The History of England
By John Lingard
Public Domain Books
Establishment Of The Commonwealth–Punishment Of The Royalists–Mutiny And Suppression Of The Levellers–Charles Ii Proclaimed In Scotland–Ascendancy Of His Adherents In Ireland–Their Defeat At Rathmines–Success Of Cromwell In Ireland–Defeat Of Montrose, And Landing Of Charles In Scotland-Cromwell Is Sent Against Him–He Gains A Victory At Dunbar–The King Marches Into England–Loses The Battle Of Worcester–His Subsequent Adventures And Escape.
When the two houses first placed themselves in opposition to the sovereign, their demands were limited to the redress of existing grievances; now that the struggle was over, the triumphant party refused to be content with anything less than the abolition of the old, and the establishment of a new and more popular form of government. Some, indeed, still ventured to raise their voices in favour of monarchy, on the plea that it was an institution the most congenial to the habits and feelings of Englishmen. By these it was proposed that the two elder sons of Charles should be passed by, because their notions were already formed, and their resentments already kindled; that the young duke of Gloucester, or his sister Elizabeth, should be placed on the throne; and that, under the infant sovereign, the royal prerogative should be circumscribed by law, so as to secure from future encroachment the just liberties of the people. But the majority warmly contended for the establishment of a commonwealth. Why, they asked, should they spontaneously set up again the idol which it had cost them so much blood and treasure to pull down? Laws would prove but feeble restraints on the passions of a proud and powerful monarch. If they sought an insuperable barrier to the restoration of despotism, it could be found only in some of those institutions which lodge the supreme power with the representatives of the people. That they spoke their real sentiments is not improbable, though we are assured, by one who was present at their meetings, that personal interest had no small influence in their final determination. They had sinned too deeply against royalty to trust themselves to the mercy, or the moderation, of a king. A republic was their choice, because it promised to shelter them from the vengeance of their enemies, and offered to them the additional advantage of sharing among themselves all the power, the patronage, and the emoluments of office.
In accordance with this decision, the moment the head of the royal victim fell[a] on the scaffold at Whitehall, a proclamation was read in Cheapside, declaring it treason to give to any person the title of king without the authority of parliament; and at the same time was published the vote of the 4th of January, that the supreme authority in the nation resided in the representatives of the people. The peers, though aware of their approaching fate, continued to sit; but, after a pause of a few days, the Commons resolved: first,[b] that the House of Lords, and, next,[c] that the office of king, ought to be abolished. These votes, though the acts
[Footnote 1: Whitelock, 391.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. Jan. 30.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. Feb. 6.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1649. Feb. 7.]
to be ingrafted on them were postponed, proved sufficient; from that hour the kingship (the word by which the royal dignity was now designated), with the legislative and judicial authority of the peers, was considered extinct, and the lower house, under the name of the parliament of England, concentrated within itself all the powers of government.
The next measure was the appointment, by the Commons, of a council of state, to consist of forty-one members, with powers limited in duration to twelve months. They were charged[a] with the preservation of domestic tranquillity, the care and disposal of the military and naval force, the superintendence of internal and external trade, and the negotiation of treaties with foreign powers. Of the persons selected[b] for this office, three-fourths possessed seats in the house; and they reckoned among them the heads of the law, the chief officers in the army, and five peers, the earls of Denbigh, Mulgrave, Pembroke, and Salisbury, with the Lord Grey of Werke, who condescended to accept the appointment, either through attachment to the cause, or as a compensation for the loss of their hereditary rights. But at the very outset a schism appeared among the new counsellors. The oath required of them by the parliament contained an approval of the king’s trial, of the vote against the Scots and their English associates, and of the abolition of monarchy and of the House of Lords. By Cromwell and
[Footnote 1: Journals, 1649, Jan. 30, Feb. 6, 7. Cromwell voted in favour of the House of Lords.–Ludlow, i. 246. Could he be sincere? I think not.]
[Footnote 2: The earl of Pembroke had the meanness to solicit and accept the place of representative for Berkshire; and his example was imitated by two other peers, the earl of Salisbury and Lord Howard of Escrick, who sat for Lynn and Carlisle.–Journals, April 16, May 5 Sept. 18. Leicester’s Journal, 72.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. Feb. 13.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. Feb. 14.]
eighteen others, it was taken cheerfully, and without comment; by the remaining twenty-two, with Fairfax at their head, it was firmly but respectfully refused.[a] The peers alleged that it stood not with their honour to approve upon oath of that which had been done in opposition to their vote; the commoners, that it was not for them to pronounce an opinion on judicial proceedings of which they had no official information. But their doubts respecting transactions that were past formed no objection to the authority of the existing government. The House of Commons was in actual possession of the supreme power. From that house they derived protection, to it they owed obedience, and with it they were ready to live and die. Cromwell and his friends had the wisdom to yield; the retrospective clauses were expunged,[b] and in their place was substituted a general promise of adhesion to the parliament, both with respect to the existing form of public liberty, and the future government of the nation, “by way of a republic without king or house of peers."
This important revolution drew with it several other alterations. A representation of the House of Commons superseded the royal effigy on the great seal, which was intrusted to three lords-commissioners, Lysle, Keble, and Whitelock; the writs no longer ran in the name of the king, but of “the keepers of the liberty of England by authority of parliament;” new commissions were issued to the judges, sheriffs, and magistrates; and in lieu of the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, was required an engagement to be true to the commonwealth of England. Of the
[Footnote 1: Journals, Feb. 7, 13, 14, 15, 19, 22. Whitelock, 378, 382, 383. The amended oath is in Walker, part ii. 130.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. Feb. 17.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. Feb. 22.]
judges, six resigned; the other six consented to retain their situations, if parliament would issue a proclamation declaratory of its intention to maintain the fundamental laws of the kingdom. The condition was accepted and fulfilled; the courts proceeded to hear and determine causes after the ancient manner; and the great body of the people scarcely felt the important change which had been made in the government of the country. For several years past the supreme authority had been administered in the name of the king by the two houses at Westminster, with the aid of the committee at Derby House; now the same authority was equally administered in the name of the people by one house only, and with the advice of a council of state.
The merit or demerit of thus erecting a commonwealth on the ruins of the monarchy chiefly belongs to Cromwell, Ireton, Bradshaw, and Marten, who by their superior influence guided and controlled the opinions and passions of their associates in the senate and the army. After the king’s death they derived much valuable aid from the talents of Vane, Whitelock, and St. John; and a feeble lustre was shed on their cause by the accession of the five peers
[Footnote 1: Journals, Feb. 8. Yet neither this declaration nor the frequent remonstrances of the lawyers could prevent the house from usurping the office of the judges, or from inflicting illegal punishments. Thus, for example, on the report of a committee, detailing the discovery of a conspiracy to extort money by a false charge of delinquency, the house, without hearing the accused, or sending them before a court of justice, proceeded to inflict on some the penalties of the pillory, fine, and imprisonment, and adjudged Mrs. Samford, as the principal, to be whipped the next day from Newgate to the Old Exchange, and to be kept to hard labour for three months.–Journals, 1650, Feb. 2, Aug. 13.]
[Footnote 2: Immediately after Pride’s purge, Vane, disgusted at the intolerance of his own party, left London, and retired to Raby Castle; he was now induced to rejoin them, and resumed his seat on Feb. 26.]
from the abolished House of Lords. But, after all, what right could this handful of men have to impose a new constitution on the kingdom? Ought they not, in consistency with their own principles, to have ascertained the sense of the nation by calling a new parliament? The question was raised, but the leaders, aware that their power was based on the sword of the military, shrunk from the experiment; and, to elude the demands of their opponents, appointed a committee to regulate the succession of parliaments and the election of members; a committee, which repeatedly met and deliberated, but never brought the question to any definitive conclusion. Still, when the new authorities looked around the house, and observed the empty benches, they were admonished of their own insignificance, and of the hollowness of their pretensions. They claimed the sovereign authority, as the representatives of the people; but the majority of those representatives had been excluded by successive acts of military violence; and the house had been reduced from more than five hundred members, to less than one-seventh of that number. For the credit and security of the government it was necessary both to supply the deficiency, and, at the same time, to oppose a bar to the introduction of men of opposite principles. With this view, they resolved[a] to continue the exclusion of those who had on the 5th of December assented to the vote, that the king’s “concessions were a sufficient ground to proceed to a settlement;” but to open the house to all others who should previously enter on the journals their dissent from that resolution. By this expedient, and by occasional writs for elections in those places where
[Footnote 1: Journ. Feb. 1. Walker, part ii. 115. Whitelock, 376.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. Feb. 1.]
the influence of the party was irresistible, the number of members gradually rose to one hundred and fifty, though it was seldom that the attendance of one-half, or even of one-third, could be procured.
During the war, the dread of retaliation had taught the two parties to temper with moderation the license of victory. Little blood had been shed except in the field of battle. But now that check was removed. The fanatics, not satisfied with the death of the king, demanded, with the Bible in their hands, additional victims; and the politicians deemed it prudent by the display of punishment to restrain the machinations of their enemies. Among the royalists in custody were the duke of Hamilton (who was also earl of Cambridge in England), the earl of Holland, Goring, earl of Norwich, the Lord Capel, and Sir John Owen, all engaged in the last attempt for the restoration of Charles to the throne. By a resolution of the House of Commons in November, Hamilton had been adjudged to pay a fine of one hundred thousand pounds, and the other four to remain in perpetual imprisonment; but after the triumph of the Independents, this vote had been rescinded,[a] and a high court of justice was now established to try the same persons on a charge of high treason. It was in vain that Hamilton pleaded[b] the order of the Scottish parliament under which he had acted; that Capel demanded to be brought before his peers, or a jury of his countrymen, according to those fundamental laws which the parliament had promised to maintain; that all invoked the national faith in favour of that quarter which they had obtained at the time of their surrender. Bradshaw, the president, delivered the opinions of the court. To Hamilton, he replied,
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. Feb. 1.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. Feb. 10.]
that, as an English earl, he was amenable to the justice of the country; to Capel, that the court had been established by the parliament, the supreme authority to which all must submit; to each, that quarter given on the field of battle insured protection from the sword of the conqueror, but not from the vengeance of the law. All five were condemned[a] to lose their heads; but the rigour of the judgment was softened[b] by a reference to the mercy of parliament. The next day the wives of Holland and Capel, accompanied by a long train of females in mourning, appeared at the bar, to solicit the pardon of the condemned. Though their petitions were rejected, a respite for two days was granted. This favour awakened new hopes; recourse was had to flattery and entreaty; bribes were offered and accepted; and the following morning[c] new petitions were presented. The fate of Holland occupied a debate of considerable interest. Among the Independents he had many personal friends, and the Presbyterians exerted all their influence in his favour. But the saints expatiated on his repeated apostasy from the cause; and, after a sharp contest, Cromwell and Ireton obtained a majority of a single voice for his death. The case of Goring was next considered. No man during the war had treated his opponents with more bitter contumely, no one had inflicted on them deeper injuries; and yet, on an equal division, his life was saved by the casting voice of the speaker. The sentences of Hamilton and Capel were affirmed by the unanimous vote of the house; but, to the surprise of all men, Owen, a stranger, without friends or interest, had the good fortune to escape. His forlorn condition moved the pity of Colonel Hutchinson; the efforts of Hutchinson
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. March 6.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. March 7.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1649. March 8.]
were seconded by Ireton; and so powerful was their united influence, that they obtained a majority of five in his favour. Hamilton, Holland, and Capel died[a] on the scaffold, the first martyrs of loyalty after the establishment of the commonwealth.
But, though the avowed enemies of the cause crouched before their conquerors, there was much in the internal state of the country to awaken apprehension in the breasts of Cromwell and his friends. There could be no doubt that the ancient royalists longed for the opportunity of avenging the blood of the king; or that the new royalists, the Presbyterians, who sought to re-establish the throne on the conditions stipulated by the treaty in the Isle of Wight, bore with impatience the superiority of their rivals. Throughout the kingdom the lower classes loudly complained of the burthen of taxation; in several parts they suffered under the pressure of penury and famine. In Lancashire and Westmoreland numbers perished through want; and it was certified by the magistrates of Cumberland that thirty thousand families in that county “had neither seed nor bread corn, nor the means of procuring either." But that which chiefly created alarm was the progress made among the military by the “Levellers,” men of consistent principles and uncompromising conduct under the guidance of Colonel John Lilburne, an officer distinguished by his talents, his eloquence, and
[Footnote 1: If the reader compares the detailed narrative of these proceedings by Clarendon (iii. 265-270), with the official account in the Journals (March 7, 8), he will be surprised at the numerous inaccuracies of the historian. See also the State Trials; England’s Bloody Tribunal; Whitelock, 386; Burnet’s Hamiltons, 385; Leicester’s Journal, 70; Ludlow, i. 247; and Hutchinson, 310.]
[Footnote 2: Whitelock, 398, 399.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. Mar. 9.]
his courage. Lilburne, with his friends, had long cherished a suspicion that Cromwell, Ireton, and Harrison sought only their private aggrandizement under the mantle of patriotism; and the recent changes had converted this suspicion into conviction. They observed that the same men ruled without control in the general council of officers, in the parliament, and in the council of state. They contended that every question was first debated and settled in the council of officers, and that, if their determination was afterwards adopted by the house, it was only that it might go forth to the public under the pretended sanction of the representatives of the nation; that the council of state had been vested with powers more absolute and oppressive than had ever been exercised by the late king; and that the High Court of Justice had been established by the party for the purpose of depriving their victims of those remedies which would be afforded by the ordinary courts of law. In some of their publications they went further. They maintained that the council of state was employed as an experiment on the patience of the nation; that it was intended to pass from the tyranny of a few to the tyranny of one; and that Oliver Cromwell was the man who aspired to that high but dangerous pre-eminence.
A plan of the intended constitution, entitled “the
[Footnote 1: Lilburne in his youth had been a partisan of Bastwick, and had printed one of his tracts in Holland. Before the Star-chamber he refused to take the oath ex officio, or to answer interrogatories, and in consequence was condemned to stand in the pillory, was whipped from the Fleet-prison to Westminster, receiving five hundred lashes with knotted cords, and was imprisoned with double irons on his hands and legs. Three years later (1641), the House of Commons voted the punishment illegal, bloody, barbarous, and tyrannical.–Burton’s Diary, iii. 503, note.]
[Footnote 2: See England’s New Chains Discovered, and the Hunting of the Foxes, passim; the King’s Pamphlets, No. 411, xxi.; 414, xii. xvi.]
agreement of the people,” had been sanctioned by the council of officers, and presented[a] by Fairfax to the House of Commons, that it might be transmitted to the several counties, and there receive the approbation of the inhabitants. As a sop to shut the mouth of Cerberus, the sum of three thousand pounds, to be raised from the estates of delinquents in the county of Durham, had been voted[b] to Lilburne; but the moment he returned from the north, he appeared at the bar of the house, and petitioned against “the agreement,” objecting in particular to one of the provisions by which the parliament was to sit but six months, every two years, and the government of the nation during the other eighteen months was to be intrusted to the council of state. His example was quickly followed; and the table was covered with a succession of petitions from officers and soldiers, and “the well-affected” in different counties, who demanded that a new parliament should be holden every year; that during the intervals the supreme power should be exercised by a committee of the house; that no member of the last should sit in the succeeding parliament; that the self-denying ordinance should be enforced; that no officer should retain his command in the army for more than a certain period; that the High Court of Justice should be abolished as contrary to law, and the council of state, as likely to become an engine of tyranny; that the proceedings in the courts should be in the English language, the number of lawyers diminished, and their fees reduced; that the excise and customs should be taken away, and the lands of delinquents sold for compensation to the well-affected; that religion should be “reformed according to the mind of God;” that no one should be molested or incapacitated
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. Jan. 20.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. Feb. 26.]
on account of conscience; that tithes should be abolished; and that the income of each minister should be fixed at one hundred pounds per annum, to be raised by a rate on his parishioners.
Aware of the necessity of crushing the spirit of opposition in the military, general orders were issued[a] by Fairfax, prohibiting private meetings of officers or soldiers “to the disturbance of the army;” and on the receipt[b] of a letter of remonstrance from several regiments, four of the five troopers by whom it was signed were condemned[c] by a court-martial to ride the wooden horse with their faces to the tail, to have their swords broken over their heads, and to be afterwards cashiered. Lilburne, on the other hand, laboured to inflame the general discontent by a succession of pamphlets, entitled, “England’s New Chains Discovered," “The Hunting of the Foxes from Newmarket and Triploe Heath to Whitehall by five small Beagles” (in allusion to the five troopers), and the second part of “England’s New Chains.” The last he read[d] to a numerous assembly at Winchester House; by the parliament it was voted[e] a seditious and traitorous libel, and the author, with his associates, Walwyn, Prince, and Overton; was committed,[f] by order of the council, to close custody in the Tower.
