« AnteriorContinua »
beard,'' blew-beard,'' poyson-beard,'' Judas,' 'ideot,” pillory-man'. are but samples of the epithets showered upon him, and to which he was, from the heights of his new-found dignity as State journalist, unable to reply in similar strain.
On the 15th of July 1649 he had preached at the King's Chapel, Whitehall, choosing as his text the unconsciously appropriate · Beware of false prophets.' The sermon was printed and contains an extraordinary amount of Hebrew quotations. As a result he was given a living, and in September the Royalist 'Man in the Moon' thus denounces him :
That pillory earwigge Walker is Benefic'd (some say) about Uxbridge. ... Be it known to the Parish where he teacheth. That he is a ravening wolfe, an impudent lyar-and a cheat, and if ye have no better pastor than Judas, the whole parish are more liker to be cuckolds than converts. If upon sight hereof you kick him not out of the Church the next Sunday after, or on the Wednesday following, the ‘Man in the Moon' will send his blessing into the whole parish. What! Must such rogues preach and Orthodox learned divines perish for food ? O Tempus! O Mores !
It is needless to add that he was kicked out, and in November of the same year was appointed to a living in Wood Street, Cheapside, ' worth above a 1001. a year whilst learned doctors of Divinity, their wives and children starve for food, and that sturdy villain that has four or five trades to live on must take upon him the Cure of Souls.'
Another profession adopted by Walker during the year 1649 was that of advertising agent-indeed he may be said to have been the first to introduce advertisements regularly into the newsbooks. He had given notice of a free course of lectures in Hebrew in his news. books, and one really does not know which to be most astonished athis brazen impudence in setting himself up as a public instructor in a language of which he clearly knew next to nothing, or the motive which actuated him. In Perfect Occurrences, for the 28th of September 1649, he announced a public Hebrew lecture from two o'clock till three ' for nothing at the Fountain in King Street, Westminster, a private house, in the great hall under the Entrance Office,' but in the next number (for the 4th of October) it turns out that he was starting an advertising office there. This weeks Entries at the Office at the Fountaine in Kings Streete, Westminster. Divers that want services qualified for employments, etc., etc., and Many that would rent livings within fifty miles or near the City.' Clearly the Hebrew lecture was but a device to draw attention to what was then an entirely novel institution.
Walker was not a success as preacher in Wood Street, for on the cover of his printed sermon before Cromwell at Somerset House on the 27th of June 1650 (the day of the latter's entering into his power as Captain-General previous to the campaign against Scotland) he describes himself as minister of God's word at Knightsbridge. The
inhabitants of Knightsbridge, however, promptly petitioned, protesting against his ministrations, they having a verie hopefull young man’ whom they prayed might be settled at the Chapel of the Spittle there. So that Walker was wise in continuing his newsbooks (under várying titles as Parliamentary rule was abolished and the Protectorate declared).
Once more, however, his services as literary pirate were required. In 1655 Cromwell undoubtedly meant to assume the title of King, and would have done so had not circumstances prevented him. As before, when the King's death had been decided upon, Father Parsons' book was published to prepare the way. On the 30th of May 1655 appeared A Treatise concerning the Broken Succession of the Crown of England. Inculcated about the latter end of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth. Not impertinent for the better compleating of the General Information. This time, however, the real authorship was acknowledged in a postscript, although the title had been changed for one suitable for Cromwell's purpose. There is no direct evidence that Walker was responsible for this, but it is reasonable to conclude that it was his work, more especially as in his newsbook (then styled Perfect Proceedings of State Affaires) there are several indirect references to a probable assumption of the style of King as a change of Government' by Cromwell."
In September 1655 the last vestiges of the liberty of the Press disappeared. Henceforth until the return of the Rump to power no one was allowed to publish any news of any sort or kind whatever other than Walker's colleague on the Protector's side, the abler scamp Marchamont Nedham. Walker's proceedings' were amalgamated by Nedham with the Monday's edition of his Mercurius Politicus, and entitled The Publick Intelligencer communicating the Chief Occurrences and Proceedings within the Dominions etc. The first number of this appeared on the 8th of October 1655. Henry Walker, however, was not left unrewarded. He was appointed to the important living of St. Martin's in the Vintry, and but for the Restoration might have ended his days in comparative affluence.
