THE PROVIDENCES OF GOD, OBSERVED THROUGH Several Ages, TOWARDS THIS NATION, In Introducing the True Religion: AND THEN, In the Defence of that, preserving the PEOPLE in their RIGHTS and LIBERTIES, whilst other KINGDOMS are ravished of theirs, as our COUNSELLORS designed for US.

LONDON, Printed for R. Baldwin near the Oxford-Arms in Warwick-Lane, 1691.

TO THE READER.

THERE being found amongst us a certain sottish Generation, who out of Love to Sla­very, and Hatred to our Legal and Natu­ral Rights, do disown any Miscarriage or Error in the Ministers and Instruments of the Two last Reigns; I thought it necessary to make some Observations upon the Transactions of those Times, to the end to raise our Hearts to a thankful Admiration of God's Grace and Goodness in preserving us in our Priviledges by his over-ruling Hand of Providence, through many Ages, whilst other Kingdoms have been ravished of theirs; and to discourage the like Attempts against us for the future, by Men of ambitious, selfish and depraved Principles. And because I know this will meet with many Enemies, who, as concerned will be ready to cavil at it, I have for the farther Proof of the Sub­ject Matter relating to the Two last Reigns and the Inquity of them, annexed hereunto two Affidavits, which together with the uncontradicted Information of that eminently honest Captain Henry Wilkinson, a [Page] true Son (tho' no Bigot) of the Church of England, will, I suppose, be sufficient to make good the Truth of what is here suggested. And if any desire farther satisfaction concerning the Four last Kings, I referr them for James the First to that Book called, The Court of King James, writ by Sir Anthony Welden, who being a Courtier, writ his Knowledg and Experience. For Charles the First, to Rushworth's Authentick Collections. For Charles the Second, and James the Second, to that Book called, The Display of Tyranny, where you will find named the Judges, Juries, Witnesses and Council, made use of in several Trials upon Life and Death, as well as for pretended Misdemeaners; some of which Verdicts have been since reversed by Act of Parliament declaring several Men murthered; and some of the Verdicts for Mis­demanors, reversed by Judgment in the House of Lords, to the Credit of the Sufferers, but little to the Credit of those Juries, who found them guilty, &c.

THE PROVIDENCES OF GOD OBSERVED THROUGH Several Ages TOWARDS THIS NATION.

AS it is the duty of Man to contemplate the various Dispensations and Workings of God in the World; so no Country under Heaven affords more Matter than England, for raising our Souls to the highest admiration of his Greatness and Goodness, and that as well in reference to Civils as Spirituals.

To look no further back than William the First, who some call Conquerer, the Mercy of the Lord towards this Nation hath ever since been to a Miracle in preserving their Rights and Privileges through so many Ages and Reigns of covetous and ambitious Princes, who never wanted evil Counsellors to joyn with them for Arbitrary Power and Government, they knowing that he that makes no Conscience of cousening the Community for whose good he is ordeined, must suffer them in their de­gree to cousen him, as he doth the other; and tho' we find, they have for the most part first or last, failed in their At­tempts, [Page 2] it hath not frightened others from the like Designs; the Examples of Gavestone, Lord Spencers, &c. in former times; nor of Strafford and Laude since, being any caution to those whose Pride and Covetousness overballanceth such Presidents; and it's no wonder, that all times should furnish bad Kings with evil Counsellors, there being more Men in the World of Parts without Honesty than there are of both Parts and Honesty, and more of Honesty without Parts than of th' other two; whose weakness the first makes use of to support themselves in their tyrannical practices; and tho' through Mercy we do at present injoy our Liberties, the preservation of them, from the First William down to this time, hath been almost by perpetual Con­tests with our Kings and their pernicious Instruments.

In times of Popery, the Clergy (who are always governed by their separate Interest) owning the Pope for their Head, were tenacious of their English Priviledges, equal to any, and from thence were the greatest supporters of them, and the greatest Checks to our aspiring Princes, for which reason they were then so much honoured and adored; but since the Reformation in Re­ligion hath changed their Interest, in making them dependent upon the Crown, from whence issues all their Preferments, they have been the greatest Flatterers of our Princes, and Enemies to our English Liberties; it being hard for a Flatterer to be an honest Man: And this may be made an additional Reason to Dr. Itchards several Causes of the present Contempt of the Clergy; for as it's natural to Mankind to reverence those from whom they receive good, so on the contrary, to have an aver­sion for those from whom they derive their miseries; and tho Statists would monopolize beyond contradiction, all knowledge in Government to themselves as a defence for their evil practices. The wiser sort of Men, of both Parts and Honesty, see easily thorough their tricks, and the rest feel where the Shooe pincheth; and in truth, Politicians without Honesty are but like Mounte­banks on a Stage, to cheat the Ignorant: For as King James the First used to say, Honesty is the best Policy; and whether he had the Vertue to follow his own Maxim, he was able to judge of what was good and vertuous; and surely all Governments thrive best, that make Honesty the rule; not only as a blessing of God may be expected from such proceedings, but also from Natural and Human Reason, the worst of Men liking Honesty best in [Page 3] others, tho' they do not practise it themselves: And therefore all Vertuous Princes will be careful to make choice of Counsel­lors of upright and just Principles, as such may be well known by their Creatures; for if their Favorites are Men of Immor­ral, depraved and debauched Lives, as to Tyranny and Oppres­sion, they must be the same in their own Nature; and who they are that are such, the late Times have so sufficiently discovered as is beyond concealing.

And now, as this may serve to raise our hearts in a thankful remembrance to Almighty God for Temporal Mercies, so I shall observe that which is of greater concern, our Eternal Being, which requires our most serious Meditation, as, That the Lord by his over-ruling Hand of Providence should make a professed Enemy to the Truth, Henry the 8th, his first Instrument of bring­ing us out of Darkness into Light, cannot be sufficiently ad­mired; who being followed by that Miracle of Piety, especially for his Age, Edward the 6th, he made so grounded a Reforma­tion in his short time, that his merciless and persecuting Succes­sor of the Popish Communion could not get totally over in her Reign, but was forced to leave in a great measure his Pattern of Church Government for Queen Elizabeth to proceed upon; which had he lived, would in all probability have been more perfect, he seeming to have been inspired with an Holy Spirit for Reformation, in purging the Church from all the fulsom Dregs and Rubbish of Popish Superstition and Idolatry; and the cutting so early the Thread of his Life, before he had accom­plished his Design, gives us great cause to reckon it a Judgment of God upon this Nation for their Sins; and we have the more reason to believe his pious Intentions, because Dr. Heilin (a late Champion for the Church of England established by Law, and Bishop Laud's great Creature) tells us in his Preface to his Church-History, (at least to this Effect) That it was a great Mercy to the Church that he was taken away, otherwise he had surely reduced Episcopacy to Primitive Institution, &c. and since the Doctor could not be ignorant that the Papists were violently suspected to be the Authors of his Death, we may by this, ob­serve the Doctor and his Patrons Inclinations.

Queen Elizabeth's Preservation in the Tower, in the time of her Imprisonment, is a remarkable Providence not to be forgot, that when her bloody Sister had designed her Death, she should [Page 4] be preserved by King Philip (Queen Maries Husband) who had not at that time (besides his Queen) his Fellow in Christendom for Cruelty and Persecution of the Reformed, and was moved to the same, not by Bowels of Compassion, but upon a Politick account, That should Queen Mary dye Childless, as it seems he feared, Queen Elizabeth being out of the way, the Queen of Scots▪ a Papist, would come to the Crown, who being inseparably joyned in League with France, they both might be too hard for Spain; and that his Lenity towards Queen Elizabeth could be up­on no other score, appears by putting his Eldest Son to death for no other cause, than being too mercifully inclined towards the Protestants in the Netherlands. And thus the Lord wrought for us when we could not help our selves, in bringing her to the Crown, and preserving her thorough her whole Reign a­gainst the perpetual Plots and Endeavours of the Papists for destroying her.

Queen Elizabeth having in her Fathers and Sisters Times (tho averse to the gross Idolatry of Rome) imbibed too great a liking of the gaudy Splendor of the Church, insomuch that the pious Reformers of that Age could not bring her to that height of Reformation they desired, as appears by Dr. Burnet's (now Bi­shop of Salisbury's) Letter from Zurick in Switzerland, had it not pleased God in his Providence to furnish her with wise and moderate Counsellors, as Sir Thomas Smith, Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Burley, Sir Francis Walsingham, Earl of Essex and Sir Wal­ter Rawleigh, &c. she might have proved more severe against the then Dissenters than she was; but having had a true Love to the People of England, and particularly to the City of London, which scarce any of her four Successors have since had, she reigned moderately, some of those Acts of Parliament made in her time, and since wrested against Dissenters, being intended only against Papists. Piety was by her and her Counsellors encouraged; all Debauchery, Blasphemy, Atheism and Profaness discountenanced; Honours, places of Profit or Pensions never bestowed otherwise than for Merit, by which all sorts being provoked to the study of Vertue and generous Actions, Gentle­men were in that time in higher esteem and of greater Interest than many Noblemen at this day; the benefit of which we found in a Blessing upon all our Undertakings, the Nation not suffering the least dishonour in any of their Actions during her [Page 5] Reign, tho ingaged in war upon the account of Religion with all her Neighbours; with Spain in defence of the Protestants in the Netherlands, with Scotland in the behalf of the Reforma­tion there, and with France in the assistance of the Reformed in that Kingdom; in Ireland against the Rebels there, and at home in suppressing the perpetual Plots of the Papists. And having prevailed in all places with a small but well managed Revenue; extravagant Sallaries, Fraud and Cousenage, unne­cessary Pensions, multiplying Offices and Officers to gratifie a Party for Popery and Arbitrary Government, not being then known, her and her Peoples interest being reckoned one, and not separated as our Courtiers have since done, she became glo­rious through the World, so far as the Name of England was heard of; insomuch, that in honour of her, the Emperor of Muscovia did voluntarily bestow extraordinary Immunities upon the English Nation.

When this Queen died, the Renown of England seems to have died with her; for since her time, we have gon backward in Honour and Reputation, having received many Eclipses: None of our four suceeding Kings, nor even Cromwel in his almost five years Usurpation, having any one glorious Action to boast of, save the concern the last had for the Protestants Liberty in Piemont, which I confess, ought not to be forgot, tho his War with Spain and joyning with France is his Reproach.

James the 1st was a Scholar qualified for an University to make Harangues in the Schools, but had nothing besides to brag of, save Dissimulation, which he called King-Craft, but was really his blemish; in that by it he so far lost all Reputation, except that of a Pedant, that no Princes or States could confide in him, and for all his boasted Cunning was ever worsted in Foreign Treaties; as in that with Spain about the Infanta; with the Em­peror about the Palatinate; with Holland about the cautionary Towns, not in delivering them up, for that was but Justice, but in the sum due to us for them; and as a proof of his great Wisdom, he spent that in fruitless Embassies, which good Queen Elizabeth did in glorious Atchievements. And therefore our flattering Clergy (for their own ends) stiling him a Solomon, was groundless, none ever having deserved it less; his Diversions wherein he spent his time, not being the Care of his People, according to the duty of his Calling, but in Hunting, Masking [Page 6] and Drinking, and to please the Ecclesiasticks, by making their Sabbath-days-work easie; in promoting the Profanation of that day, in inviting the People by a Declaration to Sports and Games, when they should have been either at Church or at home better employed; as if the way to fit a People for Arbitrary Government, was first to make them godless, which Maxim hath been since improved.

This King was no sooner removed to England, than forget­ting the Methods of Church and State, he had been bred to in Scotland, aspired as much to Arbitrary Government as if he had never heard of any other Principles, as appears by his hectoring Speeches in Parliament. But it was the happiness of the Peo­ple, that his Bravery lay only in his Tongue, and that the Nation was not then overrun with the Leprosie of Luxury and Lincentiousness; nor the Ecclesiasticks and Judges corrupted as they have been since; so that tho no means or tricks were neg­lected for compassing his Ends, through Providence he failed of his Design, his tossing of Parliaments by Prorogations and Ad­journments for bringing them to his bow, not doing his work, he projected for raising of Mony (to supply the want of Par­liaments) the Dignity of Hereditary Baronets; and to induce Gentlemen of the best Quality to give Credit to this pernicious Invention by accepting of it, he gave them Precedence of all meerly Knights of the Bath, and singly Knights Batchelors, not being the younger Sons of Barons, of whom they have no place; but to make the Title more valuable and desirable, he ingaged that the number should not exceed two hundred. And all this under the Romantick pretence, that every person ac­cepting hereof, should be obliged to maintain a certain number of Souldiers in Ireland to defend the Protestants against the Papists in that Kingdom; and as a badge of their Duty adds a bloody Hand to their Coat of Arms; yet with this Condition, that each paying 1000 l. into the Exchequer, they should be excused from that Service; for notwithstanding the pretence in the Patent, it was meerly a trick to get Mony without Parlia­ments: As was the conferring Titles upon Women; Scotch and Irish Titles upon Persons not having any Lands in either Country, a thing not practised before: And as to the Title of Baronet, it may be observed, that tho it is pretended against Papists, those of that Religion were as forward to buy this Honour as others; [Page 7] and thus he defrauded the People of the benefit of Parliaments, by exposing (for raising of Mony) this and all other Honours to sale, which hath been ever reckoned a mark of a depraved and corrupt Government. And thus begun our governing by tricks (hardly known before) which continued till our present happy Change; but this according to the Maxim of our Law, That the King can do no wrong, must refer to his evil Council, and not to him.

This new Honour of Baronets was struck at by several suc­ceeding Parliaments as illegal in the Institution, as well as the end; the first in being hereditary without annexing it to some place, and the latter in depriving the Nation of their Security in the use of Parliaments: But in a little time the Interest increased so much in the increase of their Number, that nothing could be done to disannul this Project; for notwithstanding the cajoling promise of not exceeding two hundred, no limitation was ob­served, the Number (by falling the price to less than half, tho obliged to have a Receipt out of the Exechequer for the whole 1000 l.) being increased to near, if not 1000.

And in these and such like waies this celebrated Solomon spent a Reign of two and twenty years, without bringing any Honour to the Nation; but on the contrary, through evil Counsel a Di­minution of it to a great degree; and when he had finished his Course, left his Presidents to his Son Charles the 1st.

This King, as no Man can deny, followed his Fathers steps, and in an higher degree affected absolute Monarchy, wherein being obstinate, it was fatal to him; he was free from that o­pen dissoluteness his two Successors have been since guilty of; for the Nation not being then arrived at that impudent Pro­faness it is now come to, the People were then modest in their Vices, compared with these times; yet Lewdness then, as it hath ever since, increased more and more, helped forward by Bishop Laud's Advice, in discouraging Piety and giving incouragement to Debauchery by aspersing sober Men with Nicknames, as Pu­ritans and Precisians, &c. promoting Arminianism, the Doctrin of Passive Obedience and Non-Resistance; and then, seconding this King's Father, in publishing another Book of Sports, giving Liberty on the Lords Day for all manner of Games, as Foot-ball, Cudgels, &c. injoyning the reading it in the Churches, to the great grief of all serious Christians fearing God.

