THE Papers of the Family of BRUNS­WICK-LUNENBURGH, and those of the House of STUART, having been placed in the hands of the Author of the following volumes, he was encouraged to write the HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN, during a very important period. The new light thrown upon public transactions, the discoveries made in the secret views of parties, the certainty established with re­gard to the real characters of particular persons, and the undeviating justice ren­dered to all, will, he hopes, atone for his defects as a writer, and recommend his work to the public. Unwilling to advance any matter of fact, without proof, he has printed his materials; and for their au­thenticity, he refers the reader to the pa­pers themselves.

In the dates of great events, in facts which fell under public discussion, in de­cisions of importance, in the state of debts, taxes, grants, and supplies, he has availed himself of the records and journals of the two houses of parliament. In the detail of battles he has followed the best mili­tary writers; in well-known events, the authors who wrote in the times. In de­scribing [Page iv] the secret springs of action, the private negociations of parties, the in­trigues of ministers and the motives of so­vereigns, he has followed unerring guides, original papers. In relating the affairs of Great Britain, he has frequently introduc­ed a summary of the affairs of Europe. He has consulted, with the utmost attention, the best writers of foreign nations; and endeavoured to give a comprehensive view of the state of other countries, in order to throw a more complete light on our own.

Where the facts are important and but little known, the authorities have been carefully quoted. Where their truth is uni­versally admitted, the author has been less anxious about the precision of his citations. To crowd a margin with the names of dif­ferent writers, is an easy, and, perhaps, a harmless imposture. In the minds of the superficial, the expedient might establish an opinion of an Author's industry and knowledge; but it would have little effect on the judicious, from whose decision he has most to hope and to fear. To the latter, it may be sufficient to observe, that he has consulted, on every point, a greater number of printed works, than he would chuse to cite at the bottom of any page. He has taken no fact, in all its circumstan­ces, from any one writer. His narrative is the general result of an intense inquiry into what has been advanced on all sides.

[Page v] In recording events, every possible at­tention has been paid to the order of time. The dates have been carefully investigated; and, where they are not interwoven with the work, are placed at the bottom of the page. In matters already known and ad­mitted, a comprehensive brevity has been studied. No circumstance, however, has been neglected, no fact overlooked, that was thought either material in itself, or condu­cive to throw light on events of real im­portance. The intrigues of the cabinet have been more minutely recorded than the operations of the field. In the descrip­tion of battles, sieges, and naval engage­ments, the Author has endeavoured to be concise. But he has marked the outlines of military operations with a precision that brings forward the whole figure distinctly to the view.

Where the transactions are most impor­tant, and least known, the greatest labour and time have been bestowed. The in­trigues which preceded the Revolution, and were partly the cause of that event, are in­vestigated at an early period, and traced through their whole progress. The circum­stances of the Revolution itself have been examined with the utmost care, and the most undeviating attention to truth. The events that immediately followed the ac­cession of William and Mary, particularly the affairs of Ireland, have employed a [Page vi] great deal of time, as they have hitherto been very imperfectly known. The nego­tiations of King James in France, his se­cret intrigues with his former subjects, have been carefully connected with the great line of history; and their effects on public affairs, as well as on the conduct of particular persons, have been pointed out, as the circumstances themselves arose.

Upon the death of James, and the sub­sequent demise of King William, the whole system of secret intrigues for the throne suffered a material change. In the first years of Queen Anne, the adherents of the Pretender abroad, fixed their hopes on the supposed affection of that Princess for her brother and family. Those in Eng­land who were most attached to the heredi­tary descent of the crown, entertained the same views. The disturbances in Scotland, which terminated in the union of the two kingdoms, were succeeded by events, which are related with brevity, as they are in some measure already known. But the change of men and measures, which hap­pened in the year 1710, introduced a pe­riod of history that has been hitherto ve­ry little understood. The four last years of Queen Anne, therefore, cost the Author much time and labour; and if he has not succeeded, his want of abilities must be blamed, and not his want of information.

[Page vii] The reign of Charles the Second has been much investigated by other writers. The causes of many of the most important events are already sufficiently known. But the ample extracts from the life of King James the Second, which were placed here in the Author's hands, the access he had, in person, at Paris, to the papers of that Prince, together with some materials, equal­ly unknown, procured from other sources, have enabled him to throw a new, and, he hopes, a complete light on that period. He was advised to prefix only a review of that reign to his work. But he neither lik­ed that imperfect mode of writing history, nor could he be persuaded, after he had ex­amined the subject, that any of his prede­cessors had occupied the whole ground.

To decide on the execution of the work, is the province of the Public. To form some judgement of his own sentiments, may be fairly left to the Author. In his progress through his subject, he is not con­scious of having once departed from the obvious line of evidence. He felt no pre­dilection for any party. He has, surely, been biassed by none. In his observations on the worst men, he has made allowan­ces for human passions. In commending the best, he was forced to remember their frailties. He considered himself through­out in the light of a judge upon mankind [Page viii] and their actions; and, as he had no object but truth, he trusts he has attained his end.

To speak with more warmth of the work, would be incompatible with the mo­desty, which writers ought to observe when they treat of themselves. To say less in its favour, the Author hopes, would be deemed inconsistent with justice. With­out vanity, he may affirm, that the history of the period he has chosen, has been hi­therto very IMPERFECTLY KNOWN. He is far from supposing, that the following vo­lumes are wholly free from errors. He hopes, however, that they are neither great nor many, with regard to matters of fact.


  • CHAP. I. The Restoration.—State of the times.—Character of the King—Of the ministry.—Proceedings in parliament. Act of indemnity.—Confirmation of judicial proceedings.—Settlement of the revenue.—Marriage of the Duke of York.—Death of the Duke of Gloucester.—Trial of the Regicides.—Prelacy restored.—Dissolution of par­liament.—Insurrection of Venner.—Conference at the Savoy.—Affairs of Scotland.—Its government restored.—Proceedings in parliament.—Execution of Argyle.—State of Ireland.—Difficulty—and settlement of Irish affairs.—Portugal-match.—King's coronation.—New parliament.—Their attachment to monarchy.—New act of indemnity.—Bad success before Algiers.—King's necessities.—Corporation-act.—Surmises of a Plot.—Act of uniformity.—Militia settled.—King's marriage.—Execution of Regicides.—Trial of Vane and Lambert.—Two thousand ministers ejected.—Sale of Dunkirk.—Quarrels at court.—King dispenses with the act of uniformity.—Proceedings in parliament.—Bristol's charge of treason.—A plot discovered. Page 1
  • CHAP. II. Affairs of Portugal—of France—of Scotland—of Ire­land.—Triennial act.—Address against the Dutch.——Character of the Duke of York.—Rise of the Dutch war.—Victory of the English.—Consternation of the Dutch.—Affair of Bergen.—Bishop of Munster joins Charles.—The plague in London.—Rupture with [Page x] France and Denmark.—Battle of four days.—The Dutch defeated.—The fire of London.—Discontents in parliament.—The fleet laid up.—Disgrace at Chatham.—Peace concluded.—Discontents.—Fall of Clarendon.—New ministry.—Foreign affairs.—Character of Lewis XIV.—Triple league.—Treaty of Aix-la-Cha­pelle.—Peace between Spain and Portugal.—Affairs of Scotland—of Ireland.—Proceedings in parliament.—A general tranquillity—Intrigues at Court.—Duke of Ormonde dismissed.—Violence of Buckingham.—Act against conventicles.—Death and character of Albemarle.—King changes his measures.—Secret negotiations with France.—Conversion of the Duke of York.—Confe­rence at Dover.—Treaty with France.—Death of the Duchess of Orleans. p. 57
  • CHAP. III. Reflections.—Character of the cabal.—Buckingham in France.—Invasion of Lorrain.—A parliament.—Prince of Orange in England.—Attempt upon Ormonde.—Blood's attempt.—Coventry-act.—Scheme for a comprehension.—Death of the Duchess of York.—Transactions at court.—Quarrel with the Dutch.—Imperious conduct of Charles.—Embassies.—Exchequer shut.—Preparations for war.—Smyrna fleet attacked.—Promotions.—War declared.—Declaration of indulgence.—Battle of Southwold Bay.—Death and character of Sandwich.—Invasion of Holland.—Consternation of the Dutch.—Character of the Prince of Orange.—He is declared Stadtholder.—Tumults in Holland.—Murder of the De Wits.—Misfortunes of the Dutch.—Promotions.—Affairs of Scotland—of Ireland.—Reflections.—State of the nation.—A parliament.—Proceedings of the commons.—Indulgence recalled.—The test.—Designs to exclude the Duke of York.—Character of Monmouth.—Defection of Shaftesbury.—Battles at sea.—State of the war.—Congress at Cologne.—Duke of York and Clifford resign.—Oshorne made treasurer.—His character.—A parliament.—Address against the Duke's marriage.—Proceedings.—Chancellor dismissed.—Duke of York's marriage.—A parliament.—Their proceedings.—Peace with Holland. p. 122
  • CHAP. IV. Parliament prorogued.—Campaign of 1674.—The King gains London.—Negotiations with the Prince of Orange. [Page xi] —A session of parliament.—Their proceedings.—Cam­paign of 1675.—A session of parliament.—They are pro­rogued.—New secret treaty with France.—Campaign of 1676.—Observations.—A profound tranquillity.—Af­fairs of Scotland—Of Ireland.—France offers peace.—Parliament meets.—Proceedings.—Progress of the French.—The commons alarmed.—Reprimanded and adjourned.—Reflections.—Affairs of Europe.—State of France and of the allies.—Views of the King and Prince of Orange.—Marriage of the latter.—They settle terms of peace.—France required to agree.—Du­plicity of Charles.—Treaty with the Dutch.—Par­liament meets.—Ill-humour of the commons.—Popular leaders intriguing with France.—Secret history of par­ties.—Proceedings of the commons.—Progress of the French.—Money treaty.—Alliance with Holland.—Peace of Nimeguen.—The King and Prince of Orange endeavour to break it.—Its effects on France.—State of England.—The Popish plot.—Otes's narrative.—Coleman's letters.—Death of Godfrey.—A general consternation. p. 183
  • CHAP. V. Popish plot abetted by all.—A session of parliament.—Their violence and fears.—Attack on the Duke of York.—In­trigues of the Prince of Orange.—Bill to disable Papists.—Bedloe's evidence.—Queen accused.—Coleman and others condemned.—Accusation and impeachment of Danby.—Reflections.—Parliament prorogued.—Distracted state of the nation.—Parliament dissolved.—Duke of York withdraws.—Monmouth declared illegitimate.—Intrigue with France.—New parliament.—Difference concerning a speaker.—Violence of the commons.—Danby prosecuted. A new council.—Proposal of limitations.—Bill of exclu­sion.—Resolution against Bishops.—Habeas-corpus act.—Condemnation of Jesuits.—Langhorn condemned.—Par­liament dissolved.—Affairs of Scotland.—Murder of Sharpe.—Rout at Bothwell-Bridge.—Affairs of Ireland.—State of parties and opinions.—King's sickness.—Duke of York returns.—Monmouth disgraced.—The Duke of York in Scotland.—Monmouth returns, without leave.—Intrigues of the Prince of Orange.—The King's firmness.—Meal-tub plot.—Intrigues of the Prince of Orange.— [Page xii] A change in the ministry.—Some members of the council re­sign.—Secret views of the Prince of Orange.—Petitioners and abhorrers.—Whigs and Tories.—Duke of York re­turns.—He is presented for recusancy.—Intrigues of the Prince of Orange.—Monmouth's progress.—Policy of the King.—The Duke retires.—A parliament.—Violence of the commons.—Prince of Orange's negotiations with the house of Lunenburgh.—Bill of exclusion.—Rejected by the lords.—Violent proceedings of the commons.—They animadvert on the abhorrers.—Impeach the judges.—Trial and execution of Stafford.—Extraordinary votes.—Par­liament prorogued.—Intrigues of the Prince of Orange.—Parliament dissolved.—Firmness and views of the King.—Negotiation with France.—Fitz-Harris's libel.—A par­liament at Oxford.—Violence of the commons.—A quarrel between the two houses.—Bill of exclusion.—Parliament dissolved.—Consternation of the popular party. p. 238
  • CHAP. VI. Reflections on the conduct of parliament.—King's declara­tion.—Addresses from all quarters.—City of London re­primanded.—Intrigues of the Prince of Orange.—Fitz-Harris and Plunket executed.—Case and trial of College.—Affairs of Scotland.—Succession recognized.—A new test.—Trial of Argyle.—Conduct of the Duke of York.—Foreign affairs.—Prince of Orange in England.—Conference with the King.—Shastesbury acquitted.—Pas­sive obedience.—State of the times.—Of foreign affairs.—Return of the Duke of York.—He narrowly escapes shipwreck.—The King possesses himself of London.—Affairs at court.—Monmouth's progress.—Legal seve­rities.—Deaths and promotions.—Quo warranto.—City of London submits.—Corporations resign their charters.—Rise and progress of a conspiracy.—Rye-house plot.——Conspirators seized.—Trial, condemnation, death, and character of Russel.—Death of Essex.—Marriage of the Lady Anne.—Oxford declaration.—Trial, execution, and character of Sidney.—Monmouth's confession and disgrace.—Conduct and intrigues of the Prince of Orange.—Hampden fined.—Prosecutions and executions.—Duke of York lord admiral.—Affairs of Scotland—Of Ireland.—State of foreign affairs.—Domestic affairs.—Death of the King.—His behaviour in his last moments.—Reflec­tions on his private life and character. p. 321
  • [Page xiii]CHAP. VII. State of opinions.—King's popular declaration.—He con­tinues the expired revenue.—His conduct at home,—and towards foreign powers.—Domestic affairs.—A parlia­ment.—Their submissive proceedings.—Settlement of the revenue.—The Prince of Orange encourages an inva­sion.—His conduct to Monmouth.—Affairs of Scotland.—Rebellion, defeat, and execution of Argyle.—Mon­mouth's expedition.—His progress, defeat, and death.—Severities in the West.—Jefferys made chancellor.—Execution of Cornish.—Great power of the King.—A parliament.—Criminals of distinction pardoned.—King's religious views.—Affairs of Ireland.——Character of Sunderland.—A secret Popish cabinet.—Affairs of Scot­land.—Hales's case.—Dispensing power.—King favours Papists.—Ecclesiastical commission.—Bishop of London suspended.—Encampment at Hounslow.—Imprudence of James.—Affairs of Ireland.—Schemes of the Prince of Orange.—Foreign affairs.—Reflections.—Papists promoted.—Indulgence in Scotland.—The same in Eng­land.—Intrigues of the Prince of Orange.—An attempt on Cambridge.—The affair of Magdalen college.—Par­liament dissolved.—King's progress.—He courts the Dis­senters.—Proceedings against Magdalen college.—Reflec­tions.—Queen with child.—Surmises of an imposture.—Intrigues of the Prince of Orange.—James insulted by the Dutch.—Indulgence renewed.—Bishops petition.—They are committed to the Tower.—Birth of a Prince.—Bishops acquitted. p. 388
  • CHAP. VIII. Unpopularity of the King.—Intrigues and preparations of the Prince of Orange.—Security and imprudence of King James.—He is betrayed by Sunderland.—Convinced at length of his error,—he endeavours to gain the people.—Charter of London restored.—Sunderland disgraced.—Re­flections.—Prince of Orange takes leave of the States.—His declaration.—He sails and is driven back.—English fleet detained by the winds.—Dutch land.—Distress of the [Page xiv] Prince.—Many join him.—Petition of peers.—King joins the army.—Officers desert.—Princess Anne flies.—A ge­neral confusion.—A deputation to the Prince.—Queen and Prince of Wales sent away.—Dictatorial answer of the Prince.—Reflections.—The King flies.—He is seized at Feversham.—Confusion in London.—Conduct of the Prince.—A council of peers.—King returns.—He is seized by the Dutch guards.—He is sent to Rochester,—and escapes to France.—Observations.—Prince of Orange in London.—Assembly of peers.—Paper left at Rochester.—Peers and commons address the Prince.—His secret in­trigues for the crown.—Intrigues of Halifax and Danby.—Convention meets.—Reflections.—They thank the Prince.—Arguments.—Grand resolve.—Debates in the house of lords.—They amend the vote of the commons.—Reject a letter from James.—Prince of Orange declares himself.—Conference between the houses.—Crown confer­red on the Prince and Princess.—Declaration of Rights.—Observations on the breach on the succession.—Reflections on the reign of James.—His character, views, and situ­ation.—Arguments for the Revolution. p. 455
  • CHAP. IX. Reflections.—Promotions.—King's first speech.—Convention converted into a parliament.—Transactions in parlia­ment.—Commons refractory.—Coronation.—Affairs of Scotland.—Administration conferred on the Prince of Orange.—Convention meets.—Letters from the two Kings.—A secession.—Settlement of the crown.—Affairs of Ireland.—Strange neglect of that country.—Commo­tions.—Rout at Dromore.—James arrives in Dublin.—Wretched state of his army.—Proceedings of the parliament of England.—War with France.—State of Europe.—English fleet defeated.—Discontents.—Parlia­ment adjourned.—Affairs of Scotland.—Military opera­tions.—Battle of Killicranky.—Death and character of Dundee.—A violent opposition.—Irish affairs.—James before Derry.—He holds a parliament at Dublin.—Their proceedings and violence.—Coin debased.—Stage of [Page xv] Derry.—De Rozen's cruel order.—Siege raised.—Rout at Newtown Butler.—Factions at court.—Distress of James.—Schomberg's invasion.—James offers battle in vain.—Both armies retire to winter quarters.—Foreign affairs. p. 517
  • CHAP. X. State of the nation.—William confirmed on the throne.—Parliament meets.—Their proceedings.—Commons refrac­tory.—Parliament dissolved.—Whigs disgusted—A To­ry parliament.—Revenue settled.—Affairs of Scotland.—Affairs of Ireland.—William arrives in that kingdom.—Passage of the Boyne.—James defeated.—Reflections.—He retires to France.—Schemes of that kingdom in his favour.—He is treated with great coldness.—Mi­litary transactions.—Athlone besieged in vain.—William repulsed at Limerick.—He returns to England.—Mary's administration.—Battle off Beachy-head.—Foreign affairs.—Battle of Fleurus.—Campaign of 1690.—Proceedings of parliament.—Torrington acquitted.—Preston and Ash­ton seized and condemned.—Intrigues of Marlborough and Godolphin.—Princess of Denmark's correspondence with her father.—King William in Holland.—Conference at the Hague.—Campaign of 1691 in Flanders,—Germany, Savoy,—Spain,—and Hungary.—Transactions at sea.—Affairs of Scotland.—Intrigues of King James.—Af­fairs of Ireland.—Miseries of that country.—Athlone taken.—Battle of Aughrim.—Siege of Limerick.—Paci­fication in Ireland.—Reflections.—English parliament meets.—Their proceedings.—Unpopularity of William.—Opposition in parliament.—Proceedings.—William in Holland.—Affairs of Scotland.—Massacre of Glenco. p. 575



The Restoration.—State of the times.—Character of the King.—Of the ministry.—Proceedings in parliament. Act of indemnity.—Confirmation of judicial proceed­ings.—Settlement of the revenue.—Marriage of the Duke of York.—Death of the Duke of Gloucester.—Trial of the Regicides.—Prelacy restored.—Dissolu­tion of parliament.—Insurrection of Venner.—Con­ference at the Savoy.—Affairs of Scotland.—Its go­vernment restored.—Proceedings in parliament.—Execution of Argyle.—State of Ireland.—Difficulty—and settlement of Irish affairs.—Portugal-match.—King's coronation.—New parliament.—Their at­tachment to monarchy.—New act of indemnity.—Bad success before Algiers.—King's necessities.—Cor­poration-act.—Surmizes of a Plot.—Act of unifor­mity.—Militia settled.—King's marriage.—Execu­tion of Regicides.—Trial of Vane and Lambert.—Two thousand ministers ejected.—Sale of Dunkirk.—Quarrels at court.—King dispenses with the act of uniformity.—Proceedings in parliament.—Bristol's charge of treason.—A plot discovered.

year 1660 The Resto­ration. CHARLES the Second was proclaimed, at London, on the eighth of May, in the year one thousand six hundred and sixty. He en­tered that city, on the twenty-ninth of the month, amid the acclamations of an infinite concourse of spectators. The two houses of parliament attend­ed the King, at Whitehall; and, by their speakers, congratulated him, in terms full of submission and loy­alty. The populace, with their usual extravagance, [Page 2] expressed their satisfaction in riot and intemperance. The terrors of anarchy and confusion yielded to the hopes of a regular steadiness in government. The pomp of royalty pleased the bulk of mankind; its novelty all. The change was great, but not surpris­ing, among a people, who had fallen, under an ab­ject species of tyranny, after all their efforts to be free.

State of the nation. The joy, which the restoration of monarchy diffused over the kingdom, seemed to level all parties into a voluntary obedience to the King. The nation, how­ever, was not to be settled, at once, from the con­vulsions which had overturned the throne. Jealousies, animosities, and high expectations, prevailed, among the adherents of monarchy. The independents were afraid of a retaliation of severities. The Presbyte­rians, in some measure, despaired of establishing their favourite system of church-government. Silence and melancholy seized the republican party, at the disap­pearance of all their hopes. The army, though, at different times, purged by Monk, were rather passive to his measures, than fond of kingly government. Most of the old soldiers were fanatics. Even those, who had attended the General from Scotland, obeyed him more from an affection to his person, than any regard to his political views. The eagerness of the body of the people, to return to the ancient constitu­tion, had formed the firmest foundation for its support. They regarded, in their elections, the political cha­racter of their representatives. A great majority of those, who were chosen to serve in the house of com­mons, were men known for their attachment to mo­narchy, or remarkable for their moderate principles. The declaration from Breda had left the settlement of the nation in the parliament; and though the forms of their proceedings were productive of an inconve­nient delay, that important business could not be plac­ed in safer or more able hands.

Character of the King. The disposition and character of Charles, as far as they were THEN known, were well suited to the times. Attached to no system of religion, he seemed favourable to all. In appearance destitute of political ambition, his sudden elevation was more an object of [Page 3] admiration, than of jealousy. Accommodating in his professions and easy in his manner, he pleased even those whom he could not gratify. Men, from prin­ciple, enemies to monarchy, were prejudiced in fa­vour of the person of the Prince. Those in whom fear might excite aversion, lost their hatred, in his apparent forgetfulness of past injuries. Though a lover of dissipation and pleasure, he could bear con­finement, and had a talent for business. Though na­turally unsteady, he could assume the appearance of firmness; and his quickness of apprehension was mis­taken, by the superficial, for uncommon abilities of mind. Adhering strictly to no principle himself, he was not much offended at the want of it in others. He gained the profligate by indulgence; by his good-nature and attention, he flattered the pride of the virtuous. Insinuating, dissembling, but frequently judicious, he came upon mankind, through the chan­nel of their ruling passions; and till his professions of regard to men of opposite principles became too com­mon to be thought sincere, he gained the affection, if not the esteem, of his subjects.

His accommodating character was the chief support of Charles throughout his reign. The carelessness of his measures raised him many opponents; but the easiness of his temper prevented him from having personal enemies. His defects, however, were not perceived when he mounted the throne. A penetrat­ing judge of the character of others, he was no stranger to his own; and he resolved to turn its fairest side to the world. With too much good sense, to throw away, by wantonness and folly, what fortune had unexpectedly bestowed, he was cautious in his first measures; and, by the appearance of a strict im­partiality in the distribution of his savours, he dis­armed the most inveterate among the parties which still divided the nation.

The mini­stry, A prudent choice of his principal servants promised better measures, than those which Charles afterwards produced through his reign. He filled his council, in­deteriminately, from all parties. Ability was more re­garded, than political principle, or previous conduct. [Page 4] Many, who had opposed his father, were admitted into stations near his own person. Several, who had sup­ported the late republic, were now employed in the service of monarchy. The principal departments of the state were trusted to friends. Sir Edward Hyde, distinguished for his fidelity, as well as for his talents in business, was made chancellor. The Marquis of Ormonde, more remarkable for his honour and inte­grity, than for great abilities, was constituted steward of the household. The treasury, after having been for near nine months in commission, was delivered over to the sole management of the Earl of South­amptonA a man of unshaken firmness and unble­mished reputation. The Duke of York was invested with the office of lord high admiral of England. Monk, created master of the horse to the King, was continued captain-general of all the forces in the three kingdoms. Nicholas, a man of unbiassed integrity and experience in the service of the crown, and Mor­rice, who owed his elevation to the patronage of Monk, were secretaries of state.

their cha­racter. To restore justice to its ancient course, employed the first care of the King and his servants. The courts in Westminster-hall were filled with judges of known abilities in their profession; of professed af­fection to monarchy, and the re-established laws. The servants of the crown opened a free and friendly intercourse with the leading members of both hou­sesB. They concerted the best measures for carry­ing on the business with expedition and success. The King himself seemed inclined to manage the great af­fairs of the nation, through the medium of an assem­bly to whom he owed his throne. An enemy to trou­ble, and fond of pleasure, he threw early the weight of the state on his ministers. Hyde possessed the most credit and the greatest power. Indefatigable in his nature, and placing even his amusement in business, he was the most experienced, and, perhaps, the most able of the servants of the crown. Southampton, though a man of abilities, was indolent; Monk, [Page 5] more versant in the labours of the field, than the in­trigues of the cabinet. Nicholas, unambitious in his character, sacrificed the importance of his office to his high opinion of the chancellor's talents; Morrice, though a man of integrity, lost his consequence, in his ignorance of foreign affairs. Ormonde, in the warmth of a sincere friendship, adhered in every thing to Hyde. The Duke of York, by the express orders of the King, lived on the best terms with the ministryC. Every thing fell, sooner than could have been expected, into regularity and form. A general settlement in the civil justice of the kingdom prevailed. No injury was without its remedy; and complaints, more frequent even in the worst govern­ments than injustice, were scarce ever heardD.

Proceedings in parlia­ment. The two houses of parliament proceeded to the set­tlement of the nation. The lords, lately restored to their function in the state, seemed sensible of the in­juries, which had deprived them so long of their right. They, however, had not arrived at their for­mer weight and consequence. The Commons, who had given such recent proofs of their importance, still retained their superiority. In terms of the King's declaration from Breda, they brought into their house a bill of general indemnity, before he took possession of the throne. They resolved, on the fourteenth of May, to except seven of those, who sat in judgment on the late King, out of the act of oblivion. In their zeal to animadvert upon past offences, they even ex­tended punishment beyond the grave. Serjeant Brad­shaw, president of the high court of justice, though dead, was attainted for treason. On the eighth of June they resolved, that the number of twenty, and no more, besides the King's judges, should be except­ed, not extending to life. Hutchinson, for his signal repentance, was left out of the clause of excep­tionE. Colonel Ingoldsby, for his late services, was forgiven and rewarded. The debates, which arose upon naming the persons, rendered tedious the [Page 6] progress of the bill; and, though the King, in se­veral messages, expressed his impatience, the act took some months in passing through both housesF.

Act of in­demnity. The debates in the house of commons were not the only cause of the delay which attended the act of in­demnity. The lords, in their zeal for monarchy, and exasperated by former injuries, seemed resolved to ex­cept every person who had sat in judgment on the royal party. The Earl of Bristol, who had declared himself a Catholic, some months before the Restora­tionG, was the most violent. Though excluded, on account of his religion, from holding a place in the privy-council, he was still trusted with the secret of affairsH. Haughty and arrogant, impetuous in his manner, and ambitious in his disposition, he was determined to direct councils, of which he was not permitted to partakeI. To secure his interest with the King, he pretended zeal in the royal cause. He moved in the house, that no pardon should be granted to those who had any way contributed to the death of the late King. Bristol's influence at court was no se­cret. The nation was alarmed at so wide an excep­tion. They began to think that the king, by an artifice, intended to elude his declaration. Charles came to the house, and put an end to their fears. He requested the lords to extinguish the terrors of the people, to remove their apprehensions of safety. He desired them to consider his promise, and to exclude none but the re­gicides from the benefit of the act of oblivion. He pressed them to forget their animosities, to lay aside revenge, to drop even the memory of the past. He plainly told them, that the peace of the kingdom, if not the very existence of monarchy, depended upon expedition in passing the billK.

Confirma­tion of ju­dicial pro­ceedings. Though the bill of indemnity engaged almost the whole attention of both houses, some other matters of great public concern came necessarily under their consideration. To quiet the possession of the subject, by confirming the judicial proceedings which had pas­sed [Page 7] since the beginning of the late disturbances, was an object nearly as important as the act of oblivion. All sentences in law and equity, since the first of May, 1642, were confirmed by an act of the legisla­ture. Some few restrictions were made, with regard to crown and church lands. The two houses filled their debates with declarations against the legality of the procedings of the long parliament, after it had been mutilated by the army. Their zeal might even have led them to rescind all acts of the parliament, which met in the November of the year 1640; but the chancellor shewed no inclination to look back so far. James the Second, in his Memoirs, blames this negligence in Hyde, in terms expressive of his resent­ment against a body of men who had so much injured his familyL.

Settlement of the reve­nue. In the settlement of the revenue, the house of commons shewed as much regard for the liberties of the subject, as they had done in their other resolutions for the royal prerogative. It was resolved, before the King's arrival, to abolish the courts of wards and li­veriesM, as a public grievance; and to make, for that revenue, a compensation to the crownN. One hundred thousand pounds was proposed by the parlia­ment. Double the sum had been offered, and, in the reign of James, refused for those branches of the pre­rogative, together with that of purveyance. This composition was charged upon the excise; one half of which was settled, in perpetuity, on the crown. The other half of the excise, and the revenue arising from tonnage and poundage, were granted to the King during his life. A committee reported to the house, on the fourth of September, that, by an esti­mate, the King's revenue might be computed at little more than eight hundred thousand pounds. The commons came to resolution to increase it to twelve hundred thousand pounds. The charging of this re­venue upon adequate funds was a matter of difficulty, and was therefore adjourned to the next meeting of [Page 8] parliamentO. An act was, however, passed for raising one hundred thousand pounds for the King's present supply; which sum was to be levied, by way of land-rate, within the space of one month, to be­gin on the twenty-ninth of SeptemberP.

Provision for disband­ing the ar­my. To disband an army accustomed to revolution and change, was necessary for the safety of the nation, and employed the principal attention of parliament. An assessment of seventy thousand pounds, to conti­nue for three months, at first voted, was unequal to the purpose of paying their arrearsQ. Another act was passed, a few days before the adjournment, for an additional assessment, to begin on the first of November, and to continue for two months. The par­simony of the commons, notwithstanding their profes­sions of unlimited loyalty, was evidently intended to keep the King in a state of dependence on his parlia­ment. The next house of commons, according to James the SecondR, were less attentive to the liber­ties of their constituents. He ascribes their frugality more to, what he calls, the prejudices of Sir Edward Hyde, than to their own patriotism. In the warmth of their zeal for restored monarchy, they could deny nothing to their prince. It was proposed by some leading members to settle a very large revenue on the crownS. The chancellor prevented the motion from being made in the house. He was afraid that the King would stand no longer in need of parliament; or, what was still more contrary to his principles, that the Popish religion might be introduced, as fa­vourable to the authority of the crown. ‘"This oversight, or rather terror in Hyde,"’ continues James, ‘"was the source of the dangers which monarchy has since undergone. In every other particular, he sup­ported, to the height, the power of the crownT."’ The two houses having thus far brought forward the public business, on the thirteenth of SeptemberU [Page 9] adjourned themselves, by the King's permission, to the sixth of NovemberX.

Honours conferred. Whilst parliament was preparing punishments for the late King's enemies, Charles was busy in reward­ing his own friends. Those who had adhered the best to his family, contributed, from that circumstance, the least to his restoration; and, therefore, their fidelity was forgot, in their want of power to be of service. Besides, their number was a kind of excuse for an appearance of ingratitude. Though the King was not destitute of generosity, he was not possessed of the means of exercising it, in an extensive degree. The hereditary property of the crown had been dis­sipated in the late troubles; and had even the reve­nue promised by parliament been settled, it was une­qual, without the most rigid oeconomy, to carry on the necessary service of the state. Hereditary honours were the only rewards which Charles could bestow with ease. Monk, by the title of Duke of Albemarle, took his seat in the house of lordsX, on the thir­teenth of July. Admiral Montague was introduced, on the twenty-sixth of the same month, by the name of Earl of Sandwich. The Marquis of Hertford, for his uncommon fidelity, attachment and services to the royal family, was restored to the dukedom of Somerset by an act of parliamentY.

Marriage of the Duke of York. The joy, which the natural gaiety of Charles derived from his unexpected restoration to the throne of his ancestors, was considerably checked by acci­dents and misfortunes in his own family. During a visit, which the Princess of Orange paid to the Queen mother at Paris, in the year 1657, the Duke of York fell in love with Mrs. Anne Hyde, one of her maids of honour, and daughter to Sir Edward Hyde. The Duke's affection for the daughter began when he was on bad terms with the father; and the latter remained in absolute ignorance of a circumstance which was scarce a secret in his familyZ. In the violence of his passion, the Duke promised her mar­riage. [Page 10] ‘"Besides her person,"’ says he, ‘"she posses­sed all the qualities proper to inflame a heart less sus­ceptible than his, of the fire of love."’ By manag­ing well her advantages, she kept alive his passion. In the winter before the Restoration, he resolved to give to none, but to her, his hand. He again sealed his vows of affection with an absolute promise of making her his wife. He asked the king for his leave, but he refused; yet, at last, he ceased to oppose a resolution which the Duke seemed determined to fol­lowA. Under the faith of a solemn promise, she had admitted him to her bed, and became pregnant. On the third of September, they were privately mar­ried at Worcester-house, where her father, at the time, resided; and, on the twenty-second of Oct. she was brought to bed of a son. Though the friends and servants of the Duke opposed a match, which they deemed unequal, he soon publicly owned the marriage; "and," to use his own words, ‘"her want of birth was made up with endowments, and her carriage, in every respect, became her acquired dignityB."’

Death and Character of Gloucester. IN the evening of the thirteenth of September, died Henry Duke of Gloucester, third brother to the KingC Though mankind are apt to exaggerate the virtues of princes who happen to die in early youth, their praises seem to have done no more than justice to the character of Gloucester. He joined in himself the best qualities of both his brothers: the understanding and good-nature of Charles, to the industry and application of James. The facility of the first was, in him, a judicious moderation. The obstinacy of the latter was, in Gloucester, a manly firmness of mind. Attached to the religion and a friend to the constitution of his countryD, he was most regretted, when his family regarded these the least. The vulgar, who crowd with eminent virtues and great actions the years which fate denies to their [Page 11] favourites, foresaw future misfortunes in his death; and even the judicious supposed, that the measures of Charles might have derived solidity from his judgment and promising parts. The King lamented his death with all the vehemence of an affectionate sorrow. The Duke of York was much affected with the loss of a brother, whose high merit he much admired. ‘"He was a prince,"’ says James, ‘"of the greatest hopes, undaunted courage, admi­rable parts, and a clear understanding. He had a particular talent at languages. Besides the Latin, he was master of the French, the Spanish, the Italian, and Low Dutch. He was, in short, possessed of all the natural qualities, as well as acquired accomplish­ments, necessary to make a great princeF."’

Trial of the Regicides. WHEN Charles was indulging his sorrow for the loss of a brother whom he loved, the attention of the nation was engaged with the trial of the Regi­cides, excepted from pardon in the act of indemnity. The King issued a commission to thirty-four of the most eminent and able nobility, judges, lawyers, and gentlemen, to sit at the Old-Bailey, in trial upon those who should be indicted for the murder of the late KingG. General Harrison, the son of a but­cher at Newcastle, and originally an attorney's clerkH was the first person brought before the commissioners. To an elevation of mind, which sprung from his na­tural courage, Harrison added an ignorance suitable to the meanness of his original station. He defended the deed, of which he was accused, with boldness; and, with an enthusiasm peculiar to the extraordinary times in which he had figured, he made Heaven it­self the author of an action deemed, by the generality of mankind, one of the worst of crimes. Cook, a lawyer, argued for himself with all the subtlety of his profession. Scot, a republican from principle, gloried in being instrumental in the death of a King. Carew and Scroope were the only persons among the Regicides born gentlemen. The first was an en­thusiastic [Page 12] Millenarian. The latter, by an ill-timed sarcasm on some of his judges, ensured his own fate. Peters, a fanatical preacher, who had roused the army to regicide, was condemned. Axtel, who guarded the court of justice, and Hacker, who com­manded at the King's execution, received sentence of death. Of twenty-eight persons, who were brought to the bar, ten only suffered; and they met their fate with unexampled spirit, amid the clamours of an insulting mob. Enthusiasm had armed their minds with that fortitude which men of abilities derive, in the last extreme, from philosophyI.

Prelacy re­stored. During the trial and execution of the Regicides, the King and his ministers were employed in giving satisfaction to men of different religious persuasions. The parliament, in their attention to the civil con­cerns of the state, had left the difficult business of religion to be settled by the crown. Though the sufferings of the church of England, during the late troubles, seemed to ensure the recovery of her ancient rights and splendour with the restoration of monar­chy, the King was obstructed in his designs in favour of the hierarchy, by the declaration of Breda. The Presbyterians had claims upon his gratitude; and other dissenters derived great hopes of kind usage, from his known indifference to all religious forms. Charles wished to gain all, by disobliging none. On the twenty-fifth of October, he issued a healing de­claration, consisting of eight articlesK. The first six prescribed rules to bishops, in the exercise of their spiritual jurisdictions: the two last related to a pro­posed amendment of the liturgy; and some ceremo­nies, to the observance of which no person was en­joined. Episcopacy was gradually revived. The bishops themselves, in consequence of the act in 1641, remained still excluded from their seats in parliament. Nine only had survived the late distractions and con­fusions. To these, seven were added, in the course of the present year; and, except in the article of voting in the house of peers, they were restored to [Page 13] their former rights. The King's declaration, tho' conciliating in its design, was by no means pleasing to the Presbyterians, as it did not alter the species of prelacyM.

Dissolution of Parlia­ment. The parliament, after a recess of near two months, met on the sixth of NovemberN. They brought back to both houses the good-humour with which they had adjourned, and applied themselves with great unanimity to the bills which they had left un­finished. On the first day of their meeting, they voted an address to the Queen-mother and the Prin­cess HenriettaO, who had lately returned from France, to felicitate their family on the restoration of monarchy. The Princess of Orange had arrived, for the same purpose, in September. To compli­ments of ceremony, the commons added more solid proofs of their favour. They voted ten thousand pounds to each of the princesses; and, soon after, the like sum to the Queen of Bohemia. The latter and the Princess of Orange did not long enjoy this mark of parliamentary attention. The Princess died in December of the small-pox, and the Queen of Bohemia survived her little more than a yearP. The parliament made provision for disbanding the army, whose continuance was attended with danger as well as expence. To shew their affection for monarchy, both houses proceeded to an instance of puerile barbarity against its enemies. They ordered the carcasses of Cromwell, Ireton, Bradshaw, and Pride, to be drawn upon hurdles to Tyburn, to be there hanged up in their coffins, and afterwards bu­ried under the gallowsQ. They settled the pro­posed revenue of twelve hundred thousand pounds on the King; and having, by an act for six months as­sessment, at seventy thousand pounds a-month, pro­vided for the debts of the navy, and the extraordinary expence of the summer-fleet, they were dissolved on the twenty-ninth of DecemberR.

Character of the conven­tion-Parlia­ment. Thus ended the convention-parliament, who, in the space of eight months, restored to the nation, in [Page 14] year 1661 a great measure, that regularity of government, which the disturbances and revolutions of twenty years had compleatly destroyed. The people, ren­dered cautious by a succession of public miseries, had extended their views to a settlement in their election of representatives; and party-spirit being greatly checked, by their fears of a renewal of violence, moderation and prudence became the only recom­mendations to their choice. The Presbyterians, who held the chief influence, had lost their objections to a limited monarchy, in the injustice and tyranny of the independents. The lower house consisted chiefly of that sect; and even many of the lords were pre­judiced in favour of principles of ecclesiastical go­vernment so suitable to civil liberty. The commons carried the moderate views of their constituents into their public deliberations. Though they cherished the legal rights of the crown, as being yet in their infancy, they never lost sight of the freedom of the subject. They steered between the limits of prero­gative and the borders of popular liberty, rebuilding the breaches of both, as they moved forward through public affairs. Though the King had discovered no symptoms of a love of arbitrary power, they were willing to keep him, by a limited revenue, in a kind of dependence on parliament; wisely judging, that they were no longer necessary than they had favours to bestow. The convention-parliament, in short, was the happy medium, between the stern violence of their predecessors, and the implicit complaisance of their successors, in the choice of the nation.

Insurrection of The tranquility in which the parliament, at their rising, left the nation, was disturbed, in the capital, by an insurrection, more singular in its folly than dangerous in its consequences. Among the extrava­gancies which the late confusions had produced, there arose a sect of enthusiasts, who derived, from their extraordinary opinions, the name of Fifth-monarchy­men. They believed that the time was come for the establishment of that kingdom, which, according to the prophet Daniel, was to succeed the four great monarchies that are said to have already appeared in [Page 15] the world. These fanatics supposed that they them­selves were to be the instruments of beginning the reign of the saints upon earth. Utter enemies to all authority, from this wild expectation, they had for­merly made an attempt against the government of Cromwell; but the vigilance of that able despot soon convinced them, that the time for commencing their ideal empire was not yet arrived. The head of the sect was one Thomas Venner, who joined in his per­son the double vocation of a wine-cooper and preacher. In the indifference of Charles concerning opinions in religion, Venner was indulged with keeping a conven­ticle in Coleman-street. He chose to descant upon those parts of scripture which are least capable of being understood, on the prophecies of Daniel and book of Revelations. He believed himself, and he persuaded his audience, that the time of Christ's vi­sible reign was come; and that it was their duty to take up arms for King Jesus against the powers of the world.

Fifth-mo­narchy­men. The extravagance and absurdity of this opinion en­sured its credit with men, whose minds were warped from reason by enthusiasm. Fewer than sixty persons applied themselves seriously to the conquest of the world. They printed a declaration, entitled, ‘"A door of hope opened;"’ wherein they denounced war against all monarchies. They affirmed, that, after having ‘"led captivity captive"’ in England, they would pass to the continent, and spread far and wide their victories, till they should ‘"possess themselves of the gates of the world."’ Venner, on Sunday the sixth of January, having preached to his congrega­tion, and fasted all day, issued forth, at eleven o'clock at night, from his meeting-house, with a party of saints well armed. They consisted of thitty persons, and advanced to St. Paul's church-yard, cry­ing aloud, ‘"Live King Jesus,"’ and commanding all for them to join them, and those who were not, to keep their houses. A poor man who, being que­stioned, made answer, he was for God and King Charles, was killed. The city was alarmed. The constables and watch durst not attack them; and Ven­ner, [Page 16] not being joined, forced his way through the train-bands, who had assembled to suppress the insur­rection, passed through Aldersgate, possessed himself of Canewood, between Hampstead and Highgate, where he and his party spent the nightT.

Quashed. Intelligence of the insurrection being brought to the Cockpit to Albemarle, he communicated it to the Duke of York, who was then indisposed, and resided with his Dutchess at WhitehallU. The King was absent at Portsmouth, whither he had gone to attend the Queen-mother and the Princess Henrietta, who were to embark at that place for France. Albemarle dispatched his own troop, commanded by Sir Philip Howard, and the horse-guards, in pursuit of the in­surgents. Venner kept the woods for two days. About seven in the morning of the ninth of January, with twenty-nine of his adherents, he entered the city through Aldgate, proclaiming King Jesus. He advanced to Leadenhall, to the Exchange, to Wood­street, where he was opposed by twenty of the horse-guards. The street being narrow, Venner and his party defended themselves with the utmost spirit. The train-bands at length arriving, the insurgents forced their way into an ale-house, and there obsti­nately maintained their postX.

Execution. The Duke of York, accompanied by Albemarle, took horse upon the news of Venner's arrival. With twenty troopers, no more being left on guard, they marched into the city. The nobility and gentry flocked from all quarters to join them; so that, before they reached St. Paul's, they found themselves attend­ed by fifteen hundred horse. The lord-mayor met the Duke at St. Paul's. He told him, that Venner and his party were all either killed or taken. These enthusiasts defended the house in which they had taken shelter with such obstinacy, that it was impossible to dislodge them, without setting it on fire; which could not be done, without endangering the whole street. Lambert, a seaman, accompanied by a few others, untiled the roof and forced an entry from above. All [Page 17] February. Venner's party were either killed or wounded. One only asked for quarter. A comrade, lying wounded in the room, actually attempted to kill this spiritless friend with his sword; reviling him, at the same time, with his meanness. Venner himself had nine­teen wounds. The surgeons with difficulty kept him alive till he was condemned and executed. His sur­viving friends, except two reserved as witnesses, and two more respited by the King, shared the same fateY.

Troops rais­ed. The chancellor, who had been advanced to a pee­rage, in the month of November, by the title of lord Hindon, terrified either at Venner's insurrection, or from an aversion to all sectaries, wrote an alarming account of the whole affair to the KingZ. He conjured him to stop the disbanding of Albemarle's troop of horse-guards and his regiment of foot, who, by a particular indulgence, were the last to be paid off, and were to be dismissed that very day. He entreated his Majesty to raise more men, for the security of his person and government. There was little difficulty in persuading Charles to adopt the measure. February. Orders were immediately issued for raising a new regiment of guards, consisting of twelve companies, under Colo­nel Russel, a regiment of horse of eight troops, com­manded by the Earl of Oxford, and a troop under Lord Gerard. The Duke of York's troop of guards, were ordered from Dunkirk. Commissions were is­sued to the Earls of Cleveland, Southampton, and two other noblemen, to enlist men, in several com­panies, not admitted to immediate pay, but to be ready on an emergencyA. On the 14th of February, the Duke of Albemarle's regiment of foot, after laying down their arms as disbanded, took them up as an ex­traordinary guard for his Majesty's person. Their at­tachment to their general seemed to entitle them to this distinction from a prince who owed to him his throne.

Conference at the Sa­voy. March. Charles, wishing to continue the tranquility which the nation enjoyed, endeavoured to reconcile the dif­ferences [Page 18] between the church of England and the Pres­byterians. The attachment of his father to the for­mer had contributed more to his misfortunes, than his high exertions of the prerogative; and he was ex­tremely unwilling to permit a renewal of religious contests, whose fatal effects had deprived his family of the throne. He hoped that the felicity of the present times, and the remembrance of past miseries, might dispose men to a healing temper. He was bound to the church, by her invariable adherence to the royal cause. Recent favours demanded his gratitude to the followers of the Presbyterian system. His indiffe­rence as to modes of worship rendered him impartial; but he was a stranger to the subject, when he hoped it could be settled by argument. A commission, how­ever, was issued, on the twenty-fifth of March, to twelve bishops and nine episcopal divines, on the one side; and, on the other, to twelve Presbyterian di­vines and nine assistants. They were empowered to review the book of Common-prayer, to compare it with the liturgies used in the primitive and purest times, to consider the directions, the rules, the forms of prayer; to weigh all objections, to make all ne­cessary amendments and alterations, and to restore and continue, by these means, the peace and unanimity of the churches under his Majesty's government and protection. The conference was held at the lodgings of the Bishop of London, in the Savoy. Argument soon degenerated into altercation. All temper was lost. Distrust prevailed. At the end of two months they separated, having added personal resentments to polemical differences.

Affairs of Scotland. The storm which had discomposed the ancient con­stitution of England, had fallen with still greater vio­lence on Scotland. The indignity of a foreign yoke had been added to the other misfortunes of the Scotish nation; and their spirit seemed to have vanished with their independence. The slattering circumstance of giving a king to their ancient enemies had greatly di­minished the martial ardour, which their ancestors derived from a state of almost continual hostilities; whilst the weight which England threw in the scale of [Page 19] the crown enabled the sovereign to extend to a kind of tyranny, what formerly was a very limited power. The enthusiasm, which Calvinism introduced among the vulgar, raised their confidence, without preserving their intrepidity. They lost their reverence for au­thority, in their spiritual pride; and the nobles, find­ing themselves no longer followed or obeyed, sunk into the superstition of the mean and low, to retrieve a part of their power. In the beginning of the trou­bles, which terminated in the subversion of monar­chy, the enthusiastic zeal of the Scots against the li­turgy gave time to the discontents, which lay con­cealed among the English, to kindle into a flame. During the civil war, they seemed, in some measure, the umpires of the contest. Their attachment to the covenant prevailed at last over loyalty to their native prince. The Presbyterians of England obtained a complete triumph over monarchy, partly by their means; and there is scarce any doubt to be entertain­ed against the gratitude of the former to the Scots, had the fabric which they reared continued to stand.

Its State un­der Crom­well. The fall of the Presbyterians in England, under the violence of the Independents, ruined, in its conse­quences, their brethren of Scotland. Subdued by their own folly, as well as the abilities of Cromwell, the Scots found themselves under the mortifying ne­cessity of submitting to the indignities attending upon conquest. The whole frame of their ancient govern­ment was dissolved. The power of the nobility was extinguished. Presbytery itself became a reproach. The pride and activity of their divines were subdued. Religion was remitted to the sole order and direction of a commander in chief of the forces. All criminal cases, where the general chose not to proceed by mar­tial law, were tried by judges sent from England, and by English laws. Property and matters of civil in­terest were decided by the rules and customs observed in England, and the only mark of liberty left to the nation, was the permission of sending a few members to parliamentB. Their strong holds remained in the hands of the forces, by whom they had been sub­dued. [Page 20] The tranquility of a military despotism suc­ceeded the turbulence of a freedom that was ill under­stood; and men began at length to construe the lenity of a commander in chief into public happiness. Monk, by his moderation and integrity, had attached the Scots to his person, and even reconciled the majority of the nation to the established system. The feuds of families and the animosities of parties were extin­guished by his authority. Justice was administered with impartiality and precision; and the chief ob­jection to the government in general, was the novelty of its form.

New mini­stry. The affairs of Scotland received no alteration for three months after the restoration of monarchy in England. It was even a subject of debate, whether the Scots should be restored to their independence, or retained under the yoke imposed upon them by Crom­well. The commissioners sent from Scotland to nego­tiate the re-establishment of her affairs, argued for the freedom of their country; and Charles himself was inclined to the ancient constitution of government. Middleton, created an Earl, a man of abilities, and attached to monarchy, was declared commissioner for holding a parliament. The Earl of Glencairn, dis­tinguished for his parts and good-breeding, was made chancellor. The Earl of Lauderdale, who, from the battle of Worcester, had been confined in England in different prisons, rose, by his address, to the office of secretary of state. Rothes, a man of dexterity in business, was made president of the council; and the Earl of Crawford was restored to his former office of lord-treasurerC.

Proceedings in parlia­ment. The chancellor, having arrived in Scotland in the be­ginning of August 1660, summoned a committee of es­tates to meet on the 14th of the month, at Edinburgh. Their first care was to secure the public peace, by re­straining some of the heads of the Presbyterian clergy, who had met to remonstrate against grievances. The commissioner opened the parliament, in the end of the year, with a speech, recommending a condemna­tion of the invasions on the regal authority, and a re­storation [Page 21] of all the ancient prerogatives of the crown. To prevent the return of such calamities as had lately covered the nation, he desired them to make provision for a force to secure the public peace. The answer of the parliament to the King was full of loyalty and un­limited submission. They had felt severely the miseries of the late times, and they ascribed them to the oppo­sition of the nation to monarchy. The authority of the crown was restored, in its utmost extent. The power of framing bills was again invested in the lords of the articles. An additional revenue of forty thou­and pounds a-year was granted to the King for life. All the acts that limited the prerogative were repealedD. All leagues with foreign nations, not made by the King's authority, were declared treasonable; by which the famous covenant was rendered null and void. To extinguish, if possible, the memory of the late troubles, all parliaments held since the year 1633 were rescind­edE. The Presbyterian system of church-govern­ment was virtually dissolved by this act; and all the restrictions laid upon the too extensive power of the crown were at once removed. The measure was vio­lent and impolitic. In removing a few of the past evils, it established a dangerous precedent for future times. It was concerted at a feast, by the officers of state; and it partook of all the extravagance of a de­bauch.

Execution of Argyle. Though Charles had made no promise of indem­nity to the Scots, it was neither his temper, nor con­sistent with prudence, to carry his animadversions on past offences into extravagant severity. To make a few examples of punishment, after violences that had destroyed the ancient constitution, seemed as necessary in Scotland as in England. The Marquis of Argyle, from his delinquency as well as his rank, seemed a proper sacrifice for the crimes of the nobility; and one Guth­ery, a violent and seditious preacher, was pointed out as a suitable atonement for the political sins of the clergy. Argyle was no sooner informed of the King's arrival, than he hastened to London. Artful in his conversa­tion, [Page 22] and full of conciliating addressF, he might have gained the easy temper of Charles, into an obli­vion of the indignities which he had thrown on him self, as well as the late King. But he was denied the advantage of his insinuating talents, by a warrant which confined him upon his arrival, to the Tower. Before the meeting of the parliament, he was sent to Scotland to be tried. The informality of the pro­ceedings against him could scarce be justified by his crimes. He was condemned and executed. His mis­fortunes were the less regretted, for his barbarity and insolence to Montrose. The rudenessG of the Lord Lorne to the King, when in Scotland, was for­got in the punishment of his father; and he obtained a gift of the estate of his family, which had been for­feited to the crown. Guthery suffered, without being regretted; having added wanton acts of insolence to­wards the King, to a conduct subversive of all legal authority.

Reflections on The Irish nation came down from antiquity, marked with an uncommon singularity of political misfortunes. Distracted by domestic feuds, and labouring under all the miseries of anarchy, they became, in part, sub­jected to England, before either time or accident had polished her own government into precision and form. The natural aversion entertained by natives against all foreign intruders, combining with the violence and in­justice inseparable from conquerors, established an en­mity between them, which was augmented by various unfortunate incidents, in the progress of time. The opinions of the two nations were as different as their manners and interests; and they invariably affected, in every thing, to run into the opposite extremes. The conversion of the English to the Reformed reli­gion was sufficient to induce the Irish to adhere to the old supersition. A spiritual enmity added its rage to temporal animosity; and if at any time an appearance of tranquility prevailed, it proceeded from the prepa­rations made to ensure revenge. As long as the go­vernment in England retained its force, a kind of a cold and unwilling obedience was paid by Ireland to its [Page 23] laws. But when the reins became relaxed, in the hands of Charles the First, the Irish Catholics carried their aversion to the English race into acts of unpre­cedented barbarity.

the state of Ireland. In the course of the troubles which followed the massacre of the Protestants in Ireland, the inhuma­nity of the Catholics was severely retaliated upon themselves. Under the specious pretence of revenging the cruelties committed on the English, Cromwell made large strides toward the extirpation of the na­tives. The difficulty of destroying a whole nation, more than motives of pity, induced the conqueror to confine to the half of the province of Connaught and the county of Clare the remnant that had escaped his sword. All the Irish, under pain of death, were ordered to retire within the allotted pale, on a cer­tain day. Disease and famine accompanied them to their wretched retreat. But the enemy hovered on their frontier, and prevented their escape from misery. The rest of the island was left to the English. Some of the old lords and just proprietors, being Pro­testants, were permitted to retain their possessions. The lands of the Catholics, now banished into Con­naught and Clare, were parcelled out among the adventurers and soldiers. The spirits of the Irish were so entirely broken, that this summary division of their property was made without exciting a mur­mur. Misery had arrived at a pitch beyond complaint, and the sense of injuries seemed to have vanished with the power of revenge. Ireland remained quiet under the dominion of Cromwell. The enemies of his authority lay subdued by his violence; and those whom he had gratified with the spoils of the van­quished, being from principle, as well as fear, averse from monarchy, were determined to adhere to any system that might prevent the restoration of the royal family to the throne.

Its state. Richard Cromwell, upon the death of his father, raised his brother Henry to the government of Ire­land. Soon after Richard had yielded the protector­ship to the violence of the army, the remains of the long parliament resumed their power, and appointed commissioners for the management of Irish affairs. [Page 24] Ludlow, with the other commissioners, arrived at Dublin in May 1659, and continued in the govern­ment till the Parliament was expelled, on the thir­teenth of October, by Lambert. They changed their obedience with the times, and submittedH themselves to the junto, who, under the name of a committee of safety, assumed the government of the three kingdoms. To reform the army, they broke, without any trial, above two hundred officers, who had deserved well in the service. The Lord Broghill, Sir Charles Coote, Sir Theophilus Jones, and other considerable persons, displeased with the conduct of the commissioners, formed a design to seize the castle of Dublin, which they effected on the thirteenth of DecemberI. To justify their enterprize, they declared for the parliament; and, by a committee of the principal officers, managed the affairs of Ire­landK.

at the Res­toration. A convention of estates, summoned by the com­mittee, met, on the seventh of February 1660, at Dublin, and chose Sir James Barry, afterwards Lord Santry, for their chairmanL. In contempt of or­ders from the council of state, they proceeded to bu­siness, asserting their independence on EnglandM. The convention was filled with members who fa­voured monarchy. They expressed their detestation of the late King's murder. They prepared every step necessary for restoring his son. The whole na­tion ran with violence into the measure; and the King was proclaimed, on the fourteenth of May, at Dub­lin. Their expressions of loyalty were followed by marks of their bounty. They voted considerable sums for the King and his two brothersN. On the twenty-fifth of May, they appointed the Lord Brog­hill, Sir Charles Coote, and other commissioners, to attend the King, to present to him the desires of the Irish nationO. They besought his Majesty to call a parliament consisting of Protestants, to appoint a [Page 25] chief governor and council, to grant a general par­don and indemnity, with such exceptions as should be settled in parliament, a confirmation of judicial proceedings, and, above all, an act for settling the estates of the adventurers, soldiers, and the Irish trans­planted into Connaught and ClareP.

Settlement Though the loyalty of the convention restored monarchy in Ireland, the affairs of the kingdom still wore a difficult and gloomy aspect. The native Irish, expelled by the violence of Cromwell, entertained hopes of being restored to their land. The adven­turers and soldiers added the pretensions of law and possession to their demands upon the gratitude of the King for their recent services. It was difficult to do justice to any, to satisfy all impossible. The affairs of England furnished the King with an excuse for not entering upon the intricate business of Ireland, till the recess of parliament, on the thirteenth of September. HeQ was perplexed beyond measure when he took the first view of a subject, which fur­nished no light to direct his way. He wished to throw the weight of the whole upon an able lord-lieutenant; but the Duke of Albemarle was unwill­ing to resign the government of a kingdom, where he possessed a great estate, upon a precarious tenureR. To find a deputy of high rank was difficult. Lords justices, from their number, might be swayed by either prejudice or party. Sir Maurice Eustace, re­commended by the Marquis of OrmondeS, was, on the twenty-fourth of October, sworn into the of­fice of chancellor. The Lord Broghill and Sir Charles Coote, raised to the peerage as Earls of Orrery and Mountrath, were constituted, together with Eustace, lords justices of IrelandT.

of its affairs. The uncertainty and disorder which prevailed in Irish affairs were not abated by the appointment of lords justices. The whole property of the kingdom had changed hands, under the tyranny of Cromwell. To restore things to their ancient state, would be as [Page 26] unjust as to permit them to remain in their present form. The despair of the parties finished happily a business, wherein the utmost efforts of government had failedU. The adventurers and soldiers judged that any settlement would be better than none. They met together. They found that each, by relinquish­ing some part of what he either claimed or possess­ed, might in some degree gratify all. They unani­mously proposed, ‘"that all persons who were to re­ceive benefit by the act of settlement, were to give up a fourth part of their claims, to raise a stock to satisfy such of the old Irish as the King should be pleased to restore to their estatesX."’ Charles re­ceived the proposition with joy. Two unavailing acts of settlement had been made; a third, but after a long interval, was passed, which contributed to quiet all. A kind of silence, rather than tranquillity, suc­ceeded to perplexity, clamour and disorder. In this settlement the King neglected not his best friends. He gave a grant to the Marquis of Ormonde of all the lands of his ancestors; a deed of gratitude to a noble person, who had served him and his father with unexampled fidelity, honour and attachmentY If the crimes of the Irish nation were great, they were sufficiently punished by their misfortunes. Dis­order, confusion, and tyranny, had prevailed in the two British kingdoms. In Ireland, massacre, famine, and pestilence, had been added to all the miseries of war and conquest.

Portugal match. The attention of Europe followed the good fortune which had established Charles on the throne of his ancestors. Though the treaty of the Pyrenees had put an end to open acts of hostility between the two rival monarchies of France and Spain, their an­cient animosities were rather suspended than extin­guished. The contest was removed from the field, but it still subsisted in the cabinet. Each retained the memory of past injuries, under a veil of present amity; each wished to gain the friendship of a prince [Page 27] whom both had treated with a coldness that border­ed on disdain. France, jealous of an ancient enemy, envied to Spain the prospect of reconquering Portu­gal. Lewis, unwilling to recommence hostilities against Philip, hoped to stop the progress of his arms, by rendering Charles a party for the house of Bra­ganza. The Portuguese themselves perceived no means of safety, but in the power of the English nation. Swayed by her perilous situation, and, per­haps, instigated by France, the Queen-regent of Por­tugal ordered her ambassador at London to propose a marriage between her daughter and Charles. She offered terms that were likely to gain a prince, in whom his necessities, and a desire of possessing the means of prosecuting his pleasures, had created a love of money that approached to avarice. The proffered portion was five hundred thousand pounds in money, the cession of Tangier and Bombay, with a free trade to the Brazils, and the possessions of Portugal in the East-IndiesZ.

Promoted by Clarendon. Though Charles, from his violent love of pleasure, was averse from the restraints of marriage, he listen­ed with attention to proposals of such manifest ad­vantage to himself and the kingdom. During his exile, he had paid his addresses to the sister of Wil­liam the Second, Prince of Orange; and some of his friends had made overtures in his name to Car­dinal Mazarine for his niece, Hortensia Mancini, whom James the Second calls ‘"the most beautiful woman in the worldA."’ In the cloud which was settled on his fortunes, he was rejected by the friends of both, with circumstances that bordered on scorn. Their opinions changed with his prosperity. Maza­rin, in particular, offered his niece, with a vast sum of money; but both were with a compliment, refus­edB. The King's affections were now too much dissipated to fix upon one object; and he valued less the beauty than the convenience of a wife. Catharine of Portugal derived to him a recommendation from [Page 28] her very imperfections. The reported narrowness of her understanding would prevent her from interfer­ing in matters of stateC; and the homeliness of her person might furnish an excuse for a breach of fidelity to her bed. Clarendon, if ever averse from the match, promoted it afterwards with all his credit; either gained by the arts of France, or in opposition to others, who hoped to govern Charles through a queen of their own recommendationD. He remov­ed, it is certain, every obstacle which arose in the course of the treaty; and though he, probably, had no sinister designs in the measure, he by it furnish­ed his enemies with the means of his ruinE.

Obstructed by Spain. The treaty with Portugal, though kept a profound secret, escaped not the vigilance of the Earl of Bristol. Affecting great predilection for Spain, he conveyed this important intelligence to her ambassador at Lon­donF. Alarmed at the new enemy, which seemed to threaten his master, this minister broke out with a violence more suitable to his temper than to his of­fice. He wrote to Philip. He remonstrated to CharlesG. He mixed threats with advantageous proposalsH. He conveyed to the King disadvan­tageous accounts of the person of his proposed con­sort. He informed him of her supposed sterility, an opinion even then generally received. The under­mining policy of France defeated the open vehemence of Spain. The offer of a large portion made by the latter was rejected for the secret promise of a con­siderable sum of money by the former. The King himself was more inclined to an union with the French, than with the court of Spain. The memory of former slights died with their author, Cardinal Mazarin, who had expired on the ninth of MarchI, after a lingering illness. Impressed with the dread and jealousy of the power of an English parliament, Charles hoped to derive security to his own autho­rity [Page 29] from the friendship of FranceK. This maxim he carried down through his reign; and to that cir­cumstance ought chiefly to be ascribed the servile at­tention to a French alliance, which has branded his name with political meanness.

Forwarded by France. France joined promises of present benefit to the King's hopes of future aid. Fouquet, who had suc­ceeded, after the death of the Cardinal, to the most credit with Lewis, dispatched an agent to England, to confirm Charles in his resolution of marrying the Infanta of Portugal. The business was too important to be trusted to the common line of embassy. The messenger was La Bastide. He brought a credential letter to the chancellor, and communicated to that minister his instructions. To encourage Charles to aid the Portuguese, Lewis ‘"offered an immediate payment of three hundred thousand pistoles, with a promise of a future provision proportionable to the charge. He complained of the pride of the Dutch. He reminded Charles of their insolence to himself in his adversity. He proposed a communication of councils between the two crowns; he expressed the propriety of reducing these haughty republicans to a just sense of the deference which they owed to crowned heads."’ To these proposals to the King, la Bastide added the offer of a present to the chancellor. Clarendon rejected with a degree of indignation what respected to himself of the propositions of FranceL. He was not, however, so delicate with regard to his master's honour. In the course of a correspondence with Fouquet, he asked for Charles the loan of fifty thousand pounds. When the fall of that minister happened, in the month of SeptemberM, Lewis returned all his letters to Clarendon; but he, at the same time, wrote to him, ‘"from that time to communicate with all freedom with D'Estrades, who resided at London, in quality of his ambassador."’ In the course of the chancellor's correspondence with [Page 30] Fouquet, the loan of fifty thousand pounds was su­perseded, by the demand of a larger sum, which was granted in the beginning of the ensuing yearM."

King's coro­nation. April. These transactions happened between the dissolu­tion of the convention in December, and the assemb­ling of the new parliament in May. On the twenty-third of April, the King was crowned at Westmin­ster with uncommon splendour. In the joy which attended the ceremony, party distinctions were forgot. The former enemies of monarchy mixed in the pro­cession with its fastest friends. Denzil Hollis, one of the five members whom the late King attempted to seize in the house of commons, was created a baron upon this occasion. Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, whose parts and versatility were, even then, well known, was raised to the peerage, by the title of Lord Ashley. Annesly, president of the late council of state, a man of accommodating principles, was created Earl of Anglesey. The royalists themselves were not neglected in the article of honours. Sir John Grenville was made Earl of Bath, and Sir George Booth Lord Delamere. Ingoldsby, whose hand appeared at the warrant for the execution of the late King, walked, as a knight of the Bath, at the coronation of his son. Recent services had at­toned for his former demerits. He had contributed, with his courage and activity, to the Restoration; yet disdained to make any conditions for himself.—He affirmed, that he had been constrained by force to sign the warrant; and his late zeal in the cause of monarchy added credit to his assertionN.

New parlia­ment. The new parliament met on the eighth of May, the anniversary of the day on which his Majesty had been proclaimed in the preceding year. The prudent management of Charles, and the public joy which naturally attended a legal settlement, after so many troubles and disasters, diffused an affection for monar­chy through the nation. The loyalty of the people appeared manifest in their choice of representatives. The popularity of the court prevailed more with the [Page 31] electors, than its influence. The nation had not yet, by an exorbitant revenue, furnished the crown with the means of swaying, with motives of advantage, their own votes. The principles of the house of commons were known before they met. The most of the members were men at once well affected to the church of England and to monarchy, whose in­terests appeared inseparable, since they fell by the same hands. Charles made a short speech to both houses; leaving to the chancellor, lately created Earl of Clarendon, to enlarge upon particular affairs. To expressions of the greatest affection for the prosperity of the nation, the King added, ‘"that he had pre­pared two bills to confirm the act of indemnity. He derived from that act,"’ he said, ‘"his own happiness and the security of his people; and he declared, that he could not think HIM either a wise man or his friend, who should persuade him to infringe engage­ments into which he had so solemnly entered, be­fore his restoration to the throne."’ He concluded with communicating to them his intended marriage with the Infanta of Portugal, which had been resolv­ed upon, with the unanimous approbation of his councilO.

Their at­tachment to monarchy. The commons chose Sir Edward Turner their speakerP; and both houses after addressing the King, proceeded to business, with great unanimity and zeal. The affection of the commons for the church ap­peared in their first vote. They ordered all the mem­bers to receive the sacrament, according to the li­turgy, within a limited time, upon pain of being prohibited the house. Their zeal for monarchy went hand in hand with their love for the church. The solemn league and covenantQ, the act for erecting a high court of justice for the trial of the late King, that for constituting the people of England a com­monwealth, for renouncing the title of Charles Stu­art, and for the security of the person of the pro­tector, were, by the authority of both houses, burnt [Page 32] by the hands of the common hangmanR. The commons added solid marks of their bounty to the King, to these proofs of their attachment to monarchy. They resolved to provide a present and plentiful sup­ply for his Majesty, as well as to settle a full, con­stant, and standing revenue for the time to comeS. Both houses entered with alacrity upon every mea­sure which tended to the safety of the prince, and to the honour of the crownT. They declared in various acts, ‘"That the making any distinction be­tween the King's person and his office should be treason: That he could not be divested of his nega­tive voice: That no order or ordinance of either house could be binding on the subject, without his assent: That the militia was inseparably vested in him alone; and that it was high treason to levy soldiers, with­out his express commission."’ They also declared, that the saying ‘"the king is a Papist, or popishly affected, should be felony."’ The parliament were more than complaisant to Charles; they were zea­lous for monarchy. The royal prerogative was vin­dicated, if not augmented. A revenue was settled suitable to the necessary expences, if not to the dig­nity of the crown, had it fallen into hands less la­vish than those of the KingU.

New act of indemnity. In their ardour for the rights of the crown, the parliament seemed to have forgot the safety and liberty of the subject. Though the King, in his speech, had re­commended a confirmation of the act of indemnity, they proceeded with langour and an apparent un­willingness in that important affairX. His frequent messages on that head were attended with little effect. Terror seized the obnoxious and guilty. Many, who thought they had done away their former demerits by recent services, were not free from fears. They dreaded that the shelter of the late act of indemnity might be removed, under pretence of an illegality in [Page 33] the conventionY. They solicited the King for a confirmation of the act of oblivion by the present parliament. On the twentieth of June, Charles wrote to the commonsZ; and, his letter having little ef­fect, he went in person, on the eighth of July, to the house of lordsA. He sent for the commons. He reminded them of his own declaration from Breda. He recalled to their memory a declaration of obli­vion published by the most eminent of themselves. He could not solicit a favour in vain, from an as­sembly so much devoted to his service. They soon dispatched the bill, and he as soon gave his assent. But though Charles favoured the act of indemnity, his parliament forgot not the injuries done to his fa­ther. They confiscated the estates of twenty-one Regicides deceasedB. The Lord Monson, Sir Harry Mildmay, and Sir James Harrington, were by a bill deprived of their honours and estates. They were or­dered to be drawn upon sledges, with ropes about their necks, to the gallows at Tyburn, on the an­niversary of the late King's death; and thence to be conveyed, in the same ignominious manner, to the Tower, and there to remain prisoners during their lives. With the power of the crown, they restored the dignity of the church. The act which exclud­ed the bishops from their seats was repealed. This was the last business of the session. On the thirtieth of July, the parliament was prorogued to the month of NovemberC.

Bad success before Al­gier. During the recess of parliament, an untoward in­cident furnished an opportunity to the disaffected to compare with disadvantage the present times to those of the late commonwealth. The insolence of the petty states of Barbary, particularly the depredations of the Algerines, induced the King to send the Earl of Sandwich with a fleet to the Mediterranean. He arrived on the twenty-ninth of July in the port of [Page 34] Algier. He summoned the Dey to come out and confirm the league made with England. A treaty was begun; but the terms offered by those pirates were so insolent and exorbitant, that the admiral weighed and stood into the harbour. He was so warm­ly received by the batteries ashore, that, having set some ships on fire, he thought it prudent to with­draw the fleet. Sir John Lawson was left to block up the port. Sandwich himself retired to LisbonD. The domestic affairs of England were carried on with the utmost success and tranquillity. Some idle bick­erings between the different sects still subsisted, but their speculative disputes disturbed not the repose of the nation. The contest was for power and influ­ence, and the leaders quarrelled upon trifles. The enthusiasm of the people equalled not the vehemence of the clergy; otherwise a system of religion, which recommends peace and unanimity, might again be converted into an instrument to promote confusion and war.

King's ne­cessities. The parliament met on the twentieth of Novem­ber E. They brought back their former zeal for monarchy into both housesF. The upper house was now full, by the addition of the bench of bishops. The King's speech was artful and conciliating. ‘"He felicitated himself upon meeting a complete parliament. He asked money in the softest and most insinuating manner. He represented the necessity of settling a constant revenue on the crown. He laid before them the pressing urgency of his debts, and the unavoidable anticipation of the revenue. To convince them that his wants were real, and not imaginary, he shewed his willingness to submit his disbursements and receipts to their inspection."’ To hasten their granting his de­mands of a supply, he endeavoured to awaken their fears. ‘"He affirmed, that the nation was not yet well composed: That many wicked instruments were still active to destroy the public peace: that late disor­ders were not removed: That new diseases required new remedies. He explained the necessity of a good [Page 35] correspondence between the King and his parliament, to render the nation happy at home and respected abroad."’

The King in want of money. Though Charles wanted oeconomy, other causes, more than his own profusion, contributed to the debts of which he so much complained. The considerable sums raised upon the people since his restoration, had been applied to the payment of the navy and land-forces; yet, when all the money collected for those necessary purposes was disbursed, much still remained due to the seamen and soldiersG. Another great expence was incurred by the King, which, till it pro­vided against the mischief, could not in prudence be discovered. In the confusion which succeeded the death of Cromwell, to supply the military stores, em­ployed no part of the care of the juntos who successive­ly governed the nation. The expedition of Lambert against Sir George Booth, his preparations against Monk in the North, the embezzlements which are common in times of confusion, had totally drained the maga­zines for the use of the army; and the fitting out of the fleet, which had attended the King on his return, exhausted the naval stores. Though the army consisted, at the restoration, of sixty thousand men, there were not three thousand stands of fire-arms in the public arsenals; and, at a time that an hundred ships were at sea, there scarce remained stores in the ports suf­ficient to equip fiveH. The bounty of parliament had not hitherto kept pace with their professions of loyalty. Though they restored the prerogatives of the crown, they kept the King in dependence upon them­selves for the means of exerting them with effect. Charles was obliged to pledge his own credit to pur­chase stores necessary for the defence of his people; and from that source arose the most of those ‘"crying debts"’ which he mentioned in his speech to the par­liament.

The com­mons vote a supply. The commons, on the twenty-first of November, voted a supply of twelve hundred thousand pounds, to [Page 36] be levied, in eighteen months, by assessmentI. On the twenty-fifth, the lords resmed the consideration of the business of the Regicides. The convention-parliament had respited the punishments of several persons concerned in the death of the late King, as well those that lay under condemnation, as others not so flagrantly guilty of that crime. Those who had surrendered upon the proclamation were brought to the bar of the upper house. They claimed the be­nefit of the King's declaration, and of the votes of the preceding parliamentK. They solicited the mercy of both houses, and their mediation for the mercy of the King. New debates arose on the subject. A bill was brought in for their execution, but it was dropt, after having been twice read. They were remanded to their several prisons, and owed their lives to the solicitations of the King, more than to the mercy of parliamentL. Charles retained no animosity against past offences; and the violence of the people against those who had been accessary to the death of his father, had abated in the progress of time.

Corporation The act for regulating corporations furnished a new proof of the zeal of parliament for monarchy. Du­ring the late confusions all magistrates liable to suspicion of disaffection to the prevailing powers were expelled their respective corporations. Proofs of affection to the ruling junto, and a subscription of the covenant, were qualifications necessary for holding an office in a corporate body. To remove such dangerous persons from all authority, bore at least the appearance of po­litical prudence; and the parliament empowered the King to appoint commissioners to examine into the state of the magistracy in the different corporations, to expel those of doubtful principles, and such as had intruded themselves by violenceM. It was provided in the act, that ‘"no person should be capable of being elected to any office in any city or corporation, unless within a twelvemonth, before, he had received the sa­crament [Page 37] of the Lord's supper, according to the rites of the church of England. He was also enjoined to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, at the same time that he took the oath of office. In default of ei­ther of these requisites, such election was declared to be voidN."’ The oath tendered upon that occasion conveyed a strain of loyalty, which bordered on abso­lute slavery. The person elected was to swear, that ‘"it was not lawful, upon any pretence whatsoever, to take up arms against the King."’ The provision was nugatory, on account of its absurdity. As no rights can subsist without a remedy against invasions, the last appeal must be to necessity, which supersedes all law. This act, however, produced consequences which were not then foreseen. It gave birth to the doctrine of passive obedience and non-resistance, and, having endangered religious and political freedom, ruined at length the family of the sovereign.

Surmizes of a plot. The King, having given his assent to the money-bill, and the act for regulating corporations, on the twentieth of DecemberO, the parliament was ad­journed to the seventh of the following January. Cla­rendon, having carried a message from the King to the house of lords, concerning the projects laid and meet­ings said to be held by the republican party, a select committee of lords and commons was appointed to examine into the conspiracies, which were either form­ing or feared. The report of the committee was to have been received at the meeting of both houses; but the chancellor acquainted the lords, that, on account of some imaginary jealousies entertained by the people without doors, they had thought fit to leave the business to the wisdom of parliament at largeP. He descend­ed from a general information of a plot to an accusation of particular men. The house of commons, alarmed at the supposed danger, resumed their former order of proceeding against Vane, Lambert, and Waller. Among the persons accused by Clarendon was the noted praise-God Barebone; a name which added ridi­cule to sedition and political noise. To strengthen the [Page 38] year 1662 crown and to establish the church, whose interests were deemed inseparable, the commons applied themselves with activity to the militia and uniformity billsQ. The convocation were in the mean time employed in preparing the book-office, for the baptism of those of riper years; and they added the declaration at the end of the communion-service, which called Charles ‘"a religious King."’

Act of uni­formity. The bill of uniformity, which took its riseR in the house of lords, received various amendments when it was sent down to the commonsS. The nation, though returned to its ancient political principles, was not yet become sufficiently cool from the fervour of religious zeal. Without philosophy to separate spiri­tual opinions from their temporal concerns, men car­ried resentment and animosity into debates, which, by a strange perversion of their subject, have seldom been managed with common decency. The friends of episcopal hierarchy, though very warm in promoting the bill, were not its only supporters in its progress through both houses. The Presbyterians, destined to disappointments in their views, were opposed, by the joint concurrence of other sectaries. The Inde­pendents were their ancient enemies. They had of­fended the republicans, by contributing to the resto­ration of monarchy. The high-flying Royalists, in whom a zeal for the crown was a kind of religion, forgot not former demerits in their recent services. The first they considered as flowing from principle; the latter they attributed more to a change occasioned by the temper of the times, than to an alteration in their political sentiments. The Roman-Catholics to a dread of an union between the Protestants, added their abhorrence of a system of church-government so opposite to their own. All parties seemed to concur in ruining the Presbyterians, by a law which the dis­passionate must have deemed severe. The King, in his indifference for religious forms, looked upon the debates in both houses with seeming unconcern. But [Page 39] his attention and easy access to the Presbyterians had raised their hopes of an indulgence to a pitch, which a man of more scrupulous morals than Charles could scarce reconcile to his tacit acquiescence in such harsh measures in his parliament.

