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Covenanters. When they found, however, that Charles's proposal of a new covenant was only meant to weaken and divide them, they received it with the utmost detestation; and proceeded in their own way to model the assembly. It met at Glasgow in 1638. A Arm determination had been entered into of utterly abolishing episcopacy; and, as a preparative to it, there was laid before the presbytery of Edinburgh, and solemnly read in all the churches of the kingdom, an accusation against the bishops, as guilty of heresy, simony, bribery, perjury, cheating, adultery, Sec. &c. The bishops sent in a protest, declining the authority of the assembly; the commissioner too protested against that court, as illegally constituted and elected; and, in his majesty's name, dissolved it. This measure was foreseen, and little regarded. The court still continued to sit; and all the acts of assembly, from the accession of James VI. to the crown of England, were declared null and invalid. Thul the whole fabric which James and Charles, in a long course of years, had been rearing with much care and policy, fell at once to the ground. The covenant likewise was ordered to be signed by every one, under pain of excommunication.
In 1639 the covenanters prepared in earnest for war. The earl of Argyle, though he long seemed to temporise, at last embraced their party, which the earls of Rothes, Cassilis, Montrose, Lothian, the lords Lindesay, Loudon, Yester, and Balmerino, also joined. Charles, on the other hand, was not deficient in his endeavours to oppose this formidable combination. By a system of rigid economy he had not only paid all the debts contracted in the French and Spanish wars, but had amassed a sum of £200,000, which he had reserved for any sudden exigency. The queen had great interest with the Catholics; and she easily persuaded them to give large contributions, as a mark of their duty to the king. Thus a considerably supply was gained, and the king's fleet became formidable. Having put 5000 land forces on board, he intrusted it to the marquis of Hamilton, who had orders to sail to the frith of Forth, while an army was levied of nearly 20,000 foot and 3000 horse; and put under the command of the earl of Arundel. The earl of Essex, a man of strict honor, and extremely popular, especially among the soldiery, was appointed lieutenant general; and the earl of Holland was general of the horse. The king himself joined the army, and summoned all the peers of England to attend him. The whole had the appearance of a splendid court rather than a military armament, and in this array the camp arrived at Berwick.
So prudent were the Scottish leaders that they immediately sent very submissive messages to the king, and craved leave to be admitted to a treaty. Charles, as usual, took the worst course. He concluded a sudden pacification, in which it was stipulated that he should withdraw his fleet and army; that within forty-eight hours the Scots should dismiss their forces; that the king's forts should be restored to him; his authority be acknowledged; and a general assembly and parliament be immediately summoned, to settle all differences. The peace, however, was not of
long duration. Charles could not prevail on himself to abandon the cause of episcopacy: the assembly, on the other hand, proceeded with zeal and firmness, and voted it to be unlawful in the church of Scotland. The parliament also, which sat after the assembly, adopted measures which tended to diminish the civil power of the monarch; and, what probably affected Charles still more, they were proceeding to ratify the acts o assembly, when, by the king's orders, Traquaire the commissioner prorogued them. On account of these proceedings, which might have been easily foreseen, war was recommenced the same year.
No sooner had Charles concluded the peace than he found himself obliged to disband his army, on account of his want of money; and, as the soldiers had been held together merely by mercenary views, it was not possible, without great trouble, expense, and loss of time, to reassemble them. On the contrary, the covenanters, in dismissing their troops, had been careful to preserve nothing but the appearance of a pacification. The soldiers were warned not to think the nation secure from an English invasion; and the religious zeal which animated all ranks of men made them immediately fly to their standards, as soon as the trumpet was sounded by their spiritual and temporal leaders. When, in 1640, the king drew an army together, finding himself unable to support them, he was obliged to call a parliament, after an intermission of about eleven years. He pressed them for money, and they insisted on their grievances, tilla dissolution ensued. To add to the unpopularity of this measure, the king, notwithstanding his dissolving the parliament, allowed the convocation to sit; a practice of which, since the Reformation, there had been very few examples. Besides granting to the king a supply from the spirituality, the convocation, jealous of innovations similar to those which had taken place in Scotland, imposed an oath on the clergy and the graduates in the universities, by which every one swore to maintain the established government of the church, by archbishops, bishops, deans, chapters, Sec. These steps were deemed illegal, because not ratified by consent of parliament; and the oath, containing an &c. in the middle of it, became a subject of general ridicule.