[Page 8] His Carriage in the State was as offensive as in the Church; he called Parliaments meerly to serve his own turn, without any eye to the Publick; and when they did but enquire into any grievances, as the Death of his Father, who was violently suspected to be poisoned, &c. they were readily dissolved. And in Ann. 1628. he forbid by Proclamation the speaking of Par­liaments (a high Arbitrary Act) he passed indeed the Petition of Right asserting the Peoples Liberties; but had no sooner given his Consent than he broke through all the Bonds of it, illegally forcing the Payment of Tunnage and Poundage, Ship-Mony, Coat and Conduct Mony, Knighthood Mony, imprison­ing Members for speaking in Parliaments. To increase his Re­venue, monopolized (contrary to Law) most Commodities, made an extrajudicial use of the Star Chamber to the fining, and otherwise punishing of Gentlemen without cause, removing them for their greater vexation, out of their own Counties, to Prisons in other Countries; and to prevent Complaints had no Parliaments in twelve years, nor then, till compelled by the Troubles in Scotland to call one: For though that Book falsly intituled this Kings, for which his Admirers Saint him, begins with his spontaneous calling of the Parliament in 1640. that Chapter made one of his own Party, upon the reading of it, throw the Book away, saying, If it begun with so known a Lie, nothing less could be expected in it, and therefore would not read it.

This Expression ought to be pardoned, the King not being concerned in it, both his Sons, the two last Kings, having con­fessed to the late Earl of Anglesea, that their Father did not write the Book, but that it was writ by Dr. Gaudin, afterwards Bishop of Exeter. He wrested the Statute for Forests, to the Ruin of many, by the inlarging them; his Court was filled with Priests and Jesuits: He caressed the Heads of that horrid and odious Rebellion in Ireland, clapped up a Peace with them in order to bring those Cut-throats into England. His Son Charles the 2d confessed that the Marquess of Antrim (reckoned one of the massacring Rebels) acted by his Fathers Commission, and upon that account, he had his Estate restored him by the Court of Claims; he solicited the Duke of Lorain to bring his more than ordinary rude and wicked Army into England; and all this, besides his deserting Rochel after he had stirred them up [Page 9] to stand upon their defence, promising them Relief, to the ruin of the whole Protestant Cause, as appears by the History of the Siege of Rochel.

These are but hints of some few of the Practices in his time, which if not sufficient to suspend (according to the Romish Rule) the Sainting him till after an hundred years, that his Vertues may be forgot; Those that read Rushworth's Collections, will find enough there for deferring the Solemnization thereof: His Reign was so Arbitrary, that I remember it was common­ly said, that the studying Proclamations, which made a Vo­lume as big as a Church-Bible, was more necessary for Lawyers than their Books: His endeavouring to impose a more super­stitious and approaching Liturgy to Popery upon the Church of Scotland than ours in England, was the beginning of his Troubles; wherein he was as much out in his Politicks as in any of his other Actions; for it could not be well expected, that they, who had swept their Church as clean from all the Rubbish of Rome, as Geneva it self, and more zealous and refined in their Doctrin than they, would be easily imposed upon in Mat­ters of Religion: But it was the Pride of Bishop Laud, who was ambitious of being the Founder of a new Popery, and of seeing it accomplished in his days, by driving too furiously, that prevented the designed Mischief; and so we find it confessed by our Queen Mother, in Monsieur Siries Mercury, the French Kings History Writer for the Affairs of Italy▪ who tells us among many other things concerning England▪ That when the Parlia­ment in 1640. met, the Pope had three Agents in England ne­gotiating the reconciling our King to Rome, (viz.) the Count of Roset, Seignior C [...] and Seignior Pausa [...]i [...]: reciting Roset's Remonstrance delivered the King to prove it his Interest to turn Papist; whereupon the King asking, if the Pope would dispense with his Subjects taking the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy; she was told that if [...]e would be a Catholick i [...] must be without Conditions▪ But the Parliament getting a Sent here­of [...], [...] clo [...]e, that Roset was forced to be confessed, whilst disguising himself, and then fled for Ireland▪ a little before the [...], where it's said he died. And it may be observed, that at this time this King's Chief Counsel­lors [...] Strafford and Laud, were such as whilst living were suspected, and at Death declared themselves Pa­pists, [Page 10] (viz.) Thomas Earl of Arrundle, Lord Cottington and Sir Francis Windibanck Secretary of State, and Laud's Kinsman; and not long before Treasurer Weston died of the same Communion.

And the same Author, where he writes of the Affairs of En­gland tells us further, that Bishop L. and Bishop N. by which must be meant the two Archbishops, Laud and Neal, profered the Pope to leave England, and go to Rome, and for the Credit of that See declare themselves Papists, provided the Pope would allow them at Rome the value of their English Bishopricks, which they computed each at 16000 Crowns per annum; but re­ceived for answer from the Pope's Nephew, Chief Minister of State, who at that time was (as I remember) Cardinal Francisco Barbarino, reputed a great Statesman, that if their Conversion were real, they might at Rome live comfortably of so many hundred Crowns per annum. For the Cardinal was jealous, that the bottom of Laud's design was a Patriarchal Popedom for England, which would have been a bad Example for France and other Popish Countries. If any are curious to know further concerning the Affairs of England at that time, I refer them to the aforesaid Mercury, which is writ in Italian.

In the succeeding eighteen years interval, this Nation received not the least dishonour, save what happened at Hispaniola, in War with Spain, during Cromwel's Usurpation: For the greatest part of the rest of that time our Neighbours trembled when we frowned; tho since that, the Catastrophy hath been such, that we have trembled at their Frowns, occasioned by the misgovernment of Charles the 2d. who yet came to the Admi­nistration of the Crown most advantageously, not an Enemy daring to shew his Teeth (excepting that mad freak of the 29 Fifth Monarchy Men) he seeming to be the universal Delight of the People. At Breda he promised Liberty of Conscience to those dissenting Ministers, that were with others, sent by Par­liament to invite him into England; and at his arrival made shew of being true to his Word, by appointing at the Savoy; in order thereunto, a Conference, betwixt the two Parties▪ the Conformists and Dissenters; but the latter being under hand dis­countenanced by him (who was a great Minister of King James the First's Art in King-Craft) it came to nothing more than making their Burthens the heavier; so that in a short time, the Presbyterians, who had been the chief Authors of his Re­stauration [Page 11] (his own Party being then so inconsiderable, that they cannot be said to have contributed more to it, than as Ser­vants to the other) were most ungratefully used; their Mini­sters turned out of their Livings; their Families exposed to live in a great measure upon Charity; and that by him whom they had brought from that Condition himself, to the injoyment of three Crowns.

His first Parliament acted regularly with an eye to publick good and quiet; passing an Act of Indempnity for all, save some few excepted; which he seemed to approve so much of, that in his cunning and cajoling way, he gave them the name of the healing Parliament, and then dissolved it, calling another more to his purpose; after which, how he kept his Indempnity ap­pears by his usage of the great and incomparable Sir Henry Vane, Alderman Ireton, Mr. Samuel Moyer, Major Gladman, &c. taking away contrary to Faith, the Life of the first, imprisoning others without cause, till they redeemed their Liberty by great Sums, like Slaves in Algiers; others standing it out till the Habeas Corpus Bill came in use, after the withdrawing of Chan­cellor Hide (which for seven or eight years had been denied, or from the Iniquity of the Times, durst not be moved for) were freed by Law without Fines.

He pretended great zeal for the Reformed Religion with an Abhorrence of Poperty; yet in favour of the latter, endeavoured to set the Conformists at the greatest difference with the Dissen­ters by several Acts against the latter, and severe Prosecution thereupon. And this, whilst at the same time, all proceedings against the Papists in the Exchequer upon Conviction were stopped, to the preserving of them, when Protestant Dissenters were many of them ruined by close Imprisonments, where they died; he designing all a long no less than Popery and Slave­ry, even when he pretended the contrary. His two unjust, costly and causeless Wars with Holland, being in order thereun­to; as was the burning of London, and the Popish Plot disco­vered by Dr. Oats; yet rather than be thought to have any hand in the latter, he suffered about twenty persons which he is strong­ly suspected to have imployed in it, to dye for it.

When the burning of London, the frequent subsequent Fires in Southwark, St. Katharines, and several parts of the City, &c. would not serve his ends, he contrived a Protestant Plot for [Page 12] murthering of himself, and (as he untruly suggested) intro­ducing a Commonwealth; and as the most probable Instrument (as he thought, tho therein mistaken) Mr. Clapol a Son-in-law of Cromwel, must be charged with it, and without the least ground clapped up in Prison, in the closest way; and had not the real Popish Plot broke out, he had surely been sacrificed to give Credit to the Forgery; but Mr. Capol's unsuitable Principles to such a Design was enough to detect the Fraud and Villany, he having been in the Civil Wars, reckoned all a long a Royalist and Anti-Republican: And thus ill Men are sometimes caught in their own snares, as this King was by his mistake in this person.

This King having by turning and changing, got Judges and Counsellors to his purpose, corrupting by Pensions, &c. a Ma­jority in the Parliament, carried all things as he pleased, till at last he lost his Credit by the odiousness of the Popish Plot, and his Compliance with France, to the advancing that King to what he is now come to; teaching him, (compared to what he knew before) to build Ships, man, victual and sail them; nay even to fight and sound our Coasts and Rivers; which was done in the time of his unhappy Administration, especially in the year 1672. in joyning with him against Holland, when none of his Ships were suffered to fight, but stand by and learn, that one French Commander that did ingage, being as its said, at his re­turn clapped in the Bastile for it, which we never heard was complained of by us, nor excused by them: Nay, not to be want­ing in any thing towards the advancement of the French King, we gave him Canada, that necessary place for our Newfound-land Fishery; (our chief Nursery for Seamen) for an insignifi­cant part, compared to Canada, of the Island of St. Christophers, which had belonged to us, under pretence, that he had taken it from us in our former War with the Dutch, when he sided with them against us and served them as he did us, never ap­pearing with them; making use only of his Declaration of War for them, to the end, to set us together by the Ears; that so he might have the better opportunity, to set up himself, and worm us (as in a great measure he hath done) out of our New­found Land Fishery, and hath taken it to himself; whereas for­merly they used to pay us a kind of Tribute for Liberty of Fishing there; but now through our favour and carelesness they [Page 13] are arrived to that height of Fishing, that they are said to im­ploy so many Men in it, as produceth them five thousand new Seamen yearly; so that by the Conduct of our Counsellors this King is since 1662. when he had hardly 20 Men of War great and small, come now to be Master of 150 at least: But tho by his wise management of Affairs and our bad, he hath rid this Summer in our Channel without controle, I hope he will never do so more, nor ever be encouraged to intitle himself to the Dominion of the Narrow Seas; except God for our Sins gives us over to be again betrayed by our Counsellors as for­merly; for tho Kings themselves may be ill Men, yet without the like Counsellors, they cannot perpetrate their evil Designs.

This Government of ours hath been by our late Kings carried on by tricks, which our Statists valued themselves upon, as the effect of their great Wisdom; whereas it is truly nothing more than the transendency of Immorality, in which honester Men have not a latitude. To enumerate their deceitful Artifices is hard, they are so many. This King at his Restauration in 1660 made a League with the States General in design to prepare for a War with them, having then found his Naval Forces very low.

In 1664. he began to quarrel with them without the least cause, and against their real endeavours for preventing it: But Downing being Envoy Extraordinary at the Hague, to remove their Jealousie of us, which was great, gave them according to the Policy of those Times all assurance of Friendship, telling them, that if their East-India Ships then expected, were above London-Bridge, they would be as safe as in their own Harbours; yet their Merchants Ships to about the number, as it is said, of 120. were upon frivolous pretences, first stopped as they came into our Channel, till at last some Months after, without De­claration of War or any causes shewn, they were confiscated; and at the same time their Smirna Fleet was fallen upon before Cadiz; whereupon Downing thought fit to make a hasty Retreat by Mazeland-Sluce; and this Action was as little to our honour as profit; for tho we sunk one or two of their Ships, to their great dammage, we took none; and for those seized at home, our management was so commendable, that upon the sale of them, as I have heard, the King was made Debtor: And thus this War began, which prospered in our hands according to the Justice of it.

[Page 14] The first year of this War, the Dutch East-India Fleet coming home by the North of Scotland, upon the King of Denmark's promise of Security, or at least relying upon their League with him, put into Bergen in Norway; where they were presently blocked up by our Fleet under the Command of the Earl of Sandwich, who sent in some Ships to seize them, and had had them delivered, had not the Currier with Orders from Copenhagen come too late to the Governour; Sandwich's Ships being beaten off and retired with loss, before the Orders came; for our Agent in Denmark had agreed with that King concerning them; but Sandwich not having notice of the Treaty, the design was lost by falling too soon upon these Ships.

This War lasted near three years, reckoning from our first seizing of Their Ships: The third year the King had give [...] him 1250000 l. for that Summers War; but it was the Wisdom and Honesty of our Counsellors, out of good Husbandry, to save the Mony, by not setting forth a Fleet, which gave op­portunity to our Enemies to burn our Ships in Harbour, for which we made an horrid Outcry against them as treacherous, in doing it in the time of our Treaty with them for Peace at Breda, falsely adding, That it was contrary to a Cessation agreed upon; whereas when a Cessation was desired by us, they posi­tively denyed it, which is sufficient to vindicate the Integrity of their Proceedings, in answer to ignorant popular Clamour: And indeed, tho our Counsellors might be willing, for their De­fence, to have the People understand this disgraceful Affront to proceed from Falseness in the Dutch, I never heard, that they at any time did publickly accuse them of breach of Faith in this matter or Action.

Being thus worsted, it was pretended that want of Mony was the Cause, tho upon examination of the Accounts, by the Com­missioners appointed by Act of Parliament to that end, there was not much above half spent, of what was given expresly for that War, which evinces our Miscarriage to proceed from Cor­rupt Counsels, want of Conduct, and not Mony.

A Peace being concluded, to be revenged on the Dutch for what was our own Fault, we invited them, and the Crown of Sweeden to a Triple League with us against France, for restraining that King in his aspiring Designs, wherein the Dutch were real, when our Design was only to render them odious to the French [Page 15] King, and enrage him against them, that by our then joyning with him, we might both together destroy them, and in them the Protestant Chief Bulwark.

Accordingly in 1671. at the Interview at Dov [...] betwixt Charles II. and his Sister the Dutchess of Orleance, [...] agreed to break the Triple League, to joyn with France against the Dutch; and to satisfie the Swede for this Breach Mr. Henry Coventry was sent Ambassador to that Crown, who procured from them the Dissolution of the League. When this was done, and we had recovered Breath, after the Disgrace we received in the former War, to have a Pretence for a second: One of our Yachts was ordered, in her coming from Holland, to steer out of her Course, and through the States Naval Fleet, then riding at Sea, that in case the whole Fleet did not strike to our Boat, we might make that the ground of a Quarrel.

