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Title: Cassell's History of England.  Vol III - From the Great Rebellion to the Fall of Marlborough.
Author: Cassells, Joe
Language: English
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CASSELL'S ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF ENGLAND



  CASSELL'S

  HISTORY OF ENGLAND

  FROM THE GREAT REBELLION TO
  THE FALL OF MARLBOROUGH

  WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS,
  INCLUDING COLOURED
  AND REMBRANDT PLATES

  VOL. III

  _THE KING'S EDITION_

  CASSELL AND COMPANY, LIMITED
  LONDON, NEW YORK, TORONTO AND MELBOURNE
  MCMIX

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



CONTENTS


    CHAPTER I.

    THE GREAT REBELLION. PAGE

    Condition of Ireland--Roger Moore's Pilgrimage--Negotiations of the
    Anglo-Irish with Charles--Hugh M'Mahon betrays the Plot--Rising
    of the Native Irish--Massacre of Protestants--Measures taken by
    the English Parliament--Return of Charles to London--The Grand
    Remonstrance--The King's Answer--His Lieutenant of the Tower--Riots
    in London--Blunder of the Bishops--Attempted Arrest of the Five
    Members--Charles leaves London--The Queen goes to Holland--Charles
    at York--His Repulse from Hull--Preparations for War--The Royal
    Standard Raised--Prince Rupert's Headstrong Folly--Battle of Edge
    Hill--Charles marches on London--He returns to Oxford--Cromwell in
    the East--The Queen in Yorkshire--Death of Hampden--Parliamentary
    Disasters--Battle of Newbury--Death of Lord Falkland--Negotiations
    with the Scots and Irish--Death of Pym--Royal Parliament at
    Oxford--Battle of Marston Moor--Disastrous Failure of Essex in
    Cornwall--Second Battle of Newbury--The Self-denying Ordinance--The
    New-modelled Army                                              1


    CHAPTER II.

    THE GREAT REBELLION (_concluded_).

    The Assembly at Westminster--Trial and Death of Laud--Negotiations
    at Uxbridge--Meeting of the Commissioners--Impossibility
    of a Settlement--Prospect of Help to the King from the
    Continent--Charles agrees to the demands of the Irish
    Catholics--Discipline and Spirit of the Parliamentary
    Army--Campaign of the New-modelled Army--Hunting the King--Battle
    of Naseby--Fairfax in the West--Exploits of Montrose--Efforts of
    Charles to join Him--Battle of Kilsyth--Fall of Bristol--Battle
    of Philiphaugh--Last Efforts of the Royalists--Charles Offers to
    Treat--Discovery of his Correspondence with Glamorgan--Charles
    Intrigues with the Scots--Flight from Oxford--Surrender to
    the Scots at Newark--Consequent Negotiations--Proposals for
    Peace--Surrender of Charles to Parliament                     34


    CHAPTER III.

    END OF THE REIGN OF CHARLES I.

    Differences between the Presbyterians and Independents--The King
    at Holmby--Attempt to Disband the Army--Consequent Petitions
    to Parliament--The Adjutators--Meeting at Newmarket--Seizure
    of the King--Advance of the Army on London--Stubbornness
    of the Presbyterians--The Army Marches through London--Its
    Proposals to Charles--Their Rejection--The King throws away
    his best Chances--The Levellers--Cromwell's Efforts on
    behalf of Charles--Renewed Intrigues of Charles--Flight to
    Carisbrooke--Attempts to Rescue the King--Charles Treats with the
    Scots--Consequent Reaction in his Favour--Battle of Preston and
    Suppression of the Insurrection--Cromwell at Edinburgh--The Prince
    of Wales in Command of the Fleet--Negotiations at Newport--Growing
    Impatience of the Army--Petitions for the King's Trial--Charles's
    Blindness and Duplicity--He is Removed to Hurst Castle--Pride's
    Purge--Supremacy of the Independents--The Whiggamores--Hugh Peters'
    Sermon in St. Margaret's, Westminster--Ordinance for the King's
    Trial--Trial and Execution of Charles I.                      59


    CHAPTER IV.

    THE COMMONWEALTH.

    Proclamation of the Prince of Wales Forbidden--Decline
    of the Peerage--_Ultimus Regum_--Establishment of a
    Republican Government--Abolition of the House of Lords and
    the Monarchy--Council of State--The Oath Difficulty--The
    Engagement--Religious Toleration--Trials of Royalists--Discontent
    among the People--The Levellers--Activity of John
    Lilburne--Quelling the Mutiny in Whalley's Regiment--Lockyer's
    Funeral--Arrest of Lilburne--Spread of the Disaffection to
    other Regiments--Suppression of the Insurrection--Cromwell
    appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland--Royalist Movement
    in Scotland--Charles's Son proclaimed King--The Scottish
    Deputation at the Hague--Charles's Court--Assassination of
    Dr. Dorislaus--Affairs in Ireland--Cromwell's Campaign--Defeat
    and Death of Montrose--Cromwell in Scotland--Battle of
    Dunbar--Movements of Charles--His March into England--Battle of
    Worcester--Charles Escapes to France--Vigorous Government--Foreign
    Difficulties--Navigation Act--War with Holland--Contest between
    Parliament and the Army--Expulsion of the Rump--The Little
    Parliament--Cromwell made Protector                           90


    CHAPTER V.

    THE COMMONWEALTH (_concluded_).

    Naval Victory over the Dutch--Death of Van Tromp--_Quasi_-Royal
    State of the Lord-Protector--Disaffection against Cromwell--His
    Vigorous Rule--Charles II. offers a Reward for his
    Assassination--Rebellions in Scotland--Cromwell's Dealings with the
    Portuguese Ambassador--Reform of the Court of Chancery--Commission
    for Purgation of the Church--The Reformed Parliament--Exclusion of
    the Ultras--Dissolution of Parliament--Danger from Plots--Accident
    to the Protector--Death of Cromwell's Mother--Royalist
    Outbreaks--Cromwell's Major-Generals--Foreign Policy--War with
    Spain--Massacre of the Piedmontese--Capture of Jamaica--The
    Jews Appeal for Toleration--Cromwell's Third Parliament--Plots
    against his Life--The Petition and Advice--Cromwell refuses the
    Royal Title--Blake's Brilliant Victory at Santa Cruz--Death of
    Blake--Successes against Spain--Failure of the Reconstructed
    Parliament--Punishment of Conspirators--Victory in the
    Netherlands--Absolutism of Cromwell--His Anxieties, Illness, and
    Death--Proclamation of Richard Cromwell--He calls a Parliament--It
    is Dissolved--Reappearance of the Rump--Richard Retires--Royalist
    Risings--Quarrels of the Army and the Rump--General Monk--He
    Marches upon London--Demands a Free Parliament--Royalist
    Reaction--Declaration of Breda--Joyful Reception of Charles  123


    CHAPTER VI.

    THE PROGRESS OF THE NATION UNDER JAMES I., CHARLES I., AND THE
    COMMONWEALTH.

    Manufactures and Commerce--Trade under the Stuarts--English
    Commerce and Dutch Competition--The East India
    Company--Vicissitudes of its Early History--Rival Companies--The
    American Colonies and West Indies--Growth of London--National
    Revenue--Extravagance of the Stuarts--Invention of the Title
    of Baronet--Illegal Monopolies--Cost of Government--Money
    and Coinage--Agriculture and Gardening--Dramatists of the
    Period--Shakespeare and his Contemporaries--Poets of the
    Occult School--Herbert, Herrick, Quarles--A Wealth of
    Poetry--Prose-Writers--Bacon's "Novum Organum"--Milton's
    Prose Works--Hales, Chillingworth, Jeremy Taylor, Fuller, and
    other Theological Writers--Harrington's "Oceana"--Sir Thomas
    Browne--Historians and Chroniclers--First Newspapers--Harvey's
    Discovery of the Circulation of the Blood--Napier's
    Invention of Logarithms--Music--Painting, Engraving, and
    Sculpture--Architecture--Manners and Customs--Sports and
    Pastimes--Furniture and Domestic Embellishment--Costumes--Arms and
    Armour--Condition of the People                              165


    CHAPTER VII.

    CHARLES II.

    Character of Charles II.--The King's First Privy Council--The
    Convention Parliament--Submission of the Presbyterian
    Leaders--The Plight of those who took Part in the late King's
    Trial--Complaisance of the Commoners--Charles's Income--The Bill
    of Sales--The Ministers Bill--Settlement of the Church--Trial
    of the Regicides--Their Execution--Marriage of the Duke of
    York--Mutilation of the Remains of Cromwell--The Presbyterians
    Duped--The Revenue--Fifth-Monarchy Riot--Settlements of Ireland and
    Scotland--Execution of Argyll--Re-establishment of Episcopacy--The
    new Parliament violently Royalist--The King's Marriage--His
    Brutal Behaviour to the Queen--State of the Court--Trial of Vane
    and Lambert--Execution of Vane--Assassination of Regicides--Sale
    of Dunkirk--The Uniformity Act--Religious Persecution--Strange
    Case of the Marquis of Bristol--Repeal of the Triennial Act--The
    Conventicle and Five Mile Acts--War with Holland--Appearance of the
    Plague--Gross Licentiousness of the Court--Demoralisation of the
    Navy--Monk's Fight with the Dutch--The Great Fire            193


    CHAPTER VIII.

    REIGN OF CHARLES II. (_continued_).

    Demands of Parliament--A Bogus Commission--Crushing the
    Covenanters in Scotland--The Dutch in the Thames--Panic in London
    and at Court--Humiliation of England--Peace is Signed--Fall of
    Clarendon--The Cabal--Sir William Temple at the Hague--The
    Triple Alliance--Scandals at Court--Profligacy of the King and
    the Duke of Buckingham--Attempt to Deprive the Duke of York of
    the Succession--Persecution of Nonconformists--Trial of Penn and
    Mead--The Rights of Juries--Secret Treaty with France--Suspicious
    Death of Charles's Sister--"Madam Carwell"--Attack on Sir
    John Coventry--National Bankruptcy--War with Holland--Battle
    of Southwold Bay--Declaration of Indulgence--Fall of the
    Cabal--Affairs in Scotland and Ireland--Progress of the Continental
    War--Mary Marries William of Orange--Louis Intrigues with the
    Opposition--Peace of Nimeguen--The Popish Plot--Impeachment of
    Danby--Temple's Scheme of Government--The Exclusion Bill--Murder
    of Archbishop Sharp--Bothwell Bridge--Anti-Catholic Fury--Charges
    against James--Execution of Lord Stafford                    221


    CHAPTER IX.

    REIGN OF CHARLES II. (_concluded_).

    Charles's Embarrassments--Exclusion Intrigues--Parliament
    Dissolved--The King again Pensioned by Louis--New Parliament
    at Oxford--Violence of the Whigs--Charles Dissolves the
    Oxford Parliament--Execution of Archbishop Plunket--Arrest of
    Shaftesbury--Dismay of the Gang of Perjurers--Oates turned out of
    Whitehall--Shaftesbury's Lists--Visit of William of Orange--James
    in Scotland--Defeat of the Cameronians--Cargill's Manifesto--The
    Duke of York's Tyranny--Flight of Argyll--The Torture in
    Edinburgh--Arrogance of Monmouth--Contest between the Court and the
    City--Death of Shaftesbury--Rye House Plot--Suicide of the Earl of
    Essex--Trial of Lord William Russell--Extraordinary Declaration
    of the University of Oxford--Trial of Algernon Sidney--The
    Duke of Monmouth Pardoned--Base Conduct of Monmouth--Trial of
    Hampden--Trials in Scotland--Absolutism of Charles--Forfeiture
    of Charters by the Corporations--Influence of the Duke of
    York--Opposition of Halifax--Sickness and Death of the King  267


    CHAPTER X.

    REIGN OF JAMES II.

    James's Speech to the Council--Rochester supersedes Halifax--Other
    Changes in the Ministry--James Collects the Customs without
    Parliament--French Pension continued--Scottish Parliament--Oates
    and Dangerfield--Meeting of Parliament--It grants Revenue for
    Life--Monmouth and Argyll--Argyll's Expedition--His Capture and
    Execution--Monmouth's Expedition--He enters Taunton--Failure of
    his Hopes--Battle of Sedgemoor--Execution of Monmouth--Cruelties
    of Kirke and Jeffreys--The Bloody Assize--The Case of Lady Alice
    Lisle--Decline of James's Power--He Breaks the Test Act--Revocation
    of the Edict of Nantes--Prorogation of Parliament--Acquittal
    of Delamere--Alienation of the Church--Parties at Court--The
    Dispensing Power Asserted--Livings granted to Catholics--Court of
    High Commission Revived--Army on Hounslow Heath--Trial of "Julian"
    Johnson--James's Lawlessness in Scotland and Ireland--Declaration
    of Indulgence--The Party of the Prince of Orange and the Princess
    Mary--Expulsion of the Fellows of Magdalen College--New Declaration
    of Indulgence--Protest of the Seven Bishops--Birth of the Prince of
    Wales--Trial and Acquittal of the Bishops--Invitation to William
    of Orange--Folly of James--William's Preparations--Blindness of
    James, and Treachery of his Ministers--William's Declaration--James
    convinced, makes Concessions--William lands at Torbay--His Advance
    to Exeter--Churchill's Treason--Flight of the Princess Anne and her
    Husband--James sends Commissioners to Treat with William--Flight
    of James--Riots in London--Return of James--His Final Flight to
    France--The Convention--The Succession Question--Declaration of
    Rights--William and Mary joint Sovereigns                    289


    CHAPTER XI.

    PROGRESS OF THE NATION FROM THE CIVIL WAR TO THE GREAT REVOLUTION.

    Religion: Nonconformist Sects--Imprisonment of Bunyan--Fox
    and the Society of Friends--The Punishment of James
    Naylor--Expulsion of Roger Williams--Other Religious
    Sects--Literature: Milton--His Works--Cowley--Butler--Dryden--Minor
    Poets--Dramatists of the Restoration--Prose Writers: Milton and
    Dryden--Hobbes--Clarendon--Baxter--Bunyan--Waiton--Evelyn and
    Pepys--Founding of the Royal Society--Physical Science--Discoveries
    of Napier, Newton and Flamsteed--Mathematicians and
    Chemists--Harvey and Worcester--Painting, Sculpture, and
    Engraving--Coinage--Music--Furniture--Costume--Manners and
    Customs--State of London--Sports and Amusements--Country
    Life--Travelling--The Clergy--Yeomen--Village Sports--Growth
    of the Revenue and Commerce--Growing prosperity of the North
    of England--The Navigation Act--Norwich and Bristol--Postal
    Arrangements--Advantages Derived from the Industries of the
    Foreign Refugees--The East India Company--Condition of the People:
    Wages--The Poor Law--Efforts of Philanthropists              352


    CHAPTER XII.

    REIGN OF WILLIAM AND MARY.

    Accession of William and Mary--Discontent of the Church and
    the Army--William's First Ministry--His Dutch Followers--The
    Convention becomes a Parliament--Oath of Allegiance--Settlement
    of the Revenue--Suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act--The Mutiny
    Bill--Settlement of Religion--The Coronation--Declaration of War
    with France--Violence of the Revolution in Scotland--Parties
    in the Scottish Parliament--Letter from James--Secession of
    Dundee--Edinburgh in Arms--Settlement of the Government--Dundee
    in the Highlands--Battle of Killiecrankie--Mackay Concludes the
    War--Revolution in Ireland--Panic among the Englishry--Londonderry
    and Enniskillen Garrisoned--Negotiations of Tyrconnel--His
    Temporary Success--Landing of James--He Enters Dublin--His Journey
    into Ulster--The Siege of Londonderry--It is Saved--Legislation
    of the Irish Parliament--Arrival of Schomberg--Factiousness of
    the English Whigs--State of the English Army in Ireland--Renewed
    Violence of the Whigs--The Corporation Act Thrown Out--William
    Threatens to Leave England--Dissolution of Parliament--Tory
    Reaction--Venality of the New Parliament--Settlement of the
    Revenue--Whig Propositions--The Act of Grace--Preparations for
    War--A Jacobite Plot--William goes to Ireland--Progress of the
    War under Schomberg--Gradual Improvement of his Position and
    Ruin of the Jacobite Army--The Battle of the Boyne--Flight
    of James--William Enters the Irish Capital--News from
    England--Siege of Limerick--Battle of Beachy Head--Landing of
    the French in Torbay--Courage of the English People--Settlement
    of Scotland--Marlborough's Successes in Ireland--Parliament
    Grants Liberal Supplies--Preston's Plot Thwarted--William
    Sets Out for Holland--Vigour of Louis--Fall of Mons--Trial of
    Jacobite Conspirators--Treason in High Places--Punishment of the
    Non-Jurors--The Continental Campaign--Condition of Ireland--Arrival
    of St. Ruth--Siege of Athlone--Battle of Aghrim--Second Siege and
    Capitulation of Limerick                                     396


    CHAPTER XIII.

    REIGN OF WILLIAM AND MARY.

    Proceedings in Parliament--Complaints against Admiral
    Russell--Treason in the Navy--Legislation against the
    Roman Catholics--The East India Company--Treasons
    Bill--The Poll Tax--Changes in the Ministry--Marlborough
    is deprived of his Offices--His Treachery--The Queen's
    Quarrel with the Princess Anne--William goes Abroad--Fall
    of Namur--Battle of Steinkirk--Results of the Campaign--The
    Massacre of Glencoe--Proposed Invasion of England--James's
    Declaration--Russell's Hesitation overcome by the Queen--Battle of
    La Hogue--Gallant Conduct of Rooke--Young's Sham Plot--Founding of
    Greenwich Hospital--Ill Success of the Fleet--Discontent of the
    People--Complaints in the Lords and Commons--The Land Tax--Origin
    of the National Debt--Liberty of the Press--The Continental
    Campaign--Battle of Landen--Loss of the Smyrna Fleet--Attack
    on the Navy--New Legislation--Banking Schemes of Chamberlayne
    and Paterson--The Bank of England Established--Ministerial
    Changes--Negotiations for Peace--Marlborough's Treason and the
    Death of Talmash--Illness and Death of Queen Mary            448


    CHAPTER XIV.

    Reign of WILLIAM III. (_continued_).

    Rising Hopes of the Jacobites--Expulsion of Trevor for
    Venality--Examination of the Books of the East India
    Company--Impeachment of Leeds--The Glencoe Inquiry--The Darien
    Scheme--Marlborough's Reconciliation with William--Campaign of
    1695--Surrender of Namur--William's Triumphant Return--General
    Election and Victory of the Whigs--New Parliament--Re-establishment
    of the Currency--Treasons Bill passed--A Double Jacobite
    Plot--Barclay's Preparations--Failure of Berwick's Insurrection
    Scheme--William Avoids the Snare--Warnings and Arrests--Sensation
    in the House of Commons--Trial and Execution of the
    Conspirators--The Association Bill becomes Law--Land Bank
    Established--Commercial Crisis--Failure of the Land Bank--The
    Bank of England supplies William with Money--Arrest of Sir John
    Fenwick--His Confession--William ignores it--Good Temper of the
    Commons--They take up Fenwick's Confession--His Silence--A Bill of
    Attainder passes both Houses--Execution of Fenwick--Ministerial
    Changes--Louis desires Peace--Opposition of the Allies--French
    Successes--Terms of Peace--Treaty of Ryswick--Enthusiasm in England
                                                                 476


    CHAPTER XV.

    REIGN OF WILLIAM III. (_concluded_).

    William Meets his Parliament--Reduction of the Standing
    Army--Visit of Peter the Great--Schemes of Louis--The East
    India Company--Spanish Partition Scheme--Its Inception and
    Progress--Somers's Hesitation--The Treaty is Signed--New
    Parliament--Tory Reaction--Dismissal of the Dutch
    Guards--William forms an Intention of Quitting England--Attack
    on the late Ministry--Jobbery in the Admiralty--Paterson's
    Darien Scheme--Douglas's Reasons against It--Enthusiasm
    of the Scots--Departure of the First Expedition and
    its Miserable Failure--The Untimely End of the Second
    Expedition--Second Partition Scheme--Double-dealing of the
    French--New Parliament--Attack on Somers--Report on the Irish
    Grants--Resumption Bill passed--William's Unpopularity--Death of
    the Duke of Gloucester--Conclusion of the New Partition Treaty
    and its Results--Charles makes over his Dominions to the French
    Candidate--His Death--Disgust of William at Louis's Duplicity--Tory
    Temper of the House--The Succession Question--Debates on Foreign
    Policy--The Succession Act passed--New Negotiations with
    France--Attack on the Whig Ministers--Acknowledgment of the Spanish
    King--Impeachment of the Whigs--The Kentish Petition--Its Reception
    by the House--The Legion Memorial--Panic in the House--Violent
    Struggle between the two Houses--The Impeachments dropped--William
    goes Abroad--The Grand Alliance and its Objects--Beginning of the
    War--Death of James II.--Louis acknowledges the Pretender--Reaction
    in England--New Parliament and Ministry--The King's Speech--British
    Patriotism is Roused--Voting of Supplies--The Bills of Attainder
    and Abjuration--Illness and Death of William--His Character  502


    CHAPTER XVI.

    THE REIGN OF QUEEN ANNE.

    Accession of the Queen--Meeting of the Houses of
    Parliament--Scotland and Ireland--Power of Marlborough--The
    Revenue--Tory Colour of the Ministry--The Coronation--Declaration
    of War--Marlborough goes to the Seat of War--General Aspect of
    Affairs--Marlborough's Difficulties--His Campaign--Operations by
    Sea--Meeting of Parliament--Supply--Marlborough's Dukedom--The
    Occasional Conformity Bill--Dismissal of Rochester--Opening
    of the Campaign of 1703--Fall of Bonn--Failure to take
    Antwerp--Savoy and Portugal join the Allies--Visit of the Archduke
    Charles to England--The Storm--Jacobite Conspiracy--Ashby
    _versus_ White--Queen Anne's Bounty--Marlborough's Great
    Plans--The States-General hoodwinked--His March--Dismay of the
    French--Junction with Eugene--Advance on the Danube--Assault
    of the Schellenberg--The Prince of Baden's Conceit--Approach
    of Tallard--The Eve of Blenheim--The Battle--Conclusion of the
    Campaign--Marlborough's Diplomacy--Capture of Gibraltar--Battle of
    Malaga--Proceedings in Parliament--The Campaign of 1705--Attempt
    to recover Gibraltar--Peterborough's Exploits in Spain--Proposal
    to Invite the Electress Sophia to England--Consequent
    Legislation--Battle of Ramillies--Eugene relieves Turin--Disasters
    in Spain--Meeting of the Commissioners for the Union--Condition of
    the Treaty--Opposition in Scotland--Riots in Edinburgh--Conduct of
    the Opposition--The Measure carried by Bribery--Its Discussion in
    the English Parliament--The Royal Assent given               535


    CHAPTER XVII.

    THE REIGN OF QUEEN ANNE (_continued_).

    Negotiations for Peace--The Ministry becomes
    Whig--Harley--Marlborough and Charles of Sweden--The Allies in
    Spain--Battle of Almanza--The French Triumphant in Spain--Attack
    on Toulon--Destruction of Shovel's Fleet--Jacobitism in
    Scotland--First Parliament of Great Britain--Abigail
    Hill--The Gregg Affair--Retirement of Harley and St. John
    from the Ministry--Attempted Invasion of Scotland--Campaign
    of 1708--Battle of Oudenarde--Capture of Lille--Leake takes
    Sardinia and Minorca--Death of Prince George of Denmark--The
    Junto--Terrible Plight of France--Marlborough's Plans for
    1709--Louis Negotiates with Holland--Torcy's Terms--Ultimatum
    of the Allies--Rejection of the Terms--Patriotism of the French
    Nation--Fall of Tournay--Battle of Malplaquet--Meeting of
    Parliament--Dr. Sacheverell's Sermons--His Impeachment resolved
    upon--Attitude of the Court--The Trial and Sacheverell's
    Defence--The Riots--Dispersal of the Rabble--The Sentence--Bias
    of the Queen--The Tories in Power--Renewed Overtures for
    Peace--Their Failure--The Campaigns in the Netherlands and in
    Spain--Brihuega and its Consequence--Marlborough's Reign at an
    End--Unpopularity of Marlborough--Dismissal of the Duchess--Triumph
    of the Tories--Guiscard's Attack on Harley--Popularity of
    Harley--Marlborough's Last Campaign--Failure of the Attack on
    Quebec--The Ministry determine to make Peace--Overtures to
    the Pretender--He refuses to Change his Religion--Gualtier's
    Mission to Versailles--Indignation of the Dutch--The Basis of
    Negotiations--Signing of the Preliminaries--Excitement Abroad
    and at Home--Prorogation of Parliament--Strengthening of the
    Ministry--Debates in the two Houses--The Whigs adopt the Occasional
    Conformity Bill--Creation of Peers--Dismissal of Marlborough from
    his Employments--Walpole expelled the House                  574



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                                    PAGE

  Christ Church, Oxford, from St. Aldate's (looking West)              1

  The Clock Tower, Dublin Castle                                       5

  Charles demanding the Surrender of the Five Members                  9

  Lord Falkland                                                       13

  St. Mary's Church, Nottingham                                       17

  Hampden mortally Wounded at Chalgrove                               21

  Archbishop Laud's Library, East Quadrangle, John's College, Oxford  25

  Prince Rupert                                                       28

  Siege-piece of Charles I.--Newark (Half-crown)                      29

  Siege-piece of Charles I.--Pontefract (Shilling)                    29

  Siege-piece of Charles I.--Beeston (Two Shillings)                  29

  Siege-piece of Charles I.--Colchester (Ten Shillings, Gold)         29

  St. Margaret's, Westminster                                         33

  Interview between Charles and the Earl of Denbigh                   36

  Roundhead Soldiers                                                  37

  Charles at the Battle of Naseby                                     41

  Cavalier Soldiers                                                   45

  Raglan Castle                                                       49

  Flight of Charles from Oxford                                       53

  Queen Henrietta's Drawing-room and Bedroom, Merton College, Oxford  57

  Lord Fairfax                                                        61

  Cornet Joyce's Interview with Charles                               64

  Fairfax House, Putney                                               65

  Lord Clarendon                                                      69

  Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight                                   73

  Rising of the London Apprentices on behalf of Charles               76

  Execution of Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle                 77

  Arrival of Charles under Guard at Hurst Castle                      81

  Trial of Charles                                                    85

  Charles's Farewell Interview with the Duke of Gloucester
    and the Princess Elizabeth                                        89

  Oliver Cromwell                                                     93

  Assassination of Dr. Dorislaus                                      97

  Great Seal of the Commonwealth                                     101

  Dunbar                                                             105

  Cromwell on his way to London after the Battle of Worcester        108

  Henry Ireton                                                       109

  Royal Museum and Picture Gallery, The Hague                        113

  Cromwell addressing the Long Parliament for the Last Time          117

  Token of the Commonwealth (Copper)                                 121

  Broad of the Commonwealth (Gold)                                   121

  Crown of the Commonwealth (Silver)                                 121

  The Great Hall, Hampton Court Palace                               125

  John Milton                                                        129

  The Royalist Plotters at Salisbury insulting the Sheriff           132

  The Painted Chamber, Westminster                                   133

  Admiral Blake                                                      137

  Cromwell refusing the Crown                                        141

  Arrest of Conspirators at the "Mermaid"                            145

  John Thurloe                                                       149

  The Manor House, Wimbledon (1660)                                  153

  Richard Cromwell                                                   156

  Reception of Monk in the City of London                            157

  Interior of the Painted Chamber, Westminster (looking East)        161

  Landing of Charles II. at Dover                                    164

  Cecil, Second Lord Baltimore                                       169

  Cheapside and the Cross in 1660                                    172

  The "Globe" Theatre, Southwark (with the "Rose"
    Theatre in the Distance), in 1613                                173

  Hawthornden in 1773                                                177

  Scene at the Funeral of Chillingworth                              181

  William Harvey                                                     184

  Reduced Facsimile of Front Page of No. 26 of "A Perfect Diurnall"  185

  Shopkeeper and Apprentice in the Time of Charles I.                189

  Great Seal of Charles II.                                          193

  Charles II.                                                        197

  Arrest of Argyll                                                   200

  Shilling of Charles II.                                            205

  Halfpenny (with Figure of Britannia) of Charles II.                205

  Crown of Charles II.                                               205

  Five-Guinea Piece of Charles II.                                   205

  Sir Harry Vane taking Leave of his Wife and Friends                209

  The Great Plague: Scene in the Streets of London                   213

  Thumbscrew                                                         214

  The Great Plague: The Maniac pronouncing the Doom of London        217

  Pie Corner, Smithfield, where the Great Fire reached its Limits    220

  George Monk, Duke of Albemarle                                     221

  Tilbury Fort                                                       225

  Samuel Pepys                                                       229

  The Assault on Sir John Coventry                                   232

  Anthony Ashley Cooper, First Earl of Shaftesbury                   237

  View in the Hague: The Gevangenpoort in which Cornelius
    and John De Witt were imprisoned (1672)                          241

  Sir William Temple                                                 245

  Titus Oates before the Privy Council                               249

  Thomas Osborne, first Duke of Leeds                                253

  Hôtel de Ville, Paris, in the Eighteenth Century                   257

  Assassination of Archbishop Sharp                                  260

  The Duke of Monmouth                                               265

  Arrival of Charles at Oxford                                       268

  Escape of Argyll                                                   273

  The Rye House                                                      277

  Trial of Lord William Russell                                      281

  The Bass Rock                                                      284

  Great Seal of James II.                                            289

  James II.                                                          293

  The Last Sleep of Argyll                                           297

  The Cross, Bridgewater, where Monmouth was proclaimed King         300

  Monmouth's Interview with the King                                 304

  Judge Jeffreys                                                     309

  Fourpenny Piece of James II.                                       311

  Five-Guinea Piece of James II.                                     311

  Windsor Castle, from the Brocas                                    313

  Parliament Hall, Edinburgh                                         317

  John Dryden                                                        321

  James doing Homage to the Papal Nuncio                             324

  The Seven Bishops entering the Tower                               329

  View in the Hague: The Hall of the Knights in the Binnenhof        333

  William of Orange embarking to join the "Brill"                    337

  William of Orange entering Exeter                                  341

  James hearing of the Landing of William of Orange                  345

  Roger Williams leaving his Home in Massachusetts                   353

  Milton dictating "Paradise Lost" to his Daughters                  357

  Samuel Butler                                                      361

  John Bunyan                                                        364

  Gresham College, where the Royal Society was first Housed          365

  Sir Isaac Newton                                                   369

  Evelyn "Discovering" Grinling Gibbons                              372

  Costumes of the Time of Charles II.                                377

  Chelsea Hospital                                                   380

  May-Day Revels in the Time of Charles II.                          384

  Ships of the Time of Charles II.                                   385

  The Old East India House in 1630                                   389

  Great Seal of William and Mary                                     396

  Kensington Palace                                                  397

  William III.                                                       400

  Mary II.                                                           401

  Covenanters evicting an Episcopalian Clergyman                     405

  Battle of Killiecrankie: The Last Charge of Dundee                 409

  The _Mountjoy_ and _Phœnix_ breaking the Boom at Londonderry       416

  Landing of Marshal Schomberg at Carrickfergus                      417

  Five-Guinea Piece of William and Mary                              420

  Crown of William and Mary                                          420

  Fourpenny Piece of William and Mary                                420

  Halfpenny of William and Mary                                      420

  Henry VII.'s Chapel, Westminster Abbey                             424

  William Penn                                                       425

  James entering Dublin after the Battle of the Boyne                429

  The French retreating from Torbay                                  433

  Edinburgh Castle in 1725                                           436

  The Duke of Marlborough                                            441

  The Assault of Athlone                                             444

  Scene at the Removal of the Irish Soldiers from Limerick           445

  George Saville, Marquis of Halifax                                 449

  Lady Marlborough and the Princess Anne at the Queen's Drawing-Room 453

  Glencoe: Scene of the Massacre                                     457

  Greenwich Hospital                                                 464

  Burning of Blount's Pamphlet by the Common Hangman                 465

  Louis XIV.                                                         469

  Costumes of the Time of William and Mary                           473

  William Paterson                                                   477

  Five-Guinea Piece of William                                       480

  Half-Crown of William                                              480

  Surrender of Boufflers                                             481

  Conspirators landing at Romney Marsh                               485

  Bishop Burnet                                                      489

  Old Mercers' Hall, where the Bank of England was first Established 492

  Lady Fenwick interceding for her Husband                           493

  Lord Somers                                                        497

  William's triumphant Procession to Whitehall                       500

  View in the Hague: Old Gate in the Binnenhof, with the
    Arms of the County of Holland                                    505

  Charles Montague, Earl of Halifax                                  509

  Scene at the Departure from Leith of the Darien Expedition         513

  The Royal Palace of Whitehall, from the Thames, in the beginning
   of the 17th Century                                               520

  Captain Kidd before the Bar of the House of Commons                525

  The Pretender proclaimed King of England by Order of
  Louis XIV.                                                         529

  View in the Hague: Chamber of the States-General in the Binnenhof  533

  Bishop Burnet announcing her Accession to Anne                     537

  Lord Godolphin                                                     541

  View in Lisbon: The Práça de Dom Pedro                             545

  The King of Spain at Windsor: His Gallantry to the
    Duchess of Marlborough                                           549

  Prince Eugene of Savoy                                             553

  The Battle of Blenheim                                             557

  Queen Anne                                                         561

  Great Seal of Queen Anne                                           568

  The People of Edinburgh Escorting the Duke of Hamilton
    to Holyrood Palace                                               569

  Costumes of the Reign of Queen Anne                                572

  Wreck of Sir Cloudesley Shovel's Fleet                             577

  Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough                                      581

  London Coffee House in the Reign of Queen Anne                     585

  Five-Guinea Piece of Queen Anne                                    588

  Farthing of Queen Anne                                             588

  Two-Guinea Piece of Queen Anne                                     588

  Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford                                      589

  Drinking to the Health of Dr. Sacheverell                          592

  Making Friends with Mrs. Masham                                    593

  The Duke of Marlborough's Interview with Queen Anne                597

  The Fracas in the Privy Council                                    601

  Marlborough House in the Time of Queen Anne                        604

  Henry St. John (afterwards Viscount Bolingbroke)                   605



LIST OF PLATES


  CHARLES I. ON HIS WAY TO EXECUTION, 1649.
    (_By Ernest Crofts, R.A._)                           _Frontispiece_

  MAP OF ENGLAND DURING THE CIVIL WAR, 1642-1649.        _To face p._ 50

  THE CHILDREN OF CHARLES I. (_By Miss Margaret I. Dicksee_)    "     71

  DEATH OF THE PRINCESS ELIZABETH, CARISBROOKE CASTLE,
   SEPT. 8TH, 1650. (_By C. W. Cope, R.A._)                     "    102

  CROMWELL REFUSING THE CROWN. (_By J. Schex_)                  "    145

  RESCUED FROM THE PLAGUE, LONDON, 1665.
   (_By F. W. W. Topham, R.I._)                                 "    209

  CHARLES II. AND NELL GWYNN. (_By E. M. Ward, R.A._)           "    210

  THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON, 1666.
   (_By Stanhope A. Forbes, A.R.A._)                            "    225

  THE DISGRACE OF LORD CLARENDON AFTER HIS LAST INTERVIEW
   WITH THE KING IN WHITEHALL PALACE, 1667.
   (_By E. M. Ward, R.A._)                                      "    233

  THE ANTE-CHAMBER OF WHITEHALL DURING THE LAST MOMENTS OF
   CHARLES II., 1685. (_By E. M. Ward, R.A._)                   "    289

  "AFTER SEDGEMOOR." (_By W. Rainey, R.I._)                     "    302

  COVENANTERS PREACHING. (_By Sir George Harvey, R.S.A._)       "    402

  WILLIAM III. AT THE BATTLE OF THE BOYNE. (_By Jan Wyck_)      "    430

  A LOST CAUSE: FLIGHT OF JAMES II. AFTER THE BATTLE OF THE
   BOYNE, 1690. (_By Andrew C. Gow, R.A._)                      "    433

  THE FOUNDING OF THE BANK OF ENGLAND, 1694.
   (_By George Harcourt_)                                       "    471

  PETER THE GREAT AT DEPTFORD DOCKYARD.
   (_By Daniel Maclise, R.A._)                                  "    503

  H.R.H. PRINCESS ANNE OF DENMARK, AFTERWARDS QUEEN OF ENGLAND.
   (_By W. Wissing and J. Vandervaart_)                         "    545

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. S. Hildesheimer & Co., Ld._

CHARLES I. ON HIS WAY TO EXECUTION, 1649.

FROM THE PICTURE BY ERNEST CROFTS, R.A.]



[Illustration: CHRIST CHURCH, OXFORD, FROM ST. ALDATE'S (LOOKING WEST.)]



CASSELL'S

ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF ENGLAND.



CHAPTER I.

THE GREAT REBELLION.

    Condition of Ireland--Roger Moore's Pilgrimage--Negotiations of the
    Anglo-Irish with Charles--Hugh M'Mahon betrays the Plot--Rising
    of the Native Irish--Massacre of Protestants--Measures taken by
    the English Parliament--Return of Charles to London--The Grand
    Remonstrance--The King's Answer--His Lieutenant of the Tower--Riots
    in London--Blunder of the Bishops--Attempted Arrest of the Five
    Members--Charles leaves London--The Queen goes to Holland--Charles
    at York--His Repulse from Hull--Preparations for War--The Royal
    Standard Raised--Prince Rupert's Headstrong Folly--Battle of Edge
    Hill--Charles marches on London--He returns to Oxford--Cromwell in
    the East--The Queen in Yorkshire--Death of Hampden--Parliamentary
    Disasters--Battle of Newbury--Death of Lord Falkland--Negotiations
    with the Scots and Irish--Death of Pym--Royal Parliament at
    Oxford--Battle of Marston Moor--Disastrous Failure of Essex in
    Cornwall--Second Battle of Newbury--The Self-denying Ordinance--The
    New-modelled Army.


The causes which drove the Irish to rebellion were for the most part
of long standing. Their religion had been ruthlessly persecuted; their
property had been confiscated by whole provinces at a time; their
ancient chiefs had been driven from their lands, and many of them
exterminated. Elizabeth, James, and Charles, had proffered them new
titles on condition of making large sacrifices, but had never kept
their word, and at this moment, the graces promised by Charles to
tolerate their religion and confirm the titles of their estates, were
unfulfilled. The example of the Scots had aroused them to the hope of
achieving a like triumph. Their great enemy the Earl of Strafford had
fallen, but, on the other hand, they were menaced by Parliament with
a still more fierce persecution, and even an avowed extermination of
their religion. They believed that the Scottish Presbyterians would
join with avidity in the attempt to subdue them, and come in for a
share of the plunder of their estates; and they now seized on the idea
of rising and reclaiming their ancient power and property. True, they
were not one united people like the Scots: there were the ancient
Irish, and the Anglo-Irish of the pale, that is, English settled in
Ireland holding the estates of the expelled native chiefs, but keeping
themselves aloof from the Irish. Yet many of the pale were Catholics,
and the Catholic religion was the unanimous object of attachment on
the part of the natives. The Parliament and the Scottish settlers
in the north were banded against this religion, and this produced a
counter-bond between the Catholic natives and the Catholics of the
pale. From the British Parliament neither of these parties had anything
to hope for on the score of religion; but the king was in need of aid
against this Parliament, and it occurred to them that they might make
common cause with him.

Roger Moore, a gentleman of Kildare, entered into this scheme with
all the impetuosity of his nation. He saw the lands of his ancestors
for the most part in the hands of English and Scottish settlers,
and he made a pilgrimage into almost every quarter of Ireland to
incite his countrymen to grasp this opportunity, when the king and
Parliament of England were engrossed by their disputes, to recover
their rights. Everywhere he was listened to with enthusiasm, and the
natives held themselves ready to rise, and take a terrible vengeance
on the usurpers of their lands at the first signal. The great chiefs
of Ulster, Cornelius Maguire, Baron of Enniskillen, and Sir Phelim
O'Neil, who had become the chieftain of the sept of Tyrone after the
death of the son of the late persecuted Tyrone, fell into his views
with all their followers. The Catholic members of the pale were more
disposed to negotiate with Charles than to rush into insurrection
against his authority. They knew that it was greatly to his interest
at this moment to conciliate his Irish subjects, and they despatched
to him a deputation previous to his journey to Scotland, demanding
the ratification of those graces for which he had received the
purchase money thirteen years before, and offering in return their
warmest support to his authority in Ireland. Charles received them
very graciously, promised them the full satisfaction of all their
demands, and by Lord Gormanstown, who headed the deputation, and on
whom he lavished the most marked attentions, he sent word to the Earls
of Ormond and Antrim to secure in his interest the eight thousand
troops which had been raised by Strafford, to keep them in efficient
discipline, to augment rather than decrease their number, and to
surprise the castle of Dublin, where they would find twelve thousand
stand of arms.

But the English Parliament were by no means unaware of the danger from
the army in Ireland, which consisted almost entirely of Catholics.
They insisted on its being disbanded, as promised by the king on the
Scottish pacification. He was not able to prevent this, and signed the
order; but at the same time sent secret instructions by Gormanstown to
Ormond and Antrim, to frustrate this by enlisting the whole body as
volunteers to serve the King of Spain in Flanders.

At this juncture Sir William Parsons and Sir John Borlase were at the
head of the English Government in Ireland; they were in the interest
of the Parliament, and were detested by almost all classes of Irish.
Sir John Clotworthy, in the House of Commons, had openly declared that
"the conversion of the Papists in Ireland was only to be effected by
the Bible in one hand, and the sword in the other." Pym was reported
to have said that they would not leave a priest in Ireland; and at a
public entertainment Parsons had echoed those sentiments by declaring
that "in a twelvemonth not a Catholic would be left in that country."
The Irish were, therefore, delighted with their success with the king,
and Gormanstown and his associates hastened home again, with two Bills
signed by the king, granting the possession of lands which had been
held sixty years, and setting aside all the sequestrations made by
Strafford. But Parsons and Borlase, aware that the passing of these
Bills would attach Ireland to the interests of the king, defeated the
object by proroguing Parliament a few days before the arrival of the
deputies.

It was now resolved by Ormond and Antrim to defer any movement till
the reassembling of the Irish Parliament in November, when they could
at the same moment secure Dublin castle and the persons of Parsons
and Borlase, and issue in the name of the two Houses his Majesty's
concession to the people of Ireland. But the native Irish, stimulated
by the addresses of Moore, could not wait so long. They determined to
rise, without waiting for the combined force, on the 23rd of October.
Two hundred and twenty men were to surprise the castle, but at the time
appointed only eighty appeared. They concluded to wait till the next
day for the arrival of the rest, but that night one Hugh M'Mahon, in a
drunken fit, betrayed the secret to Owen O'Connelly, a servant of Sir
John Clotworthy, and a Protestant. He instantly carried the news to Sir
William Parsons; the city gates were closed, and a quick search was
made for the conspirators. All but M'Mahon and Lord Maguire escaped,
but the castle was saved.

Ignorant of the failure of the plot, the people of Ulster rose on the
appointed day. Charlemont and Dungannon were surprised by Sir Phelim
O'Neil, Mountjoy by O'Quin, Tanderagee by O'Hanlan, and Newry by
Macginnis. In little more than a week all the open country in Tyrone,
Monaghan, Longford, Leitrim, Fermanagh, Cavan, Donegal, Derry, and
part of Down, were in their hands. The other colonies in which there
were English or Scottish plantations followed their example, and the
greater part of Ireland was in a dreadful state of anarchy and terror.
The Protestant people on the plantations fell beneath the butchering
revenge of the insurgents, or fled wildly into the fortified towns.
The horrors of the Irish massacre of 1641 have assumed a fearful place
in history; the cruelties, expulsions, and oppressions of long years
were repaid by the most infuriated cruelty. Men, women, and children,
fell indiscriminately in the onslaught, and they who escaped, says
Clarendon, "were robbed of all they had, to their very shirts, and so
turned naked to endure the sharpness of the season, and by that means,
and for want of relief, many thousands of them perished by hunger and
cold."

Great care has been taken by Catholic writers to contradict these
accounts, and to represent the atrocities committed as of no
extraordinary extent. They remind us that no accounts of these
barbarous slaughters were transmitted in the reports to the English
Parliament, which would have been only too glad to spread, and even
exaggerate bloody deeds of the Catholics. They reduce the number of
people slain during the whole insurrection to about ten thousand,
instead of the grossly exaggerated statements of Milton in his
"Iconoclastes," that there were one hundred and fifty-four thousand
in Ulster alone, or of Sir John Temple, that three hundred thousand
were slain or expelled altogether. But nothing less than a most
frightful massacre could have left the awful impression which still
lives in tradition, and the calculations of moderate historians do not
make the number massacred less than from fifteen thousand to twenty
thousand. The Earl of Castlehaven, a Catholic, says that all the water
in the sea could not wash from the Irish the taint of that rebellion.
Whilst remembering the vengeance, however, we must never forget the
long and maddening incentives to it. Much blame was attached to the
Deputy-Governors, Borlase and Parsons, who, shut up in security in
Dublin, took no measures for suppressing the insurgents. They were
charged with purposely allowing the rebellion to spread, in order that
there might be more confiscations, in which they would find their own
benefit; but it must not be forgotten that they had few soldiers on
whom they could rely, for these were nearly all Catholics; nor did
the insurgents escape without severe chastisement in many places, for
wherever there was a trusty garrison, the soldiers easily repelled the
disorderly mob of plunderers; and Sir Phelim O'Neil suffered during the
month of November severe losses.

Before Charles reached England, O'Connelly, the discoverer of the plot,
arrived in London, with letters from the lords justices, and was called
before the House of Lords to relate all that he knew. They immediately
invited the House of Commons to a conference on the state of Ireland,
and on the better providing for the security of England. They presented
O'Connelly with five hundred pounds in money, and settled on him an
annuity of two hundred pounds a year. It was resolved to look well
after the Catholics in England, and to put the ports into a state of
defence. The Commons voted that two hundred thousand pounds should be
set apart for the requirements of Ireland; that six thousand foot and
two thousand horse should be raised for service there; and that the
fleet should carefully guard its coast. The Earl of Leicester, the
Lord-Lieutenant, was desired to furnish a list of the most suitable
officers for the service, and arms and ammunition were prepared in
haste, to be despatched to Dublin. A pardon was offered to all rebels
who laid down their arms by a certain day, at the same time that a
reward was set on the heads of the leaders. But the Commons did not
stop there; they passed a resolution never to tolerate the Catholic
worship either in Ireland or in any part of his Majesty's dominions.
Commissioners were appointed to disarm the recusants in every part
of the kingdom; pursuivants were sent out in every direction to seize
priests and Jesuits; orders were given for the trial of all such
persons; and the king was advised not to pardon or reprieve them. The
queen's chapel was closed, her priests were dismissed, her confessor
was sent to the Tower, and no less than seventy Catholic lords and
gentlemen were denounced by the Commons to the Lords, as persons who
ought to be secured to prevent them from doing injury to the State.

Such was the condition of things when Charles arrived in London. He
was well received by the Lord Mayor and aldermen of the city, and in
return gave them an entertainment at Hampton Court; but he was greatly
chagrined at the proceedings of the Commons, telling them that they
were converting the war in Ireland, which was a civil war, into a
war of religion. He took umbrage also at Parliament sitting with a
guard round their House. The Earl of Essex, on the king's arrival,
surrendered his command of the forces south of the Trent to the king,
and announced to the Lords that having resigned his commission, he
could no longer furnish the guard. A message was sent from the Houses,
requesting the king to restore them the guard, but he refused, saying
he saw no occasion for it; but the Commons let him know that many
dangerous persons, Irish and others, were lurking about, and that the
"Incident" in Scotland, and the late attempt to surprise the castle in
Dublin, warned them of their danger; and that not only must they have a
guard, but they must nominate the commander of it themselves.

Whilst Charles was pondering on the answer which he should return to
this unwelcome message, Sir Ralph Hopton appeared at Hampton Court
with another address from the Commons yet more ominous. This bore the
alarming title of a "Remonstrance on the state of the kingdom." It had
been drawn up and passed by the Commons before the king came back from
Scotland, that is, on the 22nd of November; and it was resolved to
present it to him on his return. It was the act of the Commons alone,
and had not been carried even there without a violent debate, which
lasted till two o'clock in the morning, the House having sat that day
eighteen hours. The heat to which the proposal gave rise was such, that
Sir Philip Warwick says, "We had sheathed our swords in each others'
bowels, had not the sagacity and calmness of Mr. Hampden, by a soft
speech, prevented it." Cromwell is reported by Clarendon to have said
to Lord Falkland as they came out, that had it not been carried, he
would have sold all and gone to America. "So near," adds the Royalist
historian, "was the poor kingdom at that time to its deliverance."

And yet this famous Remonstrance was only carried by a majority of
nine, according to Clarendon; according to others, by eleven. It was,
as Clarendon describes it, "a very bitter representation of all the
illegal things that had been done from the first hour of the king's
coming to the crown, to that minute." It consisted of two hundred
and six clauses, and dealt among other matters with the war against
the French Protestants; the innovations in the Church; the illegal
imposition of ship-money; forced loans; the cruelties of the Star
Chamber and High Commission; the forcing of episcopacy on Scotland;
the forcing of it on the Irish by Strafford, and all the other illegal
proceedings there; the opposition of the king and his ministers to
necessary reforms; and the plotting of the queen with the Papists at
home and abroad. It went on to remind the king of what they had done
in pulling down his evil counsellors, and informed him that other good
things were in preparation.

[Illustration: THE CLOCK TOWER, DUBLIN CASTLE.]

The king the next day delivered his answer in the House of Lords,
protesting, as usual, his good intentions, telling the Commons, before
he removed evil counsellors, they must point out who they were and
bring real facts against them; at the same time he significantly
reminded them that he had left Scotland in perfect amity with him, so
that they might infer that they were not to look for support against
him there, and calling on them to stir themselves in aiding him to
put down the rebellion in Ireland. Matters continued getting worse
every day between the king and Parliament. From the 8th to the 20th of
December there was a sullen humour between them. So far from granting
the Parliament the usual guard, Charles had posted a guard of his own
near the Commons. They summoned the commander of the guard before them,
pronounced its being placed there a breach of their privileges, and
demanded that it should be removed. On the 14th of December Charles
objected to their ordering the impressment of soldiers from Ireland,
that being his prerogative, but that he would permit it for the time
on the understanding that his right was not thereby affected. The
next day the Commons passed an order for the printing and publishing
of their Remonstrance, which measure they had failed to carry at the
same time as the Remonstrance itself. This had a great effect with
the public, and the king, in a restless, angry humour, prevailing in
nothing against the House, sought to strengthen himself by getting
into the Tower a lieutenant of his own party. But in this movement he
was equally injudicious and equally unfortunate. Charles dismissed Sir
William Balfour, who had honestly resisted his warrant and refused
a bribe of Strafford to permit his escape; but to have deprived the
Commons of any plea for interfering in what was unquestionably his
own prerogative, he should have replaced him by a man of character.
Instead of that, he gave the post to Colonel Lunsford, a man of
desperate fortunes and the most unprincipled reputation; outlawed for
his violent attacks on different individuals, and known to be capable
of executing the most lawless designs. The City immediately petitioned
the Commons against the Tower being in the hands of such a man; the
Commons called for a conference with the Lords on the subject, but the
Lords refused to meddle in what so clearly was the royal prerogative.
The Commons then called on them to enter the protest they had made
on their books; but the Lords took time to consider it. On Thursday,
December 23rd, a petition was addressed to the Commons, purporting
to be from the apprentices of London, against Papists and prelates,
who, they contended, caused the destruction of trade by their plots,
and the fears which thence unsettled men of capital; whereby they,
the apprentices, "were nipped in the bud," on entering the world.
The Corporation waited on his Majesty on Sunday, the 26th, to assure
him that the apprentices were contemplating a rising, and meant to
carry the Tower by storm, unless Lunsford were removed; and that the
merchants had already taken away their bullion from the Mint for fear
of him, and the owners of ships coming in with new would not carry it
there. That evening Charles took the keys from his new lieutenant, and
appointed Sir John Byron in his place.

And now, notwithstanding their reluctance, the Lords were compelled to
entertain this question, for they found Lord Newport, the Constable of
the Tower, also brought into controversy by the king. It appeared that
during Charles's absence in Scotland, at a meeting of a number of the
peers and members of the Commons at Kensington, regarding some rumour
of plots against Parliament, Lord Newport was reported to have said,
"Never mind, we have his wife and children." Newport stated in the
House that he had waited on the queen at the time, and assured her that
no such words had been spoken; yet on Friday last the king had reminded
him of it, and intimated his belief of it. It was now the turn of the
Lords to call for a conference with the Commons. This was granted
on Monday, and whilst it was sitting, the House of Parliament was
surrounded by tumultuous mobs, crying, "Beware of plots! No bishops! no
bishops!"

Poor Williams, made Archbishop of York on the 4th of this month, was
surrounded by this mob and much frightened; but he got away unhurt,
any further than in his feelings, from the execrations heaped on the
bishops. One David Hide, however, a ruffian officer, who had been
in the army in the north, and was now appointed to the service in
Ireland, drew his sword, and swore that "he would cut the throats
of those _roundheaded_ dogs that bawled against bishops," and by
that expression, says Clarendon, gave the first utterance to the
name "roundheads," which was at once universally applied to the
Parliamentary party; the term "cavaliers" soon being introduced to
designate the Royalists. The same day Lunsford had the insolence to
go through Westminster Hall with thirty or forty of his partisans at
his back. The mob fell on them, and they drew their swords and cut
right and left among the crowd. Presently there came pouring down to
Westminster hundreds of fresh apprentices, with swords, cudgels, and
other weapons, crying, "Slash us now! Slash us now!" And this was
renewed by thousands the next day, December 28th, with the same "Slash
us now, whilst we wait on the honourable House to request an answer to
our petition." Some of the youths were shut into the abbey and brought
before Williams, whilst those without cried that if they were not
released, they would break in and pull down the organs. This, however,
they were prevented from doing, by numbers of the bishop's men coming
out on the abbey leads, and flinging down stones upon them, by which
many were injured; and Sir Richard Wiseman, who happened to be passing,
was so much hurt that he died of his injuries.

Williams, the archbishop, was so incensed at the cry against the
bishops, that he forgot his usual cunning, and got eleven other bishops
to join him in an address to the king, declaring that the bishops
could not get to their places for the riotous crowds, and from fear
of their lives from them; and therefore, as bishops had at all times
formed part and parcel of the Upper House, that House, so long as
they were detained from it, was no longer a competent House, and that
all its acts, of whatever kind, would be utterly invalid. This was
supposed to be a manœuvre of the king's to get rid of the authority
of Parliament for the present, and thus of his unfortunate surrender
of the powers of adjournment; but the Lords, taking no notice of the
protest of the bishops, desired a conference with the Commons, and then
denounced the protest of the bishops as subversive of the fundamental
rights of Parliament. The Commons, on their part, instead of contenting
themselves with passing a resolution condemnatory of the folly of the
bishops, at once declared them guilty of high treason, and called on
the Lords to apprehend them, which was at once done, and ten of the
bishops were committed to the Tower, and two, on account of their age,
to the custody of the Usher of the Black Rod.

On the last day of this eventful year, Denzil Holles waited on his
Majesty, by order of the Commons, to represent to him, that whilst his
faithful Parliament was ready to shed the last drop of its blood in
defence of his Majesty, it was itself daily exposed to the danger of
plots and ruffians who had dared to shed the blood of the people coming
to petition at the very doors of the House. They demanded, therefore, a
guard. Charles had taken care to surround his own palace day and night
since the commotions. Such a guard was reluctantly granted three days
after.

But if 1641 had been an astonishing year, 1642 was destined to cast
even it into the shade, and its very opening was with nothing short
of the first trumpet note of civil war. On the 3rd of January Charles
sent his answer to the Commons respecting the guard, acceding to the
request, but immediately followed it up by a demand that electrified
the Houses, and was soon to electrify the nation. Whilst the Commons
were debating on the royal message, the king's new Attorney-General,
Herbert, appeared at the bar of the House of Lords, and presented
articles of high treason against six leading Members of Parliament,
one peer and five commoners. These members were, Lord Kimbolton in the
Peers, and Holles, Hazelrig, Pym, Hampden, and Strode, in the Commons.
There were seven articles exhibited against them of high treason and
other misdemeanour. These were stated in the following words:--"1st.
That they have traitorously endeavoured to subvert the fundamental laws
and government of the kingdom of England, to deprive the king of his
royal power, and to place in subjects an arbitrary and tyrannical power
over the lives, liberties, and estates of his Majesty's liege people.
2nd. That they have traitorously endeavoured, by many foul aspersions
upon his Majesty and his Government, to alienate the affections of his
people, and to make his Majesty odious unto them. 3rd. That they have
endeavoured to draw his Majesty's late army to disobedience to his
Majesty's commands, and to side with them in their traitorous designs.
4th. That they have traitorously invited and encouraged a foreign
power to invade his Majesty's kingdom of England. 5th. That they have
traitorously endeavoured to subvert the rights and the very being of
Parliaments. 6th. That for the completing of their traitorous designs,
they have endeavoured, so far as in them lay, by force and terror, to
compel the Parliament to join with them in their traitorous designs,
and to that end have actually raised and countenanced tumults against
the king and Parliament. 7th. And that they have traitorously conspired
to levy, and actually have levied war against the king."

"The House of Peers," says Clarendon, "was somewhat startled by this
alarm, but took time to consider it till the next day, that they might
see how their masters, the Commons, would behave themselves." Lord
Kimbolton declared his readiness to meet the charge: the Lords sent a
message upon the matter to the Commons; and at the same time came the
news that officers of the Crown were sealing up the doors, trunks, and
papers of Pym, Hampden and the other impeached members. The House
immediately ordered the seals put upon the doors and papers of their
Members to be broken, and they who had presumed to do such an act to
be seized and brought before them. At this moment the serjeant-at-arms
arrived at the door of the House; they ordered him to be admitted,
but without his mace, and having heard his demand for the delivery
of the five Members, they bade him withdraw, and sent Lord Falkland
and three other Members to inform the king that they held the Members
ready to answer any legal charge against them. But the next day the
Commons were informed by Captain Languish, that the king, at the head
of his gentlemen pensioners, and followed by some hundreds of courtiers
and officers, armed with swords and pistols, was advancing towards
the House. The House was well supplied with halberds, which they had
previously ordered into it when the king withdrew their guard; but they
saw the advantage of preventing an armed collision, and ordered the
accused Members to withdraw.

Charles entered the House, his attendants remaining at Westminster
Hall, and at the door of the Commons. As he advanced towards the
Speaker's chair, he glanced towards the place where Pym usually sat,
and then approaching the chair, said, "By your leave, Mr. Speaker, I
must borrow your chair a little." The House, at his entrance, arose and
stood uncovered; Lenthall, the Speaker, dropped upon his knees, and
Charles, much excited, said, "Gentlemen, I am sorry for this occasion
of coming unto you. Yesterday I sent a serjeant-at-arms to apprehend
some that at my command were accused of high treason, wherewith I did
expect obedience, and not a message; and I must declare unto you here,
that albeit no king that ever was in England shall be more careful of
your privileges, to maintain them to the utmost of his power, than I
shall be; yet you must know that in cases of treason no person hath
a privilege, and therefore I am come to know if any of those persons
that I have accused, for no slight crime, but for treason, are here.
I cannot expect that this House can be in the right way that I do
heartily wish it, therefore I am come to tell you that I must have
them, wheresoever I find them." He looked earnestly round the House,
but seeing none of them, demanded of the Speaker where they were.
Lenthall, still on his knees, declared that he had neither eyes to see,
nor tongue to speak, but as the House directed. "Well," said the king,
"since I see all the birds are flown, I do expect that as soon as they
return hither, you do send them to me." And with mingled assurances
that he meant no force, yet not without a threat, he withdrew. As he
walked out, there were raised loud cries of "Privilege! Privilege!" and
the House instantly adjourned.

The Commons, to testify that they no longer felt themselves safe in
their own House, betook themselves to the City where, establishing a
permanent committee to sit at the Grocers' Hall, they adjourned till
the 11th of January. The next day Charles, taking his usual attendants,
went into the City, and at Guildhall demanded of the Lord Mayor and
aldermen that they should hunt out and deliver to him the accused
Members who had taken refuge amongst them. His demand was coldly
received, and after dining with one of the sheriffs he returned. His
passage through the city was attended by continued cries of "Privilege!
Privilege of Parliament!" And one Henry Walker, an ironmonger and
political pamphleteer, threw into his Majesty's carriage a paper
bearing the words, "To your tents, O Israel!" Scarcely had Charles
reached Whitehall, when a deputation from the Corporation waited on
him, complaining of the Tower being put into unsafe hands, of the
fortifying of Whitehall, the wounding of citizens on their way to
petition Parliament, of the dangerous example of the king entering the
House of Commons attended by armed men, and praying him to cease from
the prosecution of the five Members of Parliament, and to remove from
Whitehall and the Tower all suspicious personages.

As Charles still persisted by proclamation in endeavouring to get
possession of the five Members, and as a hundred stand of arms, with
gunpowder and shot, had been removed from the Tower to Whitehall, a
thousand marines and boatmen signed a memorial to the committee of the
Commons sitting at Guildhall, offering to guard them on the appointed
day to their House in Westminster. The committee accepted the offer,
which was immediately followed by one from the apprentices. Seeing that
the City, the seamen, and everybody were of one mind in condemning his
violent invasion of the national sanctuary of the House of Commons,
Charles on the 10th of January, the day previous to the meeting again
of Parliament, quietly withdrew with his family to Hampton Court,
and the next day removed thence to Windsor. Little did he imagine,
deplorable as was his retreat, that he would never enter his capital
again till he came as a prisoner in the hands of this insulted
Parliament. Yet his feelings at this moment must have been melancholy
in the extreme. "In this sad condition," says Clarendon, "was the king
at Windsor; fallen in ten days from a height and greatness that his
enemies feared, to a lowness, that his own servants durst hardly avow
the waiting on him."

Charles had now decided on war. But money was necessary, and to obtain
it he determined to send the queen abroad. A pretext was easily found.
The Princess Mary, who had been some time betrothed to the Prince of
Orange, though she was yet a mere child, only about ten years of age,
was to be delivered to the Dutch Court, and nothing was more natural
than that her mother should accompany her. Even the stern reformers,
who had forbidden her twice before leaving the kingdom, could find no
excuse for forbidding this maternal office. On the 9th of February
Charles and the Court returned from Windsor to Hampton Court, and the
next day the royal party set out for Dover, where, on the 23rd, the
queen and her daughter embarked for Holland. The Prince of Orange
received her majesty with all kindness, which he indeed owed her, for
she had always taken the part of him and his country against Richelieu;
but the civic authorities were not so glad to see her, fearing that
she might embroil them with the all-powerful Parliament of England.
They entered her presence with their hats on, seated themselves in her
presence, and took their leave without a bow or a word. But Henrietta
restrained her disgust better than her husband would have done, for
she had great interests at stake, and succeeded by her flattering
courtesies in so melting the Dutch phlegm, that she eventually
succeeded in borrowing of the authorities of Amsterdam eight hundred
and forty-five thousand guilders, at Rotterdam sixty-five thousand, of
the merchants at the Hague one hundred and sixty-six thousand, besides
pawning her pearls for two hundred and thirteen thousand, and six
rubies for forty thousand, thus raising for her husband two million
pounds sterling.

[Illustration: CHARLES DEMANDING THE SURRENDER OF THE FIVE MEMBERS.
(_See p._ 7.)]

Whilst the king was at Canterbury waiting for the queen's departure,
the Commons urged him to sign the two Bills for the removal of the
bishops from Parliament, and of them and the clergy from all temporal
offices, and for power to press soldiers for the service of Ireland.
He passed them, the second Bill to be in force only till the 1st of
November. The Commons expressed their satisfaction, but still urged the
removal of all Privy Councillors and officers of State, except such
as held posts hereditarily, and the appointment of others having
the confidence of Parliament. They then returned to the subject of
the Militia Bill, which would put the whole force of the army into
the hands of Parliament; but there Charles made a stand. He sent
orders that the Prince of Wales should meet him at Greenwich. The
Parliament--which watched his every movement and no doubt was informed
of his intentions--sent a message to the king, praying him to allow the
prince to remain at Hampton Court; but Charles, complaining of these
suspicions, ordered the prince's governor, the Marquis of Hertford, to
bring him to Greenwich. On Sunday, the 27th of February, some of the
Lords went to Greenwich, to endeavour to bring the prince back; but
Charles would not suffer it, declaring that the prince should accompany
him wherever he went. He removed to Theobalds, and there again a
deputation followed him, urging him to grant the matter of the militia,
or that the Parliament would feel compelled to assume it for the safety
of the kingdom. They also renewed their request for the return of the
prince. Charles expressed much surprise at these importunities, and
refused them both.

On receiving this answer, the two Houses issued an order to fit out the
fleet, and put it into the command of the Earl of Northumberland, as
Lord High Admiral. The Lords, who had hesitated to join the Commons in
the demand of the control of the militia, now passed the ordinance for
it with very few dissentients. Fifty-five Lords and Commons were named
as lord-lieutenants of counties, many of them Royalists, but still
not such as the Commons feared joining the king in an open rupture.
The Commons then proceeded to issue a declaration, expressing their
apprehensions of the favour shown to the Irish rebels by the Court;
of the intention of evil advisers of the king to break the neck of
Parliament, and of the rumours of aid from abroad for these objects
from the Pope, and the Kings of France and Spain. The Lords, with only
sixteen dissentient voices, joined in this declaration, and the Earls
of Pembroke and Holland waited on the king with it at Royston. On
hearing this outspoken paper read, Charles testified much indignation,
pronouncing some assertions in it, in plain terms, lies; and when the
earls entreated him to consent to the granting of the militia for a
time, he exclaimed:--"No, by God, not for an hour. You have asked
that of me which was never asked of any king, and with which I should
not trust my wife and children." This was true, but he had formerly
said he would sooner lose his life than consent to the Bill against
the bishops, and yet he gave them up. That he would on the first
opportunity break his word, was certain; that at this very moment his
wife was moving heaven and earth abroad, and pawning her jewels for
money to put down Parliament and people, was equally well known. In
vain, therefore, were the solemn asseverations which he made, that he
desired nothing so much as to satisfy his subjects.

At this moment he was stealing away towards the north. He got away to
Newmarket, thence to Huntingdon, next to Stamford, and from that place
wrote to the two Houses, informing them that he proposed to take up his
residence for a time in York. The deputies had strongly importuned him
to return to the neighbourhood of his Parliament; this was his answer,
accompanied by a positive refusal to put the militia into their hands.
The Houses were at once roused to action. War was inevitable; the king
was intending to take them by surprise. They therefore voted that the
king's absence was most detrimental to the affairs of Ireland; that
the king was easily advised, and that it was necessary for Parliament
that the power of commanding the militia must be exercised by the sole
authority of Parliament, and orders for that purpose were issued to the
lieutenants and deputy-lieutenants of the counties.

Charles had meanwhile proceeded by Doncaster to York, where he arrived
on the 19th of March. On the 26th the Lords Willoughby and Dungarvan,
with Sir Anthony Ereby, arrived from Parliament with a justification of
their proceedings. They admitted that he had passed many satisfactory
Bills at their instance, but that always at the same time some attempts
had been set on foot to render them abortive. They informed him that
they had certain information of preparations making abroad, and of a
design to enter Hull with foreign forces. Charles denied the truth of
these allegations, and assured them that he would return and reside
near his Parliament as soon as he was sure of the safety of his person.
He did not forget, however, the words dropped about Hull. It was of
immense consequence to obtain possession of that place; but it was in
the keeping of the stout Sir John Hotham and his son, who had declared
in Parliament "fall back, fall edge, he would carry out the wishes
of Parliament." As Charles could not hope to obtain it by force, he
conceived the idea of winning it by stratagem. He sent the Earl of
Newcastle to request that the town and arsenals might be put into
his hands. Newcastle assumed the name of Sir John Savage to obtain
admission to the town, but was discovered, and this clumsy trick only
increased the suspicions of the people. Parliament then sent an order
for the removal of the arms and ammunition to the Tower of London; but
Charles told them that he claimed them as purchased with money borrowed
on his own account, and begged they would leave him to look after his
own property. He also sent them word that it was his intention to pass
over to Ireland, to suppress the rebellion; that he should require
all the arms and ammunition for that purpose, and that they would be
necessary for the use of his guard of two thousand foot and two hundred
horse, which he meant to embark there for Ireland.

On the 22nd of April he sent the Duke of York, the Prince Palatine,
his nephew, the Lords Newport, Willoughby, and some other persons of
distinction, but without any armed force, to see the town of Hull.
Sir John Hotham and the mayor received them with all honour, and
entertained them as became their rank. They were shown the place,
and were to dine with the governor on the morrow, being St. George's
Day. Just before dinner-time, however, Hotham was startled by the
sudden appearance of Sir Lewis Dives, brother-in-law of the outlawed
Lord Digby, who informed him that his Majesty intended to do him the
honour to dine with him, and was already within a mile of the town,
accompanied by three hundred horse. Sir John, who saw the trick,
instantly ordered the drawbridges to be raised, and shut the gates in
the king's face, for by this time he had arrived at the Beverley gate.

Charles commanded Sir John to open the gate and admit him and his
guard, but Sir John replied that, though a loyal subject of his
Majesty, he could not do so without consent of Parliament, which had
put the town into his keeping. If his Majesty would be pleased to enter
with the prince and twelve attendants he should be welcome; but Charles
refused to enter without the whole of his guard. He staid before the
gate from one o'clock till four, continuing the parley, trusting to the
people being affected by the sight of their sovereign, and compelling
the governor to admit him. But he was disappointed, and at four, going
away for an hour, he gave Hotham that time to consider of it. On his
return at five Hotham still refused entrance to more than before, when
Charles proclaimed him a traitor, and rode off with the prince and
his guard to Beverley. The next day he sent a herald to offer Hotham
pardon and promotion on surrender of the town, but in vain; and he then
returned to York.

Each party now hastened to raise forces and prepare for the struggle.
On the 5th of May the Parliament issued a declaration that as the king
refused his consent to the Militia Bill, they called on all men to obey
their own ordinance for the raising of forces and the defence of the
king. In this ordinance they nominated the lieutenants of counties,
who nominated their deputy-lieutenants, subject to the approbation of
Parliament. Amongst these deputies appeared Hampden, Whitelock, St.
John, Selden, Maynard, Grimstone, and other leaders of Parliament,
who now became equally zealous enrollers and drillers of soldiers.
The king, on his side, denounced the order as traitorous and illegal,
forbade all men obeying it, and summoned a county meeting at York for
promoting the levy of troops for his service. At that meeting we find
Sir Thomas Fairfax stepping forward as a Parliamentary leader, and
laying on the pommel of the king's saddle a strong remonstrance from
the freeholders and farmers of Yorkshire, who advised the king to come
to an agreement with his Parliament.

The country was now come to that crisis when every man must make up
his mind, and show to which side of the dispute he leaned. It was
a day of wonderful searching of characters and interests, and many
strange revolutions took place. Towns, villages, families, now appeared
in convulsion and strife, and some fell one way, some another, not
without much heart-ache and many tears, old friends and kindred parting
asunder, to meet again only to shed each others' blood. Then was there
a strange proclaiming and contradiction of proclamations, one party
denouncing and denying the proceedings of the other. The king raised
only a troop of horse and a regiment of foot; the Parliament soon
found themselves at the head of eight thousand men, consisting of six
regiments, commanded by zealous officers, and the month of May saw
the fields of Finsbury white with tents, and Major-General Skippon
manœuvring his train-bands.

The next shift was for the fleet. The Earl of Northumberland being ill,
or more probably indisposed, the Commons ordered him to surrender his
command to the Earl of Warwick for the time. The Lords hesitated, on
account of the king's sanction being wanted for such an appointment;
but the Commons settled it alone. Clarendon says that the king
remained passive, confiding in the attachment of the sailors, whose
pay he had advanced; but we hear from other sources that Charles had
contrived to alienate the mariners as much as the rest of his subjects,
by calling them "water-rats." His popularity with them was soon tested,
for he ordered the removal of Warwick, and that Pennington should take
his place; but the sailors would not receive him. Without ammunition or
arms, Charles's forces were of little use, and the Commons proclaimed
that any one who should bring in such material without consent of
Parliament, or should bring in money raised on the Crown jewels, would
be considered an enemy to the country.

The coasts being diligently watched by the fleet, Charles now turned
to the Scots, the leaders of whom he hoped to win over by the honours
and favours he had distributed on his last visit; and, in truth, the
members of the Council seemed quite inclined to fall in with his
wishes; but the English Commons being made aware of it, soon turned
the scale, letting both Council and people know that it was their
interest, as much as that of England, that the king should come to an
understanding with his Parliament, which, they asserted, sought only
the good of both king and people. The Parliament had now, however, to
witness considerable defections from its own body, for many thought
that they were driving matters too far; that the king had conceded
more than was reasonable, and that the Commons were themselves aiming
at inordinate power. Amongst those who had gone off to the king were
the Lord Falkland, Sir John Colepepper, and Mr. Hyde (afterwards Lord
Clarendon and historian of the Rebellion). Falkland and Colepepper,
Charles had, before leaving, made his ministers, and Hyde had long been
secretly seeing the king, conveying all the news to him at night, and
writing his declarations. The Commons had perceived well enough who
composed those papers by the style, yet they could not directly prove
it; but he was found by the Earls of Essex and Holland shut up with the
king at Greenwich, and by the Marquis of Hamilton at Windsor. In April
the king summoned Hyde to attend him at York; but even then, as if
afraid of the Parliament, he had gone in a very private way, pretending
that he sought the country for his health; and even after reaching
the neighbourhood of York, instead of openly avowing his adhesion to
the royal cause, he kept himself concealed in the neighbourhood, and
attended to the king's correspondence. He arrived in Yorkshire at
the end of May; but, before leaving London, he had contrived that the
Lord Keeper Lyttelton should run off with the Great Seal to the king,
a matter of no little importance, as regarded the authenticity of all
public documents.

Numbers of both Lords and Commons continued to steal away to the king,
especially, says May, lawyers and clergy, "whose callings made them
capable of easier and greater gratifications from the king than other
men, and therefore apt to lean that way where preferment lies." The
Commons summoned nine peers, who had gone away to York, to appear in
their places in Westminster, and, on their refusing, impeached them of
high treason. These were Spencer, Earl of Northampton, the Earls of
Devonshire, Dover, Monmouth, and the Lords Howard of Charlton, Rich,
Grey of Ruthven, Coventry, and Capel.

On the 2nd of June the Lords and Commons sent proposals to the king
for an amicable arrangement of the national affairs on a permanent
basis; but matters had so far changed with Charles, that he was in no
mood to listen. On that very day, one of the ships, freighted by the
queen in Holland with arms and ammunition, managed to elude the fleet
and land supplies on the Yorkshire coast. With these, and the prospect
of more, with a number of lords and courtiers around him, Charles at
once dropped the humble and conciliatory tone, called the Parliament a
nest of caballers and traitors, who had no right to dictate to him, the
descendant of a hundred kings, and protested that he would never agree
to their terms if he were bound and at their mercy.

From this moment all hope of accommodation was at an end, and king
and Parliament went on preparing with all diligence for trying their
strength at arms. The question to be decided was, whether England
should be an abject despotism or a free nation. If the Parliament
were worsted, then must England sink to the level of the rest of the
king-ridden nations. On the part of the king, his adherents joined
him in his solemn engagement to maintain the Protestant religion, and
to claim nothing but his rightful prerogative; on the part of the
Parliament, an avowal as solemn was, that they fought not against the
king, but for him and his crown, as well as for the liberties and
privileges of the people, which were endangered by the evil counsellors
of the king.

[Illustration: LORD FALKLAND. (After the Portrait by Vandyke.)]

On the 10th of June the Commons issued an address, in which they
intimated that they would receive money and plate for maintaining the
struggle, engaging to pay eight per cent. interest, and appointing Sir
John Wollaston and three other aldermen of London treasurers. In a very
short time an immense treasure was accumulated in Guildhall, the poor
contributing as freely as the rich. Charles wrote to the Corporation
of London, forbidding this collection, but without effect. He made
an attempt also to secure the fleet, inducing the Earl of Warwick to
surrender the command to Admiral Pennington, but only five captains
consented, and these were speedily secured and superseded. On the
12th of July Parliament appointed the Earl of Essex commander of the
army, and many members of the Parliament, both Lords and Commons, took
commissions under him. Amongst these were Sir John Merrick, Lord Grey
of Groby, Denzil Holles, Sir William Waller, Hampden, and Cromwell.
Hampden's regiment was clad in a green uniform, and carried a banner,
having on one side his motto, "_Vestigia nulla retrorsum_;" on the
other, "God is with us." Cromwell, who was also appointed a colonel,
was extremely active in the eastern counties. The whole country was
thrown into the most wonderful state of confusion by the exertions
of the noblemen and gentlemen endeavouring to seize strong places,
and engage the people, some for this side, some for that. Never had
there been such a state of anarchy, opposition, and rending asunder
of old ties. For the most part, the southern counties and mercantile
places were for the Parliament--the more purely agricultural and
remote districts for the king. In many, however, there was a pretty
equal division of interests, and fierce contests for superiority.
In Lincolnshire Lord Willoughby of Parham was very successful for
Parliament. In Essex the Earl of Warwick was equally so, and Kent,
Surrey, Middlesex, and the sea-coast of Sussex, were strongly
Parliamentary. Cromwell did wonders in Suffolk, Norfolk, and Cambridge.
In Berkshire Hampden and the Earl of Holland were opposed by the Earl
of Berkshire, Lord Lovelace, and others; but the Earl of Berkshire was
seized by Hampden, and sent up to the Parliament. In Buckinghamshire
Hampden had it nearly all his own way. Colonel Goring, who was Governor
of Portsmouth, after receiving a large sum from Parliament to put that
place in full condition of defence, betrayed it, as he had before
done the royal party; but the Parliament seized the Earl of Portland,
Goring's ally, and put the Isle of Wight into the keeping of the Earl
of Pembroke. Warwickshire was divided between Lord Brooke for the
Parliament, and the Earl of Northampton for the king; Leicestershire
between the Earl of Huntingdon for the king, and the Earl of Stamford
for the Parliament. Derbyshire was almost wholly for the king, and so
on northward; yet in Yorkshire Lord Fairfax was zealous for Parliament,
and so were Sir Thomas Stanley and the Egertons in Lancashire. The
Earl of Derby and his son, Lord Strange, embraced the side of royalty;
and the first blood in this war was shed by Lord Strange endeavouring
to secure Manchester, where he was repulsed and driven out. Great
expectations were entertained by the Royalists of the assistance of the
numerous Catholics in Lancashire and Cheshire, but they were either
indifferent or overawed. In the west of England the king had a strong
party. Charles, in his commission of array, had appointed the Marquis
of Hertford Lieutenant-general of the West, including seven counties in
Wales, and the second skirmish took place in Somersetshire, between him
and the deputy-lieutenant of the county, where ten men were killed and
many wounded.

No exertions were spared by the Parliament at the same time to induce
the king to come to an arrangement; but he showed that he was at heart
totally unchanged, for he replied to their overtures by still insisting
that the Lord Kimbolton and the five Members of the Commons should be
given up to him, as well as Alderman Pennington, the Lord Mayor of
London, and Captain Venn, commander of the train-bands. He demanded
indictments of high treason against the Earls of Essex, Warwick, and
Stamford, Sir John Hotham, Major-General Skippon, and all who had
dared to put in force the ordinance of Parliament for the raising of
the militia. Yet at the same time he was in secret negotiation with
Hotham for the betrayal of Hull; and Hotham sullied that reputation for
patriotic bravery which he had acquired by listening to him. He was,
however, stoutly resisted by the inhabitants, the garrison, and his
own son. The king then invested Hull, and intrigued with some traitors
within to set fire to the town, so that he might assault it in the
confusion. But the plot was discovered, and the incensed inhabitants
made a sortie under Sir John Meldrum, and put the king's forces to a
precipitate flight.

Charles then marched away to Nottingham, where he raised his standard
on the 25th of August, according to Clarendon; on the 22nd, according
to Rushworth. It was a most tempestuous time; the standard, which
was raised on the castle-hill, an elevated and exposed place, was
blown down in the night, an ominous occurrence in the opinion of both
soldiers and people, and it was three days before it could be erected
again, owing to the fierceness of the wind. Besides the prostration
of the standard, the condition of the king's affairs was equally
discouraging. The people showed no enthusiasm in flocking to the royal
banner, the arms and ammunition did not arrive from York, and the royal
arms had received a severe repulse at Coventry. News came that the
Earl of Essex was at the head of fifteen thousand men at Northampton,
and the Earl of Southampton and his other officers entreated the king
to make overtures of peace to the Parliament, telling him that if
they refused them, it would turn the tide of popular favour against
them. At first Charles listened to such counsels with anger, but at
length despatched Sir John Colepepper to London to treat. But the
Parliament would not hear of any accommodation till the king had pulled
down his standard, and withdrawn his proclamations of high treason
against the Earl of Essex, the accused Members of Parliament, and
all who had supported them. In fact, all attempts at agreement were
become useless, and were rendered more so by the conduct of Charles's
nephew, Prince Rupert, who, with his younger brother Maurice, sons of
Charles's sister, Elizabeth of Bohemia, had arrived in England, and
were placed at the head of the royal cavalry. Whilst Colepepper was
trying to effect a peace in London, Rupert, with that rashness which
afterwards grew so notorious, and so fatal to Charles's army, was
making war through the midland counties, insulting all who advocated
peace, ordering rather than inviting men to the king's standard, and
plundering towns and villages at will for the supply of his troopers.

About the middle of September Charles marched from Nottingham,
intending to reach the west of England and unite his forces with
those of the Marquis of Hertford. He conducted himself in a very
different manner to the fiery Rupert, or Robber, as the people named
him. He everywhere issued the most positive assurances of his love for
his people, and his resolve to maintain their liberties; but these
assurances were not well maintained by his actions betraying the fact
that he was playing a part. He in one place invited the train-bands to
attend his march as his bodyguard, but when they arrived, he expressed
his doubts of their loyalty, forcibly seized their arms, and sent them
away. In spite of his professions to respect his subjects' rights,
he still levied money and supplies in the old arbitrary manner. On
the 20th of September he was at Shrewsbury, where he assured the
inhabitants that he would never suffer an army of Papists, and on the
23rd he wrote to the Earl of Newcastle, telling him that the rebellion
had reached that height, that he must raise all the soldiers he could,
without any regard to their religion. He received five thousand pounds
in cash from the Catholics in Shropshire, sold a title of baron for six
thousand pounds more, and began minting money from plate with great
alacrity. And to put the finish to his insincerity, he despatched
orders to Ireland to send him as many troops thence as they could, who
were almost wholly Catholic.

But the Earl of Essex was carefully watching the king's progress;
he had sent him the Parliamentary proposals of accommodation, which
he refused to receive from what he called a set of traitors. Essex
reached Worcester, in his march to cut off the king's movement towards
London, just as Prince Rupert and Colonel Sandys had had a skirmish in
that town, from which Rupert was forced to fly. There Essex lay still
for three weeks, till at length Charles, encouraged by his inaction,
ventured to quit Shrewsbury on the 20th of October, and by a bold
march by Wolverhampton, Birmingham, and Kenilworth, actually shot past
Essex's position on the road to London. The Parliamentary general,
however, gave quick pursuit, and on the 22nd reached Kineton, in
Warwickshire, just as the king encamped on Edge Hill, close above him.

Charles had the way open, but a council of war advised the attack of
Essex, who had marched at such a rate, that a great part of his forces
was left behind. On the following morning, the 23rd of October--it was
Sunday--Essex accordingly found the royal army drawn up in order of
battle on the heights of Edge Hill. It was a serious disadvantage to
the Parliamentary army to have to charge up hill, and both parties were
loth to strike the first blow. They remained, therefore, looking at
each other till about two o'clock in the afternoon. Charles was on the
field in complete armour, and encouraging the soldiers by a cheerful
speech. He held the title of generalissimo of his own forces; the Earl
of Lindsay was his general, an experienced soldier, who had fought side
by side in the foreign wars with Essex, to whom he was now opposed. So
much, however, was he disgusted with the youthful insolence of Prince
Rupert, that he gave himself no further trouble than to command his
own regiment. Sir Jacob Astley was major-general of the horse, under
Lindsay, Prince Rupert commanding the right wing of the horse, and Lord
Wilmot the left, two reserves of horse being also under the command of
Lord Digby and Sir John Byron. In numbers, both of horse and foot, the
royal army exceeded that which Essex had on the field; but Essex had a
better train of artillery.

Essex had drawn out his army at the foot of the hill in the broad Vale
of the Red Horse. Sir John Meldrum, who had so lately chased the king's
forces from Hull, led the van. Three regiments of horse were posted on
the right, commanded by Sir Philip Stapleton and Sir William Balfour.
On the left were the twenty troops of horse under Sir James Ramsay. In
the centre, behind the cavalry, were posted the infantry, Essex's own
regiment occupying the main position, flanked by two reserves of horse
under Lord Brooke and Denzil Holles.

At two o'clock, according to one historian, Essex commanded his
artillery to fire on the enemy. According to another, the cavaliers
grew impatient of inaction, and demanded to be led against the foe;
and the king firing a cannon with his own hand as a signal for the
assault, the Royalists began to descend the hill. When they came within
musket shot, their spirits were greatly raised by seeing Sir Faithful
Fortescue fire his pistol into the ground, and range himself with two
troops of horse on their side. The Parliamentary cavalry made a charge
on the king's centre, and endeavoured to seize the standard, but could
not resist the pikes of the Royalists. Prince Rupert made a furious
charge on the left wing of the Parliamentarians, broke it, and pursued
it in headlong chase into the village of Kineton, where finding the
baggage of the enemy, he allowed his men an hour to plunder it. This
uncalculating conduct on the part of Rupert continued through the
whole war, and no amount of experience of the disastrous results of it
ever cured him of it in the least. Put him at the head of a body of
horse, and such was his valour and impetuosity that he would carry all
before him, but he was rarely seen again in the field till the battle
was over, when he returned from the headlong chase, often to find his
friends totally defeated.

To-day, during Rupert's absence, the main bodies of infantry were
led into action by Essex and Lindsay, each marching on foot at the
head of his men. The steady valour of the Roundheads astonished the
Cavaliers. The left wing of Charles's army, under Lord Wilmot, sought
refuge behind a body of pikemen, but Balfour, one of the commanders
of the Parliamentary right wing, wheeled his regiment round on the
flank of the king's infantry, broke through two divisions, and seized
a battery of cannon. In another part of the field the king's guards
displayed extraordinary valour, and forced back all that were opposed
to them. Essex perceiving it, ordered two regiments of infantry and a
squadron of horse to charge them in front and flank, and at the same
time Balfour, abandoning the guns he had captured, attacked them in
the rear. They were now overpowered and broke. Sir Edward Varney, the
standard-bearer, was killed, and the standard taken; but this being
entrusted by Essex to his secretary, Chambers, was, by treachery or
mistake, given up to a Captain Smith, one of the king's officers, whom
Charles, for this service, made a baronet on the field. Charles beheld
with dismay his guards being cut to pieces by overwhelming numbers,
and advanced at the head of the reserve to their rescue. At this
moment Rupert returned from his chase, and the remnant of the guards
was saved. Lord Lindsay had received a mortal wound, his son, Lord
Willoughby, and Colonel Vavasour, were taken prisoners in endeavouring
to rescue him, and Colonel Monroe and other officers had fallen. Had
Rupert returned on having put to the rout the Parliamentary right wing,
all this might have been prevented. As it was, a check was given to the
vehemence of the Roundheads, the firing ceased, and both armies having
stood looking at each other till the darkness fell, each drew off, the
Royalists back to their hill, the Parliamentarians to Kineton.

Both parties claimed the victory, but if remaining on the field of
battle, and being the last to march away, are any criterions of
success, these were on the side of Essex. His men lay in the field all
night, a keenly frosty one, without covering, but supplied with meat
and beer; and the next morning Charles marched away to Banbury. It
was said that gunpowder failed in Essex's army, or that he would have
pursued the royal army up the hill. As it was, though strengthened by
the arrival of most of his forces left behind under Hampden, he did not
think fit to follow Charles the next day, but allowed him to continue
his route, himself retreating to Warwick. This was not the part of a
victor, so that neither could be said to have won. The number of slain
has been variously estimated; most writers state it at about five
thousand, but the clergyman of Kineton, who buried the dead, reports
them only twelve hundred.

Charles marched from Banbury to Oxford, where a number of gentlemen,
well mounted, having heard his engagement at Edge Hill represented as
a victory, came in, and thus recruited the wasted body of his cavalry.
Rupert, during the king's stay, kept up that species of warfare which
he had been taught to admire in Count Mansfeld, in Germany. He made
rapid rides round the country, to Abingdon, Henley, and other towns,
where he levied contributions without scruple from the Roundhead
partisans. The Londoners were in the greatest alarm at the tidings
of the king's growing army at Oxford, and sent pressing orders to
Essex to hasten to the defence of the capital. The train-bands were
kept constantly under arms, trenches were thrown up round the city,
forces were despatched to hold Windsor Castle, seamen and boatmen were
sent up the Thames to prevent any approach in that direction, and the
apprentices were encouraged to enrol themselves by the promise of the
time they served being reckoned in the term of their apprenticeship.
At length Essex reached London, posted his men about Acton on the
7th of November, and rode to Westminster, to give an account of his
campaign. It could not be said that he had shown much generalship, but
it was not a time to be too critical with commanders: the brilliant
military genius of Cromwell had not yet revealed itself, therefore the
Parliament gave him hearty thanks, voted him five thousand pounds, and
recommended the capital to his care.

[Illustration: ST. MARY'S CHURCH, NOTTINGHAM. (_From a Photograph by
Frith & Co._)]

Essex was scarcely arrived when news came that Charles had quitted
Oxford, and was directing his march on London. Henry Martin, a member
of the Commons, who commanded at Reading, considering that town
untenable, fell back on London. The panic in the capital was great. A
deputation was sent, consisting of the Earl of Northumberland and three
members of the Commons, to meet the king and present a petition for
an accommodation. They encountered him at Colnbrook: he received the
petition very graciously, and called God to witness that he desired
nothing so much as peace, and the sparing of his bleeding country.
This being reported to Parliament, they ordered Essex to suspend
hostilities, and sent Sir Peter Killigrew to request the same on the
part of the king, supposing that after this gracious message, in which
he promised to reside near London till the differences were settled, he
would have ceased all offensive operations. But scarcely was Killigrew
gone, when Parliament was startled by the sound of artillery, and
Essex rushed from the House and rode in the direction of the sound. He
found Prince Rupert closely followed by the king in the full attack
of Brentford, which was defended by a small force of Holles's horse.
The king had taken advantage of a thick November fog to endeavour to
steal a march on London; but Holles's horse though few were stout,
and withstood the whole weight of the attack till reinforced by the
regiments of Hampden and Brooke. Thus the king's object was defeated,
and the next day, the 13th of November, being Sunday, there was such
an outpouring from London of the train-bands, and of zealous citizens,
that Essex found himself at the head of twenty-four thousand men, drawn
up on Turnham Green. Hampden, Holles, and all the members of Parliament
advised sending a body of soldiers to make a detour and get into the
king's rear, and then to fall vigorously on in front, and Hampden
with his regiment was despatched on this service. But Essex speedily
recalled him, saying he would not divide his forces; and thus not only
was the retreat left open to the king, but three thousand troops,
which had been posted at Kingston Bridge, were called away to add to
the force in London. Charles therefore finding a very formidable body
in front and the way open behind, drew off his forces and retreated
to Reading, and then again to his old quarters at Oxford. Again
Essex had displayed miserably defective tactics, or he might have
readily surrounded and cut up the royal force. It was in vain that
the Parliamentary leaders urged Essex to give instant pursuit of the
retreating army; other officers also thought it better to let the king
take himself away. The Parliament, in great indignation at the king's
conduct, passed a resolution never to enter into any negotiations with
him again; and Charles, pretending equal surprise and resentment,
declared that the Parliament had thrown three regiments into Brentford
after sending to treat with him. But it must be remembered that they
proposed this accommodation at Colnbrook, and what business, then,
had he at Brentford? The march, and the hour of it, were sufficiently
decisive of the king being the aggressor.

Charles lay with his army at Oxford during the winter, and Prince
Rupert exercised his marauding talents in the country round. Of the
Parliamentary proceedings or preparations we have little account,
except that the Parliamentarians were generally discontented with
Essex, who was slow, by no means sagacious, and, many believed, not
hearty in the cause. Sir William Waller, however, drove Goring out
of Portsmouth and took possession of it, so that he was dubbed by
the people William the Conqueror, and it was agitated to put him at
the head of the army in the place of Essex. But another man was now
being heard of. This was Oliver Cromwell, who had quitted his farm
and raised a regiment of his own. He was Colonel Cromwell now. He had
told Hampden at the battle of Edge Hill, where they both were, that it
would never do to trust to a set of poor tapsters and town apprentices
for fighting against men of honour. They must have men, too, imbued
with a principle still higher, and that must be religion. Hampden said
it was a good notion if it could be carried out; and from that time
Cromwell kept it in view, and so collected and trained that regiment
of serious religious men, known as his invincible Ironsides. Cromwell
was active all this winter along the eastern coast, in Cambridgeshire,
Huntingdonshire, Essex, and elsewhere, raising supplies, stopping those
of the enemy, and forming Associations of counties for mutual defence.
Four or six were formed, but all soon went to pieces except that of the
counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridge, Hertfordshire, of which
Lord Grey of Wark was the commander, and Oliver, his lieutenant, the
soul. This Association maintained its district during the whole war.
In February we find Cromwell at Cambridge, the castle of which, with
its magazines, he had taken by storm, and had now collected there great
forces from Essex, Norfolk, and Suffolk.

The queen's arrival in Yorkshire early in February created immense
enthusiasm amongst the Cavaliers. Her spirit, her manners, her
condescension fascinated all who came near her. She was in every sense
now a heroine, and the fact of the Parliament having impeached her
of high treason, and her head being forfeited if she fell into their
hands, only raised her own resolution and the devotion of all around
her. She was conducted to York by a guard of two thousand Cavaliers,
headed by the Marquis of Montrose himself, and attended by six
pieces of cannon, two mortars, and two hundred and fifty waggons of
ammunition. The Lord Fairfax, who was the only Parliamentary general
with any force in the north besides the Governor of Hull, was gallant
enough to offer to escort her himself with his Roundheads; but she knew
she was outlawed, and declined the honour. She rode on horseback on the
march, calling herself the "she-majesty-generalissima," ate her meals
in the sight of the army, in the open air, and delighted the soldiers
by talking familiarly to them. She remained nearly four months at York,
doing wonderful service to the king's cause, and, as we shall find,
succeeding through the Earl of Newcastle even in corrupting the faith
of the Hothams at Hull. Her arrival gave new spirit to the royal cause,
but was undoubtedly, at the same time, the most fatal thing which could
have happened to it, as it strengthened the king in his obstinate
determination to refuse all accommodation with the Parliament.

And although the Parliament, in its resentment at the king's treachery
at Brentford, had vowed never to treat with him again, in March, 1643,
it made fresh overtures to him. The deputation sent to him consisted
of the Earls of Northumberland, Pembroke, Salisbury, and Holland,
Viscounts Wenman and Dungarvan, John Holland and William Litton,
knights, and William Pierpoint, Bulstrode Whitelock, Edmund Waller, and
Richard Winwood, esquires. They were received by the king in the garden
of Christ Church, and permitted to kiss his hands. On Waller performing
that ceremony, Charles said graciously, "You are the last, but not the
worst, nor the least in my favour." In fact, Waller at that moment was
engaged in a plot for the king, whence the significant remark. As
the two parties insisted on their particular demands, the interview
came to nothing. Courteous as the king was to Waller, he was otherwise
by no means so to the deputation. The queen was in the country with
abundant supplies of arms and ammunition, and he was elated with the
fact. He interrupted the Earl of Northumberland so rudely and so
frequently, whilst reading the Parliamentary proposals, that the earl
stopped, and demanded proudly whether his majesty would allow him to
proceed. To which Charles replied curtly, "Ay! ay!" The negotiations
continued for several weeks, but during their abortive proceedings
military movement was going on. Essex took Reading after a siege of
ten days, and Hampden proposed to invest Oxford and finish the war at
once, which Clarendon confesses would have done it, for the town was
ill fortified, was so crowded with people that it could not long hold
out, and Charles had not then received his ammunition from the queen.
The dilatory spirit of Essex, however, and his officers prevailed, and
this opportunity was lost. In May the ammunition arrived, and whilst
Charles was preparing to act, the Parliament was busy in unravelling
different plots against them. One was that in which Waller was engaged.
This was a most daring one. Waller had been one of the most determined
declaimers in Parliament against the king; but now he had been won over
by Lord Falkland, and had entered into a scheme for betraying London
to the Royalists, and seizing the leaders of the opposition. Mixed up
with this scheme, besides himself, were Tomkins, his brother-in-law,
Challoner, Blinkhorne, and others. A commission of array was smuggled
into the City through Lady Aubigny, whose husband fell at Edge Hill, by
which all inclined to the king's service might receive due authority.
But the servant of Tomkins overheard the conspirators, carried the news
to Pym, and they were speedily in custody. Tomkins and Challoner were
hanged within sight of their own houses; Blinkhorne, White, Hasell, and
Waller were, by the intercession of Essex, reprieved, but Waller was
fined ten thousand pounds and confined in the Tower for a year.

About the same time a similar plot for betraying Bristol was detected
by Colonel Fiennes, the governor, son of Lord Say and Sele. The chief
conspirators were Robert and William Yeomans, who were condemned to be
executed; but one of them was saved by the king declaring that he would
hang as many of his prisoners. The prospect which was opened of terror
and barbarity by such retaliation put an end to it, and saved at this
time Colonel Lilburne, who had been taken at Brentford. Lilburne was an
ultra-republican, and at the same time a declaimer from the Bible on
the mischief of kings. He had been whipped in Westminster, but had only
been made more outrageous, and was so pugnaciously inclined, that it
was said that if he were left alone in the world, John would be against
Lilburne, and Lilburne against John. Charles ordered his execution,
but the threats of the Parliament of sweeping retaliation saved the
democratic orator and soldier.

The Parliament now made a new Great Seal, and passed under it no less
than five hundred writs in one day. All other events, however, sank
into comparative insignificance before one which now occurred. Prince
Rupert had extended his flying excursions of cavalry, and committed
great depredations in Gloucestershire, Wilts, Hants, and even as far
as Bath; and though the Earl of Essex had his forces lying about Thame
and Brickhill, in Buckinghamshire, yet he was so inert that Rupert
burst into both Bucks and Berkshire in his very face. Colonel Hurry,
who had gone over from Essex to the king, now informed Rupert that two
Parliamentary regiments were lying at Wycombe, apart from the rest of
the army and easy to be cut off. The fiery prince at once determined
to make a night attack upon them. He trotted away from Oxford on the
17th of June with two thousand horsemen, rode past Thame, where Essex
was lying, without any opposition, and reached the hamlet of Postcombe
at three o'clock in the morning. Here, to their surprise, they found a
body of horse posted to stop them. Hampden, in fact, who ought to have
been at the head of the army, had been uneasy about the unprotected
condition of the two regiments at Wycombe, and had in vain urged Essex
to call in the outposts from Wycombe, Postcombe, and Chinnor. Not being
able to rouse him to this prudent measure, he continued on the alert,
and hearing of the march of Rupert in that direction, despatched a
trooper in all haste to Essex, to advise him to move a body of horse
and foot instantly to Chiselhampton Bridge, the only place where Rupert
could cross the Cherwell. Not satisfied with this, he himself rode
with some cavalry in that direction, and found Rupert on the field
of Chalgrove, in the midst of the standing corn. On being checked
at Postcombe, Rupert had diverged to Chinnor, surprised the outpost
there, killed fifty men, and captured sixty others. On descrying
Hampden's detachment coming down Beacon Hill, he posted himself in
the wide field of Chalgrove, where he was attacked by the troops of
Captains Gunter and Sheffield, with whom Hampden had ridden. They
boldly charged Rupert, but Gunter was soon slain, and Hampden, who was
looking impatiently but in vain for Essex's reinforcements, rode up to
lead on Gunter's troopers to the charge, and received a mortal wound.
He did not fall, but, feeling his death blow, wheeled round his horse,
and rode away towards the house of his father-in-law at Pyrton, whence
he married his first wife, whose early death had made such a change
in him. The soldiers of Rupert barred the way in that direction, and
he made for Thame, and reached the house of Ezekiel Browne. He still
continued to live for a week, and spent the time with what strength
he had in urging on Parliament a correction of the palpable military
errors of the campaign, and especially of the dilatory motions of
Essex, which in fact had cost him his life. He expired on the 24th of
June, and was buried in his own parish church at Hampden, followed to
the grave by his regiment of green-coats with reversed arms and muffled
drums.

The news of this national disaster spread dismay through London and
over the whole country. The prudence, the zeal, and activity united
in Hampden, had made him one of the most efficient men in the House
and in the field. The suavity of his manners, the generosity of his
disposition, the soundness of his judgment, had won him universal
confidence. It was clearly seen that nothing but the deepest and most
patriotic concern for the real welfare of the country animated him.
Though he was conscientiously convinced of the mischief of political
bishops, he was attached to the doctrines of the Church of England;
and though he was, like Pym, firmly persuaded that nothing but the
strongest obligations, the most imperative necessity, would ever tie
down Charles to an observance of the limits of the Constitution, he
was far from dreaming of his death, or of sweeping away the monarchy
to make way for a republic. A little more time must have placed him
at the head of the army, and, with such a right-hand man as Cromwell,
must have soon terminated the campaign. His death seemed like a general
defeat, and struck the deepest and most lasting sorrow into the public
mind. Time has only increased the veneration for the name of John
Hampden, which has become the watchword of liberty, and the object of
popular appeal in every great crisis of his country's history.

Other discouragements fell on the Parliament at the same period. The
Earl of Newcastle had established so strong a power in the North, that
he had reduced the resistance of the Fairfaxes to almost nothing. His
army abounded with Papists, and was officered by many renegade Scots,
amongst them, conspicuous, Sir John Henderson. He had possession of
Newark Castle, and even repulsed Cromwell in Lincolnshire. But his
greatest triumph was in seducing the Hothams, father and son, and
nearly succeeding in obtaining possession of Hull from their treason.
Newcastle had defeated the Fairfaxes at Atherton Moor, and if Hull
was lost, all was lost in the North. It was therefore proposed to put
Hull into the hands of Lord Fairfax and his son Sir Thomas, which
probably hastened the defection of the Hothams. The plot, however, was
discovered in time; the Hothams were seized, their papers secured,
their letters intercepted, the whole treason made open to the daylight,
and the delinquents shipped off to London. Great as had been their
services in Hull, their apostasy wiped away all past merits, and they
were condemned and executed on Tower Hill.

These melancholy events were considerably softened by the growing
successes of Cromwell, who seemed to be almost everywhere at once,
always fighting, mostly successful. On the 13th of March he dashed
into St. Albans and seized the sheriff, who was enrolling soldiers by
the king's writ, and sent him off to London. On the 17th he marched
from Norwich and took Lowestoft, with a number of prisoners, amongst
them Sir Thomas Barker, Sir John Pettus, and Sir John Wentworth, who
were glad to compromise with good fines, Wentworth paying one thousand
pounds. He next made an attempt to wrest Newark Castle from the Earl
of Newcastle, but in vain (it stood out to the end of the war); but
he raised the siege of Croyland, made his appearance at Nottingham
and Lynn, and in July he defeated Newcastle's troops near Grantham,
took Burghleigh House and Stamford, and, before the month closed,
fought a stout battle under the walls of Gainsborough to relieve Lord
Willoughby, who was sorely pressed in that town by Newcastle's forces,
and but for Cromwell's timely march to his aid, would have been cut
to pieces. Cromwell attacked the besiegers on some sandhills near
the town, dispersed them, and killed General Cavendish, a cousin of
Newcastle's. After this exploit, however, Newcastle's main army came
down upon them, and they were compelled to retreat to Lincoln, and even
beyond it.

[Illustration: HAMPDEN MORTALLY WOUNDED AT CHALGROVE. (_See p._ 20.)]

