A LETTER to a Person of Honour, concerning the Kings disavowing the having been Married to the D. of M's. Mother.

My Lord,

AS you cannot but have seen his Majesties Declaration, wherein he Renounceth the having been Married to the D. of M's. Mother; so I believe you will not be dis­pleased to have an account of the sence of the Thinking men about the Town concerning it. And this without either disguis­ing, or concealing what is publickly discoursed, I shall, as be­comes your Lordships servant, address my self to give you.

And in the first place; They say it is no surprize to them, that seeing the D. of Y. hath gotten the Ascendant of the King, he should hector him into, or at least extort from him the foresaid Declaration. For, can any imagine, that he who for some time renounced his own Wife, and had provided Persons to swear a familiarity with her which made her unworthy of being Dutch­ess of York; should scruple to importune the King to do as much by Mrs. Walters, tho it were never so demonstrable that he was married unto her. The course he practised himself, he may without any breach of Charity be thought ready to prescribe to others. And it may be, he thinks it will be some extenuation of what he did himself, if people can be brought to believe that it is a Disease natural to the Family, and which runs in a Blood. Now we all know, not only with what Asseve [...]ations the D. dis­claimed his Marriage with Mrs. Hide, but with what reflexions upon her Chastity he did it. And yet the Proofs of the said Mar­riage were so evident, that he was necessitate at last to acknow­ledge it; and to own her for his Wife, after he had by himself, and many others, Proclaimed her for no better than a Com­mon Whore. And I'm sure it left this Impression upon most Persons, That his Faith to Men was not very far to be relied on, seeing he made so slight of that Faith which he had plighted i [...] an Ordinance of God to a harmless Lady.

Secondly, Most men do observe this difference between the [Page 2] Kings Renouncing Mrs. Waters, and the Dukes Disclaiming Mrs. Hide; That what the Duke did, was an Act of Inclination and Choice, whereas it is apparent, that what the King hath done, is the result of Dread and Fear. For, to use his Majesties own expression not long ago, He was harassed out of his Life, by the importunity of his Brother; & as He added, He could rather chuse to Die than Live so uneasily as he did, while he withstood their daily Sollicitations in this matter. And as nothing made the Duke honest to Mrs. Hide, but the interposition of his Majesties Authority, from a sense of the Justness of the Ladies Complaint; so they believe the King is only Injurious through the Influence of others, and that when rescued out of ill Hands, and left to himself, he will return to be Just. For though his Majesty be a Prince of that clearness of Understanding, that they cannot baffle him by false Reasonings, yet he hath so much of James's timidness, that they can huffe and over-awe him to things most opposite to his Judgment, as well as cross to his Interest. And let me upon this occasion remind your Lordship of a Story, of a Scots Nobleman to my Lord Burleigh, upon that wise Statesman's desiring a Character of King James, long before he ascended the English Throne. If your Lordship, saith the blunt Scotsman know a Jack-a-napes, you can­not but understand, that if I have him in my hands, I can make him bite you, whereas if you get him into your hands, you may make him bite me.

Thirdly, The whole Town is apprehensive, that the King through endeavouring by this Act to secure himself in the Grace at least forbearance of the Duke and Popish Party, will find in the Issue that instead thereof, he hath left himself naked and exposed to their wrath and malice. Nor is there any thing more probable than that what the King calls and intends only for a Declaration to serve his present Occasions, they will transform into his Last Will and Testament, to accomodate theirs. If Queen Elizabeth, when tempted to declare Her Successor, de­clind it with this saying, That such an Act would be the digging [...] Grave before She were dead; have we not great Cause to ap­prehend [Page 3] that the King having by this Act digg'd his own Grave, his Brother, or the Jesuites, under whose Government he is, will find hands to bring and put him into't, least through delay something should intervene that would fill it up again. 'Tis a pitty, that none would call to his Majesties Memory, that saying of Tacitus, Suspectus semper invisus (que) Dominanti qui proximus destinatur. Which▪ by varying a little from the Latine, I will English thus; That he ought to be always suspected, and carefully watched against by the Ruler, who most ardently hopes, and thinks himself in likelyhood to succeed him. Statesmen in old Times rec­koned it for a Maxime in Polliticks, that, Ne mentio fieret Haeredis vivo adhuc Principe; That while the Prince liveth, there ought not to be so much as a mentioning of any whose right it was to come after. For as subtile Tiberius upbraided Macro, that he forsook the set­ting Sun, to worship the rising; so King Charles, may have in time, if he have not already, cause to object the same to some about him. That crafty Emperor knew more of the Art of self-preservation, than Crowned Heads in our dayes seem to do. For tho he had adopted Germanicus at the Command of Au­gustus ▪ of whom he received the Empire, yet having a Son of his own, namely Drusus, He would never declare in favour of either so long as they lived, but Judged his own Safety to consist in leaving it doubtful whose Title to the Universal Monarchy was best. However (say most of his Majesties Subjects) tho we have not been able to prevent the King from this unwary Act, by which he hath stak't his Life to the pleasure of his Enemies, yet we will be kinder to him than he hath been to himself, and contribute all we can to his Security, and that is by letting the World know, That we'll Revenge his Death, by sacrificing the whole Popish party upon his Grave in case he should come to an untimely End.