It had been determined to send to Ireland a division of twelve thousand men; and the regiments to be employed were selected by ballot, apparently in the fairest manner. The men, however, avowed a resolution not to march. It was not, they said, that they
[Footnote 1: Walker, 133. Whitelock, 388, 393, 396, 398, 399. Carte, Letters, i. 229.]
[Footnote 2: Whitelock, 385, 386, 392. Council Book in the State-paper Office, March 27, No. 17; March 29, No. 27. Carte, Letters, i. 273, 276.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. Feb. 22.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. March 1.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1649. March 3.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1649. March 25.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1649. March 27.] [Sidenote f: A.D. 1649. March 29.]
refused the service; but they believed the expedition to be a mere artifice to send the discontented out of the kingdom; and they asserted that by their engagement on Triploe Heath they could not conscientiously move a step till the liberties of the nation were settled on a permanent basis. The first act of mutiny occurred in Bishopsgate. A troop of horse refused to obey their colonel; and, instead of marching out of the city, took possession of the colours. Of these, five were condemned to be shot; but one only, by name Lockyer, suffered. At his burial a thousand men, in files, preceded the corpse, which was adorned with bunches of rosemary dipped in blood; on each side rode three trumpeters, and behind was led the trooper’s horse, covered with mourning; some thousands of men and women followed with black and green ribbons on their heads and breasts, and were received at the grave by a numerous crowd of the inhabitants of London and Westminster. This extraordinary funeral convinced the leaders how widely the discontent was spread, and urged them to the immediate adoption of the most decisive measures.
The regiments of Scrope, Ireton, Harrison, Ingoldsby, Skippon, Reynolds, and Horton, though quartered in different places, had already[a] elected their agents, and published their resolution to adhere to each other, when the house commissioned Fairfax to reduce the mutineers, ordered Skippon to secure the capital from surprise, and declared it treason for soldiers to conspire the death of the general or lieutenant-general, or for any person to endeavour to alter the government, or to affirm that the parliament or council of state was either tyrannical or unlawful.
[Footnote 1: Walker, 161. Whitelock, 399.]
[Footnote 2: Journals, May 1, 14. Whitelock, 399.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. May 7.]
At Banbury, in Oxfordshire, a Captain Thompson, at the head of two hundred men, published a manifesto, entitled “England’s Standard Advanced," in which he declared that, if Lilburne, or his fellow-prisoners, were ill-treated, their sufferings should he avenged seventy times seven-fold upon their persecutors. His object was to unite some of the discontented regiments; but Colonel Reynolds surprised him at Banbury, and prevailed on his followers to surrender without loss of blood. Another party, consisting of ten troops of horse, and more than a thousand strong, proceeded from Salisbury to Burford, augmenting their numbers as they advanced. Fairfax and Cromwell, after a march of more than forty miles during the day, arrived soon afterwards,[a] and ordered their followers to take refreshment. White had been sent to the insurgents with an offer of pardon on their submission; whether he meant to deceive them or not, is uncertain; he represented the pause on the part of the general as time allowed them to consult and frame their demands; and at the hour of midnight, while they slept in security, Cromwell forced his way into the town, with two thousand men, at one entrance, while Colonel Reynolds, with a strong body, opposed their exit by the other. Four hundred of the mutineers were made prisoners, and the arms and horses of double that number were taken. One cornet and two corporals suffered death; the others, after a short imprisonment, were restored to their former regiments.
This decisive advantage disconcerted all the plans of the mutineers. Some partial risings in the
[Footnote 1: Walker, ii. 168. Whitelock, 401.]
[Footnote 2: King’s Pamphlets, No. 421, xxii.; 422, i. Whitelock, 402.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. May 14.]
counties of Hants, Devon, and Somerset were quickly suppressed; and Thompson, who had escaped[a] from Banbury and retired to Wellingborough, being deserted by his followers, refused quarter, and fell[b] fighting singly against a host of enemies. To express the national gratitude for this signal deliverance, a day of thanksgiving was appointed; the parliament, the council of State, and the council of the army assembled[c] at Christ-church; and, after the religious service of the day, consisting of two long sermons and appropriate prayers, proceeded to Grocer’s Hall, where they dined by invitation from the city. The speaker Lenthall, the organ of the supreme authority, like former kings, received the sword of state from the mayor, and delivered it to him again. At table, he was seated at the head, supported on his right hand by the lord general, and on the left by Bradshaw, the president of the council; thus exhibiting to the guests the representatives of the three bodies by which the nation was actually governed. At the conclusion of the dinner, the lord mayor presented one thousand pounds in gold to Fairfax in a basin and ewer of the same metal, and five hundred pounds, with a complete service of plate, to Cromwell.
The suppression of the mutiny afforded leisure to the council to direct its attention to the proceedings in Scotland and Ireland. In the first of these kingdoms, after the departure of Cromwell, the supreme authority had been exercised by Argyle and his party, who were supported, and at the same time controlled, by the paramount influence of the kirk. The forfeiture
[Footnote 1: Whitelock, 403.]
[Footnote 2: Leicester’s Journal, 74. Whitelock (406) places the guests in a different order.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. May 20.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. May 31.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1649. June 7.]
and excommunication of the “Engagers” left to their opponents the undisputed superiority in the parliament and all the great offices of the state. From the part which Argyle had formerly taken in the surrender of the king, his recent connection with Cromwell, and his hostility to the engagement, it was generally believed that he had acted in concert with the English Independents. But he was wary, and subtle, and flexible. At the approach of danger he could dissemble; and, whenever it suited his views, could change his measures without changing his object. At the beginning of January the fate with which Charles was menaced revived the languid affection of the Scots. A cry of indignation burst from every part of the country: he was their native king–would they suffer him to be arraigned as a criminal before a foreign tribunal? By delivering him to his enemies, they had sullied the fair fame of the nation–would they confirm this disgrace by tamely acquiescing in his death? Argyle deemed it prudent to go with the current of national feeling; he suffered a committee to be appointed in parliament, and the commissioners in London received instructions to protest against the trial and condemnation of the king. But these instructions disclose the timid fluctuating policy of the man by whom they were dictated. It is vain to look in them for those warm and generous sentiments which the case demanded. They are framed with hesitation and caution; they betray a
[Footnote 1: Wariston had proposed (and Argyle had seconded him) to postpone the motion for interference in the King’s behalf till the Lord had been sought by a solemn fast, but “Argyle, after he saw that it was carried by wottes in his contrarey, changed his first opinione with a faire appologey, and willed them then presently to enter on the business."–Balfour, iii. 386.]
consciousness of weakness, a fear of provoking enmity, and an attention to private interest; and they show that the protestors, if they really sought to save the life of the monarch, were yet more anxious to avoid every act or word which might give offence to his adversaries.
The commissioners delivered the paper, and the Scottish parliament, instead of an answer, received the news of the king’s execution. The next day the chancellor, attended by the members, proceeded to the cross in Edinburgh, and proclaimed Charles, the son of the deceased prince, king of Scotland, England, France, and Ireland.[a] But to this proclamation was appended a provision, that the young prince, before he could enter on the exercise of the royal authority, should satisfy the parliament of his adhesion both to the national covenant of Scotland, and to the solemn league and covenant between the two kingdoms.
At length, three weeks after the death of the king, whose life it was intended to save, the English parliament condescended to answer the protestation of the Scots, but in a tone of contemptuous indifference, both as to the justice of their claim and the consequences of their anger.[b] Scotland, it was replied, might perhaps have no right to bring her sovereign to a public trial, but that circumstance could not affect the right of England. As the English parliament did not intend to trench on the liberties of others, it would not permit others to trench upon its own. The recollection of the evils inflicted on the nation by the misconduct of the king, and the consciousness that they
[Footnote 1: See the instructions in Balfour, iii. 383; and Clarendon, iii. 280.]
[Footnote 2: Balfour, iii. 387. Clarendon, iii. 284.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. Feb. 3.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. Feb. 17.]
had deserved the anger of God by their neglect to punish his offences, had induced them to bring him to justice, a course which they doubted not God had already approved, and would subsequently reward by the establishment of their liberties. The Scots had now the option of being freemen or slaves; the aid of England was offered for the vindication of their rights; if it were refused, let them beware how they entailed on themselves and their posterity the miseries of continual war with their nearest neighbour, and of slavery under the issue of a tyrant.
The Scottish commissioners, in reply,[a] hinted that the present was not a full parliament; objected to any alteration in the government by king, lords, and commons; desired that no impediment should be opposed to the lawful succession of Charles II.; and ended by protesting that, if such things were done, the Scots were free before God and man from the guilt, the blood, the calamities, which it might cost the two kingdoms. Having delivered this paper, they hastened to Gravesend. Their object was to proceed to the United Provinces, and offer the Scottish crown on certain conditions to the young king. But the English leaders resolved to interrupt their mission. The answer which they had given was voted[b] a scandalous libel, framed for the purpose of exciting sedition; the commissioners were apprehended[c] at Gravesend as national offenders, and Captain Dolphin received orders to conduct them under a guard to the frontiers of Scotland.
[Footnote 1: Journals, Feb. 17, 20. Clarendon, iii. 282.]
[Footnote 2: Journals, Feb. 26, 28. Whitelock, 384. Balfour, iii. 388, 389. Carte, Letters, i. 233. Dolphin received a secret instruction not to dismiss Sir John Chiesley, but to keep him as a hostage, till he knew that Mr. Rowe, the English agent in Edinburgh, was not detained.–Council Book, March 2.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. Feb. 24.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. Feb. 26.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1649. March 2.]
This insult, which, though keenly felt, was tamely borne, might retard, it could not prevent, the purposes of the Scottish parliament. The earl of Cassilis, with four new commissioners, was appointed[a] to proceed to Holland, where Charles, under the protection of his brother-in-law, the prince of Orange, had resided since the death of his father. His court consisted at first of the few individuals whom that monarch had placed around him, and whom he now swore of his privy council. It was soon augmented by the earl of Lanark, who, on the death of his brother, became duke of Hamilton, the earl of Lauderdale, and the earl of Callendar, the chiefs of the Scottish Engagers; these were followed by the ancient Scottish royalists, Montrose, Kinnoul, and Seaforth, and in a few days appeared Cassilis, with his colleagues, and three deputies from the church of Scotland, who brought with them news not likely to insure them a gracious reception, that the parliament, at the petition of the kirk, had sent to the scaffold[b] the old marquess of Huntley, forfaulted for his adhesion to the royal cause in the year 1645. All professed to have in view the same object–the restoration of the young king; but all were divided and alienated from each other by civil and religious bigotry. By the commissioners, the Engagers, and by both, Montrose and his friends, were shunned as traitors to their country, and sinners excommunicated by the kirk. Charles was perplexed by the conflicting opinions of these several advisers. Both the commissioners and Engagers, hostile as they were to each
[Footnote 1: Whatever may have been the policy of Argyle, he most certainly promoted this mission, and “overswayed the opposition to it by his reason, authority, and diligence,"–Baillie, ii. 353.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. March 17.] [Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. March 26.]
other, represented his taking of the covenant as an essential condition; while Montrose and his English counsellors contended that it would exasperate the Independents, offend the friends of episcopacy, and cut off all hope of aid from the Catholics, who could not be expected to hazard their lives in support of a prince sworn to extirpate their religion.
While the question was yet in debate, an event happened to hasten the departure of Charles from the Hague. Dr. Dorislaus, a native of Holland, but formerly a professor of Gresham College, and recently employed to draw the charge against the king, arrived as envoy from the parliament to the States.[a] That very evening, while he sat at supper in the inn, six gentlemen with drawn swords entered the room, dragged him from his chair, and murdered him on the floor. Though the assassins were suffered to escape, it was soon known that they were Scotsmen, most of them followers of Montrose; and Charles, anticipating the demand of justice from the English parliament, gave his final answer to the commissioners, that he was, and always had been, ready to provide for the security of their religion, the union between the kingdoms, and the internal peace and prosperity of Scotland; but that their other demands were irreconcilable with his conscience, his liberty, and his honour.[b] They
[Footnote 1: Clar. iii. 287-292. Baillie, ii. 333. Carte, Letters, i. 238-263. In addition to the covenant, the commissioners required the banishment of Montrose, from which they were induced to recede, and the limitation of the king’s followers to one hundred persons.–Carte, Letters, i. 264, 265, 266, 268, 271.]
[Footnote 2: Clarendon, iii. 293. Whitelock, 401. Journals, May 10. The parliament settled two hundred pounds per annum on the son, and gave five hundred pounds to each of the daughters of Dorislaus.–Ib. May 16. Two hundred and fifty pounds was given towards his funeral.–Council Book, May 11.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. May 3.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. May 19.]
acknowledged that he was their king; it was, therefore, their duty to obey, maintain, and defend him; and the performance of this duty he should expect from the committee of estates, the assembly of the kirk, and the whole nation of Scotland. They departed with this unsatisfactory answer; and Charles, leaving the United Provinces, hastened to St. Germain in France, to visit the queen his mother, with the intention of repairing, after a short stay, to the army of the royalists in Ireland.
That the reader may understand the state of Ireland, he must look back to the period when the despair or patriotism of Ormond surrendered to the parliament the capital of that kingdom.[a] The nuncio, Rinuccini, had then seated himself in the chair of the president of the supreme council at Kilkenny; but his administration was soon marked by disasters, which enabled his rivals to undermine and subvert his authority.[b] The Catholic army of Leinster, under Preston, was defeated on Dungan Hill by Jones, the governor of Dublin, and that of Munster, under the Viscount Taafe, at Clontarf, by the Lord Inchiquin.[c] To Rinuccini
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iii. 405; and the Proceedings of the Commissioners of the Church and Kingdoms of Scotland with his Majestie at the Hague. Edinburgh, printed by Evan Tyler, 1649.]
[Footnote 2: Rushworth, 833, 916. In the battle of Dungan Hill, at the first charge the Commander of the Irish cavalry was slain: his men immediately fled; the infantry repelled several charges, and retired into a bog, where they offered to capitulate. Colonel Flower said he had no authority to grant quarter, but at the same time ordered his men to stand to their arms, and preserved the lives of the earl of Westmeath, Lieutenant-General Bryne, and several officers and soldiers who repaired to his colours. “In the mean time the Scotch colonel Tichburn, and Colonel Moor, of Bankhall’s regiments, without mercy put the rest to the sword." They amounted to between three and four thousand men.–Belling’s History of the late Warre in Ireland, MS. ii. 95. I mention this instance to show that Cromwell did not introduce the practice of massacre. He followed his predecessors, whose avowed object it was to exterminate the natives.]]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. July.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. August 2.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1649. Nov. 13.]
himself these misfortunes appeared as benefits, for he distrusted Preston and Taafe on account of their attachment to Ormond; and their depression served to exalt his friend and protector, Owen Roe O’Neil, the leader of the men of Ulster. But from such beginnings the nation at large anticipated a succession of similar calamities; his adversaries obtained a majority in the general assembly; and the nuncio, after a declaration that he advanced no claim to temporal authority, prudently avoided a forced abdication, by offering to resign his office.[a] A new council, consisting, in equal number, of men chosen out of the two parties, was appointed; and the marquess of Antrim, the Lord Muskerry, and Geoffrey Brown, were despatched to the queen mother, and her son Charles, to solicit assistance in money and arms, and to request that the prince would either come and reside in Ireland, or appoint a Catholic lieutenant in his place.[b] Antrim hoped to obtain this high office for himself; but his colleagues were instructed to oppose his pretensions and to acquiesce in the re-appointment of the marquess of Ormond.
During the absence of these envoys, the Lord Inchiquin unexpectedly declared, with his army, in favour of the king against the parliament, and instantly proposed an armistice to the confederate Catholics, as friends to the royal cause. By some the overture was indignantly rejected. Inchiquin, they said, had been their most bitter enemy; he had made it his delight to shed the blood of Irishmen, and to pollute and destroy their altars. Besides, what pledge could be
[Footnote 1: Philopater Irenaeus, 50-60. Castlehaven, Memoirs, 83.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1648. Jan. 4] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1648. Feb. 27]
given for the fidelity of a man who, by repeatedly changing sides, had already shown that he would always accommodate his conscience to his interest? It were better to march against him now that he was without allies; and, when he should be subdued, Jones with the parliamentary army would necessarily fall. To this reasoning it was replied, that the expedition would require time and money; that provision for the free exercise of religion might be made in the articles; and that, at a moment when the Catholics solicited a reconciliation with the king, they could not in honour destroy those who drew the sword in his favour. In defiance of the remonstrances made by Rinuccini and eight of the bishops, the treaty proceeded;[a] and the nuncio believing, or pretending to believe, that he was a prisoner in Kilkenny, escaped in the night over the wall of the city, and was received at Maryborough with open arms by his friend O’Neil.[b] The council of the Catholics agreed to the armistice, and sought by repeated messages to remove the objections of the nuncio.[c] But zeal or resentment urged him to exceed his powers.[d] He condemned the treaty, excommunicated its abettors, and placed under an interdict the towns in which it should be admitted. But his spiritual weapons were of little avail. The council, with fourteen bishops, appealed from his censures; the forces under Taafe, Clanricard, and Preston, sent back his messengers;[e] and, on the departure of O’Neil, he repaired to the town of Galway, where he was sure of the support of the people, though in opposition to the sense of the mayor and the merchants. As a last effort, he summoned a national synod at Galway;[f] but the council protested against it; Clanricard surrounded the town with his army; and
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1648. April 27.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1648. May 9.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1648. May 22.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1648. May 27.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1648. May 31.] [Sidenote f: A.D. 1648. Sept. 1.]
the inhabitants, opening the gates, made their submission.
