« السابقةمتابعة »
army, wrote to their several convents, and especially to the Sorbonists, about the lawfulness of taking away the king's life, it was returned by the Sorbonists, that it was' lawful for any Roman Catholic to work a change in governments for the motherchurch's advancement, and chiefly in an heretical kingdom, and, so lawful to make away with the king*" Mr. Prynne adds, that Mr. Henry Spotswood saw the queen's confessor on horseback among the crowd in the habit of a trooper, with his drawn sword flourishing it over bis head in triumph, as others did, when the king's head was just cut off; and being asked how he could be present at so sad a spectacle, answered, there were above forty more priests and Jesuits there besides himself, and when the fatal blow was given, he flourished his sword and said, Now the greatest enemy we have in the world is dead.” But this story does not seem to me very probable, nor is it easy to believe that the Papists should triumph in the death of a king, who was their friend and protector in prosperity, and whose sufferings are in a great measure chargeable upon his too great attachment to their interests t.
But the strongest and most unexceptionable testimony, is the act of attainder of the king's judges passed upon the restoration of king Charles II., the preamble to which sets forth, that the “execrable murder of his royal father was committed by a party
of wretched men, desperately wicked, and hardened in their impiety, who having first plotted and contrived the ruin of this excellent monarchy, and with it of the true Protestant religion, which had long flourished under it, found it necessary, in order to carry on their pernicious and traitorous designs, to throw down all the bulwarks and fences of law, and to subvert the very being and constitution of parliament.- And for the more easy effecting their attempts on the person of the king himself, they first seduced some part of the then army into a compliance, and then kept the rest in subjection, partly for hopes of preferment, and chiefly for fear of losing their employments and arrears, till by these, and other more odious arts and devices, they had fully strengthened themselves in power and faction; which being done, they declared against all manner of treaties with the person of the king, while treaty with him was subsisting; they remonstrated against the parliament for their proceedings; they seized upon his royal person while the commissioners were returned to London with his answers, which were voted a sufficient foundation for peace ; they then secluded and imprisoned several members of the house of commons, and then there being left but a small number of their own creatures (not a tenth part of the whole), they sheltered themselves under the name and authority of a parliament, and in that name prepared an ordinance for the trial of his majesty ; which being rejected by the lords, they passed alone in the name of the
Necess. Vind. p. 45.
+ Foxes and Firebrands, part 2. p. 86.
commons of England, and pursued it with all possible force and cruelty till they murdered the king before the gates of his own palace. Thus (say they) the fanatic rage of a few miscreants, who were neither true Protestants nor good subjects, stands imputed by our adversaries to the whole nation ; we therefore renounce, abominate, and protest, against it.
If this be a true state of the case, it is evident, from the highest authority in this kingdom, that the king's death was not chargeable upon any religious party, or sect of Christians ; nor upon the people of England assembled in a free parliament, but upon the council of officers and agitators, who, having become desperate by the restless behaviour of the cavaliers, and ill conduct of the several parties concerned in the treaty of Newport, plotted the overthrow of the king and constitution, and accomplished it by an act of lawless violence; that it was only a small part of the army who were seduced into a compliance, and these kept the rest in subjection till the others had executed their desperate purposes; so that though the wisdom of the nation has thought fit to perpetuate the memory of this fatal day by an anniversary fast, as that which may be instructive both to princes and subjects, yet if we may believe the declaration of his majesty at his trial, or of the act of parliament which restored his family, the king's murder was not the act of the people of England, nor of their legal representatives, and therefore ought not to be lamented as a national sin.
12 Car. II. chap. 30.
CHAPTER I. FROM THE DEATH OF KING CHARLES I. TO THE CORONATION
OF KING CHARLES II. IN SCOTLAND. 1648. Upon the death of the late king, the legal constitution was dissolved, and all that followed till the restoration of king Charles II. was no better than a usurpation, under different shapes; the house of commons, if it may deserve that name, after it had been purged of a third part of its members *, relying on the act of continuation, called themselves the supreme authority of the nation, and began with an act to disinherit the prince of Wales, forbidding all persons to proclaim him king of England, on pain of high-treason. The house of lords was voted useless; and the office of a king unnecessary, burdensome, and dangerous. The form of government for the future was declared to be a free commonwealth; the executive power lodged in the hands of a council of state of forty personst, with full powers to take care of the whole administration for one year; new keepers of the great seal were appointed, from whom the judges received their commissions, with the name, style, and title, of custodes libertatis Angliæ authoritate parliamenti; i. e. keepers of the liberties of England by authority of parliament. The coin was stamped on one side with the arms of England between a laurel and a palm, with this inscription, “ The Commonwealth of England ;” and on the other, a cross and harp, with this motto, “God with us 1." The oaths of allegiance and supremacy were abolished, and a new one appointed, called the Engagement, which was, to be true and faithful to the government established, without king or house of
Such as refused the oath were declared incapable of holding any place or office of trust in the commonwealth; but as many of the excluded members of the house of commons as would take it resumed their places.
Such was the foundation of this new constitution, which had neither the consent of the people of England, nor of their repre
According to Echard, not above a fifth part of the commons were left. On account of the reduced and mutilated state of the house, they were called the Rump Parliament. This name was first given to them by Walker, the author of the History of Independency, by way of derision, in allusion to a fowl, all devoured but the rump; and they were compared to a man " who would never cease to whet and whet his knife, till there was no steel left to make it useful.” Dr. Grey, and Rapin.-Ep.
† According to Whitelocke, who gives their names, the council consisted of thirtyeight persons only.-ED.