Fourthly, This Declaration would be received with less hesi­tation in the minds of People, if Kings and Princes were not made of the same mould with other men, and lyable to the like failures and moral Prevarications that the rest of the Sons of Ad­am are. And therefore observing how common it is for Persons [Page 4] upon a lower ground to renounce their Wives, and most sacred­ly disclaim their Marriages; they conceive it is not impossible but that these who move in higher spheres, may upon strong Temptations do the like. Yea, our own History furnisheth us with an Instance of a great King, and one who swaied the English Scepter, who is transmitted to us with this blot in his Scutcheon▪ The Person I mean is Edw. the fourth, who being a sprightly and amorous Prince, was suddenly Contracted and Married to Elianor Talbot Daughter of the Earl of Shrewbury, and that not only without any witnesses save Dr. Thomas Stillington Bishop of Bath, into whose hands the Contract was made, and who of­ficiated at and celebrated the Marriage, but besides the poor Doctor was strictly enjoyned by the King to conceal it; and you may easily suppose the timorous Prelate would not fail in his duty to Majesty, at least so long as he knew the King in a condition to punish and avenge the Discovery. Now Ed. 4. finding thereup­on admission into the embraces of the Lady, and having satiated himself a while by secret injoyments, and withall reckoning that none could or at least durst detect by what holy ties he was bound unto her; he did some years after (notwithstanding the Person to whom he was Affianced still survived) both deny what was so solemnly transacted in the ptesence of Almighty God betwen them, and withal Married another Woman, namely my Lady Eliz. Gray. Your Lordship may see the story both in Buck's Life of Richard the Third, pag. 16, &c. and in Comines's History of [...]ewis the 1 [...] th. And without making any application of it to the present Case, I shall crave liberty to make these Re­marks upon it.

I. That it is possible for Princes, especially such as have ac­companied with many Women, to have weak Memories, and to forget upon what Terms they contracted their first Friendships with them. For finding how their Familiarity arose with others of that Sex, they may grow by degrees into a kind of perswasion that their Interest in all was established upon no better terms. Or if they should not be supposed so forgetful as this amounts, [Page 5] unto, yet the Love of change may make them stifle their know­ledg, especially when the Objects of their fre [...]h Amours cannot be otherwise brought to entertain their flame, but with a provision for their own Honour.

2. That the denyals of Kings are not to be subscribed unto with an implicite Faith, but that we ought to use the same discre­tion in believing or not believing what they say, that we esteem our selves priviledged to use towards others in the credit which they require we should give unto them. For though Princes be not lyable to be impleaded in our Courts, nor be subject to Penalties that transgressing Subjects are; yet seeing they may be guilty of the same facts, which would both leave a reproach up­on common men, and make them obnoxious to punishments, it cannot rationally be expected that their bare words should re­strain the freedom of our Thoughts, or give law to our Under­standings in the Judgement that we are to make of Cases and Things.

3. I would observe, That though the Judicial Courts could not, and the Parliaments during Edwards Reign, would not take cognisance of that Kings contemning and violating the Or­dinance of God, by disclaiming his lawful Wife; yet the Righte­ous Judge of Heaven and Earth in a little while after animad­verted severely on the Offence. For not only his two Sons, whom he had by the Lady Gray, were murdered by their Uncle, but the Kingdom was translated from his Family, and not only bestowed upon the chiefest enemy of his House, but upon one who among all that for a long series before had been Rivals for the Crown, had the weakest Title.

4. It is not unworthy also of our Notice, that notwithstanding King Edwards denying his first Marriage, and assuming another Lady unto his Conjugal Bed; yet all this could neither prevent the future enquiry into this matter, nor the Parliaments recog­nizing the Marriage with Elianor Talbot, 1. of Rich. 3. And besides the imputation of a Bigamist which is thereby stampt upon him to all Ages, his Children by the second venture were Bastardised [Page 6] by Statute, and an occasion from thence taken so place the Scepter in the hand of Richard.