Its severity. Though the scheme of a comprehension, adopted by the King in the preceding year, promised no suc­cess, it ought, perhaps, to have suggested to the church-party a greater latitude in the terms of their communion. Instead of shewing any inclination to comprehend the Presbyterians, they turned the whole force of the act against the favourite tenets of that sect. The interest of individuals seemed, in this in­stance, to combine with a zeal for the ancient rites of the church. Several of the followers of the Presby­terian system were possessed of livings considerable in their value; whilst many of the episcopal clergy re­mained in want, for their adherence to their religious principles. The bill of uniformity left no room for evasion, to the least tender consciences, without the danger of sacrificing the character of consistency to motives of interest. The act required, that every clergyman, to render him capable of holding a be­nefice, should possess episcopal ordination; should assent to every thing contained in the book of Com­mon-prayer; should take the oath of canonical obe­dience, abjure the covenant, and renounce the taking arms, on any pretence whatsoever, against the King. These conditions were more apt to confirm men in their former opinions, than to bring them within the pale of the church. The political prejudices enter­tained by Clarendon against the Presbyterians added force, upon this occasion, to his attachment to the church. Though Charles had been treated with in­dignity in Scotland by the followers of presbytery, he was as forgetful of injuries as he was of favours; and he seems to have been swayed entirely by his mi­nister, in agreeing to an act which infringed his de­claration from Breda. The subterfuge of regulating the promised indulgence by the advice and authority of parliament, suited more with the nice distinctions of a lawyer, than the comprehensive ideas of a great statesman.

[Page 40] Militia and revenue set­tled. The same spirit which reinstated the church in her ancient splendour, guided parliament in their measures in favour of monarchy. The command and disposi­tion of the militia, which had been separated from the crown in the late reign, was restored, in the most am­ple manner, to the King. But though they placed the sword in his hands, they were frugal in bestowing the means of using it with effect. Debates on the act of uniformity, and even tedious altercations on private billsX, diverted long the attention of the commons from all consideration of any other business. The impatience of Charles for the settlement of the reve­nue was equal to the pressure of his debts. To recal the attention of the commons to this necessary busi­ness, he sent for them, on the first of March, to WhitehallY, and, in a most obliging speech, laid before them his necessities, and pressed them for a present supply. A bill immediately passed the house, to enable the King to raise seventy thousand pounds a-month, for the three ensuing years. Two shillings a-year on every fire-hearth in the kingdom were ad­ded, during the life of the King, to this tax. A con­stant revenue of twelve hundred thousand pounds was settled on the crown; with a declaration, that if the funds upon which this sum was charged should appear inadequate, the commons would at another meeting make up the deficiency. Charles was at the time sa­tisfied; but succeeding emergencies, deficiencies in the funds, and his own want of oeconomy, convinced him that the sum was too small. To these supplies to the King the commons added an act of gratitude to his friends. They appointed sixty thousand pounds to be distributed among the poor cavaliersZ; a sum in­sufficient to remove their wants; but as little expected from the gratitude, as it was from the power of the crownA.

Parliament prorogued, May 19. The King, having, on the nineteenth of May, given his assent to all the bills that had passed the [Page 41] houses, prorogued the parliament to the eighteenth of the following February. He found fault in his speech with ‘"the number of private bills, as a dangerous precedent of unsettling estates and property, which were most secure under the good old rules of the law."’ He complained of the luxury and dissipation of the times. He owned his own errors in that way, but he said he would reformB. He conveyed agreeable things, in a pleasing manner. He promised good hus­bandry; but he was by nature profuse. Clarendon enlarged, by the King's command, upon "the ge­neral murmurs against the public expence. He af­firmed, that two-thirds of the sums levied on the people had been issued for disbanding of armies and the payment of fleets, neither raised nor employed by the King. He put them in mind of the disproportion between the necessary expence of the present and past times; and he derived an argument for an increase of revenue to the crown, from the growth of the pros­perity of the subject. ‘"The sums expended by the King by sea and land,"’ he assured them, ‘"amounted to no less than eight hundred thousand pounds in the year."’ He magnified ‘"the advantages which would arise to commerce from the new acquisitions of Dun­kirk, Tangier, Jamaica, and Bombay; and he de­duced a certainty of peace from his Majesty's resources against a warC."’

King's mar­riage On the nineteenth of May, Catharine of Portugal, the intended Queen, landed in EnglandD. She was the first princess ever permitted to leave her na­tive country without being married by proxyE; a ceremony to which the Portuguese would by no means agree, as the ambassador was a ProtestantF. The Earl of Sandwich, who with a squadron of twenty ships of war had been sent to chastise the states of Barbary in the preceding year, was instructed to take possession of Tangier, in terms of the treaty of mar­riage; and then to repair to Lisbon, to receive the Princess on board. His arrival on the coast of Portugal [Page 42] served that kingdom effectually, by striking a panic into the Spaniards, who had invaded it with a power­ful army. When he came to Lisbon, he was disturb­ed beyond measure with an untoward accident. The alarm of the Spanish invasion had forced the Queen-regent to dissipate, in levying troops, the money set apart for the marriage-portion. The common re­port among the English merchants of the incapacity of the Princess to bear children, had added to his per­plexityG. His instructions, however, must be o­beyed. He received the remains of the money. He was forced to receive on board his ships some articles of commerce, under the inspection of a Jew, to make up by their sale the rest of the sum. On the thir­teenth of April he fell down the Tagus. Having been kept hovering on the coast for several days by contrary winds, the Infanta landed at length at Ports­mouth, indisposed through the fatigues of a tedious voyageH.

with Catha­rine of Por­tugal. The King arriving from London, was privately married to Catharine by the Lord Aubigny, a secular priestI, and almoner to the Queen-dowager, ac­cording to the rites of the Romish church. This ce­remony was performed, probably, through the impa­tience of Charles; but the Queen, notwithstanding, would not admit him to her bed till they were pro­nounced married by Sheldon, Bishop of LondonK. None but some of her Portuguese attendants were privy to the first marriageL. The Duke of York, who is said to have been present, was not then arrived from Plymouth, whither he had gone with the Duke of Ormonde, under the supposition that the Infanta was to land at that portM. Charles, in a ludicrous letter to Clarendon, seems not to have been displeased either with Catharine's person or her manner. Tho' no beauty, she was agreeable; and, in the absence of vivacity, she seemed to be possessed of good-natureN. [Page 43] These favourable prognostics were not fulfilled by the event. Her person was not calculated to retain long the affections even of a husband more constant than Charles; and her disposition, though in appearance accommodating, was tinctured with that peevish me­lancholy, which offends more than violence of passion. She answered not either the expectations of the King, or the hopes of the kingdom. The minister himself derived no advantage from a match, which the flattery of France, and his determined opposition to Bristol, seem to have accomplished. ‘"The chancellor,"’ says James the Second, in his Memoirs, ‘"brought a Queen to England of his own chusing; but she proved his ruin. If Tangier, as was then thought, could be made a safe harbour for ships, if Catharine had proved fruitful, the marriage might have been advanta­geous to the people, and fortunate to the PrinceO."’

Execution of Regi­cides. While the parliament was yet sitting, three Regi­cides, Corbet, Okey, and Barkstead, were seized in Holland by the vigilance of Sir George Downing, the King's resident at the Hague, and transported from Delft to the Tower of London. Corbet was of a good family, and bred to the law. Okey, from being first a drayman, and afterwards a chandler, became an officer of rank, abilities, and character. But Bark­stead, though raised to some consequence by his talent at leading mobs, carried through all his actions the vulgarity of his original profession of a thimble­maker. Being brought to the bar of the King's Bench, and their identity being proved, they were condemned on the act of attainder; and executed, on the nineteenth of April, at Tyburn. Being all men of courage, they behaved with decency and firmness in their last moments; and, though they suffered for public crimes, they justified themselves from acts of private injustice and oppression. Downing, who was formerly a preacher in Okey's regiment, derived no reputation from his activityP. Men even wonder­ed how the States would consent to send public crimi­nals to England, contrary to the uninterrupted practice [Page 44] of the commonwealth. The people, whose thirst for revenge was now abated, shewed some signs of pity at the execution of persons whose crimes seemed dimi­nished by the distance of the punishment.

Trial of Vane Sir Henry Vane and Colonel Lambert, in pursuance of an address of the house of commons, were, on the fourth of June, arraigned for high treason at the bar of the King's BenchQ. The carriage of the pri­soners differed not more from each other, than it was opposite to their own known characters. Vane, tho' naturally timid, behaved with a confidence and bold­ness which bordered on insolence. Lambert, formerly renowned for his courage, was full of a submission, which might have been construed into fear. Vane, though an enthusiast in religion, was a man of abili­ties in civil affairs. He offered several matters in arrest of judgment. He defended himself with arguments more decisive in theory, than suitable to the ideas of the prevailing powers. The indictment against him com­prehended none of his actions during the life of the late King; and he ought not, in strict justice, he affirmed, to be arraigned for want of fidelity to a Prince, who, tho' de jure, was not de facto King. A sovereign, he urged, who cannot defend from injuries, has no right to punish his subjects for disobedience; allegiance and submission being the price of protection, and not the inherent property of the chief magistrate. If com­pliance with the government of a commonwealth was a crime, it was, he added, only common to him with the nation; and he knew not, in that latitude of guilt, who was innocent enough to condemn him for treason. He denied his being accessary to the death the late King. He mentioned as a merit, that he op­posed the violence and tyranny of CromwellR. He insisted, that as the two houses of parliament had joined in a petition for his life, to which the King agreed, this concurrence of the legislative power had the sorce of an act of parliament. He displayed in his trial the known character of the rest of his life; a [Page 45] great acuteness of understanding, mixed with an ex­travagance that bordered upon folly.

and Lam­bert. Lambert, though modest in his defence, was con­demned with Vane. The first, however, was re­prieved at the bar, and confined for life to the island of Guernsey, where he continued in obscure tranqui­lity above thirty years. A principle of ambition, more than any aversion to monarchy, was the source of Lambert's activity in the late troubles. He had intended, when he escaped from the tower, in the be­ginning of April 1660, to have declared for the King, and to have precluded Monk from the rewards which he derived from the restoration of monarchyS. He lived a concealed PapistT, and he died in the Ro­mish communion. Vane's presumptuous behaviour at his trial was the cause assigned for his execution. The blood of the Earl of Strafford seems, however, to have been required at his hands. The virulence and activity with which he persecuted that unfortunate nobleman, rendered his own fate less regretted. His enthusiasm supplied, in his latter moments, his want of natural courage, and he suffered with a firmness which argued that he acted from principle. When he at­tempted to speak to the people, his voice was drowned with the noise of trumpets and drumsY; a mean piece of policy, which did more harm than ought to have been dreaded from the speech of Vane.

Two thou­sand mini­sters ejected. The twenty-fourth of August, or the feast of St. Bartholomew, was the day appointed for putting in execution the famous act of uniformity. Two thou­sand ministers chose to desert their churches and relin­quish their benefices, rather than comply with terms which they thought severe. Both sides had carried their arguments to the press; both endeavoured to justify before the people their cause. The church ar­gued for the convenience of one form of worship. The Presbyterians exclaimed against imposing re­straints upon conscience by law. The favourers of episcopacy represented the danger of introducing new doctrines by an extemporary service. The adherents [Page 46] of presbytery were loud against the observance of ce­remonies, of which, as unnecessary to religion, they could not approve. The abettors of the act affirmed, that it was unjust that men, who believed not the doctrines of the church, should enjoy its revenues. The opposers of the law insisted, that orthodoxy of faith depended not upon forms. The first said, that the conference at the Savoy had shewn the disposition of the Dissenters to quarrel. The latter replied, that the violence of the churchmen promoted schisms, by forcing men of tender consciences to set up separate congregations. The one side shewed the necessity of an union of opinions. The other declared an union of charity to be sufficient. The church spoke of the covenant, as the seed of rebellions. The Presbyte­rians urged, that it secured the just rights of the so­vereign, as well as the religious privileges of the sub­ject. The first insisted, that the Dissenters were in­truders upon the livings of the church. The latter derived an argument, favourable to themselves, from their possessing those livings for many years. Both had their reasons, but neither party was free from prejudice. Ancient injuries contributed more to their disunion, than present differences in doctrine. In re­ligious, as well as civil concerns, men frequently cover passion and resentment under the specious appearance of argument and conviction.

Sale of Dunkirk. The accommodating manner of Charles had hither­to secured popularity to his government. He seemed to have transferred to his public councils the concili­ating openness of his private conversation; and to have no design, but to derive his own happiness from the prosperity of his people. The necessities into which he was early plunged, through the narrowness of his revenue and his own bad management, brought, at length, his character forward to view. The first measure that seemed to raise the distrust of his sub­jects was the sale of Dunkirk. It was proposed by SouthamptonZ, the lord-treasurer, and adopted by the King with that eagerness which he always exhi­bited, [Page 47] upon every prospect of relief from pecuniary distress. Precluded by the treaty with Portugal from disposing of the place to SpainA, Charles made his first offer to France, as early as the month of JuneB. On the twenty-second of August, the King of France permitted his ambassador to treatC. Charles asked seven hundred thousand poundsD. Lewis proposed scarce the fourth part of that sum. In the course of a short negotiation, the first fell in his demands, and the latter rose in his offers. On the fifteenth of Sep­tember the bargain was struck, at four hundred thou­sand poundsE. The business was previously weigh­ed, with the utmost attention, by the chief servants of the crown. After having been approved in the cabinet, it was laid before the council at large, where there appeared against it but one dissenting voice. The Earl of Aubigny wished to transfer the negotia­tion to Paris, and the management of the whole to himself. He, however, ascribed to his love for the public a disapprobation suggested by private viewsF

Reflections. The sale of Dunkirk, though stigmatized as one of the worst measures of the reign of Charles, was less excusable, as a mark of meanness in the King, than for its detriment to the nation. The charge of maintaining it was very considerable, and the profit arising from it extremely small. It had no port to re­ceive vessels of burden; no harbour where ships of war could ride with safety. Weak to the land, and easily blocked up by sea, it would be difficult to main­tain it, but it might be commanded with ease. The keeping of Dunkirk, it was apprehended, might in­volve the King in a war. France looked upon it with an eye of jealousy; Spain had demanded its restitution, as unjustly seized by the late protectorG. These were the arguments offered to satisfy the nation; others had still greater weight with the King. His cof­fers were empty, and his debts were great. The par­simony of parliament suited but ill with his profusion; [Page 48] and his late acquisitions, instead of bringing him pro­fit, burdened his revenue with expence. The two hundred thousand crowns received, in the beginning of the year, from France to support Portugal, were already expended upon the forces sent, in the month of June, to the latter kingdom. His sister had been married near eighteen months to the Duke of Orleans, and her portion was not hitherto paid. These were the urgent reasons which weighed with Charles. The relief was trifling, and the loss of reputation, which arose from the measure, great. But he was a spend­thrift in politics, as well as in money. He purchased a moment of present ease with years of future distress.

Quarrels at court During transactions in which the public were con­cerned, the private happiness of Charles was disturbed by domestic distractions, which proceeded from his own vices and weaknesses. Given to women and ad­dicted to debauchery, he was either the dupe of de­signing mistresses, or converted into a tool by profli­gate men. Through a kind of vicious gratitude, he could refuse no favour to the first. He was governed by the latter through the easiness of a lively temper, that sacrificed every thing to mirth. Though a man of abilities, he hated business, because it interfered with his amusements. He followed sensuality with an avidity which is apt to destroy pleasure, by enjoying it beyond measure. Destitute of religion, he dropt its appearance; and by associating with the dissolute, he became an example and encourager of debauchery and vice. His good sense and understanding yielded the reins to a thoughtless extravagance. His virtues, for he had some, came seldom in view, as he banished morality from trifles. The Queen, instead of re­claiming him from his immoderate love of women, fixed him for ever in his infidelity, by her peevishness. His minister, though a man of abilities and virtue, was harsh and severe in his disposition, and more apt to irritate than persuade a prince, whose happiness chiefly consisted in good-humour and indolence. He sought for relief against both, in the company of dissolute persons of either sex. He avoided the dark melancholy of Catharine in the company of Barbara [Page 49] Villiers, now Countess of Castlemain; and he en­deavoured to forget the moral prudery of Clarendon in the vicious conversation of the Duke of Bucking­ham and his associates.

between the minister and mistress. Charles, who affected to contemn such as were led by womenH, was himself under the influence of the Countess of Castlemain, a woman whose vio­lence could be only equalled by her want of un­derstandingI. Though she had borne to him a son, the King, contrary to all decency and politeness, suffered himself to be persuaded to desire the Queen to admit her near her personK. When the Queen refused this request, with the indignation natural to a woman whose person is despised, Clarendon was employed to soothe her into consent; an office more agreeable to his love of his master's repose, than suitable to the dignity of his station and character. His behaviour during this odd negotiation, instead of removing the former prejudices entertained against him by the favourite, added fury to her resentment. At a time that he endeavoured to persuade the Queen to admit her into her service, he forbade his own wife to return her visitsL; an insult to the last degree unpardonable in a woman's eyes. The dignified demeanour of the Duchess of York, who would never admit any of the King's mistresses into her presence, was construed into haughtiness, and as­cribed to her father. The mistress declared herself openly against the minister; and he, though the con­test was unworthy of the gravity of his character, as openly opposed her measures and her avariceM He permitted nothing to pass the great seal in which her name was mentioned; and he often prevailed with the King to depart from resolutions, which she, as the tool of designing men, had advised him to take.

Intrigues against Cla­rendon. The hesitation in the mind of Charles, between his facility to his mistress and his sense of Claren­don's [Page 50] services, escaped not the observation of some persons of greater abilities than integrity. Sir Harry Bennet, keeper of the privy purse, profited by it the firstN. By the intrigues of the Countess, he suc­ceeded Sir Edward Nicholas as secretary of state, on the second of October. Nicholas, worn out in the service of the crown, received a gratuity worth twen­ty thousand pounds for his resignationO; a sum unequal to his services, but too great for those ex­pected from his successor. Though Clarendon, per­haps, regretted that his old friend Nicholas should retire, there is reason to believe he was not very averse to Bennet's promotion. Jealous of the influ­ence of Sir Charles Berkley with the King, he sup­ported Bennet against him, upon his return from Spain; and, after Bennet had accepted the seals, he paid an attention to the chancellor which bore the appearance of gratitude. Clarendon's support of Ben­net proceeded, however, from policy, and not from friendship. He suspected him to be a Catholic.—Though he knew that he had abilities, he was no stranger to his want of principle. The coldness which arose between them, from Bennet's attention to the favourite mistress, was gradually improved into a mu­tual aversion. Clarendon had many enemies raised by envy; he had several created by disgust. Bennet joined himself secretly to both, and the chancellor ceased to be absolute in the cabinet. He was now deprived of almost all his friends. Southampton, be­ing in a bad state of health, began to withdraw from the court. The Duke of Ormonde, by being ap­pointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland, had removed to his government; and Sir Edward Nicholas had yield­ed to the infirmities of age and the intrigues of Ben­net. Charles, however, still entertained a respect for Clarendon, for his services; whilst he derived a pow­erful support from his connection with the Duke of York. He retained the reputation and a great part [Page 51] of the power of a minister. But the seeds of his fall and ruin were already sownP.

King dis­penses with the act of uniformity. The first measure of the King, after the promo­tion of Bennet, shewed that new councils were adopt­ed in the cabinet. The associations among the Pres­byterian clergy, joined to the rigid severity with which the act of uniformity had been put in exe­cution, raised clamours and complaints, which Charles, by an inconsiderate step, endeavoured to remove. In their uninterrupted access to his presence, the Presby­terians had received repeated promises of his protec­tion; and, on the twenty-sixth of DecemberQ, he issued a declaration, as head of the church, dis­pensing with the penalties imposed by the act of uni­formity. The Protestant Dissenters owed, however, this indulgence more to the intercession of the Earl of Bristol, who considered himself as head of the Papists, than to the King's favour. That nobleman, excluded from office by his religion, endeavoured to secure an influence at court for his friendsR. He gained the favour of the Countess of Castlemain by deserting his old friend the chancellor. She im­proved the coldness which had arisen between them concerning the King's marriage, into that animosity which soon after broke out into such violence on the side of Bristol. The King himself had shewn him such countenance, that he gave, at his recommenda­tion, a regiment of horse to the Earl of Oxford, who then pretended to his daughterS. Though Charles knew Bristol too well to trust him in doubt­ful affairsT, he followed his advice in a matter to which he was already inclined. He was an enemy to persecution, from an indifference to religion; and the person whose counsel he followed, hoped that the same dispensing power which relieved the Pro­testant Dissenters might in time be extended to the Papists.

[Page 52] Proceedings in parlia­ment. The parliament meeting on the eighteenth of Fe­bruary, the only business mentioned by the King in his speech, was his declaration in favour of the Dis­senters. He told them, ‘"that being in his nature an enemy to all severity for religion and conscience, he had thought proper to dispense with the penalties imposed by the act of uniformity. He apprehended,"’ he said, ‘"that sanguinary laws against any difference of opinion in religious matters were first promulgat­ed in Popish times. He declared his own firm ad­herence to the church of England. He desired some laws to be made against the growth of Popery. He signified his wishes, that, should the Dissenters demean themselves peaceably under government, he had such a power of indulgence, to use upon occasion, as might prevent the severity of the late act from driving them out of the kingdom, or from conspiring against its peace, if they remained."’ The two houses received this speech with a coldness which disappointed his hopes. The chancellor was either politically or con­veniently sick when Charles advanced to his parlia­ment doctrines so different from the minister's firm attachment to the church. The commons appointed a day for considering the declaration and the speech. On the twenty-fifth of February, ‘"they thanked the King for his constancy in observing the act of indemnity, for his professions against introducing a government by military power, for his invitation to the house to prepare laws against the growth and progress of Popery."’ But at the same time, they re­solved ‘"to present to the King their humble ad­vice, that no indulgence from the act of uniformity should be granted to the Dissenters."’ Charles was not so fond of religion as to quarrel for its forms with his commons. He gave up the point, and the storm was dispersed before it fellX.

Address a­gainst Pa­pists. The King having yielded his project of indulgence with little hesitation, the two houses concurred in a remonstrance against the Papists. Charles, though he scrupled not to own his obligations to some per­sons [Page 53] year 1663 of that persuasion, returned a gracious answer, and issued a proclamation against Jesuits and Romish priestsY. This measure, however, was only a mark of his complaisance to parliament. The seve­rities which he affected to dislike were avoided by a subterfuge in the terms of the proclamation; and it is even doubtful, whether the two houses meant any thing by their remonstrance, but to signify to the world their firm adherence to the act of uniformity. The commons, after settling these religious matters, pro­ceded to examine the standing revenue of the crown. They had promised to make it twelve hundred thou­sand pounds a year; but the funds upon which that sum had been charged had failed. Notwithstanding the price received through the sale of Dunkirk, the King's coffers were again empty. Oeconomy prevail­ed in no department of the stateZ; nor was the profusion of Charles diminished. Had even the funds, upon which his revenue was charged, answered the expectations of parliament, the amount would have been insufficient for the necessary disbursements of go­vernment. The sum annually saved by the sale of Dunkirk was scarce more than one-third of the mo­ney expended yearly on Tangier. An extraordinary supply was necessary. The King sent for the com­mons, on the twelfth of June, to WhitehallA. He complained of their inattention to his revenue; and, by acquainting them of a conspiracy to seize the castle of Dublin, he hoped to furnish a reason for demanding a present supply. Four subsidies were immediately voted, though the previous question was only carried by a small majorityB.

Bristol's charge of treason. The charge of treason against the chancellor, en­tered, on the tenth of July, before the lords, by the Earl of Bristol, closed the business of this session of parliament. The animosity between these two noble persons was proportionable to their former friendship. Clarendon's attachment to the church was deemed by Bristol the cause through which his favourite pro­ject [Page 54] of indulgence failed. Though a man of abilities, he was proud, passionate, and revengeful. He for­got all propriety and decency in his resentments, and ruined his schemes by impetuosity. The charge was couched in several articles, which he accompanied with a speech, as indecent to the King, as it was severe on his minister. The lords referred the charges to the consideration of the judges. They sent, at the same time, a copy to the King. The judges declared, ‘"that a charge of high treason cannot, by the laws and statutes of England, be exhibited by any one peer against another in the house of lords; and that, even if the articles alledged were true, they did not amount to treasonC."’ The King sent a message to the house, which bore, ‘"that he found several matters of fact charged, which, upon his own certain knowledge was untrue; and that he could not but take notice of the many scandalous reflec­tions in that paper upon himself and his relations, which he looked upon as a libel against his person and government. For these and other misdemean­ours,"’ continued the King, ‘"I will, in due time, take such course against him as shall be agreeable to justiceD."’

against Cla­rendon. The lords, on the fourteenth of July, went into debate on the subject. They voted the opinion of the judges, without one dissenting voice. Bristol, in confusion, left the house; and, to add misfortune to the disgrace which he brought upon himself by his own impetuosity, the King issued a warrant to ap­prehend and confine him to the Tower. He con­cealed himself in several places for two years. He appeared not in public till the fall of Clarendon.—He then came into the house, and exhibited such symptoms of malignity against that unfortunate noble­man, as were inconsistent with the generosity of a man of honourE. Bristol's indiscretion, in his charge against the minister, could be only equalled by his prior insolence to his sovereign. Though he [Page 55] had experienced the royal bounty to a considerable degree, his profusion had reduced him to distress. Having asked a favour, which Charles did not think fit to bestow, he flew out into expressions of the ut­most extravagance. He accused him of his excesses and debauchery, of his carelessness in business, of his neglect of his friends. These charges were true, and, therefore, the more severe, and less apt to be pardoned. He vowed vengeance against his own ene­mies. He even threatened the King. He complete­ly ruined himself with his master; who, though he forgot the injury to such a degree, as to admit the Earl to his presence, never trusted him with his councilsF.

A plot dis­covered. The parliament was prorogued on the twenty se­venth of July, and the King spent the two succeed­ing months in a progress through different parts of the kingdom. The public tranquillity was in some degree disturbed by the discovery of a conspiracy in the north of England. Charles, weary of discourses concerning plots and insurrections, had resolved to give no countenance to such informations. He de­termined to leave the kingdom to the vigilance of the civil magistrate, and the care of the officers of the militiaG. But intelligence coming from seve­ral quarters, with the particulars of the designs of the republican party, and their place of rendezvous, he was roused from his inattention. He sent some re­gular troops towards York; which city the conspira­tors had designed to seize. Some of their principals being taken, their measures were broken. A com­mission of Oyer and Terminer was sent to York. One and twenty persons, consisting of conventicle­preachers and old parliament soldiers, were tried and condemnedH. Some were pardoned, the greatest number executed. It appeared that the plot had been [Page 56] in agitation near two yearsI; but it was ill-con­certed. Many persons of rank were accused, yet proofs were brought home to none. The whole seemed to be the indigested plan of a few wild en­thusiasts, who had neither the abilities to give suc­cess to the enterprize, nor the prudence to foresee its danger.


Affairs of Portugal—of France—of Scotland—of Ireland.—Triennial act.—Address against the Dutch.—Character of the Duke of York.—Rise of the Dutch war.—Victory of the English.—Con­sternation of the Dutch.—Affair of Bergen.—Bi­shop of Munster joins Charles.—The plague in Lon­don.—Rupture with France and Denmark.—Bat­tle of four days.—The Dutch defeated.—The fire of London.—Discontents in parliament.—The fleet laid up.—Disgrace at Chatham.—Peace concluded.—Discontents.—Fall of Clarenden.—New minis­try.—Foreign affairs.—Character of Lewis XIV.—Triple league.—Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.—Peace between Spain and Portugal.—Affairs of Scot­land—of Ireland.—proceedings in parliament.—A general tranquillity—Intrigues at Court.—Duke of Ormonde dismissed.—Violence of Buckingham.—Act against conventicles.—Death and character of Albemarle.—King changes his measures.—Secret negotiations with France.—Conversion of the Duke of York.—Conference at Dover.—Treaty with France.—Death of the Duchess of Orleans.

year 1664 Affairs of THOUGH Charles derived little happiness from his marriage into the house of Braganza, he adhered, with a degree of firmness, to his resolution of supporting them on the throne of Portugal. The Queen-regent being removed from the helm by the intrigues of the Conde de Castelmelhor, the nominal management of affairs fell into the hands of her son, Alphonso the Sixth; a prince of little natural abilities, and altogether neglected in his educationK. Al­phonso took the reins of government soon after his sister became Queen of England; and, in the month of June 1662, English forces to the number of three [Page 58] thousand, horse and foot, arrived in the port of Lis­bonL. The Earl of Inchiquin, who had distinguish­ed himself in Ireland, and Sir Thomas Morgan, whom Monk had left, before the restoration, in the govern­ment of Scotland, commanded this small, but gallant body of veterans. Don John of Austria, the natural son of Philip the fourth, led the Spanish army in Por­tugal, with success and reputation. He forced the Portuguese to raise the siege of Juremena. He took Evora. He opened a passage for his arms to Lisbon, Count Schomberg, in subordination to the Conde de Villa Flor, led the troops of Portugal, with her auxi­liaries.

Portugal. The Conde de Castelmelhor, alarmed at the conster­nation and tumults in the capital, gave strict orders to Schomberg to engage the enemy, and to abandon at once the fate of the state to the fortune of armsM. On the eighth of June 1663 was fought the memo­rable battle of Amexial, near Evora, which established the independence of Portugal. The Portuguese owed the honour and advantage of this important victory to the valour of an English regiment, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Hunt. Ascending with unparallelled spirit and impetuosity a steep hill, on which Don John himself was posted with the flower of the Spanish in­fantry, they routed him with great slaughter, seized his cannon, his tents, and his rich baggage. The Conde de Villa Flor, who was more a spectator than commander in this action, exclaimed with joy on the occasion, ‘"These heretics are better to us than all our saintsN."’ Of sixteen thousand Spaniards, four thousand were killed, and six thousand taken prisoners. The King of Portugal's generosity to his gallant allies was more suitable to his own folly, than to their va­lour. His largess was of an extraordinary kind; three pounds of snuff to each company. The soldiers re­ceived this royal gift with disdain, and strewed it upon the ground. Their native sovereign was more just to their merit. Notwithstanding the emptiness of his [Page 59] coffers, Charles ordered forty thousand crowns to be distributed among them, as a proof of his approbation and favourO.

and of France. While Philip the fourth had lost so much of his reputation by the disgrace thrown on his arms in Por­tugal, Lewis the fourteenth descended from his im­portance, by falling unexpectedly upon the Duke of Lorraine. Lewis, to whom ambition was the best reason for violence, alledged the Duke's negligence in adhering to the treaty of Montmartre, as the ground of his invasion. Marsal was invested by the armies of France. The Duke, unable to combat with such odds, signed a treaty at Nomeni, on the first of September 1663, by which he yielded Marsal to the King, in return for the rest of his dominions, which were, on that condition, restored. The injustice of Lewis to his more feeble neighbours had not yet raised the jea­lousy of those states who alone could put bounds to his ambition. The negotiations of the two preceding years discovered to him, that a well-timed supply to Charles would prevent all obstacles to his designs from England; and the Dutch, split even then into two great factions at home, suffered themselves to be swayed from the apparent interests of their nation abroad, by their domestic feuds. The German branch of the fa­mily of Austria suffered in their importance from the fall of the power of Spain, as well as from internal causes, co-operating with the undecisive councils of the Emperor Leopold. The idea of a balance of pow­er, which subsisted during the greatness of Spain, and which afterwards rose upon the ambition of Lewis, was scarce at this time, an object of policy; and the experience of almost an age ought to convince Europe, that she honoured France too much, in being afraid of her arms. Lewis himself had hitherto given no great cause of jealousy. In deference to the peaceable policy of Mazarin, he had, till the death of that minister, carefully concealed the love of glory, to which he after­wards sacrificed prudence as well as justice.

Scotish and The Scotish nation continued, throughout the year 1663, to run in their former channel of unlimited loy­alty. [Page 60] The earl of Middleton, through the intrigues of Lauderdale, gave place as commissioner to the Earl of Rothes. On the eighteenth of June, the parliament met at Edinburgh. They condemned to death Arch. Johnston, commonly called Laird of Wariston, who had been very active during the late times, and was the only Scotsman who was a member of the famous committee of safety. He was executed at the cross of Edinburgh on the twenty-second of July; behaving with more spirit than was expected, from the known timidity of his mind. A national synod of a peculiar kind was constituted for the regulation of ecclesiastical affairs. It formed a medium between the Presbyterian assembly of the church and the English convocation. This synod was to assemble at such time and place as the King should appoint by proclamation; and to de­bate of such matters, relating to the government and doctrine of the church, as his Majesty should deliver to his commissioner, without whose presence they were not permitted to meet. This confusion of the modes of Presbytery with the constitution of prelacy, rose from the mixed character of Lauderdale, who joined an attachment to the covenant to principles favourable to an unlimited monarchy. He had attended Rothes, whom he could not trust, to Scotland; and held him in dependence more suitable to his own arrogance, than the high character of his friendP.

Irish affairs. The Duke of Ormonde, arriving in his government of Ireland on the twenty-seventh of July 1662Q, applied his whole attention to the settlement of her af­fairs. Though some part of the confusion which dis­tracted that island had been removed, things were far from being yet restored to tranquillity and order. The third act of settlement, which passed in September, was so far from being equal to the purpose, that it was immediately followed by a bill of explanation. To this disorder in civil concerns were added the lord-lieutenant's well-grounded fears of the army. He ap­plied himself to purge the troops; but the bills lately passed had brought no money into the exchequer to [Page 61] pay their arrears. Though the Duke raised, on his private credit, the sums necessary for a work which ad­mitted of no delay, his precautions prevented not a formidable conspiracy for seizing the castle of Dublin, in the beginning of the summer of 1663R. Or­monde discovered the plot, and prevented its execution. A few examples of justice struck a terror into the rest; but tho' the nation was quiet, the very stillness seem­ed to threaten a storm. The disaffection of the soldiers continued. To provide against the worst events, the lord-lieutenant sent officers to England for a draught of five hundred men; but the Duke of Albemarle ac­quainted him, that he had not five hundred in all his small army whom he could trustS. Time only could settle these bad humours, notwithstanding the mildness and vigilance of the Duke of Ormonde's go­vernment.

Parliament meets. The parliament of England, after a recess of near eight months, met on the sixteenth of March. But the King, as few of the members were arrived, did not go to the house till the twenty-firstT. He en­larged in his speech on the late conspiracy in the North, which, he affirmed, was not yet at an end. He deri­ved the pretensions of the disaffected to make distur­bances from their opinion that the long parliament was not dissolved; and from their fancying to them­selves by some computation on a clause in the triennial bill, that the present parliament was for some months past at an end. The affair of the long parliament, he con­tinued, was already settled; but he confessed, that tho' there was no colour for the fancy of the determination of the present parliament, he was surprised that they had not taken into consideration a bill which passed in times as careless of the security of the people, as they were of the dignity of the crown. He prayed the commons to revise the bill. He declared his unaltera­ble affection for parliaments; and he concluded this part of his speech with assuring them, if he thought otherwise, he would never suffer a parliament to meet [Page 62] by the means prescribed by that bill. He thanked both houses for their late supply; but he complained, that it had fallen much short of what either he expect­ed or they intended. He affirmed, that the most un­popular tax, the excise, was the least beneficial to the crown; and he signified his wish, to collect and hus­band the chimney-tax by officers of his own appoint­mentU.

Address against the Dutch. The commons, in compliance with the King, brought in a bill for the repeal of the triennial act, which, however, contained a provision, that parlia­ments should not be discontinued above three years. The bill having passed the lords, received the royal assent on the fifth of April; and on the twenty-first of the same month, the commons came, without one dissenting voice, to a resolution, that the wrongs and indignities done to his Majesty's subjects in India and Africa, by the subjects of the United Provinces, were the greatest obstructions to the foreign trade of Eng­landX. They demanded the concurrence of the lords, in moving the King to take some effectual course to redress the same. In prosecution of his endeavours upon that subject, they resolved to assist him against all opposition, with their lives and fortunes. On the twenty-seventh of April, both houses waited in a body on the King, and he promised to examine the com­plaints, and to demand of the States speedy justice and reparation. Having, in their zeal for prelacy, passed the act against conventicles, the parliament was prorogued on the seventeenth of May, to the twentieth of the following AugustY, having carried through the session that zeal for the crown and the church for which they were hitherto so remarkably distinguished.

Character. Though the Duke of York, on account of his birth and his high office, had already commanded the atten­tion of the world, he came forward more fully to public view in the disputes which involved England in a war with Holland. In his person he was somewhat above [Page 63] the middle stature, well shaped, very nervous, active, and strong. His face was rather long, his complexion fair, his countenance engaging; but his outward car­riage was a little stiff and constrained; and he was not so gracious as he was obliging and courteous. He was affable in his conversation, easy of access; and though sometimes exact in the use of the ceremo­nial, an enemy to formality. Having a hesitation in his speech, his discourse was not graceful. But upon those subjects which he studied the most, his observa­tions were judicious and solidZ. Though hot and choleric by nature, he became sedate in his temper, from a sense of the indecency of passion; and though he was, through the warmth of his constitution, given to women, he was never their slaveA. In every part of his character he was the reverse of his brother, who lost his dignity in his amusements, and sacrificed his judgment to the ministers of his pleasures.

of the Having served in several campaigns under the Vis­count de Turenne, the Duke of York secured the friendship and obtained the applause of that great commander. His personal courage was undoubted; and in the department of war, which be studied the most, he was far from being destitute of conduct. His chief praise consisted in a strict adherence to truth in all he said. Sincere in his professions, and minutely observing his word, he was respected by those whom he favoured the least: but his uncomplying disposition prevented him from being ever loved. Though not a warm, he was a firm friend; and though an unforgiv­ing, he was an open enemy. He affected to guide his actions by principle, to be directed in all his opinions by reason. This was the great defect of his mind. His circumscribed abilities often prevented him from judging right; and, mistaking obstinacy for firmness, he seldom availed himself of the counsels of others. His lofty notions of regal authority rendered him an obsequious, rather than a good subject, while it made him unfit for the office of a limited king. A lover of decency and good order, he was unexpensive in his [Page 64] disposition, but far removed from avarice. He was frequently unjust to men in their speculative opinions, never with regard to their property. His virtues, upon the whole, though not splendid, were obvious; his vices were few, and they lay concealed. In the earlier part of his brother's reign he was respected by indivi­duals and highly esteemed by the nation; and even after the folly, or rather madness, of his religious zeal was known, he was more feared than despised.

Duke of York. His father having destined him for Lord-high-admi­ral of England, he was placed in that important office when his brother was restored to the throne: and he applied himself with great assiduity to the duties of his station. The fleet, which had carried the glory of England to a high pitch under Cromwell, was neglected in the changes and revolutions which succeeded the death of that able despotB. At the restoration, the naval stores were exhausted, and the magazines almost emptyC. The sums granted by the convention-parliament were inadequate to the old debts of the navy, much less to repair its present wants. Of the twelve hundred thousand pounds voted by the commons in the end of the year 1661, eight hundred thousand were applied by the King to the use of the fleet. Charles, as well as his brother, loved and understood maritime affairs. They were both fond of commerce, and they resolved to support it against the encroach­ments of foreign powers. The East-India, Turkey, Hamburgh, Canary, and other companies were encou­raged and protected. A new African company was formed under the auspices of the Duke of York, to supply the West-India islands with slavesD. With an eagerness suitable to his temper, he pursued every measure to establish this branch of commerce on a durable and advantageous foundation. He procured the secret of dying cloths in Holland; he deceived the natives of Guinea, by giving the same smell to the goods in packing as the Dutch used to do at LeydenE. He divided his time between the city, the admiralty, and the parliament. He presided at every meeting of [Page 65] the company. In four years he had scarce been absent as many days from the house of lords. His industry supplied the place of great abilities; and he gained men of business by descending with such zeal into what engaged their own minds.

Rise The Dutch, during the troubles which succeeded the death of Cromwell, had encroached on the foreign trade of the English every whereF. They had dis­possessed them of Cormantin on the Gold-coast, they had been insolent to the merchants, and committed de­predations in other parts of the world. The Duke of York, as governor of the new African company, had obtained two ships from the King, which, together with two armed vessels belonging to the company, he submitted to the command of Sir Robert Holmes. That officer, having received instructions to protect the com­merce of the English, and to check the insolence and encroaching disposition of the Dutch, directed his course to Cape Verde. He seized that fort, he retook Cormantin, he placed garrisons in both, and established factories along the coast. Soon after, the Duke hav­ing obtained a grant of a tract of land lying between New-England and Maryland, which the Dutch, during the late troubles, had seized, obtained again two ships from the King. These, under the command of Sir Richard Nicholas, sailed, with three hundred men on board, to take possession of the country. The Dutch yielded the place without bloodshed, and most of the settlers remained under the English government. Ni­cholas, in honour of his patron the Duke, called this acquisition New-York; giving, at the same time, the name of Albany to the fort, which the Dutch had built to protect their beaver tradeG.

of the Notwithstanding some reprisals, which fell not short of declared hostilities, the States-General had concluded, on the twenty-fourth of September 1662, a treaty with England, upon the same inglorious conditions which had been extorted from them by Cromwell. No fresh article was inserted in a treaty, which seemed only to be renewed to acquire validity from legal authority. [Page 66] In the commercial contests between the subjects of both states, two English ships, the Bonaventure and Goodhope, had been either sunk or destroyed by the DutchH. This affair was debated with some warmth at the treaty of 1662; but it was afterwards submitted to the decision of a court of justice, by the mutual consent of both parties. Downing, who resided at the Hague, envoy for the King of England, bought, for a trifle, the property of the merchants in the dis­puted shipsI; and being a man of a violent and avaricious disposition, added by his remonstrances fresh fuel to the flame. The jealousy against the Dutch commerce, which prevailed among the merchants of London, carried daily complaints to the ears of the Duke of York, who had added a desire of distinguish­ing himself in a warK, to his natural aversion to every republican government. The nation itself, from the repetition of insults, took fire; and the commons entered into all the vehemence of their con­stituents. The King and his minister opposed the torrent in vain. The impetuosity of the people pre­vailed; and Charles found himself obliged to suspend his pleasures, to apply himself to preparations for war.

Dutch war. The King having, in consequence of his promise to the parliament, demanded through Downing a re­dress for depredations and insults, the States dispatched Van Gough as their ambassador to the court of Lon­don. He arrived on the twenty-fifth of June; but the time for negotiation was past. Little hopes of peace remained on either side; and, therefore, both had taken previous steps toward an open rupture. The English made the first motion towards hostilities. The Duke of York had, in May, dispatched Holmes with a powerful squadron to the coast of Africa. The States, on this emergency, placed a kind of dictato­rial power in the hands of the pensionary De WitL. Upon intelligence of the expedition of Holmes, he [Page 67] ordered De Ruyter to follow with thirteen ships of war. De Ruyter, in conjunction with the English admiral, Sir Thomas Lawson, was then employed in the Streights against the states of Barbary. He took in provisions at Cadiz. Lawson suspected his design; but it was resolved, in a council of war, not to com­mit hostilities without ordersM. De Ruyter sailed for Africa. He met with no opposition on the coast of Guinea. The acquisitions of the English, except Cape Corse, fell all into his hands. He bent his course to America. He insulted Barbadoes. He at­tacked Long Island, and seized all the English mer­chantmen that came in his way.

Preparations of Charles. Before intelligence of De Ruyter's expedition ar­rived in England, Charles, though unwilling to plunge into hostilities, made all the necessary preparations against a rupture. Uncertain of the event of his re­quisition to the States, he had demanded no supplies from parliament. He applied for the loan of one hundred thousand pounds to the city; which, in their eagerness for war, was granted without hesitation. He made a progress in person to the different ports, to hasten the fitting out of his fleet. The spirit of the nation joined the efforts of the KingN. The arti­ficers worked with the utmost expedition and alacrity. Sailors poured in from every side. In the middle of October, Prince Rupert put to sea with a squadron of twelve men of war, and six of the African company's ships, each carrying forty guns. He received orders to intercept De Ruyter; but intelligence arriving that the States prepared a greater force under Opdam, the Duke of York joined the Prince with a reinforcement of ships in November. Opdam laid up his fleet for the winter; and the Duke, after a cruize of a few days, in which he took the Dutch fleet from Bour­deaux, returned to Spithead. Orders of reprisal hav­ing been issued, one hundred and thirty-five vessels fell into the hands of the English, prior to the decla­ration of war.

Act against conventicles enforced. Whilst the attention of the court was taken up with preparations for war, the civil magistrate, in every [Page 68] year 1665 corner of the kingdom, was employed in enforcing the act passed in the last session of parliament against conventicles. This act, though supported by some specious arguments, may justly be deemed severe. Though persuasion scarce ever reclaims mankind from religious errors, penalties in matters of conscience have seldom any effect, unless they are carried into an excess inconsistent with humanity. There is no mid­dle way to be taken in such cases. Slight persecutions increase the evil. They provoke, but they do not terrify; and could men reflect with coolness on their own system of religion, it furnishes no argument of its justness to call the force of the state to its aid. The greatest part of the Dissenters were Presbyte­rians, and it looked like adding tyranny to persecution to divest of the liberty of preaching men already de­prived of their livings by law. But the day of retri­bution was come. The mercy which the Presbyte­rians had denied to the church was now refused to themselves.

Parliament meets. The parliament, after two prorogations, met or the twenty-fourth of November, and granted two millions five hundred thousand pounds for prosecuting the war with the Dutch. This supply, the greatest ever granted to a King of England, was voted to be levied upon the subject by quarterly payments, in three years. A signed narrative of the proceedings with regard to the States was laid before the houses [...] They concurred in an address of thanks to the King for preserving the honour of the nation. They thanked the city for supporting the preparations of the crown with a loanP. On the 20th of December, they adjourned to the twelfth of January, when they brought back to both houses the same vehemency against the States, the same determination to strengthen the hands of the King. Having given his assent to the money-bill in the beginning of February, Charle [...] declared war against the Dutch in form; and, on the second of March, the parliament, having transacted no material business, except the royal aid, were prorogued to the twenty-first of JuneQ.

[Page 69] Duke of York com­mands the fleet. The King, encouraged by an ample supply, resolv­ed to prosecute the war with vigour. The Duke of York, on the fifteenth of March, repaired to Gun­fleet, the general rendezvous of the ships, to hasten the equipment of the fleet; but it was not in five weeks ready to put to sea. The Duke, to whom such business was amusement, employed the time in settling the order of battle and rank of the commanders. Though the English had been so successful at sea under Cromwell, they fought without order, and owed their victories more to their valour than to their skill. The Duke was the first who drew up the fleet in a line. In the first week of May, he sailed in the Royal Charles, at the head of ninety-eight ships of war, the greatest fleet ever sent by England to sea. He de­termined to visit the Dutch on their coast, and an­chored at the mouth of the Texel. The enemy, afraid of a landing, erected beacons along the coast; but the Duke was forced, by stress of weather, to re­turn to Gunfleet to refit. On the thirtieth of May, as the wind, being easterly, might bring the Dutch on the English coast, he sailed, making all the use he could of the tide; yet it was the first of June before he could anchor in Southwold Bay. About one o'clock, the Dutch fleet, under Opdam, appeared to windward, consisting of one hundred and thirteen men of war, eleven fire-ships, and seven yachts. The wind, which continued easterly, fell towards evening; so that, though both fleets used all their sails, little way could be madeR.

A battle. On the second of June, the Dutch were not seen till ten in the morning, when the Duke of York, with thirty of his best sailers, stood toward them with a fresh gale. He kept about two leagues from the enemy, till he was joined by his whole fleet; and the weather becoming calm in the close of the evening, he lay all night about eight leagues to the east of Leostoff. About two in the morning, the Dutch were seen lighting their matches, and preparing for action; all in a line, and in the same order with the [Page 70] English. At day-break a fresh gale arose, and the English got the wind. The Dutch van came up at three, and the fight began, when an untoward acci­dent deprived the Duke of the advantage of his situ­ation. He ordered the signal to be given for the whole fleet to tack; but the sailor sent up the mast was so long in unfurling the flag, that, before he could let it fly, Opdam with his van had bore up round, ship after ship, and brought his starboard tacks on board. The Duke stopt the signal, lest it should put the whole fleet in disorder; and instead of bearing up round, tacked only when it came to his turn. Six hours were lost by this little accident; for had the-signal been given, both fleets would have their larboard tacks on board, and have stood toward the coast of England; so that the Dutch, upon giving way, would, as the Duke intended, have a greater run to make to their own coastS.

Dutch de­feated. At ten o'clock the battle, interrupted by this acci­dent, was renewed with redoubled ardour. The sea was smooth, and not a cloud to be seen in the sky. The Duke of York bore down upon Opdam, and a furious battle began. The Earl of Falmouth, the Lord Muskerry, and Mr. Boyle, as they stood on the quarter-deck, were all slain by one shot; and the Duke, who stood by their side, was covered with their blood. The fight continued till two with great obsti­nacy, when Opdam blew up, at the third shot of the Duke's lower tier, which he had ordered to be fired, gun after gun. The Dutch, seeing the fate of their admiral, fell into the utmost confusion. Their fire abated, and at half past two they fled. Sebastian Seaton, a Scotsman, remained alone in his ship, called the Orange. He attempted to board the Duke; but being raked by Sir John Smith, who killed sixty of his men, he was obliged to strike. The Dutch, in this decisive action, lost thirty ships; twenty-two taken, and eight either sunk or burnt. Eight thou­sand men were taken prisoners; three admirals, be­sides Opdam, were slain. The English lost but one [Page 71] ship, the Charity. Eight hundred men were either wounded or killed. Two hundred, besides the Earl of Falmouth, the Lord Muskerry, and Mr. Boyle, were slain on board the Duke's own shipU. The Earls of Marlborouglh and Portland fell in the action. Sir John Lawson died afterwards of his woundsX.

An accident prevents the victory The Duke pursued the Dutch till night; and most of their ships, had it not been for an accident, might have been taken next morning, before they could gain the Texel. When it began to grow dark, the Duke ordered the Norwich, a fifth-rate, to keep just a-head of him all night, to hang out lights, and to keep close to the Dutch. He ordered Captain Wetwang, who commanded her, to fire guns, to make false fires, to put out more lights, should the enemy clear their course; and by no means to lose them in the night. Having given strict charge to his own ship to keep close to the enemy, that he might engage them by break of day, he retired to his cabin about eleven o'clock, and lay down on a quilt, in his clothes, to take some rest, after the fatigues of the day. He scarce had fallen asleep, when one Brounker, whose behaviour during the battle exhibited every symptom of cowardice, came upon deck, and endeavoured to persuade Captain Cox, the master of the Royal Charles, to shorten sail. Cox refusing his request, he applied to Captain Harman, a brave and expe­rienced officer, who acted as first lieutenant, but in vain, unless he obtained an order from Sir William Pen, the captain. Brounker, upon this, went under deck; and without entering the Duke's cabin, re­turned with a pretended order to shorten sailY.

from being pursued. Harman, not thinking it possible for a gentleman to tell a lieZ, not only shortened sail, but, after some time, brought to; yet, to prevent any disorder in the fleet, he put up again before the wind; and, as day began to break, set a-trip his topsails, just as the Duke, who knew nothing of what had passed, came on the quarter-deck. He found himself, when it [Page 72] grew light, half a league a-stern of the Dutch, and about the same distance a-head of his own fleet. He believed the Dutch had out-sailed him, by going right before the wind, and drawing less water. He thought that the Royal Charles had, by being a good sailer ad­vanced a-head of the other ships. This accident saved the Dutch. They endeavoured to enter the Texel, but the tide had failed. They anchored, however, so near the sands, and in such shallow water, that the English durst not advance with their large ships; and the enemy was too numerous and strong for the small. To complete the disappointment, all the the fire-ships had been expended. Four or five would have been sufficient to destroy the whole of the Dutch fleet. The Duke knew nothing of Brounker's affair, till the parliament met at Oxford, in the month of October. Enraged beyond measure, he determined to try him by a court-martialA; but he was prevented by the house of commons taking cog­nizance of the affair. Brounker retired to France, and he was expelled the house; a punishment too slight for his crimeB.

Consterna­tion of the Dutch. The Duke of York, despairing to destroy the Dutch, returned to the Buoy at the Nore. He was ordered by the King to repair to London, and to leave Prince Rupert, with the Earl of Sandwich, in the command of the fleetC. The people received him with that admiration which persons of high rank derive from victory and personal courage. The States were filled with consternation. Tumults arose among the people, which De Wit found himself obliged to appease with some sacrifice. Several officers were tried, as the authors of the public misfortunes. Some were punished with death, some with ignominy. Terror, faction, and consusion, still prevailed. De Wit, who joined valour to his qualities as a statesman, resolved to go on board the next fleet in personD, and to execute with vigour what he had planned with wisdom. Sandwich, in the mean time, stood for the [Page 73] coast of Holland. De Ruyter was on his return from his expedition, and the English resolved to intercept him. Upon this intelligence, he went round the north of Scotland, and endeavoured to steal home by the coast of Norway and Denmark. A rich fleet from the Mediterranean and the East Indies took the same course with De Ruyter. Having arrived in the Ger­man ocean, they heard of the defeat of their fleet; and they resolved to take shelter, under the protection of the King of Denmark, in the port of Bergen in Norway.

Affair of Bergen. Frederick the Third, who then sat with some repu­tation on the throne of Denmark, acted, upon this occasion, a part unworthy of a King. Upon receiv­ing intelligence of the arrival of the Dutch East India fleet in the port of Bergen, he made secret proposals to Sir Gilbert Talbot, the English envoy at his court, to assist in delivering them, for a share of the booty, into the hands of their enemies. Talbot communi­cated the offer to Charles, who embraced it with joy. Sandwich received orders to repair with the fleet to the coast of Norway. Upon his arrival, he detached a squadron of men of war, under Sir Thomas Tiddiman, to attack the Dutch; who, apprised of the danger, had landed their effects and erected batteries ashore. The treachery of the governor of Bergen, the obstinacy of the enemy, the various difficulties to surmount, obliged the English to retire without success. The King of Denmark, as if ashamed of his conduct, en­tered into a strict alliance with Charles, through his ambassador at Copenhagen; while the Danish resident in Holland concluded, by command, an offensive treaty with the Dutch. His present conduct was as extraordinary as his former treachery. He, however, adhered to the latter treaty, and threw all his weight into the scale of the StatesE.

Negotiation with Spain and France. When Charles was making preparations for a war with the States of Holland, he endeavoured to fortify himself with foreign alliances. Though the Spaniards deduced their disgrace at Amexial from the valour of [Page 74] the English auxiliaries, he dispatched Sir Richard Fan­shaw, as ambassador, to gain the friendship of Philip the Fourth. Age and disease had now added their in­firmities to the natural weakness of Philip. In his eagerness to reduce Portugal, he neglected to remove from her the support of her best ally. The loss of Jamaica and Dunkirk lay so heavy on the minds of the Spaniards, that the dangers which threatened the monarchy, the ambition of France, the dying condi­tion of their King, the uncomfortable prospect of the reign of a sickly infant, the last male of his family in Spain, were not all sufficient to induce them to accept the offer of an alliance with England. Neither was Charles more successful in his negotiations in France. The mind of Lewis was already engaged in the vi­sionary scheme of empire, which was long the terror, and afterwards the derision of Europe. Governing the councils of Holland through the abilities of De Wit, he had concluded a treaty with the States for a partition of the Spanish Netherlands. The Lord Hollis, then ambassador at Paris, failed in all his en­deavours to gain the court of France. The offer of Charles to abandon Flanders to conquest, equalled not, in the mind of Lewis, the power which England would acquire by the total reduction of the Dutch. Resolving to establish a force at sea, he thought it best for his scheme to preserve a kind of balance between the two great maritime powers. He, however, either through art or want of decision, hesitated for some time; and, when he engaged on the side of the States, his aid was spiritless, elusive, and cold.

Bishop of Munster joins the English. Whilst France and Spain were in vain solicited, a new ally offered spontaneously his aid in the war. Van Ghalen, Bishop of Munster, whose territories lay contiguous to those of the States, sent a proposal to the King, to attack his enemies on the German side. That prelate, by nature restless and resolute, added the memory of injuries from the Dutch to his own ambition to share in their spoils. Though fur­nished with men, he was destitute of money; and Charles promised a subsidy, to enable him to take the field. With a tumultuary army of sixteen thousand [Page 75] men, he entered the province of Overyssel, and found little resistance in his progress. De Wit, safe in the assurances of France, was in dread of no other power; and, neglecting the land-forces, had thrown the whole strength of his country into the navy. This storm, which rose suddenly, was not destined to last. The subsidy from England was not punctually paid. The French sent a small army to the aid of the Dutch. Undisciplined troops are calculated for incursion, but not for war. The Bishop, through the rigours of winter, carried on his campaign; at length he thought proper to finish the career of his ambition. A peace was concluded; and he retired, without doing any benefit to England, except striking a temporary panic among her enemiesF.

A plague. During these transactions abroad, the nation was visited by a dreadful calamity at home. A pestilence, which began in May, carried off, in the course of the year, near eighty thousand persons in the city of Lon­don alone. The court, the judges, and all who pos­sessed the means of escape, left the town. London became, in some measure, a desart; the very grass was said to grow in the middle of CheapsideG. The plague spread to the country with those who fled. Terror and death were every where seen. The King retired to Salisbury; the Duke, after his return from the fleet, resided at York. London was left under the direction and care of the Duke of Albemarle, who remained in Whitehall, and repressed, by his authority, the distractions which sprung from the ca­lamities of the people. To avoid the pestilence, the parliament, after two prorogations, assembled on the eighth of October at Oxford. The commons grant­ed to the King the demanded supply of twelve hun­dred and fifty thousand pounds; they presented the Duke of York with one hundred and twenty thousand pounds, as a reward for his valour and conduct. The good agreement which subsisted between Charles and his parliament continued: but the public calamities put no stop to persecution against non-conformists. [Page 74] [...] [Page 75] [...] [Page 76] year 1666 In this session the famous five-mile-act was formed which prohibited dissenting teachers from coming within five miles of any place where they had preach­ed, after the act of oblivion. This bill met with op­position; but it passed and received the royal assent on the thirty-first of October, when the parliament was prorogued to the twentieth of the ensuing Fe­bruaryH.

Rupture with France and Den­mark. The year 1666 ushered in an unfavourable prospect of English affairs. Denmark, gained by a subsidy, sided with Holland; France, at the earnest instances of De WitI, openly espoused her cause. On the nineteenth of January, Lewis issued a declaration of war; but allowed three months to the English mer­chants to remove themselves and their effects from his dominions. Frederick shewed first his intentions, by the seizure of all their ships in the Danish ports. The regency of Sweden, offended at the treaty between the Danes and the States, adhered to Charles in their professions of friendshipK; but they avoided to en­gage in the war. The pressure of danger from abroad created unanimity at home. When the King issued his declaration against France, the people, tho' recent from a dreadful calamity, testified their resolu­tion to support him, with shouts of joy. The mari­time counties put themselves in a posture of defence; and offered the continual attendance of their militia in arms. Charles received their proposals with thank­ful expressions: but he would not permit them to in­cur the expence. The motives of France were not perhaps unknown to the King. He justly thought that Lewis would not push with vigour a war into which he had entered only to support the credit of De Wit against the faction of the family of Orange.

Albemarle and Rupert command the fleet. The Queen-mother, who had left England in the preceding summer, had prevailed with Charles, not to permit the Duke of York to hazard his person any more in the war. The fleet was therefore submitted to the joint command of the Duke of Albemarle and [Page 77] Prince Rupert. The Earl of Sandwich, who had closed with reputation the service of the preceding year, having behaved himself irregularly concerning the prizes, was removed; but without dishonour. He was appointed ambassador extraordinary, in the room of Sir Richard Fanshaw, to the Queen-regent of Spain. The perilous situation of England, the new councils which might be adopted upon the death of Philip the Fourth, induced Charles to renew his negociations at Madrid in the person of SandwichL. The joint-admirals received not their commissions till their predecessor departed on his embassy. They went on board in the middle of April; but though they were both men of indefatigable industry, the fleet was not ready to sail till the end of MayM. Their force consisted of seventy-eight ships of the line, with several frigates and some fire-ships. They stood immediately for the coast of Holland, and took many prizes; but concluding precipitately, from the intelligence which they received, that the Dutch were not ready to leave their ports, they returned to the DownsN.

Battle of four days. Lewis, to co-operate with his allies, had given or­ders to his admiral, the Duke of Beaufort, to sail from Toulon with forty ships. This force by the bad intelligence of the ministry, was said to have al­ready entered the channel. Orders were sent to Prince Rupert, to separate himself with twenty ships from his collegue, and to make the best of his way to intercept and fight the French. The Prince with all the natural ardour of his temper, immediately obeyed; whilst Albemarle, with the rest of the fleet, remained in the Downs. The next day after Rupert's departure, the Duke received certain intelligence, that the Dutch, commanded by De Ruyter, with De Wit himself on board, had come out of their harbours. On the first of June, at three in the morning, he gave orders to weigh; and at seven he saw the Dutch to lee ward, to the number of ninety sail, lying at anchor. Albemarle, though cool and sedate in his [Page 78] temper, was ever impatient at the sight of an enemy. Though he called his flag-officers together, it was not to ask their advice, but to give his commands. He bore up with a full wind upon the enemy; who, having cut their cables, stood out to receive him with ardourO.

First day. At two o'clock the engagement began. The Eng­lish at first had the wind, which was so high, that they could not carry out their lower tiers, whilst the Dutch ships, being bent toward the side which lay from the English, could fire their full broadsides. Van Tromp, rushing furiously through the squadrons of the enemy, exhibited prodigies of valour. Albe­marle, engaged with De Ruyter, shewed himself worthy of his former renown. The Dutch had the advantage in the action of the first day. Sir Wil­liam Berkley, as vice-admiral, leading the van, was by numbers overpowered, his ship taken and he him­self slain. Sir John Harman having disengaged him­self from two fire ships, sunk a third; and having slain Admiral Evertson, who bore down upon him, retired with his shattered vessel to Harwich. One Dutch ship was burnt; two admirals slain. Three English ships, after the loss of almost all their men, were taken by the enemy.

Second day. Though night interrupted the fight, the ardour of neither side was abated. The Dutch were animat­ed with the hopes of conquest; the English were fired with indignation at their not being victorious. De Ruyter saw his own superiority in point of num­bers: Albemarle was ashamed of retiring from an enemy whom he had often subdued. The whole night was spent in repairing the masts and rigging, which the Dutch, by using then for the first time chain-shot, had greatly damagedP. At six of the clock the battle began with redoubled fierceness; but when the Dutch were upon the point of flying, they were reinforced with sixteen capital ships. They renewed with fury the combat. Many were slain on the side of the English; many of their ships were [Page 79] disabled; Albemarle, however, would yield to nothing but the night. Though the Dutch lost a vice-admi­ral, though many of their ships were disabled, and Van Tromp himself obliged repeatedly to change his flag, the enemy had greatly the disadvantage in the action of the second day. The English had lost no ship, but many were shattered and in no condition to face the enemy with any prospect of success.—Darkness had scarce given them a respite from battleQ.

Third day. Albemarle found his fleet so much weakened in this action, that he resolved to take the benefit of the night and retire. The vigilance of the enemy and the shattered condition of his ships prevented him from executing this design. Before day-light appear­ed, he ordered the disabled ships to make all the sail they could, whilst he himself, with a line of battle of sixteen vessels brought up the rear. De Ruyter pursued the flight of the enemy, yet he could not bring up his fleet within shot of the Duke till four in the afternoon. Albemarle prepared to renew the action, and resolved to perish rather than yield. He communicated to the Earl of Ossory, who was then on board, his intention to blow up his ship rather than to tarnish his former renown by falling into the enemies handsR. At this instant a new fleet ap­peared to the south, crowding toward the English with all their sails; the mariners, concluding it to be Prince Rupert's squadron, rent the sky with their shouts. They edged up with so much eagerness to­wards their friends, that several of the flag ships ran a-ground on the Galloper-sand. They all, but with great difficulty, got off, except the ship of Sir George Ayscough, admiral of the White, who, with the re­mains of his crew, was made prisoner by the ene­my. Though the ministry, apprized of their former fatal mistake, had dispatched an express to Rupert, it was the noise of the cannon, which filled all the neighbouring seas, that brought him back so oppor­tunely to his friends. The prince having joined [Page 80] Albemarle, the fleet bore northward; but in endea­vouring to clear the sands, they gave the wind to the enemy. Night prevented a renewal of the fightS.

Fourth day. In the morning of the fourth of June, the Eng­lish admirals, who had resolved to renew the com­bat, descried the enemy three leagues to windward. They crowded toward them with all their sails.—The Dutch lay with their sails to the mast. The fight began about eight of the clock, with the ut­most fury on both sides. The Dutch were eager to retain their advantage, the English to retrieve their fame. The victory remained doubtful throughout the day. De Ruyter exerted all his skill, but the two admirals were invincible. They kept their first ad­vantage of the wind. They burnt six ships, they sunk others, and lost only three. The fate of the battle was not, however, decided at six at night; when both, as if weary of carnage, gradually sepa­rated, and hastened to their respective coasts. Both sides claimed the victory; both deserved it, had it depended on valour. Albemarle, by his invincible courage, made amends for his eagerness; and Rupert, by the timely relief which he brought to his dis­tressed friends, added their love to his former renown. The behaviour of the Dutch admirals upon this oc­casion was manly, and full of heroism. De Ruyter and Van Tromp, though mortal enemies ashore, contended at sea only for fame. The first, by sav­ing his rival from imminent danger, gained over him a victory more to be envied, than if he had ruined the designs of his whole faction at homeT.

Dutch de­feated, July 25th. The disabled ships were sent to different ports to refit; the admirals remained on board of their ownU. Both, men of the most undaunted intrepidity in ac­tion, seemed ashamed to return, without victory, to their friends. Their industry in preparing the fleet was equal to their courage in battle. In four weeks they were ready for sea; but the winds were so con­trary, or the weather so calm, that it was the twen­ty-fourth [Page 81] of July before they came in sight of the enemy. De Ruyter, reinforced by some ships that were ready to sail for the Baltic, was before them at the mouth of the Thames. When the English appeared, he retreated toward the coast of Holland; but he was closely pursued. Night prevented an ac­tion. About six the next morning, the English found themselves within two leagues of the enemy. The Dutch formed themselves into a half moon, to avoid the fire-ships, the English having the wind. They hoped, in that way, that either their van or rear, by tacking, might weather a part of the English fleet. At ten the white squadron fell along-side of the Dutch, and the fire began. The enemy, at eleven, gave way a little, but they renewed the action; yet, at one, their whole van gave way, and bore up be­fore the wind. De Ruyter's ship still maintained the fight against the English admirals. The Royal Charles, on board of which were the Prince and Duke, was forced to quit the line at three to refit, and the Sovereign fell in her place, along-side of De Ruyter. His fire-ship being at length sunk, and his main-top-mast shot down, he bore, at four, into his fleet, right before the wind. He disabled his ad­versary in such a manner as prevented pursuit. Van Tromp having, at the beginning of the action, broke in between the red and the blue, maintained, with his wonted obstinacy, the battle with the latter squa­dron. He also was at length forced to give way. Though the loss of the Dutch was not considerable, an indisputed victory remained to the English. They rode in triumph along the coast. They attacked the isle of Ulie. They burnt two men of war, and one hundred and sixty merchant-men, that lay in the harbourX.

The Dutch at sea to no purpose. Though these misfortunes raised distractions in Hol­land, De Ruyter was again ordered to sail. To ef­fect a junction with the French fleet was their prin­cipal object, as the only means to gain a superiori­ty over the English. De Ruyter, taking the advan­tage of the retreat of the enemy to Southwold Bay, [Page 82] put to sea. He was pursued by the English admi­rals; but he declined the combat, by retiring into a bay near Bulloigne. Lewis the Fourteenth, at the earnest instances of De Wit, hastened forward the Duke of Beaufort. He was apprehensive for the safety of his allies, or rather afraid that De Wi [...] would sink, from repeated misfortunes, before the Orange faction. A storm, which forced Prince Ru­pert to St. Helen's, saved at once both the Dutch and the French. Beaufort passed the enemy unper­ceived; but the Dutch had recalled their fleet to their ports. The French admiral had again the good fortune to return unseen. Only two ships, who fell in with Sir Thomas Allen, were taken. This small loss gave a pretence to Lewis to lay up his fleet for the year. De Wit had supported his influence, and the King of France left the safety of the States to their own arms.

Fire of The storm that protected the Dutch and French from the English promoted a dreadful calamity, which fell on the city of London. On the second of Sep­tember a fire broke out, at one in the morning, in a baker's shop in Pudding-lane, near New Fish-street, with such violence, that the family escaped with the greatest difficulty. The wind was high, the lane nar­row, the houses were old and of wood. The flakes, carried forward by the tempest, kindled new fires beyond the course of the first flame, and spread the devastation far and wide. The terror of the peo­ple was at last equal to their danger, though great. Uproar, confusion, and flight, prevailed. Few thought of saving any thing, except their lives; none to stop the progress of the conflagration. The morning came, and the fire increased. The alarm had spread to the farthest corners of the city; assistance came from all parts. The pipes under the streets were broken up; but, to add to the mischief, the water suddenly fail­ed. That part of the city where the flames raged was supplied with water by the engine at the north­end of the bridge; but the engine itself was burnt down. They had recourse to the pipes of the New River, but they found them dry. The cocks, by [Page 83] some accident, were not, though such was the prac­tice on Sundays, turned into the city. Distrust, jea­lousy, and suspicion, as is usual, were joined to con­sternation and terror in the minds of the people, who are ever ready to ascribe public misfortune to private designY.

London. Three days and three nights the flames raged with redoubled fury. Of the twenty-six wards fifteen were burnt down. Four hundred streets and lanes, thir­teen thousand houses, eighty-nine parish-churches, were destroyedZ. The King, the Duke, the of­ficers of state, the members of the privy-council, took different posts in the city, to keep order, by their authority, among the terrified populace; and to con­tribute, by their directions, to furnish them with re­lief. Charles was affected beyond measure at this dreadful misfortuneA. Rouzed from his lethargy of pleasure and indolence, he was present every where, directing, encouraging, assisting those who laboured to extinguish the fire. The Duke of York, who was afterwards accused as the author of the calamity, was active in stopping its progress. The wind falling in the night of Tuesday, the flames began to decline. The fire, by the blowing up of houses, ceased in many parts; in others it became extinguished, with­out any apparent cause. On the evening of Wed­nesday it broke out a fresh in the Inner-Temple; but, by the care of the Duke of York, who held the watch there for that night, it was extinguished before day. It is remarkable, that, during a calami­ty so terrible, not one life was lost; and though the fields were covered with people, whose houses had been burnt, in four days there was scarce a person to be seen. They all found shelter in the parts of the city which remained, in the suburbs or neigh­bouring villagesB.

Reflections. Though the loss of individuals was great, the fire of London might be said to have been a benefit to the nation. The wretched cabins, which nursed sick­ness [Page 84] and disease, being destroyed, the new city be­came airy and healthy. The plague, which former­ly visited, at stated periods, the capital, has not been heard of for more than a century; and other epide­mical disorders have, ever since, become more bound­ed in their ravages. The King assumed a discreti­onary power, which the parliament afterwards con­firmed, to regulate the rebuilding of the city, and to prevent the houses from being framed of lath and timber. Had he extended his care from the mate­rials to the disposition of the houses, London might have taken a more magnificent and convenient form. But neither Charles, nor the age in which he lived, had formed any perfect idea of that convenience, at which an advanced state of luxury can only arrive. The opinion that the Papists burnt the city of Lon­don suited the jealousy of the times. Plots, conspi­racies, and treasons, were the terror and disgrace of that suspicious reign. The minds of men were not yet settled, from the late diversity of political opinions. The negligence of a dissolute court, the careless and even profligate character of the King, were more apt to kindle ancient jealousies, than to lull the people into present security. The novelty of the restoration of monarchy, the specious qualities of the Prince, had lost a great deal of their influence in the progress of time; and mankind, as if awakened from a dream, began to wonder how they had been pleased.

Discontents. But neither the public calamities, nor the undeci­sive state of an expensive war, had yet raised open clamours in the nation against the measures of the crown. The first symptoms of discontent appeared in the parliament, which, after several prorogations, met on the twenty-first of SeptemberC. The King, as usual, suited his speech to the times. He lament­ed the late calamity; he magnified the success of his arms; he, in an artful manner, demanded a sup­plyD. The house of commons, during the first days of their sitting, was thin, the distant members having not yet arrived. The servants of the crown formed a great majority of those present; and a sup­ply [Page 85] was faintly votedE, without mentioning the funds upon which it was to be charged. When the members increased, they made professions of loyalty to the King; but they arraigned the measures of the crown. Without thinking any more of the sup­ply, they passed to other business. They inquired into the cause of the late fire; they ordered in a bill for appointing commissioners to inspect the pub­lic accounts. When any member mentioned the ur­gent necessities of the crown, another answered by representing the exhausted state of the nation. This business became the subject of altereation, rather than debate; the servants of the crown, who wished to ingratiate themselves with the popular party, avoid­ing to bring the matter to a question.

in parlia­ment. The ill-humour in parliament proceeded less from a regard for the public good, than from the private views of some leading members. The necessities, which threw Charles so frequently on his commons, rendered the possession of their house an object of ambition. Men saw that the road to preferment lay through that place; and they began to oppose the crown, to render themselves necessary to its service. This science, brought since to great perfection, was far from being unknown under Charles. The best speakers among the commons thought themselves the most able to govern the nation. They formed into a party, and, to carry forward their operations with more force they chose a head. This was the Duke of Buckingham, who joined lively parts to unequal­led profligacy. The pleasantness of his humour and conversation, the extravagance and poignancy of his wit, rendered persons of all opinions fond of his com­pany. A quarrel with the favourite mistress, which drove him from the King's presence, made him a fit leader for a party who opposed the court. He knew the vulnerable side of Charles, from being ac­quainted with his secret acts of profusion; and from him, probably, rose the popular topic of an examina­tion into the public accounts.

[Page 86] A supply granted. Notwithstanding this combination among the speak­ing members, the majority of the commons had not changed their former affections for the KingF. The opposition were as unwilling to bring the bu­siness of the supply to a decision, as the servants of the crown. To defer it was to gain a point. The attention of the house was called to a matter which engaged their passions. A bill was brought in to pre­vent the importation of Irish cattleG; and the de­bates upon it, through some of those strange humours to which popular assemblies are frequently liable, grew to a warmth which precluded all other subjects. A difference with the lords was added to the tur­bulence among the commonsH. The bill at length passed both houses; and, when the King came to give his assent, on the eighteenth of January, he spoke to the commons concerning their promised supply with that firmness which he could, upon oc­casions, assume. They retired to their house, and passed the bill of supply, which was presented for the royal assent on the eighth of February; and then the parliament was prorogued to the tenth of Oc­toberI. The bill for inspecting the public accounts was dropt in the house of lordsK.

The fleet laid up. The supply granted by the commons, with so much reluctance, was inadequate for carrying on the war with vigour. The King himself, and almost all his servants, were inclined to a peace; but how to obtain it with honour, was difficult to be conceived. Southampton was the first who proposed to lay up the first and second rates; and to act, to avoid ex­pence, upon the defensive. Albemarle joined the lord treasurer's opinion, and advised to weary the Dutch out of patience, by incommoding their trade. The Duke of York opposed this scheme. He thought that the measure would have a contrary effect. ‘"The success of the last year,"’ said he, ‘"was more speci­ous than solid; the English having lost ten and the Dutch only two men of war. The chief advantage,"’ he continued, ‘"which had been derived from the [Page 87] year 1667 battles with the enemy, was the panic which the English valour had struck into the Dutch seamen; who, being convinced of their own inability to resist with equal numbers, would scarce be induced to go on board the fleet. The laying up of the great ships,"’ he affirmed, ‘"would remove the terror of the ene­my, make them masters of the sea, and place them in a capacity to insult the coastL."’ He present­ed a plan to the council, by which it appeared, that, with good husbandry, the whole fleet might be fit­ted out for service; and he assured them, that their present prospect, though it might save a little money to the King, would become burdensome to the peo­ple, by obliging them to keep the militia in arms and pay during the summer. The Duke's arguments were over-ruled in council. His father-in-law, the chancellor, deserted him upon this occasionM. They laid up the capital ships, and the nation was left open to insult.

Steps toward a peace. Though the chief success of the war had been on the side of England, the King, from his natural in­dolence and want of ambition, wished for peace, be­fore the parsimony of parliament had rendered it necessaryN. Having, in the month of September, sent to Holland for the body of Sir William Berkley, he insinuated, but in a distant manner, his inclina­tion to put an end to the differences upon reason­able terms. The Dutch, though their credit remain­ed entire, were afraid of a failure in their resources, by the almost total obstruction of their trade by the English navy. In their answer to the letter of Charles, they offered one of two conditions, that every place taken should be restored on both sides, or each par­ty retain what they now possessed. Charles, in ex­pectation of a large supply from parliament, hoped to compel his enemies to more advantageous terms. When that failed, he began to listen to a renewal of the same proposals. The Dutch, on the seven­teenth of January, wrote a letter to the KingO. They wished for a conference, and they named Lon­don [Page 86] [...] [Page 87] [...] [Page 88] for holding it; provided the two crowned heads, who were their allies in the war, should agree to a circumstance that might appear humiliating. The King, to obviate objections, named the Hague. At length, after some negotiations with the court of France, Breda was fixed upon by all parties. The conference was to have been opened on the tenth of May. The English commissioners, the Lord Hollis and Henry Coventry, arrived not till the twentieth. Sweden, as mediator, was represented by two ambas­sadors, Fleming and Goet. France, Denmark, and the States, sent their commissioners; and the con­ference was opened with every reasonable prospect of a speedy and happy conclusion.