The king, disappointed of parliamentary subsidies, was again obliged to have recourse to expedients. He borrowed money from his ministers and courtiers: who subscribed above £300,000 in a few days. Some vain attempts were made towards forcing a loan from the citizsns; but £40,000 was extorted from the Spanish merchants who bad bullion in the tower. Coat and conduct money for the soldiery was levied on the counties: an ancient practice, but supposed to be abolished by the petition of right. All the pepper was bought from the East India Company upon trust; and sold, at a great discount, for ready money. A scheme was proposed for coining £200,000 or £300,000 of base money. Such were the extremities to which Charles was reduced. These expedients, however, enabled the king, though with great difficulty, to march his army to the north, consisting of 19,000 foot and 2000 horse. The earl of Northumberland was appointed general, and the earl of Strafford lieutenant-general. A small fleet was thought sufficient for the purposes of this expedition. The Scots, superior in numbers, now marched to the borders of England; but still preserved the most submissive language to the king. At Newburn upon Tyne they were opposed by a detachment of 4500 men under lord Conway, whom they first intreated, with great civility, not to stop them in their march to their gracious sovereign; then attacked them with great bravery, killed several, and routed the rest. Such a panic seized the whole English army, that the forces at Newcastle fled immediately to Durham, and ultimately into Yorkshire. The Scots, continuing to advance, despatched submissive messengers to the king, who was now arrived at York. They even made apologies, full of sorrow and contrition, for their late victory.
Charles was in a very distressed condition; and, to prevent the further advance of the Scots, agreed to a treaty, naming sixteen English noblemen to meet with eleven Scots commissioners at Rippon. Strafford, upon whom, during Northumberland's sickness, the command of the army had devolved, advised Charles rather to put all to hazard than to submit to such unworthy terms as the Scottish chiefs urged. He advised him to push forward and attack them. But this salutary advice Charles had not resolution to follow. He therefore resolved to call a council of the peers; and, as he foresaw that they would advise him to call a parliament, he told them in his first speech that he had already taken that resolution. In order to subsist both armies (for the king was obliged to pay his enemies, in order to preserve the northern counties from pillage), Charles wrote to the city, desiring a loan of £200,000; and the peers at York, whose authority was now much greater than that of their sovereign, joined in the request. The parliament met November 3d, 1640.
Never had the house of commons been observed to be so numerous. That they might strike at once a decisive blow against the court, they began the session with the impeachment of the earl of Strafford. He had governed Ireland, first as deputy and then as lord lieutenant, during eight years, with great vigilance, activity, and prudence, but with very little popularity. His deportment was haughty, rigid, and severe; and the universal discontent of the nation was pointed against him. He had been a leader of opposition, before he became the favorite of the king; and his former associates, finding that he owed his advancement to the desertion of their cause, represented him as the great apostate of the commonwealth, whom it behoved them to sacrifice to public justice. 'You have left us,' said the famous Pym,' but we shall not leave you while your head is on your shoulders.' From so formidable a combination no individual could be expected to escape. Strafford was impeached, condemned, and at last executed, in 1641. It was not without extreme difficulty that the king could be brought to consent to his execution. He came to the house of lords, where he expressed
his resolution never to employ Strafford again in any public business; but with regard to the treason, for which he was arraigned, he professed himself unable to discover any proofs of it. The commons on this voted it a breach of privilege for the king to take notice of a bill pending before the house; and the house of lords were intimidated, by popular violence, into passing it. The same means were employed to force the king's assent. The populace flocked about Whitehall, and accompanied their demand of justice with the loudest clamors and menaces. Reports of conspiracies, insurrections, and invasions, were spread abroad. On whatever side the king cast his eyes, he saw no resource nor security. All his servants, consulting their own safety rather than their master's honor, declined interposing with their advice between him and his parliament. The queen, terrified at the appearance of so great danger, pressed Charles, with tears, to satisfy his people in this demand, which it was hoped would finally content them. Archbishop Juxon alone had the courage to advise him, if he did not approve of the bill, by no means to consent to it. At last the unfortu nate earl, hearing of the king's irresolution and anxiety, wrote to him a letter, in which be desired his own execution in order to give peace to the nation: and Charles granted a commission to four noblemen, in his name, to give the royal assent to the bill. These commissioners he empowered at the same time to give his assent to a bill yet more fatal to himself, viz.: That the present parliament should not be dissolved, prorogued, or adjourned, without their own consent.