That great Commander de Ruyter, then Admiral, not thinking their Articles of Peace could be understood to reach such a lit­tle Circumstance, did not answer our Demands or Expectation, and for not doing it, together with some Trivial Medals and Pictures, which that People are much addicted to, was made the Cause of a Quarrel-without Remedy, and Dr. Stubbs, as a fit Man for the Work, was sent for out of the Country, to main­tain by Writing the Justice of our Cause, which for 400 l. he performed the best he could, by two large Pamphlets, in the latter of which having been too free, in his magnifying the wise and excellent Management of the War against the Dutch, in that time called a Commonwealth, when we first made known unto the World our Greatness at Sea in beating them when in their Zenith, (which cost, with the Ships in that time Built▪ 210000 l.) this Pamphlet was for some time stopped, till there being a necessity for it, that it passed; and when Stubbs was by a Friend of mine questioned, how he could in Conscience write so falsly and injuriously against the Dutch? He confessed, He could write much more for them, than he had done against them, if he would.

After a Pretence for War was agreed on, the next thing requi­site was to find a Fund for the Charge, which was very difficult; for the Parliament having by woful Experience felt, from ill Conduct, the Burthen of the first War, was unwilling to engage in a second; but at last the new made Lord Clifford, with the help of [Page 16] his Friends, projected the stopping of all private Payments in the Exchequer, for which, as a Reward, he had the Treasurers White Staff given him; the Fund gained hereby being about 13 or 1400000 l. which was a loss to particular Creditors, many of them [...] ruined by it, so that from the Immorality of the Project, the Author of it deserved rather another Reward, than that he received.

The War was commenced without any previous Declaration, by falling upon their Smirna Fleet in the Chanel (as we had done in the first War before Cadiz) as they were upon their Voyage home, wherein we miscarried, as well to our Dishonour in be­ing worsted, as in beginning the War by Surprize. In this War we should have had the Assistance of France, and had a Squadron of that Kings Ships joyned us, but in design only to teach them to fight, sound our Coasts and not help us; for (as it is before mentioned) that one Ship which from ignorance of the Intreague, did fight, the Captain of her at his return home was (as is reported) clapped up in the Bastile for hazarding his Masters Ship. The Parliament perceiving the drift of the French to be the weakning of both Parties, that at long run he might become Superior to either or both, pressed the King to a Peace betwixt us and the Dutch; which he (tho) unwillingly, consented to; for not knowing how to deny so just a request, a Peace was concluded.

Now new measures were taken, and a new Minister of State made choice of, one intirely devoted to the Kings Will without reserve. To gain the Kings ends, a Majority of the Members of Parliament was corrupted by Pensions, which were liberally bestowed upon such as were of depraved Principles, fit for any mischief, by which means, every thing, during some time, brought barefaced into the House of Commons, and afterwards by side­winds, for the Kings particular Designs, passed currently; until the Court going too high for a standing Revenue, the Pensio­ners suspecting, that when that was gained their Pensions would cease, they turned readily against the Court; which caused them for gaining Mony from the Parliament to pretend a quarrel to France, and in all haste to raise an Army to that end; and to procure belief of their real Intentions, a Book under the Title of Christianissimus Christianandus, writ by Dr. Marchemond Needham was published, rendring the French King so scandalous [Page 17] in all his Ways, Actions and Designs, as cannot be thought would have been writ, without having first that King's Leave for writing it.

The Parliament, to take away from the King all Pretences of Complaint, gave him a Supply, by which he raised an Army; but finding in the Issue, that he was not real in his Pretensions for a War, by refusing to declare War, they pressed him to disband his new-rais'd Army; and to effect the same, gave him Money to do it with; appointing Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Sir Thomas Player, Col. Whitley, and Col. Birch to see it done; who discharged the Trust reposed in them with all Fidelity and Honesty.

These Arts or Tricks used for the Service of the French King, by which our Parliament was disobliged, our King had no Cause to doubt but that that King would hold himself obliged to assist him; and therefore he was applied to, and probably he had gai­ned from him a stipend of 300000 l. per Annum for some Years, had not the Duke of Buckingham prevented it: and upon what other Account, than of being a Friend to his native Country, is unknown: However, he did not only thereby irrecoverably lose the Favour of the Court, but also drew so much the Hatred of it upon himself, that he was prosecuted for a Crime, which, tho the Au­thors of the Prosecution made little Conscience of the thing them­selves, they hoped by it to have taken away his Life for being in­strumental in preserving the Life of the Nation.

The Discovery of these, and other pernicious Designs, begot (not without cause) a great Jealousie in the Parliament, of the Court and their Party; which carried them on to the Addressing the King against some considerable Persons, as evil Counsellors; which was for some time avoided by Adjournments and Proro­gations of Parliament, till the horrid Popish Plot breaking out, those Tricks could not longer hinder the impeaching several of them in Parliament for the highest of Crimes, bringing one of them to the Block; as had not Dissolution of Parliaments prevent­ed it, the rest in all likelihood had had the same Fate, all of them having been arraigned at the Bar of the Lord's House, where some pleaded Guilty in pleading the King's Pardon; by which, Time being got for arguing the Point, till by the Dissolution of several Parliaments, (which was on purpose to prevent Justice) they were unduly preserved, for no such Pardon (as the Lawyers say) against an Impeachment in Parliament is valuable in Law; and the King [Page 18] having no power to pardon Offences, where in the Indictment he is not made a Party, as he is not by Impeachments in Parlia­ments, they being by the House of Commons, in the Name of all the Commons of England. The Dissolution of Parliaments doth not give Prisoners at the Suit of the Commons the privi­lege of being bailed, no inferiour Court having by Law any such power; especially the fault of their not being brought to Trial not being in the Parliament, but in the King, in not suffering them to sit till they had cleared, or passed Judgment upon them, as he ought to have done.

This King, an Artist in King James I's King-craft, observing his Conduct to have lost all Reputation, confessed by a Declaration his Errour, in governing his Affairs by Cabals, and not by Par­liaments, and his Privy Council, by whose Advice he had always thriven best; resolving for the future to be ruled by them, with­out Cabals: And in Conformity thereunto, he dissolved entirely, by the said Declaration, his Privy Council, and chose another, under the notion of a new Council, into which was taken some of the most popular and honest Members of the House of Commons; as the good Lord Russel, the then Lord Cavendish, Sir Henry Ca­pel, Mr. Powle, &c. but the Majority being of the old Leaven, they soon found that the design of bringing them into the Coun­cil was merely to give Credit to their sinister Proceedings; which made them as soon unanimously withdraw, rather than be in the least accessary to their unwarrantable and destructive Counsels and Actions. So that tho some will have the small time these Gentlemen were in Council, to have been a great advantage to the Court, in their Reputation, and blame them for it, I am of a contrary Opinion; and that there could not have been a grea­ter, and more prejudicial Affront put upon a Prince, than that by such an unanimous and publick Leaving of his Council, in a way that amounted to no less than a Protest against his Proceedings; which could not but make a more disadvantageous Impression on the Minds of the People, than so short a Continuance with them could be of advantage to the King.

Now new Measures were again taken, and with them a new Minister of State chosen; several Parliaments are dissolved, and new ones called, in hopes of getting one at last to serve their turn; but the People growing more and more sensible of the Growth of Popery and Slavery, sent such suitable Members to the [Page 19] Condition of the Nation, that they were almost as soon dissolved as assembled, for three Parliaments successively; and then, to be revenged of the Corporations for sending such Members, and of the Members themselves for being averse to the Destruction of the Nation, Quo Warranto's, by the Advice of a new Set of evil Counsellors, were brought, to take away the old, and give them new Charters, that might subject them to the arbitrary Will of the Prince; (illegal in the highest degree.) Nay, Burroughs by Prescription were destroyed, and Charters imposed upon them, to the infringing of their Privileges. Hereford, I think, was the first that had a new Charter imposed upon them, by which all Power was so reserved in the King, as an Example for those that should follow, that one might have thought should have wrought an Hatred in all true English Men, to the Authors or A­bettors of such Counsels.

The Charter of London, by many Acts of Parliaments, and in the comprehensivest manner confirmed, was so gallantly defend­ed by the City, nothing material being against them, as appears by the learned Arguments of the Lord Chief Justice Pollixfen, and Mr. Attorney General Treby, that one may wonder there should be Lawyers found to plead against it; and that such were found, is a Reproach upon the Persons for being too mercenary.

As Quo Warranto's were for being revenged of the Corporations, so a Protestant Plot was contrived, as well to stifle the Popish Plot, as to destroy such Gentlemen as were thought to stand in the way of Arbitrary Power and Popery, by false Evidence, leaving trea­sonable Papers at their Houses (as was done at Mr. Dubois's House in London;) or putting them into their Pockets, and then seizing them, (of which Mr. Fitz-Harris gave my Lord Shaftsbury war­ning:) Which made those that knew they were under the Envy of the Court, when they were to come into Crowds, to sow up their Pockets, to prevent practising such Tricks upon them.

Fitz-Harris, whose Province it was to act in these ways, to get or make treasonable Lampoons, to trepan Persons falsly judged to be of Antimonarchical Principles, for not playing his part well, and fearing his Discovery, according to his Promise to the then Sheriffs, of the Popish Plot, had a Rope for his Reward, being Drawn, Hanged and Quartered; but, as a Gratuity for his weak Endeavours, his Head and Quarters were given to his Wife to bury. Soon after he was dead, an impudent, false and [Page 20] lying Confession was made for him, as is fully demonstrated by the published Answer of those concerned in it, under the Title of Truth vindicated, in reference to the Aspersions cast upon Sir Robert Clayton, &c. published in the name of Dr. Hawkins, as Edward Fitz-Harris's Confession. As also, the falseness of this Confession appears by the last Actions of his Life, (viz.) the Paper he read at his Execution, which was printed; and his giving the Sheriffs Thanks for their Civility and Kindness to him, which were his last Words; and yet by his Confession, he is made to complain of them.

The design of this Confession, and publishing of it, was by it to vindicate the Guilty, and accuse the Innocent; for certain Per­sons being determined for Destruction, it was thought fit to make them hereby odious to the People; that when they should be mur­thered by Form of Law, their Deaths might be the less resented.

To give an Instance of the Evidence made use of in these Times, the Witnesses against my Lord Shaftsbury were so scandalous, as Ages to come will not believe that such should be offered against any Man, much less one of his Quality: As Booth, a Minister of the Church of England, and Parson of Ogle, in Northumberland; well known to be an infamous Rascal, and violently suspected for the Murther of one of his Servants, to conceal his Clipping of Money, of which he was (notwithstanding) convicted; and con­demned, and had been hanged, had not the Duke of Newcastle, who gave him his Parsonage at Ogle, begged his Pardon. And I have heard an honest Divine of the Church, who had known him from his Youth, say, that he could write a Volume of his Rogue­ries: So that nothing less than shameless Impudence could have produced him against the Life, Honour, or Estate of any one. The rest of the Witnesses were not better, as the Affidavits hereunto annexed do evince, Barry, or Narrative-Smith being one, &c. And that such Evidence might pass with the Grand Jury, both they and the Witnesses were heard in Court, that the first might be brow-beaten, and the latter countenanced, and hear what one another said; (at least an unusual Method, if not contrary to Law.) And to help all forward, the Lord Chief Justice told the Grand Jury, that they were not to enquire into the Credibility of the Witnesses; whilst the Law, in express Words, speaks the contrary. And to make all sure, that none should escape, whom the Court at Whitehall would have destroyed, the Witnesses to an [Page 21] Indictment brought against a Combination of Rogues, for Perju­ry, and Subornation of Perjury, to disable them for taking away the Lives of the Innocent, the Lord Chief Justice refused to swear them, because against the King's Evidence, except the At­torney General would give leave; who, he could not but know, was too much of the Court-Faction to do it: By which means those Villains escaped Conviction, and left at liberty to hang whom they pleased. And tho Mr. Bethel, then Sheriff, complained publickly in Court, that he had Affidavits to prove his Life so far designed against, that those profligate Rascals offered (in August, 1681.) to lay Wagers of Ten to One, that they would hang him before Christmass following, he could not procure any Proceedings against them: But it is believed that his Complaint had this Effect, that it hinder'd the Attorney General's producing a Bag of Indictments he had then ready against several honest and innocent Persons, against whom these Varlets should have been made use of. And this was the Consequence of the Courts turning out and changing Judges, till they had got Men for their turn, who would make any thing Law the Court would have; and who having by Pen­sions and Rewards, got Witnesses to swear accordingly; and by packing of Juries, got such as would find what they would have found, it was in the King's power to hang whom he pleased; and that of a large List of Persons marked out for Destruction, there were no more murthered, must be ascribed to the over-ruling Hand of Providence. The Lord deliver us from the like Times, when Judges, Juries, Witnesses and Council, all strive who should most signalize their Zeal for Tyranny, by strains of Wit, and wresting of Law; as appears by Mr. Hawle's Remarks upon some of the Trials of those Times. Besides, ambitious Citizens, Of­ficers in Places of Profit, Pensioners, and Suitors for the like, were all the same; insomuch that it might in some measure be said, that all Flesh had corrupted their Ways, and if we should again hunt with the same Dogs, they would start the same Hare.

The Parliament by several Acts hath judged the Lord Russel, Colonel Sidney, Alderman Cornish murthered, voted Sir Thomas Armstrong the same, reversed several unjust Verdicts to the per­petual Infamy of all those Juries, and yet have pardoned most of the Murtherers and Oppressors by an Act of Indempnity; which may well be feared, will incourage the like in the fu­ture [Page 22] against all that shall stand in the way of Arbitrary Govern­ment, if we have a King that shall affect it.

The corrupting and viciating the Nation had been long de­signed, as necessary for introducing Popery and Slavery; for whilst Men are virtuous, and not afraid of the Laws, they will expect and contend for the benefit of them; but when by De­bauchery and Immorality they stand in need of Indulgence, for incouragement of their Lusts, they will be careless of their civil Rights; and therefore the lewdest Examples were thought fit to be given them, with connivance at their Practice, as in swearing, whoring, drinking, atheistical and blasphemous Drol­lery, discouraging all Religion, save what consisted in meer formality, without discouraging dissoluteness; some of the worst of Men being made choice of to gratifie with Honours, Pensions and places of Profit: But of all the odious ways used to gain a Party, none like that of teaching Youths to drink Healths with Huzzaes, crying up the breach of Laws for Loyalty (when no­thing is such, but Obedience according to Law, the contrary being Disloyalty) as was the publick feasting of the Apprentices of London with the Kings Venison, not leaving it in the power of their Masters, without making themselves obnoxious, to for­bid them that School of Vertue, or command obedience in con­tradiction thereof; and that this should be projected by the greatest of the Court, who graced their Society with their presence, may be reckoned, for all their Wit, an Error in Po­liticks, in courting in such manner the Mobile, or rather Rab­ble (as it was no less;) in whom there is no constancy; for be­ing acted by present apprehensions or humor, they are as un­certain as the Wind; nothing being to be relied upon, save ho­nest unselfish Principles, for such will in the end prevail in spite of all the Devils in Hell; and in the Faith of this I shall dye, tho I may not live to see it.

These and such like courses, which most of our Conforming Parsons teaching from their Pulpits, in Taverns and Coffee-houses, the Doctrin of Passive Obedience and Non-Resistance without limitation, hath so poisoned the Nation, that without an extraordinary Work of God, a Recovery cannot be expected; for tho I think, the good People of England of all Communi­ons are the best, I believe the Profane as they are by ill Ex­amples of late years brought unto, are the worst of Men, ex­ceeding [Page 23] all others in wicked and immoral Practices, which we owe chiefly, to the two last Kings Examples, their evil and per­nicious Counsellors and Favourites.