Disgrace Disputes concerning the cession of the island of Polerone having protracted the negotiationsP, the Dutch, who had refused a suspension of arms, en­deavoured to retrieve the honour they had lost at sea, by insulting the English in their own ports.—The laying up of the capital ships, to save money, was no secret to the States. They fitted out their fleet. De Ruyter appeared at the mouth of the Thames. He took Sheerness, ill fortified, and worse defended. A squadron, under Van Ghent, advanced with a leading wind up the Medway, on the tenth of June. He broke the chain, destroyed seven ships of war at Chatham, and carried away the Charles, a first-rateQ. The consternation was great, but scarce equal to the general indignation. The reput­ed lords of the ocean saw themselves insulted, and their navy destroyed in their very harbours. Men exclaimed against the shameful negligence of govern­ment. They complained with justice of the mean avarice of the King; who, to secrete a pitiful sum, left his kingdom, defenceless against danger, and ex­posed to insult and disgrace. The enemy hovered near Chatham for several days; and every tide fur­nished them with a fresh opportunity of triumph.—The Duke of Albemarle exerted in vain his conduct and skill. The negligence of the crown had extend­ed.[Page 89] to all its meanest servants. Disobedience, cow­ardice and rapacity prevailed in every department; and that more mischief was not done, proceeded less from any vigilance in the English, than from a want of vigour in the DutchR.

at Chatham The city of London, during the Dutch operations at Chatham was thrown into the utmost consterna­tion. The enemy were expected at London-bridge. The timid left the town. Confusion prevailed among those who remained. The militia was raised. Nine ships were sunk at Woolwich, five at Blackwall.—Batteries were raised on the banks of the river. The train-bands themselves took the field. These precau­tions were, however, unnecessary. The difficult na­vigation of the Thames, prevented De Ruyter from endeavouring to advance, more than any force pre­pared by the English. He sailed westward along the coast. He attempted Portsmouth, Torbay and Ply­mouth in vain. He returned again to the Thames. The same consternation was renewed. An encoun­ter happened between Sir Edward Spragge and the enemy, in the mouth of the river. Little damage was done on either side. Spragge retired to Graves­end, De Ruyter sailed again to the west. The Dutch, during the whole month of June and the greatest part of July, rode triumphant in the channel. The treaty of peace being at length signed, on the twenty-first of the latter month, De Ruyter put an end to hostilities and returned to Holland. Charles was ex­tremely mortified at the disgrace, which either his own avarice, or the unskilfulness of his councils brought upon the nation. A melancholy and con­cern, for some time, suspended his pleasures; and he added self-reproach to the just murmurs of his people.

During the alarm, which the Dutch fleet made along the coast, Charles levied suddenly a body of twelve thousand men; and to provide against the worst, ordered the parliament to assemble, on the twenty-fifth of JulyS. The peace, with the three hostile powers, being concluded before they met, he [Page 90] dismissed them, with a short speech; having perceived, that the ill humour which had become apparent in the late session, was encreased, by the disgrace at Chatham. The only vote passed by the commons, was an address for disbanding the army; with which the King, in his speech at the prorogation, promised to comply. Thus ended the first war of Charles, begun through jealousy more than injury; and which, though carried on with some glory, terminated in disgrace. Though the Dutch were nominally joined by two crowned heads, they derived little assistance from either. They were supported merely by their own resources, and the en­terprizing genius of their minister, De Wit. A subsidy procured for them the friendship of Denmark; they owed the name of France, in the war, to the influence of the pensionary with Lewis the Fourteenth. Neither of the two kings had any quarrel with England; and they had no differences to settle by treaty. To forget the past was to be reconciled with Denmark; and France, by putting a part of the island of St. Christo­pher's again in possession of the English, removed every pretence of future contest. The ambition of Lewis being turned to another quarter, he found it convenient to secure the acquiescence, if not the friendship of Charles. This was the cause of his languor in the war, as well as of the facility with which he was in­duced to conclude the peace.

Discontents among the people. The national happiness, which began with the resto­ration, seems to have terminated with the Dutch war. The carelessness of the King, the distress brought upon the crown by extravagance, the disgrace thrown upon the kingdom by want of a proper protection from government, raised the jealousy of the people; and, in some degree, provoked their resentment. To these, Charles had only to oppose some amiable qualities; and that irresistible popularity in his manner, which sup­ported him with the vulgar, in his worst measures. Men of sense and virtue, who knew his abilities, were offended at his not exerting them with vigour. The lovers of monarchy were chagrined at a negligence, which undermined his authority; and his best friends, the populace, transferred the blame of the late misfor­tunes [Page 91] from their prince to his servants. These dis­contents, however, exhibited no symptoms of violence. The calamities of fire, pestilence, and, in the end, an inglorious war, were not capable to alienate the affec­tions of the people from a prince, whose very vices were popular. His gallantry was construed into spirit, his want of oeconomy into generosity. The vulgar, ever fond of royalty, forgot a thousand errors, in the flattering familiarity of their Sovereign.

Character of the The popularity which Charles possessed in his private capacity, was not now sufficient to reconcile even the vulgar to his public conduct. He perceived, that to regain the confidence of the nation, he must assume an appear­ance of changing his measures. He knew that a sacri­fice must be made, and that a minister is the most grateful offering to an offended people. The Earl of Clarendon, though he had lost a part of the confidence of the Sovereign, was considered by the nation, as the leader in all his councils; and he was now become as disagreeable to Charles, as he was hated by his subjects. This noble person, though possessed of merit, was sub­ject to weaknesses, which by their magnitude bordered upon vices. To the severity of his manners he added a passionate disposition, which frequently converted his best friends into his worst enemies. In business he was sometimes trifling, always dilatoryT; and he often forgot to act, in the pleasure which he derived from disquisition and argument. His love of virtue was tar­nished with a scrupulous adherence to forms, which bore the appearance of moral prudery. His good sense yielded too often to the vehemence of his temper; and, as he was seldom wrong in his judgment, he could not bear contradiction with any degree of pa­tience. Though he cannot be accused of injustice, his violent expressions against his enemies might be con­strued into a disposition toward revenge; whilst his extravagant praise of his friends, brought frequently in question his judgment of character. In the most fa­vourable view, he was rather a good than an amiable man; more moderate in his temper than humble in his deportment.

[Page 92] Earl of Cla­rendon. In his public capacity he exhibited abilities, though it is extremely doubtful whether he deserves the character of a great minister. Confined in his genera [...] view of affairs, he seems to have carried too much o [...] the narrowness of his profession into the great line o [...] public business; and to form his conduct upon his own early prejudices, more than upon an immediate view of the state of the nation. Though faithful to his master, he perceived not his distant interests; and he sacrificed, for present convenience, his future political happiness. The most unpopular measures of the early part of this reign were either originally proposed, or afterwards prosecuted with ardour by Clarendon; yet even these proceeded from an error in judgment, more than from design. He advised the King to retain a numerous guard for his personU. The sale of Dun­kirk, proposed first by his intimate friend, Southampton, was managed by him and afterwards defendedX. Though perhaps he was not the first who suggested the match with the daughter of Portugal, he supported, against all opposition, that unfortunate measure; and brought, as his son-in-law affirms, a Queen of his own choosing to EnglandY. His zeal for the church of England, combining with his memory of the political delinquency of the sectaries, formed those intolerant laws which disturbed the repose of the kingdom. The unfortunate resolution of laying up the fleet, may be carried by implication to the account of Cla­rendon. It was proposed by SouthamptonZ, who, though a man of parts himself, was known, from his indolence, to be guided in his opinions by the chan­cellor. He was, upon the whole, a respectable minis­ter and a man of integrity. To an unwearied applica­tion, he joined a constancy which approached to firm­ness; and though a zealous assertor of the prerogatives of the crown, he made few encroachments upon the liberties of the subject, as they were then defined.

Cause of his fall. Though Clarendon's ungracious manner was so contrary to the disposition of the King, the latter long [Page 93] sacrificed his feelings to his convenience. He permitted his minister to rail at his vices, for furnishing him with leisure to follow his pleasures. The whole weight of the state lay chiefly on his shoulders; and an old servant derived a kind of right to be familiar, from his fidelity. The intemperate rage of a mistress, the artful machi­nations of her designing creatures, would have little weight with Charles, had his minister retained the power of serving him with effect. But Clarendon had lost the confidence of the people; and he probably never possessed the sincere love of his Prince. The power of being useful being ended with the chancellor, the King ceased to be grateful. In falling down with the stream of public opinion, he found that he could in­dulge his own private resentment. The enemies of Clarendon, and envy as well as his manner had raised many against him, urged the King to remove him, with all their address. The Duke of Buckingham, who had, some months before, fallen under the displeasure of Charles, was now permitted to appear at court; and he ascribed his late misfortunes to the chancellor. With all the force of his poignant wit, he had long endeavoured to render the minister ridiculous in the eyes of his Sovereign; and what contributed still more to the success of his purpose, he promised for the fu­ture good humour of the commons, should his enemy be divested of his employment. Buckingham's influ­ence on the measures of the house in the last session, stampt more credit on his promise, than any opinion of his veracity.

He is dis­missed. Charles having come to the resolution of removing the chancellor, observed a degree of delicacy with re­gard to his fall. He sent him a message by the Duke of York, on the twenty-sixth of August, that the ne­cessity of his affairs, and not any dissatisfaction, obliged him to require his resignationA. The hesitation of the chancellor irritated the King; and he sent secre­tary Morrice, on the thirtieth, with positive orders to receive the sealB. The parliament having met, on the tenth of October, the King spoke but little, in [Page 94] personC. Sir Orlando Bridgeman, the lord-keeper, enlarged upon the late prorogation, the peace, and the state of the public accounts. He recommended an ex­amination of the latter to the commons; he promised to both houses, in the name of the King, that all just grievances should be redressed. The commons, on the fourteenth, voted an address of thanks to the King, ‘"for disbanding the late raised forces, for turning the Papists out of his guards, and more especially, for dismissing the Earl of Clarendon from the exercise of public trust and employmentD."’

Attacked by the com­mons. The King, with too much readiness, made answer, ‘"that he would never employ the late chancellor in any public affairs."’ He even indecently interfered in the debates of the house, to throw disgrace on the fallen minister. He ordered his servants to let it be known, that he expected to be thanked for dismissing Clarendon; whilst the latter charged his friends not to oppose the motion, being resolved that none of his private concerns should disturb the King's affairsE. The same conduct was used by both in the upper house, when the lords were moved to join in the ad­dress of the commons. The vote would not have passed, had not the Duke of York and several peers withdrawn, that no obstruction might be given to the declared wish of the KingF. On the twenty-sixth of October, Clarendon was accused to the commons, by Mr. Seymour; and a committee appointed to con­sider of proceedings and precedents. Seventeen arti­cles of accusation were presented to the house on the sixth of November. He was charged with designing to govern the kingdom by a standing army; of corres­ponding with Cromwell, selling of Dunkirk, for ar­bitrary and illegal imprisonments, extorting sums of money illegally, procuring exorbitant grants for himself and his relations; and of betraying the King's coun­cils to his enemiesG.

The charge examined. Though some of the articles had a kind of foundation in fact, others were either frivolous or unjust. Cla­rendon [Page 95] advised the raising a proper guard for the King's person. But Charles himself declared, in the most so­lemn manner, to the Duke of York, that he had never given his advice to govern by a standing armyG. His concern in the sale of Dunkirk is not to be denied. But there is no reason to believe, that he derived any advantage to himself from the measure; and it is even doubtful, whether the sale of the place was any real detriment to the nation. Sir Richard Greenville and Sir Robert Long, during the King's exile, had accus­ed Sir Edward Hyde of paying a secret visit to Crom­well, and receiving a pension for intelligence. The accusation was founded upon the faith of a chamber­maid, who alledged that she led Hyde one morning to the Protector's bed-roomH. This vague report was rejected without examination by Charles; and though his accusers endeavoured to corroborate their assertions by the affluence in which Hyde and his fa­mily lived abroad, the tale is too improbable to be be­lievedI. Of arbitrary imprisonments he may with some justice be accused. His enemies acquired popu­larity by releasing, after his fall, some old officers whom he had kept in prison for several years, more to prevent their future plots, than from any proof of their prior guiltK.

He is im­peached and banished. Upon the foundation of these articles the commons, on the twelfth of November, sent up to the lords a general charge of treason against Clarendon, by the hands of Mr. Seymour. They desired their lordships to sequester him from parliament and to commit him to safe custody till they should exhibit the articles of their chargeL. The lords refused the demands of the commons; looking upon a general accusation as a mere clamour. The commons flew into the utmost sury. A breach was made between the houses. The King interfered in vain. He was obliged to apply to Clarendon, to remove himself from the kingdom, to appease their rage. He obeyed; and wrote an apology from Calais, at which the lords [Page 96] took offence: they sent down a bill for his banish­ment to the commons; and though it was disliked for different reasons, both by his friends and his enemies, it passed at length, and received the royal assent. The conduct of Charles, during the whole prosecution, did little honour to his gratitude. But jealousies of a new kind are said to have joined their force to his for­mer prejudices. Buckingham and others insinuated, that he was in danger, by permitting the Duke of York to have his own guards to wait upon himself at Whitehall. They affirmed, that the Duke might be prevailed upon, by Clarendon and his daughter, to attempt some violent measure. Alarmed at this tale, or apprehensive of the rising heats in the house of commons, the King ordered Clarendon to withdraw. The latter communicated his resolution of obeying to the Duke, who was just recovering from the small-pox. The Duke had laboured under that disorder during the persecution of his father-in-law; so that he could neither counteract the malice of his enemies, nor give any essential assistance to his friendsM.

New mini­stry. The commons, prior to the impeachment of Cla­rendon, made some progress in examining the causes of the misfortunes in the late war. The sacrifice of a minister to the public jealousy cooled their resent­ment, though it put not an end to their enquiry. On the nineteenth of December they adjourned them­selves by the King's command, to the sixth of Fe­bruaryN. Charles, before their recess, had filled the different departments. Sir Henry Bennet, now Lord Arlington, and Sir Orlando Bridgeman, the lord-keeper, were his ostensible ministersO; Bucking­ham and Bristol advised him behind the curtain. The treasury, since the death of Southampton, in the month of May, was in commission under men of abi­lities, though, except the Duke of Albemarle, of no high reputation. Lord Ashley was Chancellor of the Exchequer; Sir William Coventry, Sir John Dun­comb, and Sir Thomas Clifford, were inferior com­missioners. Coventry, a man of parts, in an avowed [Page 97] opposition to Clarendon, had resigned his office of se­cretary to the Duke of York. Duncomb was a country gentleman of some note; Clifford, a man of violent abilities, possessing weight in parliament, but a known papist. No sooner was Clarendon removed, than these began to quarrel for the possession of the chief power. Coventry, as the most able, was the best qualified for the office of minister, but not of sufficient name for so high a character. Buckingham and Arlington joined against him, then quarrelled among themselves. The first carried all the profli­gacy of his private life into his politics; the latter, cunning by nature, was timid, though full of pride.P

1668. Foreign af­fairs. To gain the favour of the nation by acts of popu­larity, employed the first attention of the King and his ministers. They released Wildman, Salmon, Creed, Brown, and others, whom Clarendon had kept close prisoners, on account of their republican principles and their great credit and influence with the disbanded offi­cers and soldiersQ. They extended their attention to foreign affairs, and formed the triple league, the most approved measure of this reign. The ambition which Lewis the Fourteenth exhibited through the rest of his life, had broken out into an act of unjustifiable violence in the preceding summer. Induced by the condition of Spain, feeble in her resources, and weak­ned still more by the government of a minor, he fell with an army into Flanders, and took most of the principal towns, then destitute of garrisons, and to­ [...]lly unprovided with the means of defence. By [...]aiming a part of Flanders in right of his wife, he [...]ded insult to injustice. Though he had solemnly [...]nounced, by the treaty of the Pyrenees, all preten­ [...]ns to every part of the Spanish monarchy, though [...]harles the Second, the indisputed heir of the whole, [...] upon the throne, he alledged, that by the ancient [...]stom of some parts of Brabant, his wife, as being [...] the first marriage, possessed a right to a consider­ [...]e portion of the Spanish Netherlands, to the exclu­ [...]n of her brother. He followed this false reasoning [Page 98] year 1668 with the decisive argument of the sword. His con­quests kept pace with the rapidity of his march, in the territories of a prince, who could oppose nothing but remonstrances to his arms.

Character of Lewis the Fourteenth. Lewis, to a degree of vanity which the world as well as himself mistook for the love of glory, added qualities fit to dazzle a nation less fond than the French of their monarchs. To a gracefulness [...] person that gave lustre to his high station, he joined an affability which enchanted his subjects. Though remarkable, neither for the generosity of his conduct, nor an extensive liberality of sentiment, he could act the part of a complete gentleman, a science too often little studied by persons born to wear a crown. Spe­cious in his conduct, and possessed of abilities sufficien [...] to conceal his want of great parts, he was respected where he was not admired. His politeness of carriage passed for humanity of disposition; his reserve in business was construed into prudence; his love of pomp ascribed to dignity of mind. He was however more f [...] to represent a magnificent king in theory, than to act the part of a great monarch in practice. To concea [...] the defects of his real character, to hold forth a fa­vourable image of himself to the world, employed hi [...] study and comprehended all his views. He followed pleasure from fashion more than from appetite. H [...] applied to business to acquire importance rather tha [...] from motives of utility. Vanity was his ruling passion [...] and what is deemed a vice in the rest of mankind, becam [...] in him a virtue. Illiterate himself, he was an encourager of letters; and with no great talents for th [...] field, he formed generals and improved the art of wa [...] Superstition, the inseparable companion of the wea [...] and timid, disgraced his specious qualities, and re [...] dered even his personal courage suspected. It w [...] that feebleness of mind which induced him to sanctif [...] with matrimony the frigid arms of a woman of fifty and to kiss the image of the Virgin at the whistling [...] a cannon-ball. But these were the weaknesses of [...] more advanced period of his life. Lewis, upon th [...] whole, was as singular in his fate as he was in his character. In his youth he was the admiration, in h [...] [Page 99] riper years the terror, in his old age the contempt, of Europe. His ambition ruined his country, even when he extended its limits; and France, swelled by his councils into a bloated magnitude, has languished ever since under an incurable disease.

His haughty conduct to­ward other powers. Though the character of Lewis was not calculated to establish on a permanent foundation the power of France, it was well suited to her temporary glory. With that convenient inattention to justice, which am­bition has introduced into the policy of princes, he possessed resources much superior to those of the other powers of Europe. His extensive dominions, favour­ed with a fruitful soil and a good climate, had risen in a few years to a high degree of prosperity, through the industry of the inhabitants, under the peaceable councils of Cardinal Mazarin. An ample revenue, a disciplined army, and even a kind of naval force be­longed to Lewis; while the neighbouring states had either fallen from their former consequence, or had not yet arrived at the strength which they have since acquired. The Dutch, who had derived their inde­pendence from the protection of France and England, had thrown the whole force of their state into their navy. England, jealous of her native sovereigns, had not yet furnished herself with a standing army, to stop the ambitious projects of foreign princes. The latter, however, retained her ancient animosity against France; and the former chose to forget former fa­vours in their present safety. Lewis had added a haughtiness of conduct toward his neighbours to his opinion of the superiority of his own force; and he contrived to kindle indignation beyond the limits to which he had extended injuries. He extorted from Spain a precedency in dignity before he invaded her territories; he disputed the honours of the flag with the King of England; he reduced the Pope into an abject dependence, under colour of satisfaction for a trivial affront.

Triple alli­ance. The treaty of Breda was hastened to a conclusion, by the jealousy raised in the Dutch and English, thro' the sudden irruption of Lewis into the heart of Flan­ders. Charles, occupied by the sears of tumults at [Page 100] home, in consequence of the disgrace which closed the war, had neither leisure nor inclination to look beyond the limits of his own dominions. The re­moval of Clarendon, the establishment of new coun­cils, and the heats in parliament, succeeded to the ap­prehensions which the apparent disgust of the nation had raised in the mind of the King. The States had scarce extricated themselves from a war with England; they were in alliance with France; and divided into factions at home. The times were opportune for the ambition of Lewis. He dreaded nothing from the careless councils of Charles; he hoped every thing from the attachment of De Wit. But the first was offended at the coldness with which Lewis received his proposals for a close connection with France; and the latter lost his aversion to the Orange faction in his love for his country. To the astonishment of Europe, as well as to the amazement of his subjects, the King of England made the first motion for a treaty of con­federacy to prescribe bounds to the conquests of France. On the first of January it was resolved in council, to enter into a strict alliance with the states of HollandR. Sir William Temple, the English resident at Brussels, was ordered to proceed to the Hague; and such was the eagerness of De Wit, in a measure which so much concerned his country, that the treaty was signed on the twenty-third of January. Room was left for the accession of Sweden as a prin­cipal, which was soon obtained.

Secret mo­tive to that treaty. De Wit is said to have been the dupe of Charles in a measure, which loses much of its reputation when the motives are known. The pensionary, with all his good qualities, was vain of his own abilities, and proud of the success of his policy. He spoke fre­quently of the advantages which he had obtained over England, and of the necessity to which he had reduc­ed Sweden and Denmark to conclude and preserve peace. To mortify Lewis the Fourteenth was only wanting to his ambition. He had derived much of [Page 101] his importance with his own countrymen from his con­nection with the French nation. But he now seriously dreaded the power of that kingdom, and the ambition of its sovereign. Charles had, upon various grounds, entertained an animosity against the pensionary; and he was determined to ruin him, by detaching him from France. He resolved, therefore, to attrack him through the channel of his vanity. He besought him, through his ambassador, to give his advice upon every occasion, without even the ceremony of being asked, concerning the conduct which England ought to ob­serve in the affairs of Europe. De Wit was flattered by these condescensions. He believed that Charles was sincere. He suffered himself to be detached from France by the triple league; and having lost, soon after, his consequence with his countrymen, became an easy victim to the faction of the Prince of Orange. The advice, by which the King of England seems to have profited, came originally from Gourville; who says, in his Memoirs, that he communicated it to the Lord Hollis, when that nobleman was employed in concluding the peace of BredaS.

Treaty of Aix-la Cha­pelle. The King of France, at the close of the easy cam­paign which placed the strong holds of Flanders in his hands, had, at the instances of the States of Holland, agreed to a truce with Spain to the end of MarchT. He left to the Queen-regent her choice of two alter­natives, to serve as a foundation for a treaty of peace; Either to yield to him the places taken by his arms, or the duchy of Luxembourg. The court of Spain was in no haste to close with either of the alternatives. They forgot their own want of power, in their sense of the injustice of Lewis. To force Spain into a peace, was as much the object of the triple alliance, as to put bounds to the conquests of France. The contracting powers agreed to adhere to the alternative offered by Lewis, and to join their forces against either of the crowns that should remain resractory. [Page 102] Lewis, under a pretence of enforcing the peace, en­tered Franche Comté in the month of Eebruary, and subdued the whole province in a few daysU. The Queen-regent at length agreed to the first alternative offered by France. A congress was held at Aix-la Chapelle. The plenipotentiaries of all the powers met at that place; and a treaty was signed on the se­cond of May, which annexed to the crown of France all the conquests made by its arms in the preceding campaign.

Peace be­tween Spain and Portu­gal. Whilst Charles put an end to the war in Flanders be the triple league, he procured a peace for Portugal by his negotiations at the court of MadridX. The efforts of Spain against the Portuguese had languished ever since the death of Philip the Fourth, whose re sentment for his frequent disappointments had induced him to persevere in an unsuccessful war. The coun cils of Portugal had acquired vigour by an extraordi nary revolution, which threw the feeble Alphonse from his throne into a prison. That unfortunate prince, more profligate than wicked, had offended the nation by low buffoonry, and by suffering himself to be governed by the mean companions of his plea suresY. His wife, a daughter of the Duke of Ne­mours, struck with the person of his brother, Do Pedro, forsook his bed, and accused him of debility o body as well as of mind. She fled to a monastery [...] She threw herself under the protection of the church [...] She sued for a divorce. A saction seized the unfortunate Alphonso, his brother was declared regent in a [...] assembly of the states, whilst he himself was confine [...] in the island of Tercera. Don Pedro, a prince o [...] abilities, was preparing to assert the independence o [...] his country by the sword, when it was established on [...] sudden by treaty. Spain, oppressed by accumulate [...] misfortunes, descended from her stateliness; and owned the independence of Portugal, after a ruinous w [...] of near thirty yearsZ.

[Page 103] Affairs of Scotland. The civil affairs of Scotland were managed with precision. Disorder and oppression prevailed in her religious concerns. The fanaticism of the vulgar, many of whom still adhered to the covenant, inflam­ed by the folly of Archbishop Sharpe, broke out in tumults and confusions, which were suppressed by means at once impolitic and inhuman. The vio­lence which appeared in the English parliament against conventicles was adopted by that of Scotland; and was productive of more mischief, as the northern sectaries were more obstinate. A high commission was instituted, for executing the rigorous laws against the Presbyterians, and for the management of reli­gious affairsA. The civil power enforced by its au­thority the decrees of this court of inquisition. A military force was let loose on an unarmed multitude, whose only crime was enthusiasm. Those unfortunate persons, who from scruples of conscience avoided to be present at the worship established by law, were fined at discretion by the commander of the troops; and these mulcts were levied with all the rigours of mili­tary execution. Religious persecution, when not car­ried to an extreme, which subdues all the passions of the soul under the dominion of fear, defeats its own purpose. The people, inflamed by oppression, rose in the western counties. They assembled at Lanerk. They renewed the covenant. They published a de­claration, which, however, contained nothing against the King's authority. Ill-armed, and worse conduct­ed, the insurgents advanced toward Edinburgh; and in a tumultuary skirmish, rather than a battle, were defeated at the Pentland-hills, on the twenty-eighth of November, 1666. The severities which follow un­successful insurrections were extended to an unusual degree by the violence of Sharpe. The lenity of the King, at length, put a stop to the rigours of the church. He expressly ordered to set at liberty those who should only promise to obey the laws; and that the most incorrigible should be transported beyond seasB.

[Page 104] and of Ire­land. The affairs of Ireland had scarce assumed the ap­pearance of settlement, under the prudent manage­ment of the Duke of Ormonde, when the interest of that kingdom received a fatal blow, from an act of the parliament of England. The English nation, though prudent in their regulations at home, seem never to have understood the art of governing their foreign conquests. Fond of domestic freedom, they carried frequently tyranny and oppression abroad, and endangered the losing by injustice what they had ob­tained by valour. The severity of their government contributed more to deprive them of the continental dominions of the family of Plantagenet, than the arms of France; and the peculiar situation of Ireland secured its dependance, and not the mildness of the conquerors. In the year 1666, a bill was passed for restraining the importation of Irish cattle; an act pe­culiarly hard, as Ireland had scarce any other article for foreign commerce. The violence of the country­gentlemen, who ascribed the sudden fall of the rents to the importation of provisions from abroad, overcame the King's solicitations, and superseded all arguments. The intrigues of Buckingham and Lord Ashley, who wished to disturb Ormonde in his government, in­creased the flame. The King who had discovered an inclination to refuse his assent to the bill, was swayed from his purpose, by his fears that the commons would give no supply; a circumstance which weighed more with Charles, than the interest of his Irish subjects. Ormonde employed the year 1667 in alleviating the distress brought upon Ireland by this impolitic law; which, in the issue, became favourable to the inhabi­tants, by forcing them to apply with greater industry to articles more suitable than cattle for commerceC.

Proceedings in parlia­ment. The parliament of England, according to their ad­journment, met on the sixth of February, 1668; and, on the tenth, the King made a speech to both houses. He demanded a supply of moneyD. The commons heard the first with satisfaction; to the lat­ter they made no reply. The bad humour excited by [Page 105] the misfortunes of the last year had been increased by the King's indulgence to the non-conformists; a mea­sure which he had adopted to gain popularity. Instead of thanking him as usual, for his speech, the com­mons addressed him to issue a proclamation, to enforce obedience to the act of uniformity. They resumed their inquiries into the late miscarriages. Charles urged in vain, in repeated messages, the pressure of his debts, in vain, the necessity of fitting out a fleet in consequence of his engagements to his allies. The commons were deaf to his requests. Buckingham, who had promised to manage their leaders, was found destitute of influence. He could inflame them against the crown; but he had not talents to soothe them into a compliance with the desires of the King. Brounker, on the evidence of Sir John Har­man, was expelled the house, and ordered to be impeached, for bringing to that officer pretended commands from the Duke of York to lower the sails, after the battle near Southwold Bay. Commissioner Pett was impeachedE. The inquiry, however, though carried on with seeming spirit, produced no signal punishments. The house was more eager in giving its full force to the act of uniformity, than in animadverting with severity upon the authors of the late miscarriages. The King, at length, issued a pro­clamation against sectaries; and the commons, in re­turn, gave a supply of three hundred and ten thousand pounds, by an imposition on wines and other liquors. On the ninth of May, both houses adjourned to the eleventh of August.

A general tranquillity. An unusual tranquillity succeeded the calamities which had fallen, in the course of the last three years, upon the kingdom. London had risen with lustre from its ashes. A favourable season had diffused plenty through the nation. Even plots and conspira­cies had ceased to be named. The sectaries succumb­ed under the rigour of the act of uniformity. The republicans lost their hopes in the careless dissoluteness of the times. Dissipation and intemperate pleasures reigned at court. Amusements, which degenerated [Page 106] into profligacy, prevailed among the people. Charles divided his time between women of beauty, and men of wit and humour. The Countess of Castlemain, divesting herself of the jealousy of her sex, retained, with the charms of others, the influence which her own had lostF. A Buckingham and a Rochester, qualifying, by the vivacity of their genius, the seve­rity and even coarseness of their wit, became the King's inseparable companions. Debauchery and lewdness were seen in every form; and, as if examples of sensuality and riot were not sufficient to corrupt the manners of the people, the press teemed with licen­tious publications, and the stage exhibited nothing but but vice. The King leaving London, made a pro­gress through a great part of the kingdom. In the inland towns he resigned himself to pleasure; but in the sea-ports his amusement was to examine naval affairs; a subject which he well understood. Not­withstanding the dissoluteness of his manners, Charles promoted trade, loved the sciences, and encouraged the arts. His appetite for pleasure rendered him pro­digal. His political meanness sprung from profusion.

Intrigues. During these scenes of riot and pleasure at court, faction and intrigue prevailed in the cabinet. Buck­ingham and Arlington, having removed Clarendon, began to undermine Sir William Coventry, whose ta­lents they feared. Though he had opposed the chan­cellor, he was still in the interest of the Duke of York, who had declared his opinion of his being the only man fit for the office of ministerG. Bucking­ham turned the whole force of his wit against Coven­try. The latter afterwards sent him a challengeH, and the Duke, more ready to give an affront than to defend his honour, complained to the King. Coven­try was dismissed from all his employments. The jealousy of the ministry concerning the Duke of York's influence continued, though his power had declined [...] He had offended his brother, by speaking in favour o [...] his father-in-law. He had irritated his principal ser­vants, [Page 107] by openly affirming in the house of lords, that the whole charge against Clarendon was false, ma­licious, and groundless. But no insinuations of dan­ger from his brother could have much weight with the King. He knew that the Duke's high ideas of the indefeasible rights of monarchy were a sufficient security for his loyalty. They tried, by mortifica­tions in the department of the admiralty, to force him to resign. Osborne and Lyttelton, two of their adherents, were, without the ceremony of speaking to the Duke, made treasurers of the navy, though they had chiefly managed the charge against Claren­don in the house of commons. They placed their own friends and dependents in other lucrative em­ployments, in opposition to officers of merit recom­mended by the Duke. They intended to disband his troop of horse-guards; they endeavoured to divest him of the command of his regiment of foot. They even began to form plans for excluding him from the throne, by procuring a divorce for the King. In the latter scheme, their chief engine was the Earl of Bristol, who, on account of Clarendon, was the Duke's mortal foeI.

against the To prevent for ever the return of Clarendon, Buck­ingham and Arlington endeavoured to annihilate his party, by displacing his relations and friends. Some were deprived of their offices, others suspended from performing the functions of their several employments. Those who contributed to ruin the late chancellor were rewarded with the spoils of his adherents.—Buckingham having purchased, in the month of May, the office of master of the horse of the Duke of Al­bemarle, added the weight of an ostensible office to his secret influence in the cabinet. In the month of July, he fell upon the Duke of Ormonde, Cla­rendon's most intimate friend. He procured a com­mission to be issued to inquire into the mal-admini­stration of the Irish revenueK; and, in frequent conferences with the Earl of Orrery, a man of more abilities than integrity, concerted measures to dismiss Ormonde from the government of Ireland. Morrice, [Page 108] who had been secretary of state ever since the Re­storation, was turned out of office, by the intrigues of Buckingham, to make room for Sir John Trevor, who had formerly served Cromwell. Trevor owed his place to Lady Harvey, a woman of wit and in­trigue, who possessed the favour of Buckingham and Arlington. Every measure was undertaken by the ministry that might distress their enemies, and strength­en their own interest, by providing for their friendsL.

Duke of York. Lord Ashley, who now began to display his ta­lents for intrigue, adhered to the secret measures of Buckingham. Arlington, artful in the midst of his natural timidity, counteracted Buckingham's influence, though he adopted his schemes. Both were intent upon each other's ruin. Arlington seemed at last to prevail. Though they joined in their plans of mor­tifying the Duke of York, they were afraid of his obstinacy. Buckingham, in the month of December, secretly signified his wish of being well with the Duke. But that Prince rejected his offers, for for­mer breaches of faith. This repulse added resentment to the fears of Buckingham. He endeavoured to in­sinuate to Charles the facility of divorcing his Queen. Bristol, ever precipitate and violent in the prosecu­tion of favourite schemes, proposed a journey into Italy, to find a new wife for the King among the daughters of the Duke of ParmaM. Sir Orlando Bridgeman, the lord keeper, was consulted concern­ing the legality of a divorce. Dr. Burnet was afterwards employed to write in its favourN.—The Earl of Carlisle and Lord Ashley were proposing to the King to own the legitimacy of the Duke of Monmouth. Their aversion to the Duke of York, or their fear of his resentment for the fall of Clarendon, turned against him the whole intrigues of the partyO. His connection with Sir William Coventry, whose talents, as has been ob­served, they feared, added to their eagerness to break the influence, which his industry in business, more [Page 109] year 1669 than an opinion of his abilities, had established in the mind of the King.

Duke of Or­monde dis­missed. Buckingham and AshleyP, who never loved ei­ther of the royal brothers, extended their designs be­yond the possession of present power. The contempt which Charles expressed, upon many occasions, for the former, had kindled a resentment in his breast equal to the impatience of all authority, which the latter derived from a spirit naturally restless. The phlegmatic disposition of the Duke was as disagree­able to Buckingham, as his avowed dislike to those who had distinguished themselves against his family was terrible to Ashley. To open a field for their ambition, they thought it expedient to remove the old cavaliers from offices of the first trust. None remained in a capacity more suitable to thwart their designs, than the Duke of Ormonde, who had added the advantage of a high character to an inviolable at­tachment to the royal family. Attacks had been al­ready made on his management of the revenue of Ireland; he was now to be deprived of his govern­ment. The Duke of York interposed his declining influence in vainQ. Even the personal regard which Charles entertained for Ormonde, yielded to the ve­hemence of Buckingham. Arlington, from ties of friendship, adhered for some time to the lord lieute­nant; but the easiness of his temper, and, at length, his inherent timidity prevailed. He began to listen to the solicitations of Lady Harvey and Sir John TrevorR. He succumbed to the threats of Buck­ingham. Ormonde was dismissed with a compliment, by the King. Lord Robertes, who had fought against his father, succeeded a noble person, who had serv­ed his family with the utmost fidelity for thirty yearsS.

Violence of Bucking­ham. Buckingham, having removed Ormonde, turned his whole influence and policy against the Duke of York. Without asking permission from the King, he endea­voured to find a successor for his brother, as lord [Page 110] high-admiral. On the eighteenth of April, he went to Newhall in Essex, where Albemarle, then declin­ing in his health, resided; and proposed to him to resign the command of the army and to accept the admiralty. Albemarle refusing to consent to either, was assailed through the influence of his wife. The Duchess of Buckingham and Lady Harvey met to persuade her to promote their views; but in vain. The nation were equally astonished at Buckingham's confidence and influence. It will hereafter appear, that he was the dupe of a master whom he affected to command. Charles was no stranger to his cha­racter. The brilliancy of his wit rendered him fond of Buckingham's company; yet he despised his un­derstanding, hated his temper, and laughed at his fol­liesT. But he had entered into councils, where want of principle became more useful in servants, than either ability or integrity. His secret measures, however, had not yet arrived at any degree of ma­turity. A profligacy, which had obtained the name of pleasure, and intrigues about places of profit and trust, seemed to employ the whole attention of the King and ministry. Parliament had been so back­ward in giving money, that their attendance was not desired. Domestic business went round, in the com­mon circle of office. Tranquillity prevailed in fo­reign affairs. The carelessness of the King seemed to encrease, when he was forming chains for his people; and conspiring with France against the in­dependence of Europe.

Act against conventicles The bad success of the conference at the Savoy, discouraged not Charles from forming new projects of a comprehension. The favour shewn by the court to the Presbyterians, had enabled them to hold, with a degree of openness, their assemblies; notwithstand­ing the severity of the act of uniformityU. Sir Orlando Bridgeman and Sir Mathew Hale were di­rected to frame such a bill, as might give, by law, that liberty of conscience, which was now derived from a precarious indulgence. Secret meetings were [Page 111] held with the heads of the Presbyterians; but the hierarchy began to be alarmed. The aversion of par­liament to all condescension on the subject of reli­gion was known; and the affair was dropt. The King stood in need of money; and it was not pru­dent to irritate the commons. The two houses, af­ter a recess of seventeen months, met at Westminster, on the nineteenth of OctoberX. Charles demand­ed a supply. He recommended an union with Scot­land. The lord-keeper enlarged on both points;—but the commons made no reply. They brought back to their house the bad humour in which they had adjourned. They entered upon the examination of public accounts. They resumed their intolerance against non-conformists. The bill to suppress conven­ticles was passed, with a clause, that the judges should interpret any doubts in the sense against the non-con­formists. In their zeal for the church, they made a breach on the established maxim, that, in all criminal prosecutions, the law should incline to mercyY.

Proceedings in parlia­ment. The public business was retarded, by a renewal of a former quarrel between the two housesZ. Skin­ner, a considerable merchant in London, had in the preceding session, carried a complaint against the East-India company, by petition, before the Lords, and he was relieved in costs and damages to the amount of five thousand pounds. The taking cog­nizance of a subject of property, without an appeal from an inferior court, was deemed by the commons unprecedented and dangerous. They voted Skinner, upon a breach of privilege, into the custody of the serjeant at arms; they passed a resolution, that who­ever should put in execution the decree of the lords, should be deemed a betrayer of the rights and liber­ties of the commons of England. In the midst of this ferment the parliament rose. They brought back the same animosity into their present session. The King, however, by the advice of Lord Ash­leyA, put an end to the dispute, by prevailing with [Page 112] year 1670 both houses to eraze their whole proceedings on Skinner's affair. The parliament was prorogued, on the eleventh of DecemberB. They met again, in better humour, on the fourteenth of February. Four hundred thousand pounds were granted to the King. Commissioners were appointed to treat, concerning an union between England and Scotland. But things were not yet ripe for such a measure; and the de­sign vanished into air.

Death and character. On the third of January 1670, after a lingering illness, George Monk, Duke of Albemarle, died, in the sixty-first year of his ageC. This extraordi­nary person has been variously represented by writ­ers; a circumstance not surprizing, in a country where character is too often measured by the stand­ard of political prejudice. His claim to personal courage, to military skill, to prudence in his mea­sures and moderation in his views, is by no party denied; though it shall always be questioned, whe­ther he owed so much to his abilities as to fortune. To direct the measures of a people, when they act under the awe of an army, requires neither consum­mate address nor extensive talents. The machine of government, in such a case, becomes so simple, that it may be conducted by any hand. The situation of Monk was, however, more delicate than that of many others, whose fortune it was to command na­tions by the terrors of the sword. When he march­ed from Scotland with six thousand men, more than forty thousand veterans were in the hands of his ene­mies in England. But his coolness and deliberation, were more than a match for the undecisive enthu­siasm of Fleetwood; and he derived from his justice and influence with the soldiers, what the more splen­did abilities of Lambert could never command.

of the Duke of Albe­marle. The high situation which enabled Monk to re-establish monarchy, was a disadvantage to his cha­racter, after the Restoration. Calculated more for the field than the court he carried an aukwardness in his manner, which lessened his dignity. The slight companions of a gay and dissolute Monarch were apt [Page 113] to put the worst constructions upon a deportment so different from their own. His taciturnity was no longer ascribed to prudence, his frugality was distin­guished by the name of avarice, his disregard to ce­remony denominated clownishness. The King, it must be confessed, never deviated from those marks of respect, which he owed to him for the possession of his throne. The Duke was admitted always to his most secret councils. Recourse was had to his prudence in domestic tumults, to his valour in fo­reign war. Though the part which he had acted raised the resentment of many individuals, he always retained the affections of the people; and the whis­pers of a few were lost in the sound of public ap­plause. He was, upon the whole, a good rather than a great man; more free from vice than pos­sessing splendid virtues. Easily led by the counsels of others, he was under the absolute dominion of a wife, neither remarkable for her beauty, nor amiable in her disposition; and to her ought, perhaps, to be ascribed, that bias to interest, which has, with a de­gree of justice, stigmatized the memory of her hus­band with some acts of meanness and avarice.

King chang­es his mea­sures. The death of the Duke of Albemarle, joined to the fall of Clarendon and the removal of Ormonde, had left a fair field for the new schemes which Charles seems to have secretly adopted before this period.—The distress brought upon his finances by his own profusion, the mean shifts by which he was frequent­ly obliged to obtain money from a parsimonious house of commons, had induced him to search for relief [...]o his pecuniary necessities from another quarter. He [...]aw that supplies, already unwillingly granted, were [...]kely to become still more uncertain, from the ill­ [...]umours which had crept, through the carelessness [...]f his own government, into parliament. Though [...]aturally unambitious, he loved the possession of power [...]o relieve his wants; and to put an end to a depen­ [...]ence that hurt his pride. These reasons, together with a secret affection for the Romish religion, which [...]e entertained, amidst all his profligacy, became the [...]ource of his connection with France: a scheme which, in more steady hands, might have endanger­ed [Page 114] the liberties of his subjects; and as it was the [...] thought, the independence of Europe. But Charle [...] wanted perseverance, and Lewis abilities. Thoug [...] both were men of splendid talents, and provided wit [...] a convenient absence of principle, both were as ignorant of their own resources, as they were of the stat [...] of the neighbouring powers. Neither, perhaps, wa [...] sincere; neither, at least, meant the half of wha [...] they respectively proposed. Charles hoped to deriv [...] an immediate supply, from the eagerness of Lewis' [...] ambition; and Lewis expected, from the avarice o [...] Charles, his acquiescence in his own views upo [...] Flanders. Schemes, begun in folly, were destined to end in misfortune. Lewis, in his pursuit of glory, was covered with disgrace. Charles, in his eagerness to relieve his wants, added fresh distress to his for­mer necessities.

Secret cause of the triple league. The triple league, deemed the best measure of Charles, was in part the fruit of one of his worst schemes. Instead of stopping the conquests of France, it was calculated to extend them, by forcing Lewis into an alliance with England. The ascendant ob­tained by Buckingham so unexpectedly in the sum­mer of 1667, proceeded perhaps from the opinion which Charles entertained of his being an useful in­strument in his new-adopted designs. Pursued by messengers and warrants in the month of March, in the Tower in June, in July leading the cabinet.—All this could not have happened through mere ca­price. Some secret motive must have induced the King to trust his councils in the hands of a man whose talents, in any serious business, he always des­pisedE. Charles it is now known, made attempts to­ward a close connection with France before he finish­ed the Dutch war. To gain the confidence of Lewis, he had agreed to the French invasion of Spanish Flanders. His sister, the Duchess of Orleans, was partly trusted with the projects of Charles. She was intimate with Buckingham, and he probably became acquainted with all that she knew of the connection between Charles and Lewis. The influence which [Page 115] he gained was at once the reward of his present se­crecy, and an inducement to future services. The sudden change in the King toward Clarendon, pro­ceeded perhaps from the same cause. He could not trust that minister in an affair which, in its conse­quences, must infallibly either ruin the authority of the crown or the liberties of the people. The in­fluence of a mistress, the clamours of the chancellor's enemies would perhaps have failed, could the King trust him in his new measures. When he fell, Charles advanced without interruption in his favour­ite scheme. But Lewis was cold in his answers, and the triple league was formedF.

Secret nego­tiations with France. The triple alliance was scarce signed, when the King and Buckingham began to renew their applica­tions to France with an eagerness which, for some time, defeated their views. The whole of the year 1668 passed in fruitless negociations. The King of France either distrusted the sincerity of Charles, or he had not yet opened his eyes to the advantages of an alliance which involved him in an immediate ex­pence. The enthusiasm of the Duke of York, who now was a convert to the Romish faith, though not formally reconciled to that communion, suggested to his brother the means of gaining Lewis to his own views. In a private meeting, held in the Duke's closet on the twenty-fifth of January, 1669, where the King, the Duke, the Earl of Arlington, the Lord Arundel of Wardour, and Sir Thomas Clif­ford were present, Charles declared his zeal for the catholic religionG. The result of the consultation was, that to promote the faith in his kingdoms, a strict union should be made with France. This change in the object of the negotiation rendered it necessa­ry to drop BuckinghamH, who in his disbelief of all religion, forgot not his aversion to the church of Rome. The same reason which obliged the King to remove Buckingham from the management of the treaty, induced him to trust it to men of very dif­ferent [Page 116] principles. The Lord Arundel, a rigid Ro­man Catholic, was sent to the court of France.—Arlington, a concealed papist, and Clifford, who avow­ed his attachment to the Romish religion, managed at first the negotiation in the cabinet, and were af­terwards, with Sir Richard Bealling, an enthusiast is the same faith, appointed commissioners to carry the treaty to a conclusion. Colbert de Croiffy, who soon after the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle came to England, managed it on the part of FranceH.

Conversion of the Duke of York. The Duke of York, who had been long waver­ing on the point of religion, was now completely reconciled to the church of Rome. That unfortu­nate prince, who, from a conceited obstinacy, affect­ed to be guided by reason in his opinions, suffered himself to be argued out of his small remains of Pro­testanism by the smooth sophistry of Father Symons, a bigotted JesuitI. Serious and melancholy in his disposition, his mind was adapted by nature for su­perstition. During his exile he zealously adhered to the Protestant faith. Ardent and almost an enthu­siast in all his speculative opinions, he, in consequence of a letter from his brother, insisted with vehemence that the Duke of Gloucester should be removed from his mother, on account of a report that she endea­voured to entice him to the religion of RomeK. His aversion to the principles of sectaries, whom he deemed the irreconcilable enemies of monarchy, in­clined him first to a system of faith, favourable to the quiet despotism which he so passionately loved. The conversion of Turenne is said to have had its weight with his wavering mind; that great com­mander being one of the few characters whom he esteemed and admired. A change so fatal to his fa­mily, but, in the result, beneficial to his country, happened in the year 1669. Had the Duke of York continued a Protestant, the monarchy would have be­come absolute through his perseverance and obstinacy, qualities which supplied in him the place of great abilities and firmness of mind.

[Page 117] The secret negotiation employed the attention of the Popish junto throughout the year 1669. The eagerness of Charles to receive two hundred thou­sand pounds, as the price of his conversion was coun­teracted by that of Lewis to begin with the Dutch war. Notwithstanding the enthusiasm of the latter, he submitted it, upon the present occasion, to his policy. He believed Charles to be sincere, at the time that he himself was the dupe of his avarice. He thought that a precipitate declaration of his re­ligion would fill his hands with too much business at home, to be in a condition to aid his ally abroad. But Charles was obstinate. The money for his con­version was to be received before his declaration for Popery, and he endeavoured to conceal the impa­tience of his necessities under a zeal for the Romish faith. To put an end to the procrastinations of Lewis, Charles played off another engine on his weakness. He instructed his resident at the Hague to hasten the accession of the Emperor and Spain to the triple alliance. De Pomponne, the ambassador of France to the States, informed his master of the conclusion of this formidable alliance. Lewis was alarmed. From being cold in the negotiation, he became a suitor; and the treaty was concluded in the beginning of the present year. In the mean time, Charles, to keep secret his agreement with France, suffered Buckingham, and his own sister the Duchess of Orleans, who were absolute strangers to the agree­ment already signed, to carry on a mock treaty; while, at the same time, he kept this mock treaty a secret from the Duke of York and the Earl of ArlingtonL.

Duchess of Orleans comes to England. Though Lewis had, in consequence of the first agreement, paid a part of the two hundred thousand pounds a-year, stipulated to be given to Charles, he resolved to make one other experiment upon that prince, to induce him to begin with the Dutch war. To ac­complish this purpose, he sent the Duchess of Orleans to England. That princess undertook the journey with eagerness, having entertained some hopes that her [Page 118] brother would retain her in England, where she would be sure of governing every thing, through his easiness and her own addressL. The Duke of York, ei­ther jealous of his sister's influence, or averse to a Dutch war, which he foresaw would involve the crown in difficulties, and throw the King upon the mercy of parliament, obstructed with all his art the projected journey of the Duchess. He, however, failed in his views. The French King, having made a progress to view his conquests in Flanders, in the month of May, the princess passed the channel to Dover, where she was met, on the sixteenth, by the King her brotherM.

Conference at Dover. The Duke of York was detained in London, by the public business, two days after the King joined his sister at Dover. Before the Duke arrived in that place, she had persuaded Charles to begin with the Dutch warN. The Duke argued against this scheme. He urged the unprepared state of the navy. He represent­ed that a war would leave the crown in the mercy of parliament, who, he might be assured, would not sup­port a measure which they had not advised. Besides, that an avowed concert with France would break all the views of the King at home, before they were ripe for executionO. Charles insisted, that the customs, which yielded annually six hundred thousand pounds, would be sufficient, without any application to parlia­ment, to maintain a fleet of fifty sail; which, with thirty to be furnished by France, would be able to oppose the whole power of the Dutch at sea. The Duke argued against the sufficiency of that force in vain. Charles was obstinateP. It is even affirmed, that he communicated to his sister the insincerity of his promise with regard to his declaration for Popery. ‘"I entertain,"’ said he, ‘"a good opinion of the Ca­tholic religion and its professors. The latter are the best subjects for monarchy; but I am not so well satis­fied, either with the former, or with my own condition, as to make it my faithR."’ This declaration, if then made, was probably sincere. During his health and [Page 119] vigour, without any outrage on truth, Charles might have made the same declaration against any religion.

Treaty con­cluded. On the first of June, the mock treaty, the same in substance with that already concluded, except in the article of the King's religion, was signed at Dover. It had been stipulated in the first treaty, that Charles, to support himself in his declaration for Popery, should receive two hundred thousand pounds from the King of France: one half to be paid three months from the ratification of the treaty, and the other three months after the expiration of that time. In the present treaty, the triple alliance, in so far as it concerned the in­forcement of the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, was to remain inviolable. But, in case the King of Spain should die without issue, his dominions were to be divided between the contracting powers. Minorca, Ostend, and all Spanish America, were to fall to the lot of Charles. All the territories of Spain in Europe were to be assigned to Lewis. To facilitate the com­pletion of this grand object of the treaty, war was to be declared against the Dutch; and their dominions, after a provision made for the Prince of Orange, were to be ceded to France; except the islands Walkeron, L'Ecluse, and Cassante, together with all the ports to Maesland-Sluys, reserved for the King of EnglandS. To enable Charles to exert his force with vigour, a subsidy of eight hundred thousand pounds was to be annually paid by France, during this eventual war. In the case of the decease of the King of Spain, both the contracting powers were to join, at their own proper expence, to subject his American dominions to Eng­land; but Charles was to receive three pounds twelve shillings a-month for each man to be employed by sea in reducing the Spanish territories in Europe under the dominion of the French King.T.

Reflections. Such was the treaty with France. The conditions, though known to many individuals, remained long a secret from the public. Though Charles ought to de­rive no reputation from the part which he acted, it was evident that Lewis was the dupe of his designs. Had [Page 120] the government of England been as despotic in its constitution as that of France, it would be difficult to accuse the King of having neglected the interests of his subjects. By annihilating the trade of Holland with its independence, England, from its peculiar advantages, might be supposed to command the commerce of Eu­rope; whilst the wealth of America would provide it with resources, which might for ever defeat the designs of France against its power. But commerce is neither to be acquired by violence, nor kept by force; and the danger of American treasures had been even then ascertained, by their effect on Spain. In the most flat­tering light, the object of this treaty would prove, in the end, of no real advantage to the English nation; and it would, in the mean time, most certainly deprive them of their political freedom. The independence on parliament, which the possession of treasure might have given to the King, must have rendered the mo­narchy absolute; an abject system of government un­der any sovereign, but insupportable under a careless and dissolute prince. The King, however, extended not his principal views so far. Too indolent in his character, and unpersevering in his disposition, present relief from his distresses was with him a greater object than future advantage. Though the King of Spain was sickly, he might live many years; and Charles, by recent experience, had been convinced, that to re­duce the Dutch would at least be a task of difficulty.

Death of the Duchess of Orleans. The Duchess of Orleans did not long survive the signing of a treaty finished by her address. She died at St. Cloud, on the thirtieth of JuneU, after an ill­ness of a few hours. The suddenness of her death created a suspicion of poison; but it was found, upon opening her body, in the presence of the English am­bassador, and an English physician and surgeon, that there was no foundation for the reportX. To an uncommon degree of beauty and gracefulness of person, she joined the most alluring qualities of the mind. Her good sense could be only equalled by her address, and the clearness of her understanding surpassed by [Page 121] nothing but her greatness of soul. She was a stranger to vanity, but full of that excusable pride which guards her sex from meanness, There was a sweetness in her language, and a lively delicacy in her conversation, that gained her the hearts of all that heard her; and when she expired, she left scarce a dry eye in a court who are always thought to feel less than they ex­pressY. The openness of her manner rendered her suspected of an inclination to gallantry; and Lewis the Fourteenth was said to have carried his attention to her beyond the bounds of the affection due to a brother's wife. Charles, who loved her to excess, lamented her sincerely; but he was too fond of his connection with France to shew any symptoms of in­dignation, even when he suspected that unfair means had been used to accomplish her death. In her journey to Dover, the Duchess of Orleans was attended by a young lady of the name of Queroüaille, afterwards better known by the title of Duchess of Portsmouth. Lewis is said to have sent her, to secure the fluctuating friendship of Charles through the channel of his plea­sures. She made the expected impression on the King. His proposals were accepted. To preserve an appear­ance of decency, she went back with the Duchess; but, soon after the death of that princess, she returned to England, and used all the influence of her beauty in that country to serve the interest of her own.


Reflections—Character of the Cabal.—Buckingham in France.—Invasion of Lorrain.—A parliament.—Prince of Orange in England.—Attempt upon Ormonde.—Blood's attempt.—Coventry-act.—Scheme for a comprehension.—Death of the Duchess of York.—Transactions at court.—Quarrel with the Dutch.—Imperious conduct of Charles.—Em­bassies.—Exchequer shut.—Preparations for war.—Smyrna fleet attacked.—Promotions.—War de­clared.——Declaration of indulgence.—Battle of Southwold Bay.—Death and character of Sandwich.—Invasion of Holland.—Consternation of the Dutch.—Character of the Prince of Orange.—He is de­clared Stadtholder.—Tumults in Holland.—Murder of the De Wits.—Misfortunes of the Dutch.—Promotions.—Affairs of Scotland—of Ireland.—Reflections.—State of the nation.—A parliament.—Proceedings of the commons.—Indulgence recalled.—The test.—Designs to exclude the Duke of York. Character of Monmouth.—Defection of Shaftesbury.—Battles at sea.—State of the war.—Congress at Cologne.—Duke of York and Clifford resign.—Osborne made treasurer.—His character.—A par­liament.—Address against the Duke's marriage.—Proceedings.—Chancellor dismissed.—Duke of York's marriage.——A parliament.—Their proceedings, Peace with Holland.

year 1670 Reflections. IN England, the measures of the crown are so uni­formly ascribed to its servants, that the monarch frequently remains, without either censure or applause, at the head of the state. The minister is thought to ad­vise what he executes, and he only is the object of pu­nishment, or the subject of praise. Charles, though he can derive little reputation from that circumstance, was now the author of his own measures; and he chose his servants, from their boldness to act, more than from their wisdom to plan. In the course of a secret [Page 123] negotiation of three years, he discovered abilities wor­thy of a more noble object; yet he, at the same time, betrayed a want of principle, which would disgrace the most splendid designs. To deceive his allies, to dupe foreign powers, to shew a contempt for the faith of treaties, may derive some defence from great examples; but to adopt schemes too pernicious to be wholly laid open to such bold and profligate servants as he had chosen, was peculiar to this King. This prince seems to have carried the vein of humour, which distinguish­ed his private conversation, into his public transactions. In a contempt for the abilities of others, he delighted to use mankind as tools; and derive amusement, as well as advantage, from follies occasioned by his own want of sincerity. His desire of money was not, per­haps, more gratified with the sums which he received from Lewis the Fourteenth, than his taste for humour was satisfied at seeing that monarch becoming a kind of pander to his pleasures.

Character of the cabal. To carry into execution the secret treaty with France, Charles saw the necessity of employing more tools than those by whom it had been signed. Clifford and Arlington, though men of considerable parts, were not of themselves sufficient to carry forward such un­popular measures. Three others, of more boldness and superior profligacy, were admitted with them into the management of the great line of affairs. These were Buckingham, Ashley, and Lauderdale. This commit­tee of five were, by a puerile conceit, denominated the cabal, from the initials of their names; an appellation rendered odious to posterity by their measures. Honest in an uncommon way, they scarce, except Arlington, made any pretensions to principle; and this singularity in him proceeded less from virtue, than an inherent timidity of mind. The most of them had lost their regard to reputation, in their insatiable desires and an high opinion of their own abilities; being persuaded, that parts alone are sufficient to support the character of a ministry with the world.

Clifford. Clifford, whom his name has placed at the head of the cabal, deserved that pre-eminence from another cause. To a boldness, which shrunk from no political [Page 124] danger, he added an openness which approached to honesty. He was a violent enemy, yet a sincere friendA; and though his prejudices led him into errors, he atoned for them, in some measure, by avow­ing his conduct to the world. His eloquence in the house of commons brought him into notice; his in­timacy with Arlington raised him first into officeB. Ardent and impetuous in his councils, he deserved to be trusted from his spirit. His perseverance in any plan acquired to him a firmness in all. The only symptom of weakness which he exhibited, was his avowed adherence to a system of faith which the laws of his country did not recognize. But few men had then arrived at a degree of philosophy sufficient to re­move religion from the channel of their temporal con­cerns.

Arlington. Arlington supplied the place of extensive talents by an artful management of such as he possessed. Accom­modating in his principles, and easy in his address, he pleased when he was known to deceive; and his man­ner acquired to him a kind of influence, where he com­manded no respect. He was little calculated for bold measures, on account of his natural timidity; and that defect created an opinion of his moderation, that was ascribed to virtue. His facility to adopt new measures was forgotten in his readiness to acknowledge the er­rors of the old. The deficiency in his integrity was forgiven in the decency of his dishonesty. Too weak not to be superstitious, yet possessing too much sense to own his adherence to the church of Rome, he lived a Protestant, in his outward profession; but he died a Ca­tholic. Timidity was the chief characteristic of his mind; and that being known, he was even commanded by cowardsC. He was the man of the least genius of the whole party; but he had most experience in that slow and constant current of business, which, perhaps, suits affairs of state better than the violent exertions of men of great parts.

Bucking­ham. Though few could owe more to fortune than Buck­ingham, none ever made a worse use of her favours. [Page 125] Possessed of an ample estate, yet always in distress. A spendthrift without magnificence, extravagant with­out the least symptom of generosity. A man of un­common talents, yet subject to unaccountable weak­nesses. Superstitious in his disposition, yet believing in no religion. Lively in his wit without elegance, open and free without sincerity; destitute of principle, and a stranger to prudence. He was vain, but not proud; eager for reputation, but careless of honour; fond of debauchery, more than a lover of pleasure. He was versatile and various, subject to caprice and the slave of whim. In any other age or reign he might offend with the irregularity of his private life; but he never could have an opportunity of giving disgust by his in­fluence in public affairs. The King, with whom he had been brought up, had a kind of natural affection for him, till he abused it by frequent repetitions of acts of insolence and folly. At the restoration, he was the only person who had enjoyed that honour abroad, excluded from the councilD; and he owed afterwards the countenance of Charles to the irresistible vivacity of his conversation, and not to any opinion he enter­tained of his meritE. The influence which he ac­quired, immediately after his disgrace in 1667, was [...]oon lost. In the beginning of 1669, his unaccountable [...]ears of being assassinated by the Duke of York, estran­ [...]ed from him the mind of the King. He concluded [...]im absolutely madF, and ceased to communicate with him in any public affair. The Duchess of Or­ [...]eans, with whom he always retained his influence, re­ [...]onciled her brother to him during the conference at [...]overG; and though Charles despised his abilities [...] business, he thought him afterwards a proper tool [...] his worst designs.

Ashley. The Lord Ashley whose name stands the fourth in [...]e committee, was the first in abilities and extraordi­ [...]ry talents. Bound by no principle, and restrained [...] no ties, his uncommon parts, having room to play, [...]eared in their utmost force to the world. Bold and [Page 126] intrepid in his councils, yet full of address in his man­ner, he could execute with confidence, whatever he had planned with art. Naturally restless in his temper, he loved trouble, from its amusement; and though ambi­tious, he was fond of confusion, more as a field for action, than as the means of acquiring power. His knowledge of human nature was extensive. He was acquainted with the tempers of men, and commanded them through the channel of their ruling passions. Without the reputation of constancy, he gained the confidence of parties, through their opinion of his ta­lents; and though he deserted measures frequently, he never betrayed his friends. He was an eloquent speak­erH; but more subtle in his argument, than solid in his judgment; indefatigable in business, but versatile and changeable in his schemes. Measuring the rules of policy, by his own variable passions, he was attached to no political principle, to no particular system of go­vernment. Now a republican, now all for monarchy; to-day a supporter of liberty, to-morrow the slave of absolute power: and thus, though regularly under the dominion of his insatiable desires, he seemed always inconsistent with himself. During the first years of Charles, the attachment of the nation to their Sovereign deprived him of a field for exerting his abilities; which were only calculated to shine in times of tumult and confusion. He continued in office, more through the influence of the Earl of Southampton, whose niece he had married, than from any opinion of his political consequence. When Buckingham acquired influence, he attached himself to his councilsI; and this near approach to Charles, was the means of discovering to him talents, which he deemed suitable for executing his schemes.

Lauderdale. Lauderdale, though not equal in abilities to Ashley, was, at least, as careless about any principle in politics. His aukward and ungraceful figureK, was the coun­terpart of a rude and boisterous mind; which, how­ever, was improved, though not polished, by acquired [Page 127] talents. Obstinate, ambitious, and fierce, in his pub­lic conduct; an implacable enemy, and an inconstant friend in private life. Haughty, beyond measure. A tyrant to his inferiors; but to his superiors, an abject and submissive slaveL. With an appearance of blunt­ness, he was full of art; though his violent passions broke often through the veil with which he wished to cover his designs. His talents were considerable, his experience great; he was bold and fearless in the execution of his schemes. Though he was, from prejudice rather than principle, averse to despotism, and a friend to Presbytery, he extended, in Scotland, the prerogative of a kind of tyranny; and abetted the rigours of the church against his own favourite lectM. Fond of power, and necessitous from expence, he adopted every measure that gratified his ambition or relieved his wantsN. His readiness to humour his master in all his views, his spirit in supporting his worst and most dangerous measures, secured to him an ascendant over Charles; which, notwithstanding the opposition in their characters, he retained during the greatest part of this reign. The rest of the cabal, afterwards, either deserted or opposed the King: Lau­derdale's adherence to his Sovereign, terminated only in the decay of his own strength and understanding.

Bucking­ham sent to France. Such were the committee of his council, to whom Charles trusted his affairs. Without either an opinion of their fidelity, or attachment to their persons, they became his sole advisers in domestic measures, and his tools in foreign affairs. To secure the exertion of their abilities in the latter, he found it necessary to in­volve them in the secret treaty with France. But the sudden and suspicious demise of the Duchess of Or­ [...]eans, threatened to break his favoured scheme. Buck­ [...]ngham, who professed a wonderful attachment to that [...]rincess, became outrageous upon the news of her [...]eathO. He talked of nothing but a breach with France. He flew to all the foreign ambassadors, and, without authority, endeavoured to engage them in the [Page 128] expected warQ. In the mean time, the Marquis of Bellesfonds arrived, with compliments of condo­lence from the French King. Charles, who knew the character of Buckingham, proposed to send him in return to France; insinuating, at the same time, to Lewis, the propriety of gaining him to their se­cret schemes. The access to Buckingham was easy, through the channels of his vanity and avarice. The King of France assailed him through both. The Duchess of Orleans was soon forgot. He ran with eagerness into the views of the Kings; and Ashley, who still adhered to his councils, adopted, with lit­tle difficulty, the measure. A ridiculous farce was now begun. The treaty concluded at Dover, ex­cept in the article concerning the Popish religion, was brought again into negotiation, as originating from Buckingham. Charles employed the secret councils of the rest of the year, in imposing upon a servant scarce worthy of being deceived.

French in­vasion of Lorrain. While this pretended treaty was in agitation, Lewis formed his measures upon the faith of that already concluded. The invasion of Holland was the chief object of the alliance; and he took the first step toward the execution of the projected scheme. To the United Provinces from France, there were two ways for conducting an army. The one lay through the Spanish Netherlands, the other through the territories of the German Princes upon the Rhine. A voluntary passage through the first was not to be expected; and to force it would be both dangerous and tedious. The latter appeared to be attended with the least difficulty and most advantage. The petty princes of Germany might be insulted with safe­ty, or corrupted with ease. The Duke of Lorrain, as being the nearest, was the first attacked. To gain his concurrence was impossible, on account of the memory of former injuries. Lewis resolved to seize the dominions of a Prince, whom he could not hope to allure to his views. Besides, the duchy of Lor­rain was in itself a valuable acquisition as well as [Page 129] convenient for his other designs. In breach of the faith of treaties, in the height of security and peace, the Mareschal de Crequi entered Lorrain. He took Epinal, on the twenty-fourth of SeptemberR.—Chatté fell into his hands, on the sixth of October. The whole country yielded, with little resistance, to the force of a powerful and disciplined army.—The Duke, deprived of all his territories, took re­fuge in the city of Cologne.

The Parlia­ment meets. Europe was alarmed at an enterprize, which seem­ed to be the prelude of greater mischiefs. Lewis en­deavoured, in vain, to justify his conduct, by an allegation of dangerous intrigues in the court of LorrainS. His own ambition was known, and therefore the reason of the measure was obvious.—Men thought that the storm was to fall upon Flan­ders. The few who suspected the King of England of being privy to the invasion, dreamed of no de­sign against Holland. The moderate declarations of France, though they received not full credit, created suspense; and the States, though suspicious, took no vigorous measures for their own defence. In the mean time, the parliament metT; and Charles, by the mouth of the lord-keeper Bridgman, took advantage of the present situation of affairs, to de­mand a supply. He informed them, that both France and the States were busy in arming by sea and land; and that prudence dictated to the King to make suitable preparations. He urged that, from the situ­ation of the kingdom, as an island, the defence of its liberties, and the security of its commerce, lay in its strength at sea; and that therefore his Majesty, to preserve both, had given orders for the fitting out fifty of his largest ships, against the spring. He told them, that, besides, the King was obliged, by the leagues which he had made for the peace of Europe, to keep up a certain force, to preserve the public tranquillity, and to aid some of his neighbours, in case of invasion. Having enumerated many allian­ces [Page 130] finished since their recess, by his Majesty; he concluded with assuring them, that all the Princes in Europe sought the friendship of the King, and thought themselves insecure without his protectionU.

A supply granted. This house of commons, when not led by men who converted them into an engine of ambition, were attached to Monarchy, and fond of the King. In matters of toleration only, they remained uncom­plying to the views of the Crown. The speaking members had been either bought off with offices, or swayed from opposition by promises. On the twenty-seventh of October, the King's speech was taken under consideration; and, without one dissenting voice, a supply was voted proportionable to his present oc­casionsX. The house ordered a list of the parti­cular debts of his Majesty, at interest, to be laid be­fore them, by the commissioners of the treasury;—while the treasurers of the navy were, at the same time, directed to bring in an estimate of the charge of the fleet. Though the real designs of the crown were known to several, they were kept in profound secrecy from parliament and the nation. Even the un­retentive Buckingham himself was too deeply engag­ed in the treaty with France to disclose it to the world. The parliament, judging from the outward appearance of things, were deceived into a concurrence with the dangerous measures of the King. The debates con­cerning the funds for the supply retarded the progress of the bills for raising it; but no objection was made to its being ample, and even equal to the utmost wish of the King.

Prince of Orange in England. A few days after the meeting of parliament, th [...] Prince of Orange arrived in England. Men, wh [...] annexed importance to all the motions of Princes [...] formed various conjectures concerning the object o [...] his visit. He was treated by Charles with all th [...] marks of affection which that Prince invariably b [...] ­stowed upon his relations. He first intended to communicate to his nephew his treaty with France, whi [...] [Page 131] contained an article favourable to his ambition. In the proposed partition of the territories of the Dutch republic, care was taken to reserve a portion to form a sovereignty for the family of Orange. Charles found that the Prince was not to be trusted with his favourite schemes. He thought him too strict a Protestant, and a Dutchman too sincere, to adopt, even for his own advantage, a measure calculated to ruin the religion and government of Holland. In visiting the universities, in making progresses through the kingdom, he spent three months in England.—Though forbidding in his manner, and ungraceful in his person, his grave deportment procured him re­spect; and he was received by all with attention, though perhaps neither with affection nor with awe.

Attempt on the Duke of Ormonde. An incident rendered memorable an entertainment given on the sixth of December, by the city of Lon­don, to the Prince of OrangeY. The Duke of Ormonde having attended him thither, was attacked as he was returning home, through a dark night, by six ruffians on horseback, and well armed. Six footmen, who usually attended his carriage, had been either stopt by the contrivance of the assassins, or were by accident out of the way. He was forced out of his coach, and mounted behind one of the villains, who instantly rode away. The attack hap­pening in St. James's-street, the coachman drove to Clarendon-house, which stood at the upper end, and where the Duke of Ormonde then resided. The fa­mily was alarmed; and the servants arriving, ran to the rescue of their lord. The rider to whom the Duke was bound, embarrassed by his struggling, ad­vanced but slow; and he was at length unhorsed, and both fell together in the mud, beyond Devon­shire-house, just as Ormonde's servants arrived. Dis­engaging himself, the assassin discharged his pistol at the Duke, but he missed, and then, with one of his companions, rode off, and saved himself under the cover of nightZ.

[Page 132] Blood's crimes. Though the King issued a proclamation for the discovery and apprehension of the assassins, they re­mained unknown till they were detected by another crime. They formed, the succeding May, the ex­traordinary project of stealing the crown from the Tower of London: but some of them were taken in the attempt. The chief actor in both these despe­rate undertakings was one Thomas Blood, of Sarney, in the county of Meath. Notwithstanding his having received the gift of an estate from Charles the First, he served Cromwell, and had lands allotted to him for his arrears. Bold and daring by nature, he loved iniquity from its danger; and was fond of deriving reputation from his desperateness in crimes. In the year 1663, he was concerned in the conspiracy for surprising the castle of Dublin and for raising an in­surrection in Ireland. Expelled from his country, and deprived of his estate, he came to England, herded with the fanatics, and was ever ready in plots for the republican cause. His restless temper carried him also into Scotland, where he was present in the fight at the Pentland Hills. Escaping to Ireland, he was pursued there by the officers of justice: then return­ing to England, he signalized himself in Yorkshire, by rescuing some criminals from the sheriff's men, as they were leading them either to trial or exe­cutionA.

and pardon. Though Blood ascribed to hi [...] own resentment his attempt upon Ormonde, others surmised that he wa [...] instigated by Buckingham, that noble person's mort [...] foe. His refinement in vengeance looked like one o [...] Buckingham's whims; for it was to hang the Duk [...] at Tyburn, with a paper on his breast, that he ha [...] deferred to put an end to his life when he seiz [...] his person. The King, struck with the boldness [...] his latter attempt, expressed an inclination to [...] him examined. Blood was carried to court; and [...] had the address to improve an opportunity, whi [...] seemed to promise a certain pardonB. He rais [...] the admiration of Charles with a bold avowal of [...] his crimes. He wrought upon his fears, by dec [...] ­ing [Page 133] that he was one of many who had conspired against his life. He told him, that he had been en­gaged to kill him with a carabine above Battersea, where his Majesty was accustomed to swim; but that when he took his stand in the reeds to execute his purpose, his heart misgave him through awe. He magnified his own influence among the fanatics. He dwelt on the certainty of a severe vengeance, from his associates, should he suffer for his crimes. Charles forgave him, through a mixture of admiration and terror. He obtained the Duke of Ormonde's consent to his pardon. He conferred upon him an estate in Ireland equivalent to that which he had lost. Blood was admitted, in some degree, to the privacy of the King and intimacy of the court. The lenity of Charles degenerated, in this instance, into a mean­ness which was ascribed to fear.

Assault on Sir J. Co­ventry. In the evening of the twentieth of DecemberC, the day the parliament had adjourned for the Christ­mas-holidays, an incident happened, which was fol­lowed by some striking consequences. Though the commons had voted a supply, the charging it upon adequate funds was the subject of long debates. A motion made for taxing the theatres was opposed by the court-party, who said that the players were the King's servants, and a part of his pleasure. Sir John Coventry stood up and asked, ‘"Whether His Majesty's pleasure lay among the men or the wo­men players?"’ This piece of raillery was carried with aggravated circumstances to Charles. He re­ceived it worse than could have been expected, from his known good humour. He was hurt at a reflec­tion that bore so much upon his pride; for it was well known, that besides his mistresses of higher name, be entertained at the time two actresses, Mrs. Gwin and Mrs. Davis. Urged by the commands of the duke of Monmouth, or in hopes of gaining the fa­vour of the King, Sir Thomas Sandys, Obrien and other officers of the guards, waylaid Coventry upon his return at night to his lodgings. He defended himself for some time with courage. He was at length over­powered, [Page 134] and his nose slit to the bone. The offi­cers, after their exploit, returned to the Duke's house, where Obrien's arm, which had been wounded in the scuffle, was dressed.

Proceedings of the cabi­net, Though the commons were not then sitting, this dangerous breach on their privileges made a great deal of noise. The King either repented or disap­proved of the forward zeal of his servants. A coun­cil was called to meet at Lord Arlington's house on the twenty-sixth of DecemberF. The Duke of Buckingham proposed to the King, to send on Thurs­day the twenty-ninth for the commons to the house of lords, and to endeavour by a speech to lessen their resentment. The Duke of York seconded this mo­tion. Th152e whole council were unanimous. The heads of the speech were prepared, and read and approved the next day. Charles was to own that he had heard of Coventry's words, and of the con­sequent assault upon his person; and that he highly disapproved of both. He was to have acquainted them, that he was troubled at their permitting such disrespectful expressions to pass without punishment; that he expected an amendment in their conduct upon that head; that he was as tender as they themselves of their liberty of speech; and that it concerned him, as well as them, not to suffer his or their ene­mies to create a misunderstanding, which might oc­casion a dissolution of the present parliament. He was to conclude with a compliment. But on the twenty-eighth this resolution was laid aside. It was agreed the King should make no speech, and that the law should have its course without any obstruc­tion from the crownG.

1671. Coventry-act. The commons, who after a short adjournment met on the twenty-ninth of DecemberH, had or­dered a call of their house on the ninth of JanuaryI. When the name of Sir John Coventry was mention­ed, Sir Thomas Clerges gave information of the as­sault upon his personK. The house flew into a [Page 135] year 1671 violent flame. They entered into an immediate cog­nizance of the affair. They suspended all other bu­siness. They voted unanimously that they resented this fact, not only as a high breach of privilege, but an attempt of dangerous consequence to the King, the laws, and government, and destructive to the very essence and constitution of parliament. They ordered a bill to be brought in, upon the debates of the house, for setting a day, under the penalty of banishment, to Sir Thomas Sandys, Obrien, and the other actors in assaulting and wounding Coventry, to surrender themselves to public justice. This bill, which was passed with the utmost expedition, contained a clause which precluded the crown from pardoning the offenders. To maim or disfigure any person was ren­dered, for the first time, capital. The commons, having thus vindicated their privileges, applied them­selves to the money-bills, still depending in their houseL.

Parliament prorogued. Notwithstanding the application of the Commons to the supply, their progress was blow. Charles be­coming impatient, sent a message on the fourteenth of FebruaryM, to hasten the money-bills; but the house, in return, presented to him an address against the growth of Popery. The King, as usual, promis­ed to comply with their desires, and they were satis­fied. To three money-bills already passed, they add­ed a fourth, for impositions on foreign commodities. When the bills were sent to the lords, they thought proper to check the liberality of the commons, by making amendments. A dispute arose between the houses. The commons, deeming that the right of granting money was inherent in themselves, rejected all alterations; and the lords yielded to their reasons, with regard to the three first bills. The merchants of London petitioned the upper house against the fourth, as grievous and inconvenient to trade. The lords insisted upon making alterations; but the com­mons would yield to none. Frequent conserences were held. Resolutions were framed on both sides. The bill was stopt by this dissention. The King, [Page 136] eager to receive the money granted by the first three bills, came to the house on the twenty-second of April, and having passed them, prorogued the parlia­ment, to put an end to the dispute. The money granted this session has been variously computed. The most moderate extend it to a sum considerably be­yond two millionsN.

Scheme for a compre­hension. Comprehension being a favourite object in this reign, some steps were taken toward it, in the be­ginning of March, by the Bishops of Winchester, Sarum, and ChesterO. To make it palatable for the house of commons, it, was to have been intro­duced under another name and pretence. The plan was so artful, and the language so accommodating, that it was likely to pass without animadversions.—Many violent churchmen ran with warmth into the scheme, from an opinion that the whole bench of bishops were its friends. The project was defeated, by the joint efforts of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Duke of YorkP. The first opposed it, from his zeal for the church of England; the latter from his bigoned adherence to the tenets of the Ro­mish faith. To bring the Presbyterians within the pale of the church, was to put an end to that in­dulgence to sectaries, which preserved a degree of toleration for the professors of the Catholic religion. To this source ought to be traced the uniform ad­herence of this misguided Prince to toleration. He laboured to place the Papists on the same footing with other sects, to render them capable of holding offices, and, at length, to make converts through in­terest. The rack, the gibbet, the stake, he proba­bly never intended to use. He hoped to gain man­kind to his opinions, by rewarding them for quit­ting their own. The plan, in hands more able, might have succeeded; but the abilities necessary to carry it on would have prevented the folly of un­dertaking the scheme.