By this last act, Charles rendered the power of his enemies perpetual, as it was already uncontrollable. The reason assigned for this extraordinary step was, that the commons, from policy, more than necessity, had embraced the expedient of paying the two armies by borrowing money from the city. These loans they repaid by taxes levied on the people. At last the citizens, either of themselves, or by suggestion, began to mention difficulties with regard to a farther loan. 'We should make no scruple of trusting the parliament,' said they, 'were we certain that the parliament was to continue till our repayment. But, in the present precarious situation of affairs, what security can be given us for our money V To obviate this, the abovementioned bill was suddenly brought in, and, having passed both houses with great rapidity, was at last brought to the king; who, being oppressed with grief on account of the unhappy fate of Strafford, did not perceive the pernicious consequence of the bill. All this time the commons had ruled in other respects with uncontrollable sway. Soon after the impeachment of Strafford, Laud was accused of high treason, and committed to custody. To avoid the like fate, lord keeper Finch and secretary Windebank fled, the one into Holland, the other into France. The house now instituted a new species of guilt, termed delinquency: a term first applied to those who had exercised the powers necessary for thdefsnce of the nation during the late military operations. All the ^magistrates and sheriffs who had formerly exacted ship-money, though by the king*s express command, were now also declared delinquents, as well as the farmers and officers of the customs who had been employed during so many years in levying tonnage, poundage, &c. They were afterwards glad to compound for a pardon, by paying £150,000. Every discretionary or arbitrary sentence of the star-chamber and high commission courts underwent a severe scrutiny; and all those who had concurred in such sentences were voted to be liable to the penalties of law. No minister of the king, no member of the council, but found himself exposed by this determination. The judges who had formerly given sentence against the celebrated Hampden, for refusing to pay ship-money, were accused before the peers, and obliged to find security for their appearance. Berkley, a judge of the king's bench, was seized by order of the house, even when sitting in his tribunal. The sanction of the lords and commons, as well as that of the king, was declared necessary for the confirmation of ecclesiastical canons. Monopolists and projectors, if of the king's party, were now expelled the house; but one Mildmay, a notorious monopolist, was allowed to keep his seat, because he was of the popular party. In short, the constitution was completely new-modelled; and during the first period of the transactions of this remarkable parliament, if we except Strafford's attainder, their merits in other respects so much overbalance their mistakes as to entitle them to very ample praises from all lovers of liberty. Not only were former abuses remedied, and grievances redressed; great provision for the future was made by excellent laws. And if the means by which they obtained such mighty advantages savoured often of artifice, sometimes of violence, it is to.be considered, that revolutions of government cannot be effected by mere force of argument and reasoning; and that, factions being once excited, men can neither «) firmly regulate the tempers of others, nor their own,' as to ensure themselves against all excesses. The king had promised to pay a visit this summer to his subjects in Scotland, in order to settle their government; and, though the English parliament was very importunate with him to lay aside the journey, they could not prevail with him so much as to delay it. Having failed in this, they appointed a small committee of both houses to attend him, in order, as was pretended, to see the articles of pacification executed, but really to act as spies upon the king. Endeavours were even used, before Charles's departure, to have a protectorate of the kingdom appointed, with a power to pass laws without having recourse to the royal assent. About this time the king communicated to parliament his intention of concluding the marriage of the princess Mary with William prince of Orange, and the houses adjourned from September 9th to October 20th, 1641.