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary affairs went greatly wrong in the West.
Waller, who had gained the name of Conqueror by his rapid reduction of
Portsmouth, Winchester, Malmesbury, and Hereford, was now defeated with
an army eight thousand strong by Prince Maurice, near Bath, and by Lord
Wilmot, near Devizes. His whole army was dispersed, and he hastened
to London to complain of the inaction of Essex as the cause of his
failure. Indeed, the army of Essex distinguished itself this summer so
far only by inaction, whilst Rupert in the west laid siege to Bristol,
and in three days made himself master of it, through the incapacity of
Fiennes, the governor, who was tried by a council of war and sentenced
to death, but pardoned by Essex with loss of his commission.

It was imagined that Charles, being now reinforced by a number of
French and Walloons who came with the queen, and strengthened by
victory, would make a grand attempt on the capital. There was no
little alarm there. Essex, who had done nothing through the summer but
watch his men melt away from his standard, recommended Parliament to
come to terms with the king, and the Lords were of his opinion. Many
of them were ready to run off to Charles on the first opportunity.
Bedford, Holland, Northumberland, and Clare, father of Denzil Holles,
were strongly suspected, and soon after proved that these suspicions
were not unjust. Four nobles had been appointed to raise new forces,
but seeing how things were going, all declined their commissions
except Lord Kimbolton, now by the death of his father become Earl of
Manchester. He accepted the command of the Eastern Association, having
Cromwell and three other colonels under him, and soon had a fine force
in those counties.

Parliament, listening to neither Essex nor the faint-hearted fears
of the peers, refused to open fresh negotiations with the king. They
called on the Londoners to invigorate their train-bands, and to put the
City into a state of defence; and their call was zealously responded
to. Ladies as well as gentlemen turned out and handled spades and
pickaxes in casting up an entrenchment all round the City. Pym and
St. John were sent to the army and seemed to infuse a new spirit into
Essex, pronouncing him sound in the cause. Charles, if he ever thought
of attacking London, seeing the spirit there, turned his attention to
the West and invested Gloucester. Essex was despatched to relieve that
city, and made a march much more active and efficient than was his
wont. He set out on the 26th of August, and on the night of the tenth
day--though he had been harassed on his way by the flying troopers of
Rupert and Lord Wilmot--that is, on the 5th of September, the people
of Gloucester saw his signal fires on the top of Prestbury Hill, amid
the rain and darkness. The king also saw them, fired his tents in the
morning, and marched away. From that hour the prospects of Charles grew
gloomier.

Essex having relieved Gloucester, and left a good garrison there under
the brave governor, Colonel Massey, made the best of his way back
again, lest the king should outstrip him and take up a position before
London. Charles had not neglected the attempt to cut off his return.
At Auborne Chase Essex was attacked by the flying squadrons of Rupert,
and after beating them off he found the king posted across his path at
Newbury on the 20th of September. The royal army occupied the bank of
the river which runs through the place, to prevent his passage. Every
part where there was a chance of the Parliamentary forces attempting
to cross was strongly defended by breastworks, and musketeers lined
the houses facing the river. It was supposed that Charles could easily
keep the Roundheads at bay, and force them to retreat or starve. Essex
drew up his forces, however, with great skill upon an eminence called
Bigg's Hill, about half a mile from the town, and Charles was prepared
to wait for a chance of taking him at a disadvantage. But the rashness
of the young Cavaliers under Digby, Carnarvon, and Jermyn, led to
skirmishes with the Parliamentarians, and Charles soon found himself
so far involved, that he was obliged to give orders for a general
engagement. The royal horse charged that of Essex with a recklessness
amounting almost to contempt; but though they threw them into disorder,
they found it a different matter with the infantry, consisting of the
train-bands and apprentices of London. These received the Cavaliers
on their pikes, and stood as immovable as a rock, and showed such
resolute and steady spirit, that they soon allowed the horse to
recover itself, and the whole army fought with desperation till dark.
The effect was such, that Charles would not risk another day of it.
Waller was lying at Windsor with two thousand horse and as many foot,
and should he come up as he ought, the king would be hemmed in and
placed in imminent peril. But Waller lay perfectly still--purposely,
as many thought--leaving Essex to take care of himself, as the earl
had formerly left him at Roundaway Hill. In the morning, therefore,
Essex found the king's forces withdrawn and the way open. Charles
had retreated again towards Oxford, having deposited his guns and
ammunition at Donnington Castle, Chaucer's old residence, which lay
within sight, and ordered Rupert to harass the Parliament army on its
march. Essex made his way to Reading, whence he hurried up to town
to complain of the neglect of Waller, and to offer the surrender of
his commission. This was not accepted, but the only alternative was
adopted, that of withdrawing the command from Waller, which, after much
reluctance, was done on the 9th of October.

The Parliamentarians lost five hundred men in the battle, the king
three times that number and many officers; but the greatest loss of
all was that of the amiable and conscientious Lord Falkland, a man on
the Royalist side as much respected as Hampden was on the Parliament
side. He had gone with the Parliament till he thought they had
obtained all that they were justly entitled to, and pressed too hard
on the king, when he felt it his duty to support the Crown, and had
accepted office as Secretary of State. He was a man of a most cheerful,
cordial, courteous disposition; but from the moment the war broke
out, his cheerfulness fled. He seemed to feel in himself the wounds
and miseries of his bleeding country. He was constantly an advocate
of peace, and was often observed sitting in a state of abstraction,
uttering aloud and unconsciously the words, "Peace! peace!" As the war
went on his melancholy increased; he neglected his dress, and became
short and hasty in his temper. He declared that "the very agony of the
war, and the view of the calamities and desolation which the kingdom
did and must endure, took his sleep from him, and would break his
heart." Whitelock says that "on the morning of the fight he called
for a clean shirt, and being asked the reason of it, answered that
if he were slain in the battle, they would not find his body in foul
linen. Being dissuaded by his friends against going into the fight, as
having no call to it, being no military officer, he said he was weary
of the times, and foresaw much misery to his country, and did believe
he should be out of it ere night, and could not be persuaded to the
contrary, but would enter into the battle, and was there slain." His
death was deeply lamented by all parties. Besides him fell the Earls of
Sunderland and Carnarvon.

When the king's affairs were in the ascendant by the successes in the
West, the taking of Bristol, and the defeat of Waller at Roundaway
Hill, near Devizes, the Earls of Bedford, Northumberland, Holland, and
Clare deserted the Parliament cause. Northumberland, being cautious,
retired to Petworth, to see how the other lords who meant to go over to
Charles should be received. Bedford, Clare, and Holland offered their
services to the king, and went to Wallingford, where they were suffered
to wait a great while, much to their chagrin. They then went to Oxford,
whilst Charles was in the West, and were ordered to await his return.
The queen and the courtiers, meanwhile, treated them not as valuable
and influential allies, whose good reception would certainly bring over
many more, but, with consummate folly, as renegades, who had forfeited
all respect by taking part with the king's enemies. They followed
the king to Gloucester, where they were coolly enough received, and
afterwards fought on his side at Newbury; but nothing winning them
that estimation which good policy would have granted them at once,
they made their peace with Parliament and went back to London, where,
however, they found they had sunk greatly in public opinion, and were
not permitted to take their seats in the House of Peers or hold office.
Their flight had lowered the public estimation of the Lords, and their
reception at Oxford had seriously injured the king's cause. Whilst the
king and queen retained their impolitic resentments, there was no hope
of winning over friends from the ranks of their opponents. It was clear
that neither time nor trouble had really taught them anything. Moreover
we also learn from the pages of Clarendon that there existed great
discord and division in the camp at Oxford. Every one was jealous of
the slightest promotion or favour shown to another; and the Cavaliers,
he says, had grown disorderly, and devoted to the plundering of the
people, just as the Parliamentary army was growing orderly, zealous,
and efficient. To such an extent was this the case that one side seemed
to fight for monarchy with weapons of confusion, and the other to
destroy the king and Government with all the principles and regularity
of monarchy.

This was seen in nothing more than in the management with regard to
Scotland. To both parties it was of the highest consequence to have
the alliance of the Scots. Charles, on his last visit, had flattered
the people, given in to the notions of the Covenanters, and conferred
honours on their leaders. But Montrose, who knew the Covenanters well,
assured the king that he would never get them to fight on his side.
They were too much united in interest and opinion with the Puritan
Parliament not to adhere to it. He proposed, therefore, to raise
another power in Scotland--that of the nobility and the Highlanders,
who should at least divide the country, delay if not prevent the army
of the Covenanters from leaving the country, and thus save the king
from the danger of an invasion in that quarter, the first result of
which would be the loss of his ascendency in the northern counties of
England. When the queen came to York, Montrose waited on her, and did
all in his power to awaken a sense of peril in Scotland, and offered
to raise ten thousand men there, and paralyse the designs of the
Covenanters. But when these representations were made to Charles, the
Marquis of Hamilton, now made duke, strongly opposed the advice of
Montrose, declared that it was monstrous to set Scots against Scots,
and that he would undertake to keep them quiet. He prevailed, and
Montrose, disappointed, retired again to Scotland to watch the progress
of events. Hamilton went to Scotland, with authority from the king to
take the lead in all movements of the Royalists.

As was foreseen, the English Parliament made overtures to the Scots
for assistance, and the Scots were by no means loth to grant it,
provided they could make advantageous terms. A Commission was sent to
Edinburgh to treat, and the Scots on their part resolved to call a
Parliament to receive their offers. The time fixed for the reassembling
of the Scottish Parliament was not come by a full year, and the Duke
of Hamilton had most particularly pledged himself to the king to
prevent it from meeting. Yet on the 22nd of June, notwithstanding
his remonstrance, it came together, and on the 20th of July the
Commissioners from the English Parliament arrived, and were received by
both Parliament and General Assembly with exultation, and their letters
from the Parliament of England were read with shouts of triumph--by
many, with tears of joy. Their arrival was regarded as a national
victory.

The conduct of Hamilton was now suspicious. If he was honest he had
misled the king, for he found he had no power to resist the popular
feeling in Scotland; but the general opinion coincided with that of
Montrose, that he was a traitor. The Royalists called upon him to
summon them to his aid, to assemble them in a large body, mounted and
armed, and, supported by them, to forbid the meeting of Parliament as
illegal. But that, Hamilton assured them, would frighten the people,
and lead to disturbance. He proposed that the meeting should take
place, that all the Royalist members should appear in their places,
and then he would declare the meeting illegal, and dismiss it. To
their astonishment, however, Hamilton did not dismiss it, but allowed
it to sit. On this Montrose posted away to England, followed the king
to Gloucester, and represented to him the conduct of Hamilton as
confirming all former declarations of his perfidy. After the battle of
Newbury, Charles listened more at leisure to these representations. He
was so far convinced that he thought of ordering the Earl of Newcastle
to send for Hamilton and his brother Lord Lanark, and to confine them
at York. But at that moment the two brothers, probably aware of the
proceedings of Montrose, appeared themselves at Oxford, where Charles
ordered the Council to examine into the charges against them. Lanark
managed to escape from custody, and hastened direct to London and to
the Parliament, which received him most cordially, a pretty strong
proof of mutual understanding. This satisfied Charles of Hamilton's
complicity, and he sent him in custody to the castle of Bristol, thence
to Exeter, and thence to Pendennis in Cornwall.

The Commissioners sent to Scotland were Henry Vane the younger, Armyn,
Hatcher, Darley, and Marshall, with Nye, an independent. The Scots
proposed to invade England on condition that the Parliament adopted
the Covenant, and engaged to establish uniformity of religion in both
countries, "according to the pattern of the most reformed Church,"
which, of course, meant Presbyterianism. But the Commissioners knew
that this was impossible, for though a considerable number of the
people were Presbyterian in doctrine, many more were Independent, and
just as sturdy in their faith, to say nothing of the large section
of the population which held conscientiously to both Episcopacy and
Catholicism. Vane himself was a staunch Independent, and he was at
the same time one of the most adroit of diplomatists. He consented
that the Kirk should be preserved in its purity and freedom, and that
the Church of England should be reformed "according to the Word of
God." As the Scots could not object to reformation according to the
Word of God, and "the example of the first Reformed churches," which
they applied especially to their own, they were obliged to be content
with that vague language. Vane also obtained the introduction of the
word League, giving the alliance a political as well as a religious
character. It was concluded to send a deputation with the Commissioners
to London, to see the solemn "League and Covenant" signed by the two
Houses of Parliament, at the head of which went Alexander Henderson,
the well-known Moderator of the Assembly. Whilst they were on their
journey, the ministers in Scotland readily proclaimed from their
pulpits that now the Lord Jesus had taken the field against antichrist,
that Judah would soon be enslaved if Israel was led away captive, and
that the curse of Meroz would fall on all who did not come to the help
of the Lord against the mighty.

[Illustration: ARCHBISHOP LAUD'S LIBRARY, EAST QUADRANGLE, JOHN'S
COLLEGE, OXFORD.]

On the 25th of September, the very day that Essex arrived in London
after the battle of Newbury, and received the thanks of Parliament,
the two Houses met with the Westminster divines in the church of St.
Margaret, where, after various sermons, addresses, and blessings,
the two Houses signed the League and Covenant, and their example was
followed by the Scottish Commissioners and the divines. It was then
ordered to be subscribed in every parish by all persons throughout the
country.

It was agreed that the Estates of Scotland should send an army of
twenty-one thousand men into England, headed by the old Earl of Leven.
They were to receive thirty-one thousand pounds a month,--one hundred
thousand pounds of it in advance, and another sum at the conclusion of
peace. Sixty thousand pounds were soon remitted, the levies began, and
in a few months Leslie mustered his army at Harlaw.

The union of the Scots with the Parliament was an alarming blow to
the Royalists. If they had found it difficult to cope with Parliament
alone, how were they to withstand them and the Scots? To strengthen
himself against this formidable coalition, Charles turned his attention
to Ireland. There the army had actually grown to fifty thousand men.
As the restorers of the English influence, these were to be paid out
of the estates of the revolted Irish, and numbers of both English
and Scots had flocked over. A large body of Scots had landed under
the command of General Monro, eager to avenge the massacre of their
Presbyterian brothers in Ulster. The natives had been driven back, and
the invaders were busy parcelling out the evacuated lands. Two million
and a half of acres had been promised by the English Parliament as the
reward of the victors.

To resist the tempest which threatened to exterminate them, the Irish
Catholics formed themselves into a confederation, and created a kind
of Parliament at Kilkenny. They imitated in everything the measures by
which the Scots had succeeded in enfranchising their religion. They
professed the most profound loyalty to the sovereign, and asserted
that they were in arms only for the protection of their religion and
their lives. They established a synod which assumed the same religious
authority as the Scottish Assembly, and ordered a covenant to be taken,
by which every one bound himself to maintain the Catholic faith and
the rights of the sovereign and the subject. They appointed generals
in each province, and all necessary officers for the command of their
force. Charles, who suspected the allegiance of the Earl of Warwick,
had contrived to remove him, and appointed the Marquis of Ormond in his
place. To him the confederate Catholics transmitted their petition,
avowing the most unshaken loyalty, declaring that they had only taken
up arms to defend their lives and properties from men who were equally
the enemies of the king and their own,--from the same puritanic people,
so they said, who were seeking to deprive the king of his crown. These
petitions, forwarded to Charles, suggested to him the idea of deriving
use from these forces. As they prayed him to assemble a new Parliament
in Ireland, to grant them the freedom of their religion and the rights
of subjects, he instructed Ormond to come to terms with them, so that
in their pacification they might be able to spare a considerable
body of troops for his assistance in England. This was effected in
September, 1643, and the confederates contributed directly thirty
thousand pounds for the support of the royal army, fifteen thousand
pounds in money, and fifteen thousand pounds in pensions.

This was not accomplished without exciting the notice of the English
Parliament, who sent over Commissioners to endeavour to win over the
Protestants in Ormond's army, but in vain. In November Ormond shipped
five regiments to the king. These were sent to Chester to garrison that
town under Lord Byron; but they were rather marauders than soldiers;
they had been raised by the Parliament, yet fought against it for
the king; and they were as loose in discipline as in principles. In
about six weeks after their arrival, they were visited by Sir Thomas
Fairfax at Nantwich, when fifteen thousand of them threw down their
arms, amongst them the afterwards notorious General Monk. Nor was this
the only mischief occasioned to the royal cause by these Irish troops.
Their arrival disgusted the royal forces under Newcastle in the North,
who declared they would not fight with Catholics and Irish rebels.

Whilst the Scots were mustering to enter England, the Marquis of
Newcastle was bearing hard on the Parliament forces in Yorkshire. He
had cleared the country of them except Hull, which he was besieging;
and Lincolnshire was also so overrun with his forces, that Lord
Fairfax, governor of Hull, was obliged to send his son, Sir Thomas,
across the Humber, to the help of the Earl of Manchester. Fairfax
united with Cromwell near Boston, and at Winceby-on-the-Wolds, about
five miles from Horncastle, the united army under Manchester came to a
battle with the troops of Newcastle, and completely routed them, thus
clearing nearly all Lincolnshire of them. Cromwell had a horse killed
under him, and Sir Ingram Hopton, of Newcastle's army, was killed. The
battle was won by Cromwell and Fairfax's cavalry.

The close of 1643 was saddened to the Parliament by the death of
Pym (December 8). It was, indeed, a serious loss, following that of
Hampden. No man had done so much to give firmness to the Commons, and
clearness to the objects at which they aimed. His mind was formed on
the old classic model of patriotic devotion. He had no desire to pull
down the Crown or the Church, but he would have the one restrained
within the limits of real service to the country, and the other
confined to those of its communion. Therefore he recommended, sternly,
resistance to the royal power--preferring civil war to perpetual
slavery--and the exemption of bishops and clergymen from all civil
offices. Seeing from the first the ends that he would attain, guided
by the most solemn and perspicuous principles, he never swerved from
them under pressure of flattery or difficulty, nor would he let the
State swerve. His eloquence and address, but far more his unselfish
zeal, enabled him to prevail with the Commons and intimidate the Lords.
He boldly told the Peers that they must join in the salvation of the
country, or see it saved without them, and take the consequences in the
esteem or the contempt of the people. They would have fared better had
they profited by his warning. Pym was the Aristides of the time: he
sought no advantage to himself, he gained nothing from his exertions
or his prominent position, but the satisfaction of seeing his country
saved by his labours. He derived no influence from his wealth or rank,
for he had none of either. His whole prestige was intellectual and
moral. He wore himself out for the public good, and died as poor as he
commenced, the only grant which he received from the State being an
honourable burial in Westminster Abbey.

At the opening of 1644 Charles had devised a scheme for undermining
the authority of the Parliament, namely, by issuing a proclamation
for its extinction. Clarendon, who was now the Lord Chancellor,
very wisely assured him that the members of Parliament sitting at
Westminster would pay no heed to his proclamation, and that a better
measure would be to summon Parliament to meet at Oxford. That would
give every member of both Houses, who was at all inclined to again
recognise the royal authority, the opportunity to join him; and, on
the other hand, a Parliament assembling by call and authority of the
king at his court, would stamp the other as illegal and rebellious.
The advice was adopted, and at the summons forty-three Peers and one
hundred and eighteen Commoners assembled at Oxford. These, however,
consisted of such as had already seceded from the Parliamentary party,
and the king claimed as the full number of his Parliament at Oxford,
eighty-three Lords, and one hundred and seventy-five Commons. According
to Whitelock, there met at Westminster twenty-two Lords only, and
eleven more were excused on different accounts, making thirty-three;
of the Commons there were more than two hundred and eighty. The
king, in his Parliament, promised all those privileges which he had
so pertinaciously denied to all his past Parliaments, and a letter,
subscribed by all the members of both Houses, was addressed to the Earl
of Essex, requesting him to inform "those by whom he was trusted," that
they were desirous to receive commissioners, to endeavour to come to
a peaceable accommodation on all matters in dispute. Essex returned
the letter, refusing to forward a paper which did not acknowledge the
authority of the body addressed. The point was conceded, and Charles
himself then forwarded him a letter addressed to the Lords and Commons
of Parliament assembled at Westminster in his own name, soliciting, by
advice of the Lords and Commons of Parliament assembled at Oxford, the
appointment of such commissioners "for settling the rights of the Crown
and Parliament, the laws of the land, and the liberties and property
of the subject." But there was no probability of agreement, and so the
Oxford Parliament proceeded to proclaim the Scots, who had entered
England contrary to the pacification, and all who countenanced them
guilty of high treason.

The Scots passed the Tweed on the 16th of January, 1644. The winter
was very severe, and the march of the army was dreadful. They made
their way, however, to Newcastle, where the Marquis of Newcastle had
just forestalled them in getting possession of it. They then went on
to Sunderland. Newcastle offered them battle, but the Scots, though
suffering from the weather and want of provisions, having posted
themselves in a strong position, determined to wait for the arrival of
Parliamentary forces to their aid. The defeat of Lord Byron at Nantwich
permitted Sir Thomas Fairfax and Lord Fairfax, his father, to draw
towards them, and these generals having also defeated at Leeds the
Royalists under Lord Bellasis, the son of Lord Falconberg, Newcastle
betook himself to York, where he was followed by both the Fairfaxes and
the Scots.

Charles was lying at Oxford with a force of ten thousand men; Waller
and Essex, with the Parliamentary army, endeavoured to invest him in
that city, but as they were marching down upon him from two different
quarters, he issued from it with seven thousand men and made his way
to Worcester. As these two generals detested each other and could not
act in concert, Essex turned his march towards the West of England,
where Prince Maurice lay, and Waller gave chase to the king. Charles,
by feint of marching on Shrewsbury, induced Waller to proceed in that
direction, and then suddenly altering his course at Bewdley regained
Oxford. After beating up the Parliamentary quarters in Buckinghamshire,
he encountered and worsted Waller at Cropredy Bridge, and then marched
westward after Essex.

[Illustration: PRINCE RUPERT. (_After the Portrait by Vandyke._)]

While these manœuvres were in progress, the Earl of Manchester, having
as his lieutenant-general Oliver Cromwell, marched northward to
co-operate with Leslie and the Fairfaxes at York against Newcastle.
Charles, who saw the imminent danger of Newcastle, and the loss of
all the North if he were defeated, sent word to Prince Rupert to
hasten to his assistance. Rupert had been gallantly fighting in
Nottinghamshire, Cheshire, and Lancashire, and everywhere victorious.
He had compelled the Parliamentary army to raise the siege of Newark,
had taken Stockport, Bolton, and Liverpool, and raised the siege of
Lathom House, which had been nobly defended for eighteen weeks by the
Countess of Derby. On receiving the king's command, he mustered what
forces he could, and reached York on the 1st of July. The Parliamentary
generals, at his approach, raised the siege, and withdrew to Marston
Moor, about four miles from the city. Rupert had about twenty thousand
men, with whom he had committed dreadful ravages on the Lancashire
hills; he had now relieved the marquis, and might have defended the
city with success, but he was always ready to fight, and Newcastle
having six thousand men, making, with his own forces, twenty-six
thousand, Rupert persuaded him to turn out and chastise the Roundheads.
The English and Scots had about the same number. So little did the
Parliamentarians expect a battle, that they were in the act of drawing
off their forces to a greater distance, when Rupert attacked their
rear with his cavalry. On this they turned, and arranged themselves in
front of a large ditch or drain, and the Royalists posted themselves
opposite. The Scots and English occupied a large rye field bounded by
this ditch, and they placed their troops in alternate divisions, so
that there should be no jealousy between them. It was not till five
o'clock in the afternoon of the 2nd of July that the two armies had
arranged themselves for the fight, and then they stood gazing on each
other for two hours, each loth to risk the disadvantage of crossing
the ditch first. Newcastle, who did not want to fight, had retired to
his carriage in ill-humour, and all began to think that there would be
no battle till the morrow, when Rupert, who was posted on the right
wing with his cavalry, another body of cavalry covering the flank of
the infantry on the left, made one of his sudden and desperate charges.
Like all these exploits of his, it was so impetuous, that it bore the
Parliamentary cavalry on their left wing clear away before it, and
the officers and their horse were speedily in full flight, pursued by
the fiery Rupert, who, as was his wont, forgot all but the fugitives
before him, and with three thousand cavalry galloped after them for
some miles. The Royalist infantry followed up the effect by attacking
that of the Parliament with such fury, that the latter was thrown
into confusion, and the three generals, Manchester, Lord Fairfax, and
Leslie, believing all lost, fled with the rest, in the direction of
Tadcaster and Cawood Castle. Cromwell, who commanded the right wing
of the Parliamentary army, was thus left to fight or flee, as might
happen, but nothing daunted, he attacked the Royalist cavalry with such
vigour that he completely routed them, and then turned again to oppose
the horse of Rupert, who were just returning from the chase, to find
their side in flight. These and a body of pikemen,--Newcastle's "white
coats"--fought desperately. The cavalry, on exhausting their charges,
flung their pistols at the enemies' heads, and then fell to with their
swords. At length the victory remained with Cromwell, Rupert drew off,
and Cromwell remained all night on the field. He sent messages after
the fugitive generals to recall them, but Leslie was already in bed at
Leeds when the news reached him, when he exclaimed, "Would to God I
had died on the place!" Cromwell won great renown by this action. He
kept the field all night with his troopers, who were worn out by the
tremendous exertions of the day, and were in expectation every moment
of a fresh attack from Rupert, who might have collected a large body
of troops together to overwhelm him. But he had lost the battle by
his incurable rashness, after having induced the unwilling Newcastle
to risk the engagement, and he made his retreat into Lancashire, and
thence into the western counties.

[Illustration: SIEGE-PIECE OF CHARLES I.--NEWARK (HALF-CROWN).]

[Illustration: SIEGE-PIECE OF CHARLES I.--PONTEFRACT (SHILLING).]

[Illustration: SIEGE-PIECE OF CHARLES I.--BEESTON (TWO SHILLINGS).]

[Illustration: SIEGE-PIECE OF CHARLES I.--COLCHESTER (TEN SHILLINGS,
GOLD).]

Four thousand one hundred and fifty bodies of the slain were buried on
the moor; the greater part of the arms, ammunition, and baggage of the
Royalists fell into the hands of Cromwell, with about a hundred colours
and standards, including that of Rupert himself, and the arms of the
Palatinate. Newcastle evacuated York and retired to the Continent,
accompanied by the Lords Falconberg and Widderington, and about eighty
gentlemen, who believed the royal cause was totally ruined. This the
bloodiest battle of the war was fought on the 2nd of July, and on the
morning of the 4th the Parliamentary forces were again in muster, and
sat down before the walls of York. On the 7th, being Sunday, they held
a public thanksgiving for their victory, and on the 11th being ready
to take the city by escalade, Glenham, the governor, came to terms, on
condition that the garrison should be allowed to march out with all the
honours of war, and retire to Skipton. On the 16th they evacuated the
city, and the Parliamentarians entered, and marched directly to the
cathedral, to return thanks for their victory. The battle of Marston
Moor had indeed utterly destroyed the king's power in the North.
Newcastle alone stood out; but this the Scots invested, and readily
reduced, taking up their quarters there for the present.

In the West, matters for awhile wore a better aspect for the king.
Essex, on the escape of the king from Oxford, directed his course
west. The Royalists were strong in Devon, Cornwall, and Somersetshire;
but to effectually compete with them, Waller should have united his
forces with the commander-in-chief. He was too much in rivalry with
him to do that. The king set off after Essex, to support his forces
in the western counties, and Essex, as if unaware of the royal army
following him, continued to march on. The queen, who had been confined
of a daughter at Exeter, on the approach of Essex requested of him
a safe conduct to Bath, on pretence of drinking the waters, whence
she proposed to get to Falmouth, and thence back to France. Essex
ironically replied that he would grant her an escort to London, where
she could consult her own physicians, but where he knew that she was
proclaimed guilty of high treason. Henrietta Maria, however, made her
way to Falmouth without his courtesy, and thence in a Dutch vessel,
accompanied by ten other ships, she reached France, though closely
pursued by the English admiral, who came near enough to discharge
several shots at the vessel.

Essex advanced to Lyme Regis, where he relieved Robert Blake,
afterwards the celebrated admiral, who was there closely besieged by
Prince Maurice; and still proceeding, took Taunton, Tiverton, Weymouth,
and Bridport. This was something like victory; but meanwhile, all men
were wondering at his apparent unconsciousness that the Royalist forces
were enclosing him, and that with the exception of about two thousand
horse under Middleton, which kept at a distance and never united with
him, he was wholly unsupported by Waller's troops. In this manner he
advanced into Cornwall, where Prince Maurice joined his forces with
those of the king to cut off his return. At this crisis many began to
suspect that he meant to go over to the king's party, but in this they
misjudged him, for at this time Charles made overtures to him, but in
vain. He received a letter from the king, promising him if he would
join him in endeavouring to bring the Parliament to terms, he would
guarantee both the liberties and religion of the people; and another
from eighty-four of the king's principal officers, protesting that if
the king should attempt to depart from his engagements they would take
up arms against him. Essex sent the letter to the Parliament, proving
his faith to them; but it would have been still better if he could
have proved to them also his military ability. But near Liskeard, he
suffered himself to be hemmed in by different divisions of the royal
army, and his supplies to be cut off by allowing the little port of
Fowey to fall into the hands of the king's generals, Sir Jacob Astley
and Sir Richard Grenville. He was now attacked by Charles on the one
hand, and Colonel Goring on the other. Essex sent pressing demands to
Parliament for succour and provisions, but none came; and one night
in September his horse, under Sir William Balfour, by a successful
manœuvre, passed the enemy, and made their way back to London. Essex,
with Lord Roberts and many of his officers, escaped in a boat to
Plymouth, and Major-General Skippon, with the fort, capitulated,
leaving to the king their arms and artillery.

Essex had no right to expect anything but the most severe censure for
his failure; he retired to his house, and demanded an investigation,
charging his disasters to the neglect of Waller. The Parliament,
however, instead of reproaching him, thanked him for the fidelity which
he had shown when tempted by the king, and for his many past services.

To Cromwell the general aspect of things had become well nigh
intolerable. But it was in vain that he endeavoured to move the heavy
spirit of his superior, the Earl of Manchester, and hence they came
more and more to disputes. Cromwell was insubordinate because it was
impossible that fire could be subordinate to earth. In vain he pointed
out what ought to be done, and he grew impatient and irritated at
what was not done. That irritation and impatience became the greater
as he turned his eyes on what Essex, Waller, and the rest of the
Parliamentary generals were doing. It seemed to him that they were
asleep, paralysed, when a few bold strokes would bring the war to a
close.

Charles having broken up Essex's army in Cornwall, and put Essex
himself to flight, made a hasty march back again to Oxford to avoid
being himself in turn cooped up in the narrow West. Already the
Parliament was mustering its forces for that purpose. Essex and Waller
were again set at the head of troops, and the victorious forces of
Marston Moor, under Manchester and Cromwell, were summoned to join
them. They endeavoured to stop the king in his attempt to reach Oxford,
and encountered him again near the old ground of battle at Newbury.
Charles was attacked in two places at once--Shaw on the eastern, and at
Speen on the western side of the town. The Earl of Essex was ill, or,
as many believed, pretended to be so; at all events, the command fell
to Manchester. On the 26th of October, the first brush took place, and
the next morning being Sunday, the attack was renewed more vigorously.
The soldiers of Manchester, or rather of Cromwell, went into the fight
singing psalms, as was their wont. The battle was fiercely contested,
and it was not till ten o'clock at night that Charles retreated towards
Wallingford. It was full moonlight, and Cromwell prepared to pursue
him, but was withheld by Manchester. Again and again did Cromwell
insist on the necessity of following and completing the rout of the
royal army. "The next morning," says Ludlow, "we drew together and
followed the enemy with our horse, which was the greatest body that I
saw together during the war, amounting at least to seven thousand horse
and dragoons; but they had got so much ground, that we could never
recover sight of them, and did not expect to see any more in a body
that year; neither had we, as I suppose, if encouragement had not been
given privately by some of our party."

In other words, there were strong suspicions that the aristocratic
generals did not want to press the king too closely. This became
apparent ten days after. Charles, on retreating, had done exactly as
he did before at this same Newbury; he had thrown all his artillery
into the Castle of Donnington, and now he came back again to fetch it,
nobody attempting to hinder him, as nobody had attempted to reduce
Donnington and secure the artillery. So extraordinary was the conduct
of the Parliamentary generals, that though Charles passed through
their lines both in going and returning from Donnington, and even
offered them battle, no one stirred. The generals dispersed their
army into winter quarters, and both Parliament and people complained
of the affair of Newbury. The Parliament set on foot an inquiry into
the causes of the strange neglect of public duty, and they soon found
one powerful cause in the jealousies and contentions of the generals.
It was time a new organisation was introduced, and Cromwell saw that
besides the incapacity of the commanders, there were aristocratic
prejudices that stood in the way of any effectual termination of the
war.

Cromwell was at the head of the Independents, and these were as adverse
to the dominance and intolerance of the Presbyterians, as Cromwell
was to the slow-going generals. He knew that he should have their
support, and he determined to come to a point on the vital question of
the arrangement of the war. He had declared plumply, in his vexation,
"That there never would be a good time in England till we had done
with lords;" and he had horrified the milk-and-water aristocrats, by
protesting that "if he met the king in battle, he would fire his pistol
at him as he would at another." He was now resolved to have lords out
of the army at least, and therefore, on the 25th of November, 1644,
he exhibited a charge in the House of Commons against the Earl of
Manchester, asserting that he had shown himself indisposed to finish
the war; that since the taking of York he had studiously obstructed the
progress of the Parliamentary army, as if he thought the king already
too low, and the Parliament too high, especially at Donnington; and
that since the junction of the armies he had shown this disposition
still more strongly, and had persuaded the Council not to fight at all.

Manchester, eight days after, replied at great length, accusing
Cromwell of insubordination, and was supported by Major-General
Crawford, whom the Scottish Presbyterians had got into the army
of Manchester, to counteract the influence of Cromwell and the
Independents. Crawford even dared to charge Cromwell with leaving the
field of Newbury from a slight wound. Cromwell, on the 9th of December,
leaving such charges to be answered by Marston Moor and his share
of Newbury, proposed a measure which at once swept the army of all
its deadweights. In the Grand Committee there was a general silence
for a good space of time, one looking on the other, to see who would
venture to propose the only real remedy for getting rid of the Essexes
and Manchesters out of the army, when Cromwell arose and proposed
the celebrated Self-denying Ordinance. It is now time to speak, he
said, or for ever hold the tongue. They must save the dying nation by
casting off all lingering proceedings, like those of the soldiers of
fortune beyond the sea, who so pursued war because it was their trade.
"What," he asked, "did the nation say?" That members of both Houses
had got good places and commands, and by influence in Parliament or
in the army, meant to keep them by lingering on the war. What he told
them to their faces, he assured them was simply what all the world was
saying behind their backs. But there was a sure remedy for all that,
and for himself, he cared to go no farther into the inquiry, but to
apply that remedy. It was for every one to _deny themselves_ and their
own private interests, and for the public good to do what Parliament
should command. He told them that he would answer for his own soldiers,
not that they idolised him, but because they looked to Parliament, and
would obey any commands the Parliament should lay upon them for the
Cause.

Accordingly, the same day, Mr. Tate, of Northampton, formally moved
the Self-denying Ordinance--that is, that no member of either House
should hold a command in the army or a civil office. This was so
surprising a measure, that even Whitelock observed that "our noble
generals, the Earls of Denbigh, Warwick, Manchester, the Lords Roberts,
Willoughby, and other lords in your armies, besides those in civil
offices, and your members the Lord Grey, Lord Fairfax, Sir William
Waller, Lieutenant-General Cromwell, Mr. Hollis, Sir Philip Stapleton,
Sir William Brereton, Sir John Meyrick, and many others must be laid
aside if you pass this ordinance." The proposition seen in these
dimensions was daring and drastic. Manchester, Essex, Denzil Holles,
Meyrick, Stapleton, and others, who had so long gone on side by side
with Cromwell, Whitelock, and others, were now not only indignant at
Cromwell's bold and aspiring tone, but bitterly opposed to him on the
ground of faith and Church government. They were for preserving Church
and State, and they were linked with the Scots, who were vehement for
the general acceptation of the Presbyterian doctrine, if they could not
carry its formula. They met at Essex House, and concerted how they were
to put down not only this troublesome man, but the troublesome party of
which he was the representative, the Independents, who were for liberty
in the Church and the State, and would hear nothing of the domination
of synods and presbyteries any more than of bishops. They sent to
Whitelock and Maynard, to consult them as lawyers, on nothing less than
impeaching Cromwell as an incendiary. The Lord Chancellor of Scotland
addressed them thus:--"Ye ken varra weel that, Lieutenant-General
Cromwell is no friend of ours, and since the advance of our army into
England, he hath used all underhand and cunning means to take off
from our honour and merit with this kingdom--an evil requital of all
our hazards and services; but so it is, and we are nevertheless fully
satisfied of the affections and gratitude of the gude people of this
nation in general. It is thought requisite for us, and for the carrying
on of the cause of the twa kingdoms, that this obstacle or _remora_ may
be moved out of the way, who, we foresee, will otherwise be no small
impediment to us, and the gude design that we have undertaken. He not
only is no friend to us, and to the government of our Church, but he
is also no well-willer to his excellency, whom you and us all have
cause to love and honour; and if he be permitted to go on in his ways,
it may, I fear, endanger the whole business. Ye ken varra weel the
accord atwixt the twa kingdoms, and the union by the Solemn League and
Covenant, and if any be an incendiary betwin the twa nations, how he is
to be proceeded against."

Whitelock replied that the word "incendiary" meant just the same thing
in English as it did in Scottish, but that whether Cromwell was an
incendiary, was a thing that could only be established by proofs,
and that, he thought, would be a tough matter. Maynard agreed with
Whitelock, and though Holles and others of the Presbyterian party urged
an immediate impeachment, the Scots cautiously paused.

The question of the Self-denying Ordinance was vigorously debated
for ten days in the Commons. Vane seconded the motion of Tate, and
another member observed that two summers had passed over, and they
were not saved. A fast was appointed for imploring a blessing on the
new project. The people of London, on the 12th of December, petitioned
the House, thanking them for their proceedings, and, after serious
debate and opposition, the Bill was passed on the 19th. On the 21st it
was sent up to the Peers, where it was vigorously attacked by Essex,
Manchester, and the rest of the Lords affected. On the 13th of January,
1646, the Lords threw it out. But the Commons went on remodelling the
army, fixed its numbers at twenty-one thousand effective men, namely,
fourteen thousand foot, six thousand horse, and one thousand dragoons.
They then nominated Sir Thomas Fairfax commander-in-chief instead of
Essex; Skippon, the old train-band major, was made major-general; the
lieutenant-general was left unnamed, the Commons, in spite of their own
ordinance, resolving that Cromwell should hold that post, but avoiding
to increase the opposition to the general measure by not mentioning him.

[Illustration: ST. MARGARET'S, WESTMINSTER. (1888.)]

On the 28th of January, the Commons, having completed the organisation
of the army and the appointment of the officers, again sent the
Ordinance up to the Peers who, seeing that they should be obliged to
swallow it, moulded it into a more digestible shape, by insisting
that all officers should be nominated by both Houses, and that no
one should be capable of serving who did not take the Solemn League
and Covenant within twenty days. But the Lords were struck with an
apprehension that the Commons meant to do without them in the end, and
they therefore exercised their rights in opposing the acts of the Lower
House. They refused to sanction one-half of the officers appointed
by Sir Thomas Fairfax, who had been introduced to the Commons on the
18th of February, thanked for his past services, and complimented on
his appointment. To remove the suspicion of the Lords, the Commons
assured them by message that they had bound themselves to be as tender
of the honours and rights of the Peers as they were of their own. This
pacified the Lords, and yielding to a necessity too strong for them,
Essex, Manchester, Denbigh, and the rest resigned their commands, and
on the 3rd of April the Self-denying Ordinance was passed by the Peers.
Sir Thomas Fairfax proceeded to Windsor to remodel the army according
to this Act. He did not find it an easy task; many, who were dismissed
by the Act or for their past conduct, were unwilling to be cashiered;
others would not serve under the new officers; and Dalbier, who had
been one of the worst counsellors of Essex, lay apart with eight troops
of horse, as if he contemplated going over to the king. At length,
however, he came in, and the work was completed.



CHAPTER II.

THE GREAT REBELLION (_concluded_).

    The Assembly at Westminster--Trial and Death of Laud--Negotiations
    at Uxbridge--Meeting of the Commissioners--Impossibility
    of a Settlement--Prospect of Help to the King from the
    Continent--Charles agrees to the demands of the Irish
    Catholics--Discipline and Spirit of the Parliamentary
    Army--Campaign of the New-modelled Army--Hunting the King--Battle
    of Naseby--Fairfax in the West--Exploits of Montrose--Efforts of
    Charles to join Him--Battle of Kilsyth--Fall of Bristol--Battle
    of Philiphaugh--Last Efforts of the Royalists--Charles Offers to
    Treat--Discovery of his Correspondence with Glamorgan--Charles
    Intrigues with the Scots--Flight from Oxford--Surrender to
    the Scots at Newark--Consequent Negotiations--Proposals for
    Peace--Surrender of Charles to Parliament.


Whilst these events were happening in the field and the Parliament,
other events were occurring also both in England and Scotland, the
account of which, not to interrupt the narrative of the higher
transactions, has been deferred. From the month of June, 1643, the
Synod of divines at Westminster had been at work endeavouring to
establish a national system of faith and worship. This Westminster
Assembly consisted of one hundred and twenty individuals appointed by
the Lords and Commons. They included not only what were called pious,
godly, and judicious divines, but thirty laymen, ten lords, and twenty
commoners, and with them sat the Scottish commissioners. The Scottish
and English Presbyterians had a large majority, and endeavoured to
fix on the nation their gloomy, ascetic, and persecuting notions;
but they found a small but resolute party of a more liberal faith,
the Independents, including Vane, Selden, and others, whose bearing
and spirit, backed by Cromwell, Whitelock, St. John, and others in
Parliament, were more than a match for this overbearing intolerance.
On the subject of Church government, therefore, there could be no
agreement. Cromwell demanded from the House of Commons an act of
toleration, and that a Committee should be formed of deputies from
both Houses and from the Assembly to consider it. The subject was
long and fiercely debated, the Lords Say and Wharton, Sir Henry Vane,
and St. John contending for the independence of the Church from all
bishops, synods, and ruling powers. The only thing agreed on was, that
the English Common Prayer-book should be disused, and a Directory of
worship introduced which should regulate the order of the service,
the administration of the Sacrament, the ceremonies of marriage and
burial--but left much liberty to the minister in the matter of his
sermons. This Directory was, by an ordinance of both Houses, ordered to
be observed both in England and Scotland.

Poor old Archbishop Laud, who was still in prison, was in the turmoil
of civil war almost totally forgotten. But the Puritans of England and
the people of Scotland needed only a slight reminder to demand the
punishment of the man who, with so high a hand, had trodden down their
liberties and their religion. This was given them by the Lords, who,
insisting on appointing ministers to livings in his gift, called on
Laud to collate the vacant benefices to such persons as they should
nominate. The king forbade him to obey. At length, in February, 1643,
the rectory of Chartham, in Kent, became vacant by the death of the
incumbent, the Lords nominated one person, the king another, and Laud,
placed in a dilemma dangerous to his life under his circumstances,
endeavoured to excuse himself by remaining passive. But the Lords,
in the month of April, sent him a peremptory order, and on his still
delaying, sent a request to the Commons to proceed with his trial.
There were fourteen articles of impeachment already hanging over his
head, and the Commons appointed Prynne, still smarting under the
ear-lopping, branding, and cruelties of the archbishop, to collect
evidence and co-operate with a Committee on the subject.

What an apparition must that earless man, with those livid brand marks
on his cheeks, have been as he entered the cell of Laud, and told him
that the day of retribution was come! Prynne collected all his papers,
even the diary which he had been so long employed in writing, as the
defence of his past life, and sought everywhere for remaining victims
and witnesses of the archbishop's persecutions and cruelties, to bring
them up against him. In six months the Committee had obtained evidence
enough to furnish ten new articles of impeachment against him, and on
the 4th of March, 1644, more than three years after his commitment,
Laud was called upon to take his trial. He demanded time to consult his
papers, and to have them for that purpose restored, to have counsel,
and money out of the proceeds of his estate to pay his fees and other
expenses. He was not likely to find much more tenderness from his
enemies than he had showed to them; the Scots demanded stern justice
upon him, as the greatest enemy which their country had known for
ages. Time was given him till the 12th of March, when he was brought
to the bar of the House of Lords. There, after the once haughty but
now humbled priest had been made to kneel a little, Mr. Serjeant Wild
opened the case against him, and went over, at great length, the whole
story of his endeavours to introduce absolutism in Church and State
in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dreadful cruelties and
oppressions which he had inflicted on the king's subjects in the Star
Chamber and High Commission Courts.

When he had done, Laud defended himself from a written paper,
contending that though he had leaned towards the law, he had never
intended to overthrow the laws, and that he had in the Church laboured
only for the support of the external form of worship, which had been
neglected. But the hearers had not forgotten the "Thorough," nor the
utter suppression of all forms of religion but his own, the sweeping
away utterly of the faith of Scotland, and the substitution of
Arminianism and the liturgy.

It was not till the 2nd of September that Laud was called to the bar of
the Lords to deliver his recapitulation of the arguments in answer to
his charges. Mr. Samuel Brown, a member of the Commons, and a Manager
of the trial, replied to them. Laud was then allowed counsel to speak
to the parts of law, who took the same course of defence as had been
taken in the case of Strafford, declaring that the prisoner's offence
did not amount to high treason, and the Commons then adopted their plan
in Strafford's case, of proceeding by attainder. He was, therefore,
on the 2nd of November, brought to the bar of their own House, where
Mr. Brown repeated the sum of the evidence produced in the Lords, and
Laud was called on to reply himself to the charges. He demanded time to
prepare his answer, and obtained eight days. On the 11th of November
he was heard, and Brown in reply; and the Commons the same day passed
their Bill of Attainder, finding him fully convicted of the offences
charged against him. On the 16th they sent up this Bill to the Lords;
but it was not till the 4th of January, 1645, that the Lords also
passed the Bill, and soon after fixed the day of his execution for the
10th. The last effort to save the old man's life was by the production
of a pardon which had been prepared at Oxford, as soon as the danger of
his conviction was seen, and was signed and sealed by the king. This
pardon was read in both Houses, but was declared of no effect, the
king having no power to pardon a crime adjudged by Parliament. On the
appointed day, the archbishop was beheaded on Tower Hill. Meanwhile
some useless negotiations had been set on foot by the Presbyterian
party at Uxbridge.

Charles had, during the last summer, after every temporary success,
proposed negotiations, thus showing his readiness to listen to
accommodation, and throwing on the Parliament the odium of continued
warfare. At the same time it must be confessed that he was by no
means inclined to accept terms which would surrender altogether his
prerogative, or sacrifice the interests of those who had ventured
everything for him. He was constantly exhorted by the queen from France
to make no peace inconsistent with his honour, or the interests of
his followers. She contended that he must stipulate for a bodyguard,
without which he could enjoy no safety, and should keep all treaty
regarding religion to the last, seeing plainly the almost insuperable
difficulty on that head; for since nothing would satisfy the Puritans
but the close binding down of the Catholics, that would effectually
cut off all hope of his support from Ireland, or from the Catholics of
England. Charles, in fact, was in a cleft stick, and the contentions of
his courtiers added so much to his embarrassments, that he got rid of
the most troublesome by sending them to attend the queen in France. He
then assembled his Parliament for the second time, but it was so thinly
attended, and the miserable distractions which rent his Court were so
completely imported into its debates, that he was the more disposed
to accept the offer of negotiation with the Parliament. His third
proposal, happening to be favoured by the recommendation of the Scots,
was at length acceded to by Parliament, but the terms recommended by
the Scots--the recognition of Presbytery as the national religion, and
the demands of the Parliament of the supreme control not only of the
revenue but of the army--rendered negotiations from the first hopeless.

In November, 1644, the propositions of the Scots, drawn up by Johnston
of Wariston, were sent to the king by a Commission consisting
of the Earl of Denbigh, the Lords Maynard and Wenman, and Mr.
Pierpoint, Denzil Holles, and Whitelock, accompanied by the Scottish
Commissioners--Lord Maitland, Sir Charles Erskine, and Mr. Barclay.

[Illustration: INTERVIEW BETWEEN CHARLES AND THE EARL OF DENBIGH. (_See
p._ 36.)]

Charles probably received a private copy of the propositions, for he
received the Commissioners most ungraciously. They were suffered to
remain outside the gates of Oxford in a cold and wet day for several
hours, and then conducted by a guard, more like prisoners than
ambassadors, to a very mean inn. On the propositions being read by
the Earl of Denbigh, Charles asked him if they had power to treat,
to which the earl replied in the negative, saying that they were
commissioned to receive his majesty's answer. "Then," said Charles,
rudely, "a letter-carrier might have done as much as you." The earl,
resenting this, said, "I suppose your majesty looks upon us as persons
of another condition than letter-carriers." "I know your condition,"
retorted the king, "but I repeat it, that your condition gives you
no more power than a letter-carrier." Whilst Denbigh had read over
the list of persons who were to be excepted from the conditions of
the treaty, Rupert and Maurice, who were of the excepted, and were
present, laughed in the earl's face. This insolence displeased even the
king, and he bade them be quiet. The interview terminated, however, as
unfavourably as it began. The king gave them a reply but sealed up, and
not addressed to the Parliament or anybody. The commissioners refused
to carry an answer of which they did not know the particulars, on which
Charles insolently remarked, "What is that to you, who are but to carry
what I send; and if I choose to send the song of Robin Hood or Little
John, you must carry it?" As they could get nothing else, not even an
address upon it to Parliament, the commissioners, wisely leaving it to
Parliament to treat the insult as they deemed best, took their leave
with it.

When this document was presented to both Houses on the 29th of
November, 1644, assembled for the purpose, it was strongly urged by
many to refuse it; but this was overruled by those who wisely would
throw no obstacle in the way of negotiation; and the king thought well
immediately to send the Duke of Richmond and the Earl of Southampton
with a fuller answer. They, on their part, found a safe-conduct refused
them by Essex, then the commander, unless he were acknowledged by the
king as general of the army of the Parliament of England, and the
Commons informed them that they would receive no further Commission
which was not addressed to the Parliament of England assembled at
Westminster, and the Commissioners of the Parliament of Scotland.
With this the king was compelled to comply; but at the same time he
wrote to the queen--"As to my calling those at London a Parliament, if
there had been two besides myself of my opinion, I had not done it;
and the argument that prevailed with me was that _the calling did no
wise acknowledge them to be a Parliament_, upon which construction and
condition I did it, and no otherwise."

[Illustration: ROUNDHEAD SOLDIERS.]

Under these unpromising circumstances, Commissioners on both sides were
at length appointed, who met on the 29th of January, in the little
town of Uxbridge. Uxbridge was within the Parliamentary lines, and the
time granted for the sitting was twenty days. The Commissioners on the
part of the king were the Duke of Richmond, the Marquis of Hertford,
the Earls of Southampton, Chichester, and Kingston, the Lords Capel,
Seymour, Hatton, and Colepepper, Secretary Nicholas, Sir Edward Hyde,
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Edward Lane, Sir Orlando Bridgeman,
Sir Thomas Gardener, Mr. Ashburnham, Mr. Palmer, and Dr. Stewart. On
that of the Parliament appeared the Earls of Northumberland, Pembroke,
Salisbury, and Denbigh, Lord Wenman, Sir Henry Vane the younger,
Denzil Holles, Pierpont, St. John, Whitelock, Crew, and Prideaux. The
Scottish Commissioners were the Earl of Loudon, the Marquis of Argyll,
the Lords Maitland and Balmerino, Sir Archibald Johnston, Sir Charles
Erskine, Sir John Smith, Dundas, Kennedy, Robert Barclay, and Alexander
Henderson. John Thurloe, afterwards Oliver Cromwell's secretary,
and the friend of Milton, was secretary for the English Parliament,
assisted by Mr. Earle, and Mr. Cheesly was secretary for the Scottish
Commissioners.

The four propositions submitted to the king by the Parliament
concerning religion were, that the Common Prayer Book should be
withdrawn, the Directory of the Westminster divines substituted, that
he should confirm the assemblies and synods of the Church, and take the
Solemn League and Covenant. These, contrary to the warning of Queen
Henrietta, were brought on first, and argued with much learning and
pertinacity, and as little concession on either side, for four days.
Then there arose other equally formidable subjects, the command of the
army and navy, the cessation of the war in Ireland; and the twenty
days being expired, it was proposed to prolong the term, but this
was refused by the two Houses of Parliament, and the Commissioners,
separated, mutually satisfied that nothing but the sword would settle
these questions. The Royalists had not been long in discovering that
Vane, St. John, and Prideaux had come to the conference, not so much
to treat, as to watch the proceedings of the Presbyterian deputies,
and to take care that no concessions should be made inimical to the
independence of the Church.

Gloomy as to the general eye must have appeared the prospects of the
king at this period, he was still buoyed up by various hopes. He
had been using every exertion to obtain aid from the Continent, and
at length was promised an army of ten thousand men by the Duke of
Lorraine, and Goffe was sent into Holland to prepare for their being
shipped over. On the other hand, he had made up his mind to concede
most of their demands to the Irish Catholics, on condition of receiving
speedily an army thence. He wrote to Ormond, telling him that he had
clearly discovered, by the treaty of Uxbridge, that the rebels were
aiming at nothing less than the total subversion of the Crown and
the Church; that they had made the Earl of Leven commander of all
the English as well as Scottish forces in Ireland, and therefore he
could no longer delay the settlement of Ireland in his favour, through
scruples that at another time would have clung to him. He therefore
authorised him to grant the suspension of Poynings' Act, and to remove
all the penal acts against the Catholics on condition that they at once
gave him substantial aid against the rebels of Scotland and Ireland. At
this moment, too, the news of the successes of Montrose in Scotland
added to his confidence.

The two armies in England now prepared to try their strength. Charles,
lying at Oxford, had a considerable number of troops: the west of
England was almost entirely in his interest, north and south Wales
were wholly his, excepting the castles of Pembroke and Montgomery. He
had still Scarborough, Carlisle, and Pontefract; but his army, though
experienced in the field, was not well disciplined. The Parliamentary
army, now new-modelled, presented a very different spectacle to that
of the king. The strictest discipline was introduced, and the men
were called upon to observe the duties of religion. The officers had
been selected from those who had served under Essex, Manchester, and
the other lords; but having cleared the command of the aristocratic
element, a new spirit of activity and zeal was infused into it. The
king's officers ridiculed the new force, which had no leaders of great
name except Sir Thomas Fairfax, and was brought together in so new a
shape, that it appeared a congregation of raw soldiers. The ridicule
of the Cavaliers even infected the adherents of the Commonwealth,
and there was great scepticism as to the result of such a change.
May, the Parliamentary historian, says, never did an army go forth
who had less the confidence of their friends, or more the contempt
of their enemies. But both parties were extremely deceived. Cromwell
was now the real soul of the movement, and the religious enthusiasm
which glowed in him was diffused through the whole army. The whole
system seemed a revival of that of the pious Gustavus Adolphus--no
man suffered a day to go over without religious service, and never
commenced a battle without prayer. The soldiers now employed their time
in zealous military exercises and in equally zealous prayer and singing
of psalms. They sang in their march, they advanced into battle with a
psalm. The letters of Cromwell to the Parliament, giving an account of
the proceedings of the army, are full of this religious spirit, which
it has been the custom to treat as cant, but which was the genuine
expression of his feelings, and was shown by effects such as cant and
sham never produce. Victory, which he and his soldiers ascribed only to
God, success the most rapid and wonderful, attended him.

It is remarkable that the very man who had introduced the Self-denying
Ordinance was the only man who was never debarred by it from
pursuing his military career. This has, therefore, been treated as an
artifice on his part; but, on the contrary, it was the mere result
of circumstances. Cromwell was the great military genius of the age.
Every day the success of his plans and actions was bursting more and
more on the public notice, and no one was more impressed by the value
of his services than the new Commander-in-Chief, Sir Thomas Fairfax.
He had sent Cromwell, Massey, and Waller into the West, before laying
down their commissions, to attack Colonel Goring, who was threatening
the Parliamentary lines. They had driven him back towards Wells and
Glastonbury, and not deeming it safe to push farther with their small
force into a quarter where the Royal interest was so strong, and
Cromwell advising Parliament to send more troops to Salisbury to defend
that point against Rupert, who was reported at Trowbridge, he had
returned to Windsor to resign his command according to the Ordinance.
There, however, he found the Parliament had suspended the Ordinance in
his instance for forty days, in order that he might execute a service
of especial consequence, and which it particularly wished him to
undertake. This was to attack a body of two thousand men conveying the
king's artillery from Oxford to Worcester, to which place Rupert had
marched, having defeated Colonel Massey at Ledbury.

This was on the 22nd of April, and Cromwell took horse the next
morning, dashed rapidly into Oxfordshire and at Islip Bridge routed
the enemy, consisting of four regiments of cavalry, took many of their
officers, and especially those of the queen's regiment, seizing the
standard which she had presented to it with her own hands. Many of
the fugitives got into Bletchington House, which Cromwell immediately
assaulted and took. The king was so enraged at the surrender of
Bletchington, that he ordered the commander, Colonel Windebank, to
be shot, and no prayers or entreaties could save him. Cromwell next
sent off his cannon and stores to Abingdon, and pushed on to Radcot
Bridge, or Bampton-in-the-Bush, where others of the enemy had fled:
here he defeated them, and took their leaders Vaughan and Littleton.
Cromwell next summoned Colonel Burgess, the governor of the garrison at
Faringdon, to surrender; but he was called away to join the main army,
the king being on the move.

Charles, in fact, issued from Oxford, and, joined by both Rupert
and Maurice, advanced to relieve Chester, then besieged by Sir
William Brereton. Fairfax, instead of pursuing him, thought it a good
opportunity to take Oxford and prevent his returning there; but the
king's movements alarmed him for the safety of the eastern counties, to
which he had despatched Cromwell to raise fresh forces and strengthen
their defences. Cromwell was recalled, and Fairfax set out in pursuit
of the king. Charles relieved Chester by the very news of his march.
Brereton retired from before it, and the Scottish army, which was
advancing southward, fell back into Westmoreland and Cumberland, to
prevent a rumoured junction of the king and the army of Montrose.
Whatever had been Charles's intentions in this movement, he wheeled
aside and directed his way through Staffordshire into Leicestershire,
and took Leicester by assault. From Leicester he extended his course
eastward, and took up his headquarters at Daventry, where he amused
himself with hunting, and Rupert and his horse with foraging and
plundering the whole country round.

Fairfax, now apprehensive of the royal intentions being directed to
the eastern counties, which had hitherto been protected from the
visitations of his army, pushed forward to prevent this, and came in
contact with the king's outposts on the 13th of June, near Borough
Hill. Charles fired his huts, and began his march towards Harborough,
intending, perhaps, to proceed to the relief of Pontefract and
Scarborough; but Fairfax did not allow him to get far ahead. A council
of war was called, and in the midst of it Cromwell rode into the lines
at the head of six hundred horse. It was now determined to bring the
king to action. Harrison and Ireton, officers of Cromwell--soon to be
well known--led the way after the royal army, and Fairfax, with his
whole body, was at once in full chase. The king was in Harborough, and
a council being called, it was considered safer to turn and fight than
to pursue their way to Leicester like an army flying from the foe. It
was therefore resolved to wheel about and meet the enemy.

At five o'clock the next morning, the 14th of June, the advanced
guards of each army approached each other on the low hills a little
more than a mile from the village of Naseby, in Northamptonshire,
nearly midway between Market Harborough and Daventry. The Parliament
army ranged itself on a hill yet called the Mill Hill, and the king's
on a parallel hill, with its back to Harborough. The right wing was
led by Cromwell, consisting of six regiments of horse, and the left,
consisting of nearly as many, was, at his request, committed to his
friend, Colonel Ireton, a Nottinghamshire man. Fairfax and Skippon took
charge of the main body, and Colonels Pride, Rainsborough, and Hammond
brought up the reserves. Rupert and his brother Maurice led on the
right wing of Charles's army, Sir Marmaduke Langdale the left, Charles
himself the main body, and Sir Jacob Astley, the Earl of Lindsay, the
Lord Baird, and Sir George Lisle the reserves. The word for the day of
the Royalists was, "God and Queen Mary!" that of the Parliamentarians,
"God our strength!" A wide moorland, called Broad Moor, lay between
them. The Cavaliers made themselves very merry at the new-modelled
army of Roundheads, for which they had the utmost contempt, having
nothing aristocratic about it, and its head being farmer Cromwell, or
the brewer of Huntingdon, as they pleased to call him. They expected
to sweep them away like dust, and Rupert, making one of his headlong
charges, seemed to realise their anticipations, for he drove the
left wing of the Roundheads into instant confusion and flight, took
Ireton prisoner, his horse being killed under him, and himself wounded
severely in two places; and, in his regular way, Rupert galloped after
the fugitives, thinking no more of the main battle. But the scattered
horse, who had been diligently taught to rally, collected behind him,
returned to the defence of their guns, and were soon again ready for
action. On the other hand, Cromwell had driven the left wing of the
king's army off the field, but took care not to pursue them too far.
He sent a few companies of horse to drive them beyond the battle, and
with his main body he fell on the king's flank, where at first the
royal foot was gaining the advantage. This unexpected assault threw
them into confusion, and the soldiers of Fairfax's front, which had
given way, rallying and falling in again with the reserves as they
came to the rear, were brought up by their officers, and completed the
rout. Rupert, who was now returning from the chase, rode up to the
waggon-train of the Parliamentary army, and, ignorant of the state of
affairs, offered quarter to the troops guarding the stores. The reply
was a smart volley of musketry, and falling back and riding forward
to the field, he found an overwhelming defeat. His followers stood
stupefied at the sight, when Charles, riding up to them in despair,
cried frantically, "One charge more, and the victory is ours yet!"
But it was in vain, the main body was broken, that of Fairfax was
complete; the artillery was seized, and the Roundheads were taking
prisoners as fast as they could promise them quarter. Fairfax and
Cromwell the next moment charged the dumfoundered horse, and the whole
fled at full gallop on the road towards Leicester, pursued almost to
the gates of the town by Cromwell's troopers.

The slaughter at this battle was not so great as might have been
expected. But though the loss on the Parliamentarian side was small,
amounting to about two hundred men, the Royalists had one thousand
killed. Five thousand prisoners were taken, including a great number
of officers, and a considerable number of ladies in carriages. All
the king's baggage and artillery, with nine thousand stand of arms,
were taken, and amongst the carriages that of the king containing
his private papers: a fatal loss, for it contained the most damning
evidences of the king's double-dealing and mental reservations, which
the Parliament took care to publish, to Charles's irreparable damage.
Clarendon accuses the Roundheads of killing above a hundred women, many
of them of quality, but other evidence proves that this was false, the
only women who were rudely treated being a number of wild Irish ones,
who were armed with skeans--knives a foot long--and who used them like
so many maniacs.

The next day Fairfax sent Colonel Fiennes and his regiment to London
with the prisoners and the colours taken, above a hundred of them,
and he prayed that a day of thanksgiving might be appointed for the
victory. But the most essential fruit of the victory was the reading
in Parliament of the king's letters. In these the affair of the Duke
of Lorraine came to light--the attempt to bring in the Lorrainers, the
French, the Danes, and the Irish to put down the Parliament, whilst
Charles had been making the most sacred protestations to that body
that he abhorred bringing in foreign soldiers. There appeared his
promise to give the Catholics full liberty of conscience, whilst he had
been vowing constantly that he would never abrogate the laws against
Popery; and his letter to his wife, showing that at the treaty of
Uxbridge he was merely conceding the name of a Parliament, with a full
determination, on the first opportunity, to declare it no Parliament
at all. These exposures were so dreadful, and gave such an assurance
that the king was restrained by no moral principle, that the Royalists
would not believe the documents genuine till they had examined them
for themselves; and for this examination the Parliament wisely gave
the amplest facilities. There were copies of his letters to the queen,
in which he complained of the quarrels and harassing jealousies of his
own courtiers and supporters, and of his getting rid of as many as he
could by sending them on one pretence or another to her. The sight of
these things struck his own party dumb with a sense of his hollowness
and ingratitude; and the battle of Naseby itself was declared far less
fatal to his interests than the contents of his cabinet. From this
moment his ruin was certain, and the remainder of the campaign was only
the last feeble struggles of the expiring Cause. His adherents stood
out rather for their own chance of making terms than from any possible
hope of success.

[Illustration: CHARLES AT THE BATTLE OF NASEBY. (_See p._ 40.)]

The defeated and dishonoured king did not stop to pass a single night
at Leicester, but rode on to Ashby that evening, and after a few
hours' rest pursued his course towards Hereford. At Hereford Rupert,
fearful of the Parliamentary army attacking their only remaining strong
quarter, the West, left the king and hastened to Bristol to put it into
a state of defence. Charles himself continued his march into Wales,
and took up his headquarters at Raglan Castle, the seat of the Marquis
of Worcester. There, pretty sure that Fairfax was intending to go
westward, he spent the time as though nothing had been amiss, hunting
like his father, when he should have been studying the retrieval of
his affairs, and passing the evenings in entertainments and giving of
audiences. The most probable cause of Charles thus spending his time
there and at Cardiff, to which he next retired, is that he had been
urging the despatch of an Irish army, and was expecting it there.
At the same time he could there more easily communicate with Rupert
regarding the defence of the west of England.

The Parliament forces under Cromwell marched on Bristol where Rupert
lay, whilst Fairfax met and defeated Goring at Langport, and then
besieged and took Bridgewater on the 23rd of July. Matters now
appeared so threatening that Rupert proposed to Charles to sue for
peace; but the king rejected the advice with warmth, declaring that,
though as soldier and statesman he saw nothing but ruin before him,
yet as a Christian he was sure God would not prosper rebels, and that
nothing should induce him to give up the Cause. He avowed that whoever
stayed by him must do so at the cost of his life, or of being made
as miserable as the violence of insulting rebels could make him. But
by the grace of God he would not alter, and bade Rupert not on any
consideration "to hearken after treaties." He would take no less than
he had asked for at Uxbridge.

Charles, blind to the last, was still hoping for assistance from
Ireland, and was elated by the news of successes from Montrose.

It will be recollected that the Earls of Antrim and Montrose had been
engaged by Charles to exert themselves in Ireland and Scotland on his
behalf. Their first attempt was to take vengeance on the Covenanting
Earl of Argyll, who had so much contributed to defeat the king's
attempts on the Scottish Church and Government. Montrose, therefore,
unfurled the royal standard as the king's lieutenant-general at
Dumfries; but having before been a strong Covenanter, he did not all at
once win the confidence of the Royalists. His success was so poor that
he returned to England. At Carlisle he was more effective in serving
the king, and was made a marquis in consequence. After the battle of
Marston Moor he again returned into the Highlands, and there learned
the success of Antrim's labours in Ireland. He had sent over a body of
fifteen hundred men under the command of his kinsman Alaster Macdonald,
surnamed MacColl Keitache, or Colkitto. They landed at Knoidart, but
a fleet of the Duke of Argyll's burnt their ships, and hung in their
rear waiting a fitting chance to destroy them. To their surprise
they received no welcome from the Scottish Royalists. However, they
continued their march to Badenoch, ravaging the houses and farms of
the Covenanters, but every day menaced by the gathering hosts of their
foes, and learning nothing of their ally Montrose. At last Montrose
obtained tidings of them: they met at Blair Athol, in the beginning of
August, 1644. Montrose assumed the command, and published the royal
commission. At the sight of a native chief the Highlanders flocked to
his standard, and the Covenanters saw to their astonishment an army
of between three and four thousand men spring at once, as it were,
out of the ground. Montrose wrote to Charles that if he could receive
five hundred horse on his way, he would soon be in England with twenty
thousand men.

The movements and exploits of Montrose now became rather a story of
romance than of sober modern warfare. Argyll and Lord Elcho dogged his
steps, but he advanced or disappeared, with his half-clad Irish and
wild mountaineers, amongst the hills in a manner that defied arrest.
At Tippermuir, in Perthshire, he defeated Elcho, took his guns and
ammunition, and surprised and plundered the town of Perth. As was
constantly the case, the Highlanders, once loaded with booty, slipped
off to their homes; and, left alone with his Irish band, who were
faithful because their way home was cut off, he retreated northward,
in hope of joining the clan Gordon. Montrose found himself stopped
at the Bridge of Dee by two thousand seven hundred Covenanters under
Lord Balfour of Burleigh, but he managed to cross at a ford higher
up, and, falling on their rear, threw them into a panic. They fled to
Aberdeen, pursued by the Irish and Highlanders, and the whole mass of
pursuers and pursued rushed wildly into the city together. The place
was given up to plunder, and for three days Aberdeen became a scene of
horror and revolting licence, as it had been from an attack of Montrose
four years before, when fighting on the other side. The approach of
Argyll compelled the pillagers to fly into Banffshire, and, following
the banks of the Spey, he crossed the hills of Badenoch, and, after
a series of wild adventures in Athol, Angus, and Forfar, he was met
by the Covenanters at Fyvie Castle, and compelled to retreat into the
mountains. His followers then took their leave of him, worn out with
their rapid flights and incessant skirmishes, and he announced his
intention of withdrawing for the winter into Badenoch.

The Earl of Argyll, on his part, retired to Inverary and sent his
followers home. He felt secure in the mighty barrier of mountains
around, which in summer offered a terrible route to an army, but which,
now blockaded with snow, he deemed impregnable. But he was deceived;
the retirement of Montrose was a feint. He was busily employed in
rousing the northern clans to a sweeping vengeance on Argyll, and the
prospect of a rich booty. In the middle of December he burst through
all obstacles, threaded the snow-laden defiles of the mountains, and
descended with fire and sword into the plains of Argyleshire. The earl
was suddenly roused by the people from the hills, whose dwellings
were in flames behind them, and only effected his escape by pushing
across Loch Fyne in an open boat. Montrose divided his host into three
columns, which spread themselves over the whole of Argyleshire, burning
and laying everything waste. Argyll had set a price upon Montrose's
head; and Montrose now reduced his splendid heritage to a black and
frightful desert. The villages and cottages were burnt down, the cattle
destroyed or driven off, and the people slain wherever found with arms
in their hands. This miserable and melancholy state of things lasted
from the 13th of December to the end of January, 1645.

Argyll by that time had mustered the Clan Campbell, and Lord Seaforth
the mountaineers of Moray, Ross, Sutherland, and Caithness, to bear
down on the invaders. Montrose, therefore, led forth his Highlanders
and Irish to encounter them, and came first on Argyll and his army at
Inverlochy Castle, in Lochaber. There he totally defeated Argyll, and
slew nearly fifteen hundred of his people. This success brought to
his standard the clan Gordon and others. The whole north was in their
power, and they marched from Inverlochy to Elgin and Aberdeen. At
Brechin they were met by Baillie with a strong force, which protected
Perth; but Montrose marched to Dunkeld, and thence to Dundee, which
he entered, and began plundering, when Baillie arrived with his
Covenanters and caused him to retire. Once more he escaped to the
mountains, but this time not without severe losses, for his indignant
foes pursued him for threescore miles, cutting off many of his
soldiers, besides those that had perished in the storming of Dundee.
When he appeared again it was at Auldearn, a village near Nairn, where,
on the 9th of May, he defeated the Covenanters (under John Urry or
Hurry) after a bloody battle, two thousand men being said to be left
upon the field.

The General Assembly addressed a sharp remonstrance to the king,
which was delivered to him soon after the battle of Naseby, but it
produced no effect. In fact, it was more calculated to inflame a man of
Charles's obstinate temper, for it recapitulated all his crimes against
Scotland, from his first forcing the Common Prayer upon them till
then, and called on him to fall down at the footstool of the Almighty
and acknowledge his sins, and no longer steep his kingdom in blood.
They did not merely remonstrate; the Covenanters continued to fight.
But, unfortunately, their commanders having divided their forces, as
Urry was defeated at Auldearn, so Baillie was soon afterwards routed
at Alford, in Aberdeenshire, with such effect that scarcely any but
his principal officers and the cavalry escaped. Again the Covenanters
raised a fresh army of ten thousand men, and sent them against
Montrose; and the Scottish army, which lay on the borders of England
under the Earl of Leven, commenced their march southward, to attack the
king himself. On the 2nd of July, the very day on which Montrose won
the battle of Alford, they were at Melton Mowbray, whence they marched
through Tamworth and Birmingham into Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
On the 22nd they stormed Canon-Frome, a garrison of the king's between
Worcester and Hereford; and, as they were pressing on, Charles sent
Sir William Fleming to endeavour to seduce the old Earl of Leven and
the Earl of Callender from their faith to Parliament by magnificent
promises, but they sent his letters to the Parliament and marched on
and laid siege to Hereford.

Charles, thus pressed by the Scottish army, quitted Cardiff and made
a grand effort to reach the borders of Scotland to effect a junction
with Montrose. He flattered himself that could he unite his forces with
those of Montrose, by the genius of that brilliant leader his losses
would be retrieved, and that he should bear down all before him. But
he was not destined to accomplish this object. He at first approached
Hereford, as if he designed the attempt of raising the siege; but this
was too hazardous, and, dismissing his foot, he dashed forward with
his cavalry to cut his way to the North. But the Earl of Leven sent
after him Sir David Leslie, with nearly the whole body of the Scottish
cavalry; and from the North, the Parliamentarian commanders, Poyntz
and Rossiter, put themselves in motion to meet him. He had made a
rapid march through Warwickshire and Northamptonshire to Doncaster,
when these counter-movements of the enemy convinced him that to reach
the Border was hopeless; and he made a sudden divergence south-east,
to inflict a flying chastisement on those counties of the Eastern
Association, which had so long kept him at bay, and sent out against
him the invincible Cromwell and his Ironsides. These were now engaged
in the West, and he swept through Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire,
ravaging and plundering without stint or remorse. On the 24th of August
he took Huntingdon itself by assault; he did not delay, however, but
continued his marauding course through Woburn and Dunstable, thence
into Buckinghamshire, and so to Oxford, where he arrived on the 28th.
In this flying expedition, Charles and his soldiers had collected much
booty from his subjects, and especially from the town of Huntingdon,
no doubt with much satisfaction, from its being Cromwell's place of
residence.

At Oxford Charles received the cheering news that Montrose had
achieved another brilliant victory over the Covenanters. He had, on
again issuing from the mountains, menaced Perth, where the Scottish
Parliament was sitting, and then descended into the Lowlands. It was
evident that he was acting in concert with the king, who at that very
time was making his hurried march for the Border. Montrose crossed the
Forth near Stirling, where at Kilsyth he was met by Baillie and his
new army. The Committee of Estates insisted on Baillie giving battle.
Fasting and prayer for four days had been held, and they were confident
of success. But at the first charge the cavalry of the Covenanters were
scattered, the infantry fled almost without a blow, and such was the
fury of the pursuit, that five thousand of them were slain (August 15,
1645). This victory opened all the Lowlands to the Royalists. Argyll
and the principal nobles escaped by sea to England. Glasgow opened
its gates to the conqueror, and the magistrates of Edinburgh hastened
to implore his clemency towards the city, and to propitiate him by
liberating all the Royalist prisoners, promising obedience to the king.
Most of these liberated prisoners, and many of the nobility, joined the
standard of Montrose.

Had the king been able to effect a junction with him at this moment,
the result must have been important, but it could only have occasioned
more bloodshed, without insuring any decided victory, for all England
was by this time in the hands of the Parliament. Sir David Leslie,
instead of following the king with his cavalry southward again, had
continued his march northward, to prevent any inroad on the part of
Montrose, and the Earl of Leven, quitting Hereford, advanced northward
to support him. Charles immediately left Oxford, and advanced to
Hereford, where he was received in triumph. Thence he set out to
relieve Rupert, who was besieged by Fairfax and Cromwell in Bristol;
but on reaching Raglan Castle, he heard the appalling news that it had
surrendered. The prince had promised to hold it for four months, yet he
surrendered it in the third week of the siege. Fairfax having decided
to storm it on the 10th of September, 1645, this was done accordingly.
It was assaulted by the troops under Colonel Welden, Commissary-general
Ireton, Cromwell, Fairfax, General Skippon, Colonels Montague, Hammond,
Rich, and Rainsborough, from different sides at the same time. The
town was set on fire in three places by the Royalists themselves, and
Rupert, foreseeing the total destruction of the city, capitulated. He
was allowed to march out, and was furnished with a convoy of cavalry,
and the loan of one thousand muskets to protect them from the people on
the way to Oxford, for he had made himself so detested by his continual
ravagings of the inhabitants that they would have knocked him and his
men on the head. Even as he passed out of the city the people crowded
round with fierce looks, and muttered, "Why not hang him?"

[Illustration: CAVALIER SOLDIERS.]

We have Cromwell's account of the taking of the place. He says that the
royal fort was victualled for three hundred and twenty days, and the
castle for nearly half as long, and that there were abundant stores
of ammunition, with one hundred and forty cannon mounted, between two
and three thousand muskets, and a force of nearly six thousand men in
foot, horse, train-bands, and auxiliaries. Well might Charles feel
confounded at the surrender. He was so exasperated that he overwhelmed
Rupert with reproaches: he even accused him of cowardice or treason,
revoked his commission, and bade him quit the kingdom. He ordered
the Council to take him into custody if he showed any contumacy. He
arrested Rupert's friend, Colonel Legge, and gave the prince's office
of Governor of Oxford to Sir Thomas Glenham. And yet Rupert appears
to have only yielded to necessity. He was more famous at the head of
a charge of horse than for defending cities. Bristol was carried by
storm by a combination of the best troops and the most able commanders
of the Parliament army, and was already burning in three places.
Further resistance could only have led to indiscriminate massacre.
But allowance must be made for the irritation of Charles. The fall of
Bristol was a most disheartening event, and it was followed by news
still more prostrating.

The success of Montrose had proved the ruin of his army. A Highland
force is like a Highland torrent; under its clan chiefs it is impetuous
and overwhelming; but it is soon exhausted. The soldiers, gathered only
for the campaign, no sooner collected a good booty than they walked
off back to their mountains, and thus no Highland force, under the old
clan system, ever effected any lasting advantage, especially in the
Lowlands. So it was here; Montrose's descent from the hills resembled
the torrent, and disappeared without any traces but those of ravage. He
had secured no fortified places, nor obtained any permanent possession.
He executed a few incendiaries, as they were called, at Glasgow, and
then advanced towards the Border, still in hope of meeting the royal
forces. But the Gordon clan had disappeared; Colkitto had led back
the other Highlanders to their mountains, and Montrose found himself
at the head of only about six hundred men, chiefly the remains of the
Irish. Meanwhile, Sir David Leslie, with his four thousand cavalry, was
steadily advancing towards the Forth, to put himself between Montrose
and the Highlands, and then suddenly wheeling westward, he returned on
the unwary marquis, and surprised the commander who had before been
accustomed to surprise every one else.

Montrose was in Selkirk busy writing despatches to the king, and
his little army was posted at Philiphaugh. Leslie had approached
cautiously, and, favoured by the unvigilant carelessness of the
Royalists, came one night into their close vicinity. Early in the
morning, under cover of a thick fog, he crossed the Ettrick, and
appeared to their astonishment in the encampment on the Haugh.
Notwithstanding their surprise, the soldiers formed hastily into a
compact body; and Montrose, being informed of the danger, flew to the
rescue at the head of a body of horse; but the odds were too great,
the troops were surrounded and cut to pieces. In vain they begged
quarter. Sir David consented, but the ministers raised a fierce shout
of indignation, denounced the sparing of a single "malignant" as a sin,
and the whole body was massacred (September 13, 1645).

Before receiving this disastrous news, Charles resolved to make another
effort to form a junction with Montrose. He retraced his steps through
Wales, and advanced to the relief of Chester, which was invested by
the Parliamentarians. He reached that place on the 22nd of September,
and posted the bulk of his cavalry on Rowton Heath, near the city,
under Sir Marmaduke Langdale, himself being able to get into the city
with a small body of troopers. But the next morning his cavalry at
Rowton Heath was attacked by Poyntz, the Parliamentary general, who
had been carefully following on the king's heels, and now, having his
little army penned between his troops and those of the Parliamentary
besiegers, a simultaneous attack was made on the Royalists from both
sides. More than six hundred of Charles's troopers were cut to pieces,
one thousand more obtained quarter, and the rest were dispersed on
all sides. The king escaped out of the city and fled to Denbigh with
the remnant of his cavalry. By this blow the only port which had been
left open for his expected succours from Ireland was closed. Still
the news of Montrose's defeat at Philiphaugh had not reached him,
and Lord Digby advised the king to allow him to make the attempt to
reach him with the seventeen hundred cavalry still remaining. Charles
accepted the offer, but before Digby left, it was agreed that the
king should get into his castle of Newark, as the securest place for
him to abide the result. Having seen his majesty safely there, Digby
set out northward. At Doncaster he defeated a Parliamentary force,
but was a few days after defeated himself by another at Sherburn.
Notwithstanding this, with the remainder of his horse he pushed
forward, entered Scotland, and reached Dumfries, but finding Montrose
already defeated, he returned to the Border, and at Carlisle disbanded
the troop. Sir Marmaduke Langdale and the officers retired to the
Isle of Man, the men got home as they could, and Digby passed over to
Ireland, to the Marquis of Ormond. But the greatest loss which Digby
had made during this expedition was that of his portfolio with his
baggage, at Sherburn. In this, as in the king's at Naseby, the most
unfortunate discoveries were made of his own proceedings, and of his
master's affairs. There was a revelation of plottings and agents in
sundry counties for bringing foreign forces to put down the Parliament.
Goffe was in Holland promoting a scheme for the marriage of the Prince
of Wales to the daughter of the Prince of Orange, and for forces to be
furnished in consequence. There were letters of the queen to Ireland,
arranging to bring over ten thousand men, and of Lord Jermyn--who was
living in Paris with the queen in such intimacy as to occasion much
scandal--to Digby himself, regarding probable assistance from the King
of Denmark, the Duke of Lorraine, and the Prince of Courland, and of
money from the Pope. But perhaps the most mischievous was a letter from
Digby, written a few days before, letting out how much the Marquis of
Ormond was secretly in the king's interest, though appearing to act
otherwise. These disclosures were precisely such as must wonderfully
strengthen the Parliament with the public, and sink the king still
lower.

The king's ruin was virtually complete. The enemy was pressing close
on his quarters, and at midnight, on the 3rd of November, he quitted
Newark with five hundred horse, and reached Belvoir, where the
governor, Sir Gervas Lucas, attended him with his troop till break of
day. Thence the king made a harassing and dangerous journey to Oxford,
pursued by detachments of the enemy as he passed Burleigh-on-the-Hill,
the garrison sallying and killing some of his attendants. In the
evening Charles was obliged to rest for five hours at Northampton, and
then push forward by Banbury, and so reached Oxford the next evening,
"finishing," says Clarendon, "the most tedious and grievous march
that our king was exercised in." In truth, never was king reduced to
such a melancholy and pitiable condition--a condition which cannot be
contemplated without commiseration, blind and incorrigible believer as
he was in the divine right of despotism.

Whilst Charles had been making these unhappy tours and detours, Fairfax
and Cromwell had been clearing away his garrisons, and driving back
his troops into the farthest West. Cromwell first addressed himself
by command of Parliament to reduce Winchester, Basing House, Langford
House, and Donnington Castle. On Sunday, September 28th, he appeared
before Winchester, which surrendered after a breach had been made; and,
on the 16th of October he also carried Basing by storm. Basing House
and Donnington had long annoyed Parliament and the country with their
royal garrisons, so that there was no travelling the Western road for
them. Basing House belonged to the Marquis of Winchester, and was one
of the most remarkable places in the country. Hugh Peters, who was sent
up by Cromwell to give an account of the taking of it to Parliament,
declaring that its circumvallation was above a mile in circumference.
It had stood many a siege, one of four years, without any one being
able to take it. Cromwell, however, now bombarded and stormed it,
taking prisoners the marquis, Sir Robert Peak, and other distinguished
officers. Eight or nine gentlewomen of rank ran out as the soldiers
burst in, and were treated with some unceremonious freedoms, but, says
Peters, "not uncivilly, considering the action in hand."

Having demolished Basing, Cromwell next summoned Langford House, near
Salisbury, and thence he was called in haste down into the West, where
Fairfax and he drove back Goring, Hopton, Astley, and others, beating
them at Langport, Torrington, and other places, storming Bridgewater,
and forcing them into Cornwall, where they never left them till they
had reduced them altogether in the spring of 1646.

Charles lying now at Oxford, his council, seeing that his army was
destroyed, except the portion that was cooped up by the victorious
generals in the West, and which every day was forced into less compass,
advised him strongly to treat with the Parliament, as his only chance.
They represented that they had no funds even for subsistence, except
what they seized from the country around, which exasperated the people,
and made them ready to rise against them. There were some circumstances
yet in his favour, and these were the jealousies and divisions of his
enemies. The Parliament and country were broken up into two great
factions of Presbyterians and Independents. The Presbyterians were
by far the most numerous, and were zealously supported by the Scots,
who were nearly all of that persuasion, and desired to see their form
of religion prevail over the whole country. They were as fiercely
intolerant as the Catholics, and would listen to nothing but the entire
predominance of their faith and customs. But the Independents, who
claimed and offered liberty of conscience, and protested against any
ruling church, possessed almost all the men of intellect in Parliament,
and the chiefs at the head of the army. Cromwell, in his letter from
the field of Naseby, called for toleration of conscience, and Fairfax
urged the same doctrine in all his despatches from the West. There
was, moreover, a jealousy growing as to the armies of the Scots, who
had got most of the garrisons in the North of England and Ireland into
their hands. These divisions opened to Charles a chance of treating
with one party at the expense of the other, and in his usual way he
made overtures to all. To the Scots he offered full concession of all
their desires, and great advantages from the influence which their
alliance with him would give. To the Independents he offered the utmost
toleration of religious opinion, and all the rewards of pre-eminence in
the State and the army. To the Presbyterians he was particularly urged
by the queen to promise the predominance of their Church and the like
advantages. With the Catholics of Ireland he was equally in treaty;
but whilst his secret negotiations were going on in Ireland, the Scots
endeavoured to bring theirs to a close, by applying to the queen in
Paris. Three great changes had taken place, all favourable to Charles.
Both the king, Louis XIII., and Richelieu, were dead. Richelieu had
never forgiven Charles's attempts on La Rochelle, and his effort to
raise the Huguenots into an independent power in France, nor his
movements in Flanders against his designs. Mazarin, who now succeeded
as the minister of Louis XIV., had no particular resentment against
Charles, and though cautious in taking direct measures against the
English Parliament, did not oppose any of the attempts at pacification
between the king and his subjects. The Scots had always found
Richelieu their ally, and they now applied to his successor to assist
them in bringing matters to bear with Charles. In consequence of this,
Montreuil was sent over to London, who conferred with the Scottish
Commissioners, and then conveyed to Charles their proposals. But the
king, who had promised them all concessions consistent with his honour,
found the very first proposition to be that Episcopacy should be for
ever abolished not only in Scotland, but in England, and Presbytery
made the Established Church. He had conceived that they would be
satisfied with the supremacy of their faith in their own country, and
he at once refused this demand. It was in vain that Montreuil pointed
out to him that the Scots and the Presbyterians of England were agreed
upon this point, and that consequently any arrangement with the
latter party must inevitably be upon the same basis. Charles declared
that rather than consent to any such terms, he would agree with the
Independents. Montreuil replied that the Scots sought only to make him
king, first having their own wishes as to religion gratified; but the
Independents, he was confident, contemplated nothing less than the
subversion of his throne. He informed him that the queen had given to
Sir Robert Murray a written promise that the king would accede to the
demand of the Scots, which promise was now in the hands of the Scottish
Commissioners; moreover, that this was the earnest desire of the queen,
the queen-regent of France, and of Mazarin.

Nothing, however, could shake Charles's resolution on this head, and
he therefore made a direct application to Parliament to treat for an
accommodation. They received his offer coolly, almost contemptuously.
He desired passports for his Commissioners, or a safe-conduct for
himself, that they might treat personally; but it was bluntly refused,
on the ground that he was not to be trusted, having, on all similar
occasions, employed the opportunities afforded to endeavour to
corrupt the fidelity of the Commissioners. Not to appear, however,
to reject the treaty, they sent fresh proposals to him, but so much
more stringent than those at Uxbridge, that it was plain that they
were rather bent on delaying than treating. The king was now in a very
different position since the battle of Naseby and the fall of Bristol;
and it was obviously the interest of Parliament to allow Fairfax and
Cromwell to put down his last remains of an army in the West, when
they would have nothing to do but to shut up the king in Oxford, and
compel him to submit at discretion. Montreuil, seeing this, again
urged him to come to terms with the Scots, and that not a moment was
to be lost. But nothing could move him to consent to their demand of
a universal Presbyterianism, and he again, on the 26th of January,
1646, demanded a personal interview with the Parliament at Westminster.
His demand, however, arrived at a most unfortunate crisis, for the
discovery of his negotiations with the Irish Catholics had just been
made: the entire correspondence was in the hands of the Commons, and
the whole House was in the most violent ferment of indignation. The
king's letter was thrown aside and left without notice.

On October 17th, 1645, the titular Archbishop of Tuam was killed in a
skirmish between two parties of Scots and Irish near Sligo, and in his
carriage were discovered copies of a most extraordinary negotiation,
which had been going on for a long time in Ireland between Charles
and the Catholics, for the restoration of popish predominance in
that country, on condition of their sending an army to put down the
Parliament in England.

We have already spoken of the confederate Irish Catholics, who
maintained an army for their own defence, and had a council at
Kilkenny. Charles had instructed the Marquis of Ormond, the
Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, to make a peace with these Confederates:
he had some time ago obtained a cessation of hostilities, but they
would not consent to a permanent peace, nor to furnish the king troops
until they obtained a legal guarantee for the establishment of their
own religion. Lord Ormond, in his endeavours, did not satisfy the king,
or rather his position disabled him from consenting publicly to such a
treaty, as it would have roused all the Protestants, and the Scottish
and English Parliaments against him. Charles, therefore, who was always
ready with some underhand intrigue to gain his ends, and break his
bargain when it became convenient, sent over Lord Herbert, the son of
the Marquis of Worcester, and whom he now created Earl of Glamorgan, to
effect this difficult matter.

[Illustration: RAGLAN CASTLE.]

Glamorgan was as zealous in his loyalty as in his speculative pursuits.
He and his father had spent two hundred thousand pounds in the king's
cause, and he was now engaged in an enterprise where he risked
everything for Charles--name, honour, and life. He was furnished
with a warrant which authorised him to concede the demands of the
Catholics regarding their religion, and to engage them to send over ten
thousand men. After many difficulties he reached Dublin, communicated
to Ormond the plan, saw with him the Catholic deputies in Dublin, and
then hastened to Kilkenny, to arrange with the council there. But at
this time occurred the revelation of the scheme by the seizure of the
Archbishop of Tuam's papers. The Parliament was thrown into a fury;
the Marquis of Ormond, to make his loyalty appear, seized Glamorgan,
and put him into prison, and the king sent a letter to the two Houses
of Parliament, utterly disavowing the commission of Glamorgan, and
denouncing the warrant in his name as a forgery. All this had been
agreed upon before between the king and Glamorgan, should any discovery
take place; and on searching for Glamorgan's papers a warrant was
found, not sealed in the usual manner, and the papers altogether
informal, so that the king might by this means be able to disavow them.
But that Ormond and the council of Kilkenny had seen a real and formal
warrant, there can be no question. The king, by a second letter to the
two Houses, reiterated his disavowal of the whole affair, and assured
them that he had ordered the privy council in Dublin to proceed against
Glamorgan for his presumption. The proceedings were conducted by Lord
Digby, who assumed a well-feigned indignation against Glamorgan,
accusing him of high treason. The animus with which this accusation
appeared to be made has induced many to believe that Digby was really
incensed, because he had not been let wholly into the secret of
Glamorgan's commission; and his letter to the king on the subject,
noticed by Clarendon as rude and unmanly, would seem to confirm this.
However, Glamorgan, on his part, took the whole matter very cheerfully,
allowed the king's disclaimers without a remonstrance or evidence of
vexation, and produced a copy of his secret treaty with the Catholics,
in which he had inserted an article called a _defeasance_, by which the
king was bound by the treaty no further than he pleased till he had
seen what the Catholics did for him, and by which the Catholics were
to keep this clause secret till the king had done all in his power to
secure their claims.

Surely such a system of royal and political hocus-pocus had never been
concerted before. Ormond, on seeing the defeasance, declared that
it was quite satisfactory, binding the king to nothing; in fact, he
had to avoid the danger of alarming the Catholics and losing their
army for the king; and the Protestants having seen the affected zeal
to prosecute Glamorgan had become greatly appeased. Glamorgan was,
therefore, liberated, and hastened again to Kilkenny to urge on the
sending of the forces. But the late disclosures had not been without
their effect. One part of the council insisted on the full execution
of the king's warrant, the open acknowledgment of Catholicism as the
established religion, and the pope's nuncio, Runcini, who had lately
arrived, strongly urged them to stand by that demand. But another part
of the council were more compliant, and by their aid Glamorgan obtained
five thousand men, with whom he marched to Waterford, to hasten their
passage for the relief of Chester, where Lord Byron was driven to
extremities by the Parliamentarians. There, however, he received the
news that Chester had fallen, and there was not a single port left
where Glamorgan could land his troops; he therefore disbanded them.

Despite the failure of his efforts, the unfortunate monarch still
endeavoured to negotiate some terms for himself, first with one party
and then with another, or with all together. The Parliament had treated
with contempt two offers of negotiation from him. They did not even
deign him an answer. But his circumstances were now such that he
submitted to insults that a short time before would have been deemed
incredible. On the 29th of January, 1646, he made his second offer; he
repeated it on the 23rd of March. He offered to disband his forces,
dismantle his garrisons--he had only five, Pendennis in Cornwall,
Worcester, Newark, Raglan, and Oxford--and to take up his residence
at Westminster, near the Parliament, on a guarantee that he and his
followers should be suffered to live in honour and safety, and his
adherents should retain their property. But the Parliament were now
wholly in the ascendant, and they made the wretched king feel it.
Instead of a reply, they issued an order that if he should come within
their lines, he should be conducted to St. James's, his followers
imprisoned, and none be allowed to have access to him. At the same time
they ordered all Catholics, and all who had borne arms for the king,
to depart within six days, or expect to be treated as spies, and dealt
with by martial law.

But whilst thus ignominiously repelled by Parliament, Montreuil was
still pursuing negotiations on his behalf with the Scots. He obtained
for the purpose the post of agent from the French Court to Scotland,
and with some difficulty obtained from the Parliament leave to visit
the king at Oxford with letters from the King of France and the Queen
Regent, before proceeding northwards. He employed his time there in
urging Charles to agree with the Scots by conceding the point of
religion; and at length it was concluded that Charles should force
his way through the Parliamentary army investing Oxford, and that the
Scots at Newark should send three hundred horse to receive him, and
escort him to their army. Montreuil delivered to Charles an engagement
from the Scottish commissioners for the king's personal safety, his
conscience, and his honour, as well as for the security and religious
freedom of his followers. This was also guaranteed by the King and
Queen Regent of France on behalf of the Scots who had applied to them
for their good offices. Charles wrote to Ormond in Ireland, informing
him that he had received this security, and on the 3rd of April, 1646,
Montreuil set forward northwards.

[Illustration: ENGLAND During the CIVIL WAR 1642-1649.

_Artiste Illustrators. Ltd. 84_]

Montreuil carried with him an order from the king to Lord Bellasis,
to surrender Newark into the hands of the Scots, but on arriving at
Southwell, in the camp of the Scots, he was astonished to find that the
leaders of the army professed ignorance of the conditions made with the
Scottish Commissioners in London. They would not, therefore, undertake
the responsibility of meeting and escorting the king--which they
declared would be a breach of the solemn league and covenant between
the two nations--till they had conferred with their Commissioners,
and made all clear. The security mentioned by Charles to Ormond
would, if this were true, have been from the Commissioners only; and
there must have been gross neglect in not apprising the officers of
it. Montreuil was greatly disconcerted by this discovery, burnt the
order for the surrender of Newark, and wrote to Charles to inform him
of the unsatisfactory interview with the Scots. It is doubtful whether
Charles ever received this letter. At all events, impatient of some
results, for the Parliamentary army was fast closing round Oxford, he
snatched at another chance. Captain Fawcett, Governor of Woodstock,
sent to tell him that that garrison was reduced to extremities, and to
inquire whether he might expect relief, or whether he should surrender
it on the best terms he could obtain. Charles immediately applied to
Colonel Rainsborough, the chief officer conducting the siege of Oxford,
for passports for the Earl of Southampton and Lindsay, Sir William
Fleetwood, and Mr. Ashburnham, to treat with him about the surrender
of Woodstock; but the main thing was to propose the coming of the king
to them on certain conditions. Rainsborough and the other officers
appeared much pleased, but said they could not decide so important an
affair without reference to their superior officers, but if the offer
were entertained, they would the next day send a pass for them to
come and complete the negotiation. If the pass did not come, it must
be understood that the offer was not accepted. No pass came, and the
king was reduced to great straits, for the Parliamentarian armies were
coming closer and closer. He applied then to Ireton who was posted at
Woodstock, but he returned him no answer; to Vane, but he referred
him to Parliament; and thus was the humiliated king treated with the
most insulting contempt. It was believed that it was the intention of
Parliament to keep Charles there till Fairfax and Cromwell, who were
now marching up from the west, should arrive, when they would capture
him and have him at their mercy.

At length Montreuil informed Charles that deputies from the army had
met the Commissioners at Royston, and that it was settled to receive
the king. There are conflicting accounts of the proceedings at this
period. Clarendon and Ashburnham, who have both left narratives, vary
considerably. Ashburnham, the king's groom of the chambers, says that
word was sent that David Leslie would meet his majesty at Gainsborough
with two thousand horse, but Montreuil's message was that the Scots
would send a strong party to Burton-on-Trent, beyond which they could
not go with that force, but would send a few straggling horse to
Harborough, and if the king informed them of the day he would be there,
they would not fail him. As to a proposal that Charles was impolitic
enough to make to these Scottish Covenanters, to form a junction with
Montrose, a man whom they hated with a deadly hatred for his ravages
and slaughters of their party, they treated it with scorn; and, says
Montreuil, "with regard to the Presbyterian government, they desire
his majesty to agree with them as soon as he can. Such is the account
they make here of the engagement of the king, my master, and of the
promises I had from their party in London." He adds that if any better
conditions could be had from any other quarter, these ought not to
be thought of. Montreuil wrote twice more, the last time on the 20th
of April, expressing no better opinion of the Scots, and saying that
they would admit none of his majesty's followers save his two nephews,
Rupert and Maurice, and such servants as were not excepted from the
pardon; and that they could not then refuse to give them up to the
Parliament, but would find means to let them escape.

A gloomier prospect for the king than the one in that quarter could
scarcely present itself. It appears that he had not yet agreed to
the ultimatum of the Scots--the concession of the supremacy of the
Presbyterian Church--and therefore there was no actual treaty between
them. But all other prospects were closed; Charles must choose between
the Scots and the Parliament, the latter body pursuing a contemptuous
and ominous silence. Fairfax and Cromwell were now within a day's march
of the city, and Charles made his choice of the Scots. Yet so undecided
even at the moment of escaping from the city was he, that he would not
commit himself irrevocably to the Scots, by announcing to them his
departure and the direction of his journey. It is remarkable, indeed,
that he had not before, or even now, thought of endeavouring to escape
to Ireland, and making a second stand there with the confederates, or
of getting to the Continent and awaiting a turn of fortune. But he
seemed altogether like a doomed mortal who could not fly his fate.

About two o'clock on the morning of the 27th of April, Charles set out
from Oxford, disguised as the servant of Ashburnham. He had his hair
cut short by Ashburnham, and rode after that gentleman and Hudson the
chaplain, who knew the country well and was their guide. They rode
out unsuspected over Magdalen Bridge, Charles having, groom-like,
a cloak strapped round his waist. To prevent particular attention
or pursuit, several others of them rode out at the same time in
different directions. Charles and his pretended masters got without
suspicion through the lines of the Parliamentary army, and reached
Henley-on-Thames. But now that he was in temporary safety, he appeared
more undecided than ever. He did not attempt to send word to the Scots
to meet him; but, says Clarendon, he was uncertain whether to go to the
Scottish army, or to get privately into London, and lie concealed there
till he might choose what was best. Clarendon declares that he still
thought so well of the City of London, as not to have been unwilling to
have found himself there. But certainly the City had never shown itself
more favourable to him than the Parliament; and now with the Parliament
in the ascendant, it was not likely that it would undertake to contend
with it for the protection or rights of the king. Charles still trusted
that he might hear of Montrose making a fresh movement on his behalf,
in which case he would endeavour to get to him; and he never for long
after abandoned the hope of still hearing something from Ireland in his
favour. From Henley, he therefore directed his way to Slough, thence
to Uxbridge, Hillingdon, Brentford, so near did he reach London, and
then again off to Harrow. His uncertainty increased more and more. He
proceeded towards St. Albans, and near that town was alarmed by the
sound of horses' feet behind them. It was only a drunken man; but to
avoid danger they kept out of St. Albans, and continued through the
bye-ways to Harborough, where he was on the 28th. Two days afterwards
he reached Downham in Norfolk, and spent some time in inquiring after a
vessel that might carry him to Newcastle or Scotland. He seems to have
expected at Harborough some message from the Scots or from Montreuil,
but as none was there, he had despatched Hudson to Montreuil at
Southwell. No prospect of escape by sea offering--for the coasts were
strictly guarded by the Parliamentary vessels--Charles determined to
go over to the Scots on Hudson returning with a message from Montreuil
that they still declared that they would receive the king on his
personal honour; that they would press him to do nothing contrary to
his conscience; that Ashburnham and Hudson should be protected; that
if the Parliament refused, on a message from the king, to restore him
to his rights and prerogatives, they would declare for him, and take
all his friends under their protection; and that if the Parliament did
agree to restore the king, not more than four of his friends should be
punished, and that only by banishment. All this Montreuil, according to
Hudson's own account afterwards to Parliament, assured Charles by note,
but added that the Scots would only give it by word of mouth and not by
writing.

At the best this was suspicious; but where was the king to turn? He was
treated with the most contemptuous silence by the Parliament, which was
at this very moment hoping to make him unconditionally their prisoner.
Fairfax had drawn his lines of circumvallation round Oxford five days
after the king's departure, ignorant that he had escaped, and in the
full hope of taking him. For nine days Charles was wandering about,
nobody knowing where he was, and during that time Clarendon says he had
been in different gentlemen's houses, where "he was not unknown, but
untaken notice of."

On the 5th of May he resolved, on the report of Hudson, to go to the
Scots, and accordingly, early on that morning he rode into Southwell,
to Montreuil's lodgings, and announced his intention. The manner
in which he was received there is related in very contradictory
terms by Ashburnham and Clarendon. Ashburnham says that some of the
Scottish Commissioners came to Montreuil's lodgings to receive him,
and accompanied him with a troop of horse to the headquarters of the
Scottish army at Kelham, where they went after dinner, and were well
received, many lords coming instantly to wait on him with professions
of joy that his majesty had so far honoured their army as to think it
worthy of his presence after so long an opposition. Clarendon, on the
other hand, declares that "very early in the morning he went to the
general's lodgings, and discovered himself to him, who either was, or
seemed to be, exceedingly surprised and confounded at his majesty's
presence, and knew not what to say, but presently gave notice to the
committee, who were no less perplexed."

Both of them, however, agree that the Scots soon convinced Charles that
they considered that he had surrendered himself unconditionally into
their hands; that he had not complied with their terms, and that there
was no treaty actually between them; and from all that appears, this
was the case. Charles had trusted to the assurances of Montreuil, and
had really no written evidence of any engagement on the part of the
Scots, nor was any ever produced. Some of the lords, says Ashburnham,
desiring to know how they might best testify their gratitude to his
majesty for the confidence he had reposed in them, he replied that the
only way was to apply themselves to the performance of the conditions
on which he had come to them. At the word "conditions," Lord Lothian
expressed much surprise, and declared he knew of no conditions
concluded, nor did he believe any of the Commissioners residing with
the army knew of such. On this Charles desired Montreuil to present a
summary of the conditions concluded with the Commissioners in London,
sanctioned by the King of France. It should, however, be borne in mind
that since then the army Commissioners had met with the commissioners
from London at Royston, and had agreed to the terms to be offered
to the king. When Ashburnham, therefore, affirms that many of the
Commissioners of the army still protested their ignorance of these
conditions, it can only mean that such conditions were not concluded
with the king, either there or anywhere, for Charles had never
consented to accept them. When Charles, therefore, asked them what they
meant, then, by inviting him to come to them, and why they had sent
word that all differences were reconciled, and that David Leslie should
meet him with an escort of horse, they replied that this was on the
understanding that his majesty meant to accept their terms, from which
they had never receded, and that they now thought that by his coming to
them he had meant to accept the cardinal condition--the taking of the
Covenant.