War was now openly declared between the two parties. On the one hand, Jones in Dublin, and Monk in Ulster, concluded truces with O’Neil, that he might be in a better condition to oppose the common enemy; on the other, Inchiquin joined with Preston to support the authority of the council against O’Neil. Inroads were reciprocally made; towns were taken and retaken; and large armies were repeatedly brought in face of each other. The council, however, began to assume a bolder tone:[a] they proclaimed O’Neil a rebel and traitor; and, on the tardy arrival of Ormond with the commission of lord-lieutenant, sent to Rinuccini himself an order to quit the kingdom,[b] with the information that they had accused him to the pope of certain high crimes and misdemeanors.
[Footnote 1: See Desiderata Cur. Hib. ii. 511; Carte, ii. 20, 31-36; Belling, in his MS. History of the late War in Ireland, part iv. 1-40. He has inserted most of the papers which passed between the parties in this work. See also Philopater Irenaeus, i. 60, 86; ii. 90, 94; Walsh, History and Vindication, App. 33-40; Ponce, 90.]
[Footnote 2: The charge may be seen in Philopater Iren. i. 150-160; Clarendon, viii. 68. Oxford, 1726. It is evident that the conduct of Rinuccini in breaking the first peace was not only reprehensible in itself, but productive of the most calamitous consequences both to the cause of royalty and the civil and religious interests of the Irish Catholics. The following is the ground on which he attempts to justify himself. Laying it down as an undeniable truth that the Irish people had as good a right to the establishment of their religion in their native country, as the Covenanters in Scotland, or the Presbyterians in England, he maintains that it was his duty to make this the great object of his proceedings. When the peace was concluded, Charles was a prisoner in the hands of the Scots, who had solemnly sworn to abolish the Catholic religion; and the English royalists had been subdued by the parliament, which by repeated votes and declarations had bound itself to extirpate the Irish race, and parcel out the island among foreign adventurers. Now there was no human probability that Charles would ever be restored to his throne, but on such conditions as the parliament and the Scots should prescribe; and that, on their demand, he would, after some struggle, sacrifice the Irish Catholics, was plain from what had passed in his different negotiations with the parliament, from his disavowal of Glamorgan’s commission, and from the obstinacy with which his lieutenant, Ormond, had opposed the claims of the confederates. Hence he inferred that a peace, which left the establishment of religion to the subsequent determination of the king, afforded no security, but, on the contrary, was an abandonment of the cause for which the Catholics had associated; and that it therefore became him, holding the situation which he did, to oppose it by every means in his power.–MS. narrative of Rinuccini’s proceedings, written to be delivered to the pope; and Ponce, 271.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1648. Sept. 3.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1648. Oct. 19.]
But he continued to issue his mandates in defiance of their orders and threats; nor was it till after the new pacification between Charles and the confederates had been published, and the execution of the king had fixed the public opinion on the pernicious result of his counsels,[a] that shame and apprehension drove him from Ireland to France,[b] whence, after a few months, he was recalled to Rome.
The negotiation between Ormond and the Catholics had continued for three months;[c] in January the danger which threatened the royal person induced the latter to recede from their claims, and trust to the future gratitude and honour of their sovereign. They engaged to maintain at their own expense an army of seventeen thousand five hundred men, to be employed against the common enemy; and the king, on his part, consented that the free exercise of the Catholic worship should be permitted; that twelve commissioners of trust appointed by the assembly should aid the lord-lieutenant in the internal administration; that the Court of Wards and several other grievances should be abolished; that a parliament should be called as soon as the majority of commissioners might deem it expedient, and in that parliament the persecuting laws on the subject of religion, with others injurious to the trade and commerce
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. Jan. 17.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. Jan. 30.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1649. Feb. 23.]
of Ireland, should be repealed, and the independence of the Irish on the English parliament should be established.
The royal interest was now predominant in Ireland. The fleet under Prince Rupert rode triumphant off the coast; the parliamentary commanders, Jones in Dublin, Monk in Belfast, and Coote in Londonderry, were almost confined within the limits of their respective garrisons; and Inchiquin in Munster, the Scottish regiments in Ulster, and the great body of the Catholics adhering to the supreme council, had proclaimed the king, and acknowledged the authority of his lieutenant. It was during this favourable state of things that Charles received and accepted the invitation of Ormond;[a] but his voyage was necessarily delayed through want of money, and his ardour was repeatedly checked by the artful insinuation of some among his counsellors, who secretly feared that, if he were once at the head of a Catholic army, he would listen to the demands of the Catholics for the establishment of their religion. On the contrary, to the leaders in London, the danger of losing Ireland became a source of the most perplexing solicitude. The office of lord lieutenant was offered to Cromwell.[b] He affected to hesitate; at his request two officers from each corps received orders to meet him at Whitehall, and seek the Lord in prayer;[c] and, after a delay of two weeks, he condescended to submit his shoulders to the burthen, because he had now learned that it was the will of Heaven.[d] Hi demands,
[Footnote 1: Phil. Iren. i. 166. Walsh, App. 43-64. Whitelock, 391. Charles approved and promised to observe this peace.–Carte’s Letters, ii. 367.]
[Footnote 2: Carte, Letters, i. 258, 262.]
[Footnote 3: Journals, March 30. Whitelock, 389, 391, 392.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. March 29.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. March 15.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1649. March 23.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1649. March 29.]
however, were so numerous, the preparations to be made so extensive, that it was necessary to have recourse in the interval to other expedients for the preservation of the forces and places which still admitted the authority of the parliament. One of these was to allure to the cause of the Independents the Catholics of the two kingdoms; for which purpose, the sentiments of Sir Kenelm Digby and Sir John Winter were sounded,[a] and conferences were held, through the agency of the Spanish ambassador, with O’Reilly and Quin, two Irish ecclesiastics.[b] It was proposed that toleration should be granted for the exercise of the Catholic worship, without any penal disqualifications, and that the Catholics in return should disclaim the temporal pretensions of the pope, and maintain ten thousand men for the service of the commonwealth.
In aid of this project, Digby, Winter, and the Abbé Montague were suffered to come to England under the pretence of compounding for their estates; and the celebrated Thomas White, a secular clergyman, published a work entitled “The Grounds of Obedience and Government,” to show that the people may be released from their obedience to the civil magistrate by his misconduct; and that, when he is once deposed (whether justly or unjustly makes no difference), it may be for the common interest to acquiesce in his removal, rather than attempt his restoration.
That this doctrine was satisfactory to the men in power, cannot be doubted; but they had so often reproached the late king with a coalition with the papists, that they dared not to make the experiment, and after some time, to blind perhaps the eyes of the people, severe votes were passed against
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. March.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. April.]
Digby, Montague, and Winter, and orders were given for the apprehension of priests and Jesuits.
In Ireland an attempt was made to fortify the parliamentary party with the friendly aid of O’Neil.[a] That chieftain had received proposals from Ormond, but his jealousy of the commissioners of trusts, his former adversaries, provoked him to break off the treaty with the lord lieutenant,[b] and to send a messenger of his own with a tender of his services to Charles.[c] Immediately the earl of Castlehaven, by order of Ormond, attacked and reduced his garrisons of Maryborough and Athy;[d] and O’Neil, in revenge, listened to the suggestions of Monk, who had retired before the superior force of the Scottish royalists from Belfast to Dundalk.[e] A cessation of hostilities was concluded for three months;[f] and the proposals of the Irish chieftain, modified by Monk, were transmitted to England for the ratification of parliament. By the “grandees” it was thought imprudent to submit them to an examination, which would make them public; but the answer returned satisfied the contracting parties:[g] Monk supplied O’Neil with ammunition, and O’Neil undertook to intercept the communication between the Scottish regiments of the north and the grand army under Ormond in the heart of the kingdom.
[Footnote 1: On this obscure subject may be consulted Walker, ii. 150; Carte’s Collection of Letters, i. 216, 219, 221, 222, 224, 267, 272, 297; ii. 363, 364; and the Journals, Aug. 31.]
[Footnote 2: O’Neil demanded liberty of conscience for himself, his followers, and their posterity; the undisturbed possession of their lands, as long as they remained faithful to the parliament; and, in return for his services, the restoration of his ancestor’s estate, or an equivalent. (See both his draft, and the corrected copy by Monk, in Philop. Iren. i. 191, and in Walker, ii. 233-238.) His agent, on his arrival in London, was asked by the grandees why he applied to them, and refused to treat with Ormond. He replied, because the late king had always made them fair promises; but, when they had done him service, and he could make better terms with their enemies, had always been ready to sacrifice them. Why then did not O’Neil apply to the parliament sooner? Because the men in power then had sworn to extirpate them; but those in power now professed toleration and liberty of conscience.–Ludlow, i. 255. The agreement made with him by Monk was rejected (Aug. 10), because, if we believe Ludlow, the Ulster men had been the chief actors in the murder of the English, and liberty of religion would prove dangerous to public peace. But this rejection happened much later. It is plain that Jones, Monk, Coote, and O’Neil understood that the agreement would be ratified, though it was delayed.–Walker, ii 198, 231, 245. See King’s Pamphlets, 428, 435, 437.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. August 31.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. Feb. 20.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1649. March 16.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1649. March 21.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1649. April 25.] [Sidenote f: A.D. 1649. May 8.] [Sidenote g: A.D. 1649. May 22.]
Though the parliament had appointed Cromwell lord lieutenant of Ireland, and vested the supreme authority, both civil and military, in his person for three years, he was still unwilling to hazard his reputation, and his prospects in a dangerous expedition without the adequate means of success.[a] Out of the standing army of forty-five thousand men, with whose aid England was now governed, he demanded a force of twelve thousand veterans, with a plentiful supply of provisions and military stores, and the round sum of one hundred thousand pounds in ready money. On the day of his departure, his friends assembled at Whitehall; three ministers solemnly invoked the blessing of God on the arms of his saints; and three officers, Goff, Harrison and the lord lieutenant himself, expounded the scriptures “excellently well, and pertinently to the occasion."[b] After these outpourings of the spirit, Cromwell mounted his carriage, drawn by six horses. He was accompanied by the great officers of state and of the army; his life-guard, eighty young men, all of quality, and several holding
[Footnote 1: Cromwell received three thousand pounds for his outfit, ten pounds per day as general while he remained in England, and two thousand pounds per quarter in Ireland, besides his salary as lord lieutenant.–Council Book, July 12, No, 10.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. June 22.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. July 10.]
commissions as majors and colonels, delighted the spectators with their splendid uniforms and gallant bearing; and the streets of the metropolis resounded, as he drove towards Windsor, with the acclamations of the populace and the clangour of military music. It had been fixed that the expedition should sail from Milford Haven; but the impatience of the general was checked by the reluctance and desertion of his men. The recent transaction between Monk and O’Neil had diffused a spirit of distrust through the army. It was pronounced an apostasy from the principles on which they had fought. The exaggerated horrors of the massacre in 1641 were recalled to mind; the repeated resolutions of parliament to extirpate the native Irish, and the solemn engagement of the army to revenge the blood which had been shed, were warmly discussed; and the invectives of the leaders against the late king, when he concluded a peace with the confederate Catholics, were contrasted with their present backsliding, when they had taken the men of Ulster for their associates and for their brethren in arms. To appease the growing discontent, parliament annulled the agreement. Monk, who had returned to England, was publicly assured that, if he escaped the punishment of his indiscretion, it was on account of his past services and good intentions. Peters from the pulpit employed his eloquence to remove the blame from the grandees; and, if we may judge from the sequel, promises were made, not only that the good cause should be supported, but that the duty of revenge should be amply discharged.
While the army was thus detained in the neighbourhood
[Footnote 1: Whitelock, 413. Leicester’s Journal, 76.]
[Footnote 2: Walker, ii. 230, 243. Whitelock, 416. Leicester’s Journal, 82.]
of Milford Haven, Jones, in Dublin, reaped the laurels which Cromwell had destined for himself. The royal army advanced on both banks of the Liffy to the siege of that capital;[a] and Ormond, from his quarters at Finglass, ordered certain works to be thrown up at a place called Bogatrath. His object was to exclude the horse of the garrison from the only pasturage in their possession; but by some mishap, the working party did not reach the spot till an hour before sunrise; and Jones, sallying from the walls, overpowered the guard, and raised an alarm in the camp.[b] The confusion of the royalists encouraged him to follow up his success. Regiment after regiment was beaten: it was in vain that Ormond, aroused from his sleep, flew from post to post; the different corps acted without concert; a general panic ensued, and the whole army on the right bank fled in every direction. The artillery, tents, baggage, and ammunition fell into the hands of the conquerors, with two thousand prisoners, three hundred of whom were massacred in cold blood at the gate of the city. This was called the battle of Rathmines, a battle which destroyed the hopes of the Irish royalists, and taught men to doubt the abilities of Ormond. At court, his enemies ventured to hint suspicions of treason; but Charles, to silence their murmurs and assure him of the royal favour, sent him the order of the garter.[c]
The news of this important victory[d] hastened the
[Footnote 1: King’s Pamphlets, No. 434, xxi. Whitelock, 410, 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9. Clarendon, viii. 92, 93. Carte, Letters, ii. 394, 402, 408. Baillie, ii. 346. Ludlow, i. 257, 258. Ormond, before his defeat, confidently predicted the fall of Dublin (Carte, letters, ii. 383, 389, 391); after it, he repeatedly asserts that Jones, to magnify his own services, makes the royalists amount to eighteen, whereas, in reality, they were only eight, thousand men.–Ibid. 402, 413.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. August 1.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. August 2.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1649. August 13.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1649. August 18.]
departure of Cromwell. He sailed from Milford with a single division; his son-in-law, Ireton, followed with the remainder of the army, and a fortnight was allowed to the soldiers to refresh themselves after their voyage. The campaign was opened with the siege of Drogheda.[a] Ormond had thrown into the town a garrison of two thousand five hundred chosen men, under the command of Sir Arthur Aston, an officer who had earned a brilliant reputation by his services to the royal cause in England during the civil war. On the eighth day a sufficient breach had been effected in the wall:[b] the assailants on the first attempt were driven back with immense loss. They returned a second, perhaps a third, time to the assault, and their perseverance was at last crowned with success. But strong works with ramparts and pallisades had been constructed within the breach, from which the royalists might have long maintained a sanguinary and perhaps doubtful conflict. These entrenchments, however, whether the men were disheartened by a sudden panic, or deceived by offers of quarter–for both causes have been assigned–the enemy was suffered to occupy without resistance. Cromwell (at what particular moment is uncertain) gave orders that no one belonging to the garrison should be spared; and Aston, his officers and men, having been previously disarmed, were put to the sword. From thence the conquerors, stimulated by revenge and fanaticism, directed their fury against the townsmen, and on the next morning one thousand unresisting victims were immolated together within the walls of the great church, whither they had fled for protection.[c]
[Footnote 1: See Carte’s Ormond, ii. 84; Carte, Letters, iv. 412; Philop. Iren. i. 120; Whitelock, 428; Ludlow, i. 261; Lynch, Cambrensis Eversos, in fine; King’s Pamph. 441, 447; Ormond in Carte’s Letters, ii. 412; and Cromwell in Carlyle’s Letters and Speeches, i. 457.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. Sept. 3.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. Sept. 11.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1649. Sept. 12.]
From Drogheda the conqueror led his men, flushed with slaughter, to the seige of Wexford. The mayor and governor offered to capitulate; but whilst their commissioners were treating with Cromwell, an officer perfidiously opened the castle to the enemy; the adjacent wall was immediately scaled;[a] and, after a stubborn but unavailing resistance in the market-place, Wexford was abandoned to the mercy of the assailants. The tragedy, so recently acted at Drogheda, was renewed. No distinction was made between the defenceless inhabitant and the armed soldier; nor could the shrieks and prayers of three hundred females, who had gathered round the great cross, preserve them from the swords of these ruthless barbarians. By Cromwell himself, the number of the slain is reduced to two, by some writers it has been swelled to five, thousand.