It is a Maxim in our Law, that the King can do no wrong, which must refer only to Matters of State, and not personal Acti­ons; for that it cannot be denyed, but he that lies with another Man's Wife, or kills his Neighbour, &c. doth them wrong: but as the King, in other cases must act by Instruments; so it is but reasonable, they should be answerable for miscarriages in Government; because being free Agents, what they do is of choice, the Service of Princes being sought and not compulsed; and were it not for evil Counsellors, Princes would no be so bad as they often are. Queen Elizabeth of famous Memory, her Vertue appeared, not only in her natural, just and equal Principles, but also in the election of suitable Counsellors, Men at least morally honest, aiming more at publick than their own private Benefit; she incouraged Vertue, making Honour the Re­ward of it, and not of pimping and all manner of Vice; she re­proved her great Favourite (that unhappy) Earl of Essex, whom she made General in her Expedition for Cadiz, for con­ferring the honour of Knighthood upon some few, whose Ser­vice at that time, he judged deserved it, when she thought a less Reward might have served. In her time, Knighthood was not ex­pected voluntarily by any Citizens, save the Lord Mayor; nor was it thought of by the two succeeding Kings, till Charles the First, at his Return from Scotland in 1641. after failing in his design there against Duke Hamilton, Marquis of Argile and General Lesly, &c. thinking it a convenient way to corrupt a Party for his in­tended quarrel with the Parliament; that he Knighted several Aldermen of the City of London; and after that, both he and his Son Charles the Second made liberal use of their Sword in dubbing all that came near them, from whom they could hope, for the least assistance, in their design for Popery and Slavery; the deliverers of Addresses, abhorring petitioning for Parlia­ments, as likewise those giving thanks for dissolving the best of Parliaments, &c. being procured by the Emissaries of Charles the Second, could not in the opinion of those that hated Parli­aments, deserve less than a Knighthood, to the incouragement of others to follow their Example. It may be the Enemies to this good Queen will object that she had some angry fits; to which [Page 24] may be answered, that they were born with, as Children at such times do with their Parents, being satisfied that she had a true and sincere love for the Nation; upon which account some little Passions subject to her sex might very well be indured.

The Estates, that have by corrupt waies to advance the Pre­rogative, been raised, and Honours conferred in the four last Reigns, especially since the Restauration, exceeds I believe above forty times those in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth; and yet the number of years of all their Reigns, abating the eighteen years interval, comes a quarter part short of doubling hers; She made few Lords, about four or five; very sparing of Knighthood, and never conferred any, but (as is before noted) for Merit; and accordingly she thriv'd in the Love of her Subjects at home, and Honour abroad. In her time the Nation was famous for glorious Action, as before mentioned, in relieving the op­pressed Protestants in France, Scotland and Holland, which she could not have done, had she been tyed up by the late devised Doctrin of Passive Obedience and Non-Resistance; besides sub­duing her Rebels in England as well as in Ireland, and pul­ling down, when none else could do it, the proud House of Austria, designing then the universal Monarchy; whereas I do not find one generous or honourable Act to be boasted of, during the last four Reigns.

There are two ill Notions in behalf of Statists, which to the prejudice of Mankind have prevailed in the World, the one the calling Knavery Reason of State, by which they excuse all their sinister and wicked designs, as if God had left us without honest means for preserving our selves; the other, that Wit and Parts do alone qualifie a person for the service of his Prince in his weightiest Affairs: It's true such qualities are ornaments and with Honesty without Debauchery (which provokes God's Judg­ments) are fittest for publick Imployment, and below Adora­tion cannot be too much magnified and applauded; yet good or­dinary parts with Diligence and Integrity, is much beyond the highest flowen parts without the other; and we find great things have been done, by such as have not otherwise exceeded than in Uprightness, Industry and Sincerity; for without these Vertues Men are but like the Devils, the worse for their Wit; and therefore of all Men, as to publick Imployments, Men of de­praved Principles are to be avoided, and they may infallibly be [Page 25] discovered, if formerly imployed by their Actions in those times; for if they have been wicked in one Reign, they will be the same in another; except there appear in them, a signal Testi­mony of Repentance and Reformation; and besides, they may be known by their Favourites; for he that makes choice of such for his Confidents, as are of Immoral Principles, formerly guil­ty of Injustice, Oppression and Cruelty, may well be concluded to be of the same Principles himself; for Birds of a Feather flock together, and that Proverb seldom fails, That a Man may be known by his Companion.

The Spirit of God saith, Take away the wicked from before the King, and his Throne shall be established in Righteousness; But our last Kings did so little regard this Divine Exhortation, that when the Commons in Parliament (who ought to be accounted good Judges of Mens fitness for State Imployment) have in discharge of their Duties, endeavoured to follow this Advice, by addressing against obnoxious persons; tho they were never so vile, it was the way to advance them in their Princes Favour, as Sibthorp and Manwaring, &c. to the dignifying and farther rewarding them with Pensions or places of Profit; and then to protect them by Adjournments, Prorogations or Dissolutions of Parliaments, to which we owe the diminution of our Glory abroad, and the exaltation of our lately become great Neigh­bour.

Now if any of these persons be in being, tho upon some ac­counts they may merit a pardon for former Crimes, it cannot an opportunity of acting over again, what they have been already guilty of, to the prejudice and danger of the Nation, but of being disabled of all farther Imployments, either Eccle­siastical, Civil or Military.

The Iniquity of the late times was so grear, that nothing that could help the introducing of Slavery was left unattempted, insomuch, that we owe our Deliverance meerly to the Provi­dence of God. The giving Power to the King, to levy Mony in the Interval of Parliaments upon emergent occasions, which he was to be Judge of, was projected by our Counsellors, for the perfecting our Slavery; and to get a Majority in the House to effect it, all ways possible were used; as the buying the Votes of Members of Parliament, by Pensions (the highest of Treasons in the Judgment of that great Oracle of the Law, Sir [Page 26] John Mainard) maintaining Tables at the publick Charge; managed by some Members of the House, that what could not be done by dry Mony, might be by Debauchery, highly odious, as well in the Executors as Designers; both proceed­ing from fordid, slavish and unmanly Principles: And so many Members had by these means listed themselves against Magna Charta, that had they not feared the selling of the Nation, would have proved the selling of their own Stipend or Wages, all had gone; which leaves us without being indebted in the least to our Trustees, for refusing to give us up to Arbi­trary Power and Popery. But I do not in this deny, but that there were a considerable number of worthy Patriots, that would rather have suffered death, than have sold the Rights and Privileges of their Country, (whose Names deserve to be writ in Letters of Gold to Posterity, whilst th' other to be ob­literated or marked with Infamy) had they not alas been over voted by a corrupt and depraved Party, which must raise the Indignation of all true freeborn Englishmen against those in the late times, that have had any hand in plotting, projecting or abetting the betraying of their Country, if still they continue the same Principles without remorse.

Besides the ways used, as is before mentioned, for the intro­ducing of Popery and Slavery, it may be observed, That where­as the Designs of good Queen Elizabeth were against the Pope and his Adherents, the Designs of our late Governors have been for him and his Friends. All the little tricks serviceable therein having been made use of; as the imposing Consuls upon our Merchants abroad, in places where they had never been be­fore, meerly at their charge, to gratifie and oblige to them the worst of Men; giving them Patents to levy Mony, under pre­tence of their Office, upon the Subjects without their consent, contrary to the fundamental Liberties of England, as was done at Amsterdam, &c. And the like vigorously endeavoured in behalf of a professed Papist at Roterdam, but by the suddenness of our Revolution they failed in that. And also another approach to Arbitrary Government, was the passing by the Rules, di­rected by the Law, for chusing Sheriffs for the Counties, and taking them at large, as might be most serviceable to unli­mited Will and Lust, &c. And such Practices as these were so many, as are hardly to be enumerated; and now having re­membred [Page 27] these, they with what goes before, and our League with France, for exalting him in order to his humbling and bring­ing us low, one may think are enough to render those times, and the Actors in them, odious and unfit for future Trust; nothing that comes from such, tho never so plausibly delivered, but the Integrity of it ought to be suspected: For as formerly they cryed out of 41 as a Scarecrow, that Notion being now worn thread-bare, they have taken up that of a Commonwealth and the care of the Church, to cousen the good People of this Nation into a jealousie of their best Friends, whilst their Ene­mies work their ruin; but it is hoped that experience hath made them wiser, than to be so imposed upon by misapplying of Names.

The Word Commonwealth, tho the Language of the Law was endeavoured to be made an obnoxious Character of all such as should speak of Law, or expect the benefit of it; and it is to be feared, that the same Projectors do aim at the same Design, in adding to the word Commonwealth, the Care of the Church; because a plausible Notion, when it is in no danger, except of reducing them to a more sober and vertuous Life and Conver­sation; otherwise they would think it for the honour of the Church, to have Men of Sobriety and Morality, accounted Mem­bers of it; and yet they will not allow any to be of the Church of England, tho such as were never at a separate Congregation in their Lives, and as ready and perfect in their Responses, as any Cathedral Man whatever, if free from Immorality, and for ruling according to Law.

But it is no wonder, that our Bigotted Churchmen (who are the only Men I mean) should be willing to forget Forty one, and in place thereof, to take up an outcry for Care of the Church; because about that time, the Committee for scandalous Ministers appointed by Parliament, discovered great Lewdness and Ignorance in many of the Clergy; and had not the War prevented their Proceedings, they had at that time, purged the whole Kingdom of insufficient, Popishly affected, superstitious and debauched Ministers; but having no Command over any, (by reason of the War) save such as were near hand; they could not receive Information from above six or seven Counties, which afforded them, according to my Information, not above three Centries; the first of which (having escaped the Flames [Page 28] of London) is to be bought at Mr. Millers, Bookseller near Paul's Church; by which it appears, they were so horridly scandalous, that the Parliament could not have exposed the Church; and therein the Bishops of those times, for want of care in their Vi­sitations, had not Complaints from Oxford, for having unjustly deprived them, forced the Parliament for their own Vindication, to make the Names of the particular Ministers with their Crimes known by publishing them in Print.

And if by the outcry of having a Care of the Church, is meant the having such another Inquisition, all sober Men will readily agree to it; and if in the time of Charles the First, of so cele­brated a memory for Piety, there was need of such an Inquiry into the Lives, Conversations, Popishly affected and Sufficiency of the Clergy; it may well▪ be thought much more needful, after the several Reigns of his two Sons; besides, if they be not prevented, they may as they have already begun, go on in taking upon them the Legislative Power, by farther Imposi­tions in the Worship of God: For though the Act for injoyn­ing the Book of Common Prayer forbids, both affirmatively and negatively, any other Method or Form of Service, Rights or Ceremonies than is there directed, they are great Non-Con­formists, in disobeying that rule, in several additions in ap­proach to Popery, as in their second Service, &c. as also in being superabundant to Popery, in endeavouring to make a supersti­tious fashion, to sit bare during Sermon, which is but a new thing in England, and not known in any other Christian Church; for tho the Papists are bare in their Church out of Service time, whom we indeavour to imitate in that circumstance, yet they are covered during Sermon, wherein we outgo them; the reason for which I leave to themselves, confessing I never un­derstood any for the one more than for th' other, and if it be objected, that our Church doth not command being bare during Sermon, yet they do it in making it uncivil to do otherwise. And the Minister of Finchly, not long since, caused one for be­ing covered, whilst he was in his Sermon, to be committed; who bringing his Action against the Justice, for false Imprison­ment, recovered good damages of him; which tho sufficient to prove the Churches Usurpation in this matter, they do not­withstanding go on in it, as a part of that new Popery former­ly intended by Laud, in his time.

[Page 29] This may perhaps be thought Severity upon the Church, but there is no general Rule without an Exception; and I believe there are many good Men to be herein excepted, tho the Genera­lity are guilty, and so bigotted, that there is no obliging them, or Quarter to to be had with them, by any, but such as them­selves; which is the unhappy Cause of our great Divisions at this time, especially in the City of London; and that which is worst of all, without Remedy, so long as nothing less than the Denial of Sense, Reason and Morality will be allowed by our Bi­gots, (the Persons I only complain of,) as the Conditions of Union and Conversation; and these following Instances may well be thought, in some measure, a proof hereof: As, The Lieutenancy refusing a Captain, because it was objected against him, that he had, sixteen Years before, heard that eminent Mi­nister of the Gospel, Mr. Jenkins, (now with God,) preach a Sermon: As another was refused by one of their Captains, be­ing his Lieutenant, for answering to the Question of What Mi­nister he heard? That he heard such an one, a moderate Church­man: Upon which he was told by the Captain, that Modera­tion would not serve at this time; and therefore rejected him, as not for his turn: Whereupon, the Party that should have been his Ensign being by, and hearing it, moved with Indigna­tion thereat, rejected him for his Immoderation, and denied to serve him; and all this since the Act of Toleration. But this Spirit reigns so violently in them, that they are now feared to be more ready than formerly, should they, by Sheriffs like them­selves be called upon Juries, to murther and undo, by false Verdicts, all that shall be known to own King William and Queen Mary to be King and Queen de Jure, as well as de Facto.

And now I leave Charles II. whose Council and Favourites left nothing undone, which might perfect the Destruction of Eng­land, save the Selling Tangier to the French; which that they did not do, is one of the Wonders of this Reign. There needs no other Character of this King, than his Answer to one, who de­siring him to have regard in his Deportment, to his Memory after Death, (viz.) That Let not Men speak ill of him whilst he lived, and he cared not what they should say of him when he was dead.

How he was taken away is in the dark, but vilely suspected: His Successor may be said not to be so Godless as he, tho not less cruel; but from what Principle is not to be determined, unless [Page 30] it was from being both equal as to Fear, from whence Cruelty doth generally proceed. I know, all the ill things done by the eldest Brother, is ordinarily laid to the Charge of the younger; where­in I differ from that common Opinion, believing that Charles II. was never imposed upon by James II. but the first having the Master-wit, and with it great Cunning, was willing his Brother should have the Name of any thing offensive to the People, when even it was that himself desired most to have done. And thus ends the Reign of Charles II. whose Practices for arriving at Ar­bitrary Power and Popery appear, in some degrees, over and above what is before mentioned, by the Affidavits hereunto an­nexed, with Captain Wilkinson's Information; which shew the Subornation of Perjury to have been used by his Ministers, for taking away the Lives of Innocent Men.

James II. who succeeded his Brother Charles II. sending two Men to Amsterdam, when Duke of York, to burn their Ships in Har­bour; who being taken, and at Execution confessing the Fact, it sticks much upon him in that Country, as do several other Actions in this, which, for the sake of his vertuous Successors, ought to be forgot, were it not necessary to give some Hints, for the vindication of the present Government, and justifying the late King's Abdication. The Burning of London, and the many Fires since at St. Katherines, and Southwark, &c. belonged without doubt, to the Popish Plot; and how far the then Duke of York was concerned therein, Coleman's Letters, in print, in some kind shew.

