Numerus Infaustus.

A SHORT VIEW Of the Unfortunate Reigns OF

  • WILLIAM the Second.
  • HENRY the Second.
  • EDWARD the Second.
  • RICHARD the Second.
  • CHARLES the Second.
  • JAMES the Second.
sine Caede, & Sanguine pauci
Descendunt Reges, & siceâ Morte Tyrrani.

London: Printed for Ric. Chis­well at the Rose and Crown in St. Pauls Church yard, 1689.


J. Frasier


MEeting accidentally the other Day with a Passage in Hey­lins Geography which he sets down in these words. p. 225. I will present you with a fatal Observa­tion of the Letter H. as I find it thus versed in Albions England.

Not superstitiously I speak, but H this Letter still.
Hath been observed ominous to Eng­lands good or ill, &c.

A sudden Conceit darted into my Thoughts (from the Remembrance of former Reading) that such Kings of England, as were the Second of [Page] any Name, proved very unfortunate Princes both to themselves, and to their People, Whereupon I consult­ed the English Chronicles, and out of them I have drawn a summary Narration of the Lives and Reigns of Six Kings. For the Matter of Fact I have faithfully adher'd to the Hi­story, and yet I have not transcrib­ed their Method, Style, or Lan­guage.

The Writing of this was an En­tertainment for afew of my idle Hours, and perhaps the Reader may be pleased to divert himself for a few Minutes, in the Perusal,

Numerus Infaustus.

THE LIFE and REIGN OF WILLIAM the Second, Nick-Named RƲFƲS

THE First William gain'd En­gland by Conquest, and be­queath'd it to the Second by Will. By his Invasion he usurped the Right of his Cosin Edgar; and by his Legacy he infringed that of his Heir. He put out Harold the unlaw­ful Possessor of the Kingdom; and put by Robert his Lawful Successor.

[Page 2] William the Second of that Name, of fewer years than his Brother, but of greater Interest in the Inclinations of his Father, with hasty Steps as­cended the Throne, entring the Roy­al Palace at the wrong Door. He indear'd himself to the one by the resemblance of Humours, and the roughness of his Temper; and over­reach'd the other by the Credulity and Easiness of his Disposition: Gi­ving no more deference to the Obli­gation of Promises, than to the Right of Primogeniture. His Vows to God, his Word to his Brother, and his Ingagements to his Subjects, were all plighted with a like sinceri­ty, and with the same Integrity observ'd, and maintain'd. He was positive and sturdy, and that pass'd for Valour; He was crafty and po­litick, and that was reported for Wisdom: He was accounted Reli­gious, when he pursued his own [Page 3] Temporal Advantages, and was re­puted prophane, when he invaded the priviledges of the Church: He was immeasurably covetous, only in Or­der to the being unreasonably pro­fuse; and under the pretence of Religion he committed the greatest Acts of Enormity and Impiety. His incontinency was not taken no­tice of, because he could not trans­gress the Vow of Matrimony; and tho' in speculations and Disputes he seem'd concern'd for Religion, yet by his Actions he appear'd to be a practical Atheist. The course of his Life was turbulent and uneasie; and the manner of his Death vio­lent, and untimely.

He was no sooner mounted on the Throne, but troubles arose to discompose his quiet. Robert his Eldest Brother highly resenting this great Injury, to be justled out of his Seat by the partiality of his Father, [Page 4] and the Incroachment of his Bro­ther; began to think of some time­ly Expedients for the Recovery of his Right, and being assisted in his pretensions by several of the Nobi­lity in England; as Odo Bishop of Bayeux and Earl of Kent, Roger Montgomery Earl of Shrewsbury, Hugh de-Grandemenil, Robert Mou­bray Earl of Northumberland, Willi­am Bishop of Durham, and divers others of the Clergy, and Nobility (who raised great forces, and pos­sessed themselves of many conside­rable places) the King was con­strain'd to compound for his Peace, by an assurance of three Thousand Marks per Annum to his Brother during Life, and the Reversion of the Crown of England after his de­cease; and by a Solemn promise to restore to the people their Ancient Laws, and to indulge them the Li­berty of hunting in his Forests. [Page 5] By these condescensions he dissipa­ted the present Storm that impen­ded over his Head, and gain'd some short Respite from his growing Troubles.

This Tempest was hardly allay'd in the South, but fresh Clouds be­gan to gather in the North. Mal­colin King of the Scots thinking it a fit Opportunity to purvey for him­self, and inlarge his Borders, when his Neighbour was imbroyl'd with intestine Commotions; makes a sudden and furious incursion into Northumberland, over-runs the Coun­try, burns and destroys all before him, and returns home loaden with the spoils of the Inhabitants, without the least hinderance, or opposition. And tho it was not long, before King William was sufficiently revenged on his Invader, whom he reduced to the necessity of paying the An­cient Homage due to the Crown, [Page 6] and to give assurance of his fu­ture fidelity by New stipulations; yet such an enterprise could not be accomplished, without a vast ex­pence of Treasure, and a great loss of Men.

The King (who was very prodi­gal of his promises, but slow and penurious in the performance) ne­glected the payment of the Com­position made with his Brother Robert; whereupon he makes his Application to the King of France; who presently furnish'd him with considerable supplies, by which Assistance he assaulted and took several Towns in Nor­mandy; and by his success obli­ged King William again to raise a powerful Army, and to tran­sport them into that Country; where tho by his crafty Address he avoided the Effusion of Blood, and the consumption of his For­ces, [Page 7] yet he wasted his Treasure, and purchased a Truce with the King of France, by the mediati­on of Mony.

And now all things were calm and quiet, but not long so; the Skie began to be overcast with gloomy exhalations, and troubles arose upon an occasion as unusu­al, as unnecessary. Malcolin King of the Scots was a generous and magnanimous Prince, and being at Peace and full Amity with his Neighbours, he undertook the Toyl of a Journy as far as Gloucester, to pay a Royal Visit to his Ally and Friend the King of England: Who either out of a Humour, Pique or Pride, would not vouchsafe so much as to see him; which Barbarous return to the Civility of the affronted King did so exasperate him, that he posted back to his own Country, [Page 8] made ready a powerful Army with all Expedition, and again infested Northumberland, Rava­ging thro' the Country without Comptrol, and enriching his Fol­lowers by the Ruin and desola­tion of harmless and unconcern­ed people. And tho' in the pro­secution of this design he lost his Life, and the Life of Edward his Eldest Son, and his whole Army intirely Routed and Defeated (being drawn into an Ambus­cade by Robert Moubray the Kings Lieutenant) yet King VVilliam suffer'd a great diminution of his Honour and Fame, by so unhos­pitable a Refusal of a common Respect to his equal in Degree and Title.

The King, who was never happy in any long intermission of those distemper'd Fits that shook him, fell now into a snarp [Page 9] and dangerous Paroxysme. The VVelchmen taking Notice of the Kings incessant Troubles and Distractions; to gratifie both their Revenge and Avarice, en­ter'd the English Borders, and making use of such Advantages as naturally attend a surprize, they became Masters of many Towns and strong Holds, committing all manner of Outrage and Hostili­ty, exercising that Malice, which they bore to the King, upon the Lives and Estates of his innocent Subjects. The King with great industry and care, got together a handsom Army, with which he marched in Person toward them, promising to himself an easie and a cheap Victory: But he was disappointed of his purpose, and forced to retreat with all speed to London to compose an Army of greater strength, and Num­ber. [Page 10] In the mean time to in­crease his perplexity, Robert Moubray Earl of Northumberland, (who had done him such signal Service in repelling the Scots, and destroying their King) finding himself disregarded, and no com­petent Honour, or Reward de­signed for his singular Merits, be­gan to be Male-content; and joyn'd in an open Conspiracy a­gainst his Lord and Master. But the King reinforced with an Ar­my far stronger than ever he had imbodied before; took, and im­prison'd the Earl, and enter'd the VVelch Territories, where not be­ing able to provoke them to the Decision of a Battle, he persued them with Stratagems, Erected many Castles and Forts, that so by degrees he might become Master of the Country: But they retreating to the natural [Page 11] Fortifications of Woods, Moun­tains, and inaccessible passages, did so baffle him in his Attempts, and so harass and tire out his Souldiers, that he thought it most advisable to withdraw from the Enterprise, and to commit the further prosecution of it to his Lieutenants, who in time utterly subdued those Naked and Wild people, but not without horrible Instances of Cruelty, and Bar­barity.

Thus we have seen a Man ad­vanced to a Throne, invested with Regal Authority, surroun­ded with all the external Glories, and Felicities of a Diadem; yet denied the inward satisfaction and Tranquillity of a quiet and peaceable injoyment of his Ac­quisitions. Hitherto we have ob­served, how Invasions from a­broad, and distractions at home [Page 12] render'd his Life uneasie: Let us now take an Account of his im­moral, and irregular Actions, which made his Person unaccep­table, and his Reign unfortunate to his Subjects.

He assumed to himself an im­moderate and Licentious Power to supply his necessities by the detriment and spoil of others. And because in his Time the Clergy was of all Ranks of Men the most opulent, he found them the most proper Objects of his Rapine, and Oppression. When any Bishoprick, or Abby be­came vacant, he presently seized the Revenues into his own Hand. He kept the See of Can­terbury four years to his own use, and would have done it longer, but that a desperate Sickness put him into a Fit of Devotion; for being at the brink of Death, [Page 13] and ready to expire, he resolved to commute for his Intrusion, by the donation of those Livings, which (as he thought) he could no longer detein, and hastily conferred the Arch-Bishoprick of Canterbury upon Anselm, and and the Bishoprick of Lincoln upon Robert Bloët: But no soo­ner was Health restor'd, but his old Inclinations return'd, and no other Tokens of Repentance appear'd, but a Remorse and Sorrow for parting with two such rich Morsels; for he never desi­sted from importuning and tor­menting the two poor Bishops, till he squeesed good Sums of Mony from Anselm, and five thou­sand pounds from Bloet.

He kept in his Hands at one time three [...]opricks (Canterbu­ry, VVinchester, and Salisbury) and twelve Abbies; all which [Page 14] he set out to Farm, and gather'd the Profits of them into his own Coffers.

Being obliged to pay a great Sum of Mony to the King of France, he found this Invention to procure it; He pretended a resolution to make War, and a sudden irruption into Normandy, in order to which he levied twenty thousand Men (by Press and other coercive means) who being drawn to the Sea side, and ready to imbarque, he order'd it to be signify'd and made known, that because he could more commodiously levy men in Normandy (without the Toyl and Charge of transporting) whoso­ever would pay Ten Shillings to­ward the raising of such Forces, should be excused from going on that Expedition, which proffer was so grateful and plausible to [Page 15] the Army, that there was hardly any man that did not greedily comply with the proposal. He ad­ded extortion to Usury, took up Mony by indirect Courses, and imploy'd it to unjust purpo­ses; he would not supply his Brother with Mony (tho upon a pious undertaking to the Holy Land) without a Mortgage of his Dutchy of Normandy; and he could not raise it but by exacti­ons, and compulsory Loans, so that to advance the Sum, the Bishops melted their Plate and the Temporal Lords destroyed their Tenants.

Spiritual Preferments were not given, but sold by Auction, and he received from Thurstan Five Hundred Pounds for the Abby of Glastenbury; and fell out with Anselm, because he would not give a Thousand Marks for being [Page 16] made Arch-Bishop of Canterbu­ry.

He arrogated to himself the Glory of Building Westminster-Hall; but His Subjects were at the Expence, who believed, that he rear'd that Fabrick only for a pretence to lay a heavy Tax up­on the People, and was a great gainer by the Project.

