“if it is supposed he forged the act, when he set aside Warwick, could he pretend that act was not known when he declared him his heir? Would not so recent an act’s being unknown have proved it a forgery; and if there had been no such Parliament as that which forged it, would not that have proved it a double forgery? The act, therefore, and the parliament that passed it, must have been genuine, and existed, though no other record appears. The distractions of the times, the evident insufficiency or partiality of the historians of that age, and the interest of Henry vii to destroy all records that gave authority to the House Of York and their title, account for our wanting evidence of that Parliament.”
I have deferred answering your last letter, dear Sir, till I cannot answer with my own hand. I made a pilgrimage at Christmas to Queen’s Cross, at Ampthill, was caught there by the snow, Imprisoned there for a fortnight, and sent home bound hand and foot by the gout. The pain, I suppose, is quite frozen, for I have had none; nothing but inflammation and swelling, and they abate. In reality, this is owing to the bootikins, which -though they do not cure the gout, take out its sting. You, who are still more apt to be an invalid, feel, I fear, this Hyperborean season; I should be glad to hear you did not.
I thought I had at once jumped upon a discovery of the subject of the painted room at the Rose Tavern, but shall not plume myself upon my luck till I have seen the chamber, because Mr. Gough’s account seems to date the style of the painting earlier than -will serve my hypothesis. I had no data to go upon but the site having belonged to the family of Tufton (for I do not think the description at all answers to the taking of Francis I., nor is it at all credible that there should be arms in the painting, and yet neither those of France or Austria). I turned immediately to Lord Thanet’s pedigree, in Collins’s Peerage, and found at once an heroic adventure performed by one of the family, that accords remarkably with the principal circumstance. It is the rescue of the Elector Palatine, son of our Queen of Bohemia, from an ambuscade laid for him by the Duke of Lorrain. The arms, Or, and Gules, I thought were those of Lorrain, which I since find are Argent and Gules. The Argent indeed may be turned yellow by age, as Mr. Gough says he does not know whether the crescent is red or black. But the great impediment is, that this achievement of a Tufton was performed in the reign of Charles ii. Now in that reign, when we were become singularly ignorant of chivalry, anachronisms and blunders might easily be committed by a modern painter, yet I shall not adhere to my discovery, unless I find the painting correspond with the style of the modern time to which I would assign it; nor will I see through the eyes of my hypothesis, but fairly.