Death of the Duchess of [...]k. The first fruits of the Duke's zeal for the Romish religion appeared in the conversion of his wife. In [Page 137] the winter of the year 1670, the Duchess was first suspected to be a CatholicQ; though she, proba­bly, in private, had adopted the faith of Rome some time before. Zealous for the ordinances of the church of England, she had always received, once a month, the sacramentR, according to the establish­ed forms. In the illness in which she died, she not only discontinued the taking of the sacrament, but even the hearing of prayers. The King first observed this change; and, in the month of December, charg­ed his brother to keep concealed this change in her faith. After a growing corpulence, that threw her into a long indisposition, she expired on the twenty-second of March, 1671S. She was rather graceful than beautiful in her person; more dignified, than amiable in her temper of mind. She possessed the pride of her father, without his violent passions; his good sense, without his dilatory adherence to argu­ment. Bred under the Princess of Orange, she knew well what belonged to a courtT She was fond of state, and expensive in affecting shew. She was ge­nerous and faithful to her friends, but, from the same warmth of disposition, severe against her enemies. Though her husband was not faithful to her bed, she retained always her influence over his mind. The Duke, though deficient in his public virtues, was pos­sessed of those of domestic life. He invariably treat­ed her with becoming respectU, and, even after her death, paid the utmost attention to her family and friends. She had the good fortune to overcome the envy raised by her elevation with her dignified deport­ment; and had she adhered to her original faith, she would have died regretted by all.

Transac­tions at court. The summer of the year 1671 is peculiarly barren in events. Charles, in the month of June, made a kind of sea-progress along the coast, inspecting as he went the condition of naval affairsX. In the begin­ning of the year, the pretended treaty with France [Page 138] was concluded; the commissioners being the Pro­testant part of the cabinet, and the Duke of YorkY. Buckingham, the dupe and instrument of this second alliance, was busy in forwarding its object, in his own capricious way. He wished for a dissolution of par­liament; but Charles would not listen to the measure. He endeavoured, by fomenting the dissentions between the housesZ, to derive from the necessity of the thing what he had failed to obtain from his master by influence. The King contented himself with a sudden prorogation; and Buckingham was disappointed. The Earl of Manchester dying on the fifth of May, the Duke, notwithstanding his character, was chosen, in his place, chancellor of the university of Cam­bridge. Several bishops recommended him to that of­fice by letters, forgetting, in his power, his avowed aversion to all religion and principleA. The crea­tures of Buckingham copied, in their proceedings, the profligacy of their patron. Osborne and Littleton, joint treasurers of the navy, quarrelled about their fees. A council, called upon their differences, order­ed, that no treasurer of the navy should, for the fu­ture, receive any poundage, sign any agreements, or vote for any contractB; a necessary restraint, when corruption had ceased to be controuled by the fear of shame.

Peace with Algier. When the calm at home seemed to be the prelude of a storm, an action worthy of memory happened between the English and the Algerines. These pi­rates having long eluded the vigilance of Sir Thomas Allen, fell in with nine of their ships of war, with Sir Edward Spragge, his successor in the command of the fleet stationed in the Mediterranian. Taking shelter under the castle of Bugia, they put themselves in a posture of defence. The English, attacking them with their fire-ships, burnt some and took the rest [...] Another ship, of forty guns was, at the same time [...] taken and brought in by a cruizer. Spragge, afte [...] the victory, made the best of his way to block up th [...] [Page 139] port of Algiers. Confusion, insurrection, and revo­lution, prevailed ashore. Dey was assassinated after Dey. The divan consulted in arms, being besieged by the populace, who demanded peaceB. A new Dey having, at length, escaped the dagger, restored domestic tranquillity, by entering into a treaty with the English. The conferences ended in an honour­able and advantageous peace; and a period was put to a war, to which success itself could scarce give impor­tance.

Quarrel with the Dutch. Notwithstanding the profound secrecy observed with regard to the alliance with France, the steps toward a breach with the United States began now to discover the designs of the cabinet to the world. Sir William Temple, who had concluded the triple league, had continued as English resident in Holland for three yearsC. Neither his character for honesty, nor his regard to conscience, rendered him a fit instrument for carrying forward the changed measures of Charles. He was recalled, in the beginning of the year, upon a slight pretence. In July, his Majesty signified for­mally his revocation, in letters to the StatesD; and, in the month of August, a yacht sent for his wife and family surnished the first pretext for an unjustifiable war. The captain of the yacht had received strict or­ders from the admiralty to fire on any Dutch ship that should refuse to strike her sails. The Dutch fleet lay floating in the channel, and the yacht passing thro' them on her return, fired some shot upon their ne­glecting to strikeE. The Dutch admiral came on board to make his compliments to Lady Temple; but he refused to pay the demanded honours. He urged, that he had no orders from his masters upon that head; and that, had even the point been settled, he could not consider a boat of passage in the same light as a King's ship of war. The yacht pursued her course, and brought to the English court the news of a specious foundation for a complaint.

[Page 140] Imperious conduct of Charles. Though Charles and Lewis were resolved to adhere to their engagements, some alterations were now made in the conditions of the secret alliance. The vanity of commanding six thousand men, as an aid from England to France in the Dutch war, was one of the chief motives to the eagerness with which Bucking­ham entered into that scheme. Mountague, the Eng­lish ambassador, had induced Lewis to depart from that demand. Buckingham ascribed to private pique against himself a measure which Charles considered as a public benefit. Haughty, from an opinion of his being the first promoter of the alliance, he could not brook this disappointment to his ambition. He ab­sented himself from the court. He affected to be of­fended with the King. Charles, conscious of the si­nistrous tendency of the secret treaty, carried his be­haviour to those who signed it into a kind of insult. Having seduced servants whom he never loved, he tri­umphed over their folly; and expected, from their fear of detection, an exertion of their talents, which he could never hope to derive from their loyalty. He sent for Buckingham. He reprimanded him for his puerile forwardness. He told him, ‘"that, on occa­sions, where his private ambition interfered with the interests of the crown, he considered him no more than his dogG."’ He spoke in the same imperious terms to Lauderdale and Ashley; men whose pride could bear any thing, when it was not their interest to oppose.

Embasses to foreign powers. To support with foreign alliances, his domestie force, Charles sent ambassadors to the principal powers of Europe. Henry Coventry, in the month of Sep­tember, was dispatched to Stockholm, to sway the young King of Sweden from observing the triple alliance. He executed his instructions with such ad­dress, that Charles the Eleventh, who promised at first to remain neuter, took afterwards an actual part with France and England in the war. Sir Robert Southwell, on the thirtieth of October, went envoy­extraordinary to Brussels. The Earl of Sunderland, [Page 141] in the end of November, took Paris in his way to the court of Spain. To widen the breach with the States, Sir George Downing set out in the beginning of De­cember, with the title of ambassador, to the Hague. The rude pertinacity of Downing, and the aversion which arose, from a perfect knowledge of his charac­ter, among the Dutch, rendered him fit for a journey, the object of which was to find a specious pretence for war. His business was to complain, and not to nego­tiate; to denounce vengeance, more than to demand satisfaction. It was remarkable, that during the four years since the treaty of Breda, the Dutch had fur­nished no ground of complaint, except the resusal of their admiral, in the month of August, to strike to the English flag. Their fears of France had reduced them into a temper that wished to retain the friendship of England by their own moderation.

Necessities of the King. Though the sum granted in the last session of par­liament was ample, it was not equal to the necessities of the crown. The great remittances received from France were also lost, in the unaccountable vortex of old demands. The standing revenue, if even manag­ed with oeconomy, was inadequate to the common purposes of government; and now it was anticipated, by mortgages to money-brokers, bankers, and usurers. To remove these restraints was the first object of every supply. But one debt was scarce paid, when another was incurred. Distress was followed by diffi­culty; and Charles felt all the inconveniences incident to private extravagance, in his public profusion. The expence of the navy, as it could never be ascertained with precision, was peculiarly distressful to a govern­ment negligent of checks upon its servants. The amount of outlays on a land-force may be previously calculated, with some degree of certainty. No com­putation can be made of the accidents of tides and winds. The King was particularly sond of maritime affairs; but want of money forced him to neglect, in some measure, the navy, after the peace of Breda. Though near a million of the late supply was expend­ed on the fleet, fifty capital ships were not ready to put to sea. The inactivity of Charles through the [Page 142] year 1672 summer 1671 proceeded from his want of resources and the measures which he projected were too unpo­pular to hope for an aid from a parliament, whose meeting might now be attended with danger.

The exche­quer shut. To supply his immediate wants, the King adopted a scheme, as ruinous to his future convenience as it was contrary to the public faith. The shutting up the exchequer, attributed to the suggestions of AshleyK, and adopted by Clifford, is justly deemed, if not the worst, the most imprudent measure of the present reign. On the second of January, Charles issued a proclama­tion, suspending all payments upon assignations in the exchequer for one whole year. An explanation of the subject may throw light on the hardships attending a measure, which filled London with a general distrust and consternation. The goldsmiths, who then were the bankers, were accustomed to advance their money in the exchequer upon the security of the funds upon which parliament had charged their supplies. They derived, from the necessities of the crown, an ample interest for their loans; and they were repaid gradu­ally, as the money levied upon the public came into the exchequer. One million four hundred thousand pounds had been, at eight per cent. lodged in the trea­sury, upon the faith of the money-bills passed in the last session of parliamentL. This sum had already been expended upon the preparations for a war. To apply the funds, as they came in, to the same pur­poses, was the object of a measure that was adopted with such secresy, that the suddenness of the evil pre­vented its being preceded by fear.

Reflections. The murmurs of the people, the consternation of the citizens, the stagnation which distrust created in commerce, were lost on the King and his servants. Clifford was a man whom political danger could not intimidate. Ashley, the adviser of the scheme, en­joyed the confusion. Buckingham, in the absence of all principle, looked forward to the spoils of a coun­try which he laboured to enslave. The King was so much elevated, at his having his wants supplied with­out [Page 143] the aid of parliament, that he thought himself so sure of success, that he became careless of the com­plaints of his subjects. The conquest of the Dutch Republic, he supposed, would scarce furnish employ­ment for one campaign; and he could strike off, from that moment, the fetters that rendered him so uneasy at home. He, however, endeavoured to justify his conduct to the world. He signified the necessity of making preparations, suitable to those of his neigh­bours, as the only excuse for a measure, of which he pretended not to approve. He promised repayment, with six per cent. interest, at the expiration of the year. He probably intended what he said; for Charles was not, by nature, unjust. But he abhorred pecu­niary distress, and sacrificed principle to procure ease. Through the despair of a spendthrift, he became pro­fligate; and justified to his own mind, his worst schemes, by the necessities imposed by the parsimony of parliament.

Prepara­tions. Charles, provided with money, by shutting the ex­chequer, now seriously applied himself to preparations for a war. To man the fleet, it was proposed in the cabinet, to lay an embargo on all vessels outward bound. The Duke of York opposed this measure, as a stop to trade and a detriment to the revenue.M. To support his opinion, he undertook to man the fleet without any violence; provided the Newfoundland trade might be suspended for the season. Being destin­ed to command the fleet in person, he required only sixty English ships of the line, twenty frigates, and thirty French men of war to compose the main fleet. He urged that, in that case, a sufficient number of men and ships would be left for convoys; so that the war would create no interruption to commerceN. Tho' the ministry seemed to yield in some degree to his rea­sons, they afterwards issued a rigorous proclamation for pressing men. The Duke, by his indefatigable industry, performed his promise. The fleet was man­ned, with little restraint on sailors; and without any considerable obstruction to trade. To accommodate [Page 144] the merchants, Charles soon after exerted his prero­gative. He suspended the act of navigation, by his royal will and pleasure: a measure of apparent use to commerce, though as a precedent, dangerous. The King now acted in every thing as if he were absolute. He looked upon the success of the war as certain; and he hoped to become independent of a parliament, whose parsimony was the sole check on his power.

Attack on the Smyrna fleet. His first measure in the war met with little success; and it deserved no applause. The attempt upon the Smyrna fleet, was called piracy by the Dutch; and few English writers gave it a softer name. To attack an enemy, without a formal declaration of war, was not then justified by example; though it has fre­quently since been ascribed to spirit, or considered as the result of political prudence. Sir Robert Holmes, with seven frigates, was ordered to intercept the Smyrna fleet, as it passed through the channel. On the thirteenth of March, he descried them off Ports­mouth. They consisted of sixty merchant-men, under the convoy of seven ships of warO. They were prepared for defence. The Dutch, suspecting the de­signs of the court of England, had armed their mer­chant-men, to prevent a surprize. Holmes being a stranger to their strength, availed not himself of the aid of Sir Edw. Spragge, who passed in sightP, to­ward the Downs, with the fleet which he had com­manded in the Streights. He entertained also a private pique against Spragge, and he envied him a share in the glory which he hoped to acquire. The event was answerable to his folly. He engaged with courage, but he failed in conduct. The Dutch, in a running fight, defended themselves with spirit. Their admiral was at length killed, and his ship sunk. Four merchant ships, of little value, fell into the hands of Holmes. The rest escaped, in a fog, to their portsQ; and thus the King lost his reputation, without gaining any solid advantage.

War de­clared. Four days after this ineffectual attempt on the Smyrna fleet, war was in form declared against the [Page 145] StatesR. The French King followed the example of his ally, on the seventh of AprilS. Charles ad­vanced some frivolous reasons. Lewis ascribed his conduct to the demands of his glory. The first com­plained of commercial injuries, of a breach on the honours of his flag, of several infractions of the treaty of Breda. The latter expressed his resentment against the insolence of the Dutch ambassador, and the impertinence of the Dutch news-papersT. The declarations of both were as ill conceived, as their complaints were ill-founded. Without the boldness to avow, or the art to conceal their real views, they rendered their spirit as much suspected as their pru­dence. Charles, with an insult upon the common sense of mankind, declared his adherence to the treaty of Aix-la-ChapelleU, at the very time he broke thro' all the ties of the triple alliance. This artifice was intended to amuse the court of Spain; who, he ima­gined, might be kept in a state of neutrality, from a prospect of their own safety.

Declaration of indul­gence. Charles was as unfortunate in the reputation, as he was in the issue of all his measures. Having once fallen under suspicion, his best schemes were ascribed to the worst designs. His tolerant principles were in­variably construed into a bias toward Popery; and a fresh exertion of prerogative, in favour of the Dissen­ters, was scarce received by themselves, without jealousy and fear. On the fifteenth of March, he published, by advice of his council, a declaration of indulgence. His pretence was to establish union at home, upon the [...]ve of a foreign war. By virtue of the inherent [...]ower to which he laid claim, in ecclesiastical matters, [...]e suspended the penal laws against all non-conformists [...]nd recusants. He indulged Protestant dissenters with [...]aces of public worship. He restricted the Catholics [...] the exercise of their religion, in private houses. [...]o mollify the church of England, he declared his [...] adherence to its tenets; and that no person should [...] capable of holding any benefice or ecclesiastical [Page 146] dignity, who would not exactly conform to its faithX. The manner only of this indulgence was blameable. The King did by proclamation, what the parliament should have done by law. Though Ashley was the adviser of the measure, it was ascribed to the bigotry of the Duke of York; and the nation, entertaining that opinion, had some ground for their fears.

Promotions and ho­nours. To support the credit of his domestic measures, as well as to strengthen his hands in the war, the King called to his council several noblemen of popularity and reputation. The Marquis of Worcester, the Lords Hallifax and Falconberg took their seats at the board, on the seventeenth of April, together with the Earl of Essex, whom the King had declared lord-lieutenant of Ireland. The cabal were distinguished with more peculiar favoursY. The Earl of Lau­derdale was raised to a Dukedom, in the kingdom of Scotland. Lord Arlington was dignified with the title of Earl, Ashley created Earl of Shaftsbury, and Clif­ford made a Baron by the same name. The garter was given to Lauderdale and Arlington. Buckingham, having arrived at the summit of honours, was left to be rewarded by the generosity of France; whose measures he supported to the utmost pitch of his fluc­tuating abilities. In a perfect submission to the King, in a harmony created by fear, among themselves, the cabal managed the great line of business. Ex­cluded from the secret of affairs, the rest of the coun­cil only gave their authority to what they had not ad­vised. The Duke of York was absent with the fleet; and, even when present, his advice was seldom re­quired.

The Dutch at sea. De Ruyter, with seventy Dutch men of war, p [...] to sea, in the end of April. The Duke of York, who lay at the Nore, with forty ships of the line, re­ceived, at the same time, advice that the French flee [...] destined to join him, had sailed from Brest. Judgin [...] by the winds, that they were arrived in the chann [...] [Page 147] he weighed anchor, and was carried down the channel with a fresh gale at West. In the evening he had sight of the Dutch, off Long Sand Head. He stood to South; and, at night, the gale growing fresher and bad weather coming on, he came to anchor. When morning came, he gave no day-break signal for sailing, on account of the vicinity of the enemy. But the wind coming up at East, he passed in a thick fog by De Ruyter, without being seen; and joined, the next morning, the French, under D'Estrees, at St. Helens. He remained there two days to adjust mat­ters for action, and then sailed in quest of the Dutch. The Duke himself, in the Prince of one hundred guns, commanded the red squadron. Sir Edward Spragge in the London, a first rate; Sir John Har­man in the Charles; and the Count D'Estrees in the St. Philip, of between eighty and ninety guns, led on the white squadron; and the Earl of Sandwich, in the Royal James of one hundred guns, was admiral of the blueZ.

They sur­prize During the Duke's stay at St. Helens, the Dutch had retired to their own coast. They lay behind the Rumble sands, hoping to draw the English upon that dangerous bank. The Duke, perceiving the strong situation of the enemy, stood for the coast of Flan­ders. De Ruyter, the best seaman of his timeA, stood in for the banks; and, as his ships drew less water, deprived the English of an opportunity of fighting but to great disadvantage. The weather being very bad, the Duke repaired to Southwold bay, where he anchored to take in water and fresh provi­sions; declaring first to his admirals, that when the wind turned East, he was determined to put to seaB. He gave strict orders, in the mean time, that neither trader nor collier should be permitted to go round, for fear of falling into the enemy's hands; who, by that means, might gain intelligence how his fleet lay. A light ship, however, slipped by in the night. She was taken and carried to De Ruyter, who ordered his fleet to sail at day-break, to attack the English, un­prepared [Page 148] for the fight. The Duke perceiving the change of the wind, gave orders for the signal to stand out to sea, to be in a posture to receive the Dutch; but Sir John Cox, his captain, persuaded him that he had received certain intelligence from one of his crui­zers, that the Dutch lay, in the same unprepared con­dition, off the island of Gorée. Thus, on the twen­ty-eighth of May, was the Duke surprised, at two in the morning, by the Dutch fleetC.

the Duke of York. The captain of a French fourth-rate brought to the Duke the first intelligence of De Ruyter's approach. Having been out on a cruize the day before, his ship, a bad sailer, could not get in among the fleet the pre­ceding evening. He had been forced to come to an­chor a league to the eastward of the outermost ships, for fear of being driven to the leeward of the fleet, the wind being north-east, and a leeward tide. This circumstance furnished him with an opportunity of having the first knowledge of the enemy. As he was getting under sail, two Dutch scouts fell in with him; and though each was of equal force, they forbore to fire, brought to, and then stood away. He rightly judged that their fleet was not far astern. To give notice of the enemy's approach, he fired all the way as he stood in toward the English. At break of day, the Dutch were seen to the windward, bearing down on the Duke. Their first line and their fire-ships were nearer in with the shore. Their flag-ships were farther to sea. The Duke of York, on the first alarm, got his whole fleet under sail. He endeavour­ed to place them in their several stations in order of battle; but by reason of the leeward tide and east­wind, few could get in when the engagement began. Not above twenty of the red and blue bore the whole brunt of De Ruyter and Van Ghent's squadrons. The French were scarce charged at all by the Zealand squadronD.

Battle of Southwold bay. At eight of the clock in the morning the battle be­gan, the Dutch fleet having the wind. De Ruyter's squadron bore down on the red, commanded by the [Page 149] Duke of York. Van Ghent opposed himself to the Earl of Sandwich, who led the few ships of the blue that could fall into the line. The Dutch, using their chain-shot, and directing their fire to the rigging, dis­abled the Prince; and his Royal Highness was obliged to shift his flag on board the St. Michael, commanded by Sir Robert HolmesD. Two ships sent to burn the Prince were sunk by the Duke. But the Earl of Sandwich, after performing prodigies of valour, was burnt in the Royal James. In a close engagement with Van Ghent, he blew that admiral, and beat off his shipE. He sunk another ship which laid him on board. He sent to the bottom two fire-ships as they advanced. Of one thousand men on board, one half were said to be dead on the deck, before his ship was burnt by a third fire-ship. The Earl himself was drowned in endeavouring to swim to some other ship. There is no reason to suspect that he sacrificed his life to a reflection on his courage, uttered by the Duke of York. A difference of opinion could not have happened between them about putting to sea. The Duke was earnest for that measureF; though he suffered himself to be persuaded by the advice of othersG. Besides, his Royal Highness was too courteous and well-bred to use a harsh expression to a person of such high distinction, and his own second in command. He acknowledged the great merit of the Earl, a little before the battle, in a letter written with his own hand. Besides, the account which he gives of this unfortunate accident precludes every idea of his having any quarrel with the EarlH.

Dutch de­feated. The Duke, a second time disabled, was forced to go on board the London, commanded by Sir Edward Spragge. The battle declining on both sides, the two fleets lay by for the night. The Duke thought it right to retire in the morning. The Dutch, by way of bravado, followed him in his retreat: but he turn­ed upon them, and renewed the fight. Sir Joseph Jordan, in the mean time, gaining the weather-gage [Page 150] of the enemy, De Ruyter fled. The Duke pursued him to his own coast. Fifteen of his disabled ships, left in his rear, could only be saved by a sudden fog. The English hung close on his flight. Foul weather prevented next day a renewal of the fight; and the Dutch retired to their ports. The Duke cruized for a fortnight between the Vly and the Texel, remaining master of the sea: but the weather being uncom­monly foul, the Dutch East-India fleet had the good fortune to pass him unseen in a storm. In this battle, where twenty shipsI only were engaged on the side of the English, the Dutch had manifestly the worst: most of their great ships were miserably shattered; one was sunk by the Earl of Sandwich, and another by Sir Edward Spragge: one vessel of force was taken, another was burnt in the line; and several ships that were missing, were thought to perish in the succeeding storm, through the damage which they had received in the fightK. The English lost only one ship, the Royal James; but several were disabled, and more than seven hundred men slain. Their vic­tory, however, was followed by no striking conse­quence. The fate of states ceased to be decided by naval engagements ever since the battle of ActiumL.

Character of the Earl of Sand­wich. Though the English were confessedly victorious, the loss of the Earl of Sandwich might be considered as a partial defeat. To the highest reputation for courage, he joined a coolness seldom annexed to the fervour of personal valour. His knowledge in naval affairs could be only equalled by his address in the bu­siness of the cabinet, though his unintriguing dispo­sition rendered him unfit for the secret councils of Charles. He was affable in his deportment, liberal without vanity, and a lover of magnificence without profusionM. His turn for mechanics induced him first to engage in a sea life. He served his country during the republic, without sharing in the councils, by which, under the mask of liberty, it was in a great measure enslaved. The great part which he took it [Page 151] the restoration of monarchy, secured to him, through­out his life, the attention of the King, which was even continued to his remains. His body, discovered by the order on his coat, was found floating in the sea after the action, and conveyed to Harwich. Being brought to Deptford on the third of July, it was was buried, at the expence of the King, with great funeral pomp, in King Henry the Seventh's chapel, in the same vault with the Duke of Albemarle. He might have escaped from the ship with the captain and many of his crew, who were saved, but he is said to have preferred death to the risque of being taken and carried to Holland in triumph.

Progress of France. During these operations at sea, a strom more dread­ful was fast advancing on Holland by land. The King of France, dividing into three bodies an army con­sisting of 120,000 men, put them all in motion in the beginning of May. The first he led in person, with the famous Turenne. The Prince of Condé com­manded the second; the Count de Chamilli the third. The latter took Maseic on the fifteenth of May. Or­soi fell into the hands of the King on the third of June. Burich yielded to the arms of Turenne. Rhim­berg opened its gates on the sixth of the month to Lewis. Beauviré seized Doëtkum on the eighth. Grool was taken on the ninth, by the troops of the Bishop of Munster. The twelfth of June was signa­lized by the passage of the Rhine. Turenne became, three days after, master of Arnheim. Shenk, which cost a siege of nine months to the Dutch, when they took it from Spain, fell in less than half that number of days into the hands of that great commander. Utrecht submitted on the twentieth to Lewis. Does­bourg, Deventer, and Zuvol surrendered to the Bishop of Munster. On the ninth of July, Nimeguen was taken by Turenne Naerden, within nine miles of Amsterdam, fell on the twelfth into the hands of the Marquis of Rochesort. The fate of the States hung on the edge of a moment. Had Rochefort taken pos­session of Muyden, Amsterdam would fall, and with it the republic of HollandN.

[Page 152] Reduction of three provinces. The progress of Lewis, like the course of an inun­dation, levelled every thing, then covered all. March­ing forth to conquest rather than to war, he carried the magnificence and gaiety of a court to the field. With all the triumphs of a victor he entered Utrecht; though he owed more to the unprepared state of the enemy than to his own conduct. Surrounded with flatterers and attended by poets, to celebrate his ex­ploits, he gave scope to that vanity, which in him was a kind of virtue. To men who measure merit by suc­cess, there certainly appeared a foundation for fame. In the course of a few weeks, the three provinces of Gueldres, Utrecht, and Overyssel had submitted to the arms of France. Frieseland and Gronighen were invaded by her ally, the Bishop of Munster. The ma­ritime provinces, Holland and Zealand, only remained free. Forty fortified cities either opened their gates through terror, or, after a faint resistance, surrendered without terms. Europe was struck with astonishment rather than with admiration. The Dutch, unmanned by their fears, left almost a bloodless victory to Lewis. The enemy, by their cowardice, deprived the con­queror of glory; and seemed, by their spiritless con­duct, to be even unworthy of their independence.

Unprepared state of the Dutch. Though the Dutch had foreseen a tempest, which now broke on them with such violence, their prepara­tions were dilatory and feeble. Divided into factions, every scheme for defence was either opposed, or ren­dered ineffectual, by being retarded. Terror itself could not establish unanimity among parties embittered against each other by a long opposition. The Louves­tein faction, who carried in their very appellation the memory of an injury, were the most numerous, and headed by the pensionary De Wit. The adherents of the Prince of Orange, weakened by a long minority, began to acquire strength and consequence, from their leader's character and years. These two parties, to­gether with a third, who affected a kind of neutrality, comprehended the whole body of the States. The moderate faction, impressed with a sense of danger, or in hopes to regain the favour of the King of Eng­land, joined the friends of the Prince of Orange; and on the twenty-fourth of February he was raised [Page 153] to the dignity of Captain-general and Admiral of the United Provinces. The perpetual edict by which he was excluded from the Stadholdership, however, re­mained unrepealed. The opposition of parties con­tinued; and the interest of the public was neglected in their animosities.

Character of the Prince of Orange. The Prince of Orange began now, for the first time, to display a character as singular in itself as the fortune of his life was extraordinary. To a gravity and silence which distinguished his early youth with the prudence thought peculiar to years, he joined a firmness in all his measures that bordered on obstinacy. Without a constitution for pleasure, his chief object was an am­bition for power and a great name. Destitute of those brilliant parts which dazzle the world, he acquired weight with mankind by the solidity of his understand­ing. His personal courage was tempered with circum­spection and coolness; his slowness in action corrected by his perseverance. In his carriage and manner he was rather respectable than dignified, more decent than amiable in private life. Phlegmatic in his dispo­sition, he was subject to no passion in the extreme; and the same cause that exempted him from vice, ob­scured the lustre of his virtues. Born with abilities for the cabinet, but with no great talents for the field, his policy, perpetually at war with his fortune, at length prevailed; and though he scarce ever won a battle, he frequently reaped all the advantages of victory from defeat. Though he cannot be accused of wanton ty­ranny, he was extremely fond of power; he sacrific­ed his virtue to his ambition; and, without any gla­ring injustice, frequently descended to meannesses to accomplish his favourite designs. He was happy throughout his life in his opponent. The mad bigotry of James the Second might have furnished a field of triumph for abilities more circumscribed than those of the Prince, as the former had at once to contend with the favourite passions of his own people, and the art of his rival. Upon the whole, though great things resulted from the conduct of the Prince of Orange, he was not possessed of those brilliant qualities which are generally deemed necessary to constitute a great man.

Consterna­tion of the States. The States owed their safety more to the want of conduct in Lewis, than to the abilities of the Prince of [Page 154] Orange. Unprovided with an army, and adding con­sternation to their weakness, they were actually what they seemed, an easy prey. De Wit, who had govern­ed their councils for many years, carried his private prejudices into his public conduct. In opposition to the power of the house of Orange, he discouraged a land force, and threw the whole strength of the mari­time provinces into the navy. Trusting to the weak­ness of Spain, and fortified by their ancient alliance with France, the States themselves had, ever since the peace of Westphalia, been extremely negligent of their troops. A shew of an army was kept up, but it was altogether destitute of discipline, and ignorant of every military duty. Though the troops were encreased be­fore the arrival of the French, to seventy thousand men, they were so raw and timid, that the Prince, not daring to shew them to the enemy, retired to the province of Holland, whilst Lewis took at his leisure almost all the fortified towns of the upper Provinces.

Prince of Orange de­clared Stadt­holder. In proportion as the danger advanced toward the province of Holland, the vulgar became outrageous through their fears. The States themselves lost their presence of mind. De Wit, declining in his credit, could no longer animate his countrymen to their own defence: on the contrary, they now attributed their misfortunes to his neglect of the army. All persons ran with violence into the party of the Prince of Orange, and seemed to think that the very being of the States depended upon his abilities. Amsterdam alone retained some appearance of spirit. They open­ed their sluices, and laid their whole country under water. But the safety derived from that barrier against the enemy could not infuse courage into the dejected States. The body of the nobles and eleven towns voted to send ambassadors to implore the pity of the two Kings. They offered to surrender all the frontier towns which lay beyond the limits of the seven pro­vinces, and to pay a considerable sum toward the charges of the war. Lewis, left by Turenne, who had marched into Germany, was led in his councils by de Louvois and de Pomponne. The violence of [Page 155] the former saved the StatesP. His unreasonable de­mands threw them into a despair, which overcame their fears. The people rose at Dort, and forced their magistrates to sign the repeal of the perpetual edict. The other cities followed their example, and on the fifth of July the Prince of Orange was raised to the Stadtholdership of the unconquered provinces.

Proposals of France and England re­jected. The deputies of the States to the King of England arrived at London on the twentieth of JuneQ. They carried, in their own appearance, the distress of their country. The people, moved by pity, re­ceived them with attention and friendship; but the court treated them with indignity, if not with con­temptR. Under a pretence that they came with­out either leave or passport, they were ordered to re­tire to Hampton-court, till the King should think fit to allow them an audienceS. Charles, having determined not to treat without the consent and concurrence of Lewis, appointed Buckingham, Ar­lington, and Lord Halifax, to be his ambassadors extraordinary, to join the deputies of France in offering peace to the DutchT. The commission of the plenipotentiaries was dated on the twenty-first of June. The next day the Duke of Monmouth, then at the court of Lewis, was joined with them in a separate commission; and, on the twenty-third, they sailed from the Buoy at the Nore. Ar­riving at Maesland-sluys, they were received with the utmost joy by the Dutch. Men, women, and children, in a manner incumbered their journey, by crowding round their carriages. Having passed thro' the Hague, they waited upon Lewis at Utrecht. The terms required by the commissioners of the two Kings amounted to an annihilation of the independence of the States. They were rejected, at the instance of the Prince of Orange, who was said to have been tempted in vain to sacrifice his country to his own ambitionU. The English ambassadors returned on the twenty-first of July. Lewis, impatient for the flattery of his sub­jects, [Page 156] directed his course through Flanders to Ver­sailles.

The De Wits mur­dered. The war languished upon the departure of the French King. The Dutch, though safe behind their inundations, were still distracted with terror and torn with faction. The Populace, ascribing their misfor­tunes to De Wit and his brother the bailiff of Putten, placed all their confidence in the Prince of Orange. A barber, in the beginning of August, accused the younger De Wit of having made him large offers for poisoning the Prince. The magistrates intimidated by the mob, put him to the torture on this improbable charge. He bore it with an undaunted spirit: but he was stript of his employments, and banished for life. The pensionary, who had resigned his office, supported his brother through the whole proceeding. He resolv­ed to conduct him out of town in his own coach, and to take a part in his disgrace. The mob assem­bled. They forced open the prison doors. They wounded, mangled, and trod to death the brothers. They dragged their bodies through the streets, then hanged them by the heels on a gibbet. The utmost barbarity was added to the most savage cruelty.—Wretches, who could not approach the bodies them­selves, gratified their inhuman revenge, by buying pieces of the flesh from others. A toe sold for ten stivers, an ear for double that sum, and a finger for twelve. This brutal commerce continued throughout the day. At midnight the mangled remains, deserted at length by the mob, were removed and privately buriedX.

Character of the Pension­ary. Such was the miserable end of De Wit; a man more remarkable for his activity, and a sincere love for the liberties of his country, than for his extensive talents. A fixed aversion to the power of the house of Orange seems to have been the ruling principle of his mind. His father was one of the six deputies whom William the Second arrested and confined in the castle of Louvestein. The hatred of the parent descended to the son. The connection of the royal [Page 157] family of England with the Prince of Orange threw De Wit into the arms of France. He was the dupe of her councils for several years. Though he was rouzed into terrors for his country by the mea­sures which gave being to the triple league, he re­verted, in some degree, to his connections with Lewis. Ill informed of the motions of foreign courts, or swayed by his prejudice against a standing army, he left his country exposed to insult, and even in dan­ger from conquest. His preparations were too late, and they were languid when they began. The first circumstance ought to be ascribed to himself; the latter arose from the difficulty of his situation. He was, upon the whole, an honest, though, perhaps, not a great statesman; and his hard fate proves how little his countrymen deserved his affection and his virtues.

Prince of Orange un­successful. The first attempt of the Prince of Orange, neither answered the hopes of the Dutch, nor gave to him­self reputation. The Duke of Luxembourg forced him, on the twelfth of October, to raise the siege of Woerden, with the loss of fifteen hundred soldi­ersY He met with the same untoward fate at Charleroy. He failed in his attack upon Swartsluys, after losing many menZ. With troops terrified and unexperienced, he could make no impression upon on enemy elevated with success and disciplined to far. The Dutch, unmanned by their terror, seem­ed to trust their safety to the fears of other states. The motions of the Emperor, though he was jealous of the progress of France, were, like his genius, unde­ [...]sive and slow. The march of the Elector of Bran­ [...]enburgh brought the first relief to the States. Tu­ [...]nne moved to oppose him with twelve thousand [...] A. The Bishop of Munster, anxious for his [...] territories, raised the siege of Groninghen, and [...]red home. No action happened during the whole [...]paign on the side of Germany. Turenne, with [...] the movements of an experienced commander, [...]anced without bloodshed. He stopt the progress [Page 158] of the enemy, and, before the winter, placed his quarters at Hoxter.

Promotions. The naval operations between the English and the States seemed to have terminated with the battle of Southwold Bay. The Duke of York, unable to force De Ruyter to action, returned to court. Se­veral promotions of consequence were made in the highest departments of the state, in the month of November. Sir Orlando Bridgman, the lord-keeper, resigned the great seal, on account of his infirmities and yearsB. The Earl of Shaftsbury was made lord chancellor of England; being succeeded, as chan­cellor of the exchequer, by Sir John Duncomb.—The office of lord-treasurer remaining void since the death of the Earl of Southampton, was conferred upon Lord Clifford. The Earl of Arlington was discontented at this latter promotionC. He asked the staff of Charles, but he received an answer which hurt his pride. The King told him, that he loved him too well to conser upon him an office for which he had no abilities, and which would occasion his ruin, by exposing him to the malice of his enemiesD. The disappointment estranged Arlington from the measures of the cabal. He, however, remained in their councils; and suppressed, for the time, his re­sentment. Sir John Trevor dying in the end of May, was succeeded in July, as Secretary of State, by Sir Henry Coventry, who derived his claim to office from his success in detaching the King of Sweden from the triple alliance.

Affairs The affairs of Scotland, during five years, furnish little of importance, and nothing of amusement.—They consist of the obstinacy of sectaries, and the impolitic interference of government in the concerns of the church. After the suppression of the Cove­nanters, in 1666, Charles, willing to humour the people, shewed an inclination to compose the reli­gious differences which distracted their minds. He tried the scheme of comprehension, which had failed in England. He followed it with a declaration of indulgence. Neither had any effect on zealots, who [Page 159] were as intolerant in their own principles as those of whom they complained. Some expelled preachers refused to be settled in vacant churches. The rest rejected an annual bounty offered by the King.—Conventicles multiplied daily. The Covenanters met in arms, in their usual places of worship. Preachers preferred their influence over a deluded people to the quiet exercise of their religious service. Confusion, clamour, and fanaticism prevailed. Government being slighted, became enraged; and by resuming a part of its former rigours, increased the flame.

of Scotland. Lauderdale was appointed commissioner to the par­liament, which met on the nineteenth of October, 1669. His speech consisted of two heads. He re­commended the preservation of the church, and an union with England. The parliament, offended at the insolence of the sectaries, declared by an act, that the right of governing the church was inherent in the crown. Another act settled the number of the militia at twenty-two thousand men. This force was to be constantly armed, and regularly disciplined.—They were to be held in readiness to march to any part of his Majesty's dominions, to establish his autho­rity, and to support his greatness. These two acts ren­dered the crown absolute in Scotland, and even fur­nished it with the means of becoming formidable in England. The King, by the first, was rendered mat­ter of the church; by the latter, he commaded in all temporal affairs. A severe act against conventi­cles followed these arbitrary laws. Ruinous fines were appointed to be levied on those who met to worship in houses. But field-preachers and their hearers were to be punished with death. Laws that are too severe defeat their own purpose. The fanatics were outra­geous; and became, through persecution, more ena­moured of their own tenets.

Affairs of Ireland. The Duke of Ormonde, removed from the govern­ment of Ireland by the intrigues of Buckingham, was succeeded in that department by the Lord Robertes. This nobleman owed his promotion to the new measures, which induced Charles to remove from his councils the old cavaliers. Robertes, who had serv­ed against the late King, retained his former poli­tical [Page 160] principles, though he had yielded to the change of the times. Morose and sullen in his disposition, and disagreeable in his manner, he was not likely to reconcile to himself the minds of the Irish, after the polite and dignified carriage of the Duke of Ormonde. Having endeavoured in vain to acquire popularity, he resigned the government of Ireland to the Lord Berk­ley, in the May of 1670. Robertes, deprived of his office of privy seal, retired to his estate in Cornwall, and led a private life. Berkley supported the measures of Ormonde, and gained the confidence of the people. A kind of tranquillity, which sprung more from a fear of confusion than the absence of discontents, subsisted in Ireland. The Roman-Catholic bishops, depending upon their influence at court, became arrogant. But the house of commons in England, discovering an in­clination to animadvert upon Talbot, the titular Arch­bishop of Dublin, they resumed their former modera­tion.

Reflections. To live in times and to read of their transactions, suggest different and sometimes opposite ideas to the human mind. Measures pass without reprehension in common life, that would offend in narration; and those who are deemed bad members of society in his­tory, are often treated, by their own cotemporaries, with a degree of applause. The cause of this is as ob­vious as the fact itself is true. Public transactions are slow in their succession, and the motives which pro­duced them are unknown. The impression made by one evil is obliterated before another arrives. Man­kind are deceived by the speciousness which is generally given to the worst measures. They see but a part of the great machine of government, as it moves before them; and that partiality, which people naturally en­tertain for their country, justifies to them its most ex­ceptionable conduct toward foreign powers. Time, by unveiling the secret springs of action, opens a field either for censure or applause. But both are frequent­ly ill applied. To judge of the measures of the last age by the feelings of the present, may be as unjust, as it would be unreasonable to expect the same strict adherence to virtue in states which we commend in individuals.

[Page 161] on the state of the na­tion, Though the conduct of Charles, in the second Dutch war, pleased not the thinking few, it raised no violent resentment among the body of the people. The arbi­trary measure of shutting the exchequer created private murmurs, but produced no public remonstrances. The jealousy of trade rendered the city of London cold with regard to the fate of the Dutch. The prior conduct of that people claimed no love from the Eng­lish in general. Haughty in their prosperity, and un­principled, as a state, through the love of gain, they had formerly extended their injuries through every channel of commerce. Their moderation of late years was ascribed to fear, and not to justice; and the me­mory of the insult with which they closed the last, recommended the present war from a motive of revenge. The inequality in force visible between the contending parties, the manifest injustice on the side of their ene­mies, entitled the Dutch to pity; but even that passion, notwithstanding the ancient animosity against France, excited no symptom of dangerous discontent.

and the Dutch war. It is remarkable, that the Dutch war, though it seemed to promise much, was destined to produce nei­ther important event nor great character. The vanity of Lewis saved the States from the efforts of his am­bition. His idle parade in entering Utrecht employed as much time as might have reduced Amsterdam. Charles, with all the power of England, made little impression on a people already subdued by their own unmanly terrors. A season uncommonly stormy broke the designs of the English navy, and frustrated an in­tended invasionD. The elements conspired against the ambition of the two monarchs; and a kind of miracle saved a nation, whose timidity seemed to have abandoned them to supernatural protection. Even the Prince of Orange, with all the advantages of his situa­tion, made no striking figure. The firmness with which he rejected the offers of the confederate Kings proceeded from his prudence, as much as from his pa­triotism. The season for reducing Holland was past, the moment it was delayed. The empire, though flow [Page 162] in its aid, was already in motion. Winter, it was cer­tain, would continue the inactivity which the inunda­tion had begun. The power which he already en­joyed by the suffrages of his country, was, in every view, less precarious and more honourable than that which should depend on princes, who had already sa­crificed faith to their ambition.

Parliament meets. Charles, when he hoped to put an end to his dif­ficulties by the Dutch war, found himself involved in accumulated necessities by that measure. The sums retained in the exchequer, and the large subsidies re­mitted from France, were unequal to the vast charge of the navy, and the demands of his own extravagance. He resolved to call together his parliament. They met at Westminster, on the fourth of February, 1673, after a recess of near two years. Sir Edward Turner having been made chief baron of the exchequer, the commons proceeded to the election of a new speaker. Their choice fell on Sir Job Charlton, whom they presented the next day to the King for his approbation. His Majesty's speech partook of the firmness which had hitherto distinguished the councils of the ministry. He mentioned the necessity, the importance and ex­pence of the war; he made no doubt of the effectual aid of his commons to prosecute it with vigour. He informed them, that their last supply had not been found adequate to the discharge of his debts. He therefore recommended them again to their special care. He mentioned the indulgence to Dissenters, and his fixed resolution to adhere to his declaration. He made so light of the jealousy that had spread abroad against the forces raised for the war, that he told them he must levy more in the course of the spring, and that he doubted not but they would con­sider the charge of them in their supplies. He con­cluded with assurances that he was resolved to protect the Protestant religion, and that no man's property or liberty should ever be invadedE.

The Earl of Shaftesbury, as lord chancellor, enlarged with eloquence upon every article of his Majesty's speechF. To much flattery of Charles, and a [Page 163] great deal of abuse on the Dutch, he added some new matter of his own. He excused the shutting of the exchequer by the necessity of the thing, and the benefit resulting from it to the service of the nation. He informed them, that the King was, in honour and interest, concerned in seeing the bankers repaid, with the six per cent. promised upon the money during the stop. But he desired the commons to give only the second place to that business; and first, to settle the necessary supply for carrying on with vigour the war. He defended the declaration of indulgence, with all the obvious arguments. He urged the necessity of augmenting the number of the forces. With a pero­ration full of rhetoric, he concluded his speech, expres­sing his hopes, with an assurance suitable to his cha­racter, that ‘"the triple alliance of King, parliament, and people, might never be dissolved."’ Some discon­tented whispers among the commons suggested a new article, which the King added to his speech. The chancellor, to accommodate some of his creatures with seats in parliament, had issued new writs from his of­fice for the election of members, in the place of those who had died during the recess. The King told the commons, ‘"that though he entertained no doubt that the thing was justified by precedents, he desired them to suspend all other business, till they should examine that particularG."’

Proceedings of the com­mons. The commons, retiring to their house, took into consideration the matter of returning members since the last sessionH. They came to a resolution to su­perfede all the writs issued by the chancellor, for the election of persons to serve in parliament. A motion made for appointing a committee to examine precedents, was over-ruled by a considerable majority. The seats filled by the artifice of Shaftesbury, were declared va­cant. The speaker issued his warrant to the clerk of the crown, to make out new writs; and the right of issuing such warrant, was declared to be inherent in the speaker of the house of commons. Though the mi­nistry seemed to have dropt the measure as indefensible, [Page 164] year 1673 the minority were more than one hundred, out of two hundred and sixty members that were present. The house went the next day upon the supply. They voted twelve hundred and sixty thousand pounds, by an assessment of eighteen months; and they ordered a bill for that purpose, to be immediately prepared by the attorney-general. This supply, so inadequate to the wants of Charles, was to be accompanied in its pro­gress through the house, by demands for the redress of grievances. To grant no supply, might have oc­casioned a dissolution; a measure much desired by Buckingham and Shaftesbury, to forward, by the means of confusion, their own private designsI.

Declaration of Indul­gence recall­ed. On the tenth of FebruaryK, the commons began to consider the declaration of indulgence; and, on the fourteenth, an address against it, prepared by a com­mittee, was read and approved of by the house. In the most decent terms, they informed the King, that pe­nal laws, in matters ecclesiastical, can only be suspend­ed by act of parliament; and they humbly besought his Majesty to give such directions as might remove the apprehensions and jealousies of his faithful subjects. The chancellor and Buckingham, who to gain the DissentersL, had advised the measure, were for sup­porting it with vigour. The King himself, whose pride was hurt by this animadversion on his conduct, was inclined to adhere to his declaration. But the bill of supply had not yet passed into a law; and he must ei­ther give up the indulgence or the war, having en­deavoured in vain to soothe the commonsM. The King of France, apprized of his resolution, induced him, by his ambassador, to comply with the com­monsN, for the sake of the supply. On the seventh of March, Charles cancelled, with his own hand, the declaration. The people, elevated at this victory over the prerogative, expressed with bonfires and illumina­tions their tumultuous joy.

[Page 165] Bill of ease lost in the house of lords. To soothe the King, and to please the Dissenters, the commons accompanied the progress of their re­monstrances, with a bill for the ease of the Protestant non-conformistsO. It passed the lower house; but, retarded by amendments, it was lost in the house of lords. The Dissenters themselves seemed less anxious for ease in their worship, than for the revocation of an indulgence, which placed the Papists on similar footing with themselves. The zeal of the commons proceeded more from their fears of that sect, than from the more serious danger of the King's dispensing power. In their remonstrance of grievances, they make no men­tion of several acts that had been suspended by procla­mation, in the preceding year. The capital faults in the measures of the crown, were also either neglected or forgot. The breach of the triple alliance, the con­nection with France, the shutting the exchequer, were passed over like common transactions. Popery was the terror and sometimes the disgrace of the present reign. Had the Duke of York continued Protestant, had Charles himself, like his father, adhered with firm­ness, and even with enthusiasm, to the church of Eng­land, he might have enjoyed all the affluent ease, which seems to have been the sole object of his life. But the folly of the Duke, in avowing publicly the system of religion which his weakness had adopted, gave a just ground of jealousy to the nation. The professions of the King, in favour of toleration, were invariably as­cribed to his partiality to a particular worship, notwith­standing his professed indifference to all religion.

Jealousies concerning the Duke of York. The apprehensions of Popery which prevailed Among the commons, were converted into a political engine against the Duke of York. The strict adherence of that unfortunate Prince to his own narrow opinions, became as dangerous to his enemies as great talents. He suspected the principles of several of the cabal, and he was at no pains to feign for them any regard. Though the declaration of indulgence favoured the Bapists, he was averse from the measure, as formed by Buckingham and ShaftesburyP, to accomplish their own views. The nation, ignorant of this circumstance, [Page 166] ascribed to the Crown's favour for popery, a scheme framed by a part of its servants to gain influence for themselves. The law for imposing a test on all who should possess any public office, was carried forward by different men for various designs. The bulk of the nation favoured it, as the best bulwark against Po­pery. A part of the ministry abetted it in secret, as an expedient to remove, from all their employments, the Duke of York, and the lord-treasurer. The obstinacy of the first was not more the object of their terror, than the daring abilities of the latter. Clifford avowed his attachment to the power of the crown, and he possessed courage to support its most arbitrary measures.

occasion the test. The Duke of York, though he continued to attend his brother to public worship, had declined to take the sacrament, according to the forms of the church of EnglandQ. The thin veil which he had thrown over his conversion was removed; and he openly avowed what he could no longer conceal. Against him was chiefly levelled the test act. Besides taking the oaths of supremacy and allegiance, together with the sacrament, according to the rites of the established church, those in office were obliged to abjure the doc­trine of transubstantiationR. Symmons, who had converted the Duke, was as narrow as his proselyte in his principles. He absolutely refused his consent to any conformity with the established religion; and thus he deprived his own church of the benefit of the con­quest which he had made. If to change his religion was deemed folly in York, his avowal of that change was construed into madness. Men saw a gloomy pros­pect before them; and their indignation kept pace with their fears, when they beheld the heir apparent so des­titute of prudence, as to own his attachment to a re­ligion which the people abhorred.

Schemes to exclude him from the throne. The scheme for excluding the Duke of York from the throne, which was begun in the year 1668, by Buckingham, was now resumed by Shaftesbury, with ardour. In conjunction with the Earl of Carlisle, he went to the King, and urged him to own the legitimacy [Page 167] of the Duke of MonmouthS. He made use of an expression upon the occasion, fit only to be uttered by such a minister as himself, or heard by such a monarch as Charles. He desired him but to say that Mon­mouth's mother was his wife, and he should find per­sons to swear to the factT. The King answered, that he would rather see James, meaning Monmouth, hanged up at Tyburn, than entertain such a thoughtU. The chancellor, however, continued his schemes. Vaughan proposed to move the house of commons to address his Majesty to put away the Queen, and to marry a protestant wife. A portion of five hundred thousand pounds was at the same time to be offeredX. On the twentieth of March, the proposal was carried to the King at Whitehall, but upon his disapproving of the measure, the motion was never made.

Character of the Duke of Monmouth. The chancellor and his party, upon this new dis­appointment, reverted to their schemes in favour of Monmouth. In their eagerness to exclude the Duke of York from the succession, they resolved to place his his rivalY in a situation which would enable him to seize the crown in the event of the King's demise. In the month of May they endeavoured to raise Mon­mouth to the regency of Scotland; but the vigilance of the Duke of York defeated their designs. The pride of Charles overcame his affection. He loved Mon­mouth, but he hated to be deemed the husband of Mrs. Walters. Some writers ascribe to the republican principles of Shaftesbury this violent opposition to the Duke of YorkX. Monmouth, highly beloved by the populace, was a fit instrument to carry forward his designs. To a gracefulness which prejudiced man­kind in his favour as soon as seen, he joined an affa­bility which gained their love. Constant in his friend­ships and just to his word, by nature tender, and an utter enemy to severity and cruelty. Active and vigo­rous in his constitution, he excelled in the manly ex­ercises of the field. He was personally brave. He loved the pomp, and the very dangers of war: but with these splendid qualities, he was vain to a degree of folly, [Page 168] versatile in his measures, weak in his understanding. He was ambitious without dignity, busy without con­sequence, attempting ever to be artful, but always a tool. Thus, taking the applause of the multitude for a certain mark of merit, he was the dupe of his own vanity, and owed all his misfortunes to that weakness.

Cause of the defec­tion The eagerness of Shaftesbury against the Duke of York shook his credit with Charles. The boldness of his councils, his readiness to adopt any measure, had in some degree overcome the King's jealousy of his principles and his aversion to his person. But when he saw him levelling all the force of his abilities against his family, he expressed himself in terms sufficient to suggest a change of conduct to a man less provident than the chancellor. The monarch and the minister had long met upon equal ground. No strangers to their own mutual hatred, each endeavoured to con­vert the other into a tool. It was a struggle of abili­ties, as both were regardless of principle. The acti­vity of Shaftesbury was more than a match for the indolence of Charles. The solid understanding of the latter overcame the keen penetration of the former. The feeble side of the minister was vanity. The ea­siness of the Prince was his most vulnerable weakness. Each was distrustful of mankind, as both were desti­tute of virtue; and they were afraid of one another, as neither could be restrained by any ties.

of Shaftes­bury. Shaftesbury who had contrived the testY, to ri [...] the cabinet of the councils of the Duke of York an [...] Clifford, had entertained hopes of commanding Charles through his affection for Monmouth and h [...] dislike to the Queen. When both these projects fai [...] ed, he knew that resentment remained. His throwing himself on the popular party was necessary as we [...] as prudent. Though the commons had discovere [...] little inclination to animadvert upon the ministry they might hereafter inquire; and he knew th [...] Charles would willingly sacrifice him to his own eas [...] There was even some reason to believe, that the Kin [...] had employed him more to accomplish his ruin, tha [...] [Page 169] to forward his own schemes. Besides, the measures of the cabal were already broken, by their having quarrelled among themselves. The timidity of Ar­lington suited not the violent politics of Clifford. The boisterous precipitancy of Lauderdale was ill­matched with the intriguing, though active, abilities of Shaftesbury. Buckingham, who had first formed the great line of their projects, had sunk, through his unsteadiness, into the contempt of all. But tho' the chancellor had abetted the test, he continued ob­stinate to the last, in favour of indulgence. His rage against France, for inducing the King to relinquish it, raised his resentment so far that he proposed, on the twenty-third of March, to adhere to Clifford, if he would join him in breaking the French allianceZ.

Undecisive The King having given his assent to all the bills that were ready on the twenty-ninth of March, or­dered the parliament to adjourn themselves to the twentieth of OctoberA. The Dutch, who had derived great hopes of peace from the house of com­mons, found that they had given a supply for conti­nuing the warB. They were, however, first at sea. The Duke of York being about to resign all his employments, on account of the test, Prince Ru­pert commanded the English fleet. The Dutch, ar­riving at the mouth of the Thames, endeavoured to stop its navigation, by sinking ships in the channel, called the middle groundC. When the Prince ad­vanced upon them, they retreated to their own coast. He joined the French fleet off Rye, and sailed in quest of the enemy. On the twenty-sixth of May he came before Schonevelt, where the fleet of the enemy lay. An engagement was prevented by storms till the twenty-eighth, when, in a kind of running fight, one Dutch ship was destroyed, and their fleet forced to retreat. The enemy regained their former station. The English lay by all night under sail. Both sides claimed a victory which was not worthy of being [Page 170] claimed. Rupert retired toward England to refit. De Ruyter repaired the damage which his fleet had sustained at seaD.

battles The Dutch were again first at sea, and another un­decisive action happened on the fourth of June. Six hours were spent in a distant cannonade. Each side a second time pretended to victory. The advantage, however, seemed to lean to the Dutch; as the project of the English, to land six thousand troops in Zea­land, was laid asideE. The French performed not their duty in either battle. Lewis, in a fondness for his naval force, as yet in its infancy, gave secret in­structions for preserving his ships. The fleets loitered in their respective ports for two months after the se­cond action. The combined squadrons at length sail­ed for the coast of Zealand and De Ruyter quitted his station at Schonevelt. On the eleventh of August the fleets met near the mouth of the Texel. De Ruyter and Van Tromp led the Dutch. Count D'Estrees commanded the white squadron of the con­federates, Prince Rupert the main line, and Sir Edw. Spragge the blue. Van Tromp fell along-side of Spragge, and both fought with their wonted courage. Van Tromp was once forced to shift his flag. Spragge was compelled twice to change his ship; but when he was passing to a third, a shot took his boat, and he was drowned. The death of such a gallant officer was a partial defeat to the English.

at sea. Whilst some ships were engaged in fight, the rest of both the fleets strove for the wind. The French under D'Estrees got the weather-gage of the Dutch, but they came not to the aid of their allies; Admiral Martel only, with his ship, adhered to the English, and fought with courage. Van Tromp, after the death of Spragge, was repulsed by the Earl of Os­soryF. Rupert and De Ruyter, left behind by their respective squadrons, were engaged in an obsti­nate fight. Becoming anxious at last for their fleets, they both, about two o'clock, as by mutual consent, [Page 171] ceased to fire, and crowded all their sails to join their friendsG. They rapidly advanced all the while within cannon shotH. The battle, upon the arri­val of the admirals, was renewed with redoubled fury. Rupert, at length, sending two fire-ships, guarded by Capt. Legg, among the enemy, they were thrown into confusionI. They at once took to flight; and had the French, who were masters of the wind, fallen upon their flank, the dispute with the Dutch, concerning the dominion of the sea, would have been for ever at an end. De Ruyter with little loss, made good his retreat; and the victory, as usual, was claimed by both sidesK.

State of the war by land. Whilst the war remained in this undecisive state at sea, fortune seemed to become favourable to the Dutcy by land. Though Lewis took MaestrichtL, one of their strongest fortresses, after a siege of thir­teen days, the operations of their allies seemed to promise relief. The Elector of Brandenburgh, de­prived of his possessions in Westphalia, concluded a peace with France in the month of May: but the Imperialists, under Montecuculli, after having in vain attempted against Turenne the passage of the Rhine, deceived that able general, and sat down suddenly be­fore BonneM. The Prince of Orange, with a conduct equally masterly, eluded the other generals of France, and joined the Imperialists, with the Dutch and their Spanish auxiliaries. Naerden, ill de­fended by the French, had fallen again into the hands of the StatesN. Bonne itself surrendered before the end of the campaignO. The greatest part of the electorate of Cologn was subdued by the Impe­rialists and the Dutch. The communication was cut off between the United Provinces and France; and Lewis quitted all his conquests with the utmost preci­pitation. Holland, by an extraordinary fate, was al­most conquered, and altogether recovered, without one battle by land.

[Page 172] Ineffectual congress at Cologn. A congress opened at Cologn, in the course of the summer, was attended with no effect. The demands of the confederate kings continued almost the same; but the offers of the Dutch were diminished in pro­portion to the increase of their hopes. The seisure of the person of the Prince of Furstenberg by the Imperialists, afforded a pretence to the French and English to break off a negotiation, which furnished no prospect of success. The States, no longer anxious concerning their safety, were now bent on re­venge. Their negotiations at the courts of Vienna and Madrid were approaching to a happy conclusion. The house of Austria, in both its branches, was alarmed at the ambition of Lewis. A treaty between the three powers was signed on the thirtieth of Au­gustP. Spain forgot her ancient animosities against Holland, in the recent injuries which she had received from France. She declared war on the fifteenth of October; and by a strange reverse in her policy, de­fended the Dutch against France and England, by whose aid they had become independent of her power.

Duke of York and Clifford re­sign. During these transactions abroad, the late test be­gan to have effect in England. The Duke of York and Lord Clifford, in their zeal for popery, refused to take the appointed oaths, and resigned all their em­ployments. The Duke had been Lord Admiral and Warden of the Cinque-ports ever since the Restora­tion. He had been for several years governor of Portsmouth; and since the death of the Duke of Al­bemarle, commander in chief of all his Majesty's forces. This latter office he had for some time re­fusedQ, as a trust too great for any subject: the instances of his brother at last prevailed over these scruples; and he retained that commission till now that he sacrificed it to his zeal for the church of Rome. The King had in vain intreated both the Duke and the Lord Clifford to conform to the esta­blished religionR. He argued to no purpose against the absurdity of their uncomplying opinions. They [Page 173] remained obstinate, and adhered to their faith. The King retained the Cinque-ports in his own handsS. He put the admiralty into commission. He conferred the government of Portsmouth upon Legg, who was recommended to that charge by the Duke of York.

Osborne made lord treasurer. The resignation of the Duke of York happened on the fifteenth of June, and on the nineteenth of the same month, Clifford delivered his staff, as Lord Treasurer, to the King. He was succeeded by Sir Thomas Osborne, who had been joint-treasurer of the navy with Littleton for several years. Osborne, in his principles, or more properly by character a ca­valier, had gone into opposition to obtain an of­ficeT. In the prosecution of the Earl of Claren­don, he distinguished himself, as a tool of Bucking­ham, in the house of commons; and after the ba­nishment of the unfortunate chancellor, he was re­warded for his services with the half of the treasury­ship of the navy. In those reverses of favour and dislike, which his patron owed to his own fluctuatiug character, Osborne adhered to him with fidelity. He had the good fortune to meet with gratitude, a virtue which the Duke seldom exerted toward his friends. He was brought by Buckingham into the privy-council in May, 1672. He was now raised into the high office of lord-treasurer, partly by his recom­mendation.

His charac­ter. Osborne, in the singular success attending a long life, owed more to fortune than either to his own virtue or abilities. Without the advantage of any antiquity of familyU, and even destitute of an am­ple fortune, he rose to the summit of honours, thro' the mere force of an undertaking and accommodating character. Plausible in his arguments, though te­dious in his eloquenceX, he acquired in the house of commons that attention which is usually given to a shew of patriotism in popular assemblies. In his private conversation, he was more regardless of truth than is consistent with good sense. In his public con­duct, [Page 174] he possessed that self-sufficiency, which is often mistaken, by the bulk of mankind, for comprehensive knowledge of things. Being naturally confident, he foresaw no difficulties in business; and this rendered him a comfortable servant to a prince who loved in­dolence and ease. Though one hope might fail, ano­ther was always in view. His persecution of Claren­don, and his subsequent conduct in his office, had of­fended the Duke of York. But, before he became minister, he cultivated and obtained the favour of that prince; and he owed, in a great measure, his elevation to the Duke's opinion of his abilities. His character, upon the whole, was placed in that fortu­nate medium which succeeds best in the world. Great talents, like rapid streams, often create obsta­cles, which turn them from their course; but those which come smoothly upon mankind, level them first, and then overflow.

Parliament meets. On the twentieth of OctoberY the parliament met, according to their prorogation, and brought back to both houses an increase of the ill-humour which had made its appearance in the preceding ses­sion. The Duke of York, having continued more than two years a widower, had, after a series of te­dious negotiations fixed on a second wife; and mar­ried her by his proxy, the Earl of Peterborow. This Princess was Mary d'Este, daughter of the Duke of Modena and of Laura Martinozzi. Disappointed of the Princess of Inspruck, whom the Emperor had married after the death of his first wife, some over­tures were made for a daughter of the Duke of Neu­bourg; but, at the instigation of the King of France, who had promised a portion to the young Princess of Modena, Peterborow was sent to Italy, and the match was concluded in the month of September. The Princess had already arrived at ParisZ, on her way to England, when the parliament met. The speaker had scarce taken the chair, when the commons voted an address to his Majesty, to prevent the consumma­tion of the marriage between his Royal Highness and [Page 175] the Duchess of Modena; and that ‘"he might not be married to any person but of the Protestant reli­gionA."’

Commons address a­gainst the Duke's mar­riage. The King, previously apprized of this address, prorogued for a week the parliament, to prevent its being delivered. On the twenty-seventh of October, the King opened the session with a speech from the throne. He informed the two houses, that he hoped to have met them that day with an honourable peace; but that the Dutch had treated his ambassadors at Co­logn with the contempt of conquerors, and not as might have been expected from men in their condi­tion. To support the safety and honour of the na­tion, he told them, he was obliged to ask a supply, which, he hoped, the commons would render propor­tionable to the occasion, and to their known loyalty. He assured them of his firm adherence to all his pro­fessions and promises, for supporting the established religion and the laws of the land; and he earnestly recommended to their care the debt which he owed to the bankers and goldsmiths, through the shutting of the exchequer. Shaftesbury, as chancellor, en­larged upon every article. The part which he had to act was difficult. He abetted the country party in private, though still he adhered in public to the crown. He seemed earnest in continuing the Dutch war, but his secret measures led all to peaceB.

Their vio­lence. The lords returned an immediate answer to the King. The commons adjourned, for five days, the consideration of his speechC. The opposition, of­fended at the attachment of Sir Edward Seymour to the court, made a motion for his leaving the chair, and for appointing a temporary speaker. The mea­sure was violent, and it met with a negative. It was concerted between Shaftesbury and the opposing par­ty, in the preceding summerD. The house, how­ever, resumed their former address, and it was deli­vered to the King. He answered, that they were too [Page 176] late in their address; and that the marriage was al­ready concluded by proxy, and could not be reversed. The house was kindled into a flame. They voted a committee for preparing a general and severe test, to distinguish between Protestants and Papists. They resolved, that those who should refuse to take this new test should be incapable of enjoying any office, and even to come within five miles of the court. They further resolved, that no supply should be granted, unless it appeared that the obstinacy of the Dutch should render it necessary; and they followed this re­solution with a new address against the Duke's mar­riage with a Roman-Catholic.E.

Parliament prorogued. To raise the apprehensions of the nation to the highest pitch, the commons, on the third of Novem­ber agreed to an address for a general fast, as in times of the greatest calamities. Sir Thomas Clerges, who had so much distinguished himself for the Resto­ration, was the chairman of the committee appointed for framing this address. Either disappointment or patriotism had, for many years, induced Clerges to oppose the court; and he was now ordered to go up with the address to the lords, and desire their concur­rence. The house voted the standing army a griev­ance; but when they were proceeding in other reso­lutions, they were suddenly prorogued to the seventh day of January. The unexpected arrival of the usher of the black rod broke short the resolves of the commons. Some disagreeable motions were made, even after the usher had knocked violently at the door. But the speaker, favouring the court, left the chair, and prevented the question from being brought to a vote. The commons attended the King in the house of lords. He excused the prorogation, by the necessity of preventing the very appearance of a difference be­tween him and his parliament; and he promised, that ‘"he would not be idle, during the recess, in framing measures that might add to their satisfactionF."’

Chancellor dismissed. Though the Duke of York's open profession of the Catholic faith had alarmed the nation, faction [Page 177] was mixed with patriotism, in the resolutions of the commons. The chancellor was long known to have privately joined the country party, and to have even formed the measures which he pretended to oppose. On the ninth of November, the King sent for him, and demanded the great seal; which was instantly delivered into the custody of Sir Heneage FinchG. Having obtained a pardon for his past counsels, Shafte­sbury threw off all reserve, and became an open ene­my to the court. Communicating the secrets of the cabinet to the opposition, and adding to bad measures worse insinuations, he inflamed the minds of men with jealousy and distrust. The transition was easy, from a counsellor of tyranny to a seditious incendiary; and even this conduct was necessary to his own safety. The change surprised none, as his disposition was known to all. In all revolutions during the thirty preceding years, he was the first in every turn of go­vernment. Consistent only with his own versatility, he was indifferent about the glaring opposition in his measures and opinions. When chancellor, he was a fold assurer of unlimited prerogative. He had the principal hand in the declaration of indulgence. He promoted the Dutch war. He advised the shutting of the exchequer. He justified the most arbitrary pro­ceedings of government in parliament. But the cur­ [...]ent changing, he dexterously tacked about and join­e [...] the country partyI. The abilities which recom­mended him as a fit tool of despotism, rendered him [...] proper engine of faction.

Marriage of the Duke of York. The young Princess of Modena, arriving at Dover [...]n the twenty-first of November, was that evening [...]arried to the Duke of York. Dr. Crew performed [...]e ceremony, according to the rites of the church of [...]nglandK. She was then little more than fourteen [...]ears of age, and of exquisite beautyL. Her com­ [...]exion was very fair, her hair black, her eyes full of [...]eetness and fire. She was tall in her person, and ad­ [...]irably shaped; dignified in her manner, and graceful [Page 178] in her deportmentM. During the twelve years she remained Duchess of York, she seemed to have given herself up wholly to innocent chearfulness and amuse­ments. The prejudices of the people were gradual­ly removed by her behaviour. The uneasiness con­ceived on account of her religion was soon forgot; and she was universally esteemed, and even by many beloved. Her beauty rendered her the favourite of the populace, when the bigotry of her husband was most feared.

Charles tried to soothe the commons, The King, during the recess of his parliament, en­deavoured to soothe the commons, by suppressing their fears of Popery. He issued orders, on the fourteenth of November, that no Roman-Catholic, or any person reputed to be of the Romish commu­nion, should presume to come into his presence, en­ter his palace, or appear at his court. To satisfy still further the people, he ordered in council, that no Popish recusant, or any reputed to be such, should presume to come to St. James's house, where the Duke resided, or even into the adjoining parkN. To prevent the storm which threatened to fall at the meeting of parliament, various expedients were proposed to the Duke of York. Some advised him to retire from the kingdom, others urged him to stand for the crown of PolandP. His best friends, and even some Roman-Catholic lords, were eager for his complying with the forms and worship of the esta­blished churchQ. The Duke, with his usual ob­stinacy, rejected all their proposals. He refused to retire, without the King's express commands. He exposed the folly of standing for Poland. He deemed it dishonourable, as well as criminal, to comply with a system of saith which he had ceased to believe.

and the po­pular party, to gain the city. The popular party, urged by the Earl of Shaftesbury, were not, in the mean time, idle. They endeavoured to gain the people, and, above all, the city [...] London. They long pressed the lord-mayor, Sir R [...] bert Hanson, to call a common-council, under preten [...] of forming a bill for paving the streets. A comm [...] [Page 179] council accordingly met on the twenty-second of December and a motion was made to thank the King for what he had done concerning Popery, to desire him to withdraw his protection from the bankers, and to recommend to him to follow the advice of his parliamentR. Charles had many personal friends in the city of London. His good-humour, his jol­lity and facetiousness at their public entertainments, highly recommended him to the citizens. He knew them all; he admitted them into his conversation; he treated them with familiarity, and gained their affections by entering into their private concerns.—The Duke of York, though distant and stately, was remarkably affable and well-bred. His knowledge in commerce, his almost daily attendance at the meet­ings of the trading companies, had procured to him the reputation of a man of business; a character cal­culated to gain the esteem of men who derive their importance from industry. Ignorant of the tendency of the motions, the common-council sent privately some of their number to the King; but upon his disapproving of such an address, the affair was dropt.

1674. Parliament meets. The parliament, according to their prorogation, met on the seventh of January, 1674. The King told them, that, during their recess, he had done such things as might add to their satisfaction; and that he expected a return of gratitude, in an immediate sup­ply. He urged, that to obtain an honourable peace, it was necessary to be prepared for war; and, therefore, that he relied upon a speedy, proportionable, and, above all, a chearful aid. He again recommend­ed his debt to the bankers to their care; and to re­move their jealousy, he promised to submit, without reserve, all the articles of his alliance with France to the inspection of a small committee of both houses. The lord-keeper Finch enlarged upon every article of his Majesty's speech. He gave a comprehensive de­duction of all the negotiations at Cologn; and he, with some degree of reason, ascribed to the insolence of the Dutch the continuance of the war. But the commons were neither to be foothed into temper, [Page 180] year 1674 nor argued into compliance. They revived the grand committee for religion; they appointed a committee for grievances; and then adjourned for five daysS.

Proceedings This session, which promised much trouble, and was actually filled with business, carried nothing to a conclusion but the Dutch war. The commons peti­tioned the King to appoint a day for fasting and humiliationT. The Lords addressed him to remove Popish recusants from London and its neighbourhood. The lower house requested the King to remove Lau­derdaleU and Buckingham from their employments and his presence. They framed articles of impeach­ment against ArlingtonX. They petitioned the throne for disbanding the army. Charles made no reply with regard to the two Dukes. The impeach­ment of Arlington was dropt by the commons them­selves. The King complied with their request, in disbanding the army; and even carried his compli­ance in that respect beyond the limits of what they requiredY. An address for sending back the troops brought from Ireland received the same favourable an­swer. The King yielded every thing, in hopes of obtaining a supply. But the commons were deter­mined on a peace with Holland; and they knew that object could not be obtained, should the King be placed in a condition to prosecute the war.

of both The jealousy against Popery continued to increase in both houses. The commons brought in a bill for imposing a more rigid test to distinguish between Protestants and Papists. The bill was aimed by the popular party, at the instigation of Shaftesbury, against the Duke of York. The test contained a formal re­nunciation of all the favourite tenets of the Romish church; the supremacy and infallibility of the Pope, the doctrine of transubstantiation, the invocation of saints. A new clause was added, to expel the Duke from the King's presence and councils. It was to have been enacted, that no person who did not take the test should, without leave first obtained under the hands of six privy-counsellors, presume to come to [Page 181] the King's presenceZ. The Duke of York was excepted in this clause, by a majority of two upon a division; and these two, Sir Charles Gaudy and Sir Anthony Deane, had taken only that day their seats in the houseA. The lords proceeded with equal spirit against Popery. The Earl of Salisbury moved, on the twenty-fourth of January, for a bill to bread the Duke of York's children in the established reli­gion. The Earl of Carlisle made a motion, that neither the King, nor any of the blood-royal to a certain degree, should marry without the consent of parliament. Lord Halifax moved the disclaiming all real and reputed Roman Catholics; Lord Mordaunt, that all English priests should be removed from the QueenB.

houses. The consideration of all these motions being ad­journed, the lords resumed their debate on the tenth of February. Carlisle, seconded by Halifax, moved, that any of the blood-royal marrying a catholic, should be declared incapable of succeeding to the throne.—Peterborrow, terming it a horrid motion, reprimanded them with great severity. Shaftesbury, in his reply to Peterborrow, endeavoured to soften the motion, by declaring that it was to have no retrospect. He quot­ed precedents, which the Lord Finch, in an elabo­rate speech, confuted. He endeavoured to convince the house, that the restricting the succession by acts of parliament was contrary to the constitution of the kingdom. Several bishops joined the lord-keeper in his arguments. They declared the motion of exclu­sion contrary to the rules of Christianity, and the doctrine of the church of England. The proposition was at last laid aside, and another substituted in its place. It was resolved in general, that neither the King, nor any of the blood-royal should marry a catholic without the consent of parliament; but no penalty was annexedC. The King and Duke were present at this important debateD.

Peace with the Dutch. On the twenty-fourth of January, the King com­municated to both houses new proposals of peace from [Page 182] the States. Though the parliament had declared their aversion to the war, though Charles might be forced to relinquish it through want of money, the Dutch prudently chose not to depend upon fortune in remov­ing from them a powerful enemy. To carry their obstinacy beyond the bounds of reason, might inflame against them the English nation; for it was not im­possible but the latter might forget their jealousy of the power of France in their own pride. The Mar­quis de Fresno, the ambassador of Spain at London, was empowered to conclude a peace with Charles. He added the influence of his court to the other rea­sons, which obliged the King to listen to terms.—The two houses concurred in their advice for peace. The conditions, though little advantageous, were not dishonourable for England. The honour of the flag was relinquished by the Dutch. They agreed to pay near three hundred thousand pounds for the expence of the war. New regulations of trade were made; and all possessions were mutually restored to the same state as before the warE.


Parliament prorogued.—Campaign of 1674.—The King gains London.—Negotiations with the Prince of Orange.—A session of parliament.—Their proceed­ings.—Campaign of 1675.—A session of parliament.—They are prorogued.——New secret treaty with France.—Campaign of 1676.—Observations.—A pro­found tranquillity.—Affairs of Scotland.—Of Ire­land.—France offers peace.—Parliament meets.—Proceedings.—Progress of the French.—The commons alarmed.—Reprimanded and adjourned.—Reflections.—Affairs of Europe.—State of France and of the allies.—Views of the King and Prince of Orange.—Marriage of the latter.—They settle terms of peace.—France required to agree.—Duplicity of Charles.—Treaty with the Dutch.—Parliament meets.—Ill humour of the commons.—Popular leaders intriguing with France.—Secret history of parties.—Proceedings of the commons.—Progress of the French.—Money treaty.—Alliance with Holland.—Peace of Nimeguen.—The King and Prince of Orange endeavour to break it.—Its effects on France.—State of England.—The Popish plot.—Otes's narrative.—Coleman's letters.—Death of Godfrey.—A general consternation.

year 1674 Parliament prorogued. THOUGH the peace with Holland relieved the King from many of his difficulties, it sooth­ed not his parliament into any compliance. His me­sures, for several years, were thought so contrary to the interests of his subjects, at least, so opposite to their opinions, that in pursuing them, he lost almost all his former popularity and influence. Distrust pre­vailed among the people, and jealousy joined all its force to faction in the house of commons. The endeavours of the King to ingratiate himself by com­pliance, were deseated by the solly of his brother, who with an enthusiasm scarce consistent with the possession of reason, seemed to glory in a system of faith which his country abhorred. The ferment was too high to be settled by any thing but time. The King came suddenly to the house of peers on the [Page 184] twenty-fourth of FebruaryF, and prorogued his par­liament to the tenth of November. No supply was granted, no bill whatsoever passed both housesG.—During debates of such violence and long continuance, there was but one private bill and two of a public concern sent up by the commons to the lords; and the latter sent down to the lower house but one of each kindH. Though the King's party could not prevent spirited resolutions, they were sufficiently nu­merous to clog the progress of bills that were dis­agreeable to the crown.

Charles meditates a peace. The summer of the year 1674 produced no events of importance in England. Shaftesbury, with his usual activity, endeavoured to keep up the jealousies of the people till the meeting of parliament. Pretending a fear of being assassinated by the Papists, he lay in the city, in the house of one Cook, a fanatic; and exerted all his abilities to promote petitions to the King, for calling a parliament for the redress of grievances. His success rose not in proportion to his zeal. He was about to take a house in the city, but Charles sent him a peremptory message; and he retired to the countryI. An unexpected tran­quillity prevailed; and men seemed to have forgot their terrors for popery and arbitrary power. The war on the continent remained in an undecisive state. The Dutch, joined by Spain and the Empire, were now upon an equal footing with France, though provided with the best generals of the age, and well-appointed armies. The King, to gratify his people, assumed the character of a mediator between the contending powers; but either his sincerity was sus­pected by the allies, or their hopes of victory render­ed them dead to terms. The court of Spain, with its usual violence, had engaged the Dutch to con­tinue the war till things should be restored to the same situation as at the treaty of the Pyrenees.