[Illustration: FLIGHT OF CHARLES FROM OXFORD. (_See p._ 51.)]

Charles must have been well aware of the truth of all this, but he was
a man who played fast and loose so constantly, that it was impossible
to make any treaty with him. At the very time that he was preparing
to leave Oxford, so alive were all these quibbles and evasions in his
mind, that he wrote to Lord Digby, expressing his intention to get to
London if he could, "not," he says, "without hope that I shall be able
so to draw either the Presbyterians or the Independents to side with
me, for extirpating one another, that I shall really be king again."
This proves that on setting out from Oxford, he had held himself loose
from any compact with the Scots, and did not mean to go to them at all
if he could manage to cozen the Presbyterians or Independents to take
his part, and "extirpate one another."

Such a man was as slippery as an eel. He now insisted solemnly on the
existence of the very conditions that he had purposely kept clear of.
The Scots stood by their offered terms, and exhorted him to accept
the Covenant, entreating him with tears and on their knees to take
it, or to sanction the Presbyterian worship if he could not adopt it,
and pledging themselves on that condition to fight for him to the
last man. But this Charles would not do. He was still--though beaten
and voluntarily surrendered to his enemies--as full of the persuasion
of the divinity of kingship as ever. He therefore undertook to give
the word to the guard, in virtue of his being the chief person in the
army; but old Leven quickly undeceived him, by saying, "I am the older
soldier; your majesty had better leave that office to me."

It was now necessary to apprise the Parliament of the king having
entered their camp--a piece of intelligence which produced a wonderful
sensation. Fairfax had already announced to the Parliament that the
king had escaped out of Oxford, and was believed to have gone towards
London, whereupon the two Houses had issued a proclamation forbidding
any one to harbour or conceal his person on pain of high treason, and
of forfeiting the whole of their estate, and being put to death without
mercy. All Papists and other disaffected persons were ordered, on the
supposition that the king might be in London, to remove before the 12th
of May to twenty-five miles' distance from the metropolis, leaving,
before they went, a notice at Goldsmiths' Hall of the places to which
they intended to retire. When the letter arrived from the Scottish
Commissioners, the Parliament was filled with jealousy and alarm.
There had long been a feeling of the design of the Scots, supported
by the Presbyterians, assuming an undue power; and now to hear that
they had the king in their hands was most embarrassing. They instantly
sent word to the Scots that his majesty must be disposed of according
to the will of the two Houses of Parliament, and that for the present
he must be sent to Warwick Castle; that Ashburnham and Hudson, the
king's attendants, should be sent for by the sergeant-at-arms or his
deputy, to be dealt with as delinquents; and that a narrative must be
prepared of the manner in which the king came to the Scottish camp,
and forthwith sent to the two Houses. To enforce these orders, they
commanded Poyntz to watch the Scottish army with five thousand men, and
Sir Thomas Fairfax to prepare to follow him.

The Scots were not prepared to enter into a civil war with England
for the restoration of the king, who would not comply even with their
propositions; but they knew too well the power they possessed in the
possession of his person, to let the Parliament frighten them out
of their advantage till they had secured their own terms with them.
They therefore immediately addressed a letter to the Parliament,
expressing their astonishment at finding the king coming among them,
for which they solemnly but untruly protested there had been no treaty
nor capitulation. Perhaps they saved their word by meaning no treaty
concluded. They assured the two Houses that they would do everything
possible to maintain a right understanding between the two kingdoms,
and therefore solicited their advice, as they had also sent to solicit
that of the Committee of Estates in Scotland, as to the best measures
to be adopted for the satisfactory settlement of the affairs of the
kingdom. Charles also sent to Parliament, repeating his offers of
accommodation and requesting the two Houses to forward to him the
propositions for peace. To show his sincerity, he ordered his officers
to surrender the fortresses still in their hands to the Committee of
both kingdoms for the English Parliament. He had offered to surrender
them to the Scots, but they refused to accept them, knowing that it
must embroil them with the Parliament. This surrender on the part of
the king, on the 10th of June, closed the war. The last to pull down
the royal standard was the old Marquis of Worcester, the father of
Glamorgan, who held Raglan Castle, and who, though he was eighty years
of age, was compelled by Parliament to travel from Raglan to London,
where he immediately died. Worcester had refused to give up Raglan,
as it was his own house. He did not surrender it till the 19th of
August. Oxford was given up on the 24th of June. Rupert and Maurice
were suffered to withdraw to the Continent. The Duke of York, Charles's
second son, was sent up to London to the custody of Parliament, and put
under the care of the Earl of Northumberland.

Things being in this position, and both Charles and the Scots being
anxious to keep at a distance from Fairfax and his army till the terms
were settled, the Scots rapidly retreated to Newcastle, carrying the
king with them.

The treaty between the Scots and the English Parliament was now carried
on with much diplomacy on both sides, and was not finally settled
till the 16th of January, 1647. The Scots, soon after leaving Newark,
proposed a meeting with the Parliamentary Commissioners, to explain
the reasons of their retreat northwards, and also for not surrendering
Ashburnham and Hudson; but the meeting did not take place, and soon
after Ashburnham contrived to escape and get into France, to the queen.
Charles said that he could have escaped, too, had he been so disposed;
but Hudson attempting it, was stopped.

Charles did not neglect to try the effect of brilliant promises on
David Leslie and others of the Scottish officers, if they would side
with him and make a junction with Montrose for his restoration. He
offered to make David Earl of Orkney, but the Committee of Estates sent
the Earls of Argyll and Loudon, and Lord Lanark, to Newcastle, to see
that all was kept in order in the camp; and they told Charles plainly
that he must take the Covenant, and order Montrose to disband his
forces in the Highlands, if he expected them to do anything important
for him. Charles consented to order the disbanding of Montrose's
followers and his retirement to France, but he could not bring himself
to accept the Covenant. In fact, on the same day that he gave the
order to surrender his remaining fortresses, he sent a letter to the
English Parliament, informing them that he was in full freedom, and
in a capacity to settle with them a peace, and offering to leave the
question of religion to the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, to
place the militia in their hands as proposed at Uxbridge, for seven
years, and, in short, to do all in his power to settle the kingdom
without further effusion of blood. The Parliament, however, knew that
he was in no condition to make war on them, and were too sensible of
their power to notice such overtures, further than that they thought
his terms now too high.

At this very time Charles was in active secret endeavour to obtain an
army from Ireland and France. Glamorgan and the Pope's nuncio were
busy in Ireland; the queen was equally busy in France; Mazarin again
promised her ten thousand men, and incited Lord Jermyn to seize Jersey
and Guernsey; and the king, though he had ordered Montrose to disband
his forces and quit Scotland, desired him to be ready to raise the
royal standard once more in the Highlands in conjunction with the
French and Irish. All these wild schemes, however, were knocked on
the head by the Earl of Ormond making peace with the Parliament on
condition that he should recover his estates. He surrendered the Castle
of Dublin and the fortresses to Parliament, went over to England, and
all hope of aid from Ireland was at an end.

Whilst these political designs were in agitation, Charles was deeply
engaged with the religious difficulty of giving up Episcopacy and
consenting to the dominance of Presbyterianism. He consulted Juxon,
the ex-Bishop of London, and gave him leave to advise with Dr.
Sheldon and the late Bishop of Salisbury, whether he might not accept
Presbyterianism as a man under compulsion, and therefore not really
bound by it; and he was at the same time engaged with Alexander
Henderson on the Scriptural authority of Episcopacy or Presbyterianism.
During this dispute, in which each champion supported his opinion with
Scriptural passages, and yet came no nearer than such disputants ever
do, the Scottish divine was taken ill and died, and the Royalists
declared that the king had so completely worsted him that he died of
chagrin.

On the 23rd of July the English Parliament at length made proposals
of peace, sending the Earls of Pembroke, Denbigh, and Montague, and
six members of the Commons, to Newcastle, to treat with him. The
conditions were not so favourable as those offered at Uxbridge, things,
indeed, being now very different; the great point, however, being the
abandonment of Episcopacy. They were to receive an answer or return
in ten days; but the king would not yield the question of the Church.
The Scottish Commissioners were present, and urged the king warmly to
consent to the conditions, and thus to restore peace. The Earls of
Loudon and Argyll implored it on their knees. Then Loudon, Chancellor
of Scotland, told him "that the consequences of his answer to the
propositions were so great, that on it depended the ruin of his crown
and kingdoms; that the Parliament, after many bloody battles, had
got the strongholds and forts of the kingdom into their hands; that
they had his revenue, excise, assessments, sequestrations, and power
to raise all the men and money in the kingdom; that they had gained
victory over all, and that they had a strong army to maintain it, so
that they might do what they would with Church or State; that they
desired neither him nor any of his race longer to reign over them,
and had sent these propositions to his majesty, without the granting
whereof the kingdom and his people would not be in safety; that if
he refused to assent, he would lose all his friends in Parliament,
lose the city, and lose the country; and that all England would join
against him as one man to process and depose him, and to set up another
Government; and that both kingdoms for safety would be compelled to
agree to settle religion and peace without him, to the ruin of his
majesty and posterity;" and he concluded by saying, "that if he left
England, he would not be allowed to go and reign in Scotland." This,
it must be confessed, was plain and honest, and therefore loyal and
patriotic speaking. The General Assembly of the Kirk had already come
to this conclusion; but all was lost on the king.

Parliament now having proved that all negotiation was useless, their
Commissioners returned, and reported that they could obtain no
answer from the king, except that he was ready to come up to London
and treat in person. A Presbyterian member, on hearing this report,
exclaimed--"What will become of us, now the king has rejected our
propositions?" "Nay," replied an Independent member, "what would have
become of us had he accepted them?" And really it is difficult to
see what could have been the condition of the kingdom had a man of
Charles's incorrigible character been again admitted to power. The
Parliament returned thanks to the Scottish Commissioners for their
zealous co-operation in the endeavour to arrange matters with the
king--a severe blow to Charles, who had till now clung to the hope of
seizing some advantage from the jealousies which for many months had
prevailed between the Parliament and the Scottish army.

On the 12th of August the Scottish Commissioners presented a paper to
the House of Lords, stating that the kingdom of Scotland had, on the
invitation of both Houses, carefully undertaken and faithfully managed
their assistance in the kingdom towards obtaining the ends expressed
in the covenant; and as the forces of the common enemy were now broken
and destroyed, through the blessing of God, they were willing to
surrender up the fortresses in their hands, and retire into their own
country, on a reasonable compensation being made for their sufferings
and expenses. They stated truly that many base calumnies and execrable
aspersions had been cast upon them by printed pamphlets and otherwise,
which they had not suffered to turn them from that brotherly affection
which was requisite for the great end in view, and which they trusted
would yet be effected, notwithstanding the lamentable refusal of their
propositions by the king. They claimed, moreover, still to be consulted
on the measure for accomplishing the common object of peace for the
kingdom. The Commons appointed a committee to settle the accounts
between them. The Scots demanded six hundred thousand pounds as the
balance due, but agreed to receive four hundred thousand pounds, one
half of which was to be paid before quitting the kingdom.

Scarcely had this amicable arrangement been made, when the two English
Houses of Parliament passed a resolution that the disposal of the
king's person belonged to them. This alarmed the Scots, who instantly
remonstrated, saying that as Charles was king of Scotland as well as
of England, both nations had an equal right to be consulted regarding
the disposal of his person. This is a sufficient answer to the calumny
so zealously propagated by the Royalists that the Scots had sold
the king to the Parliament. On the contrary, they had claimed a sum
of money as a just payment of their expenses and services, and the
person or liberty of the king had not entered at all into the bargain.
This bargain, in fact, was made five months--that is, on the 5th of
September--before they delivered up the king, that is, on the 30th
of January, 1647, and during these five months they were zealously
engaged in contending for the personal security of the monarch to the
very verge of a civil war. All this time they strove equally to induce
Charles to accept the terms, which would have removed all difficulties.
From September 21st, when the English Parliament voted this resolution,
to October 13th, a fierce contest was carried on on this subject, and
various conferences were held. The Scots published their speeches on
these occasions; the English seized them, and imprisoned the printers;
there was imminent danger of civil war, and on the 13th of October the
Commons voted payment for the army for the next six months, giving an
unmistakable proof of their resolve on the question.

All this was beheld with delight by Charles; and he wrote to his wife
that he believed yet that they would have to restore him with honour.
He believed one party or the other would, to settle the question,
concede all to him, and with his sanction put the other down. For some
time the public spirit in Scotland favoured his hopes. The question
was discussed there with as much vehemence as in England. His friends
exerted themselves, the national feeling was raised in his favour,
and the Scottish Parliament passed a vote on the 10th of December,
under the management of the Hamiltons, that they would exert all their
power and influence to maintain the monarchical system of government,
and the king's title to the English crown, which it was now notorious
that the Independents sought to subvert. This gave wonderful spirit
to the royal party; but the Commission of the Kirk instantly reminded
Parliament that Charles had steadily refused to take the Covenant, and
that even if he were deposed in England, he could not be allowed to
come into Scotland; or if he did enter it, his royal functions must be
suspended till he had embraced the Covenant, and given freedom to their
religion. This brought the Parliament to reflection, and the next day
it rescinded the resolution.

[Illustration: QUEEN HENRIETTA'S DRAWING-ROOM AND BEDROOM, MERTON
COLLEGE, OXFORD.]

This dashed the last hopes of the king, and, now that it was too late,
he began seriously to contemplate escape to the Continent. Montreuil
wrote to the French Court on the 21st of January, 1647--the very day
that the money was paid to the Scots, and a receipt given previous to
their departure--that Charles still continued to dream of escaping,
though to himself it appeared impossible, unless the Scots had rather
see him do so than fall into the hands of the Independents. The king
had arranged with Sir Robert and William Murray his scheme of escape in
disguise, but it was found impossible. Once more, therefore, he wrote
to the Parliament of England for permission to go to London and open
a free debate with both Houses for the settlement of all differences.
The message received no notice whatever; but the two Houses went on
debating as to the disposal of the king's person. The Lords voted
that he should be allowed to come to Newmarket; the Commons that he
should go to Holmby, in Northampton, one of his houses, to which he was
considerably attached. After further debate this was agreed to by the
Lords.

The Scots, seeing that they must yield up the person of Charles to
the English Parliament or prepare to fight for it, asked themselves
what they were to gain by a civil war for a king who would not move
one jot towards complying with their wishes? They made one more effort
to persuade him to take the Covenant, but in vain. In reply to their
solicitation, he made this ominous reply:--"It is a received opinion by
many, that engagements, acts, or promises of a restrained person, are
neither valid nor obligating; how true or false this is I will not now
dispute, but I am sure if I be not free, I am not fit to answer your or
any propositions." And he demanded if he went to Scotland whether he
should be free, with honour and safety. It was clear what was in his
mind--that if he did take the Covenant he would be at liberty to break
it when he had the power; and as the Scots had determined that they
would not receive him into Scotland at the certain cost of civil war,
when they could with such a person have no possible guarantee of his
keeping his engagements even were he brought to make them, they replied
that he must at once accept their propositions, or they must leave
him to the resolution of Parliament. Two days afterwards (the 16th of
January, 1647), the Parliament of Scotland acceded to the demand of the
English Parliament that the king should be given up, a promise being
exacted that respect should be had to the safety of his person in the
defence of the true religion, and the liberties of the two kingdoms,
according to the Solemn League and Covenant. More was demanded by the
Scots, namely, that no obstacle should be opposed to the legitimate
succession of his children, and no alteration made in the existing
government of the kingdom. To this the Lords fully assented, but the
Commons took no notice of it.

On the 5th of January the two hundred thousand pounds, engaged to
be paid to the Scots before leaving England, arrived at Newcastle,
in thirty-six carts, under a strong escort, and having been duly
counted, a receipt was signed on the 21st at Northallerton, and on the
30th Charles was committed to the care of the English Commissioners,
consisting of three lords and six commoners, the Earl of Pembroke being
at their head. He professed to be pleased with the change, as it would
bring him nearer to his Parliament. The Scots, having finished their
business in England, evacuated Newcastle, and marched away into their
own country.

In all these transactions we have endeavoured in vain to discover any
ground for the common calumny against the Scots, that they bought
and sold the king. On the contrary, we have shown that all contract
regarding their reimbursements and remunerations was completed five
months before the delivery of the king; and that they did all in their
power to induce him to accept their Covenant, and with that their
pledge to defend him to the last drop of their blood. Montreuil says,
that even at the last moment the Earls of Lauderdale and Traquair
again pressed the king to consent to accept the Covenant and establish
Presbyterianism, and they would convey him to Berwick and compel the
English to be satisfied with what he had thus offered them. He stated
that the Scots offered him (Montreuil) twenty thousand Jacobuses to
persuade the king to comply, but that he could not prevail. It must
be remembered, too, that when they did surrender him, it was only on
promise of safety to his person, and that they delivered him not to the
Independents, who made no secret of their designs against the monarchy,
but to their fellow believers, the Parliament, which entertained no
such intentions, and had already offered Charles the same terms on the
same conditions.

Before the close of this year, that is in September, the Earl of Essex
died; Ireton married Bridget Cromwell, second daughter of Oliver
Cromwell; and a great number of officers in the army were again in
Parliament--the Self-denying Ordinance, having served its turn, being
no more heard of.



CHAPTER III.

END OF THE REIGN OF CHARLES I.

    Differences between the Presbyterians and Independents--The King
    at Holmby--Attempt to Disband the Army--Consequent Petitions
    to Parliament--The Adjutators--Meeting at Newmarket--Seizure
    of the King--Advance of the Army on London--Stubbornness
    of the Presbyterians--The Army Marches through London--Its
    Proposals to Charles--Their Rejection--The King throws away
    his Best Chances--The Levellers--Cromwell's Efforts on
    behalf of Charles--Renewed Intrigues of Charles--Flight to
    Carisbrooke--Attempts to Rescue the King--Charles Treats with the
    Scots--Consequent Reaction in his Favour--Battle of Preston and
    Suppression of the Insurrection--Cromwell at Edinburgh--The Prince
    of Wales in Command of the Fleet--Negotiations at Newport--Growing
    Impatience of the Army--Petitions for the King's Trial--Charles's
    Blindness and Duplicity--He is Removed to Hurst Castle--Pride's
    Purge--Supremacy of the Independents--The Whiggamores--Hugh Peters'
    Sermon in St. Margaret's, Westminster--Ordinance for the King's
    Trial--Trial and Execution of Charles I.


For a long time the difference of opinion between the Presbyterians
and the Independents had been growing more marked and determined.
The latter, from a small knot of Dissenters, had grown into a
considerable one, and the more influential, because the most able
and active, leaders of both Parliament and army were of that sect.
Under the head of Independents, however, ranged themselves, so far as
politics were concerned, a variety of other Dissenters--Arminians,
Millenaries, Baptists and Anabaptists, Familists, Enthusiasts, Seekers,
Perfectists, Socinians, Arians, and others--all of whom claimed freedom
of worship, according to their peculiar faiths. On the other hand,
the Presbyterians, backed by the Scots, were bent on establishing a
religious despotism. Their tenets and form of government were alone
to be tolerated. They were as resolute sticklers for conformity as
the Catholics, or Charles and Laud themselves. They set up the same
claims to be superior to the State, and allowed of no appeal from their
tribunals to those of the civil magistrate. Having established the
Directory for the form of worship, they erected an assembly, with its
synods, and divided the whole kingdom into provinces, the provinces
into classes, the classes into presbyteries or elderships. They
declared that "the keys of the kingdom of heaven were committed to the
officers of the Church, by virtue whereof they had power to retain and
remit sins, to shut the kingdom of heaven against the impenitent by
censures, and to open it to the penitent by absolution." They claimed a
right to inquire into the private lives of persons, and of suspending
the unworthy from the Sacrament.

All these assumptions the Independents denied, and would not admit
any authority over the free action of individual congregations. The
Commons, through the influence of Selden and Whitelock, proposed
to the Assembly of Divines nine questions respecting the nature and
object of the divine right to which they aspired, and before they could
answer these, the army and the Independents, its leaders, had effected
still more embarrassing changes. The king being conquered, and the
Scots having withdrawn, the contest lay no longer between the king and
Parliament, but between the Presbyterians and Independents, or, what
was nearly synonymous, the Parliament and the Army.

The king was conducted to Holmby by easy journeys, and treated by his
attendants with courtesy. The people flocked to see him, and showed
that the traditions of royalty were yet strong in them. They received
him with acclamations, uttered prayers for his preservation, and not
a few of them pressed forward to be touched for the "evil." On his
arrival at Holmby, he found a great number of ladies and gentlemen
assembled to welcome him, with every demonstration of pleasure, and
his house and table well appointed and supplied. He passed his time in
reading, in riding about the country, and in different amusements--as
chess and bowls, riding to Althorpe, or even to Harrowden, because
there was no good bowling-green at Holmby. One thing only he complained
of, and requested to have altered. The Parliament sent him clergymen
of their own persuasion to attend him; he begged that any two out
of his twelve chaplains might be substituted, but was refused.
The Presbyterian ministers allotted him were Thomas Herbert, and
Harrington, the author of "Oceana," with whose conversation Charles was
much pleased on all subjects but religion and form of government. But
though Charles passed the bulk of his time in relaxation, he was not
insensible to his situation; and when he had been left there for three
months without notice, he addressed to Parliament a letter in which
he proposed to allow Presbyterian Church government for three years,
his own liberty of worship being granted, and twenty clergymen of the
Church of England admitted to the Westminster Assembly; the question of
religion at the end of that period was to be finally settled by himself
and the two Houses in the usual way, and the command of the army was
also to be left to Parliament for ten years, and then to revert to
him. The Lords gladly assented to this offer, but the Commons did not
entertain it, and other matters soon claimed their attention.

The Presbyterians had, during the active engagements of the army, and
the consequent absence of the leading Independents, strengthened their
ranks by many new members of Parliament, and they now set about to
reduce the power of their opponents by disbanding the greater part of
the army. They decreed in February that three thousand horse, twelve
hundred dragoons, and eight thousand four hundred foot, should be
withdrawn from Fairfax's army and sent to Ireland, and that besides one
thousand dragoons and five thousand four hundred horse, all the rest of
the army should be disbanded, except as many soldiers as were necessary
to man the forty-five castles and fortresses which remained. This would
have completely prostrated the power of the Independents; and Cromwell,
on whose shrewd character and military success they now looked with
terror, would have been first sacrificed, as well as Ireton, Ludlow,
Blake, Skippon, Harrison, Algernon Sidney, and others, who had fought
the real battle of the late contest. The heads of the Presbyterians
in Parliament consisted of unsuccessful commanders--Holles, Waller,
Harley, Stapleton, and others--who hated the successful ones, both on
account of their brilliant success and of their religion. Fairfax,
though a Presbyterian, went along with his officers in all the love of
toleration.

It was voted in the Commons, not only that no officer under Fairfax
should have higher rank than that of colonel, but that no one should
hold a commission who did not take the Covenant and conform to the
government of the Church as fixed by Parliament. This would have been
a sweeping measure, had the Parliament not had a very obvious party
motive in it, and had it paid its soldiers, and been in a condition
to discharge them. But at this moment they were immensely in arrears
with the pay of the army, and that body, feeling its strength, at once
broke up its cantonments round Nottingham, and marched towards London,
halting only at Saffron Walden. This movement created a terrible alarm
in the City, Parliament regarded it as a menace, but Fairfax excused
it on the plea of the exhausted state of the country round their old
quarters. The Commons hastened to vote sixty thousand pounds towards
the payment of arrears, which amounted to forty-three weeks for the
horse and eighteen for the infantry. In the City, the Council and
the Presbyterians got up a petition to both Houses, praying that the
army might be removed farther from London; but at the same moment a
more startling one was in progress from the Independents, addressed
to "the supreme authority of the nation, the Commons in Parliament
assembled." It not only gave this significant hint of its opinion
where the real power of the State lay, but denounced the House of
Lords as assuming undue authority, and complained of the persecution
and exclusion from all places of trust of those who could not conform
to the Church government imposed. The House of Commons condemned this
Republican petition, and ordered the army not to approach nearer than
twenty-five miles of London. A deputation was sent down to Saffron
Walden, where Fairfax summoned a convention of officers to answer them.
These gentlemen, on the mention of being sent to Ireland, said they
must know, before they could decide, what regiments, what commanders
were to go, and whether they were sure of getting their arrears and
their future daily pay. They demanded their arrears and some recompense
for past services. The Commissioners, not being able to answer these
demands, returned and reported to the Commons, mentioning also a
petition in progress in the army. Alarmed at this, the Commons summoned
to their bar some of the principal officers--Lieutenant-General
Hammond, Colonel Robert Hammond, his brother, Colonel Robert Lilburn,
Lieutenant-Colonel Grimes, and Colonel Ireton, Cromwell's son-in-law,
a member of the House; and they voted that three regiments, commanded
by the staunch Presbyterian officers Poyntz, Copley, and Bethell should
remain at home. But what roused the army more than all besides, was a
motion made by Denzil Holles, and carried, that the army's petition,
which was not yet presented, was an improper petition, and that all
who were concerned in it should be proceeded against as enemies to the
State and disturbers of the public peace.

This declaration of the 30th of March was little short of an act of
madness. It could only excite the indignation of a power against
which the Parliament, grown unpopular, and divided against itself, was
but as a reed in a whirlwind. The officers pronounced it "a blot of
infamy" upon them, and the Parliament was glad to attempt to lay the
storm by voting, on the 8th of April, that the regiments of Fairfax,
Cromwell, Rossiter, Whalley, and Graves, should remain in England. A
week afterwards the Commons sent down another deputation, accompanied
by the Earl of Warwick, who harangued the officers earnestly to engage
for Ireland, promising that Major-General Skippon should command them.
Many were pleased with them, but more cried out, "Fairfax and Cromwell!
Give us Fairfax and Cromwell, and then we all go!"

[Illustration: LORD FAIRFAX. (_After the Portrait by Cooper._)]

On the return of the deputation without success, the Commons debated
whether they should not disband the whole army. Holles strongly
recommended it, and that they should give the soldiers six weeks'
pay on disbanding. He thought it would be easy then to engage the
men to go to Ireland under other officers, and that four of those
officers who were regarded as most hostile in this movement should
be summoned to the bar of the House. How miserably he was mistaken
was immediately shown, for a petition was presented that very day
(the 27th of April), signed by Lieutenant-General Hammond, fourteen
colonels and lieutenant-colonels, six majors, and one hundred and
thirty captains, lieutenants, and other commissioned officers. It was
drawn up in energetic language, complaining of the calumnies spread
abroad regarding the army, and enumerating the services they had
done, the sacrifices they had made for the Commonwealth, and praying
for the payment of the soldiers' arrears. It declared, indeed, that
this movement of petitioning had commenced amongst the soldiers, and
that the officers had been induced to take it up to prevent anything
unacceptable to the House from being put forward.

But the petition of the officers did not prevent the petition of the
men. When they saw the Commons did not immediately comply with the
petition of the officers, smarting under the vote of disbandment,
coupled with the withholding of their pay, horse dragoons and infantry
went on their own way. They had lately entered into an association to
make their complaints known. The officers had established a military
council to consult on and take care of the interests of the army, and
the men established a council too. Two commissioned officers, but not
exceeding in rank ensigns, and two private soldiers from each regiment,
met from time to time to discuss the wants of the army. They were
called Adjutators or assistants in the cause, and the word soon became
corrupted into Agitators. Thus there was a sort of army Parliament--the
officers representing the Peers, the soldiers the Commons. The whole
scheme has been, and it is probable very justly, ascribed to the genius
of Cromwell. What confirms the supposition is, that an old friend
of his, Berry, a captain, became its president, and that Ayres and
Desborough, his two particular friends, the latter of whom had married
his sister, were in close communication with the leading officers
amongst the Agitators.

These movements on the part of the army, and the zealous manner in
which Cromwell rose and vindicated the conduct of the soldiers on this
occasion, warning the House not to drive so loyal and meritorious a
body as the army to desperation, caused them to order him, Skippon, and
Fleetwood to go down to the army and quiet its discontent by assuring
the soldiers of pay and indemnification. These three, on the 7th of
May, met the officers, who demanded time to prepare an answer after
consulting their regiments. There appeared to have been doubts and
dissension sown by the Presbyterians, and as the different regiments
came to opposite conclusions, the Parliament thought it might venture
to disband them. On the 25th it was settled that such regiments as
did not volunteer for Ireland should be disbanded at fixed times and
places. Fairfax, pleading indisposition, left the House and hastened
down to the army, and immediately marched it from Saffron Walden to
Bury St. Edmunds. The soldiers declared that they would not disband
till they were paid, and demanded a rendezvous, declaring that if
the officers did not grant it they would hold it themselves. Fairfax
announced this to the Parliament, praying it to adopt soothing
measures; and that, though he was compelled to comply with a measure
out of order, he would do what he could to preserve it. The House, on
the 28th, sent down the Earl of Warwick, the Lord Delaware, Sir Gilbert
Gerrard, and three other members of the Commons, to promise eight
weeks' pay, and to see the disbanding effected. On hearing the terms
from the Commissioners, the soldiers exclaimed:--"Eight weeks' pay!
We want nearer eight times eight!" There was universal confusion; the
men refused to disband without full payment. They hastened to their
rendezvous at Bury St. Edmunds, each man paying fourpence towards the
expenses; and they ordered that the army should draw together, and a
general rendezvous be held on the 4th of June. At Oxford the soldiers
seized the disbanding money as _part_ payment, and demanded the rest,
or no disbanding.

On the 4th and 5th of June, accordingly, the grand rendezvous was held
on Kentford Heath, near Newmarket. They entered into a covenant to see
justice done to one and all, and not till then to listen to any other
orders or terms. Meanwhile, a still more extraordinary scene had taken
place, of which the direct springs may be guessed, but which springs
were so closely concealed that no clever historian could ever lay them
bare. Scarcely was the honourable House of Commons in possession of the
news of the Kentford Heath rendezvous, when it was paralysed by this
still more amazing announcement.

The House of Lords, not liking the proceedings of the army, had ordered
the king for greater safety to be removed from Holmby to Oatlands,
nearer the capital. The army anticipated that move; and by whose orders
no man knows, nor ever will know, Cornet Joyce, of Whalley's regiment,
followed by a strong party of horse, presented himself on the 2nd of
June, a little after midnight, at Holmby House. After surrounding the
house with his troop, said to be one thousand strong, he knocked and
demanded admittance, telling Major-General Brown and Colonel Graves
that he was come to speak to the king. "From whom?" demanded these
officers, awoke from their sleep. "From myself," said Joyce; whereat
they laughed. But Joyce told them it was no laughing matter. They
then advised him to draw off his troops, and in the morning he should
see the Commissioners. Joyce replied that he was not come there to
be advised by them, or to talk to the Commissioners, but to speak to
the king; and speak to him he would, and that soon. At this threat
Brown and Graves bade their soldiers stand to their arms and defend
the place; but the soldiers, instead, threw open the doors, and bade
their old comrades welcome. Joyce then went direct to the chamber of
the Commissioners, and informed them that there was a design to seize
the king, and place him at the head of an army to put down that under
General Fairfax; and that, to prevent another war, he was come to
secure the person of the king, and see that he was not led into further
mischief; for, added the cornet, "there be some who endeavour to pull
down king and people, and set up themselves."

The Commissioners desired him not to disturb the king's sleep, but
to wait till morning, and they would tell his majesty of his arrival
and business. In the morning Joyce found that Brown had contrived to
send off Graves to fetch up the king's guard; and "some of his damning
blades did say and swear they would fetch a party." But Joyce--a stout
fellow for a tailor, which he had been--did not trouble himself about
that, for he knew the guard would not move, and at length insisted on
being admitted to the king himself.

According to Joyce's own account, it was ten o'clock in the evening
again when he was ushered, with two or three of his followers, into
the royal presence. The soldiers took off their hats, and displayed no
rudeness, but a blunt proceeding to business. According to Clarendon,
the cornet told the king that he was sorry to have disturbed his sleep,
but that he must go with him. Charles asked whither. He said to the
army. But where was the army, replied the king. The cornet said they
would show him. His majesty asked by what authority they came. Joyce
said "By this!" and showed him his pistol, and desired his majesty to
cause himself to be dressed, because it was necessary they should make
haste. The king sent for the Commissioners, who asked Joyce whether he
had any order from Parliament. He said no. From the general? No. What,
then, was his authority? He gave the same reply as to the king, by
holding up his pistol. They said they would write to the Parliament to
learn its pleasure, to which Joyce replied, they could do so, but the
king meanwhile must go with him.

Finding that the soldiers sent for would not come, and that the
officers of the guard said that Joyce's troop were not soldiers of one
regiment, but drawn from several regiments, and that Joyce was not
their proper officer, it was clear that there was a general design
in the affair, and the king said he would go with them at six in
the morning. At the hour appointed the king appeared on horseback,
and found the troop all mounted and ready. The king had overnight
demanded of Joyce whether he should be forced to do anything against
his conscience, and whether he should have his servants with him; and
Joyce replied that there was no intention to lay any constraint on
his majesty, only to prevent his being made use of to break up the
army before justice had been done to it. Before starting, Charles
again demanded from Joyce, in the presence of the troop, where was his
commission, enjoining him to deal ingenuously with him, and repeating,
"Where, I ask you again, is your commission?" "Here," said Joyce,
"behind me," pointing to the soldiers. Charles smiled, and said, "It is
a fair commission, and as well written as I have ever seen a commission
written in my life; a company of handsome, proper gentlemen, as I have
seen a great while. But what if I should refuse to go with you? I hope
you would not force me. I am your king; you ought not to lay violent
hands on your king. I acknowledge none to be above me here but God."
He then demanded again whither they proposed to conduct him. Oxford
and Cambridge were named, to both of which places Charles objected.
Newmarket was next named, and to that he consented. So the first day
they rode to Hinchinbrook, and the next to Childersley, near Newmarket.

The news of these proceedings of the army carried consternation into
the two Houses of Parliament, and into the City, where the Presbyterian
party was in full strength. They ordered the immediate arrest of
Cromwell, which they had been intending some time, but they were
informed that he left town the very same morning that Joyce appeared
at Holmby--a significant fact--and was seen riding away with only one
attendant. He reached the headquarters of the army with his horse all
in foam. The House voted to sit all the next day, though it was Sunday,
and have Mr. Marshall to pray for them. Rumour declared that the army
was on its march, and would be there the next day at noon. The House
ordered the Committee of Safety to sit up all night, taking measures
for the protection of the City; the train-bands to be called out, and
all the lines of communication guarded. The next day the shops were
shut, the town was in indescribable confusion, and terror in every
face, as though the army was already there. The Parliament wrote to
Fairfax, commanding that the army should not infringe the order of the
two Houses, by coming within twenty-five miles of London, that the
king should be returned to the care of the Commissioners who attended
him at Holmby, and that Colonel Rossiter's regiment should guard his
person. Fairfax replied that the army had reached St. Albans before he
received their command, but it should proceed no farther; that he had
sent Colonel Whalley with his regiment to meet his majesty on his way
from Holmby, and offered to return him thither, but that he preferred
the air of Newmarket, and that all care should be taken of his person.

[Illustration: CORNET JOYCE'S INTERVIEW WITH CHARLES. (_See p._ 63.)]

In fact, Charles was delighted with the change. He had escaped from
the harsh keeping and the strict regimen of the Presbyterians, whom he
detested, and felt himself, as it were, a king again at the head of
an army: the dissensions now rushing on so hotly between his enemies
wonderfully encouraging his hopes of making friends of the more liberal
party. He was in a condition of greater freedom and respect in the
army than he had been at Holmby: there was a larger number of troops
and the officers were superior. He was relieved from the presence of
Cornet Joyce. All restraint being taken off from persons resorting to
him, he saw every day the faces of many that were grateful to him. No
sooner did he ask for the attendance of his own chaplains than those
he named (Drs. Sheldon, Morley, Sanderson, and Hammond) were sent for,
and performed the service regularly, no one being forbidden to attend.
The king was left to his leisure and his friends, only removing with
the army as it moved, and in all places he was as well provided for
and accommodated as he had been in any progress. The best gentlemen,
Clarendon admits, of the several counties through which he passed,
daily resorted to him without distinction. He was attended by some of
his old trusty servants in the places nearest his person. On hearing of
his present condition, the queen sent Sir John Berkeley from Paris,
and his old groom of the chambers, who had been living at Rouen, to be
with him again, and they were freely admitted by Cromwell and Ireton.
"Many good officers," says Clarendon, "who had served his majesty
faithfully, were civilly received by the officers of the army, and
lived quietly in their quarters, which they could not do anywhere
else, which raised a great reputation to the army throughout England,
and as much reproach upon Parliament." This was raised still more by
the army's address to Parliament, desiring that "care might be taken
for settling the king's rights, according to the several professions
they had made in their declarations; and that the royal party might
be treated with more candour and less rigour." Even the most devoted
of Royalists, Sir Philip Warwick, says, "The deep and bloody-hearted
Independents all this while used the king very civilly, admitting
several of his servants and some of his chaplains to attend him, and
officiate by the service-book."

[Illustration: FAIRFAX HOUSE, PUTNEY. (_From a Photograph by W. Field &
Co., Putney._)]

The Commons ordered all officers to attend their regiments, and sent
down Commissioners to inform the army of the votes of the two Houses.
The army gave the Commissioners such a reception as no Commissioners
had ever witnessed before. Twenty-one thousand men had assembled to
a rendezvous on Triploe Heath, near Royston; and the General and
the Commissioners rode to each regiment, to acquaint them with the
Parliamentary votes as to their instalment of pay, their disbanding,
and their not approaching within twenty-five miles of London. The
answer was sent up in shouts of "Justice! justice!" A petition also
from the well-affected people of Essex was delivered on the field to
the General in presence of the Commissioners, against the disbanding,
declaring "that the Commonwealth had many enemies, who watched for such
an opportunity to destroy the good people." A memorial was, moreover,
drawn up and signed by the General and all the chief officers, to
the Lord Mayor and Corporation of London, warning them against false
representations of the intentions of the army, for that the war being
at an end, all that they desired and prayed for was that the peace
of the kingdom should be settled according to the declarations of
Parliament before the army was called out, and that being done, the
army should be paid before it was disbanded.

So far from pacifying the Parliament, these proceedings alarmed it
infinitely more, and it issued an order that the army should not
come within forty-five miles of the capital. On its part, the army
collected addresses from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and the surrounding
counties, praying the purgation of the House from all such members as
were disqualified from sitting there by corruption, delinquency, abuse
of the State, or undue election; and on the 16th of June, from its
headquarters at St. Albans, the army formally impeached of high treason
eleven of the most active Presbyterian members. This impeachment was
presented to the House by twelve officers of the army--colonels,
lieutenant-colonels, majors, and captains. Within a few days the
General and officers sent a letter to the House, informing it that they
would appoint proper persons to conduct the impeachment, and make good
their charges; and desired the House to suspend the accused forthwith,
as it was not fitting that those persons who had done their best to
prejudice the army should sit as judges of their own actions.

This, says Clarendon, was an arrow out of their own quiver, which the
Commons did not expect; and though it was a legitimate consequence of
the impeachments of Strafford, Laud, and others, they endeavoured to
set it at defiance. The Parliament and its army were, in fact, come to
the pass which the brave old Royalist, Sir Jacob Astley, had foreseen
when he surrendered his regiment at Stowe, in 1646:--"You have done
your work, my masters, and may go and play, unless you will fall out
amongst yourselves."

The army, to settle the matter, marched from St. Albans to Uxbridge,
and at that sight the eleven members withdrew from the House of
Commons, and the Commons assumed a modest and complying behaviour,
voting the army under Fairfax to be the real army of England and worthy
of all respect. They sent certain proposals to Fairfax, which induced
him to remove his headquarters from Uxbridge to Wycombe. The eleven
members, looking on this as a degree of submission to Parliament,
immediately plucked up courage, and Holles and the rest appeared in
their places, preferring charges in return against the officers, and
demanding a fair trial. But they soon perceived their mistake, and,
soliciting the Speaker's leave of absence and his passport to go out of
the kingdom, disappeared.

The struggle between the army and Parliament--that is, between the
Presbyterian and Independent interests--was all this time raging.
For six weeks the army was advancing or retiring, according as the
Parliament acted; the Parliament only giving way through intimidation.
According as affairs stood, the City was either peaceful or in alarm,
now shutting its shops, now carrying on much negotiation; the army
lying still near, and paid more regularly, out of terror, by the
Parliament. At length the army had so far succeeded as to have the
insulting declaration of Holles--"the blot of ignominy"--erased
from the journals of the House, and the ordinance of the 4th of
May--procured by Holles--for the placing of the militia of the City
in more exclusively Presbyterian hands--revoked. But towards the end
of July the strong Presbyterian element in London was again in such
ferment that it forgot its terrors of the army, and proceeded to daring
extremities. The Presbyterian faction demanded that conventicles--that
is, the meeting-houses of all classes, except Presbyterians--should be
closed, and called on the citizens to meet in Guildhall to hear the
Covenant read, and sign an engagement--soldiers, sailors, citizens, and
apprentices--to drive away the army and bring the king to Westminster,
and make a treaty with him. A hundred thousand signatures were put
to this paper, and had the courage been half as great as the bluster
the army had been swept to destruction. On the 26th of July, a few
days afterwards, a vast rabble surrounded the Houses of Parliament,
calling on both Lords and Commons to restore the order regarding
the City militia; they crowded into the Houses with their hats on,
crying, "Vote! vote!" and their numbers keeping the doors open. Under
this intimidation both Lords and Commons voted the restoration of the
Presbyterian ordinance for the change of the militia, and adjourned to
Friday.

On Friday the two Houses met, but were astonished to find that their
Speakers had fled, accompanied by several members of both Houses, and
were gone to the army. It was found that Sir Henry Vane, the Earl of
Northumberland, the Earl of Warwick, and other Lords and Commoners
were gone. Had it been only Sir Henry Vane and the Independents who
had gone, it would have astonished nobody; but neither Lenthall, the
Speaker of the Commons, nor the Earl of Manchester, the Speaker of
the Lords, was suspected of any great leaning to the army, whilst
Warwick was a staunch Presbyterian, and Northumberland so much in
the favour of that party as to have the care of the royal children.
This circumstance showed the violence of the mob which had forced
Parliament, and rendered moderate men resolved to escape rather than
submit to be its puppets. There were no less than fifteen Lords and a
hundred Commoners who had thus resented mob intimidation.

On making this lamentable discovery, the two Houses elected temporary
Speakers, and issued orders forbidding the army to advance, recalling
the eleven fugitive members, and ordered Massey, Waller, and Poyntz to
call out the militia and defend the City.

No sooner had Fairfax heard the news of these proceedings than he
instantly sent the king to Hampton Court, and marched from Bedford to
Hounslow Heath, where he ordered a general rendezvous of the whole
army. On Hounslow Heath, at the appointed rendezvous, the Speakers
of the two Houses, with their maces, and attended by the fugitive
Lords and Commons, stated to the general that they had not freedom in
Westminster, but were in danger of their lives from tumult, and claimed
the protection of the army. The general and the officers received the
Speakers and members with profound respect, and assured them they
would reinstate them in their proper places, or perish in the attempt.
Nothing, in fact, could have been such a godsend to the army; for,
besides their own grievances, they had the grievances of the coerced
members to redress, and the sanctity of Parliament to defend. They
ordered the most careful accommodation for the comfort of the members,
and a guard to attend them, consulting them on all their measures.
Fairfax quartered his army about Hounslow, Brentford, Twickenham, and
the adjacent villages, at the same time ordering Colonel Rainsborough
to cross the Thames at Hampton Court with a brigade of horse and foot
and cannon, and to secure Southwark and the works which covered the end
of London Bridge.

Meanwhile, never was London in more terrible confusion. The Commons,
having no mace of their own, sent for the City mace. The colonels were
in all haste calling out the militia. On Saturday and Monday, August
1 and 2, the shops were all shut, nothing going on but enlisting
and mustering. St. James's Fields were in a stir with drilling;
news constantly coming of the approach of the army. "Massey," says
Whitelock, "sent out scouts to Brentford; but ten men of the army beat
thirty of his, and took a flag from them. The City militia and Common
Council sat late, and a great number of people attended at Guildhall.
When a scout came in and brought news that the army made a halt, or
other good intelligence, they cried, 'One and all!' But if the scouts
brought word that the army was advancing, then they would cry as loud,
'Treat! treat! treat!' and thus they spent the night."

Tuesday, August the 3rd, was a fearful day. The people of Southwark
declared that they would not fight against the army, and went in crowds
to Guildhall, demanding peace, at which Poyntz lost all patience, drew
his sword, and slashed many of them, some mortally.

The Southwarkers kept their word, for they received Rainsborough
and his troops; the militia openly fraternised with the soldiers,
shaking hands with them through the gates, and abandoned to them the
works which protected the City. Rainsborough took possession, without
opposition, of all the forts and works on that side of the river from
Southwark to Gravesend. In the morning the authorities of the City,
finding that Southwark was in possession of the army, and the City gate
on that side in their hands, were completely prostrated and hastened to
make their submission. Poyntz, accustomed to conquest in the field, and
the hardihood of the Presbyterian soldiers, was filled with contempt
for these cringing, cowering citizens. What! had they not ten thousand
men in arms, a loan of ten thousand pounds arranged and orders to
raise auxiliary troops to the amount of eighteen regiments? Had they
not plenty of ammunition and arms in the Tower, whence they had drawn
four hundred barrels of gunpowder and other material for present
defence? But all availed not; the citizens hastened to lay themselves
and the City at the feet of Fairfax. He had fixed his headquarters
at Hammersmith, but he met the civic authorities at Holland House,
Kensington, where he dictated the following conditions:--That they
should abandon the Parliament now sitting and the eleven impeached
members; should restore the militia to the Independents; surrender
all their forts, including the Tower; recall their declarations, and
conduct themselves peaceably.

On Friday, the 6th of August, Fairfax entered the City, preceded by
a regiment of infantry and another of cavalry. He was on horseback,
attended by his body-guards and a crowd of gentlemen. A long train
of carriages, containing the fugitive Speakers and members (Lords
and Commons), followed, and then another regiment of cavalry. The
soldiers marched three abreast, with boughs of laurel in their hats.
The late turbulent multitudes completed their shame by raising forced
acclamations as they passed. Fairfax thus proceeded through Hyde Park,
where the Corporation met him, and offered him a great gold cup,
which he curtly declined, and so rode on to the Houses of Parliament,
where he replaced the Speakers in their respective chairs, and the
members in their old places. Not one of the Lords who had remained,
except the Earl of Pembroke, ventured to appear, and he declared that
he considered the proceedings since the departure of the Speakers as
null. No sooner were the Speakers in their places than Parliament voted
thanks to the general and the army; made Fairfax commander of all the
forces in England and Wales, and Constable of the Tower. It ordered
a gratuity of a month's pay for the army, and that the City militia
should be divided, and Southwark, Westminster, and the Tower Hamlets
should command their own. The Lords voted all Acts of Parliament from
the departure of the Speakers, on the 26th of June, to their return on
the 6th of August, void; but the resolution did not pass the Commons,
where there was a large body of Presbyterians, without much opposition.

The eleven impeached members fled, and were allowed to escape into
France, whereupon they were voted guilty of high treason, as well
as the Lord Mayor and four aldermen of London, two officers of the
train-band, and the Earls of Suffolk, Lincoln, and Middleton, the
Lords Willoughby, Hunsdon, Berkeley, and Maynard. The civic officers
were sent to the Tower. The City was ordered to find the one hundred
thousand pounds voted for the army. Fairfax distributed different
regiments about Whitehall and the Houses of Parliament for their
protection, and others in the Strand, Holborn, and Southwark, to keep
the City quiet. His headquarters were moved to Putney, with forces
at Chelsea and Fulham. On Sunday he and the officers attended the
preaching of Hugh Peters, the army chaplain, at Putney Church, and thus
the Independents were in full power, and the Presbyterians signally
humbled.

Before, and also whilst, these events had been taking place, the army
had made overtures to the king for peace and a solid settlement of
the kingdom. As we have seen, from the moment that the king came into
their hands, they had treated him in a far different style to the
Presbyterians. He seemed, in his freedom of action, in the admission
of his children and friends to his society, in the respect and even
friendliness shown him to feel himself a king again. There were many
reasons why the Independents should desire to close with the king.
Though they had the army with them, they knew that the Presbyterians
were far more numerous. London was vehemently Presbyterian, and the
Scots were ready to back that party, because essentially the same
in religion as themselves. The Independents and all the Dissenters
who ranged themselves under their banners were anxious for religious
liberty; the Scottish and English Presbyterians had no more idea of
such a thing as belonging to Christianity than had the Catholics or the
Church of England as represented by Charles and Laud.

From the moment that the king was received by the army, he seems to
have won on the goodwill of the officers. Fairfax, on meeting him
on his way from Holmby, kissed his hand, and treated him with all
the deference due to the sovereign. Cromwell and Ireton, though they
did not so far condescend, and kept a degree of distant reserve, as
remembering that they had to treat Charles as an enemy, were soon
softened, and Cromwell sent him assurances of his attachment, and of
his desire to see his affairs set right. Many of the officers openly
expressed commiseration of his misfortunes, and admiration of his real
piety, and his amiable domestic character. It was not long before
such relations were established with him, and with his confidential
friends Berkeley, Ashburnham, and Legge, that secret negotiations were
commenced for a settlement of all the difficulties between him and his
people. The officers made him several public addresses expressive of
their sincere desire to see a pacification effected; and Fairfax, to
prepare the way, addressed a letter to the two Houses, repelling the
aspersion cast upon the army of its being hostile to the monarchy, and
avowing that "tender, equitable, and moderate dealings towards him, his
family, and his former adherents," should be adopted to heal the feuds
of the nation.

[Illustration: LORD CLARENDON. (_After the Portrait by Sir Peter
Lely._)]

It has been the fashion to consider Cromwell as a consummate hypocrite,
and to regard all that he did as a part acted for the ultimate
attainment of his own ends. This is the view which Clarendon has taken
of him; but, whatever he might do at a later period, everything shows
that at this time both he and his brother officers were most really
in earnest, and, could Charles have been brought to subscribe to any
terms except such as gave up the nation to his uncontrolled will, at
this moment his troubles would have been at an end, and he would have
found himself on a constitutional throne, with every means of honour
and happiness in his power. Nothing more convincingly demonstrates this
than the conditions which the Parliament submitted to him. They, in
fact, greatly resembled the celebrated conditions of peace offered at
Uxbridge, with several propositions regarding Parliament and taxation,
which mark a wonderfully improved political knowledge and liberality
in the officers. They did not even insist on the abolition of the
hierarchy, but merely stipulated for the toleration of other opinions,
taking away all penalties for not attending church, and for attending
what were called conventicles. The command of the army by Parliament
was to be restricted to ten years; only five of the Royalist adherents
were to be excluded from pardon, and some less objectionable mode
of protecting the State against Catholic designs than the present
oppressive laws against recusants was to be devised. Parliaments were
to continue two years, unless dissolved earlier by their own consent;
and were to sit every year for a prescribed term, or a shorter one, if
business permitted. Rotten boroughs, or such as were insignificant,
were to be disfranchised, and a greater number of members returned
from the counties in proportion to the amount of rates; and all that
regarded election of members or reforms of the Commons should belong
exclusively to the Commons. There were very judicious regulations for
the nomination of sheriffs and of magistrates; the excise was to be
taken from all articles of life at once, and from all other articles
very shortly: the land-tax was to be fairly and equally apportioned;
the irritating maintenance of the clergy by tithes was to be done away
with; suits at law were to be made less expensive; all men to be made
liable for their debts; and insolvent debtors who had surrendered all
their property to their creditors were to be discharged.

The whole project was decidedly creditable to the officers of the army.
Charles's own friends and advisers were charmed with it, and flattered
themselves that at length they saw a prospect of ending all troubles;
but they were quickly undeceived, and struck down in dumb astonishment
by Charles rejecting them.

Charles was still the same man; he was at the same moment secretly
listening to the overtures of the Scottish Commissioners, who were
jealous of the army, and instead of seizing the opportunity to be
once more a powerful and beloved king, he was flattering himself with
the old idea that he would bring the two great factions "to extirpate
each other." Sir John Berkeley, his earnest adviser, says:--"What
with having so concurring a second as Mr. Ashburnham, and what with
the encouraging messages of Lord Lauderdale and others from the
Presbyterian party and the city of London, who pretended to despise
the army, and to oppose them to death, his Majesty seemed very much
elated; inasmuch that when the proposals were solemnly sent to him,
and his concurrence most humbly and earnestly desired, his Majesty,
not only to the astonishment of Ireton and the rest, but even to mine,
entertained them with very tart and bitter discourses, saying sometimes
that he would have no man suffer for his sake, and that he repented of
nothing so much as the Bill against the Lord Strafford, which, though
most true, was unpleasant for them to hear; that he would have the
Church established according to law, by the proposals. They replied it
was none of their work to do it; that it was enough for them to waive
the point, and, they hoped, enough for his Majesty, since he had waived
the government of the Church in Scotland. His Majesty said that he
hoped God had forgiven him that sin, and repeated often, 'You cannot be
without me; you will fall to ruin if I do not sustain you!'"

It was still the old man; the old intolerable, incorrigible talk.
He could not give up a single proposition to save all the rest--his
life, his family, his crown, and kingdom. The officers looked at one
another in amazement; the king's friends in consternation. Sir John
Berkeley whispered in his ear that his Majesty seemed to have some
secret strength that they did not know of, on which Charles seemed to
recollect himself, and spoke more softly; but it was too late, for
Colonel Rainsborough, who was least inclined for the pacification,
rode to the army and made known the king's obstinacy. The agitators
rushed together in crowds, and, excessively chagrined at the rejection
of such terms, burst into the bedchamber of Lord Lauderdale, whom they
suspected of having thus perverted the king's mind, and compelled him,
in spite of his standing in his position as Commissioner from the
Estates of Scotland, to rise, and get off back again to Edinburgh.

At this crisis the alarm at the proceedings in London, and the march
upon it just related, took place. Still the officers did not cease
their exertions to persuade the king to adopt the proposals; but he
was waiting to see what turn affairs would take, and listening at the
same time to the Scots and the Irish Catholics. This idea was so little
concealed that, talking with Ireton, he let slip the observation,
"I shall play my game as well as I can." On which Ireton replied,
"If your Majesty has a game to play, you must give us leave also to
play ours." As the bluster of the City seemed to subside before the
approaching army, Charles sent Berkeley to ask the officers, "If he
should accept the proposals, what would ensue?" They said, "We will
offer them to the Parliament." "And if they should reject them, what
then?" The rest of the officers hesitating to answer such a question,
Rainsborough said bluntly, "If they won't agree, we will make them!" to
which all the rest instantly assented. Berkeley carried this decisive
answer to Charles, but there, he says, he had very different work; he
was just as unyielding as ever. Cromwell and Ireton then begged that
though the king would not sign the proposals, he would at least write a
kind letter to the army, which should show the country that they were
doing nothing contrary to his Majesty's mind. With the co-operation
of Berkeley, Ashburnham, and others of the king's friends, they met
at Windsor, and drew up such a letter, but they could not prevail on
him to sign it till the City had yielded, and it was too late. Still
the officers, to prove that their triumph had not altered in the least
their desire for agreement with the king, again voted the proposals
as their terms of settlement. Charles renewed his discussion with
them, and was every day sending messages by Ashburnham to Cromwell and
Ireton, yet never coming nearer; but, on the other hand, bringing those
officers into suspicion with a new and fanatic party which had arisen,
which originally called themselves Rationalists, but soon after
Levellers.

[Illustration: THE CHILDREN OF CHARLES I.

FROM THE PICTURE BY MISS MARGARET I. DICKSEE, IN THE OLDHAM ART GALLERY]

The Levellers were, in fact, a set of men amongst whom Lilburne, now
Colonel John Lilburne, was a leading character. They had imbibed
from the Old Testament, which was their favourite study, a spirit of
Republicanism combined with a wild fanatic style of language. They
found in the remarks on monarchs in the Scriptures, on the election of
Saul by Israel, a clear denunciation of all kings, and they declared
they would no longer seek after kings, who aimed only at absolute
power; nor after lords, who sought only honours and places; but they
would have a free government by a Parliament, and a free religion. They
drew up a paper called "The Case of the Army," and another called "The
Agreement of the People," which were presented to the general and the
Agitators of the eleven regiments. Religious Republicanism was abroad
in the army, and they drew up a new constitution, at which a biennial
Parliament, with six monthly sessions, a widely-extended franchise,
and a more equally-distributed representation, was at the head. There
were to be neither king nor lords in their system. Colonels Pride and
Rainsborough supported their views: Cromwell and Ireton strenuously
opposed them. They were, therefore, immediately the objects of attack,
and represented as being in a close and secret compact with the king,
the Ahab of the nation, to betray the people. Lilburne was busily
employed in writing and printing violent denunciations in flaming
style, and strongly garnished with Bible terms. Parliament denounced
the doctrines of the Levellers as destructive of all government, and
ordered the authors to be prosecuted.

Whilst this fanatic effervescence had broken out in the army, the
Presbyterians in Parliament and the Scottish Commissioners made one
effort more for the recovery of their ascendency. Regarding the
religious toleration proposed in the army conditions as something
horrible and monstrously wicked, they drew up fresh proposals of their
own, and presented them to the king. If Charles could not endure the
army proposals, he was not likely to accept those of the Presbyterians,
who gave no place to his own Church at all; and he told them that he
liked those of the army better. This answer Berkeley showed to the
officers of the army before it was sent; they highly approved of it,
and promised to do all they could in the House to get an order voted
for a personal treaty, "and," Berkeley adds, "to my understanding,
performed it, for both Cromwell and Ireton, with Vane and all their
friends, seconded with great resolution this desire of his Majesty."
Cromwell, indeed, he says, spoke so zealously in its favour that it
only increased, both in the House and out of it, the suspicion of
his having made a compact with the king to restore him. The more the
officers argued for a personal treaty, the more the Presbyterians in
the House opposed it; but at length a resolution was carried for it. It
was thought that it would occupy twenty days, but it went on for two
months, and came to nothing--other and strange events occurring.

The Levellers, after this display of zeal on the part of Cromwell,
vowed that they would kill both him and the king, whom they not only
styled an Ahab, a man of blood, and the everlasting obstacle to peace
and liberty, but demanded his head as the cause of the murder of
thousands of free-born Englishmen. Cromwell declared that his life
was not safe in his own quarters, and we are assured that Lilburne
and another Agitator named Wildman had agreed to assassinate him as
a renegade and traitor to liberty. To check this wild and dangerous
spirit in the army, Cromwell and Ireton recommended that it should be
drawn closer together, and thus more under the immediate discipline of
its chief officers. This was agreed upon, and a general rendezvous was
appointed to take place at Ware on the 16th of November.

During the interval Charles was royally lodged at Hampton Court, and
was freely permitted to have his children with him, but all the time
he was at his usual work of plotting. The Marquis of Ormond, having
surrendered his command in Ireland to the Parliament, was come hither;
and Lord Capel, who had been one of Charles's most distinguished
commanders, being also permitted by Parliament to return from abroad,
a scheme was laid, whilst Charles was amusing the army and Parliament
with the discussion of the "Proposals," that the next spring, through
the Scottish Commissioners, who were also in the plot, a Scottish
army should enter England forty thousand strong, and calling on the
Presbyterians to join them should march forward. At the same time
Ormond should lead an army from Ireland, whilst Capel summoned the rest
of the king's friends in England to join the converging forces, and
plant the king on the throne. But this wholesale conspiracy could not
escape the secret agents of Cromwell; the whole was revealed to him,
and he bitterly upbraided Ashburnham with the incurable duplicity of
his master, who, whilst he was negotiating with the army, was planning
its destruction.

From this moment, whatever was the cause, and the preceding incidents
appear both certain and sufficient, Cromwell, Ireton, and the army
in general, came to the conclusion that all attempts to bring so
double-faced and intriguing a person to honourable and enduring
terms were vain; that if he were restored to power, he would use it
to destroy every one who had been compelled to oppose his despotic
plans; if he were not restored, they would be in a perpetual state
of plottings, alarms, and disquietudes, destructive of all comfort
or prosperity to the nation. As the officers drew back from further
intercourse with the king, the menaces of the Levellers became
louder; and there were not wanting persons to carry these threats to
the king. He saw the Levellers growing in violence, and in numbers;
in fact, Leveller and Agitator were synonymous terms; the infection
had spread through the greater part of the army. The fact of the
officers having been friendly with him, had made them suspicious to
the men; they had driven Ireton from the council, and there were loud
threats of impeaching Cromwell. Several regiments were in a state
of insubordination, and it was doubtful whether, at the approaching
rendezvous, Fairfax could maintain the discipline of the army. The
reports of the proceedings of the Levellers (who really threatened to
seize his person to prevent the Parliament or officers agreeing with
him) and their truculent manifestoes, were all diligently carried to
Charles by the Scottish Commissioners, who, according to Berkeley,
"were the first that presented his dangers to him." He was assured by
Mr. Ackworth that Colonel Rainsborough, the favourite of the Levellers,
meant to kill him; and Clarendon says that "every day he received
little billets or letters, secretly conveyed to him without any name,
which advertised him of wicked designs upon his life;" many, he adds,
who repaired to him brought the same advice from men of unquestionable
sincerity.

Charles resolved to escape, and, as he was in some cases as religiously
scrupulous of his word as he was in others reckless of it, he withdrew
his promise not to attempt to escape, on the plea that he found
himself quite as rigorously watched as if he were not on honour.
Colonel Whalley, who commanded his guard, at once ordered it to be
doubled, and dismissed all the king's servants except Legge, refusing
further admittance to him. Notwithstanding this, he found means of
communicating with Ashburnham and Berkeley, and consulted with them
on the means of escape, and the place to escape to. He suggested the
City, and Ashburnham advised him to go to the house of the Lord Mayor,
in London, there to meet the Scottish Commissioners, agree with them
on their last propositions, and then send for the Lords. Berkeley
disapproved of this, believing they would not bring over the Commons;
and then Ashburnham recommended the king to flee to the Isle of Wight,
and throw himself on the generosity of Colonel Hammond, the governor
there. This, he says, he did, because Colonel Hammond had a few days
before told him he was going down to his government, "because he found
the army was resolved to break all promises with the king, and that he
would have nothing to do with such perfidious actions."

This seems to have inspired a belief in these men that Hammond was
secretly in favour of the king, strengthened, no doubt, by the fact
that Dr. Hammond, the king's chaplain, was his uncle, and had lately
introduced him to his Majesty as an ingenuous and repentant youth, and,
notwithstanding his post, of real loyalty. They forgot that Hammond had
another uncle, Lieutenant-General Hammond, who was as democratic as the
chaplain was loyal, and was a great patron of the Adjutators. They seem
to have reckoned as little on the honour of the young man, who was a
gentleman and officer, and had married a daughter of John Hampden.

There were other schemes, one to seek refuge in Sir John Oglander's
House, in the Isle of Wight; and there was a talk of a ship being
ordered to be somewhere ready for him; but when the escape was made,
it appeared to have been just as ill contrived as all the rest of
Charles's escapes. Ashburnham and Berkeley had contrived to meet the
king in the evening in the gallery of Hampton Court, and settled the
mode of escape. It was the king's custom, on the Mondays and Thursdays,
to write letters for the foreign post, and in the evenings he left his
bedchamber between five and six o'clock and went to prayers, and thence
to supper. On one of these evenings, Thursday, the 11th of November,
Whalley, finding the king much later than usual in leaving his chamber,
became uneasy, went thither, and found him gone. On the table he had
left some letters, one to the Parliament, another to the Commissioners,
and a third to Colonel Whalley. In the letter to the Parliament he
said liberty was as necessary to kings as others; that he had endured
a long captivity in the hope that it might lead to a good peace, but
that, as it did not, he had withdrawn himself; that, wherever he might
be, he should earnestly desire a satisfactory agreement without further
bloodshed, and was ready to break through his cloud of retirement and
show himself the father of his country whenever he could be heard with
honour, freedom, and safety.

[Illustration: CARISBROOKE CASTLE, ISLE OF WIGHT. (_From a photograph
by F. G. O. Stuart, Southampton._)]

It appeared that he had escaped by way of Paradise, a place so called
in the gardens; his cloak was found lying in the gallery, and there
were tramplings about a back gate leading to the waterside. Legge
accompanied him down the backstairs, and Ashburnham and Berkeley joined
them at the gate. The night was dark and stormy, which favoured their
escape. They crossed the river at Thames Ditton, and made for Sutton,
in Hampshire, where they had horses in readiness. Why they had not
provided horses at a nearer point does not appear. In the night they
lost their way in the forest, and reaching Sutton only at daybreak, and
hearing that a county committee on Parliamentary business was sitting
there, they got out their horses, and rode away towards Southampton.

That night Cromwell was aroused from his bed at Putney with a startling
express that the king had escaped. He at once despatched a letter to
the Speaker, Lenthall, dated twelve o'clock, with the tidings for
Parliament, and the news was announced next morning to both Houses. The
confusion may be imagined; orders were issued to close all ports; and
those who concealed the place of the king's retreat, or harboured his
person, were declared guilty of high treason, and menaced with loss of
all their estate, and with death without mercy. On the 13th of November
Whalley gave a narrative to the Lords of the particulars of his escape
as far as known. It appeared that the repeated howling of a greyhound
in the king's chamber first assured them that he could not be there.
However, on Monday, the 15th, a letter from Colonel Hammond, from the
Isle of Wight, much to the relief of Parliament and army, announced
that the absconded king was safe in his hands at Carisbrooke Castle.

Charles was at first treated by Colonel Hammond with great leniency,
and again employed the time on his hands in negotiation. As the army
had restored unity to itself, he sought to obtain its concurrence to a
personal treaty, and sent Berkeley to Fairfax, Cromwell, and Ireton,
at Windsor. On his way there he fell in with Cornet Joyce, who carried
off the king from Holmby, who informed him of an ominous proposition
discussed by the Agitators, namely, to bring the king to trial; not, he
said, with any design of putting him to death, but to prove on evidence
who really bore the blame of the war. This prelude too truly prefigured
the interview itself. Fairfax, Cromwell, and Ireton received Berkeley
with severe aspects and distant coldness, and told him that they were
but the servants of the Parliament, and referred him to it. He was not
prevented by this, however, from sending a secret message to Cromwell,
reminding him of his promises, and letting him know that he had secret
instructions from the king to him. But Cromwell had now had convincing
proofs of the king's duplicity; he refused to receive the letters,
informed Berkeley that he would do all in his power towards effecting
a real peace, but was not disposed to risk his head for the king's
sake. Repulsed here, Charles applied to Parliament, which sent him
four propositions as the basis of agreement, namely, that his Majesty
should concur in the Bill for settling the militia; should recall all
the proclamations, oaths, etc., against Parliament; should disqualify
all peers made since the renewal of the Great Seal from sitting in
the House of Peers; and should pass a Bill for the adjournment of
Parliament being placed in the power of the Houses themselves. These
Bills were sent by Commissioners to Carisbrooke; but the Scottish
Commissioners, who dreaded the acceptance of them as rendering the
English Parliament independent of the League and Covenant, hastened
there, too, with a modified treaty of their own. Charles, thus
encouraged, refused the four Bills; the Commissioners kissed hands
and returned, and Charles signed the proposals of the Scots, which
guaranteed the independence of their own religion, on condition of
finding an army of forty thousand men for the restoration of the king.

Charles was not left long in ignorance of the effect of his refusal of
the Parliamentary proposals, and of the discovery of his secret treaty
with the Scots. Colonel Hammond received orders to take every measure
for the safe keeping of the king, and for preventing the lurking of
suspicious vessels in Southampton Water, as it was known that a ship
had been engaged by the queen to carry off Charles and land him at
Berwick, in readiness to co-operate with the Scottish movement. Hammond
dismissed Ashburnham, Legge, and Berkeley, with all other Royalists,
from the island; sent away a vessel, supposed to be the very one
engaged by the queen; and put the king under strict surveillance and a
double guard. He was no longer an apparently free guest, but a close
prisoner.

This treatment only doubled his determination to escape. Ashburnham,
Berkeley, and Legge, though banished from the island, kept
saddle-horses on the coast ready, in case of the king's escaping from
Carisbrooke; and his friends from all quarters corresponded with him,
and their letters were conveyed to him by Henry Firebrace, who was in
some employment in the castle, and was occasionally engaged by one of
the warders to take his place before the king's chamber-door, when he
put the correspondence entrusted to him through a crevice of the door.
The whole island resented the incarceration of the king, and there were
loud threats of rising and liberating him by force. One Captain Burley
was mad enough to make the attempt. At midnight a drum was beaten.
Burley put himself at the head of a rabble in Newport, without, as
reported, having a single musket among them, and was speedily taken and
executed.

On the 3rd of January, 1648, the two Houses discussed the relations
with the king, and in the Commons the plainest Republican sentiments
were avowed. The refusal of the four Bills by the king was deemed
convincing proof that no possibility was left of ever coming to
agreement with him. Sir Thomas Wroth declared that kings of late had
conducted themselves more like inmates of Bedlam than anything else,
and that he did not care what government was set up if it were not
by kings or devils. Ireton contended that the relation of king and
subjects implied mutual bonds and duties; the king was to protect the
people, and the people to maintain the king in his duty, but that
Charles had abandoned his duty, had ceased to protect his people,
nay, had made war on them, and therefore had annulled the compact;
that, seeing this, the army was resolved to stand by the Parliament
for the establishment of national right. Cromwell, after many had
proceeded in a like strain, asserted that it was time to fulfil the
wearied expectation of the people, and to show that they could govern
and defend the kingdom by their own power, and to decide that there
was nothing to be hoped from a man whose heart God had hardened in
obstinacy. In fact, in Parliament, almost as much as in the army, a
large party had come to the conclusion that it was odious in the sight
of God to be governed by a king.

The result was a vote that Parliament would make no further
applications or addresses to the king, nor receive any message from
him, except by full consent of both Houses, under penalty of high
treason. The Lords concurred in the vote, and a public declaration was
circulated to that effect; and it was also agreed that the Committee of
Public Safety should again sit and act alone, without the aid of any
foreign coadjutors. This was a plain hint to the Scots that Parliament
knew of their late treaty. Hitherto they had formed part of the
Committee of both kingdoms, so that they had shared the government of
England. This was withdrawn; the Scots therefore demanded the payment
of the last one hundred thousand pounds due to them by the treaty of
evacuation, and announced their intention to retire on receiving it.

This decided step of Parliament, and the rigour with which Charles
was guarded, put the Scots, the Presbyterians, the Royalists all on
the alert. They stirred up everywhere a feeling of commiseration for
him, as harshly and arbitrarily used; it was represented that the
vote of non-address amounted to a declaration that all attempts at
reconciliation were at an end, and that the Independents meant to give
effect to the doctrines of the army and put the king to death. These
efforts were productive of a rapidly and widely spreading sentiment in
the king's favour, and soon formidable insurrections were on foot. The
king himself omitted no means of attempting his escape. By his plans
his second son, the Duke of York, had made his escape from the care
of the Earl of Northumberland in female attire, and got to Holland.
Towards the end of March Charles tried to escape out of the window
of his chamber. A silken cord was prepared to let him down; and, to
prove the safety of the descent, Firebrace forced himself between the
iron stanchions of the window and let himself down; but the king, in
essaying to follow, stuck fast, and, after violent efforts, found it
impossible to get through. Cromwell announced to Hammond, in a letter
still extant, that Parliament was informed that aquafortis had been
sent down to corrode this obstructing bar; that the attempt was to be
renewed during the coming dark nights, and that Captain Titus and some
others about the king were not to be trusted. At the same time he
informed him that the Commons, in reward of his vigilance and services
in securing and keeping the king, had raised his pay from ten to twenty
pounds a week, had voted him one thousand pounds, and settled upon him
and his heirs five hundred pounds per annum.

The reaction in favour of the king now began to discover itself on
all sides. Charles published an appeal to the nation against the
proceedings of Parliament, which seemed to cut off all further hope
of accommodation. Parliament issued a counter-statement, and numerous
rejoinders were the consequence--the most able from the pen of Hyde,
the Chancellor, and Dr. Bates, the king's physician. Whilst these
elements of strife were brewing in England, the Duke of Hamilton,
released from Pendennis Castle and restored to the favour of the king,
returned to Scotland, and the Marquis of Ormond to Ireland, to muster
forces to operate with a simultaneous rising in England. The Scottish
muster proceeded with vigour, though stoutly opposed by the Duke of
Argyll, and the work of revolt commenced in March, in Wales. Poyer, the
Mayor of Pembroke, and governor of the castle, declared for the king,
and at the summons of Fairfax refused to yield up his command. Powell
and Langherne, two officers of disbanded regiments, joined him, and
many of their old soldiers followed them. The Royalists ran to arms,
eight thousand men were soon afoot in the Principality, Chepstow and
Carnarvon were surprised, and Colonel Fleming was killed. Cromwell
was despatched to reduce these forces at the head of five regiments.
He quickly recovered Carnarvon and Chepstow, defeated Langherne, and
summoned Poyer to surrender. But Pembroke stood out, and was not
reduced till July, though Colonel Horton encountered Langherne at St.
Fagan's, near Cardiff, and completely routed him.

Meanwhile, in other quarters insurrections broke out. On the 9th
of April a mob of apprentices and other young fellows attacked the
train-bands in Moorfields, struck the captain, took his colours, and
marched with them to Westminster, crying, "King Charles! King Charles!"
There they were attacked and dispersed, but they rallied again in the
City, broke open houses to obtain arms, and frightened the mayor so
that he took refuge in the Tower. The next day Fairfax dispersed them,
but not without bloodshed. Soon after three hundred men from Surrey
surrounded the Parliament houses, cursing the Parliament, insulting
the soldiers, and demanding the restoration of the king. They were not
repulsed without some of them being killed. Similar outbreaks took
place in Norwich, Thetford, Canterbury, and other places. Pontefract
Castle was surprised by eighty cavaliers, each with a soldier mounted
behind him.

[Illustration: RISING OF THE LONDON APPRENTICES ON BEHALF OF CHARLES.
(_See p._ 75.)]

Parliament, at the same time, was besieged with petitions for
disbanding the army and restoring the king. To allay the ferment in
the capital, whilst the army was engaged in the provinces, Parliament
passed a resolution that no change should be made in the government by
kings, Lords, and Commons. Fairfax withdrew his troops from the Mews
and Whitehall, and Major-General Skippon was made commander of the
City militia, to act in concert with the Lord Mayor and Corporation.
The men of Kent and Essex rose in great numbers for the king. At Deal,
off which Colonel Rainsborough, now acting as admiral, was lying, the
people rose. The fleet, consisting of six men-of-war, revolted, hoisted
the royal colours, and sailed to Helvoetsluys, where they called for
the Duke of York to take the command. The effect of this event was
neutralised, however, by a victory, which Fairfax obtained on the 1st
of June over the Royalists at Maidstone, where, after a hard fight of
six hours, he slew two hundred in the streets, and took four hundred
prisoners. This defeat prevented the junction of this body with another
under Colonel Goring, now Earl of Newport, who marched to Blackheath,
and demanded entrance into the City. The Independent party were in a
perilous position there. There was, as we have seen, a numerous body
in London in favour of the king, who had no reliance on the militia.
To conciliate public opinion, the Parliament ordered the release of
the aldermen imprisoned at the desire of the army, and revoked the
impeachment against the six Lords and eleven Commoners. Holles and his
associates resumed their seats and their old measures, voted for a
renewed negotiation with Charles on condition that he should restore
Presbyterianism, and give the command of the army to Parliament for
ten years. Luckily for the Independents, the Lords rejected these
propositions, and voted a treaty without any conditions. At the same
time the Common Council, showing a decided leaning towards the king,
offered to protect him from danger and insult if he would come to the
capital. The danger to the Independent interest was only repelled by
the obstinacy of their old enemy Holles, who would consent to nothing
which did not establish Presbyterianism.

[Illustration: EXECUTION OF SIR CHARLES LUCAS AND SIR GEORGE LISLE.
(_See p._ 78.)]

Whilst these discussions agitated the City, Fairfax marched on Goring,
who quitted Blackheath, crossed the Thames into Essex with five
thousand horse, where he was joined by Lord Capel, with Royalists
from Hertfordshire, and Sir Charles Lucas, with a body of horse from
Chelmsford. They concentrated their united force at Colchester, where
they determined to hold out till the advance of the Scots, and thus
detain the commander-in-chief in the south. The Scots were now in
reality on the march. The Duke of Hamilton had not been able to muster
more than a fourth of his promised forty thousand. Though he proclaimed
everywhere that Charles had promised to take the Covenant and uphold
the Presbyterian religion, Argyll and the old covenanting body wholly
distrusted these assurances; the Assembly of the Kirk demanded proofs
of the king's engagement; the ministers from the pulpits denounced the
curse of Meroz on all who engaged in this unholy war, and the women
cursed the duke as he passed, and pelted him with stones from their
windows.

The English Royalists under Langdale, about four thousand brave
Cavaliers, had surprised Berwick and Carlisle, and awaited with
impatience Hamilton's arrival. Lambert, the Parliamentary general,
advanced and besieged Carlisle, and Hamilton was urged to advance
and relieve it. He sent forward a detachment, and on the 8th of July
arrived himself, being already supported by three thousand veterans
from the Scottish army in Ireland, and, now uniting with Sir Marmaduke
Langdale, he presented a formidable force. Lambert retired at his
approach, and had Hamilton been a man of any military talent, he
might have struck an effective blow. But from the moment that he
crossed the Border, he appeared to have lost all energy. His army was
paralysed by internal dissensions. The Scottish Presbyterian soldiers
were scandalised at having to fight side by side with Langdale's
Prelatists and Papists, whom they had been accustomed to see ranged
against them as the enemies of the Covenant. In forty days he had
advanced only eighty miles, and when he reached the left bank of the
Ribble, near Preston, Cromwell had reduced Pembroke, marched rapidly
northward through Gloucester, Warwick, Leicester, to Nottingham, where
he left his prisoners with Colonel Hutchinson, governor of the castle,
and soon joined Lambert at Otley Park, and forced back Langdale from
Clitheroe on the main body at Preston. Hamilton at the last moment
was all unprepared. Monroe, with his veterans, lay still at Kirkby
Lonsdale. Yet Hamilton, with his fourteen thousand, should have been
a match for Cromwell, Lambert, and Lilburne's nine thousand. But
Cromwell attacked them with such vigour that, after a hard battle
of six hours, he routed the whole force. The Cavaliers fought like
lions, and only retreated from hedge to hedge before the foe; they
called repeatedly on the Scots for reinforcements and ammunition, but
not being able to get either, retreated into the town. There they
discovered that their allies were engaged in a fierce contest with the
enemy for possession of the bridge. Cromwell won the bridge, and the
Scots fled in the night towards Wigan. Hamilton retreated with some
of the English towards Warrington. Lieutenant-general Baillie, with
a great party of the Scottish army, surrendered on quarter in that
town. Monroe, who was lying at Kirkby, ignorant of the battle or of
the coming up of the fugitives, retreated to Scotland--the only body
of Scots who regained their country. Hamilton, on the 20th of August,
three days after the battle, was overtaken by Lambert and Lord Grey of
Groby, and surrendered at Uttoxeter. Langdale's Cavaliers dispersed
in Derbyshire, and he himself, in woman's apparel, was discovered at
Widmerpool, in Nottinghamshire; but by the contrivance of Lady Saville,
escaped dressed as a clergyman to London, where he remained with Dr.
Barwick in the character of an Irish minister driven from his parish by
the Papists. So ended Hamilton's boasted invasion. This blow totally
annihilated his party in Scotland; Argyll and the Covenanters rose into
the ascendant. Argyll soon after this seized a ship containing ten
thousand stand of arms, which had been sent from Denmark for Hamilton's
expedition. He invited Cromwell to Edinburgh, where he was received
with great distinction, and was honoured by the thanks of the Scottish
ministers as the preserver of Scotland under God. The members of the
faction of Hamilton were declared enemies to religion and the kingdom,
and incapable of serving in Parliament or the Assembly of the Kirk. On
the 16th of August Cromwell left Edinburgh, Argyll and the nobles of
that party accompanying him some miles on his way, and taking leave of
him with many demonstrations of respect.

At the same time that the Scots began their march, a rising which had
been made in concert with Hamilton, took place in London. The Earl of
Holland, who had become contemptible to all parties by twice going
over to the Parliament and twice returning to the king, entered London
with five hundred horse, and called on the citizens to join him for
Charles. The inhabitants had been too recently punished for their
apprentice rising to make a second experiment. Holland fell back,
therefore, on Kingston-on-Thames, where he was attacked and defeated by
Sir Michael Levesey, and Lord Francis Villiers, brother to the young
Duke of Buckingham, was slain. Holland himself had induced the brother
of Buckingham to follow him; the latter escaped to the Continent, and
returned at the Restoration, like most of his party, no better for his
experience. Holland and Colonel Dalbier retreated to St. Neot's, where
a party of soldiers sent by Fairfax from Colchester met them, and took
Holland and killed Dalbier, who was cut to pieces by the soldiers on
account of his having been a renegade from the Parliamentary army.

The fate of the Scottish army decided that of Goring at Colchester.
There was nothing further to stand out for; he surrendered at
discretion, and was sent to prison to await the award of Parliament,
with Lord Capel, and Hastings, the brother of the Earl of Huntingdon.
But two of his officers, Sir George Lisle and Sir Charles Lucas--the
brother of Lord Lucas, and heir to his title and estates--were shot.
All sides were growing savage. These two officers fell bravely and
deserved a better fate. Lucas, tearing open his doublet, cried, "Fire,
rebels!" and instantly fell. Lisle ran to him, kissed his dead body,
and then turning to the soldiers, told them to come nearer. One of them
said, "I'll warrant you we shall hit you." He replied, "Friends, I have
been nearer, when you have missed me." The death of these noble fellows
sullied the fair reputation of Fairfax, who afterwards deeply regretted
it.

On the revolt of the ships at Deal, under the command of Rainsborough,
whom they left ashore, the Parliament appointed the Earl of Warwick,
the brother of the Earl of Holland, but more in the confidence of
the Reformers, Lord Admiral of the Fleet, and sent him to oppose the
insurgent fleet. No sooner was it heard in Paris that the English ships
had sailed for Holland, and called on the Duke of York to command them,
than it was thought highly expedient that the Prince of Wales should
hasten thither himself and take the command. Accordingly, he travelled
in all haste to the Hague, accompanied by Prince Rupert, and the Lords
Hopton and Colepepper. The prince was received with acclamations by
the fleet at Helvoetsluys, and with other vessels, making altogether
nineteen, he sailed to the coast of England. It was thought by that
party that it was best to sail along the English coast, showing their
strength for some time, and then to proceed to the mouth of the Thames.
At that time the insurrection in Kent was proceeding under Hales,
L'Estrange, and the Earl of Norwich, which Fairfax soon dealt with
at Maidstone; but whilst it was in force the prince might have made
a safe descent on the Isle of Wight, and attempted the rescue of his
father. The castle of Carisbrooke was not strong, and there were few
forces besides its garrison in the island; but though Charles anxiously
expected the fleet, and sent repeated messages, no attention was paid
to them. For nearly a month the prince had the full command of the
coast. Fairfax was engaged with the insurgents at Colchester, and the
rest of the army was occupied in Wales, and in waiting for the approach
of the invasion from Scotland; yet the heir-apparent made no movement
for the rescue of his father, which everyone would have thought would
have been the first thing with him.

Warwick posted himself at the mouth of the Thames, to prevent any
advance towards London, or any relief to Colchester; but he did not
deem himself strong enough till he should be joined by another fleet
under Sir George Ayscough, from Portsmouth. With this arrival Warwick
was in a condition to attack the prince's fleet, but he lay still, nor
did the prince appear more inclined to assail him. He was satisfied to
intercept merchantmen coming into port, and then demand their ransom
from the City. This occasioned a brisk correspondence between London
and the prince, under cover of which proposals were made by the prince
and his counsellors for the City opening its gates and declaring for
the king. But the demand of the prince for ten thousand pounds as
ransom of the merchant ships disgusted the City, and presently after
came the news of the total defeat of the Scottish army at Preston. On
this the prince sailed away again to Helvoetsluys, without attempting
anything more. His fleet, according to Clarendon, like the Court and
army of his father, was rusted with factions, and so incapable of any
decided course of action. But the Earl of Warwick did not present
a more flattering aspect. Though it is confessed that he was amply
strong enough after Ayscough's junction to have beaten the prince,
he satisfied himself with watching him off, and followed him at a
respectful distance to the Dutch coast. He is said there to have
persuaded the disappointed sailors to return to the service of the
Parliament, and thus recovered most of the ships. But the public was
greatly dissatisfied with his conduct, and the Independents did not
hesitate to declare that they were always betrayed by the cowardice
or disaffection of noble commanders. The whole war bore striking
evidences of this fact; and Clarendon asserts that Warwick had an
understanding with his brother Holland, and would almost certainly have
gone over had the Scottish invasion succeeded. Clarendon declares that
the Parliament of Scotland had sent Lord Lauderdale to the Hague, to
invite Prince Charles to go to Scotland and put himself at the head of
affairs there for his father, in order to encourage the endeavour to
put down the Independents, who were at once hostile to the king and the
Solemn League and Covenant; but that the news of the defeat of Hamilton
defeated that object. By the end of August all the attempts of the
Royalists were crushed.

The Presbyterians took the opportunity while Fairfax, Cromwell, and
the leading Independents were absent with the army, to propose a fresh
treaty with Charles. On hearing of this movement, Cromwell wrote to
the Parliament, to remind it of its vote of non-addresses, and that
to break it and make fresh overtures to the king, who would still
adhere to his inadmissible demands, would be an eternal disgrace to
them. But the immediate defeat of Hamilton so much raised the terror
of the Presbyterians at the overwhelming weight which this would
give to the army and the Independent party, that they hastened the
business. Charles readily acceded to it, and would fain have obtained
his wish of carrying on the negotiation in London, especially as a
large party there were urgent for accommodation with him. But the
Parliament dare not thus far run counter to the victorious army, and
a compromise was effected. Charles was permitted to choose any place
in the Isle of Wight where the conference should take place, and
he decided on the town of Newport. From the Parliament five Lords,
including Northumberland and Pembroke, and ten Commoners, including
Vane the younger, Grimstone, Holles, and Pierpoint, were appointed
Commissioners, and on Charles's part appeared the Duke of Richmond,
the Marquis of Hertford, the Earls of Southampton and Lindsay, with
other gentlemen, and a number of his chaplains and lawyers. These were
not admitted to sit with the Parliamentary Commissioners and the king,
and were not to interpose opinions or arguments during the discussion,
which were to be direct from Charles; but they were suffered to be
in the room behind a curtain, where they could hear all, and to whom
Charles was at liberty to retire to consult them. The conditions
were the same as were submitted at Hampton Court, and the king again
consented to the surrender of the command of the army for ten years;
but he would not accede to the abolition of Episcopacy, but merely to
its suspension for three years; moreover, the episcopal lands were not
to be forfeited, but granted on long leases, and he would not bind
himself to accept the Covenant. In fact, he stood just as rooted to his
own notions as if he had as great a chance as ever of obtaining them.
In vain the Presbyterians prayed him with tears to yield, to prevent
the utter ruin of himself and them. The Commission met on the 18th of
September, and it was limited to the 4th of November; but that time
arrived and nothing further was concluded. The Commissioners took their
leave and proceeded to Cowes, but they were met by a resolution of the
Commons to prolong the Conference to the 21st, which was afterwards
extended to the 25th of November.

There were signs and circumstances enough abroad to have brought any
other man to make the best terms he could. On the 11th of September,
before the meeting of the Commission, a petition of many thousands
of well-affected men in the cities of London and Westminster, in
the borough of Southwark, and the neighbouring villages, "had been
presented, praying that justice might be done on the chief author of
the great bloodshed which had been perpetrated in the war." They called
for the execution of Holland, Hamilton, Capel, Goring, and the rest
of the Royalist officers now confined at Windsor. Clarendon says that
Capel, at the execution of Lisle and Lucas at Colchester, had spoken
so fiercely about it, saying they had better shoot all the rest of
the prisoners, and had so upbraided Ireton in particular, to whose
vindictive disposition he attributed the bloody deed, that the army was
vehement for the death of these men. Numbers of other petitions to the
same effect came up from the country and from the regiments, declaring
that after so many miraculous deliverances from their treacherous and
implacable enemies by the Almighty, it was sinful to delay any longer
the punishment of these instruments of cruelty, and especially of the
king, the chief offender, the raiser of the war, and the stubborn
rejecter of all offers. The army was the more vehement, because one of
their most gallant and long-tried leaders, Colonel Rainsborough, had
been foully murdered by a number of Royalists.

No wonder that the army was become impatient of further tolerance of
such an enemy. Colonel Ludlow, who was also a member of Parliament,
protested that it was time that the country laid to heart the blood
spilt, and the rapine perpetrated by commission from the king, and to
consider whether the justice of God could be satisfied, or His wrath
appeased, if they granted an act of oblivion as the king demanded.
No; the blood of murdered thousands cried from the ground; as the
Book of Numbers declared, "blood defiled the land, and the land could
not be cleansed except by the blood of him who shed it." He failed in
converting Fairfax to his creed on this head; but Ireton was a more
willing listener, and he joined his regiment in petitioning, on the
18th of October, that crime might be impartially punished, without any
distinction of high or low, and that whoever should speak or act in
favour of the king, before he had been tried and acquitted of shedding
innocent blood, should be adjudged guilty of high treason. The example
was followed by several other regiments; on the 21st Ingoldsby's
regiment petitioned in direct terms for the trial of the king, and
declared the treaty at Newport a trap; and on the 16th of November a
long and stern remonstrance was addressed by the assembled officers of
the army to the House of Commons, demanding that "the capital and grand
author of all the troubles and woes which the nation had endured should
be speedily brought to justice for the treason, blood, and mischief
of which he had been guilty; that the Lords should be abolished, and
the supreme power vested in the Commons; that if the country desired
any more kings, they should be elected by the Commons; that a period
should be fixed for the close of this Parliament; and that any future
king should be sworn to govern by the aid of Parliament alone."
This startling remonstrance was signed by Rushworth, the historian,
secretary to Fairfax, the general himself accompanying the remonstrance
by a letter. A violent debate upon this remonstrance took place in the
House; but Cromwell was now fast advancing to the capital, and the
House adjourned.

[Illustration: ARRIVAL OF CHARLES UNDER GUARD AT HURST CASTLE. (_see
p._ 82.)]

All these ominous proceedings were lost on Charles; whilst he was
negotiating, he was, in his usual manner, secretly corresponding
with his party in various quarters, apologising for the smallest
concessions, on the principle that he did not mean to abide by them.
On the 24th of October, after conceding the command of the army, he
wrote to Sir William Hopkins, "To deal freely with you, the great
concession I made to-day was merely in order to my escape, of which if
I had not hope, I would not have done it." He had written on the 10th
of October to Ormond in Ireland, with which country he had agreed to
have no further intercourse, telling him that the treaty would come to
nothing, and encouraging him privately to prosecute the scheme for a
rising there with all his vigour, and to let his friends know that it
was by his command, but not openly, or this would, of course, knock the
treaty on the head. But a letter of Ormond's fell into the hands of the
Independents, by which they discovered for what he had been sent over
from France to Ireland, and the Commissioners would not proceed till
Charles had publicly written to deny any authority from him to Ormond.
All the while that the negotiations were proceeding, he was expecting
the execution of a plan for his escape; and he told Sir Philip Warwick
that if his friends could not rescue him by the time he had requested
relief, yet he would still hold on, till he had made some stone in that
building his tombstone.

With such a man all treaty had long been hopeless; he would never
consent to the demands upon him, and without his consent the whole war
had been in vain; nay, did he consent, it was equally certain that,
once at liberty, he would break every engagement. What was to be done?
The Independents and the army had come to a solemn conviction that
there was but one way out of it. The king must be tried for his treason
to the nation, and dealt with as any other incorrigible malefactor.

Cromwell, on his way back from Scotland, had called at Pontefract, to
take vengeance on the assassins of Colonel Rainsborough, but finding
affairs pressing in London, left Lambert to reduce the place and secure
the murderers, and hastened towards the capital. He had relied much on
Colonel Hammond to keep the king safe, and not to give him up into the
hands of Parliament, till full justice had been obtained. But no result
accruing from the treaty, the Commissioners prepared to take their
leave of the king on the 28th of November. On the 25th Hammond had
received an order from Fairfax to proceed to headquarters at Windsor,
and on the 26th Colonel Ewer, a zealous Republican, arrived at Newport
to take charge of the king, and confine him in Carisbrooke Castle, or
elsewhere.

Hammond, who knew well what was the meaning of this, refused to give up
his charge, declaring that in all military matters he would obey his
general, but that this charge was committed to him by the Parliament,
and that he would yield it to no order but theirs. Ewer returned, but
the next day was the last day of the Commissioners. Charles, seeing
the desperate pass at which matters had arrived, suddenly gave way,
and agreed that the seven individuals excepted from pardon should take
their trials--namely, the Marquis of Newcastle, Sir Marmaduke Langdale,
who had been confined in Nottingham Castle, but had escaped, Lord
Digby, Sir Richard Grenville, Sir Francis Doddrington, Lord Byron, and
Mr. Justice Jenkins; that the bishops should be abolished, and their
lands vested in the Crown till a final settlement of religion.

When the Commissioners took their leave, Charles warned the lords of
the party that in his ruin they saw their own. Though he had given up
everything at the last moment, he could not flatter himself that this
would be accepted, because he knew that the army, which held the real
power, had protested against this treaty altogether, as a violation
of the vote of non-addresses, and had no faith in his observance of
any conditions whatever. With the Commissioners Hammond also departed,
and Charles was left in the hands of Major Rolfe, a man who had been
charged with a design to take away the king's life six months before.
But Charles was not intended to remain in this man's custody; a body
of troops under Lieutenant-colonel Cobbet was already on its way to
receive the charge. The friends of the king, on learning this, once
more implored him to endeavour to escape. The Duke of Richmond, the
Earl of Lindsay, and Colonel Coke, urged him to instant flight; they
acquainted him with the watchword, and Coke told him he had a boat and
horses ready. But all their persuasions were vain; Charles would not
move. He pleaded that he had given his parole to the Parliament for
twenty days after the treaty. And this was the same man who had been
writing North and South during the whole treaty, to assure his friends
that he meant to break his word on every point of the treaty, the first
moment that he was at liberty. The real reason, we may believe, why
Charles did not attempt to escape, was, that he had no hope of it.
In all his attempts he never had escaped, and must have had a full
conviction that he never could. At five in the morning Cobbet and
his troop arrived, and the king was informed that he must arise and
accompany it.

The king, greatly agitated, demanded to see the order for his removal,
and to know whither they designed to convey him. Cobbet told him they
should take him out of the island, but would not show his order. His
nobles, bishops, and officers of his household crowded round in alarm
and confusion, but there was no alternative; the king was obliged to
take his leave of them, with much sorrow, and was conducted to Hurst
Castle, on the opposite coast of Hampshire. "The place," says Warwick,
"stood in the sea, for every tide the water surrounded it, and it
contained only a few dog-lodgings for soldiers, being chiefly designed
for a platform to command the ships." The sight of this dreary place
struck a serious terror of assassination into his heart, for he never
would believe that, though the Levellers talked of it, they would ever
dare to bring an anointed king to public trial. Unfortunately, his own
officers had lately been rendering assassination familiar to the public
mind, for besides the gallant Colonel Rainsborough, they had murdered
several other officers of less note, and there was a rumour that they
had made a compact to get rid of the king's enemies in this manner.
Charles, however, was to learn that the officers of the Parliamentary
army disdained murder, and dared arraign a king.

The same day that Charles was transferred to Hurst Castle, the
Parliament negatived the motion that the Parliamentary remonstrance
should be taken into consideration, and it voted a letter of Fairfax's,
demanding pay for the army, or threatening to take it where it could be
found, a high and unbeseeming letter. The same day, too, the council
of officers addressed a declaration to Parliament, assuring it that,
seeing that their remonstrance was rejected, they were come to the
conclusion that the Parliament had betrayed its trust to the people,
and that the army would, therefore, appeal from their authority "to the
extraordinary judgment of God, and all good people." They called on all
faithful members to put their confidence in the army, and protest with
them against the conduct of their colleagues. Parliament, on its part,
sent to Fairfax an order that the army should not advance any nearer
to the capital. But the army was advancing--several regiments from the
neighbourhood of York--with the avowal that they were following the
directions of Providence.

On the 1st of December the Commons met, and as if indifferent to the
advance of the army, voted thanks to Holles, Pierpoint, and Lord
Wenman, for their care and pains in the good treaty at Newport, and
proceeded to read twice the report of the Commissioners. Holles, who,
with his accused colleagues, was again in the House, moved that the
king's answer should be voted satisfactory; but that question was
postponed till the next day, when the House adjourned again till the
4th of December--Fairfax, in defiance of their prohibition, having that
day marched into the City, and quartered his troops around Whitehall,
York House, St. James's, the Mews, and other places. On the 4th they
went into the question of the treaty again, having debated all Friday
and Saturday; and on Monday they continued the debate all day until
five o'clock the next morning, Tuesday. Such a debate of three days and
a night had not hitherto been known, for no subject of such supreme
importance had ever yet come before Parliament. Oliver Cromwell arrived
in the midst of this memorable debate.

Sir Harry Vane the younger said that the treaty had been carried on
for months, and that although the king had appeared to concede much
at the last moment, yet they had his own declaration that he did not
hold himself bound by promises which he might make, and that it was the
conviction of himself, and thousands of others, that the king was not
to be trusted; that he, therefore, moved that the House should return
at once to its vote of non-addresses, which it ought never to have
violated, should cease all negotiations, and settle the commonwealth
on another model. Sir Henry Mildmay said the king was no more to be
trusted than a caged lion set at liberty. This was the conviction of
the whole body of the Independents, and no doubt a solid and rational
conviction. But the king did not lack defenders: Fiennes, to the
astonishment of his party, advocated the adoption of the report, and
even Prynne, who had suffered so severely under it, became a pleader
for royalty, that he might chastise Independency and the army. On a
division it was found that a majority of thirty-six, being one hundred
and forty against one hundred and four, had voted the concessions of
Charles at Newport satisfactory, and offering sufficient grounds for
settling the peace of the kingdom. But the army--or, in other words,
the Independent and Republican cause--was not going thus to be defeated.

On the morning of the 6th of December, Major-general Skippon discharged
the train-bands which had guarded the two Houses of Parliament, and
Colonel Rich's cavalry and Colonel Pride's regiment of foot took their
places. Colonel Pride took the lead in the proceeding, which has thence
acquired the name of Pride's Purge. The army determined to purge the
Parliament of all those who were weak enough or mischievous enough to
consent to the return of the king on his own promises, which had long
ceased to mean anything but deceit. Fairfax was engaged in conversation
with some of the members, and Colonel Pride, placing some of his
soldiers in the Court of Requests, and others in the lobby of the
Commons, stood in the latter place with a list of its members in his
hand, and as they approached--Lord Grey of Groby, who stood by him as
one of the doorkeepers, informing him who the members were--he stopped
such as were on his list, and sent them to the Queen's Court, the Court
of Wards, and other places appointed for their detention by the general
and council of the army. Fifty-two of the leading Presbyterians were
thus secured, and the next day, others who had passed the first ordeal
were also removed, so that Pride's Purge had left only about fifty
members for a House, who were Independents, for others had fled into
the country, or hidden themselves in the City to escape arrest. On the
whole, forty-seven members were imprisoned, and ninety-six excluded.
The purged remainder acquired the well-known name of the Rump.

The Independents were now uncontrolled; the royal party in Scotland,
weakened by the defeat of Hamilton's army, were opposed by the
Covenanters, who again denounced the curse of Meroz from the pulpit
against all who did not rise in defence of the Solemn League and
Covenant. Loudon and Eglinton were appointed commanders, and the Earl
of Argyll, with his Highlanders, joining them, they, with the forces
of Cassilis from Carrick and Galloway, marched to Edinburgh. This wild
army advancing from the west were called the "Whiggamores," either from
_whiggam_, a phrase used in driving their horses, or _whig_ (whey),
a beverage of sour milk, which was one of their articles of food.
Whichever it was, the term was soon used to designate an enemy of the
king, and in the next reign was adopted as a nickname for the opponents
of the Court, whence the political term "Whig." Lord Lanark and Monroe
were glad to treat with the Whiggamores, and disbanded their troops, so
that Argyll being a great partisan of Cromwell's, nothing more was to
be feared in the North. On Cromwell's visit Berwick and Carlisle had
been surrendered to him.

On the sitting of the purged Parliament on the 6th, the first day of
Pride's weeding out the suspected members, Cromwell appeared in his
place, and was received with acclamations for his services in the
North. The 8th was kept as a solemn fast, and a collection was made
for the wives and widows of the poor soldiers. They then adjourned
to the 11th, and on Sunday, Hugh Peters, the great enthusiast of
Republicanism, preached a sermon in St. Margaret's, Westminster, from
the text, "Bind your king with chains, and your nobles with fetters of
iron;" and he did not hesitate in the sermon to characterise the king
as Barabbas, the great murderer, tyrant, and traitor. It was remarkable
that not only four earls and twenty commoners of note sat out this
sermon, but the Prince Palatine himself, Charles's nephew. The king's
own family, whatever their pretences, had clearly given him up to his
fate, or the prince, with his powerful fleet, would never have scoured
the coasts of the south of England for several weeks without a single
attempt to save his father, the impetuous Prince Rupert being on board,
and one of his chief counsellors.

Instead of the House of Commons sitting according to adjournment,
on the 11th, the Military Councils, the Select Committee, and the
General sat, and framed a new scheme of government. It was called "A
new Representative, or an Agreement of the People." The composition
was said to be Ireton's, but had probably been framed by Cromwell,
Ireton, Peters, Vane, Pride, and the leading Republicans. It was but an
amplification of the late remonstrance; it proposed that the present
Parliament, which had now sat eight years, should be finally dissolved
in April next, and a new one elected according to this formula. It
declared that officers and malignants should be incapable of electing
or being elected; that the House of Commons should consist of three
hundred members, and the representation of the country should be more
equal. These propositions, having been sanctioned by the general
council of soldiers and inferior officers, were carried to Parliament.
The Commons the next day readily voted these measures, as well as that
both the Commons and Lords, by violating the vote of non-addresses, had
committed an act most unparliamentary and detrimental to the kingdom,
and that the treaty at Newport was a monstrous error, disgrace, and
peril to the country. They again restored the order expelling the
eleven Presbyterian members from the House.

On the 16th a strong party of horse was despatched under Colonel
Harrison to remove the king to Windsor Castle. On the very day that
he reached Windsor, the House of Commons, or the Rump fragment of it,
appointed a committee of thirty-eight "to consider of drawing up a
charge against the king, and all other delinquents that may be thought
fit to bring to condign punishment." On the 1st of January, 1649, the
committee made the following report:--"That the said Charles Stuart,
being admitted King of England, and therein trusted with a limited
power to govern by and according to the laws of the land, and not
otherwise; and by his trust, oath, and office, being obliged to use
the power committed to him for the good and benefit of the people, and
for the preservation of their rights and liberties; yet, nevertheless,
out of a wicked design to erect and uphold in himself an unlimited and
tyrannical power, to rule according to his will, and to overthrow the
rights and liberties of the people; yea, to take away and make void the
foundations thereof, and of all redress and remedy of misgovernment,
which by the fundamental constitutions of this kingdom were reserved on
the people's behalf, in the right and power of frequent and successive
Parliaments, or national meetings in council; he, the said Charles
Stuart, for accomplishing of such his designs, and for the protecting
of himself and his adherents in his and their wicked practices, to the
same ends hath traitorously and maliciously levied war against the
present Parliament, and the people therein represented." The report,
therefore, declared that he should be brought to judgment for his
treason to the nation.

[Illustration: TRIAL OF CHARLES I. (_See p._ 86.)]

The next day the ordinance of the Commons confirming the report was
sent up to the Lords, or at least to the few of them remaining, only
amounting to about a dozen, who rejected it without a dissenting voice,
and then adjourned. The Commons immediately closed their doors, and
passed a resolution that the Commons of England in Parliament assembled
were, under God, the origin of all just power as the representatives of
the people; that whatsoever they decreed was law, and did not require
any concurrence from the Lords.