Ormond, unable to interrupt the bloody career of his adversary, waited with impatience for the determination of O’Neil. Hitherto that chieftain had faithfully performed his engagements with the parliamentary commanders. He had thrown impediments in the way of the royalists; he had compelled Montgomery to raise the siege of Londonderry, and had rescued Coote and his small army, the last hope of the parliament in Ulster, from the fate which seemed to await them. At first the leaders in London had hesitated, now after the victory of Rathmines they publicly refused, to ratify the treaties made with him by their officers. Stung
[Footnote 1: See note (D).]
[Footnote 2: Council Book, Aug. 6, No. 67, 68, 69, 70. Journals, Aug. 10, 24. Walker, ii. 245-248. King’s Pamphlets, No. 435, xi.; 437, xxxiii. The reader must not confound this Owen Roe O’Neil with another of the same name, one of the regicides, who claimed a debt of five thousand and sixty-five pounds seventeen shillings and sixpence of the parliament, and obtained an order for it to be paid out of the forfeited lands in Ireland.–Journ. 1653, Sept. 9.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1649. Oct 12.]
with indignation, O’Neil accepted the offers of Ormond, and marched from Londonderry to join the royal army; but his progress was retarded by sickness, and he died at Clocknacter in Cavan. His officers, however, fulfilled his intentions; the arrival of the men of Ulster revived the courage of their associates; and the English general was successively foiled in his attempts upon Duncannon and Waterford. His forces already began to suffer from the inclemency of the season, when Lord Broghill, who had lately returned from England, debauched the fidelity of the regiments under Lord Inchiquin. The garrisons of Cork, Youghal, Bandon, and Kinsale declared for the parliament, and Cromwell seized the opportunity to close the campaign and place his followers in winter quarters.
But inactivity suited not his policy or inclination. After seven weeks of repose he again summoned them into the field;[a] and at the head of twenty thousand men, well appointed and disciplined, confidently anticipated the entire conquest of Ireland. The royalists were destitute of money, arms, and ammunition; a pestilential disease, introduced with the cargo of a ship from Spain, ravaged their quarters; in the north, Charlemont alone acknowledged the royal authority; in Leinster and Munster, almost every place of importance had been wrested from them by force or perfidy; and even in Connaught, their last refuge, internal dissension prevented that union which alone could save them from utter destruction. Their misfortunes called into
[Footnote 1: Phil. Iren. i. 231. Carte’s Ormond, ii. 102. Desid. Curios. Hib. ii. 521.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. Jan. 29.]
action the factions which had lain dormant since the departure of the nuncio. The recent treachery of Inchiquin’s forces had engendered feelings of jealousy and suspicion; and many contended that it was better to submit at once to the conqueror than to depend on the doubtful fidelity of the lord lieutenant. Cromwell met with little resistance: wherever he came, he held out the promise of life and liberty of conscience; but the rejection of the offer, though it were afterwards accepted, was punished with the blood of the officers; and, if the place were taken by force, with indiscriminate slaughter. Proceeding on this plan, one day granting quarter, another putting the leaders only to the sword, and on the next immolating the whole garrison, hundreds of human beings at a time, he quickly reduced most of the towns and castles in the three counties of Limerick, Tipperary, and Kilkenny. But this bloody policy at length recoiled upon its author. Men, with no alternative but victory or death, learned to fight with the energy of despair. At the siege of Kilkenny the assailants, though twice repulsed from the breach, were, by the timidity of some of the inhabitants,
[Footnote 1: Liberty of conscience he explained to mean liberty of internal belief, not of external worship.–See his letter in Phil. Iren. i. 270.]
[Footnote 2: The Irish commanders disdained to imitate the cruelty of their enemies. “I took,” says Lord Castlehaven, “Athy by storm, with all the garrison (seven hundred men) prisoners. I made a present of them to Cromwell, desiring him by letter that he would do the like with me, as any of mine should fall in 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."–Castlehaven, 107. Ormond also says, in one of his letters, “the next day Rathfarnham was taken 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."–Carte, Letters, ii. 408.]
admitted within the walls; yet, so obstinate was the resistance of the garrison, that, to spare his own men, the general consented to grant them honourable terms. From Kilkenny he proceeded to the town of Clonmel,[a] where Hugh, the son of the deceased O’Neil, commanded with one thousand two hundred of the best troops of Ulster. The duration of the siege exhausted his patience; the breach was stormed a second time; and, after a conflict of four hours, the English were driven back with considerable loss.[b] The garrison, however, had expended their ammunition; they took advantage of the confusion of the enemy to depart during the darkness of the night; and the townsmen the next morning, keeping the secret, obtained from Cromwell a favourable capitulation.[c] This was his last exploit in Ireland. From Clonmel he was recalled to England to undertake a service of greater importance and difficulty, to which the reader must now direct his attention.
The young king, it will be remembered, had left the Hague on his circuitous route to Ireland, whither he had been called by the advice of Ormond and the wishes of the royalists.[d] He was detained three months at St. Germains by the charms of a mistress or the intrigues of his courtiers, nor did he reach the island of Jersey till long after the disastrous battle of Rathmines.[e] That event made his further progress a matter of serious discussion; and the difficulty was increased by the arrival of Wynram of Libertoun, with addresses from the parliament and the kirk of Scotland.[f] The first offered, on his acknowledgment of their authority as a parliament, to treat with him respecting the
[Footnote 1: Whitelock, 449, 456. Castlehaven, 108. Ludlow, i. 265. Perfect Politician, 70.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. March 28.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. May 8.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. May 10.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1649. June.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1649. September.] [Sidenote f: A.D. 1649. October.]
conditions proposed by their former commissioners; but the latter, in language unceremonious and insulting, laid before him the sins of his youth; his refusal to allow the Son of God to reign over him in the pure ordinances of church government and worship; his cleaving to counsellors who never had the glory of God or the good of his people before their eyes; his admission to his person of that “fugacious man and excommunicate rebel, James Graham” and, above all, “his giving the royal power and strength to the beast,” by concluding a peace “with the Irish papists, the murderers of so many Protestants.” They bade him remember the iniquities of his father’s house, and be assured that, unless he laid aside the “service-book, so stuffed with Romish corruptions, for the reformation of doctrine and worship agreed upon by the divines at Westminster,” and approved of the covenant in his three kingdoms, without which the people could have no security for their religion or liberty, he would find that the Lord’s anger was not turned away, but that his hand was still stretched against the royal person and his family.
This coarse and intemperate lecture was not calculated to make a convert of a young and spirited prince. Instead of giving an answer, he waited to ascertain the opinion of Ormond; and at last, though inclination prompted him to throw himself into the arms of his Irish adherents, he reluctantly submitted to the authority of that officer, who declared, that the only way to preserve Ireland was by provoking a war between England and Scotland. Charles now condescended[a]
[Footnote 1: Clar. State Papers, iii. App. 89-92. Carte’s Letters, i. 323. Whitelock, 439. The address of the kirk was composed by Mr. Wood, and disapproved by the more moderate.–Baillie, ii. 339, 345.]
[Footnote 2: Carte’s Letters, i. 333, 340.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. Jan. 11.]
to give to the convention the title of estates of parliament, appointed Breda, a small town, the private patrimony of the prince of Orange, for the place of treaty; and met[a] there the new commissioners, the earls of Cassilis and Lothian, with two barons, two burgesses, and three ministers. Their present scarcely differed from their former demands; nor were they less unpalatable to the king. To consent to them appeared to him an apostasy from the principles for which his father fought and died; an abandonment of the Scottish friends of his family to the mercy of his and their enemies. On the other hand, the prince of Orange importuned him to acquiesce; many of his counsellors suggested that, if he were once on the throne, he might soften or subdue the obstinacy of the Scottish parliament; and his mother, by her letters, exhorted him not to sacrifice to his feelings this his last resource, the only remaining expedient for the recovery of his three kingdoms. But the king had still another resource; he sought delays; his eyes were fixed on the efforts of his friends in the north of Scotland; and he continued to indulge a hope of being replaced without conditions on the ancient throne of his ancestors.
Before the king left St. Germains[b] he had given to Montrose a commission to raise the royal standard in Scotland. The fame of that nobleman secured to him a gracious reception from the northern sovereigns; he visited each court in succession; and in all obtained permission to levy men, and received aid either in money or in military stores. In autumn he despatched the first expedition of twelve thousand men from
[Footnote 1: Carte’s Letters, i. 338, 355. Whitelock, 430. Clarendon, iii. 343.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. March 15.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. August.]
Gottenburg under the Lord Kinnoul; but the winds and waves fought against the royalists; several sail were lost among the rocks; and, when Kinnoul landed[a] at Kirkwall in the Orkneys, he could muster only eighty officers and one hundred common soldiers out of the whole number. But Montrose was not to be appalled by ordinary difficulties. Having received[b] from the new king the order of the garter, he followed with five hundred men, mostly foreigners; added them to the wreck of the first expedition, and to the new levies, and then found himself at the head of a force of more than one thousand men. His banners on which was painted a representation of the late king decapitated, with this motto, “Judge and avenge my cause, O Lord,” was intrusted to young Menzies of Pitfoddels, and a declaration was circulated through the Highlands, calling upon all true Scotsmen to aid in establishing their king upon the throne, and in saving him from the treachery of those, who, if they had him in their power, would sell him as they had sold his father to English rebels. Having transported[c] his whole force from Holm Sound to the Northern extremity of Caithness, he traversed that and the neighbouring county of Sutherland, calling on the natives to join the standard of their sovereign. But his name had now lost that magic influence which success had once thrown around it; and the several clans shunned his approach through fear, or watched his progress as foes. In the mean time his declaration had been solemnly burnt[d] by the hangman in the capital; the pulpits had poured out denunciations against the “rebel and apostate Montrose, the viperous brood of Satan, and the accursed of God and the kirk;” and a force of four thousand regulars had been collected
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1644. October.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. Jan. 12.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. March.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. Feb. 9.]
on Brechin Moor under the command of General Leslie, who was careful to cut off every source of information from the royalists. Montrose had reached[a] the borders of Ross-shire, when Colonel Strachan, who had been sent forward to watch his motions, learned[b] in Corbiesdale that the royalists, unsuspicious of danger, lay at the short distance of only two miles.
Calling his men around him under the cover of the long broom on the moor, he prayed, sang a psalm, and declared that he had consulted the Almighty, and knew as assuredly as there was a God in heaven, that the enemies of Christ were delivered into their hands. Then dividing his small force of about four hundred men into several bodies, he showed at first a single troop of horse, whom the royalists prepared to receive with their cavalry; but after a short interval, appeared a second, then a third, then a fourth; and Montrose believing that Leslie’s entire army was advancing, ordered the infantry to take shelter among the brushwood and stunted trees on a neighbouring eminence. But before this movement could be executed, his horse were broken, and his whole force lay at the mercy of the enemy. The standard-bearer with several officers and most of the natives were slain; the mercenaries made a show of resistance, and obtained quarter; and Montrose, whose horse had been killed under him, accompanied by Kinnoul, wandered on foot, without a guide, up the valley of the Kyle, and over the mountains of Sutherland. Kinnoul, unable to bear the hunger and fatigue, was left and perished; Montrose, on the third day,[c] obtained refreshment at the hut of a shepherd; and, being afterwards discovered, claimed the protection of Macleod of Assynt, who had formerly served under him in the royal army. But the
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. April 25.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. April 27.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. April 30.]
fidelity of the laird was not proof against temptation; he sold[a] the king’s lieutenant for four hundred bolls of meal; and Argyle and his associates, almost frantic with joy, passed an act to regulate the ignominious treatment to which their captive should be subjected, the form of the judgment to be pronounced, and the manner of his subsequent execution. When Montrose reached[b] the capital, he found the magistrates in their robes waiting to receive him. First the royal officers, twenty-three in number, were ranged in two files, and ordered to walk forward manacled and bareheaded; next came the hangman with his bonnet on his head, dressed in the livery of his office, and mounted on his horse that drew a vehicle of new form devised for the occasion; and then on this vehicle was seen Montrose himself, seated on a lofty form, and pinioned, and uncovered. The procession paraded slowly through the city from the Watergate to the common jail, whilst the streets resounded with shouts of triumph, and with every expression of hatred which religious or political fanaticism could inspire.
From his enemies Montrose could expect no mercy; but his death was hastened, that the king might not have time to intercede in his favour. The following day, a Sunday, was indeed given to prayer; but on the next the work of vengeance was resumed, and the captive was summoned[c] before the parliament. His features, pale and haggard, showed the fatigue and privations which he had endured; but his dress was
[Footnote 1: Carte’s Letters, i. 345. Balfour, iii. 432, 439; iv. 8-13. Whitelock, 435, 452, 453, 454, 455. Clarendon, iii. 348-353. Laing, iii. 443. The neighbouring clans ravaged the lands of Assynt to revenge the fate of Montrose, and the parliament granted in return to Macleod twenty thousand pounds Scots out of the fines to be levied on the royalists in Caithness and Orkney.–Balf. iv. 52, 56.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. May 17.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. May 18.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. May 20.]
splendid, his mien fearless, his language calm, firm, and dignified. To the chancellor, who, in a tone of bitterness and reprobation, enumerated the offences with which he was charged, he replied, that since the king had condescended to treat with them as estates, it became not a subject to dispute their authority; but that the apostasy and rebellion with which they reproached him were, in his estimation, acts of duty. Whatever he had done, either in the last or present reign, had been done with the sanction of the sovereign. If he had formerly taken up arms, it had been to divert his countrymen from the impious war which they waged against the royal authority in England; if now, his object was to accelerate the existing negotiation between them and their new king. As a Christian, he had always supported that cause which his conscience approved; as a subject, he always fought in support of his prince; and as a neighbour, he had frequently preserved the lives of those who had forfeited them against him in battle. The chancellor, in return, declared him a murderer of his fellow-subjects, an enemy to the covenant and the peace of the kingdom, and an agitator, whose ambition had helped to destroy the father, and was now employed for the destruction of the son. Judgment, which had been passed in parliament some days before, was then pronounced, by the dempster, that James Graham should be hanged for the space of three hours on a gibbet thirty feet high, that his head should be fixed on a spike in Edinburgh, his arms on the gates of Perth or Stirling, his legs on those of Glasgow and Aberdeen, and his body be interred by the hangman on the burrowmuir, unless he were previously released from excommunication by the kirk. During this trying scene, his enemies eagerly watched his demeanour. Twice, if we may believe report, he was heard to sigh, and his eyes occasionally wandered along the cornice of the hall. But he stood before them cool and collected; no symptom of perturbation marked his countenance, no expression of complaint or impatience escaped his lips; he showed himself superior to insult, and unscarred at the menaces of death.
The same high tone of feeling supported the unfortunate victim to the last gasp. When the ministers admonished[a] him that his punishment in this world was but a shadow of that which awaited him in the next, he indignantly replied, that he gloried in his fate, and only lamented that he had not limbs sufficient to furnish every city in Christendom with proofs of his loyalty. On the scaffold, he maintained the uprightness of his conduct, praised the character of the present king, and appealed from the censures of the kirk to the justice of Heaven. As a last disgrace, the executioner hung round his neck his late declaration, with the history of his former exploits. He smiled at the malice of his enemies, and said that they had given. him a more brilliant decoration than the garter with which he had been honoured by his sovereign. Montrose, by his death, won more proselytes to the royal cause than he had ever made by his victories. He was in his thirty-eighth year.
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 13, 15, 16, 19-22. Wishart, 389. Clar. iii. 353-356. Whitelock, 456. Colonel Hurry, whom the reader has seen successively serving under the king and the parliament in the civil war; Spotiswood, the grandson of the archbishop of that name; Sir W. Hay, who had been forefaulted as a Catholic in 1647; Sibbald, the confidential envoy of Montrose, and several others, were beheaded. Of the common soldiers, some were given to different lords to be fishermen or miners, and the rest enrolled in regiments in the French service.–Balfour, iv. 18, 27, 28, 32, 33, 44.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. May 21.]
Long before this the commissioners from both parties had met at Breda; and, on the very day of the opening of the conferences, Charles had despatched[a] an order to Montrose to proceed according to his instructions, and to bear in mind that the success of the negotiation at Breda depended on the success of his arms in Scotland. A month afterwards[b] he commended in strong terms the loyalty of Lord Napier, and urged him to repair without delay to the aid of his lieutenant. It is impossible after this to doubt of his approbation of the attempt; but, when the news arrived of the action at Corbiesdale, his eyes were opened to the danger which threatened him; the estates, in the insolence of victory, might pass an act to exclude him at once from the succession to the Scottish throne. Acting, therefore, after the unworthy precedent set by his father respecting the powers given to Glamorgan, he wrote[c] to the parliament, protesting that the invasion made by Montrose had been expressly forbidden by him, and begging that they “would do him the justice to believe that he had not been accessory to it in the least degree;” in confirmation of which the secretary at the same time assured Argyle that the king felt no regret for the defeat of a man who had presumed to draw the sword “without and contrary to the royal command.” These letters arrived[d] too late
[Footnote 1: Carte, iv. 626.]