Campaign in Germany The French had three great armies in the field; the first in Germany, the second in Flanders, and [Page 185] the third in RoussillonK. On the side of Germany, the Mareschal de Turenne, having passed the Rhine at Philipsburgh, defeated the Count Caprara, at Sint­zeim, and possessed himself of the whole Palatinate, by driving the allies beyond the Neckar and the Maine. With twenty thousand men, he fell upon an army of seventy, under the Duke of Lorrain, near Strasbourg, and drove them from the field with great loss. He again defeated the allies at Malhausen, be­fore the end of the campaign. These repeated victo­ries drove the war from the confines of France. Franche Comté was in the mean time reduced by her arms. The King in person commanded his troops on that side. There was no enemy in the field; and town fell after town into his hands. The whole pro­vince was conquered with little bloodshed; and Lewis, resolving to retain it for ever, transferred the seat of public justice from Dole to Besançon.

and Flan­ders. On the eleventh of AugustL was fought in Flan­ders, the famous battle of Senef, a village between Marimont and Nivelle. The Prince of Orange, at the head of the army of the allies, consisting of eighty thousand men, was opposed by an inferior force, under the Prince of Condé. The French at­tacked the rear of the confederates, in a narrow de­file, as they marched toward Binch; and throwing them into confusion, seized a great part of their can­non and baggage. The Prince of Orange, less re­markable for preventing misfortune than stopping its progress, acquired some glory, though he obtained no victory. He rallied his troops. He fell upon the enemy. He exposed his own person. In the action, which was not finished with the day, he joined the valour of a young soldier to the conduct of an expe­rienced general. When night came on, both armies, as if by mutual consent, put an end to the fight, and left the victory undecided. The loss was almost equal. Six thousand of each side lay dead on the field. The allies kept possession of the place of battle, but the French had most trophies. The Prince of Orange [Page 186] besieged Oudenarde; but he was forced to quit the enterprise by the Prince of Condé. Graves, however, fell into the hands of the allies, after a ver [...] obstinate siege.

Changes in administra­tion. During these transactions abroad, some chang [...] happened in the higher departments of the state [...] in England. Buckingham, never much beloved b [...] the King, had fallen again under his displeasure [...] Being chancellor of the university of Cambridge [...] that place was declared vacantM, by a letter from Charles; and the Duke of Monmouth was chosen on the fifteenth of July. The pusillanimous conduct o [...] Buckingham, when questioned before the house o [...] commons, his cabals in private with the country party, and, above all, his ceasing to be useful, induced th [...] King to lay him aside. Arlington's timidity rendere [...] his fidelity suspected; and he was removed from th [...] office of secretary of state, and made lord chamber­lain of his Majesty's householdN. Sir Joseph Wil­liamson, who, in conjunction with Sir Leoline Jen­kins, managed the treaty of Cologn, succeeded Ar­lington. Charles, ever since the removal of Claren­don, had ceased to be led by his ministers. He forme [...] his own measures. He wished not for counsellors, bu [...] for servants. The administration was now composed of men who must depend upon the crown, as they were destitute of weight with the nation. Finch wa [...] possessed of abilities in his own department, but he was no great statesman. Osborne, who from his title of Lord Latimer, had, in June, been advanced to the dignity of Earl of Danby, was passive to the wi [...] of his master. Williamson rose to the head of an office in which he had been a clerk; and though Coventry was a man of some parts, he was too unpopular to be acknowledged as such by the world.

King gains the city of London. The parliament, which was to have met on th [...] tenth of November, was proroguedO by proclamation to the thirteenth of April. This measure wa [...] adopted, in concert with the King of France, who was afraid that the commons might force Charles to [Page 187] join against him in the war. One hundred thousand pounds was the price of this prorogation. It saved Lewis from a powerful enemy, and Charles from ad­dresses of clamorous grievances. He, in the mean time, endeavoured to gain the affection of his people, by soothing measures and condescending familiarities. He was resolved to retain the city of London, which the opposition had made several attempts to gain. In the arts of pleasing the multitude, the King was more than a match for any of his subjects. He accepted of an invitation to an entertainment in Guildhall, on the twenty-ninth of October, when Sir Robert Viner was sworn lord-mayor. To flatter the citizens, he expressed a desire of being one of their body; and he accordingly received the freedom of the city, at the chamberlain's office, by the hands of Sir Thomas Player. A circumstance, trivial in itself, was follow­ed by consequences beneficial to the King. The cor­poration attended him in a body with his freedom, expressing their deepest sense of so unparelleled a fa­vour done to the city, beyond the example of any of his progenitorsP.

Negotiation with Whilst Charles sought popularity at home, he shewed an inclination to secure it by his measures abroad. He saw that the nation was exasperated at his connection with France; and that the parliament might force him to take arms against his ally, should the war continue for another campaign. He resolved to sound the Prince of Orange, and to form his own measures upon his viewsQ. Though Arlington was in a kind of disgrace, his avowed attachment to the Prince rendered him a fit agent, in any business in which his interest was concerned. Besides, he was married to the sister of Odyck, who was much in the confidence of the PrinceR. He was sent to Holland in the beginning of December, and the Earl of Os­sory was joined with him in a secret commission. Their principal instruction was to offer the Princess Mary, the Duke of York's eldest daughter, in mar­riage [Page 188] to the PrinceS. The object of this proffered alliance was to engage the Prince of Orange to enter into the measures of the English court with regard to a peace with France; he having hitherto eluded the proposals of mediation carried from Charles by Sir William TempleT.

the Prince of Orange. The Duke of York objected to the offer of his daughter, as it ought in decency to have come first from the Prince himselfU. The King told him, that Ossory, chiefly trusted in that business, was to say no­thing on the subject, till it should be mentioned to him by the PrinceX. The Duke, ever submissive to his brother, acquiesced in his pleasure. But the Prince of Orange being bent on the prosecution of the war, the negotiation failed for the time. To disguise his aversion to peace, he affected to be displeased with Arlington. He complained, that he had joined with his ‘"good friendsY"’ Carlisle and Shaftesbury, in endeavouring to move the King to own the legitimacy of the Duke of Monmouth. Besides, the prospect of succeeding to the crown of England, in the right of Mary, had become less certain, by the advanced pregnancy of the Dutchess of York. A son would cut off all the hopes of the throne, which he might otherwise derive from the marriage. This obstacle was soon after removed. The Duchess was brought to bed of a daughter, in the beginning of JanuaryZ; and the two brothers were still destined to continue the only males of their family. The Prince, how­ever, formed a secret connection with the popular party in England, by the means of one Frymans, a man of abandoned principles and a profligate lifeA. His views, which he had formed even at this early pe­riod, upon the throne, are said to have been the source of his animosity against France, to please a people over whom he resolved to reignB.

The laws enforced a­gainst non-conformists. Though the house of commons were averse srom the French alliance, their jealousy on the score of re­ligion [Page 189] year 1675 was the chief source of their ill-humour toward the crown. The majority were favourers of monar­chy, but they were enthusiasts in the cause of the church. Charles saw that he lost more of the confi­dence of his people, by his indulgence to sectaries, than even by following political maxims inconsistent with their principles. To regain, if possible, the good-will of his parliament, whose speedy meeting his necessities required, he resolved to put in rigorous execution the laws against Papists and conventicles. To issue a proclamation by his own mere motion, might carry the appearance of courting favour. He, therefore, through his ministers, insinuated to the archbishops and some other prelates, that, upon their requisition, he was willing to execute to the letter the laws against all non-conformists, especially against the Papists. The bishops entered into his views, and ad­vised him to recall all the licences which had been granted for holding conventicles. A proclamation was issued on the twelfth of February, for convicting and punishing all recusants, and requiring all persons born within the King's dominions, who had taken orders from the see of Rome, to depart the kingdom before the twenty-fifth day of MarchA.

Transac­tions of the commons. Notwithstanding these precautions, the commons brought back to the house a part of the ill temper in which they had been prorogued. The King, on the thirteenth of April, opened the session with a speech from the throneB. Though the lateness of the season, a circumstance previously concerted with France, pre­cluded any motion for war, the commons entered upon subjects little less disagreeable to the court. They renewed their addresses against LauderdaleC. A motion of accusation was made against the lord-treasurerD. The King's answer with regard to the first was so unsatisfactory, that addresses were repeat­ed; but the charge against the latter appeared so ill founded, that it was dropt by the commons them­selvesE. Their request to the King for recalling his [Page 190] subjects from the service of France was eludedF: Their bills against Popery, and even the whole busi­ness of the session, were disappointed by an unexpect­ed quarrel with the lords. One Shirley had brought an appeal to the house of lords against Sir John Fagg, a member of the lower house. A warrant was issued against Shirley. The Lord Mohun forced it from the serjeant at arms. The commons demanded jus­tice, the peers refused it; and the King, on the ninth of June, was obliged to put an end to the dispute by a prorogation.

Warm de­bates Though parliament entered not into the views of the crown, they seemed now more favourable to mo­narchy than in the preceding session. The Earl of Danby, by character a cavalier and a favourer of the church, was supported in his measures by those who affected his principles in the house of commonsG. To them he owed the victory, which he obtained over the disaffected party in the articles of his im­peachment. In the house of lords, the influence of the bishops, all of whom abetted Danby, carried matters high in their zeal for the crown. They be­gan to compare the present conduct of the commons to those violences which had, thirty years before, laid in ruins both the church and the throne. To obstruct such designs, or to remedy the evil, the Earl of Lind­sey introduced a bill for a new test. This was little more than extending to all persons in office, and the members of both houses of parliament, the oath im­posed upon magistrates by the corporation-act in the year 1662. They were to declare it unlawful, upon any pretence, to take arms against the King; that they abhorred the traiterous position of taking arms by his authority against his person or his officers; and that they would not endeavour to make any alteration in the government of either the church or the stateH [...] The abjuring any change in the government was the only article that was new in the bill; and should it be taken in the literal sense, legislation itself were at an end.

[Page 191] in the house of lords. This bill, as might have been expected, was dis­liked by various parties, from different views. The factious opposed it from spleen, the Roman-Catholics from their aversion to all tests; and some conscientious patriots, from the dangerous doctrine of non-resist­ance, which it contained. In the eyes of men who weighed matters with coolness, the absurdity of such a law rendered it nugatory; and they considered it as the means of increasing perjuries, without enforcing obedience to government. The debates, which con­tinued seventeen days, were warm, and even violent. All the arguments that could be suggested by reason, or invented by ingenuity, were used on both sides. That which had most force was, that the bill might deprive some scrupulous peers of their birth-right to vote. To obviate this objection, the lord-treasurer movedI, that the refusing the oath might not inca­pacitate any lord from sitting in the house. The Duke of York followed the motion with another, that it might be general for all bills. The house agreed, and added it to their standing ordersK. The bill, passing at length with this amendment, was sent down to the commons. It was lost, with other bills of public concern, in the sudden prorogation of par­liament.

Campaign Tranquillity, as usual, succeeded the separation of parliament, and Charles reverted to his amusements and pleasures. The war languished during the cam­paign in Flanders. In Germany it was attended with some striking, though not decisive, events. In the former, the French took Dinain, in May; Hui and Limbourg, in June. The Prince of Orange, being taken ill of the small-pox, was for some time detain­ed from the field. The mareschal de Crequi, in en­deavouring to throw succours into Treves, was routed with considerable loss. George-William, Duke of Brunswick-Zell, had the honour of the first victory obtained over France in the course of fifty years. Crequi despised his enemy; but he was undeceived by his own deseat. He threw himself into Treves, and [Page 192] fell, with the place, into the hands of the allies, on the sixth of September. The Prince of Orange, re­suming the command of the army, took Binch, in the end of August. Both sides continued in a state of inactivity during the rest of the campaign.

between On the side of Catalonia, Mareschal Schomberg made some progress, at the head of the French. The King of Sweden, plunging headlong into the war, in favour of France, met with nothing but misfortune. The Dutch, the Spaniards, the Danes, became at once his enemies. He was served ill by his general. He was defeated by the Elector of Brandenburgh. He lost all Pomerania. Bremerfurt was taken by the troops of Brunswick-Lunenburg; Wolgast, by those of Brandenburgh. Wismar fell into the hands of the Danes. During these transactions a congress was opened at Nimeguen; but the season of peace was not yet arrived. The attention of Europe, during actions of inferior note, was called to the Upper Rhine. Two great armies, commanded by the two greatest generals of the age, were opposed to each other on the banks of that river. Turenne guarded the confines of France with all his consummate skill; Montecuculli endeavoured to carry the war into Alsace and Lorrain. Antiquity only could match the opera­tions of these experienced commanders. The contest between such talents could be only decided by fortune.

France and the allies. Turenne, having assembled his army near Stras­bourg in the month of May, passed the Rhine on the seventh of June, to break the designs of the allies upon Alsace. Having spent near two months in all the most masterly movements of war, he thought at last that the happy moment was arrived for attacking Montecuculli with advantage. When he was viewing the position of the enemy, a cannon-bullet put an end to his lifeL. The French, struck with conster­nation at the fall of their leader, thought of nothing but flight. A dispute for the command between the Count de Lorges and the Marquis de Vaubrun was added to their other missortunes. They retreated. [Page 193] Montecuculli hung close on their heels. The valour of the English auxiliaries, who brought up the rear, saved the army. The French repassed the Rhine at Altenheim, the allies at Strasbourg. The Prince of Condé succeeded Turenne. He forced the enemy to raise the siege of Haguenau, to quit their designs on Saverne, and, at length, to repass the Rhine. The campaign, though upon the whole unfortunate to France, produced nothing that could decide the fate of the war.

Proceedings and The recess of parliament had not altered, in any respect, the temper in which the two houses had been prorogued. The King opened the session with a short but soothing speech, on the thirteenth of OctoberM. He entreated the houses to forget their former animo­sities; he recommended the interests of the church of England; he demanded money. He told them of the necessity of building ships, and of removing the anti­cipations on the standing revenue of the crown. He owned his own want of oeconomy in past times; but he declared his unalterable resolution to be more care­ful for the future. The lord-keeper, in enlarging upon the articles of the speech, commended in vain The King's measures. The commons were not con­vinced by his arguments. They discovered a conti­ [...]uance of their former jealousy by their proceedings. They resolved to grant no supply for removing the [...]nticipations upon the revenueN; and it was with [...]ifficulty they were induced to vote three hundred [...]housand pounds for building twenty ships of war. The aid was appropriated, by strict clauses, to the [...]e for which it was voted; and it was provided by [...]he act, that exact accounts of all outlays should be [...]om time to time submitted to the inspection of the [...]ouse.

prorogation of parlia­ment. The commons, in their zeal for religion, passed a [...]ll to prevent Papists from sitting in either houseO. They resolved, by an express act, to preclude the [...]own for the future from suspending any law made in [Page 194] favour of the established churchP. They brought in a bill against sending men prisoners beyond sea. But all were defeated, by a renewal of their former dispute with the lords. Shirley resumed the prosecution of his appeal against FaggQ. The two houses flew in­stantly into a flame. They adhered to their former opinions. Resolutions were bandied from side to side. It was moved in the lower house, that no appeal should lie from equity to the peers. The lords shewed a disposition to address the King to dissolve the parlia­ment. Charles, disappointed in money, offended at some bills passed by the commons, and willing to put an end to disputes so contrary to his own love of ease, came to the house of lords on the twenty-second of NovemberR. He gave his assent to three private bills: and, without a speech, prorogued the parlia­ment to the fifteenth of February, 1677. The con­test between the houses was ascribed by some to de­sign, as it furnished the King with a specious pretence of ridding himself, for some time, of a parliament from whom he heard nothing but complaints. Not­withstanding the seeming patriotism of the commons the parties were nearly equal upon every vote. Had Charles managed his former expences with address he might have procured a supply to remove his pre­sent necessities.

1676. New secret treaty with France. The prorogation of parliament freed Charles fro [...] the trouble of addresses; but it deprived him of a [...] hopes of relief from his wants. He applied in the la [...] resort, to France, for those supplies which he had i [...] vain endeavoured to procure at home. He had adhe [...] to his engagements, in a degree scarce to be expecte [...] from his fluctuating politics; and now he expressed [...] desire of uniting himself more strictly with Franc [...] The proposal was an expedient to obtain money fro [...] Lewis, whose generosity required to be rouzed by [...] shew of new engagements. A formal agreement w [...] signed, in the month of February 1676, by the t [...] Kings, by which they obliged themselves to enter [...] to no treaties without mutual consent. To this p [...] [Page 195] year 1676 mise another article was added on the part of Charles. He agreed to prorogue or dissolve his parliament, should they shew a disposition of forcing him to de­clare against FranceS. As this treaty contained no­thing that was new, it seems to have been one of those many deceptions which Charles played off with such success on the King of France.

Campaign of The situation of that monarch required a certainty of the friendship of Charles. Though the successes of the allies had not broken his power, they were likely to give vigour to their efforts in the approach­ing campaign. The opinion of Europe had placed the balance in the hands of the King of England; and, as his aid in the war could not be expected by France, his neutrality became an important object. But the good fortune which had attended the allies in the preceding summer, began now to forsake their arms. The year began with an advantage at sea in favour of the French. De Ruyter, who had sailed from Holland in August with an intention to join the Spanish fleet, fell in with Du Quesne, on the eighth of January, on his way to throw succours into Mes­sina. The French had the advantage. Messina was relieved. Another naval engagement, on the twenty-second of April, was rendered memorable by the fall of the gallant De Ruyter, and the second defeat of the Dutch. The Duke de Vivonne, having a third time defeated the Dutch and Spaniards before Messina, put an end, for the time, to the naval power of both on the coasts of Sicily.

the year 1676. The good fortune which attended the French in the Mediterranean, deserted their ally, the King of Sweden, in the Baltic. Van Tromp, having joined the Danes, defeated the Swedish fleet, on the first of June. The King of Denmark entered Sweden with an army, and met with great success. Their martial spirit seemed to have deserted a nation, who had been forty years before the arbiters of the fate of Europe. Charles the Eleventh, however, before the end of the campaign, retrieved a part of the glory which [Page 196] he had lost. He defeated the King of Denmark at LundenT, and forced him to retire to his own country. The French King exerted his whole force in Flanders. His army on the side of Germany ob­served only the motions of the allies. Having filled his magazines during the winter, he took in person the field early in the spring. Conde surrendered to him in the end of AprilU. Buchain fell into his hands in the middle of May. The Prince of Orange, ill supported by his allies, and with an army ill appoint­ed, had the mortification to see Aire and St. Omers taken almost in his sight, without his being able to relieve either of those places. He was equally un­fortunate in his attempt upon Maestricht. Having besieged that place in vain for near a month, he was obliged to decampX, upon the approach of the French under Schomberg. Misfortune followed him in his retreat. His artillery, ammunition, and pro­visions, fell in a great measure into the hands of the enemy; and notwithstanding all his efforts, he closed the campaign with disaster, though not with disgrace. The languor of Spain and negligence of the empire left the whole weight of the war on the States; and they began to wish sincerely for that peace which the Prince of Orange had eluded two years before.

Observa­tions. The disasters of the campaign changed the state of an alliance, whose efforts had already begun to lan­guish. Feeble councils were added to the natural slowness of the Spaniards; and the Emperor was as destitute of personal abilities, as he was of resources for carrying on with vigour the war. The German princes, with their usual inattention to affairs which respect the whole body, failed in all their engagements upon the side of the Rhine. The war lay with its whole weight on the Dutch. Their coffers were drained, and their spirits were exhausted. These were the reasons which inclined them to the thoughts of a separate peace. Besides, the Spaniards, to whom they were engaged for the safety of Flanders had, by their negligence, forfeited every claim to [Page 197] the observance of a treaty, with the conditions of which they had ceased to comply. They applied to the King of England, but he was deaf to their en­treaties. His connection with France induced him to adopt measures, which were in fact beneficial to his subjects. The commerce of Europe, on account of the war, in which the most of its states were involv­ed, had fallen into the hands of the English. They derived riches from a circumstance which impoverish­ed other nations. Prevented from indulging their fa­vourite system of a balance of power, they were saved from those distresses in which they have been since involved by continental wars.

A profound tranquillity. A profound tranquillity prevailed in England throughout the whole of the present year. Charles, tired of his efforts for acquiring power, left govern­ment to the common course of the laws, and gave himself up to indolence and pleasure. Discontent seemed to cease with the sitting of parliament. Griev­ances either existed not at all, or they were borne in silence. The people murmured at the progress made by the arms of France; but their complaints reached not the throne, or they were heard with indifference. Charles either affected a complaisance for the esta­blished church, or he thought it necessary to gain the hierarchy, to balance the spirit of limiting his power, which appeared in the house of commons. If ever he entertained a serious design of establishing the Ca­tholic religion, a measure scarce consistent with com­mon prudence, he had suspended it for a time, or dropt it for ever. The Bishop of London by his per­mission, went to the Duke of York. That prelate told his Royal Highness, that as the Lady Mary, his daughter, was of age to think of preparing for re­ceiving the sacrament, he came to ask leave to confirm [...]er. The Duke's answer was suitable to his bigotry, [...]hough it exhibited the affections of a father. He was unwilling, he said, that his daughters should [...]ommunicate with a church whose doctrine he himself [...]ad ceased to believe; and, though he had not in­ [...]ed his children in his own religion, it was to [...]event their being taken from under his care. He [Page 198] desired the bishop to go to the King, who instantly ordered both the princesses to be confirmed. The Duke, with his usual submission, obeyed his brother's commandsY.

Affairs The tyranny of Lauderdale and the vehemence of Sharpe continued to harass the Scots in their civil and religious concerns. The love of public liberty had not, for several years, raised any opposition in parlia­ment; but the enthusiasm of the Presbyterians was not to be subdued by the rigours of the church. The flame which rose among the commons of England against the measures of the crown, extended itself, in the year 1673, to Scotland. The Duke of Hamilton placed himself at the head of a formidable opposition to the corrupt administration of Lauderdale. A motion was made by Hamilton for considering the state of the nation. Twenty persons spoke succes­sively after the Duke, and supported his arguments with a long catalogue of public grievances. Lauder­dale, with his usual imperiousness, endeavoured to intimidate the members; but that failing, he ad­journed the parliament. The chiefs of the opposition repaired to London, to lay their complaints at the foot of the throne. They demanded the removal of Lauderdale, the redress of grievances, and an act of general oblivion. Charles received them with affabi­lity, and dismissed them with promises. But the ac­commodating policy of the minister soon broke the designs of the King, who sacrificed the happiness of his subjects, to an opinion of his being bound to sup­port the measures of his servant.

of Scotland. Terrified at the resolutions of the commons of England, Lauderdale endeavoured, in the year 1674, to gain the Presbyterians of Scotland. The disaffect­ed in the former were suspected of abetting the reli­gious disturbances which subsisted in the latter. They hoped sor a revival of those troubles in the North, which were the source of the misfortunes of the crown in the preceding reign. It was even then sup­posed, [Page 199] and it is now knownY, that the Dutch and the Prince of Orange corresponded with the Scotish fanatics. To prevent mischiefs, which might arise from both these circumstances, it was thought necessary to relax the severities of the law against conventicles. Besides, Lauderdale, whose councils were as bold as his mea­sures were corrupt, had formed a scheme to employ the militia, which had been established in Scotland in support of the authority of the King, in his other do­minions. The lower sort were almost all of the Pres­byterian persuasion; and it was hoped, that an indul­gence to their principles might secure their fidelity, on an emergency. New alarms put an end to these lenient measures. The Presbyterians were inebriated by their spiritual pride. The more they were indulged, the greater was their opposition to the civil authority. Lauderdale renewed his oppressions, and Sharpe his persecutions. Political misery was seen in every form; and even the ignorance of the servants of the crown became more fatal than their tyrannies. The year 1676 added the infamy of burning old women to other acts of barbarous despotism. Witchcraft itself was not too improbable for the belief of that age of enthusi­asm.

Affairs of Ireland. Ireland furnished nothing of great importance during the last four years. The Earl of Essex succeeded the Lord Berkley in the government, and managed it with more caution than abilities. Standing in awe of the English faction, and diffident of the Irish, he was lan­guid in his proceedings, and less anxious for doing good, than afraid of becoming the cause of harm. Go­vernment went forward in its beaten track. The country was torn to pieces by the quarrels and ani­mosities of factions. But these were private distractions. In public, a shew of implicit obedience was observed by all parties towards the crown. Essex derived from his integrity that weight which his inactivity and li­mited abilities seemed to deny. Strictly adhering to the constitution, he refused obedience to the royal or­ders, when he thought them contrary to law. Charles [Page 200] was not offended with this part of his conduct. In the year 1665, he was permitted to come to England, to lay the state of the Irish affairs before the crown; but he was remanded back to his office, with appro­bation and even applause. Ireland was rather peacea­ble than quiet during his administration, which con­tinued till the Duke of Ormonde received, for the third time, the government of that kingdom.

France of­fers terms of peace. In the hopes that time had cooled the passions of the commons, Charles resolved to meet his parliament on the day to which they had been prorogued. Some whispers, rather than murmurs, in favour of their sit­ting, were heard, through the tranquillity which pre­vailed in the kingdom. On the twenty-third of Dec. 1676Z, a proclamation was issued for the two houses to assemble at Westminster, on the fifteenth of Feb. for the dispatch of important affairs. France, alarmed at their meeting, began seriously to think of peace. Though Lewis had bought the neutrality, and even the favour of the King, he was afraid the parliament would force him to join his arms to those of the allies. He proposed to Don John of Austria to put an end to the war. He promised, upon condition that Spain should cede the Low Countries, to give up Rousillon, all Sicily, with twelve millions of livres, to enable her to recover Portugal from the house of Braganza. Four millions of livres were to be paid to Don John him­self, for his good offices in the proposed treaty. Fri­bourg, and some places in Alsace, were to be restored to the Empire. Ostend, and other ports in Flanders, were to have been delivered to Charles for his concur­rence; and Antwerp resigned for ever into the hands of the StatesA.

1677. Various opi­nions form­ed of parlia­ment. The circumstance which induced Lewis to offer peace encouraged the allics to continue the war. Their hopes from the parliament of England were equal to his fears of their meeting. But in the issue both sides were deceived. Though Charles might be induced to sacrifice his connections with France to his love os case, he entertained unsurmountable objections to a war in his own mind. He believed that those [Page 201] year 1677 who pressed most for his breaking with France, ever since the year 1673, were more the enemies of mo­narchy, than the friends of their countryB. They wished, he thought, to plunge him into necessities, that they might impose upon him what conditions they pleased; or to revive those troubles which, from a simi­lar source, had overturned his father's throne. To this impression ought perhaps to be ascribed the backward­ness of Charles in entering into any war during the remaining part of his reign. He had no affection for the person of Lewis; he knew it was neither the in­tention nor the interest of that prince to render him absolute; and there is no room to doubt, that he would have preferred ample supplies from his own subjects, to the pitiful and clandestine subsidies remitted from France. But he believed, that the opposition in the house of commons proceeded either from a republican spirit, or a motive of avarice; and that all those who distinguished themselves against the measures of the crown, wished to ruin monarchy, or to feed on its spoilsC.

King's speech. The parliament meeting on the fifteenth of Feb.D, the King opened the session with a speech from the throne. He expressed his hopes, that they had forgot, through the length of their recess, those quarrels and animosities between the two houses which had stopt the progress of the public business. He told them, that he was come prepared to give them all satisfaction with regard to the established religion; and to gratify them, if that was thought necessary, with as many laws as they should propose for the security of liberty and property. For these condescensions, he demanded, in return, that they should avoid a renewal of former differences, grant money for building ships, continue the additional revenue of excise, and give such a supply [...]s might make his condition easy, by enabling him to [...]ischarge his debts. He recommended to them the [...]eace of the kingdom, in the careful prevention of all [...]ifferences; the safety of the nation, in providing for [...]ome additional force at sea; and the prosperity of the [Page 202] subject, in assisting the necessary charge and support of the government. Should they fail in any of these good ends, he ‘"called God and men to witness, that the mis­fortune of such disappointment should not lie at his doors."’ The Lord Finch, as chancellor, enlarged with eloquence on every article in his Majesty's speechE.

Proceedings in the Men of republican principles in both houses hoped to obtain great advantages in this session of parliament. They expected that ministers would be impeached, and government in all its departments arraigned. They assured themselves that grievances would make a great deal of noise, that no money would be given without sacrificing some great officer of the crown, or some sa­vourite branch of its prerogativeF. The fears of the court were at least equal to the hopes of the country party. The first saw a gloomy prospect before them; but the folly of the latter disappointed their own views. Buckingham, Shaftesbury, Salisbury, and Wharton, who led the opposition in the house of lords, had, be­fore the meeting of parliament, determined to question its legality, on account of the length of the late recess. It had been provided, by a statute of Edward the Third, ‘"that parliaments should be held once every year, or oftener, if need be;"’ and as the last proro­gation had continued fifteen months, they concluded that the present parliament was virtually dissolved. The Marquis of Winchester, and the Lords Halifax and Hollis, noblemen of the same party, advised them against this precipitate measureG. They urged in vain the imprudence of proposing such a question, as it must be determined by a majority of both houses, who could not be expected to dissolve themselves by their own votes.

house of lords. The four lords were obstinate. The motion was made; and after an altercation rather than a debate, it was decided against them; and they themselves, for supporting such a dangerous position, were sent to the Tower. Three of these lords, by making their sub­missions, were soon after dismissed. Shaficsbury owed [Page 203] to his own obstinacy a whole year's imprisonment. Having sought in vain the remedy of the law, he was at last obliged to own the justice of his punishment, and to petition the lords for his freedom. This impolitic measure disconcerted the popular party. They were frightened at the vigour of the house of peersH; and dropt their intended accusation of the Earl of Danby. In the house of commons they lost ground by their rash proceedings and their violence. On the twenty-sixth of February, a sum not exceeding six hundred thousand pounds was voted, by way of land-tax, for building shipsI; and on the twelfth of March, a further supply was granted, by continuing the additional duty of excise for three yearsK. This latter tax, which had been imposed on beer and ale, in the year 1670, to make up a part of the deficiency in the standing re­venue, was to expire on the twenty-fourth of June, in the present year.

and of the commons. The commons, in their attention to the wants of the crown, neglected not the liberties of the subject. Resolving themselves into a committee of the whole house on the twenty-third of February, they came to a resolution, that the extraordinary jurisdiction of the court of chancery and other courts of equity, in mat­ters determinable by common law, is a grievance to the subject. A bill was accordingly brought in to re­medy this evilL. A bill was also introduced for pre­venting Roman catholics from sitting in either houseM; and an another for recalling his Majesty's subjects from the service of France. The popular party were not in the mean time idle. Having failed in their hopes of preventing a supply, they endeavoured to clog the mo­ney-bills in their progress, with questions, debates, and divisions. They however prevailed in applying the sum granted to the sole use of building ships: but upon a motion of appropriating the revenue arising from tonnage and poundage to the navy, it passed in the negative, by a great majorityN. The conduct of the commons, during the first part of the session, was suf­ficiently [Page 204] peaceable, if not friendly to the court: but the progress of France on the continent soon rouzed their attention and awakened their fears.

Progress of the French. The French King, having formed large magazines during the preceding season, took very early the field. On the last day of February, he left St. Germains. Mareschal Luxembourg had already invested Valenci­ennes. The trenches were opened on the ninth of March, and the place was taken on the seventeenth by surprise. Cambray, after a feeble resistance, fell into the hands of the French on the fifth of April. St. Omer was closely besieged. The Prince of Orange, with an army suddenly assembled, marched to its re­lief. The Dukes of Orleans and Luxembourg covered the siege, and a battle ensued at Cassel, on the eleventh of April. The Prince fought with spirit, but he was attended hy his wonted bad fortune. In his talents for war as in the discipline of his troops, he was inferior to Luxembourg. He, however, with his usual dex­terity, made a good retreat to Ypres. But St. Omer in a few days surrenderedO to the victors; and Lewis returned to receive the flattery of his court at Ver­sailles.

Proceedings of the com­mons. The success of France and the languor of the allies alarmed the commons. They saw that without the in­terposition of England, Flanders must be lost. They addressed the King to take measures for the preservation of that country. Charles returned a favourable answer; but their fears increased in proportion to the progress of the French. They addressed his Majesty to enter into a strict alliance wirh the confederatesP; and they resolved, in case of a war, to support him with all ne­cessary aids and suppliesQ. The King, in his answer, expressed his desire of being first placed in a condition to accomplish the design of their address. The com­mons understood this as a demand of money. They added a clause to the bill for continuing the additional duty of excise, to enable his Majesty to borrow two hundred thousand pounds, at seven per cent. upon that fund, which they promised to reimburseR. This sum [Page 205] was inadequate to the purpose; at least it was thought too small by the King. He told them, that without six hundred thousand pounds, or credit for such a sum upon new funds, it would be impossible for him to speak or act so as to answer the end of their several ad­dressesS.

on that subject. The house were not offended with this answer. But they requested permission to adjourn for the Easter-ho­lidays, as many of the members had left the town. They however made no doubt, but at their next assem­bling, his Majesty would meet with a compliance in the demanded supplyT. The King's message and the answer of the commons were reciprocally presented on the fifteenth of April. Charles coming in the afternoon of that day to the house of peers, gave his assent to such bills as were ready, and ordered the parliament to adjourn to the twenty-first of May. During this short recess, it had been whispered abroad, that the King had no serious design of opposing France; and that he intended to apply to other uses any supply the com­mons should grant for supporting the confederates, ei­ther by negotiation or arms. The former conduct of Charles justified the suspicion. To remove the distrust, he sent for the house on the third dayU after their meeting at Whitehall. He told them that he did not call them together merely to obtain a supply. He as­sured them, upon the word of a King, that they should have no reason to repent any trust they should repose in him for the security of the kingdom; and he po­sitively declared, that he would neither hazard his own safety nor theirs, until they should place him in a bet­ter condition than he was able to place himself.

They are reprimanded and ad­journed. The commons, instead of granting the demanded supply, voted an immediate address. They desired the King to enter into a league offensive and defensive with the states of the United Provinces, to check the grow­ing power of France, and to preserve Flanders. They annexed various reasons to this advice; and they assu­red the King, that when he should be pleased to declare such an alliance in parliament, they would most cheer­fully support his measures with plentiful and speedy [Page 206] suppliesX. Though Charles had pledged his royal word to the commons, he had no design of complying with their desires should they even grant him the sup­plies required. When he found them refractory, he pretended resentment. He told them, that their address had encroached on the undoubted right of the crown, in its exclusive power of making peace and war. He informed them, he was confident that such a daring in­vasion on the prerogative had not its example in any age, when the sword was not drawn. He declared, that no condition, no situation, no misfortune should induce him to depart from such an essential right of the monarchy; and he concluded with assuring them, that, notwithstanding their declining to grant a sum, he would use all the means in his power for the security and satisfaction of his people. He followed this speech with a command to both houses to adjourn themselves to the sixteenth of JulyY.

Reflections. This answer, had the motives which produced it remained unknown, might receive some applause from its spirit. But as it proceeded from the King's secret engagements with France, it furnishes a new instance of that want of sincerity which disgraced his character. The love of money, as the means of procuring pleasure, was the chief characteristic of Charles. To obtain that object, he disregarded his fame, in a degree scarce consistent with common sense. When he urged the commons to strengthen his hands for a war, he had ac­tually sold his neutrality to France for two hundred thousand pounds. Had he obtained the six hundred thousand pounds from parliament, he might probable have found expedients to screen his conduct, without entering into a war, or even breaking his private cor­respondence with Lewis. But to make an offensive and defensive alliance with the allies, as the condition of a supply, would deprive him of the secret subsidy and throw him upon the mercy of a parliament already averse from his measures. In HIS situation, he acted with prudence. His conduct had deprived him o [...] the confidence of the commons; and all his attempt [...] [Page 207] to regain it, by implicitly following their advice, would be ascribed to want of spirit or to design. Besides, he was no stranger to the motives of many of those who promoted the war with the most vehemence. If HE was bought by France, THEY were bribed by the al­liesZ. Men, who sincerely loved their country, fluc­tuated between the views of a Prince whom they had ceased to trust, and the suspected patriotism of violent party-men.

Affairs of Tranquillity, as usual, succeeded the adjournment of the parliament in England; and men had leisure to turn their eyes to the affairs of Europe. In Spain, domestic faction had been added to the other misfortunes of a kingdom long declining through the weakness of her councils. Don John of Austria, natural son of Philip the fourth, had taken arms against the Queen-regent, and advanced toward MadridA. Disappointed in his expectation of offers from the young King, he returned to Saragossa. But fortune, soon after favoured his am­bition. Charles the second, escaping from his mother, ordered her to be shut up in a convent at Toledo, and declared Don John prime minister. The hopes con­ceived of his abilities were not answered by the event. The misfortunes of Spain increased on every side. In Catalonia, the Count of Monterey was defeated. Bra­camonte lost the battle of Tuormina, in the kingdom of Sicily. Flanders, by the capture of Valenciennes, Cambray, and St. Omers, was laid open to absolute conquest. The Prince of Orange, after his defeat at Cassel, sat down before Charleroy; but he was forced to raise the siege on the third of August, at the approach of Mareschal Luxembourgh, at the head of the French army.

Europe. Charles the Fifth, who, in the year 1675, had suc­ceeded his uncle, rather in title than in the territory of Lorrain, commanded a part of the allies on the Upper Rhine. The Prince of Saxe-Eisinach, at the head of another army, endeavoured to enter Alsace. Mares­chal Crequi, with an inferior force, defeated the views of the Duke of Lorrain. He obliged him to retire from Mentz; he hindered him from crossing the Maese; he beat up his posts; he cut off his convoys. The [Page 208] Baron de Monclar defended Alsace. After various movements, he inclosed the troops of the Prince of Saxe-Eisinach within his own, and forced them to capitulate near StrasbourgB. Having defeated a body of the allies near Cokesberg, he sat down before Fri­bourg, and closed the campaign on that side by the taking of that important placeC. The King of Swe­den was not equally fortunate with his allies the French. Though he took Elsimbourg, in the month of JanuaryD; though he defeated the King of Den­mark in JulyE, he still had the worst in the war. His fleet was twice defeated by the DanesF; and the Elector of Brandenburgh took the important for­tress of Stettin before the end of the campaignG.

State of France, and of the allies. During the progress of the French arms in Flan­ders, serious negotiations for a peace were begun be­tween Lewis and Holland. An eventual treaty was actually concluded. All their differences were settled, and nothing was wanting but the concurrence of their respective allies. The misfortunes of the con­federates, the natural consequence of their own long negligence, seemed to favour the impatience of the Dutch for peace. The feeble councils of Spain, the want of resources in the Empire, the backwardness of the German princes, together with the hopes which all derived from the eagerness of the English nation against their ancient enemies and rivals the French, concurred to render their efforts languid and unde­cisive. But France itself was now in no condition to continue the war with advantage. Though vic­torious in the field, she was exhausted at home.—The immense expence of her armies, the profusion of the King, her subsidies to England, to Sweden; and to some princes of Germany, had drained her coffers, and impoverished her people. Lewis himself, though ambitious, unfit for conquest, seemed too fond of the name of victory to reap any of its benefits. With such an army, with such resources, a prince of less vanity and more perseverance might have ex­tended greatly his dominions, considering the situa­tion [Page 209] of Europe at the time. But the successes, which which rendered him the terror of his neighbours, had already deprived him of the power of doing more harm.

Views of the King The ignorance of Europe, however, continued her fears. The English nation, by their jealousies against their rivals, rendered them respectable. France de­rived more honour from the terrors of her enemies, than ever she lost to their arms. Though this panic was in parliament an engine of ambition to the facti­ous, it was a matter of serious importance among the people in general. Murmurs were heard from every side; and Charles, hating trouble, was willing to put an end to clamours that disturbed his repose. His unfortunate connections with France, the obsti­nate bigotry of his brother, the pecuniary necessities which had betrayed him into violent measures, had lost to him his popularity, and filled the minds of his people with apprehensions of Popery and arbitra­ry power. To gain their affections, one measure only remained: to give the prospect of succession to the throne to a Protestant Prince, and to put an end to the fears of the nation, by procuring a gene­ral peace. The marriage of the Prince of Orange to his brother's eldest daughter seemed to promise both these desirable ends; and he, therefore, embrac­ed with eagerness a renewal of those proposals which had formerly been made by the Prince.

and of the Prince of Orange. The motives, which Charles derived from his views of ease, the Prince of Orange found in his own am­bition. The hopes of male issue, which the Duke of York entertained upon his second marriage, were hitherto frustrated; and though the Duchess was then with child, and was soon after actually brought to bed of a son, the premature deaths of her former children had rendered it unlikely that any she might bring forth should enjoy a long life. The Lady Mary was the heir-apparent of the crown. Upon the eventual demise of the two royal brothers with­out issue-male, there was a certainty of her ascending the throne. There was, even then, a prospect of her being preferred to her father, on account of his avow­ed attachment to the Popish religion. The idea of [Page 210] excluding him from the succession, which was after­wards carried into parliament, was already a topic of disquisition before the publicH Swayed by these reasons, the Prince of Orange began seriously to think of a marriage, which had been in negotiation three years before. In the month of June, he dispatched Bentick, with great professions of friendship and re­gard to the Duke of YorkI, to obtain his consent to the match. Having thus paved the way, he re­solved to come to England at the end of the cam­paign, with the avowed design of concerting with Charles the plan of a peace for the security of Flan­dersK, and to propose in public a marriage, which had been settled in private some time before.

His mar­riage. The Prince landed at Harwich on the ninth of OctoberL, was received the same evening at New-market by the King and the Duke, with every mark of affection and esteem. Charles intended to settle first the plan of the peace; but, at the pressing in­stances of the Earl of DanbyM, that business was post­poned till after the marriage. On the thirteenth of October, the court returned to London; and on the fifteenth, the Prince of Orange, for the first time, spoke in person to the Duke of YorkN concerning the match with the Lady Mary. No obstruction seems now to have been thrown in the way of an alliance, to which the Duke had agreed in the pre­ceding summer. The King, on the twenty-fourth of October, acquainted an extraordinary council, that he had concluded the marriage between the Lady Mary and the Prince. The agreeable news being car­ried to the populace, they filled all London with fes­tivity and noise. On the fourth of November, the marriage was celebrated at St. James's by the Bi­shop of London, the King himself giving away the brideO. The nation was overjoyed at a measure which seemed to promise security to religious and po­litical freedom.

The King and Prince agree upon terms of peace. The marriage of the Prince of Orange being ac­complished, nothing seemed wanting to the ease of [Page 211] Charles but a general peace. Europe had, for some years, considered him as the arbiter of her affairs; and now he hoped to give all the necessary weight to his decision, by the concurrence of his nephew. In a conference between the King, the Duke, the Prince, and the Lord-treasurer, the terms of pacification were suddenly settled. It was agreed, that all should be restored by France to the Empire and the Emperor that had fallen into her hands during the war. The French and Dutch were to remain in the same state is before the rupture. Lorrain was to be returned to its native sovereign; Aeth, Charleroy, Oudenarde, Courtray, Tournay, Condé, Valenciennes, St. Guistain, and Binch, restored to SpainP. The Prince of Orange promised his endeavours to procure the con­sent of the court of Madrid. Charles undertook to reconcile France to the terms proposed. The Prince [...]aboured to comprehend Franche-Comté in the ter­ [...]tories to Spain; but he submitted at last to the [...]easons offered by the King against the possibility of [...]resting that province from the hands of the FrenchQ.

State of the belligerent powers. To induce the allies to agree to these terms, seem­ [...]d less difficult than to reconcile Lewis to the cession [...]f so many conquests. Though France was exhaust­ [...]d by the war, she might find resources for defend­ [...]ng herself against the efforts of a spiritless and ill- [...]onnected confederacy. Spain, who had suffered most [...]om the progress of the enemy, was the least able, [...]nd even the most unwilling, to act with vigour.—The Dutch preferred present ease to the evils dread­ [...] from the accession of a part of Flanders to the [...]ower of France. The connection of the Emperor [...]ith the royal family of Spain, more than jealousy [...]gainst Lewis, had induced him to continue a war, [...]om which he derived nothing but misfortune.—The court of France, being no strangers to the situ­ [...]ion of their enemies, could fear nothing but from [...]e junction of the King of England with the allies. [...]t that Prince had already resisted the earnest in­ [...]ces of his parliament, and disregarded the cla­ [...]ours of his people. He continued to receive a sub­sidy [Page 212] for his neutrality; and his free communication of councils with the French King had, in some de­gree, deceived the latter into a fixed opinion of his inviolable friendship for his own person.

France re­quired to agree to the peace. The voyage of the Prince of Orange to England alarmed Lewis. His marriage with the Lady Mary completed his astonishment. The junction of Charles with the enemies of France was the natural conse­quence of the alliance. His first measure after that event carried the appearance of vigour. The Lord Duras, who had taken the title of Earl of Feversham, since the preceding April, was dispatched to Lewis to demand his concurrence with the terms settled by the court of London. Two days were only allowed to the French King for the acceptance or refusal of the peaceR. Feversham, at the expiration of these, was to return; being, by his instructions, precluded from all negotiation on that head. The surprise of Lewis had abated before the arrival of Feversham. He treated him with gentleness and complacency, neither granting nor denying his requestS. He put him off, at length, with a general answerT, that his ambassad or in England should have full powers to finish the treaty to the satisfaction of the King. Feversham returned. Barillon, the French ambassador, after va­rious procrastinations, consented to yield all the place [...] mentioned in the plan of pacification, except Tournay; and he even agreed to restore that town, upo [...] receiving a proper equivalent for the sums which ha [...] been laid out on its fortifications.

Duplicity of Charles. Though peace was the great object of Charles, [...] was determined, if possible, to obtain it, withou [...] breaking with France. The distrust between him an [...] parliament was mutual and fixed. He depended [...] more upon their support, than they did on his sin [...] ­rity. They had promised to grant all the necessa [...] supplies, upon condition of his joining the allies. But their opinions might change with his complianc [...] He attributed their opposition to France more to fa [...] ­tion than patriotism. He therefore resolved not [...] enter into a war, which would throw him on th [...] [Page 213] mercyX. When he sent Feversham to France, he made an apology in private to her ambassador at LondonY. He, at the same time, shewed his ad­herence to the private treaty between him and Lewis, by continuing the prorogation of parliament, as had been concerted, to the month of April. This latter measure was, however, no more than an artifice to obtain from France the subsidy stipulated to be paid for that long recess. Lewis was not to be deceived by such a slight pretext. He stopt the payment of the money; pretending to indemnify Charles, by the offer of some towns in Flanders, upon condition that he would not interfere in the warZ.

Treaty with the Dutch. Charles, perceiving that he was likely to lose France, resolved to terrify her into his views, by assembling immediately his parliament. On the third of Decem­ber, he recalled his proclamation, and ordered the two houses to meet at Westminster on the fifteenth of JanuaryA. To add to the panic which this sud­den resolution might throw into the councils of France, the King determined to make a treaty with the Dutch, in terms of the triple league, which had, ten years before, received so much applause. The Prince of Orange, pressed with the urgency of affairs at home, had already returned to Holland with his spouse.—The King fixed upon Temple as the most proper person to execute a business of such importance.—But he knew the inclinations of that Prince, and he declined the employment. The terms proposed by Charles were calculated to force Spain, as well as France, to accept of the concerted peaceB. The object of the Prince of Orange was to obtain the aid of England against France, and retain the con­sederacy entire. Hyde, afterwards Earl of Rochester, executed the office which Temple had refused. The Dutch, eager for a peace, accepted of the proposals of Charles. Spain even consented to a league ap­parently against herself; and the treaty was conclud­ed with such rapidity, that it was signed by the States on the sixteenth of January, 1678C.

[Page 214] year 1678 Parliament meets. Though the greatest expedition had been used in finishing the treaty with the States, it was not ready by the day appointed for the meeting of parliament. On the fifteenth of January, the two houses were ad­journed till the twenty-eighthD, when the King opened the session with a speech from the throne. He told them, that, in pursuance of his promise at the last prorogation, he had made such alliances with the States of the United Provinces, as were calcu­lated for the preservation of Flanders. To prosecute that object, he made no doubt of that aid which they had so often promised; and he endeavoured to convince them, that nothing could obtain the pro­posed end, but a prospect of their firm resolution to support his arms. Nothing, he informed them, could now be expected from negotiation; France having either eluded or refused the terms which he had of­fered to establish a general peace. He therefore de­manded ample supplies for the immediate equipment of ninety sail of capital ships, and for levying a land-force of thirty or forty thousand men. He demanded the repayment of the two hundred thousand pounds bor­rowed, by their appointment, on the additional duty of excise. He insinuated to them his extraordinary expence on the new war with Algiers, and the re­bellion in Virginia, together with his engagements to the Prince of Orange for the portion of his nieceE.

Ill humour of the com­mons. The popular schemes adopted by Charles produced not the expected effect on the commons. Having so often deceived his parliament, his best measures were suspected the most. The lower house returned him their thanks, for marrying his niece to a Pro­testant PrinceF; but they besecched him to admit o [...] no treaty of peace, till the King of France should be reduced to the same condition as at the treaty o [...] the PyreneesG. When the address was reported to the house, they added a clause, requesting the King to make all the necessary alliances for maintaining the war; and they gave him the most solemn assu­rances of their utmost aid and supportH. Charle [...] [Page 215] was provoked at this conduct, and sent a written answer to the house. He told them, that in the preceding May, they had advised him to conclude a league with the States, for the preservation of Flan­ders. That they had accompanied their advice with proffers of speedy aids, upon the declaration of such alliance. But now this treaty was declared, they for­got their promise; and offered new conditions upon which they should grant a supply. He informed them, that it was the height of absurdity to desire him to consent to no peace till France were reduced to the same state as at the treaty of the Pyrenees; ‘"a determination fit only for Almighty God, since none can tell the terms of peace, but he who knows the events of war."’ He assured them, how­ever, that, with a proper aid, he was willing to main­tain the war till Europe should be rendered inde­pendent of any single Prince: that if they would have him proceed in further alliances, they must furnish him with speedy supplies, as it was upon these alone he could form his measuresI.

They grant a supply. This answer becoming a subject of debate, it was resolved, by a considerable majorityK, to go upon a supply. The house voted, that ninety ships were necessary for the support of his Majesty's present al­liance with the States of the United ProvincesL.—Twenty-six regiments of foot, consisting each of a thousand men, four regiments of horse, and two of dragoons, were voted for the same purposeM.—An express clause was annexed to each vote, signify­ing that the fleet and forces were both intended for preserving Spanish Flanders, and lessening the power of France. The monthly expence of the naval ar­mament was computed to amount to little more than one hundred and eighty thousand pounds; that of the land-forces was calculated at near fifty thousandN.—No contingencies were allowed, no money for the tables of the principal officers. A million was voted for the service, a sum which would barely maintain for four months the force of the kingdom in a state [Page 216] of absolute inactivity. Twenty-five thousand sailors were voted for the use of the navy; and such was the eagerness of the nation for a war, that the fleet was manned and the army complete in the space of six weeks. Charles himself seemed to enter into the spirit of his subjects. Though not fond of the trouble of war, he was not averse to its pomp; and he lov­ed an army, as the obvious means of relieving him from his bondage to a parsimonious and, as he thought, an arrogant parliament.

Popular leaders in trigue with France. The great body of the nation being bent upon a war with France to promote that measure was the avowed object of the popular party. This scheme, however, was privately obstructed by different persons, from various views. Men who loved their country were afraid that the King might make use of the army to enslave the nation. Some opposed the court thro' faction, others from private ambition. The eagerness of some well-meaning men, the avarice of several, and the profligacy of a few in the opposition, opened a secret intelligence with France, through Barillon, her ambassador at the court of London. The allies had taught the French King to sway the deliberations of the English parliament, by corrupting its members. Buckingham, Shaftesbury, Russel and Hollis, from their aversion to Charles and his ministers, fell into the views of Lewis. They held private conferences with his agentsP, when they declaimed in public against his power. Some descended to the meanness of sell­ing their votes for money; and those who received no bribes themselves, were privy to the corruption of others. Their suspicions of Charles, perhaps, justified their opposition; and men of vehement passions might reconcile corruption itself to honour, when it proved the means of defeating the views of the King against public freedom.

Reflections. Men of undeviating honesty are perhaps, of all others, the least calculated for carrying forward their views in a political line. The strict adherence to virtue, which is a part of their character, is more suitable to private life than to the tumult of public [Page 217] affairs. There must be a kind of want of sincerity in that address which obtains the name of parts. A person whose only view is the good of the people must sometimes use engines for accomplishing his purpose, of which his own mind cannot strictly ap­prove. To lead a party, one must overlook the selfish views of individuals, and even accommodate himself to passions and prejudices which he may perhaps ab­hor and despise. The man whose squeamish virtue revolts at the profligacy of some members of his party, is fit only for mourning over the ruins of his country. Such is the excuse of those who thought it was from principle they joined with France against the King. His own example justified their using the same means which HE was known to have employed. He bought votes in the house of commons with French money; and those who opposed his measures, met him in his own way. This refined reasoning might weigh with a Lord Russel. To gratify, by any means, their own resentment, was sufficient for a Buckingham and a Shaftesbury.

Secret in­trigues. But notwithstanding the public professions of the leaders of opposition, there is reason to believe that their chief design was upon office. The new measures adopted by Charles, had deprived them, in some de­gree, of the ground on which they stood. The mar­riage of the Prince of Orange, the apparent vigour against the power of France, were calculated to gain the nation. The Earl of Danby was considered as the author of a change which, by being followed, might in time regain to the King and his councils that irresistible popularity which he had once pos­sessed. In the month of January, the Duke of Buckingham found means to have a secret confer­ence with the KingQ. He made offers, it may be supposed, of the service of the faction, and that being rejected, they formed a resolution to ruin the treasurer. In their eagerness to accomplish this point, the Lord Russel and other considerable men of the party sent to the Duke of York in the month of April. They acquainted him, that if he would trust them, and join with them in what they should propose for the good of the King and the nation, they would undertake to take off [Page 218] the incapacity under which he lay of being Lord High Admiral, or of exercising any other public of­fice. They promised, in short, to do every thing to his satisfaction; but in return, they expected his con­currence and aid in ruining the Lord-treasurer. The Duke made answer, that he would heartily concur with them in any measure for the good of the King and the nation, but that he would not fall upon the King's minister, without the King's consent, unless he were visibly guilty of very great misdemeanoursR.

of parties. The resentment of the party against the Lord-treasurer, and the favour of the Duke of York for him, proceeded from the same cause. Charles, in his great affection for Monmouth, had resolved to constitute him commander in chief of all his forces. His vanity induced the Duke to magnify this mark of favour into a matter of much greater importance. In a conference which he had with some of the lea­ders of the popular partyS, he told them, that the King had promised to declare him Prince of WalesT. Colonel Birch was sent to the treasurer, to induce him to persuade Charles to this measure. The trea­surer told Birch, that he was certain the King abhor­red such an untruth; and that he would never advise him to adopt a scheme at once dangerous to the king­dom and dishonourable to himself. This declaration enraged the party, while it pleased the Duke of York. They resolved to ruin himU; and they were bent so much on that purpose, that they shewed are inclination of gaining the favour of the Duke, who was Danby's great support with the King. Tha [...] minister industriously cultivated a good understanding with the Duke, though he afterwards endeavoured [...] sacrifice him to his own safetyX.

Proceedings These were the private motives which produce [...] the public ferment in the house of commons. Th popular party, with all their pretended eagerness [...] a war with France, clogged with clauses every motio [...] calculated to begin it with vigour. An address to t [...] King, advising him to declare war, was, on the fi [...] ­teenth [Page 219] of March carried up to the lords, for their concurrence, by the Lord RusselY. The peers sent it down with amendments, and it was never present­ed. On the twentieth of March the King gave his assent to the poll-bill; and seven days after, the two houses adjourned to the eleventh, and afterwards to the 29th of AprilZ. The chancellor, by command of his Majesty, acquainted the parliament, that the Dutch were making preparations for a separate peace, without either the privity or consent of the King; and desired the advice of the two housesA. On the fourth of May, the commons resolved, that the league with Holland was not pursuant to the addresses of their house, or consistent with the safety of the kingdomB. They at the same time voted to advise the King to join with the confederates, and to enter into an immediate war with France. Charles, of­fended at these votes, eluded them, by declaring that he could take no notice of what was done by a single house, because the advice he wanted was to come from both houses of parliament.

of the The ill humour of the commons proceeded not en­tirely from the machinations of the leaders of party. That there existed a kind of friendly correspondence between Charles and France was suspected at least, if not known. Men who had no inclination to dis­tress government, were offended at being made its tools, to procure money for a war which was never intended. Several who loved their country abetted the violence of the factious. On the tenth of May, an address was presented, which bore, that they con­ceived the present inconveniences might have been prevented, had his Majesty accepted of the advice of his commons of the twenty-sixth of the preceding May and the thirty-first of JanuaryC. They there­fore requested, that he would remove from his coun­cils those who had advised his answers to their addres­ses. A clause was added for removing the Duke of Lauderdale from the King's presence for ever. The [Page 220] ministry and abettors of the crown opposed with vi­gour this address. They divided the house upon each of the three paragraphsD of which the address con­sisted; and the opposition gained the first by two votes, the second by one, and the third only by three. The King was highly offended, and prorogued the parliament for ten days.

commons. They met again on the twenty-third of May. The recess had rather encreased than diminished the flame. The King, in a speech, acquainted them, that he was resolved either by war or peace to save Flanders; that in either of those cases, he thought it necessary to keep in readiness the army and the navy; that he left it to his parliament to consider of sup­plies, which were equally wanted, whether the forces were continued or dismissed from the service. It was resolved by the commons to support the King, if he would enter into a war with the French; otherwise they would consider of providing for disbanding the army. Charles informed them, that the French King had proposed a cessation of arms, which he be­lieved would end in a general peace. The commons immediately voted, that all forces levied since the twenty-ninth of the preceding September should be paid off and disbanded. Six hundred thousand pounds were granted for that purpose. The King asked in vain for a fund of three hundred thousand pounds to supply the deficiency in his standing revenue. He de­manded, to no purpose, a supply to enable him to pay the portion of the Lady Mary to the Prince of Orange. The ill humour of the commons continued. Altercation, rather than debate, filled their house with noise and tumult. The business of the nation was forgot in passion; and the people, as well as the King, were eased from trouble when the two houses were adjourned, on the fifteenth of JulyE.

Progress of France. France availed herself of the dissensions which he [...] agents had kindled in England. In a good correspondence with Charles, and on the best terms with th [...] [Page 221] popular party, she had little to fear from measures carried on by the first with languor, and obstructed with eagerness by the latter. Whilst the eyes of the allies were turned toward the deliberations of parlia­ment, the French took the field in Flanders. Ghent, invested on the fifth of March, surrendered on the ninth to Mareschal d'Humiers. Ypres, on the twen­ty-fifth of the same month, fell into the hands of Lewis. Though the commons seemed to be alarmed at these new conquests, no effectual measures were pursued for stopping the progress of France. Had the necessary supplies been granted, Charles, not­withstanding his aversion to war, would have yielded to the voice of his subjects, and joined the allies. But the confederates, long divided in their councils, had at length begun to separate their respective in­terests. The resources of the Dutch had failed, through the great expence of the war, and the ruin which it had brought on their commerce. They had long discovered an inclination toward a separate peace; and they now resolved upon that measure, as they saw no prospect of any effectual assistance from England to prosecute the war.

Money trea­ty Lewis, perceiving that he had little to dread from the two only powers who could stop his progress, as­sumed the tone of a conqueror. Instead of yielding to the terms offered by Charles, he formed a plan of peace, which, by placing all the barrier towns of Flanders in his hands, left that country open to his future attacks. Though the King of England was fettered by his parliament, though his disposition to peace was not unknown, Lewis thought it necessary to gain his consent, by tempting his avarice. In the beginning of May, a French ambassador made pro­posals to Charles, which were, toward the end of that month, carried into a formal treatyF. Three hun­dred thousand pounds were to be paid to the King by France, upon condition of his neutrality, should the allies refuse to receive the terms of peace as already delivered at Nimeguen by the agents of Lewis. To [Page 222] this treaty a separate article was annexed, the execu­tion of which was to have been prior to the first pay­ment of the subsidy. Charles was enjoined to disband his new-raised troops to six thousand men, one half of which was already in garrison at Ostend, and the other destined for the suppression of tumults in Scot­landG. Besides he was to prorogue his parliament for four months; Lewis, notwithstanding his con­nection with the popular party, being afraid of a change of conduct in an assembly so fluctuating in their opinions.

with France. The King hesitated between the proposals of France and the eagerness of England for a war. The conduct of the States put an end to his suspence. They communicated to him their resolution of con­cluding a separate peace, upon the terms delivered at Nimeguen by the commissioners of France. This change in their opinions proceeded from other causes as well as from the exhausted state of their finances. The eagerness of the Prince of Orange for continu­ing the war, his late connection with the royal line of England, the former influence of his family, and their frequent attempts on the liberties of a peo­ple whom they were chosen to defend, were placed in the most suspicious light by the agents of France. The Louvestein party, who had been crushed by the terrors of the vulgar, had recovered some of their former spirit, when the danger which gave birth to their fears was removed. Men who loved their coun­try, saw with jealousy the dangerous ascendency which the Prince had acquired during the war; and they resolved to take advantage of the general incli­nation for a peace, the necessity, or at least the expe­diency of which was now apparent to all. They insi­nuated to the King of England, that they were dis­posed to a peace. They ordered Van Beverning, their ambassador at Nimeguen, to proceed to Lewis at GhentH; and, as a preparatory step to a general peace, to conclude a truce for six weeks with that monarch.

[Page 223] Charles of­fended, The King, apprized of this event, accepted of the proposals of France in a formal treaty. It was signed by himself; the minister having declined to hazard his name to a transaction which might be at­tended with perilI. The article concerning the dis­banding of the troops, lately raised, to six thousand men, and the prorogation of the parliament for four months, was annexed as a condition necessarily prior to the payment of the money, and signed only by the French ambassador. In the mean time, a general peace advanced to a conclusion, at Nimeguen. Of all the towns taken during the war by the French in Flanders, six only, and these of no great conse­quence, were to be restored to Spain. Ypres, Condé, Valenciennes, and Tournay, were to remain to France. Flanders was left exposed by a treaty which placed the whole strength of its frontier in the hands of Lewis. A peace which promised no security to the allies, and which raised the power of France, was received with great murmurs in England. The inactivity and negligence of Charles were blam­ed, his secret concurrence suspected, and his whole conduct arraigned. He had lost the parliament, and now he was likely to lose the people. He regretted the opportunity which he had neglected; and he began heartily to wish that he had adopted in fact those vigorous measures which he pretended to pursue.

concludes an alliance with the Dutch. An accident seemed to offer that opportunity which he had lost. The day beforeK the treaty was to have been signed at Nimeguen, the Marquis de Bal­baces, the Spanish ambassador, signified an inclination to know at what time Lewis intended to restore the towns of Flanders which were to be returned to the crown of Spain. The ambassadors of France, with­out hesitation, replied, that the restitution should not take place till all that was lost by Sweden to Denmark and the Elector of Brandenburg should be restored. The Spanish and Dutch plenipotentiaries refused to sign the treaty, upon such vague and indefinite condi­tions. Charles, apprized of this circumstance, exhi­bited [Page 224] symptoms of astonishment and rage. He saw that, from being the umpire of the differences of Europe, he had fallen under the contempt of France, He dispatched Temple to the States. That minister, in the space of six days, concluded a treaty at the HagueL, by which England and Holland were mu­tually bound to prosecute with vigour the war, in case Lewis should refuse to evacuate the six towns within a limited timeM. The parliament, which was still sitting, did not second this new ardour of Charles. The popular party were less jealous of France than they were of their native sovereign. The commons refused supplies. They even had come to a resolution to permit no motion for money to be made in their house till after a recessN.

Treaty of Nimeguen. The coldness of the commons, and his own fluctu­ating disposition, soon changed the resolutions of the King. He repented of a treaty which threatened to involve him in a war, for which he was provided with no resources. He took measuresO to persuade the ambassador of Sweden at Nimeguen not to insist upon the retention of the towns in Flanders, as a pledge for those which his master had lost. He even disco­vered an inclination to enter, at the expence of France, into an actual war in favour of SwedenP. The first measure must be attributed to the necessities of his situation, the latter to a desire of keeping in pay a considerable force. This fluctuation of coun­cils alarmed the Dutch, and terrified the French. The first could not depend on the support of Charles, nor the latter on his neutrality. The States were too weary of hostilities to renew them with such an un­certain ally; and the prize obtained by France by the proposed treaty was too great to be thrown back into the wheel. Both sides made advances in private to ward a peace. The eleventh of August was the last day appointed by the treaty of the Hague for receiv­ing the ultimate determination of France. In the morning of that day, the French ambassadors desisted [Page 225] from their resolution of retaining the six towns; and, before twelve at night, a separate treaty was signed between Lewis and the States.

Battle of St. Dennis. Europe exclaimed against a treaty which restored every thing to the Dutch, whilst it deprived their al­lies of a part of their dominions. Those who lay the whole blame on the fluctuating councils of Charles, have not discovered all the truth. The country-party, if that appellation may be used with regard to Hol­land, were the makers of a peace, which was to de­prive the Prince of Orange of a part of his dangerous power. His eagerness for continuing the war was THEIR chief inducement to bring it to a speedy con­clusion. His friends obstructed the treaty with all their influence. He himself took an unjustifiable step to break it after it was made. The French, un­der Luxembourg, had held Mons for some time in blockade. In a daily expectation of a peace, they made no motion for pushing their operations with vi­gour. The Prince, having received intelligence of the treaty being signed, was fired with disappoint­ment and resentment. On the fourteenth of August, he fell upon the French with the utmost courage. Their advantageous situation and the conduct of Luxembourg prevented a defeat. The lives of thou­sands were thrown away to no purpose. The Prince gained no victory, and he lost reputation by a breach of public faith. His conduct was inexcusable upon the occasion. A copy, or, as some say, the original treatyQ, was in his pocket when he fought at St. Dennis. But he hoped, if successful, to encourage his countrymen to disavow terms, of which he him­self could never approve; or he wished to put an end, with some renown, to a war, in which his success had not been answerable to his assiduity and courage.

Charles en­deavours to break the peace of Ni­meguen, in vain. Charles, when he received information of the peace of Nimeguen, demanded from FranceR the money stipulated to be paid for his neutrality, by his treaty with Lewis of the twenty-seventh of May. He had not kept his part of the terms; and his pen­sion [Page 226] was, with justice, refused. Disappointed by what he deemed a breach of faith, he flew into a rage against the French. He dispatched Mr. Hyde to the States, to endeavour to persuade them to disavow their minister at Nimeguen. He promised, if the Dutch would join him, to declare an immediate war; and to support it with the utmost vigour, till France should be reduced to terms of more advantage to Eu­rope. He ordered troops to embark for Flanders. He hastened his ships to sea. The whole nation bore the appearance of instant hostilities. But the States were not to be moved. They approved of the con­duct of their ambassador, and they ratified the treaty. The Spaniards and the Empire were soon obliged to accept of peace, upon the terms settled between Lewis and Holland. The allies were highly offended at the conduct of the Dutch. His own subjects, as well as the confederates, blamed the fluctuating councils of Charles. The first sacrificed the interest of their friends to their own ease. The latter, from being the umpire of Europe, became, through a mean love of money, ingloriously subservient to a power whom, by a more politic conduct, he might command. But he made one false step, which he could not recover; and having lost his consequence at home, he could never regain his importance abroad.

Reflections on the peace with regard to France. Though the war, which terminated with the peace of Nimeguen, was inglorious to the allies, it threw much less honour on French councils than on the French arms. Successful almost on every side, the King of France seemed only solicitous to over-run countries for the pleasure of evacuating them again [...] He gained Holland without bloodshed, and he lost [...] without a battle. Having reduced Sicily, with som [...] actions of renown, he relinquished that island withou [...] any apparent cause. The profligacy of the King o [...] England, the impatience of the States for peace, th [...] extreme debility of Spain, which added her own want of resources to the feebleness of the goverme [...] of Charles the Second, presented at last a field f [...] Lewis, which he improved with more prudence th [...] he had employed in conducting the war. His acqui [...] ­tions in Flanders laid open the remaining part of t [...] [Page 227] country to conquest. The seizure of Lorrain and the cession: of France-Comté exposed the Netherlands on the one side, and the Empire on the other, to a French invasion. But all these advantages neither an­swered the expectations of Lewis at the beginning of the war, nor supplied the loss sustained by France during its progress. In subsidies to England, in sup­porting his ally the King of Sweden, and in the ex­traordinary expence of his own army, he squandered near twenty millions sterling, while his gains could not be estimated at a twentieth part of that sum. But his chief loss was that of reputation. He gained no fame as a warrior in the field; and he lost all cre­dit as a King, by his disregard to the saith of treaties.

Cause of Charles's eagerness for war. The eagerness of Charles for a war with France, must, in some measure, be ascribed to a personal re­sentment against Lewis. However careless he might be in his conduct toward others, he affected to treat the French King with the most scrupulous honour. He found, at length, that Lewis ended his attention where his own interest ceased. When the English troops, whose valour had contributed so much to his victories, were recalled, they met rather with indig­nity, than those generous marks of favour which their service deserved. Though reduced to one half of their number in the war, seven shillings and six­pence only was given to men disbanded in Dauphiny and BurgundyS. The King was highly offended at this instance of meanness. His brother was enraged. In June, the Duke received letters from the officers, complaining of this unworthy treatment; and, at that very time, intelligence arrived from Nimeguen, that Lewis, by an evasion, had refused to deliver the stipulated towns to the Spaniards. Charles derived spirit from his resentment. The Duke seconded his brother's ardour. He even seems, for this and other reasons, to have harboured an aversion to the interests [...]f France, which, with his usual obstinacy, he en­ [...]ertained for some yearsT. His close correspondence with the Prince of Orange proves that he entered [...]eartily into his viewsU. Besides, he wished to dis­tinguish [Page 228]himself in a popular war, to regain some part of that confidence which had been lost through his ridiculous adherence to the Romish faith.

His neutra­lity benefi­cial to Eng­land. Though the neutrality, which Charles observed with so much attention, was inglorious to himself, it was advantageous, in the result, to his people. The sums obtained from France, the money extorted at the peace from the States, the supposed remittances of the latter, and the secret pensions from Spain, were more than an equivalent for the supplies raised on the subject for the support of the war. Besides, by being expended on the navy, the sums granted by parliament reverted to the channels from which they came. Commerce, which had flourished greatly since the Restoration, was both encouraged and protected. The trade of England extended itself through Eu­rope, whilst other powers were exhausting their re­sources in a fruitless war. Had Charles followed the inclinations of his people, had he studied his own glory, he would have weakened his kingdom with expence, before its prosperity was confirmed by the industry of the people. These advantages were not then seen. The nation, jealous of the power of France, were eager for a war, in which, however, glory might be attended with ruin. The King, it must be confessed, derived no credit from an inactivity which ultimately proved a benefit to his subjects.

State of public opi­nion. Notwithstanding the vehemence exhibited by Charles for joining himself to the allies, he was never thought sincere. His partiality to France during the war, the obstinacy with which he had resisted the crie [...] of his people, and the addresses of his parliament, had confirmed the nation in an opinion, that he neve [...] intended to separate his interest from Lewis. He had used deception so often, that the more popular hi [...] measures appeared, the more they were the object [...] of fear. When he shewed an eagerness for war, it was construed into an artifice to gain supplies. H [...] pacific disposition was invariably ascribed to his cordi [...] union with France. His brother's avowed attachment to the church of Rome implied his own indi [...] ference to the Protestant religion. Dark surmis [...] [Page 229] were propagated, and received with eagerness every where. Political distrust was improved by the arts of the factious and the whispers of party-men. Silence, rather than peace, prevailed. Mankind were taught to look up to the Sovereign and his family as the ene­mies of their religious and civil liberty; and they would even be disappointed, if no symptoms of dan­ger to either appeared from a quarter so much sus­pected.

Popish plot. Titus Otes. Such was the state of public opinion when the first reports of a Popish plot were heard. A brief detail of the circumstances, as they have since appeared, will throw more light on the subject, than a narration of the facts as they gradually rose to view. Titus Otes, the chief actor in this pernicious imposture, was the son of a ribbon-weaver, who afterwards be­came an Anabaptist preacher, and served as chaplain to one of Cromwell's regiments stationed in Scotland. The son was bred at Merchant-Taylors school in the city. He afterwards studied at Cambridge. Having left that university, with neither the reputation of learning nor the character of virtue, he slipt into or­ders, and officiated as curate for his father, who pos­sessed a living, having conformed to the church of England at the Restoration. He afterwards enjoyed the small vicarage of Hobbing in Kent. He removed from thence to another in Sussex; and having insinu­ated himself into the Duke of Norfolk's family, he came to London. In that city he abandoned himself to every vice, and was reduced to every species of distress. He was prosecuted for perjury; but he es­ [...]aped. He served as chaplain on board a man of war; but he was dismissed for an unnatural crime. He returned to London, the former scene of his wick­ [...]dness and misery, and was reduced to beggary and [...]gs, when his fortune threw him into the acquain­ [...]nce of one Dr. Tong, a city divineX.

Tong and Kirby Tong, whom Otes had chosen for his patron, was [...]arce less abandoned or less wicked than himself. [...]nder the government of Cromwell, he endeavoured [Page 228] [...] [Page 229] [...] [Page 230] to destroy the two universities, by misrepresenting them to the prevailing powersY. He was expelled from the garrison of Tangier, where he officiated as chaplain, for various misdemeanors and evil practicesZ. In his disposition busy and intriguing, by nature cre­dulous, restless, humoursome, a lover of mischief, as he enjoyed the misfortunes of mankind. To spread scandal was his great amusement, and to form plots or suspect them in others his chief delight. He was possessed of a moderate degree of learning, and he had a turn for chemistry. This latter qualification introduced him to the acquaintance of one Kirby, a broken merchant, whose knowledge in chemical ope­rations opened to him access to the King, who took great pleasure in that study. This connection with Kirby he afterwards improved, in forwarding his own designs. Averse, from enthusiasm, to the papists, and suspecting, from wickedness as well as prejudice, their designs against the established religion, his whole conversation turned upon their supposed plots, con­spiracies, and treasonsA.

form a pre­tended plot, Having, under a pretence of charity, entertained Otes for some time, he found him a bold and an im­pudent man, a person who shrunk from no under­taking, as he was possessed of no solid understanding to foresee difficulties. He told him, that several plots had been formed in England to introduce popery; and that in all probability one existed at present to ac­complish the same purpose. He advised him to re­concile himself to the Romish church, to go beyond seas, to enter into the society of the Jesuits. He as­sured him, that if he could discover the existence of a real plot, or even procure names upon which an ideal one might be formed, his fortune and prefer­ment were made. Otes followed implicitly the direc­tions of his patron. He became a Papist and a Jesuit. He went in the April of 1677 to Valladolid, in Spain. After six months he returned to England. Having remained one month at home, he repaired to the [Page 231] English seminary of Jesuits, at St. Omers. His bad behaviour soon brought upon him the displeasure of the college; they dismissed him; and he returned to England in the July of this present year, having added resentment against the whole order to his own wicked designsB.

which is communi­cated to the King. Otes, repairing to his friend Dr. Tong, commu­nicated to that credulous and restless spirit all the ma­terials which he had collected abroad. In frequent conferences in the city, and in a retired lodging, at the house of one Lambert, a bell-founder, at Vaux­hall, they framed narratives of a popish plot, to mur­der the King, to subvert the government, and to re-establish the Catholic faith in the kingdom. Having arranged, to their own satisfaction, the particulars of the intended imposture, Tong prevailed on his friend Kirby to carry insinuations of a plot to the King, to whom he was personally known. On the twelfth of August, as Charles, according to his daily custom, was walking in the Park, Kirby addressed him ab­ruptly, desired him to keep within the company, as­suring him that his enemies had an immediate design upon his life. Charles, who was not to be easily alarmed with a plot, inquiring the reason of such a strange piece of intelligence, was informed by Kirby, that one Doctor Tong knew the whole affair; and whom, if permitted, he would bring in person before the King.

By an arti­fice brought before Tong being introduced to his Majesty the next day, delivered into his own hands a narrative of a plot, reduced under forty-three heads. The King, pre­paring to set out for Windsor, slightly peruled the paper, and ordered Tong to carry it to the Lord-treasurer DanbyC. That nobleman, more credulous than his master, or hoping to derive security to him­self from a circumstance which promised to turn the attention of the nation to another objectD, treated Tong's information more seriously than it seemed to deserve. Encouraged by the countenance of the mi­nister, [Page 232] the Doctor plied the King with fresh informa­tions and further importunities, till toward the end of September: but instead of gaining credit by addi­tional confirmations and new discoveries, the pene­trating eyes of Charles perceived that the whole was a gross imposture. The plot, were it not for an ac­cident, would have sunk in oblivion, through the King's disregard to a tale whose contradictory cir­cumstances had rendered it incredible. Tong, in a letter to the treasurer, informed him, on the twenty-eighth of September, that a packet written by Je­suits, concerning the plot, was sent by the post to Windsor, addressed to one Bedingfield, confessor to the Duke of York. Danby, who was then in Ox­fordshire, repaired to court; but before his arrival, Bedingfield communicated the packet, which appear­ed to be forged, to the Duke, who immediately car­ried it to the KingF.

the council. First narra­tive. This incident confirmed Charles in his belief of an imposture. But the Duke, who had not heard till that hourG the least surmise of the plot, insisted upon a thorough inquiry into the pretended conspiracy before the council. Danby, willing to throw the whole into the parliamentH, seconded the vehe­mence of the Duke. The council sat upon the business. Kirby, Tong, and Otes were brought before them; the plot made a noise, and the whole nation was soon alarmed. On the thirteenth of Oc­toberI, Otes, the chief actor in this pernicious farce, related his whole story before the council. The sum of this impostor's information consisted chiefly of the following articles: he told the board, that he had been privy, both at home and abroad, to many con­sultations among the Jesuits for the assassination of his Majesty. Grove and Pickering, the one an ordained Jesuit, the other a lay-brother of the same order, were first appointed to shoot the King; but after­wards it was resolved to dispatch him with poison, by the means of Sir George Wakeman, the Queen's physician, and a papist. Many Jesuits, he said, in ̄NO T016 [Page 233] disguise, had gone to Scotland, to distract the govern­ment of that country, by preaching sedition in the field conventicles. He affirmed, that, in prosecution of the great design, he had visited St. Omers, Paris, and even Spain, by command.