On the 6th of January the Commons passed the ordinance for the trial of
the king. By it they erected a High Court of Justice for trying him,
and proceeding to judgment against him. It consisted of no less than a
hundred and thirty-five Commissioners, of whom twenty were to form a
quorum. Of these Commissioners no more than eighty assembled. On the
8th, fifty assembled in the Painted Chamber, Fairfax at their head, and
ordered that on the morrow the herald should proclaim the approaching
trial, and invite all people to bring in what matters of fact they had
against Charles Stuart. Accordingly that was done both at Westminster
and in the City the same day, the 9th. The Commons ordered the Great
Seal in use to be broken up, and a new seal introduced, bearing the
inscription, "The Great Seal of England," and on the reverse, "In the
first year of Freedom, by God's blessing restored, 1648" (_i.e._, 1649,
new style). The Commissioners then appointed John Bradshaw, a native
of Cheshire, and a barrister of Gray's Inn, who had practised much in
Guildhall, and had lately been made a serjeant, Lord President of the
High Court; Mr. Steel, Attorney-General; Mr. Coke, Solicitor-General;
Mr. Dorislaus and Mr. Aske, as Counsel for the Commonwealth; and,
appointing the old Courts of Chancery and King's Bench, at the upper
end of Westminster Hall, as the place of trial, they fixed the day for
the 19th of January. On the 20th of January the Commissioners assembled
in the Painted Chamber to the number of sixty-six, and proceeded in
state to Westminster Hall.

It may be imagined that such a spectacle drew immense throngs. Every
avenue to the hall was guarded by soldiers, and others stood armed
within it. The open space below the bar was densely crowded, and
equally packed throngs of nobles, gentlemen, and ladies, looked down
from the galleries right and left. A chair of crimson velvet for
the President stood elevated on three steps towards the upper end
of the hall, and behind and in a line with him right and left the
Commissioners took the seats placed for them, which were covered with
scarlet. Before the President stood a long table on which lay the mace
and sword, and just below him, at its head, sat two clerks. At the
bottom of the table, directly opposite to the President, was placed a
chair for the king.

After the commission had been read, Bradshaw ordered the prisoner to
be brought to the bar. He had been brought from Whitehall, to which
he had been removed from St. James's, in a sedan chair, and the
serjeant-at-arms conducted him to the bar. His step was firm, and
his countenance, though serious, unmoved. He seated himself covered,
according to the wont, not of a prisoner, but of a king; then rose and
surveyed the court and crowds around him. The Commissioners all sat
with their hats on, and Charles eyed them sternly. He then glanced
round on the people in the galleries and those around him with an air
of superiority, and reseated himself. Bradshaw then addressed him
to this effect:--"Charles Stuart, King of England,--The Commons of
England, being deeply sensible of the calamities that have been brought
upon this nation, which are fixed upon you as the principal author
of them, have resolved to make inquisition for blood; and, according
to that debt and due they owe to justice, to God, the kingdom, and
themselves, they have resolved to bring you to trial and judgment, and
for that purpose have constituted this High Court of Justice before
which you are brought." Coke, the Solicitor-General, then rose to
make the charge against him, but Charles, rising and crying, "Hold!
hold!" tapped him on the shoulder with his cane. In doing this the gold
head dropped from his cane, and though he took it up with an air of
indifference, it was an incident that made a deep impression both on
him and the spectators. He mentioned the circumstance to the Bishop of
London, who attended him in private, with much concern, and those who
saw it regarded it as an especial omen.

Coke, however, went on, and desired the clerk to read the charge,
and whilst it was reading, Charles again cried, "Hold!" but as the
clerk continued, he sat down, looking very stern; but when the words
of the charge declaring him to be a tyrant and a traitor were read,
he is said to have laughed outright. When the charge was finished,
Bradshaw demanded what he had to say in reply to it; but he in his turn
demanded by what authority he had been brought there? And he asserted
very forcibly that he was king; acknowledged no authority superior to
his own, and would not by any act of his diminish or yield up that
authority, but leave it to his posterity as he had derived it from his
ancestors. He reminded them that he had lately, in the Isle of Wight,
treated with a number of lords and gentlemen; that they were upon the
conclusion of that treaty, and he wanted to know by what authority he
had, under such circumstances, been brought thence.

This was very true, and would have been unanswerable, had he, as he
asserted, treated with them honestly and uprightly; but we know that
at the very time that he was carrying on that treaty, and to the very
last, he was also carrying on a secret correspondence with Ormond in
Ireland, his wife in France, and with other parties, informing them
that he was only doing this because there was no help for it; but
that he had games to play which would still defeat the whole affair.
He was meaning nothing less, and privately declaring nothing less,
than that he would, on the first opportunity, be as despotic as ever.
He continued, however, to demand, "By what authority am I here? I
mean lawful authority, for there are many unlawful authorities in the
world--thieves and robbers by the highways. Remember, I am your lawful
king: let me know by what lawful authority I am seated here; resolve
me that, and you shall hear more from me." Bradshaw told him that he
might have observed that he was there by the authority of the people
of England, whose elected king he was. That afforded Charles another
answer. "England," he said, "never was an elective but an hereditary
kingdom for nearly these thousand years. I stand more for the liberty
of my people than any here that are come to be my pretended judges."
Bradshaw might have told him that the people thought it time to put
an end to the hereditary form, and adopt a new one; but he replied,
"Sir, how well you have managed your trust is known. If you do not
acknowledge the authority of the court I must proceed." Charles,
however, turned to another weak place in his adversary's answer, and
exclaimed, "I see no House of Lords that may constitute a Parliament,
and the king, too, must be in and part of a Parliament." It was
unquestionable that Charles could not be answered on the constitutional
ground, but only on the revolutionary one, on that principle of the
power and right of the people to revolutionise, and shape anew their
constitution (which in 1688 was acknowledged and established as a great
fact of the rights of nations), and Bradshaw brought forward that
plea--"If you are not satisfied with our authority, we are satisfied
with it, which we have from God and the people." He informed Charles
that he would be expected to answer, and adjourned the court till
Monday.

The two following days were spent in receiving evidence of the king's
having not only commenced the war on his subjects, but of his having
commanded personally in it, and in settling the form of judgment to be
pronounced. On the third day, when Charles was again brought forward,
the same painful scene was renewed of the king's denying the court,
refusing to plead, and yet insisting on being heard. Bradshaw told
him in vain that if he pleaded, admitting the authority of the court,
he would be at liberty to make any observation in his defence that he
pleased; but that in no court could it be otherwise. He then demanded
a hearing before a committee of both Houses, but he was reminded that
the authority of the Lords was no longer admitted. He assured him that
though he contended that he had no superior in the State, the law was
his superior, and that there was a power superior to the law--the
people, the parent or author of the law--which was not of yesterday,
but the law of old; that there were such things as parliaments, which
the people had constructed for their protection, and these Parliaments
he had endeavoured to put down and destroy; and that what his
endeavours had been all along for the crushing of Parliament, had been
notorious to the whole kingdom. "And truly, sir," he continued, "in
_that_ you did strike at all, for the great bulwark of the liberties of
the people is the Parliament of England. Could you but have confounded
that, you had at one blow cut off the neck of England. But God hath
been pleased to confound your design, to break your forces, to bring
your person into custody, that you might be responsible to justice."

He then combated Charles's argument, that there was no law or example
of people deposing or destroying their kings. He quoted many instances
from foreign nations, in which they had resisted, fought against, and
destroyed their kings. Charles's own country of Scotland, before all
others, abounded with instances of the deposition and putting to death
of their sovereigns. His grandmother had been so set aside, and his
own father, a mere infant, put in her place. The Lord President then
referred to the depositions of Edward II. and Richard II., which he
contended were effected by Parliament, and said that their crimes were
not a tenth part so capital against the nation as those in this charge.
As Charles again continued to reply and argue without submitting to
plead, Bradshaw told him the court had given him too much liberty
already, and ordered the sentence to be read. But here John Downes,
one of the Commissioners, a citizen of London, said to those near him,
"Have we hearts of stone? Are we men?" and then rising and trembling
violently, exclaimed, "My lord, I am not satisfied to give my consent
to the sentence. I desire the court may adjourn to hear me." They
therefore adjourned, but in half an hour returned with a unanimous
verdict of guilty.

Bradshaw then proceeded to pronounce the sentence. When the names of
the Commissioners were read that morning, on that of Fairfax being
called, a female voice from one of the galleries cried out, "He has
more wit than be here." When the name of Cromwell was read, the same
voice exclaimed, "A rogue and a traitor." As Bradshaw now went on to
say, the king had been called to answer by the people, before the
Commons of England assembled in Parliament, the same female voice
shouted, "It is false! not one half-quarter of them!" There was a great
excitement; all turned towards the gallery whence the voice came,
from amid a group of masked ladies. Axtell, the officer commanding
the soldiers, brutally ordered them to fire into the group; but the
soldiers hesitated, and a lady rose and walked out of the gallery. It
was seen to be Lady Fairfax, the wife of the commander-in-chief, a
woman of very ancient and noble family, the Veres of Tilbury, who had
come to object most decidedly to the extreme measures of the army, and
had prevailed on her husband to keep away from the court.

After order had been restored, Bradshaw ordered the charge to be read,
the king still interfering; and then Bradshaw passed the sentence,
"That the court being satisfied in conscience that he, Charles Stuart,
was guilty of the crimes of which he had been accused, did adjudge him
as a tyrant, traitor, murderer, and public enemy to the good people of
the nation, to be put to death by severing his head from his body."

After the sentence was pronounced, Charles again requested to be
heard; but Bradshaw told him that after the sentence it could not be
allowed, and ordered the guards to take him away. The Royalist writers
state that during the trial the people had cried, "Justice! justice!"
whilst others cried, "God save the king!" but that after the king was
condemned, the soldiers, as he passed, insulted him in the grossest
manner, spitting on him, blowing their tobacco in his face, throwing
their pipes at him, and yelling in his ears, "Justice! justice!
execution! execution!" But the popular party utterly denied the truth
of these assertions; declaring that they were got up to make the case
of Charles resemble that of the Saviour, to render his judges odious,
and himself a sacred martyr. One soldier, Herbert says, as the king was
proceeding to his sedan chair, said, "God help and save your majesty!"
and that Axtell struck him down with his cane, on which the king said,
"Poor fellow! it is a heavy blow for a small offence." To the hired
hootings of the military, Herbert says that he merely remarked, "Poor
souls! they would say the same to their generals for sixpence."

Charles went back to St. James's Palace, where he spent the remainder
of the day, Sunday, the 28th of January, and Monday, the 29th, the
execution being fixed for Tuesday, the 30th. He had the attendance of
Juxon, the late Bishop of London, and the next morning he received the
last visit of his only two remaining children in England, the Duke of
Gloucester and the Princess Elizabeth. The princess was not twelve,
and the king, setting her on his knee, began speaking to her--"But,
sweetheart," he said, "thou wilt forget what I tell thee." The little
girl, bursting into tears, promised to write down all that passed, and
she did so. In her account, preserved in the "_Reliquiæ Sacræ_," she
says, amongst other things, that he commanded her to tell her mother
that his thoughts had never strayed from her, that his love would be
the same for her to the last; and that he died a glorious death for
the laws and religion of the land. To the Duke of Gloucester he said,
"Sweetheart, now they will cut off thy father's head. Heed what I say,
they will cut off my head, and perhaps make thee a king. But mark
what I say; you must not be a king as long as your brothers Charles
and James live; therefore, I charge you, do not be made a king by
them." At which the child, sighing deeply, replied, "I will be torn in
pieces first." "And these words coming unexpectedly from so young a
child," says the princess, "rejoiced my father exceedingly." The whole
interview was extremely affecting.

Charles slept well, but woke early, and bade his man Herbert rise and
dress him with care, for it was his second marriage day, and he would
be as trim as possible. Whilst Herbert dressed him, he told him he had
dreamt of Archbishop Laud, who, on the king speaking seriously to him,
had sighed and fallen prostrate. Charles said, had he not been dead,
he might possibly have said something to Laud to cause him to sigh;
so that it is possible he felt that Laud's proceedings and advice had
brought things to this pass. He desired to have two shirts on, as the
weather was very cold; for if he shook, the rogues would think it was
through fear. He observed that he was glad he had slept at St. James's,
as the walk through the park would warm him. At ten o'clock the summons
came--Colonel Hacker knocked at the door to say they were ready. Hacker
turned pale on seeing the king come out, and was much affected. Ten
companies of infantry formed a double line on each side of his path,
and a detachment preceded him with banners flying and drums beating.

[Illustration: CHARLES'S FAREWELL INTERVIEW WITH THE DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
AND THE PRINCESS ELIZABETH. (_See p._ 88.)]

On the king's right walked Juxon, on his left the Parliamentary Colonel
Tomlinson, bareheaded. The king walked through the park at a brisk
rate, and said to the guard, "Come, my good fellows, step on apace."
He pointed out a tree planted by his brother Henry, and on arriving at
Whitehall, he ascended the stairs with a light step, passed through the
long gallery, and went to his chamber, where he remained with Juxon in
religious exercise. It was past one o'clock before he was summoned to
the scaffold, where the executioner, Brandon, and Hulet, a sergeant
appointed to assist him, disguised in black masks, awaited him. The
scaffold was raised in the street, in front of the Banqueting House
at Whitehall, and he passed through a window which had been taken
out, upon it. All was hung with black cloth, and in the middle of the
scaffold stood the block, with the axe enveloped in black crape lying
on it.

Charles made a speech, in which he denied making war on the Parliament,
but the Parliament on him, by claiming the militia. Church, Lords, and
Commons had, he said, been subverted with the sovereign power; if he
would have consented to reign by the mere despotism of the sword, he
asserted that he might have lived and remained king. He declared that
he forgave all his enemies; and yet when the executioner knelt and
begged his forgiveness, he said, "No, I forgive no subject of mine, who
comes deliberately to shed my blood." He said that the nation would
never prosper till they placed his son on the throne; and to the last
moment, rooted in his theory of divine right, he denied that the people
ought to have any share in the government--that being a thing "nothing
pertaining to them"--and yet that "he died the martyr of the people."

Whilst he spoke some one disturbed the axe, on which he turned and
said, "Have a care of the axe; if the edge be spoiled, it will be the
worse for me." After concluding his speech, he put up his hair under
a cap, and the bishop observed, "There is but one stage more, which,
though turbulent and troublesome, is yet a very short one. Consider
it will carry you a great way--even from earth to heaven." "I go,"
said the king, "from a corruptible crown to an incorruptible, where no
disturbance can take place." "You are exchanged from a temporal to an
eternal crown--a good exchange," replied the bishop. The king then took
off his cloak, and gave his _George_ to Juxon, saying impressively,
"Remember!" The warning is supposed, as the medallion of the George
concealed a portrait of Henrietta, to have regarded a message to his
wife. Having laid his head on the block, the executioner severed it at
a single stroke, and Hulet, the sergeant, holding it up, cried, "Here
is the head of a traitor." At that sight a universal groan seemed to go
through the crowd.

The body lay at Whitehall, to be embalmed, till the 7th of February,
when it was conveyed to Windsor, and laid in the vault of St. George's
Chapel, near the coffins of Henry VIII. and Jane Seymour. The day was
very snowy, and the coffin being deposited without any service, was
left without any inscription except the words, "Carolus Rex, 1648,"
the letters of which were cut out of a band of lead by the gentlemen
present, with their penknives, and the lead folded round the coffin.
In this condition it was discovered in 1813, when George IV., attended
by Sir Henry Halford, had it opened, and found proof that the head had
been separated from the body.



CHAPTER IV.

THE COMMONWEALTH.

    Proclamation of the Prince of Wales Forbidden--Decline
    of the Peerage--_Ultimus Regum_--Establishment of a
    Republican Government--Abolition of the House of Lords and
    the Monarchy--Council of State--The Oath Difficulty--The
    Engagement--Religious Toleration--Trials of Royalists--Discontent
    among the People--The Levellers--Activity of John
    Lilburne--Quelling the Mutiny in Whalley's Regiment--Lockyer's
    Funeral--Arrest of Lilburne--Spread of the Disaffection to
    other Regiments--Suppression of the Insurrection--Cromwell
    appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland--Royalist Movement
    in Scotland--Charles's Son proclaimed King--The Scottish
    Deputation at the Hague--Charles's Court--Assassination of Dr.
    Dorislaus--Affairs in Ireland--Cromwell's Campaign--Defeat
    and Death of Montrose--Cromwell in Scotland--Battle of
    Dunbar--Movements of Charles--His March into England--Battle of
    Worcester--Charles Escapes to France--Vigorous Government--Foreign
    Difficulties--Navigation Act--War with Holland--Contest between
    Parliament and the Army--Expulsion of the Rump--The Little
    Parliament--Cromwell made Protector.


The king being put to death, it was necessary that the Parliament
should immediately determine what sort of government should succeed.
Had they been disposed to continue the monarchy, and receive the eldest
son of Charles, it was still necessary to take efficient means for
obtaining from him, before admitting him to the throne, a recognition
of all the rights for which they had striven with his father. The very
day, therefore, of the king's execution, the House of Commons passed
an Act, making it high treason for any one to proclaim the Prince
of Wales, or any other person, king or chief magistrate of England
or Ireland, without consent of Parliament; and copies of this were
immediately despatched to all the sheriffs, to be proclaimed in the
counties. That done, they proceeded gradually, but promptly, to develop
and complete their design of adopting a Republican form of government.

The first step was to deal with the Lords. That body, or the miserable
remnant thereof, still sat in the Upper House, and sent repeated
messages to the Commons, to which they deigned no reply. The Lords, in
fact, had become contemptible in the eyes of the whole community. They
had sunk and trembled before the genius of the Commons. Though strongly
inclined to stand by royalty, and though all their interests were
bound up with it, though they had been created by royal fiat, and made
all that they were by it, in honour, power, and estate, and though
it required no great sagacity to perceive that they must fall with
it, the king himself having repeatedly assured them that such would
be the case, they had neither the policy nor the gratitude to hold
together and maintain the fountain of their honour, nor the prescience
to perceive their case when the Crown must fall, and make a merit of
going over bodily to the conquering power. They had gone to pieces,
some holding with one side, some with the other, some vacillating
between both, changing and rechanging as the balance turned one way
or the other. What was still worse, they had discovered no talent
whatever on either side, with most rare exceptions, and these not
remarkable, even where they had adopted a side and become partisans.
Essex, Warwick, Holland, Hamilton, Newcastle, Northumberland, Ormond,
and the rest, what had they done? Fairfax and Montrose, out of the
whole body--and Montrose had personally been raised to it--had alone
won great names. Fairfax, indeed, independent of Cromwell's hand and
head, was respectable, but nothing more. The whole peerage had sunk
into contemptible eclipse before the bold and vigorous genius of the
Commoners. Without, therefore, deigning to answer their messages, on
the 5th of February they began to discuss the question as to their
retention or abolition, and the next day they voted, by a majority of
forty-four to twenty-nine, that "the House of Peers in Parliament was
useless and dangerous, and ought to be abolished; that the privilege of
peers, of being freed from arrest, should be declared null and void,
but that they might be elected knights or burgesses for the Commons."
Henry Marten moved that the word "dangerous" should be omitted, and
the word "useless" only be retained; or if the word "dangerous" were
retained, it should be only with "not" before it, for the peers were
certainly not dangerous, but pitiably useless, and they had now come to
see verified what Holles had told them, that if they would not heartily
join in saving the nation, it would be saved without them. An Act to
this effect was soon after brought in and passed.

On the day following (the 7th), the Commons proceeded to a more
important question, and voted that it had been found by experience that
the office of a king in this nation, and that to have the power thereof
in any single person, was unnecessary, burdensome, and dangerous to the
liberty, safety, and public interest of the nation, and therefore that
it should be utterly abolished; and to that purpose an Act should be
forthwith prepared. This was speedily followed by a vote, on the motion
of Henry Marten, that the king's statues at the Royal Exchange and
other places should be taken down, and on the places where they stood
should be inscribed, "_Exit Tyrannus, Regum ultimus, Anno Libertatis
Angliæ restitutæ primo_, A.D. 1648, January 30" (old style). There was,
moreover, an elaborate declaration drawn up, to justify the changing
of England into a Republic, translated into Latin, French, and Dutch,
and addressed to foreign States. The custody of the new Great Seal was
entrusted to three lawyers--namely, Whitelock, Keble, and Lisle; they
were to hold it during good behaviour, and to be called Keepers of the
Liberties of England, by authority of Parliament. The King's Bench was
henceforth named the Upper Bench, and came to be called the Commons
Bench, and Oliver St. John, who had done so much to bring about this
revolution, was made Chief Justice.

The next great measure was to dissolve the Executive Council, which
had sat at Derby House, and revive it in a more extended form as
the Executive Council of State, to consist of forty-one members.
Three-fourths of these had seats in the House, and several of the
late peers--Mulgrave, Pembroke, Denbigh, Fairfax, Lisle, Grey of
Groby, Salisbury, and Grey of Werke. The chief heads of the law and
officers of the army were included. The principal names were, the
late peers already mentioned, and Whitelock, St. John, Cromwell,
Skippon, Hazelrig, Midmay, Vane, Marten, Bradshaw, Ludlow, and Colonel
Hutchinson, Governor of Nottingham. Milton, the great national poet,
was appointed its secretary, and henceforth prepared its public acts,
and employed his mighty talents in the defence of the measures of the
Republican Government.

It was necessary to have an oath, and one was constructed which
approved of the king's trial, of the vote against the Scots and
their English associates, and of the abolition of monarchy and the
House of Lords. But as this would not only exclude all conscientious
Presbyterians, but called on the Lords to pass an act of censure on
themselves, as well as on all to approve of Acts of Parliament in
which they had no concern, Fairfax and some others refused to take
it, and it had to be reduced to the undertaking "to be true and
faithful to the Government established without king or House of Peers,
and never to consent to their re-admission." This was called the
"Engagement," and still was effective in excluding all Royalists, and
such of the Presbyterian party as would not consent to violate their
favourite Covenant. Of the twelve judges, ten had been appointed by
the revolutionary party, and the whole of them had quietly continued
their functions through the war against the king; yet six of these now
resigned, probably having hoped to the last for an accommodation with
the king, and not going in their minds the length of a commonwealth.
The other six consented to hold their offices only on the condition
that an Act of the Commons should guarantee the non-abolition of the
fundamental laws of the kingdom.

With regard to the Church, as the present Government was decidedly in
favour of ample toleration, it satisfied itself with making a slight
modification of the existing Presbyterian power, and allowing it to
remain, at the same time that it deprived its intolerant clergy of all
temporal power whatever. No holders of religious opinions were to be
molested, provided that they did not attack the fundamental principles
of Christianity, and thus the Roman Catholics acquired more civil as
well as religious liberty than they had enjoyed since the days of Queen
Mary.

The army remained in the same able hands which had made it the finest
army in Europe, and had won with it such wonderful victories. Fairfax
still continued commander-in-chief, though he had held aloof from
the king's trial, and the navy was put on a more efficient footing
by removing the Earl of Warwick and appointing Blake, who had shown
remarkable skill and courage on land, with Popham and Dean as admirals.
These great changes were chiefly effected by the influence of Cromwell,
Ireton, Marten, and Bradshaw, assisted by the talents of Vane, and
the legal ability of St. John and Whitelock. They also introduced a
Parliamentary measure, which essentially modified the character of the
House. On the 1st of February they carried a vote that those who, on
the 5th of December, assented to the vote that "the king's concessions
were a sufficient ground to proceed to a settlement," should be
incapable of sitting, but all others who should previously enter on the
journal their dissent from that motion should be admissible. By this
means they found the number of members raised to one hundred and fifty,
and at the same time they were protected from a wearying opposition
from the Presbyterian section.

They now proceeded to bring to trial such of the Royalist prisoners
as had engaged in the last insurrection, whom they regarded as
disturbers of the kingdom after it had once conquered the king, and
might have proceeded to a settlement. They looked on them, in fact, as
a species of rebels to the party in power. And yet that party was not
constituted, even by its own formal enactments, as a fully recognised
Government, till these trials were over. They terminated on the 6th of
March, and the Republic was not formally passed till the 19th of that
month, in these words: "Be it declared and enacted by this present
Parliament, and by the authority of the same, that the people of
England, and of all the dominions and territories thereunto belonging,
are and shall be, and are hereby constituted, made, established,
and confirmed to be, a Commonwealth or Free State; and shall from
henceforth be governed as a commonwealth and free state, by the
supreme authority of this nation, the representatives of the people in
Parliament, and by such as they shall appoint and constitute officers
and ministers under them for the good of the people, and without any
king or House of Lords."

Whilst this Act was preparing, the trials were going on: the votes for
the sitting of the Council and the Commons were considered sufficient
authority. The trials were probably hastened by the news that Charles
II. had been proclaimed in Scotland, and that the Scots were raising
an army to avenge the king's death, and "to punish the sectaries of
England for the breach of the Covenant." The persons whom it was
resolved to try, were the Duke of Hamilton, the Earl of Holland, Lord
Goring, lately created Earl of Norwich, Lord Capel, and Sir John Owen.
The High Court appointed to try these prisoners consisted of fifty
persons of both ex-Peers and Commons. The Duke of Hamilton pleaded
that he was not within the jurisdiction of an English court, that he
was a subject of Scotland, and a prisoner of war; but it was replied
that he was also an English peer, as Earl of Cambridge, and it was
proved that not only was his father naturalised as an English peer,
but he himself had been called to sit as such, and had sat. The Earl
of Holland was ill, and therefore made little defence, except pleading
that he had free quarter given him when he was taken at St. Neots; but
this was fully disproved. Lord Goring, or, as now called, the Earl of
Norwich, had been a steady partisan of the king's, and had shown little
lenity to the Parliamentarians; but he now conducted himself with great
respect to the court, and seemed to leave himself in their hands. Lord
Capel was one of the bravest and proudest of the Royalist generals.
During his imprisonment he escaped from the Tower, but was betrayed
by the boatmen with whom he crossed the Thames. He had expressed
great indignation at the deaths of Lisle and Lucas, and had excited
the resentment of Ireton by it. He now demanded to be tried by court
martial, and declared that when Lisle and Lucas were adjudged to die,
Fairfax had declared that all other lives should be spared, and had
evidence to prove it, if he were allowed. Ireton, who really seems to
have felt a stern resentment against the free-speaking general, denied
that Fairfax had given any such promise, and that if he had, he had
no right to supersede the authority of Parliament. He demanded that
Fairfax should be sent for; but the court satisfied itself with sending
to the general, who returned by letter a rather equivocating answer,
saying that his promise only applied to a court martial, and not to any
such court as Parliament might see fit to appoint. Bradshaw told Capel,
who was not satisfied with this, that he was tried by such judges as
Parliament thought proper to give him, and who had judged a better man
than himself.

[Illustration: OLIVER CROMWELL.]

Sir John Owen, who was a gentleman of Wales, in the late outbreak
had killed a sheriff. He pleaded quarter, and that he had only done
what he thought his duty, in support of the king. As to killing the
sheriff, the sheriff had risen against him with force, and was killed
in the accident of war, which he might have avoided if he had stayed
quietly at home. All five were condemned to lose their heads, the
Earl of Holland as a double turncoat, and his conduct had certainly
been anything but consistent and noble. Sir John Owen, on hearing the
sentence, made a low bow and thanked the judges; and being asked why,
he replied, that it was a very great honour for a poor gentleman of
Wales to die like a lord, and he had not expected anything better
than hanging. No sooner was the sentence passed, than the friends
of Hamilton, Holland, and Capel, made great exertions to save their
lives. The wives of Holland and Capel appeared at the bar, attended by
long trains of females in mourning, to beg for their lives. Two days'
respite was granted, and every effort, persuasion, and bribery was put
in force. Hamilton had fewer friends than the rest, but it was urged
that his death might occasion trouble with Scotland; but Cromwell knew
that they had the interest of Argyll, and that Hamilton's being out of
the way would strengthen that interest. The case of Holland occasioned
a great debate. The Earl of Warwick, his brother, on one side urged his
services to the Parliament for a long period--his enemies, his revolt
from it on the other. Cromwell and Ireton were firmly against them, and
the sentences of these three were confirmed. The votes regarding Goring
were equal, and Lenthall, the Speaker, gave the casting vote in his
favour, alleging that he formerly had done him an essential service.
Sir John Owen, to the satisfaction of those who admired his frank and
quaint humour, was also reprieved, and ultimately liberated. He had
softened even the heart of Ireton, and greatly moved the good Colonel
Hutchinson, and both spoke in his favour. Hamilton, Capel, and Holland,
were beheaded in the Palace Yard on the 9th of March.

The Parliament was soon called on to defend itself against more
dangerous enemies. The country was groaning under the exhaustion of
the civil war. For seven years it had been bleeding at every pore;
and now that the war had ceased, the people began to utter aloud
their complaints, which, if uttered before, had been drowned in the
din of conflict. There was everywhere a terrible outcry against the
burden of taxation; and famine and pestilence--the sure successors
of carnage and spoliation--were decimating the people. In Lancashire
and Westmoreland numbers were daily perishing, and the magistrates of
Cumberland deposed that thirty thousand families in that county had
neither seed- nor bread-corn, nor the means of procuring either. What
rendered this state of things the more dangerous, was the turbulence
of the Levellers. The principles of Republicanism which had borne
on the heads of the army, threatened in turn to overwhelm them in
their progress amongst the soldiers. It is easier to set in motion
revolutionary ideas, than to say to them, "Thus far shall ye go and
no farther." In all revolutions, the class which initiates them wishes
to stop at the point that is most convenient to itself; but other
classes beyond this line are equally anxious, and have an equal claim
to the benefit of levelling principles. It is only power which limits
their diffusion. The power now had passed from the king and the lords,
and had centred in the leaders of the army. It was not convenient or
desirable for them that it should go farther. But the soldiers and the
lower officers, with John Lilburne at their head, claimed a Republic in
its more popular sense. They read in the Bible, and preached from it
in the field, that God was no respecter of persons; that human rights
were as universal as the human race. They saw that Cromwell, Ireton,
Harrison, and a few others were the men who ruled in the Parliament,
the Council, and the Army; and they conceived that they were no longer
seeking the common rights of the community, but the aggrandisement
of themselves. Colonel John Lilburne was pouring out pamphlet upon
pamphlet, and disseminating them through the ranks and through the
people--"England's New Chains Discovered," "The Hunting of the Foxes
from Triploe Heath to Whitehall by Five Small Beagles." These foxes
were Cromwell, Ireton, Fairfax, etc., who had suppressed the mutiny at
Triploe Heath--and the five beagles those who had been made to ride
the wooden horse for their insubordination, that is, set upon a sharp
three-cornered wooden machine, with weights or muskets tied to their
feet. News came to Parliament that one Everard, a soldier passing for a
prophet, and Winstanley, another, with thirty more, were assembled on
St. George's Hill, near Cobham, in Surrey, and were digging the ground
and planting it with roots and beans. They said they should shortly be
four thousand, and invited all to come and help them, promising them
meat, drink, and clothes. Two troops of horse were sent to disperse
them, of which they loudly complained, and Everard and Winstanley went
to the general, and declared "that the liberties of the people were
lost by the coming in of William the Conqueror, and that ever since,
the people of God had lived under tyranny and oppression worse than our
forefathers under the Egyptians. But now the time of deliverance was at
hand, and God would bring His people out of this slavery, and restore
them to their freedom in enjoying the fruits and benefits of the earth.
There had lately appeared to him [Everard] a vision, which bade him
arise and dig and plough the earth, and receive the fruits thereof.
He said that their intent was to restore the earth to its former
condition; that, as God had promised to make the barren fruitful, so
now what they did was to restore the ancient community of enjoying the
fruits of the earth, to distribute them to the poor and needy; that
they did not intend to break down pales and destroy enclosures, as was
reported, but only to till the waste land, and make it fruitful for
man; and that the time was coming when all men would willingly come in
and give up their lands and estates, and submit to this community of
goods."

Lilburne had been engaged in the county of Durham, and to win him over,
three thousand pounds were voted to him; but this did not move him for
a moment. On his return, he appeared at the bar of the House with a
petition against the form of the newly adopted constitution, which the
officers had named, "The Agreement of the People," but which the people
did not accept as their agreement. Lilburne protested against the
provision that Parliament should only sit six months every two years,
and that the Council should rule the other eighteen. This example was
extensively followed, and the table of the House was quickly loaded
with petitions demanding a new Parliament every year; a committee of
the House to govern during the recess; no member of one Parliament to
be a member of the next; the Self-denying Ordinance to be enforced; the
term of every officer's commission in the army to be limited; the High
Court of Justice and Council of State to be abolished as instruments of
tyranny; all proceedings in the courts of law to be in English; lawyers
reduced, and their fees too. Excise and customs they required to be
abolished, and the lands of delinquents sold to remunerate the well
affected. Religion was to be "reformed according to the mind of God;"
tithes were to be abolished, conscience made free, and the incomes
of ministers of the Gospel were to be fixed at one hundred and fifty
pounds each, and raised by a rate on the parishioners.

There was much sound sense and gospel truth in these demands, but the
day of their adoption was much nearer to the millennium than to 1649.
It was resolved to send Cromwell to settle the disturbances in Ireland,
but it was necessary to quash this communist insurrection first.
Money was borrowed of the City, and after "a solemn seeking of God by
prayer," lots were cast to see what regiments should go to Ireland.
Fourteen of foot and fourteen of horse were selected by this mode. The
officers expressed much readiness to go; the men refused. On the 26th
of April there broke out a terrible mutiny in Whalley's regiment, at
the Bull, in Bishopsgate. The men seized their colours from the cornet,
and refused to march without many of the communist concessions. Fairfax
and Cromwell hastened thither, seized fifteen of the mutineers, tried
them on the spot by court martial, condemned five, and shot one in St.
Paul's churchyard on the morrow. This was Lockyer, a trooper, a brave
young fellow, who had served throughout the whole war, and was only yet
three-and-twenty.

The death of this young man who was greatly beloved, roused all the
soldiers and the working men and women of the City to a fearful degree.
He was shot on Friday, amid the tears and execrations of thousands. On
Monday his troop proceeded to bury him with military honours. Whitelock
says, "About a hundred went before the corpse, five or six in a file,
the corpse was then brought, with six trumpets sounding a soldier's
knell. Then the trooper's horse came, clothed all over in mourning, and
led by a footman. The corpse was adorned with bundles of rosemary, one
half-stained in blood, and the sword of the deceased along with them.
Some thousands followed in rank and file; all had sea-green and black
ribbon tied on their hats and to their breasts, and the women brought
up the rear. At the new church in Westminster, some thousands more, of
the better sort, met them, who thought not fit to march through the
City."

This was not a promising beginning for the generals, but they were not
men to be put down. They arrested Lilburne and his five small beagles,
who published, on the 1st of May, their "Agreement of the People," and
clapped them in the Tower, and hastened down to Salisbury to quell the
insurrection which had broken out in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire,
and Wilts in the army. The regiments of Scrope, Ireton, Harrison,
Ingoldsby, Skippon, Reynolds, and Horton, all declared for the
Lilburne "Agreement," and swore to stand by each other. At Banbury, a
Captain Thompson, at the head of two hundred men, issued a manifesto
called "England's Standard Advanced," demanding the completion of
public freedom, vowing justice on the murderers of Lockyer, and
threatening, if a hair of Lilburne's was touched, they would avenge
it seventy-and-seven fold. Reynolds, the colonel of the regiment,
attacked Thompson, put him to flight, and prevailed on the soldiers
to lay down their arms; but another party of ten troops of horse, a
thousand strong, under cornet Thompson, brother of the captain, marched
out of Salisbury for Burford, increasing their numbers as they went.
But Fairfax and Cromwell were marching rapidly after them. They came
upon them in the night at Burford, took them all prisoners, and the
next day, Thursday, the 17th of May, shot Cornet Thompson and two
corporals in Burford churchyard. The rest were pardoned, and agreed to
go to Ireland. A few days afterwards Captain Thompson was overtaken in
a wood in Northamptonshire, and killed. The mutiny was at an end, if
we except some local disturbances in Devon, Hants, and Somersetshire.
Fairfax and Cromwell were received at Oxford in triumph, and feasted
and complimented, being made doctors; and on the 7th of June a day of
thanksgiving was held in London, with a great dinner at Grocers' Hall,
given to the officers of the army and the leaders of Parliament, and
another appointed for the whole kingdom on the 21st.

Cromwell had already been made Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and on the
10th of July he set forth at five in the evening from London, by way
of Windsor to Bristol. He set out in state approaching to royalty. He
rode in a coach drawn by six Flanders mares, whitish greys, a number of
carriages containing other officers following, attended by a life-guard
of eighty men, the meanest of whom was a commander or esquire; many
of them were colonels in rich uniforms, and the whole procession was
attended by a resounding flourish of trumpets. But before following
the farmer of Huntingdon, now risen to all but royal grandeur, we must
notice the affairs of Scotland.

Though Argyll held the chief power in Scotland, and was on friendly
terms with Cromwell, he could not prevent a strong public feeling
showing itself on the approaching trial of the king. The Scots
reproached themselves for giving up Charles to the English army, and
considered that heavy disgrace would fall upon the country if the
king should be put to death. They demanded, therefore, that a strong
remonstrance should be sent to the Parliament of England, and Argyll
was too timid or too cautious to oppose this. The Commissioners in
London received and presented the remonstrance, but obtained no answer
till after the execution of the king, and that which they did then
receive was in most unceremonious terms. Forthwith the authorities in
Edinburgh proclaimed Charles as king, and the Scottish Commissioners
in London, protesting against the alteration of the Government into
a Republic, and declaring themselves guiltless of the blood of the
king, hastened to Gravesend, to quit the kingdom. But the Parliament,
resenting this language as grossly libellous, and calculated to excite
sedition, sent an officer to conduct them under guard to the frontiers
of the kingdom.

Passing over this insult, the Scots in March despatched the Earl of
Cassilis to the Hague, attended by four commissioners, to wait on
Charles and invite him to Scotland. They found there the Earl of
Lanark, now Duke of Hamilton by the execution of his brother, the
Earls of Lauderdale, Callander, Montrose, Kinnoul, and Seaforth. Some
of these were old Royalists, some of whom were called "Engagers," or
of the party of Hamilton. The Court of Charles, small as it was, was
rent by dissensions, and both the Engagers and the Commissioners under
Cassilis joined in protesting against any junction with Montrose, whose
cruelties to the Covenanters, they said, had been so great, that to
unite with him would turn all Scotland against the king. They insisted
on Charles taking the Covenant, but this Montrose and the old Royalists
vehemently opposed, declaring that to do that would alienate both
Catholics and Episcopalians, and exasperate the Independents to tenfold
bitterness.

Whilst matters were in this unsatisfactory state, Dr. Dorislaus arrived
as Ambassador from the English Parliament to the States of Holland.
He was a native of that country, but had lived some time in England,
had been a professor of Gresham College, and drew up the charge for
Parliament against the king. That very evening, six gentlemen with
drawn swords entered the inn where he was at supper, and desiring
those present not to alarm themselves, as they had no intention of
hurting any one but the agent of the English rebels who had lately
murdered their king, they dragged Dorislaus from the table, and one of
them stabbed him with a dagger. Seeing him dead, they sheathed their
swords, and walked quietly out of the house. They were known to be all
Scotsmen and followers of Montrose; and Charles, seeing the mischief
this base assassination would do his cause, and especially in Holland,
prepared to quit the country. It was first proposed that he should
go to Ireland, where Ormond was labouring in his favour, and where
Rupert was off the coast with a fleet; but he changed his mind and
went to Paris, to the queen, his mother. Before doing that, he sent
Chancellor Hyde and Lord Cottington as envoys to Spain, to endeavour
to move the king in his favour, and he returned an answer to the
Scottish Commissioners, that though he was and always had been ready
to grant them the freedom of their religion, he could not consent to
bind himself to the Covenant. They admitted that he was their king, and
therefore they ought to obey him, and not he them, and this obedience
he must expect from the Committee of Estates, the Assembly of the
Kirk, and the whole nation of Scotland. With this resolute reply they
departed in no very satisfied mood.

[Illustration: ASSASSINATION OF DR. DORISLAUS. (_See p._ 96.)]

The war in Ireland being now undertaken by Cromwell, we must give a
brief retrospective glance at what had been passing there. Perhaps no
country was ever so torn to pieces by different factions. The Catholics
were divided amongst themselves: there were the Catholics of the Pale,
and the Old Irish Catholics, part of whom followed the faction of
Rinuccini, the Pope's Nuncio, who was at the head of the Council of
Kilkenny, while others followed General Preston and Viscount Taaffe.
The Irish Royalists--who consisted chiefly of Episcopalians--ranged
themselves under the banner of Ormond. The approach of Cromwell warned
them to suppress their various feuds and unite against the Parliament.
To strengthen the Parliament force, Jones, the Governor of Dublin,
and Monk, who commanded in Ulster, made overtures to Owen Roe O'Neil,
the head of the Old Irish in Ulster. Ormond had arrived in Ireland,
and Inchiquin and Preston, the leaders of the forces of the Irish
Council, which had now repudiated the Pope's Nuncio, joined him; but
O'Neil held back, not trusting Ormond, and he sent a messenger to
Charles in France, offering to treat directly with him. But Ormond
ordered the Earl of Castlehaven to attack O'Neil, which he did, and
speedily reduced his garrisons of Maryborough and Athy. Enraged at
this whilst he was offering his services to the king, O'Neil listened
to the proposals of Monk, who was himself hard pressed by the Scottish
Royalists, and had been compelled to retire from Belfast to Dundalk.
Monk supplied O'Neil with ammunition, and O'Neil undertook to cut off
the communication between the Royalists in the north and Ormond in the
south. Monk sent word of this arrangement, and the "grandees," as they
were called, or members of the Great Council, entertained the plan
in secret--publicly they dared not, for the followers of O'Neil were
those Ulster Irish who had committed the horrible massacres of 1641. No
sooner, however, did the rumour of this coalition become known, than
the greatest excitement prevailed. The army and the people were filled
with horror and indignation. They appealed to the solemn engagement of
the army to avenge the blood of their fellow Protestants slaughtered
by these savages; they reminded the Council and the Parliament of the
invectives heaped by them on the late king for making peace with these
blood-stained natives; and now _they_ were expected to become the
allies and associates of these very men. The Parliament saw how vain
it was to strive against the feeling, and annulled the agreement. Hugh
Peters harangued the public from the pulpit, excusing the Council on
account of the real facts of the case having been concealed from them,
and the whole weight of the transaction fell on Monk, who was just then
in London, and who was assured that nothing but his past services saved
him from the punishment of his indiscretion.

Whilst matters were in this position, and the Parliament was
compelled to reject a very useful ally, Ormond marched to besiege
Jones in Dublin. He advanced on both sides of the Liffey, and cast
up works at Bogotrath, to cut off the pasturage of the horses of the
Parliamentary force in Dublin. Jones, however, made a sally an hour
before sunrise, and threw the enemy into such confusion that the
whole army on the right bank of the river fled in headlong panic,
leaving their artillery, ammunition, tents, and baggage. In vain did
Ormond hasten to check the rout; his men followed the example. Two
thousand prisoners were taken by Jones, of whom three hundred are
said to have been slaughtered in cold blood. Such was the defeat,
and such the inequality of the forces, that it cast great disgrace
on the generalship of Ormond, and the Royalists made much talk about
treason; but Charles himself would not listen to any such surmises: he
hastened to send Ormond the Order of the Garter, and to assure him of
his unshaken favour. The most exaggerated assertions were made of the
forces of Ormond, and of the number of his men killed and taken. Ormond
says that he had only eight thousand men; but Cromwell, no doubt from
the assertions of Jones, states that the number was nineteen thousand
against five thousand two hundred of Jones's, and that Jones killed
four thousand on the spot, and took two thousand five hundred and
seventeen prisoners, of whom three hundred were officers. The battle
was fought at Rathmines on the 2nd of August, 1649, and contributed to
quicken the movements of Cromwell, who was collecting forces for the
passage at Milford Haven.

Cromwell, with twelve thousand veterans, sailed on the 13th of August,
and arrived in Dublin with the first division on the 15th, Ireton
following with the main body. He was received with acclamations by
the people of Dublin, and made them a speech in the streets, which
greatly pleased them. He then allowed his army a fortnight to refresh
themselves after the voyage, before leading them to action. At this
period, the only places left to the Parliament in Ireland were Dublin
and Derry. On the 9th of September he bombarded Drogheda, and summoned
it to surrender. The governor of the place was Sir Arthur Aston, who
had about three thousand troops, foot and horse, commanded by Sir
Edmund Varney, whose father was killed at Edge Hill. Aston, who had
acquired the reputation of a brave and experienced officer, refused
to surrender, and the storm commenced, and on the second day a breach
was made. A thousand men entered by the breach, but were driven back
by the garrison. On this Cromwell placed himself at the head of his
men, and made a second assault. This time, after some hard fighting,
they succeeded in getting possession of the entrenchments and of a
church. According to Ormond, Carte, and others, Cromwell's officers
then promised quarter to all who would surrender. "All his officers and
soldiers," says Carte, "promising quarter to such as would lay down
their arms, and performing it as long as any place held out, which
encouraged others to yield. But when they had done all in their power,
and feared no hurt that could be done them, then the word 'No quarter'
went round, and the soldiers were, many of them, forced against their
wills to kill their prisoners."

This has always been regarded as a great reproach to Cromwell. He
himself, of course, does not confess that he broke his word, or forced
his officers to break theirs; but he does something very like it. He
asserts plainly, in his letter to Lenthall, the Speaker, that "our men,
getting up to them, were ordered by me to put them all to the sword.
And indeed, being in the heat of the action, I forbade them to spare
any that were in arms in the town; and I think that night they put to
the sword about two thousand men." Some of them escaping to the church,
he had it set fire to, and so burnt them in it; and he records the
exclamations of one of them in the fire. The rest of the fugitives,
as they were compelled to surrender, were either slaughtered, or, to
use his own words, "their officers were knocked on the head, and every
tenth man of the soldiers killed, and the rest shipped for Barbadoes."
He says that one thousand people were destroyed in the church that he
fired. He adds that they "put to the sword the whole of the defendants.
I do not think thirty of the whole number escaped with their lives;
those that did are in safe custody for Barbadoes." This is, perhaps,
the most awful confession that ever was made in cool blood, for these
letters were written about a week after the assault, and by a man of
such a thoroughly religious mind that he attributes the whole "to the
Spirit of God;" says "this hath been a marvellous great mercy;" and
prays that "all honest hearts may give the glory to God alone, to
Whom, indeed, the praise of this mercy belongs." Cromwell endeavoured
to justify this horrible massacre by the plea "that it will tend to
prevent the effusion of blood for the future."

The butchery of Cromwell had not frightened men into surrendering
their towns at his summons, and thereby preventing shedding of
blood. In fact, great as were the merits of Cromwell, his barbarous
mode of warfare in Ireland cannot be defended on any principles of
reason, much less of Christianity or humanity. In England he had been
noted for his merciful conduct in war, but in Ireland a deplorable
fanaticism carried away both him and his army. They were now fighting
against a Papist population, and deemed it a merit to destroy them.
They confounded all Irishmen with the wild savages of Ulster, who had
massacred the Protestants in 1641; and Cromwell, in his letters from
Drogheda, plainly expresses this idea, calling the wholesale slaughter
"a righteous judgment of God upon those barbarous wretches, who have
imbrued their hands in so much innocent blood."

From Drogheda Cromwell returned to Dublin, and then marched on Wexford,
taking and burning minor places by the way. On the 1st of October he
summoned Wexford to surrender, and though the governor refused, the
officer who commanded the castle traitorously yielded it. The soldiers
then perceiving the enemy quit the walls of the town, scaled them with
their ladders, and encountering the forces in the market-place, they
made a stout resistance; but Cromwell informs the Parliament that
they were eventually all put to the sword, "not many less than two
thousand, and I believe not twenty of yours from first to last of the
siege. The soldiers got a very good booty; and the inhabitants," he
says, "were either so completely killed, or had run away, that it was a
fine opportunity for honest people to go and plant themselves there."
According to various historians, no distinction was made between the
soldiers and the innocent inhabitants; three hundred women, who had
crowded around the great cross, and were shrieking for protection to
Heaven, were put to death with the same ruthless ferocity. Some authors
do not restrict the numbers of the slain like Cromwell to two thousand,
but reckon them at five thousand.

Ormond now calculated greatly on the aid of O'Neil to create a
diversion in the north, and divide the attention and the forces of
Cromwell, for that chieftain had begun to justify the treaty made
with him through Monk, by compelling Montgomery to raise the siege of
Londonderry, and rescuing Coote and his small army, the only force
which the Parliament had in Ulster. But the cry in London against
this alliance with the Irish Papist had done its work, and, after the
victory of Rathmines, the Parliament refused to ratify the treaty made
with O'Neil. Indignant at this breach of faith, he had listened to the
offers of Ormond, and was on his march to join him at Kilkenny. O'Neil
died at Clonacter, in Cavan, but his son took the command. By his
assistance, the operations of Cromwell's generals were greatly retarded
at that place, and at Duncannon and Waterford.

On the 17th of October, Cromwell sat down before Ross, and sent
in a trumpeter, calling on the commander to surrender, with this
extraordinary statement, "Since my coming into Ireland, I have this
witness for myself, that I have endeavoured to avoid effusion of
blood;" which must have been read with wonder, after the recent news
from Drogheda and Wexford. General Taaffe refused. There were one
thousand soldiers in the place, and Ormond, Ardes, and Castlehaven,
who were on the other side of the river, sent in fifteen hundred more.
Yet on the 19th the town surrendered, the soldiers being allowed to
march away. O'Neil had now joined Ormond at Kilkenny with two thousand
horse and foot, and Inchiquin was in Munster. Soon after Cork and
Youghal opened their gates, Admiral Blake co-operating by water. In the
north, Sir Charles Coote, Lord President of Connaught, took Coleraine
by storm, and forming a junction with Colonel Venables, marched on
Carrickfergus, which they soon after reduced. Cromwell marched from
Ross to Waterford, his army having taken Inistioge, Thomastown, and
Carrick. He appeared before Waterford on the 24th of November. Here,
too, he received the news of the surrender of Kinsale and Bandon
Bridge, but Waterford refused to surrender, and Cromwell was compelled
to march away to Cork for winter quarters. His troops, however, took
the fort of Passage near Waterford; but they lost Lieutenant-General
Jones, the conqueror of Rathmines, by sickness at Dungarvan.

Cromwell did not rest long in winter quarters. By the 29th of January,
1650, he was in the field again, at the head of thirty thousand men.
Whilst Major-General Ireton and Colonel Reynolds marched by Carrick
into Kilkenny, Cromwell proceeded from Youghal over the Blackwater
into Tipperary, various castles being taken by the way; they quartered
themselves in Fethard and Cashel. On March 28th Cromwell succeeded
in taking Kilkenny, whence he proceeded to Clonmel. In this campaign
the Royalist generals accuse him of still perpetrating unnecessary
cruelties, though they endeavoured to set him a different example. "I
took," says Lord Castlehaven, "Athy by storm, with all the garrison
(seven hundred) prisoners. I made a present of them to Cromwell,
desiring him by letter that he would do the same to me, if any of mine
should fall into his power. But he little valued my civility, for in
a few days after he besieged Gouvan, and the soldiers mutinying and
giving up the place with their officers, he caused the Governor Hammond
and some other officers to be put to death." Cromwell avows this in one
of his letters. "The next day the colonel, the major, and the rest of
the commissioned officers were shot to death; all but one, who, being
very earnest to have the castle delivered, was pardoned." And this, he
admits, was because they refused to surrender at his first summons. He
seemed to consider a refusal to surrender at once and unconditionally,
a deadly crime, and avenged it bloodily. On the other hand, Ormond,
in one of his letters, says, "Rathfarnham was taken by our troops by
storm, and all that were in it made prisoners; and though five hundred
soldiers entered the castle before any officer of note, yet not one
creature was killed; which I tell you by the way, to observe the
difference betwixt our and the rebels' making use of a victory."

The Parliament, seeing the necessity of having their best general
for the impending Scottish war, sent towards the end of April the
_President Bradshaw_ frigate, to bring over Cromwell from Ireland,
and to leave Ireton, Lord Broghill, and the other generals to finish
the war by the reduction of Clonmel, Waterford, Limerick, and a few
lesser places. But Cromwell would not go till he had witnessed the
fall of Clonmel. There Hugh O'Neil, the son of old Owen Roe O'Neil
of Ulster, defended the place gallantly with twelve hundred men. The
siege lasted from the 28th of March to the 8th of May. Whitelock says,
"They found in Clonmel the stoutest enemy this army had met in Ireland,
and there never was seen so hot a storm, of so long a continuance,
and so gallantly defended, either in Ireland or England." The English
troops had made a breach, and endeavoured to carry the town by storm
in vain. On the 9th they stormed the breach a second time. "The fierce
death-wrestle," says a letter from one of the besiegers, "lasted four
hours," and Cromwell's men were driven back with great loss. But the
ammunition of the besieged was exhausted, and they stole away in the
night. The inhabitants, before this was discovered, sent out and made
terms of surrender. On discovering the retreat of the enemy, pursuit
was made, and two hundred men killed on the road. Oliver, however, kept
his agreement with the inhabitants.

The siege of Clonmel finished, Cromwell set sail in the _President
Bradshaw_, and landed at Bristol towards the end of May, where he was
received with firing of guns and great acclamations for his exploits
in Ireland. On the 31st of the month he approached Hounslow Heath,
where he was met by the Lord-General Fairfax, and numbers of other
officers and members of Parliament, besides crowds of other people.
They conducted him to London, and on reaching Hyde Park Corner he
was received by the discharge of artillery from Colonel Barkstead's
regiment, there drawn up; and thus, with increasing crowds and
acclamations, he was attended to the Cockpit near St. James's, a
house which had been assigned to him, and where his family had been
residing for some time. There the Lord Mayor and aldermen waited on
him, to thank him for his services in Ireland. Thence, after rest and
refreshment, he appeared in his place in Parliament, where he also
received the thanks of the House. Some one remarking what crowds went
out to see his triumph, Cromwell replied, "But if they had gone to see
me hanged, how many more there would have been!"

Prince Charles, though invited to assume the crown of Scotland,
was invited on such terms as would have afforded little hope to a
man of much foresight. Those who were to support him were divided
into two factions, which could no more mix than fire and water. The
Covenanters, and the Royalists under Montrose, hated each other with
an inextinguishable hatred. So far from mixing, they were sure to
come to strife and bloodshed amongst themselves. If the Covenanters
got the upper hand, as was pretty certain, he must abandon his most
devoted followers, the Old Royalists and Engagers, and take the
Covenant himself, thus giving up every party and principle that his
father had fought for. He must take upon him a harsh and gloomy yoke,
which must keep him not only apart from his Royalist and Episcopalian
followers, but from his far more valuable kingdom of England, where the
Independents and sectaries reigned, and which the Scottish Covenanters
could not hope to conquer. But Charles was but a poor outcast and
wanderer in a world the princes of which were tired of both him and
his cause, and he was, therefore, compelled to make an effort, however
hopeless, to recover his dominions by such means as offered. He
therefore sent off Montrose to raise troops and material amongst the
Northern Courts, and then to pass over and raise the Highlands, whilst
he went to treat with the Covenanters at Breda.

[Illustration: GREAT SEAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH.]

Montrose was strongly suspected of having headed the party who
assassinated Dorislaus, a very bad beginning, assassination being the
fitting business of thieves, and not of heroes. The fame of Montrose,
nevertheless, gave him a good reception in Denmark and other Courts,
and he is said to have raised an army of twelve thousand men, and
embarked these, and much ammunition and artillery, at Gottenburg,
under Lord Kinnoul, in the autumn. The equinoctial gales appeared to
have scattered this force in all directions, dashing several of the
ships on the rocks, so that Kinnoul landed in October at Kirkwall, in
the Orkneys, with only eighty officers, and about one hundred common
men. Montrose followed with five hundred more, and having received the
Order of the Garter from Charles as a token of his favour, he once
more raised his banner in the Highlands, bearing on it a painting of
the late king decapitated, and the words, "Judge and avenge my cause,
O Lord!" But the Highlanders had been taught caution by the repeated
failures of the Royalists, and the chastisements they had received from
the stern Covenanters; they stood aloof, and in vain did Montrose march
through Caithness and Sutherland, calling on the natives to rise and
defend the king before the Covenanters could sell him to the English,
as they had done his father. This was a fatal proclamation, for
whilst it failed to raise the Highlands, it added to the already deep
detestation of him in the Lowlands, where his proclamation was burnt by
the common hangman.

The Covenanters did not merely burn his proclamation, they despatched a
force of four thousand men against him. Colonel Strachan came almost
upon him in Corbiesdale, in Ross-shire, and calling his men around
him under the shelter of the high moorland broom, he informed them
that God had given "the rebel and apostate Montrose, and the viperous
brood of Satan, the accursed of God and the Kirk," into their hands.
He gave out a psalm, which they sang, and then he dispersed them in
successive companies, the whole not amounting to four hundred men, the
main army being with David Leslie at Brechin. As soon as Strachan's
handful of men came in sight of Montrose's levies, they were attacked
by his cavalry, but scarcely were they engaged, when a second, and then
a third detachment appeared. On perceiving this, Montrose believed the
whole army of Leslie was marching up, and he ordered his infantry to
fall back and screen themselves amongst the brushwood. But first his
horse and then the whole of his men were thrown into confusion. His
standard-bearer and several of his officers were slain. The foreign
mercenaries demanded quarter and received it, the rest made their
escape as well as they could. Montrose had his horse killed under him,
and though he got another horse, and swam across a rapid river, he was
compelled to fly in such haste, that he left behind him the Star and
Garter with which he had been so newly invested, his sword, and his
cloak. He again made for the mountains of Sutherland with Kinnoul, both
disguised as peasants. Kinnoul soon sank with fatigue, and was left
behind and perished. Montrose at length reached the house of Macleod
of Assynt, who had formerly served under him; but this base man sold
him to the Covenanters for four hundred bolls of meal. This treason was
soon avenged by the neighbouring Highlanders, who ravaged the lands of
Assynt; but the Scottish Parliament recompensed the traitor with twenty
thousand pounds Scots, to be raised on the Royalists of Caithness and
Orkney. The Orkneys, as well as the Isles of Man, Scilly, Jersey, the
colony of Virginia, and the islands of the Caribbean Sea, long held out
for the royal cause.

Montrose was at once conveyed to Edinburgh, where he arrived on the
18th of May; and having been carried bareheaded through the city in an
open cart, and exposed to the insults and execrations of the mob, he
was condemned as a traitor, and hanged on the 21st of May on a gibbet
thirty feet high, his head being fixed on a spike in the capital,
and his limbs sent for exposure in different towns. Such was the
ignominious end of the gallant but sanguinary Montrose. But if the
conduct of his enemies was ungenerous, what was that of his prince? No
sooner did Charles hear of his defeat, than fearing that his rising
might injure him with the Covenanters, he sent to the Parliament,
protesting that he had never authorised him to draw the sword; nay,
that he had done it contrary to the royal commands. Thus early did this
worthless man display the meanness of his character, and practise the
wretched maxims of the Stuart doctrine of kingcraft.

Charles had now complied with the demands of the Scottish Parliament,
agreeing to take the Covenant, never to tolerate the Catholic religion
in any part of his dominions, not even in Ireland, where the Catholics
were a majority; to govern entirely by the authority of Parliament,
and in religious matters by that of the Kirk. Thus did this man, for
the sake of regaining the throne of one of his kingdoms, bind himself
to destroy the religion of which he was at heart a believer, and to
maintain a creed that he abhorred and despised. He landed in June in
the Frith of Cromarty, and a court was established for him at Falkland,
and nine thousand pounds sterling were allowed for its expenditure
monthly.

But the pious Scots were speedily scandalised at the debauched habits
of their royal puppet. He had delayed the expedition for some weeks,
because he could not tear himself from his mistress, Mrs. Barlow, and
now he came surrounded by a very dissipated crew--Buckingham, Wilmot,
and others, whom nothing could induce him to part with, though many
others were forbidden the Court.

Whilst these things were taking place in Scotland, in London as
active measures were on foot for putting to flight this Covenanting
king. On the 14th of June the Commons again appointed Fairfax
Commander-in-Chief, and Cromwell Lieutenant-General. Fairfax, so far
from favouring the invasion of Scotland, strongly argued against it,
as a breach of the Solemn League and Covenant. Fairfax's wife is
said to have been resolute against his taking up arms against the
second Charles. She had sufficiently shown her spirit--that of a
Vere, of the martial house of Vere--on his father's trial; and now
Fairfax, not only strongly influenced by his wife, but belonging to
the Presbyterian party, resigned his command, and retired to his
estates in Yorkshire. It was in vain that a deputation, consisting
of Cromwell, Lambert, Harrison, Whitelock, and St. John, waited on
him at Whitehall, opening their meeting with prayer. Fairfax stood
firm, and on the 26th, two days afterwards, the Parliament appointed
Cromwell Commander-in-Chief, in his place. On the 29th, only three
days subsequently, Cromwell set out for the north. He had Lambert as
Major-General, Whalley as Commissary-General, Pride, Overton, Monk,
and Hodgson, as colonels of regiments. The Scottish Parliament had
appointed the Earl of Leven generalissimo, but only nominally so out
of honour, for he was now old and infirm. David Leslie was the real
commander. The Scottish army was ordered to amount to sixty thousand
men, and it was to lay waste all the country between Berwick and
Edinburgh, to prevent the English from obtaining supplies. To frighten
the country people away from the English army, it was rumoured that
every male between sixteen and sixty would have their right hands cut
off, and the women's breasts be bored through with red-hot irons.

[Illustration: DEATH OF THE PRINCESS ELIZABETH.

Carisbrooke Castle, Sept. 8th, 1650.

AFTER THE PAINTING BY C. W. COPE, R.A.]

Cromwell passed the Tweed at Berwick on the 22nd of July, with a force
of sixteen thousand men. They found the country desolate and deserted,
except by a number of women, who on their knees implored mercy, and
were set by the officers to bake and brew for the soldiers. That
night the beacon fires of Scotland were lighted, and the English army
encamped at Mordington, where they lay three days, and then marched
to Dunbar, and thence to Musselburgh. They found the Scottish army
under Leslie posted between Edinburgh and Leith, and well defended by
batteries and entrenchments. Nothing could induce the wary Scottish
commander to quit his vantage ground, and the country afforded no
supplies to the English army; but their fleet followed them along the
coast, and furnished them with provisions.

For a month Cromwell found it impossible to draw the Scottish general
out of his strong position. He sometimes marched up close to his lines
to tempt him to come to action, but it was in vain, and he did not
think it prudent to attack him in his formidable position, which must
have cost him an awful number of men even if he carried it.

The weather being very wet he fell back upon Musselburgh, the enemy
then making a sally, and harassing his rear, and wounding General
Lambert. Cromwell and the Scottish Assembly, as well as Cromwell and
General Leslie, who lay in the ground now occupied by the New Town
of Edinburgh, had a voluminous correspondence, in which they quoted
much Scripture, and each declared himself the favoured or justified of
heaven. The Scots reproached Cromwell and his party with breaking the
League and Covenant, and Cromwell retorted on them, that though they
pretended to covenant and fight against Malignants, they had entered
into agreement with the head and centre of the Malignants himself,
which he said he could not understand. Cromwell, leaving a force to
invest Dunbar, which was said to suffer extreme famine, being cooped by
the English both on land and sea, about the 13th of August shifted his
camp to the Pentland Hills to the west of Edinburgh, in order to cut
off Leslie's supplies.

Whilst lying there the young king himself made a visit to the army at
Leith, where he was received by the soldiers with acclamations; but
the Assembly of the Kirk was soon scandalised by the drunkenness and
profanity which his presence brought into the camp, and set on foot
an inquiry, the result of which was that eighty officers, with many
of their men, were dismissed that they might not contaminate the rest
of the army. They also required Charles to sign a declaration to his
subjects in his three kingdoms, informing them that he lamented the
troubles which had been brought on the realm by the resistance of his
father to the Solemn League and Covenant, and by the idolatry of his
mother; that for himself he had subscribed the Covenant with all his
heart, and would have no friends or enemies but the friends or enemies
of the Covenant; that he repented making a peace with the Papists
of Ireland, and now declared it null and void; that he detested all
popery, prelacy, idolatry, and heresy; and finally, that he would
accord to a free Parliament of England the propositions agreed upon by
the Commissioners of the two kingdoms, and would settle the English
Church according to the plan organised by the Westminster Assembly of
divines.

Never was so flagrant a set of falsehoods forced on a reluctant soul!
Charles read the declaration with indignation, and declared that he
would sacrifice everything rather than thus cast reproach on his
parents and their supporters, who had suffered so much on their behalf,
or belie his own sentiments. But he was soon convinced that he must
see his cause totally abandoned if he did not comply, and at the end
of three days he signed with tears and shame the humiliating document.
The exulting Kirk then proclaimed a certain victory from heaven over "a
blaspheming general and a sectarian army."

And truly, affairs appeared very likely to come to such a conclusion.
Cromwell found it difficult to feed his army; the weather continued
stormy and wet, and his soldiers suffered extremely from fevers and
other illness from exposure to the weather. Cromwell made a sudden
march in the direction of Stirling, as though he intended to cut off
that town from communication with the capital. This set Leslie in
motion; he hastily sent forward his forces, and the vanguards came
to skirmishing, but could not engage in complete battle on account
of the boggy ground between them. Cromwell as suddenly retreated,
and firing his huts on the Pentlands, withdrew towards Dunbar. This
effectually roused the Scots; they knew his distress from sickness
and lack of supplies, and they thought he meant now to escape into
England. To prevent that, and to make themselves masters of the whole
English army, as they now confidently expected, they marched rapidly
along the feet of the Lammermuir Hills, and Leslie managed to outstrip
him, and hem him in between Dunbar and Doon Hill. A deep ravine called
Cockburnspath, or, as Oliver pronounced it, Copper's Path, about forty
feet deep and as many wide, with a rivulet running through it, lay
between Oliver and the Scottish army, which was posted on Doon Hill.
On Oliver's right lay Belhaven Bay, on his left Broxmouth House, at
the mouth of a brook, and where there is a path southward. Leslie had
secured the passes of Cockburnspath, and imagined that he had Cromwell
and his army secure from Sunday night to Tuesday morning, the 3rd of
September. But on Monday afternoon, Cromwell observed Leslie moving
his right wing down into the plain towards Broxmouth House, evidently
intending to secure that pass also; but Cromwell at once espied his
advantage. He could attack and cut off this right wing, whilst the
main body of Leslie's army, penned between the brook and the hills,
could not manœuvre to help it. On observing this, Cromwell exclaimed
to Lambert, "The Lord hath delivered us!" and arrangements were made
to attack the right wing of Leslie at three o'clock in the morning.
Leslie had twenty-three thousand men--Cromwell about half as many;
but by a vigorous, unexpected attack on this right wing, after three
hours of hard fighting, the Scots were thrown into confusion, and
Cromwell exclaimed, "They run! I profess they run!" In fact, the horse
of the Scots dashed frantically away over and through their own foot,
and there was a wild flight in all directions. Three thousand slain
lay on the spot, the Scots army was in wild rout, and as the sun just
then rose over St. Abb's Head and the sea, Oliver exclaimed to his
soldiers, "Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered!" "The
Lord-General," says Hodgson, "made a halt till the horse could gather
for the chase, and sang the 117th Psalm." Then the pursuit was made
as far as Haddington. Ten thousand prisoners were taken, with all the
baggage, artillery, and ammunition of the enemy. A thousand men were
slain in the pursuit. By nine o'clock in the morning, David Leslie,
the general, was in Edinburgh, old Lord Leven reached it by two, and
what a city! The general complained that the preachers had occasioned
the disaster; they would not let him rest till he descended from his
height to attack the enemy on a disadvantageous ground. The ministers,
though all their prophecies of victory were falsified, had yet plenty
of other reasons for it. They published a "Short Declaration and
Warning," in which they enumerated no less than thirteen causes for
this terrible overthrow--the general wickedness of the country, the
especial wickedness of the king's house, and the number of Malignants
amongst the king's followers, and so forth. Cromwell told them plainly
in letters addressed to them, that they had been punished for taking up
a family that the Lord had so eminently lifted up His hand against, and
for pretending to cry down Malignants, and yet receiving and setting
up the head of them all. He advanced to Edinburgh, where he closely
blockaded the castle, which was soon compelled to surrender.

As for Charles II., he was rather delighted than otherwise with the
defeat of his fanatic friends at Dunbar. He was grown most thoroughly
tired of imperious dictation and morose religion, and he took the
opportunity to steal away to join Murray, Huntly, Atholl, and the
Royalists in the Highlands. On the afternoon of the 4th of October,
on pretence of hawking, he rode out of Perth, and dashed away for the
braes of Angus. After galloping forty miles he came to a wretched hovel
at a place called Clova, where he had nothing but a turf pillow to
sleep on. There he was overtaken by Colonel Montgomery--for Argyll had
been speedily apprised of his flight--and finding that two regiments of
horse were at hand, Charles knew that escape was hopeless, and so he
returned. But "the Start," which Charles's elopement was called, had
opened the eyes of the Covenanters to the danger of pressing him too
far. They now considerably relaxed their vigour towards him, admitted
him to their deliberations in Council, and they thus induced him to
prevail on Atholl, Middleton, and the Highland forces to disband.

[Illustration: DUNBAR.]

Cromwell's attention was soon attracted towards the West, where an
army of five thousand men was raised, by order of the Committee of
Estates, by Colonels Kerr and Strachan, in the associated counties
of Renfrew, Ayr, Galloway, Wigtown, and Dumfries. These people were
of strict whiggamore notions, and were directly in correspondence
with John Warriston, the Clerk Register of Parliament, and Gillespie
and Guthrie, two ministers of the Kirk, who protested against having
anything to do with the son of the beheaded Charles Stuart, who was an
enemy to the Kirk, and whose son himself was a thorough Malignant. They
drew up a Remonstrance of the Western army, in which they termed the
king an incarnate solecism, and refused to fight under either him or
Leslie. Cromwell, who saw little to prevent a union with this party,
professing his old veneration for the Covenant, opened a communication
with them, arguing that Charles ought to be banished, and thus remove
the need of an English interference. In order to effect a coalition
with these commanders, Cromwell marched to Glasgow, where he arrived
on Friday, October 18th; and on Sunday, in the cathedral, listened to
a violent sermon against him and his army from the Reverend Zachary
Boyd. Coming to no agreement with Kerr and Strachan, he returned on
Monday towards Edinburgh, and found many men advising that they shall
give up the "hypocrite," meaning Charles, and make peace with England;
but Kerr and Strachan, though their Remonstrance was voted a scandalous
libel by Parliament, could not agree to this. They, in fact, differed
in opinion. Strachan resigned his commission, and soon after came
over with eighty troopers to Cromwell. Kerr showed a hostile aspect,
agreeing with neither one party nor another, and soon came to nothing.
Cromwell sent Lambert to look after him with three thousand horse, and
Lambert, whilst lying at Hamilton, found himself suddenly attacked by
Kerr. He, however, repulsed him, took him prisoner, killed a hundred
of his men, losing himself only six, and took two hundred prisoners,
horse and foot. The Western army was wholly dispersed. The condition
of the Covenanting Scots was now deplorable; the Remonstrants, though
they had lost their army, still continued to quarrel with the official
or Argyll's party, and the country was thus torn by the two factions,
under the name of Remonstrants and Resolutionists, when it should
have been united against the enemy. Cromwell was now master of all the
Lowlands, casting longing glances towards Stirling and Perth, which
were in the hands of the royal party, and thus ended the year 1650.

On the first day of the new year, 1651, Charles rode, or rather was
led, in procession, by his partisans to the church at Scone, and
there solemnly crowned. There, on his knees, he swore to maintain
the Covenant, to establish Presbyterianism, and embrace it himself,
to establish it in his other dominions as soon as he recovered them.
Argyll then placed the crown on his head, and Douglas, the minister,
read him a severe lecture on the calamities which had followed the
apostacy of his grandfather and father, and on his being a king only by
compact with his people. But the fall of the Western army had weakened
the rigid Presbyterian party. Argyll saw his influence decline, that
of the Hamiltons in the ascendant, and numbers of the old Royalists
pouring in to join the army. Charles's force soon displayed the
singular spectacle of Leslie and Middleton in united command, and the
army, swelled by the Royalists, was increased to twenty thousand men.
Having fortified the passes of the Forth, the king thus awaited the
movements of Cromwell. But the lord-general, during the spring, was
suffering so much from the ague, that he contemplated returning home.
In May, however, he grew better, and advanced towards Stirling. Whilst
he occupied the attention of Charles and his army by his manœuvres in
that quarter, he directed Lambert to make an attempt upon Fife, which
succeeded, and Cromwell, crossing the Forth, advanced to support him.
The royal army quickly evacuated Perth, after a sharp action, in which
about eight hundred men on each side fell, and the Parliament colours
were hoisted on the walls of that city.

If Cromwell's movement had been rapid and successful, he was now in
his turn astonished by one as extraordinary on the part of the Prince.
Charles saw that all the south of Scotland and a great part of England
was clear of the enemy, and he at once announced his determination to
march towards London. On the 31st of July his army was actually in
motion, and Argyll, denouncing the enterprise as inevitably ruinous,
resigned his commission and retired to Inverary.

On discovering Charles's object, Cromwell put the forces to remain in
Scotland under the command of General Monk, sent Lambert from Fife
to follow the royal army with three thousand cavalry, and wrote to
Harrison in Newcastle to advance and harass the flank of Charles's
army. He himself, on the 7th of August, commenced his march after it
with ten thousand men.

Charles advanced at a rapid rate, and he had crossed the Mersey before
Lambert and Harrison had formed a junction near Warrington, and
attempted to draw him into a battle on Knutsford Heath. But Charles
continued his hasty march till he reached Worcester, where he was
received with loud acclamations by the mayor and corporation, and by a
number of county gentlemen, who had been confined there on suspicion
of their disaffection, but were now liberated. But such had been the
sudden appearance of Charles, that no expectation of it, and therefore
no preparation for it, had been made by the Royalists; and the bigoted
ministers attending his army sternly refused all who offered to join
them, whether Presbyterians, Episcopalians, or Catholics, because
they had not taken the Covenant. It was in vain that Charles gave
orders to the contrary, and sent forward General Massey to receive
and bring into order these volunteers; the Committee of the Kirk
rejected them, whilst Cromwell's forces on their march were growing by
continual reinforcements, especially of the county militias. Colonel
Robert Lilburne met with a party of Charles's forces under the Earl of
Derby, between Chorley and Wigan, and defeated them, killing the Lord
Widdrington, Sir Thomas Tildesley, and Colonels Boynton, Trollope, and
Throgmorton. Derby himself was wounded, but escaped.

Charles issued a proclamation for all his male subjects between the
ages of sixteen and sixty to join his standard on the 26th of August;
but on that day he found that the whole of his forces amounted to only
twelve thousand men, whilst Cromwell, who arrived two days after, was
at the head of at least thirty thousand. On the 3rd of September, the
anniversary of the battle of Dunbar, Cromwell determined to attack the
royal army. Lambert, overnight, crossed the Severn at Upton, with ten
thousand men, and the next morning Cromwell and Fleetwood, with the
two other divisions of the army, crossed, Cromwell the Severn, and
Fleetwood the Teme. Charles, who had been watching their progress from
the tower of the cathedral, descended and attacked Fleetwood before he
had effected his passage; but Cromwell was soon up to the assistance
of his general, and after a stout battle, first in the meadows, and
then in the streets of the city, the forces of Charles were completely
beaten. Charles fought with undaunted bravery, and endeavoured to rally
his soldiers for a last effort, but they flung down their weapons and
surrendered. It was with difficulty that he was prevailed upon to fly,
and save his life. Three thousand of the Royalists were slain, and
six or seven thousand made prisoners, including a considerable number
of noblemen--the Duke of Hamilton, but mortally wounded, the Earls
of Rothes, Derby, Cleveland, Kelly, and Lauderdale, Lords Sinclair,
Kenmure, and Grandison, and the Generals Leslie, Massey, Middleton, and
Montgomery. The Duke of Buckingham, Lord Talbot, and others, escaped
with many adventures.

It was an overthrow complete, and most astonishing to both conquered
and conquerors. Cromwell, in his letter to the Parliament, styled
it "a crowning mercy." The Earl of Derby and seven others of the
prisoners suffered death as traitors and rebels to the Commonwealth.
Derby offered the Isle of Man for his ransom, but his letter was read
by Lenthall to the House too late, and he was executed at Bolton, in
Lancashire.

As for Charles himself, the romance of his escape has been celebrated
in many narratives. After being concealed for some days at White-ladies
and Boscobel, two solitary houses in Shropshire, and passing a day in
the boughs of an oak, he made his way in various disguises, and by the
assistance of different loyal friends, to Brighton, whence he passed in
a collier over to Fécamp in Normandy, but this was not till the 17th of
October, forty-four days after the battle of Worcester.

On the 12th of September Cromwell arrived in town; Bulstrode,
Whitelock, and three other gentlemen had been sent down to meet him and
conduct him to London. They met him near Aylesbury, and they all joined
a hawking party by the way. At Aylesbury they passed the night. Oliver
was very affable, and presented to each of the commissioners a horse
taken in the battle and a couple of Scottish prisoners. At Acton, the
Speaker of the Commons, the Lord President, and many other members of
Parliament and of the Council, the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Sheriffs,
and crowds of other people, met him, and congratulated him on his
splendid victory and his successes in Scotland. The Recorder, in his
address, said he was destined to "bind kings in chains and their nobles
in fetters of iron." In London he was received with immense shoutings
and acclamations. Parliament voted that the 3rd of September should
be kept ever after as a holiday, in memory of his victory; and, in
addition to twenty-five thousand pounds a year already granted in land,
they settled on him another forty thousand pounds a year in land.

Thus the royal party was for a time broken and put down. In Ireland
Cromwell had left his son-in-law Ireton as his deputy, who went on
with a strong hand crushing all opposition. The Roman Catholic party
growing weary of Ormond, he had resigned his lord-deputyship, and
Clanricarde had succeeded him. Still the Catholic party was divided in
itself, and Ormond, and after him Clanricarde, entered into a treaty
with the Duke of Lorraine, who agreed to send an army to Ireland to
put down the Parliament, on condition that he should be declared
Protector-royal of Ireland, with all the rights pertaining to the
office; an office, in fact, never before heard of. The Irish Royalists
obtained, however, at different times, twenty thousand pounds from
Lorraine, and his agents were still negotiating for his protectorship,
when the defeat of Charles at Worcester showed Lorraine the folly of
his hopes. Disappointed in this expectation of assistance from abroad,
the Irish Royalists found themselves vigorously attacked by Ireton. In
June he invested Limerick, and on the 27th of October it surrendered.
Ireton tried and put to death seven of the leaders of the party. The
court-martial refused to condemn the brave O'Neil, though Ireton urged
his death for his stubborn defence of Clonmel. When Terence O'Brien,
Bishop of Emly, was condemned, he exclaimed to Ireton, "I appeal to the
tribunal of God, and summon thee to meet me at that bar." These words
were deemed prophetic, and were remembered with wonder when, about a
month afterwards, Ireton fell ill of fever and died (Nov. 15, 1651).

Cromwell appointed General Lambert his deputy in Ireland. The
appointment was cancelled before Lambert could pass over to that
country, as it is said, through the management of Ireton's widow,
Cromwell's daughter Bridget. The handsome wife of Lambert had
refused--her husband being now Lord-Deputy--to give precedence to
Mrs. Ireton in St. James's Park, where they met one day. Mrs. Ireton
took offence, and prevailed on her father to revoke the appointment,
and give it to Fleetwood, whom she soon after married, and so Lambert
returned to Ireland in his former position. It is believed that Lambert
never forgave the affront, though Cromwell endeavoured to soothe him,
and made him compensation in money; for he was found to be one of the
first to oppose Richard Cromwell after his father's death, and depose
him from the protectorate. Ludlow and three others were joined with
Fleetwood, so far as the civil administration of Ireland was concerned,
and they were ordered to levy sufficient money for the payment of the
forces, not exceeding forty thousand pounds a month; and to exclude
Papists from all places of trust, from practising as barristers, or
teaching in any kind of school. Thus the bulk of the natives were
deprived of all participation in the affairs of their own country, and,
what was worse, might be imprisoned or removed from one part of the
country at the will of these dictators.

[Illustration: CROMWELL ON HIS WAY TO LONDON AFTER THE BATTLE OF
WORCESTER. (_See p._ 107.)]

In Scotland Monk carried matters with the same high hand. On the 14th
of August he compelled Stirling to surrender, and sent off the royal
robes, part of the regalia, and the National Records to London. He then
commenced the siege of Dundee, and whilst it was progressing he sent
Colonels Alured and Morgan to Alyth in Angus, where he surprised the
two Committees of the Estates and the Kirk, with many other noblemen
and gentlemen, to the number of three hundred, amongst them poor old
Leslie, Earl of Leven, met on Royalist affairs, and sent them after the
regalia to England. On the 1st of September Monk stormed Dundee, and
gave up the town to the plunder and violence of the soldiery. There
were said to be eight hundred soldiers and inhabitants killed, of whom
three hundred were women and children. The place had been considered
so safe that many people had sent their property there for security,
and this and the ships in the harbour all fell into the hands of the
conquerors. They are said to have got two hundred thousand pounds in
booty, and perpetrated the most unheard-of atrocities. The fate of
Dundee induced Montrose, Aberdeen, and St. Andrews to open their gates.
The Earl of Huntly and Lord Balcarres submitted, and scarcely any
noblemen of note, except Argyll, held out; and he did so merely for the
purpose of making good terms with the Parliament.

The most vigorous means were adopted to keep the country in check.
Military stations were appointed throughout the Highlands, and sites
fixed upon for the erection of strong forts at Ayr, Leith, Perth,
and Inverness. The property and estates of the Crown were declared
forfeited to Parliament, as well as the lands of all who had taken
arms under the Duke of Hamilton or the king against England. English
judges were sent to go the circuits, assisted by Scottish ones, and
one hundred and thirty thousand pounds a year were voted for the
maintenance of the army in Scotland, which was raised to twenty
thousand men. These were galling measures for the Scots, who had hoped
to subject England again to the king, but they were far from the most
humiliating. Vane, St. John, and six other commissioners were appointed
to settle a plan for the incorporation of Scotland with England. They
met at Dalkeith, and summoned the representatives of the counties
and the burghs to assemble and consult with them on the matter. The
ministers thundered from their pulpits against a union, and especially
against putting the Kirk under the power of the State; but twenty-eight
out of thirty shires, and forty-four out of fifty-eight burghs
complied, and sent up twenty-one deputies to sit with the Parliamentary
commissioners at Westminster, to settle the terms of the union. The
power of the English Parliament, or rather of the army, was now so
supreme, that both in Scotland and Ireland resistance was vain.

[Illustration: HENRY IRETON. (_After the Portrait by Cooper._)]

The all-absorbing interest of the events of the last several unexampled
years within the kingdom, has prevented our noticing the transactions
of the Commonwealth with the other kingdoms of Europe. We must now
recount these. Prince Rupert, by his cruising on the coasts of England
and Ireland, had not only kept the nation in alarm, but had inflicted
great injury on the coasts and commerce of the realm. In the spring
of 1649 he lay in the harbour of Kinsale, keeping the way open for
the landing of the foreign troops expected to accompany Charles
II. to Ireland. But Vane, to whom was entrusted the naval affairs,
commissioned Blake, Dean, and Monk, three army officers, who showed
themselves as able at sea as on land, to look after him, and the
victories of Cromwell in Ireland warned him in the autumn to remove.
He found himself blockaded by the English fleet, but in his impetuous
way he burst through the enclosing squadron with the loss of only three
ships, and took refuge in the Tagus. In the following March Blake
presented himself at that river, and demanded of the King of Portugal
permission to attack the pirate, as he termed him, at his anchorage.
The king refused; Blake attempted, notwithstanding, to force his way
up the river to Rupert's fleet, but he was assailed by the batteries
from both shores, and was compelled to retire. This was deemed a
declaration of war by the Republic, and Blake was ordered to seize
any Portuguese ships that fell in his way. Don John thereupon seized
the English merchants in his dominions, and confiscated their goods.
But the ravages committed by Blake on his subjects soon induced him
to order Rupert to retire from the Tagus, who sailed thence into the
Mediterranean, where he continued to practise open piracy, capturing
ships of almost all nations. He afterwards sailed to the West Indies to
escape the English admirals, and inflicted there great injuries both
on the English and Spanish. His brother Maurice was there lost in a
storm, and in 1652 Rupert, beset by the English captains, made his way
again to Europe, and sold his two men-of-war to Cardinal Mazarin. The
Portuguese, freed from the presence of Rupert, soon sent Don Guimaraes
to London to treat for a pacification, but the treaty was not finally
concluded till after Cromwell had attained to supreme power.

The King of Spain, who never forgave Charles I. the insult put upon his
sister and the whole kingdom, acknowledged the Republic from the first
moment of its establishment by continuing the presence of Cardenas, his
ambassador. The King of Spain made use of his ambassador in London to
excite the Commonwealth against Portugal and the United Provinces, but
an unlucky accident threatened to disturb even this alliance, the only
one between the Commonwealth and the Courts of the Continent. As Spain
kept an ambassador in London, the Parliament resolved to send one to
Madrid, and for this purpose they selected a gentleman of the name of
Ascham. He did not understand Spanish, and therefore he employed three
friars, who accompanied him and informed him of all that he wanted to
know regarding Spain. But he was no sooner arrived than half a dozen
Royalist English officers, who had served in the Spanish army against
Portugal, and in Calabria, went to his inn, and finding him at dinner,
exclaimed, "Welcome, gallants, welcome!" and ran him and Riba, one of
the friars, through with their swords. This was precisely what some
Royalists had done to Dorislaus, the Parliamentary ambassador to the
Hague, in 1649; for these Cavaliers, with all their talk of honour,
had no objection to an occasional piece of assassination. One of the
servants of Charles II.'s ambassadors, Hyde and Cottington, was one of
the assassins, which brought the ambassadors into suspicion; but they
protested firmly against any participation in so base a business. The
assassins fled to a church for sanctuary, except one who got to the
Venetian ambassador's, and so escaped. The other five were brought
from their asylum, tried, and condemned to die, but the courtiers
sympathised so much with the Royalists, that they were returned again
to their asylum, except a Protestant of the name of Sparkes, who,
being taken a few miles from the city, was put to death. This matter
blowing over, the peace with Spain continued. With Holland the case was
different.

Holland, being itself a Republic, might have been expected to
sympathise and fraternise with the English Commonwealth, but the
circumstances of the Court prevented the spread of this feeling. The
Stadtholder, William II., had married the Princess Royal of England,
the daughter of Charles I., and sister of Charles II. From the first
of the contest, therefore, Holland had supported the claims of both
the Charleses. The second Charles had spent much of his exile at the
Hague, not being at all cordially received in France, where his mother
resided. His brother, the Duke of York, had long resided there, as
Rupert and Maurice had done before. There was thus a great league
between the family of the Stadtholder and the Stuart faction, and the
Stadtholders themselves were gradually making themselves as despotic
as any princes of Europe. All the money which enabled the Stuarts in
England to make head and invade it from Scotland came from the Hague.
On the other hand, the large Republican party in Holland, which was
at strife with the Stadtholder on account of his regal and despotic
doctrines, looked with favour on the proceedings of the English
Parliament, and thus awoke a deep jealousy in the Stadtholder's Court
of the English Parliament, which entertained ideas of coalescing with
Holland into one great Republic.

From these causes no satisfaction could ever be obtained from the
Stadtholder for the murder of Dr. Dorislaus, nor would he admit
Strickland, the ambassador of the Parliament, to an audience. But on
the 6th of November, 1650, William died of small-pox, and on the 14th
of that month his widow gave birth to William III., who afterwards
became King of England. The infancy of the Stadtholder now encouraged
the Republican party to abolish that office, and to restore the more
democratic form of government. On this, the Parliament of England,
in the commencement of 1651, determined to send ambassadors to the
States, and in addition to Strickland sent St. John, the Chief Justice
of the Common Pleas. But no good was done. There were numbers of
English Royalists still hanging about at the Hague, and the Dutch,
through the internal wars of England, France, and Spain, had grown so
prosperous that they were become proud and insolent, and had come to
regard the English Parliament, through the misrepresentation of their
enemies, as a power that they might treat with contempt. St. John found
insurmountable difficulties in negotiating with the rude, haughty
States-General. He was openly insulted in the streets of the Hague;
the ignorant populace hooted and hissed him and his colleague, and the
Royalists were suffered to annoy them with impunity.

The Parliament of England had in good faith proposed their scheme
of confederacy against their common enemies both by sea and land,
but the States-General made so many objections and delays that the
term fixed for the negotiation expired, and the English ambassadors
took their leave in disgust. The battle of Worcester awoke the Dutch
to their mistake, and they then sent in haste to propose terms of
alliance on their part, but it was too late. St. John, strong in
his feelings as he was deep in his intellect, had represented their
conduct in such terms that the English Parliament received them with
a cool haughtiness the counterpart of their own in the late attempt
at treaty. St. John had also employed himself in a measure of revenge
on the Dutch which was in its effects most disastrous to them. Owing
to the embarrassments of the other European States, the Dutch had
grown not only to be the chief merchants of the nations, but the great
carriers of all mercantile goods. Parliament passed a Navigation Act,
by which it was forbidden to introduce any of the products of Asia,
Africa, or America into England, except in English vessels, or any of
the manufactures of Europe, except in English ships or the ships of the
countries which produced them. This at one blow lopped off the greater
part of the commerce of Holland, and the demands of the ambassador
that this terrible Act should be repealed, or at least suspended till
the conclusion of a treaty, were totally disregarded. But this was
not the only offensive weapon which St. John's resentment had found.
Letters of marque had been issued against French vessels, and they
were permitted to be used against Dutch ones, on pretence that they
had French property on board. Still more, the massacre of the English
at Amboyna, which had been lightly passed over, owing to the desire of
the English Court to maintain the alliance of Holland against Spain,
had never been forgotten by the English people, and there were now loud
demands, especially from the sailors, that all survivors of the Dutch
concerned in that murder should be given up. In fact, a determined
spirit of hostility had sprung up between the two maritime nations.
The Dutch, at the call of their merchants for protection, prepared a
fleet, and placed at the head of it the three greatest admirals that
their nation ever produced--Van Tromp, De Ruyter, and De Witt. The
English Parliament, on their part, ordered their admirals to insist on
the same homage being paid to their flag in the narrow seas as had been
paid to that of the king. They also demanded indemnification for the
losses sustained in the East Indies from the Dutch, and insisted on the
stipulated contribution of the tenth herring from the Dutch fishermen
in the British seas.

It was impossible, under such circumstances, that hostilities should be
long deferred. Commodore Young was the first to call on the convoy of
a fleet of Dutch merchantmen to salute the British flag. They refused,
and Young attacked them so smartly that in the end they complied. In a
few days Van Tromp, who was a zealous partisan of Orange, and therefore
of the house of Stuart, appeared in the Downs with two-and-forty sail.
To Commodore Bourne, whom he found there, he disclaimed any hostile
intentions, but pleaded the loss of several anchors and cables for
putting in; but the next day, being the 19th of May, he encountered
Blake off Dover, and that commander, though he had only twenty ships,
demanded that Van Tromp should do homage to his flag. Van Tromp
refused, and sailed right on till he came nearly opposite Blake, when
the English admiral fired a gun three successive times at the Dutch
admiral's flag. Van Tromp returned the compliment by firing a broadside
into Blake's ship; and the two fleets were instantly engaged, and a
desperate battle was fought from three in the afternoon till darkness
separated them. The English had taken two ships, one of which, on
account of the damage done it, was allowed to sink.

There was much dispute between the two countries which was the
aggressor; but it appears the most probable fact that Van Tromp
sought an occasion to resist the demand of lowering the Dutch flag
to the English one, and found an admiral as prepared to assert that
superiority as he was to dispute it.

The English Parliament immediately issued strict orders to all its
commodores to pursue and destroy all the ships of the Dutch fleet that
they could find on the seas; and in the space of a month they took
or burnt seventy sail of merchantmen, besides several men-of-war.
The Dutch protested that the battle had not been sought by them, and
proposed inquiry, and the punishment of whichever of the commanders
should be proved the aggressor; but the Parliament replied that it was
satisfied that the States were bent on usurping the rights of England
on the seas, and on destroying the fleets, which were the walls and
bulwarks of the nation, and therefore that it was necessary to stand
on the defensive. The States sent De Pauw to reiterate the assurances
of their peaceful intentions, and to urge the court of inquiry; but
the Parliament was now as high as the States had been before, and
insisted on reparation and security. De Pauw demanded what these terms
meant, and was answered, full compensation for all the expense that the
Commonwealth had been put to by the hostile preparations of the States,
and a confederation for the mutual protection of the two nations. De
Pauw knew that the first of these terms would be declined, and took his
leave. On the 19th of July the Parliament proclaimed war against the
States.

The Dutch were by no means afraid of the war, though they dreaded the
destruction of their trade which it would occasion. They had acquired
a great reputation as a naval people, and the sailors were eager to
encounter the English, and revenge their defeat upon them. Van Tromp
once more appeared with seventy sail of the line, and boasted that he
would sweep the English from the face of the ocean. The Vice-Admiral
Sir George Ayscough (or Ayscue), had just returned victorious from the
reduction of Barbadoes, and was left in charge of the Channel whilst
Blake went northward, in quest of the squadron which protected the
Dutch fishermen. Van Tromp could not come up with Ayscough, owing to
a change of wind; he, therefore, went northward after Blake, who had
captured the Dutch squadron, and made the fishermen pay the tenth
herring, but a storm dispersed Van Tromp's fleet, several of his ships
falling into the hands of the English. When he again returned to port,
he was received with great indignation by the people, who had expected
wonders from him, and in his mortification he resigned.

De Ruyter was advanced into his post, and put to sea in charge of a
merchant fleet, and in return fell in with Ayscough off Plymouth, who
broke through his line, but was not followed up vigorously by the
captains of the other vessels, and the Dutch ships escaped. Ayscough
was superseded, the Parliament suspecting him of a royal tendency.

De Ruyter joined De Witt, and attacked Blake, who had under him
Admirals Bourne and Penn, and a fierce engagement took place, which
lasted the whole of the 28th of September. The next morning the Dutch
were seen bearing away for their own coasts, several of their vessels
having gone down, and one of them being taken. Blake gave chase as far
as Goree, but could not pursue them amongst the shoals and sandbanks,
where the small vessels of the Dutch had taken refuge. Wherever English
and Dutch ships now met, there was battle. There was an affray between
them in the Mediterranean, where Van Galen, with a greatly superior
force, attacked and defeated Captain Baily, but was himself slain; the
King of Denmark also joined the Dutch with five ships, laid an embargo
on English merchandise in the Baltic, and closed the Sound against
them. There were, moreover, numerous vessels under the French flag
cruising about in quest of merchantmen.

As winter, however, approached, Blake, supposing the campaign would
cease till spring, dispersed a number of his vessels to different
ports, and was lying in the Downs with only thirty-seven sail, when
he was surprised by a fleet of eighty men-of-war, and ten fire-ships.
It was Van Tromp, whom the States had again prevailed on to take
the command, and who came vehement for the recovery of his tarnished
reputation. Blake's stout heart refused to shrink from even so unequal
a contest; and he fought the whole Dutch fleet with true English
bulldogism, from ten in the morning till six in the evening, when the
increasing darkness led to a cessation of hostilities on both sides.
Blake took advantage of the night to get up the Thames as far as the
quaint fishing village of Leigh. He had managed to blow up a Dutch
ship, disable two others, and to do much damage generally to the Dutch
fleet; but he had lost five ships himself. Van Tromp and De Ruyter
sailed to and fro at the mouth of the river, and along the coast
from the North Foreland to the Isle of Wight, in triumph, and then
convoyed home the Dutch and French fleets. There was huge rejoicing in
Holland over the great English admiral, which, considering the immense
inequality of the fleets, was really an honour to Blake, for it showed
how they esteemed his genius and courage. The whole of Holland was full
of bravado at blocking up the Thames, and forcing the English to an
ignominious peace. Van Tromp was so elated, that he stuck a besom at
his masthead, intimating that he would sweep the English from off the
seas.

[Illustration: ROYAL MUSEUM AND PICTURE GALLERY, THE HAGUE.]

The English Parliament, during the winter, made strenuous efforts to
wipe out this reverse. They refitted and put in order all their ships,
ordered two regiments of infantry to be ready to embark as marines,
raised the wages of the seamen, ordered their families to be maintained
during their absence on service, and increased the rate of prize money.
They sent for Monk from Scotland, and joined him and Dean in command
with Blake.

The Dutch navy was estimated at this period at a hundred and fifty
sail, and was flushed with success; but Blake was resolved to take down
their pride, and lay ready for the first opportunity. This occurred on
the 18th of February, 1653. Van Tromp appeared sailing up the Channel
with seventy-two ships of war and thirty armed traders, convoying a
homeward-bound merchant fleet of three hundred sail. His orders were,
having seen the merchantmen safe home, to return and blockade the
Thames. Blake saved him the trouble, by issuing from port with eighty
men-of-war, and posting himself across the Channel. Van Tromp signalled
the merchant fleet under his convoy to take care of themselves, and the
battle between him and Blake commenced with fury. The action took place
not far from Cape La Hogue, on the coast of France. Blake and Dean, who
were both on board the _Triumph_, led the way, and their ship received
seven hundred shots in her hull. The battle lasted the whole day, in
which the Dutch had six ships taken or sunk, the English losing none,
but Blake was severely wounded.

The next day the fight was renewed off Weymouth as fiercely as before,
and was continued all day, and at intervals through the night; and
on the third day the conflict still raged till four o'clock in the
afternoon, when the wind carrying the contending fleets towards the
shallow waters between Boulogne and Calais, Van Tromp, with his lesser
ships, escaped from the English, and pursued his course homewards,
carrying the merchant fleet safely there. In the three days' fight
the Dutch, according to their own account, had lost nine men-of-war
and twenty-four merchantmen; according to the English account, eleven
men-of-war and thirty merchantmen. They had two thousand men killed,
and fifteen hundred taken prisoners. The English had only one ship
sunk, though many of their vessels were greatly damaged, and their
loss of killed and wounded was very severe. But they had decidedly
beaten the enemy, and the excitement in Holland, on the return of the
crest-fallen though valiant boaster Van Tromp, was universal. It was
now the turn of the English sailors to boast, who declared that they
had paid off the Dutch for Amboyna. But the defeat of their navy was
nothing in comparison to the general mischief done to their trade
and merchant shipping. Their fisheries employed one hundred thousand
persons: these were entirely stopped; the Channel was now closed to
their fleet, and in the Baltic the English committed continual ravages
on their traders. Altogether, they had now lost sixteen hundred
ships, and they once more condescended to seek for accommodation with
the English Parliament, which, however, treated them with haughty
indifference; and it was, therefore, with great satisfaction that they
now beheld the change which took place in England.

The Reformers of various shades and creeds had at first been combined
by the one great feeling of rescuing the country from the absolute
principles of the Stuarts. They had fought bravely side by side for
this great object; but in proportion as they succeeded, the differences
between themselves became more apparent. The Presbyterians, Scots and
English, were bent on fixing their religious opinions on the country
as despotically as the Catholics and Episcopalians had done before
them. But here they found themselves opposed by the Independents,
who had notions of religious freedom far beyond the Presbyterians,
and were not inclined to yield their freedom to any other party
whatever. Their religious notions naturally disposed them towards the
same equalising system in the State, and as the chiefs of the army
were of this denomination, they soon found themselves in a condition
to dictate to the parliament. Pride's Purge left Parliament almost
purely independent, and it and the army worked harmoniously till the
sweeping victories of Cromwell created a jealousy of his power. This
power was the more supreme because circumstances had dispersed the
other leading generals into distant scenes of action. Monk and Lambert
were in Scotland till Monk was called to the fleet, Fleetwood was in
Ireland, Ireton was dead. The Long Parliament, or the remnant of it,
called the Rump, ably as it had conducted affairs, was daily decreasing
in numbers, and dreaded to renew itself by election, because it felt
certain that anything like a free election would return an overwhelming
number of Presbyterians, and that they would thus commit an act of
_felo de se_.

At no period did what is called the Commonwealth of England present
any of the elements of what we conceive by a republic, that is, by
a government of the free representatives of the people. Had the
people been allowed to send their representatives, there would have
been a considerable number of Catholics, a much greater number of
Episcopalians, and both of these sections Royalists. There would have
been an overwhelming number of Presbyterians, and a very moderate one
of Independents. The Government was, therefore, speedily converted
into an oligarchy, at the head of which were the generals of the army,
and some few of the leaders of Parliament. The army, by Pride's Purge,
reduced the Parliament to a junto, by turning out forcibly the majority
of the representatives of the people, and the time was now fast
approaching when it must resolve itself into a military dictatorship.

Cromwell had long been accused by his own party of aiming at the
possession of the supreme power. At what time such ideas began to
dawn in his mind is uncertain; but as he felt himself rising above all
his contemporaries by the energy and the comprehensive character of
his mind, there is no doubt that he secretly indulged them. Ludlow,
Whitelock, Hutchinson, and others, felt that such was the spirit
growing in him; and many of those who had most admired his genius fell
away from him, and openly denounced his ambitious intentions as they
became more obvious. The excellent Colonel Hutchinson and Sir Henry
Vane charged him with the ruin of the Commonwealth. But Cromwell must
have long felt that nothing but a military power could maintain the
ascendency of those principles which he and his fellow Independents
entertained and held sacred. The world was not prepared for them. The
roots of royalty were too deeply struck into the heart of the nation by
centuries of its existence, to be torn out by the follies and tyrannies
of one family. But if a free Parliament, which it had been the proud
boast of the Reformers to be the sole seat of the national power, could
not exist; if the sitting body calling itself a Parliament could not
even add to its members without endangering its own existence either
from itself or from the jealousy of the army--what could exist? Clearly
nothing but a dictatorship, and the strongest man must come uppermost.
That strongest man was without a question Cromwell.

As early as 1649 two Bills had been brought in to settle questions
urgently demanded by the people, an act for a general amnesty, and
for the termination of the present Parliament. On his return from the
battle of Worcester, Cromwell reminded Parliament that these essential
measures had not been completed. He carried the amnesty, so that all
acts of hostility against the present Government previous to the battle
of Worcester were pardoned, and the Royalists relieved from the fear of
fresh forfeitures. The termination of Parliament was fixed for the 3rd
of November, 1654, and the interval of three years was to be zealously
employed in framing a scheme for the election of a new Parliament
on the safest principles. At the same time Cromwell was living at
Whitehall, in the house of the beheaded king, and with almost the state
and power of a sovereign. He summoned, therefore, the council of the
army, and discussed amongst them what they deemed necessary to be done.

In this council it was agitated as to the best form of government for
England, whether a pure republic, or a government with something of
monarchy in it. The officers were for a republic, the lawyers for
a limited monarchy. Cromwell agreed that the government must have
something of monarchy in it, and asked who they would choose if that
were decided? The lawyers said Charles Stuart, or if they found him
too much bent on power, his brother the Duke of Gloucester. There can
be little doubt but that this was a feeler on the part of Cromwell,
and as he was never likely to acquiesce in the restoration of a family
which they had put down at so much cost, it would have the effect of
causing him to proceed with caution. He had ascertained that the army
was opposed to a king; the lawyers thought of no king but one from the
old royal line. These were facts to be pondered.

Meanwhile the Parliament, without proceeding to lay a platform for its
successor, evidenced a jealousy of the ascendency of the army; it voted
a reduction of one-fourth of the army, and of the monthly assessment
for its support from one hundred and twenty thousand pounds to ninety
thousand pounds. In June, 1652, it proposed a fresh reduction, but
this was opposed by the military council, and in August the officers
appeared at the bar of the House with a petition, calling the attention
of the Parliament to the great question of the qualifications of
future parliaments, to reform of the law and religious abuses, to the
dismissal of disaffected and scandalous persons from office, to the
arrears due to the army, and to reform of malpractices in the Excise
and the Treasury.

