By these three Virtues be the Frame sustain'd,
Of British Freedom: Independent Life;
Integrity in Office; and o'er all
Supreme, a Passion for the Common-Weal.
Hail! Independence, hail! Heav'n's next best Gift,
To that of Life and an immortal Soul!
The Life of Life! that to the Banquet high
And sober Meal gives Taste; to the bow'd Roof
Fair-dream'd Repose, and to the Cottage Charms.

Thomson's Liberty

From the title page of The Works of Andrew Marvell, Esq., by Capt. Edward Thompson, 1776

Andrew Marvell
Comments & Reading List

"With Marvell we have masterpieces which no one noticed at all. The nearest parallel seems to be in another art and another country --- Vermeer. His dates are about the same as Marvell's. The output of both was small, which naturally made them easier to overlook. Only two of Vermeer's contemporaries seem to have mentioned the fact that he was a painter, and as late as 1882 the Head of a Girl with Pearl Drops, one of his most famous works, fetched 4s 6d. at an auction in the Hague. ... there are a few other similarities. Both artists can (and did) look commonplace: Marvell just another Silver Poet of the Seventeenth Century; Vermeer just another genre painter. ... 'It is just as easy to find all of Vermeer's accessories in works of his painter contemporaries, as it is to discover that in his pictures everything is different' (Ludwig Goldscheider)." John Carey, 1969, Introduction to Andrew Marvell; a critical anthology.

In an essay by Earl Miner on Marvell's satirical verse, entitled The "Poetic Picture, Painted Poetry" of The Last Instructions to a Painter, the politics implicit in painting are commented on: "There were, then, political implications to different styles of art or poetry, for although neither side held monopoly over the grand or the abusive, the enthroned royalists by tradition and position more often used a style that may most readily be called heroic and panegyric, and their anti-Court attackers a style of burlesque or lampoon." By the mid-18th century the lampoon had passed into the hand of Hogarth, whose targets were other than the relatively harmless Hanoverian court. The heroic and panegyric manner had been taken up by marine painters and others, such as Benjamin West.

In another essay, George deF. Lord remarks: "The Dutch War of 1672-74 revealed to the astute and disillusioned M.P. for Hull (ie Marvell) that Charles' policies were fundamentally opposed to the political and religious liberties of his subjects. At this stage of affairs Marvell involved himself even more deeply in the life of action by taking a key part in the pro-Dutch pro-Protestant fifth column that helped to re-orient Parliamentary policy and forced the King to sue for peace." Monamy's oeuvre throughout his life, in my view, reflects a political stance towards national affairs. Both quotes come from Lord's 1968 collection, pp 73 and 170.

The idea of a British Empire dates from the times of Queen Elizabeth I, House of Tudor, Wales, and her Welsh wizard, Dr.John Dee. For Britons, strike home!, see here.

Delftware from Erddig, Clwyd, Wales

That preparations were already being made by 1674 or 1675, or even earlier, for the succession of William III can scarcely be doubted. See A Dialogue between the Two Horses, 1675, usually attributed to Marvell (but perhaps by John Ayloffe, 1645-1685), eg lines 143-44: "What is thy opinion of James Duke of York?/The Same that the Froggs had of Jupiters Stork". It is worth remembering that in 1674 the Elder van de Velde remarked that the Duke of York "liked him a lot"; and that "he did not know whether the English were interested in his pictures", as he "had never done anything for anybody other than His Majesty and the Duke of York". Of course, the van de Veldes were basically apolitical: the Elder was merely greedy and unprincipled.

My attention has been drawn (14 April 2004) to the very strong likelihood that determined preparations, by the "religious and political" underground, for the permanent erasure of all possibility of a Roman Catholic monarchy were being made at least three years before 1674. A posting by Arthur Weitzmann on the C18th internet forum remarks that, under Cromwell, restrictions against London Marranos openly practising their religion had been lifted in 1655. This was then followed by permission extended to Jews "to come to England as foreign merchants". This observation coincides with my independent note that in 1671 Moses Mocatta, a Marrano from Amsterdam, arrived in London and began to establish his bullion broking firm. In 1710 Abraham Mocatta became a broker on the Royal Exchange, and by the 1770s the firm of Mocatta & Goldsmid was controlling three quarters of the world's bullion.

