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charges against the unhappy monarch; and, on their report, a vote passed declaring it treason in a king to levy war against his P.; It was resolved, that a high court of justice should be appointed, to try the king on the charge of this newly invented treason. For form's sake, they desired the concurrence of the few remaining lords in the upper house; but there was virtue enough left in that body unanimously to reject the proposal. The commons, however, were not to be stopped by so small an obstacle. They voted that the concurrence of the house of lords was unnecessary, and that the people were the origin of all just }. To add to their zeal, a woman of Herefordshire, illuminated by prophetical visions, desired admittance, and communicated a revelation she pretended to have received from heaven. She assured them, that their measures were consecrated from above, and ratified by the sanction of the Holy Ghost; intelligence § gave them, it is said, great comfort. Colonel Harrison, the son of a butcher, was commanded to conduct the king from Hurst Castle to Windsor, and thence to London. Many who saw him on this journey were greatly affected at the change that appeared in his face and person. He had permitted his beard to grow; his hair was become venerably gray, rather by the pressure of anxiety than the hand of time; while the rest of his apparel bore the marks of misfortune and decay. All the exterior symbols of sovereignty were now withdrawn, and his attendants had orders to serve him without ceremony. He could not, however, be persuaded that his adversaries would bring him to a formal trial; but he every moment expected to be despatched by private assassination. From the 6th to the 20th of January was spent in making preparations for this extraordinary trial. The court consisted of 133 persons named by the commons; but of these never above seventy met upon the trial. The members were chiefly composed of the principal officers of the army, most of them of very mean birth, together with some of the lower house, and a few citizens of London. Bradshaw, a lawyer, was chosen president; Coke was appointed solicitor for the people of England; Dorislaus, Steele, and Aske, were named assistants. The court sat in Westminster Hall. When the king was brought forward he was conducted by the mace-bearer to a chair placed within the bar. Though long detained a prisoner, and now produced as a criminal, he still maintained the dignity of a king. The charges being read by the solicitor, accusing him of having been the cause of all the bloodshed since the commencement of the war, Bradshaw told him that the court expected his answer, when the king began his defence with declining the authority of the court. He stated, that, having been engaged in treaty with his two houses of parliament, and having finished almost every article, he expected a different treatment from what he had now received. He perceived, he said, no appearance of an upper house, which was necessary to constitute a just tribunal. He insisted that he was himself the king and fountain of law, and consequently could not be tried by laws to which he had never given his assent;
that, having been intrusted with the liberties of the people, he would not now betray them by recognising a power founded in usurpation; that he was willing, before a proper tribunal, to enter into the particulars of his defence; but that before them he must decline any apology for his innocence, lest he should be considered as the betrayer of, and not a martyr for, the constitution. Bradshaw, in order to support the authority of the court, insisted that they had received their authority from the people, the source of all right. He pressed the king not to decline the authority of a court that was delegated by the commons of England, and interrupted and overruled him in his attempts to reply. In this manner the king was three times produced before the court, and as often persisted in declining its jurisdiction. The fourth and last time he was brought before this self-created tribunal, as he was proceeding thither, he was insulted by the soldiers and the mob, who cried out, “Justice 1 justice! Execution execution!' but he continued undaunted. His judges having now examined some witnesses, by whom it was proved that the king had appeared in arms against the forces commissioned by parliament, they pronounced sentence against him. He seemed very anxious at this time to be admitted to a conference with the two houses, and it was supposed that he intended to resign the crown to his son: but the court refused compliance, and considered his request as an artifice to delay justice. The behaviour of Charles under all these instances of low-bred malice was great, firm, and equal. In going through the hall from this execrable tribunal, the soldiers and rabble were again instigated to cry out, Justice and execution They reviled him with the most bitter reproaches. Among other insults, one miscreant presumed to spit in the face of his sovereign. He patiently bore their insolence: “Poor souls,' cried he, they would treat their generals in the same manner for sixpence.’ Those of the populace, who still retained the feelings of humanity, expressed their sorrow in sighs and tears. A soldier more compassionate than the rest could not help imploring a blessing on his royal head: when an officer, overhearing him, struck the honest sentinel to the ground before the king: the latter only remarked ‘ that the punishment seemed to exceed the offence.’ At his return to Whitehall, Charles desired permission to see his children, and to be attended in his private
devotions by Dr. Juxon, late bishop of London.
