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The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 12 by Editor-In-Chief Rossiter Johnson

Part 5 out of 8

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and seasons just to change as our affairs required it, could not but make
a deep impression on me as well as on all that observed it. Those famous
verses of Claudian seemed to be more applicable to the Prince than to him
they were made on:

"Heaven's favorite, for whom the skies do fight,
And all the winds conspire to guide thee right!"

The Prince made haste to Exeter, where he stayed ten days, both for
refreshing his troops and for giving the country time to show its
affection. Both the clergy and magistrates of Exeter were very fearful and
very backward. The Bishop and the dean ran away. And the clergy stood off,
though they were sent for and very gently spoken to by the Prince. The
truth was, the doctrines of passive obedience and non-resistance had been
carried so far and preached so much that clergymen either could not all
on the sudden get out of that entanglement into which they had by long
thinking and speaking all one way involved themselves, or they were ashamed
to make so quick a turn. Yet care was taken to protect them and their
houses everywhere, so that no sort of violence or rudeness was offered to
any of them. The Prince gave me full authority to do this, and I took so
particular a care of it that we heard of no complaints. The army was kept
under such an exact discipline that everything was paid for where it
was demanded, though the soldiers were contented with such moderate
entertainment that the people generally asked but little for what they did
eat. We stayed a week at Exeter before any of the gentlemen of the country
about came in to the Prince. Every day some persons of condition came from
other parts. The first were Lord Colchester, Mr. Wharton, the eldest sons
of the Earl of Rivers, and Lord Wharton, Mr. Russel, Lord Russel's brother,
and the Earl of Abingdon.

The King came down to Salisbury, and sent his troops twenty miles farther.
Of these, three regiments of horse and dragoons were drawn on by their
officers, Lord Cornbury and Colonel Langston, on design to come over to the
Prince. Advice was sent to the Prince of this. But because these officers
were not sure of their subalterns, the Prince ordered a body of his men to
advance and assist them in case any resistance was made. They were within
twenty miles of Exeter, and within two miles of the body that the Prince
had sent to join them, when a whisper ran about among them that they were
betrayed. Lord Cornbury had not the presence of mind that so critical a
thing required. So they fell in confusion, and many rode back. Yet one
regiment came over in a body, and with them about a hundred of the other

This gave us great courage, and showed us that we had not been deceived in
what was told us of the inclinations of the King's army. Yet, on the other
hand, those who studied to support the King's spirit by flatteries, told
him that in this he saw that he might trust his army, since those who
intended to carry over those regiments were forced to manage it with so
much artifice, and dared not discover their design either to officers or
soldiers, and that as soon as they perceived it the greater part of them
had turned back. The King wanted support; for his spirits sunk extremely.
His blood was in such fermentation that he was bleeding much at the nose,
which returned oft upon him every day. He sent many spies over to us. They
all took his money, and came and joined themselves to the Prince, none of
them returning to him. So that he had no intelligence brought him of what
the Prince was doing but what common reports brought him, which magnified
our numbers and made him think we were coming near him while we were still
at Exeter. He heard that the city of London was very unquiet.

News was brought him that the Earls of Devonshire and Danby, and Lord
Lumley, were drawing great bodies together, and that both York and
Newcastle had declared for the Prince. Lord Delamere had raised a regiment
in Cheshire. And the body of the nation did everywhere discover their
inclinations for the Prince so evidently that the King saw he had nothing
to trust to but his army. And the ill-disposition among them was so
apparent that he reckoned he could not depend on them. So that he lost
both heart and head at once. But that which gave him the last and most
confounding stroke was that Lord Churchill and the Duke of Grafton left him
and came and joined the Prince at Axminster, twenty miles on that side of

After this he could not know on whom he could depend. The Duke of Grafton
was one of King Charles' sons by the Duchess of Cleveland. He had been
some time at sea, and was a gallant but rough man. He had more spirit than
anyone of that spurious race. He made answer to the King, about this time,
that was much talked of. The King took notice of somewhat in his behavior
that looked factious, and he said he was sure he could not pretend to act
upon principles of conscience; for he had been so ill-bred that, as he knew
little of religion, so he regarded it less. But he answered the King that,
though he had little conscience, yet he was of a party that had conscience.
Soon after that, Prince George, the Duke of Ormond, and Lord Drumlanerick,
the Duke of Queensbury's eldest son, left him and came over to the Prince,
and joined him when he was come as far as the Earl of Bristol's house at

When the news came to London the Princess was so struck with the
apprehensions of the King's displeasure, and of the ill-effects that it
might have, that she said to Lady Churchill that she could not bear the
thoughts of it, and would leap out of window rather than venture on it. The
Bishop of London was then lodged very secretly in Suffolk Street. So Lady
Churchill, who knew where he was, went to him and concerted with him the
method of the Princess' withdrawing from the court. The Princess went
sooner to bed than ordinary. And about midnight she went down a back stairs
from her closet, attended only by Lady Churchill,[1] in such haste that
they carried nothing with them. They were waited for by the Bishop of
London, who carried them to the Earl of Dorset's, whose lady furnished them
with everything, And so they went northward as far as Northampton, where
that Earl attended on them with all respect, and quickly brought a body of
horse to serve for a guard to the Princess. And in a little while a small
army was formed about her, who chose to be commanded by the Bishop of
London, of which he too easily accepted, and was by that exposed to much