Charles arrived in Scotland August 14th, 1614, with a design to give full satisfaction, if possible, to this restless kingdom. The bench of bishops and lords of articles were at once abolished; it was ordained that no man should be created a Scottish peer who did not possess
10,000 merks (above £500) annual rent in the kingdom; a law for triennial parliaments was likewise enacted; and it was ordained, that the last act of every parliament should be to appoint the time and place for holding the parliament next ensuing: the king was also deprived of the power, formerly exercised, of issuing proclamations which enjoined obedience under the penalty of treason. But the most fatal blow to the royal authority, and what in a manner dethroned the king, was an article, that no member of the privy council, in whose hands, during the king's absence, the whole administration lay, no officer of state, nor any of the judges, should be appointed but by advice and approbation of parliament. Charles even agreed to deprive of their seats four judges who had adhered to his interests; and their place was supplied by others more agreeable to the ruling party. Several of the covenanters were also sworn of the privy council, and all the ministers of state, counsellors, and judges, were, by law, to hold their places during life or good behaviour. The king, while in Scotland, conformed himself to the established church; he bestowed pensions and preferments on Henderson, Gillespy, and other popular preachers; and practised every art to soften, if not to gain, his greatest enemies. But, though Charles was thus obliged to heap favors on his enemies and overlook his friends, the former were not satisfied, believing all he did to proceed from artifice and necessity; while some of the latter were disgusted, and thought themselves ill rewarded for their past services. Argyle and Hamilton, being seized with an apprehension, real or apprehended, that the earl of Crawfurd and others meant to assassinate them, left the parliament suddenly, and retired into the country: but, upon invitation and assurances of safety, returned in a few days. This event, which in Scotland had no visible consequence, was commonly denominated the incident; which, though it had no particular effect in Scotland, was attended with very serious consequences in England. The English parliament insinuated to the people, that the malignants (so they called the king s party) had laid a plot at once to murder them and all the godly in both kingdoms. They applied therefore to Essex, whom the king had left general of the south of England; and ordered a guard to attend them. ' In the mean time a most dangerous rebellion broke out in Ireland, with circumstances of unparalleled horror and bloodshed. The native Irish, by the wise conduct of James, had been fully subdued, and proper means taken for securing their dependence and subjection; but their arlimosity against the English still remained, and only wanted an opportunity to exert itself. This they obtained from the weak condition to which Charles was reduced, and it was made use of in the following manner:—More, a gentleman descended from an ancient Irish family, but of narrow fortune, having formed the project of expelling the English, and asserting the independency of his native country, went secretly from chieftain to chieftain, to rouse up the principles of discontent. He maintained a close correspondence with lord Macguire and Sir Phtlim O'Neale, the most powerful of the old Irish; and by his persuasions soon engaged not only them, but the most considerable persons of the nation, in a conspiracy; in which it was hoped the English of the pale, as they were called, or the English planters, being all Catholics, would afterwards join. Their plan was, that Sir Phelim O'Neale, and the other conspirators, should proclaim the independence of Ireland on a given day throughout the provinces, and that, on the same day, lord Macguire and Roger More should surprise the castle of Dublin. They fixed on the beginning of winter for the commencement of this revolt; that there might be more difficulty in transporting forces from England. Succours to themselves, and supplies of arms, they expected from France, in consequence of a promise made them by cardinal Richelieu; and many Irish officers, who had served in the Spanish army, had given assurances of their concurrence, as soon as they saw an insurrection entered upon by their Catholic brethren. News, which every day arrived from England, of the measures of the commons against all papists, stimulated the conspirators to execute their fatal purpose, and assured them of the concurrence of their countrymen. Such a propensity was discovered in all the Irish to revolt, that it was deemed unnecessary as well as dangerous to trust the secret in many hands; and, though the day appointed drew nigh, no discovery had yet been made to government. The king, indeed, had received information from his ambassadors, that something was in agitation among the Irish in foreign parts; but, though he gave warning to the administration in Ireland, the intelligence was discredited. The English were awakened from their security only the day before the commencement of hostilities. The castle of Dublin, by which the capital was commanded, contained arms for 10,000 men, with thirty-five pieces of cannon, and a proportionable quantity of ammunition. Yet was this important place guarded by no greater force than fifty men. Macguire and More were already in town with a numerous band of their retainers; others were expected that night; and next morning they were to enter upon what they esteemed the easiest of all enter