[Footnote 2: Napier’s Montrose, ii. 528. Yet on May 5th the king signed an article, stipulating that Montrose should lay down his arms, receiving a full indemnity for all that was past.–Carte, iv. 630. This article reached Edinburgh before the execution of Montrose, and was kept secret. I see not, however, what benefit he could claim from it. He had not laid down arms in obedience to it; for he had been defeated a week before it was signed.]
[Footnote 3: Balfour, iv. 24, 25. Yet on May 15th Charles wrote to Montrose to act according to the article in the last note.–Ibid.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. March 15.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. April 15.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. May 12.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. May 25.]
to be of injury to the unfortunate victim, whose limbs were already bleaching on the gates of the principal towns in Scotland; but the falsehood so confidently put forth must cover with infamy the prince who could thus, to screen himself from the anger of his enemies, calumniate the most devoted of his followers, one who had so often perilled, and at length forfeited, his life in defence of the throne.
Charles had now no resource but to submit with the best grace to the demands of the Scots. He signed the treaty,[a] binding himself to take the Scottish covenant and the solemn league and covenant; to disavow and declare null the peace with the Irish, and never to permit the free exercise of the Catholic religion in Ireland, or any other part of his dominions; to acknowledge the authority of all parliaments held since the commencement of the late war; and to govern, in civil matters, by advice of the parliament, in religious, by that of the kirk. These preliminaries being settled,[b] he embarked on board a small squadron furnished by the prince of Orange, and, after a perilous navigation of three weeks, during which he had to contend with the stormy weather, and to elude the pursuit of the parliamentary cruisers, he arrived in safety in the Frith of Cromartie.[c] The king was received with the honours due to his dignity; a court with proper officers was prepared for him at Falkland, and the sum of one hundred thousand pounds Scots, or nine thousand pounds English, was voted for the monthly expense of his household. But the parliament had previously[d] passed an act banishing from Scotland several of the royal favourites by name, and excluding the “engagers” from the verge of the court, and all employment
[Footnote 1: Thurloe, i. 147.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. May 13.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. June 2.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. June 23.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. June 4.]
in the state. After repeated applications, the duke of Buckingham, the Lord Wilmot, and a few English servants, who took the covenant, obtained permission to remain with the king; many of the Scottish exiles embraced the opportunity to withdraw from notice into the western isles, or the more distant parts of the country.
It was the negotiation between the Scots and their nominal king that arrested Cromwell in the career of victory, and called him away from the completion of his conquest. The rulers of the commonwealth were aware of the intimate connection which the solemn league and covenant had produced between the English Presbyterians and the kirk of Scotland, whence they naturally inferred that, if the pretender to the English were once seated on the Scottish throne, their own power would he placed on a very precarious footing. From the first they had watched with jealousy the unfriendly proceedings of the Scottish parliament. Advice and persuasion had been tried, and had failed. There remained the resource of war; and war, it was hoped, would either compel the Scots to abandon the claims of Charles, or reduce Scotland to a province of the commonwealth. Fairfax, indeed (he was supposed to be under the influence of a Presbyterian wife and of the Presbyterian ministers), disapproved of the design; but his disapprobation, though lamented in public, was privately hailed as a benefit by those who were acquainted with the aspiring designs of Cromwell, and built on his elevation the flattering hope of their own greatness. By their means, as soon as the
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 41, 60, 61, 64, 65, 67, 73, 77, 78. Whitelock, 462. Clarendon, iii. 346, 356, 357.]
[Footnote 2: Whitelock, 438.]
lord lieutenant had put his troops into winter quarters, an order was obtained from parliament for him to attend his duty in the house; but he resumed his military operations,[a] and two months were suffered to elapse before he noticed the command of the supreme authority, and condescended to make an unmeaning apology for his disobedience.[b] On the renewal of the order,[c] he left the command in Ireland to Ireton, and, returning to England, appeared in his seat.[d] He was received with acclamations; the palace of St. James’s was allotted for his residence, and a valuable grant of lands was voted[e] as a reward for his eminent services. In a few days followed the appointment of Fairfax to the office of commander-in-chief,[f] and of Cromwell to that of lieutenant-general of the army designed to be employed in Scotland. Each signified his “readiness to observe the orders of the house;” but Fairfax at the same time revealed his secret and conscientious objections to the council of state. A deputation of five members, Cromwell, Lambert, Harrison, Whitelock, and St. John, waited on him at his house;[g] the conference was opened by a solemn invocation of the Holy Spirit, and the three officers prayed in succession with the most edifying fervour. Then Fairfax said that, to his mind, the invasion of Scotland appeared a violation of the solemn league and covenant which he had sworn to observe. It was replied that the Scots themselves had broken the league by the invasion of England under the duke of Hamilton; and that it was always lawful to prevent the hostile designs of another power. But he answered that the Scottish parliament had given satisfaction by the punishment of the guilty; that the probability of hostile designs ought indeed to lead to measures of precaution, but that certainty was
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. Jan. 8.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. April 2.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. May 30.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. June 4.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1650. June 12.] [Sidenote f: A.D. 1650. June 14.] [Sidenote g: A.D. 1650. June 24.]
required to justify actual invasion. No impression was made on his mind; and, though Cromwell and his brother officers earnestly solicited him to comply, “there was cause enough,” says one of the deputation, “to believe that they did not overmuch desire it." The next day[a] another attempt ended with as little success; the lord general alleging the plea of infirm health and misboding conscience, sent back the last commission, and at the request of the house, the former also; and the chief command of all the forces raised, or to be raised by order of parliament, was conferred on Oliver Cromwell.[b] Thus this adventurer obtained at the same time the praise of moderation and the object of his ambition. Immediately he left the capital for Scotland;[c] and Fairfax retired to his estate in Yorkshire, where he lived with the privacy of a country gentleman, till he once more drew the sword, not in support of the commonwealth, but in favour of the king.
To a spectator who considered the preparations of the two kingdoms, there could be little doubt of the result. Cromwell passed the Tweed[d] at the head of sixteen thousand men, most of them veterans, all habituated to military discipline, before the raw levies of the Scots had quitted their respective shires. By order of the Scottish parliament, the army had been fixed at thirty thousand men; the nominal command had been given to the earl of Leven, the real, on account of the age and infirmities of that officer, to his relative, David Leslie, and instructions had been
[Footnote 1: Whitelock, 460, 462. Ludlow says, “he acted his part so to the life, that I really thought him in earnest; but the consequence made it sufficiently evident that he had no such intention” (i. 272). Hutchinson, who was present on one of these occasions, thought him sincere.–Hutchinson, 315.]
[Footnote 2: Whitelock, 438, 450, 457. Journals, Jan. 8, Feb. 25, March 30, April 15, May 2, 7, 30, June 4, 12, 14, 25, 26.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. June 25.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. June 26.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. June 29.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. July 16.]
issued that the country between Berwick and the capital should be laid waste, that the cattle and provisions should be removed or destroyed, and that the inhabitants should abandon their homes under the penalties of infamy, confiscation, and death. In aid of this measure, reports were industriously circulated of the cruelties exercised by Cromwell in Ireland; that, wherever he came, he gave orders to put all the males between sixteen and sixty to death, to deprive all the boys between six and sixteen of their right hands, and to bore the breasts of the females with red-hot irons. The English were surprised at the silence and desolation which reigned around them; for the only human beings whom they met on their march through this wilderness, were a few old women and children who on their knees solicited mercy. But Cromwell conducted them by the sea coast; the fleet daily supplied them with provisions, and their good conduct gradually dispelled the apprehensions of the natives. They found[a] the Scottish levies posted behind a deep intrenchment, running from Edinburgh to Leith, fortified with numerous batteries, and flanked by the cannon of the castle at one extremity, and of the harbour at the other. Cromwell employed all his art to provoke Leslie to avoid an engagement. It was in vain that for more than a month the former marched and countermarched; that he threatened general, and made partial, attacks. Leslie remained fixed within his lines; or, if he occasionally moved,
[Footnote 1: Whitelock, 465, 466, 468. Perfect Diurnal, No. 324. See the three declarations: that of the parliament on the marching of the army; of the army itself, addressed “to all that are saints and partakers of the faith of God’s elect in Scotland;” and, the third, from Cromwell, dated at Berwick, in the Parliamentary History, xix. 276, 298, 310; King’s Pamphlets, 473.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. July 28.]
watched the motions of the enemy from the nearest mountains, or interposed a river or morass between the two armies. The English began to be exhausted with fatigue; sickness thinned their ranks; the arrival of provisions depended on the winds and waves; and Cromwell was taught to fear, not the valour of the enemy, but the prudence of their general.
The reader will already have observed how much at this period the exercises of religion were mixed up with the concerns of state and even the operations of war. Both parties equally believed that the result of the expedition depended on the will of the Almighty, and that it was, therefore, their duty to propitiate his anger by fasting and humiliation. In the English army the officers prayed and preached: they “sanctified the camp,” and exhorted the men to unity of mind and godliness of life. Among the Scots this duty was discharged by the ministers; and so fervent was their piety, so merciless their zeal, that, in addition to their prayers, they occasionally compelled the young king to listen to six long sermons on the same day, during which he assumed an air of gravity, and displayed feelings of devotion, which ill-accorded with his real disposition. But the English had no national crime to deplore; by punishing the late king, they had atoned for the evils of the civil war; the Scots, on the contrary, had adopted his son without any real proof of his conversion, and therefore feared that they might draw down on the country the punishment due to his sins and those of his family. It happened[a] that Charles, by the advice of the earl of Eglington, presumed to visit the army on the Links of
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 87, 88, 90. Whitelock, 467, 468.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. July 29.]
Leith. He was received with shouts of enthusiasm by the soldiers, who, on their knees, pledged the health of their young sovereign; but the committee of the kirk complained[a] that his presence led to ebriety and profaneness, and he received a request,[b] equivalent to a command, to quit the camp. The next day a declaration was made, that the company of malignants, engagers, and enemies to the covenant, could not fail of multiplying the judgments of God upon the land; an inquiry was instituted into the characters of numerous individuals; and eighty officers, with many of their men, were cashiered,[c] that they might not contaminate by their presence the army of the saints. Still it was for Charles Stuart, the chief of the malignants, that they were to fight, and therefore from him, to appease the anger of the Almighty, an expiatory declaration was required[d] in the name of the parliament and the kirk.
In this instrument he was called upon to lament, in the language of penitence and self-abasement, his father’s opposition to the work of God and to the solemn league and covenant, which had caused the blood of the Lord’s people to be shed, and the idolatry of his mother, the toleration of which in the king’s house could not fail to be a high provocation against him who is a jealous God, visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children; to declare that he had subscribed the covenant with sincerity of heart, and would have no friends nor enemies but those who were friends or enemies to it; to acknowledge the sinfulness of the treaty with the bloody rebels in Ireland, which he was made to pronounce null and void; to detest popery and prelacy, idolatry and heresy, schism
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 86, 89.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. August 2.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. August 3.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. August 5.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. August 9.]
and profaneness; and to promise that he would accord to a free parliament in England the propositions of the two kingdoms, and reform the church of England according to the plan devised by the assembly of divines at Westminster.
When first this declaration, so humbling to his pride, so offensive to his feelings, was presented[a] to Charles for his signature, he returned[b] an indignant refusal; a little reflection induced him to solicit the advice of the council, and the opinion of the principal ministers. But the godly refused to wait; the two committees of the kirk and kingdom protested[c] that they disowned the quarrel and interest of every malignant party, disclaimed the guilt of the king and his house, and would never prosecute his interest without his acknowledgment of the sins of his family and of his former ways, and his promise of giving satisfaction to God’s people in both kingdoms. This protestation was printed and furtively sent to the English camp; the officers of the army presented[d] to the committee of estates a remonstrance and supplication expressive of their adhesion; and the ministers maintained from their pulpits that the king was the root of malignancy, and a hypocrite, who had taken the covenant without an intention of keeping it. Charles, yielding to his own fears and the advice of his friends; at the end of three days subscribed,[e] with tears, the obnoxious instrument. If it were folly in the Scots to propose to the young prince a declaration so repugnant to his feelings and opinions, it was greater folly still to believe that professions of repentance extorted
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 92. Whitelock, 469. “A declaration by the king’s majesty to his subjects of the kingdoms of Scotland, England, and Ireland." Printed 1650.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. August 10.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. August 13.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. August 14.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. August 15.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1650. August 16.]
with so much violence could be sincere or satisfactory; yet his subscription was received with expressions of joy and gratitude; both the army and the city observed a solemn fast for the sins of the two kings, the father and the son; and the ministers, now that the anger of Heaven had been appeased, assured their hearers of an easy victory over a “blaspheming general and a sectarian army."
If their predictions were not verified, the fault was undoubtedly their own. The caution and vigilance of Leslie had triumphed over the skill and activity of “the blasphemer.” Cromwell saw no alternative but victory or retreat: of the first he had no doubt, if he could come in contact with the enemy; the second was a perilous attempt, when the passes before him were pre-occupied, and a more numerous force was hanging on his rear. At Musselburg, having sent the sick on board the fleet (they suffered both from the “disease of the country,” and from fevers caused by exposure on the Pentland hills), he ordered[a] the army to march the next morning to Haddington, and thence to Dunbar; and the same night a meteor, which the imagination of the beholders likened to a sword of fire, was seen to pass over Edinburgh in a south-easterly direction, an evident presages in the opinion of the Scots, that the flames of war would be transferred
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 91, 92, 95. The English parliament in their answer exclaim: “What a blessed and hopeful change is wrought in a moment in this young king! How hearty is he become to the cause of God and the work of reformation. How readily doth he swallow down these bitter pills, which are prepared for and urged upon him, as necessary to effect that desperate care under which his affairs lie! But who sees not the crass hypocrisy of this whole transaction, and the sandy and rotten foundation of all the resolutions flowing hereupon?"–See Parliamentary History, xix. 359-386.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. August 30.]
to the remotest extremity of England. At Dunbar, Cromwell posted his men in the vicinity of Broxmouth House; Leslie with the Scots moving along the heights of Lammermuir, occupied[a] a position on the Doon Hill, about two miles to the south of the invaders; and the advanced posts of the armies were separated only by a ravine of the depth and breadth of about thirty feet. Cromwell was not ignorant of the danger of his situation; he had even thought of putting the infantry on board the fleet, and of attempting to escape with the cavalry by the only outlet, the high road to Berwick; but the next moment he condemned the thought as “a weakness of the flesh, a distrust in the power of the Almighty;” and ordered the army “to seek the Lord, who would assuredly find a way of deliverance for his faithful servants.” On the other side the committees of the kirk and estates exulted in the prospect of executing the vengeance of God upon “the sectaries;” and afraid that the enemy should escape, compelled their general to depart from his usual caution, and to make preparation for battle. Cromwell, with his officers, had spent part of the day in calling upon the Lord; while he prayed, the enthusiast felt an enlargement of the heart, a buoyancy of spirit, which he took for an infallible presage of victory; and, beholding through his glass the motion in the Scottish camp, he exclaimed, “They are coming down; the Lord hath delivered them into our hands." During the
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 94.]
[Footnote 2: Sagredo, the Venetian ambassador, in his relation to the senate, says that Cromwell pretended to have been assured of the victory by a supernatural voice. Prima che venisse alla battaglia, diede cuore ai soldati con assicurargli la vittoria predettagli da Dio, con una voce, che lo aveva a mezza notte riscosso dal sonno. MS. copy in my possession.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. August 31.]
night, he advanced the army to the edge of the ravine; and at an early hour in the morning[a] the Scots attempted to seize the pass on the road from Dunbar to Berwick. After a sharp contest, the Scottish lancers, aided by their artillery, charged down the hill, drove the brigade of English cavalry from its position, and broke through the infantry, which had advanced to the support of the horse. At that moment the sun made its appearance above the horizon; and Cromwell, turning to his own regiment of foot, exclaimed, “Let the Lord arise, and scatter his enemies.” They instantly moved forward with their pikes levelled; the horse rallied; and the enemy’s lancers hesitated, broke, and fled. At that moment the mist dispersed, and the first spectacle which struck the eyes of the Scots, was the route of their cavalry. A sudden panic instantly spread from the right to the left of their line; at the approach of the English they threw down their arms and ran. Cromwell’s regiment halted to sing the 117th Psalm; but the pursuit was continued for more than eight miles; the dead bodies of three thousand Scots strewed their native soil; and ten thousand prisoners, with the artillery, ammunition, and baggage, became the reward of the conquerors.