These requests were granted, and three days allowed him to prepare for execution. Every night between his sentence and execution, the king slept sound as usual:—the fatal morning being at last arrived, he arose early, and, calling one of his attendants, he bad him employ more than usual care in dressing him, for so great a solemnity. The street before Whitehall was the place destined for his execution. He was led through the banqueting house to the scaffold adjoining to that edifice, attended by his friend and servant, bishop Juxon, a man of the same mild and steady virtues with himself. Theseaffold, which was covered with black, was guarded by a regiment of soldiers under the command of colo
nel Tomlinson; and on it were to be seen the block, the axe, and two executioners in masks. The people, in crowds, stood at a distance. Surveying all these preparations with calm composure, the king, as he could not expect to be heard by the people at a distance, now addressed himself to the few persons who stood around him. He justified his own innocence in the late fatal wars: and observed, that he had not, taken arms till after the parliament had shown him the example; and had no other object in his warlike preparations but to preserve that authority entire, which had been transmitted to him by his ancestors. But, though innocent towards his people, he acknowledged the equity of his execution, in the eyes of his Maker: he owned that he was iustly punished for having consented to the execution of an unjust sentence against the earl of Strafford. He forgave all his enemies; exhorted the people to return to their obedience, and acknowledge his son as his successor; and signified his attachment to the Protestant religion as professed by the church of England. So strong was the impression made by his dying words, on those who could hear him, that colonel Tomlinson himself, to whose care he had been committed, acknowledged himself a convert. At one blow his head was severed from his body. The assistant executioner then, holding up the head, exclaimed, “This is the head of a traitor.' Grief, indignation, and astonishment, are said to have been strongly expressed, not only among the spectators, but throughout a great part of the nation, at this unparalleled execution. Each blamed himself either with active disloyalty to the king, or a passive compliance with his destroyers: many of those very pulpits that used to resound with insolence and sedition were now bedeved with tears of unfeigned repentance; and great numbers expressed their detestation of those dark hypocrites, who, to satisfy their own ambition, involved the whole nation in their guilt. Charles was executed fifty-two minutes after one, P.M. on the 30th of January, 1649, in the forty-ninth year of his age, and twenty-fourth of his reign. He was of a middling stature, robust, and well-proportioned. His visage was pleasant, but melancholy; and it is probable, that the continual troubles in which he was involved might have made that impression on his countenance. The king, the moment before he stretched out his neck to the executioner, having said to Juxon, with a very earnest accent, ‘Remember, great mysteries were supposed to be concealed under that word: and the generals vehemently insisted that the prelate should inform them of the king's meaning. Juxon told them, that the king, having frequently charged him to inculcate on his son the forgiveness of his enemies, had taken this opportunity in the last moment of his life, when his commands, he supposed, would be regarded as sacred and inviolable, to reiterate that desire. 2. Of Great Britain under the Commonwealth-The dissolution of the monarchy of England soon followed the death of the monarch. When the peers met, on the day appointed in their adjournment, they entered upon business; and sent down some votes to the commons, of which the
latter deigned not to take the least notice. On the 6th of February the commons voted, that the house of lords was “useless and dangerous, and the kingly office unnecessary and burdensome." They also voted it high treason to acknowledge Charles Stuart, son of the late king, as successor to the throne. A great seal was made; on one side of which were engraven the arms of England and Ireland, with this inscription, “The great seal of England.' . On the reverse was represented the house of commons sitting, with this motto: “On the first year of freedom, by God's blessing restored, 1649.’ The forms of all public business were changed from being transacted in the king's name, to that of the keepers of the liberties of England. The court of King's Bench was called the court of Public Bench. The king's statue in the exchange was thrown down; and on the pedestal these words were inscribed: Exit tyrannus, regum ultimus; “The tyrant is gone, the last of the kings.’ The commons, it is said, intended to bind the princess Elizabeth apprentice to abutton-maker; the duke of Gloucester was to be taught some other mechanical employment; but the former soon died of grief, as is supposed, for her father's tragical end; the latter was sent beyond sea by Cromwell. The commons next proceeded to punish those who had been most remarkable for their attachment to their late sovereign. The duke of Hamilton, lord Capel, and the earl of Holland, were condemned and executed; the earl of Norwich and Sir John Owen were also condemned, but afterwards Pardoned. These proceedings irritated the Scots: their loyalty began to return; and the insolence of the Independents, with their victories, inflamed them still more. They determined, therefore, to acknowledge prince Charles for their king, but at the same time to abridge his power, by every limitation which they had attempted to impose on his father. Charles, after the death of his father, having passed some time at Paris, and seeing no prospect of assistance from that quarter, was glad to accept of their conditions; and had the mortification to enter the gate of Edinburgh, while the limbs of his faithful adherent, Montrose, were still exposed there. He soon found himself little better than a prisoner, being surrounded and incessantly importuned by the clergy, from whom, and his other tormentors, he at first attempted to escape: but was overtaken and brought back; when he testified his repentance for what he had done. Cromwell, in the mean time, who had been appointed by the parliament to command the army in Ireland, prosecuted the war in that kingdom with his usual success. He had to encounter the royalists, commanded by the duke of Ormond, and the native Irish led on by O'Neal. These he quickly overcame ; and most of the towns, intimidated by his successes, opened their gates at his approach. He was on the point of reducing the whole kingdom, when he was recalled by the Y. as we have seen in his life, to defend ngland against the Scots; and fought the celebrated battles of Dunbar and Worcester. After the battle of Worcester, Charles entered upon a series of the most romantic adventures. His hair being cut off, the better to disguise his person, he worked for some days in the habit of a peasant, cutting faggots. He next made an attempt to retire into Wales, under the conduct of one Pendrel, a poor farmer, who was sincerely attached to his cause. In this attempt, however, he was disappointed; every pass being guarded to preventhis escape. Being obliged to return, he met one colonel Careless, who had escaped the carnage at Worcester. In his company the king was obliged to climb a spreading oak; among the thick branches of which they spent the day together, while they heard the soldiers of the enemy in pursuit of them below. Thence he passed with imminent danger, and through all the varieties of hunger, fatigue, and personal suffering, to the house of colonel Lane, a zealous royalist in Staffordshire. There he deliberated about the means of escaping into France; and, it being decided that he should endeavour to reach the port of Bristol, he rode thither before this gentleman's sister, on a visit to a Mrs. Norton. During this journey, he every day met with persons whose faces he knew; and at one time passed through a whole regiment of the enemy's army. On his arrival the butler, being sent to his chamber with refreshments, recollected his features; and, falling on his knees, exclaimed, “I am rejoiced to see your majesty.’ The king was alarmed; but, strictly enjoining the
man to keep the secret from his master, the
honest fellow kept his word: and, no ship being found that would sail for France for a month, the king now passed on to the house of colonel Wyndham in Dorsetshire. Pursuing from thence his journey to the sea side, he had once more a very narrow escape. The day had been appointed for a solemn fast; and a fanatical weaver, who had been a soldier in the army, was preaching against royalty in a chapel fronting the inn where the king had stopped. Charles, to avoid suspicion, was himself among the audience. It lappened that a smith, of the same principles with the weaver, had been examining the horses belonging to the passengers, and came to assure the preacher that he knew by the fashion of the shoes that one of the strangers' horses came from the north. The preacher immediately affirmed that this horse could belong to no other than Charles Stuart, and instantly went with a constable to search the inn. But Charles had in the mean time taken the alarm, and left the inn before the constable's arrival. He at last embarked at Shoreham in Sussex; and, after forty-one days
concealment, arrived safely at Feschamp in Nor
