to London in term-time, and he was entered of Lincoln's Inn. Thus he soon acquired an useful education, by being led into an early knowledge of the world. As his reading enlarged and improved his conversation, this quickened and strengthened his application to the other. His wit, affability, and liberal temper, soon distinguished and procured him esteem in the university; and his courage making him the leader of all the young men of his college, he showed several instances of that spirit which he so remarkably maintained through the whole course
A.D. 1636. of his life. Among others, one was in opposing
and breaking a custom extremely absurd, but
rage, granted them a pardon, and an abolition A.D. 1636. of that ridiculous custom.*
Some time after Sir Anthony had been at A.D. 1638. Oxford, several matches were proposed to him; riage. but, by the advice of his guardian, he made his addresses to one of the Lord Keeper Coventry's daughters ;12 and his estate and character carrying with them a powerful recommendation to the father, as his youth and behaviour did to the lady, who was a woman of admirable beauty, accomplishments, and virtue, he succeeded in his suit, and was married on the 25th of February 1638-9, being under eighteen years of age.
After his marriage, he lived with his father-inlaw at Durham House and Canbury, till the Lord Keeper's death, which was in January 1639-40. During this interval, he accompanied his brotherin-law, Mr. Coventry, into Worcestershire, where he was soon distinguished for the gaiety of his temper. Among the sprightly sallies which gained him the reputation he then enjoyed, of being an amusing companion, were some conjuring tricks,
12 This lady was niece to the Earl of Southampton, who afterwards held the office of Lord Treasurer to Charles II.