Cromwell now thought no more of his retreat. He marched back to the capital; the hope of resistance was abandoned; Edinburgh and Leith opened their gates, and the whole country to the Forth submitted
[Footnote 1: Carte’s Letters, i. 381. Whitelock, 470, 471. Ludlow, i. 283. Balfour, iv. 97. Several proceedings, No. 50. Parl. Hist. xix. 343-352, 478. Cromwelliana, 89. Of the prisoners, five thousand one hundred, something more than one-half, being wounded, were dismissed to their homes, the other half were driven “like turkies” into England. Of these, one thousand six hundred died of a pestilential disease, and five hundred were actually sick on Oct 31.–Whitelock, 471. Old Parl. Hist. xix. 417.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. Sept. 3.]
to the will of the English general. Still the presumption of the six ministers who formed the committee of the kirk was not humbled. Though their predictions had been falsified, they were still the depositaries of the secrets of the Deity; and, in a “Short Declaration and Warning,” they announced[a] to their countrymen the thirteen causes of this national calamity, the reasons why “God had veiled for a time his face from the sons of Jacob.” It was by the general profaneness of the land, by the manifest provocations of the king and the king’s house, by the crooked and precipitant ways of statesmen in the treaty of Breda, by the toleration of malignants in the king’s household, by suffering his guard to join in the battle without a previous purgation, by the diffidence of some officers who refused to profit by advantages furnished to them by God, by the presumption of others who promised victory to themselves without eyeing of God, by the rapacity and oppression exercised by the soldiery, and by the carnal self-seeking of men in power, that God had been provoked to visit his people with so direful and yet so merited a chastisement.
To the young king the defeat at Dunbar was a subject of real and ill-dissembled joy. Hitherto he had been a mere puppet in the hands of Argyle and his party; now their power was broken, and it was not impossible for him to gain the ascendancy. He entered into a negotiation with Murray, Huntley, Athol, and the numerous royalists in the Highlands; but the secret, without the particulars, was betrayed to Argyle,[b] probably by Buckingham, who disapproved of the project; and all the cavaliers but three received an order to leave the court in twenty-four hours–the
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 98-107.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. Sept. 12.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. Sept. 27.]
kingdom in twenty days. The vigilance of the guards prevented the execution of the plan which had been laid; but one afternoon, under pretence of hawking, Charles escaped[a] from Perth, and riding forty-two miles, passed the night in a miserable hovel, called Clova, la the braes of Angus. At break of day he was overtaken by Colonel Montgomery, who advised him[b] to return, while the Viscount Dudhope urged him to proceed to the mountains, where he would be joined by seven thousand armed men. Charles wavered; but Montgomery directed his attention to two regiments of horse that waited at a distance to intercept his progress, and the royal fugitive consented[c] to return to his former residence in Perth.
The Start (so this adventure was called) proved, however, a warning to the committee of estates. They prudently admitted the apology of the king, who attributed[d] his flight to information that he was that day to have been delivered to Cromwell; they allowed[e] him, for the first time, to preside at their deliberations; and they employed his authority to pacify the royalists in the Highlands, who had taken arms[f] in his name under Huntley, Athol, Seaforth, and Middleton. These, after a long negotiation, accepted an act of indemnity, and disbanded their forces.
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 109, 113, 114. Baillie, ii. 356. Whitelock, 476. Miscellanea Aulica, 152. It seems probable from some letters published in the correspondence of Mr. Secretary Nicholas, that Charles had planned his escape from the “villany and hypocrisy” of the party, as early as the day of the battle of Dunbar.–Evelyn’s Mem. v. 181-186, octavo.]
[Footnote 2: Balfour, iv. 118, 123, 129-135, 160. Baillie, ii. 356. A minister, James Guthrie, in defiance of the committee of estates, excommunicated Middleton; and such was the power of the kirk, that even when the king’s party was superior, Middleton was compelled to do penance in sackcloth in the church of Dundee, before he could obtain absolution preparatory to his taking a command in the army.–Baillie, 357. Balfour, 240.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. Oct. 4.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. Oct. 5.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. Oct. 6.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. Oct. 10.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1650. Oct. 12.] [Sidenote f: A.D. 1650. Nov. 4.]
In the mean while Cromwell in his quarters at Edinburgh laboured to unite the character of the saint with that of the conqueror; and, surrounded as he was with the splendour of victory, to surprise the world by a display of modesty and self-abasement. To his friends and flatterers, who fed his vanity by warning him to be on his guard against its suggestions, he replied, that he “had been a dry bone, and was still an unprofitable servant,” a mere instrument in the hands of Almighty power; if God had risen in his wrath, if he had bared his arm and avenged his cause, to him, and to him alone, belonged the glory. Assuming the office of a missionary, he exhorted his officers in daily sermons to love one another, to repent from dead works, and to pray and mourn for the blindness of their Scottish adversaries; and, pretending to avail himself of his present leisure, he provoked a theological controversy with the ministers in the castle of Edinburgh, reproaching them with pride in arrogating to themselves the right of expounding the true sense of the solemn league and covenant; vindicating the claim of laymen to preach the gospel and exhibit their spiritual gifts for the edification of their brethren; and maintaining that, after the solemn fasts observed by both nations, after their many and earnest appeals to the God of armies, the victory gained at Dunbar must be admitted an evident manifestation of the divine will in favour of the English commonwealth. Finding that he made no proselytes of his opponents, he published his arguments for the instruction of the Scottish people; but his zeal did not
[Footnote 1: See a number of letters in Milton’s State Papers, 18-35.]
escape suspicion; and the more discerning believed that, under the cover of a religious controversy, he was in reality tampering with the fidelity of the governor.
In a short time his attention was withdrawn to a more important controversy, which ultimately spread the flames of religious discord throughout the nation. There had all along existed a number of Scots who approved of the execution of the late king, and condemned even the nominal authority given to his son. Of these men, formidable by their talents, still more formidable by their fanaticism, the leaders were Wariston, the clerk register in the parliament, and Gillespie and Guthrie, two ministers in the kirk. In parliament the party, though too weak to control, was sufficiently strong to embarrass, and occasionally to influence, the proceedings; in the kirk it formed indeed the minority, but a minority too bold and too numerous to be rashly irritated or incautiously despised. After the defeat at Dunbar, permission was cheerfully granted by the committee of estates for a levy of troops in the associated counties of Renfrew, Air, Galloway, Wigton, and Dumfries, that part of Scotland where fanaticism had long fermented, and the most rigid notions prevailed. The crusade was preached by Gillespie; his efforts were successfully seconded by the other ministers, and in a short time four regiments of horse, amounting almost to five thousand men, were raised under Strachan, Kerr, and two other colonels. The real design now began to unfold itself. First, the officers refused to serve under Leslie; and the parliament consented to exempt them from his authority. Next, they hinted doubts of the
[Footnote 1: Thurloe, i. 158-163.]
[Footnote 2: Baillie, ii. 353.]
lawfulness of the war in which they were engaged; and Cromwell, in whose army Strachan had fought at Preston, immediately[a] opened a correspondence with him. Then came the accident of “the start,” which embittered and emboldened the zeal of the fanatics; and in a long remonstrance, subscribed by ministers and elders, by officers and soldiers, and presented[b] in their name to Charles and the committee of estates, they pronounced[c] the treaty with the king unlawful and sinful, disowned his interest in the quarrel with the enemy, and charged the leading men in the nation with the guilt of the war, which they had provoked by their intention of invading England. The intemperate tone and disloyal tendency of this paper, whilst it provoked irritation and alarm at Perth, induced Cromwell to advance with his army from Edinburgh to Glasgow, and Hamilton. But the western forces (so they were called) withdrew to Dumfries, where a meeting was held with Wariston, and a new draught of the remonstrance, in language still more energetic and vituperative, was adopted. On the return[d] of Cromwell to the capital, his negotiation with the officers was resumed, while Argyle and his friends laboured on the opposite side to mollify the obstinacy of the fanatics. But reasoning was found useless; the parliament condemned[e] the remonstrance as a scandalous and seditious libel; and, since Strachan had resigned[f] his commission, ordered Montgomery with three new regiments to take the command of the whole force. Kerr, however, before his arrival, had led[g] the western levy to attack Lambert in his
[Footnote 1: Baillie, ii. 350-352. Strachan was willing to give assurance not to molest England in the king’s quarrel. Cromwell insisted that Charles should be banished by act of parliament, or imprisoned for life.–Ib. 352.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. Oct. 4.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. Oct. 17.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. Oct. 22.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. Oct. 30.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1650. Nov. 25.] [Sidenote f: A.D. 1650. Nov. 28.] [Sidenote g: A.D. 1650. Dec. 1.]
quarters at Hamilton; he was taken prisoner, designedly if we may believe report, and his whole army was dispersed. Soon afterwards Strachan, with sixty troopers, passed over to Lambert, and the associated counties, left without defence, submitted to the enemy. Still the framers and advocates of the remonstrance, though they knew that it had been condemned by the state and the kirk, though they had no longer an army to draw the sword in its support, adhered pertinaciously to its principles; the unity of the Scottish church was rent in twain, and the separation was afterwards widened by a resolution of the assembly,[a] that in such a crisis all Scotsmen might be employed in the service of the country. Even their common misfortunes failed to reconcile these exasperated spirits; and after the subjugation of their country, and under the yoke of civil servitude, the two parties still continued to persecute each other with all the obstinacy and bitterness of religious warfare. The royalists obtained the name of public resolutioners; their opponents, of protestors or remonstrants.
Though it cost the young prince many an internal struggle, yet experience had taught him that he must soothe the religious prejudices of the kirk, if he hoped ever to acquire the preponderance in the state. On the first day of the new year,[b] he rode in procession to the church of Scone, where his ancestors had been accustomed to receive the Scottish crown: there on his knees, with his arm upraised, he swore by the Eternal
[Footnote 1: With the exception of persons “excommunicated, notoriously profane, or flagitious, and professed enemies and opposers of the covenant and cause of God."–Wodrow, Introd. iii.]
[Footnote 2: Baillie, ii. 348, 354-364. Balfour, iv. 136, 141-160, 173-178, 187, 189. Whitelock, 475, 476, 477, 484. Sydney Papers, ii. 679. Burnet’s Hamiltons, 425.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. Dec. 14.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. Jan. 1.]
and Almighty God to observe the two covenants; to establish the presbyterial government in Scotland and in his family; to give his assent to acts for establishing it in his other dominions; to rule according to the law of God and the lovable laws of the land; to abolish and withstand all false religions; and to root out all heretics and enemies of the true worship of God, convicted by the true church of God. Argyle then placed the crown upon his head, and seated him on the throne, and both nobility and people swore allegiance to him “according to the national covenant, and the solemn league and covenant.” At the commencement, during the ceremony, and after the conclusion, Douglas, the minister, addressed the king, reminding him that he was king by compact with his people; that his authority was limited by the law of God, the laws of the people, and the association of the estates with him in the government; that, though every breach did not dissolve the compact, yet every abuse of power to the subversion of religion, law, or liberty, justified opposition in the people; that it was for him, by his observance of the covenant, to silence those who doubted his sincerity; that the evils which had afflicted his family arose out of the apostasy of his father and grandfather; and that, if he imitated them, he would find that the controversy between him and God was not ended, but would be productive of additional calamities. The reader may imagine what were the feelings of Charles while he listened to the admonitions of the preacher, and when he swore to perform conditions which his soul abhorred, and which he knew that on the first opportunity he should break or elude. But he passed with credit through the
[Footnote 1: See “The forme and order of the Coronation of Charles II., as it was acted and done at Scoune, the first day of January, 1651.” Aberdene, 1651.]
ceremony; the coronation exalted him in the eyes of the people; and each day brought to him fresh accessions of influence and authority. The kirk delivered Strachan as a traitor and apostate to the devil; and the parliament forefaulted his associates, of whom several hastened to make their peace by a solemn recantation. Deprived of their support, the Campbells gradually yielded to the superior influence of the Hamiltons. Vexation, indeed, urged them to reproach the king with inconstancy and ingratitude; but Charles, while he employed every art to lull the jealousy of Argyle, steadily pursued his purpose; his friends, by submitting to the humbling ceremony of public penance, satisfied the severity of the kirk; and by the repeal[a] of the act of classes, they were released from all previous forfeitures and disqualifications. In April the king, with Leslie and Middleton as his lieutenants, took the command of the army, which had been raised by new levies to twenty thousand men, and, having fortified the passages of the Forth, awaited on the left bank the motions of the enemy.
In the mean while Cromwell had obtained[b] possession of the castle of Edinburgh through the perfidy or the timidity of the governor. Tantallon had been taken by storm, and Dumbarton had been attempted, but its defences were too strong to be carried by force,
[Footnote 1: Carte, Letters, ii. 26, 27. Balfour, iv. 240, 268, 281, 301. It appears from this writer that a great number of the colonels of regiments were royalists or engagers (p. 210, 213). The six brigades of horse seem to have been divided equally between old Covenanters and royalists. The seventh was not given to any general, but would be commanded by Hamilton, as the eldest colonel.–Ib. 299-301. It is therefore plain that with the king for commander-in-chief the royalists had the complete ascendancy.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. May 21.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. Dec. 19.]
and its garrison too honest to be corrupted with money. In February the lord general was afflicted[a] with an ague, so ruinous to his health, and so obstinate in its duration, that in May he obtained permission to return to England, with the power of disposing, according to his judgment, of the chief command. A rapid and unexpected improvement[b] induced him to remain; and in July he marched with his army towards Stirling. The Scots faced him in their intrenched camp at Torwood; he turned aside to Glasgow; they took[c] a position at Kilsyth; he marched[d] back to Falkirk; and they resumed their position at Torwood. While by these movements the English general occupied the attention of his opponents, a fleet of boats had been silently prepared and brought to the Queensferry; a body of men crossed the frith, and fortified a hill near Inverkeithing; and Lambert immediately followed[e] with a more numerous division. The Scots despatched Holburn with orders to drive the enemy into the sea; he was himself charged[f] by Lambert with a superior force, and the flight of his men gave to the English possession of the fertile and populous county of Fife. Cromwell hastened to transport his army to the left bank of the river, and advance on the rear of the Scots. They retired: Perth, the seat of government, was besieged; and in a few days[g] the colours of the commonwealth floated on its walls.
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 229, 249, 296. Baillie, ii. 368.]
[Footnote 2: The council had sent two physicians to attend him. His answer to Bradshaw of March 24th runs in his usual style. “Indeed, my lord, your service needs not me. I am a poor creature, and have been a dry bone, and am still an unprofitable servant to my master and to you."–New Parl. Hist. iii. 1363.]
[Footnote 3: Balfour, 313. Journals, May 27. Leicester’s Journal, 109. Whitelock, 490, 494, 497, 498, 499. Heath, 392, 393. According to Balfour, the loss on each side was “almost alyke,” about eight hundred men killed; according to Lambert, the Scots lost two thousand killed, and fourteen hundred taken prisoners; the English had only eight men slain; “so easy did the Lord grant them that mercy."–Whitelock, 501. I observe that in all the despatches of the commanders for the commonwealth their loss is miraculously trifling.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Feb. 21.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. May 27.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1651. July 3.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1651. July 13.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1651. July 17.] [Sidenote f: A.D. 1651. July 21.] [Sidenote g: A.D. 1651. August.]
In the Scottish leaders the progress of the English excited the most fearful anticipations; to Charles it suggested the execution of what had long been his favourite object. The country to the south was clear of the enemy; and a proclamation[a] to the army announced his resolve of marching into England, accompanied by such of his Scottish subjects as were willing to share the fortunes and the perils of their sovereign. The boldness of the attempt dazzled the judgment of some; and the confidence of the young king dispelled the apprehensions of others. Their knowledge that, in case of failure, he must expect to meet with the same fate as his father, justified a persuasion that he possessed secret assurances of a powerful co-operation from the royalists and the Presbyterians of England. Argyle (nor was it surprising after the decline of his influence at court) solicited and obtained permission to retire to his own home; a few other chieftains followed his example; the rest expressed their readiness to stake their lives on the issue of the attempt, and the next morning eleven, some say fourteen, thousand men began[b] their march from Stirling, in the direction of Carlisle.
Cromwell was surprised and embarrassed. The Scots had gained three days’ march in advance, and his army was unprepared to follow them at a moment’s notice. He wrote[c] to the parliament to rely on his industry and despatch; he sent[d] Lambert from Fifeshire with three thousand cavalry to hang on the rear, and ordered[e]
[Footnote 1: Leicester’s Journal, 110. Whitelock, 501. Clarendon, iii. 397.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. July 30.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. July 31.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1651. August 4.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1651. August 5.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1651. August 7.]
Harrison with an equal number from Newcastle, to press on the flank of the enemy; and on the seventh day led his army of ten thousand men by the eastern coast, in the direction of York. The reduction of Scotland, a more easy task after the departure of the royal forces, was left to the activity of Monk, who had five thousand infantry and cavalry under his command.
