Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]

CHAP. him, was a measure so full of inconvenience and LVII.

danger, that, even if the English had consented to 1646. it, must have appeared to the Scots themselves

altogether uneligible: And how could such a plan be supported in opposition to England, possessed of such numerous and victorious armies, which were, at that time, at least seemed to be, in entire union with the parliament? The only expedient, it is obvious, which the Scots could embrace, if they scrupled wholly to abandon the king, was immediately to return, fully and cordially, to their allegiance; and, uniting themselves with the royalists in both kingdoms, endeavour, by force of arms, to reduce the English parliament to more moderate conditions: But besides that this measure was full of extreme hazard; what was it but instantly to combine with their old enemies against their old friends; and, in a fit of romantic generosity, overturn what, with so much expence of blood and treasure, they had, during the course of so many years, been so carefully erecting?

BUT, though all these reflections occurred to the Scottish commissioners, they resolved to prolong the dispute, and keep the king as a pledge for those arrears which they claimed from England, and which they were not likely, in the present disposition of that nation, to obtain by any other expedient. The sum, by their account, amounted to near two millions: For they had received little regular pay since they had entered England. And though the contributions which they had levied, as well as the price of their living at free quarters, must be deducted; yet still the sum which they insisted on was very considerable. After many discussions, it was, at last, agreed, that, in lieu of all demands, they should accept of 400,000 pounds, one half to be paid instantly, another in two subsequent payments:

GREAT Rushworth, vol. xii.p. 396. Parl. Hist. vol. xv. p. 236.



Great pains were taken by the Scots (and the C HA P. English coinplied with their pretended delicacy) to make this estimation and payment of arrears appear a quite different transaction from that for the delivery of the king's person: But common sense requires, that they should be regarded as one and the same.

The English, it is evident, had they not been previously assured of receiving the king, would never have parted with so considerable a sum; and, while they weakened themselves, by the same measure have strengthened a people, with whom they must afterwards have so material an interest to discuss.

Thus the Scottish nation underwent, and still undergo (for such grievous stains are not easily wiped off,) the reproach of selling their king, and betraying their prince for money. In vain did they maintain, than this money was, on account of former services, undoubtedly their due; that in their present situation, no other measure, without the utmost indiscretion, or even their apparent ruin, could be embraced ; and that, though they delivered their king into the hands of his open enemies, they were themselves as much his open enemies as those to whom they surrendered him, and their common hatred against him had long united the two parties in strict alliance with each other. They were still answered, that they made use of this scandalous expedient for obtaining their wages; and that, after taking arms, without any provocation, against their sovereign, who had ever loved and cherished them, they had deservedly fallen into a situation, from which they could not extricate themselves, without either infamy or imprudence.

The infamy of this bargain had such an influence on the Scottish parliament, that they once voted, that the king should be protected, and his liberty insisted

But the general assembly interposed, and pronounced, that, as he had refused to take the cove




CHA P. nant, which was pressed on him, it became not the

godly to concern theinselves about his fortunes. 1646. After this declaration, it behoved the parliament to

retract their vote.m

INTELLIGENCE concerning the final resolution of the Scottish nation to surrender him, was brought to the king; and he happened, at that very time, to be playing at chess." Such command of temper did he possess, that he continued his game without interruption; and none of the by-standers could perceive, that the letter, which he perused, had brought him news of any consequence. The English commissioners, who, some days after, came to take

under their custody, were admitted to kiss his hands; and he received them with the same grace and cheerfulness, as if they had travelled on no other errand than to pay court to him. The old earl of Pembroke in particular, who was one of them, he congratulated on his strength and vigour, that he was still able, during such a season, to perform so long a journey in company with so many young people.

The king, being delivered over by the Scots to King deli. the English commissioners, was conducted under by the

a guard, to Holdenby, in the county of Northampton. On his journey, the whole country flocked to behold him, moved partly by curiosity, partly by compassion and affection. If any still retained rancour against him, in his present condition, they passed in silence; while his well-wishers, more generous than prudent, accompanied his march with tears, with acclamations, and with prayers for his safety.' That ancient superstition likewise, of desiring the king's touch in scrofulous distempers, seemed to acquire fresh credit among the people, from the general tenderness which began to prevail for this virtuous and unhappy monarch.

THE * Parl. Hist. vol. xv. p. 243, 244. * Burnet's Memoirs of the Hamiltons. • Ludlow Herbert.




The commissioners rendered his confinement at C HA P.

LVIII. Holdenby very rigorous ; dismissing his ancient servants, debarring him from visits, and cutting off all communication with his friends or family. The parliament, though earnestly applied to by the king, refused to allow his chaplains to attend him, because they had not taken the covenant. The king refused to assist at the service exercised according to the directory; because he had not as yet given his consent to that mode of worship. Such religious zeal prevailed on both sides! And such was the unhappy and distracted condition to which it had reduced king and people!

During the time that the king remained in the Scottish army at Newcastle, died the earl of Essex, the discarded, but still powerful and popular general of the parliament. His death, in this conjuncture, was a public misfortune. Fully sensible of the excesses to which affairs had been carried, and of the worse consequences which were still to be apprehended, he had resolved to conciliate a peace, and to remedy, as far as possible, all those ills to which, from mistake rather than any bad intentions, he had himself so much contributed. The presbyterian, or the moderate party among the commons, found themselves considerably weakened by his death: And the small remains of authority which still adhered to the house of peers, were in a manner wholly extinguished.

Warwick, p. 298.

P Clarendon, vol. v. p. 39.
. Clarendon, vol. v. p. 43.

Vol. VII.


Mutiny of the army--The king seized by JoyceThe

army march against the parliament— The army subdue the parliamentThe king flies to the Isle of Wight-Second civil war— Invasion from Scotland

-The treaty of Newport --The civil war and invasion repressed The king seized again by the army -The house purged--The king's trial— And execution--And character..

° LA." .

"HE dominion of the parliament was of short

duration. No sooner had they subdued their 1647. sovereign, than their own servants rose against

them, and tumbled them from their slippery throne.
The sacred boundaries of the laws being once vio-
lated, nothing remained to confine the wild projects
of zeal and ambition. And every successive revo-
lution became a precedent for thrat which followed,
· In proportion as the terror of the king's power
diminished, the division between independent and
presbyterian became every day more apparent; and
the neuters found it at last requisite to seek shelter
in one or the other faction. Many new writs were
issued for elections, in the room of members who
had died, or were disqualified by adhering to the
king; yet still the presbyterians retained the supe-
riority among the commons: And all the peers,
except lord Say, were esteemed of that party. "The
independents, to whom the inferior sectaries ad-
hered, predominated in the army: And the troops
of the new model were universally infected with that
enthusiastic spirit. To their assistance did the inde-


« ZurückWeiter »