Fifthly, Nothing in this Declaration can preclude the Duke of Monmouth, or any other true Englishman, from enquiring (when time serveth) by legal and due wayes into the truth or fals­hood of the Kings marriage with Mrs. Walters. For the D. cannot be denyed the same right which appertains to every person in the Kingdom, namely the justifying his own legitimacy in due course and form. And should he chuse to sit down with the imputation of a Bastard with all the other Losses which attend it; Yet there are those in the Nation who preferring their duty to God, their Country, Themselves, and an injured Gentleman, before a Reverence to one man, especially acting under the Influence of a Popish Brother, will bring that whole business into an impartial examination before such, where a single Negative will not be al­lowed as a sufficient proof to invalidate affirmative Testimonies, providing such can be had. And should that marriage here­after be authentically proved, how ill will they be found to have deserved both of the King and Kingdom, that have either sur­prised, cajol'd, or threatned his Majesty to bring such a slur upon his Honour and Reputation, as this Declaration will to all Ages Entail. And, my Lord, Is it not strange, if there was never any such Marriage, that Mrs. Walters should not only when in travel with the said D. but at many other times, particularly in her last hours, when in the Prospect of approaching Death and ensuing Judgement, affirm it with that positiveness which she did? And is it not more surprising, if there had been no such Marriage, That Dr Fuller, late Bishop of Lin­coln, should so often, and in Verbo Sacerdotis, declare to divers worthy Persons, That he Married them. Nay, What should byass the Inkeeper at Liege to make it the great Mystery with which he entertained his English Guests, That the Marriage was cellebrated and consummated in his House, and that both he and his Wife were eye and ear Witnesses of it. Moreover, if it were such an Idle Story as the Declaration represents it, how came it [Page 7] to pass, that when some persons lately examined about the Black Box, declared that they had heard of such a thing as the Kings be­ing Married to that Gentlewoman, they should be immediately commanded to withdraw, and told that this was not the business they were interrogated about. Besides, My Lord, as all who were abroad with his Majesty at that time, knew the Passion the king had for that person; so some of us can remember, how through immoderate love to her being reduced to a condition that his Life was dispaired of, and the late Queen his Mother re­cieving intelligence both of his Disease and the Cause of it, she consented to his espousing of her, rather than that he should con­sume and perish in his otherwise unquenchable flames. Moreover as there were few had better opportunities of being acquainted with this whole affair than my late Lord Chancellor, Hide; so I'm sure the advantages likely to accrue to his off-spring by the se­clusion of the Duke of Monmouth from all Title to the Crown, may be judged sufficient inducements to have prevailed with him, if not to have asserted the said Dukes Bastardy, yet to have been silent in the case, and not to have proclamed the Legittima­cy. And yet that very Lord being in danger of an Impeach­ment in Parliament for advising and perswading the King to a Mar­riage with Queen Katherine, excused himself from all sinistrous ends in that affair, by affirming, That his Majesty had a lawful Son of his own by a former Marriage (specifying by name the D. of M.) to succeed to his Crown and Dignity. Now though it may be supposed that a person may sometimes lye for his In­terest, yet no man can be thought to do so in order to the preju­dice as well of himself as his whole Posterity. And if we believe men speaking falshoods in subserviency to their Honour and Profit; Shall we not give credit to them when they speak Truth to their own damage, and that of all those who are dear unto them? Certainly the positive Confession and Testimony of this one Person, being against the Interest of his whole Family, of more weight than the denyals of any number whatsoever, when meerly to promote their safety and advantage, or to serve the Exaltation of the Papal Cause. These are but few of the many [Page 8] particulars I could acquaint your Lordship with relating to the confirmation of a Marriage between the King and Mrs. Walters; But it is a piece of necessary wisdom at this juncture to know what not to say, as well as to understand what to say. And to tell you plainly, I'm more a Servant and a Friend to my Country, than by pretending to plead the Dukes Cause, and to be useful to the Nation, to discover the Witnesses which are in reserve, or betray the farther Evidences which are to be produced when this matter shall come before a competent Judicature.

Sixthly, 'Tis matter of no small trouble to such as truly love his Majesty, that the Kings Integrity and Honour should be brought to stake, in a matter wherein both the present Age and the succeeding, may take occasion to question and bring into examination his Truth and sincerity. For though it is not impos­sible but that Princes (considering the Temptations with which they are surrounded) may sometimes through inadvertency, and at other times upon State Motives endeavour to impose up­on the credulity, if not abuse the Faith of their People; Yet, the veracity of a Supream Governour is of that importance to him­self, and so necessary to the Veneration, which his People ought to maintain for him, that he is not to bring his Credit to Pawn, unless it be in such Cases wherein his People may, if not apologize for, yet connive at the indiscretion and weakness of their Ruler, should he be found to delude them. Nor hath any thing obstructed the affairs of Princes more, and prevented their Peoples believing them when they spake their most inward thoughts, than the forfeiture of their Credit in matters wherein their Subjects relyed upon the Honour and Truth of their Word. For they who do not mean as they speak when People are pre­pared to hear them, must not expect that their words should be much relyed upon, when their Tongues are the true Interpreters of their minds. And let me tell your Lordship that this last De­claration hath caused multitudes of his Majesties best Subjects to reflect upon and take a view of many of his former Declarations, [Page 9] that from them they may be furnished with reasons for justify­ing themselves in the suspension of their assent to this. And I wish there had not been that cause administred by foregoing ones, which may with too many lessen the value of the Royal Word in that bearing date the second of June.