So rapid was the advance of Charles, that he traversed the Lowlands of Scotland, and the northern counties in England, without meeting a single foe. Lambert had joined Harrison near Warrington; their united forces amounted to nine thousand men; and their object was to prevent the passage of the Mersey. But they arrived[a] too late to break down the bridge; and, after a few charges, formed in battle array on Knutsford Heath. The king, leaving them on the left, pushed forward till he reached[b] Worcester, where he was solemnly proclaimed by the mayor, amidst the loud acclamations of the gentlemen of the county, who, under a suspicion of their loyalty, had been confined in that city by order of the council.
At the first news of the royal march, the leaders at Westminster abandoned themselves to despair. They believed that Cromwell had come to a private understanding with the king; that the Scots would meet with no opposition in their progress; and that the Cavaliers would rise simultaneously in every part of the kingdom. From these terrors they were relieved by the arrival of despatches from the general, and by the indecision of the royalists, who, unprepared for the event, had hitherto made no movement; and with the
[Transcriber’s Note: Footnote 1 not found in the text]
[Footnote 1: Leicester’s Journal, iii. 117. Balfour, iv. 314.]
[Footnote 2: Leicester’s Journal, 113, 114. Whitelock, 502, 503. Clarendon, iii. 402.]
[Footnote 3: Hutchinson, 336.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. August 16.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. August 22.]
revival of their hopes the council assumed a tone of defiance, which was supported by measures the most active and energetic. The declaration of Charles,[a] containing a general pardon to all his subjects, with the exception of Cromwell, Bradshaw, and Cook, was burnt in London by the hands of the hangman; and a counter proclamation was published,[b] pronouncing Charles Stuart, his aiders and abettors, guilty of high treason. All correspondence with him was forbidden under the penalty of death; it was ordered that all persons known or suspected of attachment to his cause should be placed in custody, or confined to their own houses; and the militia of several counties, “tried and godly people,” were called forth, and marched towards the expected scene of action. But Charles had to contend not only with the activity of his enemies, but with the fanaticism of his followers. The Presbyterians of Lancashire had promised to rise, and Massey, a distinguished officer of that persuasion, was sent before to organize the levy; but the committee of the kirk forbade him to employ any man who had not taken the covenant; and, though Charles annulled their order, the English ministers insisted that it should be obeyed. Massey remained after the army had passed, and was joined by the earl of Derby, with sixty horse and two hundred and sixty foot, from the Isle of Man. A conference was held at Wigan; but reasoning and entreaty were employed in vain; the ministers insisted that all the Catholics who had been enrolled should be dismissed; and that the salvation of the kingdom should be entrusted to the elect of God, who had taken the covenant. In the mean while Cromwell had despatched Colonel Lilburne, with his
[Footnote 1: Journals, Aug. 12.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. August 11.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. August 25.]
regiment of horse, into the county, and ordered reinforcements to join him from Yorkshire and Cheshire. Derby, with the concurrence of the royalists in Manchester, undertook to surprise Lilburne in his quarters near that town, but was himself surprised by Lilburne, who marched on the same day[a] to observe the earl’s motions. They met unexpectedly in the lane leading from Chorley to Wigan. The heads of the opposite columns repeatedly charged each other; but the desperate courage of the Cavaliers was foiled by the steadiness and discipline of their opponents; the Lord Widrington, Sir Thomas Tildesly, Colonel Throckmorton, Boynton, Trollop, and about sixty of their followers were slain, and above three hundred privates made prisoners. The earl himself, who had received several slight wounds on the arms and shoulders, fled to Wigan with the enemy at his heels. Observing a house open, he flung himself from his horse, and sprung into the passage. A female barred the door behind him; the pursuers were checked for an instant; and when they began to search the house, he had already escaped through the garden. Weak with fatigue and the loss of blood, he wandered in a southerly direction, concealing himself by day, and travelling by night, till he found[b] a secure asylum, in a retired mansion, called Boscobel House, situate between Brewood and Tong Castle, and the property of Mrs. Cotton, a Catholic recusant and royalist. There he was received and secreted by William Penderell and his wife, the servants entrusted with the care of the mansion; and having recovered his strength, was conducted by the former to the royal army at Worcester.
[Footnote 1: Whitelock, 503, 504. Clarendon, iii. 399, 403. Memoirs of the Stanleys, 112-114. Journals, Aug. 29. Leicester’s Journal, 116. Boscobel, 6-8. Boscobel afterwards belonged to Bas. Fitzherbert, Mrs. Cotton’s son-in-law.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. August 25.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. August 29.]
The occurrences of each day added to the disappointment of Charles and the confidence of his enemies. He had summoned[a] by proclamation all his male subjects between the age of sixteen and sixty to join his standard at the general muster[b] of his forces, on the 26th of August, in the Pitchcroft, the meadows between the city and the river. A few of the neighbouring gentlemen with their tenants, not two hundred in number, obeyed the call; and it was found that the whole amount of his force did not exceed twelve (or according to Cromwell, sixteen) thousand men, of whom one-sixth part only was composed of Englishmen. But while a few straggling royalists thus stole into his quarters, as if it were to display by their paucity the hopelessness of his cause, the daily arrival of hostile reinforcements swelled the army in the neighbourhood to more than thirty thousand men. At length Cromwell arrived,[c] and was received with enthusiasm. The royalists had broken down an arch of the bridge over the Severn at Upton; but a few soldiers passed on a beam in the night; the breach was repaired, and Lambert crossed with ten thousand men to the right bank. A succession of partial but obstinate actions alternately raised and depressed the hopes of the two parties; the grand attempt was reserved by the lord general for his
[Footnote 1: They were lord Talbot, son to the earl of Shrewsbury, “with about sixty horse; Mr. Mervin Touchet, Sir John Packington, Sir Walter Blount, Sir Ralph Clare, Mr. Ralph Sheldon, of Beoly, Mr. John Washbourn, of Wichinford, with forty horse; Mr. Thomas Hornyhold, of Blackmore-park, with forty horse; Mr. Thomas Acton, Mr. Robert Blount, of Kenswick, Mr. Robert Wigmore, of Lucton, Mr. F. Knotsford, Mr. Peter Blount, and divers others."–Boscobel, 10.]
[Footnote 2: Cary’s Memorials, ii. 361.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. August 23.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. August 26.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1651. August 28.]
auspicious day, the 3rd of September, on which twelve months before he had defeated the Scots at Dunbar. On that morning Fleetwood, who had advanced from Upton to Powick,[a] was ordered to force the passage of the Team, while Cromwell, to preserve the communication, should throw a bridge of boats across the Severn at Bunshill, near the confluence of the two rivers. About one in the afternoon, while Charles with his staff observed from the tower of the cathedral the positions of the enemy, his attention was drawn by a discharge of musketry near Powick. He descended immediately, rode to the scene of action, and ordered Montgomery with a brigade of horse and foot to defend the line of the Team and oppose the formation of the bridge. After a long and sanguinary struggle, Fleetwood effected a passage just at the moment when Cromwell, having completed the work, moved four regiments to his assistance. The Scots, though urged by superior numbers, maintained the most obstinate resistance; they disputed every field and hedge, repeatedly charged with the pike to check the advance of the enemy, and, animated by the shouts of the combatants on the opposite bank, sought to protract the contest with the vain hope that, by occupying the forces of Fleetwood, they might insure the victory to their friends, who were engaged with Cromwell.
That commander, as soon as he had secured the communication across the river, ordered a battery of heavy guns to play upon Fort Royal, a work lately raised to cover the Sidbury gate of the city, and led his troops in two divisions to Perrywood and Red-hill. To Charles this seemed a favourable opportunity of defeating one half of the hostile force, while the other
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Sept. 3.]
half was separated from it by the Severn. Leading out the whole of his disposable infantry, with the duke of Hamilton’s troop of horse, and the English volunteers, he marched to attack the enemy in their position, and fought at the head of the Highlanders with a spirit worthy of a prince who staked his life for the acquisition of a crown. Fortune favoured his first efforts. The militia regiments shrunk from the shock, and the guns of the enemy became the prize of the assailants. But Cromwell had placed some veteran battalions in reserve. They restored the battle; and the royalists, in their turn, began to retreat. Still they remained unbroken, availing themselves of every advantage of the ground to check the enemy, and anxiously expecting the aid of their cavalry, which, under the command of Leslie, had remained in the city. From what cause it happened is unknown; but that officer did not appear on the field till the battle was lost, and the infantry, unable to resist the superior pressure of the enemy, was fleeing in confusion to the gate under the shelter of the fort. The fugitives rallied in Friar-street, and Charles, riding among them, endeavoured by his words and gestures to re-animate their courage. Instead of a reply, they hung down their heads, or threw away their arms. “Then shoot me dead,” exclaimed the distressed prince, “rather than let me live to see the sad consequences of this day.” But his despair was as unavailing as had been his entreaties; and his friends admonished him to provide for his safety, for the enemy had already penetrated within the walls.
We left Fleetwood on the right bank pushing the Scots slowly before him. At length they resigned the hope of resistance; their flight opened to him the way to St. John’s, and its timid commander yielded at the first summons. On the other bank, Cromwell stormed the Fort Royal, put its defenders, fifteen hundred men, to the sword, and turned the guns upon the city. Within the walls irremediable confusion prevailed, and the enemy began to pour in by the quay, the castle hill, and the Sidbury gate. Charles had not a moment to spare. Placing himself in the midst of the Scottish cavalry, he took the northern road by the gate of St. Martin’s, while a few devoted spirits, with such troopers as dared to followed them, charged down Sidbury-street in the contrary direction. They accomplished their purpose. The royal party cleared the walls, while they arrested the advance, and distracted the attention of the enemy. It was past the hour of sunset; and before dark all resistance ceased. Colonel Drummond surrendered the castle hill on conditions; the infantry in the street were killed or led prisoners to the cathedral; and the city was abandoned during the obscurity of the night to the licentious passions of the victors.
In this disastrous battle the slain on the part of the royalists amounted to three thousand men, the taken to a still greater number. The cavalry escaped in separate bodies; but so depressed was their courage, so bewildered were their counsels, that they successively surrendered to smaller parties of their pursuers. Many officers of distinction attempted, single and disguised,
[Footnote 1: These were the earl of Cleveland, Sir James Hamilton, Colonel Careless, and captains Hornyhold, Giffard, and Kemble.–Boscobel, 20.]
[Footnote 2: See Blount, Boscobel, 14-22; Whitelock, 507, 508; Bates, part ii. 221; Parl. Hist. xx. 40, 44-55; Ludlow, i. 314. Nothing can be more incorrect than Clarendon’s account of this battle, iii. 409. Even Cromwell owns that “it was as stiff a contest for four or five hours as ever he had seen."–Cary’s Memorials, ii. 356.]
to steal their way through the country; but of these the Scots were universally betrayed by their accent, whilst the English, for the most part, effected their escape. The duke of Hamilton had been mortally wounded on the field of battle; the earls of Derby, Rothes, Cleveland, Kelly, and Lauderdale; the lords Sinclair, Kenmure, and Grandison; and the generals Leslie, Massey, Middleton, and Montgomery, were made prisoners, at different times and in separate places. But the most interesting inquiry regarded the fortune of the young king. Though the parliament offered[a] a reward of one thousand pounds for his person, and denounced the penalties of treason against those who should afford him shelter; though parties of horse and foot scoured the adjacent counties in search of so valuable a prize; though the magistrates received orders to arrest every unknown person, and to keep a strict watch on the sea-ports in their neighbourhood, yet no trace of his flight, no clue to his retreat, could be discovered. Week after week passed
[Footnote 1: Thus the duke of Buckingham was conducted by one Mathews, a carpenter, to Bilstrop, and thence to Brooksby, the seat of Lady Villiers, in Leicestershire; Lord Talbot reached his father’s house at Longford in time to conceal himself in a close place in one of the out-houses. His pursuers found his horse yet saddled, and searched for him during four or five days in vain. May was hidden twenty-one days in a hay-mow, belonging to Bold, a husbandman, at Chessardine, during all which time a party of soldiers was quartered in the house.–Boscobel, 35-37. Of the prisoners, eight suffered death, by judgment of a court-martial sitting at Chester. One of these was the gallant earl of Derby, who pleaded that quarter had been granted to him by Captain Edge, and quarter ought to be respected by a court-martial. It was answered that quarter could be granted to enemies only, not to traitors. He offered to surrender his Isle of Man in exchange for his life, and petitioned for “his grace the lord general’s, and the parliament’s mercy.” But his petition was not delivered by Lenthall before it was too late. It was read in the house on the eve of his execution, which took place at Bolton, in Lancashire, Oct. 15, 1651.–State Trials, v. 294. Heath 302. Leicester’s Journal, 121. Journals, Oct. 14.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Sept. 10.]
away; of almost every other individual of note the fate was ascertained; that of Charles Stuart remained an impenetrable mystery. At last, when a belief prevailed, both among his friends and foes, that he had met with death from the peasantry, ignorant of his person and quality, the intelligence arrived, that on the 17th of October, forty-four days after the battle, he had landed in safety at Fécamp, on the coast of Normandy.
The narrative of his adventures during this period of suspense and distress exhibits striking instances of hair-breadth escapes on the part of the king, and of unshaken fidelity on that of his adherents. During the night after the battle he found himself in the midst of the Scottish cavalry, a body of men too numerous to elude pursuit, and too dispirited to repel an enemy. Under cover of the darkness, he separated from them with about sixty horse; the earl of Derby recommended to him, from his own experience, the house of Boscobel as a secure retreat; and Charles Giffard undertook, with the aid of his servant Yates, to conduct him to Whiteladies, another house belonging to Mrs. Cotton, and not far distant from Boscobel. At an early hour in the morning, after a ride of five-and-twenty miles, they reached Whiteladies;[a] and while the others enjoyed a short repose from their fatigue, the king withdrew to an inner apartment, to prepare himself for the character which he had been advised to assume. His hair was cut close to the head, his hands and face were discoloured, his clothes were exchanged for the coarse and threadbare garments of a labourer, and a heavy wood-bill in his hand announced his pretended employment. At sunrise the few admitted to the secret took their leave of
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Sept.]
him with tears, and, summoning their companions to horseback, rode away, they scarcely knew whither but with the cheering hope that they should draw the attention of the enemy from the retreat of the king to the pursuit of themselves. In less than an hour a troop of horse from Cotsal, under the command of Colonel Ashenhurst, arrived at Whiteladies; but the king was already gone; a fruitless search only provoked their impatience, and they hastily followed the track of the other fugitives.
Charles was now in the hands, and entirely at the mercy, of four brothers (John, the fifth, had taken charge of the Lord Wilmot), labouring men, of the name of Penderell, and of Yates, his former guide, who had married a sister of the Penderells. He could not conceal from himself that their poverty might make them more accessible to temptation; but Derby and Giffard had conjured him to dismiss such thoughts; they were men of tried fidelity, who, born in the domain, and bred in the principles of a loyal and Catholic family, had long been successfully employed in screening priests and Cavaliers from the searches of the civil magistrates and military officers. By one of them, surnamed the trusty Richard, he was led into
[Footnote 1: The Penderells, whom this event has introduced to the notice of the reader, were originally six brothers, born at Hobbal Grange, in the parish of Tong. John, George, and Thomas served in the armies of Charles I. Thomas was killed at Stowe; the other two survived the war, and were employed as woodwards at Boscobel. Of the remaining three, William took care of the house; Humphrey worked at the mill, and Richard rented part of Hobbal Grange. After the Restoration, the five brothers waited on the king at Whitehall on the 13th of June, 1660, and were graciously received, and dismissed with a princely reward. A pension was also granted to them and their posterity. In virtue of which grant two of their descendants, Calvin Beaumont Winstanley, and John Lloyd, were placed on the pension list on the 6th of July, 1846, for the sum of twenty-five pounds to each.]
the thickest part of the adjoining wood, while the others posted themselves at convenient stations, to descry and announce the approach of the enemy. The day was wet and stormy; and Richard, attentive to the accommodation of his charge, who appeared sinking under the fatigue, caused by his efforts in the battle and the anxiety of his flight, spread a blanket for him under one of the largest trees, and ordered the wife of Yates to bring him the best refreshment which her house could afford. Charles was alarmed at the sight of this unexpected visitant. Recovering himself, he said, “Good woman, can you be faithful to a distressed Cavalier?"–"Yes, sir,” she replied, “and I will die sooner than betray you.” He was afterwards visited by Jane, the mother of the Penderells. The old woman kissed his hands, fell on her knees, and blessed God that he had chosen her sons to preserve, as she was confident they would, the life of their sovereign.
It had been agreed between the king and Wilmot, that each should make the best of his way to London, and inquire for the other by the name of Ashburnham, at the Three Cranes in the Vintry. By conversation with his guardian, Charles was induced to adopt a different plan, and to seek an asylum among the Cavaliers in Wales, till a ship could be procured for his transportation to France. About nine in the evening they left the wood together for the house of Mr. Wolf, a Catholic recusant at Madeley, not far from the Severn; but an accidental alarm lengthened their road, and added to the fatigue of the royal wanderer.