If the Preists transgressed by carnal deviations from the strict Rule of their Profession, the Pen­nance was in the Purse; and a composition with the King was as effectual, as a Sacerdotal Abso­lution. And because he received ve­ry great Profit by particular In­dulgences given to the Jews, he incouraged the Relaps of such as were converted to Christianity, accounting it no matter to be Fol­lowers of Christ, so they were but Benefactors to him.

[Page 17] Among other Faults laid to his Charge, it is worth observing, that he is noted for imposing ex­cessive Fines upon diverse of the Nobility, for small offences.

Having by his Avarice and Severities wearied his Subjects, and disposed them to seek for Safety and Liberty in other Countries; He unexpectedly is­sued a Proclamation that no man should depart the Realm without his License, for the purchase of which he did not care to lose a Subject. While Promoters, In­formers, and such sort of State-Caterpillars were his principal Favorites, and Partakers of his Grace and Bounty.

He had a mind to be reputed an exact Observer of his Word and Promise. And perhaps he was so in matters of small Importance: But when Profit and Advantage [Page 18] came to be weighed, Self-interest soon turned the Scale. He made a solemn Agreement with his Bro­ther Robert, to bequeath the Crown of England to him; but it does not appear, that he remembred the Ingagement, or ever had an intention to be just to his Word. When he was pressed by an in­testine War, and by the Loyalty and Valour of the English rescued from the Rebellion of his Nor­man Followers, he promised a restitution of their Ancient Laws, and an indulgence to some Priviledges which were much valued by the people of those times; but with the ne­cessity the obligation ceased, and he became a Bankrupt of his Word and Promise. As little did he regard his Promises to God his Creator, for being dange­rously sick at Gloucester, and de­spairing [Page 19] of Recovery, he made a Solemn Vow, that if he were restored to his Health, he would lead a New Life, and give over all his disorderly Courses, but the restoration of his strength was accompanied with the re­turn of his former vicious incli­nations, and he became ten times more the child of wrath, than he was before.

He is reported to be very lasci­vious and incontinent, but in re­gard he did not defraud his own Wife, (having never been mar­ried) and was not observed to debauch the Wives of other Men, he only passeth for a simple For­nicator, and even in that not at all curious, not entertaining a select Concubine, but promiscu­ously trucking with any Woman that came in his way.

To shew how conscientious [Page 20] he was in matters of Religion, take the words of Sir Richard Baker in his Chronicle of Eng­land, p. 35. He appointed a Dispu­tation to be held between Christians and Jews, and before the day came, the Jews brought the King a pre­sent, to the end they might have an indifferent hearing; the King took the present, encouraging them to quit themselves like Men: And swore by St. Lukes face (his usual Oath) that if they prevailed by Disputation, he would himself turn Jew, and be of their Religion. A young Jew on a time was converted to the Christian Faith, whose Father being much troubled at it, presented the King sixty Mark, intreating him to make his Son to return to his Judaism; whereupon the King sent for his Son, commanding him without more ado to return to the Religion of his Na­tion: But the young Man answe­red, [Page 21] he wondred his Majesty would use such Words; for being a Chri­stian he should rather perswade him to Christianity: With which An­swer the King was so confounded, that he commanded the young Man to get him out of his sight. But his Father finding the King could do no good upon his Son, required his Mony again. Nay (saith the King) I have taken pains enough for it; and yet that thou mayst see how kindly I will deal, you shall have one half, and the other half you cannot in Conscience deny me.

In one Act he shew'd himself a Tyrant, and an Atheist, for fifty Gentlemen being accused for Hunting and killing the Kings Deer, he caused them to be condemned to the Trial by Fire, which they escaping un­touch'd by the miraculous Provi­dence of God, and he thereby [Page 22] defeated of his greedy expectati­on by the Confiscation of their Estates, fell into an outragious Passion, and cry'd out, How hap­pens this! is God a just Judg in suf­fering it? Now a Murrain take him that believes it.

But vengeance from Heaven soon overtook him that did not believe it; for the King (though warned by Dreams and other uncommon Presages, of some ap­proaching Disaster) appointed, a Hunting in the new Forest upon the second of August. When the day came, he began to be per­plexed with the remembrance of those ominous Bodings, and stay'd within till Noon: But having at Dinner driven away all care and fear, by drinking himself into hardiness and security, he moun­led his Horse, and eagerly fol­owed the Chase: shortly after [Page 23] Sir Walter Tyrrel, a Knight of Nor­mandy (to whom the King at their going out had given two Arrows very strong and sharp, telling him, That he knew how to shoot to purpose) having a very fat Buck in view, and at a convenient distance to be struck, let fly an Arrow, which glancing on a Tree, or else grazing on the Back of the Deer, reach'd the King, hit him in the Breast, and he immediately dropt down dead.

Thus fell Nimrod the mighty Norman Hunter, destroy'd by that very sport in which he took such excessive delight, violently brought to death on that occa­sion; by which he had delibe­rately design'd the destruction of many others; and in that very place where his Father had de­populated so many Town, and [Page 24] ruined so many Religious Hou­ses, for the accommodation of wild Beasts, and to gratifie his own inordinate pleasures.


THO' the Accession of Hen­ry the Son of Geoffrey Plan­tagenet Duke of Anjou, to the Crown of England, be not bran­ded with the unsavory Terms of Intrusion, or Usurpation; yet who­soever will impartially revolve the Chronicles of those Times, may modestly conclude, that he jumpt into the Throne over the back of his Mother. Maud (common­ly styled the Empress) was the only Daughter and Heir of Henry the first, and tho she was an Em­press, [Page 26] and afterward a Dutchess, yet she could never arrive at the Station of a Queen. Stephen u­surp'd the Crown, and kept it from her; and Henry her Son confirm'd the Disseisin, by com­pounding for his own Succession, without any regard to his Mo­thers Title. Whether she was lockt up in an unknown Prison, or estranged by Banishment, or secretly made away, it were a great Presumption in me to as­sert, since the Writers and Histo­rians of those days make no posi­tive Determination in the matter: But that she was civilly dead, that no Notice was taken of her Right and Legal Claim to the Govern­ment, after she had so unsuccess­fully contended with King Ste­phen, nothing can be more mani­fest. Henry her Son was a young, active, and Valiant Prince, very [Page 27] potent, endow'd with great posses­sions, and in expectation of grea­ter Additions: He was in his own Right Duke of Anjou, in Right of his Wife Duke of Guyen and Earl of Poietou, and in Right of his Mother, Duke of Normandy, and presumptive Heir to the Kingdom of England. This greatness of Estate added to the Greatness of his Spirit, and buoy'd up by the Hopes of a far greater augmentation of his Fortunes, push'd him on to set up for him­self in a competition for the Crown of England; to the A­chievement of which many acci­dents concurring (as the untime­ly Death of Eustace the Son of King Stophen, the melancholick despair of his Mother the Em­press, upon her improsperous contest with Stephen, and the Loss of her Brother, and other [Page 28] her fast Friends) he came to a com­position with King Stephen, and a perfect Reconciliation was made between them, choosing rather to succeed him by Adoption, than to wait the natural Descent of his Inheritance by the Death of his Mother. Whether a Pro­phetick foresight of the short Period prescribed to the Reign of King Stephen, or a secret de­sign to catch some opportunity to accelerate His own Investiture, prompted Him on to this Accom­modation, lies only within the compass of conjecture; but so it fell out, that his Possession by Survivership was not long Pro­rogued; the Agreement being made in January by mutual con­sent, and consummated in Octo­ber following, by the Death of King Stephen.

Henry the Second being now [Page 29] actually King, disturbed by no Com­petitor, or Pretender, might with all affluence of Honour, Wealth, and Pleasure, have enjoy'd his Kingdom in profound Peace; but in despight to Fortune, who hitherto had Cour­ted him. He created Troubles to himself, and was the unlucky Author of his own misery. For tho the Re­bellious Insurrection of the Welsh, in the first Year of his Reign, did some­what discompose his quiet; yet the Issue of it did only tend to aggrandise his Name, to make him more revered at Home, and more awfully consi­der'd abroad. But the Expedition into Scotland was the product of his own injustice: Stephen his Father by Adoption had granted Cumberland, and Huntington shire to Malcolm King of the Scots, and Maud his Mother had given Northumberland to the same: Henry disdaining to see his King­dom Cantonised, and grudging that [Page 30] such considerable Parts of it should be dismember'd from the Body, and be­come the Patrimony of his Neigh­bour, demands the Estate by a mili­tary Claim, and marching thither with a powerful Army, repossesseth himself of part of these alienated Lands, and voluntarily relinquisheth the rest.

The same restless Humour prompt­ed him to persecute his Brother Geof­frey. For his Father on his Death-Bed bequeath'd the Dukedom of Anjou to him, but with this limitation, that so soon as He should become King of England, he should deliver up An­jou to his Brother Geoffrey: And for the further assurance of it, he obli­ged his Lords to Swear, not to suffer his Body to be buried, till his Son Henry had taken his Oath exactly to perform it. Henry solemnly binds himself by Oath to perform his Fa­thers Will, but afterward as wicked­ly [Page 31] breaks his Vow (having obtain'd a Dispensation for so great an Impiety, from his Holy Father Pope Adrian) and entring into Anjou with an Ar­my, took from his Brother (who was in no Capacity to resist so puissant an Invader) not only the Country of Anjou, but some other Cities also, which his Father had absolutely gi­ven him for his maintenance, which unnatural Treatment had so fatal an operation on the poor Duke, that within a very short time it broke his heart.

And now Lewis King of France began to find him a costly and ha­zardous diversion; for having not well digested the affront put upon him by King Henry in marrying of Eleanor his divorced Queen, and seeking all occasions to demonstrate his Resentments, he became an open Abettor of Raymond Earl of St. Giles, with whom King Henry had a Con­troversie [Page 32] about the Earldom of Tho­louse. Hereupon the Litigants began mutually to arm, and great forces were rais'd on both sides, but being just ready to joyn in a bloody Bat­tel, a Peace was concluded by the Mediation of Friends.

And least matters should be wan­ting to propagate new cares, and in­terruption to the progress of his Fe­licity; by an over fond and unex­ampled Indulgence, he assumed his Son Henry (then seventeen years of age) into a Partnership in the Throne; whose arrogant behaviour, and picgant Repa [...]tee at the very time of his Coronation, administred just cause to the King to repent his rashness. For the King to do honour to his young Colleague, at the Co­ronation feast would needs carry up the first Dish to the Table; which the Archbishop (who had perform'd the Ceremony) observing, said mer­rily [Page 33] to the new King, What an honour is this to you, to have such a waiter at your Table? The other re­ply'd, Why? what great matter is it for him, that was but the Son of a Duke to do service to me, that am the Son of a King, and a Queen? Neither was it long before the King was sensibly convinced of his weakness. For the young King having imbibed some mutinous Notions of discontent from the insinuations of the French King, and being animated by his advice and assistance, began openly to oppose his Father. For an aggrava­tion to the old Kings misfortunes, Eleanor his Queen inraged with jea­lousie, and not able to endure the sight of so many Concubines to which her Husband had given up himself, she not only incenseth her Son Henry to proceed in his Enter­prise, but secretly perswadeth Richard and Geoffery, two other of her Sons, to [Page 34] joyn with him against their Father, encouraging them to expect a more liberal maintenance from their Bro­ther, than their penurious Father did allow them; by these Instigations they repair into Normandy, and joyn themselves with their Brother, who growing more insolent by their as­sistance, return'd a haughty and im­perious answer to a kind and loving message from his Father, disdaining to lay down arms, unless he would first lay down his authority, and resign the Kingdom. To shuffle mat­ters into the greater perplexity, Lewis King of France began to form a League against King Henry, and ha­ving call'd together the great Lords of his Kingdom, and inveigled Willi­am King of the Scots, Hugh Earl of Che­ster, Roger Moubray, Hugh Bigod, and other the Accomplices of his Son, they all joyn'd in an Oath to aid and assist the young King with their [Page 35] whole power, and thereupon in one day they began their Attacks, the French invading Normandy, Aquitain, and Britain; and the King of Scots Northumberland. The old King in a short time disincumbred himself from these Exigencies, and triumphed over all his Enemies; but new trou­bles like Hydra's Heads, sprung up every day to arrest his Tranquillity; and he had no sooner made a Truce with his Son Henry, but the defection of his Son Richard, who had possest himself of a great part of the Pro­vince of Poictou, obliged him to trans­port an Army thither, and by the influence of it to reduce him to obe­dience. But the splendor of his suc­cess was darkned with a sensible mis­fortune, Henry his Darling, the co­partner of his Empire, but the Ex­crescence of the Throne, ended his Competition with his life, to the equal content and sorrow of his Fa­ther.