The contest between the army and the Parliament was evidently growing
every day more active. The Commons had no desire to lay down their
authority and, to retain their existence, even showed a leaning towards
introducing a number of Presbyterians under the name of "Neuters."
To such a project the army was never likely to assent, and Cromwell
proposed, in the council at Whitehall, that Parliament should be at
once dissolved, and a national council of forty persons, with himself
at their head, should conduct affairs till a new Parliament could be
called on established principles. The opinion, however, was that such
a proceeding would be dangerous, and the authority of the council be
looked upon as unwarrantable.

Whilst these matters were in agitation, Whitelock says that Cromwell,
on the 8th of November, 1652, desired a private interview with him, and
in this urged the necessity of taking prompt and efficient measures for
securing the great objects for which they had fought, and which he
termed the mercies and successes which God had conferred on the nation.
He inveighed warmly against the Parliament, and declared that the army
began to entertain a strange distaste to it; adding that he wished
there were not too much reason for it. "And really," he continued,
"their pride, their self-seeking, their engrossing all places of honour
and profit to themselves and their friends; their daily breaking
forth into new and violent parties and factions; their delays of
business, and designs to perpetuate themselves, and to continue the
power in their own hands; their meddling in private matters between
party and party, contrary to the institution of Parliament; their
injustice and partiality in these matters, and the scandalous lives
of some of the chief of them, do give much ground for people to open
their mouths against them, and to dislike them." He concluded by
insisting on the necessity of some controlling power over them to check
these extravagances, or else nothing could prevent the ruin of the
Commonwealth.

Whitelock admitted the truth of most of this, but defended the
Parliament generally, and reminded Cromwell that it was the
Parliament which had granted them their authority, and to Cromwell
even his commission, and that it would be hard for them, under those
circumstances, to curb their power.

But Cromwell broke out--"We all forget God, and God will forget us. God
will give us up to confusion, and these men will help it on if they
be suffered to proceed in their ways." And then, after some further
talk, he suddenly observed, "What if a man should take upon him to
be king?" Whitelock saw plainly enough what Oliver was thinking of,
and replied as if he had directly asked whether he should assume that
office himself. He told him that it would not do, and that he was much
better off, and more influential as he was. "As to your person," he
observed, "the title of king would be of no advantage, because you have
the full kingly power already concerning the militia." He reminded
him that in the appointment of civil offices, though he had no formal
veto, his will was as much consulted as if he had, and so in all other
departments, domestic and foreign. Moreover, he now had the power
without the envy and danger which the pomp and circumstance of a king
would bring.

Cromwell still argued the point; contending that though a man usurped
the title without royal descent, yet the possession of the crown was
declared by an Act of Henry VII. to make a good title, and to indemnify
the reigning king and all his ministers for their acts. Whitelock
replied that, let their enemies once get the better of them, all such
bills and indemnifications would be little regarded; and that to assume
the crown would at once convert the quarrel into one not between the
king and the nation, but between Charles Stuart and Oliver Cromwell.
Cromwell admitted this, but asked what other course he could propose.
Whitelock said that of making a good bargain with Charles, who was now
down, and might be treated with just on what terms they pleased; or if
they thought him too confirmed in his opinions, there was the Duke of
York or the Duke of Gloucester. Cromwell did not appear pleased with
this suggestion; in fact, he had resolved to seize the chief power
in some shape himself--and even had he not, he had too much common
sense to agree to admit any one of the deposed family again to the
throne, which would be to put their necks in the certain noose of royal
vengeance. The death of Charles I. could never be forgiven. From this
time, Whitelock says, though he made no accusation against Cromwell,
yet "his carriage towards me from that time was altered, and his
advising with me not so frequent and intimate as before."

Cromwell again, however, broached the subject amongst the officers and
members of the Council--St. John, Lenthall the Speaker, Desborough,
Harrison, Fleetwood, and Whalley, not in so direct a manner, but
as that "a settlement, with something of the monarchical in it,
would be very effectual." It does not appear that the project was
very unanimously received by them, but they were agreed that a new
representation must take place, and no "Neuters" should be admitted.
Cromwell said emphatically, "Never shall any of that judgment who
have deserted the cause be admitted to power." On the 19th of April
the debate on this subject was continued very warmly till midnight,
and they separated, to continue the discussion on the next day. Most
of the officers had argued that the Parliament must be dissolved "one
way or another;" but the Parliament men and lawyers, amongst them
Whitelock and Widdrington, contended that a hasty dissolution would be
dangerous, and Cromwell appeared to lean towards the moderate view. But
scarcely had they met the next morning, and found a strange absence of
the members of Parliament, and an almost equal absence of officers,
when Colonel Ingoldsby hastened in and informed them that the Commons
were hard at work pushing forward their Bill for increasing their own
numbers by the introduction of Neuters; and that it was evident that
they meant to hurry it through the House before the Council could be
informed of their attempt. Vane and others, well aware of Cromwell's
design, were thus exerting themselves to defeat it.

[Illustration: CROMWELL ADDRESSING THE LONG PARLIAMENT FOR THE LAST
TIME. (_See p._ 118.)]

At this news Cromwell instantly ordered a file of musketeers to attend
him, and hastened to the House of Commons, attended by Lambert,
Harrison, and some other officers. He left the soldiers in the lobby of
the House, and entering, went straight to his seat, where he sat for
some time listening to the debate. He first spoke to St. John, telling
him that he was come for a purpose which grieved him to the very soul,
and that he had sought the Lord with tears not to impose it upon him;
but there was a necessity, and that the glory of God and the good of
the nation required it. He then beckoned Harrison to him, and said
that he judged that the Parliament was ripe for dissolution. Harrison,
who was a Fifth-Monarchy man, and had been only with much persuasion
brought over to this design, replied, "Sir, the work is very great and
dangerous; I desire you seriously to consider before you engage in it."
"You say well," answered the general, and sat yet about a quarter of
an hour longer. But when the question was about to be put, he said to
Harrison, "This is the time; I must do it;" and starting up, he took
off his hat, and began speaking. At first he spoke of the question
before the House, and commended the Parliament for much that it had
done, and well he might; for whatever its present corruption, it had
nobly supported him and the fleet and army in putting down all their
enemies, and raising the nation in the eyes of foreigners far beyond
its reputation for the last century. But soon he came round to the
corruption and self-seeking of the members, accusing them of being at
that moment engaged in the very work of bringing in the Presbyterians
to destroy all that they had suffered so much to accomplish. Sir Harry
Vane and Peter Wentworth ventured to call him to order, declaring that
that was strange and unparliamentary language from a servant of the
House, and one that they had so much honoured. "I know it," replied
Cromwell; then stepping forward into the middle of the floor, and
putting on his hat, and walking to and fro, casting angry glances at
different members, he exclaimed, "I tell you, you are no Parliament. I
will put an end to your prating. For shame! get you gone! Give place to
honest men; to men who will more faithfully discharge their trust. You
are no longer a Parliament. The Lord has done with you. He has chosen
other instruments for carrying on His work."

With that he stamped upon the floor, and the soldiers appearing at
the door, he bade Harrison bring them in. The musketeers instantly
surrounded him, and laying his hand on the mace, he said, "What shall
we do with this bauble? Take it away," and he handed it to a soldier.
Then looking at Lenthall the Speaker, he said to Harrison, "Fetch him
down!" Lenthall declared that he would not move from his proper post
unless he was forced out of it. "Sir," said Harrison, "I will lend you
a hand," and taking hold of him, he brought him down, and he walked out
of the House. Algernon Sydney, then but a young member, happened to
sit next to the Speaker, and Cromwell said, "Put _him_ out!" Sydney,
like the Speaker, refused to move, but Cromwell reiterated the command,
"Put him out!" and Harrison and Worsley, the lieutenant-colonel of
Cromwell's regiment of Ironsides, laying each a hand on his shoulder,
the young patriot did not wait for the ignominy of being dragged from
his seat, but rose and followed the Speaker. Cromwell then went on
weeding out the members, with epithets of high reproach to each of
them. Alderman Allen bade him pause and send out the soldiers, and
that all might yet be well; but Cromwell only replied, "It is you that
have forced me upon this. I have sought the Lord day and night that
He would rather slay me than put me upon this work." He then charged
the alderman with embezzlement, as treasurer to the army; and taking
first one and then another by the cloak, he said to Challoner, "Thou
art a drunkard!" To Wentworth, "Thou art an adulterer!" To Martin,
"Thou art a still more lewd character!" Vane, as he was forced past
him, exclaimed, "This is not honest; yea, it is against morality
and common honesty." "O, Sir Harry Vane, Sir Harry Vane!" exclaimed
Cromwell, "the Lord deliver me from Sir Harry Vane!" Thus he saw the
House cleared, no one daring to raise a hand against him, though, says
Whitelock, "many wore swords, and would sometimes brag high." When all
were gone, Cromwell locked the door, and put the key in his pocket.
He then returned to Whitehall, and told the Council of officers, who
yet remained sitting, what he had done. "When I went to the House,"
he said, "I did not think to do this, but perceiving the spirit of the
Lord strong upon me, I resolved no longer to consult flesh and blood."

Such was the manner in which the last vestige of representative
government was swept away by Cromwell. Charles I. roused the fiery
indignation of Parliament, and of all England, as a violater of the
privileges of Parliament, by entering the House to seize five members
who had offended him. Cromwell, who had been one of the first to resist
and to avenge this deed, now marched in his soldiers and turned out the
whole Parliament, about fifty members, with impunity. "They went away
so quietly," said Cromwell, "that not a dog barked at their going."
Such is the difference between a private man with a victorious army
at his back, and one who, though with the name of a king, has lost a
nation's confidence by his want of moral honesty. The act of Cromwell
was the death of all constitutional life whatever, it was in opposition
to all parties but the army; yet no man dared assume the attitude of a
patriot; the military Dictatorship was accomplished (April 20, 1653).

Cromwell's whole excuse was necessity; that without his seizure of
the supreme power, the Commonwealth could not exist. It ceased to
exist by his very deed, and if he saved the faint form of a republic,
it was only for five years. As we have seen the great example to the
nations of the responsibility of kings, we have now to see an equally
significant one of the impossibility of maintaining long any form of
government that is not based on the mature opinion and attachment
of the people. Republicanism was not the faith of England in the
seventeenth century, and therefore neither the despotism of Charles
could create a republic with any permanence in it, nor the strenuous
grasp of Cromwell maintain it beyond the term of his own existence.

On the afternoon of this celebrated _coup d'état_, Cromwell proceeded
to Derby House, accompanied by Harrison and Lambert, where the Council
was still sitting, and thus addressed the members:--"Gentlemen, if you
are here met as private persons, you shall not be disturbed; but if as
a Council of State, this is no place for you; and since you cannot but
know what was done at the House this morning, so take notice that the
Parliament is dissolved." Bradshaw, who was presiding, said that they
knew, and that all England would soon know; but that if he thought
that the Parliament was dissolved, he was mistaken, "for that no power
under Heaven could dissolve them, except themselves. Therefore take you
notice of that." Sir Arthur Haselrig and others supported this protest,
and then the Council withdrew.

Cromwell and his party immediately held a council as to what steps were
to be taken, and on the 22nd they issued a declaration in the name of
the Lord-General and his council of officers, ordering all authorities
to continue their functions as before; and in return, addresses of
confidence arrived from generals and admirals. On the 6th of June
Oliver, in his own name as Captain-General and Commander-in-Chief of
all the armies and forces, issued a summons to one hundred and forty
persons to meet and constitute a Parliament. Six were also summoned
from Wales, six from Ireland, and five from Scotland. On the 4th of
July about one hundred and twenty of these persons, of Cromwell's
own selection--persons, according to his summons, "fearing God,
and of approved fidelity and honesty"--met in the Council-chamber
at Whitehall. Many of these were gentlemen of good repute and
abilities--some of them were nobles, others of noble families--as
Colonel Montague, Colonel Howard, and Anthony Ashley Cooper. Others,
however, were of little worldly standing, but had been selected on
account of their religious zeal and character. Amongst them was one
Barbon, a leatherseller in Fleet Street, who had acquired the cognomen
of Praise-God, and whose name being purposely misspelled became
Praise-God Barebone, and the Royalist wits of the time, therefore,
dubbed the Parliament Barebone's Parliament.

The more common appellation of this singular Parliament was "The
Little Parliament." Cromwell opened their session with a very long and
extraordinary speech, in which he gave a history of the past contest
with the monarchy, and the mercies with which they had been crowned
at Naseby, Dunbar, Worcester, and other places; of the backslidings
of the Long Parliament, and the "necessity" to remove it and call
this assembly. He quoted a vast quantity of Scripture, and told them
that they were called of God to introduce practical religion into
State affairs; and he then delivered into their hands an instrument,
consigning to them the supreme power in the State till the 3rd of
September, 1654, three months previous to which date they were to elect
their successors, who were to sit only for a year, and in turn elect
their successors.

This resignation of the supreme power once in his hands, has been
described by historians as a gross piece of hypocrisy, used to avoid
the odium of seizing for himself the power of the Parliament, which
he had forcibly dissolved. Whether that were the case or not, it
certainly was a prudent policy, and a safe one, for he knew very well
that he possessed supreme power as head of the army, and could, if
necessary, dismiss this Parliament as he had done the former one.
In their character of pietists or saints, as they were called, this
Parliament opened its session by electing Francis Rouse their Speaker,
and by exercises of devotion, which continued from eight in the morning
till six at night. Thirteen of the most gifted members preached and
prayed in succession, and they adjourned, declaring that they had never
enjoyed so much of the spirit and presence of Christ in any meetings
for worship as they had done that day. It was moved the next morning
that they "should go on seeking the Lord" that day too, but this was
overruled, and Monday, the 11th, was fixed for that purpose. They then
voted themselves the Parliament of the Commonwealth of England, invited
Cromwell and four of his staff to sit as members amongst them, and on
the 9th of July re-appointed the Council of State, amongst whom we
find the names of Colonel Montague, afterwards Earl of Sandwich, the
uncle of the poet Dryden, Sir Gilbert Pickering, Lord Viscount Lisle,
brother of Algernon Sydney, Sir Ashley Cooper, and other names of equal
note; and however they might be ridiculed on account of their religion,
they soon showed that they were conscientious and independent men. The
strongest proof of this was that they did not shrink from opposing the
power and interests of Cromwell, who had selected them. Scarcely were
they met, when they were appealed to to decide upon the case of John
Lilburne, who, on the dissolution of the Long Parliament, petitioned
Cromwell to allow him to return from his banishment. Cromwell gave no
reply, but independent John took the liberty of appearing in London.
He was at once seized and committed to Newgate. Lilburne, supported by
his friends, petitioned the House to hear and decide the case, though
it was the proper business of a jury. They might now have gratified
their patron, whom Lilburne had continually assailed as a "robber," a
"usurper," and a "murderer;" but they declined to interfere, and left
him to the ordinary criminal court. There Lilburne so ably defended
himself that he was acquitted; but he was again seized on the plea of
libellous and seditious language used on his trial, and the House could
then no longer refuse, at the instigation of the Council, to imprison
him. Being removed from the Tower to Elizabeth Castle, in Jersey, and
thence to Dover Castle, he there became a convert to the principles of
George Fox, a remarkable end for so fiery and democratic a character.
The Parliament lost no time in proceeding to assert that divine
commission, which Cromwell, in his opening speech, had attributed to
their call through him. They declared that they were appointed by the
Lord, and would have greatly alarmed Cromwell had he not taken care to
include amongst them a sufficient number of his staunch adherents. But
they excited the same alarm in a variety of other classes. They set to
work resolutely in cutting down the expenditure of the Government; they
abolished all unnecessary offices; they revised the regulations of the
Excise; reformed the constitution of the Treasury; reduced exorbitant
salaries, and examined thoroughly the public accounts; they adopted
measures for the sale of the confiscated lands, and enacted rules for
the better registration of births, deaths, and marriages. They went
further; they made marriage by a civil magistrate valid, and, indeed,
necessary for the enjoyment of the civil effects of marriage. Marriage
by a clergyman was left optional still.

They next attacked the unequal and oppressive modes of raising the
one hundred and twenty thousand pounds a month for the maintenance of
the army; the assessments in some cases amounting to two, in others,
to ten shillings in the pound. From taxation they proceeded to law,
and prepared a Bill to abolish the Court of Chancery, in which the
abuses and delays had been a constant source of complaint in petitions
to Parliament for years. But they were not content with destroying
the Court of Chancery, they set about a general reform of the laws.
They contended that every Englishman should understand the laws of
his country, and that by a proper digest they might be reduced to the
compass of a pocket volume. They, in fact, anticipated Napoleon in
his Code, and appointed a committee to make the necessary revision,
and to weed the real and useful statutes out of the chaotic mass of
contradictory, obsolete, and unjust laws which overlaid them; the
dicta of judges in many cases superseded and prevented the original
enactments, so that men's lives and properties were at the mercy, not
of the decrees of Parliament, but the opinions of individuals. It
may be imagined what a consternation this daring innovation excited
throughout Westminster Hall, and all the dusky, cobwebby cells of the
lawyers. A terrible cry was raised that a set of ignorant men were
about to destroy the whole noble system of British jurisprudence, and
to introduce instead the law of Moses!

But the projects of these radical Reformers were cut short by the
universal outcry from lawyers, churchmen, officials, and a host of
interested classes. They were represented as a set of mad fanatics, who
in Parliament were endeavouring to carry out the wild doctrines which
the Anabaptists and Fifth-Monarchy men were preaching out of doors.
Borne down by public opinion, Cromwell was compelled to dissolve them,
in fact to resume the supreme power which he had committed to them.
Accordingly, on the 12th of December, Cromwell's friends mustered in
full strength, and Colonel Sydenham moved that, as the proceedings
of Parliament were regarded as calculated to overturn almost every
interest in the country, they could not proceed, and that they should
restore their authority to the hands whence they had received it.
The motion was vehemently opposed, but the Independents had adopted
their plan. The mover declared that he would no longer sit in an
assembly which must be rendered abortive by general opposition. He
therefore rose: the Speaker, who was one of the party, rose too, and
the Independents, forming a procession, proceeded to Whitehall, and
resigned their commission into the hands of Cromwell. The staunch
dissentients remained and engaged in prayer, in which act two officers,
Goffe and White, sent to close the House, found them. White asked
them what they did there. They replied, "We are seeking the Lord."
"Then," said he, rudely, "you may go somewhere else, for to my certain
knowledge, the Lord has not been here these many years."

[Illustration: TOKEN OF THE COMMONWEALTH (COPPER).]

[Illustration: BROAD OF THE COMMONWEALTH (GOLD).]

[Illustration: CROWN OF THE COMMONWEALTH (SILVER).]

Cromwell affected to receive with reluctance the onerous charge of the
supreme power and responsibility; but the officers urged its necessity,
and the document being soon signed by eighty members, he acceded to it.
The council of officers and ministers decided that it was necessary to
have "a commonwealth in a single person;" and a new constitution was
drawn up; and on the 16th of December Cromwell, dressed in a suit and
cloak of black velvet, with long boots and a broad gold band round his
hat, proceeded in his carriage from Whitehall to the Court of Chancery.
The way was lined by files of soldiers, consisting of five regiments
of foot and three of horse. A long procession followed, including the
Lord Mayor, aldermen, and City officers, the two Commissioners of the
Great Seal, the judges, the councillors of State and of the army. On
reaching the Court of Chancery, Cromwell took his place before a chair
of State, which had been placed on a rich carpet, the Commissioners
of the Great Seal standing on his right and left, the judges ranging
themselves behind, and the civil and military officers disposing of
themselves on each hand. Lambert then stepped forward and addressed
the Lord-General. He spoke of the dissolution of Parliament, and of
the necessity of a strong Government, not liable to be paralysed by
contending opinions; and he prayed the Lord-General, in the name of the
army and of the official authorities of the three kingdoms, to accept
the office of Lord-Protector of the Commonwealth, and to govern it for
the public good by a constitution already drawn up. Cromwell assented,
and thereupon Jessop, a clerk of the council, read what was called "The
Instrument of Government," consisting of forty-two articles. The chief
of these were, that the legislative power should be invested in the
Lord-Protector and the Parliament; but chiefly in the Parliament, for
every Act passed by them was to become law at the end of twenty days,
though the Protector should refuse it his consent. Parliament should
not be adjourned, prorogued, or dissolved without its own consent, for
five months; and there was to be a new Parliament called within three
years of the dissolution of the last. The members of the Parliament
were adopted from a plan by Vane, brought forward during the Long
Parliament--namely, three hundred and forty members for England and
Wales, thirty for Scotland, and thirty for Ireland. The members were to
be chosen chiefly from the counties, and no papist, Malignant, or any
one who had borne arms against the Parliament, was admissible. In the
Protector resided the power of making war or peace with the consent of
the Council; he held the disposal of the militia, and of the regular
forces and the navy, the appointment of all public offices with the
approbation of Parliament, or during the recess of Parliament with that
of the Council, subject to the after-approval of Parliament; but he
could make no law, nor impose taxes without consent of Parliament. The
civil list was fixed at two hundred thousand pounds, and a revenue for
the army capable of maintaining thirty thousand men, with such a navy
as the Lord-Protector should deem necessary. The elective franchise
extended to persons possessed of property worth two hundred pounds, and
sixty members of Parliament should constitute a quorum. All persons
professing faith in Jesus Christ were to enjoy the exercise of their
religion except papists, prelatists, or such as taught doctrines
subversive of morality. Cromwell was named Lord-Protector for life,
and his successor was to be elected by the Council, and no member of
the family of the late king, or any of his line, should be capable of
election. A Council was specially named by the Instrument, to consist
of Philip, Lord Viscount Lisle, brother of Algernon Sydney; Fleetwood;
Lambert; Sir Gilbert Pickering; Sir Charles Wolseley; Sir Anthony
Ashley Cooper; Edward Montague; John Desborough, brother-in-law of
Cromwell; Walter Strickland; Henry Lawrence; William Sydenham; Philip
Jones; Richard Mayor, father-in-law of Richard Cromwell; Francis Rouse;
Philip Skipton, or any seven of them, with power in the Protector,
and a majority of the Council, to add to their number. Thurloe, the
historian, was secretary of the Council, and Milton Latin secretary.

This Instrument being ready, Cromwell swore solemnly to observe it, and
to cause it to be observed; and then Lambert, kneeling, offered the
Protector a civic sword in the scabbard, which he took, laying aside
his own, as indicating that he thenceforward would govern by the new
constitution, and not by military authority. He then seated himself,
covered, in the chair of State, all besides standing uncovered; he
then received from the Commissioners the Great Seal, and from the Lord
Mayor the sword and cap of maintenance, which he immediately returned
to them. On this the court rose, and the Lord-Protector returned in
state to Whitehall, the Lord Mayor bearing the sword before him, amid
the shouting of the soldiers and the firing of cannon. The next day,
the 17th of December, the Lord-Protector was proclaimed by sound of
trumpet in Westminster and in the City, and thus had the successful
general, the quondam farmer of Huntingdon, arrived at the seat of
supreme power, at the seat of a long line of famous kings, though not
with the name of king, to which many suspected him of aspiring. Yet
even without the royal dignity, he soon found the position anything but
an enviable one, for he was surrounded by hosts of men still vowed to
his destruction and the restoration of the monarchy; and amongst those
who had fought side by side with him towards this august eminence, were
many who regarded his assumption of it as a crime, to be expiated only
by his death. Though there is no reason to believe that the bulk of the
nation was otherwise than satisfied with the change, his supporters
were lukewarm while his enemies were ardent. There was no disguising
the fact that until Parliament met his government was one of naked
absolutism. The Protector forthwith established a body of "Triers" who
proceeded to examine the religious beliefs of candidates for vacant
benefices, and promptly presented them if the result of the examination
was satisfactory. Before we proceed, however, to notice his struggles
with his secret or avowed enemies, and with his new Parliament, we must
notice what had been doing meanwhile in the war with Holland, which had
still been raging.



CHAPTER V.

THE COMMONWEALTH (_concluded_).

    Naval Victory over the Dutch--Death of Van Tromp--_Quasi_-Royal
    State of the Lord-Protector--Disaffection against Cromwell--His
    Vigorous Rule--Charles II. offers a Reward for his
    Assassination--Rebellions in Scotland--Cromwell's Dealings with the
    Portuguese Ambassador--Reform of the Court of Chancery--Commission
    for Purgation of the Church--The Reformed Parliament--Exclusion of
    the Ultras--Dissolution of Parliament--Danger from Plots--Accident
    to the Protector--Death of Cromwell's Mother--Royalist
    Outbreaks--Cromwell's Major-Generals--Foreign Policy--War with
    Spain--Massacre of the Piedmontese--Capture of Jamaica--The
    Jews Appeal for Toleration--Cromwell's Third Parliament--Plots
    against his Life--The Petition and Advice--Cromwell Refuses the
    Royal Title--Blake's Brilliant Victory at Santa Cruz--Death of
    Blake--Successes against Spain--Failure of the Reconstructed
    Parliament--Punishment of Conspirators--Victory in the
    Netherlands--Absolutism of Cromwell--His Anxieties, Illness, and
    Death--Proclamation of Richard Cromwell--He calls a Parliament--It
    is Dissolved--Reappearance of the Rump--Richard Retires--Royalist
    Risings--Quarrels of the Army and the Rump--General Monk--He
    Marches upon London--Demands a Free Parliament--Royalist
    Reaction--Declaration of Breda--Joyful Reception of Charles.


In May, 1653, the fleets of England and Holland, each amounting to
one hundred sail, put to sea. That of England was under the command
of Monk, Dean, Penn, and Lawson; that of Holland under Van Tromp, De
Ruyter, De Witt, and Evertsens. At first they passed each other, and
whilst Monk ravaged the coast of Holland, Van Tromp was cannonading
Dover. At length, on the 2nd of June, they met off the North Foreland,
and a desperate conflict took place, in which Dean was killed at the
side of Monk. Monk immediately threw his cloak over the body, to avoid
discouraging the men, and fought on through the day. In the night Blake
arrived with eighteen additional sail, and at dawn the battle was
renewed. The result was that the Dutch were beaten, lost one-and-twenty
sail, and had thirteen hundred men taken prisoners, besides great
numbers killed and wounded. The English pursued the flying vessels
to the coast of Holland, and committed many ravages amongst their
merchantmen. But the undaunted Van Tromp, on the 29th of July, appeared
again at sea, with above a hundred sail. Monk stood out to sea for
more battle-room, and one of the Dutch captains, seeing this, said to
Van Tromp that they were running; but Van Tromp, who knew the English
better, replied curtly, "Sir, look to your own charge, for were there
but twenty sail, they would never refuse to fight us." Monk, on his
part, ordered his captains to attempt making no prizes, but to sink
and destroy all the ships they could. The battle, therefore, raged
furiously, from five in the morning till ten; but at length the gallant
Van Tromp fell dead by a musket-shot, and the courage of the Dutch gave
way. In this fight the Dutch lost thirty ships, about one thousand
prisoners, besides great numbers of slain, the English losing only two
vessels.

These splendid victories enabled Cromwell to conclude advantageous
treaties with Holland, France, Denmark, Portugal, and Sweden. Most
of these Powers sent over ambassadors to congratulate him on his
elevation, and these were received at Whitehall with much state. The
royal apartments were furnished anew in very magnificent style, and in
the banqueting-room was placed a chair of State raised on a platform
with three steps, and the Lord-Protector gave audience seated in it.
The ambassadors were instructed to make three obeisances, one at the
entrance, one in the middle of the room, and the third in front of the
chair, which the Protector acknowledged with a grave inclination of the
head. The same ceremony was repeated on retiring. Cromwell received
the ambassadors of Holland to dinner, sitting on one side of the table
alone, and the ambassadors with a few of the lords of the Council on
the other. The Lady-Protectress at the same time entertained their
ladies. In his appearances abroad the Protector assumed very much the
state of a king with State coaches, Life Guards, pages, and lacqueys
richly clothed. He took up his abode instantly in the royal palaces,
quitting the Cockpit altogether, Whitehall being his town house, and
Hampton Court his country one, where he generally went on Saturday
afternoon, and spent the Sunday.

It was not, however, without many heartburnings and some plots for his
destruction that his wonderful elevation was witnessed by many of his
old comrades, as well as his natural enemies.

The Anabaptists and Fifth-Monarchy men, who carried their notions of
political liberty as far beyond Cromwell as the Chartists of more
modern times carried theirs beyond the Whigs, were exceedingly
violent, and denounced him as an apostate and deceiver. Feak and
Powell, two Anabaptist preachers in Blackfriars, thundered from their
pulpits against him as the "beast in the Apocalypse," the "old dragon,"
and the "man of sin." "Go, tell your Protector," they cried, "that
he has deceived the Lord's people, and is a perjured villain." They
declared that he was worse than the last tyrant usurper, the crookback
Richard, and would not reign long.

Having borne the violent abuse of these men for some time, he at
length sent them to the Tower. But amongst his own generals and former
colleagues were men not less exasperated. Harrison and Ludlow were
Fifth-Monarchy men, who believed that none but Christ ought to reign,
and they joined the most disaffected. Harrison being asked if he would
own the new protectoral government, answered fiercely, "No!" and
Cromwell was obliged to send him to his own house in the country, and
afterwards to commit him also to the Tower. Vane and others were not
less angered, though less openly violent.

Cromwell expressed much sorrow at these symptoms of resentment
amongst his old friends, and declared that he would much rather, so
far as his own inclinations were concerned, have taken a shepherd's
staff than that of the Protector. In Scotland and Ireland there was
much dissatisfaction at the new revolution, as it was called. Even
Fleetwood, his son-in-law, scarcely knew how to receive it, and Ludlow
and Jones expressed no unequivocal discontent. Colonel Alured had been
sent to Ireland to conduct certain forces to Monk in the Scottish
Highlands, but he was an Anabaptist, and became so insubordinate that
Cromwell dismissed him both from his commission and from the army.
Ludlow refused to continue on the Irish Civil Commission. Cromwell,
however, sent over his son Henry on a visit to Fleetwood, so that
he might learn the true state of the army, and the most active or
formidable of the malcontent officers were removed to England, or by
degrees dismissed from the service.

In Scotland similar disaffection was apparent, but there active service
against the Royalists, who were also astir with fresh vigour on this
occasion, tended to divert their attention from their discontents.
Charles II., from Paris, about Easter, issued a proclamation, supposed
to be drawn up by Clarendon, offering five hundred pounds a year
and a colonelcy in the army to any one who would take off by sword,
pistol, or poison, "a certain base, mechanic fellow, by name Oliver
Cromwell," who had usurped his throne. His partisans in Scotland
seized the opportunity to renew the war. The Earls of Glencairn and
Balcarres, Angus, Montrose, Seaforth, Atholl, Kenmure, and Lorne, the
son of Argyll, were up in arms. Charles sent over General Middleton
to take the chief command, and Cromwell ordered Monk again from the
victorious fleet to hasten to the Highlands to oppose him, Colonel
Robert Lilburne having in the meantime made a successful assault upon
them. Monk speedily defeated Middleton and his associates, and the
Scots lords lost no time in making their submission. Cromwell had
subdued the rebellion completely by August, but still earlier he had
abolished all separate rule in Scotland. In April he published three
ordinances, by which he incorporated England with Scotland, abolished
the Monarchy and Parliament in that country, and absolved the people
from their allegiance to Charles Stuart, erecting courts baron instead
of those suppressed. The people who contended through so many bloody
wars against English monarchs who had attempted the same thing, now
quietly submitted to this plebeian but energetic conqueror, and the
Kirk only defied his authority by meeting in assembly in Edinburgh on
the 20th of July. But there presently appeared amongst them Colonel
Cotterel, who bade them depart, and marched them a mile out of the city
between two files of soldiers, to the astonishment and terror of the
inhabitants, where he informed them that if any of them were found in
the capital after eight o'clock the next morning, or attempted to sit
or meet more than three together, he would imprison them as disturbers
of the public peace. Our old acquaintance, Baillie, beheld this amazing
spectacle with consternation. "Thus," he exclaimed, "our General
Assembly, the glory and strength of our Church upon earth, is by your
soldiery crushed and trodden under foot. For this our hearts are sad
and our eyes run down with water." Yet it does not appear that real
religion suffered at all by Cromwell's innovations, either in Scotland
or in England, for Kirkton says of the Kirk, "I verily believe there
were more souls converted unto Christ in that short period of time than
in any season since the Reformation. Ministers were painsful, people
were diligent. At their solemn communions many congregations met in
great multitudes, some dozens of ministers used to preach, and the
people continued, as it were, in a sort of trance, so serious were they
in spiritual exercises, for three days at least." Baxter, in England,
though a decided enemy of Cromwell, confessed that, by his weeding out
scandalous ministers, and putting in "able, serious preachers, who
lived a godly life," though of various opinions, "many thousands of
souls blessed God" for what was done.

The proclamation of Charles, rendered abortive in the Highlands, was
not without its effects in England. One Major Henshaw came over from
Paris, and proposed to assassinate Cromwell as he went to Hampton
Court. His plan was to get thirty stout men for the purpose. A young
enthusiastic gentleman named Gerard undertook to procure twenty-five
of them, and Colonel Finch and Henshaw were to bring the other five.
Vowel, a schoolmaster of Islington, was very zealous in the plot,
and aided in procuring arms; Billingsley, a butcher of Smithfield,
engaging to seize the troopers' horses grazing in Islington fields.
The soldiers were then to be fallen upon at the Mews, Charles II.
was to be proclaimed, Rupert was to appear with a large force of
Royalists, English, Irish, and Scots, and there was to be a general
rising. Saturday, the 20th of May, was the day fixed for Cromwell's
assassination; but before this wild scheme could be commenced, forty
of the conspirators were seized, some of them in their beds. Vowel was
hanged, and Gerard was beheaded on the 10th of July--the manner of the
latter's punishment being thus changed at his own request, as being a
gentleman and a soldier.

[Illustration: THE GREAT HALL, HAMPTON COURT PALACE.]

The same day, and on the same scaffold as Gerard, was executed Don
Pantaleone Sa, the brother of the Portuguese Ambassador. Sa had a
quarrel with this same Gerard, who was called "Generous Gerard," an
enthusiastic Royalist. They came to fighting at the Royal Exchange,
where Gerard, drawing his rapier, forced the Don to fly, whereupon the
next day he returned to the Exchange in search of Gerard, with a body
of armed followers, and mistaking a man of the name of Greenway for
Gerard, they killed him, wounded Colonel Mayo, and were not subdued
without much riot. Sa was seized, tried, and condemned for this
deliberate murder. He pleaded that he belonged to the embassy, and
was therefore exempt from the tribunals of this country, but neither
this nor the zealous exertions of his brother, the ambassador, could
save him; he was condemned to die. Cromwell, though on the verge of
concluding a treaty with Portugal, would not concede a pardon to
the bloodthirsty Portuguese, who had been found guilty by a jury
of half Englishmen and half foreigners. He went to Tower Hill in a
coach and six, attended by numbers of the attachés of the embassy in
mourning, and his brother signed the treaty and left the country.
Such an exhibition of firmness and impartiality, refusing to make any
distinction in a murderer, whether noble or commoner, evinced great
moral courage in Cromwell; but another execution, which took place a
short time before--namely, on the 23rd of June--was not so creditable
to him. This was the hanging of an old Catholic priest, named
Southworth, who had been convicted thirty-seven years before, under the
bloody laws of James against Popish priests, and had been banished.
Being now discovered in the country, he was tried for that offence
and put to death. On the scaffold he justly upbraided the Government
with having taken arms for liberty, yet shedding the blood of those
who differed from them on religious grounds. The stern persecution of
Popery was, in fact, a blot on Cromwell's character; he had not in that
respect outgrown his age.

Whilst these and other plots were exacting from the Protector a severe
compensation for his high position, he was yet steadily prosecuting
measures for the better administration of the national government.
Being empowered by the Instrument of government, with his Council, not
only to raise sufficient money for the necessary demands of government,
but also "to make laws and ordinances for the peace and welfare of
these nations," he actually made no less than sixty ordinances,
many of them of singular wisdom and excellence. He and his Council,
in fact, showed that they were in earnest to make the execution of
justice cheap and prompt, and to revive a pure and zealous ministry
of the gospel. In one of these ordinances they effected the Herculean
labour which Barebone's Parliament had aimed at--the reformation of
the Court of Chancery, the ordinance for this purpose consisting of no
less than sixty-seven articles. Well might Cromwell, on the opening of
Parliament, refer with pride to this great event, an event which would
have taken our modern law-makers twenty years to accomplish, which,
in fact, they have not accomplished yet. "The Chancery," he said in
his speech, "is reformed." What a speech in four words, sufficient to
have made the reign of any king famous! "The Chancery is reformed--I
hope to the satisfaction of all good men." This had partly been
done by distributing the causes through the other "courts of law at
Westminster, where Englishmen love to have their rights tried." In
order, too, to effect a most just and speedy discharge of the laws,
he put better judges on the Bench, amongst them the pious Sir Matthew
Hale, and made Thurloe, the friend of Milton, Secretary of State.

Two others of his ordinances were intended to purify the Church of
unfit ministers, and to introduce fit and pious ones. This established
two commissions, one for the examination of all clergymen offering
themselves for the incumbency of any church living, and the other
for inquiring after and expelling any "scandalous, ignorant, or
insufficient ministers who already occupied such." These commissioners
were to be permanent, so that the Church in all parts of the country
should be purged of improper preachers, and supplied with able and
good ones. The supreme commission for the trial of public preachers
consisted of thirty-eight members--twenty-nine clergymen, nine
laymen--and these were both Presbyterians and Independents, some even
Anabaptists, for the Protector was less interested in what sect they
belonged to, than in the fact that they were pious and able men. The
commission for purging the Church consisted of from fifteen to thirty
Puritan gentlemen and Puritan clergymen for each county; and when
they dismissed a minister for unfitness, his family had some income
allowed them. Many of the members of these last boards were chosen
indiscriminately from the friends or enemies of the Protectorate,
provided they were known men of real piety and judgment. Amongst these
were Lord Fairfax, Thomas Scott, a zealous Republican, Admiral Blake,
Sir Arthur Haselrig, Richard Mayor, the father-in-law of Richard
Cromwell, for whom Cromwell entertained a high regard and respect, and
had him in both Parliament, Council, and various commissions. Baxter
was one of them, and, as we have said, spoke well of the operation of
the system.

But the 3rd of September arrived, Oliver's fortunate day, on which
he had appointed the meeting of Parliament. As the day fell on a
Sunday, the members met in the afternoon for worship in Westminster
Abbey, where they waited on the Protector in the Painted Chamber,
who addressed them in a speech, and they then went to the House and
adjourned to the next morning. Cromwell went that day to the House
in great State, in his carriage, with his Life Guards, a captain of
the guard walking on each side, and the Commissioners of the Great
Seal and other State officers following in coaches. After a sermon
in the Abbey Church they proceeded to the Painted Chamber, where the
Protector made a speech of three hours in the delivery. A chair of
State, marvellously resembling a throne, raised on steps, and with a
canopy, was placed for the Protector, who sat with his hat on, whilst
the members sat bareheaded. On rising to speak he took off his hat,
and made what Whitelock styles "a large and subtle speech." It was
largely illustrated by Scripture quotations, it is true, for that was
inseparable from the religious temperament of Cromwell; but it gave
a clear review of the causes which had led to the overthrow of the
monarchy, the rise of the Commonwealth, and particularly of its then
form, as well as of the measures which he had adopted in Council, in
the interim between his appointment and the meeting of Parliament. He
told them that he regarded their greatest functions to be at that time
"healing and settling;" a profound truth--for the nation, and in it
every class of men, had been so torn and rent in every fibre, that to
soothe and heal was the highest art and policy. Every man's hand, and
every man's head, he justly observed, had been against his brother,
and no sooner had they put down despotism, than liberty itself began
to grow wild, and threaten them with equal danger. The Levellers, the
Fifth-Monarchy men, the Communists of St. George's Hill, had compelled
them to put the drag on the chariot wheels of freedom, or it would
soon have taken fire. In all such revolutions, the principles of human
right are pushed on by sanguine men, beyond all chance of support from
a settled public opinion; and Oliver truly told them that had they
gained their object for a moment, it could not have lasted long, but
would have in the meantime served the turn of selfish men, who, having
obtained public property, would have "cried up property and interest
fast enough."

He referred with satisfaction to the means taken to insure a pure
ministry, and argued for the necessity of State interference in
religion, but such interference should only be for promoting a good and
virtuous ministry, and by no means infringe on "liberty of conscience
and liberty of the subject, two as glorious things as any that God
hath given us." His fears of religious license were chiefly excited by
Fifth-Monarchists; yet he did not deny that such a monarchy must come
in process of time. "It is a notion," he said, "that I hope we all
honour, and wait and hope for the fulfilment of, that Jesus Christ
_will_ have a time to set up a reign in our hearts, by subduing those
lusts, and corruptions, and evils that are there, which now reign more
in the world that I hope in due time they shall do. And when more
fulness of the Spirit is poured forth to subdue iniquity, and bring in
everlasting righteousness, then will the approach of that glory be.
The cardinal divisions and contentions, among Christians so common,
are not the symptoms of that kingdom. But for men on this principle
to betitle themselves, that they are the only men to rule kingdoms,
govern nations, and give laws to people, and determine of property and
liberty, and everything else, upon such a pretension as this is, truly
they had need to give clear manifestations of God's presence with them,
before wise men will receive or submit to their conclusions." Still he
recommended tenderness towards them, and that if their extravagances
necessitated punishment, this should "evidence love, and not hatred."

He next referred to the treaties with foreign nations, amongst which,
he said, that with Portugal had obtained "a thing which never before
was since the Inquisition was set up there--that our people who trade
thither have liberty of conscience, liberty to worship God in chapels
of their own."

He finally inculcated on them the necessity for maintaining as much
peace as possible, not only that they might restore the internal
condition of the nation, and reduce the excessive taxation occasioned
by the war on land and sea, but also to prevent foreign nations from
depriving us of our manufacturing status, as they had been busily doing
during our internal dissensions.

To one of his assertions we are bound to demur. "One thing more
this Government hath done--it had been instrumental to call a free
Parliament, which, blessed be God, we see here this day. I say a free
Parliament, and that it may continue so, I hope is in the heart and
spirit of every good man in England, save such discontented persons
as I have formerly mentioned. It is that which, as I have desired
above my life, so I shall desire to keep it above my life." The truth
was that it was as free a Parliament as the circumstances of the
times would admit; indeed, as was soon seen, it was much too free.
A free Parliament would have brought back royalty in the State, or
Presbyterian absolutism in religion. Republicanism and Independency,
though in the ascendant through the genius of Cromwell and the
power of the army, was in a minority. Republicanism even was divided
against itself, divided into moderate Republicanism and Levelling,
Fifth-Monarchy and Communism in alliance. From this so-called free
Parliament, Episcopalians and Catholics were excluded; this so-called
free Parliament had been carefully watched during the elections, the
lists of the returned had been sent up to the Council, and such as
were deemed too dangerous were disallowed, amongst others Lord Grey of
Groby. But even then it was found too free, and the very first thing
that it set about was to call in question the Government which had
authorised it.

There was a stiff contest for the Speakership, but Lenthall was chosen
instead of Bradshaw, who was also nominated, because Lenthall had
been Speaker of the Long Parliament, and its old members had still
hope of restoring it. Amongst the members were old Sir Francis Rouse,
Lord Herbert, the son of the Earl of Worcester, Fleetwood, Lambert,
the Claypoles, one of whom had married a daughter of the Protector's,
Cromwell's two sons, his friends the Dunches, Sir Ashley Cooper, and
Lord Fairfax. Amongst the Republicans there were Bradshaw, Haselrig,
Scott, Wallop, and Wildman, old Sir Henry Vane, but not the younger;
and amongst the Irish members were Lord Broghill, who had fought so
stoutly against Charles, and Commissary-General Reynolds. No sooner
did they begin business than they opened a debate on the question of
sanctioning the present form of government, a question from which they
were precluded by the very Instrument which had made them a Parliament.
The debate was carried on for no less than eight days, during which
Bradshaw, Scott, Haselrig, and other Republicans contended that the
members of the Long Parliament had been illegally deprived of their
right, and that the Government in one person and a Parliament was but
another form of tyranny. One speaker declared that he had fought to
put down one tyrant, and was ready to fight to put down another. What
right but the sword, it was asked, had one man to put down a legal
Parliament, to command his commanders? They moved to go into committee
on the subject, and carried it.

Cromwell was not the man to suffer this. He sent to the Lord Mayor,
and ordered him to take measures to preserve the peace of the City,
marched three regiments into it, and then summoned Lenthall, and bade
him meet him in the Painted Chamber, on Tuesday, the 12th of September,
with the Commons. Harrison, who was zealously getting up petitions for
the support of the inquiry into the constitution, was clapped into the
Tower. When Cromwell met the Commons, he expressed his surprise that
a set of men from whom so much healing management had been expected,
should immediately attempt to overturn the Government which called them
together. The Instrument consisted of incidentals and fundamentals. The
incidentals they were at liberty to discuss, but the fundamentals--of
which the article that the power resided in one person and a Parliament
was one--were out of their range. He very zealously asserted that he
had been called to the head of the nation by God and the people, and
that none but God and the people should take his office from him.
His own wish had been to lead the life of a country gentleman, but
necessity had forced him thence, and three several times he had found
himself placed by the course of events at the head of the army, and
by them at the head of the Government. As to the dismissal of the
Long Parliament, he had been forced to that by its endeavouring to
perpetuate itself, and by its tyranny and corruption. He said "that
poor men, under its arbitrary power, were driven like flocks of sheep,
by forty on a morning, to the confiscation of goods and estates,
without any man being able to give a reason why two of them had
deserved to forfeit a shilling." He had twice resigned the arbitrary
power left in his hands, and having established a Government capable of
saving the nation, he would sooner lie rotting in his grave and buried
with infamy than suffer it to be broken up. They had now peace at home
and abroad, and it would be a miserable answer to give to the people,
"Oh, we quarrelled for the liberty of England; we contested and went to
confusion for that."

To prevent any such evil consequences, he informed them that he had
caused a stop to be put to their entrance into the Parliament House; he
did not turn them out this time, he shut them out--and that none would
be readmitted that did not first sign an Engagement to be true and
faithful to the Protector and Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and
Ireland, not to propose or consent to alter the Government, as settled
in a single person and Parliament.

On hearing this, the honourable members looked at one another in
amazement, but one hundred and forty thought well to sign the
Engagement, which lay in the lobby of the House that day, and within a
month three out of the four hundred had signed. Of course all the ultra
Republicans refused to sign, and were excluded--Bradshaw, Haselrig,
Scott, Wildman, and the rest.

[Illustration: JOHN MILTON. (_After the Miniature by Samuel Cooper._)]

This summary dealing did not cure the Parliament of considering the
question for touching which they had thus been purged of a hundred
members. On the 19th of September, only a week after the check they
had received, they went into committee to discuss the "Instrument of
Government." They took care not to touch the grand point which they
had now pledged themselves not to meddle with--the government by a
Protector and Parliament; but they affected to consider all the other
articles as merely provisional, decreed by the Protector and the
Council, but to be confirmed or rejected by Parliament. They discussed
these one by one, and on the 16th of October proceeded to the question,
whether the office of Protector should be elective or hereditary.
Lambert advocated the office being hereditary, and pointed out the
many disadvantages of the elective form. He strongly recommended the
office being confined to the Cromwell family, and this, of course,
was attributed to the instigation of Cromwell himself. They decided
for the elective form. On the 11th of December they voted that the
Protector should have a veto on Bills touching liberty of conscience,
but not such as suppressed heresies, as if what they called suppressing
heresies were not direct attacks on liberty of conscience. Thus they
crept round the very roots of the Protectoral authority, nibbling at
the powers he had forbidden them to discuss, and they proceeded to give
proof of their intention to launch into all the old persecutions for
religion, if they possibly could, by summoning before them John Biddle,
who may be regarded as the father of the Unitarians. He had been
thrice imprisoned by the Long Parliament, for holding that he could not
find in Scripture that Christ or the Holy Ghost was styled God. The
Parliament committed him to the Gatehouse, and ordered a Bill to be
prepared for his punishment.

It was high time that they were stopped in their incorrigible spirit of
persecution; and by now proceeding to frame a Bill to include all their
votes on the articles of the Instrument they were suddenly arrested
in their progress. The Instrument provided that Parliament should not
be adjourned under five months. On the 22nd of January, 1655, the
Protector chose to consider that the months were not calendar but lunar
months, which then expired. The Parliament, counting the other way,
deemed themselves safe till the 3rd of February, but on the 22nd of
January Oliver summoned them to the Painted Chamber, and observed to
them, that though he had met them at first with the hope that their
hearts were in the great work to which they had been called, he was
quite disappointed in them. He complained that they had sent no message
to him, taken no more notice of his presence in the Republic than if
he had not existed, and that with all patience he had forborne teasing
them with messages, hoping that they would at length proceed to some
real business. "But," added he, "as I may not take notice of what you
have been doing, so I think I have a very great liberty to tell you
that I do not know what you have been doing; that I do not know whether
you have been dead or alive. I have not once heard from you all this
time. I have not, and that you all know."

He then reminded them that various discontented parties--the Royalists,
the Levellers, and others--had been encouraged by their evident
disposition to call in question the Government, to raise plots, and
that if they were permitted to sit making quibbles about the Government
itself, the nation would soon be plunged again into bloodshed and
confusion. He, therefore, did then and there dissolve them as a
Parliament.

The plots to which the Protector alluded had been going on for some
time, and even yet were in full activity. We shall trace their main
features, but we may first notice an incident which showed that
Cromwell was prepared for them, resolved to sell his life manfully if
attacked. On the 24th of September, 1654, immediately after compelling
the Parliament to subscribe the Engagement, the Protector was out in
Hyde Park, taking dinner under the shade of the trees, with Thurloe,
the secretary, a man whom he constantly consulted on the affairs of
the nation. After this little rural dinner, which gives us a very
interesting idea of the simplicity of the great general's habits and
tastes, he tried a team of six fine Friesland coach horses, presented
to him by the Duke of Oldenburg. Thurloe was put into the carriage,
Cromwell mounted the coachman's seat, and a postillion rode one of
the fore horses. The horses soon became unruly, plunged, and threw
the postillion, and then, nearly upsetting the carriage, threw the
Protector from his seat, who fell upon the pole and had his legs
entangled in the harness. On went the mad horses at full gallop, and
one of Cromwell's shoes coming off, which had been held by the harness,
he fell under the carriage, which went on without hurting him, except
by some bruises. In the fall, however, a loaded pistol went off in his
pocket, thus revealing the fact that he went armed.

And indeed he had great need. His mother, who died just now, on the
16th of November, and who was ninety-four years old, used, at the sound
of a musket, says Ludlow, to imagine that her son was shot, and could
not be satisfied unless she saw him once a day at least. Her last words
to him do not give us any idea of hypocrisy in mother or son--"The Lord
cause His face to shine upon you, and enable you to do great things for
the glory of the Most High God, and to be a relief unto His people. My
dear son, I leave my heart with thee. A good night!"

Amongst the plotters were both Royalists and Republicans. The ejected
members of Parliament, in their different quarters, were stirring up
discontent against Cromwell, and even declaring that it were better
to have Charles Stuart back again. Colonel Overton, who had been
questioned at the time of Colonel Alured's dismissal, was once more
called up and questioned. In Scotland, where he lay, the Protector
discovered an agitation to supersede Monk, and make the Republican
Overton Commander-in-chief, and leaving only the garrisons, to
march the rest of the army into England on the demand of pay and
constitutional reform. Overton was committed to the Tower.

Allen--who, with Sexby and another agitator, in 1647 presented a
remarkable petition from the army to the Long Parliament, and had
become adjutant-general--was arrested at his father-in-law's house,
in Devonshire, at the end of January, 1655, on a charge of plotting
disturbances in Ireland, and exciting discontent in Bristol and Devon.
Allen was a zealous Anabaptist, and the excitement amongst them
and other army republicans was great and extensive. Pamphlets were
published, letters and agitators passed from one regiment to another,
and a general rising was planned, with the seizure of Edinburgh Castle,
Hull, Portsmouth, and other strong places. Cromwell was to be surprised
and put to death. Colonel Wildman, one of these fanatics, who had been
ejected from Parliament by refusing to sign the Recognition, was taken
on the 12th of February at Exton, near Marlborough, in Wilts, by a
party of horse, as he was in his furnished lodgings upstairs, leaning
on his elbows, and in the act, with the door open, of dictating to his
clerk, "A Declaration of the free and well-affected people of England,
now in arms against the tyrant Oliver Cromwell." He was secured in
Chepstow Castle, and his correspondents, Harrison, Lord Grey of Groby,
and others, were secured in the Tower. Colonel Sexby for the time
escaped.

About the same time a Royalist plot was also in progress. Charles
Stuart, who had removed from Paris to Cologne--the French Government
not wishing to give offence to Cromwell--had concocted a plot with
Hyde, his Chancellor, to raise the Royalists in various quarters at
once, fancying that as Cromwell had given so much offence to both
people and Parliament, there was great hope of success. Charles
went to Middelburg, on the coast of Holland, to be ready at a call,
and Hyde was extremely confident. In Yorkshire there was a partial
outbreak under Lord Mauleverer and Sir Henry Kingsby, which was
speedily quelled, Kingsby being seized and imprisoned in Hull. This
abortive attempt was under the management of Lord Wilmot, now Earl
of Rochester, who was glad to make his escape. Another branch of the
plot, under the management of Sir Joseph Wagstaff, who came over with
Rochester, fared no better. Wagstaff attempted to surprise Winchester
on the 7th of March, during the assizes. Penruddock, Grove, and Jones,
Royalist officers, were associated with him, and about two hundred
others entered Salisbury about five o'clock on the morning of the 11th,
posted themselves in the market-place, liberated the prisoners from the
gaol, and surprised the sheriff and two judges in their beds. Wagstaff
proposed to hang the judges, but Penruddock and the rest refused to
allow it; he then ordered the high sheriff to proclaim Charles Stuart,
but neither he nor the crier would do it, though menaced with the
gallows. Hearing that Captain Unton Crook was after them with a troop
of horse, and seeing no chance of a rising, they quitted the town
about three o'clock, and marched through Dorsetshire into Devonshire.
At South Molton Captain Crook came up with them, and speedily made
himself master of fifty of the insurgents, including Penruddock,
Grove, and Jones, but Wagstaff escaped. They had expected a body of
conspirators from Hampshire to join them at Salisbury, and these were
actually on their way when they heard of the retreat of Wagstaff's
band, and immediately dispersed. Similarly feeble outbreaks took
place in the counties of Northumberland, Nottingham, Shropshire, and
Montgomery. Penruddock, Grove, and Jones were beheaded at Exeter, and
about fifteen others suffered there and at Salisbury; the rest of the
deluded prisoners were sold to Barbadoes. Charles returned crest-fallen
to Cologne, and Hyde, convinced that his plans had been betrayed,
attributed the treason to Manning, whom, having secured, they had shot
in the following winter, in the territory of the Duke of Neuburg.

To prevent more of these outbreaks, Cromwell planned to divide the
whole country into military districts, over each of which he placed
an officer, who was to act chiefly with the militia, and not with
the Levelling regulars. These officers he created major-generals,
beginning first with Desborough in the south-west, and, before the
year was out, he had despatched, each to his district, the other
major-generals--Fleetwood, Skippon, Whalley, Kelsey, Goffe, Berry,
Butler, Wortley, and Barkstead, who effectually preserved the peace of
the nation. During the spring also, undaunted by these disturbances,
Cromwell progressed with his internal reforms, and with the greatest of
all, the reform of Chancery. This was no easy matter. The lawyers were
as turbulent as the Anabaptists in the army. Two of the Commissioners
of the Great Seal, Whitelock and Widdrington, refused to enforce the
reform, and were obliged to resign. Lisle and Fiennes, the other
Commissioners, dared to carry out the change. Lenthall, the Speaker,
now Master of the Rolls, protested that he would be hanged at the Rolls
gate before he would obey; but he saw fit to alter his mind, and the
Protector, so far from bearing any ill-will to the two conscientious
Commissioners, Whitelock and Widdrington, soon after made them
Commissioners of the Treasury.

We may now look back a little, to observe what Cromwell had been doing
beyond the shores of the kingdom. We have seen that almost all the
nations of Europe sent embassies to congratulate him on his elevation
to the Protectorate. The vigour of his rule speedily made them more
anxious to stand on good terms with him. He soon made peace with Sweden
as a Protestant country, and from natural sympathy with the Protestant
fame of the great Gustavus. He concluded peace also with Holland, but
with France and Spain there were more difficulties.

France had, both under Richelieu and Mazarin, lent continual aid and
refuge to the Royalist cause against the Reformers. The queen, whom the
Republicans had chased from the throne, was a princess of France, and
was living there with numbers of the Royalists about her. Charles, the
heir to the throne of England, was pensioned by France, and maintained
a sort of court in Paris, whence continual disturbances and alarms were
coming. It is true, the French Court had never been very munificent
to the exiled Queen of England and her family. Henrietta was found by
Cardinal Retz without fire, and almost without food, and Charles and
his countrymen were so poor, that Clarendon, in June, 1653, wrote, "I
do not know that any man is yet dead for want of bread, which I really
wonder at. I am sure the king owes all that he has eaten since April,
and I am not acquainted with one servant who hath a pistole in his
pocket. Five or six of us eat together one meal a day for a pistole
a week; but all of us owe, for God knows how many weeks, to the poor
woman that feeds us." He adds that he wanted shoes and shirts, and that
the Marquis of Ormond was in no better condition. The Court of Charles
was as much rent with divisions and jealousies as it was poor. His
brave conduct in England raised great hopes of him, but on his return
to France he relapsed into all sorts of dissipations and intrigues,
which made him contemptible. Amongst a troop of mistresses, Lucy
Walters, or Barlow, as she was called, the mother of the afterwards
celebrated Duke of Monmouth, was the most notorious.

[Illustration: THE ROYALIST PLOTTERS AT SALISBURY INSULTING THE
SHERIFF. (_See p._ 131.)]

As Mazarin saw the growing power of Cromwell, he was glad to get
Charles removed from Paris, and his abode transferred to Cologne; but,
being still the pensioner of France, Charles was equally capable of
annoying England from that place, as the late outbreaks showed. These
circumstances no doubt rendered it very difficult for the conclusion
of a peace between Cromwell and France, for Cromwell insisted on the
withdrawal of the French support from the exiled family, and though
France was fully disposed to abate the evil as far as possible, it
could not in honour entirely abandon them. Mazarin made every possible
concession on other points, and the French ambassador, Bordeaux,
urged the progress of the treaty with all earnestness. But besides
the grand obstacle, there were others raised by Spain. France and
Spain were at war: Spain was supporting the Prince of Condé and the
French insurgents, and the Spanish ambassador was indefatigable in
representing that whilst Spain had been the very first to acknowledge
the English Commonwealth, France had been constantly supporting the
Royalist power, and in 1653 he offered to seize Calais and make it over
to England as the price of the Commonwealth making peace with Spain,
and common cause against France.

[Illustration: THE PAINTED CHAMBER, WESTMINSTER.]

But there were motives which always weighed heavily with
Cromwell--religion and the honour of the English flag. He had an
enduring repugnance to the Catholic faith, and Spain was essentially
Catholic, and at the same time was maintaining an insolent domination
in the waters of the West Indies. The fame of her exclusion thence
of the flags of all other nations from her colonies, and of her many
atrocities committed on English colonies--as at St. Kitts in 1629,
at Tortuga in 1637, and Santa Cruz in 1650--was an irresistible
provocative to the combative spirit of the Protector. He demanded of
the Spanish ambassador that Spain should abolish the Inquisition, and
admit the English flag to the West Indian seas. De Leyda replied that
he was asking from his king his two eyes, and as Cromwell would not
concede either point, he demanded his passports in June, 1654, and took
his leave.

Cromwell lost no time in enforcing his views on Spain--as no doubt he
felt bound conscientiously to do on the great principle of suppressing
Popish cruelties, and spreading the triumph of Protestantism. He
sent Blake with a powerful fleet in October of that year into the
Mediterranean, and another powerful armament under Admirals Penn
and Venables, with secret orders which were not to be opened till
they arrived in certain latitudes. This fleet, whose preparation and
destination kept all Europe in wonder and anxiety, sailed west, and
was, in fact, destined for the West Indies. Blake, with his fleet,
passed the Straits of Gibraltar, and presented to the inhabitants
of the shores of the Mediterranean a spectacle such as they had
not seen since the days of the Crusades--a powerful English fleet.
It consisted of thirty sail, and its commission was to seize the
French vessels wherever it could find them, especially to seek out
and attack the fleet under the Duke of Guise. It was besides this to
demand satisfaction from various offending Powers. The Grand Duke of
Tuscany had, whilst Parliament was struggling with Charles, allowed
Prince Rupert to sell English prizes in his ports. The Pope was, as
the Antichrist, an object to be humbled, or at all events impressed
sensibly with the fact that England could at any moment visit him in
his capital, and that the British power was in hands both able and
ready to do it. There were many injuries to our merchantmen to be
avenged on the pirates of Tunis and Algiers. Cromwell's favourite
maxim was, that a ship of the line was the most effective ambassador.
Blake sailed along the Papal shores, exciting a deep terror, but he
passed on and cast anchor before Leghorn, and demanded compensation for
the offence against English honour and shipping, which was speedily
granted. Not being able to discover the Duke of Guise, he proceeded
to Algiers, and compelled the Dey to sign an engagement not to permit
further violences by his subjects on English vessels. Thence he sailed
to Tunis, and sent in the same demand, but the haughty barbarian of
that place sent him word to give a look at his ports of Porto Farina
and Goletta, with their fleets, and take them if he could. Blake sailed
away as if in despair, but suddenly returning, he entered the harbour
of Porto Farina, silencing the castle and batteries as he advanced,
and set fire to the whole fleet. Both Tunis and Tripoli now found it
the best policy to give the required engagement, and Blake left the
Mediterranean, having given those lawless pirates a specimen of the
power of England, which was not likely to be soon forgotten.

Blake had orders to look out for the next Spanish Plate fleet coming
home, and he lay for some time off Cadiz; but there was now at the
Court of Madrid Colonel Sexby, the Leveller, who had long been engaged
with Allen, Wildman, and the Anabaptists. He had gone over to the
Continent to raise some force either in conjunction with Charles or
with Spain, to invade England and kill Cromwell. Sexby revealed to the
Spaniards not only the object of Blake, but the real design of the
fleet under Venables and Penn. More than thirty sail were mustered by
the Spanish under Don Pablos de Contretras, which kept close watch on
Blake. Blake longed to attack them, but his orders did not sanction it;
and after hearing that the Plate fleet was detained at Carthagena, he
returned to England to refit, his ships being in a sorry plight, and
his men suffering from bad provisions.

During the absence of Blake, great excitement had been occasioned in
England by the news of dreadful atrocities committed on the Protestants
of the mountains of Piedmont. The Protestants called the Vaudois were
a race who, through all ages, had, in the obscurity of their Alpine
valleys, retained the doctrines of the Primitive Church, and had
set at defiance both the persuasions and the persecutions of Rome.
They were said to be descended from the ancient Waldenses, and were
a bold, independent race of mountaineers. It was pretended that the
Duke of Savoy, whose subjects they chiefly were, had granted them the
free exercise of their religion so long as they remained in their
ancient places of abode, the valleys of the sources of the Po, in the
Savoy Alps; but that being found in Lucerna and other places, these
were decided to be beyond their bounds, and they were ordered to be
conformed to the Church of Rome, or sell their lands and retire from
these territories. They refused to be driven from their homes on
account of their religion, and being always an eyesore to the Court
of Rome, the fury of persecution was let loose upon them. Friars were
sent amongst them to convert them, or to denounce their destruction;
they disregarded the friars, and then six regiments of soldiers were
sent to drive them into the mountains. Amongst these were two regiments
of refugee Irish. These fellows, ardent Catholics, smarting under the
Protestant scourge which had driven them from _their_ native land, did
their work _con amore_. From the district of Lucerna they were driven
into the higher Alpine fastnesses and pursued with the most terrible
ferocities of fanatic savagery, with fire and sword and extermination.
These horrors were aggravated by winter and famine, and the news of
this fearful butchery rang through Protestant England with a sensation
which revived all the memory of the Popish horrors in the Marian time.
There was one loud outcry for interference on their behalf. Press and
pulpit resounded with demands of sympathy and redress: the ministers of
all classes waited on Cromwell in a body to solicit his protection of
the Vaudois: the army in Scotland and Ireland sent up addresses. No one
appeared, however, more excited than Cromwell himself. He immediately
gave two thousand pounds, and appointed a day of general humiliation,
and a collection on their behalf, which was observed, and thirty-eight
thousand two hundred and twenty-eight pounds were speedily raised, and
sent by envoys to Geneva, to be conveyed to the sufferers. Nor did
Cromwell satisfy himself with having done this. The day of the arrival
of the news, June 3rd, 1655, he was about to sign a treaty of peace
with France; but he refused to sign it till he had seen whether the
French king and Mazarin would heartily unite with him in extorting
protection from the Duke of Savoy for the sufferers. Mazarin was loth
to stir in such a business, but Cromwell soon let him see that there
would be no peace for France unless he did, and he consented. Three
Latin letters were written by Milton at the order of the Protector to
different States of Europe, calling on them to co-operate for this
great end, and the mighty poet sent forth also his glorious sonnet,
commencing--

  "Avenge, O Lord, Thy slaughtered saints, whose bones
  Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold!"

which shall remain like a perpetual trumpet-blast through all time. The
astonished Duke of Savoy was soon compelled to give ample guarantee for
the religious liberty and security of his Protestant subjects.

The expedition to the West Indies, in its commencement, did not
meet with that success which the Protector generally experienced.
The fleet, consisting of sixty sail, was bound for Hispaniola, and
carried four thousand troops; and in Barbadoes and other English
settlements the force was augmented by volunteers, incited by promise
of plunder, to ten thousand. But these fresh forces were of the worst
possible description, being prisoners of a loose description shipped
thither; the commanders were divided in opinion, and the attack was so
wretchedly managed, that it failed with great loss. St. Domingo, which
they intended to take, was deserted on their approach, but instead of
entering it at once, they landed their forces forty miles off, and
marched them through woods towards the town. The heat of the weather,
the want of water, and the consequent disorder of the troops, prepared
them for what ensued. They were suddenly attacked in a thick wood, and
repulsed with great slaughter. Nothing could bring these ragamuffin
forces to renew the attempt, and the commanders sailed away, but
afterwards fell on Jamaica and took it. That island was then, however,
considered of so little value, that it did not satisfy the Government
for the loss of Hispaniola, and on their return Venables and Penn
were committed to the Tower. Notwithstanding this, however, Cromwell
determined to make secure the conquest of Jamaica, and extend, if
possible, the West Indian possessions. Vice-admiral Goodson was ordered
to take the command at Jamaica, and with him General Fortescue, Serle,
Governor of Barbadoes, and General Sedgwick, from New England, were
appointed Commissioners for the management of the island.

Cromwell's letters to these officers that autumn inform us that
there were twenty-eight men-of-war on that station, and people from
Barbadoes, from New England, and from England and Scotland, were being
sent to occupy and settle the island. A thousand Irish girls were sent
out. Cromwell pointed out to the Commissioners how advantageously the
island lay for keeping in check the Spanish Main, and the trade with
Peru and Carthagena. His comprehensive glance was alive to all the
advantages of the conquest, and his resolution engaged to make the
most of it. Whatever is the value of Jamaica now, we owe it to him.
He believed that he was not only serving the nation but religion by
humbling Spain. He wrote to the Commissioners, "The Lord Himself hath
a controversy with your enemies, even with that Roman Babylon of which
the Spaniard is the great underpropper. In that respect we fought the
Lord's battles, and in that respect the Scriptures are most plain."
Spain, of course, proclaimed war against England, to her further loss,
and the glory of Cromwell and his invincible Puritan admiral, Blake.
Penn and Venables resigned their commissions, and were set at liberty.
On October 24th, the day after the Spanish ambassador quitted London,
Cromwell signed the treaty of peace with France, by which Condé and the
French malcontents were to be excluded from the British dominions, and
Charles Stuart, his brother the Duke of York, Ormond, Hyde, and fifteen
others of the prince's adherents, were to be excluded from France.

Cromwell opened the year 1656 amid a multitude of plots and
discontents. The enemies of the Republic--Royalists, Anabaptists,
Levellers--were all busy in one quarter or another. Cleveland, the
poet, who had been taken prisoner nine years before by David Leslie, at
Newcastle, and expected to be hanged for his tirades against the Scots,
but had been dismissed by Leslie with the contemptuous words, "Let the
poor knave go and sell his ballads," was now seized by Colonel Haynes
for seditious writings at Norwich; but Cromwell also dismissed him with
like indifference.

At the close of the year the Jews, who had been forbidden England,
hopeful from the more liberal mercantile notions of Cromwell,
petitioned to be allowed to reside in this country, under certain
conditions. Cromwell was favourable to the petition, which was
presented by Manasseh Ben Israel, a leading Portuguese Jew, of
Amsterdam, though his Council was against it on Scriptural grounds;
but Cromwell silently took them under his protection. There was also
a Committee of Trade in the House, under the earnest advocacy of the
Protector, for promoting commerce. Meanwhile, Cromwell vigorously
prosecuted the war against Spain. Blake and Montague were ordered to
the coast of Spain, to destroy the shipping in the harbour of Cadiz,
and to see whether Gibraltar could not be seized, which Cromwell,
in his letters to the admirals, pointed out as admirably adapted
to promote and protect our trade, and keep the Spaniard in check.
Yet even this project was not carried out without trouble from the
Malcontents. Some of the captains of the fleet, tampered with by
Charles's emissaries, declared their disapproval of the enterprise,
contending that we, and not the Spaniards, were in fault. Cromwell
sent down Desborough to them, who weeded them out, and put others
in their places. Blake and Montague then set sail, and reached the
neighbourhood of Cadiz and Gibraltar in April, but found their defences
too strong; they then proceeded to Lisbon, and brought the treaty with
the Portuguese to a termination, and afterwards made an alarming visit
to Malaga, and to Sallee, to curb the Moors. In July they returned to
the Tagus, and in September a part of the fleet, under Captain Stayner,
fell in with and defeated a fleet of eight sail, coming from America.
He destroyed four of the vessels, and captured two, containing treasure
worth from two hundred and fifty thousand pounds to three hundred
thousand pounds.

Before this treasure reached England, Cromwell, who had exhausted his
finances to fit out the fleet and prosecute the war with Spain, was
compelled to call a Parliament, not only to obtain supplies, but to
take measures for the security of the nation against the designs of the
Royalists and their coadjutors, the Levellers. This met on the 17th of
September, 1656. But Cromwell did not allow all the members elected to
sit in this Parliament, any more than in the former ones. He knew well
that his Government and such a Parliament could not exist together.
The members elected, therefore, were not admitted to sit except they
had a certificate of their approval by the Council from the Chancery
clerk. By the withholding of such certificates nearly one-fourth of
the members were excluded. This created a terrible outcry of invasion
of Parliamentary privileges. Haselrig, Scott, Ashley Cooper, and many
other violent Republicans were excluded. The excluded members signed an
indignant protest, and circulated it in all parts of the country, with
the list of their names appended.

The Protector opened this purged Parliament with a very long speech,
which was one of the most remarkable speeches ever addressed to
Parliament by any ruler. It displayed a depth and breadth of policy,
an active, earnest spirit of national business, a comprehension of
and desire for the establishment of such principles and prosperous
measures, a recognition of the rights of the whole world as affected by
the conduct of this one great nation, which have no parallel for true
Christian philosophy since the days of Alfred. We have since then had
great and valiant warriors, our Edwards and Henrys, but not a man who
combined with the highest military genius and success a genuine, lofty,
and loving Christian sentiment, and an earnest business-like mind like
Cromwell. He at once laid down the principle that all hostility to
the Commonwealth originated in the hatred of its free and Christian
character; and he showed that all these enemies, of whatever theories,
had united themselves with Spain, which was the grand adversary of
this country, and had been so from the Reformation, because she was
bigotedly wedded to the system of Popery, with all its monks, Jesuits,
and inquisitors. He recapitulated its attempts to destroy Elizabeth and
her religion; the vain attempts of the Long Parliament to make peace
with it, because in any treaty where the Pope could grant absolution,
you were bound and they were loose; the murder of Ascham, the Long
Parliament's ambassador, and no redress obtained: and now he informed
them, and offered to produce the proofs, that Charles Stuart had
put himself in league with Spain, and, still more strange, that the
Levellers, pretending to demand a freer and more Republican Government,
had entered into the unnatural alliance with Charles and Spain to
murder him and destroy the Commonwealth.

[Illustration: ADMIRAL BLAKE.]

All this was perfectly true. Sexby, the Leveller, had gone over to
Charles, and thence to Spain, to solicit aid towards a Popish invasion,
offering first to kill Cromwell himself. He obtained forty thousand
crowns for the use of his party, and a promise of six thousand men when
they were ready to land in England, who should wait in Flanders. Some
of this money, when remitted to the accomplices in England, Cromwell
intercepted, as he assured the Parliament. Sexby followed to accomplish
his design of assassinating the Protector, as we shall find anon.
Cromwell proceeded to remind Parliament of the insurrections excited
by Charles's emissaries, Wagstaff and Rochester, and the conspiracy
of Gerard and Vowel, the outbreaks at Salisbury, Rufford Abbey, and
a score of other places; of Wildman taken in the act of penning his
call to rebellion, of the design to destroy Monk in Scotland, and of
similar instigations in the army in Ireland; of the plottings of the
Lord Taaffe with Hyde at Antwerp; and, finally, that there had been an
attempt to blow him up with gunpowder in his own house, and an officer
of the Guard had been engaged to seize him in his bed. These last he
characterised as "little fiddling attempts not worth naming," and which
he regarded no more than he did "a mouse nibbling at his heel." But
he told them that the animus altogether was of that un-English and
un-Christian character, that it became them to fight manfully against
it, and though they were low in funds, they should still put forth all
their energies to crush this malignant power of Spain, whence the other
enemies drew their strength. He informed them that France was well
disposed to them, and that all the rest of the world was at peace with
them.

He then assured them that the major-generals had done good service
in every quarter, that the improvement of the ministry had become
manifest through the exertions of the Commissioners, and that the
Presbyterians had themselves expressed their approbation of what had
been done in that respect. He strongly recommended to them further
equalisation and improvement of the laws, so that every one should have
cheap and easy justice, and that the purification of the public morals
should be carefully attended to--"the Cavalier interest, the badge and
character of continuing profaneness, disorder, and wickedness in all
places," having worked such deplorable effects. "Nobility and gentry
of this nation!" he exclaimed; "in my conscience it was a shame to be
a Christian, within these fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen years in this
nation; whether 'in Cæsar's house' or elsewhere! It was a shame, it
was a reproach to a man, and the badge of 'Puritan' was put on it." As
they would maintain nobility and gentry, he told them they must not
suffer these classes "to be patronisers or countenancers of debauchery
and disorders! And therefore," he concluded, "I pray and beseech you,
in the name of Christ, show yourselves to be men; quit yourselves
like men! It doth not infer any reproach if you do show yourselves
men--_Christian_ men, which alone will make you quit yourselves."

In the early days of the sitting of this Parliament--that is, in the
beginning of October--came the news of Stayner's victory over the
Spanish Plate fleet, and the capture of the treasure; and in the
beginning of November the money arrived, and thirty-eight waggon-loads
of silver were sent up from Portsmouth to the Mint to be coined, amid
universal rejoicings. Before the year closed, also, Cromwell, by the
help of Mazarin, effected a temporary separation of interests between
Charles Stuart and the Duke of York; but it did not last long. But by
this time Colonel Sexby was in England, watching his opportunity to
murder Cromwell. He was daring enough to introduce himself amongst the
Protector's escort in Hyde Park, and he and his accomplices had filed
nearly through the hinges of the gates through which the Protector was
accustomed to pass, so that they might create a sudden obstruction and
confusion, during which Sexby might shoot Cromwell. But not being able
to succeed to his mind, Sexby returned to Flanders to consult with the
royal party, and left sixteen hundred pounds in the hands of one Miles
Sindercomb, a cashiered quartermaster, who was to carry out the bloody
design. Sindercomb took a house in Hammersmith, where the road by
which the Protector passed to and from Hampton Court was very narrow,
and there he prepared an "infernal machine," consisting of a battery
of seven blunderbusses, which was to blow Cromwell's coach to atoms
as it passed; but the machine did not answer, or could not be used
from the crowd of Guards; and then Sindercomb resolved to set fire to
Whitehall by night, and kill Cromwell as he came out in the confusion.
He had bribed a great number of accomplices, many of them in the palace
itself, and had probably a considerable number of fellow conspirators,
for he had a hundred swift horses in stables in the neighbourhood, on
which he and his confederates might escape, the deed being done. All
this was with the privity and approbation of Charles, Clarendon, and
the rest of that Court, and shows the state of moral principle in it,
and which, after the Restoration, broke over England like a pestilence.
They were constantly dabbling in attempts at assassination, and in the
Clarendon papers themselves we have Clarendon's own repeated avowals of
his satisfaction in them. He styles these base assassins "brave fellows
and honest gentlemen," and thinks it a pity that any agent of the
Protectorate abroad should not have his throat cut.

But Sindercomb's wholesale bribery led to the detection of the plot.
Amongst those tampered with was Henry Toope, a Life Guardsman, who
revealed the scheme. On the 8th of January, 1657, Sindercomb attended
public worship in the evening at Whitehall Chapel. Toope, Cecil--who
had been engaged in the construction of the infernal machine--and
Sindercomb were arrested, and having been seen about General Lambert's
seat, it was examined, and there was found a basketful of the most
inflammable materials--strong enough, it was said, to burn through
stones--and a lighted slow-burning match, calculated to reach the
combustibles about midnight. There were found also holes bored in the
wainscot, to facilitate the communication of the fire, and of draughts
to encourage it. Toope and Cecil gave all the information that they
could, but Sindercomb was obstinately silent, and being found guilty by
a jury of high treason, was condemned to die on Saturday, the 13th. But
the evening before, his sister taking leave of him, contrived to carry
some poison to him, and the next morning he was found dead in his bed.

Parliament adjourned a week for the trial and examination of the plot,
and appointed a day of thanksgiving on Friday, the 23rd. But though
Sindercomb was dead, Sexby was alive, and as murderously inclined as
ever, and to prevent interrupting other affairs, we may now follow him
also to his exit. Though neither fleet nor money was ready to follow
up the blow if successful, the gloomy Anabaptist once more set out for
England with a tract in his possession, called "Killing no Murder,"
which was no doubt his own composition, though Colonel Titus, after
the Restoration, claimed the merit of it. This tract, taking it as a
settled fact that it was a noble piece of patriotism and virtue to kill
a tyrant, pronounced Cromwell a tyrant, and therefore declared that it
was a noble deed to kill him. It eulogised Sindercomb as the Brutus
or Cato of the time. Sexby, disguised like a countryman, and with a
large beard, travelled about distributing this pamphlet, but he was
tracked, discovered, and lodged in the Tower. There he either went mad
or pretended it, made a voluntary confession, found to be intended only
to mislead, and, falling ill, died in the following January.

One of the first things which this second Parliament of the
Protectorate did was to abolish the authority of the major-generals.
Cromwell had assured them that they were doing good service in
suppressing disturbances, and he told them so again; but there were
many complaints of their rigour, especially of levying heavy fines on
the Royalists; and Parliament, on the 29th of January, voted their
withdrawal. The next matter, which occupied them for above three
months, was the case of James Naylor, the mad Quaker, whom they
sentenced to a punishment that was simply diabolical in its inhumanity.
Before this was settled, Parliament entered on a far more momentous
question--no less than whether they should not make Cromwell king.

Those who take an unfavourable view of the character of Cromwell, who
regard him as a base mixture of hypocrisy and ambition, accuse him of
having planned and manœuvred for this object; but there appears no
evidence of this, but rather that the continual uneasiness created by
the Royalist and Anabaptist assassins led many seriously to consider
the peculiar position of the nation, and the great dangers to which
it was exposed. There was nothing between the nation and all its old
confusions but the life of one clear-headed, and strong-hearted, and
strong-handed man, a life which was environed with perils. They deemed
these dangers would be diminished by altering the form of government,
and returning to a House of Lords and a Monarchy--but not to the
corrupt and murder-seeking Stuarts. Had they their honest and earnest
Protector converted into a king, and the succession settled on his
family, the nation would jealously guard his life, and the hopes of the
exiled family be diminished by the prospect of a successor of his own
blood, even if he fell.

On the 23rd of February, 1657, suddenly Sir Christopher Pack, late
Lord Mayor of London, craved leave to read a paper, which turned out
to be drawn up in the form of a Remonstrance from Parliament to the
Protector on the state of the country, and proposing a new form of
government, including a House of Lords and himself as king. No sooner
did the officers of the army, who had just lost their pro-consular
dignity, and the other Republicans hear the proposition, than they
rose, seized Pack, and hurried him from his seat to the bar of the
House as a traitor. But those who were friendly to the proposition rose
also in his defence, and after much commotion, the paper was not only
read but debated. From this moment this subject occupied the House,
with little intermission, till the 9th of May, or between two and three
months. The title of the paper was changed from "A humble Address and
Remonstrance," to "The humble Petition and Advice of the Parliament of
England, Scotland, and Ireland." Its clauses were debated and carried
one by one by a majority of a hundred to forty-four, and on the last
day of the debate, March 26th, the blank left for the word king was
filled in by a majority of one hundred and twenty-three to sixty-two.
On the 31st of March an address was carried to the Protector at
Whitehall by the Speaker and the House, praying that his Highness would
be pleased to adopt their resolutions, and take upon him the state and
title of king.

Unquestionably, this was the greatest temptation which had ever been
thrown in the way of Cromwell. To have made his way by his energy
and talent from the simple condition of a gentleman-farmer to the
Dictatorship of the nation, and now to have the crown and succession
of these great kingdoms offered to him and his family by Parliament,
was a matter which would not have been much opposed by an ordinary man.
But Cromwell was not of a character lightly to accept even a crown.
He showed clearly that he had a strong inclination to place himself
and his posterity in that august position, but he knew too well that
the honour had also its dangers and its black side. His acceptance
would at once darken his fair fame by settling it in the conviction
of three-fourths of the kingdom that he had only fought and put down
the Stuarts to set up himself. There was, moreover, a formidable
party opposed to kingship, and especially decided against it were his
generals and the army. A deputation of a hundred of them had waited
on him on the 27th, with an address on the subject, in which they
assured him that such a thing would be "a scandal to the people, would
prove more than hazardous to his person, and would pave the way for
the return of Charles Stuart." Let the nation but become once more
accustomed to the name of king, and it would recall the ancient race on
the first opportunity.

Cromwell felt too well the truth of these representations, and
therefore he required of the House time to reflect on their important
offer, though he had watched carefully the progress of the debate.
He desired that a committee might be appointed to confer with him
on all the articles of the new Instrument of Government proposed to
him. A committee of ninety-nine persons was accordingly appointed,
amongst them Whitelock, Glynn, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Broghill,
Nathaniel Fiennes, one of the Keepers of the Great Seal, etc. They had
many meetings, but Cromwell, instead of giving his opinion upon the
subject, desired to know their reasons for recommending this change.
The chief reasons advanced were, the ancient habits of the nation; that
the people were proud of the honour of their monarchs; that that form
of government had prevailed from the most ancient period, and what no
doubt weighed greatly with them was that, by the 9th of Edward IV. and
the 3rd of Henry VII., it was enacted that all who took up arms for or
obeyed the king _de facto_, were held guiltless; but not so they who
served a protector _de facto_.

Cromwell admitted that this was a matter of precaution which demanded
serious consideration, and that he regarded the proposal to him as "a
very singular honour and favour," and would return such an answer as
God should give him, or as he should arrive at through discussion
with them; but that his conscience yet was not clear upon the subject,
and they must examine the grounds for it further. Whitelock says the
Protector often advised about this matter of the kingship, and other
great businesses, with a select number of the committee--Lord Broghill,
Mr. Pierpoint, brother of the Earl of Kingston, Thurloe, Whitelock,
and Sir Charles Wolseley,--and would be shut up three or four hours
together, and none else were admitted to him. He sometimes would be
very cheerful with them, and, laying aside his greatness, would be
exceedingly familiar; and, by way of diversion, would make verses and
play at crambo with them, when every one had to try his fancy. He
commonly called for tobacco, pipes, and a caudle, and would now and
then take tobacco himself. Then he would fall again to his serious and
great business of the kingship.

They were interrupted, however, in their colloquies, by a fresh
outbreak of the Fifth-Monarchy men. These religionists, who admitted
the idea of no king but Christ, were especially exasperated at this
attempt to set up an earthly king, and determined to rise and prevent
it. They fixed Thursday, the 9th of April, for the rising. They issued
a proclamation called "A Standard set up," ordered Mile End as the
place of rendezvous, and, headed by one Venner, a wine merchant, and
other persons of the City, calculated on introducing the reign of
the Millennium. They encouraged each other, says Thurloe, with the
exhortation that though they were but worms, yet they should be made
instrumental to thresh mountains. They spoke, he says, great words of
the reign of the saints, and the beautiful kingdom of holies which they
were to erect, and talked of taking away all taxes, excise, custom, and
tithes. They had banners painted with the device of the lion of the
tribe of Judah, and the motto, "Who shall raise him up?"

But the wide-awake Thurloe had watched all their motions. That morning
at daybreak he marched a troop of horse down upon the meeting at
Mile End, seized Venner and twenty other ringleaders, with chests of
arms, many copies of the proclamation, and the famous war-flag of
the lion-couchant of Judah. Major-General Harrison, Admiral Lawson,
Colonel Rich, and others of the leaders of the Fifth-Monarchy men were
also seized, and with these men shut up in the Tower, but no further
punished. Venner ended his days for a similar attempt in the reign of
Charles II.

[Illustration: CROMWELL REFUSING THE CROWN. (_See p._ 142.)]

The discussions of Cromwell and the committee were resumed, and,
without coming to any conclusion, on Tuesday, the 21st of April, the
Protector suddenly left the consideration of the kingship, and examined
the other articles of the Instrument. The chief of these were, that
men of all classes should be capable of electing and being elected to
Parliament or to offices of State, excepting Papists and Royalists,
styled Malignants, at least such Royalists as had been in arms against
the Parliament since 1642, unless they had since given signal proof
of repentance by bearing arms for the Parliament; all who had been
concerned in the Irish rebellion since 1650, or in any plot in England
or Wales since December, 1653; all in Scotland who had been in arms
against the Parliament of England or Parliament of Scotland, except
such as had lived peaceably since the 1st of March, 1652. Besides those
thus excluded, all freeholders of counties, and all burgesses and
citizens of towns--constituting in fact a household suffrage--could
vote for members of Parliament.

All who were atheistical, blasphemous, married to Popish wives, or who
trained children, or suffered their children to be trained in Popery,
or consented that their children should marry Papists, who scoffed at
religion or at religious people, who denied the Scriptures to be God's
Word, who denied the Sacraments, ministers, or magistracy to be divine
ordinances (like the Fifth-Monarchy men), who were Sabbath-breakers,
swearers, haunters of taverns and alehouses--in short, all who were
unchristian men--were excluded from electing or being elected. All
public preachers were excluded, as better employed in their own
vocation, but at the recommendation of Cromwell this was restricted to
such preachers as had fixed livings, and did not affect mere voluntary
occasional preachers, like himself and many other officers.

A second House of Parliament was to be organised, to consist of
not less than forty members, nor more than seventy, who were to be
nominated by the Protector, and approved by the Commons. It was not
to be called the House of Lords, nor the Upper, but the Other House.
The same qualifications and disqualifications applied to it as to the
Commons. All judges and public officers, as well as those of the army
and navy, were to be approved of by the two Houses; or if Parliament
were not sitting, by the Council. Another article settled the revenue,
and all relating to it and--the most important one to the Protector--he
was authorised to name his successor before his death. These matters
being settled, and the Instrument revised by Parliament, on the 8th of
May Cromwell summoned the House to meet him in the Banqueting-house,
Whitehall, where he ratified the rest of the Instrument, but gave them
this answer as to the kingship--that having taken all the circumstances
into consideration, both public and private, he did not feel at liberty
in his conscience to accept the government with the title of king;
that whatever was not of faith was sin; and that not being satisfied
that he could accept it in that form to the real advantage of the
nation, he should not be an honest man if he did not firmly--but
with every acknowledgment of the infinite obligations they had laid
him under--decline it. This was his answer to that great and weighty
business.

Whitelock assures us that Cromwell at one time had been satisfied in
his private judgment that he might accept the royal title, but that the
formidable opposition of the officers of the army had shown him that it
might lead to dangerous and deplorable results, and that therefore he
believed it better to waive it. Whatever the motives, whether those of
conscience or prudence, or both, inciting the Protector, he surmounted
his temptation, and decided with the firmness characteristic of him.
Major-Generals Whalley, Goffe, and Berry are said to have been for
his acceptance of the crown; Desborough and Fleetwood were strenuous
against it, but Lambert, temporising, appearing to approve whilst he
was secretly opposing, and at length coming out strong against it, was
the only one whom Cromwell visited with his displeasure. He dismissed
him, but with a pension of two thousand pounds a year, and Lambert
retired to Wimbledon, where it had been happy for him had he remained
in quiet.

On the 26th of June, 1657, the grand ceremony of the inauguration
of the Protector as the head of this new Government took place in
Westminster Hall. The Protector went thither from Whitehall by
water, and entered the hall in the following manner:--First went his
gentlemen, then a herald, next the aldermen, another herald, then
Norroy, the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, and the Great Seal
carried by Commissioner Fiennes, then Garter, and after him the Earl
of Warwick, with the sword borne before the Protector, bareheaded,
the Lord Mayor carrying the City sword at his left hand. Being seated
in his chair, on the left hand of it stood the Lord Mayor and the
Dutch ambassador; on the right the French ambassador and the Earl of
Warwick; next behind him stood his son Richard and his sons-in-law
Claypole and Fleetwood, and the Privy Council. Upon a lower platform
stood the Lord Viscount Lisle, Lord Montague, and Whitelock, with drawn
swords. As the Protector stood under the cloth of State, the Speaker
presented him with a robe of purple velvet, lined with ermine, which
the Speaker and Whitelock put upon him. Then the Speaker presented him
with a Bible richly gilt and bossed, girt the sword about his Highness,
and delivered into his hand the sceptre of massy gold. Having done
this, he made the Protector an address, and finally administered the
oath. Then Mr. Manton, one of the chaplains, in prayer recommended
his Highness, the Parliament, the Council, the forces by land and
sea, and the whole Government and the people of the three nations to
the blessing and protection of God. On that the trumpets sounded, the
heralds proclaimed his Highness Protector of England, Scotland, and
Ireland; and again the trumpets sounded, and the people shouted, "God
save the Protector!" This closed the ceremony, and the Protector and
his train returned to Whitehall as they came.

The ceremony, it is clear, fell little short of a royal ceremony, with
the exception of the crown and the anointing. Charles Stuart might have
used the words of James of Scotland to Johnny Armstrong--"What lacks
this knave that a king should have?" With the exception of the name of
king, Cromwell, the farmer, was become the monarch of Great Britain and
Ireland. He had all the power, and inhabited the palaces of kings. He
had the right to place his son in the supreme seat after him; and one
whole House of Parliament was of his own creation, while the other was
purged to his express satisfaction.

Cromwell had not enjoyed his new dignity more than about six weeks,
when he received the news of the death of his great Admiral Blake.
His health had been for some time decaying. Scurvy and dropsy were
fast destroying him, yet to the last he kept his command at sea, and
finished his career with one of the most brilliant victories which had
ever been achieved. During the winter and spring he maintained the
blockade of Cadiz, but learning that the Plate fleet had taken refuge
in the harbour of Santa Cruz, in the Island of Teneriffe, he made sail
thither. He found the fleet drawn up under the guns of seven batteries
in the harbour, which was shaped like a horseshoe. The merchantmen,
ten in number, were ranged close inshore, and the galleons, in number
and of greater force than any of his own ships, placed in front of
them. It was a sight--seven forts, a castle, and sixteen ships--to have
daunted any man but Blake. Don Diego Darques, the Spanish admiral, was
so confident of the impregnable nature of his position, that he sent
Blake word to come and take his vessels. "But," says Clarendon, "the
illustrious genius of Blake was admired even by the hostile faction of
his countrymen. He was the first man that declined the old track, and
made it manifest that the science might be obtained in less time than
was imagined; and despised those rules which had been long in practice,
to keep his ship and men out of danger, which had been held in former
times a point of great ability and circumspection, as if the principal
art requisite in the captain of a ship had been to be sure to come safe
home again; the first man who brought the ships to contemn castles on
shore, which had been thought ever very formidable; the first that
infused that portion of courage into the seamen, by making them see
what mighty things they could do if they were resolved, and taught them
to fight in fire as well as upon water."

Blake did not hesitate. The wind was blowing into the harbour on the
20th of April, 1657; and trusting to the omnipotent instincts of
courage, he dashed into the harbour at eight o'clock in the morning.
Stayner, who had so lately defeated the Spanish Plate fleet, and
destroyed in it the viceroy of Peru, now led the way in a frigate, and
Blake followed with the larger ships. His fleet altogether amounted
to twenty-five sail. It was received with a hurricane of fire from
the batteries on both sides the harbour and the fleet in front; but
discharging his artillery right and left, he advanced, silencing the
forts, and soon driving the seamen from the front line of galleons into
the merchant ships. For four hours the terrible encounter continued,
the British exposed to a deadly hail of ball from the shore as well
as the ships, but still pressing on till the Spanish ships were all
in flames, and reduced to ashes, the troops in them having escaped to
land. The question, then, was how to escape out of the harbour, and
from the fury of the exasperated Spaniards on the land around. But
Blake drew his ships out of reach of the forts and, as if Providence
had wrought in his favour--as Blake firmly believed He did--the wind
about sunset veered suddenly round, and the fleet sailed securely out
to sea.

The fame of this unparalleled exploit rang throughout Europe, and
raised the reputation of England for naval prowess to the greatest
pitch. Unhappily, death was fast claiming the undaunted admiral. He
was suffering at the moment that he won this brilliant triumph, and,
sailing homewards, he expired (August 17, 1657) on board his ship, the
_St. George_, just as it entered the harbour of Plymouth. Besides the
high encomium of Clarendon, he received that of a writer of his own
party and time, in the narrative of the "Perfect Politician"--"He was
a man most wholly devoted to his country's service, resolute in his
undertakings, and most faithful in his performances of them. With him
valour seldom missed its reward, nor cowardice its punishment. When
news was brought him of a metamorphosis in the State at home, he would
then encourage the seamen to be most vigilant abroad; for, said he, it
was not our duty to mind State affairs, but to keep foreigners from
fooling us. In all his expeditions the wind seldom deceived him, but
mostly in the end stood his friend, especially in his last undertaking
in the Canary Islands. To the last he lived a single life, never being
espoused to any but his country's quarrels. As he lived bravely, he
died gloriously, and was buried in Henry VII.'s Chapel, yet enjoying
at this time no other monument but what is raised by his valour, which
time itself can hardly deface."

During this summer, Oliver had not only been gloriously engaged at
sea, but he had been busy on land. He was in league with Louis XIV. of
France to drive the Spaniards from the Netherlands. The French forces
were conducted by the celebrated Marshal Turenne, and the Spanish by
Don John of Austria, and the French insurgent chief, the Prince of
Condé. Cromwell sent over six thousand men under Sir John Reynolds, who
landed near Boulogne on the 13th and 14th of May. They were supported
by a strong fleet under Admiral Montague, the late colleague of Blake,
which cruised on the coast. The first united operations were to be
the reduction of Gravelines, Mardyke, and Dunkirk, the first of which
places, when taken, was to belong to France, the two latter to England.
If Gravelines were taken first, it was to be put into possession of
England, as a pledge for the conveyance of the two latter. This bold
demand on the part of Cromwell astonished his French allies, and was
violently opposed by the French cabinets, who told Louis that Dunkirk
once in the hands of the English, would prove another Calais to France.
But without Dunkirk, which Cromwell deemed necessary as a check to
the Royalist invasions from the Netherlands, with which he was
continually threatened, no aid was to be had from the Protector, and it
was conceded, whence came the angry declaration from the French, that
"Mazarin feared Cromwell more than the Devil."

The French Court endeavoured to employ the English forces on other work
than the reduction of these stipulated places. The young French king
went down to the coast to see the British army, and having expressed
much admiration of them recommended them to lay siege to Montmédy,
Cambray, and other towns in the interior. Cromwell was, however, too
much of a man of business and a general to suffer this. He ordered
his ambassador, Sir William Lockhart (who had married the Protector's
niece, Miss Rosina Sewster) to remonstrate, and insist on the attack
of Gravelines, Mardyke, and Dunkirk. He told the ambassador that to
talk of Cambray and interior towns as guarantees was "parcels of words
for children. If they will give us garrisons, let them give us Calais,
Dieppe, and Boulogne." He bade him tell the Cardinal that if he meant
any good from the treaty with him, he must keep it, and go to work on
Dunkirk, when, if necessary, he would send over two thousand more of
his veterans. This had the necessary effect: Mardyke was taken after
a siege of three days only, and put into the hands of the English on
the 23rd of September. The attack was then turned on Gravelines; but
the enemy opened their sluices, and laid all the country round under
water. On this Turenne, probably glad of the delay, put his troops
at that early period into winter quarters. During this time attempts
were made to corrupt the English officers by the Stuart party. The
Duke of York was in the Spanish army with the English Royalist exiles,
and communications were opened as of mere civility with the English
at Mardyke. As the English officers took their rides between Mardyke
and Dunkirk they were frequently met by the duke's officers, and
conversation took place. Sir John Reynolds was imprudent enough to pay
his respects to the duke on these occasions, and he was soon ordered
to London to answer for his conduct; but both he and a Colonel White,
who was evidence against him, were lost on the 5th of December on
the Goodwin Sands. The Duke of York now made a treacherous attack on
Mardyke, but was repulsed, and the affairs of Charles II. appeared so
hopeless, that Burnet asserts, and the same thing is asserted also in
the "Orrery Letters," that he was now mean enough to offer to marry one
of Cromwell's daughters, and thus settle all differences, but that
Cromwell told Lord Orrery that Charles was so debauched that he would
undo them all. Cromwell, indeed, just now married his two remaining
single daughters, Frances and Mary, to the Lords Rich and Falconberg.
Frances married Lord Rich, the son of the Earl of Warwick, and Mary
Lord Falconberg, of the Yorkshire family of Bellasis, formerly so
zealous for the royal party.

[Illustration: _By permission of the Corporation of Liverpool._

CROMWELL REFUSING THE CROWN, 1657.

FROM THE PICTURE BY J. SCHEX IN THE WALKER ART GALLERY, LIVERPOOL.]

[Illustration: ARREST OF CONSPIRATORS AT THE "MERMAID." (_See p._ 147.)]

The year 1658 opened by the meeting of the new Parliament. It was a
critical venture, and not destined to succeed better than the former
ones. To constitute the new House, called the Other House, Cromwell
had been obliged to remove to it most of the best-affected members of
the Commons. To comply with the "Petition and Advice," he had been
forced to admit into the Commons many who had been expelled from
former Parliaments for their violent Republicanism. The consequences
at once appeared. The Other House consisted of sixty-three members. It
included six of the ancient Peers--the Earls of Manchester, Warwick,
Mulgrave, Falconberg, Saye and Sele, and Lord Eure. But none but Eure
and Falconberg took their seats, not even the Earl of Warwick, whose
son and heir, Lord Rich, had just married the Protector's daughter. He
and the others objected to sit in the same House with General Hewson,
who had once been a shoemaker, and Pride, who had been a drayman.
Amongst the members appeared a considerable number of the officers
of the army, and the chief Ministers of State. These included the
Protector's two sons, Richard and Henry Cromwell, Fiennes, Keeper of
the Great Seal, Lisle, Fleetwood, Monk, Whalley, Whitelock, Barkstead,
Pride, Hewson, Goffe, Sir Christopher Pack, alderman of London, General
Claypole, St. John, and other old friends of the Protector, besides
the lords already mentioned. As they had been called by writs, which
were copies of the royal writs used on such occasions, the members
immediately assumed that it made them peers, and gave them a title
to hereditary rank. They were addressed by Cromwell in his opening
speech as "My Lords, and Gentlemen of the House of Commons." His speech
was very short, for he complained of indisposition, the truth being,
that the life of excitement, struggle, and incessant care for twenty
years had undermined his iron frame, and he was breaking down; but
he congratulated them on the internal peace attained, warned them of
danger from without, and exhorted them to unity and earnestness for the
public good. Fiennes, after the Protector's retirement, addressed them
in a much longer speech on the condition of the nation.

But all hopes of this nondescript Parliament were vain. The Other House
no sooner met apart than they began inquiring into their privileges,
and, assuming that they were not merely the Other House, but the Upper
House, sent a message, after the fashion of the ancient peers by the
judges, to desire a conference with the Commons on the subject of a
fast. The Commons, however, who were by the new Instrument made judges
of the Other House, being authorised to approve or disapprove of it,
showed that they meant the Other House to be not an Upper House, but
a lower House than themselves. They claimed to be the representatives
of the people; but who, they asked, had made the Other House a House
of Peers, who had given them an authority and a negative voice over
_them?_ The first thing which the Commons did was to claim the powers
of the new Instrument, and admit the most violent of the excluded
members, for none were to be shut out except rebels or Papists.
Haselrig, who had been appointed one of the Other House, refused to sit
in it; but having been elected to the Commons, he appeared there, and
demanded his oath. Francis Bacon, the Clerk of the House, replied that
he dared not give it him; but Haselrig insisted, and being supported
by his party, he at length obtained his oath, and took his seat. It
was then soon seen that the efficient Government members were gone to
the Other House, and Haselrig, Scott, Robinson, and the most fiery
members of the Republican section now carried things their own way, and
commenced a course of vehement opposition. Scott ripped up the whole
history of the House of Lords during the struggle of the Commonwealth.
He said--"The Lords would not join in the trial of the king. We called
the king to our bar, and arraigned him. He was for his obstinacy and
guilt condemned and executed, and so let all the enemies of God perish!
The House of Commons had a good conscience in it. Upon this the Lords'
House adjourned, and never met again; and it was hoped the people
of England should never again have a negative upon them." But the
hostility of this party was not to the Other House merely, it was to
the Protectorate itself, which it declaimed against, and not only in
the House, but out of it, setting on foot petitions for the abolition
of the Protectorate by the Commons. Whitelock remarks that this course
boded the speedy dissolution of the House. Cromwell summoned both
Houses to Whitehall January 25th, only five days after their meeting,
and in a long and powerful speech remonstrated with the Commons on
their frantic proceedings. He took a wide view of the condition of
Europe, of the peace and Protestantism of England, and asked them
what were their hopes, if, by their decision, they brought back the
dissolute and bigoted Court which they had dismissed. He declared that
the man who could contemplate the restoration of such a state of things
must have the heart of a Cain; that he would make England the scene of
a bloodier civil war than they had had before. He prayed, therefore,
that whoever should seek to break the peace, God Almighty might root
that man out of the nation; and he believed that the wrath of God would
prosecute such a man to his grave, if not to hell.

But all argument was lost on that fiery section. Scott and Haselrig
continued their assaults on the whole frame of government more
strenuously than ever; and on the 4th of February, fifteen days from
the meeting of Parliament, amid the confused bickering of Scott and
Haselrig with the wearied House, arrived the Usher of the Black Rod to
summon the members to the Other House, which he called boldly the House
of Lords. Haselrig, in the midst of his harangue, was reminded of the
presence of the Black Rod. "What care I for Black Rod?" he exclaimed,
but he was compelled to obey.

The Protector expressed the intensity of his disappointment that the
very men who had importuned him to assume the burden of Government, and
even the title of king, should now, instead of attending to the urgent
business of the nation, endeavour violently to destroy that Government,
and throw everything into chaos. "I can say in the presence of God," he
continued, "in comparison with Whom we are but like poor creeping ants
upon the earth, I would have been glad to have lived under a wood-side,
to have kept a flock of sheep rather than have undertaken such a
Government as this. But undertaking it by the advice and petition of
you, I did look that you, who had offered it unto me, should make it
good." He added, "And if this be the end of your sitting, and this be
your carriage, I think it high time to put an end to your sitting; and
I do dissolve this Parliament." And thus closed the last Parliament of
Cromwell, after a session of a fortnight.

