IT IS NOT KNOWN WHAT ROBERT HERRICK WAS DOING DURING THE Commonwealth except for a later report that at the end of the period he was living "in St. Anne's parish in Westminster." There was no St. Anne's parish in Westminster in Herrick's day, and perhaps what was meant was St. Anne's Lane in St. Margaret's parish.1
It is not improbable that Herrick was living in St. Anne's Lane. It was near the Almonry, where Herrick is known to have been living on an earlier occasion, and would be a natural place of residence for a man with so many Westminster connections. It seems to have been a pleasant district, and one of Herrick's distinguished neighbors would have been Sir Robert Pye, who had been running Westminster Abbey as chairman of a committee and doing the work normally done by the Dean and Chapter. An enormous number of such committees were at work during the Commonwealth, and they all ceased with the Restoration.
In June of 1660, less than a month after King Charles the Second returned to England, the newly restored House of Lords ordered all the tithes in Puritan parishes to be held by the churchwardens until they could be given to their former owners, the ejected ministers of the Church of England. One of the first royalist ministers to petition the House of Lords under the new ruling was Robert Herrick, who pointed out that he had been____________________