[Page 36] Within a while Richard his Heir apparent, revived his former discon­tent, relapsed into the old fit of Re­bellion, and drew along with him his Brother John, with many more of his Fathers Adherents, and Follow­ers, who all joyn'd with Philip King of France (the Inheritor of his Fa­thers Crown, and his animosity a­gainst King Henry) he presently form'd an Army, and (least natural affection should prevail above concei­ved Injuries) with all speed and vi­gour laid Siege to the City of Mentz, in which King Henry was then per­sonally present; who apprehending himself to be in great danger, and un­willing to fall into the hands of such Enemies, secretly withdrew out of the Town, and escaped. But the Town being taken (the place of his Nativity, and in which he took great delight) he became almost distracted with grief and passion, and in the [Page 37] extremity of his rage utter'd this blas­phemous expression, I shall never here­after love God any more, that has suf­fer'd a City so dear to me, to be taken from me. Indeed this inconsiderable loss made a mortal Impression on his spirits, bereaving him of that vi­gor and Majestick grace which ac­companied him in all his actions, so that he tamely condescended to seek a Peace at their hands, to whom be­fore he scorn'd to vouchsafe the fa­vour of any conditions; but when he came to understand that his be­loved Son John was in the Conspira­cy against him, he fell into a fit of fainting, and dy'd within four days.

King Henry was the Author and instrument of his own misfortunes; He came to the Crown in peace and quiet; but never injoy'd it in con­tent or satisfaction. He was an un­grateful Son, an indiscreet Father, an unnatural Brother, an unjust Husband, [Page 38] a niggardly Master, a fickle Friend, a severe Enemy, a valiant King, but too penurious.

His Actions were great and renow­ned, but smutted with the tincture of notorious Vices. He dealt unjustly with the King of the Scots; and to his cruelty extended to his Brother was added a manifest Perjury.

He made his Son a Rival in his Throne, and took many strange Women to be Rivals in his Bed. As his Wife was divorced from her other Husband, so was his conjugal love estranged from her.

His Partiality to his Sons is too manifest, while he fondly gave to Henry a share of his Crown, and sub­stracted from his other Sons a com­petent maintenance. But these con­trary causes produced the same ef­fect, his Indulgence to one, and his Niggardliness to the rest, provoked them all to be Rebels against him.

[Page 39] His Incontinency is so evident, that it supersedes all the misprisions of Jea­lousie: His close Amours with the fair Rosamond were palpably detected by the industrious curiosity of his Queen; but his incestuous dalliance with the Spouse of his Son, has left an indelible blot upon his memory.

His carriage toward Thomas Becket, while alive, speaks him brave, and magnanimous; but his mean submis­sion to a sordid Penance at the Tomb of that sawcy Prelate, discovers plain­ly that Superstition was predominant in him beyond a sense of true Religion.

Parsimony, which is commendable in men of lower ranks, was a vice in him; by it he lost the love of his Children, and disobliged his Sub­jects, while by Taxes, Confiscations, Seisure on Bishopricks and Abbies, and other avaritious practises, he lived poorly, only that he might die rich.


EDWARD of Carnarven was the Eldest Son of Edward the First, and succeeded his Father in the King­dom of England. He was in his Per­son handsome; in his Conversation acceptable; in his Inclinations not extrémely Vicious; continent beyond any of his Predecessors; not given to grind his Subjects by hard Taxations, or to enrich himself by their Impo­verishment. He ascended the Throne with the Universal Joy and Acclama­tions both of the Nobility, and the People; the way to it was plain, and [Page 41] the Seat easy. He had the Advan­tages of an extraordinary Education, the example of an Illustrious Father and a Victorious King; an early initiation in the Business of State, a happy opportunity to understand the Art of Reigning, by commanding the Realm, and presiding in Parlia­ment, during his Fathers absence. When he took the Reins of Government into his hands, he was neither in his Nonage, nor Do­tage; the Kingdom stood in no need of a Protector because of His Mino­rity, nor an Administrator, because he was super-annuated. He was just ripe for Rule, and all circumstances concurr'd to make the Conclusion of his Reign as prosperous as the begin­ning.

Notwithstanding all these happy Prcludiums, never was there a Prince more unfortunate, never was there a Life perplexed with more Disasters, [Page 42] or a Death attended with sharper In­stances of Misery and Horror: be­ing persecuted by his Subjects, de­serted by his Qeen, deposed by the People, and inhumanly Murdered by wretched Miscreants.

He began his Reign with a rude and irreligious contempt of his renowned Fathers Will, and dying Commands, which as it gave just cause to the Sub­jects to suspect his Veracity and Con­stancy, so it appear'd an ominous pre­sage of his future Calamities, and De­sertion by Heaven. For whereas his Father had expresly charged him, never to recall Pierce Gaveston from Banishment (who had been the Pan­dar to the young Prince's Lusts, and the Debaucher of his Youth) he im­mediately sent for him home, heap­ed Honours and Riches upon him, and grew scandalously fond of him. His Father setled his Quarrel with Scotland upon him by Entayl, requi­ring [Page 43] him to carry his Bones about with him through that Kingdom, till he had subdued it: but so little Ve­neration had he for those Glorious Re­liques, that he neither took them with him in a Military Procession, nor re­garded their quiet Sepulture; but ra­ther to affront them, he entred into a Treaty for his own Nuptials, before he had solemnized the Funerals of his Father. The Old King had obliged him to send his heart to the Holy Land, with Sevenscore Knights to prosecute the Holy War, and two and thirty Thousand Pounds (a mighty Sum in those Days) which he had gathered for that Pious use: But he not only neglected his Fathers Directions, but in plain scorn and despight to his Commands, he prodi­gally squander'd it on that same Ga­veston, from whose very sight he was precluded by his dying Father.

I shall not need to divide the Hi­story [Page 44] of his Life into several Acts, I may recite it, as it was, in one Scene of Trouble and misfortune. The re­vocation of Peirce Gaveston from per­petual Exile was very displeasing to the People; His admission to the high­est Honours and Favours about the Court, did smartly aggravate their just Resentments; but his Pride and O­stentation at the Marriage of the King in France (where the Four Kings and Four Queens, were seen in all their Pomp, besides the King and his Bride, yet he was observed to ex­cel them all in Bravery) had so sen­sible an Operation on the Lords of England, that when Edward, and Isabel expected to be Crown'd, in the presence of many Princes, and No­ble Persons, they boldly went to him and briskly told him, how haynously he had transgressed his Fathers Will in recalling Gaveston, to which since they were Cautioners; they would [Page 45] see it performed; and unless he would remove Gaveston from Court and Kingdom, they would not suffer his Coronotion to proceed. King Ed­ward, confounded with this stinging Declaration, gave them satisfaction, and solmnly Swore to do what they desired, in the next Parliment, and so the Coronation proceeded: In the solmnizing whereof the King again provoked the Lords to Discon­tent, adding the honour of carrying St. Edwards Crown before him, to the other Titles he had conferred on Gaveston; which urged them to en­ter into Consultation, how to con­trive some plausible way to restrain the Violence of the Kings Affection which in a short time took affect. For Gaveston not content to engross the Kings Favor, and dictate his arbitrary Orders through the Kingdom, en­croached on the honour of the No­bility, and placed opprobious Nick-Names [Page 46] upon divers of them, who therefore did not only envy him for his undeserved Advancement, but mortally hated him for his un-suffer­able Insolency. It was not long before a Parliment met, who unanimously press the King to ap­ply a Remedy to their Greivances in the Rere of which they urge the Banishment of Gaveston: The King seing no safety in expostulation, con­sents to their Demands, and the several Articles (like those of the Council of Trent) are injoyn'd under an Ana­thema, and pain of Excommunica­tion: Hereupon Gaveston was sent into Ireland, but as the Chief Go­overnour, not as an Exile; where after he [...]ad stay'd a while, and act­ed things much conducing to his Re­putation, King Edward, not able to endure his absence, or indeed to live without him, remanded him home, and married him to the Sister of the [Page 47] Earl of Glocester; but Gaveston was in­corrigible, his Power exceeded all Limits, and his expences all possibili­ty of supply; the Kings Revenue was wasted, the Queens maintenance retrenched, and all diverted to the accommodating the Luxury of the Fa­vorite. The Lords began to ferment in a new Discontentment, and repair­ing to the King, positively told him, if he did not immediately remove Ga­veston out of the Court and Kingdom they would rise in Arms against him, as a perjur'd King. But he, after he had strugled a while between Love and Fear, condescended to his per­tual Banishment, making his return a capital Offence, and so to be pro­ceeded against, if ever found in the Kingdom. Gaveston once more is dispatcht out of England, and goes to France, where finding no safe A­bode, he past into Flanders, and there meeting with no secure shelter, he [Page 48] secretly returns to England, relying on the immovable Favor of the King, and the interest of the Duke of Glou­cester. The bewitched King received him with transports of joy, and slip­ping out of the sight of the Lords, and all other Observers, betook him­self to York, carrying his beloved Mi­nion with him. The Lords hearing of it, make after him, and choosing the great and potent Earl of Lanca­ster for their General, sent a Message to the King to deliver Gaveston into their Hands, or at least to send him peremptorily out of the Kingdom. But being abused by evil Counsel, and disregarding the Message from the Lords, he marcht from place to place, seeking a sure refuge for his dear Favourite, refusing to stay with the Queen, who with tears beg'd his company, and lodg'd him in Scar­borough-Castle; which being furiously assaulted by the Confederate Lords, [Page 49] Gaveston thought it best to render himself, desiring only the favour to be allow'd once to see the King's face, and the King reciprocally ask'd the same. Gaveston was sent under a Convoy toward Wallingford, but be­ing intercepted by the way, and for­ced from his Guard by the Earl of Warwick, after long deliberation his Head was struck off at a place call'd Blacklow. In the mean time the King of Scots taking notice in how unready a posture Affaires were in England, how the King remitted all case of the Government to Gaveston, and that he gave himself up to Luxury and Licentiousness, in a short time, and with little or no opposition, re­duced almost all Scotland to his obe­dience; and encouraged by that suc­cess. He entred England, burnt, and took several Towns, and being en­counter'd with a splendid Army rai­sed by King Edward, more resemb­ling [Page 50] a Court, than a Camp, and con­sisting of a hundred thousand men; he with an Army hardly amounting to thirty thousand, utterly overthrew and defeated them. This misfortune was follow'd by the loss of almost all Ireland, and the treacherous Ren­dition of Berwick, which yet King Edward was in a fair way to recover, had not the Earl of Lancaster disco­ver'd his immoderate kindness to Hugh Spencer the younger, (whom he had substituted and embraced in the room of Gaveston) and thereupon withdrew his forces from his assist­ance. These Crosses were accom­panied with the loss of Northumber­land, whereof all the Towns were taken, or burnt by the Scots, and an incredible number of Prisoners and Cattel carried into Scotland; King Edward in vain attempting to seek a Reprizal, and at last forced to pass over all hopes of satisfaction, by the [Page 51] conclusion of a Truce. The unhappy King postponing the affections of his Subjects to the fond love of a Dar­ling, advanced Hugh Spencer to the highest pitch of Honour and Favour, committed all Affairs to his sole Ad­ministration; he (in perfect imitati­on of his Predecessor) servilely com­plying with the Kings Humours, and arrogantly insulting over the Lords. They to remove this insupportable Nusance, continue in Arms, confe­derate together, and send a peremp­tory Message to the King, requiring the confirmation and execution of the Articles formerly granted, otherwise threatning to constrain him by force of Arms, and accordingly assembled a mighty body about Dunstable, where the King then lay; but by the interposition of the Prelates, an Ac­commodation was made, and all things agreed to their mutual satisfa­ction. Soon after a Parliament was [Page 52] call'd, wherein the King complain'd that the Lords had taken up Arms, had murthered Pierce Gaveston, and done him many other Affronts; they on the other side justifie their Pro­ceedings, as not undertaken against, but for the Preservation of his Per­son, and the punishment of the pub­lick Enemies of the Kingdom; but the Queen, with the Prelates and the Duke of Gloucester, found an Expedi­ent to qualifie these heats; the Lords became humble Suitors to the King for his Grace and Pardon, and he re­ceives them kindly, as dutiful and loy­al Subjects. But this Reconcilement not being founded in sincerity, was but of a short duration: The two Spencers, Father and Son, became in­tolerable in their Covetousness, Op­pression, and Arbitrary disposal of all Affairs; wherefore the Earl of Lancaster with divers other Lords, entred into a new Confederacy, bin­ding [Page 53] themselves by Oath to live and die together, in the maintenance of the Rights of the Kingdom, and to procure the expulsion of the two Spencers. In pursuance hereof, they gather a great Army, march to Lon­don, and insist stoutly on their former demands; to which once more the King is induced to condescend, by the mediation of the Queen and the Prelates, and by publick Procla­mation the Spencers are banished; but in a short time after the Edict was revoked, they recall'd, and restored to their former place and authority. The wind [...]gan now to change, and by a strange caprichio of fortune, the King got the Ascen­dent over the mutinous Lords, con­quered them in Battel, slew many of them in the Field, and put many to death, by the Sword of Justice; but so soon as the heat of Revenge was a little qualify'd, repented of his pro­ceeding.