Having dismissed his Parliament, Cromwell had to take summary measures
with the host of conspirators whom his refractory Parliaments had only
tended to encourage. Since the "Killing no Murder" of Sexby, there
were numbers who were by no means careful to conceal that they loved
these doctrines, and persuaded the discontented that to kill Cromwell
was to cure all the evils of the nation. The Royalists, on their
part, who had always been advocates and practisers of assassination,
were more than ever on the alert. In the beginning of the year 1658
the plan of an invasion was completed. The King of Spain furnished
one hundred and fifty thousand crowns towards fitting it out: arms,
ammunition, and transports were purchased in Holland, and the port of
Ostend was to be the place of embarkation. The greatest drawback to
the hopes of the Royalists were the dissipated and debauched habits of
the king. Ormond, writing to Hyde, observed that he feared Charles's
immoderate delight in empty, effeminate, and vulgar conversation was
become an irresistible part of his nature, and would never suffer him
to animate his own designs and the actions of others with that spirit
which was necessary for his quality, and much more for his fortunes.
Yet this was the man on whom their hopes of the restoration of monarchy
were built. Ormond and O'Neil ventured to England in disguise, in
order to ascertain what were really the resources and the spirit of
the Royalists in the country. Ormond had private communication with
all parties--with the Earls of Manchester and Denbigh, with Rossiter
and Sir William Waller, as Presbyterians opposed to Cromwell and
the Independents; with Saye and Sele and others, who were willing
that Charles should return on his signing the same articles that his
father had offered in the Isle of Wight; and with such of the fanatic
Levellers as held the opinions of Sexby. But he found little that
was encouraging amongst any of them. If we are to believe Clarendon,
he was betrayed by one of those in whom he most trusted, Sir Richard
Willis, who was high in the confidence of Charles, but was at the same
time a paid spy of Cromwell's. It is certain that one day in March the
Protector said to Lord Broghill, "An old friend of yours is in town,
the Duke of Ormond, now lodged in Drury Lane, at the Papist surgeon's
there. You had better tell him to be gone." Broghill found that this
was the case, and gave Ormond the necessary hint, who hurried back
to Bruges, and assured Charles and his Court that Cromwell had many
enemies, but there was at present no chance of a successful invasion.

But if Cromwell was disposed to allow Ormond to escape, he was
compelled to make an example of some other of the Royalist agitators.
On the 12th of March the Protector sent for the Lord Mayor and aldermen
to Whitehall, informed them that the Duke of Ormond had been lurking in
the City to excite rebellion, and that it was necessary to take strict
measures for putting down the seditious of all sorts. At the same time
he ordered the fleet to sweep the coasts of the Netherlands, which
drove in there two fleets intended for the Royalist expedition, and
blockaded Ostend. He then determined to bring to justice some of the
most incorrigible agitators. Sir Henry Slingsby, who had been confined
in Hull ever since the outbreak of Penruddock, had not even there
ceased his active resistance, employing himself to corrupt the officers
of the garrison, who, being instructed by the governor, appeared to
listen to his views, so that ere long he was emboldened to offer them
commissions from Charles Stuart. Another person arrested was Dr. Hewit,
an Episcopalian clergyman, who preached at St. Gregory's, near St.
Paul's, and was a most indefatigable advocate of a royal invasion.
There were numbers of the Royalist apprentices and others in the City,
who were not patient enough to wait for the invasion; they resolved to
rise on the 15th of May, fire the houses near the Tower, and by sound
of drum proclaim the king. The Protector told Thurloe that "it was not
fit that there should be a plot of this kind every winter," and Thurloe
had made himself thoroughly aware of all their proceedings. As the time
approached, the ringleaders were seized at the "Mermaid," in Cheapside.
A High Court of Justice was appointed according to Act of Parliament,
and Slingsby, Hewit, and the City incendiaries were tried. There was
ample proof of their guilt. Hewit denied the authority of the court and
refused to plead, but he was all the same condemned with Slingsby and
six of the City traitors to death.

In the Netherlands Sir William Lockhart admirably supplied the place of
Sir John Reynolds, acting both as ambassador and general. The Allied
army opened the campaign of 1658 with the siege of Dunkirk. The Prince
of Condé had in vain assured the Spaniards that this would be the case,
whilst they imagined that the intention of the Allies was to besiege
Cambray. When Don John saw his mistake, he determined to attack the
Allies and raise the siege. But Turenne and Lockhart would not wait
to be attacked; they marched to meet the Spaniards, and surprised
them before they had received their supply of ammunition for the
intended assault. Don John hastily drew up his forces along a ridge of
sandhills, and gave the command of the right wing to the Duke of York,
and the left to Condé, himself commanding the centre. Lockhart was too
ill to take the command, but gave it to Colonel Morgan, who, with his
English forces, found himself opposed to the Duke of York. The English
dashed up the sandhill, and soon drove the infantry of the enemy before
them. They were then charged by the Duke of York at the head of the
Spanish cavalry, and the battle was terrible, but nearly half of the
duke's men fell under the well-directed fire of his countrymen. The
left wing, however, under Condé, had given way, and the duke, leaving
his rallied infantry to contend with the English in front, directed the
charge of his cavalry against their flank. It was in vain; the centre
gave way without fighting, and the brave English defending themselves
against their numerous assailants till relieved by a body of French
horse, the whole line of the Spaniards collapsed. The Duke of York, who
had fought gallantly, was saved in the first charge only by the temper
of his armour, and in the second he was surrounded by the enemy, and,
according to his own account, only extricated himself by assuming the
character of a French officer, and leading on several troopers to the
charge till he saw a chance of riding off. Marshal Turenne gave the
credit of the victory to the gallantry of the English, who had, at the
close of the battle, scarcely a single officer left alive. At Whitehall
the victory was attributed to the prayers of the saints at Court, for
it happened that the Protector had set apart that day for a solemn
fast, and, says Thurloe, "whilst we were praying, they were fighting,
and the Lord gave a signal answer."

The Lord Falconberg was despatched to carry congratulations to Louis
XIV., who was at Calais, and soon afterwards these were returned by the
Duke of Crequi and M. Mancini, the nephew of Mazarin, who expressed his
regret that, owing to the urgency of affairs, he was unable to come
himself, as he said he had long desired; but he sent a magnificent
sword from the king, and a fine piece of tapestry from himself. Dunkirk
was given up to the English, Gravelines was taken, Ypres surrendered,
and all the towns on the banks of the Lys fell into the hands of the
conquerors.

Here closed the victorious career of Oliver Cromwell; these were
the last of his triumphs, and nearly the last of his life. Though
he now stood apparently at the summit of fortune, both domestic and
foreign enemies being for the time subdued, yet the grand platform
of life and mortal glory was already giving way beneath him. His
health was undermined by the long conflict with a host of enemies, and
circumstances around him were gloom. Sickness had entered, death was
about to select its victims from his own house. His daughter Frances
was left a young widow by the death of Lord Rich, son of the Earl of
Warwick, twelve days after the dissolution of Parliament; his daughter
Claypole, his favourite daughter, was lying ill, and beyond the reach
of medical art at that period, and his own iron frame was yielding.
Around him, in his outward affairs, the circumstances were full of
anxiety. He knew that he had repulsed, but not destroyed, the domestic
enemies of his Government. They were as alert as ever to the chance of
starting up and again attempting to overturn his power. All his three
Parliaments had proved thoroughly unmanageable, and had reduced him
to the very measures so strongly condemned in Charles I.--continual
interruption of the debates, invasion of privileges, and abrupt
dissolutions to prevent the completion of hostile measures. The only
circumstance in his favour was that Charles's arbitrary acts were for
the formation of despotism; his for that of a rational liberty. Under
no previous Government had the people enjoyed such just laws, such just
judges, and so much liberty, especially religious liberty.

But, like Charles, Cromwell was now governing without a Parliament,
and, like him, being without a Parliament, he was without funds. The
wars on sea and land had emptied his exchequer, and to raise supplies
by arbitrary means would cover him with the odium which had clung to
the king he had overthrown. He appointed a committee of nine persons
to consider as to the best means of calling a Parliament likely to
work with the existing Government, and also to decide on the successor
to the Protectorate. But on this committee there were secret enemies,
and it came to no conclusion as to the Parliament; but as to the
succession, it determined that since the succession had been left
to the Protector, it was a matter of no consequence. Suspecting
their motives, and deriving no benefit from them, he dismissed the
committee towards the end of July, and was left with no resource but
the ingenuity of Thurloe, his secretary, who borrowed where he could,
but was often refused. This could not, however, last. His army was his
grand prop, and so long as it was duly paid and clothed there was no
danger, but let payment fall into arrears, and it would soon begin to
listen to the suggestions of the Republican and Anabaptist officers.
With these gloomy circumstances, his suspicions seem to have grown
of those about him, or of assassins who might make more successful
attempts than before; as his health failed his fears acquired a decided
mastery. He is said to have worn armour under his clothes: we know that
he had long carried loaded pistols. Clarendon says he had become much
"less easy of access, nor so much seen abroad; and he seemed to be in
some disorder when his eyes found any stranger in the room, upon whom
they still seemed fixed. When he intended to go to Hampton Court, which
was his principal delight and diversion, it was never known till he was
in the coach which way he would go; and he was still hemmed in by his
guards before and behind; and the coach, in which he went was always
thronged as full as it could be with his servants, who were armed, and
he seldom returned the same way he went, and rarely lodged two nights
together in one chamber, but had many furnished and prepared, to which
his own key conducted him."

[Illustration: JOHN THURLOE.]

Though this is the statement of an enemy, we can very well believe
it, for Cromwell's life had been for years aimed at by assassins,
both Royalist and Republican, by paid bravoes of Charles II., and by
fanatics. These various fears and anxieties told strongly as his
health failed. He reached his fifty-ninth year in April, and was
therefore pretty advanced towards his sixtieth. For fourteen days
before the death of Mrs. Claypole, the Protector was almost day and
night by her bedside, not being able to attend to any business in his
deep anxiety. Mrs. Claypole died on the 6th of August, and George Fox
going to Hampton Court, to represent to Cromwell the persecutions of
his friends, on the 20th of that month, met him riding in Hampton Court
Park at the head of his Life Guards, and was so struck with his altered
appearance, that he said "he felt a waft of death go forth against
him, and when he came up to him he looked like a dead man." On hearing
George's statement, he desired him to come to the palace to him; but
next day, when Fox went thither, he was told that he was much worse,
and that the physicians were not willing he should speak with anybody.

Cromwell died on the 3rd of September, the day of Dunbar and Worcester,
the day which he had set down as his fortunate day, and which was in
nothing more so than in this last event. He laid down a burden which he
had often said "was too heavy for man," and with the possession of that
form of government which he sincerely deemed essential to truth and
liberty still in his grasp. It was a form of government which had no
foundation in the convictions of the people, and which sooner or later
was bound to fall; and the old prejudices in favour of royalty bring
back a fresh lesson of martyrdom to its votaries. The Dictatorship was
at an end; it had been maintained by Cromwell's innate vigour, and
could only last as long as he did. The day that he died was a day of
terrible wind, and his enemies declared that the devil came in it to
fetch him away; but his friends said that Nature could not witness the
departure of so great a spirit without marking its strong emotion. Many
are the sayings of his last hours reported by friends and foes, but
it is certain that he expressed his firm belief that he died in the
unbroken covenant with God.

On his deathbed the Protector had been asked to name his successor.
Empowered by the "Petition and Advice," he had already named him in
a sealed packet, which now, however, could not be found, and though
he was supposed to say Richard, it was so indistinctly, that it was
by no means certain. However, Richard was proclaimed in London and
Westminster, and then in all the large towns at home, and in Dunkirk,
and the colonies abroad. At first all appeared favourable for the
peaceable succession of Richard. All parties hastened to congratulate
him. Foreign ministers sent addresses of condolence and intimations of
their desire to renew their alliances. From all parts of the country,
and from the City, and from one hundred congregational churches, poured
in addresses, conceived in the most fulsome affectation of religion.
Cromwell had been a Moses, but his son was a Joshua. Elijah was gone,
but Elisha remained.

The Royalists were confounded to find everything pass over so smoothly,
but all who knew the retiring disposition of Richard, and the volcano
of raging materials which lay in the sects, factions, and parties which
at that moment divided and agitated England, could only look on it as
the lull before the tempest. Richard Cromwell had all his life long
displayed a liking only for a quiet country life. He had no ambitions,
either military or political. He had lived in his domestic retirement,
entering neither the field nor the cabinet, and his father, in his
letters, was continually calling him "indolent Dick." It was impossible
that such a man could ever curb the fierce and conflicting factions
with which he was surrounded; it is most probable that he only longed
to be well rid of the whole onerous burden.

There were various leaders in the army so nearly equal in rank and
influence that there was sure to be strife for the chief command.
Fleetwood had married a sister of the present Protector; Desborough was
his uncle; his brother Henry, who was Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, was
a much more resolute and able man than himself; and Monk, in Scotland,
had great power in his hands. The chief command in the army lay, by
the late Instrument, in the Protector himself; but the officers of
the army met and drew up a petition that the chief command should be
conferred on some one of the generals who had shown his attachment to
the cause by his services, and that no officer should be deprived of
his commission except by sentence of a court-martial. Richard, by the
advice of Thurloe, replied that he had appointed General Fleetwood
lieutenant-general of the forces, but that to give up the supreme
command would be to violate the "Petition and Advice," by which he
held his own authority. This did not content the officers; they still
held their meetings, a liberty which Oliver had wisely suppressed,
and there were many suspicions expressed amongst them. They asserted
that Henry Cromwell would soon be placed above Fleetwood, who, though
conscientious, was very weak and vacillating, and they demanded that
Thurloe, St. John and Pierpoint, Richard's ablest counsellors, should
be dismissed, as enemies to the army. It was clear that a collision
must take place between these parties and Thurloe, and his friends
advised Richard to call a Parliament, by which he would not only be
able to curb the power of the officers, but to raise money for the
payment of the soldiers. The nation was keeping a large fleet under
Ayscue, or Ayscough, part of which was cruising in the Baltic, to
protect the English allies, the Swedes, against the Danes and Dutch,
and another, under Montague, was blockading the Dutch coast. Money,
therefore, was absolutely necessary to defray expenses, and Richard
consented to call a Parliament. It was a necessary evil, a formidable
undertaking. For the five months that passed before their meeting,
Richard ruled with all the outward state, and with more than the
quiet of his father. But his father, with all his vigour and tact,
had never been able to manage a Parliament, most of the members of
which immediately set about to overthrow him; what hope, then, that
Richard could contend with such a restless and domineering body? It
was absolutely impossible, and he was speedily made sensible of it. To
introduce as many members of the Commons as he could favourable to his
views, he departed from his father's plan of only calling them from the
larger boroughs and the counties, and restored the franchise to the
lesser and decayed boroughs. Every means was used besides to obtain
the return of men favourable to the Government; and in Scotland and
Ireland, from whence thirty members each were admitted, the elections
were conducted under the eyes of the commander of the forces. But,
notwithstanding, from the very first assembling of the Commons, they
showed that they were likely to be as unmanageable as ever. When
Richard summoned the Commons to meet him in the Lords scarcely half the
members attended, lest they should sanction the existence of a body
which they disclaimed. The Commons were as much divided as the army.
There were the friends of the Government, who were instructed to stand
firm by the "Petition and Advice," and the Government, founded by it,
of one ruling person and two Houses of Parliament. Then there were the
Presbyterians and Republicans, who were for no Lords nor Protector
either, and were led on by Haselrig, Scott, Bradshaw, Lambert, Ludlow,
and others of those united parties, with whom Vane and Fairfax now
co-operated. Fairfax, from the moment when he showed his disapprobation
of the death of Charles I., had retired into private life, but now he
reappeared, and though become a Royalist at heart, his spirited lady no
doubt having roused that feeling in him, he voted with the Republican
party, as most likely to prevail against the Protectorate, and thus
pave the way to monarchy. Besides these, there were many neutrals or
moderates, and a considerable sprinkling of young Royalists, who, by
Charles's advice, had got in under other colours.

However much these parties differed amongst themselves, there were
sufficient of them adverse to the Protectorate to commence an immediate
attack upon it. They fell at once to debating the legality of the
"Petition and Advice," and of course Government by a single person and
two Houses. They asked what was the "Petition and Advice," and they
declared it to be an instrument of no validity, passed by a very small
majority of a House from which a hundred members had been forcibly
excluded. The debates were long and violent. Though Parliament met on
the 27th of January, 1659, it was the 14th of February before they had
decided that Richard's right to the Protectorate should be settled by
another Bill, but with much restricted prerogative, and it was not
till the 28th of March that they allowed the right of the other House
to sit, but with no superiority to the Commons, and with no authority
to send messages to it except by members of the House. These points
settled, there were high demands for a searching inquiry into the
management of all departments of the State, with heavy charges of
waste, embezzlement, oppression, and tyranny, in the collection of the
excise. Threats of impeachment were held out against Thurloe and the
principal ministers, as well as against Butler and some others of the
officers.

This aroused the generals, who were themselves divided into two great
factions. One set met at Whitehall under Ingoldsby, Whalley, Goffe,
Lord Charles Howard, and others favourable to the Protector; another,
under Fleetwood and Desborough, met at Wallingford House, who, though
the Protector's own relations, were bent on their own and the army's
ascendency. They were joined by Lambert, who, after being deprived of
his commission, had remained at Wimbledon, cultivating his garden, and
seeming to be forgotten; but now he came forth again and was received
with enthusiasm by the soldiers, who had great confidence in his
ability. Desborough used also to meet with a third party, consisting
chiefly of the inferior officers, at St. James's.

At this place of meeting a council of officers was organised, which
soon became influential with the Wallingford House, or Fleetwood's,
section. Here they drew up an address to Richard, complaining of the
arrears of their pay being withheld, and of the neglect with which the
army was treated; of the attempts to overthrow the Acts passed by the
Long Parliament, and the encouragement thereby given to the Royalists,
who were flocking over from Flanders, and exciting discontent against
"the good old cause," and against the persons and interests of those
who had shed their blood for the Commonwealth. This address was
presented on the 14th of April by Fleetwood, with no less than six
hundred signatures. Though it did not even mention the name of this
Parliament, that body felt that it was directed entirely against them,
and immediately voted that no meeting or general council of officers
should be held without the consent and order of the Protector, and that
no person should hold any command by sea or land who did not forthwith
sign an engagement that he would not in any way disturb or prevent the
free meeting and debates of Parliament, or the freedom of any member
of Parliament. This was certain to produce a retort from the army--it
was an open declaration of war upon it; and accordingly Fleetwood and
Desborough waited on Richard and assured him that it was absolutely
necessary to dissolve Parliament; and Desborough, who was a bold, rough
soldier, declared that if he did not do it, he felt sure the army would
soon pull him out of Whitehall.

It may be questioned how far this declaration was warranted by the real
facts of the case. The majority of the army was probably opposed to any
violence being shown to the son of the great Protector, but in critical
times it is the small knot of restless, unscrupulous spirits who rule
the inert mass, and impose their own views upon the sluggish and the
timid; and Desborough well knew the irresolute and impressionable
character of Richard Cromwell.

On the other hand, many members of Parliament protested that they would
stand by him, that if he allowed the army to suppress Parliament, he
would find it immediately his own master, and would be left without
a friend. Ingoldsby, Goffe, and Whalley supported this view, and one
of them offered to go and kill Lambert, who was the originator of all
the mischief. Richard called a council to consider the proposition.
Whitelock represented the danger of dissolving Parliament, and leaving
himself at the mercy of the army; but Thurloe, Lord Broghill, Fiennes,
and Wolseley declared there was no alternative, for if the army and
Parliament came to strife, the Cavaliers would rise and bring in
Charles. Richard reluctantly gave way, and on the 22nd of April he
signed a commission empowering Fiennes, the Keeper of the Seal, to
dissolve Parliament. Fiennes summoned the Commons to the Upper House by
the Usher of the Black Rod, but they shut the door in the face of that
officer, and refused to obey, adjourning themselves for three days.
Fiennes, however, declared Parliament dissolved, the Commons having
been duly summoned to witness it, and a proclamation was issued to that
effect.

The warning of Whitelock was at once verified; the moment that the
Parliament ceased, all regard to Richard by the army ceased with
it. From that moment he was deserted except by a small knot of
officers--Goffe, Whalley, and Ingoldsby,--and he was as completely
annihilated as Protector as if all parties had deposed him by assent
and proclamation. The council of officers proceeded to take measures
for the exercise of the supreme power. They placed guards to prevent
the adjourned Commons from re-taking their seats at Westminster as
they proposed, and by their own authority dismissed Ingoldsby, Goffe,
Whalley, and the other officers who had adhered to Richard, from their
commands in the army, and restored Lambert and all the others who had
been cashiered by Oliver. Having thus restored the Republicanism of
the army, they determined to recall the Rump, as a body which they
believed they could command; and they accordingly issued an order
for the reassembling of the House of Commons which Oliver had so
unceremoniously dismissed on the 20th of April, 1653. At this call,
Lenthall, the old Speaker of the Rump, with about forty or fifty
members of the Rump, hastened the next day to Westminster, where
Lambert kept guard with the troops, and after some discussion in the
Painted Chamber, they went in a body to the House through two files
of Lambert's soldiers, and took their places as a real Parliament.
But their claim to this exclusive right was immediately disputed. The
same day, the 7th of May, a large number of the members who had been
excluded by Pride's purge, in 1648, of whom one hundred and ninety-four
were still alive, and eighty of them residing in the capital,
assembled in Westminster Hall, and sent up to the House a deputation
of fourteen, headed by Prynne, Annesley, and Sir George Booth, to
demand equal liberty to sit; but as this would have overwhelmed them
with a Presbyterian majority, the doors were closed against them:
they were kept back by the soldiers who filled the lobby, who were
ironically called "the keepers of the liberties of England," and they
were informed that no member could sit who had not already signed the
engagement. On the 9th, however, Prynne made his way into the House,
and kept his seat, in spite of all efforts to dislodge him, till
dinner-time; but going out to dine, he found himself shut out on his
return.

[Illustration: THE MANOR HOUSE, WIMBLEDON (1660).]

The Rump now proceeded to appoint a Committee of Safety, and then
a Council of State, which included Fairfax, Lambert, Desborough,
Bradshaw, Fleetwood, Ashley Cooper, Haselrig, Vane, Ludlow, St.
John, and Whitelock. Letters were received from Monk in Scotland,
congratulating the Rump on their return to power, but hypocritically
begging them to keep in mind the services of Cromwell and his family.
Lockhart sent over from Flanders the tendered services of the regiments
there, and was confirmed in his office of ambassador, and also
commissioned to attend a conference between the ministers of France
and Spain, to be held at Fuentarabia, whither Charles Stuart had also
betaken himself. Montague sent in the adhesion of the fleet, and, what
was still more consoling, Henry Cromwell, whose opposition in Ireland
was much dreaded, resigned his office, and was permitted to retire into
private life.

The Wallingford House party of officers alone created serious
apprehension. They sent in a list of fifteen demands, which were
immediately taken into consideration, and the Rump successively voted,
in compliance therewith, that a form of government should be passed
calculated to preserve the liberties of the people, and that it should
contain no single person as Protector, nor House of Peers. They also
agreed that liberty of conscience should be allowed to all believers
in the Scriptures who held the doctrine of the Trinity, except Papists
and Prelatists. But one of these demands was for lands of inheritance
to be settled on Richard Cromwell to the value of ten thousand pounds
a year, and a pension on her Highness, his mother, of ten thousand
pounds a year. On this it was remarked that Richard was still occupying
Whitehall as if he were Protector, and they made it conditional that
he should remove thence. They proposed that if he retired from the
Protectorate, they would grant him twenty-nine thousand pounds for the
discharge of his debts, two thousand pounds for present necessities,
and ten thousand pounds to him and his heirs. Richard cheerfully signed
a formal abdication in May, 1659, but his pension was never paid.
After the Restoration he fled to the Continent, where he remained
for twenty years. He returned in 1680, and lived peaceably on his
estate at Cheshunt, or at Mardon, in Hursley, near Winchester, which
he received with Dorothy Mayor, and there spent a jolly life in old
English state, dying in 1712. During his father's life, he is said in
convivial hours to have drunk the health of his father's landlord,
Charles Stuart; and he possessed a chest which contained the addresses
and congratulations, even the protestations of profound fidelity from
corporations, congregations, and almost all the public men, and on this
chest he would seat himself in his jocund hours, amongst his convivial
friends, and boast that he was sitting on the lives and fortunes of
most of the leading men of England. Henry Cromwell also passed his life
as a quiet country gentleman on his estate of Swinney, near Soham, in
Cambridgeshire, till his death in 1673. His government of Ireland was,
on his resigning, put into the hands of five commissioners, and the
command of the army was given to Ludlow.

Charles and his party abroad, watching the continual bickerings of
their enemies in England, put in motion all their machinery to create
confusion, and to seize the opportunity of taking every possible
means of procuring a revolt amongst them. Charles, to encourage his
partisans, announced his intention of coming to England to head them.
The 1st of August was fixed on for a rising, and Charles hastened into
Boulogne, to be ready to pass over into Wales or Cornwall. The Duke of
York was to lead over six hundred of the Prince of Condé's veterans,
and, crossing from Boulogne, land on the coast of Kent, whilst the Duke
of Gloucester was to proceed from Ostend with four thousand troops
under Marshal Marsin. Unfortunately for them, their plans had been
revealed to Thurloe by Sir Richard Willis, one of the king's sealed
knot of seven trusted confidants. Convinced by this treason that the
enterprise would fail, Charles sent circular letters to stop the
rising. But these in some instances arrived too late. Many appeared
in arms, and were fallen upon and routed or taken prisoners by the
Parliamentarians. Sir John Gore, the Lady Mary Howard, daughter of the
Earl of Berkshire, in addition to many other persons of distinction,
were arrested on charges of high treason. In Cheshire Sir George Booth
raised the royal standard, and took possession of Chester; but on
learning the news of the king's deferring the enterprise, and that
General Lambert was marching against them, he and his associates fled
to Nantwich, where Lambert overtook and totally routed them. Colonel
Morgan, with thirty of his men, fell on the field; the Earl of Derby
was taken disguised as a servant; Sir Thomas Middleton, who was eighty
years old, fled to Chirk Castle, but soon surrendered; and Booth
himself, disguised as a woman, and riding on a pillion, was betrayed
and taken on the road to London, near Newton Pagnell. This unlucky
outbreak and defeat threw the adherents of Charles abroad into despair.
Montague, the admiral, who had been won over, and had brought his fleet
to the mouth of the Thames to facilitate the passage of the king's
troops, pretended that he had come for provisions, and, though he was
suspected, he was allowed to return to his station. Charles himself,
now almost desperate, made a journey to Fuentarabia, where Mazarin and
Don Louis de Haro, the ministers of France and Spain, were engaged in
a treaty, in the hope that, if it were concluded, he might obtain some
support from them. But he was very coldly received; Mazarin would not
even see him. In fact, his fortunes were apparently at the lowest ebb,
but it was in reality only the dark hour before the dawn. The day of
his fortune was at hand.

Parliament, on Lambert's victory, voted him thanks and one thousand
pounds to purchase a jewel in memory of it; but Lambert distributed
the money amongst his soldiers. Parliament resenting this, regarded it
as intended to win the soldiers to his cause, that he might tread in
Cromwell's steps, and make himself Dictator. It was well known that he
had entertained hopes of being named his successor, and this suspicion
was immediately confirmed by his officers, whilst on their march
at Derby, signing a petition, and sending it up with a demand that
Fleetwood should be made permanently Commander-in-Chief, and Lambert
his lieutenant-general. No sooner did Haselrig see this petition,
than he denounced it as an attempt to overturn Parliament, and moved
the committal of Lambert and its author to the Tower. But Fleetwood
repelled the charge by assuring them that Lambert, who was already
in town when the petition was got up, knew nothing of it. The House,
however, ordered all copies of the paper to be destroyed, and voted
that any addition to the number of officers was needless, chargeable,
and dangerous. At the same time they proceeded to conciliate the
soldiers by advancing their pay, and, to discharge their arrears, on
the 5th of October they raised the monthly assessment from thirty-five
thousand pounds to one hundred thousand pounds.

Matters were, however, gone too far to be thus settled between
Parliament and the army. Haselrig, Scott, and their associates were
of that class of sanguine Republicans, who in their zeal think only
of the principles they wish to establish, without calculating how far
the country is prepared for them, and thus blindly rush on their own
defeat. The Wallingford House military council prepared another paper
called a petition, but which was a far more hostile communication,
asserting that whoever cast scandalous imputations on the army should
be brought to condign punishment. That was distinct enough, but
Haselrig and his party had got the adhesion of three regiments, and
relied on the promises of Monk in Scotland, and Ludlow in Ireland.
On the 11th of October a vote was passed, declaring it high treason
to levy any money on the people without consent of Parliament, and,
therefore, as the existing taxes expired on the first day of the new
year, Haselrig's following believed that they had thus rendered the
army wholly dependent on them. Next day Haselrig moved and carried a
motion that Desborough, Lambert, six colonels, and a major, should be
deprived of their commissions for signing the late petition. By another
vote Fleetwood was deprived of the office of Commander-in-chief, but
made president of a board of seven members, for the management of the
army. The blind zealots had witnessed to little purpose the history
of late years, and the movements of armies. On the next day Lambert,
with three thousand men, marched into Westminster, where he found the
Houses of Parliament guarded by two regiments of foot, and four troops
of horse. On his way he met Lenthall, the Speaker, attended by a guard.
He ordered that official to dismount, and on refusing, according to
Clarendon, pulled him from his horse, and sent him to his own house.
The soldiers, on the two parties meeting, at once coalesced, and the
Rump was again dismissed. The officers at Wallingford House took
upon themselves to annul Haselrig's votes of the last three days, and
establish a provisional Committee of Safety of twenty-three members.
There was a party amongst them for restoring Richard Cromwell, who came
up from Hampshire escorted by three troops of horse; but this party was
outvoted by a small majority, and he retired.

Whilst these confused changes were taking place--eddies in the national
affairs, but neither progress nor honour, Parliament having no power
to restrain the army, nor the army any one man of a genius capable
of controlling the rest,--there was at least one commander who was
silently and reservedly watching the course of events, resolved to
go with the strongest side, if such a side could be found. This was
General Monk. He was originally a Royalist, and of a strongly Royalist
family. His elder brother, with the rest of his relations, had always
been zealously devoted to the king, and it is said that his wife was
a most ardent advocate for the king's interest. These circumstances
had caused Charles frequently to sound him by his emissaries; but
though he received them courteously, and listened patiently to their
statements, he gave no outward evidence that he was likely to comply
with their entreaties. He was a man of deep and impenetrable secrecy
and caution, of few words, and a gloomy, unimpassioned manner.
Cromwell, during his life, was quite aware of the overtures and royal
promises made to Monk, but could not discover the slightest thing in
him to warrant a suspicion of his leaning in the smallest degree that
way, and he therefore contented himself with jocularly remarking to him
in a postscript in one of his letters, "'Tis said there is a cunning
fellow in Scotland, called George Monk, who lies in wait there to serve
Charles Stuart; pray use your diligence to take him, and send him up to
me."

There was not much likelihood of Monk swerving from the Commonwealth
while the strong man Cromwell lived, but now, amid such scenes of
weakness, he no doubt began to feel that the royal party would have to
be recalled. Such a presentiment, however, lay locked in his taciturn
breast. The officers sent Colonel Cobbet to Monk in Scotland, who,
however, expressed his firm adherence to the Commons, and when he heard
of what Lambert and the officers had done, he wrote strong letters to
them, complaining of the violence which they had done to the power and
authority of Parliament. He imprisoned Cobbet, and purging his army
of all who were fanatics or inclined to Lambert and his party, he
sent them under guard to the Border, and dismissed them into England,
under penalty of death if they returned. He immediately placed strong
garrisons in the castle of Edinburgh and in the citadel of Leith,
and, collecting cavalry, marched to Berwick, where he placed a strong
garrison. Letters were written to Lenthall in the name of himself and
his officers, assuring the Parliamentary party that "he called God to
witness that the asserting of the Commonwealth was the only interest
of his heart." Whilst Haselrig, Lenthall, and the rest were gratified
by these protestations, they remarked with wonder, and soon with deep
suspicion, that he had cashiered all those officers whom they had
introduced into his army, and restored those whom they had expelled.
There was no alternative, however, but to act with him and watch him.
In the meantime Monk had called a convention of the Scottish Estates
at Berwick, and informing them that "he had received a call from
heaven and earth to march into England for the better settling of the
Government there," he recommended the peace of the kingdom to their
care, and obtained from them a grant of sixty thousand pounds, from the
arrears of taxes. He then took up his headquarters at Coldstream, and
waited the course of events.

[Illustration: RICHARD CROMWELL. (_After the Portrait by Walker._)]

The Committee of Safety, on hearing of the movements of Monk,
despatched Lambert with an army of seven thousand men to meet him
on his march, and if he could not win him to co-operation with the
rest of the army, to resist his advance by force. But having seen
Lambert on his way northward, the committee sent directly to Monk a
deputation to endeavour to bring him over to their views, by offers
of many advantages. Monk received the deputation very courteously,
expressed every desire to unite with the rest of the army, provided
there were some ruling power to whom all parties might be subject, and
sent three commissioners to treat with the Committee of Safety on the
subject. This greatly encouraged the Committee of Safety, who thought
their sending Lambert against Monk had frightened him, and whilst they
prepared to receive Monk's commissioners, they ordered Lambert to
hasten on his march.

[Illustration: RECEPTION OF MONK IN THE CITY OF LONDON. (_See p._ 160.)]

But affairs nearer home were every day becoming more disheartening.
Haselrig and Morley had gone down to Portsmouth, where they were well
received by the governor, and were looked up to as representing the
authority of Parliament. Fleetwood sent down troops to oppose them,
but the troops themselves went over to them. This success encouraged
the apprentices and other dissatisfied persons in London to rise,
and demand the restoration of Parliament; and though Colonel Hewson
attacked and killed some of them, the spirit and the disturbance only
grew the stronger. To finish the matter, Admiral Lawson appeared with
the fleet in the Thames, and declared for the Parliament on the 17th
of December, and, as soon as they heard this, Haselrig and Morley
marched with their forces to London. At their approach the troops in
Westminster revolted from the Committee and joined them, declaring
that they would live and die with the Parliament. They received
those officers who had lately been dismissed, and all marched into
Lincoln's Inn Fields, and so to Chancery Lane, where they halted before
Lenthall's house, fired three volleys of musketry, and hailed him not
only Speaker of the Commons, but Lord-General of the army. This was on
Christmas Eve, and Desborough's regiment, which Lambert had sent back
to check these counter-movements, on hearing this news, at St. Albans,
also declared for the Parliament, and sent the Speaker word of the
adhesion. During all this reaction, Fleetwood had still sat with the
Committee of Safety, but exhibiting the strangest want of courage and
decision. When urged to go and use his influence with the soldiers, to
prevent their defection, he fell on his knees and prayed, or declared
that it was useless, that "God had spit in his face, and would not hear
him."

Whitelock relates that at this juncture he strongly advised Fleetwood
to join him and go away to the king, convinced that Monk was deceiving
the Parliament, and that the return of Charles was inevitable. He
said, therefore, that it was better to get away to him and make terms
for themselves and friends whilst the time allowed. Fleetwood was
convinced, and ordered Whitelock to prepare for the journey; but Vane,
Desborough, and Berry coming in, he quickly altered his mind, and
declared that he had pledged his word to Lambert before he marched
to do nothing of the kind without his consent. Whitelock repeated
that if he did not do it, then all was lost; but Fleetwood, weak but
honourable, replied he could not help it; his word was pledged: and in
the end he submitted himself to the Parliament.

Lenthall, the Speaker, at the head of a party of soldiers who
made themselves merry on their new Lord-General, went into the
City, informed the Lord Mayor and Aldermen that the Parliament was
assembling, and, on his own authority, ordered from the Tower the
governor and officers put there by the Committee of Safety, and placed
in command Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, who had brought in Admiral
Lawson, assisted by several members of Parliament. On the 26th of
December the Rump met again in that House from which they had been
twice so ignominiously expelled. Their first proceeding was to annul
their act against the payment of excise and customs, so that they might
not be without money, and their next to dismiss Lambert, Desborough,
Berry, and other officers, and to order them to retire farther from
London; and they ordered Vane, who had adhered to the Committee of
Safety, to confine himself to his house at Raby. Thus they were
throwing down with their own hands the very bulwarks which should
prevent their falling helplessly into the power of Monk and his army.
Still more, they sent an order to Lambert's regiments to quit their
commander, and retire to such quarters as they appointed. The soldiers
having heard of their comrades in the south having gone over to the
Parliament, did not hesitate to obey its orders, and Lambert found
himself left alone with only about a hundred horse. At Northallerton
his officers took their leave of him with tears, and he retired quietly
to a house which he had in the country. Thus the expectation of a
sharp encounter between Monk and Lambert was at an end, and the road
was open to Monk to march to London without opposition.

He had received assurances from Lord Fairfax, that within twelve days
he would join him or perish in the attempt, and he forthwith called
together his friends, and demanded the surrender of York. On the 1st
of January, 1660, the gates of York were thrown open to Fairfax and
his followers, and the same day Monk commenced his march southward
from Coldstream. Monk remained five days at York in consultation with
Fairfax, who did not hesitate to avow his readiness to assist in the
restoration of the king. Clarendon tells us that Charles had sent Sir
Horatio Townsend to Fairfax, expressing confident hopes of Monk, and
requesting him to co-operate with him; and that Parliament had become
so apprehensive of him that before his arrival at York they wrote to
him, advising him to send back part of his forces, as being needless
now in England, while they might prevent danger in Scotland. Monk paid
no attention, and the Parliament began to wish him back in Scotland
altogether. But it does not appear that Monk in any way committed
himself to Fairfax by his words, whatever his conduct might indicate.
On the contrary, at York he caned an officer who charged him with a
design of bringing in Charles Stuart. On his quitting York Fairfax
disbanded his forces, and Monk pursued his march in the same mysterious
silence. Parliament had appointed a Council of State, and framed the
oath for its members to embrace a most stringent abjuration of royalty
and of the Stuart family. The soldiers sympathising with Parliament,
the officers on reaching Nottingham proposed signing an engagement
to obey Parliament in all things except the bringing in of Charles
Stuart. Monk declared this unnecessary, Parliament having expressed
itself so strongly on that head; and at Leicester he wrote a reply to
certain Royalist petitioners in Devonshire, stating his confidence that
monarchy could not be reintroduced, that the excluded members of 1648
could not be safely reinstated, and that it was their bounden duty to
obey and support the present Government.

At Leicester arrived two of the most democratic members of Parliament,
Scott and Robinson, to watch his proceedings, but ostensibly to do him
honour. He received them with all respect, and such was his apparent
devotion to Parliament, that they were thoroughly satisfied and highly
delighted. At every place he was met by addresses from towns and
counties, praying him to restore the excluded members, and procure a
full and free Parliament. He replied on all occasions that he was but
the servant of Parliament in a military capacity, and referred the
applicants to the two deputies for their answers. These gentlemen,
who were vehemently opposed to any such restoration of the excluded
members, gave very free denials, with which Monk did not in any way
interfere.

This conduct, we are assured by Clarendon, extremely confounded
Charles and his partisans, who had calculated greatly on Monk's secret
inclinations, but the dispersal of Lambert's forces, the retirement
of Fairfax, and the vigorous adherence of Monk to Parliament, puzzled
and depressed them. It might have been supposed that though Monk
had so impenetrably concealed his designs from the adherents of
the Commonwealth, that he had a secret understanding with Charles.
Clarendon, who was fully in the king's confidence, and his great
adviser, solemnly assures us that there was nothing of the kind; that
all attempts to arrive at his purpose had been unavailing. By the
consent of Charles, Monk's brother, a clergyman in Devonshire, had
been induced by Sir Hugh Pollard and Sir John Grenville, the king's
agents, to visit the general in the north, and endeavour to persuade
him to declare for the king. But Monk took him up very shortly, and
advised him to go home and come no more to him with such propositions.
To the last moment this secret and solemn man kept the same immovable,
impenetrable course. There is little doubt but that he felt, from
the miserable weakness and disunion of both the officers and the
Parliamentary leaders, the great all-controlling mind being gone,
that the king must come again, and that he was ready to do the work
at the safe moment. But that till he was positively certain the way
was clear of every obstacle, no power on earth should move him. It is
probable that he was indifferent to the fact whether the king or the
Parliament ruled, but that he would decide for the stronger when it was
unmistakably the stronger, and not till then.

To prevent alarm to the Parliament, he brought only five thousand
troops with him from York, being much fewer than those which were
quartered in London and Westminster; but from St. Albans on the 28th of
January he wrote to the Speaker, requesting that five of the regiments
there might be removed to other quarters before his arrival, lest there
should arise strife between his soldiers and those so lately engaged
in rebellion against the Parliament. This startled the Parliament,
and dull must those members have been who did not perceive that they
committed a series of gross blunders in destroying the greater part of
the army, and disbanding their best officers, to clear the stage for a
new master. But there was nothing for it but complying. They ordered
the regiments to remove, but they refused. Why, they asked, were they
to quit their quarters to make room for strangers? Was it expected
that they should march away with several weeks' pay in arrear? But
their officers, who should have supported them, were dismissed or under
restraint, and by coaxing and the distribution of some money, they were
induced to go. The greatest difficulty was found with a regiment which
occupied Somerset House, and declared they would hold it as a garrison
and defend it. But at length they, too, were persuaded to retire, and
the next day, the 3rd of February, Monk marched through the City into
the Strand and Westminster, where his soldiers were quartered, and
himself conducted to Whitehall.

Soon after his arrival Monk, was led to the House of Commons, where
a chair was placed for him within the bar, and Lenthall made him an
address, applauding his wisdom and services to the Commonwealth,
declaring his dispersal of their enemies as a glorious mercy, and
returning him thanks. Monk replied, observing that there were demands
for a full and free Parliament, but that while it was as well not
to impose too many oaths, care must be taken to keep out both the
Cavaliers and the fanatic party. Of course, the section of the fanatic
party already in the House, with Scott and Haselrig at their head,
heard this with resentment; and Monk's sincerity was immediately put
to the test by the oath of abjuration of the Stuarts, as a member of
the Council of State, being put to him. He parried this, by observing
that seven of the councillors already sitting had not taken the oath,
and that as for himself, he had given sufficient proofs of his devotion
to Parliament. This increased the suspicion against him, and a more
explicit proof of his sincerity was put upon him. The Common Council of
London had refused to raise money in the City except at the order of a
full and free Parliament. The House, therefore, commanded Monk to march
into the City to seize ten of the leading opponents in the Council, and
to break down the gates and portcullises of the City.

On the 9th of February, two hours after midnight, he received this
trying order. If he refused, his commission would be immediately
withdrawn, and his plans cut short; therefore he obeyed, and marching
into the City, began with all coolness and imperturbability to remove
the posts and chains from the streets. The citizens, who expected
different conduct from him, and entreated him to desist, assailed
his men during their labour with groans and hisses. The posts and
chains removed, Monk wrote to the Parliament that he considered that
sufficient had been done to crush the spirit of the citizens, but he
received a peremptory order to complete the business, which he did by
destroying the gates and portcullises, though the soldiers themselves
expressed their indignation. He then returned in no agreeable mood to
Whitehall. There, however, news awaited him of conduct on the part
of Parliament, which seemed to him to show that they now thought
that they had made him their pliant instrument, and destroyed at the
same time his popularity with the people. Whilst he had been doing
this ungracious work in the City, they had been receiving with high
approbation a petition from the so-called fanatic or extreme party,
headed by the celebrated Barebone, praying that no man might sit in
Parliament, or hold any office under Government, who did not take
the oath to abjure Charles Stuart, or any single person. This was so
plainly aimed at Monk, who had excused himself from this oath, that a
council of his officers was at once called, whose resentment of this
ungrateful conduct was expressed in a letter drawn up in his name,
and despatched to the House the next morning, complaining bitterly of
their allowing this attack upon him, and advising that they should take
immediate measures for filling up all the vacancies in Parliament, as
the only measure which would satisfy the people. To show that this was
not a mere admonition but a command, he instantly quitted Whitehall,
marched back into the City, summoned again the Common Council, which he
had dispersed, and assured them that the conduct of Parliament had now
convinced him that they were betraying the interests of the country,
that he was sorry he had obeyed them so far as to do injury to "that
famous city, which in all ages had been the bulwark of Parliament and
of general liberty;" and that therefore he had determined to unite his
lot with theirs, and to obtain through them a full and free Parliament.

This announcement was received not only with astonishment, but with
enthusiastic expressions of joy. The Lord Mayor and Council plighted
their troth with him and the officers, he was invited to dine at
the Guildhall, and all the bells in the City were set ringing in
exultation. The Corporation attended the general to his lodgings amid
the acclamations and the bonfires of the people, at which they roasted
rumps in ridicule of the Parliament, and heaped on it every infamy
which wit and ribaldry could devise. This _coup d'état_ awoke the
Parliament to their blunder; they had made an enemy of the very man and
army into whose hands they had put a power which could instantly crush
them. There were some zealots, the Haselrigs and Scotts, who advised
restoring Fleetwood to the chief command, and bringing back the exiled
regiments; but Sunday, which intervened, enabled the more sober counsel
to prevail, and they sent a deputation to invite the general to return
to Whitehall, and promised that the writs for the excluded members
should be ready by the day appointed. But these incidents had made an
advance in Monk's proceedings. He had seen, as he came up the country,
the universal demand for the restoration of the Long Parliament, and
the unmitigated contempt for the present one. He had felt the pulse
of the country also as to the return of the king, and his intercourse
with the City had only confirmed the impression that the whole body
of excluded members must come back as a stepping-stone to the recall
of Charles. The Presbyterian interest in the City was as strong as
ever, and its enmity to the Independents unabated. He therefore called
together his officers to discuss with the deputation the points at
issue, and the officers insisted that the excluded members must be
restored. Monk then placed the City in a state of defence, and returned
to Whitehall. There he summoned the excluded members who were in town,
together with the members of the sitting Parliament, and read them a
paper, in which he assured them that the people at large demanded a
full and free Parliament, as the only means of settling these "bleeding
nations." He declared that he would impose no restrictions on them
himself, but that his guards should freely admit all the excluded as
well as the other members, to take measures for a dissolution of the
present Parliament, and the calling of a new one, full and free, on
the 20th of April next. He did not believe, he said, that monarchy
or prelacy would be tolerated by the people, but that a moderate
Presbyterian government, with liberty of conscience, appeared most
likely to be acceptable. And as to the Peers, if it were not proper to
restore to them their House, yet he thought their hereditary marks of
honour should be left them.

This speech confounded Royalists and Extremists alike. He recommended
a Presbyterian government and the exclusion of monarchy; but he saw
well enough what the effect of his measure would be; the Royalist
excluded members would rush in, and the recall of the king would be
the inevitable consequence. Accordingly the excluded members proceeded
directly to the House with the other members. The guard under Sir
Anthony Ashley Cooper opened and admitted them. At this sight Haselrig,
Scott, and the Republican party thought it high time to consult their
own security, and disappeared from the scene. The House at once set to
work; annulled all the orders by which they had been excluded; elected
a new Council of State, in which the most influential members were
Royalists; appointed Monk Commander-in-Chief, and Commander of the
Fleet in conjunction with Montague; granted him twenty thousand pounds
in lieu of Hampton Court, which the Rump had settled on him; freed from
sequestration Sir George Booth and his associates, who had risen for
the king, together with a great number of Cavaliers and Scottish lords
taken at the Battle of Worcester; borrowed sixty thousand pounds of the
Common Council, established for the present the Presbyterian confession
of faith; ordered copies of the Solemn League and Covenant to be hung
up in all churches; placed the militia and all the chief commands in
the hands of the principal nobility and gentry; and only stipulated
that no person should be capable of office or command who did not
subscribe to the confession--"that the war raised by the two Houses of
Parliament against the late king was just and lawful, until such time
as force and violence were used upon the Parliament in the year 1648."

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF THE PAINTED CHAMBER, WESTMINSTER, LOOKING
EAST.]

But at this point it was contended by the Royalists that the House
of Lords was as much a House as themselves, and that they could not
legally summon a new Parliament without them; but Monk would listen to
nothing of this kind. He declared that as much had been conceded as the
country would bear; and the Parliament was compelled to dissolve itself
at the time fixed.

There could certainly be no longer any uncertainty as to whither things
were tending. The Royalists were again in full power all over the
kingdom, the very insurgents in the cause of Charles were liberated,
freed from all penalties, and in many cases advanced to places of
trust; yet Monk still dissembled. Ludlow, a staunch Republican, on the
re-admission of the excluded members, went to Monk to sound him as to
his intentions, and urged the necessity of supporting the Commonwealth,
which had cost them so much. Monk replied with solemn hypocrisy, "Yea,
we must live and die together for a Commonwealth." Yet Monk had now
made up his mind: he saw that all was prepared, all perfectly safe,
and during the recess he was busy arranging with the king's agents
for his return. Immediately on Monk's joyful reception by the City, a
Mr. Baillie, who had gone through Cheapside amongst the bonfires, and
heard the king's health drunk in various places, and people talking of
sending for the king, had posted off to Brussels, where Charles was. On
this Sir John Grenville and a Mr. Morrice, a Devonshire Royalist, were
instantly sent over to Monk, with propositions for the king's return.
Clarendon assures us that so early as the beginning of April these
gentlemen were in London, and in consultation with Monk, who told them
that if the king would write a letter to Parliament containing the same
statements, he would find a fit time to deliver it, or some other means
to serve his Majesty; but that Charles must quit Flanders to give his
partisans confidence that he was out of the power of the Spaniards, and
would be free to act on their call; that he must go to Breda, and date
his papers thence.

All this was done, and so little secrecy was observed by the Royalists
on the Continent, that it was immediately known at all the courts
that the king was about to be recalled, and Spaniards, Dutch, French
princes and ministers, who had treated Charles with the utmost neglect
and contempt, now overwhelmed him with compliments, invitations,
flatteries, and offers. The Dutch Court, where was his sister, the
mother of the young Stadtholder, had been as discourteous as the rest,
but they now united in receiving him and doing him honour. Breda
already swarmed with English Royalists, who flocked from every quarter
to pay their respects.

This was observed in England with a complacency which sufficiently
indicated that men's minds were made up to the restoration of the
monarchy. The ultra-Republican party alone, whose zeal never
condescended to measure the chances against them, endeavoured to
raise the soldiers to oppose the menaced catastrophe. The army had
on former occasions maintained the Commonwealth. The emissaries of
the Republicans, therefore, spread themselves everywhere amongst the
soldiers, warning them of the certainty of all their sacrifices,
their labours, and their victories being in vain if they did not once
more save the State. The old fire revived; the soldiers contemplated
the loss of their arrears if the Royalists came into power, the
officers the loss of their lands and their commands. They began
to express vehement discontent, and the officers flocked into the
capital and called on Monk to take measures for the maintenance of the
Commonwealth. He professed to be bound to that object, though he had
at the time in his pocket a commission from Charles constituting him
Lord-General of all the military in the three kingdoms. He ordered the
officers to return to their posts, and put an oath of obedience to the
Parliament to the privates--all who refused it being discharged.

Disappointed in this quarter, the Republicans managed to effect the
escape of Lambert, who had been committed to the Tower, and who now
appeared in Warwickshire, where he induced six troops of horse and some
infantry to accept his command. On the approach of General Ingoldsby,
however, who was sent against him, his troops deserted him, he was
captured, and conducted back to the Tower with every indignity.

On the 25th of April the new Parliament assembled; the Royalists showed
a decided majority, and though the Presbyterian party managed to carry
the election of Sir Harbottle Grimstone as Speaker, the Royalist
tendency was overwhelming as to the main objects. Ten of the Peers
assembled in their House, and elected the Earl of Manchester Speaker,
and on beholding this the rest of the Peers hurried up to town, and
soon there appeared a full House, excepting such Peers as had served in
the king's Parliament at Oxford, or whose patents dated subsequently to
the commencement of the civil war.

But all the interest was concentrated on the proceedings of the House
of Commons. On the 1st of May Sir John Grenville presented himself at
the door of the House, and requested to speak with the Lord-General.
Monk went to him, and received, as a matter of which he knew nothing,
a letter addressed to the Speaker. Looking at the seal, and affecting
to discover that it bore the royal arms, he ordered the guards to take
care that the bearer did not escape. Grenville was speedily called
in, and asked how he became possessed of this letter, and on replying
that he brought it from the king, he was ordered into custody as a
traitor. But here Monk interfered, saying that this was unnecessary;
he perceived that he was a kinsman of his, and would be security for
him. The letters were now opened, and proved to be really from the
king, one addressed to the Commons, another to the Lords, a third to
the Lord Mayor and Corporation, and the fourth to Monk and Montague,
lord-admirals. In the letter to the Commons Charles informed them that,
in the present unhappy circumstances of the nation, he recommended them
to consider whether the only way to restore peace and prosperity was
not to return to the ancient and time-honoured constitution of king,
Lords, and Commons, under whom the kingdom had flourished so many ages.
He professed that no man had a more profound veneration for Parliament
and its rights than himself, and that to convince them of it, he had
endorsed a declaration of his views, in which he had left everything to
their settlement.

This paper was the celebrated Declaration of Breda, to which the people
afterwards so often called Charles's attention, and which he took the
earliest opportunity to forget, and falsify by a return to all the
Stuart despotisms, oppressions, and persecutions. In this paper he
granted a free pardon to all who should accept it within forty days;
the confirmation of all estates and titles, and in religion "liberty
to tender consciences, and that no man should be disturbed or called
in question in any way regarding religion." But these promises "on the
word of a king" were rendered perfectly nugatory, by excepting such
persons and such measures as Parliament should in its wisdom see fit to
determine otherwise. This specious declaration, which had been drawn
up by Hyde, Ormond, and Nicholas, in fact secured nothing, for once in
power, a servile Parliament might undo everything, as it eventually
did. Prynne, who was in the House, pointed all this out, and warned
them that Charles had been too long under the counsels of his mother,
and too long in France and in Flanders--"the most Jesuited place in the
world"--to be in religion anything better than a Papist; that at best
he would be found only a Prelatist, and that his word had already been
proved, on various occasions, of no more value than his father's. The
Royalists, he said, would never cease instilling into him that the
Presbyterian religion, now the religion of the nation, had destroyed
his great-grandmother, tormented his grandfather, and put to death his
father; and that as certain as there was a restoration, there would be
a destruction of all the liberties of England, civil and religious.
The pious Sir Matthew Hale urged on them the necessity of some better
guarantee than this declaration of constitutional rights before they
readmitted the king.

But all warning was lost on the House: the crisis was come, Parliament
and nation seemed smitten with a sudden oblivion of their past miseries
and oppressions under the Stuarts, and every branch of the community
seemed impatient to be the first to put its neck once more under
their yoke, and under the foot of the most debauched, unprincipled,
and scandalous member which the family had ever seen. Instead of
sending Grenville to the Tower, the Commons voted him thanks and a
present of five hundred pounds. The Speaker, in communicating these
votes to Grenville, launched into the most extravagant terms of joy
on the prospect "of having their king again." The Commons drew up
a most glowing letter to his Majesty, in which they declared their
thankfulness to God for putting the thoughts of returning into the
king's mind, "to make him glorious in the eyes of his people;"
protesting that "the persons of their kings had always been dear unto
Parliaments," and that they "could not bear to think of that horrid
act committed against the precious life of their late king," and so
forth. They not only delivered this letter to Sir John Grenville, but
appointed twelve of their members to wait on his Majesty at the Hague.
The London Corporation were as enthusiastic and as profuse of their
proffered devotion; they presented Grenville with three hundred pounds,
also appointed some of their members to wait on the king, made haste to
erect the royal statue in Guildhall, and to pull down the arms of the
Commonwealth.

[Illustration: LANDING OF CHARLES II. AT DOVER. (_See p._ 165.)]

Montague had long been prepared to go over to the king on the first
opportunity; and lest he might seem to be sent by the Parliament, and
not by his own voluntary act, he set sail for the coast of Holland,
leaving Lawson to bring over the deputations going to his Majesty.
He lay to at Scheveling, and sent word to the king that his fleet
was at his command. The Duke of York, whom Charles had made admiral,
went on board, and was received with all respect and submission. Soon
after came up the other ships with six members of the Peers, twelve
of the Commons, fourteen from the City of London, and eight or ten
of the most popular ministers in London of the Presbyterian party,
including Reynolds, Calamy, Case, and Marten. These gentlemen entered
zealously on the hopeless task of endeavouring to persuade Charles
to leave their form of worship in the ascendant, and to abstain from
the use of the Common Prayer Book and the surplices; but they got no
further satisfaction than that he would leave all that to the wisdom
of Parliament. On the 24th of May he embarked at Scheveling, in the
_Naseby_, which the day before had been rechristened the _Royal
Charles_, the rest of the ships at the same time having doffed their
republican appellations of unpleasant memory, and assumed right royal
ones. On the 26th he landed at Dover, where, amid the thunder of
cannon, he was received by Monk at the head of a splendid assemblage
of the nobility and gentry. From Dover to Canterbury, and thence to
London, the journey was one triumphant procession. The crowds of gentry
and of shouting people presented only the aspect of a most loyal
nation, amongst whom it was hard to imagine that such a thing as a
Commonwealth had ever existed. On Blackheath Charles was received by
the army with acclamations. The Lord Mayor and Corporation invited him
to a splendid collation in a tent prepared for the purpose. All the way
to Whitehall, attended by the chief nobility and by his Life Guards,
and several regiments of cavalry, the houses being hung with tapestry,
and the windows crowded with applauding men and women, the king riding
between his two brothers, beheld nothing but an enthusiastic people.
When he dismissed the last of his congratulators from the hall where
his father perished, he turned to one of his confidants and said, "It
surely must have been my own fault that I did not come before, for I
have met no one to-day who did not protest that he always wished for my
restoration."



CHAPTER VI.

THE PROGRESS OF THE NATION UNDER JAMES I., CHARLES I., AND THE
COMMONWEALTH.

    Manufactures and Commerce--Trade under the Stuarts--English
    Commerce and Dutch Competition--The East India
    Company--Vicissitudes of its Early History--Rival Companies--The
    American Colonies and West Indies--Growth of London--National
    Revenue--Extravagance of the Stuarts--Invention of the Title
    of Baronet--Illegal Monopolies--Cost of Government--Money
    and Coinage--Agriculture and Gardening--Dramatists of the
    Period--Shakespeare and his Contemporaries--Poets of the
    Occult School--Herbert, Herrick, Quarles--A Wealth of
    Poetry--Prose-Writers--Bacon's "Novum Organum"--Milton's
    Prose Works--Hales, Chillingworth, Jeremy Taylor, Fuller, and
    other Theological Writers--Harrington's "Oceana"--Sir Thomas
    Browne--Historians and Chroniclers--First Newspapers--Harvey's
    Discovery of the Circulation of the Blood--Napier's
    Invention of Logarithms--Music--Painting, Engraving, and
    Sculpture--Architecture--Manners and Customs--Sports and
    Pastimes--Furniture and Domestic Embellishment--Costumes--Arms and
    Armour--Condition of the People.


In the reigns of James and Charles England neither maintained the
reputation of her navy acquired under Henry VIII. and Elizabeth, nor
made great progress in foreign commerce. The character of James was too
timid for maritime or any other war, and when he was forced into action
it was only to show his weakness. He put to death the greatest naval
captain of his time, Raleigh, who, if well employed by him, might have
made him as much respected at sea as was Elizabeth. Nevertheless, he
built ten ships of war, and for some years spent thirty-six thousand
pounds annually on the navy. The largest ship which had yet been built
in England was built by him, but it was only of fourteen hundred tons.
As for commerce, he was too much engaged in theological disputations,
in persecution of Papists, in wrangling with his Parliaments, and
in following his hawks and hounds, to think of it, and consequently
grievous complaints of the decay of trade were heard every session. The
Dutch were fast engrossing both the commerce and the carrying trade of
England. During James's reign they traded to England with six hundred
ships, and the English traded to Holland with sixty.

The naval affairs of Charles were quite as inglorious as those
of his father. As James beheaded the best admiral of England, so
Charles chose for his the very worst in Europe, and the disgrace
of Buckingham's expedition to the Isle of Rhé was the consequence.
Charles's contests with his Parliaments, which terminated only with his
life, destroyed all chance of his promotion of naval ascendency, and
of the cultivation of commerce. All this was wonderfully changed by
the vigorous spirits of the Commonwealth. The victories of Blake, by
which the naval greatness of Holland and Spain was almost annihilated,
raised the reputation of the British arms at sea as well as on land
to the first place in the civilised world. St. John was no sooner
despatched by Parliament to the Hague as ambassador, than, perceiving
the immense advantage which Holland obtained from being the great
carriers of Europe, he drew and got passed the celebrated Navigation
Act, which--providing that no produce of Africa, Asia, or America, nor
of any English colony should be imported into England except in English
ships, and that the manufactures or merchandise of no country in Europe
should be imported except in English ships, or the ships of the nation
where they were produced--at once transferred an enormous maritime
business to England.

Sir Walter Raleigh, in a treatise on the comparative commerce of
England and Holland, endeavoured to draw the attention of James I. to
the vast benefits that the Dutch were obtaining from our neglect. He
showed that whenever there was a time of scarcity in England, instead
of sending out our ships and supplying ourselves, we allowed the Dutch
to pour in goods, and reap the advantage of the high prices; and
he declared that in a year and a half they had taken from Bristol,
Southampton, and Exeter alone, two hundred thousand pounds, which our
merchants might as well have had. He reminded the king that the most
productive fisheries in the world were on the British coasts, yet that
the Dutch and people of the Hanse Towns came and supplied all Europe
with their fish to the amount of two million pounds annually, whilst
the English could scarcely be said to have any trade at all in it. The
Dutch, he said, sent yearly a thousand ships laden with wine and salt,
obtained in France and Spain, to the north of Europe, whilst we, with
superior advantages, sent none. He pointed out equally striking facts
of their enterprise in the timber trade, having no timber themselves;
that our trade with Russia, which used to employ a large number of
ships, had fallen off to almost nothing, whilst that of the Dutch had
marvellously increased. What, he observed, was still more lamentable,
we allowed them to draw the chief profit and credit even from our own
manufactures, for we sent our woollen goods, to the amount of eighty
thousand pieces, abroad undyed, and the Dutch and others dyed them
and reshipped them to Spain, Portugal, and other countries as Flemish
baizes, besides netting a profit of four hundred thousand pounds
annually at our expense. Had James attended to the wise suggestions
of Raleigh, instead of destroying him, and listening to such minions
as Rochester and Buckingham, our commerce would have shown a very
different aspect.

It is true that some years afterwards James tried to secure the
profit pointed out by Raleigh from dyed cloths; but instead of
first encouraging the dyeing of such cloths here, so as to enable
the merchants to carry them to the markets in the South on equal or
superior terms to the Dutch, he suddenly passed an Act prohibiting the
export of any undyed cloths. This the Dutch met by an Act prohibiting
the import of any dyed cloths into Holland; and the English not
producing an equal dye to the Dutch, thus lost both markets, to the
great confusion of trade; and this mischief was only gradually overcome
by our merchants beginning to dye their yarn, so as to have no undyed
cloth to export, and by improving their dyes.

During the reign of James commercial enterprise showed itself in the
exertions of various chartered companies trading to distant parts
of the world. The East India Company was established in the reign
of Elizabeth, the first charter being granted by her in 1600. James
was wise enough to renew it, and it went on with various success,
ultimately so little in his time that at his death it was still a
doubtful speculation; but under such a monarch it could not hope for
real encouragement. In its very commencement he granted a charter to
a rival company to trade to China, Japan, and other countries in the
Indian seas, in direct violation of the East India Company's charter,
which so disgusted that Company, as nearly to have caused them to
relinquish their aim. In 1614 they obtained a charter from the Great
Mogul to establish a factory at Surat, and the same year they obtained
a similar charter from the Emperor of Japan. In 1615 Sir Thomas Roe
went as ambassador from England to the Great Mogul, and resided at
his court for four years. By this time the Company had extensively
spread its settlements. It had factories at Acheen, Zambee, and Tekoa,
in Sumatra; at Surat, Ahmedabad, Agra, Ajmere, and Burampore in the
Mogul's territories; at Firando, in Japan; at Bantam, Batavia, and
Japara, in Java; and others in Borneo, the Banda Isles, Malacca, Siam,
and Celebes; and at Masulipatam and Petapoli, on the Coromandel coast;
and at Calicut, the original settlement of the Portuguese on the
coast of Malabar. Their affairs were, in fact, extremely flourishing,
and their stock sold at 203 per cent.; but this prosperity awoke the
jealousy of the Dutch, who carried on a most profitable trade with Java
and the Spice Islands, and, in spite of a treaty concluded between the
two nations in 1619, the Dutch Governor-General attacked and took from
the Company the island of Pulo Rangoon. This was only the beginning of
their envious malice, for in 1623 they committed the notorious massacre
of the English Company at Amboyna, and drove the English out of all
the Spice Islands. Had this occurred in Cromwell's days, they would
soon have paid a severe retribution; but James was just then anxious to
secure the aid of the Dutch in restoring his son-in-law, the Elector
Palatine, and these atrocities were quietly smoothed over, and left
unavenged. The consequence was, that the affairs of the Company fell
into a most depressed condition, and though in 1616, when their stock
was worth 200 per cent., they had raised a new stock of one million
six hundred and twenty-nine thousand and forty pounds, which was taken
by nine hundred and fifty-four individuals, principally of the higher
aristocracy, at the close of James's reign the stock had fallen to half
its value.

Charles was not a more far-sighted or a juster patron of the India
Company than his father. In 1631 they managed to raise a new stock
of four hundred and twenty thousand pounds, but whilst they were
struggling with the hostilities of their rivals, the Dutch and
Portuguese, the king perpetrated precisely the same injury on them that
his father had done, by granting a charter to another company, which
embroiled them with the Mogul and the Chinese, causing the English to
be entirely expelled from China, and injuring the India Company to a
vast extent. The Civil War in England then prevented the attention
of the Government from being directed to the affairs of this great
Company. At the end of Charles's reign the Company's affairs were at
the worst, and its trade appeared extinct. In 1649, however, Parliament
encouraged the raising of new stock, which was done with extreme
difficulty, and only amounted to one hundred and ninety-two thousand
pounds. But in 1654, Parliament having humbled the Dutch, compelled
them to pay a balance of damages of eighty-five thousand pounds and
three thousand six hundred pounds to the heirs of the murdered men at
Amboyna. It required years, however, to revive the prosperity of the
Company, and it was only in 1657 that, obtaining a new charter from
the Protector, and raising a new stock of three hundred and seventy
thousand pounds, it sprang again into vigour and traded successfully
till the Restoration.

During this period, too, the Incorporated Companies--Turkey Merchants,
or the Levant Company; the Company of Merchant Adventurers, trading to
Holland and Germany; the Muscovy Company, trading to Russia and the
North, where they prosecuted also the whale fishery--were in active
operation, besides a great general trade with Spain, Portugal, and
other countries. The Turkey Merchants carried to the Mediterranean
English cloths, lead, tin, spices, indigo, calicoes, and other Indian
produce brought home by the East India Company; and they imported
thence the raw silks of Persia and Syria, galls from Aleppo, cotton and
cotton yarn from Cyprus and Smyrna; drugs, oils, and camlets, grograms,
and mohairs of Angora. In 1652 we find coffee first introduced from
Turkey, and a coffee-house set up in Cornhill. On the breaking out of
the Civil War, the Muscovy Company were deprived of their charter by
the Czar, because they took part with the Parliament against their
king, and the Dutch adroitly came in for the trade.

These great monopolies of foreign trade were supposed to be necessary
to stimulate and protect commerce; but the system of domestic
monopolies which were most destructive to enterprise at home, and which
had arrived at such a height under Elizabeth, was continued by both
James and Charles to the last, notwithstanding the constant outcries
against them, and their being compelled, ever and anon, by public
spirit to make temporary concessions.

The commerce of England was now beginning to receive a sensible
increase by the colonies which she had established in America and the
West Indies. One of the earliest measures of James was the founding of
two chartered companies to settle on the coasts of North America. One,
called the London Adventurers, or South Virginia Company, was empowered
to plant the coast from the 34th to the 41st degree of north latitude,
which now includes Maryland, Virginia, and North and South Carolina.
The other, the company of Plymouth Adventurers, was authorised to
plant all from the 41st degree to the 45th, which now includes the
States of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and New England. In 1612
a settlement was made in Bermuda. The State of New England was founded
by the planting of New Plymouth in 1620, and about the same time the
French were driven out of Nova Scotia, and the island of Barbadoes
was taken possession of; and within a few years various other West
India islands were secured and planted. James granted all the Caribbee
Isles to James Hay, Earl of Carlisle, and the grant was confirmed by
Charles, who also granted to Robert Heath and his heirs the Bahama
Isles and the vast territory of Carolina, including the present North
and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and the south of Louisiana. In
1632 Charles granted the present Maryland to Lord Baltimore, a Catholic
(the charter being also renewed in favour of Cecil, the second Lord
Baltimore), which became the refuge of the persecuted Catholics in
England, as the New England States did of the Puritans.

These immense territories were gradually peopled by the victims of
crime. According as the storm of religious persecution raged against
the Catholics, the Puritans, or the Episcopalians and Royalists, they
got away to New England, Maryland, or Virginia. By degrees the Indians
were driven back, and cotton, tobacco, and (in the West Indies) the
sugar cane became objects of cultivation. James abominated tobacco, and
published his "Counterblast" against it, laying various restrictions
upon its growth; but as the high duties imposed upon it proved very
profitable to the revenue, gradually these restrictions were relaxed,
and cultivation of it at home was prohibited in favour of the Colonies.
The Dutch had managed, under James and Charles, to engross the carrying
trade to the English American and West Indian colonies, having a strong
position at New Amsterdam, afterwards known as New York; but of this
Parliament deprived them in 1646, and extended, as we have seen, the
famous Navigation Act of 1651 to all the foreign trade of England. In
1655 Cromwell's conquest of Jamaica completed English power in the West
Indies.

The growth of English commerce was soon conspicuous by one great
result, the growth of London. It was in vain that both James and
Charles issued repeated proclamations to prohibit fresh building
of houses, and to order the nobility and gentry to live more on
their estates in the country, and not in London, in habits of such
extravagance, and drawing together so much loose company after them.
From the union of the crowns of Scotland and England, this rapid
increase of the metropolis, so alarming to those kings, was more
than ever visible. When James came to the throne in 1603, London and
Westminster were a mile apart, but the Strand was quickly populated
by the crowds of Scots who followed the Court; and though St.
Giles's-in-the-Fields was then a distinct town, standing in the open
country, with a very deep and dirty lane, called Drury Lane, running
from it to the Strand, before the Civil War it had become united to
London and Westminster by new erections in Clare Market, Long Acre,
Bedfordbury, and the adjoining neighbourhood. Anderson in his "History
of Commerce," gives us some curious insight into this part of London
at that period. "The very names of the older streets about Covent
Garden," he observes, "are taken from the Royal family at this time,
or in the reign of Charles II., as Catherine Street, Duke Street, York
Street. Of James and Charles I.'s time, James Street, Charles Street,
Henrietta Street, etc., all laid out by the great architect, Inigo
Jones, as was also the fine piazza there, although that part where
stood the house and gardens of the Duke of Bedford is of much later
date, namely, in the reigns of King William and Queen Anne. Bloomsbury,
and the streets at the Seven Dials, were built up somewhat later, as
also Leicester Fields, since the restoration of Charles II., as also
almost all of St. James's and St. Anne's parishes, and a great part
of St. Martin's and St. Giles's. I have met with several old persons
in my younger days who remembered that there was but a single house,
a cake-house, between the Mews-gate at Charing Cross and St. James's
Palace Gate, where now stand the stately piles of St. James's Square,
Pall Mall, and other fine streets. They also remembered the west side
of St. Martin's Lane to have been a quickset hedge; yet High Holborn
and Drury Lane were filled with noblemen's and gentlemen's houses and
gardens almost a hundred and fifty years ago. Those five streets of the
south side of the Strand, running down to the river Thames, have all
been built since the beginning of the seventeenth century, upon the
sites of noblemen's houses and gardens, who removed farther westward,
as their names denote. Even some parts within the bars of the City of
London remained unbuilt within about a hundred and fifty years past,
particularly all the ground between Shoe Lane and Fewters, now Fetter,
Lane, so called, says Howell in his 'Londonopolis,' from Fewters, an
old appellation of idle people, loitering there, as in a way leading
to gardens; which, in Charles I.'s reign, and even some of them since,
have been built up into streets, lanes, etc. Several other parts of the
City have been rendered more populous by the removal of the nobility to
Westminster, on the sites of whose former spacious houses and gardens,
whole streets, lanes, and courts have been added to the City since the
death of Queen Elizabeth."

[Illustration: CECIL, SECOND LORD BALTIMORE.]

The extension of the metropolis necessitated the introduction of
hackney coaches, which first began to ply, but only twelve in number,
in 1625. In 1634 sedan-chairs were introduced to relieve the streets of
the rapidly increased number of hackney-coaches, and other carriages;
and in 1635 a post-office for the kingdom was established, a foreign
post having been for some years in existence. In 1653 the post was
farmed for ten thousand pounds a year.

The annual revenue of James I. has been calculated at about six
hundred thousand pounds, yet he was always poor, and died leaving
debts to the amount of three hundred thousand pounds. He was prodigal
to his favourites, and wasteful in his habits. He left the estates of
the Crown, however, better than he found them, having raised their
annual income from thirty-two thousand pounds to eighty thousand
pounds, besides having sold lands to the amount of seven hundred and
seventy-five thousand pounds. He still prosecuted the exactions of
purveyance, wardship, etc., to the great annoyance of his subjects. On
the occasion of his son being made a knight, he raised a tax on every
knight's fee of twenty shillings, and on every twenty pounds of annual
rent from lands held directly of the Crown, thus raising twenty-one
thousand eight hundred pounds. On the marriage of his daughter
Elizabeth to the Elector Palatine, he levied an aid of twenty thousand
five hundred pounds, the last of these odious impositions which were
demanded. The Customs on his coming to the throne brought in one
hundred and twenty-seven thousand pounds a year; but towards the end
of his reign, showing the great increase of commerce, they amounted to
one hundred and ninety thousand pounds a year. But this was the tonnage
and poundage which was so hateful to the nation, and which James had
greatly augmented by his own act and deed; an encroachment which caused
Parliament to refuse to his son Charles the usual grant of those duties
for life; and his persistence in levying them, in spite of Parliament,
was one of the chief causes of his quarrel with that body, and the loss
of his crown.

James was also a great trader in titles of nobility. His price for a
_barony_ was ten thousand pounds, for the title of _viscount_, twenty
thousand pounds, and for that of _earl_, thirty thousand pounds. He
also invented the new title of _baronet_, and raised two hundred and
twenty-five thousand pounds by it, at the rate of one thousand and
ninety-five pounds each baronetcy. From so dignified a source do many
of our aristocracy derive their honours.

Charles, though he was driven to such fatal extremities to extort
money from his subjects, is calculated to have realised the enormous
revenue from 1637 to 1641 inclusive, of eight hundred and ninety-five
thousand pounds, of which two hundred and ten thousand pounds arose
from Ship-money and other illegal sources. Both he and his father dealt
in wholesale monopolies to their courtiers and others, the profits of
which were so embezzled by those greedy and unprincipled men, that
Clarendon says that of two hundred thousand pounds of such income in
Charles's time, only one thousand five hundred pounds reached the
royal treasury. Charles raised two hundred thousand pounds in 1626 by
a forced loan, and another hundred thousand by exacting the fees or
compensation for exemption from the assumption of knighthood by every
person worth forty pounds a year.

The income and expenditure of the Commonwealth are stated to have
far exceeded those of any monarch who ever sat before on the throne
of England, and to have been not less than four million four hundred
thousand pounds per annum. The post office, as already stated, brought
in ten thousand pounds per annum. A singular tax, called the Weekly
Meal, or the price of a meal a week from each person, produced
upwards of one hundred thousand pounds a year, or six hundred and
eight thousand four hundred pounds in the six years during which it
was levied. There was a weekly assessment for the support of the war,
which rose from thirty-eight thousand pounds to one hundred and twenty
thousand pounds per week, which was continued as a land tax under the
Protectorate, producing from 1640 to 1659 no less than thirty-two
million one hundred and seventy-two thousand three hundred and
twenty-one pounds. The Excise also owes its origin to this period, and
produced, it is said, five hundred thousand pounds a year. Large sums
were realised by the sales of Crown and Church lands,--from the sale
of Crown lands, parks, etc., one million eight hundred and fifty-eight
thousand pounds; from the sale of Church lands, ten million pounds;
from sequestration of the revenue of the clergy for four years, three
million five hundred thousand pounds; eight hundred and fifty thousand
pounds from incomes of offices sequestered for the public service; four
million five hundred thousand pounds from the sequestration of private
estates or compositions for them; one million pounds from compositions
with delinquents in Ireland; three million five hundred thousand
pounds from the sale of forfeited estates in England and Ireland, etc.
The ministers and commanders are asserted to have taken good care of
themselves. Cromwell's own income is stated at nearly two million
pounds, or one million nine hundred thousand pounds; namely, one
million five hundred thousand pounds from England, forty-three thousand
pounds from Scotland, and two hundred and eight thousand pounds from
Ireland. The members of Parliament were paid at the rate of four pounds
a week each, or about three hundred thousand pounds a year altogether;
and Walker, in his "History of Independency," says that Lenthall, the
Speaker, held offices to the amount of nearly eight thousand pounds a
year; that Bradshaw had Eltham Palace, and an estate of one thousand
pounds a year, as bestowed for presiding at the king's trial; and
that nearly eight hundred thousand pounds were spent on gifts to
adherents of the party. As these statements, however, are those of
their adversaries, they no doubt admit of ample abatement; but after
all deduction, the demands of king and Parliament on the country during
the contest, and of the Protectorate in keeping down its enemies, must
have been enormous. Notwithstanding this, the rate of interest on money
continued through this period to decline. During James's reign it was
ten per cent.; in 1625, the last year of his reign, it was reduced to
eight per cent., and in 1651 it was fixed by the Parliament at six per
cent., at which rate it remained.

James issued various coinages. Soon after his accession he issued a
coinage of gold and one of silver. The gold was of two qualities.
The first of twenty-three carats three and a half grains, consisting
of angels, half-angels, and quarter-angels; value ten shillings,
five shillings, and two-and-sixpence. The inferior quality, of only
twenty-two carats, consisted of sovereigns, half-sovereigns, crowns,
and half-crowns. His silver coinage (_see_ Vol. II., p. 436) consisted
of crowns, half-crowns, shillings, sixpences, twopences, pence, and
halfpence. The gold coins, being of more value than that amount of
gold on the Continent, were rapidly exported, and the value of the
finest gold was then raised from thirty-three pounds ten shillings
to thirty-seven pounds four shillings and sixpence. The next coinage
at this value consisted of a twenty-shilling piece called the unit,
ten shillings called the double crown, five shillings or the Britain
crown, four shillings or the thistle crown, and two-and-sixpence,
or half-crown. (_See_ Vol. II., p. 432.) This value of the gold was
not found high enough, and the next year, in a fresh coinage, it was
valued at forty pounds ten shillings, and consisted of rose rials
of thirty shillings each, spur rials fifteen shillings, and angels
at ten shillings each. But gold still rising in value, in 1611 the
unit was raised to twenty-two shillings, and the other coins in
proportion. In 1612 there was a great rise in gold, and James issued
fresh twenty-shilling, ten-shilling, and five-shilling pieces, known
as laurels, from the king's head being wreathed with laurel. The unit
and twenty-shilling pieces were termed hood pieces. Besides the royal
coinage, shopkeepers and other retailers put out tokens of brass and
lead, which in 1613 were prohibited, and the first copper coinage in
England, being of farthings, was issued.

The coins of Charles were, for the most part, of the same nature as
those of his father. During his reign silver rose so much in value that
it was melted down and exported to a vast extent. Though between 1630
and 1643 some ten million pounds of silver were coined, it became so
scarce that the people had to give a premium for change in silver. In
1637 Charles established a mint at Aberystwith, for coining the Welsh
silver, which was of great value to him during the war. From 1628 to
1640 Nicholas Briot, a Frenchman, superintended the cutting of the
dies, instituted machinery for the hammer in coining and his coins were
of remarkable beauty. (_See_ Vol. II., p. 540.) Charles erected mints
at most of his headquarters during the war, as Oxford, Shrewsbury,
York, and other places, the coiners and dies of Aberystwith being used,
and these coins are distinguished by the Prince of Wales's feathers.
Many of these coins are of the rudest character; and besides these
there were issued siege pieces, so called from the besieged castles
where they were made, as Newark, Scarborough, Carlisle, and Pontefract.
Some of these are mere bits of silver plate with the rude stamp of the
castle on one side and the name of the town on the other. Others are
octagonal, others lozenge-shaped, others of scarcely any regular shape.
(_See p._ 29.)

The Commonwealth at first coined the same coins as the king, only
distinguishing them by a P for Parliament. They afterwards adopted dies
of their own, having on one side a St. George's cross on an antique
shield encircled with a palm and laurel, and on the other two antique
shields, one bearing the cross and the other the harp, surrounded by
the words GOD WITH US. Their small silver coins had the arms only
without any legend.

The coins of the Protectorate have on the obverse a bust of Cromwell,
round which is this inscription: "_Oliver D.G. R.P. Ang. Sco.
Hib. &c. Pro._" On the reverse they bear a shield, having in the
first and fourth quarters St. George's cross, in the second St.
Andrew's, in the third a harp, and in the centre a lion rampant on an
escutcheon--Cromwell's own arms--surmounted by an imperial crown. The
legend on this side is "_Pax quæritur bello_" (Peace is sought by war).
The larger silver pieces have this motto round the edge: "_Has nisi
periturus mihi adimat nemo_" (_i.e._ "Let no one take from me these
letters unless about to die"). In those days the penalty for clipping
and filing money was death. (_See p._ 121.)

The coins of the Commonwealth were the same for Ireland and Scotland
as for England. This was not the case in the reigns of James and
Charles, and the coins, though bearing the same arms, had generally a
very different value. For Ireland James coined silver and copper money
of about three-quarters the value of English, and called in the base
coinage used by Elizabeth in the time of the rebellion. Charles only
coined some silver in 1641, during the government of Lord Ormond, and
therefore called Ormonds. Copper halfpence and farthings of that period
are supposed to have been coined by the rebel Papists of 1642.

In agriculture and gardening the English were excelled by their
neighbours the Dutch and Flemings. Towards the latter part of this
period, however, they began to imitate those nations, and to introduce
their modes of drainage, their roots and seeds. In 1652 the advantage
of growing clover was pointed out by Bligh, in his "Improver Improved,"
and Sir Richard Weston recommended soon afterwards the Flemish mode
of cultivating the turnip for winter fodder for cattle and sheep.
Gardening was more attended to, and both vegetables and flowers were
introduced. Samuel Hartlib, a Pole, who was patronised by Cromwell,
wrote various treatises on agriculture, and relates that in his time
old men recollected the first gardener who went into Surrey to plant
cabbages, cauliflowers, and artichokes, and to sow early peas, turnips,
carrots, and parsnips. Till then almost all the supply of these
things in London was imported from Holland and Flanders. About that
time (1650), however, cherries, apples, pears, hops, cabbages, and
liquorice were rapidly cultivated, and soon superseded the necessity of
importation; but onions were still scarce, and the supply of stocks of
apple, pear, cherry, vine, and chestnut trees was difficult for want
of sufficient nurseries for them. There was a zealous endeavour to
promote the production of raw silk, and mulberry trees and silkworms
were introduced, but the abundant supply of silk from India, and the
perfection of the silk manufactured in France, rendered this scheme
abortive.

[Illustration: CHEAPSIDE AND THE CROSS IN 1660.]

Whilst James was hunting and levying taxes without a Parliament, and
Charles was in continual strife with his people for unconstitutional
power and revenue, literature and art were still at work, and producing
or preparing some of the noblest and choicest creations of genius.
Shakespeare and Milton were the great lights of the age; but around and
beside them burned a whole galaxy of lesser, but not less exquisite,
luminaries, whose selected beauties are just as delightful now as
they were to their contemporaries. The names of this period, to which
we still turn with admiration, reverence, and affection, are chiefly
Shakespeare, Milton, Bacon, Marlowe, Massinger, Webster, Selden,
Herrick, Herbert, Quarles, Bunyan, Bishop Hall, Hales, Chillingworth,
Jeremy Taylor, Raleigh, Sir Thomas Browne, Burton (of the "Anatomy
of Melancholy"), and Drummond of Hawthornden. But there are numbers
of others, more unequal or more scholastic, to whose works we can
occasionally turn, and find passages of wonderful beauty and power.

[Illustration: THE "GLOBE" THEATRE, SOUTHWARK (WITH THE "ROSE" THEATRE
IN THE DISTANCE), IN 1613.

(_From a Contemporary Print._)]

As we come first to Shakespeare, who figured largely on the scene in
the days of Queen Bess, and whose poetry we have already reviewed
(Vol. II., pp. 373-5), we may take the drama of this period also
in connection with him. A formal criticism on Shakespeare would be
superfluous. There are whole volumes of comment on this greatest of our
great writers, both in this language and others. The Germans, indeed,
pride themselves on understanding him better than ourselves. The
Scandinavians equally venerate him, and have an admirable translation
of his dramas. Even the French, the tone and spirit of whose literature
are so different from ours, have, of late years, begun to comprehend
and receive him. The fact is, Shakespeare's genius is what the
Germans term spherical, or many-sided. He had not a brilliancy in one
direction only, but he seemed like a grand mirror, in which is truly
reflected every image that falls on it. Outward nature, inner life
and passion, town and country, all the features of human nature, as
exhibited in every grade of life--from the cottage to the throne--are
in him expressed with a truth and a natural strength, that awake in
us precisely the same sensations as nature itself. The receptivity of
his mind was as quick, as vast, as perfect, as his power of expression
was unlimited. Every object once seen appeared photographed on his
spirit, and he reproduced these lifelike images in new combinations,
and mingled with such an exuberance of wit, of humour, of delicious
melodies, and of exquisite poetry, as has no parallel in the whole
range of literature.

It has been said that his dramas cast into the shade and made
obsolete all that went before him; but, indeed, his great light
equally overwhelms also all that has come after him. Where is the
second Shakespeare of the stage? He still stands alone as the type of
dramatic greatness and perfection, and is likely to continue so. When
we recollect his marvellous characters--his Hamlet, his Macbeth, his
Lady Macbeth, his Othello, his Shylock, his Lear, his Ophelia, his
Beatrice, his Juliet, his Rosalind--the humours and follies of Shallow,
Slender, Dogberry, Touchstone, Bottom, Launce, Falstaff--or his ideal
creations, Ariel, Caliban, Puck, Queen Mab--we cannot hope for the
appearance of any single genius who shall at once enrich our literature
with such living and speaking characters, such a profound insight into
the depths and eccentricities of human nature, and such a fervent and
varied expression of all the sentiments that are dearest to our hearts.
But when we survey in addition the vast extent of history and country
over which he has roamed, gleaning thence the most kingly personages,
the most tragic incidents, the most moving and thrilling as well as the
most amusing sensations and fancies, our wonder is the greater. Greece
has lent him its Pericles, its Timon, its Troilus and Cressida--Rome
its Cæsar, Brutus, Antony, Coriolanus--Egypt its Cleopatra.
Ancient Britain, Scotland, and Denmark; all the fairest cities of
Italy--Venice, Verona, Mantua; the forests of Illyria and Belgium, and
the isles of the Grecian seas, are made the perpetually shifting arena
of his triumphs. Through all these he ranged with a free hand, and,
with a power mightier than ever was wielded by any magician, recalled
to life all that was most illustrious there, giving them new and more
piquant effect from the sympathetic nearness into which he brought
them with the spectator, and from the enchanting scenery with which
he surrounded them. All this was done by the son of the woolcomber of
Stratford--the youthful ranger of the woods of Charlecote, and the
uplands of Clopton,--the merry frequenter of country wakes, and then
the player of London, who, so far as we know, was never out of his
native land in his life.

If we are to take it for granted that after the year 1597, when he
bought one of the best houses in his native town for his residence,
Shakespeare spent his life there, except during the theatrical season,
the greater part of his last nineteen years would be passed in the
quiet of his country home. We may then settle his _Two Gentlemen of
Verona_, _The Comedy of Errors_, _Love's Labours Lost_, _All's Well
that Ends Well_, _Richard II._ and _Richard III._, _King John_, _Titus
Andronicus_ (if his), the first part of _Henry IV._, and _Romeo and
Juliet_, as produced in the bustle of his London life. But the far
greater part, and the most magnificent and poetical, of his dramas
were composed in the pleasant retirement of his native scenes; namely,
the second part of _Henry IV._, _Henry V._, _A Midsummer Night's
Dream_, _Much Ado about Nothing_, and _The Merchant of Venice_, in
1598 and 1600; the second and third parts of _Henry VI._, _Merry
Wives of Windsor_, 1601; _Hamlet_, 1602; _Lear_, 1608; _Troilus and
Cressida_ and _Pericles_, 1609; _Othello_ (not published till after
the author's death, which was the case, too, with all his other
plays, though brought on the stage in his lifetime), _The Winter's
Tale_, _As You Like It_, _King Henry VIII._, _Measure for Measure_,
_Cymbeline_, _Macbeth_, _The Taming of the Shrew_, _Julius Cæsar_,
_Antony and Cleopatra_, _Coriolanus_, _Timon of Athens_, _The Tempest_,
and _Twelfth Night_. Shakespeare died in 1616. Of the envy which the
unexampled splendour of Shakespeare's genius produced amongst inferior
dramatic writers, we have an amusing specimen in the words of Robert
Greene: "There is an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that,
with his tiger's heart wrapped in a player's hide, supposes he is
as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you, and,
being an absolute Johannes Factotum, is, in his own conceit, the only
_Shakscene_ in a country."

Amongst the most remarkable dramatic contemporaries of Shakespeare, or
those who immediately followed him, were Chapman, Ben Jonson, Webster,
Middleton, Dekker, Marston, Taylor, Tourneur, Rowley, Ford, Heywood,
Shirley, and Beaumont and Fletcher. George Chapman (_born_, 1557;
_died_, 1634) wrote sixteen plays, and, conjointly with Ben Jonson
and Marston, one more, as well as three in conjunction with Shirley.
The tragedies of Chapman are written in a grave and eloquent diction,
and abound with fine passages, but you feel at once that they are not
calculated, like Shakespeare's, for acting. They want the inimitable
life, ease, and beauty of the great dramatist. Perhaps his tragedy
of _Bussy D'Ambois_ is his best, and next to that his _Conspiracy
and Tragedy of Charles, Duke of Byron_. Of his comedies, the best
are, _Eastward Ho!_ partly composed by Jonson and Marston, _Monsieur
d'Olive_, and his _All Fools_. But Chapman's fame now rests on his
translation of Homer, which, with all its rudeness of style and extreme
quaintness, has always seized on the imagination of poets, and has been
declared to be the best translation of the "Iliad" and "Odyssey" that
we possess. Pope was greatly indebted to it, having borrowed from it
almost all the felicitous double epithets which are found in him.

The most celebrated of Webster's tragedies, _The Duchess of Malfi_,
was revived by Richard Hengist Horne, and put on the stage at Sadler's
Wells by Phelps with considerable success. He was the author of
three tragedies, _Appius and Virginia_, _Duchess of Malfi_, and _The
White Devil, or, Vittoria Corombona_; a tragic comedy, _The Devil's
Law Case, or, When Women Go to Law, the Devil is full of Business_,
besides two comedies in conjunction with Rowley, and two others
in conjunction with Dekker. Webster exhibits remarkable power of
language, and an imagination of wonderful vigour, but rather too fond
of horrors. Undoubtedly he was one of the best dramatists of his age,
and seemed fully conscious of it. That he had a true poetic vein in
him is evidenced by such passages as the "Dirge of Marcello," sung by
his mother, which reminds one of the like simple homely ditties in
Shakespeare:--

  "Call for the robin red-breast and the wren,
  Since o'er shady groves they hover,
  And with leaves and flowers do cover
  The friendless bodies of unburied men.
  Call unto his funeral dole
  The ant, the field-mouse, and the mole,
  To raise him hillocks that shall keep him warm,
  And when grey tombs are robbed, sustain no harm."

There are fine truths also scattered through his dramas as:--"To see
what solitariness is about dying princes! As heretofore they have
unpeopled towns, divided friends, and made great houses inhospitable,
so now, O justice, where are their flatterers? Flatterers are but the
shadows of princes' bodies; the least thick cloud makes them invisible."

Of Middleton, who wrote from twenty to thirty plays, in some of which,
according to a very prevalent fashion of that age, he called in the aid
of Rowley, Dekker, Fletcher, and Massinger; of Dekker, who wrote the
whole or part of about thirty plays; of John Marston, who wrote eight
plays; of Taylor, Tourneur, Heywood, and Ford, we can only say that
their dramas abound with fine things, and would well repay a perusal.
John Fletcher (_born_, 1576; _died_, 1625) and Francis Beaumont
(_born_, 1586; _died_, 1616) require a more specific notice. They
worked together on the same plays to the number of upwards of thirty,
whilst John Fletcher wrote fourteen or fifteen himself. In fact,
Fletcher, so far as can be known, was the more voluminous writer of the
two, Beaumont having written little in his own name, except a masque,
a few farces, dramatic pieces, and translations. The style of the
two, however, was so much alike, that there is little to distinguish
their productions from those of an individual mind. Beaumont and
Fletcher were, as stated by Dryden, far more popular in their time than
Shakespeare himself. The truth is, that they had less originality and
were more compliant with the spirit of their age. They sought their
characters more in the range of ordinary life, and therefore hit the
tastes of a large and commoner class. They were extremely lively and
forcible in dialogue, and had a flowery and dignified style which
oftener approached the poetical than became it. We are everywhere met
by admirable writing, and a finely-sustained tone, but we travel on
without encountering those original characters that can never again be
forgotten, and become a part of our world, or those exquisite gushes of
poetry and poetic scenery which, like the music of Ariel, ring in the
memory long afterwards. At the same time we are continually offended by
extreme grossness and jarred by slovenliness and incongruity. They are
of the class of great and able playwrights who command the popularity
of their age, but whom future ages praise and neglect; and who are only
read by the curious for the fragments of good things that they contain.

The fate of Ben Jonson (_b._, 1574; _d._, 1637) has been nearly the
same. Excepting his comedies of _Every Man in his Humour_, _Volpone_,
_The Silent Woman_, and _The Alchemist_, we are content to read the
bulk of his dramas, and wonder at his erudition and his wit. His
genius is most conspicuous in his masques and Court pageants, which
were the delight of James's queen, Anne of Denmark, and the whole
Court. In them the spirits of the woods seem to mingle with those
of courts and cities; and fancy and a hue of romance give to royal
festivities the impressions of Arcadian life. But the living poetry of
the _Midsummer Night's Dream_ or of _Comus_ is yet wanting to touch
them with perfection. Hence their chief charm died with the age which
patronised them, and having once perused them, we are not drawn to them
again by a loving memory, as we are to the Shakespearean woodlands and
lyrical harmonies. In Jonson's graver dramas there is a cold classical
tone which leaves the affections untouched and the feelings unmoved,
while we respect the artistic skill and the learned dignity of the
composition.

Philip Massinger (_b._, 1584; _d._, 1640), who wrote nearly forty
dramatic pieces, is a vigorous writer, eloquent and effective. He is
trenchant in his satire, and delights in displaying pride and meanness
exposed and punished. Still he is greater as a dramatist than a poet.
His _New Way to Pay Old Debts_ and _The Fatal Dowry_ are best known to
lovers of the drama. The _City Madam_ is a play which is full of strong
features of the times. Dekker assisted him in _The Virgin Martyr_, and
is supposed to have introduced a higher and richer vein of feeling than
belonged to Massinger himself.

Altogether the dramatic writing of this period has never been
surpassed, and in Shakespeare has never been equalled. There is
mingled with much licentiousness and coarseness a manly and healthy
strength in the writers of this department; and though the bulk of
these compositions have vanished from the stage, they will be long
studied with enjoyment by those who delight in living portraiture of
past ages, and the strong current of genuine English sense and feeling.
The arrival of the Commonwealth put down all theatres and scenic
amusements. The solemn religion of the Puritans was death to what
they called "the lascivious mirth and levity of players." After their
suppression for six years, it was found that the ordinance of the Long
Parliament was clandestinely and extensively evaded; and in 1648 an
Act was passed ordering all theatres to be pulled down and demolished,
and the players to be punished "as rogues according to law." Towards
the end of the Protectorate, however, dramatic representations again
crept in cautiously, and Sir William Davenant at first giving musical
entertainments and declamations at Rutland House, Charterhouse Square,
and afterwards in Drury Lane, calling his entertainments "operas," at
length gave regular plays. The Restoration at last set the imprisoned
drama altogether free.

Besides dramatic writers, poets abounded. It has been calculated that
from the reign of Elizabeth to the Restoration, no less than four
hundred writers of verse appeared. Some of these, who attained a great
reputation in their day, and whose works are still retained in our
collections, were rather verse-wrights than poets, and would now tax
the patience of poetical readers beyond endurance. Such were William
Warner, the author of "Albion's England," a history of England in
metre extending from Noah's flood to the reign of Elizabeth; Samuel
Daniel, the author of the "Civil Wars of Lancaster and York," in eight
books; and Michael Drayton, who also wrote the "Barons' Wars" in verse,
"England's Heroical Epistles," and, above all, the "Polyolbion," a
topography in Alexandrine verse, in thirty books, and thirty thousand
lines. Next came Giles and Phineas Fletcher, who employed their
strength in composing allegoric poems. Phineas, under the delusive
appellation of "The Purple Island," wrote an anatomical description of
the human body, with all its veins, arteries, sinews, and so forth.
This was extended to twelve books, on which an abundance of very
excellent language was wasted. Besides this, he composed "Piscatory
Eclogues," and other poems; and Giles, choosing a worthier subject,
wrote "Christ's Victory," in the Italian _ottava rima_, or eight-lined
stanzas. To such perversion of the name of poetry had men arrived in
the age of Shakespeare.

There were sundry poets who were also translators. Of these,
Edward Fairfax, of the same family as Lord Fairfax, was the most
distinguished. He translated with singular vigour and poetic feeling
Tasso's "Jerusalem Delivered." It is still referred to with intense
pleasure by the lovers of our old poetry. Joshua Sylvester--who
wrote like King James against tobacco, but in verse, "Tobacco
Battered"--translated, amongst other things, "The Divine Weeks and
Works" of the French poet Du Bartas. Sir Richard Fanshawe translated
the "Lusiad," by the Portuguese poet Camoens. Fanshawe, moreover,
translated the "Pastor Fido" of Guarini, from the Italian, the "Odes"
of Horace, the fourth book of the "Æneid," and the "Love for Love's
Sake," of the Spaniard Mendoza. Fanshawe seemed to have a peculiar
taste for the European languages derived from the Latin as for the
Latin itself; thus he translated from Roman, Spanish, Portuguese, and
Italian poets, and from all with much taste and elegance.

Sir John Denham was a popular poet of the time, and his "Cooper's
Hill" is still retained in our collections, and finds readers amongst
admirers of descriptive poetry. Writers of much more sterling poetry
were Sir John Davies, Drummond of Hawthornden, Bishop Hall, and Donne.
Sir John Davies was long Attorney-General, and Chief-Justice of the
King's Bench at the time of his death (_b._, 1570; _d._, 1626).
He is author of a poem on dancing called the "Orchestra," but his
great work is his "_Nosce Teipsum_," or "Know Thyself," a work which
treats on human knowledge and the immortality of the soul. It is
written in quatrains, or four-lined stanzas, and is one of the finest
philosophical poems in the language as it was one of the first. There
are a life and feeling in the poem which make it always fresh, like
the waters of a pure and deep fountain. Speaking of the soul, he
says:--

    "Yet under heaven she cannot light on aught,
      That with her heavenly nature doth agree;
    She cannot rest, she cannot fix her thought,
      She cannot in this world contented be.

    "For who did ever yet in honour, wealth,
      Or pleasure of the sense, contentment find?
    Who ever ceased to wish when he had wealth,
      Or, having wisdom, was not vexed in mind?

    "Then as a bee which among weeds doth fall,
      Which seem sweet flowers with lustre fresh and gay,
    She lights on that and this and tasteth all,
      But pleased with none, doth rise and soar away."

[Illustration: HAWTHORNDEN IN 1773. (_After an Etching by John Clerk of
Eldin._)]

Drummond of Hawthornden, near Edinburgh, wrote, besides considerable
prose, some exquisite poems and sonnets formed on the Italian model;
and Bishop Hall, in his satires, presents some of the most graphic
sketches of English life, manners, and scenery. Dr. Donne, who was
Dean of St. Paul's, and the most fashionable preacher of his day,
was also the most fashionable poet--we do not except Shakespeare. He
was the rage, in fact, of all admirers of poetry, and was the head
of a school of which Cowley was the most extravagant disciple, and
of which Crashaw, Wither, Herrick, Herbert, and Quarles had more
or less of the characteristics. In all these poets there was deep
feeling of spirituality, religion, and wit, and, in some of them, of
nature, dashed and marred by a fantastic style, full of quaintnesses
and conceits. In some of them these were so tempered as to give them
an original and piquant air, as in Herrick, Herbert, and Quarles; in
others, as in Donne and Cowley, they degenerated into disfigurement and
absurdity. But Donne (_b._, 1573; _d._, 1631) had great and shining
qualities, keen, bold satire, profound and intellectual thoughts, and
a most sparkling fancy, embedding rich touches of passion and pathos,
yet so marred by uncouth and strange conceits, that one scarcely
knows how to estimate his compositions. In a word, they are the exact
antipodes of the natural style, and this fashion was carried to its
utmost extravagance by Cowley. A stanza or two from a parting address
of a lover to his mistress may show something of Donne's quality and
manner:--

    "As virtuous men pass mildly away,
      And whisper to their souls to go;
    Whilst some of their sad friends do say
      The breath goes now, and some say, no;

    "So let us melt and make no noise,
      No tear-floods nor sigh-tempests move;
    'Twere profanation of our joys,
      To tell the laity of our love.

    "Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears,
       Men reckon what it did and meant;
    But trepidation of the spheres,
      Though greater far, is innocent."

George Wither (_b._, 1588; _d._, 1667) has much less of what a
contemporary happily styled the "Occult School." He says himself that
he took "little pleasure in rhymes, fictions, or conceited compositions
for their own sakes," but preferred "such as flowed forth without
study;" and indeed, he has far more nature. He was confined for years
in the Marshalsea prison, for publishing a biting satire, called
"Abuses Stripped and Whipped," and there he wrote a long allegorical
poem, called "The Shepherds' Hunting," in which his description of
Poetry is a perfect gem of fancy and natural feeling:--

    "By the murmur of a spring,
    Or the least boughs rustling,
    By a daisy, whose leaves spread,
    Shut when Titan goes to bed;
    Or a shady bush or tree,
    She could more infuse in me
    Than all Nature's beauties can
    In some other wiser man."

Two songs of Wither's, quoted in Percy's "Reliques"--"The Steadfast
Shepherd," and the one beginning

    "Shall I, wasting in despair,
    Die because a woman's fair?
    Or make pale my cheeks with care
    'Cause another's rosy are?
    Be she fairer than the day,
    Or the flowery meads in May;
    If she be not so to me,
    What care I how fair she be?"--

are exquisite lines, that no reader ever forgets.

Crashaw (_b._, 1616; _d._, 1650) was of a deeply religious tone of
mind, and became a Catholic. His finest poems are his religious ones,
and they are full of music and passionate reveries, yet disfigured by
the Donne fashion, which Dryden, and after him Johnson, inaccurately
termed the Metaphysical School, instead of the Fantastic or Singularity
School. His very first poem, called "The Weeper," shows how he treated
even sacred subjects:--

      "Hail, sister springs!
    Parents of silver-forded rills,
        Ever-bubbling things!
    Thawing crystal, snowy hills,
      Still spending, never spent, I mean
      Thy fair eyes, sweet Magdalene.

      "Heavens thy fair eyes be,
    Heavens of ever-falling stars;
        'Tis seed-time still with thee,
    And stars thou sow'st, whose harvest dares
      Promise the earth to countershine,
      Whatever makes heaven's forehead shine."