But to pass by all other things before his coming to the Crown, he no sooner arrived at the Throne, than he declared himself a Papist; a Name (in favour of that Religion) out of fashion ever since the Restoration; but being the Language of the Law, I think fittest to be used. At his first appearing in Council after his Brother's Death, which was as quick as could be, he pro­mised to rule according to Law; and yet, in two or three Days after, commanded by Proclamation the Payment of Customs, be­fore given by Parliament, which is contrary to Law; and from that time forward went on in the same way, going publickly to Mass the first Lord's Day, of which Religion the bigotted Church­men (who will never believe any thing till it be too late) would not before own him to be.

[Page 31] His Brother died on the Friday, and Saturday-seven-nights af­ter was in the Evening privately buried. Before the Burial he knighted Sir Peter Rich, and soon after did the same by Sir Roger L' Estrange, and made Sir George Jeoffreys a Baron; none of which three, as may be observed, would King Charles II. so far digni­fie, tho he had made them his Tools to serve the worst of Turns. The now Sir Dudley North was knighted in his Sheriffalty, and possibly for the sake of his Family; for Sir Peter Rich, his Part­ner, who joyned with him in appointing the Jury that found my good Lord Russel guilty, and brought him to Execution, was passed by till James II. came to the Crown, and judged him wor­thy of the Honour of Knighthood.

This King called immediately a Parliament, and thought he had by his Influence so pack'd one, that there were not thirty Members that would not do as they were bid. They gave him great Supplies of Mony, and were as severe against the Duke of Monmouth, as himself was by his Instruments, Kirk and Jeoffreys, against all in the West, supposed to be of his Party; contrary to the Mercy of former Times, when the Suffering of a few attoned for the rest. But when Popery came upon the Stage, this Par­liament would not serve the turn; which caused the Adjourning and Proroguing of it from time to time, hoping in the Intervals to have moulded it to his purpose; but that not succeeding, at last he dissolved it, and then betook himself to Popish Counsel, Petre the Jesuit bing made one of his Council, and of his Cabal, not only contrary to Law, but also to the practice of most, if not all other Popish Princes. For tho the Jesuits make it their Design to skrue themselves so far into the Favour of Princes, as to become their Confessors, that having Opportunity of infusing wicked Principles into them, and by knowing their Secrets, may have the greater Advantage of doing Mischief; yet are sel­dom or never admitted Members of their Councils. The wise Venetians banished them their Territories, for their pernicious Principles, until, in requital of the Pope's assisting them in their Wars against the Turks, they were received into the City of Ve­nice, Anno 1664. but are by the People, who hate them, very inviduously looked upon there. Nay, Rome is so jealous of their Immorality, (as may be presumed) that they rarely admit of above two, or three at most, to be at one time of the Consistory, the Pope's Council, which consists of Seventy two Cardinals, when all are there, which is seldom, or never.

[Page 32] These Men hurried this King into all Extravagances, and the highest Invasion of the Rights and Liberties of the People that had ever been attempted. The Corrupting of our Mercenary Judges, to the making any thing Law he would have, for taking away the Lives of innocent Men at his pleasure, and giving him the Dispensing Power: The setting up extrajudicially Ecclesiastical Commissioners, to turn Men out of their Free-holds at their plea­sure; as at Magdalen-College in Oxford: The erecting Popish Schools, Chapels, Convents and Seminaries; all expresly against Law: The Breach of his repeated Promises, and Coronation-Oath: These, I say, were all but Trifles, compared to his per­sonal Endeavours of overturning our Foundations, in going from Town to Town, to discourage those Magistrates that would not engage to send such Members to the Parliament, (he then in­tended,) as would repeal the Test and Penal Laws, and cajole those that would: His turning out the Mayor and best of the Al­dermen of York, and chusing Papists in their room, had not the Commission been defective as to the filling those empty Places; so that that City was without a Mayor, till His present Majesty restored them to their Rights: As also his Commissionating others, under the Name of Regulators, to reform (as they call­ed it) other Corporations; and all to the End of having the Test removed, (the only Obstacle,) that the Way might be open for an entire Popish Parliament, who would have been sure, in twelve Months time, to have made new Laws against all Dissenters from Popery, and have persecuted them for the same with Fire and Fagot.

As to the propounding an Equivalent, or a new Magna Char­ta for establishing Liberty of Conscience, which should be unal­terable, that was so vain and idle, as could not expect Belief or Regard from any, save Men of little Wit or Prospect; for it ever will be, as it ought to be, in the power of succeeding Par­liaments, to repeal the Acts of former: And therefore, tho the King might promise he would not consent, during his Time, to any Alteration, he could not promise so much for his Successors; and farther, as to himself, his Steadiness to his Engagement here­in (after Breach of his Coronation-Oath, and re-iterated Pro­mises of Ruling according to Law) might well be suspected. Besides, had he really intended to make good his Promise, the Church of Rome (which, by his own Principles, is his Superiour) [Page 33] would have forbid it: And he that is not ignorant of their mur­thering Doctrin and Practices, in case of Disobedience, durst not have disobeyed, for fear of a Dose, or a Fig. So that it is no less to be admired that the Papists should make such ridiculous Propositions to a knowing Protestant People, as that there should be found any among them who would give heed to the least thing of this nature, coming from their implacable Enemies. There were in a few Days two Proclamations of Pardon pub­lished, the latter excepting some that had been pardoned by the former, when the Parties being beyond the Sea, could not be guilty of new Transgressions, not hearing of the one before the other, the distance of Time being too little; and, as it is said, one or both was not sealed, designedly neglected by Jeoffreys, that Engine of Cruelty, and Monster of Impudence. Nay, it is said, that the King, upon hearing of the Prince of Orange's Ex­pedition for England, ordered the Restoration of the Fellows of Magdalen-College in Oxford; and upon the News of his Disaster at Sea, gave presently contrary Order. All which is a clear De­monstration of his Principles, and how little his Promises or Pardons are to be relied upon.

The Arts and Tricks his Predecessors had made use of, for Op­pression and Injustice, (as by Innuendo's, &c.) to take away the Lives and Estates of honest Men, were by his blood-thirsty Instruments illegally improved; as the Deaths of Alderman Cor­nish, and Mr. Charles Bateman, and the barbarous and inhumane Proceedings against Dr. Oates, do sufficiently evince; he having been, without President, so cruelly and unmercifully used, as may charitably be concluded, was intended by that way to have murthered him, because they could not have the least Colour of Law for doing it otherwise; and that he out-lived the Barbarity of it, he hath reason to acknowledge a Miracle of Mercy from God, and for it walk thankfully before him all the Days of his Life. But besides this, this whole Reign was no less than Vio­lence and Cruelty, as appears by excepting about One hundred and eighty Persons by Name, out of his Pardon, upon the Duke of Monmouth's Invasion; and by Qualifications, scarce any that were not professed Papists, or as bad, were left unquestionable; especially if ever they had crossed the Seas, by that Exception of all Treasons beyond the Seas. Some of those excepted were Girls at School, from seven, to ten Years of Age, for giving Ribbonds [Page 34] to a few of the Duke's Soldiers; and they, with the rest, were, by Order from the King and Council, prosecuted for Rebels, by the King's Envoys Extraordinary with the States General, up­on pretence of their Articles of Peace. To that End, supposing them all to be fled into their Countries, and the Faith of the Nation being engaged for the truth of it by the Envoys Averment thereof, the States not thinking it decent to question the Validity of the Ac­cusation, gave Sentence of Banishment, upon pain of Death, a­gainst the whole Number, (save two or three that had bought their Pardons, the Children being included,) that should come into their Territories: Yet had all that was in any of the Coun­tries under their Dominions been brought to a Trial; it was but a few which had been with the Duke of Monmouth that could have been found guilty of Rebellion, according to the Process; however, could they by this Means have got them all sent home, they would there, right or wrong, have been murthered, as was Sir Thomas Armstrong. But the Injustice of this ought to reflect only upon the King's evil Council, for the Violation of the Faith of the Nation with a Foreign State, (which ought to be sacred;) and not upon the States for giving Credit to the Information, which, according to the Rules of Nations, ought to have been authentick; and being false, it was highly injurious to the States, of which, had they known, they might well have complained: But the King, for the Immorality of it, &c. hath received his Reward, (tho the rest escape,) in a just Abdication; and we the Benefit, by an happy Exchange for the better: The Lord grant we may not sin away our Mercies.

After twenty eight Years industrious Endeavours to debauch the Nation by wicked, profane and Atheistical Examples, which prevail more with corrupt Nature than Precepts, this King, who by adding of Papists in all Employments, having brought the Judges, Garisons, Sheriffs and Justices of the Peace throughout all the Nation to his devotion, and got a standing Army of Six and thirty thousand Horse and Foot, every way well accommo­dated, wanting nothing in the Eye of Reason, we were left with­out the least hopes of Recovery, the help of Man seeming to be in vain; but then, when he said in his Heart, All was his own, and none should control him, it pleased God in his Providence, for the Good of his People, to infatuate him, in setting up a sup­posititious Prince of Wales, to dis-inherit his own Children, and [Page 35] the Heirs to the Crown; which when nothing else in humane Prospect could have done it, this opened the Eyes of all sober Protestants, to the seeing his Design of leaving us and our Poste­rity under Popish Idolatry and Thraldom; from whence arose an Agreement for forcing him to rule according to Law, as he was by Oath obliged; which causing him to abdicate the Govern­ment, in running away, and applying himself to the great Ty­rant of the Earth for Help, gave the People the Opportunity of asserting their natural Right, in providing for their own Securi­ty, by chusing King William and Queen Mary for their rightful and legal Sovereigns, whom the Lord in Mercy bless with a long and prosperous Reign over us; and whilst we give due Honour to the Instruments, let us not forget ascribing the Praise and Glo­ry due to Almighty God, as the Author and Principal of our Deliverance, and have always in a thankful Remembrance this, and all other his saving Providences towards this poor Nation, through several Reigns and Ages.

Whilst the Church of England was under Persecution in the Persons of the Bishops, the President of Magdalen-College in Cambridge, and the President and Fellows of Magdalen-College in Oxford, they were full of Compassion and Brotherly Kindness towards Dissenters, and ready to joyn with them for Redress of Grievances, by the help of the Prince of Orange, now King of England, &c. but were no sooner freed from their Fears of being superceded by Priests and Jesuits, than headed by some who stood in need of a Party to render them considerable, that thereby they might blot out the Remembrance of former Crimes; than they forgot former Professions of Moderation, and the Afflictions of their Brethren; and to that degree, that they caballed for in­creasing their Burthens, and monopolizing all Employments to themselves, by continuing the Sacramental Test, though to the fatal detriment of the Kingdom; for had not that Bar for trust­ing Dissenters been in the way, Ireland (in the Opinion of those that best know that Country) might e'er this have been reduced, to the saving most of the Blood and Treasure that hath been spent upon it; and I fear, the Blood so needlesly spilt will lie at their Doors that were the Authors of it.

It was the Dissenters that saved London-Derry, and in that pre­served Ireland; for tho by the Artifice of some eminent Confor­mists, the Honour was ascribed to Mr. Walker and his Party, (for [Page 36] which he got a Reward he did not deserve,) it appears by the Narrative of that Siege, writ by Mr. Mackenzy, Chaplain to a Regiment during the Siege, and writ with that Candour and Faithfulness as carries its Testimony with it, the Applause and Reward belonged to the Dissenters; for even the Answer to this Book, in behalf of Mr. Walker, doth no way detect, but rather gives it Credit: But Mr. Walker being dead, I shall forbear all farther Reflections upon him, he having been a good-natured Man, and what he did amiss being from the influence of others: He confessed there were four Nonconformists in the Town for one Conformist; and some say, eight for one; but the Authority being in the Church-men, who were timerous, if not worse, you will find by Mr. Mackenzey's Relation, that it was the Mobile, who were Dissenters, that saved the Place, against the Will of the rest.

Now I suppose I may be censured, as being discontented for want of Employment, as not being able to qualifie my self. To which I answer, That those that know me, know I never sought any Employment; and if I had, I have a Latitude to qualifie my self: So that I may truly affirm, that what I here write, proceeds purely from Affection to my Country, and the Cause of God.

The Town of London-Derry was at last relieved, and as is said, might have been six Weeks sooner, with less difficulty, and the saving of four or five thousand Lives, which in that time died of Famine. After the Relief of it, Collonel Murrey and thirteen Troops of Horse, who had done the greatest Service in defending of the Town, were reduced, and greatly suspected, for no other Reason than because Dissenters, and free from De­bauchery; tho we may observe, that after Relief of the Town, little of moment was done, till His Majesty's happy Arrival, save what was done by those called Inniskilling-men, who tho not all Dissenters, are much of their Judgment, Friends to them, and joyned with them; which one would think, might have re­commended the rest of that sort to Employment in these diffi­cult Times.

I do not aim herein at reflecting upon the Conformists in ge­neral, for it must be confessed that there are many sober, ver­tuous and religious Persons of that Judgment, as London hath experienced, in being, contrary to what was designed by others, [Page 37] providentially preserved by them, as appears by the Opposition the present worthy and most deserving Lord Mayor hath met with from those that were Hectors for delivering up of Charters, and joyning with Jeffreys, &c. in all Arbitrary and Tyrannical Ways; and for no other Reason that we know, than for his be­ing, next under God, and Her Majesty, by his wise Conduct in the Absence of the King, the Preserver of this City and Nation in Peace and Safety; for his Opposers were no sooner delivered by the Act of Grace from fear of Punishment for former Crimes, than they returned with the Dog to his Vomit, and with the Swine to the wallowing in the Mire of their corrupt Principles; insomuch, that I think one may, without breach of Charity, say, That there is none, who are not guilty of great ignorance, that is for turning out the present Lord Mayor, but such as would, if they could, turn out the King.

But I would not be understood in this, to complain of any, save the Bigots of the Church, such as will not allow of any to be of their number; who have Charity for those that are not of their Communion, and have not the same Latitude in all Immorality, as they have even to the taking away the Lives and Estates of innocent Men, that are not of their minds, by false Verdicts, when it shall be in their power; and that they may reach their own Members, that exceed them in Vertue and Sobriety, they nickname them with the Name of Common­wealths Men; for since, they cannot call them Drunkards, Swearers nor Whoremasters, they will call them something, to render them, as they think, odious to the People; and tho they have reason to know, that from the experience, the People have had, of their Integrity and Uprightness they are not be cozened by injurious Names; yet from Machivel's Rule, That by calumniating boldly, something will stick, they continue their Reproach, tho contrary to sense or reason. Every En­glishman, that is not Knave or Fool, being as much a Common­wealths Man, as those they mean, who are no more for a Re­publick, than Magna Charta makes them.