[Page 54] Hitherto the miserable King re­ceived only slight wounds in the ex­treme parts of his Body, now he re­ceived a stab at the Heart. The Queen enraged to see her Husbands love diverted upon upstart Favorites, and disdaining to be a Pensioner to their pleasure, found a plausible Ex­cuse to repair into France, where (to be revenged on her Husband for his neglect of her) she continued in too scandalous a familiarity with the Lord Mortimer. The King being adverti­sed of it, commanded her to return, and she delaying to come, he pro­claimed her, and the Prince (who was at that time also in France) Ene­mies to the Kingdom, banish'd them and their Adherents, and strongly guarded the Seas with three Fleets, to intercept their passage. The Queen by the help of Foreign Friends, got together a considerable Army, and landed near Harwich, and was pre­sently [Page 55] reinforced by the conjunction of the Earl Marshal, the Earl of Lan­caster, the Earl of Leicester, and many other Lords and Bishops. The King was astonish'd at the News, being utterly irresolute what course to take: He had no Counsellors about him, but the Spencers, London was not to be trusted, his Army was waver­ing, the people from all Counties flock­ing in to the Queen. In this perplexity he secretly withdraws from the Court, attended by the two Spencers, and a very few others, and being disappoin­ted of his Retreat to the Isle of Lundy, He hides himself in the Abby of Nethe; where within a short time he was taken, his Followers all appre­hended, and the two Spencers pub­lickly and ignominiously executed, and himself committed to the custo­dy of the Earl of Leicester. After Christmas a Parliament was call'd, wherein it was agreed to Depose the [Page 56] King, and set up his Son, who re­fusing to take the Crown, unless his Father would freely resign it, the poor King as tamely surrender'd the Scepter, as he had before unworthily weilded it, and having formally re­nounced and abdicated the Government, and the Speaker of the Parliament, renounced all Allegiance to him, in the Name of the whole King­dom, he was taken from the Earl of Leicester (from whom his Ene­mies thought he had too kind usage) and being hurried from place to place, and wearied with all manner of severity and indignity, wasted by starving, tormented by noisome stinks, and attempted by Poyson, he was at last barbarously and inhu­manely stifled to death between two Pillows. The Murder being disavow'd by the Queen, the Executioners of it fled, and died miserably.


IF Magnanimity, Valour, Piety, Gentleness, Liberty, and other Heroick and Princely Qualities, were communicable by Generation: if vertue could be intayl'd; If the gifts of the mind descended by Inheritance, or were demisable hy Will, or in­separably annex'd to the Body; no man could ever have a juster Pre­tension to Glory and Fame, than Ri­chard the Second, the only Son of that incomparable Hero, Edward the black Prince, and grand Son of that most [Page 58] illustrious and victorious Edward the Third. But Children do not al­ways resemble the Features of the Fa­ther, to the great shame and scandal of the Mother: Wit, and Vigor are seated in the Brain; and Children are not begotten by the Head.

Richard was a Child at the death of his Father; and never acted like a man, during his own Life. A Crown was too heavy a Load for his tender Brows, and the Reflection of its Brightness daizled his Eyes.

The Transactions of State, dur­ing his Minority, are not to be the Subject of my Recital, since the Event of all Affairs that were prosperous, is to be imputed to the Conduct of his Guardians; and where any Acci­dents interrupted his Prosperity, it ought not to be attributed to his mis­fortune. I shall therefore pass over such Occurrences as are recounted by Historians, during his pupillage; [Page 59] and begin my Remarks, at that Period when he assumed the Regal Govern­ment.

And first he deposed the Lord Scroop from his Chancellor-Ship, be­cause he refused to seal some extra­vagant grants made by the King, and receiving the Seal from his Hands, he kept it for a certain Time, and with it seal'd such Grants and Writings as he thought fit, at his own absolute will and pleasure.

His Army sent against France, com­manded by the Bishop of Norwich, was not very prosperous; but laying Seige to Ypres, as they past through Flanders, were forced by the Power of a French Army coming to their Relief, to raise the Seige, and re­treat. And tho the Bishop advised the King to lay hold on that Oppor­tunity to try the Fortune of a Battle with the French, and he pretended over Night to be in a mighty hast and [Page 60] Eagerness to ingage in that enterprise, yet in the Morning the Humor was off, and consulting his own ease and safety, he appointed the Duke of Lancaster to go on that Inployment, who spinning out the Time with di­latory Preparations, till the Bishop was return'd, the Project was disap­pointed, the undertaking came to Nothing; and the Dispute was end­ed in a short lived Truce.

Neither did the Expedition into Scotland, tend to the Honour of the King, or Advantage of the King­dom: for the Scots having made In­cursions into England, taken, and burnt divers Towns upon the Bor­ders, and enriched themselves by a general depredation of the Country. The Duke of Lancaster with the Earl of Buckingham was dispatcht with a mighty Army to repress them: but having entred Scotland, and not be­ing able by any Art, or Stratagem to [Page 61] provoke the Scots to Battel, they returned without obtaining any fur­ther Satisfaction, then a suitable Re­venge in burning, and destroying many Towns there. And tho a truce was made with the Scots; yet with­out any Regard to the Stipulation, they again entred the Borders, and took Berwick.

But now the unfortunate King be­gan to form Plots against his own honour and Quiet; for being incens­ed against the Duke of Lancaster (whe­ther upon real, or upon imaginary Provocations) a design was laid to have that great man Arrested, and arraign'd of Treason before Sir Robert Tresilian, chief Justice (tho by the Law of the Land his Tryal ought to have been by his Peers) and it is easie to imagin what would have been the Issue of such irregular Proceedings: but the Duke having timely intima­tion of the mischief and contrivance [Page 62] against him; withdrew himself op­portunely to his Castle of Pomfret, where he stood upon his guard, till by the laborious travel and powerful intercession of the Kings Mother (tho by reason of her Corpulency she was most un-fit for such an Im­ployment) the King was pacified, and reconciled to the Duke.

The Scots still meditating Revenge and the French King still ready to fo­ment the quarrel, prepared for a fresh Invasion of England, and receiving auxiliary Ayds of great Number and strength from the French, once more entred the English Borders. King Richard receiving Advertisement of it, with great Speed rais'd a mighty Army, and marching in Person at the Head of them, entered Scotland, burnt Edingburgh proceeding without Control, but could by no means draw the Scots to Battle; they in the mean Time to divert the Kings progress, [Page 63] made a descent into Cumberland, and Besieged Carlisle; to the relief of which the King approaching with so formidable an Army, obliged the Scots to retreat into their own Coun­try, and upon their Recess the King returned into England, bringing with him neither Honour nor Advan­tage by so fruitless an Expedition.