Carew, Suckling, Lovelace are poets whose merits, in their various
styles, would deserve a separate examination, but we must pass on
to three other poets, who have been more known to modern readers,
and who would of themselves have stamped their age as one of genuine
inspiration--Herbert, Herrick, and Quarles. Herbert and Herrick,
like Donne, were clergymen, and in their quiet country parsonages
poured forth some of the most exquisite lyrics which enrich any
language. Herrick may be said to be the born poet of nature--Herbert
of devotion. Robert Herrick (_b._, 1591; _d._, 1674) was of an old
family of Leicestershire. His lyrics, so full of grace, are the very
soul of Nature's melody and rapture. He revels in all the charms of the
country--flowers, buds, fairies, bees, the gorgeous blossoming May,
the pathos and antique simplicity of rural life; its marriages, its
churchyard histories, its imagery of awaking and fading existence. The
free, joyous, quaint, and musical flow and rhythm of his verse have
all that felicity and that ring of woodland cadences which mark the
snatches of rustic verse which Shakespeare scatters through his dramas.
His "Night Piece to Juliet," beginning--

    "Her eyes the glow-worm lend thee,
    The shooting stars attend thee,
          And the elves also
          Whose little eyes glow
    Like sparks of fire, befriend thee!"

is precisely of that character. His "Daffodils" express the beautiful
but melancholy sentiment which he so frequently found in nature:--

        "Fair daffodils, we weep to see
    You haste away so soon;
    As yet the early rising sun
    Has not attained his noon.
            Stay, stay,
        Until the hastening day
            Has run
        But to the evensong,
    And having prayed together, we
        Will go with you along.

    "We have short time to stay as you,
    We have as short a spring,
    As quick a growth to meet decay
        As you, or anything.
            We die,
        As your hours do; and dry
            Away
        Like to the summer rain,
    Or as the pearls of morning dew,
        Ne'er to be found again."

Herrick's works are his "Hesperides" and his "Noble Numbers," the
latter being religious, and not equal to the former.

In religious tone, intensity, and grandeur, George Herbert (_b._, 1593;
_d._, 1633) is his superior. Herbert was in early life a courtier; his
eldest brother being the celebrated sceptical writer, Lord Herbert of
Cherbury. Herbert's hopes of Court preferment fortunately ceasing with
the death of King James, he took orders, grew extremely religious,
married an admirable wife, and retired to Bemerton parsonage, about a
mile from Salisbury, where he died of consumption at the age of forty.
Herbert was the very personification of Chaucer's "Good Parson." His
life was one constant scene of piety and benevolence. Beloved by his
parishioners, happy in his congenial wife, and passionately fond of
music and his poetry, his days glided away as already in heaven. The
music which he loved was poured into his poetry, which overflows with
tender and profound feeling, the most chaste and seraphic imagination,
and the most fervent devotion. James Montgomery, of later times, not a
little resembled him in his pure and beautiful piety; but there is in
Herbert a greater vigour, more dignity of style, and finer felicity of
imagery. There is a gravity, a sublimity, and a sweetness which mingle
in his devotional lyrics, and endear them for ever to the heart. His
"Temple" is a poetic fabric worthy of a Christian minstrel, and stands
as an immortal refutation of the oft-repeated theory, that religious
poetry cannot be at once original and attractive. What can be more
noble than the following stanzas from his poem entitled "Man"?--

            "For us the winds do blow;
    The earth doth rest, heavens move, and fountains flow.
        Nothing we see but means our good,
        As our delight, or as our treasure:
    The whole is either our cupboard of food
            Or cabinet of pleasure.

            "The stars have us to bed;
    Night draws the curtain which the sun withdraws,
        Music and light attend our head.
        All things to our _flesh_ are kind
    In their _descent_ and _being_; to our _mind_
            In their _ascent_ and _cause_.

            "Each thing is full of duty:
    Waters united are our navigation;
        Distinguished, our habitation;
        Below, our drink--above, our meat:
    Both are our cleanliness. Hath one such beauty?
            Then how are all things neat!

            "More servants wait on man
    Than he'll take notice of: in every path
        He treads down that which doth befriend him
        When sickness makes him pale and wan.
    Oh! mighty love! man is one world, and hath
            Another to attend him."

Besides his "Temple," Herbert wrote a prose work, "The Priest to the
Temple; or, the Country Parson," which is charmingly full of the
simple, child-like piety of the author. He also collected a great
number of proverbs, under the title of "Jacula Prudentum."

The third of the trio of poets who seem to class themselves together
by their quaintness, their fancy, and their piety, is Francis Quarles,
(_b._, 1592; _d._, 1644) a man who has been treated by many critics
as a mere poetaster, but who is one of the most sterling poets which
English genius has produced. Quarles was a gentleman and a scholar; in
his youth he was cup-bearer to Elizabeth of Bohemia, and was finally
ruined by taking the Royal side in the Civil Wars. He wrote various
poetical works; "Argalus and Parthenia," "A Feast for Worms," "Zion's
Elegies," and a series of elegies on the death of a friend, the son
of Bishop Aylmer. But the great work of Quarles is his "Emblems,"
which originated in a Latin poem by Herman Hugo, a Jesuit, called "Pia
Desideria." This book, condemned and overlooked by the great critics,
like Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress," has, from generation to generation,
adorned with curious woodcuts, circulated amongst the people in town
and country, till it has won an extraordinary popularity: and that
it has well deserved it, we need only read such verses as these to
convince ourselves:--

    "I love, and have some cause to love, the earth:
      She is my Maker's creature--therefore good;
    She is my mother--for she gave me birth;
      She is my tender nurse--she gives me food.
    But what's a creature, Lord, compared with Thee?
    Or what's my mother, or my nurse, to me?

    "I love the air: her dainty sweets refresh
      My drooping soul, and to new sweets invite me;
    Her shrill-mouthed quires sustain me with their flesh
      And with their Polyphonian notes delight me.
    But what's the air, or all the sweets that she
    Can bless my soul withal, compared to Thee?

    "I love the sea: she is my fellow-creature--
      My careful purveyor; she provides me store;
    She walls me round, she makes my diet greater;
      She wafts my treasure from a foreign shore.
    But, Lord of oceans, when compared to Thee,
    What is the ocean, or her health to me?

    "To heaven's high city I direct my journey,
      Whose spangled suburbs entertain mine eye;
    Mine eye, by contemplation's great attorney,
      Transcends the crystal pavement of the sky.
    But what is heaven, great God, compared to Thee?
    Without Thy presence, heaven's no heaven to me.

    "Without Thy presence, earth gives no refection;
      Without Thy presence, sea affords no treasure;
    Without Thy presence, air's a rank infection;
      Without Thy presence, heaven itself's no pleasure.
    If not possessed, if not enjoyed in Thee,
    What's earth, or sea, or air, or heaven to me?"

William Browne's "Britannia's Pastorals," written at this period,
have been much and justly celebrated for their faithful transcripts
of nature and country life. There are others, besides, that sue for
recognition as among the genuine poets of those times--Raleigh, as a
lyrical poet; Sir Henry Wotton; Henry Vaughan, the author of "Silex
Scintillans" and "Olor Iscanus," a disciple of Herbert's, who would
demand a notice were it only to show how freely Campbell borrowed the
poem of "The Rainbow" from him:--

    "How bright wert thou when Shem's admiring eye
    Thy burning, flaming arch did first descry!
    When Zerah, Nahor, Haran, Abram, Lot,
    _The youthful world's grey fathers_ in one knot,
    Did with attentive looks _watch every hour
    For thy new light_."

And so Campbell:--

    "When on the green, undeluged earth,
        Heaven's covenant, thou didst shine;
    How came _the world's grey fathers_ forth
        _To watch thy sacred sign_."

Altogether, no age--not even our own--has produced such a constellation
of poets, nor such a mass of exquisite, superb, and imperishable
poetry. Whilst Shakespeare was fast departing, Milton was rising,
and during this period wrote many of his inimitable smaller poems.
Even honest Andrew Marvell, when freed from his labours in the great
struggle for the Commonwealth, solaced himself with writing poetry,
English and Latin, and some of it of no contemptible order, as in his
boat-song of the exiles of the Bermudas:--

    "Thus they sang in the English boat
    A holy and a cheerful note,
    And all the way, to guide the chime,
    They with the falling oars kept time."

So he forgot occasionally polemics and politics in "a holy and a
cheerful note" of his own. Even the saturnine Sir Thomas Overbury, whom
Somerset and his wife had murdered in the Tower, could brighten up in
poetry as in his "Choice of a Wife:"--

    "If I were to choose a woman,
        As who knows but I may marry,
    I would trust the eye of no man,
        Nor a tongue that may miscarry;
    For in way of love and glory
    Each tongue best tells his own story."

The prose of the age was equally remarkable. First and foremost stands
Francis Bacon (_b._, 1561; _d._, 1626) with his "Novum Organum," a new
instrument of discovery in philosophy, and other works of a kindred
character. He tells us that in his youth he took a great aversion
to the philosophy of Aristotle; being, he said, a philosophy only
strong for disputations and contentions, but barren of the production
of works for the life of man; and in this mind he continued through
life. Besides other works of less note, in 1605 he published one of
great importance on "The Advancement of Learning;" soon after he
published the outline or groundwork of his "Organum," under the title
of "Cogitata et Visa; or, Things Thought Out and Seen," and proudly
boasted of it as the greatest birth of time. He afterwards published
the "Wisdom of the Ancients," and it was not till 1621, and when he
had reached the summit of his profession, and been made Viscount of
St. Albans, that he brought out his great work, "The Instauration of
the Sciences," of which the "Novum Organum" is the second part. No
work was so little understood at the time or has occasioned such a
variety of opinions since. Bacon was well aware that such would be
the case, for in his will he says that he leaves his name and memory
to foreign nations, and to his own countrymen after some time be
passed over. Bacon asserted that he had superseded the Aristotelian
philosophy, and introduced a new and accurate method of inquiry, both
into mind and matter, by experiment and induction. By one party he is
declared to be the great renovator of true knowledge, and the father
of the modern sciences by this method; by another, that he is nothing
of the kind, and that modern discovery would have progressed as well
without his New Instrument; that Aristotle pursued this method of
induction himself, and that Galileo discovered the motion of the earth
by the same means that Bacon taught at the same time. But whoever has
acquainted himself with the system of Aristotle, and, still more, with
the loose and absurd method by which it was taught in the schools
before Bacon's time, must see that Bacon, if he did not altogether
introduce the system, reduced it to precision and accuracy, and thus
put an end to the windy logic and abortive practice of the schools.
They were accustomed to assume false and visionary premises, and reason
from them by syllogisms which, of course, proved nothing. Bacon, by
proceeding by analysis and synthesis--by first extracting from a
substance, or a topic, everything that did not really belong to it,
and then bringing these expurgated matters into contrast--drew sure
conclusions, and advanced towards positive discovery. True, Galileo
worked by the same method; but Bacon taught it, and made it clear to
all understandings. To say, therefore, that modern science owes nothing
to Bacon is to utter a self-evident falsity. Both in experimental
philosophy and in metaphysical inquiry, it is Bacon's light, and not
Aristotle's, which is followed. That Bacon himself made no great
discoveries in prosecuting his own method proves nothing; because,
though he was not sufficiently advanced in the actual knowledge of the
properties of Matter, he saw and taught clearly how such knowledge was
to be acquired, and applied to the legitimate development of Science.
How completely ignorant was the age of real experimental philosophy,
is shown by the ridicule and contempt which was cast on the "Novum
Organum." Such men as Ben Jonson and Sir Henry Wotton expressed their
profound admiration of it, but by the wits of the time Bacon was
laughed at as little better than a maniac. King James said, in his
almost blasphemous way, that it was like the peace of God--passing all
understanding; and Lord Coke said--

  "It deserveth not to be read in schools,
  But to be freighted in the ship of fools."

[Illustration: SCENE AT THE FUNERAL OF CHILLINGWORTH. (_See p._ 182.)]

He was represented by men eminent in the world's opinion as "no great
philosopher--a man rather of show than of depth, who wrote philosophy
like a lord chancellor." Abroad, as Bacon had foreseen, his work was
received in a different manner, and pronounced by the learned one of
the most important accessions ever made to philosophy. Whoever will
carefully study it, will find not merely the exposition of his method,
but views stretching into the heights and depths, not only of our own
nature but of the nature and life of the Universe in which we move,
thoughts which stamp the mind of Bacon as one of the most capacious,
many-sided, and profound that ever appeared.

Next to Bacon's we should place the prose writings of John Milton
(_b._, 1608; _d._, 1674) in general importance and intellectual
greatness. As Bacon's were directed to the advancement of true liberty
in philosophy, Milton's were directed to the liberation of the Church
and State from the tyranny of king and custom. His "Areopagitica," a
speech for the liberty of unlicensed printing, is a grand plea for the
freedom of the press; his "Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes," and
the "Best Means of Removing Hirelings out of the Church," go to the
root of all hierarchical corruption. Besides these, his "Defence of
the People of England" in reply to Salmasius, his "Second Defence,"
in reply to Peter du Moulin, and his "Eikonoklastes" in refutation of
the "Eikon Basiliké," attributed to Charles I., but written by Dr.
Gauden, and others of his prose works, are written in a somewhat stiff
but lofty and massive style. They foreshow the great national poet of
"Paradise Lost;" and cannot be read without a deep veneration for the
great Puritan champion of the liberties and fame of England.

Next to these we should name the great advocates of Protestantism,
Hales and Chillingworth. The "Discourse on Schism" is the writing of
Hales which brought him into notice, and led to the most important
consequences. It struck at the very root of tradition and submission
to the authority of the Fathers, which Laud and his party had exerted
themselves to establish; and it was followed out by Chillingworth
(_b._, 1602; _d._, 1644) in his "The Religion of Protestants, a Safe
Way to Salvation." In this work, which has since been styled the
"bulwark of Protestantism," Chillingworth endeavoured to prove the
Divine authority of the Bible on the basis of historic evidence, and
having done that to his satisfaction, he declared that the religion
of Protestants was the Bible, and nothing but the Bible. By this rule
alone they are, in his opinion, to be judged; the Scriptures alone
are to be the standard of their doctrines. He thus cut off all the
claims of Popery built on tradition, and established the right of
private judgment. In this he served not only the Established Church,
to which he belonged, but every body of Christians whatever; for they
had, according to his reasoning, the same right to interpret the
Bible for themselves. This gave great scandal to the bigoted party in
the Church. They declared that he had destroyed faith by reducing it
to simple reason. He was violently attacked by both Catholics and
Puritans. Knott, a Jesuit, and Dr. Cheynell, one of the Assembly of
Divines, were his most determined opponents. Cheynell wrote against
him, "Chillingworthi Novissima; or, the Sickness, Heresy, Death, and
Burial of W. C., with a Profane Catechism selected out of his Works."
Not satisfied with this, he attended his funeral, made a violent
harangue against him, and flung the "Religion of Protestants" into his
grave, crying, "Get thee gone, thou cursed book, which has seduced so
many precious souls--get thee gone, thou corrupt, rotten book, earth
to earth, dust to dust, go and rot with thy author." The Protestant
Church has fully acknowledged the services of Chillingworth. Even
those who deem that there are other evidences of Christianity than the
historic evidences, or even the deductions of criticism, admit that his
arguments go far to demonstrate the genuineness of the Bible records,
and therefore of the Christian religion. The highest encomiums have
been paid to the reasoning and eloquence of Chillingworth, by Locke,
Clarendon, Gibbon, Dugald Stewart, and all our theological writers.

What Chillingworth did for Protestantism, Cudworth, in his great work,
"The True Intellectual System of the Universe," did for religion in
general, demolishing most completely the philosophy of atheism and
infidelity. Barrow, Henry More, and Jeremy Taylor, added much wealth
to the theological literature of the age. More and Barrow belong more
properly to the next period. Taylor (_b._, 1613; _d._, 1677), who was
the son of a barber, became one of the most celebrated preachers of
that time, and both his sermons and his other works have received from
many of our chief critics and historians the most encomiastic praises.
He has been represented as a modern Chrysostom. Much of this praise he
undoubtedly deserves, but readers coming to him after such extravagant
laudation, experience a sensible disappointment. His "Holy Living and
Dying" may be taken as the most favourable specimen of his writings;
and though grave, pleasing, and consolatory, it does not strike us by
any means as highly or brilliantly eloquent. His sermons, especially
on the "Marriage Ring" and on the "House of Feasting," are of the same
character. They are full of piety, sweetness, and grace, but they are
not eloquence of the highest class. His sentences are often wearyingly
long, his illustrations do not always appear very pertinent, and his
manner is too much that of the father of the fourth century, whom he
appears to have greatly formed himself upon.

The writings of Archbishop Ussher and the sermons of Bishop Andrews
deserve mention; but the works of Thomas Fuller, the author of the
"Worthies of England," "The Church History of Great Britain," "The
Holy and Profane States," and other books, are undoubtedly the most
witty and amusing of the whole period. Next to Burton's "Anatomy of
Melancholy," a work, too, of this time, they have furnished to modern
authors more original ideas, more frequent and pregnant sentiments
and allusions than any others in the language. They have been rivers
of thought to men who had very little of their own. Harrington's
"Oceana"--a political romance, written to illustrate the opinion that
the great power of nations consists in their property--has ideas to
repay a reader who has leisure and patience. A writer who has always
taken a high rank for originality is Sir Thomas Browne, the author of
"Religio Medici," "Urn Burial," "The Garden of Cyrus," etc. Browne
ranges freely from the "quincunx" of the gardens of the ancients to the
highest flights of metaphysical speculation. He is quaint, abrupt, and
singular, but at the same time he is extremely suggestive of thought,
and extends the sphere of human inquiry and sympathy far beyond the
physical limits of most writers of his class. There is also a school of
historians of this age of eminent merit, at the head of which stands
Sir Walter Raleigh with his "History of the World;" Knowles with his
able "History of the Turks;" Daniel with his "History of England" to
the reign of Edward III.; and Thomas May, with the "History of the
Long Parliament," and his "Breviary of the History of Parliament,"
two invaluable works. Camden's "Britannia" and "Annals" appeared at
this epoch. Various chronicles were also issued at this period--Hall's
"Union of the Families of York and Lancaster," Grafton's "Chronicle,"
Holinshed's, and Baker's. The works of Stow and Speed appeared in the
early part of it,--Stow's "Summary of the English Chronicles," in 1565;
his "Annals," 1573; his "Flores Historiarum," an enlarged edition of
his chronicle, 1600; his "Survey of London," 1598. Speed's "Theatre of
the Empire of Great Britain" belongs to 1606; and his "History of Great
Britain" to 1614. Besides these appeared the "Memoirs" of Rushworth.
Thurloe's and Whitelock's were written, but did not appear till a
later period. The commencement of the Long Parliament marked also a
remarkable era, that of the first English newspapers, under the name of
"Diurnals," or daily records of Parliamentary proceedings. The idea
once started, newspapers rapidly spread, so that between the Civil War
and the Restoration, nearly two hundred were published, but none more
frequently than once a week for some time, nor afterwards oftener than
twice or three times a week. It was, moreover, an age of political
tracts and pamphlets. In science the discovery of the circulation of
the blood by Harvey, and the invention of logarithms by Napier, were
the great events of that department. On the whole, the intellectual
development of the age was as great and marvellous as was its political
advance. To no other modern nation can we point, which in one and
the same period has produced three such men as Shakespeare, Milton,
and Bacon, amid a host of lesser, but scarcely less precious lights,
at the same time that it was working out one of the most stupendous
revolutions in human government, and the imperishable principles of
it, that the world has seen. On reviewing this period, well might
Wordsworth exclaim:--

  "Great men have been amongst us; hands that penned,
  And tongues that uttered wisdom, better none;
  The later Sydney, Marvell, Harrington,
  Young Vane, and others who called Milton friend.
  These moralists could act and comprehend;
  They knew how genuine glory is put on;
  Taught us how rightfully a nation shone
  In splendour."

And well did he add:--

  "We must be free, or die, who speak the tongue
  That Shakespeare spoke: the faith and morals hold
  That Milton held. In everything we are sprung
  Of earth's best blood--have titles manifold."

Some of the eminent musical composers already mentioned (_See_ Vol.
II., pp. 378-9) continued to embellish the reign of James. Amongst
these were Ford, Ward, Weelkes, and Orlando Gibbons. The first three
are distinguished for their madrigals, and Weelkes for ballads, which
are unrivalled. Ward's "Die not, Fond Man," is still as popular as
ever. Gibbons composed both madrigals and cathedral music. He was
organist of the Royal Chapel, and was made Doctor of Music by the
University of Oxford. The sacred music of Gibbons is enough of itself
to exempt England from the often advanced charge of being unmusical.
In 1622, Dr. Heyther, a friend of Camden, the antiquary, established
a professorship of music at Oxford. Charles I. was not only fond
of music, but played himself with considerable skill on the _viol
da gamba_. Dr. William Child, himself an excellent composer, was
the organist of his chapel, and Lawes, the friend of Milton, who is
referred to in his sonnets and in "Comus," was patronised by him.
Lawes was greatly admired, and justly, by other poets, especially
Herrick and Waller. Charles I., however, set a bad example, by
encouraging foreign musicians instead of his own subjects. He made
Lanieri, an Italian, a man in real musical science far inferior to
several Englishmen then living, "Master of our Music," and his example
was only too diligently followed by princes and nobles in after times.

[Illustration: WILLIAM HARVEY.]

The rise of the Commonwealth was the fall of music in England. The
stern Puritans, and especially the Scottish Presbyterians, who dubbed
an organ "a kist o' whistles," denounced all music as profane, and
drove organs and orchestras from the churches. Nothing was tolerated
but a simple psalm tune. Cromwell, however, did not partake of
this fanaticism. He was fond of music, and frequently had musical
entertainments at Whitehall and Hampton Court. The great organ which
had been pulled out of Magdalen College, Oxford, he had carefully
conveyed to Hampton Court, where it was one of his greatest solaces.
Under Cromwell the lovers of music brought out their concealed
instruments, and there was once more not only domestic enjoyment of
music, but open musical parties.

[Illustration: REDUCED FACSIMILE OF FRONT PAGE OF NO. 26 OF "A PERFECT
DIURNALL." (_About three-fourths the size of the original._)]

If the Civil War in England was auspicious to liberty, it was
disastrous to art. From the time of Henry VIII. the British monarchs
had shown a decided taste for the arts. Henry had munificently
patronised Holbein, and had made various purchases of foreign
_chefs-d'œuvre_. Prince Henry inherited the taste of his mother,
instead of the coarse buffoonery of his father, and showed a strong
attachment to men of genius and to works of genius. He began a
collection of paintings, bronzes, and medals, which fell to his brother
Charles. Charles was an enthusiast in art, and had he not possessed
his fatal passion for despotism, would have introduced a new era in
England as regarded intellectual and artistic pursuits. The study of
Italian models, both in literature and art, by the aristocracy, enabled
the nobles to embrace the tastes of the monarch; and England would
soon have seen the fine arts flourishing to a degree which they had
never enjoyed before, and which would have prevented the dark ages that
succeeded. During Charles's early rule the greatest artists of the
Continent flocked over to England, and found a liberal reception there.
Rubens, Vandyck, Jansen, Vansomer, Mytens, Diepenbeck, Pölemberg,
Gentileschi, and others visited London, and Vandyck, the greatest of
them all, remained permanently. The works of Vandyck, in England, are
numerous, and if we except his famous picture of "The Crucifixion" at
Mechlin, we possess the best of his productions. At Windsor Castle,
Hampton Court, Blenheim, Wilton House, and Wentworth House, the bulk of
his finest pictures are to be seen. His portraits of our princes and
the chief nobility of the time are familiar to all English eyes, and
place him only second to Titian in that department. At Wilton House
alone there are twenty-five of Vandyck's paintings; the portrait of
Philip, Earl of Pembroke, with his family, is declared by Walpole to
be itself a school of this master. His dramatic portrait of Strafford
and his secretary, Mainwaring, at Wentworth House, Walpole asserts to
be his masterpiece. Charles had proposed to him to paint the history
of the Order of the Garter on the walls of the Banqueting House at
Whitehall, but the sum he demanded--said to be eighty thousand pounds,
but more probably a misprint for eight thousand pounds--caused Charles
to delay it, and his political troubles soon put an end to the scheme.
He painted several pictures of Charles on horseback, one of which is at
Windsor, and another at Hampton Court.

Rubens came to England only as an ambassador, but Charles seized the
opportunity to get him to paint the apotheosis of James, on the ceiling
of the Banqueting House at Whitehall. This he, however, merely sketched
whilst in London and painted it at Antwerp, receiving three thousand
pounds for it. The Duke of Buckingham purchased Rubens's private
collection of pictures, chiefly of the Italian school, but containing
some of his own, for ten thousand pounds. These were sold by the Long
Parliament, and now adorn the palaces of the Escurial at Madrid, and
the Belvedere at Vienna. The large pictures in the latter gallery,
"St. Francis Xavier preaching to the Indians," and "Loyola casting out
Devils," are amongst the very finest of his productions.

Charles, besides making collections, and drawing round him great
artists, projected the establishment of an academy of arts on a
princely scale. But this remained only an idea, through the breaking
out of the Revolution. Parliament, in 1645, caused all such pictures at
Whitehall as contained any representation of the Saviour or the Virgin
to be burnt, and the rest to be sold. Fortunately there were persons
in power who had more rational notions, and much was saved. Cromwell
himself secured the cartoons of Raphael for three hundred pounds, and
thus preserved them to the nation, and as soon as he had the authority,
he put a stop to the sale of the royal collections, and even detained
many pictures that had been sold.

The native artists of this period were chiefly pupils of Rubens or
Vandyck. Jamesone, called the Scottish Vandyck, was a pupil of Rubens
at the same time with Vandyck--Charles sat to him. William Dobson, a
pupil of Vandyck, was serjeant-painter to Charles, and Robert Walker,
of the Vandyck school, was Cromwell's favourite painter, to whom we owe
several admirable portraits of the Protector. There were also several
miniature painters of the highest merit--the two Olivers, Hoskins, and
Cooper.

Up to this period engravings had become by no means prominent in
England. That there had been engravers we know from various books
having been illustrated by them. Geminus and Humphrey Lloyd were
employed by Ortelius, of Antwerp, on his "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum."
Aggas had executed a great plan of London, and Saxon county maps.
Various Flemish and French engravers found employment, as Vostermans,
De Voerst, and Peter Lombard. Hollar, a Bohemian, was employed
extensively till the outbreak of the Civil War, and illustrated Dugdale
and other writers. But the chief English engraver of this period was
John Payne.

Sculpture was by no means in great advance at this period. There were
several foreign artists employed in England on tombs and monuments,
but as they did not at that date put their names upon them, it is
difficult to attribute to every man his own. Amongst these Le Sœur, who
executed the equestrian statue of Charles I. at Charing Cross, Angier,
and Du Val were the chief. John Stone, master mason to the king, was
by far the most skilful native sculptor. Amongst his best efforts are
the monuments of Sir George Holles at Westminster, and the statue of
Sir Finnes Holles, also at Westminster. Sir Dudley Carleton's tomb at
Westminster, and Sutton's tomb at the Charterhouse are also his. But
the greatest boon to sculpture was the introduction at this period, by
the Earl of Arundel, of the remains of ancient art, hence called the
Arundel Marbles.

This was the epoch of the commencement of classical architecture. The
grand old Anglo-Gothic had run its course. It fell with the Catholic
Church, or continued only in a mongrel and degraded state, showing
continually the progress of its decline. From Henry VIII. to James
this state of things continued; the miserable tasteless style, which
succeeded the downfall of the picturesque Tudor, being the only
architecture. The change to the classical was destined to be made by
Inigo Jones, whose is the great name of this period. Jones had studied
in Italy, and became aware of the graceful style which Vitruvius had
introduced by modulation of the ancient Greek and Roman, and which
Palladio had raised to perfection. The merit of Jones is that he
imported Palladio's style substantially and completely, ready as it
was to his hands, and wholly unknown in England. By this means Jones
acquired a reputation for genius to which nothing that he has left
justifies his claim. He was first engaged in designing the scenery and
machinery of the masques which Ben Jonson wrote for the queen of James
I. He was appointed architect to the queen and Prince Henry. On the
death of the prince he went back to Italy, but on his return to London
he was appointed Surveyor-General of the Royal Buildings. The first
thing which he planned was the design for an immense palace for James
on the site of Whitehall. There is a simple grandeur in the drawings
of it which are left, which may fairly entitle him to a reputation
for the introduction of an elegant domestic architecture, although
it does not warrant the extravagant terms of eulogy which have been
lavished on him. The only portion of this palace which was built is
the Banqueting House (afterwards the Chapel Royal) at Whitehall, being
the termination of the great façade, and which contains nothing very
remarkable. Jones added a chapel to Somerset House, and a west front
to St. Paul's, neither of which remains. That he was far from having
conceived the true principles of architecture was shown by the fact
that his west front of Old St. Paul's was a classical one engrafted
on a Gothic building, and this solecism he was continually repeating.
One of the most glaring instances of the kind is a classical screen
which he raised in the Norman Cathedral of Durham. Amongst the chief
remaining buildings of Inigo Jones from which an idea of his talent may
be drawn, are the Piazza and St. Paul's Church, Covent Garden, of which
Quatremere de Quincy says that the most remarkable thing about it is
the reputation that it enjoys; Ashburnham House, Westminster; a house
on the west side of Lincoln's Inn Fields originally built for the Earl
of Lindsay; an addition to St. John's College, Oxford; and by far his
finest work,--if his it be, which is doubtful--Heriot's Hospital at
Edinburgh. He also superintended the erection of Old Greenwich Palace.

The general aspect of the towns and streets remained the same at this
period as in the former. James issued proclamation after proclamation,
ordering the citizens to leave off the half-timbered style, and build
the fronts, at least, entirely of brick or stone; but this was little
attended to, and many a strange old fabric continued to show the
fashions of past ages.

If we are to believe the memoir writers and dramatists of this period,
the national manners and morals had suffered a decided deterioration.
Licentious as was the court of Queen Elizabeth, there was a certain
dignity and outward decorum preserved, but James introduced such
coarseness and grossness of manner, such low debauch and buffoonery,
that even the salutary restraint which fashion had imposed was
stripped away, and all classes exhibited the most revolting features.
In the reign of Henry, Edward, and Elizabeth, we had such women as
the daughters of Sir Thomas More, Lady Jane Grey, Catherine Parr, and
others, who cultivated literature and philosophy, the Queens Mary and
Elizabeth themselves setting the example in reading and translating
the most illustrious classical authors. But after James came in,
notwithstanding all his learned pedantry, you hear nothing more of such
tastes amongst the Court ladies, and it is very singular that amid
that blaze of genius which distinguished the time under review, we
find no traces of feminine genius there. On the contrary, both English
dramatists and foreign writers describe the morals and manners of women
of rank as almost destitute of delicacy and probity. They are described
as mingling with gentlemen in taverns amid tobacco smoke, songs, and
conversation of the most ribald character. They allowed liberties which
would startle women of the lowest rank in these times, were desperate
gamblers, and those who had the opportunity were wholesale dealers in
political influence. Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador, boasts of the
effect of the bribes that he was accustomed to distribute amongst them.
Whilst such women as the infamous and murderous Countess of Essex and
the Dowager Countess Villiers were the leading stars of the Court, the
tone of morals must have been low indeed. Whilst the ladies were of
this stamp, we cannot expect the gentlemen to have been better, and
there is no doubt but that the honours and wealth and royal favour
heaped on such men as Somerset, Hay, Ramsay, and Buckingham, made
debauchery and villainy quite fashionable. The character of Englishmen
on their travels, Howell tells us, was expressed in an Italian
proverb:--

  "_Inglese Italianato
  E Diavolo incarnato._"

"An Italianised Englishman is a devil incarnate." This was said of the
debauched conduct of our young men on their travels. At home they were
a contemptible mixture of foppery and profanity. Buckingham and the
other favourites led the way. We have recorded the audacious behaviour
of Buckingham at the courts of France and Spain, and the enormous
foppery of his apparel. He had a dress of uncut white velvet, covered
all over with diamonds, valued at eighty thousand pounds, a great
feather of diamonds, another dress of purple satin covered with pearls,
valued at twenty thousand pounds, and his sword, girdle, hatbands,
and spurs were thickly studded with diamonds. He had, besides these,
five-and-twenty other dresses of great richness, and his numerous
attendants imitated him according to their means. They began now to
patch their faces with black plaister, because the officers who had
served in the German wars wore such to cover their scars; and the
ladies did the same. Duelling was now introduced, cheating at play was
carried to an immense extent, and the dandy effeminacy of the Cavaliers
was unexampled. They had the utmost contempt of all below them, and
any attempt to assume the style or courtesies of address which they
appropriated to themselves was resented as actual treason. The term
"Master" or "Mr." was used only to great merchants or commoners of
distinction; and to address such as "gentlemen" or "esquires" would
have roused all the ire of the aristocracy. In proceeding through the
streets at night, courtiers were conducted with torches, merchants with
links, and mechanics with lanthorns.

We may imagine the feeling with which the sober and religious Puritans
beheld all this, and the proud contempt with which their strictures
were received. When the Civil War broke out, which was a war of
religious reform as much as of political, the Puritans displayed a
grave manner, a sober dress, and chastened style of speech; and the
Cavaliers, in defiance and contempt, swore, drank, and indulged in
debauchery all the more, to mark their superiority to the "sneaking
Roundhead dogs."

Charles endeavoured to restrain this loose and indecent spirit, but
it was too strong for him; and though the Puritans put it effectually
down during the Commonwealth, it came back in a flood with the lewd and
ribald Charles II. Charles I. also introduced a more tasteful style
of Court pageants and festivities. Under James all the old fantastic
masques and pageantries--in which heathen gods, goddesses, satyrs,
and giants figured--prevailed. Charles gave to his pageantries a
more classical character, but when the Puritans came in they put them
all down, along with Maypoles, and all the wakes, and church-ales,
and the like, which James had encouraged by his "Book of Sports." The
Court festivals, so long as the monarchy remained, were marked by all
the profusion, displays of jewellery, and dresses of cloth of gold
and embroidery, which prevailed in the Tudor times. The old-fashioned
country life, in which the gentlemen hunted and hawked, and the ladies
spent their leisure in giving bread to the poor and making condiments,
preserves, and distilled waters, was rapidly deserted during the gay
days of James and Charles, and the fortune-making of favourites.

Merchants and shopkeepers were growing rich, and though they still
conducted their businesses in warehouses which would appear mean
and miserable to City men of to-day, and in shops with open fronts,
before which the master or one of his apprentices constantly paraded,
crying, "What d'ye lack?" had stately suburban houses, and vied with
the nobles in their furniture and mode of living. The moral condition
of the people of London at this period, according to all sorts of
writers, was something inconceivably frightful. The apprentices, as
we have seen, were a turbulent and excitable race, who had assumed a
right to settle political matters, or to avenge any imagined attack
on their privileges. At the cry of "Clubs!" they seized their clubs
and swords and rushed into the streets to ascertain what was amiss.
They were easily led by their ringleaders against any body or any
authority that was supposed to be invading popular rights. We have
seen them surrounding the Parliament House, demanding such measures
as they pleased, and executing their notions of suitable chastisement
of offenders by setting fire to Laud's house, and breaking down the
benches of the High Commission Court. They were equally ready to
encounter and disperse the constabulary or the City Guard, and to fight
out their quarrels with the Templars, or others with whom they were at
feud.

[Illustration: SHOPKEEPER AND APPRENTICE IN THE TIME OF CHARLES I.
(_See p._ 188.)]

The riots of the apprentices, however, had generally something of a
John-Bullish assertion of right and justice in them; but the streets
and alleys of London were infested with an equally boisterous and
much more villainous crew of thieves and cut-purses. Pocket-picking
was then, as now, taught as a science, and was carried to a wonderful
perfection of dexterity. All kinds of rogueries were practised on
country people, the memory of which remains yet in rural districts,
and is still believed applicable to the metropolis. These vagabonds
had their retreats about the Savoy and the brick-kilns of Islington,
but their headquarters were in a part of Whitefriars called Alsatia,
which possessed the right of sanctuary and swarmed with debtors,
thieves, bullies, and every kind of miscreants, ready on an alarm,
made by the sound of a horn, to turn out in mobs and defend their
purlieus from constables and sheriffs' officers. Walking the streets
in the daytime was dangerous from the affrays often going on between
the apprentices and the students of the Temple, or between the butchers
and weavers, or from the rude jostling and practical jokes of bullies
and swashbucklers; but at night there was no safety except under a
strong guard. Then Alsatia, the Savoy, and the numerous other dens
of vice and violence, poured forth their myrmidons, and after nine
o'clock there was no safety for quiet passengers. If we add to this
description the narrowness of the roads and alleys, the unpaved and
filthy state of the streets, and undrained and ill-ventilated houses,
London was anything at this period but an attractive place. The plague
was a frequent visitant, and we are told that kites and ravens were
much kept to devour the offal and filth of the streets, instead of
scavengers. In the country, things were not much better. The roads
were terrible, and were infested by sturdy bands of robbers. In the
neighbourhood of London, Finchley, Blackheath, Wimbledon, and Shooter's
Hill were places of widespread fame for daring highwaymen. It was
high time for the Puritans to come into power, and to put both town
and country under a more wholesome discipline. Cromwell's soldiers,
quartered in various parts of the metropolis, and his major-generals
administering martial law in different parts of the country, soon
altered the face of things. He shut up Spring Gardens, a place of
nocturnal resort for assignations for traffickers in political
corruption, and for various licentiousness; and instead of fellows
prowling about the streets with sweetmeats in their pockets to kidnap
children, and sell them to the plantations, he sent these scoundrels
freely thither themselves. Amongst the gloomy features of this period
was the relentless persecution of old women, under the belief that
they were witches; a practice commenced by James, but continued by the
Puritans, who sent out Hopkins, the notorious witchfinder, who, in the
years 1645 and 1646, traversed the country, condemning and putting to
death hundreds of them, till he himself was accused of being a wizard,
and was subjected to the same fate. From 1640 to the Restoration, four
thousand persons are said to have perished under charge of witchcraft.
In Scotland this terrible practice was carried on with even aggravated
cruelties, in order to extort confession.

The sports of the aristocracy, gentry, and merchants were much the
same that they had been hitherto. Hunting was the favourite pastime
of James, and therefore was not likely to be neglected by the country
gentry. He was also fond of hawking, and kept alive that pastime,
which was dying out, some time longer. Ball games had much superseded
the jousts and tournaments of other days. Tennis retained its high
favour, and billiards and pall-mall, or striking a ball through a ring
suspended to a pole, were becoming fashionable. Bowling, cards, dice,
dancing, masques, balls, and musical entertainments varied town life.
The common people stuck to their foot-ball, quoits, pitching the bar,
cricket, shovel-board, bull- and bear-baiting, and cock-fighting.
The Puritans put down May-games, Whitsun-ales, morrice-dances,
and all amusements that savoured of a Catholic origin. They also
humanely suppressed, as far as they could, the savage sports of
bear and bull-baiting. Pride and Hewson killed all the bears at the
bear-garden to put an end to that cruel pastime, and thence originated
Butler's "Hudibras." The bowling-greens of the English were famous,
and horse-racing was much in vogue. In Scotland the Reformation put
to flight all sorts of games, dancing, and merry-makings, as sinful
and unbecoming of Christians, and polemic discussions were the only
excitements which relieved the ascetic gloom.

The interiors of houses were in this period greatly embellished, and
the splendour of hangings of beds and windows had strikingly increased.
Rich velvets and silks embroidered with cloth of gold and cloth of
silver, and coloured satins of the most gorgeous hues abounded. The
cushions of couches and chairs were equally costly, and instead of the
ancient tapestry, paper and leather hangings, richly stamped and gilt,
covered the walls. The Flemish artists had been called in to paint the
ceilings with historical or mythological scenes, and on the walls hung
the masterpieces of Flemish and Italian art. Carpets were beginning
to supersede rushes on the floors, but were more commonly used as
coverings for tables. In addition to the carved cabinets of oak, ebony,
and ivory, and the richly-covered cushioned and high-backed chairs of
the Tudor dynasty, Flemish and Dutch furniture of somewhat formal but
still elegant design abounded. Superb ornaments of ivory and china had
found their way from the East, and became heirlooms in great mansions.
Altogether, the houses of the wealthy of those times presented a scene
of stately elegance and luxury that has not since been surpassed.

The costume of the reign of James was but a continuation of that of
Elizabeth. The men still wore the stiff plated ruff, occasionally
varied by a plain horizontal one with lace on its edges. The long
peasecod-bellied doublet continued, and the large stuffed Gallic or
Venetian hose, slashed and quilted, had assumed more preposterous
dimensions from James's timidity; he having both these and the doublets
quilted to resist the stabs of the stiletto. Towards the end of his
reign a change was noticeable. Instead of the long-waisted doublet
there were short jackets, with false hanging sleeves behind; the trunk
hose were covered with embroidered straps, tucked short at the thigh,
and the hose gartered below the knee. We are told how they covered
their cloaks and dresses with jewels on State occasions. They wore
feathers at such times in their hats. Taylor, the Water Poet, says the
gallants of his time

  "Wore a farm in shoestrings edged with gold,
  And spangled garters worth a copyhold;
  A hose and doublet which a lordship cost,
  A gaudy cloak, three mansions' price almost;
  A beaver band and feather for the head,
  Prized at the church's tithe, the poor man's bread."

The old cloth stockings were obsolete, and stockings of silk, thread,
or worsted used.

The ladies of the Court were still in the stiff Elizabethan
farthingale, elevated collar, and hair dressed in the lofty style. Anne
of Denmark was Elizabeth over again. But in domestic life we find the
ladies attired in a far more natural style, without the farthingale,
with falling collars, plain or edged with lace, and the hair with
ringlets falling on each side; and this simple and more elegant fashion
became at length universal in Charles's reign.

The male costume of Charles's time was extremely elegant. At the
commencement of the Civil War no contrast could be greater than that
of the appearance of the Cavaliers and the Roundheads. The Cavalier
dress consisted of a doublet of silk, satin, or velvet, with large
loose sleeves slashed up the front, the collar covered by a falling
band of the richest point lace, with Vandyck edging. The long breeches,
fringed or pointed met the tops of the wide boots, which were also
commonly ruffled with lace or lawn. A broad Flemish beaver hat, with a
rich hatband and plume of feathers, was set on one side of the head,
and a Spanish rapier hung from a most magnificent baldrick, or sword
belt, worn sash-wise over the right shoulder, and on one shoulder was
worn a short cloak with an air of carelessness. In war this short cloak
was exchanged generally for the buff coat, which was also richly laced,
and sometimes embroidered with gold and silver, and round the waist was
worn a broad silk or satin scarf tied in a large bow behind or over the
hip; or a buff jerkin without sleeves was worn over the doublet, and
the lace or lawn on the boots dispensed with. The beard was worn very
peaked, with small upturned moustaches, and the hair long and flowing
on the shoulders. In contrast to this the Parliamentarians wore their
hair cut short--whence the name of Roundhead--and studied a sober cut
and colour of clothes. The first appearance of Cromwell in Parliament,
described by Sir Philip Warwick, has been taken as a sufficient
specimen of his costume when Protector. But Cromwell was then but a
gentleman-farmer, and appeared in careless rustic habit. "I came one
morning into the House," says Warwick, "well clad, and perceived a
gentleman speaking whom I knew not, very ordinarily apparelled, for
it was a plain cloth suit, which seemed to have been made by an ill
country tailor. His hat was without a hatband." But no one knew better
than Cromwell what was necessary to the decorum of station, and very
different is the account of his appearance when going to be sworn
Protector. "His Highness was in a plain but rich suit, black velvet,
with cloak of the same; about his hat a broad band of gold."

The ladies' dresses of Charles's time rapidly changed from the stiff
ruffs and farthingales to a more natural and elegant style. With Mrs.
Turner, their introducer, went out in James's time the yellow starch
ruffs and bands, for she appeared, when hanged for her share in Sir
Thomas Overbury's murder, in her own yellow ornaments at the gallows.
But all ruffs grew obsolete in Charles's reign, and a lady of that
day would scarcely be distinguished from a lady of this. The hair was
dressed much as in modern manner, the dress fell naturally without
hoops, and the broad collar lay gracefully on the shoulders. The
citizens' and Puritans' wives, as well as country women, wore the broad
high-crowned hat, and country women appeared still in plaited ruff, and
a muffler over the mouth in cold weather, tied up to the back of the
head. A lady had generally her feather fan in her hand, as the modern
one has her parasol.

Armour was fast disappearing; it was of little use against cannon and
matchlocks. James thought armour a very good invention, for it hindered
a man as much from hurting his enemy as it defended himself. But in
his time little but a cuirass for the body and a helmet or bonnet was
used. To the rest for the heavy matchlock in this reign was affixed
a long rapier blade, called a "swine's feather," or "bristle," and
used as a soldier now uses the bayonet. In the Civil War most of the
officers wore only a cuirass over a buff coat; and though some of
the infantry were almost fully sheathed in armour, it was soon found
to be too cumbersome for rapid movements, and with the exception
of the cuirassiers, who were clad in armour except the legs, they
were seldom defended by more than a back- and breast-plate, and a
head-piece. During the war the cavalry was divided into cuirassiers,
lancers, arquebusiers, carbineers, and dragoons, according to the
different weapon or armour which they carried,--the cuirass, the
lance, the musket, the heavy arquebus, the carbine, or the dragon, a
sort of blunderbuss. At this period the firelock was introduced by
the poultry-stealers of Holland, and called after them the snaphance,
or hen-stealer. The superiority of the flint-lock over the match- or
cumbrous wheel-lock was soon seen and adopted.

The moral condition of the people, as we have just seen, was at this
period deplorable. The neglect of education left the bulk of the
working class ignorant and depraved, and the long peace which the
reigns of Elizabeth and James maintained had so greatly augmented the
wealth and prosperity of the nation, that the insolence of illiterate
abundance added to the public exhibition of rudeness and riot. In
one respect, however, the whole people had become enlightened--they
had learned very extensively their political rights. The rise and
opulence of the merchants and middle classes, through commerce and
through the confiscation of Church lands, had impressed them with a
feeling of their importance, and led them no longer to bow and cringe
before the nobles, but to claim their proper authority as the third,
and, indeed, the greatest estate. From the time when Henry VIII. set
agoing discussions regarding religious liberty, and permitted the Bible
to appear in good plain English, the light which sprang up on the
subject of human rights was wonderful, and could never be withdrawn
or extinguished. The mistake, as regarded royal prerogative, was soon
seen, and an endeavour was made to limit the reading of the Bible to
the nobles and the learned only, but it was in vain. Those who had the
Scriptures soon spread abroad knowledge of their great principles,
and as the Stuart government was daily found to be weaker, the sense
of popular right was growing stronger and more general. So soon as
Parliament began to resist the encroachments of the Crown, and even to
do it with arms in their hands, it became necessary to convince the
people at large that their rights were at stake, and to explain what
these rights were. Such knowledge as this could never be taken back
again, and accordingly from this period the principle that all power
proceeds from the people and exists for the people, became the great
fixed sentiment of the nation.

The physical condition of the kingdom, therefore, during the reign
of James, was evidently much improved, and almost justifies the
glowing description of Clarendon, made to set off the mischiefs of
resistance to royalty. "For twelve years before the meeting of the
Long Parliament," he says, "the kingdom enjoyed the greatest calm and
the fullest measure of felicity that any people, in any age, for so
long a time together, had been blessed with, to the wonder and envy
of all other parts of Christendom." It was inevitable that much of
this prosperity must be overthrown, or rather interrupted by a ten
years' fierce contest, like that which arose between the Crown and the
people. That the people were not only severely pressed by taxation to
support this contest, but that they were harassed, plundered, and had
their agricultural operations impeded, and their crops destroyed by
the combatants is certain. Consequently, during the great struggle,
the price of country produce rose extremely. Wheat, which in the early
part of Charles's reign was as low as 44s. a quarter, rose after 1640
to 73s.; to 85s. in 1648; and in 1649 it was 80s.; but no sooner was
the Commonwealth established, and peaceful operations were renewed,
than it fell as rapidly, being, in 1650, 76s. 8d., and falling so much
that in 1654 it was down to 26s. This was the lowest, and it averaged
during the remainder of the Protectorate, 45s., as nearly as possible
its price at the commencement of the war. Other articles of life rose
and fell from the same causes in the same proportion; the prices of
the following articles, except during the War, may be regarded as the
average ones for this period:--A fat cygnet, about 8s.; pheasants,
from 5s. to 6s.; turkeys, 3s. to 4s.; fat geese, 2s. each; ducks, 8d.;
best fatted capons, 2s. 4d.; hens, 1s.; pullets, 1s. 6d.; rabbits,
7d.; a dozen pigeons, 6s.; eggs, three for 1d.; fresh butter, 6d.
per pound. Vegetables, being so little cultivated, were very dear:
cauliflowers, 1s. 6d. each; potatoes, 2s. per pound; onions, leeks,
carrots, and potherbs, dear, but not quite so high-priced. Mutton and
beef were about 3-1/2d. per pound. The wages of servants hired by the
year and kept, were, for a farm servant man, from 20s. to 50s. a year,
according to his qualifications; those obtaining more than 40s. were
expected to be able to do all the skilled work, as mowing, threshing,
thatching, making ricks, hedging, and killing cattle and pigs for
daily consumption. Women servants, who could bake, brew, dress meat,
make malt, etc., obtained about 26s. a year, and other women servants,
according to age and ability, from that sum down to 14s. a year. A
bailiff obtained 52s. Labourers, or artisans hired by the day, during
harvest, had, a mower, 5d. a day and his food; a reaper, haymaker,
hedger, or ditcher, 4d.; a woman reaper, 3d.; a woman haymaker, 2d.;
if no food was given these sums were doubled. At other times labourers
received from Easter to Michaelmas, 3d. a day with food, or 7d.
without; and from Michaelmas to Easter, 2d. with food, and 6d. without.
Carpenters and bricklayers received 8d. a day with meat, or 1s.
without; sawyers, 6d. with meat, or 1s. without; and other handicrafts
nearly the same, through the year till Michaelmas, after that much less.

The great extension of foreign commerce, and the introduction of
coffee, spices, cottons, and other new tropical produce, increased
the comfort of domestic life. Yet, with all this prosperity, there
still abounded much pauperism and vagabondism. The war naturally had
this consequence--great numbers of the dispersed Cavaliers and royal
troopers taking to the highways, and to a loose and predatory life.
Many parishes, too, were not disposed to burden themselves with the
imposition of the poor laws, which had been strengthened by various
enactments since the 43rd of Elizabeth, and they therefore drove out
of their boundaries the unemployed to seek work elsewhere. This but
increased the vagabondism and pilfering, and time alone could enable
the Government to bring the poor-law into general operation.



[Illustration: GREAT SEAL OF CHARLES II.]

CHAPTER VII.

CHARLES II.

    Character of Charles II.--The King's First Privy Council--The
    Convention Parliament--Submission of the Presbyterian
    Leaders--The Plight of those who took Part in the late King's
    Trial--Complaisance of the Commoners--Charles's Income--The Bill
    of Sales--The Ministers Bill--Settlement of the Church--Trial
    of the Regicides--Their Execution--Marriage of the Duke of
    York--Mutilation of the Remains of Cromwell--The Presbyterians
    Duped--The Revenue--Fifth-Monarchy Riot--Settlements of Ireland and
    Scotland--Execution of Argyll--Re-establishment of Episcopacy--The
    new Parliament violently Royalist--The King's Marriage--His
    Brutal Behaviour to the Queen--State of the Court--Trial of Vane
    and Lambert--Execution of Vane--Assassination of Regicides--Sale
    of Dunkirk--The Uniformity Act--Religious Persecution--Strange
    Case of the Marquis of Bristol--Repeal of the Triennial Act--The
    Conventicle and Five Mile Acts--War with Holland--Appearance of the
    Plague--Gross Licentiousness of the Court--Demoralisation of the
    Navy--Monk's Fight with the Dutch--The Great Fire.


Charles II. did not want sense. He was naturally clever, witty, and
capable of a shrewd insight into the natures and purposes of men. He
gave proof of all these qualities in the observation which we have
recorded, at the close of the day when he was restored to his paternal
mansion, that everybody assured him that they had always ardently
desired his return, and that if they were to be believed, there was
nobody in fault for his not having come back sooner but himself. Yet,
with many qualities, which, if united to a fine moral nature, would
have made him a most popular monarch, he was utterly destitute of
this fine moral nature. He had had much, long, and varied experience
of mankind, and had alternately seen their base adulation of royalty
in power, and their baser treatment of princes in misfortune. But
Charles had not the nobility to benefit by this knowledge. He had
familiarised himself with every species of vice and dissipation. He was
become thoroughly heartless and degraded. His highest ambition was to
live, not for the good and glory of his kingdom, but for mere sensual
indulgence. He was habituated to a life of the lowest debauchery,
and surrounded by those who were essentially of the same debased and
worthless character. To such a man had the nation--after all its
glorious struggles and triumphs for the reduction of the lawless pride
of royalty, and after the decent and rigorous administration of the
Commonwealth--again surrendered its fate and fortunes, and surrendered
them without almost any guarantee. The declaration of Breda was the
only security which it had, and that was rendered perfectly nugatory
by the reservation of all decisions on those questions to a Parliament
which the Court could control and corrupt.

Monk presented to the king a paper containing a list of names of such
persons as he professed to consider to be the most eligible for the
royal service either in the Council or the Ministry. But Clarendon,
who was the king's great adviser, having adhered to him and his
interests ever since his escape to the Continent, perused the catalogue
with no little surprise. It consisted, he tells us, "of the principal
persons of the Presbyterian party, to which Monk was thought to be
most inclined, at least to satisfy the foolish and unruly inclinations
of his wife. There were likewise the names of some who were most
notorious in all the factions; and of some who, in respect of their
mean qualities and meaner qualifications, nobody could imagine how they
came to be named." They were, in fact, such as had been thrust on Monk
by the Parliamentary leaders, who were all striving to secure their
own interests; not even the Presbyterians foreseeing how severely they
were punishing themselves by the restoration of the monarchy. Monk,
on the Chancellor's remonstrance as to many of these names--amongst
which only those of the Marquis of Hertford and the Earl of Southampton
belonged to men who had at all adhered to the Royal cause--soon let him
into the secret, that they were such as had importuned him to do them
good offices with the king, and that he never intended to do more than
forward the paper, and leave the king to do as he pleased. Clarendon
soon, therefore, made out a very different list of names for the Privy
Council, though he found it politic to insert almost as many names
of Presbyterians as of Royalists, but with the purpose of gradually
changing them.

The first Privy Council of Charles, therefore, consisted of the king's
brothers, the Dukes of York and Gloucester, the Marquis of Ormond,
the Earls of Lindsay, Southampton, Manchester, St. Albans, Berkshire,
Norwich, Leicester, and Northumberland, the Marquises of Hertford
and Dorchester, Lords Saye and Sele, Seymour, Colepepper, Wentworth,
Roberts, and Berkeley, Sir Frederick Cornwallis, Sir George Carteret,
Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, Sir Edward Nicholas, General Monk, and
Morrice, his creature, who had assisted in the negotiations with the
king, Colonel Charles Howard, Arthur Annesley, Denzil Holles, and
Montague, general, or rather admiral, for as yet no distinctly naval
officer was known--military commanders fought both on sea and land.

Amongst these Clarendon was Lord Chancellor and Prime Minister, the
Duke of York was already appointed Lord High Admiral, to which was
now added the Wardenship of the Cinque Ports and other offices. Sir
Edward Nicholas and Morrice were joint Secretaries of State; the
Earl of Southampton was made Lord Treasurer, the Marquis of Ormond
Lord Steward, and the Earl of Manchester Lord Chamberlain. Monk was
appointed Commander-in-Chief of all the forces in the three kingdoms,
according to stipulation, and to this office was now added Master of
the Horse, and he was created Duke of Albemarle, in addition to several
inferior titles. His wife, who was originally a milliner, and after
that had been his mistress, now figured boldly and ambitiously amongst
the ladies of the Court.

The Parliament, both Lords and Commons, lost no time in seizing all
such of the late king's judges as survived or were within the kingdom.
The Parliament, which had no proper election--having been summoned by
no lawful authority, but at Monk's command, and had obtained the name
of Convention Parliament--passed an Act, which Charles authenticated,
to legalise themselves, notwithstanding which it was still called by
the old name of the Convention. Before the king could arrive, however,
they had seized Clement, one of the king's judges, and ordered the
seizure of the goods and estates of all the other regicides. On the
king's arrival Denzil Holles and the Presbyterians--whose resentment
against the Independents, who had so often put them out of Parliament,
was blinded by desire of vengeance to the fact that the Royalists would
not be long in turning on them who had done their best to dethrone
Charles I., though they had not joined in putting him to death--now
went in a body to Whitehall, and throwing themselves at Charles's feet,
confessed that they were guilty of the horrid crime of rebellion,
and implored the king's grace and pardon. Charles affected the most
magnanimous clemency, and advised them to pass a Bill of Indemnity,
which he had promised from Breda. But this apparent liberality was
only the necessary step to the completion of his vengeance, for the
declaration left to Parliament such exceptions as it thought proper;
and in the present complying mood of Parliament, these exceptions would
be just as numerous as the Court required. Monk had, in negotiating
with Charles and Clarendon, recommended that only four should be
excepted, but Clarendon and the king had long made up their minds that
few of the king's judges should escape; and in this they were boldly
urged on by the Royalists, who, says Clarendon, could not bear to
meet the men on the king's highways, now they were the king's again,
who rode on the very horses they had plundered them of, and had their
houses and estates in possession.

The Commons were as ready as the Court for vengeance against their
late successful rivals and masters; and though Monk again urged that
not more than seven should be excepted on a capital charge, they
decided that ten should be tried for their lives, namely, Scott,
Holland, Lisle, Barkstead, Harrison, Saye, Jones, Coke, the solicitor,
Broughton, clerk to the High Court of Justice, and Dendy, who had acted
as serjeant-at-arms during the trial. They then requested the king to
order by proclamation all those concerned in his late father's trial to
surrender themselves within fourteen days. About a score felt it much
the safest to escape across the sea, but nineteen surrendered--all,
but the ten doomed to death, imagining they should escape with some
minor punishment. But the thirst for vengeance became every day more
violent. The Commons named twenty more for exception, whose lives
were to be spared, but who were to suffer forfeiture of estate and
perpetual imprisonment. These were Vane, St. John, Haselrig, Ireton,
brother of the deceased major-general, Desborough, Lambert, Fleetwood,
Axtel, Sydenham, Lenthall, Burton, Keeble, Pack, Blackwell, Pyne,
Deane, Creed, Nye, Goodwin, and Cobbett. Moreover, all such as had not
surrendered to the late proclamation were excluded from the benefit of
the Bill of Indemnity.

This sanguinary list, however, did not satisfy the Lords when the
Bill was sent up to them. They had suffered such indignities from the
Independent leaders, that they could not bring themselves to forgive,
and they altered the Bill, voting that every man who had sat on the
king's trial, or signed the death-warrant, should be tried as a traitor
for his life. They went even further, and excepted six others, who
had neither sat nor voted--namely, Vane, Hacker, Lambert, Haselrig,
Axtel, and Peters; and, as if luxuriating in revenge, they allowed the
relatives of several of their own body who had been put to death under
the Commonwealth, amongst whom were the Earl of Derby and the Duke
of Hamilton, to sit as judges. The Commons accepted the Bill as thus
altered, and would have made it still more atrocious, but Charles, who
was extremely pressed for money, sent desiring them to come to an end
with this Bill, and hasten the money Bill.

The Commons voted the king seventy thousand pounds a month for present
necessities, and then proceeded to pass not only the Indemnity Bill,
but to vote the king a liberal permanent revenue. In striking contrast
to the early Parliaments of his father, they at once gave him the
tonnage and poundage for life. Although this was one of the chief
causes of the quarrel between Charles I. and his Parliament, and one
of the main causes of the war and of his decapitation, this Parliament
yielded the point at once. They, moreover, ordered that the army, of
which Charles was afraid, should be disbanded, and that the 29th of
May should be kept as a day of perpetual thanks giving to Providence,
for having restored his majesty to the nation. All these favours to
Charles they offered with the humility of men who were seeking favours
for themselves, and being urged by Charles to settle the amount of
his revenue altogether, they appointed a committee of inquiry on the
subject, which decided that, as the income of his father had been about
one million one hundred thousand pounds, his income should, considering
the different value of money, be fixed at the unexampled sum of one
million two hundred thousand pounds per annum. This income was to be
settled by a Bill in the next session.

The question of religion, and the question of forfeited property,
whether belonging to the Crown, the Church, or individuals, was next
brought on, and led to most stormy discussions. The result was that two
Bills were passed, called the Bill of Sales and the Ministers Bill.
By the Bill of Sales all the Crown lands were ordered to be restored
forthwith; but the Church lands were left in abeyance for the present;
the lands of individuals were also deferred to a future session. The
Ministers Bill was intended to expel from the pulpits of the Church all
such ministers as had been installed there since the Parliament came
into power. It did not, however, give satisfaction to the Church, for
it admitted all such as entered on livings legally vacant at the time
to retain them. A considerable number of Presbyterian clergymen thus
remained in possession, but the Independents were thoroughly excited by
a clause which provided that all ministers who had not been ordained by
an ecclesiastic, who had interfered in the matter of infant baptism, or
had been concerned in the trial of the king, or in its justification
from press or pulpit, should be excluded. Thus the Royalists were
incensed at the Bill of Sales, which they called an indemnity Bill for
the king's enemies, and of oblivion for his friends, and the clergy of
the Church were equally enraged to see a great number of livings still
left to the Presbyterians.

On the 13th of September Charles prorogued the Parliament till the 6th
of November, and promised during the recess to have what was called
the "healing question of religion," that is, the settlement of the
Church, discussed by competent parties, and to publish a declaration
on the subject. Accordingly the Presbyterians were very soon promised
a meeting with some of the Episcopalian clergy, and they were quite
willing, seeing that they could no longer have matters their own way in
the Church, to accept a platform of compromise laid down by Archbishop
Ussher before his death, in which scheme the Church was to be governed
by a union of suffragan bishops and synods or presbyteries, so as to
unite the two great sects. But the foremost prelates and clergy of the
Episcopalian Church, who were resolved to have the whole State Church
to themselves, would listen to nothing so liberal or unorthodox. They
refused to meet the Presbyterian clergy, and therefore Charles summoned
the leaders of this sect to meet some of his chief privy councillors
and ministers, as well as various bishops, at Whitehall, where Baxter
and Calamy again proposed Ussher's scheme, which was as zealously
rejected by the Episcopalians. The Presbyterians quoted the Eikon
Basilike, to show that Charles I. was favourable to Ussher's plan, but
Charles, who knew very well that the book was Dr. Gauden's, and not
his father's, drily remarked that all in that work was not gospel.
But what proved a complete damper to all parties, was a proposal read
by Clarendon as having the king's approbation, namely, that others,
besides the two parties in question, should have full liberty for
religious worship, and should not be disturbed by magistrate or peace
officer, provided they themselves did not disturb the peace. This
was at once felt to mean toleration to the Catholics as well as the
Nonconformists, and was received with silent repugnance.

On the 25th of October was issued the promised declaration for healing
the strife. It went to unite the Presbyterian form of government with
the Episcopal. There were to be presbyteries and synods, and no bishop
was to ordain ministers or exercise the censures of the Church without
the advice and assistance of the presbyteries. Presbyters were to be
elected deans and canons; a number of divines of each sect were to be
chosen by the king to revise the Liturgy, and all points of difference
should be left unsettled till this revision was made; and no person
should be molested on account of taking the Sacrament standing or
kneeling, for making or not making the sign of the cross in baptism,
for bowing or not bowing at the name of Jesus, for wearing or not
wearing the surplice. The Presbyterians were delighted at the prospect
thus afforded of free admission to good livings and dignities; but the
Episcopalians intended nothing less than that any such thing should
ever come to pass.

With more earnest intention the Government proceeded to judge the
Regicides, and soon stepped up to the knees in blood. On the 9th of
October the trials commenced at the Old Bailey, before thirty-four
Commissioners appointed for the purpose. True bills were found against
twenty-nine of the prisoners--namely, Sir Hardress Waller, Harrison,
Carew, Cook, Hugh Peters, Scott, Clement, Scrope, Jones, Hacker, Axtel,
Heveningham, Marten, Millington, Tichbourne, Row, Kilburn, Harvey,
Pennington, Smith, Downes, Potter, Garland, Fleetwood, Meyn, J. Temple,
P. Temple, Hewlet, and Waite.

The first man tried was Waller, who pleaded guilty, and had his life
spared; the second was Harrison, the late Major-General. Harrison was
a sincere and honest Fifth-Monarchy man. He said, "I humbly conceive
that what was done, was done in the name of the Parliament of England;
that what was done, was done by their power and authority; and I do
humbly conceive it is my duty to offer unto you in the beginning,
that this court, or any court below the High Court of Parliament,
hath no jurisdiction of their actions." But all argument was useless
addressed to such ears. Sir Orlando Bridgeman, Chief Baron of the
Exchequer, who had the management of the trials, told the grand jury
in his charge that no authority whatever, either of a single person
or of Parliament, had any coercive power over the king. This man had
received very different treatment under the Protectorate. He had
submitted to Cromwell, who had not only accepted his submission, but
had allowed him privately to practise the law, and in this capacity he
had acted as spy and agent for Cromwell. He continually interrupted
Scott, Carew, and others, when they justified their conduct on the
same ground of Parliamentary sanction. The people, notwithstanding
their late acclamations, could not help raising loud murmurs at these
arbitrary interruptions. The prisoners defended themselves with calm
intrepidity, and when Bridgeman retorted on Carew that the Parliament
that he talked of was the Commons alone, a thing without precedent,
Carew replied, "there never was such a war, or such a precedent;" and
he boldly upbraided Bridgeman with giving evidence as a witness whilst
sitting as a judge. All these were condemned to death. The clever and
facetious Harry Marten made a most ingenious and persevering defence,
and extremely puzzled the Commissioners. He took exception to the
indictment, declaring that he was not even mentioned in it. When he was
shown the name Henry Marten, he objected that that was not his name,
which was _Harry_ Marten. This was overruled, but he went on to plead
that the statute of Henry VIII. exempted from high treason any one
acting under a king _de facto_, though he should not be king _de jure_;
that the Parliament at that time was the supreme power, including the
functions of both king and Parliament; that it was, in fact, the only
authority there was in the country; and that it had from age to age
been contended and admitted that God indicated the rightful power by
giving it victory. Such was the authority that God at the time had set
over them, and under that they had acted. His arguments were thrown
away, and it was on this occasion that the absurd story--a typical
example of many other silly stories that continued to be circulated
for generations--was first given in evidence by a soldier, of him and
Cromwell, on the signing of the death-warrant of the king, wiping their
pens on each other's faces.

[Illustration: CHARLES II.]

After a trial in which every ingenious and valid plea was advanced
by the prisoners to deaf ears, all were condemned to death, but ten
only were at present executed--Harrison, Scott, Carew, Jones, Clement,
Scrope, Coke, Axtel, Hacker, and Hugh Peters, Cromwell's chaplain.
Peters, by his enthusiasm and wild eloquence, had undoubtedly roused
the spirit of the Parliamentarians, and especially of the army, but
he had had no particular concern in the king's death, and had often
exerted himself to obtain mercy and kind treatment not only for the
king, but for suffering Royalists. He declared on the trial that he had
never been influenced by interest or malice in all that he had done;
that he never received a farthing from Cromwell for his services; and
that he had no hand in exciting the war, for he was abroad fourteen
years, and found the war in full action on his return. Peters, whose
character has been greatly maligned by the Cavaliers and their
historians, appears really to have been a sincere and upright patriot;
but his pleas were as useless as those of all the others.

Harrison was drawn first to Charing Cross on a hurdle. His conduct
was cheerful and even animated, as with triumph he declared that many
a time he had begged the Lord, if He had any hard, any reproachful,
or contemptible service to be done by His people, that he might be
employed in it; and that now his prayers were answered. Several times
he cried out as he was drawn along, that he suffered in the most
glorious cause in the world; and when a low wretch asked him, "Where's
your good old cause now?" he replied, "Here it is!" clapping his hand
on his heart, "and I am going to seal it with my blood." He was put
to death with all the horrors of the most barbarous times, cut down
alive, his bowels torn out whilst he was alive, and then his quivering
heart held up to the people. Charles witnessed this revolting scene
at a little distance, and yet that heartless man let the whole of the
condemned suffer the same bloody barbarities. They all went to their
hideous death with the same heroic spirit, and in order to daunt the
old preacher, Hugh Peters, he was taken to see the hanging, drawing,
and quartering of Coke, but it only seemed to animate him the more. The
effect of this and of the addresses of the undaunted Regicides from
the scaffold was such, that the people began to show evident disgust
of these cruelties; and when Scott's turn came, the executioners
endeavoured to drown his words, so that he said it must be a very bad
cause that could not hear the words of a dying man. But the words and
noble courage of these dying men, Bishop Burnet observes, "their show
of piety, their justifying all they had done, not without a seeming joy
for their suffering on that account, caused the king to be advised not
to proceed further, or at least not to have the scene so near the Court
as Charing Cross."

About a month before Harrison's execution, the Duke of Gloucester died
of small-pox; and scarcely were the royal shambles closed for awhile
when the Princess of Orange, who had come over to congratulate her
brother, the king, died of small-pox, too. "At Court," says Pepys,
"things are in very ill condition, there being so much emulation,
poverty, and the vices of drinking, swearing, and loose amours, that
I know not what will be the end of it but confusion; and the clergy
are so high that all people that I meet with do protest against their
practice." Sober people must have looked back with a strange feeling
to the earnest and manly times of the Protectorate. But death and
marriage merriments were oddly mingled in this bacchanalian Court. The
daughter of old Clarendon, Ann Hyde, was married to the Duke of York,
and was delivered of a son just six weeks afterwards. The queen-mother
(Henrietta Maria), the Princess of Orange, and the Princess Henrietta,
were violently opposed to so unroyal a marriage, but the old Chancellor
had the influence with Charles to carry it through, and, instead of a
disgrace, to convert it into a triumph. The wily politician pretended
himself to have been not only grossly deceived in the matter, but to
be intensely angry, and told Charles, according to his own account in
his autobiography, on hearing the news, that if the marriage had really
taken place, he would advise that "the king should immediately cause
the woman to be sent to the Tower, and to be cast into a dungeon, under
so strict a guard, that no living person should be permitted to come to
her; and then that an Act of Parliament should be immediately passed
for cutting off her head, to which he would not only give his consent,
but would very willingly be the first to propose it." This picture of
the heroism of a savage, however, ill agrees with the accounts of the
Chancellor's real concern in the matter. Evelyn, in his diary, says,
"The queen would fain have undone it, but it seems that matters were
reconciled on great offers of the Chancellor's to befriend her, who was
so much in debt, and was now to have the settlement of her affairs go
through his hands." Accordingly, about six weeks after the arrival of
Henrietta Maria at Whitehall the marriage was publicly acknowledged.

Amid all these disgraceful transactions Parliament met on the 6th
of November, 1660. They proceeded to pass into a Bill the king's
"healing declaration" regarding religion. The Presbyterians were in
high spirits, but they were soon made to feel their folly in bringing
back the Episcopalian Church with its Episcopalian head. The clergy
were not so high for nothing. They knew very well what the king would
do when the matter was pressed to an issue, and accordingly the
expectant Presbyterians found the Court party not only voting, but
openly speaking against the Bill. Morrice, the creature of Monk, and
now Secretary of State, and Heneage Finch, the Solicitor-General,
strenuously opposed it, Finch not scrupling to avow that "it was not
the king's desire that the Bill should proceed." It was thrown out,
and the duped Presbyterians, instead of being persecutors, found
persecution let loose upon _them_. The Convention Parliament, having
satisfied the Court in this measure, on the 8th of December voted the
attainder of Oliver Cromwell, Ireton, and Bradshaw, and, having got
this sanction, on the 30th of January, 1661, the Court, under cover
of the clergy's pious zeal, sent a rabble of constables to tear open
the graves of these great Regicides, to drag their decaying corpses
to Tyburn on hurdles, to hang them, to cut them down and behead them,
and then, throwing their putrid bodies into a hole under the gallows,
to stick their heads on poles on the top of Westminster Hall. They
proceeded to perpetrate the same revolting atrocities on the bodies
of innocent and virtuous women, and on some of the most illustrious
men of our annals. The remains of the brave old mother of Cromwell;
of his amiable daughter, Lady Claypole; of Dorislaus, the envoy of
the Parliament who had been murdered by the retainers of this Charles
II. at the Hague; of May, the historian of the Parliament, and the
excellent translator of Lucan's "Pharsalia;" of Pym, the great and
incorruptible champion of English liberty; and of Blake, the most
famous admiral that the country had yet produced, whose name alone gave
it a world-wide renown, were dragged forth out of their resting-places.
These, and every other body which had been buried in the Abbey whilst
the Commonwealth lasted, were flung into a pit in St. Margaret's
churchyard.

The settlement of the revenue by the Convention Parliament was more
successful than the legislation with regard to the Church. It was
determined at all events to get rid of the vexatious duties of feudal
tenure; for, though they had long ceased to have any real meaning,
fines were still executed on alienation of property, and reliefs
exacted on the accession to his property of each new Crown tenant.
Minors were still wards of the Crown, and were still liable to the
odious necessity of marrying at the will of their guardian. All these
claims of the Crown were now abolished. Their place was supplied,
not as might naturally be supposed by a land-tax, but by an excise
upon beer and other liquors, the landed interests thus finding means
to shift the burden upon the shoulders of the whole nation. The sum
at which the revenue was fixed was one million two hundred thousand
pounds a year.

This great bargain having been completed at the close of the year,
the Convention Parliament was dissolved. The year 1661 opened with a
Fifth-Monarchy riot. Though Harrison and some others of that faith
were put to death, and others, as Overton, Desborough, Day, and
Courtenay, were in the Tower, there were secret conventicles of these
fanatics in the City, and one of these in Coleman Street was headed
by a wine-cooper of the name of Venner, who, as we have already seen,
gave Cromwell trouble in his time. On the night of the 6th of January,
Venner, with fifty or sixty other enthusiasts, rushed from their
conventicle, where he had been counselling his followers not to preach,
but to act. They marched through the City towards St. Paul's, calling
on the people to come forth and declare themselves for King Jesus. They
drove some of the train-bands before them, broke the heads of opposing
watchmen, but were at length dispersed by the Lord Mayor, supported by
the citizens, and fled to Caen Wood, between Highgate and Hampstead.
On the 9th, however, they returned again, confident that no weapons
or bullets could harm them, and once more they put the train-bands
and the king's life-guards to the rout. At length, however, they were
surrounded, overpowered, and, after a considerable number were killed,
sixteen were taken prisoners, including Venner himself. He and eleven
others were hanged, the rest being acquitted for want of evidence.
Pepys says there were five hundred of the insurgents, and their cry
was, "The King Jesus, and their heads upon the gates!" that is, the
heads of their leaders who had been executed and stuck there.

Charles at the time was at Portsmouth with his mother, and Clarendon
made the most of the riot, representing it as an attempt to liberate
the Regicides in the Tower, and restore the Commonwealth. Fresh
troops were raised and officered with staunch Royalists, and a large
standing army of that stamp would soon have been formed, had not
strong remonstrances been made by the Earl of Southampton and others,
and equally strong obstacles being existent in the want of money. The
House of Commons, moreover, spoke out plainly before its dissolution,
as to the raising of a new army, saying, they were grown too wise to
be fooled into another army, for they had discovered that the man who
had the command of it could make a king of himself, though he was none
before. The known intention to put the Duke of York at the head of
it was another strong objection. So the design for the present was
abandoned.

[Illustration: ARREST OF ARGYLL. (_See p._ 201.)]

In England, Scotland, and Ireland the king was, of course, beset by the
claims of those who had stood by his father, or could set up any plea
of service. There were claims for restoration of estates, and claims
for rewards. Charles was not the man to trouble himself much about
such matters, except to get rid of them. In Ireland the Catholics and
Protestants equally advanced their claims. The Protestants declared
that they had been the first in Ireland to invite him back, and the
Catholics that they had been strongly on the late king's side, had
fought for him both in Scotland and England, and had suffered severely
from the late usurpers. The Protestants, however, were in possession
of the forfeited estates, and Charles dared not rouse a Protestant
opposition by doing justice to the Catholics, who, though the more
numerous, were far the weaker party. Besides, the different interests
of the claiming parties were so conflicting, that to satisfy all sides
was impossible. Some of the Protestants were Episcopalians, some
Presbyterians. The latter had been vehement for the Commonwealth,
but to ward off the royal vengeance they had, on the fall of Richard
Cromwell, been the first to tender their allegiance to Charles, and
propitiate him by an offer of a considerable sum of money. Then there
were Protestant loyalists, whose property under the Commonwealth had
been confiscated, and there were the Catholics, who had suffered from
both parties, even when ready to serve the king. There were officers
who had served in the Royal army before 1649, and had never received
the arrears of their pay; there were also the widows and orphans
of such. To decide these incompatible demands Charles appointed a
Commission. But little good could possibly accrue from this, for
though there were lands sufficient to have pacified all who had just
claims, these had been lavishly bestowed on Monk, the Duke of York,
Ormond, Kingston, and others. Every attempt to take back lands, however
unjustly held by Protestants, threatened to excite a Protestant cry
of a dangerous favouring of Catholics, and of a design to reinstate
the Papists, who, they averred, had massacred a hundred thousand
Protestants during the rebellion. Charles satisfied himself with
restoring the bishops and the property of the Episcopalian Church,
and left the Commission to settle the matter. But appeals from this
impassive tribunal were made to himself, and he at length published
his celebrated declaration for the settlement of Ireland, by which the
adventurers and soldiers who had been planted on the estates of the
Irish by the Commonwealth were to retain them, except they were the
estates of persons who had remained entirely neutral, in which case
adventurers and soldiers were to have an equivalent from the fund for
reprisals. But this settled nothing, for so many charges were advanced
against those who pleaded they were innocent, that few were allowed to
be so. The matter was next brought before the Irish Parliament, and
there again was division. The Commons, who had been appointed through
the influence of the soldiers and adventurers, voted that the king's
declaration should pass into law. The Lords, on the contrary, protested
that it would ruin all the old families, both Catholic and Protestant.
The contending parties once more appealed to the king, who, wearied
with the interminable strife, seized the opportunity of the discovery
of a paper formerly signed by Sir Nicholas Plunket, one of the agents
of the appellants, offering Ireland to the Pope or any Catholic power
who would defend them against the Parliament, to dismiss their appeal,
and the Bill, based on the Royal declaration, was passed. It was soon
found, however, that it was not easy to carry this law into execution.

Scotland was restored to its condition of an independent kingdom.
The survivors of the Committee of Estates, which had been left in
management on Charles's disastrous march into England, previous to the
battle of Worcester, were ordered to resume their functions. Middleton
was appointed Lord Commissioner; Glencairn Lord Chancellor; the Earl
of Lauderdale Secretary of State; Rothes President of the Council;
and Crawford Lord Treasurer. A Parliament was summoned to meet in
Edinburgh in January, 1661, and its first measure was to restore the
Episcopal hierarchy. To completely destroy every civil right of the
Presbyterian Kirk, Middleton procured the passing of an Act to annul
all the proceedings of the Scottish Parliament since the commencement
of the contest with the late king. Even the Lord Treasurer Crawford
opposed this measure, declaring that as the late king had been present
at one of these Parliaments, and the present one at another, therefore
to repeal the Acts of these Parliaments would be to rescind the Act of
Indemnity and the approval of the Engagement. Middleton carried his
point, and levelled every political right of the Kirk at a blow. The
ministers of the Kirk in astonishment met to consult and to protest;
they sent a deputation to the king with a remonstrance; but they
arrived at a time likely to inspire them with awe, and did not escape
without a painful evidence that they were no longer in the proud
position of their fathers. Charles had shed the blood of vengeance
plentifully in England, and there were those in Scotland whom he
looked on with a menacing eye. The chief of these was the Marquis of
Argyll. Argyll had been the head and leader of the Covenanters. He had
counselled with and encouraged the General Assembly in its resistance
to the late king's measures. He had been his most persevering enemy,
and, finally, he had encouraged the invasion of England by the Scots,
and had been the first to support Cromwell, even sitting in the
Parliament of his son Richard. Argyll was well aware that he was an
object of resentment, and kept himself secure in the Highlands. But his
son, Lord Lorne, had been a steady and zealous opponent of Cromwell and
the Commonwealth, and he was one of the first to congratulate Charles
on his restoration. To lay hold on Argyll in his mountains was no easy
matter, but if he could be beguiled from his fastnesses to Court, he
might be at once punished. No symptoms of the remembrance of the past,
therefore, escaped the king or his ministers, and Argyll deceived by
this, and by the friendly reception of his son, wrote proposing to
pay his respects to his sovereign in the capital. Charles returned
him a friendly answer, and the unwary victim was not long in making
his appearance in London. But he was not admitted to an audience at
Whitehall, but instantly arrested and committed to the Tower. He was
then sent down to Scotland to be tried by the king's ministers there,
some of them, as Lauderdale and Middleton, hideous to their own age and
to posterity for their sanguinary cruelty. Besides, they were eager to
possess themselves of Argyll's splendid patrimony, and they pursued
his impeachment with an unshrinking and unblushing ferocity which
astonished even the king.

Argyll pleaded that he had only acted as the whole nation had done, and
with the sanction of Parliament; that the late king had passed an Act
of Oblivion for all transactions prior to 1641, and the present king
had given an Act of Indemnity up to 1651; that, up to that period, he
could not, therefore, be called in question; that he had been out of
the country during the time that most of the barbarities alleged had
been committed; and that as to the Marquis of Montrose, he had been
the first to commence a system of burning and extermination, and that
they were compelled to treat him in the same manner. And finally, his
compliance with Cromwell was not a thing peculiar to himself. They had
all been coerced by that successful man; so much so, that his Majesty's
Lord Advocate, then his persecutor, had taken the Engagement to him.
This latter plea was the most unfortunate one that he could have used,
for nothing but augmented malice could be the result of it, and there
was enough of that already in the minds of his judges. Fletcher, the
Lord Advocate, was thrown into a fury by the remark, called the marquis
an impudent villain, and added an additional article to the charges
against him--that of having conspired the late king's death.

Lord Lorne procured a letter from Charles, ordering the Lord Advocate
to introduce no charge prior to 1651, and directing that on the
conclusion of the trial, the proceedings should be submitted to the
king before judgment was given. This would have defeated Argyll's foes
had the king been honest in the matter; but Middleton represented to
Charles that to stay judgment till the proceedings had been inspected
by the king would look like distrust of the Parliament, and might much
discourage that loyal body. Charles allowed matters, therefore, to take
their course; but Middleton was again disappointed by Gilmore, the
President of the Court of Sessions, declaring that all charges against
the marquis since 1651 were less valid for the purposes of an attainder
than those which had excited so much controversy in the cause of the
Earl of Strafford, and he carried the Parliament with him. Argyll and
his friends now calculated on his escape, but this was not intended.
A number of letters were hunted out, said to have been written to
Monk and other Commonwealth men whilst they were in power, expressing
his attachment to their cause, and his decided disapprobation of the
king's proceedings. These were decisive. Though the time was passed
when fresh evidence could legally be introduced, these letters were
read in Parliament, and the effect was that of a thunderbolt falling in
the midst of Argyll's friends. They at once disappeared, overwhelmed
with confusion, and sentence of death was passed on the marquis. That
no time might be allowed for an appeal to the king, who wished to be
excused refusing the favour of his life to his son, Argyll's execution
was ordered in two days. In vain the unfortunate nobleman pleaded for
ten days, in order that the king's pleasure might be ascertained; it
was denied him, and understanding from that the determination of the
king, he remarked, "I set the crown on his head at Scone, and this is
my reward." He employed the short space left him in earnest prayer,
and in the midst of his devotions, believing that he heard a voice
saying, "Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee!" he was
wonderfully consoled and strengthened, and ascended the scaffold with a
calm intrepidity which astonished and disappointed his enemies. Before
laying his head on the block, he declared his ardent attachment to
the Covenanters in words which flew to every quarter of Scotland, and
raised him to the rank of a martyr in the estimation of the people. His
head was stuck on the same spike that had received that of Montrose.

Next to Argyll, the malice of the king and Cavaliers was fiercest
against Johnston of Warriston, and Swinton. Warriston was the uncle of
Bishop Burnet, a most eloquent and energetic man, who had certainly
done his utmost for the maintenance of the Covenant, and against the
tyranny of Charles I. He was now an old man, but he fled to France,
where, however, he was not long safe, for the French Government gave
him up, and he was sent back and hanged. Swinton, who had turned
Quaker, escaped, perhaps through Middleton's jealousy of Lauderdale,
who had obtained the gift of Swinton's estate, but more probably by a
substantial benefit from the estate to the Court.

The wrath of Charles next fell on the deputation of twelve eminent
ministers, who had dared to present a remonstrance against the
suppression of the privileges of the Kirk. They were thrown into
prison, but were ultimately dismissed except Guthrie, one of the
most daring and unbendable of them. He had formerly excommunicated
Middleton, and had been one of the authors of the tract, "The Causes of
God's Wrath." Since the Restoration he had called a public meeting to
remind the king of having taken the Covenant, and to warn him against
employing Malignants. Guthrie was hanged, and along with him a Captain
Govan, who had, whilst the king was in Scotland, deserted to Cromwell;
but why he was selected from among a host of such offenders no one
could tell. This closed the catalogue of Scottish political executions
for the present.

But in another form Charles and his brutal ministers were preparing
deluges of fresh blood in another direction. Middleton assured Charles
that the restoration of prelacy was now the earnest desire of the
nation, and a proclamation was issued announcing the king's intention.
Only one of the bishops of Laud's making was now alive, Sydserfe, a man
of no estimation, who was sent to the distant see of Orkney, though
he aspired to the archiepiscopal one of St. Andrews. That dignity
was reserved for a very different man, Sharp, a pretended zealot for
the Kirk, who, at the same time that he urged Middleton to restore
episcopacy, persuaded his clerical brethren to send him up to London to
defend the independence of the Kirk. He went, and to the astonishment
and indignation of the ministers and people, returned Archbishop of St.
Andrews. He endeavoured, in a letter to Middleton of May 28th, to prove
that he had served the Kirk faithfully till he saw that it was of no
avail, and that he took the post to keep out violent and dangerous men.
This, after such a change, could be only regarded as the poor excuse
of an unprincipled man. His incensed and abandoned friends heaped
on him execrations, and accused him of incontinency, infanticide,
and other heinous crimes. By this measure, and the co-operation of
Middleton and Lauderdale, all the old bitterness was revived, and the
horrors of a persecution which has scarcely an example in history,
were witnessed. By Sharp's advice three other bishops were appointed,
Fairfowl to the see of Glasgow, Hamilton to Galloway, and Dr. Robert
Leighton to Dunblane. Leighton was the son of that Dr. Leighton whom
Laud had so unmercifully treated and mutilated for his tract against
prelacy. And now his son embraced prelacy, but was a very different man
to Sharp--pious, liberal, learned, and a real ornament to the Church,
though entering it by such a change. The four bishops went up to London
to receive ordination, which was administered to them by Sheldon,
Bishop of London, at Westminster, with a splendour which greatly
offended the Puritan simplicity of Leighton. They were invited to take
their seats in the House of Parliament, where Leighton had very soon an
opportunity of opposing the introduction of the oath of Allegiance and
Supremacy, which, however, all men were required to take. Sharp drove
on this and other irritating measures; all meetings of presbyteries
and synods were prohibited under penalty of treason, and Sharp soon
recommended the enforcement of an oath abjuring the Solemn League and
Covenant; and with these terrible weapons in their hands, Middleton,
Sharp, and Lauderdale drove the Presbyterians from all offices in the
Church, State, or magistracy, and many were compelled to flee from
the country. The most astonishing thing was, that the spirit of the
people had been so subdued by the arms and supremacy of Cromwell, that,
instead of rising as their fathers did, they submitted in passive
surprise. It required fresh indignities and atrocities to raise them
again to the fighting pitch, and they came. In a short time the number
of prelates was augmented to fourteen, and the Kirk appeared to be
extinguished in Scotland.

Whilst these things were taking place in Ireland and Scotland, in
England the king and his Cavalier courtiers were running a high
career, and the new Parliament proved violently Royalist. The old
great families, the old gentry, the Cavaliers, and the clergy, were
all united to strain every old corrupt practice to pack a Parliament
of their own fashion. Royalists, Cavaliers, and the sons of Cavaliers
predominated in the new Parliament, which met on the 8th of May,
1661. Not more than fifty or sixty of the Presbyterian party were
elected, for the Cavaliers everywhere proclaimed them the enemies
of the monarchy, and they were scared into silence. This Parliament
acquired the name of the Pension Parliament, and, to the disgrace of
the country, continued to sit much longer than the so-called Long
Parliament, of which the constitution was so altered as occasion
demanded that it could not be properly regarded as _one_ Parliament
from 1640 to 1660--it continued eighteen years. The Parliament and the
Church far outran the Court in zeal for the destruction of liberty
and the restoration of a perfect despotism. The Commons commenced
their proceedings by requiring every member, on pain of expulsion, to
take the Sacrament according to the rites of the Church of England.
They ordered, in conjunction with the Lords, the Solemn League and
Covenant to be burnt by the common hangman; they proposed to annul
all the statutes of the Long Parliament, and restore the Star Chamber
and Court of High Commission, but in this they failed. They passed
a Bill declaring that neither House, nor both Houses together, had
any legislative power without the king; that in him resided the sole
command of the militia, and all other forces of land and sea; and that
an oath should be taken, by all members of corporations, magistrates,
and other persons bearing office, to this effect:--"I do declare and
believe that it is not lawful upon any pretence whatever to take
arms against the king, and that I do abhor that traitorous position
of taking arms by his authority against his person, or against those
commissioned by him." This was called the Corporation Oath. They
restored the bishops to their seats in the House of Peers; they made
Episcopalian ordination indispensable to Church preferment; they
revived the old Liturgy without any concession to the prejudices of the
Presbyterians, and thus drove two thousand ministers from the Church
in one day; they reminded the sufferers that the Long Parliament had
done the same, but they did not imitate that Parliament in allowing
the ejected ministers an annuity to prevent them from starving; they
declared it a high misdemeanour to call the king a Papist, that is, to
speak the truth, for he was notoriously one; increased the rigour of
the law of treason, and knocked on the head the last chance of popular
liberty by abolishing the right of sending petitions to Parliament with
more than twenty names attached, except by permission of three justices
of the peace, or the majority of the grand jury. When this Parliament
had done these notable feats, and passed a Bill of Supply, Charles
prorogued it till the 28th of November.

On assembling at this date Parliament was alarmed by Clarendon with
rumours of fresh conspiracies in the country. The object was to obtain
the death of more of the Regicides. The Commons fell readily into the
snare. To make a spectacle of disaffected men, they ordered three
eminent Commonwealth men--Lord Monson, Sir Henry Mildmay, and Sir
Robert Wallop, to be drawn with ropes round their necks from the Tower
to Tyburn and back again, to remain perpetual prisoners. But this
did not satisfy them; they must have more blood, and though Charles
had promised their lives to Sir Harry Vane and General Lambert, they
demanded their trial and execution; and Charles, who had no more regard
for his word than his father, complied. They were to be tried the
next session. Parliament then proceeded to draw up a more stringent
Conformity Bill, which passed both Houses. This Bill enacted that
every clergyman should publicly, before his congregation, declare his
assent to everything contained in the Common Prayer Book, and that
every preacher who had not received Episcopal ordination must do so
before the next feast of St. Bartholomew. They added some new collects,
in one of which they styled the lecherous monarch "our most religious
king." They made the 30th of January a holiday for ever, in memory of
"King Charles the martyr;" and voted the king a subsidy of one million
two hundred thousand pounds, and a hearth tax for ever. The king then
prorogued them on the 19th of May, 1662, with many professions of
economy and reformation of manners, one of which he observed as much as
the other.

Of the improvement of his morals he soon gave a striking example.
The Duke of York, as has been stated, had married Anne Hyde, though
she had been his mistress and was on the point of being delivered
of an illegitimate child, which Charles Berkeley publicly claimed
as his own, and brought forward the Earls of Arran, Talbot, Jermyn,
and others to testify to her loose conduct. Berkeley was afterwards
brought to contradict his own statement; but these circumstances, and
James's gloomy and bigoted temper, rendered it desirable that Charles
should marry. Heirs and heiresses he had in abundance, had they been
legitimate. Besides Lucy Walters or Barlow, by whom he had the Duke of
Monmouth, though the paternity of the child was generally awarded to
the brother of Algernon Sidney--for Mrs. Walters or Barlow was very
liberal of her favours--Charles had, on arriving in London, established
a connection with the wife of a Mr. Palmer, whose maiden name was
Barbara Villiers. The husband's connivance was purchased with the title
of Earl of Castlemaine, and the countess was afterwards advanced to the
rank of the Duchess of Cleveland.

As it was requisite for Charles, however, to marry, his ministers
looked about for a suitable wife. Nothing could reconcile him to the
idea of a German bride, and the Catholic princesses of the south were
regarded by the nation with suspicion, both from the memory of the
last queen, and the suspected tendency of Charles himself to Popery.
Whilst Charles was in France, in 1659, he made an offer to the niece
of Cardinal Mazarin, which that shrewd politician--who showed himself,
however, a bad prophet--politely declined, for Charles was then a mere
fugitive, and the cardinal did not foresee so sudden a change.

On the recall of Charles to the throne, both Mazarin and his master,
Louis XIV., saw their mistake, for they had not only treated Charles
with as much indifference as if it were a moral certainty that he could
never again reach the throne of England, but had even sent him out of
the country at the demand of Cromwell. Mazarin now offered his niece,
but the scene was changed, and Charles no longer stooped to the niece
of a cardinal. Louis, who had no suitable princess of France to offer
him, and who wanted to prevent Portugal from falling into the power of
Spain, recommended to him Donna Catarina of Braganza, the Portuguese
monarch's sister. Could he accomplish this match, Louis, who was bound
by treaty with Spain to offer no aid to Portugal, might be able to do
it under cover of the King of England. The king's ministers, after
some apprehension on the score of the lady's religion, were of opinion
that the match was desirable, if it were only for the great dowry
offered--five hundred thousand pounds, the Settlements of Tangier in
Africa, and Bombay in the East Indies, besides a free trade to all the
Portuguese colonies. De Mello, the Portuguese ambassador in London, was
informed that the proposal met the approbation of the king. To link
the interests of France and England closer, the Princess Henrietta,
Charles's youngest sister, was married to the Duke of Orleans, the only
brother of the French king.

[Illustration: SHILLING OF CHARLES II.]

[Illustration: CROWN OF CHARLES II.]

[Illustration: FIVE-GUINEA PIECE OF CHARLES II.]

On the 13th of May the Portuguese princess arrived at Spithead; Charles
was not there to receive her, pretending pressure of Parliamentary
business, but he sent to request of her that the marriage ceremony
after the Catholic form, which he had promised, might be waived.
Catherine would not consent. On the 20th, Charles having arrived at
Portsmouth, they were, therefore, married in private by Catherine's
almoner, Stuart D'Aubigny, in the presence of Philip, afterwards
Cardinal Howard, and five other witnesses, and subsequently in public
by the Bishop of London.

[Illustration: HALFPENNY (WITH FIGURE OF BRITANNIA) OF CHARLES II.]

On the journey to Hampton Court, and for a few days afterwards, Charles
appeared extremely pleased with his wife, who--though she could not
compete in person with the dazzling Lady Castlemaine, and has been
described by some contemporaries as a homely person, as "a little
swarthy body, proud, and ill-favoured"--is stated by others also to
have been "a most pretty woman." According to Lely's portrait of her,
she is a very pleasing brunette beauty, and by all accounts she was
extremely amiable; but the misfortune was, that she had been brought up
as in a convent, completely secluded from society, and therefore was
little calculated, by the amount of her information, or the graces of
her manners, to fascinate a person of Charles's worldly and volatile
character.

How was such a woman to support her influence with such a man against
the beauty and determined temper of Lady Castlemaine, a woman as
dissolute and unprincipled as she was handsome? In her fits of passion
she often threatened the king to tear their children to pieces, and set
his palace on fire; and when she was in these tempers, a contemporary
says, "she resembled Medusa less than one of her dragons." Charles
was the perfect slave of her charms and her passions. She had wrung
from him a promise that his marriage should not cause him to withdraw
himself from her, and having borne him a son a few days after his
marriage, she only awaited her convalescence to take her place as one
of the queen's own ladies. Catherine had heard of his amour before
coming to England, for it was the talk of Europe, and her mother had
bade her never to allow her name to be mentioned in her presence.
But very soon the king presented her a list of the ladies of her
household, and the first on the list she saw, to her astonishment,
was Lady Castlemaine. She at once struck it out and, notwithstanding
the king's remonstrances, declared that sooner than submit to such
an indignity, she would return to Portugal. But she was not long in
learning that no regard to her feelings was to be expected from this
sensual and unfeeling monster. He brought Lady Castlemaine into the
Queen's chamber, leading her by the hand, and presenting her before
the assembled Court. Such a scandalous offence to public decorum, such
a brutal insult to a young wife in a strange land, was perhaps never
perpetrated before. Catherine, who did not recognise the name uttered
by the king, received her graciously, and permitted her to kiss her
hand; but a whisper from one of the Portuguese ladies made her aware of
the outrage. She burst into tears, the blood gushed from her nostrils
in the violent effort to subdue her feelings, and she fell senseless
into the arms of her attendants. Instead of feeling any compunction
for the pain thus inflicted on his wife, the demoralised reprobate
was enraged at her for thus, as he called it, casting a slur on the
reputation of the fair lady. He abused the queen for her perversity,
and vowed that she should receive Lady Castlemaine as a lady of her
bedchamber, as a due reparation for this public insult. It was in vain,
however, that he stormed at his unhappy wife; she remained firm in
her resolve, either to be freed from the pollution of the mistress's
presence, or to return to Portugal. Clarendon and Ormond ventured to
remonstrate with Charles on his cruelty, but Charles was especially
indignant that they should "level the mistresses of kings and princes
with other lewd women, it being his avowed doctrine that they ought
to be looked upon as above other men's wives." However opposed such a
doctrine may be to the more refined taste and purer morality of the
present age, it was quite in harmony with the habits and feelings which
regulated the social system of Europe at that period. Charles was at
least no worse than Louis XIV., whose mistresses were admitted to the
intimacy of married ladies of approved virtue and chastity. The same,
too, may be said of the English Court under the first two kings of the
House of Brunswick.

The part which Clarendon played on this occasion is greatly at variance
with that reputation for honour, wisdom, virtue, and true dignity with
which his admirers invest him. It shows that however much he might
recoil at it, however deeply disgraceful and degrading he might feel
it, he was ready to stoop to this disgrace and degradation, rather than
sacrifice his interest at Court. Accordingly Charles let him know that
he expected him not only to cease to object to his unmanly conduct
to his wife, but to make himself the instrument of inducing her to
submit to the ignominy; and the hoary moralist, the great minister and
historian, showed himself humbly pliant, and set to work in earnest
to bend the mind of this virtuous and outraged woman to the shame of
receiving her husband's harlot as her daily companion and attendant.
And this Clarendon did perseveringly, and at length successfully. When
Catherine talked of returning to Portugal, he bade her understand
that she was utterly in the power of her husband; that so far from
going to Portugal, she could not even go out of the palace without
his permission; and, in fact, he so worked upon the poor creature's
terrors, backed by the savage threats of the king, that he broke her
spirit, and taught her to acquiesce in an example of profligacy, which
at once scandalised and corrupted the morals of the age. Charles,
when Catherine repeated her determination to return to Portugal, told
her rudely that she must first see whether her mother would receive
her, and that he would send her Portuguese servants to ascertain that
point; and he discharged all her attendants. Thus abandoned in a
foreign country, the miserable queen told the Chancellor that she had
to struggle with greater difficulties than any woman of her condition
before; but that pattern minister only showed her that it was the more
necessary to submit. And thus Clarendon complacently writes:--"In all
this the king preserved his point; the lady came to Court, was lodged
there, was every day in the queen's presence, and the king in continual
conference with her, whilst the queen sat untaken notice of; and if her
Majesty rose at the indignity, and retired into her chamber, it may be
one or two attended her; but all the company remained in the room she
left, and too often said those things aloud which nobody ought to have
whispered. She alone was left out in all jollities, and not suffered to
have any part of those pleasant applications and caresses which she saw
made abroad to everybody else; a universal mirth in all company but in
hers, and in all places but in her chamber, her own servants showing
more respect and more diligence to the person of the lady than towards
their own mistress, who, they found, could do them less good. All these
mortifications were too heavy to be borne, so that at last, when it was
least expected or suspected, the queen of a sudden let herself fall
first to conversation, and then to familiarity, and even in the same
instant to a confidence with the lady; was merry with her in public,
talked kindly of her, and in private used nobody more friendly."

Catherine was subdued to her yoke, and this was the treatment of an
English king to a princess who brought him besides a splendid money
dowry, the Settlement of Tangier, which might in any reign of sense
and policy have been made a commanding station in the Mediterranean,
and Bombay, our first Settlement in India, the nucleus of our present
magnificent Indian empire.

Whilst these scenes had been passing in the palace, the lives of
Cromwell's supporters were brought into question without. Vane and
Lambert were put upon their trial before the Court of King's Bench
on the 2nd of June. The prominent actors in the drama of the late
Rebellion had both in their different ways done immense damage to
Royalty; and though the Convention Parliament had requested Charles
to leave them unpunished--notwithstanding that they were not included
in the Bill of Indemnity--and Charles had assented, the Cavaliers
could not rest satisfied without their blood. Lambert had been one of
Cromwell's chief generals--one of his major-generals--and to the last
he had done his best to maintain the cause of the Commonwealth by his
sword, and had attempted to prevent the march of Monk at the very time
that he was planning the return of the king. Vane had been one of the
very ablest counsellors and diplomatists that the Commonwealth had had.
True, he had not sat on the trial of the king, he had had no hand
whatever in his death; but he had done two things which could never be
forgotten or forgiven by the Royalists. He had furnished the minutes
of the Privy Council from his father's cabinet, which determined the
fate of Strafford, and the Court held him to be the real author of
his death; next, though he did not assist in condemning the king, he
accepted office under what was now termed the rebel Government. Besides
and beyond these, he was a man of the highest diplomatic abilities, and
of a spotless character and high religious temperament, which caused
the vile spirit and lives of the new reigning power and party to look
even viler by the contrast. The prisoners were charged with conspiring
and compassing the death of the present king, and the recent acts in
proof of this were alleged to be consulting with others to bring the
king to destruction, and to keep him out of his kingdom and authority,
and actually assembling in arms. These were vague and general charges,
which might have been applied to all who had been engaged in the late
Government, and on the same pleas all the Commonwealth men might have
been put to death.

Lambert, who had been most courageous in the field, appeared, before a
court of justice, a thorough coward. His late transactions had shown
that he was a man of no military genius, and now he trembled at the
sight of his judges. He assumed a very humble tone, pretended that when
he opposed General Monk he did not know that he was a favourer of the
house of Stuart, and he threw himself on the royal clemency. As there
was clearly nothing to be feared from such a man, he received judgment
of death, but was then sent to a prison in Guernsey for life, where he
amused himself with painting and gardening.

But Vane showed by the ability with which he defended himself that
he was a most dangerous man to so corrupt and contemptible a dynasty
as now reigned. The nobility of his sentiments, the dignity of his
conduct, and the acuteness of his reasonings, all marked a man who
kept alive most perilous and disparaging reminiscences. Every plea
that he advanced, and the power with which he advanced it, which
before a fair and independent tribunal would have excited admiration,
and ensured his acquittal, here only inspired terror and rage, and
ensured his destruction. He contended that he was no traitor. By all
principles of civil government, and by the statute of Henry VII., he
had only contended against a man who was no longer king _de facto_.
The Parliament, he said, before his union with it, had entered on
the contest with the late king, and put him, on what they held to be
sufficient grounds, out of his former position and authority. Moreover,
by the law of the land--the statute of the 11th of Henry VII., and
the practice based upon it--the Parliament were become the reigning
and rightful power. Under that power, and by the constitutional,
acknowledged Government he had acted, taking no part in the shedding of
the king's blood; and what he did after he did by the authority of the
only ruling Government. He therefore denied the right of any court but
the High Court of Parliament to call him in question, and he demanded
counsel to assist him in any case in rebutting the charges against him.
But every argument that he advanced only the more militated against
himself. The court was met to condemn him and get rid of him, and the
more he could prove its incompetence, the worse must their arbitrary
injustice appear. The more he could prove the Commonwealth a rightful
Government, the more must the present Government hate and dread him.
The judges declared that Charles had never ceased to be king either
_de facto_ or _de jure_ from the moment of his father's death. That he
was not king _de facto_, but an outcast from England, deprived of all
power and name, was notorious enough, but that mattered little; they
were resolved to have it so. In order to induce Vane to plead, they
promised him counsel, but when he had complied, and pleaded not guilty,
they answered his demand for counsel by telling him _they_ would be his
counsel.