But it hath had this effect, to hinder the most useful Men from serving their King and Country, to the great damage of both, if it prove not their destruction; in keeping up the way for advancing Folly, Ignorance and Knavery, by a bare restrain­ing the choice of Officers to one Party, which, if continued, [Page 38] must undo this Kingdom. And for preventing the same, it were to be wished, that as in a great measure, the Bigots of the Church have had the Conduct of Affairs this two years, with ill success; that the moderate Men of all sides might be tryed, whe­ther Affairs will prosper better in their hands: By moderate Men, I mean those of both Judgments; that are free from gross and open Scandal, which are the persons upon whose endeavours, we may most reasonably expect a Blessing from God; for from the contrary qualifications, it is not to be hoped. And there­fore, till Men of Religious, or at least, Moral Principles, who shall serve their King and Country, not from self-ends, but from a true zeal for Civil as well as Religious Liberty, be imployed, (as such are to be had) it cannot be expected that England should prosper; for common Swearers, Drunkards, Whore-ma­sters, who impudently carry their Whores into the Field and to Sea, to corrupt, by their Examples, the People; nor those for King William, as King de facto only, will ever do the Work. And the Bigots of the Church cannot with so much reason, call those of their own Communion, Dissenters; because they have Christian Charity for Non-Conformists, as they themselves may be called of the Church of Rome, for declaring they had rather be Papists than Presbyterians, as many of them do; when their difference with the Papists, is upon fundamentals, which con­cerns their Salvation; and with the Presbyterians, by their own Confession, but about things indifferent, which ought not to be imposed, according to that Scripture; For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay upon you no greater burthens than these ne­cessary things. Acts 15. ver. 28.

And farther, to inforce this Argument, (which I know will be little regarded by Church-Bigots and Formalists) it is to be observed, that it was, until the King's Arrival in Ireland, those of Religious Principles, there, as also in Scotland and Piemont, that hath done any thing of moment; and it is not without strong suspicion, that those two excellent Gentlemen, Lieutenant Col. Cleland and Major Henderson was deserted, who to save the Life of their Country, lost their own; and that the relieving of Lon­donderry in Ireland, was delayed, both in design to reduce those over-sober Men, as of too vertuous Examples for those Times: And as to Savoy, that Duke whose Family hath from all Antiqui­ty been great Persecutors, is now come totally off from that [Page 39] Hellist and Devilish Principle, in usurping the Prerogative of God, who only hath dominion over the Conscience, and is wil­ling to receive the Assistance of his reformed Subjects without debarring them by a Sacramental Test, the benefit of which he hath already sufficiently experienced. And to this may be added, the Example of Spain, as a warning to all of undepraved sense, to avoid Persecution upon account of Religion; for that Coun­try when under Paganism, Mahometism, with a mixture of Jewdaism, was populous, rich and flourishing, beyond all or most Countries, is now under Christianity, by Persecution become dispeopled, beggerly and of little account, compared to others formerly of no consideration to them. And it may be foretold, that our great Neighbour, who by Liberty in Religion first raised himself to that height he is now arrived at, shall by his late contrary actings, lose his Grandure, have all his Honour laid in the dust, and brought as low as he is now great.

I think no sober person, but will after the perusal hereof, own our two last Reigns to have been cruel, unjust and op­pressive to the last degree; and that such Guilt could not be con­tracted, by our Kings, without Instruments imployed by them, who by Law are answerable for miscarriages in Government. And as Oppression is a crying Sin, that pulls down Gods Judg­ments upon a People, if not repented and reformed; so there is a Duty incumbent upon us, to answer the Rebukes we have lately met with from God in our Affairs, by a speedy and thorough Reformation, not deferring it till times of Peace; the want of Reformation being generally the occasion of War: And God seems to call for it, by the little use he hath made of our Immoralists, either at Sea or Land, other than as a scourge for our Sins. His Majesty hath a great Reputation for a professed Enemy to Swearing, Drinking and Cheating, &c. And if those, whose Calling makes it their Duty to promote Reformation, be the Obstructers of it, Flattery, which never proceeds from a sincere Heart, will not defend them against the Almighty; to whom I leave them, with putting them in mind, that an Instance might be given of a Reformation that was made in the height of a War, which never had success till then.

The way to appease God's Wrath, is to inquire after Men of debauched Lives, and avoid them; after the Authors and Abet­tors of our former Grievances, cause Restitution to be made to [Page 40] sufferers, by those that did the Wrong; and to disable, for the future, all Offenders therein from bearing any Office, either in Church or State, in whom doth not appear, a true change in practice, and espousing honest Principles, to the end, they may have no more opportunity for acting their Mischiefs over again.

The Lord seems to have done his part in punishing the Prin­cipal, leaving the Instruments to us; for it may be reasonably thought, that had it not been for evil Counsellors, our Kings could not alone have projected or endeavoured the ruin of our Nation by introducing Popery and Slavery, as was without contradiction intended.

By what goes before, together with what may be farther ob­served, it will appear, that the Preservation of our Rights and Liberties hath to a miracle, been solely from the Providence of God, viz.

1. That the late King James, in favour of Popery, should set up a supposititious Prince of Wales to disinherit his own Chil­dren, and all the Heirs of the Crown; whereby he alienated the Hearts of the People, when nothing less could have done it, was a great Providence.

2. The King (when Prince of Orange) his disaster at Sea, upon his first setting sail, causing the late King James's recalling his Order, for restoring the Fellows of Magdalen College in Oxford, was a Providence, in that he thereby convinced the People, that there was no relying upon his Promises, which be­fore they were ready to do.

3. That when the Prince was designed for the North, he should change his Course, for the West, where the Wind and Weather was miraculously serviceable to him, was a saving Pro­vidence.

4. That the late King James's Naval Fleet which might with ease have destroyed the Fly-Boats, which transported the Prince's Army, and did not do it, was a signal Providence.

5. That the late King James deserted his Army at Salisbury, when half of it was more than sufficient, to have fought the Prince, was a Providence not to be forgot.

6. That the late King James abdicated the Government, when otherwise, we must have been all in Blood, some of the chief of the City shewing so much fondness of him, that with speed [Page 41] they with Tears for Joy, congratulated his Return after his first leaving of the Town, was a Mercy.

7. That London-Derry, a little insignificant place without re­gular Fortifications, should with so much Misery and Hardship defend themselves; and in that, preserve Ireland against the late King, who was said to have 60000 Men in Arms, and to lose 8000 before it; and this done by the Mobile, headed by some honest Officers against the good Will of those in Authority, was a Providence, which in after Ages will hardly be believed.

8. That the French had surprized us, whilst at anchor, had not the Wind providentially turned to our preservation, was a Mercy that ought not to be forgot.

9. That the French should not understand the advantage Tor­rington gave them at Sea, in retreating before them; and that they should neglect the opportunity of intercepting, at the Mouth of the Channel, our several Fleets of Merchants Ships, then expected from several Parts of the World, and no care taken by us for their Preservation, was an unexpressible Provi­dence. For if those Fleets had miscarried, the trading Party of the Nation had, in a great measure, been ruined: So that upon the whole, we may say, we have been preserved by the Providence of God, against our own Wills, whether we will or no. But this miraculous Deliverance gives us no Warrant to rely upon Miracles for our Preservation, but is a Caution to us for the future, to be careful in the choice of Officers of Trust.

I know it is ordinarily pleaded, in the behalf of Favourites to Princes, That the Complaints against them are from Envy, and not Justice; but in contradiction to that, it may be an­swered, that the Counsellors to good Queen Elizabeth, were, for ought we find, free from all Complaints by the People in Parliament. Nay, Lester, who had much of the Queens Ear, being an ill Man, or none of the best, could not influence her in what was not good; nor prevent her Reproofs, when guilty of Mis­carriages, which obviated Parliaments Complaints. And I think, it may be relyed upon, that the Commons in Parliament will ne­ver complain of any, who seek not themselves, but the good and true Interest of King and Country. And as the ways for Kings to gain Love and Honour, and be in Safety, is to make the Law their Rule, and not as the two last Kings, without regard to [Page 42] their Coronation Oath, setting all Law aside, and acting Ar­bitrarily; as in their pricking of Sheriffs for the Counties, not out of those presented to them, as the Law directs, but taking them at large, as they please or corrupt Interest directs. For to govern well, (which is a Security beyond Arms, Oaths or all the tricks of ill Men and Favourites) so it is the Interest of Favorites, tho they seldom believe it, to make publick Interest equal (if not superior) to their own private; for we do not find, the Families raised formerly, by evil Counsel given to their Princes, to have been of long continuance.

Our Divisions at present are deplorable, and far be it from me to desire the widening of them; but they may be said to a­rise from Selfishness in the Clergy, and some Criminals, who joyned with them, to make a Party for their own particular In­terest and Preservation, against the true Interest and Sense of vertuous and honest Men; so that in this distracted condition we are divided into those for the present King, and those for the Abdicated King; these latter being irreconcilable to all that are not of their Opinion, and the former subdivided into those that are professedly for King William, as King de Jure, and those for him only as King de Facto; whereby the latter making the King no better than an Usurper, must themselves be little less than Jacobites, whose Actings gives us cause to have sad Thoughts of Heart, in seeing some of the late ways or proceedings put in practice with improvement.

I do not remember, any formerly taken up and imprisoned, without pretended Proof of some Crime against them, or at least of pretended great Suspicion; but of late, we had Persons freest from suspect, first seized, and then their Studies and Writings searched, to get matter to justifie the Seizure; which leaves all Men unsafe, as well in reference to their Estates (from the danger their Writings are thereby in) as in reference to their Liberty. And herein they shewed their Spleen against such as are for the present King, as King de Jure; for of any other Crime, one lately imprisoned, could not be suspected, having expres­sed himself, sufficiently in Print, against a Commonwealth, a Notion out of hatred to Liberty (our natural Right) lately started, to render all those obnoxious, that are for Common Freedom. Our ancient Government, according to Law, know­ing, that in a corrupt and factious Age, the honestest things may [Page 43] be blasted by misapplying of Names, as in calling Evil, Good; and Good, Evil; Disloyalty, Loyalty; and Loyalty, Disloyalty, &c. And this, whilst de Facto Men can hardly (in some Mens Opinion) offend in any thing they do or say. But his Majesty, being now through Mercy, returned in Health and Safety from Ireland, we hope, that Men sincerely honest, real and faithful to him, without reserve, in reference to any Pretender, will be as well in Security, as Enemies, or those that are no farther for his Interest, than may render them meritorious. Should the Abdicated King return, from which good Lord deliver us, and from all such, whose Design is to justifie the two last Reigns, by disowning any Fault in them (save the endeavour of intro­ducing of Popery, of which they make the King soly guilty) that by his Instruments and such like, they may the more plau­sibly play the same Game over again.

As there is no perfection in this World, so there is nothing good, but as it is compared with worse. The Reign of good Queen Eliz. who was a true Lover of her People and Country, may per­haps be liable to some exceptions; but being a Reign of glorious Actions, of impartial Justice, not murthering and otherwise un­doing innocent Men by corrupt Juries, Judges and suborned Wit­nesses; so free from tricks for plundering the Subjects Purses to spend viciously and profusely, to make a Party for Arbitrary Government, that when Mony hath been given her for cer­tain Occasions, the Cause being taken away, she returned the Mony to her Subjects. This Reign, I say, compared to the four succeeding Reigns, chargeable with all that is contrary to these Excellencies, may comparatively be reckoned perfect.

The Counsellors and Favorites of this great Queen may have had some Errors in Politicks, tho unknown to me; yet having made the end of all their Counsels, the Honour, Prosperity, Safety and joynt Interest of the Queen and Country without se­parating them; I say, those Counsellors and Favorites compared with those of the four last Reigns, whose Counsels and Actions have been diametrically opposite to theirs, may comparatively be said to have been unblameable.

Tho the Church, in good Queen Elizabeths Time, never want­ed some of persecuting Spirits, yet those being over-ballanced by the Piety and Zeal of some of the then Guides of the Church, not incouraging the Profanation of the Lord's Day, nor dis­couraging [Page 44] Preaching twice upon that Day, nor yet putting down Weekly or Monthly Lectures. Tho that Reign may be said, not to have been totally free from profligate and ill Peo­ple; the generality was sober and vertuous, compared to the succeeding Reigns, especially the two last, so overrun with De­bauchery and all manner of Profaness.

And now, being freed from the Grievances of the four last Reigns, it might be expected, that all should hate the remem­brance of those Times, and never more hanker after the like; the doing of which cannot proceed from any thing less, than in some, a depraved, slavish Nature, delighting in the Barbarity of the Eastern Countries: In some well meaning honest Men, from Ignorance, not understanding their true Interest; in o­thers, from a hatred to common Freedom, being content to be tyrannized over by their Superiors, so they may but do the same over their Inferiors: And in others, who understand the true Interest of the Nation, from preferring an Opportunity of cozening, cheating and advancing themselves to Honours and Dignities to all other Considerations whatever. And from hence, together with Selfishness and want of Integrity in some, professing Honesty, thereby deceiving the weak and credulous, whilst they pursue their own Interest without regard to the Publick, proceeds the Misery of Mankind.

I take no pleasure in remembring the Vices and Enormities of our Country, but am greatly troubled to hear of the horrid Debauchery, that is amongst us; and to observe, how this Na­tion is degenerated from a Land formerly famous for Piety, to that, of all manner of Profaness, against which, I have thought it my Duty, thus to bear my Testimony.

The Information of Thomas Samson, Gent. taken upon Oath before Sir Thomas Alleyn, Kt. and Bt. one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the City of London, this 24th Day of November, Anno 1681. at Seven of the Clock in the Morning.

Who saith,

THAT John Mac-Namarra told this Deponent, that Ed­ward Ivy and Bryan Haynes agreed together, in April last, to swear Treason against the Earl of Shaftsbury; and the Bill be­ing [Page 45] found against the said Earl, that they, with John Smith and Turberfeild, did intend to swear Treason against Sir Patient Ward, Sir Robert Clayton, Sir Thomas Player, Sheriff Bethel, Col. Mildmay, and all others as should come in as Witnesses against their De­signs, or in the behalf of the abovesaid Gentlemen. The Trea­son which they designed to swear against the said Earl was, ‘That the Earl should say, that our King deserved to be de­throned more than Richard II. and that the said Earl would dethrone the King, and make England a Commonwealth.’

This Deponent farther saith, That the said Mac-Namarra told this Deponent the 28th of July last, that Edward Ivy had often Conference with Mrs. Cellier, and the Popish Priests in Newgate, and had received Mony to sham the Popish Plot, and to swear to a Protestant one.

This Deponent farther saith, That the said Mac-Namarra, two Days before he went to Oxford, to Colledge's Trial, told this Deponent, that he knew the Design against the Protestants, and that he would say something against them, to please Justice Walcop, to get some Mony: But he, God damn him, if he knew of any Treasons by any Protestants, or knew of any Plot but the Popish Plot, or if he ever would swear to any such thing: And at the said Mac-Namarra's Return from Oxford; he swore the same to this Deponent, in the presence of others.

This Deponent farther saith, That the said Mac-Namarra told this Deponent, that he the said Mac-Namarra had been often with the Earl of Shaftsbury, with Haynes and Ivy; but this Depo­nent telling him that the said Earl never discoursed any alone, the said Mac-Namarra told this Deponent, that the Occasion of their speaking with him was, for that they discovered to him the said Earl, some Persons that intended to murther him; Mac-Namarra saying, that himself and Ivy took distaste for that the Earl would not discourse them alone; in as much as Ivy there­fore contrived to swear High Treason against the said Earl.

This Deponent farther saith, That Mr. Turberfeild told this Deponent, at the Sign of the Cock, by the Pall-Mall, two or three Days before Colledge's Trial, of this Design against Prote­stants, but, with solemn Protestations, swore that he knew no­thing of any Treasons against the Earl of Shaftsbury, the Lord Howard, or any Protestants; only of Colledge's idle Words, and of Rowse's keeping the Charity of the City from the Evidences.