mandy. Cromwell in the mean time returned in triumph; and his first care was to depress the Scots, on account of their having withstood the work of the gospel, as he called it. An act was passed for abolishing royalty in Scotland, and annexing that kingdom as a conquered province to the English commonwealth. It was empowered, however, to send some members to the English arliament. Judges were appointed to distribute justice; and the people of that country, now freed from the tyranny of the ecclesiastics, were not much dissatisfied with the new government. All parts of the British dominions being thus reduced under perfect subjection to the parlia
ment, he next resolved to chastise the Dutch, who had given some slight causes of complaint Dr. Dorislaus, who had been one of the late king's judges, being sent by the parliament as their envoy to Holland, was assassinated by one of the royal party who had taken refuge there. Some time after, Mr. Stephen John, their ambassador, was insulted by the friends of the prince of Orange. These were thought sufficient reasons for a declaration of war against that republic by the commonwealth of England. The parliament greatly depended at this time on the activity and courage of Blake, their admiral. On the other hand, the Dutch opposed to him their famous admiral Van Tromp, to whom their republic has never since produced an equal. Many were the engagements between these celebrated admirals. At last the Dutch, who felt great disadvantages by the loss of their trade, and by the total suspension of their fisheries, were willing to treat for peace. The parliament, however, gave them an evasive answer. They seem studiously to have kept their navy in exercise as long as they could; judging, that, while the force of the nation was exerted by sea, it would diminish the formidable power of Cromwell by land. But terms were not long kept between them. He persuaded the officers to present a petition for payment of arrears, and redress of grievances; desiring the parliament also to consider how many years they had sat, and what pretensions they had formerly made of their designs to new model the house. They alleged that it was now full time to give place to others; and however meritorious their actions might have been, yet, the rest of the nation had some right, in their turn, to manifest their patriotism in defence of their country. The house was highly offended : they appointed a committee to prepare an act ordaining that all persons who presented such petitions for the future should be deemed guilty of high treason. To this the officers made a very warm remonstrance, and the parliament as angry a reply. We once more refer to the article Cromwell, for the result of these disputes, and the history of his final exaltation. At last the Dutch, having been humbled by repeated defeats, were forced to sue for peace. Cromwell obliged them on this occasion to abandon the interest of the king's son, to pay £85,000 as an indemnification for former exenses, and to restore, to the English East India ompany, a part of those dominions of which they had been dispossessed by the Dutch, during the former reign. The ministry of France also paid the utmost deference to the protector: and he having lent that court a body of 6000 men, to attack the Spanish dominions in the Netherlands, the French put Dunkirk into his hands as a reward for his attachment. By the heroic exertions of the celebrated admiral Blake, he also humbled Spain; as well as the Algerines and Tunisians. Penn and Venables, two other admirals, made an attempt on the island of Hispaniola; but, failing of this, they steered to Jamaica, which was surrendered to them without a blow. It is not to be supposed, that a * - 2 E
standing army could be maintained, and so many foreign wars carried on, without incurring extraordinary expenses. The protector therefore called his first and second parliaments, guards being placed at the door of the latter, that none might be admitted but such as produced a warrant from his council. The principal design of convening this assembly was, that they should offer him the crown. His creatures, therefore, took care to insinuate the confusion that arose in legal proceedings without the name of a king; that no man was acquainted with the extent or limits of the present magistrate's authority, but those of a king had been well ascertained by the experience of ages. On the motion being at last formally made in the house, it was easily carried, and nothing was wanting but Cromwell's own consent to have his name enrolled among the sovereigns of England. This consent, however, he avoided to give. The conference carried on with the members, who made him the offer, seems to argue that he was desirous of being compelled to accept it, but it ended in his total refusal. With all these proffered honors, and all his real despotic power, the situation of Cromwell, we have seen, was far from being enviable. Conspiracies were formed against him, and it was finally taught upon principle, that not only was his death desirable, but his