rises, the surprisal of the castle. O'Connolly,
owever, an Irish protestant, discovered the conspiracy. The justices and council fled immediately to the castle, and reinforced the guards: the city was alarmed, and all the Protestants prepared for defence. More escaped, but Macguire was taken; and Mahon, one of the conspirators, being likewise seized, first discovered to the justices the project of a general insurrection. But though O'Connolly's discovery saved the castle, Mahon's confession came too late to prevent the insurrection. O'Neale and his so had already taken arms in Ulster. The houses, cattle, and goods of the English were first seized. Those who heard of the commotions in their neighbourhood, instead of deserting their habitations, and assembling together for mutual protection, remained at home in hopes of defending their property: and thus fell separately into the hands of their enemies. A universal massacre now commenced, accompanied with circumstances of un
equalled barbarity. No age, sex, or condition
was spared. All connexions were dissolved, and
death was often dealt by that hand from which protection was implored and expected. The tortures which wanton cruelty only could devise, the most lingering pains of body, and anguish of mind, could not satiate revenge the most extreme, excited without injury, and active without intermission. Such enormities, in short, were committed, that, if not attested by undoubted evidence, they would appear incredible. If any where a number assembled together, and resolyed to oppose the assassins, they were disarmed by capitulations and promises of safety, confirmed by the most solemn oaths. But no sooner had they surrendered than the rebels, with a perfidy equal to their cruelty, made them share the fate of their unhappy countrymen. Others tempted their prisoners, by the fond love of life, to imbrue their hands in the blood of friends, brothers, or parents; and, having thus rendered them accomplices in their own guilt, gave them that death which they sought to shun by deserving it. Such were the barbarities by which Sir Phelim O'Neale, and the Irish in Ulster signalised their rebellion. More, shocked at the recital of these enormities, flew to O'Neale's camp; but found that his authority, which was sufficient to excite the Irish to a rebellion, was too feeble to restrain their inhumanity. Soon after, he abandoned the cause, and retired to Flanders. From Ulster the flames of discord spread over the other three provinces. In all places death and slaughter were common; though the Irish in the other H. pretended to act with moderation and
umanity. But even here cruel and barbarous was their humanity Not content with expelling the English from their houses, they often stripped them of their clothes, and turned them out naked and defenceless to all the severities of the season. By some computations, those who perished by these various cruelties amounted to 150,000, or 200,000; but, by the most moderate, they could not have been less than 50,000. The English of the pale at first condemned the insur. rection, and appeared to detest the barbarity with which it was accompanied. By their protestations and declarations they engaged the justices to supply them with arms, which they o to employ in defence of government.
ut the interests of their intolerant religion were soon found to be more prevalent over them than duty to their country. They chose lord Gormon: stone their leader; and, joining the Irish, rivalled them in every act of cruelty towards the English Protestants. Besides many smaller bodies, dispersed over the kingdom, the rebels had a main army amounting to 20,000 men, which now threatened Dublin with immediate siege; and both the English and Irish rebels pretended authority from the king and queen, but especially the latter, for their insurrection. They affirmed that the cause of their taking arms was to vindicate the royal prerogative, invaded by the put tanical parliament: and Sir Phelim O'Neale; having found a royal patent in the house of lord Caulfield, whom he had murdered, tore off the seal, and affixed it to a commission which he ha"
Charles received intelligence of this insurrection while in Scotland, and immediately acquainted the parliament with it. lie hoped, as there had all along been such an outcry against Popery, that now, when that religion was appearing in its blackest colors, the nation would vigorously support him in the suppression of it. But here he found himself mistaken. The Scots already considering themselves as a republic, and conceiving hopes from the present distresses of Ireland, resolved to make an advantageous bargain for the succours with which they should supply. Except, therefore, despatching a small body of forces, to support their colonies in Ulster, they would go no farther than to send commissioners to London, in order to treat with the parliament. The king, too, sensible of his utter inability to subdue the Irish rebels, found himself obliged, in this exigency, to have recourse to the English parliament, and depend on their assistance. He told them that the insurrection Was not, in