The first of this kind he ever published after he came in view of being restored to the Sovereignty over these Kingdoms, was that dated at Breda, the 4th. of April, 1660. wherein he pro­mised Liberty to all tender Consciences and engaged the sacred word of a King, That no man should be disquieted, or called in question, for differences in matter of Religion, provided they did not disturbe the Peace of the Kingdom. Now though I will not dis­pute about the sence wherein this Declaration was meant, nor concerning the End for which it was calculated and fram'd; yet this I may be allowed to say, that there are a great many of his Majesties Liege People who have tasted dealings directly repug­nant unto it, and may justly complain of some faileur in the ac­complishment of it.

'Tis true his Majesty is not originally to be blamed that it had not the hoped for effects; but withal that Prince that can be over-ruld to recede from a Promise which contributed so much to his happy and peaceable Restoration, may be supposed capa­ble of such Impressions from men of ill minds, as may make him venture his Royal Word in other cases beyond the measures of Justice. But seeing it were a business of too much Fatigue to call over all the Declarations since his Majesty actually occupied the British Throne, I shall therefore remind your Lordship only of two more. Whereof the first is that of January the second, 1671, wherein the King upon shutting up the Exchequer, De­clares on the Word of a Prince, That the restraint put upon pay­ments out of the Treasury, should continue no longer than till the last of Decemb. 1672. And yet the fulfilling of this is still Prorogued, though it be now above Nine Years since the Royal Word was pledg'd for making it good.

[Page 10]The other that I shall refresh your memory with, is that of the the Twentieth of April 1679. Wherein his Majesty having shrived himself and craved absolution for all past matters, solemn­ly declareth that he would for time to come, Lay aside the use of any single Ministry, or private Advices, or Forreign Committees, for the general direction of his Affaires; and that he would afterwards Govern his Kingdoms by the Advice of that Counsel which he had then chosen, together with the frequent use of his great Council of Parliament, as being the true and antient Constitution of this State and Government. Far be it from me to blame his Majesty for the disappointment of those hopes which the People had so univer­sally conceived upon that Declaration which was so full of inge­nuity and candor, and so adapted to the Honour, Safety, and In­terest both of King and Kingdom; but this may be said without the least umbrage of irreverence, that the same pestilent men who were able to cause his Majesty to violate such a Declaration wherein he spake the most like a wise and good Prince that ever he did, may be also able by the same ascendant influence to wrest an unadvised and bad one from him. The same Councils which prevailed upon him to go against both his Royal Word, and all the Maxims of Pollicy with which he is so richly endowed; may they not likewise be conceived to have over-rull'd him in this to speak against his knowledge and those moral Principles of Truth and Justice, with which when left to himself he appears to be imbued. Nor do I doubt but that among other things they had in prospect to compass by this Declaration, they hoped to shut his Majesty out of the love of his best Protestant Subjects, so that when brought to fall by their Traiterous Conspiracies, his death may be at once unlamented and unrevenged. But let them not flatter themselves, for if there be any thing false or unjust in it, we ascribe it all to their rage against our Laws and our Religi­on, and do only complain of the Kings facility in suffering him­self to be so openly abused.

[Page 11] Seventhly, But whereas there is one thing in the Declaration by which men of honest and easie minds, being unacquainted with the Practises of the world, are apt to be somewhat startled; namely, The Kings calling Almighty God to witness, and affirm­ing upon the Faith of a Christian, that there was never any Mar­riage, or contract of Marriage, had or made betwen him and Mrs. Walters; I think my self obliged to lay before you the sence and apprehensions which wisest heads have of that Protestation and solemn Appeal.

If, say they, neither the Eye nor Dread of God, nor the Faith of a Christian, are effectual to restrain a person from Adulteries and promiscuous Scatterings, Can we have any security that they will prevent such a one from the guilt of other Crimes? He who neither trembleth, nor blusheth to Proclaim his Uncleannesses to all the World, will he forbear sins of any kind or hue out of Prin­ciple, though he may possibly omit them by accident, and in com­pliance with Interest?

It was a Maxime of an antient Ruler, that as Children are to be coussened with Nuts, so Men are to be deluded with Assevera­tions and Oathes. And upon this occasion they call to mind the Character fastened upon Charles the ninth of France, namely, that the surest Symptomes by which it was known when he spake falsly, was the endeavouring to confirm what he said by the most dreadful Imprecations, and execrable Oathes. And what our own Historians leave upon the memory of his Royal Majesties own Grandfather in this point, I had rather you should learn from Wilsons History of King James, than be told by me. Besides, say others, who knoweth but that the King through the like Impression of fear, under which he lifted up his Hand to the most high God at Scone when Crown'd in Scotland, may have been influenced and overaw'd to make this late Appeal and Pro­testation.