After these things (and some o­ther passages not so directly apper­taining to the History of his Life) King Richard began to hasten his own Destiny, and by Imprudent Actions, pernicious Counsels, and an Arbitrary Assertion of his indispu­table Prerogative, to kindle those Flames of Mutiny, and Discontent, which never were extinguish'd, but at the Expence of his own Blood, and the Loss of his Crown. Robert Vere Earl of Oxford and Marquiss of Dublin was his Darling, and Michael de la Pool was his Favorite: The first [Page 64] a Gentleman of commendable good Parts, he created Duke of Ireland (tho he himself was but Lord of it) the other a man of mean extraction, he made Earl of Suffolk, and Chan­cellour of England; both very ob­noxious, and not accomplish'd with such Merits, as might advance them in Titles, or Offices beyond the Ancient Nobility, without Envy, or Obloquy. These Wicked Coun­sellors set a false Glass before the short sighted King, and a­bused him with erroneous represen­tations of his own sufficiency, ab­solute Authority, and uncontrollable Power: Insomuch that in a Parlia­ment then call'd, the King began sharply to expostulate with the Lords, and by an undecent Comparison with the Freedom of their Tenures, to Challenge to himself an unque­stionable liberty. This haughty Car­riage of the King, exasperated the [Page 65] Parliament, and fermented them to such a degree of dissatisfaction, that instead of consenting to grant him a Subsidy toward his Wars, they fell foul upon the New Chancellour, and never gave him over, till they ob­tain'd a severe Judgment against him to the Forfeitures of his Life, and the Confiscation of his Estate. The adverse Party were highly net­tled at these proceedings, and be­ing push'd on by Revenge, and Malice, they combined in a hor­rid Design to Murther the Duke of Gloucester, and such other Lords as cross'd the King in his extrava­gant Courses; which Flagitious Plot was to be perpetrated upon an invitation of them to a Supper in London: Sir Nicholas Brember the for­mer Lord Mayor was a prime In­strument in this Enterprise; but the King imparting this matter to Rich­ard Exton the present Mayor, and [Page 66] endeavouring to make him an Ac­complice in the Action, he would by no perswasions be induced to con­sent to so vile an Attempt, and there­upon they desisted from the further prosecution of it. Notwithstanding this, and many other untoward pas­sages, a Subsidy was granted to the King under certain Limitations; but the Parliament were so disgusted; be­cause the King had respited the Execu­tion of the Judgment against the Chan­cellour, that they positively declared, unless the Chancellour were removed they would proceed no farther in a Parliamentary Course. The King hereupon grew Cholerick, and plain­ly told them, he would rather ap­ply himself to the French King for Assistance, than submit to his Sub­jects: Yet upon good Reasons offer'd by the Lords, a great change was made in the Ministers of State, and particularly the Chancellour was [Page 67] removed: and so desirous were the Lords and Commons to have the Duke of Ireland excluded from the Kings Pre­sence, that they were content he should receive thirty Thousand Marks, on condition he would transport himself into Ireland. But no sooner was the Parliament dissolved, but the King recanted all his condecensions, re­voked all Orders against the Chan­cellour, the Duke of Ireland, and the rest, and received then into higher Favour, than they were in before. And tho' the Earls of Arundel and Nottingham performed a Noble ex­ploit, hardly to be parallel'd in Hi­story, yet their Service was disre­garded, and their persons slighted, because the Duke of Ireland gave them no countenance: By whose con­trivance a New Plot was laid to de­stroy the Duke of Gloucester, and the easie King surrounded with Parasites and corrupt Judges, suffer'd them to [Page 68] pursue their extravagant practices, and Two Thousand Persons were at once indicted before Sir Robert Tresilian the Chief Justice. He then propounded certain Queries to Robert Belknap Lord Chief Justice and other Judges, which they soon resolved, in defiance of the Law, and the priviledges of Parlia­ment. And notwithstanding he stood in such ill Terms with his people, yet a way was found to pack Juries in London, and Indictments were found of many Crimes against some of the Lords: Whom having a design to persecute, he summon'd the Jud­ges, Justices, and Sheriffs of the Kingdom, that he might be informed, what power of Men they could assure him of, to serve him against the Lords: And intending shortly to call a Parliament, he tamper'd with them to have no Knight or Burgess chosen, but such as the King and his Council should Name. But finding by the [Page 69] Answer of the Sheriffs, that they could not raise any Forces upon such a pretence, nor infringe the Ancient Liberty in Elections to Parliament; the King and the Duke of Ireland sent into all parts to raise men in this Quarrel against the Lords, consul­ting on some Devices how to intrap them. The Duke of Gloucester being advertised of this, had a secret Con­ference with the rest, and assembling a numerous Body of Men, stood upon their Guard, and sent Commis­sioners to the King, requiring such Traytors and Seducers as were about his Person, to be delivered up to them. The King was advised by the Duke of Ireland, the Earl of Suffolk, and others about him, to offer Calice to the French King, to procure his Assistance against the Lords; and with all sent to the Mayor of London, requiring to make an estimate of how many able men might be rais'd [Page 70] in the City, who making Tryal of what could be done on such occasi­on, received this Answer from the People, that they would never fight against the Kings Friends, and Defen­ders of the Realm. In the mean time the Earl of Northumberland interposed with his advice, and per­swaded the King to send for the Lords under safe Conduct, and friend­ly to expostulate with them; to which the Lords consented, upon Oath given by the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, and the Lord Chancel­lour, that no Fraud, or evil practice should be used against them: But being ready to come according to appointment, they received intima­tion of an Ambush laid to in­trap them, and so desisted. If the King was privy to this Plot, he was guilty of an Action most unworthy of a Prince: But the Conspirators were certainly known, yet not call'd [Page 71] to Account for it. After this, upon a more secure Conduct from the King, the Lords presented themselves before him, and after some cholerick contest a Reconciliation was made, and it was concluded that all matters should be heard and regulated in a Parliament, speedily to be call'd. Hereupon the Favorite-Lords were highly dissatisfy'd, and plainly told the King, they would not hazard their appearance at such a meeting; and so the Duke of Ireland, and the rest of that Faction withdrew from Court, and absconded. But the King not able to brook their absence, or­dered an Army to be rais'd for the safeguard of the Duke of Ireland, and to reconduct him to his Presence; who being encounter'd on the way by the Earl of Derby, he fled and escaped by leaping into a River, but after two or three years dy'd mise­rably in a foreign Country.

[Page 72] And now the Lords, having got matter enough against the King, at least to justifie their taking up Armes, march'd directly to London with forty thousand men, and some of them going to the King in the Tower, they shew'd him the very Letter which he had writ to the Duke of Ireland, to levy an Army for their destruction; as also the Letters writ to him by the French King, importing a safe Con­duct for him to come into France, there to do Acts tending to his own dishonour, and the prejudice of the Kingdom; which being done, they civilly retreated, upon the Kings promise to come next day to West­minster, to concert all matters; but the fickle King alter'd his mind, be­fore he went to Bed, and discover'd his purpose to avoid the meeting next day. The Lords being advertis'd of this, sent a peremptory message to him, That if he did not come accor­ding [Page 73] to his promise, they would choose another King, that should hearken to the faithful Counsel of his Lords. The King sensibly touch'd with this sharp message, gave them a meeting, and they positively insisting that the Traytors so often complain'd of, should be removed from the Court, he at last with much reluct­ancy consented to their Desires, and so the whole Nest of Vipers was dis­sipated, some expell'd the Court, some bound by good Sureties to appear and answer, and some committed to Prison. When the Parliament met, they proceeded roundly, the corrupt Judges were arrested in their Seats of Judicature, and carried to the Tower, for acting contrary to the Agreement made in the preceding Parliament; the Duke of Ireland, and the rest of that Crew, cited to appear and an­swer to certain Articles of High Treason, and for non-appearance [Page 74] banish'd, and their Lands and Goods seized to the Kings use; Sir Robert Tresilian was hang'd, Sir Nicholas Brember beheaded, several others ex­ecuted, and the Judges condemned to die, and the King obliged by Oath to stand to such order as the Lords should set down. Some years after, upon a Riot committed in London, the King seised on their Liberties, and took away their Charter, which could not be restored till they paid a Fine of ten thousand pounds.

I intend a compendious Abstract, and not a compleat History; there­fore I studiously omit the recital of many Transactions and Occurrences coincident with this relation, as not having a direct and principal con­cernment in the Estate and Life of King Richard. Unstable Fortune had the Ascendent over all the Affairs of the poor King, and the course of his Reign was imbroiled with a strange [Page 75] Vicissitude of prosperous and adverse Accidents. The Duke of Gloucester, and other Lords, entring into a com­bination to seise upon the King, the Plot was detected, and their lives taken away for the assurance of his safety. A Parliament was call'd, wholly conformable to the Kings will, they that opposed him were banish'd, confiscated, and executed, and the whole power of it devolved on a certain select number of Com­missioners, to the great prejudice of the State, and a dangerous example to future Times: a Pardon was gran­ted to all the Subjects, except fifty, whose Names not being expressed, he kept the Nobility under an awe, that if any of them offended him, they might come under the notion of exempted persons; and thus the King seem'd secure against all mis­chances.

[Page 76] But an unforeseen Accident, groun­ded on a very slight occasion, pro­duced an extraordinàry Revolution, by which the whole frame of Go­vernment was unhinged, and that Cloud which at first appear'd but of the bigness of a hand, soon overspread the sky, and dissolved in a tempestuous shower of Blood. The Duke of Here­ford was banish'd the Kingdom for six years, and several Persons of Note and Quality, either by voluntary withdrawing, or a compulsory Exile, went beyond the Seas. The Duke within a short time was advertis'd that his Father was dead (and there­by he became Duke of Lancaster) and that King Richard had seised into his hands all the Estate descended to him by his Fathers death. And meeting often with the Archbishop of Canter­bury, then in Exile, and mutually la­menting the deplorable condition of England, the enormous actions of the [Page 77] King, and the Impossibllity of ever reclaiming him; they began to enter into Consulation, by what means best to get him removed; and in the very Nick, Solicitations came from several Parts of England to urge the Duke to hasten over, and to take the Government upon him, promi­sing all ready Assistance to that work The Duke presently grasp'd the Op­portunity, and without further De­liberation prepared for his Return, and with a very few Lords and Gen­tlemen, and about threescore Persons presently put to Sea, and landed in York-shire, which was no sooner known but several Lords, and great Numbers of the Gentry and Common sort, flockt into him. And tho he was invited to come and take the Government up­on him, yet he pretended no other cause, but to take Possession of the Inheritance, descended from his Fa­ther, and most unjustly seized and [Page 78] detain'd by King Richard. His For­ces increased dayly, and a mighty Ar­my was got together, and all the Kings Castles forthwith surrendred to him, many of the Kings Friends were Ar­rested, and some put to death. All this while King Richard was in Ireland and for six weeks (by reason of con­trary Winds) had no Notice of the Dukes Landing: After which time wasting many daies in a dilatory Pre­paration, he landed in Wales; but hearing that all the Castles from the Borders of Scotland, and Bristol, were delivered up to the Duke of Lancaster, that the greatest Part of the Nobility and Commons were joynd with him, and his principal Counsellors taken and executed; he fell into absolute Despair, dismissed his Army, bidding every one to shift for himself, and the next Night stole away, and got to the Castle of Couwey. The Duke proceeded on his March, and every [Page 79] day some Lords and Gentlemen of ac­count came in to him, and having proferred Conditions to the King with which he seem'd to be content he agreed to meet the Duke, but up­on his Journy was seis'd by an Am­bush laid for him, and carried to Flint-Castle. Thither the Duke came, and carri'd the King with him by easie Journeys, to London, and the next Day lodged him in the Tower. Presently a Parliament was called by the Duke, but in the Name of King Richard, aad many heynous Crimes laid to his Charge, ingrost and sum'd up in three and thirty Articles for which the Parliament adjudg'd him to be deposed from all Kingly Honour, and Princely Government; thereupon the King by a formal In­strument made a Solemn Resignation of his Crown and Authority, mak­ing it his Request that the Duke of Lancaster might be his Successor, and [Page 80] in token thereof taking the signet from his Finger and puting it upon that of the Dukes: Which being reported to the Parliament, they approved of it and appointed the Sentence of his Deposition to be publickly proclam­ed.

We have followed this most un­fortunate Prince to the last Scene of his Life; but the manner of his death is so variously reported, that it is hard to pitch upon that Author, on whose credit we may safely rely. It is most certain that he did not long Survive his Resignation, but being carried to Leeds, and from thence to Pomfret, soon after a Period was put to his Life, and Miseryes toge­ther, in the three and thirtieth year of his Age.

If he did not imitate, his Father; yet he resembled His Mother, and was the Goodliest Person alive. His Disposition was good; but corrupted [Page 81] by Education, his Inclinations prompt­ed him to Vertue, but were pervert­ed by Flatterrers, and Evil Counsellors. Crafty men made Advantage of his Credulity; and he was ruined by too strict a Constancy. If he had not been deficient to himself; his Opposer had not so easily prevail'd, his Timi­dity apeared in not fighting for his Crown, his Moderation in the Surren­dred of it, and his Courage in surviv­ing the Loss.


