Page 19 - DLN Dec2013-977
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Extensive renovations of Lees Court were untaken by George and with the comple-
tion of his home, his fortunes improved. Sir George was very protective of his boys
and tried hard to keep them out of mischief. He had them taught singing, fencing,
riding, dancing, and they had to read two chapters of their Bible every night. He
commented that he kept them ‘from idle company and not fitting sports. I dissuad-
ed them from debauchery. No man can tax me for swearing, drinking, whoring or

Unfortunately that didn’t work! Both boys got heavily into cock fighting, gambling
and spent a fortune on fancy clothes. George used to ride over to Lynsted to visit
his uncle Nicholas (sic. Abraham DeLaune was his uncle)where he took a shine to
his cousin, Anne - a beauty without money. Anne possibly became pregnant by
him (despite ‘fornication’ being punishable by 3 months in prison) and so they
thought they had better get married. A furious Sir George stormed over to Lynsted
and said ‘If she be with child, the bastard must be kept: but I tell you George, if you
marry her, you must not come to look within my doors.’ Half an hour after his
father left, young George followed and the affair was over.

Despite this, George was the heir and still loved, whilst Freeman felt left out.
Although ‘religious and learned’ he may have been pock-marked because he cost
his father £40 to be cured of smallpox. His father thought he was bored, stubborn
and difficult, ‘pleasing and courteous to no one, but cross-grained to all, as much
to his father as any, and I knew not how to break him of it.’ Others just found
Freeman to be shy – it has been suggested that he was unhappy at having no
mother, a father who preferred his brother and a brother with a life of his own. Or
perhaps he was becoming increasingly ill, though not physically. Freeman took to
feeling disgust when his father was around and took to hiding for long periods. He
would go to London without telling anyone and spend all his allowance on mis-
tresses, gambling and clothes.

Easter Day was on 15 April, 1655. The two brothers were summoned to be at
home for the festival. Both boys had grey doublets for riding but George had gone
off without knowing that his manservant had packed Freeman’s doublet by mis-
take: George had worn it out and had it repaired. A week after Easter Sir George
heard the boys arguing over the doublet in George’s bedroom. His comment was
‘what a do is here about a foolish doublet. Get you to bed!’ Next day the argument
continued and Sir George warned Freeman that if he didn’t do as he was told he’d
lose his allowance. Two days later the argument returned and, for the first and last
time, Sir George thumped Freeman who went white and sat in aggrieved silence

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