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Little Gidding and its inmates in the Time of King Charles I. with an account of the Harmonies   By: (1848-1932)

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First Page:

THE TIME OF KING CHARLES I.

Transcribed from the 1903 S.P.C.K edition by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org

LITTLE GIDDING AND ITS INMATES IN THE TIME OF KING CHARLES I.

WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE HARMONIES DESIGNED AND CONSTRUCTED BY NICHOLAS FERRAR.

BY J. E. ACLAND, M.A.

LONDON: SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE, NORTHUMBERLAND AVENUE, W.C.; 43, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E.C. BRIGHTON: 129, NORTH STREET. 1903.

[PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE TRACT COMMITTEE.]

CHAPTER I. {1}

"How happy a king were I, if I had many more such workmen and workwomen in my kingdom! Their art and ability is excellent. Let them know I will not forget them. God's blessing on their hearts, and painful hands."

Such were the words and opinions of King Charles I., when speaking of the happy and industrious family whose life and labours at Little Gidding are described in the following pages, a family entirely devoted to good works, under the able direction of Mr. Nicholas Ferrar, whose history has happily been preserved for us with great accuracy, and which can hardly fail to be attractive.

Although Nicholas Ferrar and Little Gidding are names that are invariably associated with one another, it must not be imagined that he spent his whole life there. It was not, indeed, till he was thirty three years old that he left the busy and stirring scenes for which he seemed so suited; and before describing the twelve years of seclusion with which he ended his life, it is necessary to say something about his more active employments as a young man. They prove beyond doubt that he was endued with abilities of the highest order, which might have led him to positions of great public importance had his inclinations so prompted him.

Nicholas Ferrar was born in the year 1592, his parents being conspicuous for their piety and charity, their conscientious discharge of every duty, and their careful training of a numerous family in every point of virtue and religion, special attention being paid to the study of the Bible, large portions of which were committed to memory.

Mr. Ferrar was a merchant, connected with all the great centres of commerce, especially with the East and West Indies; and being given to most generous hospitality, he was on friendly terms with many persons of eminence, such as Drake, Raleigh, and Hawkins.

Nicholas was the third son, and his talents began to develop themselves very early. His memory, which was naturally very retentive, was carefully cultivated, and he was at all times eager and diligent in his studies. At the age of fourteen he was admitted to Clare Hall, Cambridge; four years later he took his degree, and was before long elected to a Fellowship. But his health now broke down, and it was considered that the only chance of his recovery lay in a complete change, and in leaving England. Just at this time the Princess Elizabeth was starting for the Palatinate, after her marriage with the Elector Frederick, and Ferrar was fortunate in obtaining permission to be included in her suite. They first went to Holland, but before long Ferrar left the Royal party, as he had resolved on seeing some places not included in the Royal programme.

We must, however, hurry over this part of Ferrar's life, very interesting as it is, and it must suffice to say that in the course of five years he visited many parts of Germany and Italy, then went to the south of France, by sea to Spain, where he had several startling adventures, and after travelling five hundred miles alone, and on foot, reached Saint Sebastian, from which port he took ship to England.

The advantage of these travels to Ferrar was great in many ways... Continue reading book >>




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