On which a man of wit observed, “ that God and the commonwealth were not both on a side." Dr. Grey.-ED.
sentatives in a free parliament. “And if ever there was an usurped government mutilated, and founded only in violence (says Rapin *), it was that of this parliament.” But though it was unsupported by any other power than that of the army, it was carried on with the most consummate wisdom, resolution, and success, till the same military power that set it up was permitted, by Divine Providence, with equal violence to pull it down.
The new commonwealth in its infant state met with opposition from divers quarters: the levellers in the army gave out, that the people had only changed their yoke, not shaken it off; and that the Rump's little finger (for so the house of commons was now called) would be heavier than the king's loins. The agitators therefore petitioned the house to dissolve themselves, that new representatives might be chosen. The commons, alarmed at these proceedings, ordered their general officers to cashier the petitioners, and break their swords over their heads, which was done accordingly. But when the forces passed under a general review at Ware, their friends in the army agreed to distinguish themselves by wearing something white in their hatst; which Cromwell having some intelligence of beforehand, commanded two regiments of horse, who were not in the secret, to surround one of the regiments of foot; and having condemned four of the ring leaders in a council of war, he commanded two of them to be shot to death by their other two associates, in sight of the whole army; and to break the combination, eleven regiments were ordered for Ireland ; upon which great numbers deserted, and marched into Oxfordshire; but generals Fairfax and Cromwell, having overtaken them at Abingdon, beld them in treaty till colonel Reynolds came up, and after some few skirmishes dispersed them.
The Scots threatened the commonwealth with a formidable invasion, for upon the death of king Charles I. they proclaimed the prince of Wales king of Scotland, and sent commissioners to the Hague, to invite him into that kingdom, provided he would renounce popery and prelacy, and take the solemn league and covenant. To prevent the effects of this treaty, and cultivate a good understanding with the Dutch, the parliament sent Dr. Dorislaus, an eminent civilian, concerned in the late king's trial, agent to the States-General; but the very first night after his arrival, May 3, 1649, he was murdered in his own chamber by twelve desperate cavaliers in disguise, who rushed in upon him while he Vol. 2, p. 573, folio.
+ Whitelocke, p. 387. 389. • This person was a native of Holland, and doctor of the civil law at Leyden. On his coming to England he was patronised by Fulk lord Brook, who appointed him to read lectures on history in Cambridge. But, as in the opening of his course he decried monarchy, he was silenced; be then resided some time near to Maldon in Essex, where he had married an English woman. He was afterward a judge advocate, first, in the king's army, and then in the army of the parliament, and at length one of the judges of the court of admiralty. The parliament ordered 2501. for his funeral ; settled on his són 2001. per annum for his life, and gave 5001. a piece to his daughters. Wood's Athenæ 'Oxon. vol. 2. p. 228 ; and Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 390.-ED.
was at supper, and with their drawn swords killed him on the spot*. Both the parliament and states of Holland resented this base action so highly, that the young king thought proper to remove into France; from whence he went to the Isle of Jersey, and towards the latter end of the year fixed at Breda ; where the Scots commissioners concluded a treaty with him, upon the foot of which he ventured his royal person into that kingdom the ensuing year.
But to strike terror into the cavaliers, the parliament erected another high court of justice, and sentenced to death three illustrious noblemen, for the part they had acted in the last civil war ; duke Hamilton, the earl of Holland, and lord Capel, who were all executed March 9, in the Palace-yard at Westminster: duke Hamilton declared himself a Presbyterian ; and the earl of Holland was attended by two ministers of the same persuasion ; but lord Capel was a thorough loyalist, and went off the stage with the courage and bravery of a Roman.
But the chief scene of great exploits this year was in Ireland, which Cromwell, a bold and enterprising commander, had been appointed to reduce ; for this purpose he was made lord-lieutenant for three years, and having taken leave of the parliament, sailed from Milford-haven about the middle of August, with an army of fourteen thousand men of resolute principles, who before the embarkation observed a day of fasting and prayer; in which, Mr. Wbitelocke remarks, after three ministers had prayed, lieutenantgeneral Cromwell himself, and the colonels Gough and Harrison, expounded some parts of Scripture excellently well, and pertinently to the occasion. The ariny was under a severe discipline; not an oath was to be heard throughout the whole camp, the soldiers spending their leisure hours in reading their Bibles, in singing psalms, and religious conferences.
Almost all Ireland was in the hands of the royalists and Roman Catholics, except Dublin and Londonderry; the former of these places had been lately besieged by the duke of Ormond with twenty thousand men 1, but the garrison being recruited with
• Whitelocke, p. 386.
+ Dr. Grey cannot easily believe that the murder of Dr. Dorislaus was resented by the states of Holland, because they had bravely remonstrated by their two ambassadors against the king's death: he cannot, therefore, be easily induced to think, that, after this, they could resent the death of one of his execrable murderers. But Dr. Grey does not consider what was due in this case to the honour of their own police, and to the reputation and weight of their own laws. Mr. Neal is justified in his representations by Whitelocke; who says, “ that letters from the Hague reported, that the States caused earnest inquisition to be made after the murderers of Dr. Dorislaus ; promised one thousand guilders to him who should bring any of them; and published it death to any who should harbour any one of them." Memorials, p. 390.-ED.
Dr. Grey controverts Mr. Neal's account of the number of the duke of Ormond's army, on the authority of lord Clarendon and Mr. Carte: the former says, that Jones sallied out with a body of six thousand foot and one thousand nine hundred horse, and that the army encamped at Rathmines was not so strong in horse and foot: the latter, that Jones's forces amounted to only four thousand foot and one thousand two hundred horse, which was a body nearly equal to the