He who hath done one such thing, and especially with that solemnity and profession of sincerity wherewith he took the [Page 12] Covenant; can it be otherwise apprehended but that he may do the like again, if there be sufficient Cause for the same passion which byassed him against Knowledge and Conscience then. Nay the utmost inducement that swayed and determined him contrary to his Judgment and Light, to Swear by the great God, in terms so August and awful in Scotland, was meerly an appre­hension of being otherwise Secluded from his Right over that kingdom; but it is more than probable, that no less than a dread of loosing his Life, as well as three kingdoms, hath necessitated him to this which he hath now done. Now it is but considering the seasons when the several Declarations pronounced first in Councel and at last published to the World, were made; and you will be soon convinced that they▪ were extorted from him partly by the necessity of his Affaires, and partly by the frightful ascen­dancy which his Brother hath obtained over him. For the first which we are here in the Print told of, was that made the sixth of January, 1678. when the condition and posture wherein things then stood, made it indispensably needful that the king should oblige his Brother to withdraw, and which the D. of Y. (though he knew that his stay here at that time, would have in all likely­hood involved his Majesty under inextricable difficulties) re­fused to comply with, till he had wrested that Declaration from him.

And for the second, which was made also in Councel, March 3. 1678. it is obvious to every considering man, and demon­strable to all the World, that it was the effect of that necessity which his Majestis Affairs had reduced him unto. For the Par­liament being to meet the sixth of that month, and it appearing by the several returns of the persons Elected to fit, that we were like to have a House of true English Gentlemen, who would not only inspect the late Popish Plot, but enquire into the miscar­riages of publick Ministers. Hereupon as the Duke threatned to return, unless the king would make some fre [...]h Declaration, whereby, being pronounced and represented as next Heir, he [Page 13] might be skriend from the angry but just recentments of the Nation. So divers persons at home who knew themselves unpar­donably criminal, applyed their thoughts to find out a method, by which a misunderstanding might in a short time arise between the king and his Parliament. And apprehending that the D. of Y. could not possibly escape the animadversion of the House, all the Treasons and Crimes whereof others were only guilty in their respective parts and proportions, meeting in him as so many Lines i [...] their Center; they accordingly by threatning to m [...]ke their own compositions, and to lay open all those matters which they conceived his Majesty to be most solicitous to have concealed, brought the king to make that Declaration. Where­by having in eff [...]ct signified the D. of Y. to be the next in right to succeed, they reckoned they had wrought him to such an espousal of his Brother, as must needs break all measures of fair correspondency with his Parliament. And as this was the principal thing they aimd at, so by denouncing still to pro­vide for their own security, in detecting whatsoever they knew, they kept him to an adhesion to the Declaration which he had made, and thereby not only embarassed all his Affairs, but so embroiled him with the House of Commons, as that in a few weeks they compassed the Dissolution of the Parliament.

Having thus briefly represented unto your Lordship under what influence of necessity and fear, these Declarations were at first made in Councel, I need not tell you through what impres­sions by the uncessant Importunity, and daily Hectoring of his majesty by the Duke, now at Windsor, they come at last to be Printed and Proclaimed to the World. The king pore Gen­tleman, is willing to buy his Peace at any rates, and hath here stak't his Honour, not to say his Conscience, for it? But as you know that neither Concessions, Declarations nor Alienations made by a Person in duress, or under threatnings, or swayed by apprehensions of the hazzard of his Life, can oblige others, tho they be such as are wrapt up in or concluded by him in all Cases wherein he is supposed free; so in plain English, the generality [Page 14] of the People and those of the best sense, hold themselves no wise affected or prescribed unto by these Declarations. For we who knew the tenour of them when they lay concealed in the Councel Books, and yet thought our selves at liberty to be­lieve as our Judgments conducted us, are not likely to have our mindes altered by the bare Printing of them. But how far the Conscience of the king is concern'd or defiled, I leave to those of the Theologick Faculty to resolve, only I judge that the same Casuistical Divinity whereby they salved the Conscience and vindicated the honor of the king in case the of the Covenant, and with all discharged him from the Obligation which it was sup­posed to have put upon him, may whensoever he thinks meet▪ stand him in good stead, and affoord him the same relief in the case of the late Declarations.