IAm now ingaged in a difficult Task, divided between Truth and Respect, being to describe the Life of a Prince, who (contrary to the custom of the World) was better spoken of while he lived, than he has been since his Death. His Fame had suffer'd a great dimi­nution by succeeding so admirable a Father; had it not recover'd by the prospect of such a Brother, who was to be his Successor. If in the Lives of former Kings any mistake was committed, the Records and Anci­ent [Page 83] Writers must vouch the Relation, and the present Age cannot confute it: But to give an Account of a Life so lately ended, requires an exactness beyond my Reach, wherein the least Trip overthrows the Credit of the Reporter. To enumerate the Ver­tues of a Prince, without taking no­tice of his Failings, is but to flatter his memory, and deceive Poste­rity; to reckon up his Vices, with­out intermingling the mention of his laudable Actions, is but so sully his Fame, and deduce no Benefit to the Curiosity of Observers. I resolve to tread lightly on his Grave, and not press too hard upon the Heels of Truth. I may pursue my Topic, in recounting the Instances which just­ly denominate him unfortunate, and Note the Errors of his Government, without reflection on his Person.

That he was of extraordinary Parts, that he had a quick mercurial [Page 84] Wit, a great insight into the liberal Sciences, and even the mechanical Arts no man will deny: He had a piercing, if not a solid Judgment, his intellect was comprehensive, if not profound.

His Lenity and Clemency were very conspicuous, and recommended him to the Love, and Praise of the Spe­ctators; yet it so fell out, that such egregious Acts of Severity and Inju­stice were exercised upon all sorts of men, as will puzzle Posterity to com­prehend the meaning.

In his time no Man had the Rea­son to set a Value on himself for any promotion, nor no man had cause to despair of a preferment: The Cards were daily shuffled, and unexpected chance turn'd up the Trump.

Upon all occasions he profest a great Zeal for the Protestant Religi­on, yet every day that profession lost ground. Popery was not allow'd [Page 85] yet it hover'd among us: The Frogs did not cover the Land, yet the Je­suitical Vermin swarm'd in every Corner: Tho' the Papists were not shelter'd by a legal Indemnity, yet they grew numerous and confident upon the expectation of an ap­proaching Jublie.

His Brother and Successour had a mighty Ascendent over his Genius, catching at all opportunities to grati­fie his Ambition, and propagate the Faith; while the other indulged him­self in pleasure, and avoided the fati­gue of Government.

There are so many living Monu­ments of his Incontinency, that if I forbear to mention it, I shall render the Truth and Impartiality of my o­ther Remarks suspected. It is usual with Kings and Princes to prosecute prohibited Amours, but so great was his generosity, that he thought it a dis­paragment to manage a secret Intrigue. [Page 86] His Liberality was so extraordinary, that he spared not to give a Thou­sand years purchase for a Moments Fruition.

He lost the Love of his Friends, by too fond a Love of his Brother; and by too stiff a Refusal to consent to his Exclusion, he endanger'd the Interest of his Family, and gave a shock to Monarchy it self.

The first and greatest misfortune that befell Charles the Second was, the Cruel and Ignominious Death of his Father, that incomparable Charles the First, Sentenced to die, and publickly Executed before his own Palace, by a Jancto of flagitious men, garbled out of a Parliament by the Usurper. From his Fathers Martyrdom to his own Restaurati­on, was one continued Scene of mi­sery, and sorrow. In the year 1648 Charles the First was deprived of Life by his Evil Subjests, his Friends look­ing [Page 87] on, and not able to prevent it: In the year 1660. Charles the Se­cond was brought to the Throne by his Good Subjects, his Enemies looking on, and not able to hinder it: The one an inhumane Action, and unpa­rallel'd; the other wholly surprising, and miraculous: In the one no Blood shed, but that of the King him­self; in the other not one Drop of Blood drawn, even of the meanest Subject.

Charles the second was then be­yond the Seas, and succeeded imme­diately to the Right of three King­doms, but did not actually possess them for many years. And now be­hold a King truly unfortunate! His Father barbarously destroy'd, and he in no capacity to call to account the bloody Actors of that Tragedy; three potent Kingdoms usurped by violence, and by force detain'd from him, and he not able to put in a claim [Page 88] for his Right, or contend for the re­covery: His Enemies insulting in their success, abjuring his Title, and metamorphosing a glorious Monarchy into an Anarchical Commonwealth: His Friends harassed, imprison'd, plunder'd, sequestred, executed, no man daring to own his Allegiance, or capable to contribute advice or aid toward his Restoration: Himself a deserted Exile, wandring from one Princes Court to another to seek for shelter and subsistence; while the subtle machinations of the Usurpers did not more sensibly aggravate, and advance his unhappiness, than the improsperous Attempts of his loyal Subjects to compass his Restitution. In Scotland the Heroick Acts of the most renown'd Marquis of Montross, (who with an inconsiderable handful of men traversed the Kingdom, and performed such Exploits, as may justly denominate his History the Mo­ral [Page 89] of a Romance) only ended in his destruction, while he became a sacri­fice to his Enemies implacable malice, and a glorious Martyr for Loyalty, but with an irreparable detriment to his Masters cause. In Ireland the most Noble Duke (then Marquis) of Or­mond was so successful in his Under­takings, that he had reduced the whole Kingdom to the obedience of the King, except Dublin, and London-Derry, to the first of which having laid a close Siege, and beleagured it with a Royal Camp, he was disar­ry'd by a fatal Sally from the Town, his Army totally routed, and him­self obliged to a hasty and hazardous escape; which disaster was follow'd by the Rendition of Drogheda, and many other considerable Towns, and after a faint Resistance the whole Kingdom was subjected to the Tri­umphant Conqueror, and the Inte­rest of the King wholly extermina­ted. [Page 90] England was so manacled with the Chains of an armed Power, that they could not budge; the Royal Party, than call'd the Cavaliers, were debar'd the liberty of meeting at home, or stirring abroad, their per­sons were disarm'd, their Houses ran­sackt, and their Estates brought into the unmerciful Inquisition at Gold­smiths Hall; in some corners of the Land small Parties started up now and then to exert their Loyalty, and manifest their Allegiance, and the King was received into the Island of Jersey, but by a Fleet sent thither by the Usurping power, soon compell'd to forsake it; so that these weak struglings like the last efforts of Na­ture, tended only to diminish the number of the Kings Friends, and to heighten his Infelicity. In the year 1650, the King was invited into Scot­land, landed there safely, received with all the demonstrations of joy [Page 91] and satisfaction, and solemnly pro­claimed King. But to disturb his Tranquillity, and interrupt the calm fruition of his new acquired Sove­raignty, Cromwell (that victorious Re­bel, who in the space of one year had reduced almost all the Garrisons in Ireland, and Caesar-like made a compleat conquest of that Kingdom only by walking through it) is dis­patcht into Scotland, who in July en­tred that Country with an Army of sixteen thousand men effective; the Scots were not idle on their side, but form'd an Army consisting of six thousand Horse and Dragoons, and fifteen thousand Foot, a party of whom attempting to beat up the Enemies Quarters about Musleburgh, surprised the Out guards, and routed the first Regiment that opposed them, but were so warmly received by the rest, that the Commander being wounded, the whole party was dis­order'd, [Page 92] and pursu'd to the Army, and the whole Camp in danger of a surprisal, had not the King himself unexpectedly appear'd in person, and stemm'd the Torrent. But in Septem­ber following hapned a fatal decision of the dispute at Dunbar, where the Scots Army reinforced to above twen­ty thousand men, and presuming on a certain Victory (having inclosed their Enemies beyond a probability of an escape) encountred the English Army, then decreased to the num­ber of twelve thousand, and with much courage and gallantry charged them; but the hand of God was in it, their whole Army was routed, four thousand slain, and nine thou­sand taken Prisoners, with the loss of three hundred on the Invaders side: After which the Kings Interest in Scotland declined daily, the Enemy getting advantage by the Dissention between the Court and the Kirk-party, [Page 93] and Cromwel by springing of Mines (but more by corrupting the Governour with money) had Edin­burgh-Castle surrendred to him, the taking of which was follow'd with the loss of many more Garrisons. Nevertheless the Scots were neither daunted in their Courage, nor defi­cient in their Allegiance, but proceed­ed to the Coronation of the King, and he to the calling of a Parliament, and having got together a good Body of an Army, it was thought best that the King should give Cromwell the slip, and make a sudden descent in­to England, leaving him to take his swing and range through Scotland; to make this Enterprise the more hopeful, the Earl of Darby and many other Loyal persons began to peep out of their Recesses, and to use all Ex­pedition to joyn; but a malignant Constellation still influenced K. Charles his Affairs, some of his Abettors were [Page 4] intercepted, some routed, and the Earl of Darby, discomfited, and many Persons of Quality and re­solution taken Prisoners. At last came on the dismal Ingagement at Worster, that critical Arbiter of the Kings cause, from whence we may date the depression of the Mon­archy, the exaltation of Anarchy, and Confusion of Governments. I take no Pleasure in descanting too long on so unpleasant a Theme; in a word the King was defeted, his whole Army given up to death, or captivi­ty, except a very few, with whom he made his Escape, and after some weeks spent in lurking, disguising, shifting, and un-easy travelling, he arrived safe in France. The King was now actually devested of his three Kingdoms, his Enemies victorious, in Possession of his Right, and usurping the Regal Authority, under the Dis­guise of other Appellations: & how so­ever [Page 95] the grand Apostates from Loyalty dayly crumbled into Factions, and Divisions, and the Supream Authority frequently changed its Dress, and put on a new Face; yet all concur'd in the detestation of King-Ship, and an abjuring the Family of Stuart. To recount the transactions of the Junto at London, or the Exploits of their Legions, through all the Dominions subjected to the Common wealth of England, might prove a tollerable En­tertainment for the Reader, but I have no Inclination to admire their Policy, or cry up the Fame of the Protector: My Business is to observe the disastrous Fate of an Exil'd King, and (there being yet no exact Me­moirs transmitted to us of his For­rein Adventures) to Sum up his Mis­fortune in a nine years Banishment, by noting how miserably he was abandond', thurst and kept out from the Possession of England, Scotland, [Page 96] and Ireland, and all the Dominions and Territories belonging to them, a Pensioner to Strangers, and all De­signs of his Friends at home, or his Allies abroad frustrated, and baffled.

But when the Almighty Governor of the World had so long scourged the Royal Family, as to his wisdom seem'd sufficient, and all the Practices of human Strength and Invention were rendred ineffectual; in a sudden and unexpected manner; without Means, without Contrivance, with­out the Success of a Battle, or the operation of any Stratagem; the Re­pulican Babel was over turned, the King restored, and peaceably seated in the Throne of his Ancestors.

From his Restoration he Reign'd more than twenty four years, and I wish I could say happily. But not being blest with a legitimate Issue, he was continually teas'd with the In­croachments of an impatient Heir: [Page 97] Having misapplied his Revenues (which were vastly increased beyond all that was given to his predecessors he was by his Necessities induced fre­quently to call Parliaments, and by his evil Councils as often prompted to dissolve them: his gentle Disposition inclined him to an universal Indul­gence; but the malevolent Insinuati­ons of self-interested men misled him to a Connivence at extraordinary Severities: The Papists hated him for avowing so much Favor to the Church of England; and Dissenters blamed him for a suspected Propension to the Church of Rome: His constitution was happy; but by his irregular cour­ses he rais'd Batteries against his own Health, and he might have lived longer, if he had not lived so fast. The Indowments of his mind were admirable; but his immersion in Plea­sures over-shadow'd his Reputation: The prolonging of his Life had given [Page 98] an Adjournment to the Mischeifs that quickly assaulted both Church, and State; but one Sort of Men thought he lived too long: whether any hand, but his own, contributed to the ac­celarating of his Death, I have no war­rant to make any Asseveration; Let the future Writers of History adjust that matter to the clear information of Posterity. All I have to say, is the News of his Death was publish­ed, before there was any Report of his Sickness: He died of an Apoplexy the Sixth of February 1684, and the whole Body (whereof he was the Head) was presently seised with con­vulsive Motions.