[Footnote 1: The mill at Evelyn was filled with fugitives from the battle: the miller, espying Charles and his guide, and afraid of a discovery, called out “rogues;” and they, supposing him an enemy, turned up a miry lane, running at their utmost speed,–Boscobel, 47. Account from the Pepys MS. p. 16.]
They reached Madeley at midnight; Wolf was roused from his bed, and the strangers obtained admission. But their host felt no small alarm for their safety. Troops were frequently quartered upon him; two companies of militia actually kept watch in the village and the places of concealment in his house had been recently discovered. As the approach of daylight[a] made it equally dangerous to proceed or turn back he secreted them behind the hay in an adjoining barn, and despatched messengers to examine the passages of the river. Their report that all the bridges were guarded, and all the boats secured, compelled the unfortunate prince to abandon his design. On the return of darkness he placed himself again under the care of his trusty guide, and with a heavy and misboding heart, retraced his steps towards his original destination, the house at Boscobel.
At Boscobel he found Colonel Careless, one of those devoted adherents who, to aid his escape from Worcester, had charged the enemy at the opposite gate. Careless had often provoked, and as often eluded, the resentment of the Roundheads; and experience had made him acquainted with every loyal man, and every place of concealment, in the country. By his persuasion Charles consented to pass the day[b] with him amidst the branches of an old and lofty oak. This
[Footnote 1: This day Humphrey Penderell, the miller, went to Skefnal to pay taxes, but in reality to learn news. He was taken before a military officer, who knew that Charles had been at Whiteladies, and tempted, with threats and promises, to discover where the king was; but nothing could be extracted from him, and he was allowed to return.–Boscobel, 55. This, I suspect, to be the true story; but Charles himself, when he mentions the proposal made to Humphrey attributes it to a man, at whose house he had changed his clothes.–Account from the Pepys MS. p. 9.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Sept. 5.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. Sept. 6.]
celebrated tree, which was afterwards destroyed to satisfy the veneration of the Cavaliers, grew near to the common path in a meadow-field, which lay in the centre of the wood. It had been partially lopped a few years before, and the new shoots had thrown round it a thick and luxuriant foliage. Within this cover the king and his companion passed the day. Invisible themselves, they occasionally caught a glimpse of the red-coats (so the soldiers were called) passing among the trees, and sometimes saw them looking into the meadow. Their friends, William Penderell and his wife, whom Charles called my dame Joan, stationed themselves near, to give warning of danger; he pretending to be employed in his duty as woodward, and she in the labour of gathering sticks for fuel. But there arose no cause of immediate alarm; the darkness of the night relieved them from their tedious and irksome confinement; and Charles, having on his return to the house examined the hiding-place, resolved to trust to it for his future security.
The next day, Sunday,[a] he spent within doors or in the garden. But his thoughts brooded over his forlorn and desperate condition; and the gloom on his countenance betrayed the uneasiness of his mind. Fortunately in the afternoon he received by John Penderell a welcome message from Lord Wilmot, to meet him that night at the house of Mr. Whitgrave, a recusant, at Moseley. The king’s feet were so swollen and blistered by his recent walk to and from Madeley,
[Footnote 1: Careless found means to reach London, and cross the sea to Holland, where he carried the first news of the king’s escape to the princess of Orange. Charles gave him for his coat of arms, by the name of Carlos, an oak in a field, or, with a fesse, gules, charged with three royal crowns, and for his crest a crown of oak leaves, with a sword and sceptre, crossed saltierwise.–Boscobel, 85.]
[Sidenote: A.D. 1651. Sept. 7.]
that he gladly accepted the offer of Humphrey’s horse from the mill; nor did the appearance of the monarch disgrace that of the steed. He wore a coat and breeches of coarse green cloth, both so threadbare that in many places they appeared white, and the latter “so long that they came down to the garter;” his doublet was of leather, old and soiled; his shoes were heavy and slashed for the ease of his feet; his stockings of green yarn had been much worn, were darned at the knees, and without feet; and an old grey steeple-crowned hat, without band or lining, with a crooked thorn stick, completed the royal habiliments. The six brothers attended him with arms; two kept in advance, two followed behind, and one walked on each side. He had not gone far before he complained to Humphrey of the heavy jolting pace of the horse. “My liege,” replied the miller, “you do not recollect that he carries the weight of three kingdoms on his back.”
At Moseley, cheered by the company of Wilmot, and the attention of Whitgrave and his chaplain, Mr. Hudlestone, he recovered his spirits, fought the battle of Worcester over again, and declared that, if he could find a few thousand men who had the courage to stand by him, he would not hesitate to meet his enemies a second time in the field. A new plan of escape was now submitted to his approbation. The daughter of Colonel Lane, of Bentley, had obtained from the governor of Stafford a pass to visit Mrs.
[Footnote 1: Mr. Whitgrave had served as lieutenant, Hudlestone as gentleman volunteer in the armies of Charles I. The latter was of the family at Hutton John, in Cumberland. Leaving the service, he took orders, and was at this time a secular priest, living with Mr. Whitgrave. He afterwards became a Benedictine monk, and was appointed one of the queen’s chaplains.]
Norton, a relation near Bristol. Charles consented to assume the character of her servant, and Wilmot departed on the following night to make arrangements for his reception. In the mean time, to guard against a surprise, Hudlestone constantly attended the king; Whitgrave occasionally left the house to observe what passed in the street; and Sir John Preston, and two other boys, the pupils of Hudlestone, were stationed as sentinels at the garret windows. But the danger of discovery increased every hour. The confession of a cornet, who had accompanied him, and was afterwards made prisoner, divulged the fact that Charles had been left at Whiteladies; and the hope of reward stimulated the parliamentary officers to new and more active exertions. The house of Boscobel, on the day after the king’s departure,[a] was successively visited by two parties of the enemy; the next morning a second and more rigorous search was made at Whiteladies; and in the afternoon the arrival of a troop of horse alarmed the inhabitants of Moseley. As Charles, Whitgrave, and Hudlestone were standing near a window, they observed a neighbour run hastily into the house, and in an instant heard the shout of “Soldiers, soldiers!” from the foot of the staircase. The king was immediately shut up in the secret place; all the other doors were thrown open; and Whitgrave descending, met the troopers in front of his house. They seized him as a fugitive Cavalier from Worcester; but he convinced them by the testimony of his neighbours, that for several weeks he had not quitted Moseley, and with much difficulty prevailed on them to depart without searching the house.
[Footnote 1: Though ignorant of the quality of the stranger, the boys amused the king by calling themselves his life-guard.–Boscobel, 78.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Sept. 9.]
That night[a] Charles proceeded to Bentley. It took but little time to transform the woodcutter into a domestic servant, and to exchange his dress of green jump for a more decent suit of grey cloth. He departed on horseback with his supposed mistress behind him, accompanied by her cousin, Mr. Lassells; and, after a journey of three days, reached[b] Abbotsleigh, Mr. Norton’s house, without interruption or danger. Wilmot stopped at Sir John Winter’s, a place in the neighbourhood. On the road, he had occasionally joined the royal party, as it were by accident; more generally he preceded or followed them at a short distance. He rode with a hawk on his fist, and dogs by his side; and the boldness of his manner as effectually screened him from discovery as the most skilful disguise.
The king, on his arrival,[c] was indulged with a separate chamber, under pretense of indisposition; but the next morning he found himself in the company of two persons, of whom one had been a private in his regiment of guards at Worcester, the other a servant in the palace at Richmond, when Charles lived there several years before. The first did not recognise him, though he pretended to give a description of his person; the other, the moment the king uncovered, recollected the features of the prince, and communicated his suspicions to Lassells. Charles, with great judgment, sent for him, discovered himself to him as an old acquaintance, and required his assistance. The man (he was butler to the family) felt himself honoured by the royal confidence, and endeavoured to repay it by his services. He removed to a distance from the king two individuals in the house of known republican principles; he inquired, though without success, for a
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Sept. 11.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. Sept. 14.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1651. Sept. 15.]
ship at Bristol to carry him to France or Spain; and he introduced Lord Wilmot to his chamber at the hour of midnight. There they sat in council, and resolved[a] that the king should remove the next day to the house of Colonel Windham, a Cavalier whom he knew, at Trent, near Sherburn; that a messenger should be despatched to prepare the family for his arrival; and that to account for the sudden departure of Miss Lane, a counterfeit letter should be delivered to her, stating that her father was lying at the point of death. The plan succeeded; she was suffered[b] to depart, and in two days the prince reached[c] his destination. The following morning[d] Miss Lane took her leave, and hastened back with Lassells to Bentley.
In his retirement at Trent, Charles began to indulge the hope of a speedy liberation from danger. A ship was hired at Lyme to convey a nobleman and his servant (Wilmot and the king) to the coast of France; the hour and the place of embarkation were fixed; and a widow, who kept a small inn at Charmouth, consented to furnish a temporary asylum to a gentleman in disguise, and a young female who had just escaped from the custody of a harsh and unfeeling guardian. The next evening[e] Charles appeared in a servant’s dress, with Juliana Coningsby riding behind him, and accompanied by Wilmot and Windham. The hostess received the supposed lovers with a hearty welcome; but their patience was soon put to the severest trial; the night[f] passed away, no boat entered the creek, no ship could be descried in the offing; and the disappointment gave birth to a thousand jealousies
[Footnote 1: This lady received a reward of one thousand pounds for her services, by order of the two houses.–C. Journals, 1660, December 19, 21.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Sept. 17.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. Sept. 18.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1651. Sept. 19.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1651. Sept. 20.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1651. Sept. 23.] [Sidenote f: A.D. 1651. Sept. 24.]
and apprehensions. At dawn of day the whole party separated; Wilmot, with a servant, going to Lyme to inquire after the master of the vessel; Charles, with his companions, proceeding to Bridport to wait the return of Wilmot. In Bridport he found fifteen hundred soldiers preparing to embark on an expedition against Jersey; but, unwilling to create a real, by seeking to eschew an imaginary, danger, he boldly pushed forward to the inn, and led the horses through the crowd with a rudeness which provoked complaint. But a new danger awaited him at the stable. The hostler challenged him as an old acquaintance, pretending to have known him in the service of Mr. Potter, at Exeter. The fact was that, during the civil war, Charles had lodged at that gentleman’s house. He turned aside to conceal his alarm; but had sufficient presence of mind to avail himself of the partial mistake of the hostler, and to reply, “True, I once lived a servant with Mr. Potter; but as I have no leisure now, we will renew our acquaintance on my return to London over a pot of beer.”
After dinner, the royal party joined Wilmot out of the town. The master of the ship had been detained at home by the fears and remonstrances of his wife, and no promises could induce him to renew his engagement. Confounded and dispirited, Charles retraced his steps to Trent; new plans were followed by new disappointments; a second ship, provided by Colonel Philips at Southampton, was seized[a] for the transportation of troops to Jersey; and mysterious rumours in the neighbourhood rendered[b] unsafe the king’s continuance at Colonel Windham’s. At Heale, the residence
[Footnote 1: A reward of one thousand pounds was afterwards given to Windham.–C. Journals, Dec. 17, 1660.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Sept. 25.] [Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Oct. 8.]
of the widow Hyde, near Salisbury, he found a more secure retreat in a hiding-place for five days, during which Colonel Gunter, through the agency of Mansel, a loyal merchant, engaged[a] a collier, lying at New Shoreham. Charles hastened[b] through Hambleton to Brighton, where he sat down to supper with Philips, Gunter, Mansel, and Tattershall the master of the vessel. At table, Tattershall kept his eyes fixed on the king; after supper, he called Mansel aside and complained of fraud. The person in grey was the king; he knew him well, having been detained by him in the river, when, as prince of Wales, he commanded the royal fleet in 1648. This information was speedily communicated to Charles, who took no notice of it to Tattershall; but, to make sure of his man, contrived to keep the party drinking and smoking round the table during the rest of the night.
Before his departure, while he was standing alone in a room, the landlord entered, and, going behind him, kissed his hand, which rested on the back of a chair, saying at the same time, “I have no doubt that, if I live, I shall be a lord, and my wife a lady.” Charles laughed, to show that he understood his meaning, and joined the company in the other apartment. At four in the morning they all proceeded[c] to Shoreham; on the beach his other attendants took their leave, Wilmot accompanied him into the bark. There Tattershall, falling on his knee, solemnly assured him, that whatever might be the consequence, he would put him safely on the coast of France. The ship floated with the tide, and stood with easy sail towards the Isle of Wight, as if she were on her way to Deal, to which port she was bound. But at five in the afternoon, Charles, as he had previously concerted with Tattershall,
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Oct. 14.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. Oct. 15.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1651. Oct. 16.]
addressed the crew. He told them that he and his companion were merchants in distress, flying from their creditors; desired them to join him in requesting the master to run for the French coast; and, as a further argument, gave them twenty shillings to drink. Tattershall made many objections; but, at last, with apparent reluctance, took the helm, and steered across the Channel. At daybreak[a] they saw before them the small town of Fécamp, at the distance of two miles; but the tide ebbing, they cast anchor, and soon afterwards descried to leeward a suspicious sail, which, by her manner of working, the king feared, and the master believed, to be a privateer from Ostend. She afterwards proved to be a French hoy; but Charles waited not to ascertain the fact; the boat was instantly lowered, and the two adventurers were rowed safely into the harbour.
The king’s deliverance was a subject of joy to the nations of Europe, among whom the horror excited by the death of the father had given popularity to the exertions of the son. In his expedition into England they had followed him with wishes for his success;
[Footnote 1: For the history of the king’s escape, see Blount’s Boscobel, with Claustrum Regale reseratum; the Whitgrave manuscript, printed in the Retrospective Review, xiv. 26. Father Hudleston’s Relation; the True Narrative and Relation in the Harleian Miscellany, iv. 441, an account of his majesty’s escape from Worcester, dictated to Mr. Pepys by the king himself, and the narrative given by Bates in the second part of his Elenchus. In addition to these, we have a narrative by Clarendon, who professes to have derived his information from Charles and the other actors in the transaction, and asserts that “it is exactly true; that there is nothing in it, the verity whereof can justly be suspected” (Car. Hist. iii. 427, 428); yet, whoever will compare it with the other accounts will see that much of great interest has been omitted, and much so disfigured as to bear little resemblance to the truth. It must be that the historian, writing in banishment, and at a great distance of time, trusted to his imagination to supply the defect of his memory.–See note (E). See also Gunter’s narrative in Cary, ii. 430.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Oct. 17.]
after his defeat at Worcester they were agitated with apprehensions for his safety. He had now eluded the hunters of his life; he appeared before them with fresh claims on their sympathy, from the spirit which he had displayed in the field, and the address with which he had extricated himself from danger. His adventures were listened to with interest; and his conduct was made the theme of general praise. That he should be the heir to the British crowns, was the mere accident of birth; that he was worthy to wear them, he owed to the resources and energies of his own mind. In a few months, however, the delusion vanished. Charles had borne the blossoms of promise; they were blasted under the withering influence of pleasure and dissipation.
But from the fugitive prince we must now turn back to the victorious general who proceeded from the field of battle in triumph to London. The parliament seemed at a loss to express its gratitude to the man to whose splendid services the commonwealth owed its preservation. At Ailesbury Cromwell was met by a deputation of the two commissioners of the great seal, the lord chief justice, and Sir Gilbert Pickering; to each of whom, in token of his satisfaction, he made a present of a horse and of two Scotsmen selected from his prisoners. At Acton he was received by the speaker and the lord president, attended by members of parliament and of the council, and by the lord mayor with the aldermen and sheriffs; and heard from the recorder, in an address of congratulation, that he was destined “to bind kings in chains, and their nobles in fetters of iron." He entered[a] the capital in the state carriage, was greeted with the acclamations of the people as the procession passed through the city, and
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Oct. 12.]
repaired to the palace of Hampton Court, where apartments had been fitted up for him and his family at the public expense. In parliament it was proposed that the 3rd of September should be kept a holiday for ever in memory of his victory; a day was appointed for a general thanksgiving; and in addition to a former grant of lands to the amount of two thousand five hundred pounds per annum, other lands of the value of four thousand pounds were settled on him in proof of the national gratitude. Cromwell received these honours with an air of profound humility. He was aware of the necessity of covering the workings of ambition within his breast with the veil of exterior self-abasement; and therefore professed to take no merit to himself, and to see nothing in what he had done, but the hand of the Almighty, fighting in behalf of his faithful servants.
[Footnote 1: Whitelock, 509. Ludlow, i. 372. Heath, 301. Journals, Sept. 6, 9, 11, 19. “Next day, 13th, the common prisoners were brought through Westminster to Tuthill fields–a sadder spectacle was never seen except the miserable place of their defeat–and there sold to several merchants, and sent to the Barbadoes."–Heath, 301. Fifteen hundred were granted as slaves to the Guinea merchants, and transported to the Gold Coast in Africa.–Parl. Hist. iii. 1374.]