Before such a tribunal there could be but one result--right or
wrong, the prisoner must be condemned; but Vane made so able and
unanswerable a defence, that the counsel employed against him were
reduced to complete silence: whereupon Chief-Justice Foster said to his
colleagues, "Though we know not what to say to him, we know what to
do with him." And when he adverted to the promise of the king that he
should not be condemned for what was past, and to his repeated demand
for counsel, the Solicitor-General exclaimed, "What counsel does he
think would dare to speak for him in such a manifest case of treason,
unless he could call down the heads of his fellow traitors--Bradshaw or
Coke--from the top of Westminster Hall?" He might have added--in that
vile state of things, that disgraceful relapse of the English public
into moral and political slavery--what jury would dare to acquit him?
The king was so exasperated at the accounts carried to him at Hampton
Court of the bold and unanswerable defence of Vane, that he wrote to
Clarendon, "The relation that hath been made to me of Sir Harry Vane's
carriage yesterday in the hall is the occasion of this letter, which,
if I am rightly informed, was so insolent as to justify all that he had
done, acknowledging no supreme power in England but Parliament, and
many things to that purpose. You have had a true account of all, and if
he has given new occasion to be hanged, certainly he is too dangerous
a man to let live, if we can honestly put him out of the way. Think of
this, and give me some account of it to-morrow." What account Clarendon
gave we may imagine, for he is careful in his own autobiography to
pass over altogether so small a matter as the trial and death of this
eminent man.

Vane was condemned, and executed on Tower Hill on the 14th of June,
1662, on the very spot where Strafford suffered, thus studiously making
his death an act of retribution for his evidence against that nobleman.
On taking leave of his wife and friends, Sir Harry confidently
predicted--as the former victims, Harrison, Scott, and Peters had
done--that his blood would rise from the ground against the reigning
family in judgment, on earth as well as in heaven. "As a testimony
and seal," he said, "to the justness of that quarrel, I leave now my
life upon it, as a legacy to all the honest interests in these three
nations. Ten thousand deaths rather than defile my conscience, the
chastity and purity of which I value beyond all this world." So alarmed
were the king and courtiers at the impression which this heroic and
virtuous conduct was likely to make on the public, that they took every
means to prevent the prisoner from being heard on the scaffold. They
placed drummers and trumpeters under the scaffold, to drown his voice
when he addressed the people. When he complained of the unfairness of
his trial, Sir John Robinson, the Lieutenant of the Tower, rudely and
furiously contradicted him, saying, "It's a lie; I am here to testify
that it is a lie. Sir, you must not rail at the judges." When he began
again, the drummers and trumpeters made the loudest din that they
could, but he ordered them to be stopped, saying he knew what was meant
by it. Again, as he attempted to proceed, they burst forth louder than
ever; and Robinson, furious, attempted to snatch the paper out of his
hand which contained his notes. Vane, however, held it firmly, and then
Robinson, seeing several persons taking notes of what the prisoner
said, exclaimed in a rage, "He utters rebellion, and you write it;"
and the books were seized, or all that could be discovered. They
next, two or three of them, attempted to wrest his papers from him,
and thrust their hands into his pockets, on pretence of searching for
others. A more indecent scene never was witnessed, and Vane, seeing
that it was useless to attempt being heard, laid his head on the block,
and it was severed at a stroke.

[Illustration: RESCUED FROM THE PLAGUE, LONDON, 1665.

FROM THE PAINTING BY F. W. W. TOPHAM, R.I.

"IT WAS THE CHILD OF A VERY ABLE CITIZEN OF GRACIOUS [GRACECHURCH]
STREET. A SADDLER, WHO HAD BURIED ALL THE REST OF HIS CHILDREN OF THE
PLAGUE, AND HIMSELF AND WIFE NOW BEING SHUT UP IN DESPAIR OF ESCAPING
DID DESIRE ONLY TO SAVE THE LIFE OF THIS LITTLE CHILD; I SO PREVAILED
TO HAVE IT RECEIVED STARK NAKED INTO THE ARMS OF A FRIEND, WHO BROUGHT
IT (HAVING PUT IT INTO FRESH CLOTHES) TO GREENWICH."--_Pepys's Diary._]

But the effect of Vane's words and conduct died not with him. The
people, degraded as they had become, could not avoid perceiving that
the spirit of evil was abroad; that revenge was being taken for the
virtue and the great principles of the Commonwealth; that the base and
worthless were exterminating the true--those who were the real glory of
the nation. Burnet says, "It was generally thought that the Government
lost more than it gained by the death of Vane;" and even the gossiping
Pepys said that he was told that "Sir Harry Vane was gone to heaven,
for he died as much a saint and martyr as ever man did, and that the
king had lost more by that man's death than he would get again for a
long while."

[Illustration: SIR HARRY VANE TAKING LEAVE OF HIS WIFE AND FRIENDS.
(_See p._ 208.)]

But these plain signs could not stop the thirst for blood. Colonels
Okey, Corbet, and Barkstead, three of the Regicides, had got away
to Holland, as Goffe, Whalley, and Dixwell had to the New England
settlements. The last three managed, in various disguises, but in
continual fears, to escape; but Okey, Corbet, and Barkstead were hunted
out by Downing, who, having been Cromwell's ambassador at the Hague,
had made his peace with the new Government, and was ready to earn
favour by making himself its bloodhound in running down his former
friends. He had once been chaplain to Okey's regiment. Having secured
them, the States were mean enough to surrender them, and they suffered
all the horrors of hanging and embowelling at the gallows. General
Ludlow, Mr. Lisle, and others of the Commonwealth men had retired to
Switzerland, which nobly refused to give them up; but the Royalists
determined to assassinate them if they could not have them to hack and
mangle at the gibbet. Murderers were sent after them to dog them, and
though Ludlow escaped, as by a miracle, from several attempts, Lisle
was shot, on Sunday of all days, as he was entering the church at
Lausanne; and the murderers rode away shouting, "God save the king!"
and made their escape into France.

If the country was discontented at the destruction of its most eminent
and virtuous men, it found that it must prepare to see its foreign
prestige sold to France. The king wanted money; Louis XIV. wanted
Dunkirk back again, which Cromwell had wrested from France, and which
remained a proof of the ascendency of England under that great ruler.
Clarendon, who should have endeavoured to save the nation from that
disgrace, did not know where else to look for the necessary supplies
for Charles's pleasures, and if he did not suggest, actually counselled
the measure. It was contended that Dunkirk was useless to England, and
that the expense of maintaining it was onerous. But not only France,
but Spain and Holland, knew very well its value as a bulwark against
the notorious designs of Louis of adding Belgium, and if possible
Holland, to France. Charles knew this very well, too, and was ready to
sell it to the highest bidder. Spain and Holland were eager to make
the purchase, but Charles was expecting other favours from France, and
could not get them if he sold Dunkirk to either of those nations. He
was in treaty with Louis for ten thousand foot and a body of cavalry,
to enable him to tread down the remaining liberties of the people. He
therefore gave the preference to France--for not a patriotic feeling,
but the most base personal views swayed him in such matters--and
struck a bargain with D'Estrades for five million livres. Charles
struggled for the payment in cash, but Louis would only give bills for
the amount; and then, knowing Charles's necessity, he privately sent
a broker, who discounted the bills at sixteen per cent.; and Louis
himself boasts, in his published works, that he thus saved five hundred
thousand livres out of the bargain, without Charles being aware of
it. The indignation of the public at this transaction was loud and
undisguised; the merchants of London had in vain offered themselves
to advance the king money, so that Dunkirk might not be sacrificed,
and now the people openly said that the place was sold only to satisfy
the rapacity of the king's mistresses, of whom he was getting more
and more--Miss Stewart, Nell Gwynn, and others of less mark. The
reprobation of the affair was so universal and violent, and Clarendon
was so fiercely accused of being a party to it, that from this hour his
favour with the nation was gone for ever.

Whilst the king was thus spilling the best blood, and selling the
possessions of the country, the Nonconformists were vainly hoping for
his fulfilment of his Declaration of Breda, as it regarded liberty
to tender consciences. The Act of Uniformity came into force on the
24th of August, St. Bartholomew's Day, on which day the deprivation
of two thousand Presbyterian ministers would be enforced. They
therefore petitioned for three months' delay, which Charles promised,
on condition that during that time they should use the Book of Common
Prayer. But no sooner was this promise given than the Royalists,
and especially the bishops, contended that the king was under no
obligation to keep the Declaration of Breda, inasmuch as it had only
been made to the Convention Parliament, which had never called for its
fulfilment. Clarendon did not venture to counsel Charles to break his
word, but he advised the summoning of the bishops to Hampton Court,
where the question was discussed in the presence of Ormond, Monk, and
the chief law-officers and ministers of State. The bishops expressed
much disgust at "those fellows," the Nonconformists, still insisting
on interrupting the king in the exercise of his undoubted prerogative;
they were supported by the Crown lawyers, and the Act was enforced in
all its rigour, despite the royal promise, which had over and over
lost its slightest value. The storm of persecution burst forth on the
Nonconformists with fury. Their meetings were forcibly broken up by
soldiery, and their preachers and many of themselves thrust into prison
on charges of heresy and violation of the laws. Numbers again prepared
for flight to New England, and to prevent this sweeping emigration
of useful artisans, the Earl of Bristol, the former impetuous and
eccentric Lord Digby of the Civil Wars, and Ashley Cooper planned a
scheme which should at once relieve both Dissenters and Catholics.
This was to induce the king, on the plea of fulfilling his Declaration
of Breda, to issue a declaration of indulgence of a broad and
comprehensive character. This was supported in the Council by Robartes,
Lord Privy Seal, and Bennet, the new Secretary of State. Accordingly,
Charles, on the 6th of December, issued his declaration, called "a
Declaration for Refuting Four Scandals cast on the Government"--namely,
that the Act of Indemnity had been merely intended to be temporary;
that there was an intention to keep a large standing army; that the
king was a persecutor; and that he was a favourer of Popery. In answer
to the third scandal, he declared he would submit to Parliament a
Bill for ample indulgence to tender consciences; and though he would
not refuse to make the Catholics, like the rest of his subjects,
a partaker in this privilege, yet to show the fallacy of the fourth
scandal, if they abused his goodness he would pursue them with all the
rigour of the laws already existing against them.

[Illustration: CHARLES II. AND NELL GWYNN.

  FROM THE PICTURE BY E. M. WARD, R.A.
  IN THE VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM, SOUTH KENSINGTON.
]

This announcement was received with an outburst of indignation by all
parties except the Independents and the other Dissenters who partook
of their ideas of general toleration. But the Presbyterians adhered
to their ancient bigotry so firmly, that rather than Catholics should
enjoy toleration, they were ready to forego it themselves. The Church,
and a vast number of people of no religion at all, joined in the cry
out of their hereditary alarm at Popery. The moment that the session
of 1663 opened, on the 18th of February, both houses attacked the
Declaration, and the Commons, though the Bill was not before them,
sent an address to the king, thanking him for the other parts of the
Declaration, but represented the third clause as pregnant with schism,
endless liberties and importunities of sects, and certain disturbance
of the national tranquillity. In the Lords the Lord-Treasurer led the
opposition, and the bishops supported him with all their energies, and,
to the astonishment of Charles himself, Clarendon, who had been laid
up with gout, on the second day of the debate went to the House, and
attacked it with a vehemence of language which gave great offence to
the king. Probably Clarendon calculated on more serious damage from
the popular feeling, of which his Dunkirk policy had recently given
him a sharp taste, than on any strong resentment of Charles, but he
was mistaken; the Bill was defeated, but the king expressed his wrath
to Southampton, the Treasurer, and Clarendon, in such terms as struck
terror into them, and from that time it was evident that neither of
them possessed his confidence any longer. Nor did he spare the bishops.
He reproached them with bigotry and ingratitude. He told them that it
was owing to his Declaration of Breda that they owed their restoration,
and that now they were driving him to break that promise. The
intolerance of the bishops in his father's time had caused, he said,
the destruction of the hierarchy, and done much to ruin the monarchy
itself; and no sooner were they reinstated, than they were pursuing the
same blind and fatal course. From that day, too, his manner to them
changed, and his courtiers, quick to perceive the change, imitated it,
and, glad to excuse their profligacy, indulged in ridicule of their
persons, and mockery of their sermons.

But though Charles had boldly spoken much severe truth in the moment
of his resentment, all parties calculated too well on the evanescence
of anything in him like a wise or virtuous perseverance, and they
pursued their object with an obstinacy which compelled the ease-loving
monarch to give way. The Commons passed a Bill to check the growth
of Popery, and another that of Nonconformity, but though strongly
supported in the Lords, they were defeated by the Presbyterian and
Catholic members. They then changed their tack, and presented an
address to the king, praying him to put in force all the penal laws
against the Catholics and sectaries of every description. Having
expressed their wishes, the Commons granted the king four subsidies,
and he was about to prorogue Parliament, when a strange incident
delayed this event for some time. The king, during the discussion
on the Supplies, made a statement which seemed to commit the Earl
of Bristol with Parliament. The earl and the king becoming warm
in mutual explanation before Lord Arlington, Charles used strong
language, and Bristol, losing his temper, reproached the king with
his amours, his indolence, and the sacrifice of his best friends to
the malice of Clarendon, and vowed that unless justice was done him
within twenty-four hours, he would do a thing that would astonish both
the king and the Chancellor. This thing was to impeach Clarendon of
high treason on the ground that he had, both publicly and privately,
endeavoured to fix the character of a papist on the king, and had
represented that he alone protected the Protestant establishment.
Bristol's hasty temper had betrayed him into a charge which he could
not substantiate. He was foiled with disgrace, and he only escaped
being arrested by flight.

When the next session of Parliament opened, on the 16th of March,
1664, the Commons returned with unabated animus, and circumstances in
the interim had occurred, which, as they favoured both the orthodox
scheme and a scheme of the king's, enabled them to carry their point by
conceding his. In October, a trifling insurrection broke out at Farnley
Wood, in Yorkshire. The people, who were of an obscure class, appeared
to be Fifth-Monarchy men and Republicans, who complained of the
persecutions for religion, and of the violation of the Triennial Act,
and contended that as the present Parliament had sat more than three
years, it was illegal, and the people had nothing to do but to elect
another of their own accord. This was a mistake; the Act did not limit
the duration of Parliament, but the interval between one Parliament and
another. The Triennial Act, passed in the 16th of Charles I., when
his Parliament wrung a number of those guarantees from him, authorised
the sheriffs to issue writs for an election after any Parliament had
ceased to sit three years, if the Government did not summon one, and in
default of the sheriffs issuing such writs, the people might assemble,
and proceed to election without writs.

The Government wanted to be rid of this Act, and therefore the Duke
of Buckingham set Gere, sheriff of Yorkshire, and others, to send
incendiaries amongst the people to excite them to proceedings of this
sort. They were then arrested to the number of about fifty persons
in Yorkshire and Westmoreland, on the plea that they were assembled
without lawful cause, the Parliament, so far from having ceased to
sit three years, being still sitting. The ignorant people had been
probably purposely misinformed, and some of them were hanged for it.
The end of Charles was gained. He told the Parliament that the Act
thus encouraged seditious meetings, and that though he never wished
to be without a Parliament for three years, he was resolved never to
allow of a Parliament summoned by such means as prescribed by that Act.
The Parliament readily repealed the Act, and passed another, still
requiring a Parliament at farthest after three years' interval, but
sweeping away what Charles called the "wonderful clauses" of the Bill.

In return for this favour, the Commons now solicited his assent to
the Conventicle Act, which it was hoped would extinguish Dissent
altogether. This was a continuation of those tyrannic Acts which were
passed in this infamous reign, some of which, as the Corporation and
Test Acts, even survived the revolution of 1688. The Test Act, the Act
of Uniformity, by which Bishop Sheldon, the Laud of his time, ejected
two thousand ministers, now the Conventicle, and soon after this the
Five Mile Act, completed the code of despotism.

Here was the king, who, in the last session of Parliament, published
his declaration for the indulgence of tender consciences, now wheeling
round like a weathercock, and consenting to the Conventicle Act.
And what was this Act? It forbade more than five persons to meet
together for worship, except that worship was according to the Common
Prayer Book. All magistrates were empowered to levy ten pounds on the
ministers, five pounds on every hearer, and twenty pounds on the house
where this conventicle, as it was called, was held. This fine, or
three months' imprisonment, was the punishment for the first offence;
ten pounds a hearer or six months' imprisonment for the second
offence; one hundred pounds a hearer or seven years' transportation
for the third; and death without benefit of clergy in case of return
or escape. This diabolical Act Clarendon applauded, and said that if
rigorously executed, it would have produced entire Conformity. What was
Clarendon's idea of rigour?

Sheldon, the Bishop of London, let loose all the myrmidons of the law
on the devoted country. The houses of Nonconformists were invaded
by informers, constables, and the vilest and lowest rabble of their
assailants. They broke open the houses of all Nonconformists, in search
of offenders, but still more in search of plunder; they drove them
from their meetings with soldiery, and thrust them into prisons--and
such prisons! No language can describe the horrors and vileness of
the pestiferous prisons of those days. The two thousand Nonconformist
ministers were starving. "Their wives and children," says Baxter, "had
neither house nor home." Such as dared to preach in fields and private
houses were dragged to those horrible prisons; those who ventured to
offer them food or shelter, if discovered, were treated the same. To
prevent the Nonconformist ministers from remaining amongst their old
friends, Sheldon, the very next session, procured the Five Mile Act,
which restrained all dissenting clergy from coming within five miles of
any place where they had exercised their ministry, and from teaching
school, under a penalty of forty pounds for each offence.

In Scotland it was not against sects, but against the whole
Presbyterian Church that the fury of the persecutors was directed.
The Presbyterians had effectually crushed out all Dissenters, and now
they themselves felt the iron hand of intolerance. No sooner did the
Conventicle Act pass in England than the Royalist Parliament passed one
there in almost the same terms, and another Act offering Charles twenty
thousand foot and two thousand horse to march into England, to assist
in putting down his subjects there, if necessary. Sharp was wonderfully
elated by the Conventicle Act, and, establishing what proved to be
a High Commission Court, he managed to place his creature, Lord
Rothes, at the head of the law department as Chancellor, who brow-beat
magistrates and lawyers, and twisted the laws as Sharp thought fit. The
prisons were soon crammed as full as those in England, and proceedings
of the law courts more resembled those of an inquisition than anything
else, till the peasantry rose and endeavoured to defend themselves. The
names of Lauderdale and Archbishop Sharp are made immortal for the
infliction of infernal tortures; their racks and thumbscrews, their
iron boots and gibbets are riveted fast and firm to their names.

[Illustration: THE GREAT PLAGUE: SCENES IN THE STREETS OF LONDON. (_See
p._ 216.)]

[Illustration: THUMBSCREW.]

And now the king was about to plunge into war to serve the purposes
of his paymaster, the ambitious French king. Whatever could weaken or
embarrass Holland suited exactly the plans of Louis XIV., and to have
England contending with Holland whilst he was contemplating an attack
on Spain was extremely convenient. The immediate cause, however, came
from the complaints of the merchants, or rather of the Duke of York.
The duke was governor of an African company, which imported gold dust
from the coast of Guinea, and was deeply engaged in the slave trade,
supplying West Indian planters with negroes. The Dutch complained of
the encroachments of the English, both there and in the East Indies,
and the English replied by similar complaints. The duke advocated
hostilities against the Dutch, but found Charles unwilling to be
diverted from his pleasures by the anxieties of war. He was worked on,
however, by appeals to his resentment against the Louvestein faction in
Holland, which had treated him with great indignity whilst he was an
exile, and though the differences might have been readily settled by a
little honest negotiation, the duke was desirous of a plea for further
aggression on the Dutch, and his plans were fostered by Downing, the
ambassador at the Hague, a most unprincipled man, who under Cromwell
had held the same post, and traded most profitably on the fears of the
Dutch.

In the spring of 1664, James's admiral, Sir Robert Holmes, arrived
on the coast of Africa with a few small ships of war, to recover the
castle of Cape Coast, which the Dutch had claimed and seized. He
exceeded his commission as an officer of the African Company, and
not only reduced the castle of Cape Coast, but the forts of Goree,
and then sailed away to America, and cast anchor at the settlement of
New Amsterdam, lately taken from the Dutch by Sir Richard Nicholas,
and named it after his patron, New York. The Dutch ambassador now
presented the strongest remonstrances, and the king, excusing himself
on the plea that Holmes had gone out on a private commission, assured
the ambassador that he would have him recalled and put upon his trial.
Holmes, indeed, was recalled, and sent to the Tower, but was soon
after liberated. The Dutch were not disposed to sit down under this
indignity, and De Ruyter attacked the English settlements on the coast
of Guinea, committed great depredations, and then, sailing to the West
Indies, captured above twenty sail of English merchantmen. There was
now a vehement cry for war, and Charles appealed to Parliament, which
granted the unprecedented supply of two millions and a half. The City
of London also presented several large sums of money, for which they
received the thanks of Parliament. A very remarkable circumstance
attended the Act granting this Parliamentary supply. The ancient mode
of subsidies was abandoned, and a mode of assessment, copied from
the plan of the Commonwealth, was adopted; the first time that the
Royalists practically paid homage to the Republican superiority of
finance. The tax was to be raised by quarterly assessments. Moreover,
the clergy, instead of voting their money separately in Convocation,
were called upon to pay their taxes with the laity, and thus ended the
separate jurisdiction of Convocation: it became a mere form.

The Duke of York, who, with all his faults, was by no means destitute
of courage, took the command of the fleet as Lord Admiral against the
Dutch, and showed much ability in his command. He divided the fleet
into three squadrons, one of which he commanded himself, the second he
gave to Prince Rupert, who here again appeared in English affairs, and
the third to the Earl of Sandwich, formerly Admiral Montagu. The whole
fleet consisted of ninety-eight sail of the line and four fire-ships.
On the 4th of June, 1665, he came to an engagement near Lowestoft
with the Dutch under Admiral Opdam, a gallant and experienced seaman,
followed by a hundred and thirteen men-of-war, manned by the most
spirited and distinguished youth of Holland. The battle was terrible,
but James, discharging all his guns into Opdam's vessel, caused it to
blow up, and thus destroyed the admiral with five hundred men. The
Dutch having lost their chief commander, drew off towards the Texel,
but Van Tromp collected the scattered vessels, and there was a prospect
of a second fight; but the duke went to bed, and Lord Brounker, a
gentleman of the bedchamber, went on deck and ordered Penn to slacken
sail. The consequence was that the Dutch were allowed to retire in
safety, and much of the honour won by the duke was lost again by this
circumstance. It was said that the duke knew nothing of it, and that
Brounker had given the order of his own accord; but the prevailing
opinion was that the duke thought he had got honour enough, and the
Earl of Montague, who was serving as a volunteer, said the duke had
been much impressed by seeing, in the heat of the action, the Earl of
Falmouth, Lord Muskerry, and Boyle, son of the Earl of Burlington,
killed by his side. Penn, moreover, was said to have told the duke
that if they engaged again, the fight would be more bloody than ever,
for the Dutch would grow desperate with revenge. The fleet, therefore,
made homeward, and, says Pepys, the duke and his officers returned from
sea "all fat and ruddy with being in the sun." It was given out as a
great victory, and the duke received one hundred and twenty thousand
pounds for his services; but the public was far from satisfied, and
Lord Sandwich far less so. He complained to Pepys that he had borne
the brunt of the battle, and that all the honour was given to the
duke in the printed account. That there was much in these statements
was sanctioned by the fact that the duke was removed from the fleet,
and the command restored to the brave but unprincipled Sandwich. In
the battle the Dutch are stated to have lost seven thousand men, and
eighteen sail burnt, sunk, or taken. The English are reported to have
lost only one ship, and six hundred men in killed and wounded. Amongst
the slain were the Earls of Marlborough and Portland, and Admirals
Lawson and Sampson.

Sandwich was scarcely in independent command when he heard of a most
magnificent chance. Two Dutch merchant fleets, one from the East
Indies and one from the Levant, to avoid the English fleet at the
Texel, united and sailed round the north of Ireland and Scotland, and
took shelter in the neutral harbour of Bergen, in Norway. They were
jointly valued at twenty-five millions of livres. Sandwich sailed
thither after them, and the King of Denmark, the sovereign of Norway,
though at peace with the Dutch, was tempted, by the hope of sharing
the booty, to let Sandwich attack them in port. Sandwich, however,
was not satisfied to give the king half, as demanded, and in spite of
Alefeldt, the governor, who begged him to wait till the terms were
finally settled with the monarch, he ordered Captain Tyddiman to dash
in and cut the ships out and all the Dutch vessels. But Tyddiman found
himself between two fires; the Dutch defended themselves resolutely
and the Danes, resenting this lawless proceeding, fired on them from
the fort and batteries. Five of Sandwich's commanders were killed,
one ship was sunk, much damage was done to the fleet, and it was glad
to escape out of the harbour. Sandwich, however, was lucky enough
soon after to secure eight men-of-war and about thirty other vessels,
including two of the richest Indiamen, which were dispersed by a storm
whilst under the convoy of De Witt. The unscrupulous Sandwich made free
to appropriate two thousand pounds' worth of the booty, and allowed
his officers to do the same, which occasioned his dismissal from the
fleet; but to soften his disgrace, he was sent as ambassador to Spain.
Parliament, to carry on the war, granted the king a fresh supply of one
million two hundred and fifty thousand pounds, and, at the same time,
voted the one hundred and twenty thousand pounds to the duke.

Whilst these events had been transpiring the plague had been raging
in the City of London, and had thence spread itself to various parts
of the country. It raged with a fury almost unexampled in any age
or nation. It had shown itself during the previous winter in a few
individual cases, and as spring advanced, it terribly extended its
devastations. In May it burst forth with frightful violence in St.
Giles's, and, spreading over the adjoining parishes, soon threatened
both Whitehall and the City. The nobility fled to the country, the
Court retreated to Salisbury, and left Monk to represent the Government
in his own person, and he boldly maintained his ground through the
whole deadly time. As the hot weather advanced the mortality became
terrible, and the people fled in crowds into the country, till the
Lord Mayor refused to grant fresh bills of health, and the people of
the neighbouring towns and villages declined to receive any one from
London into them. Those who escaped out of the metropolis had to camp
in the fields, whichever way they turned the inhabitants being in arms
to drive them away. In June the City authorities put in force an Act
of James I. They divided the City into districts, and allotted to each
a staff of examiners, searchers, nurses, and watchmen. As soon as the
plague was ascertained to be in a house, they made a red cross upon
the door a foot in length, and wrote over, "Lord, have mercy upon
us!" No one was allowed to issue out of the houses bearing that fatal
sign for a month, if they could keep them in. Persons escaping out of
these infected houses, and mingling with others, were liable to suffer
death as felons. But to remain in these houses was to perish of plague
or famine, and numbers broke wildly from them at all hazards, thus
carrying the infection on all sides. Many in their frenzy jumped naked
from the windows, rushed wildly through the streets, and plunged into
the river.

It was calculated that forty thousand work-people and servants were
left destitute by the flight of their employers, and subscriptions
were made to prevent them from starving, for they were not allowed to
leave the City. The king gave one thousand pounds a week, the City, six
hundred pounds, the Queen Dowager, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and
many noblemen contributed liberally. But the aspect of the place was
terrible. The dead carts were going to and fro continually to collect
the bodies put out into the streets, announced by the tinkling of a
bell, and at night by the glare of links. The corpses were cast into
pits, and covered up as fast as possible. The most populous and lately
busy streets were grass-grown; the people who walked through them kept
along the middle, except they were meeting others, and then they got
as far from each other as possible. Amid all this horror, the sight of
ghastly death, and the ravings of delirium, whilst some brave souls
devoted themselves to the assistance of the suffering and dying, crowds
of others rushed to taverns, theatres, and places of debauch, and a
strange maniacal mirth startled the silence of the night, and added
horror to the work of death. The weekly numbers who perished rose from
one thousand to eight thousand. The wildest rumours of apparitions and
strange omens were afloat. The ghosts of the dead were said to be seen
walking round the pits where their bodies lay; a flaming sword was said
to stretch across the heavens from Westminster to above the Tower,
and men, raised by the awful excitement of the scene into an abnormal
state, went about, as was done at the destruction of Jerusalem,
announcing the judgments of God. One man cried as he passed, "Yet forty
days, and London shall be destroyed;" another stalked nakedly along,
bearing on his head a chafing-dish of burning coal, and declaring that
the Almighty would purge them with fire. Another came suddenly from
side streets and alleys in the darkness of the night, or in open
day, uttering in a deep and fearful tone, the unvarying exclamation,
"Oh, the great and dreadful God!" The confounded people declared that
it was a judgment of God on the nation for its sins, and especially
the sins of the King and Court, and the dreadful persecution of the
religious by the Government and clergy. The Presbyterian ejected
preachers frequently mounted into the pulpits now deserted by their
usual occupants, and preached with a solemn eloquence to audiences who
listened to them from amid the shadows of death, and thus gave great
offence to the incumbents, who had abandoned their own charges. This
was made one plea, after the danger was over, for passing the Five Mile
Act in October of this year (1665). Many other metropolitan clergy
stood by their flocks, and displayed the noblest characters during
the pestilence. This terrible plague swept off upwards of one hundred
thousand people during the year; and though it ceased with the winter,
it raged the following summer in Colchester, Norwich, Cambridge,
Salisbury, and even in the Peak of Derbyshire.

Whilst the plague had been raging, numbers of the Republicans,
Algernon Sidney among the rest, had gone over to Holland and taken
service in its army, urging the States to invade England, and restore
the Commonwealth, and a conspiracy was detected in London itself for
seizing the Tower and burning the City. Rathbone, Tucker, and six
others, were seized and hanged, but Colonel Danvers, their leader,
escaped. Parliament attainted a number of the conspirators by name,
and also every British subject who should remain in the Dutch service
after a fixed day. But neither plague nor insurrection had any effect
in checking the wild licence and riot of the Court. The same scenes
of drinking, gambling, and debauchery went on faster than ever after
the Court removed from Salisbury to Oxford. The king was in pursuit
of a new flame, Miss Stewart, one of the queen's maids of honour, and
the Duke of York was as violently in love with her. Charles could not
eat his breakfast till he visited both her and Castlemaine; and even
Clarendon complains that "it was a time when all licence in discourse
and in actions was spread over the kingdom, to the heart-breaking of
many good men, who had terrible apprehensions of the consequences of
it."

[Illustration: THE GREAT PLAGUE: THE MANIAC PRONOUNCING THE DOOM OF
LONDON. (_See p._ 216.)]

The war, meanwhile, went on, and now assumed a more formidable aspect,
for Louis XIV. made a sudden veer round in his politics, and joined
the Dutch. He was actually under conditions of peace and assistance
with them, and they called upon him to fulfil his engagements; but
they publicly would have called in vain, had not Charles of late become
too independent of his French paymaster, by having received liberal
supplies from Parliament. Louis liked extremely to see Holland and
England exhausting one another whilst he was aiming at the acquisition
of the Netherlands; but it was not his policy to leave Charles free
from his control. Charles, meanwhile, had been neglecting the very
sailors who were to fight his battles against the united power of
France and Holland. The sailors who had fought so gallantly last
summer had lain during the winter in the streets, having received no
pay. Pepys says that, whilst the plague was raging in London, they
were besieging the Navy Office with clamorous demands. "Did business,
though not much, at the Navy Office, because of the horrible crowd and
lamentable moan of the poor seamen that lie starving in the streets for
lack of money, which do trouble and perplex me to the heart; and more
at noon when we were to go through them, for then above a whole hundred
of them followed us, some cursing, some swearing, and some praying to
us."

Whilst the royal duke had received one hundred and twenty thousand
pounds for fighting one battle and leaving it unfinished, and the poor
men were thus turned adrift to starvation and danger of death from the
plague, the fleet had lost nearly all its experienced officers, who
had been turned off because of their having helped the immortal Blake
to shed glory on the Commonwealth, and their places were supplied by
young, insolent, ignorant sprigs of the aristocracy, who neither knew
their business, nor were disposed to do it if they did. Pepys, who, as
Secretary to the Admiralty, saw all this, says that Admiral Penn spoke
very freely to him on the subject, and lamented the loss which the
fleet had experienced in the cashiered officers.

Such was the state of our navy when it put to sea to face the enemy.
The command was entrusted to Monk and Prince Rupert. And here were
fresh proofs of the wretched management of this miserable monarch. Monk
had taken desperately to drinking, and to this commander the fortunes
of England were entrusted in conjunction with Rupert, who, with the
courage of a lion, was never in the right place at the right time.
On the 1st of June, 1666, Monk discovered the Dutch fleet under De
Ruyter and De Witt lying at anchor off the North Foreland. They had
eighty-four sail, and Monk would have had an equal number, but Rupert
had received an order to go in quest of the French fleet with thirty
sail. Monk, therefore, having little more than fifty sail, was strongly
advised by Sir John Harman and Sir Thomas Tyddiman not to engage with
such unequal numbers, especially as the wind and sea were such as would
prevent the use of their lower tier of guns. But Monk, who was probably
drunk, would not listen, and was encouraged by the younger and more
inexperienced officers. He bore down rapidly on the Dutch fleet, having
the weather gauge, and the Dutchmen were taken so much by surprise that
they had not time to weigh anchor, but cut their cables, and made for
their own coast. But there they faced about, and Monk, in his turn, was
obliged to tack so abruptly, that his topmast went by the board, and
whilst he was bringing his vessel into order, Sir William Berkeley, who
had not noticed the accident, was amid the thick of the enemy, and,
being unsupported, was soon killed on his quarter-deck, and his ship
and a frigate attending him were taken. Sir Thomas Tyddiman refused to
engage, and Sir John Harman, surrounded by the Dutch, had his masts
shot away, and was severely wounded. The masts and rigging of the
English vessels were cut to pieces by chain shot, a new invention of
Admiral De Witt's, and Monk, with his disabled ships, had to sustain a
desperate and destructive fight till it was dark. He then gave orders
to make for the first English port, but in their haste and the darkness
they ran upon the Galloper Sand, where the _Prince Royal_, the finest
vessel in the fleet, grounded, and was taken by the Dutch. The next day
Monk continued a retreating fight, and would probably have lost the
whole fleet, but just then Rupert, with the White squadron, appeared in
sight. The next morning the battle was renewed with more equal forces
till they were separated by a fog, and when that cleared away the Dutch
were seen in retreat. Both sides claimed the victory, but the English
had certainly suffered most, and lost the most ships. The only wonder
was that they had not lost the whole. Nothing, however, could exceed
the lion-like courage of the seamen. "They may be killed," exclaimed
De Witt, "but they cannot be conquered." They very soon reminded him
of his words, for before the end of June they were at sea again,
fought, and defeated him and De Ruyter, pursued them to their own
coast, entered the channel between Vlie and Schelling, and destroyed
two men-of-war, one hundred and fifty merchantmen, and reduced the town
of Brandaris to ashes. De Witt, enraged at this devastation, vowed to
Almighty God that he would never sheath the sword till he had taken
ample revenge.

In August a French fleet, under the Duke of Beaufort, arrived from
the Mediterranean to join the Dutch fleet, under De Ruyter, which was
already in the Channel watching for position. Rupert, however, was on
the look-out, and De Ruyter took refuge in the roadstead of Boulogne,
but whilst Rupert was preparing to prevent the advance of Beaufort up
the Channel, a storm obliged him to retreat to St. Helier, by which
Beaufort was enabled to reach Dieppe; and the Dutch, severely damaged
by the tempest, returned home. But this storm had produced a terrible
catastrophe on land. A fire broke out in the night, between the 2nd and
3rd of September, in Pudding Lane, near Fish Street, where the Monument
to commemorate the event now stands. It occurred in a bakehouse, which
was built of wood and had a pitched roof, and the buildings in general
being of timber, it soon spread. The wind was raging furiously from
the east, and the neighbourhood being filled with warehouses of pitch,
tar, resin, and other combustible materials, the conflagration rushed
along with wonderful force and vehemence. The summer had been one of
the hottest and driest ever known, and the timber houses were in a
state to catch and burn amazingly. Clarendon says, "The fire and the
wind continued in the same excess all Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday,
till afternoon, and flung and scattered brands into all quarters; the
nights more terrible than the days, and the light the same, the light
of the fire supplying that of the sun." The timidity of the Lord Mayor
favoured the progress of the flames. He at first refused to admit the
military to prevent the plunder of the houses, and to keep off the
crowds where efforts were attempted to stop the fire; but nothing of
this sort could be done, for the pipes from the New River were found
to be empty, and the machine which raised water from the Thames was
burnt to ashes. It was proposed to blow up some of the houses with
gunpowder, to arrest the progress of the fire; but the aldermen, whose
houses would be the first to be exploded, would not allow it, and thus
permitted the advance of the raging element without saving their own
property. Nearly the whole of the City from the Tower to Temple Bar was
soon one raging mass of fire, the glare of which lit up the country for
ten miles around.

The terrors of the catastrophe were fearfully aggravated by the wild
rumours and suspicions that flew to and fro. It was declared to be the
doings of the Papists in combination with the French and Dutch, and
the pipes of the New River works at Islington being empty confirmed
it. One Grant, a Catholic and partner in the works, was accused of
having turned off the water on the preceding Saturday, and carried
away the keys; but it was afterwards shown by the books of the company
that Grant was not a partner there till the 25th of September, three
weeks afterwards. There were plenty of people ready to depose that
they had seen men carrying about parcels of combustibles, which, on
being crushed, burst out in inextinguishable flame, and others throwing
fire-balls into houses. There were twenty thousand French resident
in the city, and they were declared to be engaged with the Catholics
to massacre the whole population during the confusion of the fire.
Distraction and terror spread on every side--some were labouring
frantically to extinguish the flames, others were hurrying out their
goods and conveying them away, others flying from the expected
massacre, and others coming out armed to oppose the murderers. Not
a foreigner or Catholic could appear in the streets without danger
of his life. What made it worse, an insane Frenchman, of the name of
Hubert, declared that it was he who set fire to the first house, and
that his countrymen were in the plot to help him. He was examined,
and was so evidently crazed, the judges declared to the king that
they gave no credit whatever to his story, nor was there the smallest
particle of proof produced; but the jury, in their fear and suspicion,
pronounced him guilty, and the poor wretch was hanged. The inscription
on the Monument after the fire, however--and which was not erased till
December, 1830--accused the Catholics of being the incendiaries, for
which reason, Pope, a Catholic, referring to this particular libel,
says:--

  "Where London's Column, pointing at the skies,
  Like a tall bully, lifts the head and _lies_."

"Let the cause be what it would," says Clarendon, "the effect was
terrible, for above two parts of three of that great city, and those
the most rich and wealthy parts, where the greatest warehouses and
the best shops stood, the Royal Exchange, with all the streets about
it--Lombard Street, Cheapside, Paternoster Row, St. Paul's Church,
and almost all the other churches in the City, with the Old Bailey,
Ludgate, all Paul's Churchyard, even to the Thames, and the greatest
part of Fleet Street, all which were places the best inhabited,
were all burnt without one house remaining. The value or estimate
of what that devouring element consumed over and above the houses,
could never be computed in any degree." The houses were calculated at
thirteen thousand two hundred, covering, more or less, one hundred and
thirty-six acres. Eighty-nine churches were consumed.

[Illustration: PIE CORNER, SMITHFIELD, WHERE THE GREAT FIRE REACHED ITS
LIMITS.]

Towards the evening on Wednesday the wind abated, and buildings were
blown up to clear the ground round Westminster Abbey, the Temple
Church, and Whitehall. The next day, the weather being calm, the danger
was thought to be over, but in the night the fire burst out again in
the neighbourhood of the Temple, in Cripplegate, and near the Tower.
The king, the Duke of York, and many noblemen assisted to blow up
houses in those quarters, and thus contributed to save those places,
and finally stop the conflagration. Nothing is said so completely to
have roused Charles as this catastrophe, and both he and the duke were
indefatigable in giving their personal attendance, encouragement, and
assistance. They placed guards to prevent thieving, and distributed
food to the starving inhabitants. In the fields about Islington and
Highgate two hundred thousand people were seen occupying the bare
ground, or under huts and tents hastily constructed, with the remains
of their property lying about them. Charles was indefatigable in
arranging for the accommodation of this unfortunate mass of people
in the neighbouring towns and villages, till their houses could
be rebuilt. But for months afterwards the enormous field of ruins
presented a burning and smoking chaos. Had Charles and his brother
conducted themselves at other times as during this brief but awful
time, they had left very different names and effects behind them.
The great misfortune for the moment even softened down the acrimony
of bigotry and party; but this did not last long. An inquiry was
instituted, both by the Commons and the Privy Council, into the cause
of the calamity, but nothing was elicited to prove it the work of
incendiaries.

The people at large firmly believed that the plague and the fire were
judgments for the sins of the King and Court.



[Illustration: GEORGE MONK, DUKE OF ALBEMARLE.]

CHAPTER VIII.

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (_continued_).

    Demands of Parliament--A Bogus Commission--Crushing the
    Covenanters in Scotland--The Dutch in the Thames--Panic in London
    and at Court--Humiliation of England--Peace is Signed--Fall
    of Clarendon--The Cabal--Sir William Temple at the Hague--The
    Triple Alliance--Scandals at Court--Profligacy of the King
    and the Duke of Buckingham--Attempt to Deprive the Duke of
    York of the Succession--Persecution of Nonconformists--Trial
    of Penn and Mead--The Rights of Juries--Secret Treaty
    with France--Suspicious Death of Charles's Sister--"Madam
    Carwell"--Attack on Sir John Coventry--National Bankruptcy--War
    with Holland--Battle of Southwold Bay--William of Orange
    saves his Country--Declaration of Indulgence--Fall of the
    Cabal--Affairs in Scotland and Ireland--Progress of the Continental
    War--Mary Marries William of Orange--Louis Intrigues with the
    Opposition--Peace of Nimeguen--The Popish Plot--Impeachment of
    Danby--Temple's Scheme of Government--The Exclusion Bill--Fresh
    Persecutions in Scotland--Murder of Archbishop Sharp--Bothwell
    Bridge--Anti-Catholic Fury--Charges against James--Execution of
    Lord Stafford.


The career of vice which Charles had run since his restoration to the
throne of England, the scandalous scenes and ruinous extravagance at
Court, the loose women and debauched courtiers who figured there, and
the great calamities which had latterly fallen on the nation, and, as
it was generally believed, in consequence of the flagrant wickedness of
the ruling persons, had by this time produced a profound impression on
the public mind. Unprecedented sums had been voted for the prosecution
of the Dutch War, and some terrible battles had been fought at sea;
but these, so far from bringing any solid advantage to the nation, had
ruined its finances, and greatly damaged the navy. Besides this, there
was a general and well-founded belief that the money which should have
gone to fit out the navy and pay the brave seamen, had been squandered
on the royal mistresses and minions. The sailors had been left in
destitution, and remained so; their tickets, which had been given them
as tokens of their demands for wages, had to a large extent never been
redeemed, whilst the effeminate courtiers made fortunes.

When Parliament met on the 21st of September, 1666, more money was
demanded, and the Commons liberally voted one million eight hundred
thousand pounds, but on several conditions, one of which was that the
laws should be put in force against the Catholics, who were suspected
to have fired the capital. Though a Committee appointed to consider
this charge failed to connect the Papists with the Fire, yet the cry
remained, and Charles was compelled to order by proclamation all
priests and Jesuits to quit the kingdom; all recusants to be proceeded
against according to law; all Papists to be disarmed, and officers
and soldiers to be dismissed from the army who should refuse the
oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy. There had been a demand from the
aristocracy and their tenants in England, in 1663, to prevent the
importation of cattle from Ireland. The landlords wanted high rents,
and the tenants cried out that they could not pay them if they were to
be undersold by the Irish; as if Ireland were not a part of the empire
as well as England, and justly entitled to the same privileges. It
was in vain that the more liberal and enlightened members asked how
Ireland was to purchase our manufactured goods, if we would not take
her raw produce. The Bill was passed, and sixty thousand beeves and
a large quantity of sheep were thus refused entrance annually at our
ports. To obviate this difficulty, the Irish slaughtered the cattle,
and sent them over as dead carcasses. This was violently opposed, and
this session a Bill passed, also excluding the meat. But the third
and last demand on Charles was the most alarming. It was no other
than that a Parliamentary Commission should be appointed to examine
and audit the public accounts. It was well known that not only the
king's mistresses, but many other persons about the Court, had made
very free with the public revenue with the connivance of Charles. Lady
Castlemaine was commonly declared to carry on a great trade in selling
favours, and receiving bribes from the subjects, and lavish grants from
the king.

The alarm which the passing of a Bill for this Commission of Inquiry
through the Commons carried into all the courtly recesses of corruption
was excessive. The whole Court was in a turmoil of consternation; there
was a terrible outcry that if this were allowed, there was an end of
the prerogative. Lord Ashley, the Treasurer of the Prize Money, and
Carteret, the Treasurer of the Navy, were aghast, and implored Charles
to declare openly that he would never consent to it. The grave and
virtuous Lord Clarendon strenuously supported them, telling the king
that he must not "suffer Parliament to extend their jurisdiction to
cases that they had nothing to do with." He desired the king to "be
firm in the resolution he had taken, and not to be put from it." And he
promised when the Bill came into the Lords he would oppose it with all
his power. And this was the advice of a man who himself tells us in his
"Life" of the corruptions practised--of the corruptions of these very
men, Ashley and Carteret; of the good round sums taken from the privy
purse by "the lady," as she was called, and of the extensive grants to
her of lands in Ireland, where they were not so likely to be inquired
about; of the miserable condition of the navy; the dissolute life of
the king; his own remonstrances, and the constant endeavours of the
courtiers to divert the king's attention from anything serious.

But there was a cause much more influential than public good or public
virtue which forwarded the Bill, in spite of the Court. The Duke of
Buckingham had a quarrel with "the lady," and she prejudiced the
king against him, and the duke was determined to have his revenge by
exposing "the lady's" gross peculations. The Bill, therefore, passed
the Commons, and came into the Lords, where Buckingham and his party
supported it, and Clarendon and the guilty courtiers opposed it.
Buckingham himself was as dissolute and unprincipled a man as any about
Court, not even excepting the king and the licentious Lord Rochester.
The Bill passed, and the king, in his resentment, disgraced Buckingham,
deprived him of all his employments, and ordered his committal to the
Tower, which he avoided only by absconding. Buckingham, however, once
out of the way, the king and his virtuous Chancellor soon managed to
be allowed to appoint the Commission of Inquiry themselves, by which
the whole affair was converted into a mockery, and came to nothing.

During this session of Parliament, wild work had been going on in the
west of Scotland. The people there had resisted the ejectment of their
ministers from their pulpits by Episcopalian clergy; they received them
with curses, and often with showers of stones. When the Act against
conventicles was passed, they still met with their old pastors in barns
and moorlands, and then the soldiery under Sir James Turner were let
loose upon them. They flew to arms and fought the soldiers, and made a
prisoner of Turner himself. Their ministers, Semple, Maxwell, Welsh,
Guthrie, and others, incited them to wield the sword of the Lord and
of Gideon, and to resist the Malignants to the death. Lauderdale was
in London, and the ministers told the people that the fire of London
had given enough to the Government to do at home. But Sharp was in
Scotland, and he put himself at the head of two troops of horse and a
regiment of foot guards, and assisted by Dalziel, a man of considerable
military reputation, he pursued the Covenanters to Rullion Green, in
the Pentlands. There, on the 28th of November, 1666, they came to a
pitched battle, in which the Covenanters were defeated, fifty being
killed, and a hundred and thirty taken prisoners. The Covenanters had
treated Turner and all others who fell into their hands with great
lenity, but none was shown to them by Sharp. Ten of them, were hanged
on one gallows in Edinburgh, and thirty-five were sent to Galloway,
Ayr, and Dumfries, and there gibbeted in the face of their own friends.
The implacable archbishop, with the fury of a renegade, made keen
search after all who had been concerned in the affair; it was declared
that eternal damnation was incurred by the rebels against the Church,
and the horrors of the rack, thumbscrews, and iron boot were put
vigorously into operation again. A young preacher, Maccail, whom Sir
Walter Scott has represented under the name of Macbriar, was hideously
tortured, but died in a rapture of joy, not a syllable of disclosure
escaping him. Dalziel, a brutal and drunken captain, revelled in
cruelty and outrage amongst the Whigs or Whiggamores, as they were
called; hanged a man because he would not betray his own father;
quartered his soldiers on people to ruin them, and perpetrated such
atrocities that the Earls of Tweeddale and Kincardine went up to Court
to warn the king against driving the people once more to desperation.
Their representations were not without effect, but this leniency was of
short duration.

The war with the Dutch and French being still continued, it was
necessary for Charles to put his fleet once more in order; but his
Exchequer exhibited its usual emptiness, and the Parliamentary supply
would be some time before it reached the treasury. The customary
resource had been to send for the bankers and capitalists of London,
and make over to them some branches of the public revenue for immediate
advances, these advances to be at the rate of eight per cent., and
to be repaid by the taxes till all were discharged. But the losses
by the fire had incapacitated the money-lenders at this crisis, and
Charles, therefore, unwisely listened to the suggestion of Sir William
Coventry, to lay up the principal ships in ordinary, and send out only
two light squadrons to interrupt the enemy's trade in the Channel and
the German Ocean. The Duke of York at once declared that this was
directly to invite Holland to insult the English coasts, and plunder
the maritime counties; but the want of money overruled the duke, and
the consequences were precisely what he foresaw.

Charles hoped to evade the danger of this unguarded state by a peace.
Louis XIV., who was anxious to conquer Flanders, made overtures through
Lord Jermyn, now Earl of St. Albans, who lived in Paris, and was
said to be married to the queen-mother, and he also at the same time
opened negotiations with Holland, to enforce an abstinence of aid to
the Flemings from that quarter, and to make peace between Holland and
England. These measures effected, he would be set free from any demands
of Holland to assist them against England, and he would bind Charles to
afford no aid to the Spaniards. Charles was perfectly willing to accede
to these plans, so that he might not be called on for more money, and
after a time it was agreed that Commissioners should meet at Breda
to settle the terms of peace. France was to restore the West Indian
Islands taken from England, and England was to oppose no obstacle to
Louis' designs against Spain. But as hostilities were not suspended, De
Witt, the Dutch minister, still burning for revenge for the injuries
committed by the English on the coast of Holland, declared that he
would "set such a mark upon the English coast as the English had left
upon that of Holland."

He knew the unprotected state of the Thames, and he ordered the Dutch
fleet, to the amount of seventy sail, to draw together at the Nore.
The command was entrusted to De Ruyter and the brother of De Witt.
The English, roused by the danger, threw a chain across the Medway
at the stakes, mounted the guns on the batteries, and got together a
number of fire-ships: but here the consequence of the heartless conduct
of the Government to the seamen and workmen who had been employed by
them hitherto and defrauded of their pay became apparent. No sense
of patriotism could induce them to work for the Government. The
Commissioners of the Navy were nine hundred thousand pounds in debt,
notwithstanding the liberal supplies of Parliament, and the merchants
would not furnish further stores except for ready money. One portion of
the Dutch fleet sailed up as far as Gravesend, the other was ordered to
destroy the shipping in the Medway (June, 1667). The fort at Sheerness
was in such a miserable condition, that it was soon levelled to the
ground. Monk had been sent down to defend the mouth of the Medway, and
he raised batteries, sank ships in the narrowest part of the channel
before the boom, and placed guard-ships for its protection. But the
Dutch found out another channel accessible at high water, and running
their fire-ships on the boom, broke the chain, silenced the batteries,
and burnt the guard-ships. Monk retreated to Upnor Castle, but the
Dutch soon appeared before it with their squadron; the castle was not
supplied with powder, and few of the ships in the river had any. The
_Royal Charles_ was taken, the finest ship in the English fleet, the
_Royal James_, the _Royal Oak_, and the _London_ were burnt. A still
greater mortification was to find numbers of the incensed English
sailors manning the Dutch vessels, who shouted, "Before we fought
for tickets, now we fight for dollars." Had De Ruyter pushed on for
London, he might have destroyed all the merchant ships in the river;
but Prince Rupert at Woolwich having sunk a number of ships to block up
the channel, and raised batteries to sweep the passage, it was easier
to commit devastations on the southern coast, and this squadron, under
Van Ghent, dropped down to the Nore and joined the main fleet. For six
weeks the Hollanders sailed proudly along our coasts, harassing the
inhabitants, and attempting to burn the ships at Portsmouth, Plymouth,
and Torbay. Twice De Ruyter attempted again to ascend the Thames, but
by this time, in addition to the force of Rupert, Sir Edward Spragge
was posted with eighteen sail of the line to oppose him.

But the panic on land was inconceivable. "The people of Chatham,"
says Clarendon, "which is naturally an array of seamen and officers of
the navy, who might and ought to have secured all those ships, which
they had time enough to have done, were in distraction; their chief
officers have applied all those boats and lighter vessels, which should
have towed up the ships, to carry away their own goods and household
stuff, and given what they left behind for lost." "Nothing," he adds,
"would have been easier than to have destroyed Chatham, and all the
ships which lay higher up the river. But London was still worse. The
noise of this, and the flames of the ships which were burning, made it
easily believed in London that the enemy had done all that they might
have; they thought they were landed in many places, and that their
fleet was come up as far as Greenwich. Nor was the confusion there less
than it was in the Court itself, where they who had most advanced the
war, and reproached all those who had been against it as men who had
no public spirit, and were not solicitous for the honour and glory of
the nation--and who had never spoken of the Dutch but with scorn and
contempt, as a nation rather to be cudgelled than fought with--were
now the most dejected men that can be imagined; railed very bitterly
at those who had advised the king to enter into that war, which had
already sacrificed so many gallant men, and would probably ruin the
kingdom, and wished for a peace on any terms." All the world, he says,
rushed to Whitehall, and entered at pleasure, some advising the Court
to quit the metropolis, and "a lord, who would be thought one of the
greatest soldiers in Europe, to whom the Tower was committed, lodging
there only one night, 'declared that it was not tenable,' and desired
not to be charged with it, whereupon those who had taken their money
there carried it away again."

[Illustration: _From the Design for the Wall Painting in the Royal
Exchange._

THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON, 1666.

By STANHOPE A. FORBES A.R.A.]

This is a melancholy picture of what a weak and profligate Government
can reduce a great country to in less than six years. "It was said,"
observes Macaulay, "that the very day of that great humiliation, the
king feasted with the ladies of his seraglio, and amused himself with
hunting a moth about the supper-room. Then, at length, tardy justice
was done to the memory of Oliver. Everywhere men magnified his valour,
genius, and patriotism. Everywhere it was remembered how, when he
ruled, all foreign powers had trembled at the name of England; how the
States-General, now so haughty, had crouched at his feet, and how,
when it was known that he was no more, Amsterdam was lighted up for a
great deliverance, and children ran along the canals, shouting for
joy that the 'Devil' was dead. Even Royalists exclaimed that the State
could be saved only by calling the old soldiers of the Commonwealth to
arms. Soon the capital began to feel the miseries of a blockade. Fuel
was scarcely to be procured. Tilbury Fort, the place where Elizabeth
had, with manly spirit, hurled foul scorn at Parma and Spain, was
insulted by the invaders. The roar of foreign guns was heard for the
first and last time by the citizens of London. In the Council it was
seriously proposed that, if the enemy advanced, the Tower should be
abandoned. Great multitudes of people assembled in the streets, crying
out that England was bought and sold. The houses and carriages of
ministers were attacked by the populace, and it seemed likely that
the Government would have to deal at once with an invasion and an
insurrection."

[Illustration: TILBURY FORT.]

However, deliverance came from an unexpected quarter, and the
excitement in the public mind--which had been naturally aroused and
alarmed by the disgraceful condition into which a corrupt and feeble
administration had allowed affairs to drift--gradually subsided, and
seldom has a great crisis been so luckily overcome. For whilst the
Dutch had thus been humiliating England, Louis XIV. had been pushing
his conquests in Flanders. With an army of seventy thousand men he
compelled Binche, Tournay, Oudenarde, Courtrai, and Douai to surrender;
and he was besieging Lille when the States of Holland hastened to come
to terms with France and England to prevent the nearer approach of
Louis to their own territories. On the 21st of July peace was signed
between England and Holland and England and France, by which the Dutch
kept the disputed island of Pulerone, and ceded to the English Albany
and New York. France restored Antigua, Montserrat, and part of St.
Kitts, and received back Nova Scotia. Denmark, which had sided with the
Dutch, also signed a treaty of peace with England.

The peace was immediately succeeded by the fall of Clarendon. He
had been the companion and adviser of Charles from the very boyhood
of the king, and accordingly the mischief of every measure, and the
disgrace which had now fallen on the nation, were all attributed to
him. With great talents Clarendon had too much virtue to approve, far
less flatter, the vices and follies of the Court in which he lived,
and not enough to make him abandon it, and assume the character of
a noble and disinterested censor. He had the sternness and gravity
of Cato, but he lacked his great and patriotic principles. He began
as a liberal, but went over to the Royalist cause, and was a rigid
advocate of the high prerogatives of the Crown, and of the supremacy of
the Church. The Puritans looked on him as a combination of Strafford
and Laud. He certainly would not have so far violated public right
as to countenance the raising of Ship Money, or the violation of
the privileges of Parliament by the seizure of its members. But
the Puritans hated him for the support that he gave to the Act of
Uniformity, and for so hotly resisting the king's grant of indulgence
to tender consciences. On the other hand, the Royalists hated him
because he maintained the inviolability of the Bill of Indemnity, by
which they were restrained from ousting the purchasers from their
estates lost during the Commonwealth; and they hated him not the less
because he had managed to raise his daughter to the rank of Duchess of
York, and thus to give himself, although a commoner, the appearance of
being not only father-in-law of the next king, but father of a line of
kings. They accused him of having selected the present queen as one not
likely to have children, in order to favour the succession of his own,
and probably one of the real causes of Charles's change towards him
resulted from the courtiers having inspired him with this belief. The
Commons hated him because he had uniformly endeavoured to repress their
authority. He never could be brought to see the enlarged influence
which the progress of wealth and intelligence had given to the Commons;
nor had all that had passed under his eyes of their extraordinary power
under Charles I., awakened him to the knowledge of their real position
in the State. In vain did more clear-sighted men point out to him the
concessions which were necessary to enable the Parliament and the
Government to move on harmoniously together. The nobility disliked him
because he had, by his influence with the king and the marriage of his
daughter with the heir-apparent, placed himself above them, and, from
the haughtiness of his nature, taken no pains to conceal that invidious
position. The people detested him, for they believed that he ruled the
king, and therefore was the author of all their miseries and disgraces.
They accused him of selling Dunkirk, and therefore called his splendid
palace, overlooking and every way outshining the royal one, Dunkirk
House. The Chancellor, undoubtedly, had an incurable passion for money
and acquisition of wealth, and for displaying it in the grandeur of
his house, and the magnificent collection of his pictures. When the
Dutch fleet was riding in the Thames, the enraged people turned all
their fury on him. They broke his windows, destroyed the trees in his
grounds, trod down his garden, and erected a gallows at his door.

But the intensity of aversion to him was felt at Court. He was from
his youth of grave and decorous character. The lewdness and fooleries
of the courtiers excited his undisguised disgust. We have seen that he
could stoop to persuade the queen to tolerate the most insufferable
indignities, yet he never ceased to speak to Charles of the infamy
and extravagance of his mistresses, and the scandalous lives of the
courtiers who fluttered around them. The only wonder is, that the
malice of Castlemaine and her allies had not long ago driven him from
the Court; and it speaks volumes for the hold which he had on the
regard of the monarch, that he could resist their hatred so long. But
now Buckingham, who had quarrelled with Lady Castlemaine, and had done
his best to expose her, had made up the feud, and they directed their
common enmity against their common foe. Shaftesbury, Monk, Clifford,
Lauderdale, Sir William Coventry, Arlington, and others, joined them in
one determined and concentrated attack. They made their onslaught when
all classes were uttering their execrations upon him. He had advised
the king, when the Dutch fleet was at Chatham, to dissolve Parliament,
and maintain ten thousand men that he had raised by forced contribution
from the neighbouring counties, to be repaid out of the next Supplies;
this caught wind, and was regarded as returning to the idea of the
king ruling by a standing army and without a Parliament. Charles had
grown tired of his preachments about the profligacy of his life and
Court, and allowed the old Chancellor to drift before the storm; he was
suspected more than all of sacrificing him to his resentment for having
brought about the marriage of Miss Stewart with the Duke of Richmond,
though Clarendon, in a letter to Charles, denied it.

Clarendon, with his characteristic pride, refused at first to resign.
He waited on the king, and reminded him of his long and faithful
services, and told him that he would not consent to appear guilty by
surrendering the seals. The king talked of the power of Parliament.
Clarendon replied he did not fear Parliament, and told the king that
Parliament could do nothing against him without his consent. But
unfortunately the spirit of the censor came over him, and, entreating
the king not to allow the cabal of the courtiers to prevail against
him, he broke out into some severe strictures on "the lady" and her
abettors. The king rose and quitted the room without saying a word, and
"the lady," quickly informed of the Chancellor's disgrace, rushed to
the window to watch, with Arlington and May, the fallen minister retire
in confusion. Charles sent Sir Orlando Bridgeman for the seals, and on
the assembling of Parliament on the 10th of October, Buckingham and
Bristol, who again came out of his hiding-place, urged his impeachment.
Accordingly the Commons presented articles of impeachment at the bar
of the Lords, charging the Chancellor with cruelty and venality in his
office, with unlawful accumulation of wealth, with the sale of Dunkirk,
the disclosure of the king's secrets, and the design of ruling by
military force. Still Clarendon stood his ground; but the king let fall
an expression in the hearing of one of his friends, that he wondered
what Clarendon was still doing in England, and the old man took the
hint and got across the Channel, though the proposal to imprison him
till his trial had been overruled. He did not go, however, without
leaving a written vindication of his public conduct, which so offended
Parliament, that it ordered the paper to be burnt by the common
hangman. In this vindication he declared that he had only retired for
awhile, and should return at a proper time to prove his innocence,
"uncontrolled by the power and malice of men who had sworn his
destruction." This caused the Commons to pass a Bill ordering his trial
on the 1st of February, and declaring him, in default of appearance,
banished for life, incapable of ever after holding office, and liable
to all the penalties of high treason. Clarendon boldly prepared to face
his enemies, but illness stopped him at Calais till it was too late,
and he was thus doomed to exile for life. He lost his wife about the
time of his fall, which was a great blow to him, for they had lived
in great affection. He continued to live chiefly at Montpellier and
Moulins, engaged in writing his history of the Rebellion and of his own
life, as well as a reply to Hobbes' "Leviathan" and other works; but
sighing for recall, and importuning the king to allow him to return to
his native country and the society of his children. Charles, however,
paid no attention to his prayers, and he died at Rouen in 1674.

Clarendon being removed, the whole of the ministry established at the
Restoration was broken up. Ormond was absent on his government in
Ireland, Southampton was dead, Monk was grown incapacitated from drink
and years, and Nicholas had retired. The new ministry acquired the
notorious and appropriate name of the _cabal_, from the initials of
their names,--Sir Thomas Clifford, First Commissioner of the Treasury,
afterwards Lord Clifford; the Earl of Arlington, Secretary of State;
the Duke of Buckingham, Master of the Horse, which office he purchased
from Monk; Lord Ashley, Chancellor of the Exchequer, afterwards Earl
of Shaftesbury and Lord Chancellor; and the Duke of Lauderdale. Before
this time the word cabal merely meant a cabinet. It is so used by
Whitelock, Pepys, and Evelyn, from the year 1650. The present cabinet
was styled by D'Estrades, "_la cabale d'Espagne_." The word became
infamous from the conduct of these men, who were soon concerned in the
king's sale of himself to Louis XIV., and most of them received large
sums from France for their most treasonable and unpatriotic services.
Clifford was the most honest and honourable, but he had the knack of
quarrelling with his colleagues, being of a hot and overbearing temper.
Bennet, Lord Arlington, was a mere courtier, had spent much time on
the Continent, and picked up its frivolity and vices. He could divert
the king by his lively sallies in conversation, please the ladies,
and assume an imposing gravity in public debate that deceived the
public. He was at heart a Romanist, but took care to conceal it. As
for Buckingham, he was a most thoroughly debauched and unprincipled
character, not without certain talents and literary tastes. He had
written farces, and was a connoisseur in music and architecture. But
he was a jaded man of pleasure, and having been out of favour with the
king, was now all the more bent on complying with his humour to win his
favour. He and Arlington were bitter enemies, but put on an appearance
of friendship now they were in office together. Ashley was a man who
could change sides, but always with an eye to the main chance. He had
been a zealous Republican, and now was as zealous a Royalist; and, as
for Lauderdale, he, too, had been an out-and-out Covenanter, but was
now a coarse, brutal persecutor of those of his old faith, and by his
diabolical cruelties has acquired a name in history amongst the most
odious of inquisitors.

One of the earliest acts of the cabal gave fairer promise of sound
and good policy than their after proceedings. They sent Sir William
Temple to the Hague to endeavour to heal the difference with Holland,
which had inflicted such incalculable evils on both countries. Not the
least of those ills was the opportunity which was afforded Louis of
pushing his ambitious designs on Flanders, and ultimately on Holland
and Spain. Both England and Holland saw so clearly the gross folly
which they had displayed that Sir William soon came to terms with the
States, and by the 25th of April, 1668, he had got definite treaties
signed between Holland and England, and between these countries and
Sweden, to make common cause for checking the further advance of the
French, and to induce France to make peace with Spain. There was also a
secret treaty, binding each other to make war on France for the defence
of Spain. This league became known as the Triple Alliance. Louis, who
made pretences to the crown of Spain, was hoping, from the infirm
health of its young monarch, Charles II., to obtain that kingdom,
or to partition it between himself and Leopold, the German emperor,
with whom there was a secret treaty for that very purpose. So far,
therefore, from opposing the plans of the new allies, he fell in with
them on certain conditions--namely, that he should retain the bulk of
his conquests in the Netherlands. Holland beheld this arrangement with
alarm, and refused to sanction it, upon which it was concluded without
her approbation, and to punish the States, Castel-Rodrigo, the Spanish
governor of the Netherlands, gave up instead of Franche Comté, Lille,
Tournay, Douai, Charleroi, and other places in Flanders, so that the
French king advanced his frontier into the very face of Holland. This
was settled by the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle.

But whilst Charles was thus publicly pursuing a policy much to the
satisfaction of the nation, both on account of the improved prospects
for trade, and because the Triple Alliance was an essentially
Protestant one, he was secretly agitating the question whether he
should not openly avow Popery, and was bargaining with Louis to become
his pensioner, so as to relieve himself from any need to apply to
Parliament, and by this means to assume absolute power. Parliament,
which met on the 10th of February, 1668, made a rigid inquiry into
the proceedings of the late administration. They accused Commissioner
Pett of neglect when the Dutch fleet entered the river, Admiral Penn
of the embezzlement of one hundred and fifteen thousand pounds' worth
of prize goods, and Brounker, who had absconded, of giving orders to
shorten sail after the victory of the 3rd of June. They then voted
three hundred and ten thousand pounds, much less than Buckingham had
demanded; and Charles, having in his opening speech recommended some
plan to be adopted, the better to satisfy the minds of his Protestant
subjects, it immediately awoke a jealousy of indulgence to the Papists
and Dissenters. It was found that Bridgeman, the Lord-Keeper, Sir
Matthew Hale, the Chief Baron, Bishop Wilkins, and Buckingham and
Ashley had been engaged in a scheme to tolerate the Presbyterians and
other sects. All the old bigotry of the House burst forth; there were
violent denunciations of any liberty to Nonconformists, and they again
voted the continuance of the Conventicle Act. They then adjourned from
the 8th of May to the 11th of August.

Buckingham, who, during the session of Parliament, had not found
himself very popular, now the object of driving out Clarendon was
accomplished, in seeking to strengthen his party by removing such as
were not favourable to him, drove his plans almost too far. He had a
dread of Clarendon returning through the influence of his daughter,
the Duchess of York, and he endeavoured to undermine the duke with the
king. He blamed the conduct of the Admiralty, at the head of which
James was; he displaced James's friends, and put his own dependents
into offices in James's own department, in spite of his remonstrances;
he spread rumours that the duke had lost the royal favour, and was
about to be dismissed from the office of Lord Admiral. He even affected
to go about with armed followers, on the plea of being in danger from
the duke. But Charles soon convinced the minister that these attempts
were vain, and then Buckingham began to pay court to the duke, which
was repelled with contempt. The only mode of maintaining favour with
Charles was to find plenty of money, and as Buckingham had failed in
that, he recommended retrenchment and economy, which suited Charles
still less. For the rest, both Court and minister went on their way
of open profligacy, and it would have been difficult to say which was
the most void of shame or principle, the king or his chief servant.
Charles was surrounded by Sedley, Buckhurst, and other libertines,
who treated all the decencies of life with contempt, and the monarch
laughed and encouraged them. Though Miss Stewart had become Duchess of
Richmond, he continued his attentions to her. He had elevated actresses
to places in his harem, who bore the familiar names of Moll Davies and
Nell Gwynn. Moll Davies was a dancer, Nelly was an actress of much
popularity, and was a gay, merry, and witty girl, who extremely amused
the king by her wild sallies. By Mary Davies he had a daughter, who
afterwards married into the noble family of Radclyffe. Nell was the
mother of the first Duke of St. Albans; and Castlemaine, who had now a
whole troop of little Fitzroys, was during the next year made Duchess
of Cleveland. Another lady was already on the way from France, sent
by the cunning Louis XIV. for his own purposes. As for Buckingham, he
very successfully imitated his royal master. In January of this year
he fought a duel with Lord Shrewsbury, whose wife he had seduced; and
Pepys says that it was reported that Lady Shrewsbury, in the dress of a
page, held the duke's horse whilst he killed her husband. He then took
her to his own house, and on his wife remarking that it was not fit for
herself and his mistress to live together, he replied, "Why, so I have
been thinking, madame, and therefore I have ordered your coach to carry
you to your father's."

[Illustration: SAMUEL PEPYS. (_After the Portrait by Sir Godfrey
Kneller._)]

In this precious Court the subject of religion was just now an
interesting topic. The Duke of York told Charles secretly that he could
no longer remain even ostensibly a Protestant, and meant to avow his
Popery. Charles replied that he was thinking of the very same thing,
and they would consult with the Lords Arundel and Arlington, and Sir
Thomas Clifford. They had a private meeting in the duke's closet; but
though their three counsellors were Catholics open or concealed, they
advised Charles to consult with Louis XIV. before taking so important a
step. The French king was apprehensive that his avowal of Popery would
occasion disturbances amongst his subjects, but these might be put
down by the assistance of French money and French troops. That was the
object at which Louis knew that this abandoned king was really driving,
and the price of this assistance was to be England's co-operation in
Louis's schemes of boundless ambition. Instead of Charles inducing
Louis to maintain peace with Holland, it was the object of Louis to
drive Charles to break again the Triple Alliance, and plunge once more
into the horrors of a wicked and mischievous war with that country.
Charles hated the Dutch for the treatment he had received in Holland
whilst an exile, and for the humiliations he had been subjected to in
the last war. Louis wanted not only to swallow up the bulk of that
country in his vast plans of aggrandisement, but also make himself
master of Spain in case of the death of the young Spanish king. The
pretended desire of Charles to adopt open Popery was merely a feint to
secure the French king's money, and the next question which he raised
was, whether he should avow himself before the rupture with Holland or
afterwards. The Duke of York was in earnest, Charles was only playing
with the Catholic scheme as a bait; and he afterwards told his sister,
the Duchess of Orleans, at Dover, that "he was not so well satisfied
with the Catholic religion, or his own condition, as to make it his
faith." Lord Arundel and Sir Richard Billings were sent to Paris to
secure the promised cash, and to keep up the farce of his conversion.

Whilst these infamous negotiations were going on, Buckingham was
exerting himself to ruin the Duke of York's prospects of the
succession. He observed the king's fondness for his natural son by Lucy
Walters, who had borne the name of Crofts, and he caught at the idea
of Charles legitimating him. Charles had created him Duke of Monmouth,
and married him to the wealthy heiress of Buccleuch. Buckingham asked
the king why not acknowledge a private marriage with his mother, and
suggested that plenty of witnesses might be found to swear to it;
but the answer of Charles destroyed this vision, who declared that
he would see the lad hanged sooner than own him as his legitimate
son. Buckingham, still not disconcerted, proposed an absurd scheme
of carrying the queen privately to the Plantations, where she would
never more be heard of; and next a divorce from her on account of her
barrenness, and a second marriage. Bishop Burnet, afterwards of Sarum,
had decided that such cause was sufficient for divorce, and that it
only wanted an Act of Parliament authorising the divorced parties to
marry again. Charles listened sufficiently to cause them to attempt
such an Act. It was sought for in the case of Lord Ross, whose wife
was living in open adultery; but it was soon rumoured what was the
ultimate object of it. The Duke of York, therefore, opposed the Bill
with all his might, and Charles supported it with equal ardour, even
taking his seat on the throne in the Lords whilst it was discussed, to
encourage his party. The Bill was carried, and the right to marry again
has always since then been recognised in Bills of Divorce; but Charles
again disappointed Buckingham, for he showed no desire to make use of
it in his own case.

The King obtained from Parliament considerable supplies in the spring
Session of 1670, for his consent to the renewal of the Conventicle Act,
and the fury of persecution was let loose against the Nonconformists.
Spies and informers were everywhere, and many of the Dissenters, to
save their property, and their persons from prison, were fain to forego
their usual assembling for worship in their chapels. The Society
of Friends, however, scorned to concede even in appearance to this
religious intolerance. They persisted in meeting as usual. They were
dragged thence before magistrates, and on refusing to pay the fines
were thrust into prison. No sooner were they liberated, however, than
they returned, as usual, to their meetings, and when the doors were
locked against them, assembled in the street, and held their meetings
there. On one of these occasions, William Penn, son of Admiral Penn,
and afterwards the celebrated founder of Pennsylvania, was taken with
William Mead, another minister of the Society, at an open-air meeting
in Gracechurch Street. They were thrust into Newgate, and brought to
trial in September, 1670, before the Recorder of London, John Howell,
and the Lord Mayor, Samuel Starling. This trial forms one of the most
brilliant facts in the history of the independence of trial by jury,
and has often been reprinted. Both Penn and Mead made noble defences,
and terribly puzzled the Recorder as to the law of the case. They
demanded to know on what law the indictment was based. The Recorder
replied the "common law." They begged to be shown it. On this he flew
into a passion, and asked them if they thought he carried the common
law on his back. It had been founded on hundreds of adjudged cases,
and some of the ablest lawyers could scarcely tell what it was. Penn
replied that if it was so difficult to produce, it could not be common
law. He still pressed for this law, and the Recorder replied, "It is
_lex non scripta_, that which many have studied thirty or forty years
to know, and would you have me tell you in a moment?" "Certainly,"
replied Penn; "if the common law be so hard to be understood, it is far
from being common." And he proceeded to tell them what the law was,
and how the rights of prisoners were secured by the Acts of Henry III.
and Edwards I. and III. On this the court became furious, and the Lord
Mayor said, "My lord, if you take not some course with this pestilent
fellow, to stop his mouth, we shall not be able to do anything
to-night."

This was the style of treatment throughout the trial, but the prisoners
stood firm, and were therefore taken away and thrust into the bail-dock
whilst the Recorder charged the jury. But as the prisoners could catch
what he was saying, which was most grossly false, Penn shouted out
that it was contrary to all law to charge the jury in the absence of
the prisoners. He then told the jury that _they_ were his judges, and
that they could not return a verdict till they were fully heard. The
Recorder shouted, "Pull that fellow down, pull him down." Under such
circumstances of violence, violence only too common in those days,
the jury proceeded to bring in their verdict, which was, "Guilty of
Speaking in Gracechurch Street." "And is that all?" exclaimed the Lord
Mayor. "You mean guilty of speaking to a tumultuous assembly." The
foreman replied, "My lord, that is all that I have in commission." In a
fury, and with much browbeating, the jury were sent back to amend their
verdict, but when again called into court, they brought it in writing,
with all their signatures, only strengthening it by adding, "or
preaching to an assembly." As that was no crime, the court in a rage
ordered the jury to be shut up all night without meat, drink, fire,
candle, tobacco, or any of the most necessary accommodations. Penn
enjoined them to stand firm, and not give away their right, and one of
them, named Edward Bushell, declared they never would. When brought
up the next day, the jury declared they had no other verdict. This
infuriated the Lord Mayor and Recorder beyond patience, and they vowed
they would have a verdict out of them, or they should starve for it.
Bushell replied they had acted according to their conscience, whereupon
the Mayor said, "That conscience of yours would cut my throat, but
I will cut yours as soon as I can." The Recorder added, addressing
Bushell, "You are a factious fellow; I will set a mark upon you, and
whilst I have anything to do in the City, I will have an eye upon you."
The Lord Mayor, addressing the jury, said, "Have you no more wit than
to be led by such a pitiful fellow? I will cut his nose."

Penn protested against their jury being thus insulted and abused.
"Unhappy," he exclaimed, "are these juries, who are threatened to be
starved, fined, and ruined if they give not in their verdict contrary
to their consciences." "My lord," cried the Recorder, "you must take
a course with this fellow;" and the Mayor shouted, "Stop his mouth!
Gaoler, bring fetters and stake him to the ground!" To which Penn
replied, "Do your pleasure: I matter not your fetters!" On this the
Recorder exclaimed, "Till now I never understood the reason of the
policy and prudence of the Spaniards in suffering the Inquisition among
them; and certainly it will never be well with us till something like
the Spanish Inquisition be in England." The jury was again shut up all
night under the same condition of starvation, darkness, and destitution
of common conveniences; but like brave men, after being thus imprisoned
and starved for two days and two nights, they shortened their verdict
into "Not guilty."

Defeated by the noble endurance of this truly English jury, the court
fined every member of it forty marks, for not doing as the bench
required, and committed them to prison till it was paid. They also
fined Penn and Mead for contempt of court, and sent them to prison,
too, till it was paid. The parties thus shamefully treated, however,
had shown they were Englishmen, and were not likely to sit down with
this tyranny quietly. They brought the case before the Lord Chief
Justice Vaughan, who pronounced the whole proceedings illegal, and from
the bench delivered a noble defence of the rights of juries.

This trial is a fair specimen of the spirit and practice of those
times. The greater part of the magistrates and judges took their cue
from the spirit of the Government; and the scenes of violence and
injustice, of persecution for religion, and of robbery by officials of
the outraged people, were of a kind not easily conceivable at this day.

Parliament being prorogued to October, Charles was now engaged in
completing the secret treaty between himself and Louis, by which
he was to be an annual pensioner on France to an extent releasing
him in a great measure from dependence on his own Parliament. On
his part, he was to employ the naval and military power of England
to promote the wicked designs of Louis against his neighbours on
the Continent. The conditions of the treaty were these:--1st, That
the King of England should profess himself Catholic at such time as
should seem to him most expedient, and after that profession should
join Louis in a war on Holland when the French king thought proper;
2nd, That to prevent or suppress any insurrection in consequence of
this public avowal, Louis should furnish him with two millions of
livres (nearly one hundred thousand pounds) and an armed force of six
thousand troops if necessary; 3rd, That Louis should not violate the
treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, and Charles should be allowed to maintain
it; 4th, That if new rights on the Spanish monarchy should accrue to
Louis, Charles should aid him with all his power in obtaining these
rights; 5th, That both monarchs should make war on Holland, and
neither conclude peace without the knowledge and consent of the other;
6th, That the King of France should bear the charge of the war, but
receive from England a force of six thousand men; 7th, That Charles
should furnish fifty, Louis thirty men-of-war, the combined fleet to
be commanded by the Duke of York; and that to support the charge of
the war, the King of England should, during the war, receive annually
three million of livres, about one hundred and fifty thousand pounds.
England was to receive of the Dutch spoil Walcheren, Sluys, and the
Island of Cadsand, and the interests of the Prince of Orange were to be
guaranteed. These were the chief provisions of the Treaty of Dover.

[Illustration: THE ASSAULT ON SIR JOHN COVENTRY. (_See p._ 233.)]

Perhaps the whole history of the world does not furnish a more infamous
bargain, not even the partition of Poland in later days. Here was a
King of England selling himself to the French monarch for money, to
enable him to put down Protestantism and Parliament in Britain, to
do all and more than his father lost his head for attempting--for
Charles I. never plotted against the Protestant religion. This was bad
enough, but the bargain went to enable France to put its foot on the
neck of England, and to employ its forces to destroy Protestantism
abroad--Protestantism and liberty; to throw Holland, and eventually all
the Netherlands, and then Spain, into the power of France, making of
it an empire so gigantic that neither freedom, nor Protestantism, nor
any political independence could ever more exist. Had this infamous
scheme come to light in Charles's time, the Stuarts would not have
been driven out in 1688, but then and there. But that this odious
bargain did actually take place, and was acted on, so far as Charles's
domestic vices and extravagance permitted, later times produced
the fullest evidence. The above Treaty was deposited with Sir Thomas
Clifford; and Sir John Dalrymple, seeking in the archives at Paris for
material for his "Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland," published in
1790, unexpectedly stumbled on the damning evidences--under the hands
of Charles and his ministers themselves--of this unholy transaction
and its reward. The Duke of York was at first said to be averse from
this secret treason and slavery, but he fell into it, and received
his share of the money, as well as Buckingham, through whose agency
a second treaty was effected, raising the annual sum to five million
of livres, or nearly two hundred and fifty thousand pounds a year;
the article requiring the king's change of religion being omitted
altogether, Charles, meanwhile, having shown his readiness to engage
in the Dutch war, which was the main question. Ashley and Lauderdale,
Clifford and Arlington were also in the secret, and had their reward.
Many were the suspicions of this diabolical business which oozed out,
and much talk was the consequence at times; the proofs were preserved
with inscrutable secrecy during the lives of the parties concerned,
discovery being utter and inevitable destruction. The French copy of
the Treaty has hitherto escaped all research.

[Illustration: THE DISGRACE OF LORD CLARENDON AFTER HIS LAST INTERVIEW
WITH THE KING IN WHITEHALL PALACE, 1667.

FROM THE PAINTING BY E. M. WARD IN THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF BRITISH ART.]

To induce Charles to declare war without waiting for his confession
of Catholicism, Louis sent over Charles's sister, Henrietta, Duchess
of Orleans. The king met her at Dover, and the point was discussed,
but Charles would not move another step till the Treaty was formally
signed, and the first payment made. The duchess, indeed, was much more
earnest on her own affairs. She was most miserably married to the Duke
of Orleans, the brother and heir-apparent of Louis, who treated her
with cruelty and neglect for other women. She was anxious for a divorce
and to live in England, but Charles would not hear of what was so
hostile to his interests. The unfortunate duchess returned to Paris,
and within three weeks she was a corpse, though only twenty-six years
of age. There was every reason to believe that she was poisoned, though
the doctors, on a _postmortem_ examination, declared there were no
signs of poison; but what was the value of the testimony of medical men
given at the risk of their heads? On her deathbed, when questioned by
Montague, the ambassador, as to her belief on that point, though warned
by her confessor to accuse nobody, the poor woman would not say that
she had no suspicions, but only shrugged her shoulders, a significant
expression of her internal conviction.

The duchess left behind her in England one of her maids, a Mademoiselle
Querouaille, or, as the English came to call her, Madam Carwell, whom
Louis had selected as a spy and agent, feeling assured that she would
soon captivate this amorous king, which she did at once, and became,
in the usual way, his mistress, and at the same time maid of honour to
the queen. She was soon advanced to the title of Duchess of Portsmouth,
and so well did she serve the purposes of Louis, that in 1673 he gave
her also a French title and estate. It was now thought by Charles and
James that they could venture to put down the liberties, and, as James
earnestly advocated, the religion of the nation. It was proposed to
fortify Portsmouth, Hull, and Plymouth, at which towns French soldiers
might be introduced, and James having the command of the fleet, no
interruption to their transit could take place. When Parliament met in
October, Charles observed that both Holland and France were increasing
their navies--he could have told them really why--and on pretence of
necessary caution, he demanded large supplies to place our own navy on
a proper footing. There were complaints of prodigality and hints of
Popery thrown out, but a sum of no less than two million five hundred
thousand pounds was voted, by taxes on land, stock, law proceedings,
and salaries--in fact, an income and property tax. There was a proposal
to tax theatres, and when it was objected that the theatres contributed
to his Majesty's pleasure, Sir John Coventry asked sarcastically,
"whether his Majesty's pleasure lay amongst the men or the women
players?"

For this remark Sir John was made to pay severely. The King and the
whole Court were furious at his hard hit against the Moll Davieses
and Nell Gwynns. The king declared that he would send a detachment of
the Guards to watch in the street where Sir John Coventry lived, and
set a mark upon him. The Duke of York in vain endeavoured to dissuade
the king; the Duke of Monmouth, who was living on terms of great
professed friendship with Coventry, yet undertook the execution of
the business. He sent Sandys, his lieutenant, and O'Brien, the son of
Lord Inchiquin, with thirteen soldiers, who waited for Sir John as he
returned from Parliament on the evening of the 21st of December, 1670,
and encountering him in the Haymarket, assaulted him. Sir John placed
his back to the wall, snatched the flambeau from the hands of his
servant, and with that in one hand he so well plied his sword with the
other, that he wounded several of the soldiers, and got more credit by
his gallantry than for any action in his life. But he was overpowered
by numbers in the end, beaten to the ground, and then had his nose cut
to the bone with a penknife, to make a mark for life, to teach him
respect for the king. They then went back to the Duke of Monmouth's,
where O'Brien, who was wounded in the arm, had it dressed. Coventry had
his nose so well sewed up, that the trace of the outrage was scarcely
discernible; but the House of Commons, even such a House, resented this
dastardly attempt on one of its members, and it passed an Act making
it felony without benefit of clergy to cut or maim the person, and
banishing for life the four principal offenders unless they surrendered
before a certain day, as well as rendering the crime incapable of
pardon, even by Act of Parliament. But Monmouth and his assistants got
out of the way, and the Parliament never had the virtue to enforce its
own Act.

The year 1671 was chiefly employed in preparing for the war with
Holland. Though Charles was under condition to become an avowed Roman
Catholic, he published a proclamation, declaring that, as he had always
adhered to the true religion as established, he would still maintain it
by all the means in his power. De Witt, who was aware of what was going
on, hastened to make a treaty with Spain, and Louis demanded a free
passage through the Netherlands to attack Holland, or declared that he
would force one at the head of sixty thousand men. Whilst war was thus
impending, the Duchess of York, Hyde's daughter, died. She had been for
some time a professed Catholic. Henrietta Maria, the mother of Charles,
had died in August, 1669, at the Castle of Colombe, near Paris.

Charles and his ministers of the Cabal bribed by Louis (who even
pensioned the mistress of Buckingham, Lady Shrewsbury, with ten
thousand livres a year) prepared to rush into the war against Holland
in the hope of retrieving past disgraces, and securing some valuable
prizes. At the close of the last session, on pretence of maintaining
the Triple Alliance, the very thing they were intending to betray, and
of keeping Louis of France in check, whom they were, in fact, going to
assist in his aggressions, they procured eight hundred thousand pounds
from the Commons, and then immediately prorogued Parliament. But this
most unprincipled trick was nothing to what they were preparing to
perpetrate.

During the recess of Parliament, it was suddenly announced by
proclamation on the 2nd of January, 1672, that the Exchequer was shut.
To understand what was meant by this most flagitious act, we must
recollect that Charles was in the habit of anticipating the supplies
voted, by borrowing of the London bankers and goldsmiths, and granting
them some branch of revenue to refund themselves with interest. He had
at this time obtained one million three hundred thousand pounds in
this manner, but calculating that the Dutch war could not be carried
on without larger means than the recent Parliamentary grant, it was
therefore announced that Government was not prepared to repay the
principal borrowed, or, in other terms, could not grant the annual
security of the incoming taxes, but the lenders must be content
with the interest. This would enable the Government to receive the
revenue themselves instead of paying their just debts with it. The
consternation was terrible. The Exchequer had hitherto kept its
engagements honourably, and had thus obtained this liberal credit. The
lenders, in their turn, could not meet the demands of their creditors.
The Exchange was in a panic, many of the bankers and mercantile houses
failed, a great shock was given to credit throughout the kingdom, and
many annuitants, widows, and orphans, who had deposited their money
with them, were reduced to ruin. Ashley and Clifford were said to
have been the authors of the scheme, but Ashley was a man of infinite
schemes, and probably was the original inventor. Government declared
that the postponement of payment should only be for one year; but the
greater part of the money was never again repaid, and this sum so
fraudulently obtained became the nucleus of the National Debt.

The manner in which the Government commenced the war on Holland
was characterised by the same infamous disregard of all honourable
principle. Though Charles had bound himself to make war on the Dutch,
he had no cause of quarrel with them, whatever he pretended to have.
When Louis menaced them with hostilities, Charles offered himself as a
mediator, and the Dutch regarded him as such. Under these circumstances
he sent Sir Robert Holmes with a large fleet to intercept a Dutch
fleet of merchantmen coming from the Levant, and calculated to be
worth a million and a half. Holmes, in going out, saw the squadron of
Sir Edward Spragge at the back of the Isle of Wight, which had lately
returned from destroying the Algerine navy; and though his orders
were to take all the vessels along with him that he could find at
Portsmouth, or should meet at sea, lest Spragge should obtain some of
the glory and benefit, he passed on and gave him no summons. The next
day he descried the expected Dutch fleet; but to his chagrin he found
that it was well convoyed by seven men-of-war, and the merchantmen,
sixty in number, were many of them well armed. The vast preparations
of Louis, and some recent movements of the English, had put them on
their guard. Notwithstanding Charles's hypocritical offers of friendly
mediation, he had withdrawn the honourable Sir William Temple from the
Hague, and sent thither the unprincipled Downing, a man so detested
there, that the mob chased him away. Van Nesse, the Dutch admiral,
successfully resisted the attack of Holmes, who only managed to cut
off one man-of-war and four merchantmen. The chagrin of Charles was
equal to the disgrace with which this base action covered him and his
ministers. Both his own subjects and foreigners denounced the action in
fitting terms, and Holmes was styled "the cursed beginner of the two
Dutch wars."

There was nothing now for it but to declare war, which was done by both
England and France. Charles mustered up a list of trumpery charges,
which, bad as they were, would have come with a better grace before
attacking his allies without any notice--the detention of English
traders in Surinam; the neglect to strike the Dutch flag to him in the
narrow seas; and refusal to regulate their trade relations according to
treaty. Louis simply complained of insults, and declared his intention
to assert his glory. Under such thin veils did Louis and his bond-slave
Charles attempt to hide their real intentions.

The Dutch fleet was not long in appearing at sea with seventy-five
sail under De Ruyter. On the 3rd of May the Duke of York, admiral of
the English fleet, consisting of only forty sail of the line, descried
this powerful armament posted between Calais and Dover, to prevent
his junction with the French fleet. He managed, however, to pass
unobserved, and join the French squadron under D'Estrées, La Rabiniere,
and Du Quesne. On the 28th they came to an engagement near Southwold
Bay; the battle was terrible--scarcely any of these sanguinary
conflicts of those times with the Dutch more so.

Owing to the wind and tide, not more than twenty of the English sail
could engage the enemy. The French squadron under D'Estrées formed
in opposition to the Zeeland squadron of Banker; but they stood away
under easy sail southward and never came to action; in fact, it was the
well-known policy of Louis to allow the Dutch and English to play the
bulldogs with each other, and to spare his own infant navy. The Duke
of York, with a part of the Red squadron, opposed De Ruyter; the Earl
of Sandwich, with part of the blue, Van Ghent and the Amsterdam fleet.
The English were so surrounded by multitudes of the enemy, that they
could afford little aid to each other, and were exposed on all sides
to a most merciless fire. By eleven o'clock the Duke of York's ship
was totally disabled, and had lost one-third of her men. He himself
escaped out of a cabin window, and got on board the _St. Michael_, of
seventy guns. Poor old Admiral Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, in the _Royal
James_, did marvels of valour. Surrounded by the enemy, he boarded a
seventy-gun ship that lay athwart his hawse, and killed Van Ghent, the
Dutch admiral; but assailed by two fire-ships, he destroyed one, and
the other destroyed him. The _Royal James_ was blown up, and thus the
old man, who had so long figured both under the Commonwealth and Crown,
finished his career. He had a foreboding of his fate, and told Evelyn,
when he took leave of him to go on board, that he would see him no
more. Two hundred of his men escaped.

In the afternoon the _St. Michael_, to which the Duke had fled, was
also sinking, and he had to remove to the _London_. In the evening
the Dutch fleet drew off, and the next morning the two divisions of
the English fleet joined and offered battle, but De Ruyter tacked
about and a chase commenced. Twice the English were on the point of
pouring their broadsides into the enemy, when a fog saved them, and
on the second day the Dutch took refuge within the Wierings. The duke
showed unquestionable courage on this occasion; no real advantage to
the country, however, but much cost and damage, resulted from this
unnatural war to prostrate a Protestant country, in order to pander to
the mad ambition of the French king. Louis all this time was taking
advantage of the Dutch being thus engaged. He marched upon Holland with
one hundred thousand men, assisted by the military talent of Turenne,
Condé, and Luxembourg. He took Orsoi, Burick, Wesel, and Rhinberg on
the Rhine, crossed the river at Schneck in the face of the enemy, and
overran three of the seven united provinces. The city of Amsterdam
itself was in consternation, for the fires of the French camp could be
seen from the top of the Stadt House. Even the great De Witt was in
despair; but at this crisis Holland was saved by a youth whose family
had been jealously thrust from the Stadtholdership. This was William of
Orange, afterwards William III. of England.

William of Nassau was the nephew of the English King, being the son of
Charles's sister. He was then only twenty-one years of age, of a sickly
constitution, and at that time of no experience in State or military
affairs. The House of Nassau had acquired almost sovereign power in
Holland, from having rescued the country from the cruel yoke of Spain,
and had rendered the office of stadtholder almost synonymous with
king. The municipal body, the aristocracy of the country, jealous of
the powers and aims of the House of Orange, at the death of William's
father had abolished for ever the office of stadtholder, and placed
the government of the country in the hands of the Town Council,
the Provincial States, and the States-General. De Witt, the Grand
Pensionary of the Province of Holland, was made Chief Minister, and
conducted the government with consummate ability. William of Orange was
a posthumous child and a ward of De Witt, who was also at the same time
at the head of the Louvestein faction, which was violently opposed to
the House of Nassau. But William of Orange stood high in the affections
of the people. They regarded with as much jealousy the municipal
oligarchy which ruled the country as that did the House of Nassau. They
felt that the Orange family had achieved the independence of Holland,
and, being themselves shut out from all influence in State affairs,
they sympathised with the young prince. Besides, he had a princely
fortune, the possession of territories entrenched behind the river
Maas, and the dykes of South Holland, not easily invaded, and was not
only a prince of the German Empire, but of the royal blood of England.

The people, now seeing the critical condition to which the Louvestein
faction had reduced their country, demanded that the command of the
army should be put into the hands of William. De Witt, who could not
prevent it, endeavoured to persuade the people to bind the prince
by an oath never to aspire to the stadtholdership; but the Orange
party now seized their opportunity to rouse the people against the
oligarchy, and they did it to such effect that De Witt and his brother
were torn to pieces by the populace before the gates of the palace of
the States-General at the Hague (July 24, 1672). William, who had no
share in the murder, however, committed the same grave error as he
did afterwards in England, in the case of the massacre of Glencoe--he
rewarded the murderers, and accepted the office of Commander-in-Chief.
Low as the country was reduced, its very danger was its strongest
means of rescue. Germany and Spain, alarmed for the consequences
to Europe, sent promises of speedy assistance, and even Charles II.
seemed to perceive the folly of his proceedings. The war at sea had
brought nothing but expense and bloodshed. If Spain came to a rupture
with France, England would lose the benefit of its lucrative Spanish
trade. Charles had sent six thousand troops, according to treaty, to
assist Louis in Holland, under the command of his son Monmouth, who
displayed no talents as a general, but plenty of courage--a quality
of the family. With him he sent Buckingham, Arlington, and Saville
as plenipotentiaries. These ministers now hastened to the Hague,
and expressed the friendly feeling of England towards Holland. The
Dowager Princess of Holland, who knew what friendliness had been shown
towards his nephew by Charles, who, Buckingham said, did not wish to
use Holland like a mistress, but love like a wife, replied, "Truly, I
believe you would love us as you do your wife!"--a hard hit. From the
Hague they proceeded to the camp of Louis, who, however, before he
would treat with the Dutch, made the English sign a new treaty that
they would not agree to any separate peace.

The terms then proposed by these allies show how little they were
aware of the power yet lurking in the invalid but stubborn and subtle
young Prince of Orange. Charles required, on his part, the dignity
of stadtholder for the prince, his nephew, the acknowledgment of
England's sovereignty of the narrow seas, ten thousand pounds per annum
for liberty of fishing on the English coasts, and the fortresses of
Goree, Flushing, and some others as a guarantee for the payment. Louis
demanded all the territory lying on the left bank of the Rhine, all
such places as the French had formerly wrested from Spain, seventeen
millions of livres as indemnification of the costs of the war, which he
had himself commenced, and an annual gold medal in acknowledgment of
his surrendering the three provinces he had now taken, but in reality
in retaliation for the medal which the States had cast on the formation
of the Triple Alliance. They were also to grant freedom of worship to
the Catholics.

William of Orange bade them reject the whole of these conditions. He
told them that even were they beaten to the last, they could transport
themselves with their wealth to the Indian Archipelago, and then erect
in Java and the isles a new and more resplendent Holland, with a new
and vast world around them for their empire. The courage of the people
rose at the dauntless spirit of their young prince, and they resolved
to resist to the last man. William ordered the dykes to be cut; the
invaders were obliged by a precipitate retreat to seek their own
safety. Amsterdam was saved, and the different towns of Holland stood
isolated amid a vast sea, which no enemy could approach without a large
fleet of flat-bottomed boats, and supplies which must be conveyed by
the same mode. Meanwhile William, where he could reach the French, beat
them in several smart actions, and thus further raised the courage of
his countrymen, whilst forces from Germany were fast pouring down the
Rhine to their aid.

[Illustration: ANTHONY ASHLEY COOPER, FIRST EARL OF SHAFTESBURY.
(_After the Portrait by Sir Peter Lely._)]

Louis XIV., who by no means relished a campaign of this kind, returned
to Paris, and left Turenne to contend with the enemy, who, though he
displayed the highest military talents, and still held many strong
places, saw that the conquest of Holland was little better than
hopeless. At sea the Duke of York arrived off the Dogger Bank, to
intercept the Dutch East India fleet in vain, and De Ruyter lay snug in
port.

At home Charles had promoted his Cabal Ministry, as if they had done
some great deed, to honours and titles. Clifford was called Lord
Clifford of Chudleigh; Lord Arlington, Earl of Arlington; and Ashley,
Earl of Shaftesbury. Buckingham and Arlington received the honour of
the Garter. In order to protect the bankers whom he had kept out of
their money from the suits commenced against them by their creditors
in Chancery, Charles desired Bridgeman to enter an injunction there,
but Bridgeman doubted the rectitude of the proceeding, and he was
removed, and Shaftesbury put in his place (1672), who at once issued
the injunction, and appointed a distant day for hearing evidence
against it. Ashley, as the new Lord Chancellor, displayed a vanity and
eccentricity which caused him to be greatly ridiculed by the lawyers.
He went to preside on the bench in "an ash-coloured gown silver-laced,
and full-ribboned pantaloons." He at first acted with much
self-sufficiency and conceit, but was soon brought to his senses by
the lawyers, and afterwards became one of the most tame and complying
judges that ever sat on the bench. Violent altercation, however, arose
between Ashley and Arlington, who expected Ashley's place made vacant
in the Treasury, which was given to Clifford.

On the 5th of February, 1673, Parliament was summoned after a recess
of nearly a year and a half. Ashley undertook to justify the shutting
of the Exchequer and the Dutch war. But the days of the Cabal were
numbered. The king, by their advice, had, during the recess, issued a
Declaration of Indulgence. This was done with the hope of winning the
support of the Nonconformists and the Papists. But of all subjects,
that of indulgence of conscience in religion, at that period, was
the most double-edged. The Nonconformists were ready enough to enjoy
indulgence, but then the eternal suspicion that it was intended only
as a cloak for the indulgence of Popery made them rather satisfied
to be without it than enjoy it at that peril. No sooner, therefore,
had they granted Charles the liberal sum of one million two hundred
thousand pounds, to be collected by eighteen monthly assessments, than
the Commons fell on this Proclamation of Indulgence. The members of
the Church and the Nonconformists united in their denunciation of it.
On the 10th of February they resolved, by a majority of one hundred
and sixty-eight to one hundred and sixteen, that "penal statutes,
in matters ecclesiastical, cannot be suspended except by Act of
Parliament." Charles stood for awhile on his prerogative, but the
effervescence in the House and country was so great that he gave way,
and his declaration, on the 8th of March, that what he had done should
not be drawn into a precedent, was received with acclamations by both
Houses, and by rejoicings and bonfires by the people. Shaftesbury
immediately passed over to the Country party, as the Opposition was
called.

The Cabal was now forced to submit to another humiliation. The Country
party introduced, at the instance of Shaftesbury, an Act requiring
every person holding any office, civil or military, not only to
take the oath of Allegiance and Supremacy, but also to receive the
Sacrament in the form prescribed by the Church of England, or be
incapable of accepting or holding such office. All such persons were
likewise required to make a declaration against Transubstantiation,
under a penalty of five hundred pounds, of being disabled from suing in
any court of law, and from being a guardian or executor. This Act was
passed by both Houses unanimously, the Nonconformists being promised
that another Bill should be introduced to protect them from the
operation of this. But before it was done Parliament was prorogued on
the 29th of March, and they were caught in their own trap.

No sooner was this Act passed, which became known as the Test Act, and
continued in force till the reign of George IV., than the Cabal fell to
pieces. Its immediate effect was to compel Lord Clifford and Arlington
to resign: the wedge was thus introduced into the Cabal, and the Duke
of York, who resigned his office of Lord High Admiral, became inimical
to them. The office of Lord Treasurer, resigned by Clifford, was given
by the king to Sir Thomas Osborne, a gentleman of Yorkshire, who was
created Earl of Danby, and became in reality Prime Minister. The rise
of Danby was the certain destruction of the Cabal. His foreign policy
was entirely opposed to theirs: he saw clearly enough the ruinous
course of aggrandising France at the expense of the Protestant States
of Europe; his views of domestic policy were more profound, though not
less unprincipled than theirs. He saw the necessity of combining the
old Royalist and Church interests for the support of the throne, but he
set about this process by buying up the favour of the Cavaliers, the
nobles, the country gentlemen, and the clergy and universities. He was
not the first to bribe--the Cabal had done that so far as Parliament
members were concerned--but Danby, like Walpole, and the ministers
after him, bought up by direct bribes or lucrative appointments any and
every man that could secure his views.

When Parliament reassembled on the 7th of January, 1674, there appeared
alarming proofs of some whispered disclosures having taken place during
the disruptions in the Cabal, regarding the king's secret treaty
with Louis. Charles solemnly denied his having any secret engagement
whatever with France. Parliament also exhibited its uneasiness
regarding the practices of the Papists. The Duke of York, since the
prorogation of Parliament on the 4th of November last, had married
Maria D'Este, a Catholic princess, sister of the Duke of Modena. This
had roused all the fears of the country regarding the succession, and
the Commons recommended severe measures against the Papists, and that
the militia should be ready at an hour's notice to act against any
disturbances on their part. They also demanded the removal from the
ministry of all persons Popishly affected, and of those who advised the
alliance with France and the rupture with Holland, and the placing a
foreigner at the head of the army. Both army and navy, in fact, were
commanded by foreigners--Prince Rupert had succeeded the Duke of York
as admiral; Schomberg was sent with the army to Holland.

Charles himself not having been able in the autumn to draw his pension
from Louis, and Parliament now holding fast its purse-strings, he was
ready to listen to terms from Holland, whereby the triumph of the
Country party was completed. On this the States offered, through the
Spanish ambassador, Del Fresno, the terms which they had once already
refused. The conquests on bot