[Page 46] This Deponent farther saith, That on the 23d of September last, John Smith, Stephen Dugdale and Turberfeild sent for this De­ponent, to the Three-Tun-Tavern in Hungerford-Market, and there drinking, the said Smith began the Duke of York's Health: He swore, God damn him, he drank his Health because he was a Papist, and therefore he loved him.

This Deponent farther saith, That the Mony which was ga­thered in the City, for the Maintenance of the Evidence, was gathered on their Petition to the Common Hall, and by the Evi­dences special Instance to the Lord Shaftsbury, and others, to in­terceed for them to the City, it being directed to the City, by the House of Commons, to take care of them, until the Parlia­ment sate again, and procured a Maintenance for them.

This Deponent farther saith, That the Answer which John Mac-Namarra made, on Oath, to the Grand Jury, at Rowse's Trial, viz. being questioned how he was maintained? Who answered, that he then rented 100 l. per Annum in Ireland, was false.

And Edward Ivy at the same time saying on his Oath, that he came not over to England to discover the Popish Plot, was also false; for that he had 20 l. allowed him by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland for the same. And whereas the said Ivy then swore, that What Information he made, touching the Popish Plot, was di­ctated to him by the Earl of Shaftsbury, and that a Reward for the Swearing of it was promised by Rowse, was also false; for that this Deponent saw the Information in the said Ivy's Hands before he knew, as he said, the said Earl, or Rowse, and the Day after he came to Town.

This Deponent farther saith, That himself, with others, have heard Dennis Mac-Namarra say, that he would swear any thing that his Brother John would have him to swear.

And this Deponent farther saith, That the Earl of Shaftsbury advised this Deponent, Mac-Namarra and Ivy, not to go to Oxford, until the Parliament sent for them to give their Evi­dence touching the Popish Plot; and, on our Request, the said Earl promised that he would move for Mony to bear our Charges thither, and to supply our great Necessities.

This Deponent farther saith, That Justice Walcop often solli­cited him, with Promises of Reward, to be an Evidence against the Earl of Shaftsbury, and others of the City; and that John Mac-Namarra told this Deponent, that the said Justice Walcop did the same with him.

[Page 47] This Deponent farther saith, That he hath not, to his Know­ledge, received any Mony of the City, or borrowed any, to the value of Five Pounds, since the Parliament at Oxford, or had any Reward for making this Affidavit; but hath done it to satisfie his Conscience, and to prevent any that should swear falsly against himself, or others: And farther saith, that he is no Pe­titioner to the City. To all which this Deponent swears parti­cularly, the precise Days only excepted.

Tho. Samson.

The Information of William Shewen, Jun. of the Parish of St. Mary Magdalen Bermonsey, in the County of Surrey, aged Twenty Years, or thereabouts, as followeth.

THIS Informant maketh Oath, That on Thursday, the 9th Day of this Instant Month of August, 1681. he being acci­dentally in the Company of Mr. John Mac-Namarra, Mr. Peacock, (whom they called Alderman of Durham,) and Mrs. Teresia Pea­cock, his Daughter, (who was Fitz-Harris's Maid,) Mr. Everard, Mr. Moubrey, and others, at Godfrey's Musick-house, in Lamb's-Conduit-Fields, in the County of Middlesex, and they occasionally falling into Discourse concerning Mr. Mac-Namarra's marrying Mrs. Peacock, the aforesaid Mac-namarra told this Informant, that his Reason for marrying her was, that he might get a new Race of Evidences, against the Old should fail.

And this Informant farther saith, That the aforesaid Persons then discoursing together concerning Mrs. Peacock's Marriage-Portion, Mr. Peacock, Father of the said Teresia Peacock, clap­ping her on the Back, said, Girl, I am the chiefest Evidence, and thou the second; and there will be 100 l. apiece for us to swear home at Oxford, (having been discoursing before concerning Colledge,) and thou shalt have them both, and I will settle 100 l. a Year more on thee. To which Mr. Mac-Namarra, Mr. Roger Godfrey, and Mr. William Godfrey (upon this Informant's asking them, if Mr. Pea­cock was a Man of an Estate) answered, that he rather stayed in Town to get part of his Daughter's Mony, than to give her any thing.

And this Informant farther saith, That Mr. Turberfeild and Mr. Mac-Namarra then told this Informant, that they had Pen­sions, [Page 48] as well as Oates; and said, that was no sign of small Re­spect to their Evidence; and that they received them at Sir Lyo­line Jenkins's House. And this Informant farther saith, that he had several times seen them go into the Secretary's House, and once saw Haynes coming thence. And farther this Informant saith, that on the 10th Day of this Instant August, the said Mac-namarra coming to this Informant's Lodgings, at the Golden Posts at Charing-Cross, this Informant enquired of Mac-Namarra where­fore he went so often to Sir Lioline Jenkins's House? Upon which, Mac-namarra put his Hand to his Pocket, and shaked his Mony, making no other Answer.

And this Informant farther saith, That afterwards, viz. on Thursday, the 11th of August, he being in the Company of Mr. Eve­rard, Turberfeild, John Mac-Namarra, John Smith, Mr. Haynes, and Captain Barry, at the House of the aforesaid Roger Godfrey, at the Golden Posts at Charing-Cross; the said Persons discoursing concern­ing their going for Oxford, about Colledge's Trial, this Informant asking them what they thought of Colledge, they generally answer­ed, that they questioned not but they should get him hanged.

And this Informant farther saith, That then and there the Com­pany falling into Discourse of Slingsby Bethel, Esq one of the pre­sent Sheriffs of the City of London, Mr. Mac-Namarra and Mr. Turberfeild proffered to lay Wagers, Ten to One, that Sheriff Be­thel should be hanged before Christmass next: But, said Turber­feild, we have little against him as yet. To which Mac-Namarra replied, What of all that? We have time enough either to get or make more. The like Wager, at the same time, they proffered to lay concerning Mr. Wilmore, the Fore-Man of the late Grand Jury, and several others of that Jury, whose Names they then men­tioned, but their Names this Informant remembreth not. The like Wager they offered to lay against one Mr. Best, an Hop-Merchant, in Thames-Street, of whom Turberfeild said, he had received some Guinea's; and that he would go thither again, and see if he could get more; and if he would not give him any, he would swear that against him that should make his Heart ake.

And this Informant farther saith, That Captain Barry did fre­quently call Mr. John Smith Name­sake; and this Informant en­quiring of Mr. Mac-Namarra wherefore Barry called Smith Name­sake, he answered this Informant, that Smith was an Irish-man, born in Connaught, and that his right Name was Barry.

[Page 49] And this Informant farther saith, That then Turberfeild, Haynes and Mac-Namarra said, they would take several others of the Irish Evidence along with them to the Amsterdam-Coffee-house on Tuesday come Seven-night next, and there pick a Quar­rel among themselves; and in the heat of their Quarrel they would take Sheriff Bethel by his Chain, and lead him from thence, to Bow-Church: And Turberfeild asked the Question, whether it would not do well to kick him at parting?

And this Informant farther saith, That on the aforesaid 11th of August, Turberfeild said, they had Bands and Cloaks; by which distinguishing of themselves, they said, they could discover fa­ctious People, they taking them for some of their own Mould. And Turberfeild, soon after this Discourse, left the Company, and in about half an Hour returned, dressed up like a Presby­terian Minister.

And this Informant farther saith, That on the same 11th Day of August, and place last mentioned, Mr. Smith, alias Barry, ask­ed Mr. Mac-Namarra where he was so long in the Morning, that he could not find him? To which Mr. Mac-Namarra answered, He had been with Sir Lioline Jenkins. I'll warrant you, replied Smith, you have had a long Lesson, you stayed so long. Mac-Namarra answered him, As long as it was, I have learn'd it. And then they entred into a private Discourse.

This Informant also saith, That they usually spent high at Dinner, 10 s. each Man being their common Ordinary. They also commended their Trade to me, and told me, that if I would come to Oxford, I should hear how they would swinge the Fana­ticks: And they said farther, that they would procure me a Place to hear the Trial; and that they were assured, that tho the Grand Jury of London should come down to confront them, they should not be admitted.

And this Informant farther saith, That Mr. John Smith then said, that if he had but Knowledge of Mr. Jenks the Draper, as Mac-namarra had, that he would not fail to swear that against him, which should not fail to take him from being the Head of a Party of Fanaticks. And that there were several others, who had tra­duced him, whom, if he knew, he would make Examples.

And this Informant farther saith, That Mrs. Peacock said, that Mr. Fitz-Harris was gone to Windsor to discover a new Popish Plot, so that she was not certain whether she had not best side with her [Page 50] Mistriss: And speaking to Mac-Namarra, he answered, that Man and Wife, Mistriss and Maid, were best to be all of a Mind.

The Information of Captain Henry Wilkinson.

Imprimis, I the said Henry Wilkinson do declare, and am ready to swear, That on Saturday, October the 8th, 1681, about Five of the Clock in the Evening, one Mr. Walter Baines came to Mr. Adams's Seller in the King's Bemch Prison, and sent for me, out of the Garden in the King's Bench; who, upon sight, told me, he was sorry to see me in that place, and afterwards en­gaged me to accept of a Pot of Beer or Ale. In the time of its drinking, Mr. Baines shewed and expressed the greatest Kindness that could be expected from a Brother; which made me believe he had some Design. Then he desired to know what sort of Wine I would drink: I told him, not any; besides, the Cellar had none: But he then called for Brandy, which we had. Then he told me Mr. Brownrig was sent Prisoner to York-Castle for Treason, and for appearing for my Lord Shaftsbury. And also the said Baines said, he had sent a Note to my Lord Shaftsbury, to demand fifty Shillings, for Service and Charges that was due to him, done for the Lord Shaftsbury at my Request, as he pretends; and that my Lord sent him word, it was a Sham and a Cheat put upon him, and therefore he would pay him no such Bill.

At the same he told me, I could not but know much of the Lord Shaftsbury's Designs against the King, and that I might do well to discover it to him, who was ready to do me any Kind­ness, and desired an Opportunity. Also that he had been lately with Mr. Graham, and that he had a great Interest with my Lord Hyde. (All this time I understood what was designing for my Kindness.) I constantly and truly told him, I knew nothing of my Lord Shaftsbury's Designs against His Majesty: Only this I did know formerly, from Mr. Baines, about three Months ago; That he was then of an Opinion that Mr. Brownrig could discover some unlawful Practices against the Lord Shaftsbury, which, I confess, I did wish might be discovered; for although I have served His Majesty in England, and beyond Sea, (and no other [Page 51] Interest,) and was as instrumental in His Majesty's Restoration as any Person of my Fortune could be; so I am for his Continuance by all lawful Means, and never to study the Destruction of his Friends or Enemies by unjust Designs. I have cause to believe my Lord Shaftsbury loves His Majesty, for he always was pleased to shew me Respect, for that I had served His Majesty.

Now Night drew on for Mr. Bains to be gone; all the time he stayed was spent with a great deal of Zeal upon me on the same Subject. He told me, I should have a Pardon, and need not to fear it: I would not deny his profer. But he farther told me, I should be considerably rewarded: Neither did I deny that, but told him, When I was requited for my former Service, I would serve his Majesty in what I could▪ I saw here was a design laid; and although I had reason to take it unkindly to have any thing fixed upon me, or to make me an Instrument beyond my Knowledge yet I was resolved to humour the Business. Upon which Mr. Baines took his Leave this Night, and told me, at parting, he would in a few Days see me again, but left me with such Promises as at present I cannot express, not much questioning my Knowledge.

Item, That on Tuesday, October the 11th, 1681. I was sent for to Mr. Weaver's House, near the King's Bench, to Mr. Booth; who told me, he was glad to see me, but sorry to see us both in that Condition; for he was a Prisoner, as I was. He told me, he had removed himself last Night from one of the Compters. I required of him, how he came to be at a Waiter's House? He told me, it was not denied him, although I could not be admitted one Night. I understood he was engaged in the Design; I considered he had been a Man of bad Principles, therefore I was resolved to stand upon my Guard. Presently he told me, he was to tell me, I had an Opportunity to be a better Man in my Fortune than ever I was before, and that now I had an Opportunity to make my Fortune; and that I might have Five Hundred Pounds per Annum setled upon me and my Heirs, or Ten Thousand Pounds in Money, which I pleased, if I would discover what I knew of my Lord Shaftsbury, and his Design in changing the Government to a Commonwealth, and witness against him. I replied, and told him, No Body would believe I should be made privy to such a Design, (if such a thing was,) being I had served His Majesty in England, and beyond Sea. He answered, I was the likeliest Man to know; for he knew I had served the King, and had been [Page 52] slighted and neglected. I told him, That was true. I answered him again, I never desired any thing of His Majesty for my Ser­vice, but that which would cost him nothing; but only to have the Preference of others, that never had been concerned in His Ma­jesty's Service, by way of Farm on part of His Majesty's Reve­nues. He told me, His Majesty knew me, and that he was sen­sible of my Service and Sufferings, and desired to gratifie me; for he often told me, Now was the time to do something which would advance me; for it must now be a King, or a Common­wealth; for the Earl of Shaftsbury's Party would but only make use of me, to slight me when their Business was done. I told him, I was with my Lord Shaftsbury the Night before he was appre­hended, and that Sir Thomas Armstrong was there; a Person I knew out of Favour, on purpose that he might speak out his full Mind; but still told him, I knew nothing of any Design. I also told him, I would say nothing, nor appear at Court, until I was considered for my Sufferings, (a thing I never expected;) and as for going to Court, I never intended it: But the more I told him I knew nothing of a Design, the more he put me in mind of what Reward I might have, in such Words, that I ought to swear to it, whether I knew any thing or nothing of the Business. Now I fully saw the Design; and though I stayed late, at my Return I began to consider who I should make this Business and Design known to, being a Stranger in the King's Bench. I observed one, who appeared to me to be a sober and sensible Person; that Night I repaired to him, and (lest I should be tempted with what Offers were made) I told him, that I had a Design to commit a Secret to him; whereupon I told him, and desired him to put the same in Writing; and that if I ever declared more than what I did then to him, (that was,) That I knew nothing of any Plot or Design against His Majesty, in­tended by my Lord Shaftsbury: I told him this, and declared in the Presence of God, that if ever I should be tempted to swear more than this at any time, it was for Reward; and that I de­sired him to witness the Truth of this against me, and that I would daily give him an Account of what passed for the future, which I desired him every Day to put into Writing, which I believe he hath done; as also the constant Invitations abroad, and the Visits they gave me here; which were so frequent to me, as nothing could be more.

[Page 53] Mr. Booth told me, I must appear at Court, and I should have an assurance of my Reward from some Persons of Honour: I told him, I would not trust any Courtier I knew, for a Groat; I am satisfied he was put upon this, but by whom God knows, I am assured not by his Majesty.