Eightly, There is one thing further, that must not be omitted▪ because it gives us amazement, and yet affords us pleasant diver­sion; namely the motive they have brought his Majesty to al­ledge for his making and publishing this Declaration. I confess I could not read it without surprise and wonderful emotion. And I dare say, when you think seriously of it, you will find pitty stir in your heart to your abused Prince, and your bood swell in your Veins through indignation at some about him. For after the care they have suffered him to take for preserving our Religion, Lives and Liberties from the designs of the Papists, by dissolving two Parliaments, and so often Proroguing a third; they bring him now to publish this Declaration to relieve the minds of his loving Subjects from their fears, and to prevent the ill consequences which a belief of his having been Married to the D. of M's. Mother, may have in future times upon the Peace of these kingdoms. A most proper way to extinguish our fears, by doing all that he can, to subject us hereafter to one who is the professed Enemy of our established Religion and Legal Government. But that your Lordship may the better comprehend how highly we are obliged to his majesty for his love and tenderness to his People in all that they judge dear and valluable, by designing so hopeful a Succes­sor [Page 15] over them; I shall recount some of those many particulars from which we esteem our selves capable of judging what a gra­cious and desirable Prince this dear and beloved Brother is like to prove.

1. He is a Gentleman that hath renounced the Religion wherein he was not only educated and which these Nations pro­fess, but which he had consigned unto him sealed with the Blood of his father, and entailed upon him and the whole Line by no less then his Grandfathers Curse, in case any of old Jame's off­spring should depart from it.

2. He hath made it his business to seduce his Majesties Sub­jects to the papal Faith, and to enslave them to a forraign Ju­risdiction. And by his addresses, solicitations, and preferments wherewith he is able to reward such mercinary soules as are rea­dy to make sale of their Religion, he hath made more converts to the Church of Rome than all the English Missionaries have been able to do.

3. Through the power which he hath obtained over the King, he hath procured the chiefest places of strength in the Na­tion, and some of the greatest Trusts as well Civil and Religious as Military, to be conferred upon known Papists and sworn ene­mies to the Protestant Cause, and English Liberties.

4. He hath been the principal promoter of Arbitrary Go­vernment, and of making the Kings interest both distinct from and opposite to that of his People. And this he hath done in pursuance of Papal advice and in subserviency to the Romish in­terest. For where the Monarch is absolute, and the Lives and Fortunes of whole Nations are enslaved to the will and pleasur [...] of one person; the meer wheedling of a lustfull, weak, or inconsiderate Prince, will go a great length in the gaining vast multitudes to adore the Triple Crown. And for such as shall prov [...] stubborn and refractory, it is but meritoriously to kill them, and then convert their Lands to the use of the holy Sea.

5. It was this darling and beloved One, that Authorised th [...] burning of London, and not only made his own palace a Sanctuary [Page 16] to the Villan's who were suspected as instruments of that dreadful conflagration, but rescu'd and discharged diverse who were apprehended in the very Fact. And this he did partly in revenge, for as much as London had been both the Magazine of Strenth and Treasure during the War with the late King; and partly to gratify his Popish friends by destroying the bulwark of the Protestant Religion, and the chief Receptacle of the Here­ticks.

6. It was this presumptive Heir that all along obliged his Majesty to neglect the concerning himselfe in favour of the Protestants abroad, and did so order it through his power over the King, that never any forrain Alliance was made but what was abused to the betraying of them. And here let me call over a story and perhaps a more Tragical one and accompainied with baser Treach [...]ry, then any History is able to acquaint you with. One Monseiur Rohux a French Gentleman coming into England to treat with the King concerning an Alliance between his Majesty and For­rain Protestants meerly for the preservation of their Religion, and having acquainted the Duke of York with his errand, after he had in a private conference or two transacted with the King about i [...]. This Royal Prince out of his wonted kindness to the Protestants and the reformed religion, caused Rouveny (Lieger Ambassador from France at this Court) to stand behind the hangings at St James while he made this innocent Gentleman discourse over the whole business. Upon which Mons. Rouveny being ob­ [...]iged to acquant his master with it, Mons. Rohux (who upon some [...]ntimation that the Duke had betrayed him) had withdrawn [...]ence to Switzerland, was there seized by a party of French Horse and brought to the Bastile, whence after some times im­prisonement he was carried to the place of Excution and broken [...]pon the Wheel.

7. It was through the Duke of Yorks means that both the first [...]nd second Wars were commenced against the Dutch; and that [...]n order not only to weaken the Protestants by their mutual de­ [...]troying of each other, but in hope to have turned the victorious [Page 17] Arms of the King upon the Hereticks at home and the patrons of English liberty.

8. It was this zealous Prince for the honour and safety of Brittain that adviced the breaking the Tripple-League, which was the wisest conjunction and most for the glory of the Kings Reign and the preservation of his Dominions, that ever he en­tered into. And this he did not only to gratify France whose Pensioner as well as whose confederate he hath been, but to leave the Protestants here naked to the attempts of the papists. For he knew that while that League continued firm, the king of Sweden and the States of Holland would have construed all designes upon the Protestants in England, as done against those of the same religion with themselves and in favor of whose profession they had entred into that Alliance.

6. He hath not only mantained correspondence with For­rain Princes, to the betraying the Kings councels, but hath con­federated with them for the extirpation of our religion, and overthrowing our Legal Government. And besides many o­ther evidences of this which it is not convenient to mention at present. The depositions which arrived with the Commitee of Seceresy during the Session of the late Parliament, together with Colemans letters and that which he wrote in the Dukes name and indeed by his command, do uncontrolably demon­strate it.