The intensity of Anglo-Dutch hostilities at sea also markedly abated under Charles II. The appearance of the Dutch in the Medway; their capture of the Royal Charles; the inconclusive result of the Battle of Solebay, 1672, and the peculiar relish with which English marine painters appear to have depicted the burning of the Royal James in that battle; all suggest that underground forces were at work, and that the Anglo-Dutch alliance was steadily on the march.

the burning of the royal james, signed peter monamy

The special joy with which Robert Blake's spectacular triumph and crushing of the Spanish fleet at Santa Cruz, Teneriffe, in the Canary Islands, was greeted, as evidenced by Marvell's poem, published 1674, is also not without significance, and will be investigated later.

In the Freemason's Guide and Compendium, 1950, Bernard E.Jones makes this remark on p.131: "The Mason Word ..... is referred to by the English poet, Andrew Marvell, the friend of Milton, in a poem (sic), Rehearsal Transposed, (sic) written about 1672." Although I have scanned over Marvell's prose work, The Rehearsal Transpros'd, parts I and II, I have not yet located a mention of the 'Mason Word'; nor is Freemasonry mentioned in Murray's biography.

Abraham, Lyndy             Marvell & Alchemy (1990)
Bagguley, Wm.H. (ed)             Andrew Marvell; Tercentenary Tributes (1922)
Birrell, Augustine             Andrew Marvell (1905)
Bradbrook, M.C. and Lloyd Thomas, M.G.             Andrew Marvell (1940)
Brett, R.I. (ed)             Andrew Marvell, essays on tercentenary of death (1979)
Carey, John             Andrew Marvell; critical anthology (1969)
Donno, Elizabeth Story (ed)             Andrew Marvell, The Critical Heritage (1978)
Dove, John             The Life of Andrew Marvell, The Celebrated Patriot (1832)
Kelliher, Hilton (ed)             Andrew Marvell: Poet & Politician (1978)
Legouis, Pierre             Andrew Marvell; Poet, Puritan, Patriot (1965)
Lord, George deF. (ed)             Andrew Marvell; A Collection of Critical Essays (1968)
Margoliouth, H.M. (ed)             The Poems & Letters of Andrew Marvell (1971)
Marvell, Andrew           Account of the Growth of Popery & Arbitrary Govt in England (1677)
Murray, Nicholas             World Enough and Time: the Life of Andrew Marvell (1999)
Osborne, Mary Tom             Advice-to-a-Painter Poems 1633-1856 (1949)
Patterson, Annabel M.             Marvell and the Civic Crown (1978)
Patterson, Annabel             Andrew Marvell (1994)
Pollard, Arthur             Andrew Marvell Poems (1980)
Rogers, Henry             Notice of the Author, in Milton & Marvell, Riverside Press, (1878)
Smith, D.I.B. (ed)             The Rehearsal Transpros'd, parts 1 & 2 (1971)
Thompson, Capt. Edward (ed)           The Works of Andrew Marvell, Esq; (1776)
Wallace, John M.             Destiny his Choice: The Loyalism of Andrew Marvell (1968)
Wilcher, Robert             Andrew Marvell (1985)

MARVELL, this island's watchful sentinell,
Stood in the gap and bravely kept his post:
When courtiers lewd in wine and riot slept;
'Twas he th'approach of Rome did first explore,
And the grim monster arbitrary power,
The ugliest giant ever trod the earth,
That, like Goliath, march'd before the host.
Truth, wit, and eloquence, his constant friends,
With swift despatch he to the main guard sends;
Which check'd the haughty foes bold enterprize,
And left them halting between hope and fear.

quoted in Dove's Life of Andrew Marvell


A few lines straight from the horses' mouths, 1675:

But canst thou Divine when things shall be mended?
When the Reign of the Line of the Stuarts is ended .....
The Gods have repented the Kings Restoration

by John Ayloffe ?

Thus sung they, in the English boat,
An holy and a chearful Note,
And all the way, to guide their Chime,
With falling Oars they kept the time.


Vermeer: Price in 1882: 0-4s-6d

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