Otes's evi­dence sus­pected. With many letters and directions, he affirmed that he himself had returned to England. That in a ta­vern behind St. Clement's church, in the Strand, he assisted at a consultation of fifty Jesuits; and that he carried their resolutions from room to room. He in­formed the board, that in this assembly it was deter­mined to dispatch the King by the dagger, by shoot­ing, or by poison. That when he was busy in col­lecting evidence for a full discovery, he was suspected, and was obliged to separate himself from their meet­ings to save his own life. This story he related with such circumstances, that on the first day of his exa­mination before the council, he gained some creditL. But when he was cross-examined, the villainy began to appear. The letters sent to Bedingfield being pro­duced, he affirmed that he knew them to be of the hand-writing of those from whom they were pretend­ed to come. But one letter, said to be written by Blundel, an English Jesuit, appeared, to the convic­tion of all present, to be in the same hand with Dr. Tong's deposition. Besides, the letters carried on their face the evidence of forgery. They were full of false spelling, no points, no marks of distinction, no air of coming from men of business. Treason was written in plain terms. No double meaning was used, nothing tending to deception or to the preven­tion of discovery. It was thought impossible that five persons, and those at different places, and natives of different countries, could agree in the same salse Eng­lish, write on paper with the same mark, of the same size, and use the same expressions, the same affected cant.

Several per­sons seized. Notwithstanding these and various other prooss of an imposture, which arose to view from the examina­tion of Otes, the council issued orders for seizing [Page 234] such accused persons as were then in London. A guard, led by the informer, was sent in search of se­veral Jesuits and their papers. During three days he was almost perpetually employed, either in appre­hending the accused, or in attending the council. Sir George Wakeman was seized, and Coleman, late se­cretary to the Duchess of York. Langhorne, an eminent counsellor at law, was apprehended; eight Jesuits, Whitbread, Turner, Marshal, Ireland, Ga­van, Rumley, Corker, and Pickering were seized. These were the principal persons in England who were accused by Otes, in his first examination, of being privy to the Popish plot. The measures of the council in an instant alarmed the nation. The city was all in a ferment. Apprehension and terror flew over the whole country. Every person was now em­ployed either in hearing or telling strange reports. The truth was magnified by the fears of the people. The most gross inventions, the most improbable fic­tions were received as certain fact. Idle rumours co­inciding with the former jealousies of men, were im­plicitly believed; and the whole people wore the ap­pearance of public misery and distress.

Coleman's letters. In the midst of this terror and suspense, some col­lateral incidents seemed to place the truth of a plot beyond dispute, in the eyes of a credulous people. Coleman, before his house was searched, found means to convey away his letters for the two last years, to­gether with his book of entries. In his confusion he left in a drawer some copies of letters, which he had written to Father la Chaise, the French King's con­fessor, to the Pope's nuncio at Brussels, to other Ca­tholics abroad. These were found, examined, and published. Coleman, a man of a weak understand­ing, was a bigot, to the last degree of enthusiasm, in the Romish faith. Sanguine beyond measure, thro' the sury of his zeal, he insinuated, in a kind of inco­herent jargon, the great expectations which he enter­tained of the conversion of the three British kingdoms, and the total ruin of the Protestant religion, which this foolish zealot called a pestisent heresy. He built his hopes on the zeal of the Duke of York, and [Page 235] spoke in indefinite and obscure terms of aid from abroad, to accomplish what he denominated a glorious work. He insinuated in other letters, that the inte­rests of the French and English royal families, and those of the Romish faith, were inseparable. He proposed to la Chaise to procure a remittance of three hundred thousand pounds from France for the dissolu­tion of the parliament; which measure would greatly forward their views. This busy and weak enthusiast seems to have gleaned hints of the money-negotiations then subsisting between Charles and Lewis, and to have founded upon that circumstance a romantic scheme, which existed only in his own distempered imaginationM.

Godfrey's murder. Though Coleman's letters bore no relation to the plot discovered by Otes, they seemed to infer, that a design of the same kind had been formerly in agita­tion. Some concluded they were the beginning of a chain of correspondence, which came down to the present times. They supposed that the subsequent letters contained a full information of a plot, as yet very imperfectly known. This incident was followed by another, which put an end to every doubt. On the sixth of SeptemberN, Sir Edmondbury God­frey, a man of a good character, but of a melan­choly disposition, who had acted many years as a jus­tice of the peace in Westminster, was prevailed upon by some of the popular party to swear Otes to the first narrative delivered to the King by Doctor Tong. On the twenty-eighth of the same month, he took again the oath of Otes to the same paper, with what he denominated fresh and further informations. These depositions were presented on the same day to the King and council by Tong. Godfrey, on Satur­day the twelfth of October, suddenly disappeared. No tidings were heard of him till Thursday the seven­teenth, when he was found dead in a ditch near Prim­rose-hill, on the way to Hampstead, with his sword run through his body. No blood appeared on his clothes. His money was in his pocket, his rings on his fingers, his shoes were clean. His gloves and his [Page 236] cane lay near him on the ground. His neck, from its limberness and distortion, a circumstance even com­mon in a natural death, and the appearance of stagnated blood all around his throat, confirmed mankind in the opinion that he was strangledO.

Consterna­tion of the people. The whole city poured round the body, which lay exposed to public view for two whole days. Every one concluded that Godfrey was murdered by the Pa­pists, for taking the oath of Otes concerning a plot in which they were deemed to be all concerned. The passions of the populace were raised to a degree of madness, by the moving sight of the body. The spi­rits of the better sort were inflamed by terror, surmises, and suspicions. The evidence of Otes, with all its con­tradictions and absurdities, was implicitly swallowed by all degrees of people. Men, who presumed to rea­son the subject, were hated like accomplices in the plot. The whole ran down in one torrent on the side of a popish conspiracy. Charles, perceiving that it was dangerous, if not impossible to oppose the stream, added his own force to its violence. He no longer seemed to form a doubt on a subject which his pene­trating judgment could never permit him to believe. He issued a proclamation, offering a reward of five hun­dred pounds to any person who should discover the murder; and, as it had been insinuated that many might be kept from giving their evidence through fear, he promised all security to the persons of the discover­ers. The alarm spread from London through the whole kingdom. The business of life was interrupted by confusion, panic, clamour, dreadful rumours; and the unfortunate Catholics began to be afraid of the massacre, of the design of which they themselves were accusedP.

Reflections on God­frey's mur­der. Notwithstanding the temporary belief of a whole people, the death of Godfrey ceased, soon after, to be ascribed to the Papists. That sect could entertain no motive of offence against a justice of the peace, for executing a duty which, from his office, he could not refuse. Instead of ossiciously inquiring into the matter, it is certain that he was, with much difficulty, prevail­ed [Page 237] upon to swear Otes. He put no interrogatories to the informer. He only received his oath upon a writ­ten narrative, which was already no secret. Besides, Godfrey was known to be on the best terms with the Catholics. He was intimate with Coleman. He never executed with rigour the laws against the sect. The evidence given, soon after, of the murder, is now exploded, with the other perjuries of that disgraceful and profligate period Those who profited first by the plot might with more reason be suspected of Godfrey's death; yet a charge of so deep a dye must never be admitted, without direct and positive evidence. A great use, it is certain, was made of this incident by the popular party. They carried the body, in a long and melan­choly procession, through London. They buried it with every ceremony calculated to excite pity and rouze terror. They tampered with the witnesses, who swore that they were privy to the murder. But as Godfrey was of a disconsolate state of mind, his death may, with more justice, be ascribed to his own melancholy, than to the wickedness of other menQ.


Popish plot abetted by all.—A session of parliament.—Their violence and fears.—Attack on the Duke of York.—Intrigues of the Prince of Orange.—Bill to disable Papists.—Bedloe's evidence.—Queen ac­cused.—Coleman and others condemned.—Accusation and impeachment of Danby.—Reflections.—Par­liament prorogued.—Distracted state of the nation.—Parliament dissolved.—Duke of York withdraws.—Monmouth declared illegitimate.—Intrigue with France.—New parliament.—Difference concerning a speaker.—Violence of the commons.—Danby pro­secuted.—A new council.—Proposal of limitations.—Bill of exclusion.—Resolution against Bishops.—Habeas-corpus act.—Condemnation of Jesuits.—Langhorn condemned.—Parliament dissolved.—Af­fairs of Scotland.—Murder of Sharpe.—Rout at Bothwell-Bridge.—Affairs of Ireland.—State of parties and opinions.—King's sickness.—Duke of York returns.—Monmouth disgraced.—The Duke of York in Scotland.—Monmouth returns, without leave.—Intrigues of the Prince of Orange.—The King's firmness.—Meal-tub plot.—Intrigues of the Prince of Orange.—A change in the ministry.—Some members of the council resign.—Secret views of the Prince of Orange.—Petitioners and abhorrers.—Whigs and Tories.—Duke of York returns.—He is presented for recusancy.—Intrigues of the Prince of Orange.—Monmouth's progress.—Policy of the King.—The Duke retires.—A parliament.—Violence of the commons.—Prince of Orange's nego­tiations with the house of Lunenburgh.—Bill of ex­clusion.—Rejected by the lords.—Violent proceedings of the commons.—They animadvert on the abhorrers.—Impeach the Judges.—Trial and execution of Stafford.—Extraordinary votes.—Parliament pro­rogued.—Intrigues of the Prince of Orange.—Par­liament dissolved.—Firmness and views of the King.—Negotiation with France.—Fitz-Harris's libel.—A parliament at Oxford.—Violence of the com­mons.—A quarrel between the houses.—Bill of ex­clusion.—Parliament dissolved.—Consternation of the popular party.

[Page 239] year 1678 Popish plot abetted by Danby. THOUGH the popish plot was abetted by the popular party through faction, it received its chief support from the arts of the minister, the Earl of Danby. Suspecting the attachment of the King to his person, he had ceased to act heartily in his service ever since the beginning of the present yearR. The Duke of Buckingham, to whom he partly owed his place, had added ill offices to the enmity which the proud give in return for favours too great for common gratitude. He had, in the preceding January, found means to be admitted to the King in private, with proposals from the leaders of opposition, promising every thing for the disgrace of the treasurerS. Danby, hated by the coun­try-party, and uncertain of the protection of Charles, employed all his thoughts for securing himself. He seized with eagerness the Popish plot, as at once the proof of his attachment to the established church, and the probable means of diverting the storm, which was ready to fall on his own head. When it was proposed in council by the Duke of York and by Lauderdale to put an end to the plot, by a thorough examination, he evaded the motion, and encouraged the King to follow his diversions at Newmarket till the time was pastT. Had the improbable fictions of Otes been searched to the bottom before the credulity of the nation was alarmed, the ruin which fell on individuals, and the mischiefs that threatened the people, might have been entirely preventedU.

Parliament meets. But the treasurer, having resolved to throw the whole of that intricate business into parliament, was unwilling to remove the veil from the eyes of a credulous people. To continue the delusion, by encouraging the profligate to perjuries, rewards were offered for oaths and evidence. Otes himself was lodged in the palace, where he lived at a considerable expence to the King. Indemnity, money, and even applause, were held sorth as incite­ments to iniquity; and mankind were prepared, by their fears, to give credit to the most improbable lies. In this situation of affairs, the parliament met on the twenty-first of October. The King told them in his speech, that the part which he had acted for preserving [Page 240] the neighbouring powers, and securing Flanders, was sufficiently known, without enlarging on that subject. He excused his not disbanding the army, by the effect which that measure had to support the spirits of his friends, and to lessen the demands of their enemies. He complained of the expence of the troops to his standing revenue. He earnestly demanded an imme­diate supply. He informed them of the popish plot; but he forbore to offer his opinion. He said, that he left the whole to the law; that, however, he should take effectual means to prevent foreigners from intro­ducing popery. He recommended to them his own concerns. He mentioned the deficiency in the poll-bill, and the anticipations on the revenue; and he concluded with a desire that they would consider his necessities with that duty and affection which he was certain of deriving from their loyaltyX.

Their vio­lence. Popular assemblies are truly the representatives of the people, in their violence and fears. The madness which had seized the nation raged with redoubled fury in parliament. The two houses went instantly into a flame. The rest of the King's speech was in a mo­ment forgotten. The plot at once engrossed the at­tention and awakened the fears of all. The commons voted an immediate address for all papers relating to the discovery made by OtesY. The lords sent down a message for the concurrence of the lower house in an address for a day of fasting and humiliation. Both houses joined in a request for removing all Catholics beyond ten miles from LondonZ. On the third day of their meeting, the commons began to inquire into Godfrey's murder. They addressed the King to give orders to the lord-chamberlain to permit no unknown persons to come to his presenceA. They ordered the serjeant at arms to bring Otes before them. They heard with attention an account given by Doctor Tong, relating to the firing of London, twelve years beforeB. They greedily listened to Otes. Contradictions, im­possibilities, and absurdities, were swallowed without examination. The reign of reason was past. Passion, [Page 241] credulity, violence, prevailed. The honest and timid were frightened by surmises. Men of penetration were obliged to dissemble, and the factious enjoyed the storm.

with regard to the plot. Otes, on the twenty-eighth of October, made a new edition of his discovery, at the bar of the house of com­mons. He saw that his former narrative, wild and in­credible as it had been, was received with avidity; and that even the resemblance of truth was no longer ne­cessary to gain credit to his tales. The Pope, he af­firmed, had declared England his kingdom, and had actually sent over commissions to several persons to go­vern his new dominions in his name. He had made, according to this impudent impostor, the Lord Arun­del of Wardour, chancellor; the Earl of Powis, trea­surer; the Lord Bellasis, general; the Viscount Stafford, paymaster of the forces; Sir William Godolphin, the ambassador in Spain, privy-seal; Coleman, secretary of State; Sir Francis Radcliffe, a major-general; and Langhorne, advocate-general. The famous Lambert, then oppressed with idiotism in his prison at Guernsey, was made adjutant-general to the Pope's army, in his ideal kingdom. This ridiculous discovery was, on the same dayC, succeeded by Coleman's letters; which, though they related in no circumstance to the present plot, confirmed its certainty to the parliament. They resolved, without one dissenting voice, that it appeared to the conviction of both lords and commons, that there has been and still is a damnable and hellish plot, contrived and carried on by the papists, for murdering the King, for subverting the government, and for des­troying the Protestant religionD."

Their ab­surd fears. The vehement zeal of the two houses presented to their distempered imaginations a new gun-powder plot. On the first of November, a committee was appointed to inquire into some strange knockings and noises that were said to have been heard in the night in the Old Palace-yard. This committee was instructed to search all houses near the two houses of parliament [...] But [...]hough the Earl of Shastesbury was one of the num­ [...]er, nothing that could be construed into danger was [...]ound. The violence of parliament, however, conti­nued. [Page 242] They resolved to sit both forenoon and after­noonE. Committees were appointed by the two houses for examining prisoners, and for swearing witnesses. In a rage for intelligence, they were willing to pur­chase it at the highest rates. A pardon was offered to Coleman for making discoveries. Otes the most infa­mous of mankind, was praised, caressed, and reward­ed. The two houses recommended him to the King; A revenue of twelve hundred pounds a year was al­lotted for his maintenance. Guards were placed around him for his protection. Men of the first rank and birth courted his company, and called themselves his friends. He was deemed the saviour of the whole people, and was actually the idol of the nation. The character of informer became honourable. Perjury itself was attended with applause, as well as with ad­vantage; and the public opinion, which is usually a check upon vice, became an encouragement to iniquity, in all its forms.

Attack the Duke of York. The enormous growth to which the seeming ab­surdity of the nation rose, proceeded from their fears of the Duke of York. Though he was not mention­ed by the informers as a party in the plot, those who gave it credit ascribed it to the hopes founded by the Roman Catholics upon his adherence to their faith. Men of sense foresaw danger from his princi­ples and bigotry; and they deemed the present junc­ture a fit season for securing the civil and religious liberties of the people, against his eventual accession to the throne. The leaders of the popular party had added personal resentment to their prejudices against the Duke. Uncomplying and impolitic in his dispo­sition, he had rejected their offers of serviceF. Be­sides they had already gone too far against his interest, to hope to be either forgotten or forgiven. A mo­tion was made in the lower house, on the fourth of November, to address the King to desire his Royal Highness to withdraw from his person and councilsG. This was the first step toward the exclusion. But the commons were not yet prepared for such an impor­tant [Page 243] measure; and the debate was adjourned, without any division, to another day.

Intrigues of the Prince of Orange. Though the bigotted adherence of the Duke of York to the Romish faith was the obvious cause of the uncommon fears which had seized the nation, there were secret springs, which greatly contributed to set the whole machine of opposition in motion. The peculiar state of the royal family of England had already rendered the throne an object of ambition to the Prince of Orange, whose whole attention seems, from this time forward, to have been pointed towards the crown, which his perseverence placed, at length, on his head. The King and the Duke of York had been long the only males remaining of the house of Stuart. The Prince, as the son of their eldest sister, had, even before he married the daughter of the Duke of York, formed some distant schemes for mounting the throne. As early as the year 1674, he had esta­blished, by his agents, a connection with some discon­tented members in the English parliamentH. The ill-humour which had crept into that assembly served, from time to time, to employ his intrigues, and to encourage his hopes. The Popish plot threw, at length, an opportunity in his way, which enabled him to add to the ferment, in the manner best cal­culated to forward his own viewsI.

The King interferes. The intrigues of the Prince, however, were hitherto so secret, that their effect must have been feeble and insensible. Time only could raise and bring to ma­turity the seeds of dissension, which he had partly sown. The King was, in the mean time, alarmed at the motion against the Duke of York, though it had not been brought to a question. He plainly perceived that it tended to a limitation of the succes­sion to the crown, a measure which he was resolved to oppose with all his power. On the eighth of November, he came to a resolution to dissolve the parliament; but he reflected on the state of the na­tion, and dropt, for the time, that measureK. He ordered the house to attend him on the ninth of November. He thanked his parliament for their care [Page 244] of his person and government. He promised to join them in every reasonable measure for the security of the Protestant religion, not only for the present, but even to the end of the world. He told them, that he was ready to give his assent to any bills to en­sure their safety in any future reign, provided such bills limited not the right of succession to the crown in the true line, and so as they restrained neither his own power, nor the just rights of any Protestant successor, in the throne. To gain their confidence, and to convince the nation of the sincerity of his professions, he pressed them to expedite their councils, to bring Popish recusants to an effectual conviction. The majority of the commons were satisfied with this condescension; and the most violent thought it prudent to defer for the present their designs. The house, in a body, waited upon the King at White-hall, and gave him their thanks for his gracious speech from the throne.

Bill to dis­able all Pa­pists. Notwithstanding this seasonable respite, the Duke of York found no reason to think himself secure. The commons resolved, on the sixteenth of November, to bring in a bill to disable all Papists from sitting in either house of parliamentL. Motions of the same kind had been made in former sessions; but as the passions of men were not sufficiently inflamed, they were prosecuted with no vigour. The bill passed without any opposition, and was sent up to the lords. The upper house made an amendment, which except­ed the Duke of York; and, on the twenty-first of November, it was returned to the commons. NextM day they entered into debate upon the amendment, and sat late. Upon a division, it was carried for the Duke by two votesN. The lord-treasurer adhered to him, with all his influenceO. The church-party supported him to a man. The members attached to the Presbyterian persuasion, and all those who favoured other Protestant sects, joined the republican party, upon a question which, in the Duke's opinion, was to decide the fate of monarchyP.

[Page 245] William Bedloe, During these transactions in parliament, another evidence arose, from their encouragement, to cor­roborate the narrative of Otes. The name of this person was William Bedloe, or rather BeddoeQ, a man more infamous, and, if that were possible, more profligate, than Otes himself. He rose from a foot­boy, or common runner of messages, into a livery servant, in the family of the Lord Bellasis. To the beseness of his birth he added the lowest depravity of mind. He was by nature a knave, and followed iniquity from inclination, more than from profit.—Active in his person, and a wanderer from disposi­tion, he was a kind of post or letter-carrier beyond sea; and, in that servile condition, he found an op­portunity to become acquainted with the names and the more obvious concerns of people of note on the continent. He converted this knowledge into the means of sharping. He went under false names; he borrowed money by fraud; he forged recommenda­tions; he personated men of figure. Under the cha­racter of an Englishman of rank, he traversed Italy, he passed through France, he travelled to Spain;—marking his way with frauds, cheatry, robbery, and lies. Habituated to punishments, and seasoned to prisons, he became hardened against the animadver­sions of the law; and though he fed, half his time, with common felons, out of the alms-basket, he was always prepared for any wickedness that promised temporary profitR.

a new evi­dence The rewards offered by the King, and the en­couragement given by parliament to the discove­rers of the manner of Godfrey's death, engaged the attention and roused the avarice oF this pro­fligate man. In the company of a common trull, he went from London to Bristol; and, in his way, sent a letter to Coventry, one of the secre­taries of state, informing him that he was privy to the murder. He was seized at Bristol. He was brought to LondonS. He was dignified with the name of captain. He rivalled Otes in the magni­ficence of his situation; having his guards, his resi­dence, and his subsistence at Whitehall. When he [Page 246] appeared before the councilT, he professed that he knew nothing but the particulars of Godfrey's mur­der, which, he said, was committed by the Qucen's Popish servants at Somerset house, where she resided at the time. He affirmed, that the body had lain two days in the Queen's back-stairs, and that he was offered four thousand pounds to assist in carry­ing it away. He disclaimed all acquaintance with Otes. He utterly denied his having any knowledge of the plot. Being properly instructed that night, he became next day more enlightened. When he was examined before a committee of the lords, he told them, that he had now recollected himself, and that he was ready to give an explicit account of the whole plot.

for the Po­pish plot. He accused the Lord Bellasis, the Earl of Powis, the Lord Arundel of Wardour, and Coleman, of a conspiracy to murder the KingU. He affirmed, that forty thousand men were ready to take arms in Lon­don; that ten thousand were to come from Flan­ders; that forty thousand pilgrims, assembled at St. Jago, in Spain, were to be transported to England. Jersey and Guernfey, he said, were to be seized by a force from Brest. The Earl of Powis and the Lord Petre were to form an army in the county of Rad­nor; and the Viscount Stafford, Coleman, and Father Ireland, were possessed of funds for defraying the charge of all these armaments. The crown, he add­ed, was to be offered to ONE, upon condition of his holding it of the church; but, as his acquiescence was not expected, a commission was prepared for certain lords to govern the kingdom in the name of the Pope. This evidence was in itself so incredible, that nothing but the force of prejudice could gain for it a hearing, much less give it any credit. Godfrey's body was said to lie two days in the Queen's back-stairs; yet all the servants in the palace passed that way, a sentinel stood constantly there, a company of foot was always on guard belowX. Forty thousand men were said to be prepared to take arms in Lon­don; yet all the men, women, and children of that [Page 247] persuasion amounted not to that number. Flanders, instead of sending armies abroad, was at the time forced to trust her protection at home to English garrisons. The Earl of Powis and the Lord Petre, who were destined for the command of armies, were, of all mankind, the least qualified for military affairsY; and a tale affirming, that three private persons in England were provided with treasure to support the expence of more than one hundred thousand men, its too gross for human faith.

He and Otes accuse the Queen. Otes and Bedloe were now persuaded, that nothing was too improbable for the belief of the nation.—Urged by their own vanity, or swayed by factious men, they proceeded at length to accuse the Queen of being privy to the design against her husband's life. The intelligence being carried to the commons, they broke forth into a new flame. They voted an address for removing her and her whole family from White-hallZ. But though Charles was now furnished with an opportunity of ridding himself of a wife whom he never loved, he was shocked at such an instance of glaring injustice. He knew that she was incapa­ble of such an action; and his own neglect of her person rendered her an object of his pity, though not of his respect. He suspected that the accusation came through the suggestions of the popular partyA. Otes, whom he before affected to cherish, he strictly con­fined; refusing access to every person, without dis­tinction, except the committees of parliament. The behaviour of Shaftesbury, and the more open conduct of Buckingham, upon a preceding occasion, directed the suspicions of the King to the quarter from which this new evidence arose. The first had urged him to own the Duke of Monmouth as his legitimate son; and the latter had proposed to seize the Queen in one of the passages of the palace, and to transport her to AmericaB.

Coleman and some The commons exhibited articles of impeachment before the lords, against the noblemen accused by Otes and BedloeC. The courts of justice were em­ployed in the mean time in trying inferior criminals. [Page 248] Staley, a Popish banker, was condemned on the evi­dence of one Carstairs, a profligate Scotsman; and the day after his execution, the noted Coleman was brought to the bar. To the evidence of the two in­formers was added that of his own papers. The first accused him of being privy to the conspiracy against the life of the King; the latter proved beyond con­tradiction that he had been busy in wild projects to favour the introduction of Popery. He was an en­thusiast in the Romish faith, and a man of very loose morals. Being employed as an agent of France, in a project of influencing the commons against a war with that kingdom, he was suspected by the court, and dismissed from his office of secretary to the Duchess of YorkE. He diverted to his own use some con­siderable sumsF, which he received from the French ambassador, for the purpose of corrupting members of parliament, and lived at a vast expence, his table be­ing much frequented by the country party. But not­withstanding his profligacy, he could not be induced, upon a promise of pardonG, to make pretended dis­coveries; and he died with a considerable degree of spirit and composure.

Jesuits con­demned and executed. Coleman was no sooner executed, than Father Ire­land was brought to his trial. This Jesuit was one of the fifty, who, as Otes had sworn, signed, in the month of August, the great resolve to murder the King. Grove and Pickering, who were accused as the intended perpetrators of the assassination, were also arraigned. Otes and Bedloe were the only wit­nesses; but the criminals were already condemned by the prejudices of the people. Ireland proved, in vain, that he was in Staffordshire during the whole month assigned by the oath of Otes for being present at the various consults of the conspirators. Otes produced a woman, who swore that she saw him in London at the specified time. Sentence of death was passed upon all the criminals. The judge, the jury, the po­pulace, were all parties. Scroggs, the chief justice, was a man as destitute of principle, as he was igno­rant [Page 249] of law. He was raised by Danby, from being a very obscure person in his profession, to the head of the first court of justice, to serve his own private designs. He adopted all the vehemence of his patron, in tracing the Popish plot. He browbeat the evidence. He spoke of the truth of the charge as undoubted.—He insulted with peculiar inhumanity the condemned. His violence was received with applause by a preju­diced people; and the unfortunate men, protesting to the last their innocence, were executed amidst the shouts of a vast concourse of spectatorsH.

A supply voted on li­mited terms. Whilst the Popish plot engrossed the deliberations of the commons, Charles was forced repeatedly to recall their attention to his own necessitiesI. Thro' their eagerness to obviate all dangers from foreigners, they seemed to forget their jealousy of a standing army at home. The King, however, having refused his as­sent to a bill, which tended to deprive him of the com­mand of the militia, the house turned their thoughts to the raising of money for disbanding the troops in England and beyond seas. Having found their arrears amounted to one hundred and fifty thousand pounds, they voted that sum to be raised by a land-tax, within a twelve-month, to commence on the twenty-fourth of November. A clause for credit was inserted in the act: but such was the jealousy entertained of the King, that they ordered the money to be paid into the Cham­ber of London; and appointed three commissioners to superintend the application of the supply, to the sole use of disbanding the armyK. The lords, more ten­der of the dignity of the crown, hesitated to give their concurrence to a regulation which threw dishonour upon the King and his servants. The act remained in suspence, till a prorogation freed Charles from dis­grace, while it deprived him of a supply.

The Earl of Danby In the midst of these heats in parliament, a new subject of inquiry carried suddenly the attention of the commons to another quarter. Montague, who had been ambassador for some years at Paris, had, either from private motives or from disgust, quitted his em­ployment without leaveL; and obtaining a seat in par­liament [Page 248] [...] [Page 249] [...] [Page 250] for the borough of Northampton, joined him­self to the cabals of the popular party. Inflamed by disappointed ambition, or gained by Lewis XIV, through the channel of his avarice, he had for some time broke with the Earl of Danby, whose councils were deemed opposite to the interests of France. The spirit exhibited by Charles, before and after the treaty of Nimeguen, was highly resented by the French King. He was resolved to be revenged on both the King and the minister. The connections formed by his ambassador at London with the popular party, in the preceding session, furnished him with hopes of ac­complishing his design. But when he hesitated con­cerning the means, they were offered by Mountague, who, for a valuable consideration, promised to ruin Danby and disgrace his masterM. The bargain being struck, in the month of October, with Barillon, the French ambassador, a proper opportunity for execut­ing the design only remained to be found.

accused be­fore the commons. During the embassy of Mountague, some of the King's negotiations for money with the court of France had fallen under his care. Danby had com­mitted himself, in several letters upon that subject; and Mountague, to serve the purposes of his party, and to earn the stipulated hire from Lewis, resolved to ex­pose the most exceptionable part of the correspon­dence to the animadversion of parliament. In various consultations between the leaders of the popular party and the French ambassadorN, it was thought proper to postpone the attack till the army should be disband­ed. The heats in parliament, in consequence of the Popish plot, retarded this measure: but an incident put an end to any further delay in Mountague's scheme. Jenkins, who still remained in quality of an ambassa­dor at Nimeguen, informed the King by letter, that he had discovered that Mountague held private con­ferences with the Pope's nuncio, when he resided in a public capacity abroad. Danby, who suspected the de­sign of Mountague, probably suggested this information to JenkinsO. A warrant was procured for seizing his papers. Prepared against a circumstance which he [Page 251] had foreseen, Mountague had concealed some of Dan­by's letters; and found in the violence of the latter a kind of excuse for his own breach of faith.

and im­peached. The chancellor of the Exchequer, on the nineteenth of December, acquainted the commons, by the King's command, that he had found it necessary to seize Mountague's papers. Mountague informed the house, that notwithstanding the forcible seizure of some of his papers, others that might tend to the safety of his Majesty and the preservation of the kingdom still re­mained in his hands. He was heard with the utmost eagerness. A committee was dispatched for the box in which the writings were contained. Two letters subscribed by Danby were produced. The first was dated on the seventeenth of the preceding January, the second on the twenty-fifth of March. The last contained instructions to demand three hundred thou­sand pounds a-year, for three years, from the French King, in case the conditions of peace should be ac­cepted. Danby appeared to have foreseen the danger of this negotiation; and, to remove his fears, the King had subjoined, in his own hand, that it was by his express orders the letter was writtenP. The house flew into an immediate flame. A question was pro­posed, That there is sufficient matter of impeachment against the lord-treasurer; and it was carried by a great majorityQ. The friends of Danby were abashed.—His enemies were intemperate in their triumph. The Lord Cavendish and Mr. Williams were particularly recommended to form the articles, which were sent up on the twenty-first of December to the house of lords.

Reflections. Thus the storm, which Danby endeavoured in vain to prevent, by encouraging the Popish plot, broke at length on his own head. He was perplexed beyond measure. Charles himself was alarmed. His secret connections with France, before only suspected, were now ascertained. Men thought that all along he had acted in concert with the French King. They deem­ed his professions in favour of the allies a mere decep­tion. They looked upon his preparations for war as means for procuring money from his subjects, or for establishing over them an arbitrary power. Many who [Page 252] wished to support the crown, were ashamed of the meanness of the Prince; and deserted their principles to save their reputation. The articles against Danby were six in number. They consisted, besides the let­ters, of various mismanagements in his office. Some were frivolous, others ill founded. The charge of ca­pacity, though unsupported with glaring instances, seemed to be the least unjust. Danby was poor, and he loved money; but his master was neither full of generosity, nor abounding in wealth. The treasurer, upon the whole, was a cautious minister; and less apt to furnish his enemies with dangerous charges than men of greater abilities and more integrity and virtue.

He recrimi­nates on others, and defends himself. To alleviate the charge against himself, by recrimi­nating on Mountague, Danby sent two letters written by the former to the commons. One of the letters exposed the correspondence between France and the popular party in parliament; the other tended to shew, that Danby was extremely hated in that kingdom, as the avowed enemy of its interests. The commons rejected both, without being readR. They sent the articles of impeachment to the lordsS. They desired that the treasurer should be sequestered from parlia­ment, and committed. They reserved to themselves the liberty of exhibiting a further chargeT. When the impeachment was read in the upper house, Danby arose and spoke to every article. He shewed that Mountague, the informer against him, had himself promoted with ardour the money-negotiations with France. He dwelt, with a degree of justice, on his diligence in tracing the Popish plot. He cleared him­self of the aspersion of alienating the King's revenue to improper purposes. He obviated the charge of ra­pacity, by assuring the house, that his acquisitions were more moderate than those obtained by others in his office. He chiefly insisted upon his known aversion to the interests of France; and he declared, that he al­ways esteemed a connection with that kingdom perni­cious to his master and destructive to his countryU.

Parliament prorogued. The lords went immediately into debate upon the impeachment. A question was proposed, Whether the [Page 253] articles exhibited by the commons should be received as an impeachment of high treason? The friends of the treasurer affirmed, that the utmost that could be said in favour of the charge, was to suppose it ture; and had it even been true, the crimes alledged fell not within the statute of Edward III. To this argu­ment the popular party replied, that the commons who had exhibited the charge, were to be heard on two points; first on the proof, and then on the nature of the crime. They proposed, therefore, that the charge should be received; and that the house, according to the rules of parliament, ought to commit the accused person, and to appoint a short day for his trial. The majority of the Peers, upon a division, were against the commitment of Danby. The King found him­self under the necessity of supporting the minister, and he used all his influence. The commons however in­sisted, that Danby should be sequestered from parlia­ment and committed. A violent contest was likely to arise; and Charles, perceiving no hopes of ending the dispute by gentle means, prorogued the parliamentX on the thirtieth of December.

Reflections on Mounta­gue's con­duct. The impeachment of the lord-treasurer diverted, in some degree, the attention of the people from the Popish plot. Men, who even profited by his breach of trust, blamed Mountague for his conduct. Many ascribed it to revenge, but scarce any to love of public good.—The malice of his enemies reached not the meanness of his real motives. They scarce could imagine that he was purchased with the money of France to expose her secret negotiations. Danby himself, when he wish­ed to prove the aversion of the French to his councils, little knew that they had stipulated to give more than twenty thousand poundsY to his antagonist, for an in­formation to accomplish his ruin. Charles, though he blamed Mountague the most, had the least reason. He had employed him to betray his country, yet he was surprised at his betraying himself. The loose prin­ciples which made him fit for the King's measures, ought to have prevented every astonishment at his breach of faith. Even Danby was blamed by his best friends. They could scarce reconcile his professed aver­sion [Page 254] to the interests of France, to his having concurred in negotiations which sacrificed the public faith of his sovereign to her views.

Prance's evidence During these transactions in parliament, a new dis­covery was pretended to be made. Miles Prance, by trade a goldsmith, having [...]ad a difference about rent with one Wren, who lodged in his house, was accused by him as privy to the murder of Godfrey. Prance happened to lie out of his house two or three nights in the week immediately preceding that in which Godfrey was missed by his friends. Wren, either for­getting the difference of time, or actuated by revenge, used that circumstance as a ground of accusation.—Had the time of Prance's absence agreed with that of the murder, some colour of suspicion might remain. Though he had taken the oaths to prevent his being banished from London, he was known to have been a Papist. He was also personally acquainted with Grove, Pickering, and Ireland, the three unfortunate Jesuits, who had been lately condemned from the evi­dence of Otes and Bedloe. Besides, he had worked in his business, for the Queen's chapel, in Somerset-house. Bedloe, the original evidence was command­ed to give some account of Prance. This he ma­naged with address. Having first obtained a sight of the man at an eating-house, near the lobby of the house of commons, he exclaimed, upon his being af­terwards admitted into the room where Prance was examined, ‘"that he was one of the rogues whom he had seen standing with a dark lanthorn near God­frey's bodyZ."’

concerning Godfrey's murder. Prance denied all knowledge of the plot or murder. He was sent to Newgate. He was loaded with irons. He was threatened. He was soothed. He was entic­ed and instructed. The single evidence of Bedloe was not sufficient to condemn some wretched persons, whose conviction was necessary to keep up the flame; and there was a resolution formed, to convert Prance into the second witness required by law. Some leaders in both the houses attended him, in committees, in Newgate. He at length confessed. He retracted again. He wavered from one tale to another, denying to-day [Page 255] what yesterday he had sworn. A pardon artfully ob­tained by the means of the Earl of Shaftesbury, fixed him in a circumstantial evidence of the murder. He accused Green, Berry, and Hill, men of a low sta­tion, of Godfrey's death. They were brought to their trial. They were condemned and executed. They denied their guilt with their last breath. The prejudices of the nation had extended themselves to the seats of justice. The cries of humanity were drowned in the clamours of party and the terrors of the weak and ignorant. The contradictions, the ab­surdities, the absolute impossibilities conveyed in some parts of the evidence were overlooked. Men thought that innocence was incompatible with the delusions of popery. They even deemed a denial of a crime which was never committed, an argument of the last degree of obstinacy and guiltA.

1679. Distracted state The year 1678 closed with proceedings which those who love their country could wish to expunge from her annals. But the terrors of the people, wrought up to a degree of madness, by the joint influence of opposite parties, were far from being yet at an end. The intemperance of the commons in prosecuting the popish plot had communicated a flame to the nation, which blood only could extinguish. Those who had no hopes of deriving benefit from confusion, saw be­fore them a gloomy prospect. They dreaded a re­newal of those troubles which had, forty years before, exposed the nation to all the miseries of despotism and public confusion. Though the cry of the people was only directed against popery, the attacks of their re­presentatives seemed to point at the throne and the royal line. The conduct of the present commons was compared, with a degree of justice, to the beha­viour of their predecessors, in the reign of Charles I. They had refused supplies. They had impeached the minister. They seemed inclined to circumscribe the power, if not to entrench on what was called the in­herent rights of the crown. They encouraged the jealousies of the people. They promoted their fears. [Page 256] year 1679 They adopted their prejudices, and improved their credulity with every art.

of the na­tion. The colour of the times was not unlike the begin­ning of the misfortunes of the preceding reign: but there was no similarity between the parties that con­tended in the two periods. The leaders of the present commons were men of less ability, and more dishonest than their predecessors Charles II. possessed better parts, though less virtue than his father. Having, by his preposterous and even criminal councils, raised the storm, which threatened now to fall upon himself and his family, he was found to be possessed of pru­dence, and, in the event, of firmness sufficient to di­rect it against the heads of his opponents. He gave line to their fury, till with struggling they fatigued themselves out of their strength. He rendered them suspected for their violence. He gained the people through the folly of his enemies and his own assumed moderation. The profligacy of a Buckingham, the unprincipled intrigues of a Shaftesbury, the vehe­mence of some weak, though perhaps well-meaning men, in whom virtue was soured into passion, threaten­ed evils more obvious than those they were meant to oppose. Besides, the body of the people were from principle attached to monarchy. They had lately found, that a republic was another name for an ab­ject tyranny, which even derived not a wretched alle­viation from the antiquity of its forms. When fac­tious men carried matters too far, they were deserted by the public opinion. The King, by being driven to extremity, found the way to suppress the cabals of a party, by means which almost destroyed the liberties of the subject.

Parliament dissolved. But these were consequences which arose from the succeeding events. Charles, despairing of any good from the present parliament, determined to meet it no more. A proclamation for its dissolution was published on the twenty-fifth of JanuaryB, and at the same time writs were issued for assembling another, on the sixth day of March. The King could not in a worse [Page 257] time appeal to the choice of his subjects. The whole body of the people believed the plot, and were in­censed against the papists. Though he himself was marked out as a victim, by the evidence which esta­blished the existence of the conspiracy, men were ac­customed to join the court with the church of Rome. The connection with France, but above all, the avowed popery of the Duke of York, rendered sus­pected councils which he was supposed to lead. The elections, as might have been foreseen, were made with all the prejudices which inflamed the times. The most violent in the former parliament were rechosen. Others of the same principles were added to their number. The court exerted its influence in vain. The country party prevailed almost every where; and the King saw, when it was too late, that the new representatives were likely to become even more troublesome and refractory than the old.

Duke of York with­draws. Though his own measures had alienated the affec­tions of his subjects from the King, he ascribed, with reason, the greatest part of his misfortunes to his brother's religion. He conjured that infatuated Prince to conform to the established church. He sent to himC the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Winchester, to persuade him, if possible, to become again a protestant. Their arguments were lost on his obstinacy. He told them, that he could not alter his opinion; and that he disdained to profess what he did not believe. Danby advised the KingD to desire him to withdraw beyond sea, to appease the people, and to satisfy the new parliament that popish councils no longer prevailed. This also the Duke de­clined, as he deemed that his retiring would be con­strued into a confession of guilt. The popish lords in the tower conjured him to withdraw. They deputed to him the countess of Powis for that purposeE; but he refused to listen to her entreaties. The King at length insisted upon his departure. He wrote him a letter containing his request, assuring him of his af­fection, [Page 258] and promising his invariable attention to his interests. The Duke, the most submissive of all sub­jects, obeyed his brothers commands. He left Lon­don a few daysF before the meeting of parliament; and having visited his daughter and the Prince of Orange at the HagueG, he fixed his residence at Brussels.

Charles dis­avows the legitimacy of Mon­mouth. To satisfy the world, as well as to place at ease the mind of his brother, that he was resolved to adhere to the regular succession to the crown, Charles sub­scribed a paper, in the presence of his council, on the third of March, that he never was married to any woman except the Queen. The ambition of the Duke of Monmouth was the source of this solemn certificate. Flattered by the popular party, and, from various causes, the favourite of the people, he had long entertained hopes of possessing the crown. Either he himself, or his pretended friends, had fre­quently circulated reports, that Charles had been ac­tually married to his mother. Upon the removal of the Duke of York from the kingdom, and from the prospect of his being excluded from the succession to the throne, through the jealousy of parliament, the legitimacy of Monmouth became again a principal topic of conversation. Notwithstanding his great af­fection for Monmouth, Charles was highly offended at his presumption. Monmouth, with a degree of folly suitable to his own circumscribed talents, joined himself to the most violent opponents of the court. He even continued, after the first attestation, to encourage the belief of the lawfulness of his own birth. This circumstance obliged Charles to renew his protesta­tion, and make it particular, against Lucy Walters, the Duke of Monmouth's motherH.

Infectual proposals to France. While the nation was employed in chusing repre­sentatives, the King endeavoured to make himself in­dependent of parliament, by drawing a new subsidy from FranceI. But Lewis preferred his connection with the popular party to the friendship of a prince whose authority was so much declined. He was also [Page 259] informed, that the connection between Charles and the Prince of Orange had acquired additional strength. He was told by his ambassador in London, who was often ill informed, that the Prince had remitted consi­derable sums to England, to support the dignity and power of the crownK. He rejected, therefore, the proposals of strict union offered him by Charles; and that Prince, urged by his necessities, was forced to meet a parliament whose violence he justly feared. The supply voted in the last winter had not passed into a law. Besides, it was connected with such se­vere and humiliating clauses, that he scarce could re­gret its being lost. The army was not yet disbanded, and it neither could be retained nor dismissed without money.

New parlia­ment. The new parliament met at Westminster, on the sixth of March; and the King opened the session with a speech, which seemed to suit the times. He met them, he said, with the most earnest desire of uniting the minds of his subjects to himself, and of recon­ciling them among themselves. He was resolved, he told them, that it should be their faults, if the success should not be answerable to his desire. He dwelt upon many great things, which he had done to accomplish that end. He mentioned, among these, the exclusion of Papists from parliament, the execution of the plot­ters, and some of the murderers of Godfrey. He had disbanded, he informed them, as many of the army as he could satisfy with respect to arrears. He declared his readiness, upon their giving a supply, to dismiss the rest. He reiterated his recommendation of union. He asked money to pay the fleet, to make up the deficiency in the last poll-bill, to remove the anticipations upon his standing revenue. He derived merit from removing his brother from his councils. He concluded with a wish to find them a healing par­liament; and he assured them, that he expected from them to be desended from the machinations of those worst of men, who endeavoured to render himself and his government odious to his peopleL.

[Page 260] Difference concerning a speaker. The expected effect of this soothing speech was blasted by a sudden difference between Charles and the lower house. Seymour, who had been speaker in the last parliament, was chosen again to that office; but he was rejected by the King, when he was presented in the usual form. A prior quarrel with Danby was the source of this affront on Seymour. He had been privately in the pay of the crown, and he carried his gratitude to the court to a degree which merited and received censure. But the payment of the pension ceased with his services, and he, therefore, had herd­ed of late with the popular party. The commons, returning to their house, fell into warm debates. Meres, proposed by the court-party, was rejected with disdain. They agreed that the choice of their own speaker was a right inherent in the commons; that the presenting him to the King for approbation was a matter of mere form. They presented an ad­dress on that subject; but it was answered by a pro­rogation. The affair was, at length compromised. Seymour was, for the time, set aside. The right of the house was, however, ascertained. Serjeant Gre­gory, recommended by the Lord Russel, was chosen speaker, and instantly approved of by the KingM.

Proceedings. The disputes concerning a speaker employed twelve days. On the eighteenth of March, the house of commons sat upon business. Consisting chiefly of the same men, they adopted the measures of the former parliament with unabating vehemence and zeal. They appointed a committee to inspect the journals of the last session. They commanded them to draw up a state of the matters then depending and undetermined [...] and to lay it immediately before the houseN. A committee of secrecy was formed to inquire into th [...] Popish plot. Tong, Otes, and Bedloe, were summoned to attend, and were heard. The common [...] reminded the lords of the impeachment of Danby [...] They ordered further articles to be exhibited again [...] him. They demanded that he should be sequester [...] from parliament, and committed to safe custody [...] O [Page 261] An address was presented to the King, to pay the five hundred pounds reward to Bedloe, and to commit him to the care of the Duke of MonmouthP. Ano­ther address was presented for a solemn day of humili­ation, as in times of public calamity and danger.

Violence of the com­mons But the prosecution of the Earl of Danby was the favourite object of the lower house. They reminded again the lords of his impeachmentQ. They de­manded justice, in the name of the commons of Eng­land, at their bar. Charles, foreseeing the violence of parliament, and determined to save his minister, had already passed his pardon under the great seal. To screen the chancellor from the animadversions of the commons, the King affixed the seal to the parch­ment with his own hand. It was contrived to be a stampt pardon by creation, that no memorial of it might remain in any public office, being only intend­ed for an emergency. Upon the repeated messages of the commons against Danby, the King came to the house of lords, and avowed publicly the pardon. He declared, that he could not think Danby criminal, as he had acted by his orders; and he assured both houses, that he was resolved if the present pardon was defective, to renew it again and again, till it should be as complete as the law required. He, at the same time, informed them, that he was determined to dismiss the treasurer from his presence and all em­ployments.

against Danby. The lords seemed to adhere at first to the pardon. The commons flew into a violent flame. They im­mediately voted an address to the King. They repre­sented the irregularity and illegality of the pardonR. They explained the dangerous consequence of grant­ing any pardon to persons lying under an impeach­ment by the commons of England. The peers, to lessen by flattering their zeal, sent the usher of the black rod to take Danby into custody; but he was no where to be foundS. The commons instantly brought in a bill to attaint him, in default of his surrendering by a certain dayT. But when it was sent up to the lords, [Page 262] they clogged it with amendments, and destroyed its designU. A dispute was kindled between the two houses. Conference followed conference. Alterca­tion, rather than argument, prevailed. The peers were cool but determined; the commons warm and obstinate. The latter addressed the King to issue a proclamation for apprehending Danby; and that no­bleman, dreading the consequence of these quarrels, surrendered himself to the black rod, and resolved to plead the King's pardonX.

Their vehe­mence con­cerning the plot. The vehemence of the commons, in supporting rather than tracing the Popish plot, was equal to their violence against Danby. They expelled and sent to the Tower colonel Sackville, for disbelieving the ex­istence of a plot. They renewed the vote of the last house of commons, asserting their own firm persua­sion of the existence of a conspiracy. They, how­ever, applied themselves at last to the business of the nation, having suspended, for a moment, their ani­mosities, their passions, and their fears. They exa­mined the arrears due to the undisbanded part of the army; and they voted two hundred and six thousand pounds, for the express purpose of paying off and dismissing all the forces then in England, levied since the twenty-ninth of September, 1677Y. The sup­ply was ordered to be raised by a six months tax on land, to commence at the termination of the tax then in being. The crown experienced from the present commons an instance of complaisance, which the for­mer had denied. Upon a question, that the supply should be paid into the exchequer, and not into the chamber of London, it was carried in favour of the first, by a great majorityZ.

King chuses a new coun­cil The King, to soothe the commons, made a shew of changing his measures. He acquainted both houses, on the twenty-first of April, that he had established a new privy-council, which was never to exceed thirty. He had chosen, he informed them, persons worthy and able to direct his affairs. He was resolved, he told them, to receive their advice in all weighty and important concerns; and next to his great council, [Page 263] the parliament, which he was determined often to consult, he declared his determination to be guided by the council of thirty. Several popular leaders in both houses were admitted into this body. Shaftesbury, by a strange vicissitude of fortune, was made presi­dent. The Earl of Essex, a man of better principles than abilities, being made first lord of the treasury, when it was put in commission upon the resignation of the Earl of Danby, was, from his office, a mem­ber of this council. His brother, Sir Henry Capel, conspicuous for the vehemence of his public speaking against the court, was also of the number. The Lord Russel was likewise a member. The Viscount Halifax, a nobleman of considerable talents, was ad­mitted into the council, together with the Earl of Salisbury and the Viscount Fauconberg, who had dis­tinguished themselves against the King's measures in the house of lords. Powle, an orator on the side of patriotism in the house of commons, and even Sey­mour, whom the King had rejected as speaker, were of the new council. The rest consisted of the prin­cipal officers of the state, or of such lords and com­mons as had, from principle adhered always to the crown.

which has no effect on the com­mons. The placing of Shaftesbury at the head of the council of thirty furnished a subject of speculation and surprise. He owed his present elevation to the ter­rors of the Duchess of Portsmouth, and the precau­tions of the Earl of SunderlandA. The latter, a man of intriguing policy and capacity, had lately succeed­ed Coventry, by purchase, as secretary of state. To support his influence, he insinuated himself into the savour of the mistress, and through her, governed, in some degree, the affairs of his sovereign. Afraid of the inquiring abilities of Shaftesbury, he wished to make him a partner in measures which he expected privately to guide. Having terrified the Duchess of Portsmouth with the idea of prosecutions and im­peachments, she overcame the aversion of Charles to Shaftesbury. The King himself entertained hopes, that by placing their most violent leaders in his ser­vice, [Page 264] he might regain the affections of his parliament. He was, however, disappointed. The commons re­ceived his declaration of a new council with the great­est indifference and coldness. They believed the whole to be a juggle to obtain money, or an artifice to induce the country party to drop their pursuit of grievances, by disarming with offices the violence of their leaders.

Proposal of limitations. Regardless of the communication made by the King, the commons continued their deliberations with unabating zeal. They resolved, without one dissent­ing voice, ‘"that the Duke of York's being a Papist, and the hopes of his coming, as such, to the crown, had given the greatest countenance and encourage­ment to the plots and designs against the King and the Protestant religionB."’ The Lord Russel was ordered to carry to the house of peers this vote for their con­currence. This was plainly a preparatory step to the eventual exclusion of the Duke from the throne. Charles took the advice of his new council upon this alarming vote. He laid before them the limitations, which he communicated, on the thirtieth of April, to the two houses. He told his parliament, that he was ready to consent to any law that, without alter­ing the succession to the crown in the right line, should limit the authority of a Popish successor to se­cure their religious and civil liberties. The limita­tions proposed, in a manner, annihilated the power of the crown. A Popish successor was to be deprived of the right of bestowing spiritual promotions, and of either appointing or displacing privy-counsellors or judges, without the authority and permission of par­liament. The assembly only was to possess the power, either by themselves, or such persons as they should chuse, to appoint and remove lords-lieutenants of counties, and the officers of the navy. To pre­vent the want of a parliament upon the King's de­mise, it was settled, "that the parliament then in being might continue; or if there should be no par­liament in being, then that immediately preceding might reassemble and sit, without any new summons and electionsC.

[Page 265] Bill of ex­clusion. These ample concessions were either received in silence, or treated with contempt. The fury of the commons was not to be satisfied with the most humi­liating condescensions. They trusted least the King when he promised most. A bill for the total exclusion of the Duke of York was introduced on the fifteenth of MayD; and, on the twenty-first of the same month, it was read a second time, and, by a great majority, ordered to be committed. The commons, in the mean time, followed with vehemence their prosecution against Danby. They resolved, that the pardon which he claimed was illegal and void. They came to a resolution, that commoners who should maintain its validity should be accounted betrayers of the liberties of England. They resolved to go up in a body, and demand justice at the bar of the lords. Several conferences were held between the two houses concerning the manner of his trial. The Popish lords, notwithstanding the prejudices of the times, were less an object of persecution than the fallen mi­nister. His manner had created to him many ene­mies. Several doubted his honesty. Some were sa­tisfied of his guilt. A day at last was fixed for his trial. He resolved to plead his pardon. They were determined to prove its illegality. An instance of their violence on this subject appears on their votes. They ordered such members of the house as were of the long robe to prepare themselves with reasons against the pardon pleaded by the Parl of Danby.

Resolution against the bishops. During the preparations in the two houses for the trial of Danby and the Popish lords, a new subject of debate arose. It having been usual with the bishops to withdraw from judgments in capital cases, the commons resolved, ‘"that the lords spiritual ought not to have any vote in any proceedings against the lords in the towerE."’ The cause of this resolution requires to be explained. Danby, throughout his ad­ministration, had improved into an affection for his own person the influence which the crown had usually with the church. The validity of the pardon was, in the first place, to be debated; and the commons [Page 266] were afraid that the lords spiritual would decide the case in favour of the crown, to save their political friend. Though the bishops made a rule of retiring before judg­ment, they generally sat and voted in motions prepa­ratory to trials. The pardon, though a preliminary, was the hinge upon which the whole must turn. The commons, therefore, insisted upon excluding the bishops, The lords were unwilling to make any alteration in the forms of their judicature. Unsurmountable difficulties arose. The houses adhered to their respective opinions. Charles took advantage of their quarrels. He pro­rogued the parliament, and put an end, for the time, to the bill of exclusionF.

Habeas cor­pus act. Though the principal attention of the commons was turned toward the exclusion of the Duke of York and the prosecution of Danby, they paid some regard to other securities of public liberty. They passed the habeas corpus act, a law which peculiarly distinguishes the freedom of the constitution of England. The per­sonal liberty of individuals is a property of human na­ture, which nothing but the certainty of a crime com­mitted ought ever to abridge or restrain. The English nation accordingly had, very early and repeatedly, se­cured with public acts this valuable part of their rights as men. The great charter and many subsequent sta­tutes had provided, that no man should be imprisoned by application or petition to the King, but by legal indictment or process of the common law. The peti­tion of right provided further securities for this neces­sary freedom; and an act passed in the year 1641 di­rected, that any person restrained of his liberty should on demand of his counsel, be brought before the court of King's Bench or Common-Pleas, who were to de­termine the justice or injustice of his commitment The act passed in the present session of parliament explained the manner of obtaining the writ of habeas corpus, with such distinctness and precision as reflecte [...] honour on the patriotism and penetration of those wh [...] carried it into a law But something still was wantin [...] to render this salutary act complete. The demandin [...] of unreasonable bail or sureties for the appearance [...] the person under restraint might evade the law. [...] [Page 267] was, therefore, after the revolution, declared by sta­tute, ‘"that no excessive bail should be requiredG."’

Five Jesuits condemned. The prorogation of the parliament was succeeded by the trial of five Jesuits, for being concerned in the Po­pish plot. Charles, though he gave no credit to that ridiculous imposture, continued to yield to the current of the times. The rage of the people had not yet abated; and it would be imprudent, if not impossible, to save the innocent, by the utmost exertion of his authority. He left the unfortunate culprits to the per­juries of Otes and Bedloe, to the intemperate violence of a weak and even profligate chief justice, and the prejudices and terrors of a credulous populace. One Dugdale, who had served the Lord Aston in the capa­city of Steward, appeared as a new evidence when the Jesuits were arraigned. Carrying the appearance of a man of sense and sobriety, he acquired more credit than either Otes or Bedloe. But he was also an impostor, and his testimony appeared afterwards to be monstrous and incredible. To invalidate the evidence of Otes, the prisoners proved, by sixteen students from St. Omers, the most of them young men of family, that Otes was in that place at the very time he had sworn he had been in treasonable consults with the Jesuits in England. The testimony of Catholics had no weight, either with the court or the jury. The witnesses were, without doors, insulted and beat by the mob. Within, they were reviled and brow-beat by Scroggs. The prisoners, as might have been expected, were condemned. They denied to the last their being guilty. They gained no credit, and they died unpitiedH.

Trial of Langhorne. The day after the condemnation of the five Jesuits, Langhorne a Roman-Catholic lawyer, was tried at the Old-Bailey. Otes swore that he had been privy to the consultations for killing the King. Bedloc gave his testimony upon oath, that he had seen Langhorne re­gistering letters concerning the plot. Both joined in affirming, that he had in his custody the papal patents for the lords in the tower, together with a commission to himself for the office of advocate-general of the army. The improbability of the evidence, the strong proofs produced to invalidate the testimony of the in­formers, [Page 268] the arguments, the character of Langhorne, his vehement protestations of innocence, had no weight with the court and the jury. Inhumanity itself was added to injustice and prejudice. The prisoner was condemned, amid the acclamations of a crowded audience. The populace almost tore to pieces the witnesses of the un­happy convict, upon their approach to the court. He was reprieved for a month, to make discoveries. The unfortunate man knew nothing of a plot that never existed; and he died, protesting his innocence with his last breath.

Sir George Wakeman acquitted. The reign of delusion was not, however, destined to last long. The people, staggered with the firm denial of so many dying men, began to resume their natural humanity. Their eyes were gradually opened to the truth, and they wondered from whence their fears had come. They now called in question many things, which, in the heat of their zeal, they had believed. They re­flected on the infamous character of the informers, and they saw the improbability of the evidence. Their minds were, at length, prepared to perceive the truth, and to judge without prejudice. In this state of opinion came on the trial of Sir George Wakeman, the Queen's physician. The perjury of the witnesses appeared in such striking colours, that he was acquitted. Even Corker and Marshal, two priests, who were tried at the same time, escaped, notwithstanding the public aversion to their profession. The chief justice himself, who had exhibited an indecent warmth against former prisoners, seemed to change with the times. He be­came a kind of counsel for the culprits. He gave a favourable charge to the jury. Otes and Bedloe, with their usual insolence, accused him to his face of par­tiality. They even carried their accusation to the King, and council, where they had been treated with so much attention beforeH.

Parliament dissolved. Charles, unwilling to meet his parliament, dissolved it by proclamation on the twelfth of July. On the same day writs were issued for summoning another to as [...]e at Westminister on the seventeenth of October. Before the King adopted this measure, he consulted his council of thirty. Their opinions were various on the [Page 269] subject. Shaftesbury declared against the dissolution, but he was over-ruled by Essex and Halifax. Essex, though he loved the freedom of his country, thought that the parliament had carried their resolutions too far. Besides, he blamed the violence of Shaftesbury, who, though nominally engaged for the people, seem­ed only anxious to gratify his own revenge against the royal line. Halifax was gained by Charles to join Essex in advising the same measureI. Thus ended a parliament, whose violence can scarce be excused by their best measures. Instead of endeavouring to bring back the heat­ed minds of men to moderation, they added their own fervour to the prejudices of the populace. Their op­position to the measures of the court, their zeal for the Protestant religion, their fears of the accession of the Duke of York to the crown, and, above all, their im­provement of the laws of habeas corpus, stamped, soon after, their measures with the reputation of patriotism. But since it is now known, that the principal leaders in both houses were in the pay of France, this age, at least, may cease to admire.

Affairs of Scotland. The history of Scotland, during this reign, labours under the want of importance, which attends a nation whose sovereign resides in another country. Enthusiasm on the side of an ignorant populace, and violence on the part of an imprudent government, fill the whose circle of Scotish affairs. These, co-operating together, produced events in the present year, which require a prior detail of facts to be understood. Lauderdale, who secretly affected presbytery, relaxed a part of his severity against the Covenanters, in the year 1677. The presumption of the conventiclers rose in propor­tion to the indulgence of the state. Present ease was lost upon an unfortunate race of men, still sore from former injuries. Their preachers inflamed them into a kind of madness, in field-meetings, to which their hearers came all armed. They mixed treason with their other exhortations in their discourses; and the episcopal party found means to revive those impolitic severities which had been just laid aside. In the month of November 1677, the council came to a resolution to suppress with an army of Highlanders the disturbances [Page 270] created by the Covenanters in the western counties. The noblemen and gentlemen of the nearest Highlands were ordered to assemble their vassals, in the end of the following January, at Stirling. Arms, ammunition, and stores, were sent to that town; and every thing was prepared, as for a campaign against a foreign ene­myK.

Persecution and The Highlanders, to the number of six thousand, joined the King's regular forces; and, on the second of February 1678, marched westward from Stirling, and dispersed themselves in free quarters through Cun­ingham and Kyle. The unfortunate people made no resistance to so great a force. Many excesses were committed. The country weas, in a manner, ravaged without controul; but the council at length relenting, ordered the Highlanders to march back into their own country. Several of the nobility of the western counties repaired to London, and complained of this outrage. Charles admitted them to an audience, in the presence of the Dukes of York and Monmouth, and the Earl of Danby. He was shocked at their narration. He said, ‘"these were horrid things."’ He ordered them to commit the whole to paper. He, however, found it necessary to approve of the proceedings of the coun­cil; but he put a stop to their barbarous severity. Be­fore the end of the year, he altered his measures in Scotland; and had not the Popish plot interfered, he might have made some amends, by future lenity, for the rigour of former persecutionsL.

designs of the Cove­nanters. The madness which infected the bulk of the English nation, with regard to the Popish plot, extended itself to the Scotish fanatics. A distrust of government, on account of its apparent intentions, prevailed in England; but in Scotland a jealousy of the court arose from ac­tual injuries. The lower sort, from a spiritual pride, were the natural enemies of kingly government. In­tolerant in their principles, they abhorred every other system of faith but their own; and, in their particular aversion to the church of Rome, they easily believed that its interests were abetted by a government, of whose rigour they had just cause to complain. The [Page 271] success of the country-party in the English parliament raised the spirits of the fanatics, and gave life to their hopes. Some of their principal leaders were probably animated to insurrection by the heads of the republican party in England. The conventicles became more fre­quent and more numerous. Their preachers, with an insolence scarce pardonable, where it is not despised, exhorted their hearers to pay no land-tax, to deny the legality of acts of parliament, to oppose the King's au­thority. Every field-meeting became, in some degree, an army. Men came provided with weapons, and seemed ready to support by force their opinions, in civil as well as spiritual affairs. They, however, acted only on the defensive, till time should bring to maturity their more extensive designsM.

Murder of The enthusiasm of some of the party broke, at length, the suspense of the rest. Sharpe, Archbishop of St. Andrews, had persecuted with rigour, if not with ex­treme violence, the Covenanters, ever since the resto­ration. This prelate having been deputed by the Scot­ish clergy, in the year 1660, to General Monk, found means to insinuate himself into the favour of the court, even before the King's departure from Breda. When the resolution of establishing Episcopacy in Scotland was taken, he openly deserted a party whom he had before betrayed. The dignity of Primate was the re­ward of his apostacy; and the fanatics added personal animosity and enmity to the aversion which his rigours and impolitic zeal had raised. His life had been at­tempted, several years before this period, by one Mit­chel, a distempered enthusiast. Mitchel had been ex­ecuted for that crime in 1678, by means which threw odium and dishonour on Sharpe. The Archbishop, by nature artful and disingenuous, was vindictive in his temper, haughty, and insufferably vain. He was more offended at the reproaches of the fanatics, than even at their doctrines; and, in every one of his measures, pri­vate revenge seemed to predominate over his zeal for what he called the public good of religion. The most zealous among the covenanters considered him as an unrelenting persecutor; and they reconciled to religion a design of removing him out of the worldN.

[Page 272] Archbishop Sharpe. On the third of May, the primate, on his way to St. Andrews, was attacked by a party of these furious zealots. The most of his servants were absent. His daughter only accompanied him in the coach. Having fired upon him in vain with their carabines, they dis­patched him with their swords. His murder was ac­companied with circumstances of the utmost barbarity. When he stretched forth his hand for mercy to one of the assassins whom he seemed to know, the inhuman villain almost cut it off with a stroke of his sword. His daughter was wounded in several places, in endea­vouring to cover her aged father from the murderers. They even mangled the dead body. They at length left the torn carcase, with every mark of indignity, on the highway. The errors, and even the crimes of his life were forgotten in the barbarity of his death. Men were shocked at an enthusiasm that gave the name of a religious action to the worst of crimes. An univer­sal joy followed the murder of Sharpe among the ad­herents of the covenant. The pulpits thundered forth the applause of the assassins; and even some, who ap­proved not of the manner of the deed, expressed their gladness at the removal of the arch-enemy of their re­ligious formsO.

Insurrection in the west. The council, alarmed at the death of Sharpe, re­newed their severities against conventicles. The troops quartered in the western counties received orders to disperse by force all field meetings, wherever they should be found. The fanatics came armed and in great num­bers to their places of worship. One Hamilton, and a preacher of the name of Douglas, at the head of eighty armed men, came to Rutherglen, a village two miles from Glascow, and published, with great solem­nity, a declaration. They judged the twenty-ninth of May, the anniversary of the restoration, the most proper day for their purpose. They made use of the bonfires kindled upon the occasion, to burn the acts of parliament and those of the council, which had establish­ed prelacy and suppressed conventicles. Graham of Claverhouse, famous afterwards under the title of Vis­count Dundee, attacked a conventicle on the thirty-first of May, but he was repulsed with loss. The fanatics, [Page 273] flushed with their success, marched to Glasgow; but being beat back by the regular forces, they formed a kind of preaching-camp at Hamilton. The alarm spread in an instant over the country. The news was carried to London in three days. The King's troops retired from Glasgow, and on the seventh of June they were cantoned in the neighbourhood of EdinburghP.

Rout at Bothwell-bridge. Charles, apprized of the insurrection, dispatched Monmouth, then commander in chief of all his forces, to Scotland. The Duke left London, with a few ser­vants only, on the fifteenth of June; and on the nine­teenth, he marched at the head of the army from Edinburgh. The insurgents in the mean time were perplexed beyond measure. Few men of any rank had joined them; and the chief talent of their leaders was prayer. Discord, timidity, and confusion prevailed. Some proposed to lay their grievances before Mon­mouth. Others thwarted that measure, who had no­thing themselves to propose. The first however pre­vailed. They sent commissioners to the Duke. He refused to treat till they should lay down their arms. He gave them but half an hour to determine. The insurgents lay beyond Bothwell-bridge, which they had occupied with a strong party. Upon the return of the commissioners their quarrels and debates were re­newed. Monmouth in the mean time advanced. He forced the passage of the bridge. A rout, rather than fight ensued. The fanatics possessed no conduct. They exhibited no valour. Their enthusiasm forsook [...]hem when peril came; and though they talked with [...]amiliarity of Heaven, they were afraid to die. Seven [...]undred were killed, twelve hundred taken. Scarce [...]ve of the King's forces were either killed or wound­ [...]dQ.

Clemency of Monmouth. Monmouth, by nature mild, and an enemy to cruelty, [...]sed his victory with humanity and moderation. He [...]ermitted not his troops to ravage the country, nor to [...]urn the habitations of the insurgents. Such of the [...]wer sort as promised good behaviour, were dismisied without punishment. Some of the spiritual leaders of [...]e rebels were carried to Edinburgh, and afterwards [...]xecuted. The moderation of Monmouth ought not, [Page 274] however, to be ascribed to his generous disposition. He abetted the opinions of the opposition in England. He endeavoured to become popular in Scotland, the affairs of which he was then destined to guideR.—He however overacted his part, and raised the jea­lousy of the King. Charles was informed, that the Duke had behaved himself toward the Scotish fana­tics as if he intended rather to place himself at their head than to repell their progress; and that he was more inclined to court their friendship than to punish their rebellion. Having quashed the insurrection in the space of a few days, Monmouth took leave of the council on the sixth of July, and returned to Lon­don. He was received by the King with every mark of affection, and complimented with the title of High­ness, an honour which flattered his pride and en­couraged his ambitionS.

Affairs of While England was harassed with a Popish plot, and Scotland disturbed with insurrections, an unusual tranquillity prevailed in Ireland. His country derived this happiness from the prudent conduct of its chief governor, the Duke of Ormonde. That noble per­son having been declared Lord-lieutenant in the sum­mer of 1667, received the sword of state from his predecessor, the Earl of Essex, on the seventeenth of August. He applied himself immediately to the ar­rangement of the revenue. He enquired minutely into all its branches. He examined into the terms of the late farm. He made a new contract. He improved the finances to three hundred thousand pounds a year. With this sum he maintained an army of ten thousand men; he equpped some frigates to guard the coast; he kept the forts of the kingdom in good repair. A surplus of forty-four thousand pounds a year was al­lowed for the support of Tangier. In the year 1678 it was thought necessary to call a parliament, for lay­ing a fresh duty upon exciseable liquors, and to con­firm by an act the decrees of the court of claimsT.

Ireland. But when Ormonde had made some improvements, and was meditating more, intelligence of the Popish plot from England threw the Irish into a general con­sternation. The council met for the security of the [Page 275] kingdom. All officers were ordered to their respective stations. A proclamation was issued for disarming the Papists. The commissioners of array were ordered to prepare the militia for the field. Notwithstanding all these precautions, the Duke escaped not from censure. His life was threatened in Ireland. The enemies of his principles accused him in England. The Earl of Shaftesbury recommended the consideration of Ireland to the lords. He represented the unguarded state of Dublin. He threw reflections on Ormonde. He boast­ed in public, that he himself was possessed of proofs of an Irish plot. While the Duke was preparing to come to London, to vindicate himself from these aspersions, the parliament was dissolved. Charles, satisfied with his conduct, resolved to continue him in the govern­ment. The discontents in England rendered it an object of the last importance to retain Ireland in faith­ful handsT.

State of The dissolution of his second parliament raised the hopes of the friends of Charles, and depressed the minds of his enemies. In the temporary calm which succeeded this event, the nation began manifestly to di­vide itself into those two parties whose concussion had some years before, laid the constitution in ruins. The zeal of the most violent on both sides rose gradually into personal resentment, enmity, and political fury. The dispassionate and peaceable part of mankind fore­saw nothing but confusion, distress and public misery from the present dissentions. No strangers to the anar­chy which had succeeded, in a late period, to the subversion of monarchy, they adhered to the crown in their opinions. The body of the people, who had been inflamed by the Popish plot, were now becom­ing more cool. The artful conduct of Charles had prevented his being involved in the public jealousy which was kindled against his brother. He had fallen down a stream which it was in vain to oppose; and retained the affections of the populace, by pretending to be impressed with their fears. His open, easy, and accommodating disposition was calculated to keep the good opinion which his policy had acquired.

[Page 276] parties, Many who disliked the measures of the court were offended at the violence of the popular leaders. The vehemence with which they prosecuted the Popish plot had degenerated from zeal into passion. They seemed in some instances more eager to punish the ac­cused than to ascertain their guilt. The discerning be­gan to suspect, that they carried forward their own private designs under the specious veil of public good. The attempt to exclude the Duke of York from the throne was received with a degree of jealousy, by seve­ral who feared his principles and detested his bigotry. To break the line of succession was esteemed a great step toward the abolition of monarchy. The benefit of making the Prince himself derive his right, as well as his authority, from the laws, was neither understood nor seen. Men formed their judgment of the future from the events of past times. Disputed claims to the throne had involved their fathers in all the miseries of a long civil war, and they were afraid to entail the like misfortunes upon their posterity.

and of Though these opinions were as yet only cherished in secret, they escaped not the penetrating eye of the King. He endeavoured to encourage them by his moderation, and at the same time with an appearance of spirit. Though indolent by nature, and in a great measure destitute of ambition, he was resolved not to sacrifice what HE deemed to be the rights of the crown, to a precarious offer of present ease. He found, that in proportion to the growth of violence on the side of his opponents, the number of his friends increased.—The Cavaliers were ready, from their principles, to give him a support to which he had no title from his former gratitude. The commons, by an injudicious attack on the bishops, threw in a great degree the es­tablished clergy in the scale of the crown. The Pro­testant sectaries had entered with vehemence into all the views of the popular party Some of their lead­ers abetted other religious principles more than those of the church of England. The hierarchy remember­ed their misfortunes in past times; and they were afraid of the future. They had formerly fallen with monar­chy, and, without its support, they now despaired to be able to stand. They dreaded the abolition of pre­lacy, should the King be obliged to yield to the vio­lence [Page 277] of his opponents. Charles wrought upon their apprehensions, and gained their favour. This power­ful acquisition of strength contributed greatly to the victory which he soon after gained.

political opinions. But though several of the popular party turned their whole designs against monarchy, the views of others who joined them were only extended to public freedom. Afraid of the political principles, as well as the religious bi­gotry, of the Duke of York, they had taken advantage of the present current against Popery to exclude him from the succession. They foresaw that no limitations imposed by a predecessor would be sufficient to defeat the influence which the lineal heir should acquire upon his ascending the throne. They feared every thing to themselves from the Duke's resentment. The stern obstinacy of his character raised their terrors for their country. They had advanced too far not to go far­ther still. They were determined to proceed in an avowed and vigorous opposition. They even hoped to gain the royalists to their opinion, through their zeal against Popery. They expected at length to obtain, from the indolence of the King, his consent to a tem­porary breach on the succession. Besides, the expedi­ency of the thing appeared to them as obvious, as that the measure was well timed. A Prince who should owe his crown to the suffrages of the people would be naturally more careful not to encroach on their freedom, than one who derived his whole right from his ancestors.

The King falls sick. Many who were sensible of the justness of this po­sition, were wavering in their opinions, and perplex­ed with doubts. They saw no certainty of safety to their religion and liberties, should the crown descend to the Duke of York. They could form no expecta­tions, that either that Prince, or a great part of the nation would tamely submit to his total exclusion.—Their only hopes rested upon the event of the King's surviving the Duke. But these hopes seemed to vanish, upon the former's falling suddenly ill. In the end of August, Charles was seized with severe fits of a tertian ague. A general consternation spread instantly through the kingdom. The anxiety of the people for his reco­very rose in proportion to their fears for themselves. [Page 278] All the horrors of a civil war came at once on their minds. The enemies of the Duke of York were sup­posed to be ready to proceed to extremities, for their own safety. The friends of monarchy were determin­ed to preserve the succession to the corwn in the right line. The issue of the contest must have proved fatal to the nation. Should the first prevail, the return of confusion and anarchy was justly feared; and despotism must have been the consequence of the success of the latter.

The Duke of York re­turns. The Duke of York, who had resided during the summer at Brussels, received letters from the Earl of Feversham and others, that the King was in dangerU, Essex, Halifax, and Sunderland were then at the head of affairs. Their aversion to the Earl of Shaftesbury had induced them to favour the Duke. Sunderland wrote to him privately to hasten his return. He ac­cordingly left Brussels on the eighth of September, ac­companied by the Earl of Peterborrow and by Chur­chill. He passed in a French shallop from Calais to Dover. He rode post with Churchill to London, with­out being known; lodged privately for the night at Sir Allen Apsley's, in St. James's Square, and next morn­ing arrived at Windsor, before the King awaked. He found his brother almost restored to health, by the use of Jesuits bark. Charles received him with every mark of affection. He however told him, that neither the situation of his affairs, nor the inclinations of the ministry, rendered it proper for him to remain in Eng­land. To gratify the Duke for this seeming severity, and to remove his suspicions concerning Monmouth, the King dismissed the latter from all his employments, and commanded him to retire beyond seaX.

Monmouth disgraced. The behaviour of Monmouth during the King's illness was, however, the chief cause of his disgrace. Instead of expressing concern for his danger, he avow­edly followed schemes to mount his throne. A dupe to the arts of Shaftesbury, and beyond measure ambi­tious, through excess of vanity, he hoped to gain, by the favour of the people, what he had despaired to obtain through the affection of his father. Charles was more offended at his want of gratitude to himself, than [Page 279] at his attachment to those who opposed his measures. He commanded Monmouth into his presence. He stript him of the office of general. He ordered him imme­diately to depart the kingdom, and wait his pleasure. Monmouth heard these orders with heat. He told the King, that as he was not thought worthy of com­manding the army, he would no longer remain captain of the guards. He, however, came next morning with more submission. He declared himself ready to obey in every thing the King; and he actually set out that very eveningY from London. The affection of Charles was conspicuous in the midst of this severity. In a conference with Monmouth before his departure, it was resolved that the Duke of York should also quit the kingdom without delayZ.

The Duke of York re­tires to Scot­land. When the Duke of York was preparing to depart, Secretary Coventry proposed that he should retire to Scotland, rather than beyond sea. The King and Sun­derland agreed to the measure; Essex readily assented, and Halifax yielded, after some hesitation. This re­solution, however, escaped not the penetrating eyes of Shaftesbury, and the other leaders of the country-party. They were alarmed at a circumstance which seemed calculated to throw the weight of the Scotish nation in the scale of their greatest foe. The Duke took leave of his brother on the twenty-fifth of September, and, by the way of Holland, joined his family at Brus­sels. He wrote, according to a prior concert, from that place, on his arrival, to ask the King's leave to retire to Scotland; and to carry the Ladies Anne and Isabella, who had been lately permitted to visit the Duchess, to see their sister the Princess of Orange.—The yachts were sent to bring him from Holland. Some frigates were ordered to carry himself and his family to Scotland. Upon his arrival in the Downs, he returned to London. The season of the year was improper for a voyage by sea. The Duchess was so ill that she vomited blood. His two daughters were indisposed. A week after his arrival at London, he began his journey northward. The crowds that at­tended his departure mortified his enemies and flatter­ed his own hopesA. The fate of Monmouth was dif­ferent. When he was deserted by the King, he was [Page 280] forsaken by his friends. Lord Brandon only, of all those who paid their court to him when in favour, was his companion in disgraceB.

Monmouth returns. The day after the Duke of York's departure for Scotland, Monmouth made his public appearance in London. Though he seemed to have been deserted in his disgrace, his return was announced with public demonstrations of joy. He sent to Charles; but the affection of that Prince, had given way to his pride. He declared that he would not admit him into his pre­sence, and he adhered to that resolution. He com­manded him instantly to depart. Monmouth's folly was the cause of this severity. When he made a me­rit of yielding to the King's pleasure in quitting the kingdom, he continued his correspondence with the country-party. He held a private meeting with Montague, and other disaffected persons, on the evening of his departure. His very words were car­ried to the King. He informed his friends, that the cause of his disgrace was his advising Charles to make up matters with parliament; and, above all, his be­ing firm to the Protestant religion, the doctrines of which, he affirmed, were by no means favoured by the King. Many of his friends, several of the nobi­lity, even the Duchess of Monmouth, solicited the King in his favour in vain. He peremptorily ordered him to be gone. Roused from his natural indolence by the violence of opposition, Charles began to as­sume that firmness, which soon after levelled all the designs of his enemiesC.