his opinion, the result of any rash enterprise, but of' a formed conspiracy against the crown. To their care and wisdom, therefore, he said, he committed the conduct and prosecution of the war, which, in a cause so important to national and religious interests, must of necessity be immediately entered upon. But the parliament, now re-assembled, discovered in every vote the same dispositions in which they had separated. Nothing less than a total abolition of monarchy seemed resolved upon. This project, however, it had not been in the power of the popular leaders to have executed, had it not been for the ardor of the nation for the presbyterian discipline. By the difficulties and distresses of the crown, the commons, who alone possessed the power of supply, had aggrandised themselves; and it seemed fortunate for their interests that the Irish rebellion had succeeded, at such a critical juncture, to the pacification in Scotland. The concession of the king, by which he committed to them the care of Ireland, they immediately laid hold of, and interpreted in the most unlimited sense: assuming the sovereignty of that country fully and entirely. While they pretended the utmost zeal against the insurgents, however, they took no steps for their suppression, but such as likewise gave them the superiority in those commotions, which they foresaw must be soon excited in England. They levied money under pretence of the Irish expedition, but reserved it for purposes which concerned them more nearly: they took arms from the king's magazines, but still kept them with a secret intention of making use of them against himself: whatever law they deemed necessary, for aggrandising themselves, they voted, under color of enabling them to recover Ireland; and, if Charles withheld his royal assent, the refusal was imputed to those pernicious counsels, which at first excited to Popish rebellion, and which still threatened total ruin, as they declared, to the Protestant interest. So strong was the people's attachment to the commons, that no fault was imputed to those pious zealots, whose votes breathed nothing but death and destruction to the Irish rebels. The conduct of the parliament towards the king himself became in the mean time
exceedingly cruel. It was thought proper M frame a general remonstrance on the state of the kingdom; and accordingly the committee, which at the first meeting of the parliament had been chosen for that purpose, were commanded to finish their undertaking. The king returned from Scotland, November 25th, 1641. He was received in London with the shouts of the populace, and every demonstration of public regard. Sir Richard Gournay, lord mayor, a man of great merit and influence, had promoted these dispositions. But the remonstrance of the commons soon awoke him to their bold designs. The bad counsels which he followed were complained -of; his -concurrence in the Irish rebellion plainly insinuated; 'the scheme laid for the introduction of popery and superstition' was inveighed against; and, for a remedy to all those evils, the king was desired to entrust important offices and commands to persons in whom his parliament should have cause to confide. To this remonstrance Charles was obliged to make a civil reply, notwithstanding his subjects had transgressed all bounds of respect in their treatment of him. It would be tedious to point out every invasion of the prerogative, now attempted and carried by the commons. Finding themselves at last likely to be opposed by the peerage, they openly told the upper house, that 'they themselves were the representatives of the great body of the kingdom, and that the peers were nothing but individuals, who held their seats in a particular capacity; and, therefore, if their lordships would not consent to acts necessary for the preservation of the people, the commons, together with such of the lords as were more sensible of the danger, must join together, and represent the matter to his majesty.' Every method of alarming the people was now put in practice. The commons affected continual fears of destruction. They excited the people by never ceasing enquiries after conspiracies, reports of insurrections, and feigned intelligence from abroad, against Papists and their adherents. When Charles dismissed the guard, which they had ordered during his absence, they complained; and, upon his promising them a new one,under the command of the earl of Lindesay, they absolutely refused the offer: on the other hand, they ordered halberts to be brought into the hall wtere they assembled, and thus armed themselves against those conspiracies with which they said they were hourly threatened. Several reduced .officers, and young gentlemen of the inns of court, during this time of distress and danger, offered their service to the king. Between them and the populace there often passed skirmishes, which ended not without bloodshed. By way of reproach, these gentlemen gave the populace the name of Round-heads, on account of their short cropt hair; while they distinguished the others by the name of Cavaliers. And thus the nation, which was before sufficiently provided with religious as well as civil causes of quarrel, was also supplied with party names, under which the factions mi«ht signalise their mutual hatred. These tumults continued to increase about Westminster and Whitehall. The cry continually resounded against bishops and