10. He was consenting to and hath cooperated in the whole Popish Plot, for both his Confessor and Secretary did with his knowledg and approbation Seal the Resolves for the Kings death.

11. It was the Duke, who, when the King had revealed the first discovery of the Hellish Romish Plot to him immediatly communicated it to Father Beding-field, that so the conspirators might know to how secure their papers and abscond themselves.

12. It was he who through his command over the Post Of­fice prevented the intercepting the letters From St· Omers and [Page 18] others Forraign Seminaries, whereby that whole damnable con­spiracy would have been more fully detected.

13. He employed his own Dutchess to transport several of the Traitors to Holland, that so they might scape the search that was made for them and the punishment which they had deserved.

14. It was he who suborned, encouraged and rewarded the vilest Miscreants to frame and swear a Plot against the Protest­ants; and this he did to beget a disbelif of the Popish conspiracy and in order to destroy such of the Nobility and Gentry as were the chief assertors of the Reformed Religion and English liberty.

15. It was he who advised the several prorogations and disso­lutions of Parliaments, whensoever they were either considering the bleeding condition of the Protestant interest abroad or sup­plicating the King to an Alliance with Protestants Princes for its protection and preservation.

16. It was he in whose favour the Dissolution of the last Par­liament was procured, and who hath prevented the sitting of this after Eight several times appointed for their meeting▪ And all to hinder the Trial of the Traitorous Lords in the Tower, and to obstruct the further search into the many Hel­lish Plots wherein himself and the rest of the Papists are enga­ged, for the subversion of our Religion and Laws, and the de­struction of the lives of his Majesty and People. And how much he hath lessened his Majesties interest in the hearts of his Subjects, and weakned their confidence in his Royal word, by obliging him to treat this Parliament as he hath done, see­ing in his speech to both Houses March 6. 1678. he had so solemnly declared his resolution to meet his people frequent­ly in Parliaments; and into what straits and wants, they have thereby also reduced him, I shall rather leave your Lordship silently to consider, than take upon me at this time to unfold.

17. It was he who after he had for so many years pro­moted the aiding and succoring of France with English Forces [Page 19] till that aspiring Prince was ascended to a power and great­ness not to be in any probability withstood or controlled, did at last engage his Majestie in making the general peace which is a thing so highly prejudicial to all Europe, in the unavoida­ble consequences of it.

18. It was he who countenanced and enlivened the late Traitorous Combination of Prentices and Ruffians, and who together with the Lords in the Tower Issued out the Mony both for the expences of their entertainments, and for the providing them with Arms to distrube the peace of the Citty and Kingdom, and assault the Houses and Lives of his Majesties Liege People.

19. It is he who hath enrolled and secretly mustred men in all Counties of England, and who besides the English Papists whom at this time he hath called from all parts of the Nation, to London, is also provided of a great number of Irish who formerly washed their hands in the blood of Protestants or are the genuine off-spring of those that did. Now being thus fur­nished and environed he is resolved (unless God in his provi­dence miraculously interpose) to put all to a venture and play over the same game in England that was heretofore acted in Ireland.

20. It is he who cherisheth in his bosome and exalteth to the highest Trusts such as Coll. Worden, who betrayed his Maje­sties secrets to the usurping powers, particularly to Mr. Scot. Nay himself may be charged with many [...]hings in those times whereby we may apparently discover both his treachery to his Majesty, and his ambition to have usurped the Crown from him. For when a Loyal party of the English Fleet had espoused his Majesties Right and Title against the enemies of his Crown and person, the Duke who being then aboard should have encou­raged and ventured his Life in conjunction with them, did in­stead thereof by a most shameful and [...]isloyal deserting of them both discourage them in their fidelity and so far as in him lay obleige them to compound for themselves with a [...]eclusion of his [Page 20] Majesties intrest. Yea besides this, when the Scots were treating the King at Breda in order to the establishing him in the Throne of that Kingdom, the D. of Y. was at that very time transacting with such as remained faithful to the Kings Title here, that they would renounce his elder Brother and chuse him for their So­veraign. Nor do I believe that his Majesty can forget the oc­casion and design upon which the Duke forsooke him at Bruges and withdrew to Holland, so that the King was necessitated not only to command him upon his allagience to return, but was forced to send the Duke of Ormond and some other persons of quality to threaten as well as perswade him, before he would goe back.