THE Reign of James the Se­cond was so lately begun, and (by the mercy of God) so soon deter­min'd, that every mans Remem­brance of it may justly supersede the Trouble of a Repetition. There needs no Art, nor Arguments to con­vince the World, that he was more unfortunate than all his Predecessors; and every impartial Observer will al­low, that he was the principal Engi­neer, that sapped the Foundations of his own Happiness.

If he had arrived at the Throne by [Page 100] an indirect Road: If he had gain'd it by Conquest, and ow'd his Title to the Umpirage of the Sword: If he had come in by Intrusion, Invasi­on, or Usurpation; by Craft, or Vi­olence; by Force of Arms, or the prevalency of Pensions: If he had justled out the true Heir, or supplanted the lawful Pretender, or out-stript his Competitor by the aid of the people, or over-topt his Opposers by the Assistance of Foreigners: It had been no wonder, that the Crown had totter'd on his Head, that his Seat had been uneasie, and his Go­vernment Short lived. But when his Title was not disputed; when he was saluted King by an Universal Acclamation; welcom'd by the Ad­dresses and congratulations of all his Subjects; his Revenues settled and augmented; his Enemies subdued, and his Throne establish'd by a Loy­al Parliament, and a submissive peo­ple; [Page 101] his Ruin must necessarily be im­puted to himself; and all his misfor­tunes undeniably accounted the Re­sult of his own miscarriage. So that while the Histories of all Ages and Nations do abound with Examples of the Strange, Cruel, False, and unnatural Methods used by ambiti­ous men to gain principalities, King James must remain single upon Re­cord; as the only Person that will­fully and industriously dethron'd himself. We read of aspiring men, who have dissembled, changed, and comply'd with the fashionable Reli­gion of the Country, to insure their possession: But it is without presi­dent, that a Prince quietly settled in his Throne; courted by his Neigh­bours, Obey'd by his Subjects with­out reserve, or distrust; not grudg­ed, nor affronted in the private Ex­ercises of his own perswasion; should be so intoxicated by the [Page 202] Fumes of Zeal, to attempt the subver­sion of the general Religion current thro Three Kingdoms, establish'd by Parliament, and incorporated so into the Laws, that the Religion of the Nation is the Law of the Nation; and to obtrude upon his Subjects a way of Worship as dissonant from their Humour, as repugnant to their Con­science; a way exploded by the former Age, and detested by this; and so forseit his Right to the Impe­rial Crown of Three opulent King­doms upon a fallacious assurance of a Reprisal in Heaven; is such a stupendious Act of supererogation, as may serve to supply half the Ro­man Catholick Church with a super­fluity of Merit.

On the Sixth day of February 1684 Charles the Second put off mortali­ty, and by his Death revived the Languishing Hopes of the Popish Expectants. He departed about [Page 103] Noon, and in that very Afternoon James the Second was proclaim'd in London and Westminster, by Order of the Council: To convince the World, that howsoever the Parlia­ment labour'd to Exclude him from Succession by political Ordinances, and by a Course of Law; yet, that Design not being accomplish'd, they would not so much as hesitate, or demur upon the right of his Inheri­tance. He on the other side saluted them graciously, promised to imi­tate his Brother in his Tenderness to the people, Celebrated the Loyal principles of the Church of England, and past his Royal Word to take care to defend, and support it. The Collection of the Customs, and the Duties of Tunnage and Poundage (which were annexed to the Crown during the Kings Life) were con­tinued de bene esse, till the Meeting of a Parliament: All Men were [Page 104] Quiet, and Contented, and he was Congratulated with Addresses from all parts of England, testifying a ready Obedience to his Commands, and devoting their Lives and For­tunes to the defence of his person, and the maintenance of his prero­gative: His Accession to the Crown was Solemnised with great Accla­mations of Joy thro' the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland: Ambasladours from Foreign Princes, and States arrived daily, presenting their Complements of Condolence for the deceased King; and their satisfaction in his Assumption of the Regal power: On the Twenty third of April, the King and Queen were both Crown'd, and at his Co­ronation he took the accustom'd Oaths to maintain the Laws, and the establish'd Religion: No King ever Ascended the Throne with less Opposition, Disputes, or prelumi­nary [Page 105] Cautions; none was ever at­tended with more apparent circum­stances of Felicity; or had a fairer prospect of becoming Glorious at home, and formidable abroad. The Parliament of Scotland having pre­vented him in his wishes, and out done all their Predecessours in a re­dundancy of Zeal and Loyalty: A Parliament met also at Westminster, to whom the King reiterated his assurance of supporting the Church of England; preserving the Govern­ment in Church and State, as by Law establish'd, and a resolution never to invade any Mans proper­ty.

In this very Juncture, when the King had so endear'd himself to the Parliament by such Gracious Ex­pressions, and they reciprocally Courted him with all dutiful respect, the unfortunate Earl of Argyle (whose persecution was unparellel'd, [Page 106] Attainted for Treason, before the Law that made it so was promulga­ted; and condemn'd only for scrup­ling to take the Test, which in a short time after, it was a Capital Offence to subscribe) Landed in the Highlands of Scotland, and set forth a Declaration to justifie his underta­king, and to renounce all Allegiance to the present King; who immedi­ately communicated the Intelligence he had received to the Parliament, and both Houses without delay ex­press'd their Resentment in Raputres of Love and Zeal, with protestati­ons to stand by him with their Lives and Fortunes against all Opposers, and particularly the Earl of Argyle; and to demonstrate, that it was no Complement, they presented him with a Bill, for settling the Revenues on him for Life, and resolved on an extraordinary supply for these inci­dent Occasions. While these mat­ters [Page 107] were transacting. News came to the King that the Duke of Mon­mouth was Landed in the West of England (an unseasonable Landing for that unhappy Gentleman! when the Parliament was Charm'd with the good Words, and amused by the great and gracious promises of the King) with a small party, but eve­ry day increasing; who presently were proclaim'd Traytors, and the King imparting the News to both Houses, they forthwith in a trans­port of Loyalty reassure him that they will stand by him with their Lives and Fortunes against the Duke of Monmouth, and all other his Ene­mies, and with an unusual Expedition they past two Acts to augment his Revenue, by a New Imposition on Wine, Vineger, Tobacco, and Su­gar; and to secure his person, an Act of Attainder of the Duke of Mon­mouth. It was morally impossible [Page 108] for such inconsiderable parties to ef­fect their purposes: the Parliaments in both Kingdoms were unanimous, almost all people relyed on the King's word, not doubting but he would continue a Defender of the Faith, tho he was not a Professor. And so the event proved, for within a few days or weeks at most, the whole Enterprise came to nothing, the forces in each Kingdom were routed and dispersed, the Duke and Earl both ta­ken prisoners, and both executed on the Scaffold.

Violent Hurricanes tear Trees out of the Ground; but the shaking of small winds make the Tree take deeper Root; the quenching of an intestine Rebellion alway sets the Prince some steps higher, and de­presseth the subject as much. The Par­liament had now sat long enough to do the Kings Business, and the King had Business to do not fit to be intrusted to the Parliament; where­upon [Page 109] it was adjourn'd to the fourth of August, and from thence to the ninth of November. At which time being reassembled, the King made the first discovery of his claim to a dispensing Power, telling them plainly, that he will not want the Services of such men whom he accounted faith­ful, but would imploy them in the Army, tho they were not qualified according to the late Tests: The Parliament modestly and civilly ex­postulated this unexpected resolution in an humble Address, and proposed an Expedient to moderate the Ex­tremity of the Law, purely to grati­fie the Desires of their Prince; but this did not sound well in the Ears of the Court, some other measures must be taken, and so the Parliament was Prorogued to the tenth of Febru­ary, and here we may bid them adieu, having after several Prorogations been dissolved, as a company of inflexible [Page 110] stubborn Protestants, who would not tamely comply with the King's Arbi­trary pleasure. Several Noblemen, and other persons were now indicted and try'd for their Lives, some esca­ped by the merit of their ingenuous Defence, some were respited from Execution, and some suffer'd Death. The Earl of Clarendon was sent Lord Lieutenant into Ireland, that the Pro­testants might be cajol'd into a lavish credulity, till matters were ripe for their Destruction. An Army of twenty thousand men was rais'd, and encamped at Hounslow-Heath, because the Militia was not found to be use­ful; and the late Invasions of Mon­mouth and Argyle were a sufficient warning to the King not to be ta­ken again unprovided. But the ere­cting of a Popish Chappel in the midst of the Camp, and the open and daily celebration of the Mass there, (together with the setting up [Page 111] Convents of Friers, and Schools, and Seminaries of Jesuits in several places in London, the unclean Beasts crossing the Streets, and entring their Arkby couples) began to startle the people; and the Dispatch of the Earl of Ca­stlemain to Rome as an Embassador to the Pope, and the entertaining a Nuncio from him, gave a mighty Umbrage of offence to all conside­ring men. That strict Injunction by Law for every man that exercised any Office, to take the Oaths and Test, was a great Barricado against the Preferment of Catholick Candi­dates; the Judges must be consulted (or rather directed) how to apply some Remedy, and they to their eternal shame, made false Glosses on the Text, betray'd the Law, the im­pregnable Fortress of English Proper­ty, and skrew'd up the Rules of a circumscribed Monarchy to an Abso­lute and Despotick Government, to [Page 112] command without controul; and to he obey'd without reserve. But the putting a muzzle upon the old Laws to keep them from biting, was not enough to carry on the work, with­out introducing some Innovations; wherefore a Commission was given to certain persons to order all Eccle­siastical Affairs, with an Authority and extent almost unlimited, and a Non-ob­stante to all Rights and Priviledges. The first Essay made by this exorbi­tant Court, was on the Bishop of London (a person noble by Birth, and high in Office, reverenced, and be­loved by all men for his Candor, Mo­deration, and many eminent Ver­tues) whom for a frivolous matter, without colour of Law or Reason, they suspended from his Episcopal Function.

It was now high time to recall the Earl of Clarendon from the Govern­ment of Ireland, that the Sword might [Page 113] be put into the Hands of the Earl of Tyrconnel. To enumerate the mischiefs that have accrew'd to the Protestants by his Administration, would require a Treatise by it self; let it suffice to say, that in that miserable Kingdom Popery was predominant, and bare faced Mass-houses set up in every Town and Village, the Corporati­ons changed, their Charters condem­ned, all Offices Civil and Military conferr'd on Papists, the Act of Set­tlement (which the King had so se­riously promised to keep inviolated) infringed, and eluded, and Gentle­men dispossessed of their Estates by erroneous Judgments, the Protestants disarm'd and dismounted, such as were able to remove forced to fly; and such as stay'd behind subjected to all the Insolencies and Barbarities of Slaves vested with Authority.

To Scotland strict and severe Or­ders were sent to restrain all Field-Conventicles, [Page 114] and in England the Dis­senters were indicted, fined, and im­prison'd. And yet within a short time after, a general Indulgence was publish'd to all Perswasions, with a counterfeit saving to the Rights of the Church of England; the King being made to believe, that since he was secure from any Opposition from the Church of England (they lying quietly intrenched under the Blinds of Non-resistance, and Passive Obe­dience) if he could but cast a mist before the eyes of the Dissenters, and muffle their hands, and charm them into a supine security; the desired Reformation might proceed gradu­ally without Interruption, and after a while the Doors might be open'd, and Popery let in with a full Breast. But they were grosly mistaken in their Politicks: The illegal proceed­ings against the Bishop of London, seconded by the Arbitrary and most [Page 115] unjust persecution of the Vice-Chan­cellor of Cambridge, and the ejection of the President and Fellows of Mag­dalen Colledg in Oxford, and the in­trusion of profest Papists in their rooms, open'd the eyes of all sorts, and quickly taught the Dissenters what they were to expect (whose Toleration was Temporary and pre­carious) when such open Invasions were made on that Church that was firmly establish'd by Law.