Refused ad­mittance to the King. Monmouth, as his last resource, sent a letter to the King by the Lord Fauconberg. It was returned un­opened. He was stript that instant of all his employ­ments. The Duke of Albemarle was made captain of the guards. The Earl of Mulgrave was appointed governor of Hull, and lord-lieutenant of the East­riding of the county of York. Shrewsbury was placed in the lieutenancy of Staffordshire. The of­fice of master of the horse was taken from Mon­mouth, but not given away. Armstrong, who had [Page 281] been assiduous in all his schemes, was deprived of his commission; but a thousand pounds, which he had paid for it, were refunded. His implicit submission to all the proposals of Shaftesbury brought upon Mon­mouth this fresh disgrace. He returned at his desire. He listened to a new scheme for proving the marriage of his mother with the King. Shaftesbury amused him with such tales, to favour his own designs. Hav­ing been turned out of the office of president of the council, he added his rage for a recent injury to his old and settled resentment. He was disappointed in the meeting of parliament, which the King, against the advice of the council, had prorogued for three months, with an insinuation that it should not meet in less than a year. These measures the popular party ascribed to the influence of the Duke of York; and resentment, as well as policy, induced them to exalt his rivalD.

Secret de­signs of the Prince of Orange. During the contest in the mind of the King, be­tween his affection for a son whom he loved, and a brother whose rights he revered, the nation consider­ed the two Dukes as the only rivals for the throne. There was, however, another Prince, who had long extended his views, with undeviating perseverance and attention, to the same splendid object. Though the exclusionists, to soften the opposition of the King to their schemes, flattered Monmouth, they held secret connections with the Prince of Orange. Sir William Temple encouraged his expectationsE. Sidney pro­posed to manage his negotiations in EnglandF. They assured him, that should the King, by any means, be thrown into the hands of parliament, there was a probability of his being forced to resign the crownG. The Prince, bouyed up by these assurances, and plac­ing great confidence in his own secret intrigues in England, hoped that the parliament would invite him to the vacant throne; and he was resolved to obey their callH.

His engage­ments [...]ich Monmouth. When the Prince was in this disposition of mind, the Duke of Monmouth arrived at the Hague. He [Page 282] was very coldly received in public by the Prince and Princess of OrangeI. He, however, obtained a pri­vate conference with the former, and had the address to reconcile him, in appearance, to his views. He informed the Prince, that the King had sent him from England, not from any dislike to his conduct, but to form a pretence for removing the Duke of York from the kingdom. He assured him, that he never had set up any pretensions to the crown; and that his only object was the safety of his own person, and the interests of the Protestant religion. The Prince told him, that unless he relinquished all schemes of ambition, and every design on the throne, he himself must not only not be his friend, but oppose him with all his influence and power. Monmouth agreed to the proposals of the Prince with the most solemn promises and assurances; and they entered into mutual engage­ments to aid one another in their respective schemesK. Such were the beginnings of a connection which af­terwards actually brought Monmouth to the block, and paved the way to the throne for the Prince of Orange.

The King's firmness. Though the Duke of York laid it down as a maxim in his politics, never to gain an avowed enemy, there is no reason to ascribe to his councils the new and more spirited conduct of Charles. Pliant in his character, and immoderately fond of ease, he had, during near twenty years of his reign, changed his measures and his servants, when the opinions of the nation seemed to change. He had hitherto derived nothing but mis­fortune from this accommodating principle. He marked his councils with an appearance of unsteadi­ness, in the eyes of the people. He encouraged some of his enemies, by his supposed timidity of mind. The Earl of Shaftesbury had, at two different times, when in the highest offices of the state, herded with those who opposed the measures which he himself ought to guide. The conduct of that lord, upon the first disgrace of Monmouth, convinced Charles, that no benefit could result from his continuance in office. He knew that both he and his party hoped every thing [Page 283] from parliament. He, therefore, assumed at once that firmness of conduct which he followed during the rest of his reign. He told his council, on the fifteenth of October, that he was resolved to prorogue his parlia­ment for a whole year; and, that very evening, he dismissed Shaftesbury from the office of president. No measure, in his situation, could be more prudent. He saw a party rising gradually in his favour through­out the nation; and he secured their attachment, by shewing that he himself could be firm.

Dangerfield. The encouragement given by parliament, and the public credulity, had rendered the office of informer profitable, and in some degree, honourable, in the eyes of profligate men. One Dangerfield, whose wicked­ness had just reached the border of every capital fe­lony, now aspired to the prize which Otes and Bedloe had obtained. This infamous person had been trans­ported for larceny, pilloried for perjury, fined for frauds, and outlawed for flying from justice. To sum up his character, he had been the bosom-friend of Bedloe, and his companion upon the high-way. When he could not obtain the money of others, he passed fictitious coin of his own. He was, in short, guilty of every base enormity; and as hardened by habit against punishment, as he was insensible of shame. His total want of veracity was his most harmless vice; for his excessive impudence and folly deprived of all credit his lies. Being handsome in his person, he was harboured by one Mrs. Cellier, a Roman-Catholic midwife; a woman of vivacity, and of an ungovern­able passion for men. Having formed the outlines of a pretended plot by the Presbyterians against the go­vernment, he was introduced by Cellier to the coun­tess of Powis, who, by the means of the Earl of Peterborrow, procured for him access to the Duke of York, and then to the KingL.

The Meal-tub plot. The improbability of Dangerfield's tale, his clumsy artifice of concealing ill-forged papers, in order to be found, his profligate character, and his being seiz­ed by an officer of justice for counterfeiting the cur­rent coin, threw a total discredit on his information. [Page 284] No warrant could legally be issued on his evidence. He was left to the law, and confined to Newgate. To extricate himself from his perilous situation, he became the author of a new Popish plot, as suiting best with the prejudices and credulity of the people. He wrote a circumstantial narrative of his being tempted by the Earl of Castlemaine, the Lady Powis, and some other Catholics, to assassinate the King, and to murder the Earl of Shaftesbury. He even accused Mrs. Cellier, his patroness and bosom-friend; and, from the place where some papers were found in her lodgings, this fictitious conspiracy was denominated Meal-tub Plot. This change in Dangerfield's evi­dence was abetted by Shaftesbury, and it alarmed, in some degree, the timid and credulous part of the na­tion. Charles, however, taught by the bad conse­quences of the former plot, resolved to nip this in the bud. He took advantage of the legal invalidity of Dangerfield's evidence, as a person that had been pil­loried. All inquiry was stopt; and this plot vanished, together with the fears of the nationM.

Remarkable burning of a pope. The popular party, during the interval of parlia­ment, endeavoured to continue the ferment among the people till the next session. Shaftesbury, with all his fertile invention, laboured to accomplish a point so necessary to his designs. At the head of a society of desperate and profligate persons, called the Green-ribbon Club, he projected a public shew, to impress the minds of the populace with horror and fear for the Popish plot. On the seventeenth of November, the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's coronation-day, it had been usual in the city of London to burn a pope, with his inseparable companion the devil. This ceremony was performed in the present year with un­common solemnity and expence. In the front of a long procession, the principal figure was a dead body car­ried on horse-back before a Jesuit, representing that of Godfrey, as he was supposed to be conveyed by the assassins to Primrose-hill. Before the body walked a bellman, crying out with a loud but melancholy voice, ‘"Remember Justice Godfrey."’ In a vast [Page 285] bonfire within Temple-Bar, the figure of the Pope, which had closed the procession, was burnt, amid the acclamations of the populace; and the night closed with magnificent fire-works, and other demonstra­tions of joyN.

Intrigues of the Prince of Orange. But the impression made upon an ignorant populace by this sight, was not worth its expence to Shaftesbury and the Green-ribbon Club. Sober men, who loved their country, were persuaded that it could not be served by such paltry means. Though they enter­tained some apprehensions of the present government, they were averse from exchanging it for the anarchy of a mob. They perceived that resentment, more than the love of public liberty, actuated the most ve­hement of the public leaders. Their violence threw a total discredit on their professions. Indignation against their conduct attached many to the crown; and, fortunately for Charles, several persons, who liked not his measures, thought it their own interest to support his authority. Shaftesbury, however, was not discouraged. He held a secret correspondence with the Prince of Orange, whom he flattered with the hopes of an almost immediate possession of the throne. In concert with that able, intriguing, and ambitious Prince, he formed a project, in conjunction with nine other peers, to petitionO the King to permit the parliament, which had been prorogued to the twenty-sixth of January, to sit at the time appointed. The scheme was to throw Charles into the hands of par­liament; and eventually to deprive him of his throne. Thus far the views of the Prince and of Shaftesbury were one. But while the first wished to transfer the crown to his own head, the latter looked forward to a republic, in which he himself might exercise an un­limited authority, under the specious name of public freedom. Petitions of the same import with that of Shaftesbury and his associates were encouraged throughout the kingdom. Some were prepared, and others presented. Charles affected to receive them with a mixture of indignation and contempt. He published a proclamation against these tumultuous, [Page 286] and, as he called them, unlawful proceedings. He commanded the lord-mayor of London to suppress such petitions as were formed in that city, and to pu­nish as vagrants the persons who went about to solicit subscriptionsP. The Prince of Orange was not, however, of a disposition to be terrified from his schemes by partial disappointments. He continued to make a tool of Monmouth and his partyQ. He was at the bottom of all the disturbances in EnglandR, while he affected to be on the best terms with the King. To prosecute with more advantage his schemes, he proposed to Charles to come to England, under a pretence of mediating between that Prince and the popular party. The King, perhaps suspect­ing his designs, thanked him without accepting his offerS.

Essex resigns Some resignations in the principal departments of the state had encouraged the popular party in their measures to harass the crown. The Earl of Essex, under pretence of the Duke of York's breach of promise to follow his advice, quitted the office of first commissioner of the treasury, on the nineteenth of November. The Earl of Halifax, feigning indis­position, retired from the council; and Sir William Temple, though he had entered into the views of the Prince of OrangeT, had long preferred the quiet pleasures of the country to the tumult and hurry of public affairs. The new council, from whom the na­tion had expected so much, had been for some time virtually dissolved. Charles took his most important resolutions without asking their advice, or he confined his communications to two or three of their number. The factions which prevailed in the nation had subsist­ed in the council. Shaftesbury, followed by Mon­mouth, avowedly abetted the popular cause. Essex, Halifax, and Sunderland, adhered to the interests of the crown. The places of the two first were suppli­ed, in the confidence of the King, by men of better parts, though not of such splendid name. Lawrence Hyde, the second son of the famous Earl of Claren­don, [Page 287] became, by the resignation of Essex, first in the commission for executing the office of lord trea­surer; and Sidney Godolphin, though not admitted a member of the council till the fourth of the follow­ing February, had been, since the fall of Danby, a principal adviser in the secret affairs of stateU.

but joins not the opposi­tion. But though Essex resigned his office, he entered not into the violent measures of the popular party. He suspected the patriotism of Shaftesbury. He loved freedom, but detested confusion. Besides, the intem­perate rage of Shaftesbury had fixed on Essex a part of the blame of disappointing the bill of exclusion, by a prorogation. His threats upon that head had been conveyed to Essex; and some ascribe to his ter­ror the advice which he gave to the King, when sick, to recall the Duke of York. To avoid the suspicion of his joining with Shaftesbury, he continued, after his resignation as first commissioner of the treasury, a member of the councilX; but he seldom attended, and he never was trusted with the secret of affairs. Petitions were, in the mean time, promoted with great assiduity and eagerness. The majority of the common-council of London were gained by the ma­nagement of the popular party. 1680. They presented a remonstrance in favour of the meeting of parlia­ment Y. Charles received them with the utmost coldness. He reprimanded severely the persons who brought the remonstrance. He commanded his chan­cellor to answer it in terms expressive of his highest displeasure.

Parliament prorogued. Though the twenty-sixth of January was the day appointed for the meeting of parliament, the King's resolution to prevent their sitting was universally known. He, however, thought proper, in person, to give the reasons of his conduct. He informed them, in a speech from the throne, that he had de­clared in council his intention of putting off their meeting to a time so remote as November. This re­solution, he told them, was formed on grounds, which were as yet by no means removed, with regard [Page 288] year 1680 to the internal state of the kingdom. But, as a pro­rogation so long might discourage his allies, already threatened with danger, he acquainted them, that, for that SINGLE reason, he thought fit to appoint a day for their meeting in April. He advised them, however, not to flatter themselves with the hopes of sitting, while the nation is inflamed with distractions and jealousies by the arts of profligate and designing men. ‘"I am resolved,"’ he said, ‘"that after your day of meeting in April, there SHALL be a proroga­tion, unless the condition of our allies should require our immediate assistance."’ Having finished this de­termined speech, he commanded the chancellor to prorogue the parliament to the fifteenth of AprilZ.

Some mem­bers of the council re­sign. The firmness exhibited by the King encouraged the court-party, and exasperated those who opposed the crown. Some members of the council of thirty, who had distinguished themselves for the bill of ex­clusion, perceiving the fixed determination of Charles to support his brother, asked permission to resign. These were the Lord Russel, Sir Henry Capel, and Mr. Powle. The King, contrary to his usual good-humour, granted their request with peevishness and symptoms of contempt. He seemed henceforward to have changed, in some degree, his character. Soured by opposition, and roused, by the pressure of danger, from his indolence, he became sullen and untractable. The facility of his temper was succeeded by obsti­nacy; and a line of resolution passed through all his conduct, in a degree that surprised those who affected to know him the best. But his appetite for plea­sure, which rendered him formerly averse to trouble, had diminished with the increase of his years. His judgment rose as his passions declined. Experience had taught him, that concessions produced nothing but new demands. Things were driven too far to be mended by expedients; and he was therefore resolved to bring the matter to a decision, by meeting the ene­my half way.

Secret in­trigues of the Prince of Orange. This firmness deprived the popular party, and even the Prince of Orange, of almost every hope of ruin­ing [Page 289] the King by the means of his parliament. The Prince, ever eager and persevering in his schemes for mounting the throne, expected, perhaps from his want of knowing the state of parties in England, an insurrection, which he was determined to supportA. He, in the mean time, urged the popular party to offer petitions, to rouse, by the bustle and confusion of opposition, the terrors of the people for them­selves, and their indignation against the King. But when he pretended to rely entirely on the leaders of the faction without, he extended, with much address, his intrigues to the members of the cabinet. He gained Godolphin and Hyde to his viewsB. He pro­cured the influence of the Earl of Sunderland to his interest with still greater facility. The Duke of York himself seemed to favour, either through inad­vertence or ignorance of his secret designs, the ambi­tion of the Prince of OrangeC. He promoted his influence with the King. He was even at the bottom of a new Protestant league, from which his nephew derived every advantage to his schemes and reputa­tionD.

He gains Sunderland. But of all the intrigues of the Prince of Orange for mounting the throne destined for his father-in­law, that which became ultimately of most advan­tage to his views, was his gaining the Earl of Sun­derland. This lord, though he afterwards was the great favourite and sole adviser of King James, had been invariably the enemy of the Duke of YorkE. Notwithstanding his abilities, he was implicitly under the guidance of his wifeF. She was under the influ­ence of Sidney, and Sidney was devoted to the Prince of OrangeG. Through this obvious and unfailing channel the Prince assailed Sunderland. He added [...]dvantages to the Earl himself to the instances of a [...]avourite wife and HER friend. A pension at present, [...]nd great promises in future, were the price of Sun­ [...]erland's expected services. He adhered to his bar­ [...]ain, it must be confessed, with fidelity and persever­ [...]nce. He found means, under the mask of friend­ship [Page 290] and attachment, to ruin the rival of the Prince in the channel of ambition; and, by a line of con­duct more able than honourable, paved his way to the throne.

Petitioners, Abhorrers, Whigs, and Tories. During these secret intrigues for his crown, the King of England turned himself with some vigour to his more public opponents. The same arts which were used by its enemies against the court, were adopted by Charles to counteract their designs. THEY assidu­ously procured subscriptions to petitions for the sitting of parliament; HE encouraged addresses, expressive of an entire submission to the prerogative of the crown. The eagerness of the two parties, into which the na­tion was divided, carried their virulence against each other into names of reproach. The adherents of the King, in their addresses, expressed their abhorrence of the seditious manner in which the petitions were pro­cured; and their opponents gave them, from this circumstance, the name of ABHORRERS. The latter thought the appellation of PETITIONERS a sufficient retaliation on their enemies. Though these epithets sunk soon after into oblivion, this year began the names of WHIG and TORY, which have invariably distinguished the two political parties that have ever since divided between them the nation. It is remark­able, that these ridiculous appellations derived their origin from Scotland and Ireland. The fanatical con­venticlers of the first kingdom had been distinguished by the name of Whigs, and the Popish rabble of the latter country were called Tories. The court-party found a similitude between the Petitioners and the Scotish Covenanters; and the opposers of the crown compared the principles of the Abhorrers to those of the wild Irish.

The first en­couraged by the King. Though the addresses against petitions were abetted with little secrecy by the King, they contributed to strengthen his influence in the nation. Wythens, one of the members for the city of Westminster, procur­ed the first address; and Charles, to shew his appro­bation of his conduct, conferred upon him the honour of knighthood, at a time that he treated the Petitio­ners with haughtiness, severity, and contempt. The spirit of addressing soon spread from Westminster to [Page 291] the country. In Norfolk, the grand jury, instead of presenting a petition, presented those by whom sub­scriptions were promoted. In the county of Somerset, the same attachment to the crown appeared. The address of Norfolk thanked the King for recalling the Duke of York. Several corporations expressed their abhorrence of any breach on the right line of succes­sion to the throne. Encouraged by the favourable change in the minds of the people, Charles determin­ed to permit his brother to returnH.

The Duke of York re­turns. On the twenty-eighth of January, the King ac­quainted his council, that he had commanded the Duke of York to come back to England, having found no effect from his absence that could justify its being longer continued. He told them, as they had lately seen, and were likely to see again, questions started of so high a nature, and to him particularly of so great concern, it was agreeable both to reason and justice that he should be present at the next ses­sion of parliament. He informed them, that though it should be always his care to preserve to the Duke his right, yet that he thought it might be for his own satisfaction, as well as conducive to his interest, to be near, if any debate should again arise. He assured them, in the mean time, that he promised to himself a compliance from his brother in all things that should be thought necessary for the general quiet and secu­rity of the kingdom, and that none should have rea­son to be alarmed at his return, or to apprehend that his being near the throne could have any bad influence upon the conduct of public affairs. Having thus an­nounced his resolution to the council, he wrote to the Duke of York; and that Prince, having embarked at Leith, arrived at Privy-stairs on the twenty-fourth of FebruaryI.

His conduct in Scotland. The Duke, during his residence in Scotland, be­haved with the degree of prudence which suited the untoward situation of his affairs. Having retired into that kingdom in a private capacity, he carefully avoid­ed to interfere in public affairs. He heard the com­plaints [Page 292] of factions, without becoming a party in their quarrels. He behaved himself with dignity, without any portion of that stateliness, which was, in his prosperity, one of the defects in his character. Per­secuted in England, he thought it necessary to gain the Scotish nation. He told the privy-council, when he took leave at his departure, ‘"that he would ac­quaint the King that he had in Scotland a brave and loyal nobility and gentry, a regular and wise privy-council, and the courts of judicature filled with learn­ed and upright judges: That the disaffected party were not so considerable as the faction in England affirmed; and that the animosities between particu­lar families in the Highlands being removed, they were now firm and united in his Majesty's interest."’ The chancellor answered the Duke by assuring him, that they were highly fensible of the honour of his presence, the advantages of his conduct, and the be­nefit of his advice. He assured him, that the Scotish nation was entirely devoted to the King, and attached to the interest of his Royal HighnessK.

An attempt to present him as a re­cusant. The presence of the Duke in England damped not the spirit of his adversaries. Shaftesbury, with his usual activity, flew through his party, and animated them with an ardour equal to his own. He had gone already too far ever to be forgiven; and he was resolved to harass, if he could not subdue. Gained by his arts, or fired by his zeal, some men of patriotic principles joined him, with more vehemence than prudence. In the month of March, six lords, Shastesbury, Huntingdon, Gray, Cavendish, Bran­don, Russel, and nine gentlemen, delivered to the grand Jury at Westminster an information against the Duke of York, for being a Popish recusant. When they came to the court, they found the jury on their way to the King's Bench, carrying a petition in sa­vour of the sitting of parliament. The foreman having delivered the petition, the chief justice order­ed it to be read. The court asked them, whether they had all their presentments ready? They replied, that a short time would finish all. The court, ap­prised [Page 293] of Shaftesbury's design, told them, that they had spent their time in things not within their pro­vince, and totally neglected things which they ought to have done. They were immediately discharged. Their petition was offered to be returned They, however, refused it, affirming that they had done their duty; and so left it with the courtL.

Duke of Monmouth makes a progress. While Shaftesbury and the popular party persecuted the Duke of York, Monmouth, by their advice, was endeavouring to pave his own way to the crown. He made a progress through different parts of the king­dom, with a magnificent train and equipage. Hand­some in his person, and captivating in his manners, and besides, being created an object of public atten­tion, from his almost avowed pretensions to the throne, the whole country flocked around him to pay their respects. He was every where considered as a candi­date for the crown; and men were flattered by his seeming to solicit it thro' their favour. His claims to legitimacy were again revived. A report was propa­gated, that the King had been married, or at least contracted to his mother; and that Cosens, late Bishop of Durham, had placed a writing, contained in a certain BLACK BOX, in the hands of Sir Gilbert Gerrard, which proved the fact to the satisfaction of many persons of distinction and name. Charles called Gerrard before the councilM. He denied all know­ledge of the writing and the box. The King, soon after, in the most solemn manner, again declared to the world, that he never was either married or con­tracted to Mrs. Walters, or any person whatsoever except the QueenN.

Popular she­riffs chosen. Though the popular party had not altogether suc­ceeded in gaining the Lord Mayor, aldermen, and common council of London, they, in the course of the present year, obtained a majority of the livery. Their conduct being likely to subject them to the ani­madversions of the law, they thought it necessary to guide its operations. The sherisss, chosen annually at Guildhall, return the juries for the city of London and the county of Middlesex. Their office being at­tended [Page 294] with great trouble and expence, had always been deemed a hardship rather than an object of am­bition. The Sheriffs had been usually put in nomi­nation by the Lord Mayor, and invariably approved by the common hall. When the election came on, the livery rejected the persons nominated by the Lord Mayor He adjourned the common hall, and made a second nomination on the fifteenth of July. The livery continued obstinate. A poll, for the first time, was demanded. The city was all in a ferment. After a contest of five weeks, the popular party prevailed. Bethel and Cornish, men devoted to the councils of Shaftesbury, were chosen, though the King exerted his personal influence, as well as the weight of the crown, on the other sideO.

Another attempt to present the Duke of York. During these heats in the city, the Earl of Shaftes­bury came to Westminster, and made a remarkable speech to the grand jury. He enlarged on the dangers of popery. He openly attacked the character of the Duke of York. He offered an indictment against him, for recusancy. He produced witnesses to prove his hearing mass. He desired them to reflect, how unsafe it was, that a person of his delinquency should conti­nue in the management of the post-office; and so be­come master of the secrets of individuals as well as those of the kingdom. He at the same time spoke much against the Duchess of Portsmouth. He repre­sented her dangerous influence, her attachment to po­pery, her intrigues with France. He, upon the whole, desired that they would declare her a common nuisance. The accusation of the Duchess was only calculated to gain her to the party through the channel of her fears. She accordingly made her peace with Monmouth, and became reconciled to Shaftesbury. She added an ani­mosity against the Duke of York to the terrors which she entertained of his enemies. The Duchess of York had not shewn her any respect; and the Duke himself seemed to approve of his wife's stately conductP.

Prince of Orange soments dis­turbances. The combustions in the city of London escaped not the vigilance of the Prince of Orange, who kept his eyes perpetually fixed on the crown of England. Un­der the pretence of keeping up an appearance of friend­ship [Page 295] with the Duke of York, he dispatched Van Lewen, with open assurances of his regard for the interests of that Prince; but in fact, to carry on negotiations with his enemiesQ. With every art he added fuel to the flame which raged in the kingdom. He hoped, that at length an opportunity might offer, to justify an open avowal of his designs. Judging of the nation in general by the noise of particular men, he still looked forward to an insurrection; and he formed hopes, that should his service be either accepted by the insurgents, or by the King, he could become with ease master of the kingdom. But the negotiations of the Prince were not confined to Van Lewen. He at the same time held a connection with the most abandoned and lowest persons of the party, through the means of one Fry­mans, a profligate and desperate villainR, whom he had employed in England six years before in the same dishonourable serviceS.

Policy of the King. The whole summer of the year 1680 was employed in the counteracting schemes of the different parties. The parliament was in the mean time prorogued from time to time. But the King thought it prudent to acquaint the Lord Mayor of London and the judges, that he was determined to meet it in the month of NovemberT. The judges, on their different circuits, carried this intelligence to the people; which put an end to petitions that were no longer thought neces­sary. Every art was used, in the mean time, to re­concile the minds of the nation to the measures of government. The King affected the greatest zeal against popery. The laws were executed with pre­cision, if not with great rigour, against popish recusants. Charles endeavoured to acquire popularity to his con­duct in foreign affairs. Though he had made in the preceding year advances to France, he had broken off the treaty upon a slight pretence. He formed an al­liance with Spain. He offered to enter into a strict connection with Holland. The Dutch, either terrified by the power of France, or swayed by the Prince of Orange, who began to derive hopes of gratifying his own ambition through the troubles in England, declined [Page 296] his offers. They even, with some degree of presump­tion, as their conduct was termed by the King, inter­fered with the domestic affairs of the kingdom. They solicited Charles to call his parliament. Their ambas­sador openly abetted the popular party; a circumstance which confirmed him in the resolution of not yielding to their requestU. This conduct in their ambassador was not, however, authorised fully by the States. The Prince of Orange, undeviating in the prosecution of his own views, had persuaded the minister of the re­public to go beyond his instructions from his mastersX.

The Duke retires. Though the King was persuaded that the majority of the new house of commons were determined to op­pose the measures of the crown, he thought proper to try by one other experiment to compose the minds of his subjects. The parliament had been prorogued on the twenty-third of August, to the twenty-first of Oc­tober; and he resolved to permit it to enter on that day on business. To prepare for its meeting, he thought it prudent to command his brother to retire. On the ninth of October, Hyde informed the Duke, that the Earl of Sunderland and Mr. Godolphin judged it ne­cessary that he should retire abroad. Essex and Halifax, who had in some degree returned to favour, joined in the same opinion. The Duchess of Portsmouth was employed by the latter nobleman to persuade the King into the measure. An incident, which happened some months before, rendered her a zealous instrument against the interests of the Duke of York. Charles had been attacked in the preceding May by some slight fits of an ague; and she, upon that occasion insisted with the Duke to give her assurances of an ample provision in case of the King's demise. The Duke waved her importu­nities, by representing to her the indecency of his enter­ing into engagements upon his brother's life. She was highly offended at his refusal. She came from Wind­sor to London. She opened a correspondence with Mon­mouth and Shaftesbury, through the means of the Lord Howard of Escric; and soon after, when she was pre­sented as a common nuisance, before the grand Jury, she avowedly joined the popular party, and promoted their measuresY.

[Page 297] to Scotland. But neither the solicitations of his favourite mistress, nor the advice of his cabinet council, could induce Charles to command his brother to quit the island. He began to consider his own interest as inseparably connected with that of the Duke of York; and he deemed his expulsion as perhaps a prelude to his own. He knew that the fears entertained of his successor were a good security to his own safety. He however signified to his brother, that his affairs required his absence; and he advised him to repair to Scotland, where he had been treated with so much distinction and respect before. Some of the Duke's friends in council pro­posed that a pardon for him should pass the great seal, as Shaftesbury threatened an impeachment. Charles gave his opinion, that the commons would proceed by bill, and not by impeachment. He was averse to a prior pardon, as irregular; at the same time assuring the Duke, that in case of their proceeding to extremi­ties, he would dissolve the parliament. He wrote to his council in Scotland, that he had ordered his brother to repair thither, to look after the affairs of that king­dom. The Duke of York accordingly left London on the twentieth of October. Relying on his brother's assurances, he embarked in the river with his family, the King himself accompanying him as far as LeighZ.

Parliament meets. On the twenty-first of October the parliament met at Westminster; and the King opened the session with a plausible and judicious speech. He excused with a degree of art the several prorogations, by informing them, that he had filled that interval of time, in con­certing measures with Spain and Holland, for mutual succour and defence. He told them, that he was ready to concur with them, to their satisfaction, in any mea­sure to secure the protestant religion; and to agree to any new remedies that might be proposed, consistent with the preservation of the succession of the crown in its due and legal course of descent. He desired them to pursue the further examination of the popish plot. He requested, that the lords in the Tower should be brought to their trial. He represented to them the in­supportable expence of Tangier, long closely besieged by the Moors. He recommended in the most earnest [Page 298] terms union at home, as absolutely necessary to sustain the importance of the nation abroad. He appealed to the world, that the consequences resulting from division had not proceeded from his conduct. He told them, by way of compliment, that he expected every benefit to the nation and every ease to himself, from their great prudence and their known affection to his per­sonA.

Violence of the com­mons. This speech was more calculated to gain the nation than to mollify the sentiments of parliament. The people were manifestly divided in their opinions; but the majority of their representatives had already pledged themselves in the great questions which had been agi­tated against the court. The commons displayed all the violence of their predecessors in prosecuting the popish plot. They addressed the King for a pardon to all such persons as should within four months give any evidence of any treason or conspiracy against his Ma­jesty's person and governmentB. They resolved to proceed effectually to suppress popery, and to prevent a popish successorC. Dangerfield, the infamous author of the meal-tub-plot, was examined with care, and treated with distinction. They began to animadvert upon such persons as had promoted the late addresses. They voted, that it was the undoubted right of the subjects of England to petition the King for the sitting of parliament and the redressing of grievances. They resolved, that to traduce such petitioning is to betray the liberty of the people, to contribute to subvert the an­cient constitution, and to introduce arbitrary power. A committee was appointed to enquire concerning persons that had offended in this case against the rights of the subjectD. Jefferies, recorder of London, was accused. Sir Francis Wythens, member for Westmin­ster, was expelled. North, chief justice of the com­mon-pleas, was attackedE.

Intrigues of the Prince of Orange abroad. The violence of the commons was regarded with an eye of satisfaction by the Prince of Orange, who had long extended all his attention and intrigues to the affairs of England. He had the address to persuade the King, that he wished for nothing more than a per­fect [Page 299] reconcilement between that prince and his par­liamentF. But he at the same time continued his connection with the popular party, and fomented the ferment in the kingdom. The Prince confined not his secret negotiations to Britain. He formed a scheme of strengthening himself independent of the States, for an eventual expedition into England. He endea­voured to render the family of Brunswick-Lunenburgh dependent on himself, by proposing a marriage between the Bishop of OsnaburghG and his wife's sister, the Princess Anne. He proposed to name that prince his successor in all his own honours and preferments; and as he had no expectations of issue himself; he hoped to flatter the house of Lunenburgh into his views, from a near prospect of the crown of EnglandH. A settled aversion to the Prince of Nassau-Friezeland, his nearest male-heir, had perhaps rendered the Prince of Orange at the time sincere in his offers to the family of Lunenburgh, at least with regard to the eventual succession of his offices in Holland.

He is unsuc­cessful in England. Notwithstanding the schemes formed by the Prince abroad, as well as in England, the times were not yet sufficiently prepared for the execution of his purpose. Van Lewen, after having remained several months in London, found himselfI unable to spirit up the faction into an actual insurrection. The Prince had not the good fortune to be deemed sincere in his professions in favour of the popular partyK. They formed their judgment of his conduct as the nephew of the King, and the son-in-law of the Duke of York; and they imagined, notwithstanding the bold assertions of his agents, that he himself was actually in the interest of the court of England. He was therefore far from being popularL. But when he was in a manner de­serted by the enemies of government, his views were favoured by a part of the ministry. SunderlandM pro­mised him every thing, from the certainty of the ex­clusion of the Duke of York. Though the Prince sound his secret friends too sanguine, he pursued his own designs. He wrote to the King to agree upon any [Page 300] terms with his parliament, even though they should divest the crown of all its prerogatives; and this he did with the greater certainty of success, as he was assured by Sidney, that Charles would be forced to agree to the exclusion, and a pension for the Duke of YorkN.

Bill of ex­clusion. The commons, in their zeal for the Popish plot, ani­madverted severely upon those who presumed to give it no credit. Sir Robert Canne was expelled for declaring that there was no popish conspiracy. Doctor Tong was recommended to the King for prefermentO, as being the first who gave evidence of the plot. One Francisco Ferria, together with a new witness whose name was Dugdale, and the noted Prance, were exa­minedP, and their evidence committed to writing. On the second of November, they renewed a vote of the former house, in laying the whole blame of the Popish plot on the religion of the Duke of YorkQ. All these resolutions were only preparatory steps toward the exclusion, the favourite object of the popular party. Notwithstanding the vehemence of the commons, the bill seemed to languish in passing through the house. But though several members distinguished themselves in favour of the Duke of York, the slow progress of the bill proceeded more from an artifice of the popular party, than from the arguments of the adherents of the crown. The common-council of London, led by Shaftesbury, endeavoured, by an address, to prepare the lords in its favour. On the eleventh of November, the bill of exclusion was passed by the commons, and carried by the Lord Russel to the peers. A great body of the members, who attended Russel, shouted by way of triumph when the bill was receivedR.

Rejected by the lords. The lords, however, seemed not to be guided by the same spirit which animated the commons. It even became a question, whether the bill should be at all committed; and this instance of respect to the lower house was only carried by two votes. When the matter came to a debate, several lords distinguished themselves on both sides. Shaftesbury seemed to be unanswerable in his arguments for the bill, till the Earl of Halisax opposed him on the part of the Duke. He [Page 301] bore the whole weight of the argument. He answered Shaftesbury, Essex, and Sunderland. He spoke at least sixteen timesS. Having prepared himself for the oc­casion, the court-party left the whole debate to his abilities. When the house divided, the bill was rejected by a great majority. Fourteen bishops, of seventeen that were present, were observed to have voted against the exclusion. Halifax, to convince the world that his conduct proceeded from no partiality for the Duke, moved, the next day, for a bill to banish him for ever from the King's presence. Shaftesbury and his party turned the motion into ridicule; the friends of the Duke were silent, and the affair was dropt. Shaftes­bury, in the course of the debate, observed, that since they were determined not to exclude the Duke, he saw no means of safety for the nation, but by the King's divorcing the Queen, and marrying a Protestant wife. The Earls of Salisbury and Essex, together with the Lord Howard of Escric, seconded this motion. Halifax and others opposed it; and the whole fell, without ef­fect, to the ground. The Duke of Monmouth excused his voting for the exclusion by his concern for the King's life, which, he affirmed, the Duke of York designed to take away. Halifax was severe upon this imprudent speechT.

Halifax's expedient. The bill proposed by Halifax, though it preserved the succession, annihilated the power of the crown. The Duke of York was to have been banished, during the King's life, five hundred miles from England. He was to forfeit his revenue, if he came nearer; and his life, if he returned to any part of his Majesty's do­minions. In this clause, the independence of Scotland, which kingdom had certainly a right, if she chose, to entertain the heir of her crown, was either neglected or forgotten, through the vivacity of Halifax. Who­ever should receive the Duke, either in England or Ireland, was to be declared guilty of treason, even after his accession to the nominal possession of the throne. The whole government was to have been vested in a council of forty-one members. All foreign treaties and negotiations were to be concluded or transacted by commissioners chosen out of their own number by the [Page 302] council. Ireland was to be governed by the same council. They were to fill up vacancies in offices, and to remove persons at pleasure from their employ­ments. This part of their power was subjected to the control and disallowance of parliament, which, when sitting, was to exercise all the authority vested in the council, during the interval of sessions. It is difficult to say why Shaftesbury rejected an expedient which seemed to answer all his own views. Sidney, and other men of republican principles, justly termed the proposed bill ‘"a gentle way of dropping the go­vernment into a commonwealthU."’

Resentment of the com­mons. The rejecting the bill of exclusion threw the com­mons into the utmost fury. An address was instant­ly voted to remove for ever the Earl of Halifax from the King's presence and councilsX. This measure was deemed imprudent in the house, and unconstitu­tional in itself. It was animadverting upon the free­dom of debate, without which public assembles meet in vain. They seemed themselves to be sensible of their error, though their passions overcame, in this in­stance, their reason. The cause which they assigned for their address was Halifax's advising the late frequent prorogations of parliament. Though no friend of the Duke, he had certainly taken an active part against the bill, before it was sent up to the lords. He pro­cured a message to the commons, to destroy a report propagated by the popular party, that the King had consented to the bill. To this circumstance the fa­vourers of the exclusion were no strangers. Besides Halifax had always affected to adopt their principles; and they persecuted him with virulence, as a betrayer of his political friends. Charles, in answer to their address, acquainted the house, that he found no suf­ficient ground to induce him to remove Halifax either from his councils or presence; but he promised to protect none of his servants in the commission of any real crimeY.

They perse­cute the Ab­horrors. Though the house of commons had sufficient rea­son to be alarmed at the prospect of a Popish suc­cessor in the throne, they permitted violence to dis­grace, in other instances, their patriotism. Their [Page 303] animadversions upon the Abhorrers was, in fact, a breach upon that privilege which they meant to se­cure, by asserting the right of petitioning in the subject. If some men were intitled to complain of grievances, others had an equal claim to the privilege of approving of the measures of the crown. But rea­son had long since yielded to passion. Parties were inflamed against one another to a degree that preclud­ed forgiveness. Besides, the most active among the Abhorrers were as unprincipled as the worst of the country party. Jefferys, the recorder of London, began even then to display those vehement qualities which rendered him afterwards odious. The house voted, that by traducing and obstructing petitioning, he betrayed the rights of the subjectZ; and they ad­dressed the King to remove him from the office of chief justice of Chester, which he then enjoyedA.

Impeach the judges. They turned their attention from the Abhorrers to the courts of justice. Scroggs, chief justice of the King's Bench, had, in an irregular manner, dismissed the grand jury, who had prepared a presentment against the Duke of York, as a Popish recusant. As a pre­paratory step to his impeachment, they voted, that the discharging of a grand jury before the end of the term was arbitrary, illegal, and subversive of public justice; a manifest violation of the oath of a judge, and ruinous to the laws of the kingdomB. They resolved, that the court of King's Bench favoured Papists, and persons popishly inclined; and, upon these grounds, they voted, without, one dissenting voice, that Scroggs should be impeachedC. Their rigour de­scended from the court of King's Bench to that of the Common Pleas. Sir Francis North, who presid­ed on that bench with reputation, fell under the dis­pleasure of the popular party, for being concerned in framing the proclamation against petitioningD. That paper, however, was so cautiously worded, that suf­ficient grounds were not found for prosecuting the chief justice with effect. The commons proceeded in their persecutions of all those who were deemed the most intimate friends of the Duke of YorkE. They [Page 304] impeached Seymore for a pretended misapplication of a supply for the navy. They expelled Sir Robert Pey­ton for corresponding with the Duke of York. Pey­ton suffered for his apostacy from the party, more than for the alledged crime. He had been a principal name at the Green-ribbon club; and, either through conviction or from views of interest, had deserted his old friendsF.

Prosecute the Viscount Stafford. The violence of the commons was least excusable in their vehement prosecution of the Popish plot.—After the passions of the people were cooled, their representatives flew into a new flame. Their disap­pointment with regard to the bill of exclusion carri­ed their resentment into acts of absurdity, puerility, and injustice. On the tenth of November, they had resolved to proceed against the lords in the TowerG, and to begin with the Viscount Stafford; but he was not brought to his trial till the thirtieth of the same month. Their first design was to begin with the Lord Arundel of Wardour; but the evidence against him was not sufficiently full. The age, the limited ca­pacity, the natural timidity of Stafford, rendered him an easy victim to a violent party, who were deter­mined to be satisfied with nothing but blood. The Earl of Nottingham, as Lord High Steward, presid­ed at Stafford's trial. This nobleman, to abilities in his profession, joined a credulity, which proved fatal to the unfortunate criminal. His charge to the peers contained expressions of his thorough conviction of the reality of the Popish plot; a circumstance which great­ly strengthened the testimony of very exceptionable witnesses.

He is tried, Before Stafford was brought to the bar, the bi­shops waved their claim of being present at his trialH. A committee of the commons, consisting of the most able members, were appointed to manage the impeach­ment. Otes, Dugdale and a new evidence, one Tur­berville, were the witnesses. Otes swore that he had seen several letters, signed Stafford, to the Jesuits, ex­pressing his assiduity and zeal in promoting the Po­pish plot. He gave in evidence, that, in his own presence, his Lordship had received a commission to be paymaster-general of the Pope's army in England. He affirmed, that Stafford was privy to a design on [Page 305] the King's life, and that he was the person who urged Grove to the commission of the assassination. Turberville swore, that he had been, five years before, engaged by his Lordship to commit the same crime. Dugdale's evidence contained, that he had an express offer from Stafford of five hundred pounds for dispatch­ing the King; and that as a further inducement, he promised to him a free pardon for all his sins, and also to be sainted for such a meritorious deedI.

condemned, The improbability of the evidence, the profligate character of the witnesses, the age, the former life, even the infirmities of the prisoner, might have ac­quitted him at any other period; but the passions of mankind were roused against the unfortunate lord by the address, abilities, and eloquence of Sir William Jones, Sir Francis Winington, and Serjeant May­nard, who managed the impeachment, in the name of the commons of England. The innocence of Stafford was supported by none of those talents which were conspicuous in his opponents. Though he stood on the best ground, he made but a seeble defenceK. He, however, invalidated some particulars, and threw discredit on others. He proved his being at Bath and its neighbourhood on the very day which Dug­dale swore he was employed in a great consult of Papists in Staffordshire. He made it apparent, by good wit­nesses, that so far from employing Turberville, he had never seen him; and he insisted upon the profligate manners and former perjuries of Otes, as sufficient reasons to deprive of all faith his present evidence. His efforts, however, were all in vain. The populace were outrageous, his prosecutors violent, and his judges either prejudiced or timid. He was found guilty by a great majorityL; and, on the seventeenth of Decem­ber, he received sentence to be hanged and quartered, with the other circumstances of severity which accom­pany the punishment of treason.

and The peers interceded with the King to remit the more ignominious part of the sentence of Stafford; and that circumstance furnished a fresh opportunity of malice to his enemies. The popular sheriffs, Bethel and Cornish, presented a petition to the commons, [Page 306] expressing a doubt whether the King was legally in­vested with power to alter the sentence. This beha­viour was as destitute of prudence as it was void of humanity. Should the power of the crown to change the manner of execution be disputed, the King in defence of his prerogative, might be induced to save the criminal's life. The leaders of the party in the house possessed more wisdom. They procured a vote, in answer to the sheriffs, that the commons were CONTENT ‘"that the late Viscourt Stafford should be executed by severing his head from his body only."’ Many efforts were in the mean time made to induce the unfortunate prisoner to confess the treason for which he was condemned. Reports of his having actually confessed were propagated by the popular par­ty. He was brought before the peers. He acknow­ledged that he had been concerned in some schemes for obtaining, in a legal way, a mitigation of the pe­nal laws against Catholics; and that he knew of no other treasonM.

executed. To add to the misfortunes of Stafford, his nearest relations were among his greatest enemies. His kins­men, the Earls of Carlisle and Suffolk, and the Lord Howard of Escric, had voted him guilty; and they used afterwards unjustifiable means to induce him to make discoveries. They asked leave of the house of lords to visit him in his prison, under pretence of carrying the Bishop of London and Dr. Burnet to converse with him upon matters concerning his soul. The lords would not permit them to see him, with­out a person appointed by the house to record what­ever should be said. Their design was to procure some discoveries against the Duke of YorkN; but the jealousy of the lords, in ordering them to be at­tended, disappointed that project. Stafford's behaviour under condemnation, and at the place of execution, was decent and undisturbed. His reiterated and ear­nest asseverations of his innocence on the scaffold, changed in his favour the minds of the populace.—His venerable years, his sortitude in the last extremi­ty, his apparent sincerity, touched all with pity, and melted many into tears. A silent assent to his pro­testations [Page 307] was observed over the vast multitude of spec­tators; whilst some expressed, with faultering voices, their firm belief of all that he said. The executioner himself seemed to share in the sympathy of the peo­ple. He twice suspended the blow, after raising the fatal ax; and when, at a third effort, he severed the head from the body, an universal groan was heard on all sidesO.

Violence of the popular party. Though the condemnation of Stafford gratified the prejudices of the commons, it diminished not their violence. In their eagerness for the bill of exclusion, no common victim was sufficient to appease their fury for being disappointed in their views. In considering of ways and means to secure the kingdom against Po­pery and arbitrary power, they formed a bill for dis­arming the Papists, and removing them twenty miles from LondonP. To call their attention to his wants, the King put them again in mind of his alliance with Spain and Holland, and the necessity of placing him in a condition to serve his allies, by an immediate supply. Instead of considering his speech, they brought in, on the same day, a bill for an association to pre­vent the Duke of York, or any Papist, from succeed­ing to the crownQ. Having adjourned but four days for the Christmas holidays, they met again on the thirtieth of December. They began their delibera­tions with an extraordinary instance of self-denial.—They resolved, that no member should accept any of­fice or place of profit from the crown, without the express leave of the house. To shut up every chan­nel of influence, they prohibited all members, under the penalty of expulsion, to receive even the promise of any place of profit or trustR. These resolutions bore certainly the appearance of patriotism; but they were scarce necessary, in the present poverty of the crown.

Their de­signs on the city of Lon­don. During these transactions in parliament, the leaders of the popular party endeavoured to get the total pos­session of the city of London. The lord-mayor, his wife, the two sheriffs, and the sword-bearer, had each a right, once a-year, to recommend one freeman of London. This privilege they generally soldS. But [Page 308] the sheriffs, Bethel and Cornish, resolved to convert it to the service of their party. Bethel proposed the Duke of Buckingham. The court of aldermen, though at first they inconsiderately approved of this noble free­man, refused afterwards to make a precedent, which might throw the real citizens entirely out of the ma­gistracy of London. Had Bethel's recommendation succeeded, Cornish was to have proposed the Earl of Shaftesbury. They were both to have been chosen common-council-men, on St. Thomas's day. Next year they were to serve as sheriffs, become aldermen when vacancies should happen, and so raise to the office of lord-mayorR. Though the populace of London were clamorous and factious, Charles preserv­ed in his interest the majority of the aldermen; and the merchants favoured the Duke of York, on account of his indefatigable attention to their commerceS.

1681. Votes of On the fourth of January, the King sent to the commons, by Sir William Temple, a message calcu­lated to soothe their vehemence, and, if possible, to gain their favour. He expressed his sorrow that their minds were so much fixed on the bill of exclusion, as to deem all other remedies for suppressing Popery in­effectual. He told them, however, that he himself was confirmed in his opinion against the bill, as it had been rejected by the house of lords. He therefore re­commended to them the consideration of other means for the preservation of the Protestant religion; and he promised his concurrence, whenever such means should be presented to him in a parliamentary way. He begged that, in the mean time, they would consider the present state of Europe, and enable him to pre­serve Tangier, and secure his alliances abroad and the peace of the nation at homeT. This soothing message had not the least effect on the commons.—They voted, that there was no safety for religion, and none for the King's life, but by the exclusion of the Duke of York; and that to rely on any other reme­dies or means, without a bill to that effect, was not only insufficient in itself, but dangerous to the king­domU.

the com­mons. This determined resolution was followed by seve­ral votes of the same peremptory and alarming kind. [Page 309] year 1681 They resolved, that, till a bill to exclude the Duke of York should pass, the commons could grant no supply to his Majesty, without danger to his person, peril to religion, and a breach of their own faith to their constituents. They voted, that all persons who advised the King in his message to the house were promoters of Popery, and enemies to the King and kingdom. They declared it their opinion, that the Earl of Halifax was one of those persons. They voted an address for the removal of the Lord Hyde, the Marquis of Worcester, the Earls of Halifax and Feversham from the King's presence and councils. They resolved, that whoever should thereafter advance any money on the customs, excise, or hearth-money; or whoever should accept or buy any tally of anti­cipation upon any part of the King's revenue, should be adjudged to hinder the sitting of parliament, and become responsible for his conduct at their bar. In­telligence of these violent resolutions being brought to the King, he determined to prorogue the parliamentX.

Parliament prorogued. When the house met on Monday, the tenth of January, they were informed of the King's design. They resolved, that whoever advised his Majesty to prorogue his parliament, for any other purpose than to pass the bill of exclusion, was a betrayer of the King, an enemy to the Protestant religion, and to the kingdom of England, a promoter of the French interest, and a pensioner of France. They voted, that the city of London was burnt in the year 1666 by the Papists. They resolved, that it was the opinion of the house, that the Duke of Monmouth was re­moved from all his places by the influence of the Duke of York; and they ordered an address to restore him to all his offices. They at the same time voted, that the prosecution of Protestant dissenters upon the penal laws was a grievance to the subject, a weak­ening of the Protestant interest, an encouragement to Popery, and dangerous to the peace of the kingdom. When the house was proceeding to other votes of the same kind, the usher of the black rod arrived; and the parliament was prorogued to the thirtieth of JanuaryY.

[Page 310] Observa­tions. The fury of the commons, it must be confessed, was in some respects unjustifiable. But, however, they voted several resolutions and passed a few laws ex­tremely favourable to public freedom. Their self-de­nying vote, though perhaps impracticable, was high­ly suitable to the independence of parliament. The bill for rendering the judges independent tended to keep pure the current of public justice. The act for repealing the statute of the thirty fifth of Elizabeth, for giving ease to Protestant dissenters, bore the ap­pearance of a liberality in matters of religion that seldom distinguishes popular assemblies. But this bill owed its existence more to the aversion of the po­pular party to the Papists, than their lenity to Pro­testant non-conformists. Shaftesbury freely owned, in the house of lords, that he wished all dissenters who should subscribe the test might be exempted from taking the oath of allegiance. A great debate arose on the subject. All the bishops opposed the bill. It was carried in a committee of the whole house, that the oath of allegiance should remain on the fa­natics as well as on the Roman catholics. The op­position, after this amendment, became indifferent about the bill. The King, however, thought it too favourable to sectaries. Though he had endeavour­ed, by his prerogative, to grant to them an irregu­lar indulgence, some years before, he was unwilling to secure them by an act of the legislature. The violence with which the presbyterians joined the prin­ciples of the exclusionists, had given him much of­fence. Besides, the established church had exhibited, in some late instances, proofs of attachment which deserved to be cherished. He resolved to defeat the act. But the means which he used were neither spi­rited nor prudent. He ordered the clerk of the crown to withdraw the bill, hoping to avoid, by that sub­terfuge, the odium of refusing his assent.

Intrigues of the Prince of Orange. The Prince of Orange, apprized of the loss of the bill of exclusion in the house of lords, resolved to make his last effort to ruin the Duke of YorkZ.—The pensionary Fagel, his ready servant in all his schemes, proposed to the States to request the King of England not to prorogue his parliament. This [Page 311] overture was however rejected, because the deputies of Friezeland and Groninghen refused their consent. Fagel, however, persuaded the States to signify, by way of memorial, to Sidney, the English resident, that as they interested themselves greatly in the welfare of his Britannic Majesty, they begged him to consider, without pretending to offer their advice, whether the continuation of his parliament might not tend to his own happiness and the interest of his allies. The States agreed: but the pensionary went beyond his commission. He framed the memorial which was sent to England, and made a great noise in that kingdom. Sidney transmitted it to Sunderland; and that Lord dispersed copies before he performed the duties of his office, by delivering it to the KingA. Ten copies were at the same time sent to different members of the house of commons. Charles, how­ever, was not to be swayed from his purpose. He complained to the States of their interference with mat­ters beyond their sphere; and when they questioned Fagel, he disavowed in the most solemn manner the memorial which he himself had writtenB.

Dissolution of parlia­ment. The King, perceiving that nothing favourable could be expected from the house of commons, dissolved the parliament on the eighteenth of JanuaryC. Though he knew that the electing boroughs had been secured by the country party, he hoped to terrify his enemies into more compliance, by shewing his determination to oppose their views. The violence of the lower house had encreased the number of his friends among the people. Men began to consider their resolutions as the prelude of actual hostilities against the crown. Many dreaded an immediate renewal of the miseries of the late civil war. The King himself seemed not to be entirely free from apprehensions of the same kind. He ordered the new parliament to assemble at Oxford, on the twenty-first of March. He chose this place of meeting, to deprive the opposing party of the force and influence which they might otherwise derive from the neighbourhood of the great and fac­ious city of London. The party themselves were sensible of the justice of the King's fears. Sixteen [Page 312] peers presented a petitionD against the sitting of the parliament at Oxford. They consisted of the most vio­lent exclusionists; and the King was confirmed in his resolution by the reasons which they advanced to al­ter his design.

Firmness of Charles. An instance of firmness in the measures of Charles raised the spirits of his friends and depressed his ene­mies. When he declared in council, that he was re­solved to meet the new parliament at Oxford, the Earl of Salisbury spoke first. He said, ‘"that he was sorry to hear of such a resolution; but that since his Ma­jesty had forbidden the lords to give any advice, he thought himself unfit to serve at that board. He therefore requested the King to dispense with his at­tendance."’ Charles, with a smile of scorn, replied, ‘"With all my heart, my lord, I am ready to grant so reasonable a request."’ Essex, Fauconberg, and Sir Robert Carr spoke vehemently against the dissolution. Essex called it a desperate and pernicious council, fa­tal in its consequences to the people, and dangerous to monarchy. The Earl of Anglesea spoke also against the dissolution; but, according to his usual customE he ended without giving an opinion. The rest were silent. The result was that Essex, Sunderland, and Sir William Temple were commanded, on the twen­ty-fourth of January, to appear no more at the board. The Earl of Conway, for whom Seymour promised to answer, succeeded Sunderland as secretary of state. The Earls of Chesterfield, Ailesbury, and Oxford, all adherents of the Duke of York, were sworn into the vacancies at the council-boardF. The Prince of Orange was highly chagrined at the dissolution of par­liament. He was much disconcerted by the removal of Sunderland, who had betrayed to him all the se­crets of the cabinetG. He however persisted in his project, and still believed that the King would be forc­ed to abandon the Duke of YorkH.

His view. The elections, as might have been foreseen, went every where in favour of the popular party. One hundred new members were chosenI, all more hos­tile, if possible, to the court than their predecessors. [Page 313] In the last parliament, after the bill of exclusion had passed the commons, little opposition was made to the most extravagant propositions of the country party. Charles exerted all his influence in the house of lords. Besides, he stood in reserve, with his own power of putting an end to their violence by a dissolution.—He scarce could expect any thing from the new par­liament but the opportunity which the place of their sitting offered for dismissing them for ever with safe­ty. These were his views in assembling them at Ox­ford. But the exclusionists hoped at last, from his necessities and love of ease, that he would yield to their vehemence. They filled therefore the whole kingdom with tumult and noise. They confirmed their friends with a certainty of victory. They intimidated their enemies, by appealing to the known unsteadi­ness of the King.

Negotiation with France When the Duke of York heard, in Scotland, of the dissolution, he dispatched Churchill to the King with proposals. He earnestly entreated him not to per­mit the new parliament to sit till the popular heats should abate. He pressed him not to engage in any alliance with Spain and Holland, as the commons would forsake him in his distress, in case of a war. He advised him by no means to break with France, the only country that could enable him to subsist. He told him, that France dreaded a common-wealth in England; that Spain and Holland desired such a change in her government. He insinuated that the Prince of Orange, gained by the popular party, complained of the prorogation, and much more of the dissolution of parliament; and he assured him, from the best au­thority, that that Prince was zealous for the bill of exclusion. Charles agreed to a treaty with France; but he left it entirely to the management of the Duke of York. He ordered his brother to consent to no article that might preclude him from calling of par­liament, or that seemed to leave Holland or Flan­ders open to a French invasion. He instructed him to press that the first payment of the subsidy might be more considerable than the succeeding and the last. He thought it improper to make any motion in per­son in the treaty, for fear of disappointing his views by an appearance of cagerness. But the French were [Page 314] slow in the negotiation; and the King resolved to meet the new parliament on the appointed dayK.

Fitz-Har­ris's While Charles formed some hopes of his being relieved from his distress by France, she was framing schemes for rendering him still more uneasy at home. The more profligate part of the opposition in parlia­ment were in her pay; and her ambassador at Lon­don employed her money in procuring malicious libels, to alienate the affections of his people from the KingL. He received, for this purpose, into his service one Fitz-Harris, an Irishman and a Roman catholicM. This man, being the son of Sir Edward Fitz-Harris, a con­spicuous royalist; had found means, some time before, to be admitted to the King, who gave him two hun­dred and fifty pounds to extricate him from his ne­cessities. This being only a temporary relief, he hearkened with eagerness to the proposals of the am­bassador of France. Being himself unable to write for the public, he applied to one Everard, a Scotsman, who had been an informer, and a partizan to the po­pular party, to frame the libel. Everard, afraid of a design to trepan himself, placed secretly the witnesses, Sir William Waller, a noted justice of the peace, and two other persons, behind the hangings, to hear what passed between him and Fitz-Harris. The lat­ter was apprehended and committed to prison; and the libel, partly written by himself, and partly by Everard, was found in his pocket, and was secured as a proof to convict him before a court of law.—It consisted of severe reflections on the Popery and ar­bitrary principles of Charles and his family; and con­cluded with a formal advice to the people to depose the King, and to provide for themselvesN.

libel. Fitz-Harris, in the possession of the officers of jus­tice, saw no safety but in throwing himself in the arms of the popular party. He sent for Cornish, one of the sheriffs, and informed him that he was em­ployed by the court to write the libel, to render odi­ous the exclusionists. The intention, he told him, was to send copies of the paper to the leaders of the opposition, and then to arrest them, as conspiring against the King. To ensure the favour of the pub­lic, [Page 315] he also became a discoverer of the great Popish plot. Cornish having informed Charles of this cir­cumstance, the two secretaries were sent to examine Fitz-Harris. He said, that Montecuculli, who had been envoy in England from the court of Modena, had offered him ten thousand pounds for murdering the King. He refused the offer; but he told him, that the King's death might be procured by poison, at the Duchess of Mazarine's house. He accused the Duke of York of being privy to the whole design. He affirmed, that an army from France and Flanders was to support that prince; and that many parliament men, who had distinguished themselves for the bill of exclusion, were to be boiled to death, to make a kind of oilO, to anoint him and the succeeding Kings of England at their coronation. The King saw the de­sign of this incoherent nonsense; and, being appre­hensive that parliament would apply for a pardon for Fitz-Harris, he issued a special commission of oyer and terminer for his trial; but the parliament met be­fore it was carried into execution.

Its effect on the Duke of York. Incredible, however, as the tale of Fitz-Harris ap­peared, it intimidated those who wished to favour the Duke of York. That Prince, upon the oath of the noted Otes, who swore, that he had seen him receiv­ing the sacrament according to the rites of the Romish church, was presented for recusancy at the Old-Bailey. An informality in the mode of proceeding furnished the Duke with a pretence to appear after proclama­tion; but that was neither safe nor practicable. The affair was therefore removed by a writ of certiorari into the court of King's-Bench. This being after­wards thought insufficient, the Duke solicited for a noli prosequi; which, upon the discovery made by Fitz-Harris, was refused. That misguided Prince saw now the dismal effects of his own folly and obstinacy growing every day. The popular party no longer talked of the bill of exclusion as sufficient. They re­solved at their meetings, that, to render it effectual, it must be attended with an act of association. No­thing could, however, overcome his bigotry. Charles, [Page 316] who had so often conjured him to conform to the established church, renewed applications of the same kind in vain. He was neither to be won by entreaty, nor frightened by danger.

Preparations of the King. Charles made no secret of his own fixed resolution to yield in nothing to the country party. He publicly told the ambassadors of Spain and Holland, that it was in consequence of his promise to them that he permitted his parliament to meet at allP. He declar­ed at the same time, that he was determined to dis­solve and not to prorogue them, should they resume their former violent measures. He accordingly began deliberately to prepare for extremities. The greatest part of the Earl of Oxford's regiment were quartered on the road to secure his return. Another body of his guards were ordered to patrole along the way. The opposition of his family rendered colonel Russel sus­pected. His regiment was offered to the Earl of Thanet. The Duke of York recommended Mulgrave to the same command. The first declined to pay for his commission to Russel. The King himself refused the latter, from a prepossession against his manner. The Earl of Craven, though then superannuated, was left in the chief commandQ. Having made these arrangements, Charles left Windsor on the fourteenth of March. He was received on the confines of the county by the high sheriff; and at Wheatley by Lord Norris, the lord-lieutenant, and conducted with great pomp to Oxford. The university expressed their loyalty in addresses and festivity; and the King was so well pleased with his reception, that he ordered the particulars to be published, as an example of fidelity to the rest of the kingdom. The popular party came with equal pomp, and scarce with less hostile prepara­tions, to Oxford. Numerous bands of retainers in arms attended their leaders to parliament. Great multitudes, in particular, followed the four members for the city of LondonR. The contest, however, would have been unequal, had things come to extre­mities. When a military force is once established in a country, the liberty of the people depends either on the humanity, or happy timidity of the Prince.

[Page 317] Parliament meets at Ox­ford. On Monday, the twenty-first of March, the par­liament was opened at Oxford with a speech from the throne. Charles, having determined to act with firm­ness, expressed himself in an authoritative tone. The unwarrantable proceedings of the last house of com­mons, he told them, were the cause of the late disso­lution. He assured them, that as he should use no arbitrary government himself, he was resolved not to suffer tyranny in others. He complained, that the former parliament had rejected his offer of limitation, refused to support his alliances, and to preserve Tan­gier. He informed them, that it was his interest, as well as his inclination, to preserve the liberty of the subject; as the crown is in peril, when public freedom is threatened with danger. He argued his love of parliaments, by his meeting one so soon, after the former had distressed him with its heats. He expres­sed his hopes, that the bad success of the late violent proceedings might dispose them to a better temper. He declared his fixed resolution to adhere to the rights of succession. He desired them to remember, that without the safety and dignity of monarchy, neither religion nor property can be preserved. He recom­mended union at home, as the only means to recover the importance of the nation abroad; and he conclud­ed with advising them to adapt the rules and measures of their votes to the established laws of the land, which neither ought nor can be changed, except by an act passed by the three estates of parliamentS.

Proceedings of the com­mons. The commons, returning to their house, chose for their speaker Williams, who had served in the same capacity in the preceding parliamentT. On the twenty-fourth of March, they resolved to consider of means for the security of the Protestant religion and the King's personU. Though the last parliament seemed to have forgot the Earl of Danby, the present house of commons resumed the prosecution against him with ardour. They sent a message to the lords, to appoint a day to give judgment against DanbyX. But the case of Fitz-Harris seemed to command a still [Page 318] greater share of their attention. His evidence in writing was laid before the house, and recorded in their votes. Though incredible in many particulars, it seemed to be artfully connected with the transac­tions of the times. Some surmises were certainly just; and, upon the whole, Fitz-Harris appeared to have heard, as a matter of conversation among the enthusiastic priests, some circumstances which he re­lated. The commons knew, that the court was bent upon the conviction of the criminal. To save him from the animadversions of the courts of common law, they voted his impeachment; and to add indig­nity to their violence, they ordered Secretary Jenkins to carry the impeachment to the lordsY.

Quarrel be­tween the houses. The house of lords, where the King possessed a great majority, refused to proceed on the impeach­ment of Fitz-Harris. They produced a precedent from the reign of Edward III. to support the justice of their conduct. But it was neither applicable nor suitable to the common-sense of mankind. Their refusal of an impeachment from the commons could be only justified by the violence of its intention. The lower-house immediately voted, that the conduct of the lords was a denial of public justice, a violation of the constitution of parliaments, an obstruction to the discovery of the Popish plot, and of great danger to his Majesty's person and the Protestant religion. They resolved, that for any other inferior court to proceed against Fitz-Harris, or any other person lying under an impeachment of the commons of England, is a high breach of the privilege of parliament. In the sury which arose concerning Fitz-Harris, they proceeded to other business. They resolved to bring in a bill to banish all the Papists of England, that pos­sessed one hundred pounds a-year, from his Majesty's dominions, by their name. They revived the bill of exclusion, and ordered it to be read for the first time the next dayZ.

An expe­dient reject­ed. Before the meeting of parliament, the Earl of Ha­lifax, and some others of the principal servants of the crown, amused the King with an expedient to prevent [Page 319] the bill of exclusion. They offered to propose to the commons to make the Prince and Princess of Orange protectors, during the life of the Duke of York. The vivacity of Halifax fixed on the word protectors, instead of regents, to amuse the republican party. Charles was willing to agree to any measure that might gain the commons, without breaking the line of succession. He was offended at the absurd bigotry of his brother; and he wished to punish him, in any way consistent with the right of his family to the crown. But when the expedient was proposed, it was rejected with disdain. The commons were sensible that no regent could possess equal influence with a no­minal King. To banish a monarch, whose title was recognized, was deemed at once absurd and impracti­cable. They therefore brought in a bill for a total exclusion; and they intended to follow it with an act of association, to render it effectualA.

The parlia­ment dis­solved. Charles having foreseen the violence of the com­mons, had taken his resolution to dissolve the parlia­ment. He perceived that a great part of the nation seemed already to think they had driven things too far. He was resolved to prevent, at all events, a breach upon the succession; and he saw that he was to be supported, should his conduct assume the appearance of spirit. The bill of exclusion was introduced on Saturday the twenty-sixth of March. When the two houses were met, on Monday the twenty-eighth, the King put on his robes privately, and was conveyed in a sedan-chair to the house of lords. He drew the cur­tains as he went, to conceal the crown, which he car­ried on his knee. The lords suspected nothing, as he was wont to come daily to hear their debates. When he arrived, he suddenly mounted the throne; and placing the crown on his head, ordered the usher of the black-rod to summon the commons. Silence and astonishment prevailed around. His very servants seemed surprised at a conduct which they might have foreseen. The commons, in the mean time, arrived. The King told them, ‘"that divisions, which began [Page 320] so ill, could not end in good."’ He then commanded the chancellor to declare the parliament dissolvedB.

Consterna­tion of the popular par­ty. A clap of thunder bursting suddenly upon them could not more astonish the popular party, than this abrupt dissolution of parliament. Prepared for no other mode of resistance, they gave at once all their hopes to the wind. They found that they had built too much on the easiness of Charles; and that they had mistaken his forbearing policy for timidity. The fabric of opposition, which they had been rearing for several years, melted at once into air. A melancholy silence followed their vehement eloquence; and all their spirit took its flight with their good fortune. Fears for themselves succeeded to their violence against the crown. They had lost the field to a prince whom they, with every art, had offended and distressed, and they dreaded that he would use his victory with rigour; and they were not deceived. They hastened each to his own home, as if terrified at the place where they had lost their political consequence. All the roads were in an instant covered with carriages and horses. The King himself, as afraid of some attempt of their despair, hastened in his coach to Windsor, attended by his guards, and the next day he came to Whitehall.


Reflections on the conduct of parliament.—King's declara­tion.—Addresses from all quarters.—City of London reprimanded.—Intrigues of the Prince of Orange.—Fitz-Harris and Plunket executed.—Case and trial of College.—Affairs of Scotland.—Succession recognized. A new test.—Trial of Argyle.—Conduct of the Duke of York.—Foreign affairs.—Prince of Orange in Eng­land.—Conference with the King.—Shaftesbury acquit­ted.—Passive obedience.—State of the times.—Of fo­reign affairs.—Return of the Duke of York.—He nar­rowly escapes shipwreck.—The King possesses himself of London.—Affairs at court.—Monmouth's progress.—Legal severities.—Deaths and promotions.—Quo wak­ranto.—City of London submits.—Corporations resign their charters.—Rise and progress of a conspiracy.—Rye-house plot.—Conspirators seized.—Trial, condem­nation, death, and character of Russel.—Death of Essex.—Marriage of the Lady Anne.—Oxford declaration.—Trial, execution, and character of Sidney.—Mon­mouth's confession and disgrace.—Conduct and intrigues of the Prince of Orange.—Hampden fined.—Prosecu­tions and executions.—Duke of York lord admiral.—Affairs of Scotland.—Of Ireland.—State of foreign affairs.—Domestic affairs.—Death of the King.—His behaviour in his last moments.—Reflections on his pri­vate life and character.

year 1681 March. Reflections on the THOUGH the conduct of Charles might be reprehensible, and the religion of his brother dangerous, they scarcely furnish an excuse for the violence of parliament. The commons, led astray by their zeal, exercised a despotism as capricious and illegal as that which they assected to apprehend from the crown. Their arbitrary resolutions often inter­rupted the course of justice, encroached wantonly on personal freedom, and suspended in some cases the laws. Their claims of privilege were stretched to the utmost extent of their views and passions. To their [Page 320] [...] [Page 321] [...] [...] [Page 324] without any order or process of law. He affirmed, that instead of giving him assistance with supplies, they endeavoured to expose him to danger, by pre­venting money from being lent on the branches of the established revenue. He mentioned, that by their votes, prohibiting the prosecution of Dissenters, they had assumed the power of suspending laws. He plac­ed their conduct with regard to the exclusion in the most unfavourable light. He, however, declared, that no irregularities in former parliaments would in­duce him to abstain from convening these assemblies hereafter. He in the mean time assured his people, that he was resolved to have frequent parliaments, to use his utmost endeavours to extirpate Popery, to re­dress the grievances of his subjects, and in all things to govern according to the laws of the kingdomE.

Addresses from all quarters. The opposition, weakened by their dispersion, lost all their spirit with their power. Some able answers, however, appeared against the King's declaration; but they made little impression on a people whose opi­nions had changed. The adherents of the court car­ried their arguments to the press. Men of genius, though little encouraged by the monarch, aided his councils with their talents. Sir William Jones, a man of abilities, who had resigned the office of attor­ney-general to join the country party, defended the late parliaments, as much as their conduct would ad­mit of defence. He exposed with success the measures of Charles; but no sufficient excuse could be made for the imprudent vehemence of his own friends. To complete the victory of the crown, the people were en­couraged to approve publicly of the dissolution of par­liament. Addresses poured from every quarter of the kingdom. This species of flattery was begun by the justices of the peace for the county of MiddlesexF; and from them it spread to almost all the legal societies in the nation. Even apprentices, watermen, and ma­riners, joined in the universal cry in favour of the crown. Men in general seemed to congratulate the King on his escape from parliaments, and to be impa­tient to throw the burden of public freedom at the foot of the throne.

[Page 325] City of London re­primanded. May. The majority of the corporation of London still remained firm to the country party. The principal officers and the common-council had been chosen when the public opinion was turned with most vio­lence against the crown. When application was made by some citizens for an address, others carried, by a majority in the common-hall, a vote for a peti­tion. Charles commanded the Earl of Nottingham, as chancellor, to return an answer, at once contemp­tuous and severe. He reprimanded them for interfer­ing in affairs of state, being things totally beyond their sphere. He averred, that the meanest village in England had an equal right with them to meddle in matters of government. He desired them to consider, that the common-council of London was by no means the common-council of the nation. He, however, informed them, that his Majesty looked not upon their petition as proceeding from the unanimous consent of the city of London; that it was carried only by four­teen votes in the whole; and that it was against the sense of the greater part of the court of aldermen. He complained of their presuming to doubt his decla­ration, ‘"that there should be frequent parliaments;"’ and he concluded with advising them ‘"to study to be quiet, to do their own business, to leave to his Majesty the protection and care of a city whose pros­perity could only rise from the tranquillity of his go­vernmentG."’

Intrigues of the Prince of Orange. June. While the King was preparing, with a degree of spirit, to discomfit the popular saction, the Prince of Orange was busy in forming projects of ambition upon their expected success. Notwithstanding the re­pulse given to the Dutch memorial, he adopted other schemes to favour his views on the throne. He came to a resolution with his party to propose a new expe­dient to the King of England. The projected mar­riage between the Bishop of Osnaburgh and the Prin­cess Anne had not hitherto been laid aside in the secret councils of the Prince. He, therefore, intended to demand, in conjunction with the opposition in parlia­ment, that in case Charles should did before the Duke [Page 326] of York, the latter should be only titular King, and reside in the dominions of the Duke of Hanover; and that his sons-in-law, the Prince himself, and the Bi­shop of Osnaburgh, should be declared regents of the kingdom. This project, however, was dropt, as absurd, upon mature consideration; and the Prince turned his attention to another scheme, which ulti­mately crowned his designs with success. He concert­ed with the Earl of Sunderland to make a shew of de­serting his interest, to insinuate himself into the inti­macy of the Duchess of Portsmouth, and, by her means, into the good graces of his master, that he might have an opportunity of betraying the councils of that Prince, and defeat the succession of the Duke of York to the throne of EnglandH.

Fitz-Harris condemned The trial of Fitz-Harris, after some doubts whe­ther his counsel would submit to the jurisdiction of a court of common lawI, came on in the begin­ning of JuneK. His conviction being deemed a mat­ter of the last importance to the crown, some extra­ordinary preparations were made. The lord chief justice Scroggs lay himself under an impeachment in parliament; and it was thought improper that one delinquent should sit in judgment upon another of the same kind. He was dismissed from his office with a pension. Pemberton, a man of boldness, and better abilities than character, succeeded Scroggs. These precautions were, however, unnecessary. Though the principal witness, Sir William Waller, was him­self a violent party-man; though Johnson, the fore­man of the jury, had distinguished himself as a parti­zan of Shaftesbury, and an adherent of Monmouth; though the sheriffs had chosen the rest of the jury, on account of their popular principles; the fact was too clear to admit of his escape. The only plea was his being employed by the King in secret services. The Duchess of Portsmouth, being examined, swore that the begged some charity for him from the King, but that she was privy to none of his concerns. Her woman, Mrs. Wall, was also called. She declared [Page 327] that Fitz-Harris received one hundred and fifty or two hundred pounds for persuading some eminent per­sons in opposition to support the interest of the KingL.

and execut­ed. Fitz-Harris, being condemned for treason, endea­voured to save his life by soothing the King. He sent a message, that should his sentence be changed to per­petual imprisonment, he would openly name those who induced him to accuse the Queen, the Duke of York, and the Earl of DanbyM. He was examined before the council. He affirmed, that the two she­riffs, Bethel and Cornish, together with Treby the recorder, had prevailed with him to invent the fictions concerning the Popish plot. He was, however, too profligate to gain any credit to his evidence. He ac­cused the Lord Howard of Escric of being concerned in the libel for which he was condemned. His wife and maid confirmed this part of the testimony; and Howard was immediately sent to the Tower. But, notwithstanding discoveries which could not but please the King, Fitz-Harris was too obnoxious to be par­doned. He, however, continued to the last to adhere to the falsehood of his accusation; and he declared at the place of execution, ‘"that he renounced the mer­cy of Almighty God, if his confession was not trueN."’

Plunket condemned. Though Fitz-Harris died unpitied, the fate of ano­ther supposed criminal of the same faith, was lamented by the unprejudiced few. Shaftesbury, to enlarge the scale of the popular plot, had encouraged and supported informers, who endeavoured to establish a belief of an Irish conspiracy of the same kind. Some profligate priests, who wished to gain the reward of­fered in England for perjury, had some time before accused Oliver Plunket, the Popish titular bishop of Armagh, who called himself primate of all Ireland. Plunket was a man remarkable for the simplicity of his manners, quiet in his disposition, and altogether an enemy to turbulence and intrigue. He was, how­ever, brought to England to take his trial. The wit­nesses, as usual, were incredible in their evidence. [Page 328] They swore, that he had engaged to the Pope to raise sixty thousand Irish to join an army of French in­vaders, to destroy the Protestant religion. The Irish clergy, they affirmed, were to support with their con­tributions this design. Plunket, in defence, could only urge the improbability of this tale. He shewed that the Irish clergy were so poor, that he himself, who was called their primate, lived in a thatched hut upon sixty pounds a year. He insisted upon the ob­vious salsehood, that a body of men labouring under such poverty, could furnish money for the support of a great army. The evidence, however, was positive. Plunket was condemned; and the King, though in­formed of his innocence, durst not pardon so signal a PapistO.

Transac­tions in the city. While the rest of the nation signified their appro­bation of the present measures in addresses, the cor­poration of London seemed to adhere to their former principles. On the twenty-fourth of June, the two sheriffs were chosen from the popular party; and the common-hall voted their assent to the matter of the petition, for which the city had been reprimanded by the King. The address of Shaftesbury was the chief cause of this obstinacy. Having employed agents of the inferior sort of people to keep up the flame, he contrived to carry the election of sheriffs; a necessary precaution, when his enemies seemed determined to execute their vengeance through the channel of the law. Too artful himself to commit obvious treason, the court resolved to punish his adherents. Two of his most active managers, College and Rouse, were apprehended by a warrant from the council. The first was a tradesman of some character, but a fana­tic; and the latter had been employed in conducting and supporting the evidence for an Irish plot; the most foolish, and to his party the most fatal, of all that nobleman's political schemesP.

July. College [...]i­ed College, as having been the most active in the schemes of Shaftesbury, ought to be the first object of punishment, in the judgment of the court. On the eighth of July, a bill was preferred against him; but the jury returned it indorsed with an ignoramus. [Page 329] The intemperate joy of the party upon this occasion increased the resentment of the adherents of the crown. Though the bill in Middlesex was frustrated, College was still liable to another in the county of Oxford. A part of the treason of which he was ac­cused lay in the latter county; and the King might le­gally prosecute in either, as suited his pleasure. The assizes at Oxford were at hand. The prisoner was sent to that place. The indictment was preferred to the ordinary grand jury, and a bill was found. But it was thought neither just nor politic to try him dur­ing the same assizes. On the seventeenth of August, a special commission of oyer and terminer was issued to the Lord Norris, as lord lieutenant of the county of Oxford, the lord chief justice North, and the puisne judges, Jones, Raymond, and Levinz, for the trial of College. The activity of the prisoner in the service of his party had raised him to a degree of importance, to which his situation in life had other­wise no claimQ.

and con­demned. Dugdale, Turberville, and Smith, who had distin­guished themselves in their evidence for the Popish plot, were now the principal witnesses against Col­lege. Having left the popular party when their power declined, they offered their service to the court, and they were readily received. A spirit of retaliation, which overcame all the principles of justice, had, to the disgrace of the age, seized the adherents of the crown. Though they saw with indignation the per­juries of those villains, when employed by their ene­mies, they now availed themselves of their testimony to favour their revenge. The chief charge against College was, that, in his zeal for the exclusionists, he had appeared at Oxford, during the sitting of par­liament, armed with sword and pistol; and that he had expressed himself to some of the witnesses as being engaged in a conspiracy to seize the person of the KingR. College, who was a man of capacity and firmness, defended himself with courage, and an appearance of innocence. Though warm in his zeal for a party, and active in accomplishing their designs [Page 330] in the city of London, he seems never to have extended his thoughts to actual treason. It is remarkable, that College, in the case of the Viscount Stafford, had much insisted on the honesty of Dugdale; yet the apparent perjury of that evidence bore now the hardest on him­self. Notwithstanding his defence, he was found guilty; and his sentence was heard with shouts of applause by a great concourfe of spectators. The spirit of party seemed to have obliterated from the minds of the people all feeling for those who differed from them in political opinionsS.