21. It is he who not thinking the declaration enough to facilitate his ascention to the Throne, or to secure him from re­sistance in the attempts he purposeth upon our Lives and Liber­ties, hath been and still is endeavouring to be admitted and let further into the Government, and accordingly hath accosted the King by my Lord Durass in that matter. This is the more surprising forasmuch as one would think that it is not possible he should be further let into the Government having Berwick, Hull, Langer point, Shereness, Portsmouth, and the Magazine of the Tower (Legg being now Master of the Ordnance) in the hands of his sworn vassals and creatures; and having also the superin­tendency of all civil affaires in him, unless by taking the Scepter actually into his hand, he should confine the King to a Coun­try House and and an Annual pension. And his partisans about the Town talk of no less than the having the Duke Crown'd during the Kings life, as Henry, the 2. (tho upon far different reasons) was Crowned in coniunction with King Stephen. And I wish that what the Brother of the King of portugal hath of late years, effected against his Prince, did not awaken our jealousie to fear that the same may be attempted by a dis­pensation from the infallible chair elsewhere. However they have taken care should they accomplish this designe that they [Page 21] may not be obliged to entetain our Katherine, as they in Por­tugal did the French Madam Married to Alphonso, for as­much as the best part of the portion with our Princess, name­ly Tangeir, is through the courage and conduct of my Lord Incheqine one of the Dukes greatest confidents as good as di­sposed of▪ But should they proceed in this design against his Majesty, it becomes all his Majesties good Subjects to en­deavour as one man the rescuing him from under their power, seeing the very designment of such a thing is a Trea­son of so high a Nature against the King that we should be wanting in our Allegiance, should we not apply our selves in the use of all possible wayes and meanes to punish and aveng as well as prevent the excution of it. Now my Lord these are but few of the many particulars by which we are sufficently enlightned concerning the Duke of York, and we may abundantly learn from these how much we are in­debted to his Majesty for his Grace, Favour, and care in ap­pointing such a one after him to succeed over us? Do not all our fears hereupon immediately vanish and die; and Hope, Joy, and Gladness revive in our hearts on this prospect which the King hath given us of so good an Heir? But poor Prince, we at once compassionate and forgive him, knowing that this proceeds not from his inclination, but that he hath been hurried and forced to it. Nor do we need any further assurance of the inward propensions of his Majesties heart, and the dislike his breast is filled with for what he hath done, but the endeavoures which he used (under daily and mani­fold importunities to the contrary) to have avoided it, and the sadness which appears in his countenance since over­awed to publish this Declaration. And as for the Duke of Y. let him not deceive himself, for as he may percieve by this that we fully understand him and know the kindness he en­tertains for us, so, we are prepared for him and resolved to return unto him and his in the kind they intend to bring. For having both Divine and Humane Laws on our side, we [Page 22] are resolved neither to be Papists nor Slaves, and consequent­ly not to be subjects to him who hath vowed either utterly to extirpate us, or to reduce and compell us to be both the one and the other.

Lastly; For the Issuing of all this Controversy concerning whose Right it is to succeed next after his Majesty, men here about the town accustomed to discourse, think that there need but two proposals, and those very rational ones to be made. The first is that the Parliament being admitted to sit, they may examine this Affair, whereof they alone are competent Judges. Whatsoever Declarations may otherwise signifie, yet it is a principle which can never be oblitterated out of the minds of English Men, That they are neither binding Laws nor can alienate or extinguish the Rights of any. Shall the Son of a common Person be allowed the Liberty to justify his Legittimacy, in case his Father prove so forgetful, or so unnatural as to disclaim him; And shall the Duke of Mon­mouth meerly by being the Son of a King, forfeit this just and universe Priviledge. If his Majesty was indeed Married to that discountenanced Gentlemans Mother, he is by our Laws the Son of the Kingdom, as well as the Son of King Charles. And therefore it is necessary as well as fit, that the People should in all due and Legal ways understand whether they have any Interest or not in him, before they be com­manded to renounce him, or resign it. All therefore we de­sire is, that this matter may be impartially and fairly heard, and that before those who alone have right to be Judges of it, and as no other course but this can satisfy the minds of People; so it cannot be expected that upon the Authority of a Declaration, especially gotten as this was, they should sacri­fice the share (which for any thing yet appears) they have in him as their apparent Prince and next Heir to the Throne. And unless this be obtained; the People will undoubtedly think their own Rights invaded, whatsoever the said Duke judgeth of his.

[Page 23]The second thing we would humbly beg, as well as propose is, That the Parliament being called to sit, the Duck of York may be legally tryed for his manifold Treasons and Conspira­cies against the King and kingdom. For if he be innocent, and that the Right of Succession be his, all Men will quietly acquiesse under him but if he should prove guilty (as we no wise qvestion but that he will) shall his Treasons when a Subject qualifie him to be a King, and Pave the way for his rising to the Throne. According to all Equity as well as Law, he ought first to iustifie himself from all traitrous attempts and Acts against the King and People, before he be allowed to have his claim heard concerning any title that in time to come he may have to rule over these Nations. I shall sub­joyn no more at present, save that I am,

My Lord,
Your most obedient Servant▪

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