That on Wednesday Octob. the 12th, 1681. I was invited by Mr. Booth to dine with him that day at Mr. Weaver's House, which I refused, (although he sent a Waiter, and promised him satisfaction for his Attendance.) After Dinner he sent again; I went, and found Mr. Baines with him, both rising from Din­ner; I was most kindly received with Wine and good Words, working upon me to come in a Witness against my Lord Shafts­bury's designing to change the Government; declaring, I had an opportunity to make my Family and Friends, as they had exprest formerly. I told them, as I had done before, until I was satisfied for by-past Services, I would not be concerned any way at Court. They told me, I might be assured of what I would de­sire from my Lord Hallifax and my Lord Hide. Mr. Booth re­quired what would satisfie me; I told him, if they would give me two thousand Guineys towards the Injury I had received, and my Friends upon my account, I would discover what I knew. Mr. Booth told me, a greater thing was intended me, for I was five Hundred Pound per Annum, or ten Thousand Pounds in Mo­ny: But I still told them, I knew nothing of any Design by my Lord Shaftsbury. The more I declared I knew nothing, the more Mr. Booth urged the Reward. I told him (when he was so earnest) when I had that Mony and a General Pardon, I would then do any Service I could; but I would not trust the Promises of Courtiers. Mr. Baines told me, as to a Pardon, I might have it in two or three days: He desired to know my Christian Name, which I conceived was an intention to get a Pardon, a thing never in my thoughts; but Mr. Baines formerly mentioned it to me; and truly I did not know what I might stand in need of, or what they would fix upon me in our discourse.

Mr. Baines told me, he had the night before been with my Lord Hallifax and my Lord Hide; now they thought they had pre­vailed with me, and were mighty chearful: Before I parted from them, my Wife coming to me, told me; Mr. Booth had been mighty urgent with her, to engage me to come in a Witness; and then told her, I should have five hundred Pounds per Annum [Page 54] setled upon me; but what grounds he had for this, I know not; for all Persons that know her, knew her to be a person of unquestionable Repute. Nor did I question the performance, for I thought, what I could say, would not deserve; neither could I tell, why they should think me such a Man, as they would have me to be; for I ever hated to be a Witness or a Jury-man all my time: I conceieve Mr. Booth thought I might be wrought upon, because I had great Misfortunes, and that this was a rea­dy way to repair me.

Octob. the 13. 1681. This day I had a Waiter sent me, about eleven a Clock, to desire me to go to Mr. Weaver's House, which I did; there was Mr. Booth and Mr. Baines, who told me, they sent for me to dine with them: I had no desire to have any Table-talk with them, I desired to be excused, and also pro­mised to see them after Dinner. Mr. Baines told me, Mr. Graham was not far off, and would be there, and that he was sent by some of the Council to discourse me: Mr. Baines told me, on Tuesday night he was at Court with my Lord Hallifax, and Lord Hyde, and the two Secretaries of State, and that they enquired who knew me: He replyed, Mr. Graham, who was sent for; they askt him as to my Reputation; they askt him if he knew me, and how long; he said, about twenty years: they enquired of him concerning me. He told me Mr. Graham answered, I had served his Majesty and his Father in England and beyond Sea faithfully, and that I was very honest Man, and also that I was a great Sufferer, and that I had received great Disappointments, and had been ill dealt with by some that belonged to the Court, as, in particular, Mr. Edward Progers; and that they engaged Mr. Graham to come over to the Kings-Bench, and to assure me, that I should be requited for my Suf­ferings: Also to take me over with him to the King, where I should have the Promise of His Majesty for the same, and the opportunity to declare my former Grievances, and receive His Royal Word and Promise for my Reward and Sufferings. Af­ter this Discourse, Mr. Graham came in, who told me the same things as above, and that I might be assured of those things from the King; also that he had an Order to carry me to His Majesty. I told him, I could say nothing, neither would I go to Whitehall; for I had taken a Resolution against going to Whitehall. I was hard pressed for my going thither. I desired [Page 55] to be excused; for if I could say any thing, I must be guilty my self: But he told me, whether I was or not, I might be re­compensed for my Sufferings: Upon which I took my leave, and went away not well pleased, that for my Requital I should be thought an ill Man or a Traytor.

That on October the 14, 1681. Mr. Booth came to me about Eleven a Clock to the Kings-Bench; we walked in the Garden about an Hour. His Business was to know my Mind, whether I would go voluntarily to the King or not. He also told me, That Mr. Wilson, my Lord Shaftsbury's Secretary, that was in the Gatehouse, had sent to the Council to inform Them, That if he might have his Pardon, he would come in, and declare his Knowledge; and therefore he would have me to have the Ho­nour to be the First Discover. I told him, I had no Busi­ness at Whitehall. Then he told me, it was intended that Mr. Graham should be at his Lodging this Afternoon, to see if I would go to the King; if not, my Lord Chief Justice's War­rant would be sent to compel me to appear at his Chamber, where there would be some of the Council to examine me and swear me. He also told me, That the Duke of York had a great Estate in Ireland, and that he would give me Five hundred Pounds per Ann. there, besides all former Promises, to be setled upon me and my Heirs, if I would come in a Witness against my Lord Shaftsbury. I told him, they might meet with many Persons in this Age, that would accept of such Offers. I told him, if I had any thing to say, it was the most proper time in Court, for me and Witnesses to speak their Knowledg. I told him, I did not know, but the Presence of a King and his Pro­mises, might make a Man say more than what was true▪ or than he could say fairly in a Court. Mr. Booth ask'd me, if I did not ride with my Sword and Pistols out of Town with my Lord Shaftsbury, when he went to Oxford? I told him I did, I could not do less than wait upon him out of Town, who had been so kind, with the rest of the Lords Proprietors, to do me the Honour to make me their Governour for the Country of Caro­lina. He then told me, I must needs be privy to this, That if His Majesty would not pass Three Acts, One, for Excluding the Duke of York; the next, for making void the Act of Queen Elizabeth against Recusancy; and the third, for Uniting Pro­testant Subjects; then by force of Arms he was to be compelled. [Page 56] He told me, all the Council was satisfied I knew this, and as much as any Person, in regard that both my Lord Shaftsbury and my self was disgusted at Court. He said, the Council knew I was a Soldier, and was satisfied I was to act in that Concern. I begun now to consider what a Fortune was now promis'd, and what a good Addition this Five Hundred Pounds Additional from the Duke of York would make to the former Promises; and after he was gone, I acquainted my Wife, and told her how great a Person she was like to be: But this was no News to her; for Mr. Booth had often been desiring her, for her own good, to engage me in this Honourable Service. Thus these things in our Trou­bles served us to be merry with, to consider how easily we were like to leap into an Estate: But all this time we were out without fear and danger of enjoying it, or any part of it, much less of intailing it upon our Posterity:

October the Fifteenth, 1681. This day, about Eleven a Clock, Mr. Booth came again to me to the Kings-Bench, to know of me, if I yet would go to Whitehall: I demanded, For what? He told me, To Evidence against the Earl of Shaftsbury. I told him, I had nothing to say against him. He importuned me not to lose this great Opportunity I now had. Before we parted, Mr. Baines came to us; I desired to know why they should be so urgent to have me a Witness. He told me, there were none but Irish Witnesses yet to come against my Lord Shaftsbury, and they were not Persons of Credit; but if I would come in, although I had been unfortunate in my Private Concerns, yet I was not blemish'd in my Credit. Mr. Baines told me, if I would not go to White­hall, the Marshal had an Habeas Corpus from my Lord Chief Justice Pemberton, to carry me. So we parted.

About Four a Clock in the Afternoon, the Marshal came with Mr. Booth and Mr. Baines to require me to go along with him. I demanded, Whither? He told me to Whitehall. I demanded to see his Warrant. He shewed it me. Now I was forced to obey. After my coming thither, in a little time I was called into Mr. Secretary Jenkins's Office, where he and my Lord Con­way was, who strictly, but very fairly and honestly, Examined me about my Lord Saftsbury, and what I knew of any Design against His Majesty. I told them, as I did to the former At­tackers, I knew nothing. Great Arguments were used; but I could give no satisfactory Answer, as was (I conceived) expected. [Page 57] After this, His Majesty came into the Office; when He saw me, He was pleased to do me the Honour, to say, He knew me well, and that I had served His Father and His Majesty faitfully, and He hoped I would not decline my Obedience. To which I answered, I never deserved to be suspected. His Majesty was pleased to tell me, He had not had the Opportunity to serve His Friends, but hoped He might: He was pleased to promise to consider me for my sufferings. Then his Majesty began to Examine me, (If I had been exhorted by the best Divine in Eng­land, he could not have said more than His Majesty) in telling me, what Kindness was intended me, was not with a design to invite me to speak a Word but Truth it self; and that if He knew I did, or any other Person, His Majesty would never en­dure them. Then His Majesty demanded, What I knew of a Design against His Person and Government? I truly told His Majesty, That I knew nothing of any Plot or Design against His Majesty or Government; that I admired why I should be suspect­ed, that had served His Majesty and His Father in England and beyond-Sea, and was as Instrumental as any Person in His Majesty's Restoration: But some Persons had possessed His Ma­jesty, I was deep in some Design against the Government, and knew much of my Lord Shaftsbury: So His Majesty seemed not to be satisfied, but still pressed hard upon me. To all His Ma­jesties Questions, I could give no Answer that would satisfie. Then His Majesty was pleased to tell me, If I would say, As I hope to be saved, I knew nothing of any Design against His Person, He would believe me; which I did say, in those very Words, which His Majesty seemed to wonder at. Then I was left to Mr. Secretary Jenkins, who was pleased to use such Arguments as he thought fit. I told him, I knew my Duty to His Majesty, I would not draw a Sword against Him; but I could freely do it against some of the Court, that were Enemies to His Majesty and His Friends; and so I was dismissed out of the Office. Then I was carried into another Room, where His Majesty, my Lord Chancellor, Lord Hallifax, Lord Hyde, the two Secretaries of State were, and the Lord Chief Justice Pemberton; where I was Examined, Mr. Graham, Mr. Booth, and Mr. Baines present. My Lord Chancellor was sharp upon me with several Questions, which I could give no Answer to. Content thus I was to run the Gant­let from one place to another. My Lord Chancellor would not [Page 58] believe, but I must be guilty of knowing great things against my Lord Shaftsbury. I told him, If I could not be believed upon my Word there, if they pleased to bring my Lord Shaftsbury upon his Trial, I would declare it in open Court upon Oath what my Knowledge was, without any hopes of Gain or Ad­vancement. My Lord Chancellor, I thank him, did me that Equi­ty, to tell me, There were two sorts of Advancement; I need not give my self that trouble, for I was like to come to my Trial my self before my Lord Shaftsbury. My Lord Chancellor demanded of me, If I had no Commission for this New Service a­gainst His Majesty. I told him, No. Then he told me, I was to have a Troop to consist of fifty Men. I told him, That was a small Troop: I hoped, that if ever I had a Command of a Troop, it should be a better than that. But I desired to know who gave that Information. He told me, Mr. Booth; who was by, and was listed under me. I desired Mr. Booth to tell me, if he had given this Information, and made this Oath? He told me, Yes; and it was true. I was unconcerned, and am, knowing my self not guilty: For I protest, in the Presence of Almighty God, by whom I expect to be judged, I never had a Word with Mr. Booth, or any other Person, in my whole Life, tending to any such thing. For at the same time that he said this was to be, which was when the Parliament was to be last at Oxford, I had taken, on a Ship for Carolina, where I was to go Governor, a Business more to my Content than any Military Employ; especially against His Majesty, and the Government. But I conceived this was in hopes of Reward, and to shew his Loyalty; for which, I be­lieve, he will neither be regarded, nor rewarded. I told the Council, if they had such another Witness, they might do my Business. I thank God, I am not afraid of him, nor twenty more such Witnesses, if they come against me; for, 'tis well known, he hath been accused and condemned for Clipping and Coining, besides Murther; for which he had His Majesty's gra­cious Pardon, as I have been informed. I am glad I live in such Days, wherein Juries conceive they are Judges as to Matter of Fact; for if they were not, I am satisfied, in this Swearing Age, many an honest Man would be forced to march before they know either Rank or File. At the same time I told my Lord Chancellor, if any honest Man would come and witness against me, I would never desire His Majesty's Pardon, or ever will. [Page 59] Let all the World judge how unlikely it is, that I should be thus concerned, when I had about twenty eight Men-Servants, four or five Women-Servants, besides my Wife, three Sons, (of which, two had been in His Majesty's Service at Sea,) and one Daughter, all the Children I have, prepared, and lay at my Charge, in­tending for Carolina, and thought my self happy; and was re­solved to leave England, with a Resolution, to see if I could find a People that had less Wit, and more Honesty, than I have found in my own Country; where, I must needs say, I have found very unfaithful Dealings amongst such as account themselves Persons of Honour and Quality. But truly, when I thought I had made my self almost ready for my intended Voyage, I found my self like a Man betwitched, that could neither budge, nor stir; until, at last, some Debts that I was bound for fell upon me, and others of my own increased, being burthened with a great Charge, which unexpectdly put a stop, at present, to my intended Voy­age. I did always intend to leave England honestly and honoura­bly: Those things fell so unexpectedly, that my self and Wife concluded there was a Divine Hand in it.

The Information of Jarvis James, Gent.

I Jarvis James, Gent▪ do declare, That the above-named Ca­ptain Henry Wilkinson came to me upon Tuesday the 11th of October, 1681. in the Evening; and did then, and likewise eve­ry Day, from time to time afterwards, make me acquainted with the several Treaties and Transactions between him the said Captain Henry Wilkinson and Mr. Baines, Mr. Booth and Mr. Gra­ham, and the several other Persons in this his Information men­tioned; and that they were the very same in substance, with what he hath herein set forth, and declared; for, at his Re­quest, and for my own Satisfaction, I kept a daily Journal du­ring the time of their Treating. All which shall be attested upon Oath, when required.

The Information of Mrs. Susannah Wilkinson, Wife of Captain Henry Wilkinson.

I The said Susannah Wilkinson do declare, That on Wednesday, the 12th of October, 1681. I went to the King's-Bench Prison, to speak with my Husband; (where I met with three Carpenters, which were entertained by him, as Servants for Carolina, and who had waited a long time; and not finding him likely to pro­ceed in his Voyage, they desired to be discharged;) but not finding him in the King's Bench, I went with them to Mr. Wea­ver's House; where I found him in Company with Mr. Booth, and one Mr. Baines, (who were very largely treating my Hus­band with Wine.) My Husband went out to persuade the Ser­vants, and discoursed them: Then Mr. Booth took an Opportu­nity to speak to me, and told me, my Husband was a most ob­stinate Man, and Mr. Booth desired me to persuade my Husband to be guided and persuaded by him the said Mr. Booth. And he said, the King would do more for my Husband, than ever the Lord Shaftsbury would; and that the King was sensible of my Husband's Service, and Sufferings; and if my Husband would be persuaded by him, the said Mr. Booth, to appear against the Lord Shaftsbury, he was sure my Husband would be the most hap­py Man in the World, and that he should have 500 l. a Year setled upon him and his Heirs for ever.

That on Friday, October the 14th, 1681. I was with my Hus­band, at the King's Bench Prison, when Mr. Booth came into our Room. Mr. Booth took an Opportunity to speak with me, and desired me, for God's sake, to persuade my Husband to be ruled by him; which if my Husband would, he might be an happy Man, and the Duke of York would settle 500 l. a Year in Ireland upon my Husband and his Heirs; and very much intreated me to per­suade my Husband to what he desired. All which shall be attested upon Oath, when required.

FINIS.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.