assassination would be meritorious. Cromwell is said to have read the celebrated pamphlet of colonel Titus, Killing no Murder, and never to have smiled afterwards. At last he was delivered from a life of horror and anxiety by a tertian ague, of which he died September 3rd, 1658, after having usurped the government nine years. For other particulars of the life and character of this extraordinary man, see CRomwell. Oliver Cromwell was nominally succeeded in his office of protector by his son Richard, who immediately called a parliament. To this assembly the army presented a remonstrance, desiring some person for their general in whom they could confide. The house voted such meetings and remonstrances unlawful : upon which the officers, surrounding Richard's house, forced him to dissolve the parliament; and soon after he signed an abdication of the government. His younger brother Henry, who had been apÉ. to the command in Ireland, followed ichard's example, and resigned his commission also without striking a blow. The officers, left at liberty, resolved to restore the Rump parliament, as it was called, consisting of that remnant of the commons which had condemned Charles. They were no sooner reinstated in their authority, however, than they began to humble the army by cashiering some of the officers, and appointing others on whom they could have more dependence. The officers at last resolved to dissolve the assembly. Lambert, one of the generals, drew up a body of troops, in the streets which led to Westminster Hall; and, when the speaker Lenthall proceeded in his carriage to the house, he ordered the horses to be turned, and very civilly conducted him home. The other members were likewise intercepted; and the army returned to their quarters to observe a solemn fast, which gene
rally either preceded or attended their outrages. A committee was then elected, of twenty-three persons, of whom seven were officers. These they pretended to invest with sovereign authority.
fit a stronger influence was at work in the north. Upon hearing that the officers had by their own authority dissolved the parliament, general Monk, then in Scotland with 8000 veteran troops, protested against the measure, and resolved to defend the national privileges. As soon as he put his army in motion, he found himself eagerly sought after by all parties; but so cautious was he of declaring his mind, that, to the very last, it was impossible to know on which side he designed to appear. A remarkable instance of this was, that, when his own brother came to him, with a message from lord Granville in the name of the king, he refused all intercourse with him. On the other hand, hearing that the officers were preparing an army to oppose him, Monk amused them with negociations; and the people, finding themselves not entirely defenceless, began to declare for a free parliament. The Rump, now also finding them. selves invited to sit by the navy and part of the army, again ventured to resume their seats, and to thunder votes against the officers, by whom they had been ejected. Without taking any notice of Lambert, they sent orders to the troops to repair immediately to the garrisons appointed for them. The soldiers obeyed; and Lambert found himself deserted by his whole army. Monk, in the mean time, proceeded with his troops to London; the gentry, on his march, flocked round him with addresses, and expres
sing their desire for a new parliament. At St.
Albans, within a few miles of the capital, he sent the parliament a message, desiring them to remove such forces as remained in London to
country quarters. Some of the regiments wil
lingly obeyed this order; and such as did not Monk ejected by force: after which he quartered his army in Westminster. The house now voted him thanks for his services: when he desired them to call a free parliament; which soon led the citizens to refuse submission to the existing government. They resolved to pay no taxes until the members formerly excluded by colonel Pride should be replaced. On this Monk arrested eleven of the most obnoxious of the common council; broke the gates and portcullises; and, having exposed the city to contempt, returned in triumph to Westminster. The next day, however, he made an apology for this conduct, and promised for the future to cooperate with the mayor and common council. The commons were now greatly alarmed. They tried every method to draw off the general from his new alliance. Some of them even promised to invest him with the dignity of supreme magistrate. But Monk was too just, or too wise, to hearken to such wild proposals: he resolved to restore the secluded members, and by their means to bring about a new election. The restoration of the expelled members was easily effected; and their number was so much superior to that of the Rump, that the chiefs of this last party now thought proper in their turn to