But unless the Jesuits and Popish Counsellors had been self murderers, and conspired to overthrow their own Designs, by their imprudent and precipitate actings, they had never abused the poor King by such perni­cious advice, to attack the Church of England in the persons of the Bi­shops, who were the Reverend Fa­thers of it; to lay such a snare before wise and religious men, as must en­danger their safety, or prejudice their [Page 116] Conscience; and because they pre­sented an humble Apology by way of Petition (a priviledg allow'd to all men by the Laws of God and Nature) imploring to be excused from being made Instruments to countenance and publish the monstrous Assertion of an absolute and dispensing Power; they were committed to the Tower, Indicted of Misdemeanor, compell'd to plead, try'd by a Jury, and fairly acquitted upon their Trial, to the shame and confusion of their Prose­cutors; and to the unexpressible joy and satisfaction of the whole Na­tion.

The King hoping to establish that by a Law which he could not bring to pass by his will and power, pro­pos'd the calling of a Parliament; whom that he might form to the Standard set out by the Popish Cabal, he condescended to such mean shifts, and such indirect practices, by fore­stalling [Page 117] Mens Judgments, and pre­ingaging them against the Liberty, and indifferency of their Votes, and turning Men out of their Imploy­ments, who would not abjure the natural Freedom of their Rea­son, that in mere Decency and Re­spect, I forbear to inlarge upon it.

Neither will I any more than make mention of the Intrigue about the Birth of the Prince of Wales: Great pains have been taken to offer convincing proofs to the World of the Legitimacy of that Child; whereas there is nothing so hard to be proved, as a Business of that Na­ture: And the suspition of an Im­posture has made such an Impression on common belief, that an Act of Parliament in Favour of the Birth would hardly reconcile the people to a Submission.

The bloody Executions in the West of England, upon the unhappy Abet­tors [Page 118] of the Duke of Monmouth, ex­asperated Multitudes of People into Discontent, and Mutiny: but when it was reported, that the King had given the Lives of so many wretched men by whole sale to his Servitors to be retail'd by them for Lucre and Profit; the whole Nation was affect­ed with that unexampled Barbarity, and became seasoned with a secret A­version to his Government.

The furious Drivers of the Jesui­tical Plots began too late to be sen­sible of their mistaken Policy: they had stretached the Prerogative so high that is began to crack; they had by their damnable Counsel hurried the unfortunate King to the Brink of Ruin: The Skie began to thicken with Clouds, and Thunder was heard a far off. Wherefore they began with all hast to tack about to unravel that work which with so many hands and such indefatigable industry they [Page 119] had been knitting. Suddenly and unexpectedly a Proclamation issued to summon a Parliament with Exclu­sion of the Roman Catholicks; soon af­ter the Charter of London, and all o­ther Corporations was restored: The Suspension of the Bishop of London taken off: The Vice-Chancellor and others of Cambridg, and the President and Fellows of Magdalen-Colledge in Oxford reinstated in their Places; The monstrous Commission for Ecclesiasti­cal Affairs dissolved; a Proclamation set out carrying the Face of a general pardon; but Squinting at and Indemni­ty to Papists. All men were fill'd with wonder at such a hudled and surpri­sing Alteration; that the great Mini­sters of State should so poorly truckle to the Satisfaction of the People; that the King should send for the Bishops and court them, from whom a little before he would not endure the Ad­dress of an humble Petition. But the [Page 120] Riddle was soon unfolded, and the wonder was turned into an Exulta­tion of Joy at the miraculous Revo­lution of Affairs.

The Lords Spiritual and Temporal and the Prime Gentry of England, sadly resenting the Invasion on their Religion, Liberties, and Properties observing the arbitary and despotical proceedings in Scotland, beholding Ireland wholly given up to Popery, and Slavery, and their own Ancient Laws and establish'd Religion subver­ted by him, who had so often and so so­lemnly promised the maintenance and Protection of them; they began to consult of some proper and effectual means to divert the impending mis­chiefs, and to assure the restitution of their ravish'd Freedom. To this end they made application to the most illustrious Prince of Orange, the Cham­pion and Protector of the Protestant Religion, imploring his Aid to rescue [Page 73] them from Oppression and Slavery, and to save their Liberties now expi­ring and at the last Gap. He with a Bravery and Generosity, not to be matched in any History descended to their Relief, and (postponing all his own Interests and Advantages) with the hazard of his person, and the consumption of a vast Treasure, landed in England, not with a migh­ty Army, least it should look like an Invasion; neither with too small a Party least he should seem pusht on by a Necessity, or ingaged in a desperate undertaking. The King had a great Army on Foot, which was quickly increased by a conside­rable Addition. And with appearance of great Resolution, and confi­dence of Success, he marcht from London: But he soon found by a fatal Experience, that the Hands of his Subjects were directed by their hearts, in which having forfeited his pos­session, [Page 76] he was to expect no Service or Assistance from them. On the contrary the Lords and Gentlemen, from all parts of the Kingdom flock'd in with their Arms and Horses to joyn their Deliverer, and many Trops and Regiments of the Kings Army deserted him, not enduring to be mingled among Papists, or be oblig­ed to fight against Protestants. The King in this Perplexity was wholly irresolute what course to take; at last he posted to London, where missing his Popish Favorites (whom Fear of Punishment, and the Terror of an evil Conscience had utterly dissipated) he did not think it fit to trust his best and truest Subjects, but secretly with­drew himself in a Disguise, and be­ing by a strange Accident discoverd, he was reconducted to London; from whence, at his own desire, he was attended to Rochester: but not being able to live without the Ministration [Page 77] of Priests, and Jesuits, he slipt away to the Sea side, and saild for France, voluntarily, and without constraint abdicating the Government, leaving the Throne vacant, and the Body of his People, without a head.

Here ended the Reign of James the Second, too violent to last long. A Prince who (when he was a Sub­ject) had the Reputation of being a valiant Leader, afirm Friend, and an immovable Observer of his word and Promise: But the Assumption of a Crown, the Flatteries of a bigoted Queen, the desperate Counsels of a Popish and Atheistical Cabal, with a blind Perswasion of meriting Heaven, by the Adventure of all he had upon Earth, hath exposed him to Censure, and represented him under a contrary Character.

Perhaps he is absolved from the guilt of his personal vices by his Con­fessor, and he shall be acquitted of [Page 80] the Remembrance of them by me, I have so great a Reverence for those of his nearest Blood, that I shall not by the Blots of my Pen imprint a Stain on his Memory, or diffuse the Tincture on his Posterity.

The Conclusion.

Thus you have a breif Epitome of the unfortunate Reigns of Six of the English Monarchs. Of Which the First Broke his Neck; The next Broke his Heart; And every one of them Broke his Vows to God, and his Pro­mises to his Subjects. The First of them came to an untimely End; The second died with Trouble of Mind; The two next were deposed from Government, and violently put to Death. The next died suddenly, to say no more of it; and the last dethroned himself, lives miserably, and in all human pro­bability will not die happliy. One [Page 89] of them was struck to the heart by an Arrow; another by Greif; two perish'd by the Hands of cruel men; The next died of an Apoplexy; I guess the Fate of the last, but I will not take upon me to prophesie.

I wish, all those who desire to be call'd Protestants, would understand their own happiness (and joyfully and thankfully acknowledg it) to live un­der a Protestant King, and a Prote­stant Queen (a Blessing rare in these Kingdoms, and not known for many years past) God grant them a long and prosperous Reign, attended with all the Instances of Glory and Felici­ty; that under their auspicious Influ­ence true Religion may flourish, and detestable Popery may for ever be banish'd out of their Dominions.


Books lately Printed for Ric. Chiswell.

THe Case of Allegiance in our present cir­cumstances considered, in a Letter from a Minister in the City, to a Minister in the Country.

A Breviate of the State of Scotland in its Go­vernment, Supream Courts, Officers of State, Inferiour Officers. Offices and Inferiour Courts Districts, Jurisdictions, Burroughs Royal, and Free Corporations. Fol.

Some Considerations touching Succession and Allegiance.

A Discourse concerning the Worship of Images; preached before the University of Oxford: By George Tully Sub-Dean of York, for which he was Suspended.

Reflexions upon the late Great Revolution: Written by a Lay-Hand in the Country, for the satisfaction of some Neighbours.

The History of the Dissertion; or an Ac­count of all the publick Affairs in England, from the beginning of September 1688. to the Twelfth of February following. With an Answer to a Piece call'd, The Dissertion dis­cussed, in a Letter to a Country Gentleman: By a Person of Quality.

K. William and K. Lewis, wherein is set forth the inevitable necessity these Nations lie under of submitting wholly to one or other [Page] of these Kings; And that the matter in Con­troversie is not now between K. William and K. James, but between K. William and K. Lewis of France, for the Government of these Nations.

An Examination of the Scruples of those who refuse to take the Oath of Allegiance, by a Divine of the Church of England.

A Dialogue betwixt two Friends, a Jacobite and a Williamite; occasion'd by the sate Re­volution of Affairs, and the Oath of Allegi­ance.

An Account of the Reasons which induced Charles the Second, King of England, to de­clare War against the States-General of the United Provinces in 1672. And of the Pri­vate League which he entred into at the same Time with the French King to carry it on, and to establish Popery in England, Scotland, and Ireland, as they are set down in the Hi­story of the Dutch War; printed in French at Paris, with the priviledge of the French King, 1682. Which Book he caused to be imme­diately suppress'd at the Instance of the Eng­lish Ambassador. Fol.

An Account of the Private League betwixt the late King James the Second, and the French King. Fol.

The Case of the Oaths Stated. 4to.

The Answer of a Protestant Gentleman in [Page] Ireland to a late Popish Letter of N. N upon a Discourse between them, concerning the present posture of that Country, and the part fit for those concern'd there to Act in it. 4to

An Apology for the Protestants of Ireland, in a brief Narative of the late Revolutions in that Kingdom; and an Account of the pre­sent State thereof: By a Gentlemen of Quality [...]to.

A Letter from a French Lawyer to an Eng­lish Gentleman, upon the present Revolution. 4to

Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Historia Literaria a Christo nato usque ad Saeculum XIV. Facili ethodo digesta. Qua de Vita illorum ac Rebus gestis, de Secta, Dogmatibus, Elogio, Stylo; de Scriptis genuinis, dubiis, supposititiis, ineditis, deperditis, Fragmentis; deque variis Operum Editionibus perspicue agitur. Accedunt Scripto­res Gentiles, Christianae Religionis Oppugnatores & cujusvis Saeculi Breviarium. I [...]untur suis locis Veterum aliquot Opuscula & [...]ragmenta, tum Graeca, tum Latina hactenus inedita. Prae­missa denique Prolegomena, quibus [...]ma ad Antiquitatis Ecclesiasticae studium spe [...]ia traduntur. Opus Indicibus necessariis [...]u­ctum. Autore GƲILIELMO CAVE, SS. Theol. Profes. Canonico Windesoriensi. Accedit ab Alia Manu Appendix ab ineunte Saeculo XIV. ad Annum usque MDXVII. Fol. 1689.

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