Affairs of Scotland. Notwithstanding the great and sudden change in favour of the crown in England, Charles thought it prudent to command the Duke of York to remain in Scotland. The politic conduct of that Prince, during his former residence in the latter kingdom, had gained the good opinion of the Scots, and secured their attach­ment. The violence of his enemies, and that pity which follows misfortune in the higher spheres of life, were, however, more favourable to his interest than his own conduct. The attention paid to him in Scot­land prevented not his impatience to return to court, when he heard of the dissolution of parliament. He applied by letter to Charles. He sent Churchill, his favourite, to London. He employed all the influence of his friends. The latter contented themselves with requesting that he himself might be permitted to reside at Audley, or any other house belonging to the King; and that the Duchess, who was in a bad state of health, might retire either to Bath or Tunbridge. Hyde and Jenkins, of all the ministry, wished only for his return. The rest, with the Duchess of Portsmouth, opposed it, and prevailedT.

Right of succession recognized. The Duke himself, suspecting that permission for his return could not be obtained, gave another charge to Churchill, which was not to be communicated till the first request was refused. This was a desire to call a parliament in Scotland, where, from the complexion of opinions, the Duke flattered himself with the hopes of a solemn act to recognize the rights of succession, which had been invaded in England. Charles readily [Page 331] agreed; and, thinking it unfit that any other should represent his person when his brother was present, ap­pointed the Duke his commissioner to the new parlia­ment. The proclamation and letter to the privy-coun­cil of Scotland were not, however, dispatched from London till the end of July. When the parliament met at Edinburgh, the Duke found that he had formed a just judgment of their attachment to the indefeasible rights of monarchy. An act was immediately passed, ‘"that no difference of religion, no act of the legislature made or to be made, could alter or divert the right of succession, or lineal descent of the crown."’ It was declared high treason in any one of the subjects of Scotland, by writing or acting, by word or deed, to endeavour the alteration or suspension of the right of succession. This act passed without one dissenting voice; and when the Duke gave the royal assent, he declared, that ‘"he would heartily concur with the parliament in the security of the Protestant religionU".’

Proceedings of parlia­ment. The parliament proceeded next to continue the excise, and to vote a supply for the support of the army. Great frauds had been committed, by farming that revenue to contractors; for the whole amount of what came into the treasury exceeded not sixty thousand pounds a-yearX. The Duke, with his usual oecono­my, began to lessen the expence, and concert measures for augmenting the receipts. He struck off the pen­sions of the Earls of Huntley, Argyle, Athol, and Sea­forth, who had each seven hundred pounds a-year, to answer for the Highlanders, and to make good the depredations committed upon the inhabitants of the low countryY. The Duke of York, in the mean time, made exceptions to the management of the Lord Register, to oppressions committed by Argyle, by means of his too extensive jurisdictions in the Highlands, and to the conduct of the president of the session. Lauderdale was highly offended at this attack on his own adherents; and he endeavoured to persuade the King, that those whom his brother persecuted were the most devoted to his serviceZ.

[Page 332] A new test. The most remarkable act of the Scotish parliament was their passing a new test, which all persons in the service of government were obliged to take. This test, with a formal renunciation of the famous covenant, and a solemn affirmation of the King's supremacy, con­tained a resolution of passive obedience, and of dis­claiming all alterations in the government of church and state. To these articles, after they were introduced in parliament, some members, who had the courage to exhibit even a distant shew of patriotism, annexed a clause of adherence to the protestant faith. Though this was virtually contained in the article for maintain­ing the established church, it was readily granted, that the bill might pass with more ease and unanimity. The test being ill conceived, and, if possible, worse ex­pressed, contained many glaring contradictions and gross absurdities. Several persons scrupled to take it, without an explanation; and the Duke himself seemed to consider it as too severeZ. The Earl of Argyle, as privy-counsellor, took the test, in the Duke's presence, with an explanation of which his Royal Highness ap­provedA.

Argyle con­demned. Argyle, a few days after, was suddenly seized and committed to prison. He was indicted for leasing­making, perjury, and high treason. Some writers af­firm, that the Duke was offended with the Earl for some expressions which he used in the debate in par­liament, concerning a clause in the test-act for ex­empting princes of the blood from taking the oath. The fact is improbable, as the Lord Belhaven was, for words of the same import, committed prisoner by the parliament to the castle of Edinburgh; and it is not likely, that, in their present temper, they would pass over in the Earl the fault for which they punished the Lord. Besides, the Duke himself assigns no such motive for the prosecution of Argyle. He affirms, that there was not the least design formed against either his life or fortune; but only to procure the forfeiture of some jurisdictions and superiorities, which his prede­cessors had unjustly obtained, and he himself tyrannically exercisedB. As a proof of this assertion, the Duke and [Page 333] the Duchess of York entreated the King, by lettersC, to favour the Lord Lorne, who was permitted to come to court, after the condemnation, forfeiture, and escape of the Earl, his father. The intention, however good, by no means justified the measure; for the most cruel and dangerous oppressions are those which come under the form of justice and law.

The Duke importuned in vain to conform. The unlimited loyalty of the Scotish parliament ani­mated Charles with the hopes of putting for ever an end to the political misfortunes of his family. The current in England was so strong in favour of mo­narchy, that scarce any thing remained to render the crown despotic, but the return of the heir-apparent to the established religion. He resolved, therefore, to make another attempt on the bigotry of his brother. He dispatched Hyde to that infatuated Prince, and he arrived at Edinburgh on the thirty-first of August. He ordered Hyde to tell him, that unless he resolved to conform entirely and go to church, no leave for his returning to England must ever be expected. ‘"Tell him, Hyde,"’ said the King, ‘"that unless he conform, I neither will nor can support him, though I have hi­therto done it at the risk of my life and crown. Let him consider from what his folly has done already, what hereafter it will do. He will ruin himself, and me, and his family, for ever."’ Hyde executed his commission with faithfulness and zeal. Three whole days he represented the present dismal state of affairs, and the melancholy prospect of the future. He, how­ever, could not prevail. He at length shewed to the Duke a note in the King's own hand, containing these words: ‘"If you will go to church, without do­ing more, you shall have leave to come to me when the parliament is adjournedD."’

Conduct of the Duke of York. The Duke of York, upon the whole, though deemed severe in his disposition, relaxed considerably the rigour of the government which he found in Scotland. He gained the esteem of the nobility and gentry by the civility of his behaviour; and he won the affections of the inferior sort, by his attention to the marks of respect which they paid. To diminish the jealousy entertained [Page 332] [...] [Page 333] [...] [Page 334] concerning his religion, he always attended public pray­ers before the parliamentD. Though the conduct of the Duke of Lauderdale pleased him, when seen at a distanceE, he lost all respect for his person, when he took a nearer view of the oppressions of his government and the rapacity of his family. His high, monarchical principles, however, carried him too far. He suppressed a parliamentary inquiry into the conduct of the Lord Salton, though he saw, and even in some degree pu­nished, his guilt. This part of his conduct proceeded from his opinion of the danger of submitting the ser­vants of the crown to the animadversions of a popular assembly. His treatment of the fanatics partook more of rigour than any other part of his public conduct; but there is no just ground for believing that he was present at the tortures of criminals. That misguided Prince has been as unfortunate in his historians, as he has been inexcusable in many parts of his conduct. Some writers, with a preposterous folly, have loaded him with falsehoods; as if any thing but their expe­diency were necessary to justify the measures which drove him from the throne.

Foreign af­fairs. The ambition of Lewis the Fourteenth, encouraged by the dissensions in England, began again to threaten Europe with a war. To give the colour of justice to his conduct, he formed at Metz a court, which he called the Sovereign Chamber, to establish a kind of claim to the territories which he meant to seize. This iniquitous tribunal declaredF, that the greatest part of the duchy of Luxembourg was a dependence on the bishoprick of Metz, which had been ceded by treaty to the crown of France. On the side of Flanders, he made a peremptory demand of the county of Chinei; and he laid claim to Strasbourg, as the capital of Alsace; which had been ceded to the crown of France by the treaties of Munster and Nimeguen. To enable him to possess in tranquillity what he demanded under the form of justice, Lewis listened to the applications of Charles, whom his necessities and the violence of parliament had forced to propose a new secret treaty. The eagerness of the King of France to gain the friendship of a prince, [Page 335] who, on account of domestic dissensions, was scarce capable of giving him trouble, induced him to conclude, on the twenty-sixth of March, a verbal agreement to pay to the King of England a subsidy. The terms were fifty thousand pounds, payable every three months, for three years; the first payment to be made at the end of June. The conditions on the side of Charles were only friendship; on that of France, a promise to disturb neither Flanders nor HollandG.

Encroach­ments of France. Lewis, however, deemed it no infraction on the verbal treaty to seize Strasbourg, to block up Luxem­bourg, and to force the cession of the county of Chinei. When he made the first motion to accomplish these ends, the Spaniards were incensed, and the Dutch alarmed. The ambition of the Prince of Orange added its own force to the terror and resentment of Spain and Holland. While he was in appearance on the best terms with his uncle, he concerted with the Spaniards, that a declaration should be presented by their own ambassador at London, signifying that his nation would break all commerce with England, till the King should reconcile himself to his parliamentH. The States were induced to join in this extraordinary remonstrance. Both inveighed against the dissolution of the two last parliaments; and, in a manner scarce decent to an independent Prince, insisted with the King to yield those points from which his quarrel with the commons had sprung. The part which the Prince acted upon this occasion was no secret to either of his uncles. They knew that his ambition had been vio­lently inflamed by the near prospect of the English throne, furnished to him by the exclusion of the Duke of York. The Prince assured himself, that should Charles be induced to take an active part against France, he must become dependent on parliament, and grant all that they desired. The supply promised by Lewis enabled the King of England to dismiss his violent commons, and to reject what HE deemed the insolent demands of his allies. The Prince of Orange, how­ever, though it was removed to a greater distance, lost not his view of the object. He continued his personal I [Page 336] applications to Charles to close with his parliament, and to desert the eventual succession of his brother to the throneI.

The Prince of Orange in England. While the Prince urged his uncle upon that subject, an event happened, which made a temporary breach in their friendship. The former raised Sidney to the command of the regiments of British subjects in the service of the States, in opposition to the nomination of the King, who had been usually indulged with the recommendation of an officer to that employment. Charles being highly offended at this mark of disrespect, the Prince referred at length Sidney's affair to his plea­sure. The matter was at length compromised, by the King's giving to Sidney a considerable sum of money. In his turn, Sidney promised to undeceive the Prince of Orange with regard to the measures which he wished to be followed in England; and, for that purpose, he repaired to the Hague. On the ninth of July, he re­turned with a letter from the Prince, informing the King of his design to come to England, and requesting a yacht for his passage. On the twenty-sixth of July, the Prince accordingly arrived at Windsor, and was immediately admitted by Charles to a long conference. Seymour, Hyde, and the Earl of Conway, were present. The Prince publicly declared, that unless the King could assist his allies, Flanders and Holland must be lost; and that he plainly perceived, that no aid could be given without his calling a parliamentK.

His confer­ence with the King. When the Prince had finished, the King asked, ‘"whether a parliament meeting on no better hopes of agreement than the last, would contribute to the sup­port of his allies?"’ He desired him to consider their demands, and to give fairly his opinion, whether these demands should be granted. He asked him, whether he would advise the exclusion? He replied, that he abhorred the thought. He inquired, whether the Prince would propose limitations? ‘"The crown must not be tied,"’ replied the Prince. ‘"Ought I to place,"’ resumed the King, ‘"the militia, the navy, the sea-ports, the judges, out of my own power?"’ ‘"I shall never advise that measure,"’ said the Prince. ‘"Shall all the [Page 337] ministers and officers,"’ said the King, ‘"suspected to be the Duke of York's creatures, be removed, and CONFIDING men, TRUE PROTESTANTS, be raised to their place?"’ The Prinee said, ‘"he disclaimed it all."’ ‘"These,"’ resumed the King, ‘"were substantially the demands of the two last parliament, and, if a parliament is necessary, I desire you to propose somewhat toward a better agreement."’ The Prince replied, ‘"that he knew only things as they were mentioned abroad, but that he understood not their real condition at home."’ Being pressed to propose some plan, he desired time to give his answer. The King continued to urge him to propose some ex­pedient. He told him, that he had already called se­veral parliaments, partly to aid his allies; ‘"but instead of assisting me,"’ he continued, ‘"the very treaties which I made for the preservation of Europe were sus­pected to have been for the support of Popery at home. Nay, so far were the commons from giving a penny for aiding my foreign friends, that they would not give a farthing to preserve TangierL."’

Proposals by the popu­lar party. The Prince had various motives for undertaking his journey to England. He was urged by the Spanish ambassador, he was called by the leaders of the popular party, he was encouraged by some of the servants of the crown, especially the chancellor. When he per­ceived that Charles was determined not to yield to parliament in any one of their demands, he proposed, in the name of the country party, that should they be permitted to meet, they would think no more either of the exclusion or limitations. This request they fre­quently conveyed to the King, even after the depar­ture of the Prince. He durst not trust to their promises. He, however, assured the Prince, and formally ac­quainted the Spanish ambassador, that should the French King actually invade Flanders, or break the peace, he would call a parliament; "though," he told them, ‘"that parliament would do nothing for his allies abroad, till they should obtain what they desired at home."’ In that case, he assured the Prince, he would instantly dissolve them again. Cambridge was the place at which he resolved to meet this eventual parliament; having determined that they should no longer turn upon him [Page 338] that powerful engine of party, the city of London. He, in the mean time, sent a memorial to the King of France, that unless he suffered provisions to be car­ried to Luxembourg, ‘"he must call a parliament."’ Fifty waggons were permitted to enter that cityM. France offered to quit all her other pretensions, should Luxembourg be delivered into her hands. This pro­posal became the foundation of a treaty, which extri­cated Charles from the difficulties under which he layN.

Departure of the Prince of Orange. Though the professions of Charles to his allies were deemed excuses for his own conduct, he appears to have been serious in his declaration to the French King. The Duke of York himself, who formed the private treaty, seems to have forgot his own danger in his re­sentment against the conduct of Lewis. In the diary which he wrote at the time, he declares, ‘"if France shall proceed as she has done, the thing will be un­supportable. A parliament must be called, as the French ambassador has been told."’ The Prince of Orange, however, gave not entire credit to the King. The object of his journey was, if possible, to oblige him to call a parliament, either by the consideration of foreign or domestic affairs. He used his utmost skill, industry and art, for that purpose. But Charles resisted them all. The Prince, ten days after his arrival, took his leave, with an appearance of friendship; tho' he was in secret dissatisfied. ‘"We parted very good friends,"’ says Charles in a letter to his brother, ‘"tho' different in opinion, in many things. It is plain, that great art has been used to misinform him; and, you know it is not an easy matter to convert him, though he was well baited as possible. He had very little to say on particulars. He made me great professions at parting; and, though he does not live to be convinced, I believe, in the main, when he has thought well on what was said, he cannot be in the same mind as when he cameO."’

Shaftesbury During these transactions with regard to foreign affairs, the King's party were gaining ground at home. The city of London was, in some degree, gained by the court; and Sir John Moore, a man averse to the prin­ciples [Page 339] of the exclusionists, was, on the twenty-ninth of September, chosen lord-mayor. The sheriffs, Pilking­ton and Shute, however, continued their adherence to the popular party, and balanced with well-chosen ju­ries the enormous influence of the crown in the courts of law. The Lord Howard of Escric, who had been committed to the Tower in June, was acquitted by the grand jury. The Earl of Shaftesbury had lain in the same prison since the second of July, upon the accu­sation of Smith, Turberville, and others, whom he himself had long abetted as evidences against the Papists. On the twenty-sixth of November, an indictment was presented against him before the grand jury at the Old Bailey. The sheriffs, who were deeply en­gaged in his party, made choice of persons devoted to the same principles. Eight witnesses were examin­ed; and they concurred in proving against him many extravagant speeches, very suitable to his vehement character. They were, however, men of such infamous lives, that it is extremely doubtful whether any violence of temper could induce him to utter treason in their presenceP.

acquitted. Another circumstance seemed, at first sight, to bear harder on Shaftesbury than the evidence of his own iniquitous retainers. When his papers were seized, there was found in his cabinet the draught of an as­sociation to oppose the Duke of York's succession to the crown. But it was neither written by him, nor any where marked with his hand. His opponents, besides, had neglected to comprehend it in the in­dictment. These were reasons sufficient for acquitting him, were even the jury less favourable. The bill was returned indorsed with an ignoramus. The whole court ecchoed to the shouts of the spectators. The news spreading through the city, bonfires were kin­dled in the streets, and the windows illuminated.—The triumph of the party continued during the night; but it was the last victory which they gained. Shaftes­bury, during his confinement in the Tower, lost much of his former spirit. He applied to the King for leave to transport himself to CarolinaQ, where he pro­mised to remain for the rest of his life. Charles, [Page 340] willing to punish his arch-enemy, refused his request; and the event disappointed his views. Four days af­ter the bill against him was rejected by the grand jury. Shaftesbury and Howard found bail in the King's Bench, and they were discharged from confinement.

Passive obe­dience. The escape of Shaftesbury, by elevating the coun­try party, exasperated the adherents of the crown. The costest now had ceased to be equal. The dis­solution of parliament had dispersed, and even sub­dued the leaders of the first; the latter acquired daily strength through the unremitting influence of a per­manent head. To gratify the church for their firm adherence to the King, the laws against Protestant Dissenters, as well as Roman Catholics, were exe­cuted with rigour. Presbyterians, on account of their firm adherence to the exclusionists, were deemed re­bels and republicans. It was dangerous to overlook the Papists, for fear of awakening the jealousy of the nation against the favour of the court to that sect.—The association, found among Shaftesbury's papers, furnished another opportunity for the royalists to pay their respects to the throne. Every country, and al­most every town, transmitted addresses in the most abject strain. The doctrines of passive obedience and non-resistance were revived. The bench and the pul­pit contended with one another in warmth and zeal for an unlimited power in the crown. Parliaments were reviled, as dangerous and licentious assemblies of the vulgar; and the sole happiness of the nation was placed in a silent obedience to the dictates of the Prince. 1682. The people seemed even willing, with­out the form of a parliament, to tax themselves for the support of the crown. Many liberally offered to contribute money to their utmost ability, when his Majesty's occasions should demand a supplyR.

Reflections on the A judgment may be formed of the violence of the commons, by the eagerness which their proceedings had raised among their constituents in favour of the crown. Men, without having their passions much inflamed, could not have submitted with such indif­ference to an unlimited power in the crown. Had the adherents of the prerogative, however, continued [Page 341] year 1682 to enjoy in tranquillity the benefits resulting from their beloved despotism, they might have awakened pity, without kindling indignation. But they themselves ran into those very extremities which had raised their resentment against others. The idea of retaliation, which suggests itself to those in whom politics dege­nerate into passion, prevailed in the minds of all.—The subornations, the perjuries, the same tampering with witnesses, the packing of juries, which had been the engines of the popular party against the unfortu­nate Papists, were now turned with redoubled fury upon themselves. The royalists thought their oppo­nents so much covered with guilt, that injustice itself became just in their punishment. The most dread­ful misery that can befal a nation prevailed. The laws intended to protect mankind became instruments of destruction. The massacres attending on war, the assassinations practised by tyrants, are temporary, and may be soon forgot. But when the channels of pub­lic justice are corrupted, when justice itself is convert­ed into the means of revenge, political misery is ar­rived at its height.

state of the times. There is, however, a degree of injustice in laying the whole blame of the misfortunes of the times on the King. As he was forced to join in the severi­ties against the Papists, he found himself also obliged to fall down with the current, when it changed. He had before temporized with his enemies, and it now was necessary to gratify his friends. Besides, princes, like other men, are subject to human passions. He had been traduced in his character, insulted in his person, vilified in his family. His authority as a King had been despised, his veracity questioned as a man. The respect due to his political function was forgot; even the decency, which his good-breeding as a gentleman ought to command, was neglected or abused. Though Charles was as forgetful of injuries as he was of favours, there is not perhaps virtue suf­ficient in human nature entirely to forgive insults car­ried to such extremes. To give its full scope to the vehemence of his friends, was to be thoroughly re­venged on his enemies. Those who have accused him of too much severity have done him more ho­nour than his character deserved, by expecting from [Page 342] HIM that moderation which is sought for in vain in the most virtuous of his political opponents.

State of fo­reign affairs. The year 1682 scarce presents any thing but a continuation of those legal severities which disgraced the preceding year. The taking of Strasbourg in the month of September, the continuation of the blockade of Luxembourg, the other claims and expected en­croachments of France, continued the fears of Europe. The Spaniards made many fruitless applications to the King of England; they applied in vain to the Dutch. The Emperor, over-awed and threatened by the Ot­tomans, harrassed by a rebellion in Hungary, desert­ed by some of the German princes, destitute of re­sources, and feeble in his own councils, could neither assist his allies, nor protect himself. The States, urged by the Prince of Orange and the Spaniards, forced by their necessities, made repeated applications to Charles for the calling of a parliament. Even some of his own ministers joined in the solicitations of foreign ambassadors. He, however, was neither to be convinced by argument, nor gained by entreaty. He foresaw that he could expect nothing from the com­mons but a reiteration of their former demands; and he was extremely unwilling to give fresh force to a par­ty upon the point of being totally subdued. Besides, he sound that the Dutch, attached to their own com­merce and partly gained by the intrigues of France, wished to make England a principal in the war.—They had insisted upon his taking the first step; which he absolutely refused; though he gave instructions to his ambassador at Paris to join in all the remonstrances of the States.

Return of Though every thing ran in the channel of unli­mited obedience in England, the King permitted the Duke of York to remain in Scotland. The Duke's letters, his solicitations through his friends, could not procure permission for his return. He, however, de­rived, from the avarice of the Duchess of Portsmouth, what he could not obtain from his brother's affection. The King, displeased with the connection which the Duchess had formed with the popular party, signified to her his displeasure in severe terms. He recom­mended to her, under the pretence of health, to make a journey to the waters of Bourbon. She managed [Page 343] matters so well, that she prevailed with the King to propose to the Duke of York to settle upon her a rent-charge of five thousand pounds a-year out of the post-office; the King promising to give an equivalent out of some fund of the hereditary revenue. The Duke, though he knew that the transaction could not be rendered valid without an act of parliament, grasp­ed at the proposal, as the only means of his return. He promised to sign any paper the attorney-general should prepare; but he expressed his doubts whether the thingT could be legally done while he remained in Scotland. The Duchess of Portsmouth used all her influence; and the Duke was permitted to meet the King at Newmarket, in the first week in March.

the Duke of York. Halifax was much in the King's confidence, though he was no friend to the Duke of York. He pressed for his immediate return to Scotland; but Charles, to satisfy the Duchess of Portsmouth, furnished him with a pretence of coming to London. The attor­ney-general was ordered to prepare a deed, to be sign­ed by the Duke of York; but, at the end of two days, he informed the King, that no settlement could be made without an act of parliament. It is re­markable, that the noted Jefferys was the lawyer who suggested the expedient to the King. The Duke excuses his own want of sincerity, in not undeceiving his brother, by his having lost all other hopes of be­ing ever permitted to return from what he calls an honourable exile. He remained two months with the King. During that time he fortified his interest so well, that he was permitted to go to Scotland for the Duchess and his family; and, after his return, to fix his residence in London. He even gained the consent of Halifax, by promising not to interfere openly in public affairs, till the opinions of mankind should be more settled, after the late change. His reception from the people convinced the Duke, that their prejudices against him had vanished. He was received by the university of Cambridge with the ut­most marks of affection and respect; and he was pub­lickly entertained by several societies in LondonU.

Narrowly escaper On the third of May, the Duke of York left Windsor, and took his passage for Scotland in the [Page 344] Gloucester frigate, with three other frigates and the Mary yacht in company. Through the unskilfulness, or, as some thought, the treachery of Captain Ayres, the pilot, he was in danger of being lost at sea.—The intention of the pilot was to follow the track of the colliers, between the sand-banks and the coast, near Yarmouth. The officers ordered him to go out to sea. He persisted to tack, fancying that he still had time to go within the banks. The officers, at last, thinking themselves far enough out at sea, per­mitted him to tack. They thought they could clear the banks; but they were deceived. The ship struck on the Lemon and Ore. She stuck fast at first and had not too much haste been made to clear her, all the passengers and seamen might have been saved. The Duke of York got into his shallop, and went on board a yacht, which attend­ed the frigate. None offered to attend him, but such as he called. He took with him the Earls of Perth and Middleton, Churchill, and one or two more. The condition of those on board the Gloucester was not yet desperate. Other boats came afterwards to their assistance. Most of the persons of quality and the Duke's servants were savedX.

shipwrick. Many more, or perhaps all, might be saved, had the boatmen behaved with spirit. When the frigate, by being lightened, came to deeper water, she began gradually to sink; and the seamen in the boats were afraid to come near, for fear of being carried with her to the bottom. Just as the Gloucester was ready to disappear, the Duke of York was received into the yacht. The persons left, in all about one hundred in number, gave a loud shout when they saw him safe: a mark that they had an affection for his person; and that he had not preferred, as some writers affirmY, the safety of his priests and dogs to the lives of the seamen. But though some boats carried several per­sons from the Gloucester, after the Duke left her, in his barge, many were drowned. Hyde, the Duke's brother-in-law, was the only Englishman of rank and quality among the number. The Earl of Roxburgh, the Laird of Hopton, and Sir Joseph Douglas, were the principal Scots that perished by this disaster. The Duke proceeded in the Mary yacht on his voyage, [Page 345] in company with the Happy Return. The other three frigates were dispersed by the storm which threw the Gloucester on the Lemon and OreZ. In three weeks the Duke returned, with the Duchess and the Lady Anne; which last had been, for many months, on a visit to her father in Scotland.

The King, by irregular measures, Though the exclusionists had, in a great measure, lost the rest of the nation, they still retained a ma­jority in the corporation of London. The progress of the crown, in supporting its power and punishing its enemies, through the channel of the law, was greatly checked by juries chosen by adverse sheriffs. In recent cases, they had acquitted persons whom the court-party had considered as guilty of crimes of the deepest dye; and the populace, with their usual intem­perance, followed their victory with insult. To dis­lodge the faction from their strong hold in the city, was an object of importance; but the means by which it was pursued were irregular, if not criminal. Sir John Moore, the lord-mayor, from principle an ene­my to popular confusions, accommodated himself, upon the present occasion, to the views of the crown. On the twenty-fourth of June the new sheriffs were to be chosen, according to annual custom. North and Box were recommended by the adherents of the court.—The popular party fixed on Dubois and Papillon.—The lord-mayor drank to North, who was prepared to accept the office by the chief justice of the same nameA. A poll was opened for chusing another sheriff; but the common-hall refused to sustain the right of the lord-mayor to nominate one sheriff.—Moore adhered to his privilege of nomination. The old sheriffs, Pilkington and Shute, abetted the majo­rity of the livery. The lord-mayor adjourned the hall. The sheriffs refused to obey. Commotion, tumult, and riot prevailed. A poll was opened for two sheriffs, and the mayor and his party retiredB.

possesses himself of the city. The riot at Guildhall furnished the privy-council with a pretence to interfere. Pilkington and Shute were seized, by a warrant signed by twenty-four coun­sellors, and committed to the Tower. On the thir­teenth of June, they were brought, by a writ of habeas corpus, to the bar of the King's Bench, and admitt­ed to bail. Unintimidated by their confinement, they [Page 346] next day assembled the common-hall, and proceeded with the election which had been interrupted. The lord-mayor being indisposed, sent an order by the re­corder to adjourn the hall. The sheriffs refused to obey. The privy-council again interfered. An order was sent to the lord-mayor to preserve entire the an­cient customs of the city; and, to restore the peace, to take effectual care, that at a common-hall, to be held on the fourteenth of July, all proceedings should begin anew. When, therefore, the common-hall met on that day, North was put up only for confir­mation, as being already duly elected by the lord-mayor. The majority of the common-hall still insist­ed upon their right of electing two sheriffs. Two books for two different polls were opened; one by Pilkington and Shute, another by the lord mayor. The latter came upon the hustings, and declared the election to have fallen on Box. The affair, however, was not finished. Box declined the office, and paid his fine. The lord-mayor opened a second time the books. One Rich was chosen by a few of the livery; and he and North were immediately sworn. Thus the possession of the city was gained by irregular and unjustifiable meansC.

Intrigues at court. The determined measures of the court to humble their enemies struck a panic into the leaders of the popular party. The Duke of Monmouth, soon after the dissolution of the parliament at Oxford, made offers of submission to the King through the Duchess of Portsmouth. He, however, accompanied this of­fer with such reflections on the Duke of York, that the King rejected them with indignation. He even carried his resentment so far as to forbid in council all his servants from visiting, upon any pretence what­soever, the Duke of Monmouth. Even Shaftesbury, intimidated by the loss of the city of London, sent a message to the Duke of York, signifying his wishes of being reconciledD. Either the Duke's obstinacy, or the versatility of the Earl, put an end to this negotiation as soon as it was begun. Shaftesbury returned to his former policy, of spreading mysterious and strange re­ports. Deeming that the Duke had fortified his influ­ence [Page 347] with the King, by gaining the Duchess of Ports­mouth, he endeavoured to create a misunderstanding between them, by averring that she had formed a de­sign of having her son, the Duke of Richmond, created Prince of Wales. Wild and impracticable as this plan seemed, that ambitious woman had turned her views that way. The Earl of Sunderland had, in concert with the Prince of Orange, resolved to pay his court to her vanity and avarice. His object was to obtain the possession of an office, through her in­fluence, which might furnish him with an opportu­nity of serving the Prince, by betraying the King and the Duke of YorkD. When she returned from France in the month of July, she accordingly em­ployed her whole weight in his favour. He was ad­mitted into the King's presence, in the first week in August; and, on the twentieth of SeptemberE, was sworn again into the privy-council.

Mon­mouth's progress. The Duke of Monmouth having failed in his offers of submission, threw himself entirely on the popular party. To preserve his influence among the people, as well as to make preparations for an insurrection, that had been long projected, they advised him to make a progress through the north-west of England. His wife solicited him in vain to submit without capi­tulation to the KingF. Shaftesbury, Russel, Moun­tague, and others, prevented his adopting this pru­dent measure. He left London in the beginning of September, directing his course to Cheshire. The populace received him at Coventry with the acclama­tions of ‘"A Monmouth and no York!"’ But at Litchfield he passed through a concourse of silent spectatorsG. When he arrived in Cheshire, he was re­ceived by the chiefs of the popular party, at the head of their retainers and friends. The streets of all the towns through which he passed were lined with mul­titudes, who expressed in shouts their satisfaction at his presence. He always dined in public. He seemed anxious to shew himself to the populace, and to gain their favour, by entering into their diversions and sports. The beauty of his person, his agility in all [Page 348] the manly exercises, and his free, open, and easy address, were well calculated to gain the vulgar, who judge of mankind by outward shew. This popula­rity, however, was the source of the misfortunes o [...] Monmouth. Deluded by the applause of weak and designing men, he became confident in his ambition, when he lost its only real support in losing the King.

An instance of legal se­verity. Useless as the progress of Monmouth proved in the event to himself, it raised, in the mean time, the jealousy of the court. When he arrived at Stafford, he was apprehended by a warrant signed by Secretary Jenkins, and brought, in the custody of the serjeant at arms, to London. He applied for a habeas corpus to the court of King's Bench, and he was bailed by several respectable persons of the popular party. Though the power of the crown was now great and uncontrouled, it was prudently confined to the known channel of the law. But the stream of justice had lost its purity. The measure which placed the nomi­nation of juries in the adherents of the crown, made the laws the instruments of their vengeance. In the month of November, an instance of legal severity was carried beyond all decent bounds. Pilkington, one of the late sheriffs, being a violent party-man, had been extremely unguarded in his language against the Duke of York. When he heard of the Duke's return from Scotland, he broke forth into these puerile expressions: ‘"He has already burnt the city, and and now he comes to cut our throats."’ He was sued at the instance of the Duke, and the jury awarded one hundred thousand pounds damages. This was, in other words, condemning Pilkington to perpetual imprisonment; but the mode was at once scandalous and unprecedented.

Deaths. The present year was more remarkable for the ac­cession of authority acquired by the crown, than for striking events. The death of three great men ren­dered it, in some measure, remarkable. The Duke of Lauderdale having, for some time, declined in his intellects, died in the month of AugustI; a man ab­horred for his tyrannies in Scotland, and detested in England for his arbitrary councils. In the end of No­vemberK [Page 349] died Rupert, Prince Palatine of the Rhine, and Duke of Cumberland, in the sixty-third year of his age. Courage was the most splendid part of his character; but he frequently carried that virtue into an extreme, which deserved censure and met with misfortune. To a contempt of his abilities, Charles had, of late years, added a kind of aversion to his person. Though he herded not with the popular party, he avowedly approved of their principles; and therefore he was treated with great indifference, whenever he made his appearance at court. The death of Rupert was followed by that of the chan­cellor, the Earl of NottinghamL. He was the first that reduced the proceedings of chancery to form and precision. But he was more remarkable for his knowledge of law, and the equity of his decisions, than for his abilities as a statesman. His prudence during the Popish plot secured him against any censure from the commons, when they extended their ani­madversions to almost all the judges of the courts of common law.

1683. Promotions. Two daysM after the death of Nottingham, Sir Francis North, lord-chief-justice of the Common-Pleas, was sworn lord-keeper of the great seal. Pemberton, who had been placed at the head of the court of King's-Bench for the trial of Fitz-Harris, having discontinued his attention to the views of the the court, was removed to the Common-Pleas. Sir Edmund Sanders succeeded Pemberton in his high de­partmentN. The Earl of Sunderland, in prosecution of his concert with the Prince of OrangeO, had gained the favour and influence of the Duchess of Portsmouth. Through her solicitations, he had ob­tained a seat at the council-board in the month of September. Through a designed attention and a ser­vile flattery of the weaknesses of the Duke of York, he found means to regain the favour which he lost by his support of the bill of exclusion. The Earl of Conway, who had succeeded him in the office of se­cretary of state, resigned to Sunderland the seals on the twenty-eighth of January. During these promo­tions [Page 350] year 1683 at court, a profound tranquillity seemed to reign throughout the kingdom. The courts of law were the only fields of dispute between the parties; and since the elections in the city of London had been car­ried in favour of the royalists, the contest was no longer equal. The judges, either swayed by opinion or gained by influence, were devoted to the service of the crown; and juries, no longer chosen from the po­pular party, seemed to carry the violence of their po­litical principles into all their decisions.

Quo War­ranto. To retain the power which the court had acquired in the city of London was deemed by the royalists a measure of the last importance to their cause. Tho', by irregular means, they had carried the last elections in favour of their party, the spirit of their opponents was not yet entirely subdued. To prevent future con­tests at the chusing of magistrates, it was resolved to reduce the constitution of the city to a less indepen­dent form. All corporations, by their institution, are liable to be dissolved upon various grounds. The forfeiture of their charters, through negligence or abuse of their privileges, may be effected legally by a judgment upon an information against them in a com­petent court of common law. This information is denominated a writ of quo warranto, the nature of which is to enquire by what warrant the members of the corporation exercise their power, having forfeited it by some proceeding in the course of suit to be prov­ed. A writ of this kind was issued, at the instance of the King, against the city of London, in the begin­ning of Hilary term in the preceding year. The city pleaded their right. The attorney-general replied. A demurrer followed; and the matter was suspended for a time.

Judgment against the city, Two reasons were only alledged as sufficient grounds for the forfeiture of the charter of the cor­poration. They had, it was affirmed, in disrespectful and scandalous terms addressed the King for the sitting of parliament; and they had exacted money for pub­lic works, by illegal tolls on the markets within the city of London. Two arguments were only permit­ted on either side, the last of which was in Easter Term. Treby, the recorder, and Pollexfen, a man of abilities, defended the corporation with great [Page 351] address and learning. Judgment, however, was given against the city in Trinity Term: but, by the express command of the King, the judgment was not to be entered till his further pleasure should be known. This exertion of power, though in itself strictly le­gal, terrified the city and alarmed the nation. Men perceived, that by one bold stroke of policy, Charles added more to the influence of the crown than the many efforts of the most arbitrary of his predecessors on the throne. Notwithstanding measures that anni­hilated the importance of the city, several of its prin­cipal inhabitants promoted them with violence and zealP. Persecuted and insulted for their principles of loyalty by the popular party, they preferred the tran­quillity of despotism to the tumults of a liberty, which, in their opinion, had been much abused.

which sub­mits. Though the city expected no favourable issue to the suit, they were struck with amazement when judg­ment was pronounced. A common council being as­sembled, they resolved to submit, without reserve, their privileges to the will and pleasure of the King. They confessed their own misbehaviour, which had subjected them to his displeasure. They implored his wonted clemency. They begged his directions, and requested to receive his commands. To this abject petition Charles made answer by his lord-keeper, Sir Francis North. He proposed, that no lord-mayor, no recorder, no common-serjeant, no town-clerk, and even no coroner of London, should henceforth enter upon the exercise of their respective offices without the approbation of the King, under his sign manual. That should the King twice disapprove the lord mayor or the sheriffs, he might appoint others by his own commission in their room. That the mayor and al­dermen might displace any magistrate by the leave of the King; and that no alderman should be elected without the consent of the court of aldermen; and that, after having twice disapproved the choice of the freemen, they themselves might appoint the vacancy to be filled. Upon a debate concerning these propo­sitions, they were accepted in the common-council by a majority of eighteen votesQ.

[Page 352] Corpora­tions resign their char­ters. Though this surrender of the charter of London was denominated voluntary, and though the judgment itself was within the rules of strict law, the changing of the constitution of so great a corporation was deemed a prelude to an alteration of that of the na­tion. Soon after the Revolution, the judgment was reversed by act of parliament; and it was at the same time enacted, that the privileges of London shall ne­ver be forfeited by any delinquency whatever in the members of the corporationR. Terrified by the fate of London, the most of the other corporations of England soon after surrendered their franchises, and submitted themselves to new charters framed at the discretion of the court. This circumstance threw at once the whole power of the state into the hands of the King. More than three-fourths of the house of commons being chosen by the boroughs, the crown secured to itself by this measure a majority which no opposition could either shake or subdue. Some, who entered with eagerness into the prosecution against the city of London, on account of the delinquency of the members of the corporation, began, when too late, to perceive their error. In punishing the noisy insolence of a few citizens, they opened a door to other evils of a more permanent and dangerous kind. But the flame kindled between parties had as­cended to such a height, that men became careless of their own safety, could they but humble and ruin their opponents.S.

Violence of the city parties. The violence of the popular party, it must be con­fessed, justified, in some measure, an inclination in the King to have the peace of the city more within his power. The two parties which divided between them the corporation, carried their contests into the courts of justice, and harassed one another with pro­secutions and suits at law. Sir John Moore, the late lord Mayor, brought an action in the beginning of MayT against Shute and Pilkington, who had been sheriffs the proceding year, for a riot and an insult upon his person, on Midsummer-day. Several of [Page 353] their principal adherents were at the same time prose­cuted. Considerable fines were imposed upon them all, after a long trial before Sanders, lord chief-justice of the King's-Bench. In the mean time, Dubois and Pa­pillon, who claimed a right of being the legal sheriffs, arrested Sir William Pritchard, lord mayor, the two sheriffs, and several aldermen. Though the common council publicly disapproved of this measureU, its vio­lence hastened the judgment upon the writ of quo war­ranto against the city of London. The arrest was deem­ed by the adherents of the crown such an outrageous deed, that many citizens of that party urged the court to hasten the seizure of franchises, already rendered in­effectual by the violence of a factious party. This con­sideration, more than any fears from the judgment, prevailed with the majority of the common-council to surrender their charter, by a voluntary deed, on the eighteenth of June.

Rise While the adherents of the court made such progress in establishing the authority of the crown, the whole fabric of government was undermined by a secret con­spiracy, which had been long forming by the opposite party. The facility with which Charles had given up every capital point to the commons, during almost twenty years of his reign, had created an opinion, that there was no measure, however hard, to which he would not yield. When the bill of exclusion was rejected by the lords in November, 1680, men perceived that the King was resolved to adhere to the eventual succession of his brother to the throne. Those who promoted the bill with most vehemence began now to fear for themselves. They knew the character of the Duke of York, and they dreaded his vengeance should he come to the crown. This opinion induced some of the leaders to listen to the violent councils of Shaftesbury, who seemed resolved to obtain by force from the King what he despaired to gain in a legal way. In a conference with Monmouth and the Lords Russel and Grey, he endeavoured to persuade them to his purpose, soon after the bill of exclusion was rejected, through the personal influence of the King with the lords. Terrified with the danger of his pro­ject, or surprized at its magnitude, they listened for [Page 354] some time to Shaftesbury's proposals without giving their assent: but an unexpected event induced them at once to embark in his desperate designs.

and pro­gress In the month of February, 1681, the King was seiz­ed at Windsor with a sudden illness. The news was immediately carried to the Duke of Monmouth, at Lon­don. He communicated the intelligence to Shaftesbury and Russel. In a conference, at which Sir Thomas Armstrong, Monmouth's bosom friend, was present, it was agreed, that an insurrection should be procured among the malecontents in the city, in case of the King's death. The project of the conspirators was to rise with their friends, to call a parliament, to settle the kingdom, to declare the descent of the crown; and to continue in arms, for their own security, till these points should be obtained and their enemies subdued. The King's recovery broke for the present their measures. The new parliament soon after met at Oxford; and the party changed the mode of their conspiracy, and trans­ferred it to that place. They formed a scheme not to suffer the parliament to be dissolved; and determined to adjourn to the Guild-hall at London, when they should find that a dissolution was nigh. The precaution of Charles, in placing his guards on the road to Oxford, induced them to change a resolution which might be at­tended with peril; and they at last agreed to encourage as many as possible of the lords and members of the lower house to continue to sit after the King should dis­solve the parliament.

of a con­spiracy. The address of the King prevented also this violent scheme. He concealed with such art his resolution to dissolve the parliament, that the suddenness of the mea­sure disconcerted all their designs. Shaftesbury, with some other lords, remained an hour in the house after the King's departure, under a pretence of signing a pro­test. But when they sent to the house of commons, all the members were gone. Time was only wanting to accomplish their wild and dangerous plan. To unite the popular party in one design, the principal conspirators convened them frequently to entertainments. The Duke of Monmouth, the Earls of Bedford, Maccles­field, and Essex, kept open table. Grey only, of the whole junto, thought the design impracticable. The King was provided with a military force. But it was [Page 355] answered, that the inhabitants of Oxford were well af­fected to the party. The students of the university were, Grey affirmed, well affected to the King. Shaftesbury replied, that they had left their chambers to accommo­date the members. He added, that among the foot­guards there were many friends; and he observed, that many of their party were attended with armed retainers. He considered not that the judgement of the nation would turn instantly against an illegal parliament; and that terror, which generally accompanies a conscious­ness of being in the wrong, would inevitably subdue the party in their own minds.

former The disappointment at Oxford disconcerted, for some time, the measures of the party. Shaftesbury the life and soul of the conspiracy, spent the most of the sum­mer of 1681 in fortifying his influence in the city of London. On the second of July, he was, upon the oaths of his own Irish evidence, committed to the Tower, where he continued to the last day of November. The Earl of Argyle applied to him, in his imprisonment, for thirty thousand, and afterwards only for fifteen thousand pounds, to be collected by the party for supporting an insurrec­tion in Scotland. Argyle was suspected, and nothing done. When the King determined, by irregular means, to pos­sess himself of the elections of London at Midsummer 1682, the zeal of the party, which had languished, be­gan to be rouzed again by their fears. Meetings were held by the leaders. Russel, in particular, resolved se­riously to apply to an insurrection. He founded Sir William Courtney, Sir Francis Rolls, and Sir Francis Drake, all men of weight and influence in their respec­tive counties. Monmouth, under the pretence of plea­sure, made a progress to Cheshire, to confirm the Earl of Macclesfield and the Lord Delemere. Shaftesbury re­mained in town, to inflame to action the citizens of Lon­don. When Monmouth returned, he raised the hopes of his party, by a relation of his success in the west; and he engaged Trenchard, and obtained his promise, at an appointed time to raise fifteen hundred men in Taunton and the adjacent country.

by the leaders Shaftesbury, impatient of delay, expressed his anxiety to bring to action the mob of London by the middle of autumn. Russel, expecting aid from different parts of the country, opposed this measure, as precipitate and [Page 356] dangerous. Their difference in opinion produced a de­claration of their respective designs. Shaftesbury was for a republic; Russel only for a limited monarchy. The lat­ter having communicated the schemes of the former to Monmouth, who aspired to the throne, the conspiracy was near being ruined with jealousy. In the mean time, the adherents of the party in the country were cold and undecisive. Sir William Courtney sent a doubtful answer. Trenchard demanded delay. At a meeting of the lead­ers with some inferior conspirators, they determined to join with Shaftesbury, and to rise in London. A day at length was appointed. Trenchard was to be dispatch­ed to the country, to answer the time. A message was sent to Courtney. Arms were provided in different places. Three field-pieces were bought by Shaftesbury. Monmouth surveyed the guards, and found them remiss. Their stations were appointed to each. When every thing was settled, Monmouth communicated the whole to Trenchard, who seemed terrified, and demanded three weeks to prepare for the insurrection at Taunton. A declaration was in the mean time prepared. The con­spirators seemed only to rest on their arms in London, and to wait for the rising of their friends in the country.

of the During this awful suspense, the timid Trenchard de­manded further delay. Shaftesbury, by nature impati­ent, and, besides, rendered restless by his fears, could bear no longer the anxiety of his situation, and retired abroad. Walcot, an Irish officer, and Ferguson, a Scotish clergyman, both members of the conspiracy, attended him in his flight. They however, left him when he landed in Holland, and returned to their friends. He died of the gout in the stomach, six weeks after his ar­rival at Amsterdam. The vehemence of his temper seemed to have increased with his years. Soured by disappointments in his political views, he had become peevish in his language and imprudent in his measures. His very friends at last had reason to dread his vio­lence, more than his enemies. The address which had attended him in success deserted him in his political mis­fortunes; and his party thought his flight, and even his death, an accession of strength to their cause. The ini­quity of his conduct since the commencement of the Popish plot had offended men of principle of his own faction; no wonder that it raised the resentment of his [Page 357] enemies. His timely retreat saved his family from ruin; and his death was fortunate to himself, as it prevented disgrace.

popular par­ty. His departure disconcerted, for the time, the mea­sures of the party. The communication with the heads of the intended insurrection in the city was interrupted by the absence of Ferguson, who had chiefly managed the correspondence between them and the Earl of Shaftes­bury. This restless plotter, however, soon returned, and opened the former intercourse. Some persons of emi­nence were now added to the number of the conspira­tors. Algernon Sidney, who, from an aversion to Shaftes­bury, had hitherto declined to join in their consults, at­tended their meetings and animated their zeal. Hamp­den was also received more intimately than before into their designs. The Lord Howard of Escric, a man of profligate manners, was admitted into their most secret councils. To manage their schemes with regularity and precision, a council of six was formed. These were Monmouth, Essex, Russel, Howard, Sidney, and Hamp­den. Though all were equally bent upon an insurrec­tion, they were divided in their views. Monmouth, Russel, and Hampden, aimed at no more than the ef­fectual exclusion of the Duke of York; Essex, Howard, and Sidney, intended to erect a commonwealth. Not­withstanding this difference in opinion, they all deter­mined to proceed. Trenchard and Courtney were again engaged to rise in the west. An insurrection in Scot­land was concerted with the Earl of Argyle. Some of his friends, the Lord Melvin, Sir James Cochran, and others, were desired to come to London; and the par­ty agreed to furnish them with ten thousand pounds to purchase ammunition and arms.

An inferior conspiracy. The Scots arriving in April, it was soon settled that Argyle should rise, with his adherents, by the end of June. Other arrangements were in the mean time made, and his department assigned to each of the leaders. But, after the whole train was laid, an accident disconcert­ed their schemes, and ruined the most of themselves. Men of inferior rank, who were necessarily in the se­cret of the intended insurrections, had met often toge­ther and carried on an under-plot to assassinate the King and the Duke of York. This design, though not adopt­ed by the council of six, out of delicacy to Monmouth, [Page 358] was approved by some of the members. Among the lesser order of conspirators were West, a lawyer, at whose chambers they chiefly met; Norton, Ayliffe, and Tyley, men of the same profession; Colonel Rumsey, who had served under Cromwell; Walcot, a republican officer; Goodenough, who had been under-sheriff when the city was in the hands of the popular party. Of this num­ber was Ferguson, the Earl of Shaftesbury's retainer and agent; Rous, who had escaped two years before by the favour of a jury; Kieling, a salter in London; and one Rumbold, who had served in the capacity of a subaltern in Cromwell's army, and now followed the business of a maltster at a farm near Hoddesdon, on the road to Newmarket. To these were joined the Lord Howard of Escric, a man of a mean disposition and abandoned cha­racter, necessitous in his circumstances, and hated for his profligacy where he was not despised for his cow­ardiceX.

The Rye-house plot. This cabal, intemperate in their zeal, entered into re­peated deliberations concerning the assassination of the King and the Duke. To cover the horror of the de­sign under a familiar name, they gave the appellation of lopping to the intended murder. Various schemes for this lopping business were formed. Some advised to shoot the brothers in their sedan chairs in the streets at night. Others proposed to fire at once twenty pocket blunder­busses into the King's box, when he and his brother should come to the theatre. These, schemes however, were dropt as dangerous; and another, proposed by Rumbold, was adopted with eagerness. His farm, called the Rye-house, as it lay on the way to New-market, was deemed the least perilous scene for effectuating the murder.—The road being narrow near the Rye-house, Rumbold insinuated, that by overturning a cart, the coach in which the brothers returned from Newmarket might be stopt, and they themselves dispatched with ease. An accident saved the King and the Duke from this imminent dan­ger. The house in which Charles resided at Newmar­ket took fire; and he returned a week sooner than was expected to London. The adherents of the crown re­garded afterwards this accident as a particular interposi­tion of providence; and the conspirators themselves, struck [Page 359] with a panic, considered it as the declaration of heaven against their intended crimeY.

A discovery. Kieling, a salter in London, has been mentioned as a member of the inferior cabal. Zealous for his party, and bold and intrepid in his disposition, he was the man who arrested the lord-mayor, at the suit of Papillon and Dubois, the outed sheriffs, when no other person could be found to undertake that dangerous service. Repent­ing of this folly, or, as he himself affirmed, struck with remorse of conscience for his intended crime, he came to Secretary Jenkins on the twelfth of June and disco­vered all he knew. Jenkins took his deposition; but he told him at the same time, that without another evidence he could not issue warrants against the persons accused. Kieling, by an artifice, engaged his brother in discourse, upon the schemes of the party, with Goodenough; who, being a man of violent passions, ran out in extravagant expressions of treason in his detail of their designs. Jen­kins, fortified by two evidences, laid the affiar before the rest of the ministry, the King being then at Wind­sor. The two Kielings were, in the mean time, left at large; and the most of the inferior conspirators, apprised of the discovery, conveyed themselves away. Warrants were issued for apprehending Rumsey, West, Walcot, Rous, and one Hone, a joiner. Some were taken, and they confessed enough to condemn themselves; but they shewed an unwillingness to accuse others. Men had been so frequently alarmed with fictitious plots, that the present discovery made no impression. A kind of silence prevailed for some days; and the King gave so little faith to the conspiracy, that he declined to come to London to forward the examinationZ.

Conspira­tors seized. A proclamation was in the mean time issued against the persons accused by the two Kielings. Colonel Rum­sey and West surrendered, resolving to save themselves by furnishing evidence against their friends. West could only confirm the testimony of Kieling; but Rumsey, having been admitted into the consultations of the coun­cil of six, thought his own discovery so important, that he would reserve it for the King. Charles accordingly came from Windsor on the twenty-sixth of June, to receive his confessionA. Warrants were issued for ap­prehending [Page 360] the Duke of Monmouth, the Earl of Essex, the Lords Russel, Grey, and Howard of Escric. Mon­mouth fled. The rest were seized. Russel might have made his escape; but, by a strange infatuation, he sup­posed that sufficient evidence could not be found. Essex was apprised of the discovery before measures for seizing his person were pursued; but his tenderness for Russel is said to have rendered him regardless of his own fate. The Lord Grey was seized by a messenger upon his way from the country to London. Howard was, a few days after, found concealed in a chimney in his own house. Neither Essex nor Russel answered the expecta­tions of their friends when they were brought before the council. The defence and deportment of the first suited neither his dignity nor former fame. Unmanned by a deep and settled melancholy, he was incoherent in his answers, and totally broken with despair. Russel seemed to have forgot that modesty which had been the most amiable part of his character. Relying too much on the faith of others, he assumed a confidence unsuit­able to his character, and little qualified to pass for in­nocence with discerning menA.

Walcot tri­ed and con­demned. The behaviour of the Lord Howard was answerable to the profligacy of his former life. When he was seiz­ed, he discovered all the symptoms of an unmanly terror. He trembled, he faultered in his speech, he burst into tears. He completed his own infamy by revealing all the secret projects of his friends. Hampden and Sidney were seized upon his accusation. They observed a pru­dent silence when they were examined. They consider­ed themselves before enemies, who were prepared to put the most unfavourable construction on their words. Almost all the conspirators, except Monmouth, Arm­strong, and Ferguson, fell into the hands of the officers of justice. The Lord Grey had the good fortune to es­cape from the messengers who were employed to carry him to the Tower. To establish the belief of the plot before the leaders should be tried, the inferior conspira­tors were first brought to the bar. On the eleventh of July, Captain Walcot was tried at the Old-Bailey. Rumsey, Kieling, and West, were the witnesses. His concern in the consultations of the conspirators was [Page 361] clearly proved. Upon the like evidence, Rous and Hone were at the same time condemned. The reality of the plot was no longer disputed by the people; and that be­lief was confirmed by the confession of the criminals, who owned, at their execution, the justice of the sentence.

Trial, The day after the condemnation of these three con­spirators, the Lord Russel was brought to his trial. The witnesses against him were, Colonel Rumsey, one Shep­pard, a wine-merchant in London, at whose house some consultations had been held, and the Lord Howard of Escric. The two first concurred in their evidence with regard to Russel's being present at Sheppard's house, at a meeting of the party, where the discourse turned upon the measure of seizing the guards. Rumsey swore, that he had attended at a consultation of the leaders, at which the prisoner was present, to know, in the name of the Earl of Shaftesbury, their resolution concerning the rising under Trenchard at Taunton. He gave in evidence, that he received for answer, ‘"that Trenchard had failed; and that nothing further could be done in the matter at that time."’ He swore that though he did not particularly remember that Russel spoke concerning the insurrection, he manifestly consented to the answer. Howard gave a particular account of the establishment of the council of six in the preceding January; of their debates con­cerning an insurrection; of their conferences with the Scots; and of their resolution of forming a fund of thirty thousand pounds, to answer the immediate occasions of the projected war. The witnesses, though accused by some writers of perjury, seem to have advanced nothing but the truth. Even Rumsey, and particularly Sheppard, appear to have softened the evidence against RusselB. The latter had at the very time a considerable sum in his hands, which he had received from Russel, to be conveyed to the Earl of Argyle, who was making pre­parations for an insurrection in ScotlandC.

condemna­tion, The conduct of the attorney-general was more blame­able than the evidence given by the witnesses. He ex­pressed himself in terms that bore his own conviction of Russel's guilt, before the witnesses were heard. He refused his consent to a delay of the trial for a day. He would not permit a counsel to take notes of the evi­dence, [Page 362] for the use of the prisoner. This conduct, though perhaps within the strict rules of law, was severe, and therefore impolitic. But the chief justice behaved with the utmost candour and moderation. He, however, re­fused to hear counsel upon an irregularity in the indict­ment, of which Russel complained. The defence made by the prisoner himself was feeble and unsatisfactory. He protested with truth, that he had never entertained even a thought against the King's life; but his being con­cerned in preparations for an insurrection, he neither af­firmed nor denied. The jury, all men of respectable characters, brought him in guilty, with little hesitation. His former character, his popularity, and the amiable virtues of his private life, created a general regret for his fate. But it does not appear that unfair means were used at his trial, or that any part of the proceedings against him were contrary to the common usage of the law in cases of treason.

behaviour, Though severity was by no means one of the vices of Charles, he resolved to listen to no requests for a pardon. The entreaties of friends, the supplications of a father, the tears of a wife, and even the petition of the unfortunate Lord himself, were productive of no ef­fect. When his feelings were attempted in vain, ap­plication was made to his necessities. One hundred thousand pounds were said to have been offered for Rus­sel's life. But money itself could not purchase forgive­ness for a person whose conduct had so much offend­ed his pride. The very virtues of the criminal had ren­dered his vehement measures less pardonable, as they might have been attended with danger. Russel, it must be confessed, had carried his opposition into acts of vio­lence, more calculated to irritate the King than to serve the nation. The part which he took in parliament was regular and manly. His warmth in the affair of the exclusion might be excused by the utility of the mea­sure. But when he appeared in the company of Otes, to present the Duke of York for recusancy, he sunk be­neath the dignity of his principles, and gave offence without serving his own cause. No part of his public conduct seemed to be either forgot or forgiven. Charles, in remitting the ignominious part of the sentence, accom­panied the favour with a sarcasm expressive of resent­ment. ‘"The Lord Russel,"’ said he, ‘"shall find that [Page 363] I am possessed of that prerogative which he denied to me in the case of the Viscount Stafford."’ This alluded to the vehemence with which Russel supported in par­liament an opinion, ‘"that the King could not remit any part of the punishment appointed by law for trai­torsD.’

execution and The conduct of Russel under condemnation was de­cent and affecting. At his execution his behaviour was manly and cool. Having, ever since he was seized, re­signed all hopes of life, his mind was fortified against death. The scaffold on which he was beheaded was erected in Lincoln's-Inn-FieldsE. This place was cho­sen, as the nearest square to NewgateF, where he was confined. Party-writers ascribed the choice to a circum­stance not founded in fact. Instead of speaking to the multitude, he gave a paper, containing his last thoughts, to the sheriff. The short speech with which he is said to have accompanied the delivery of the paper, appears not to be genuine. It denies all knowledge of an intended insurrection; an untruth too palpable to have been ut­tered by a man deemed even by his enemies sincere. The speech published in his name, seems partly to be the production of another pen. Dr. Burnet attended him in prison, and he interested himself for the memory of his friend. His speech contains neither an explicit confession, nor absolute denial of the insurrection. But he was extremely anxious to remove the imputation of a design against the life of the King, and for a change in the government. The precaution was superfluous. The evidence contained no direct charge of that kind. The allegation in the indictment was a mere implication of law, introduced into the practice of the courts to accommodate actual preparations for treason to the sta­tute of Edward the Third.

character of Russel. The amiable character of this unfortunate Lord made his fate to be regarded as severe. He was a man of vir­tue in private life, and of principle in his public conduct. In the character of a son, a husband, and a friend, he merited every praise. In a sincere affection for his [Page 364] country, he had few equals. But his talents were li­mited; his temper sanguine; his patriotism frequently degenerated into passion. He was credulous, through vehemence; and, through his credulity, the dupe of designing men. His popularity, however, was neither acquired by art, nor retained by meanness. He was a stranger to duplicity; and as he had few vices to hide, he concealed none of his virtues. Those amiable quali­ties, which seldom accompany an extensive capacity, rendered him regretted by all. Though he had no claim on the favour of Charles, his pardon would have been a popular act. His fate, however, has been more la­mented by late writers than by his own cotemporaries. Many could not separate the idea of rebellion from an insurrection. Few could distinguish a meditated rising against the King's authority, from a design against his life. The evils of a civil war were deemed, by the most of mankind, more dangerous than the grievances which the popular party meant to prevent, by such vio­lent measures. They could scarce reconcile to their minds, that the loss of a city election was a sufficient reason for involving the nation in blood. Upon the whole, if the measures of the crown justified the de­signs of Russel, Charles was scarce to be blamed for abandoning that Lord to the animadversion of the law.

Death of Essex. On the day of Russel's trial, the Earl of Essex cut his own throatG with a razor in the tower. Though a man of virtue, he was long known to have maintained the lawfulness of suicide in his conversationH. Subject by constitution to fits of melancholy, he became ex­tremely dejected upon his being confined. Conscious of the part which he had acted in the preparations for an insurrection, he deemed that evidence would not be wanting, and he resolved to prevent disgrace by death. The King and the Duke of York happened by accident to be that morning in the Tower, to see the proof of a piece of ordnance of a new inventionI. This circum­stance furnished their enemies with an opportunity of ascribing to them the murder of Essex. Though there was not the slightest foundation for this heavy charge, [Page 365] the imputation continued. Though the coroner's in­quest returned their verdict self-murder; though the friends and family of the unfortunate Earl found no grounds of suspicion; though many circumstances, de­monstrating the impossibility of a murder, were produc­ed; it suited the views and the malignity of party to impose the tale on the world. Men of sense, however, were not deceived. If the court, as had been asserted, had, by management, converted the laws into engines of vengeance, it was deemed that their using other means was foolish, absured, and incredible.

Marriage of the Lady Anne. The discovery of the plot against his life increased the influence of Charles, by interesting the nation in his safety. Willing to retain, by the inclination of his subjects, the authority which the crown had lately ac­quired, he endeavoured to gain their confidence by po­pular measures. To lessen the fears of Popery, which still prevailed in the kingdom, he resolved to marry his niece, the Lady Anne, to a Protestant Prince. The hopes of security to religion, which had been derived from the marriage of the Duke's eldest daughter to the Prince of Orange, had been greatly damped by the ste­rility of that Princess; and men turned their eyes to her sister for continuing the succession of the crown. On the twenty-eighth of JulyK, she was married at White-hall to Prince George, brother of Christian the Fifth, King of Denmark. His profession of the Protestant re­ligion recommended Prince George to this alliance, more than either his own accomplishments, or the in­fluence of his family. The Prince of Orange, who had long extended his intrigues to the marriage of the Lady Anne, was extremely averse to this matchL. He seems to have carried his prejudices against Prince George into his own conduct during the time he sat on the throne of England. The husband whom he had de­stined for the Princess was now provided with another confort. The Prince of Nassau, whom the Prince of Orange mortally hated, had paid his addresses to Sophia Dorothy, the only daughter of the Duke of Bruns­wick-Zell. The Prince of Orange, reduced into des­pairM by this circumstance, found means to disappoint [Page 366] his cousin the Prince of Nassau, by inducing the Duke of Zeil to recall the Bishop of Osnabrugh from Lon­don, whither he had gone to pay his addresses to the Lady Anne, and to marry him to his own daughter. The Prince of Orange sent Bentinck to England, to en­deavour to break off the match between his sister-in­law and Prince George of Denmark. He wished to give that Princess to the Electoral Prince of Branden­burgh, under a promise of making him heir to all his own possessions; an expectation which could not fail to keep him in perpetual dependence. The Duke of York, habitually obedient to his brother, was passive in whatever regarded his daughters; and the King, sensi­ble of the folly as well as impropriety of a sovereign's professing any other system of religion than that esta­blished among his subjects, had taken care to breed his nieces in the faith of the church of England. This cir­cumstance had lessened the paternal affection of the Duke; and induced him, in some measure, to consider his daughters as his rivals in his political views.

A declara­tion, and the Oxford decree. The King, sensible of the benefit which his autho­rity had derived from his appeal from parliament to his people, issued a declaration concerning the Rye-house plot on the twenty-seventh of July. The circumstances of the conspiracy were related in that paper; and tho' some things were exaggerated, the narrative and reason-ing upon the whole were founded on truthN. The ar­tifice of comprehending, in a clear and concise detail, the evidence of the witnesses, by raising the horror of the nation against the plotters, increased their attach­ment to the King. The spirits of the party were now broken and subdued. No reply was attempted, nor even feared. Sir William Jones, who had answered the former declaration, was lately dead. Men of letters had changed their opinions with the times. The clergy were violent for monarchy. The universities abetted the high prerogatives of the crown. In Oxford, a de­cree was passed on the twenty-first of July, condemning twenty-seven propositions, which favoured republican principles and religious fanaticism. The political tenets, that civil authority is derived from the people; that [Page 367] lawful princes, becoming tyrants, may be opposed; that the Kings of England have only a co-ordinate power with parliament; that passive obedience is no obligation on Christians; were condemned with the ut­most formality and zeal. This extraordinary decree, in the form of an address, was presented to the King; and the books which contained the propositions were publicly burnt, amid the acclamations of the studentsO.

King ap­points the city magi­strates. The judgment on the quo warranto, by depriving the city of London of its privileges, restored it to silence and tranquillity. The tumults, which had for many years attended the annual elections, were no longer heard. On the fifth of September, instead of the twenty-fourth of June, the sheriffs were chosen, with­out any opposition. Michaelmas-day was permitted to pass without any election of a lord-mayor; and, on the fourth of October, Sir William Pritchard, who had al­most completed the year of his mayoralty, received the King's commission to continue in his office during plea­sure. Charles, to shew his authority, dismissed Treby from the recordership, and placed Jenour, a person of approved attachment to the prerogative, in his room. Sixteen of the court of aldermen had been always in the interest of the crown. These, after the court was dis­solved by the authority of the King, were, by two dif­ferent commissions, appointed justices of the peace and aldermen. Eight aldermen, who had devoted them­selves to the popular party, were dismissed; and were succeeded by others of known attachment to the crown. Arbitrary as these measures may appear, they were re­ceived without a murmur. Men preferred the tranquil­lity of regal despotism to the licentiousness of the vulgar, who too often use freedom merely as an excuse for ty­ranny, insolence, and noiseP.

Trial of Though many, and perhaps just, complaints have been made of the rigour with which some of the con­spirators were prosecuted, the plot itself was pursued with little vehemence by the court. During several months after the death of the Lord Russel, no person accused, and several were in custody, was brought to a trial. There was, however, one more of the council [Page 368] of six, whose prior conduct seemed to preclude him from favour, and whose principles, on account of his courage and abilities, were feared. This was Algernon Sidney, who had remained prisoner in the tower ever since the beginning of July, when he was first accused by the Lord Howard of Escric. An accidental change in the higher departments of the law seemed to pave the way for the trial of Sidney. Sanders, lord-chief-justice of the King's-Bench, a man of obscure birth and limited talents, had been found unfit for his place, from debilities which arose from an intemperate and vi­cious life. Upon his death, in the month of September, he was succeeded in his office by Sir George JefferysQ, chief-justice of Chester, a man of outrageous abilities and violent principles. Bold and intrepid, from a fixed disregard of the world; profligate, from a contempt of virtue; fair only to those whom he feared; a tyrant to the unfortunate, and a fawning slave to the great. But even Jefferys, in indifferent matters, was as just in his decisions as he was able in his opinionsR. But when the rights of the subject interfered with the prerogative of the crown, he warped justice to his political views; and, being an able, he became a terrible judge.

Algernon Sidney. Jefferys, from the fierceness of his character, was deemed the only fit match for the abilities and firmness of Sidney. On the 7th of November, the prisoner was brought from the tower to the bar of the King's-Bench, where he was arraigned upon an indictment of high trea­son, for conspiring the death of the King, and levying war against his Majesty. He desired a fortnight to prepare for his trial, which was granted; and he was brought again to the bar on the 21st of November. The chief articles against him were his sending a messenger into Scotland, to invite the malecontents of that king­dom to rebellion; and his writing a treasonable libel, found in his closet, upon the original and forms of go­vernment. Though perhaps scarce any doubt was en­tertained of the part which Sidney acted in the intended insurrection, the evidence was not so full as the laws of treason required. West, Rumsey, and Keiling swore only from hearsay. The testimony of the Lord Howard [Page 369] of Eseric was positive, home, and decisive. But as one fact only, and that sworn by one witness, was not suffi­cient to condemn the prisoner, aid for that purpose was derived from the pretended libel found in his closet. The axiom, that ‘"to write was to act,"’ was inculcat­ed with vehemence; and general observations upon go­verment were strained to make them apply to the present times.

He is con­demned. Though much was expected from the spirit and abi­lities of Sidney, men were disappointed when he came to his defenceS. He insisted, that the conspiring to levy war, and to compass the death of the King were two distinct crimes; and that the first did not fall within the statute of Edward the Third, upon which he was tried. He argued against the credibility of the Lord Howard's evidence; and in that point only he seems not to have been sincere. The profligacy of Howard, his ingrati­tude to Sidney himself, the point of view in which he stood, as an evidence against his friends, were all favour­able to the prisoner. But his adhering, without any ma­terial deviations, to the great line of facts already proved, left little room to doubt of the truth of his testimony. Sidney argued with most vehemence and justice, against the use made against him by the court of the pre­tended libel. Though it was connected by the Attor­ney-general, and sustained by the judges, as a part of the late conspiracy, it appeared, by undoubted proofs, to have been written many years before. Besides, being upon the general subject of government, the positions which it contained could not, without the most glaring injustice, be construed into a seditious and dangerous libel. They might serve as instances of the principles of the author; but as they never had been published, and probably never seen by a second person, they could not possibly have done any mischief, to justify the ani­madversion of the law.

and execut­ed. The arguments of Sidney and the legal defects in the evidence were but feeble pleas where the court had re­solved to condemn. The known republican principles of the prisoner, the certainty of his being in some de­gree concerned in the late conspiracy, his uncomplying [Page 370] spirit, and even his abilities, had already prejudged him in the minds of the royal party. A partial charge by Jefferys induced a prejudiced jury to bring him in guilty. The informality in the proceedings and the defects in the evidence were dangerous precedents, and generally con­demned. But these instances of injustice regard only the judges and the jury. Sidney asked a pardon in a manner calculated to have it refused. Charles may be excused for not granting it to one who was an avowed enemy to monarchy, and who was undoubtedly guilty of designs against his government, if not ultimately against his life. A fortnight after his receiving his sentence, Sidney was beheaded on Tower-hill; the King having remitted the ignominious part of his sentence, on ac­count of the high quality of his family. His behaviour at his execution, though firm and undaunted, was more enthusiastic than dignified and sedate. In a speech from the scaffold he repeated the substance of his defence at his trial in a manly, concise, but passionate manner; and when he was ready to lay his head on the block, he gloried to die for the good old cause in which he had been engaged from his youthT.

His charac­ter. The supposed injustice which attended his death, ren­dered Sidney more famous than any striking circumstan­ces in his life. Being a republican from opinion, he had been active against the late King; and from the same principle he opposed Cromwell, when his conduct be­came subversive of public liberty. When the parlia­ment had established a shew of freedom, upon the re­signation of Richard Cromwell, he entered into the ser­vice of his country: but at the Restoration, he prefer­red a voluntary exile to a submission to kingly govern­ment. When the connection of the court with France, the poperty of the Duke of York, and the artifices of the opposing party in parliament, seemed to promise troubles in England, he solicited and obtained a pardon from the King. He herded afterwards with the popular party; but he never had influence sufficient to obtain an undisputed seat in parliament, even most of the elections were carried against the court. In his political opinions he was harsh and austere; and even in his pri­vate [Page 371] conversation commanding and haughty. He was admired by many for his integrity and abilities; but he never was an object of love. His principles suited nei­ther a people accustomed to the government of a single person, nor the profigacy of the times. In Rome or Athens, in the days of their simplicity and freedom, he might have arrived at the fame of their first patriots; but he was a visionary politician, and even a dangerous citizen under a monarchy. In the extravagance of his views seems to consist the greatest defect in his judg­ment. He dreamed perpetually of an ideal fabric of a republic, without considering the wretched materials of which it was to have been framed.

Duke of Monmouth While two of the council of six suffered death for their conduct, the Duke of Monmouth found means to obtain his pardon, and in some degree the favour of the King. Having passed more than three months in his lurking-places, he at length, by the advice of his friends, wrote penitential letters to the King. Charles, whose affections returned upon the compunction expressed by the Duke, is said to have met him in secretU, before he permitted him to surrender himself as a criminal to the secretary of state. Fortified by the promise of a par­don, Monmouth delivered himself to Secretary Jenkins on the twenty-fourth of NovemberX The Duke of York and Jenkins only were present when threw himself at the feet of his father. He expressed the greatest contrition for the past. He asked and obtained the King's pardon and that of the Duke. He gave a detail of the conspiracy. He mentioned the names of all concerned. He even agreed that his account should be made public. The heads of his confession are re­corded, with his usual precision, by the Duke of YorkY.

His conses­sion, He owned that he knew all the councils of the con­spirators except the intended assassination, a measure which seems only to have been adopted by the inferior order of those concerned in the plot. He acknowledged the truth of Lord Howard's evidence, except in one not very material point. He confirmed the testimony of Rumsey, that the Lord Russel had said, when T [...] ­chard [Page 372] failed, ‘"that he would draw on his boots, go down to the West and to Taunton, and head the insur­rection himself."’ He expressed his surprize, that no more witneses appeared against Wildman, since no man was more active in the conspiracy. The council of six, he said, contributed fifteen pounds a man, to send Aaron Smith, their messenger, to confer with the Scots. He mentioned the concern which Courtney, Drake, and other gentlemen in the West had in the plot. He said that they depended on Booth, in Cheshire; on Sir John Hotham, in the county of York. He confessed that he visited, with an intent to surprise, the guards; that Doctor Owen, Mr. Mead, and all the chief of the country ministers were active in the conspiracy; that Major Hurst, of Chichester, had undertaken to surprise Portsmouth, where the garrison was extremely remissZ.

and disgrace. The King asked Monmouth whether the conspirators held any correspondence with the guards. He positively denied that fact. He declared that the coming of Cochran and others from Scotland on the business of Carolina was a mere pretence. He affirmed, that Row­allan and Baillie were engaged in the plot; that they said they wanted arms, though in reality they wanted will. Argyle, he said, was to raise the western High­landers; and some were appointed to seize the castle of Stirling, by an gutter or sally-port toward Ballan­guith, where no centinels were ever placed. Some, he said, had undertaken to seize the chancellor and trea­surer at Edinburgh, a service which might be performed with forty or fifty horse. The submission of Mon­mouth and his narrative of the plot, induced the King to grant him his pardon. But when the pardon had passed the seal, the Duke retracted to his friends what he had confessed to the King and the Duke of YorkA. A conduct so dishonourable offended Charles, notwith­standing his affection for Monmouth. He forbad him the court; and expressed himself against him in the most passionate terms. The design of Monmouth sur­passed his abilities. He hoped to gain the King and to retain his credit with his party. His unsettled and pue­rile [Page 373] behaviour proved fatal to SidneyB. His life could not have been spared without convincing the world that Monmouth had satisfied the King that there had not been a real conspiracy, a circumstance which that mis­guided nobleman was solicitous to prove to his partyC.

Foreign af­fairs. Foreign affairs comprehend nothing more remarkable than the public conduct and secret intrigues of the Prince of Orange. He had long laboured to force the States to make an addition of sixteen thousand men to the land establishment, to place himself in a condition to command implicit obedience at home and respect abroad. No new levies however were made; and the Prince is said, in revenge, to have exercised a violent and unlawful powerD. He had broken the spirits of the Louvestein or republican party by repeated insults; and they despaired to oppose his inroads upon the rights of the States, without the support and aid of FranceE. While the Prince exercised a degree of tyranny over the States, he endeavoured to induce the Spaniards to reject not only the arbitration, but even the mediation of the King of England. He vainly hoped, that through this affront, he could rouse his uncle to take a hearty part in his own views; and that this circumstance would force the States to agree to the new levies, and even to en­gage in the war. The Marquis de Grana, in the mean time, had engaged in concert with the Prince of Orange. Should the French troops enter Spanish Flan­ders, he resolved to attack them, were it only with two hundred men, to bring on an open warF. The Prince of Orange hoped that the clamours of the English na­tion, in such a case, would force Charles to call a parlia­ment, who, by insisting on the exclusion of his father­in-law, would pave his own way to the throne.

Conduct of the Prince of Orange, in Holland, The refusal of Lewis the Fourteenth, with regard to the principality of Orange, had added a warm resent­ment to the vehement ambition of the Prince He continued to insist upon the levies; but the town of Amsterdam, averse to his person, and swayed by FranceG, disappointed all his views. They complained, [Page 374] and with great reasonH, that he exercised his authority as Stadtholder in an arbitrary manner, and contrary to the fundamental laws of the republic. They affirmed, that in the year 1679, he had usurped the nomination of all those admitted into the States of Guelderland; and they produced many instances of his openly encroach­ing upon the rights of election, in other places, ap­pointing by his own authority such magistrates and offi­cers as had been formerly chosen by the different townsI. The deputies of Amsterdam still refusing to consent to the new levies, he threatened, in the month of Novem­ber, to leave the Hague, and to permit the affairs of the States to run into confusion. Few, who knew his love of power, believed him sincere in this respect; and therefore he derived no benefit from his threats of re­signing his high office. Having made a journey to Am­sterdam, and failing to persuade the council of thirty-six to agree to the new levies, he flew into the most violent rage. He openly accused them of a correspondence with France. They threatened on their part to bring him to an account for his conduct. He left the hall with all the symptoms of rage and resentment. The mob hissed him in the streets, on account of the loss of the fleet lately coming from the Baltic. With Bentinck and Fagel, he drove violently in his coach from Amsterdam; but not without threatening to take off twelve of the burgomasters of that refractory cityK.

and with re­gard to the plot. The news of the Rye-house plot was received with the utmost indifference by the Prince of Orange. He had long placed the persons accused among the number of his friends in England; as he considered the exclusion of the Duke of York as the certain means of his ob­taining the great object of his own ambitionL. He or­dered Odyck and some of his confidants to propagate a report, that the whole was a sham plot to ruin several of the most worthy persons in the kingdom, and to destroy those who supported freedom of conscience in religion, and the civil liberties of the country. He, however, soon altered his conduct, as well as his tone. He thought proper, in a few days after, to congratulate the King of England on the discovery of the conspiracy. Having [Page 375] many friends among those who were concerned in the plot, he deemed it necessary to send Bentinck to England, to prevent, by his prudence, any insinuations that might be spread concerning his being in any degree privy to the design laid against his unclesM. Bentinck, who was at the same time employed in endeavouring to prevent the marriage of the Lady Anne with the Prince of Denmark, executed his commission with fidelity, and even with suc­cess, in what respected his master's supposed connection with the persons engaged in the conspiracy.