Hertfordshire and The Civil War
Arthur Capel's Estates
By Ian Fisher
Arthur Capel of Hadham Hall was one of the richest men in England and when he went to join the King, his estates were sequestered. He had properties in ten counties including Hadham Hall and Cassiobury, both in Hertfordshire. However, his brother, William, was granted permission to manage his estates in his absence.
In 1646 William drafted a letter apparently in order to allay a suspicion of mismanagement, which seems to have arisen in the mind of Arthur.
To listen to the audio clip, click play on the bar below the image on the right.
Dear Brother, I have made an accounte of whatt monys I have receved and disbursed since I first undertook the business, which I desyer you to present to my Lady. And I can safely protest I have not with my knowledge concealed or left out unsett downe any money that I have receved; and I think I am not mistaken, but have set down all and the summes right. I cannot so say for the disbursements, but do thinke I have forgotten to sett downe some in my notes, having had so many journeys to ryde and business to attend.
Your countenances and speeches have been formerly, att some times, such towards mee as I conceve, have given mee cause to think that there was some jealousy and suspition in your mindes that I would abuse and deceve you. If it be so, I am very unloveingly and unthankfully dealt with. God is my witness my true love to my Lord, with my affection and compassion to my Lady, to be honored for her vertue, and her children in there affliction and distress, made mee to ingage my self in there service, which I have done faithfully, although it may not be so sufficiently as you think an other might, and truly I think so to.
But when I first began to undertake your service, you that would willingly have helped and eased mee could not and some that could and might would not. The feares and cares that have lyen upon mee for them, were more than I ever did take for my self or my other kindred or friends. And you know that I have not refused or spared the labour of my body, but have endured the bitter cold of the winter and the scorching heate of the summer to travel in there service. It may be more than any servant they had would have taken, and att less charge.
Yett I do not look for any recompense or rewarde, more then a favourable and cheerfull acceptance of my most ernest desyers, and endeavores for there comfort and relief. I shall write no more to trouble you longer, than to acknowleg with all thankfulness Gods goodness that hath enabled mee beyond my strength and ability to overcome all difficulties, hindrances and discouragements, and to doe that which I have done for them.
And although the worst and hardshippe of the worke be I hope past, he shall be glad of the help and assistance of those that can further him in there service, which he shall continue with a dillagent faythfullness to proceed in and prosecute, untell there pleasures be declared to the contrary, who is your loving brother William Capell