His last published work is a characteristically servile and abject performance. It appeared on the 6th of August 1660, and was entitled Serious Observations lately made touching his Majesty Charles the Second King, etc., etc. Even then he could not refrain from placing a Hebrew anagram on the title-page: 'King Charles Stuart in Hebrew thus. . . . Translated into English is this, “ The King hath prepared a refreshing, he hath crushed it out of the rock by degrees.” Published to Inform the People. Per H. Walker, S.S.T.S. He excels himself in beslavering the King as the “hypostasis' and 'prosopon, and
* Father Parsons' book was reprinted for the third time (and then under its original title) in 1683, in order to justify the exclusion of James the Second. It was an ill-omened book for the House of Stuart.
speaks in the same terms of his Royal father 'whom treacherous servants conspired against and slew.' And towards the end of his pamphlet he makes the unexpectedly curious remark that 'His Majesty hath an eminent Seal from God by healing the Evil ' (i.e. the King's Evil, for which Charles the Second, like his predecessors, used to touch sufferers), adding ‘None that in his Royal absence assumed the Government could do it.' It would be interesting to know whether Cromwell ever tried to do so.
He seems to have been appointed to the small and unimportant chapel of Hounslow in 1664.
J. B. WILLIAMS.
As aids to the formation of opinion about the utility of the Public
(1) What he says about himself.
(4) Commercial activity of the same sort.
Mr. Allen comments upon what he considers-probably rightlyexaggerated estimates of the annual cost of the Public Trustee, and
then breaks off suddenly just when there is the opportunity of explaining how the cost of the Public Trustee is to be provided. The Public Trustee Act, 1906, states that
the fees . . . shall be arranged from time to time so as to produce an annual amount sufficient to discharge the salaries and other expenses incidental to the working of this Act (including such sum as the Treasury may from time to time determine will be required to insure the Consolidated Fund against loss under this Act) and no more.
This seems to indicate that the Public Trustee is to be neither a source of revenue nor a source of expense to the country.
The fees which the Public Trustee charges to those who employ him cannot well be much in excess of the fees charged by commercial insurance companies undertaking the same class of business, since in this case even the most ignorant people would decline to pay them. A comparison between a Government Department and an insurance company shows the security of the one to be as good as that of the other, and the general advantage to the public to be greater in the case of the insurance companies, which in the ordinary course of competition will certainly not charge more than a Government office.
Any suggestion that the existing officials are even remotely influenced in seeking business by the possibility of increasing their own pay is expressly and emphatically disavowed. At the same time, it seems an unsatisfactory principle on which to work a Government Department. The plan implies that if the Department does a big business the chief officials will be well paid, and if it does a small business they will be badly paid. Although the Public Trustee only came into official existence on the 1st of January, 1908, quite exceptional efforts have been made to acquire large numbers of clients. In spite of the provision of the Act which has just been quoted, circulars printed by his Majesty's Stationery Office have been extensively circulated through the post ‘On his Majesty's Service,' which suggests that some expenses, at any rate, of the Public Trustee are not being paid out of the fees received by him.
When the present Public Trustee was an official of the Bankruptcy Court he did not circularise creditors as to the advantages of entrusting him with the winding-up of insolvent companies ; nor is it easy to call to mind any other Government Department which actively canvasses for clients as a means of getting business.
The Press has been freely employed for the publication of articles which clearly were officially inspired, though the inspiration is not avowed, and for the insertion of letters from correspondents specially interested in this new Department.
The Public Trustee has also issued a prospectus which in some ways leaves a good deal to be desired as an impartial statement of the case.
It says much about the disadvantages of private trustees, but makes no mention of the fact that various insurance companies