[Footnote 1: And Mrs. Berkeley, afterward Lady Fitzharding. The back stairs
were made a little before for that purpose. The Princess pretended she was
out of order, upon some expostulations that had passed between her and the
Queen, in a visit she received from her that night, therefore said she
would not be disturbed till she rang her bell. Next morning, when her
servants had waited two hours longer than her usual time of rising, they
were afraid something was the matter with her, and finding the bed open,
and her highness gone, they ran screaming to my father's lodgings, which
were the next to hers, and told my mother the Princess was murdered by the
priests; thence they went to the Queen, and old Mistress Buss asked her in
a very rude manner what she had done with her mistress. The Queen answered
her very gravely, she supposed their mistress was where she liked to be,
but did assure them she knew nothing of her, but did not doubt they would
hear of her again very soon. Which gave them little satisfaction, upon
which there was a rumor all over Whitehall that the Queen had made away
with the Princess.--_Dartmouth._]

These things put the King in an inexpressible confusion. He saw himself now
forsaken not only by those whom he had trusted and favored most, but even
by his own children. And the army was in such distraction that there was
not any one body that seemed entirely united and firm to him. A foolish
ballad was made at that time treating the papists, and chiefly the Irish,
in a very ridiculous manner, which had a burden, said to be Irish words,
_lero, lero, lilibulero_, that made an impression on the army that cannot
be well imagined by those who saw it not. The whole army, and at last all
people both in city and country, were singing it perpetually. And perhaps
never had so slight a thing so great an effect.

But now strange counsels were suggested to the King and Queen. The priests
and all the violent papists saw a treaty was now opened. They knew that
they must be the sacrifice. The whole design of popery must be given up,
without any hope of being able in an age to think of bringing it on again.
Severe laws would be made against them. And all those who intended to
stick to the King, and to preserve him, would go into those laws with a
particular zeal; so that they and their hopes must be now given up and
sacrificed forever. They infused all this into the Queen. They said she
would certainly be impeached, and witnesses would be set up against her and
her son; the King's mother had been impeached in the Long Parliament; and
she was to look for nothing but violence. So the Queen took up a sudden
resolution of going to France with the child. The midwife, together with
all who were assisting at the birth, were also carried over, or so disposed
of that it could never be learned what became of them afterward.

The Queen prevailed with the King not only to consent to this, but to
promise to go quickly after her. He was only to stay a day or two after
her, in hope that the shadow of authority that was still left in him might
keep things so quiet that she might have an undisturbed passage. So she
went to Portsmouth. And thence, in a man-of-war, she went over to France,
the King resolving to follow her in disguise. Care was also taken to send
all the priests away. The King stayed long enough to get the Prince's
answer. And when he had read it he said he did not expect so good terms. He
ordered the lord chancellor to come to him next morning. But he had called
secretly for the great seal. And the next morning, being December 10th,
about three in the morning he went away in disguise with Sir Edward Hales,
whose servant he seemed to be. They passed the river, and flung the great
seal into it; which was some months after found by a fisherman near
Foxhall. The King went down to a miserable fisher-boat that Hales had
provided for carrying them over to France.

Thus a great king, who had yet a good army and a strong fleet, did choose
rather to abandon all than either to expose himself to any danger with that
part of the army that was still firm to him or to stay and see the issue of
a parliament. Some put this mean and unaccountable resolution on a want of
courage. Others thought it was the effect of an ill-conscience, and of some
black thing under which he could not now support himself. And they who
censured it the most moderately said that it showed that his priests had
more regard for themselves than for him; and that he considered their
interests more than his own; and that he chose rather to wander abroad with
them and to try what he could do by a French force to subdue his people
than to stay at home and be shut up within the bounds of law, and be
brought under an incapacity of doing more mischief; which they saw was
necessary to quiet those fears and jealousies for which his bad government
had given so much occasion. It seemed very unaccountable, since he was
resolved to go, that he did not choose rather to go in one of his yachts or
frigates than to expose himself in so dangerous and ignominious a manner.
It was not possible to put a good construction on any part of the
dishonorable scene which he then acted.

With this his reign ended: for this was a plain deserting of his people and
exposing the nation to the pillage of an army which he had ordered the Earl
of Feversham to disband. And the doing this without paying them was letting
so many armed men loose upon the nation; who might have done much mischief
if the execution of those orders that he left behind him had not been
stopped. I shall continue the recital of all that passed in this
_interregnum_, till the throne, which he now left empty, was filled.

He was not got far, when some fishermen of Feversham, who were watching
for such priests and other delinquents as they fancied were making their
escape, came up to him. And they, knowing Sir Edward Hales, took both the
King and him, and brought them to Feversham. The King told them who he
was.[1] And that flying about brought a vast crowd together to look on this
astonishing instance of the uncertainty of all worldly greatness, when he
who had ruled three kingdoms and might have been the arbiter of all Europe
was now in such mean hands, and so low an equipage. The people of the town
were extremely disordered with this unlooked-for accident; and, though for
a while they kept him as a prisoner, yet they quickly changed that into
as much respect as they could possibly pay him. Here was an accident that
seemed of no great consequence. Yet all the strugglings which that party
have made ever since that time to this day, which from him were called
afterward the Jacobites, did rise out of this; for if he had got clear
away, by all that could be judged, he would not have had a party left; all
would have agreed that here was a desertion, and that therefore the nation
was free and at liberty to secure itself. But that following upon this gave
them a color to say that he was forced away and driven out. Till now he
scarce had a party but among the papists. But from this incident a party
grew up that has been long very active for his interests.

[Footnote 1: And desired they would send to Eastwell for the Earl of
Winchelsea; which Sir Basil Dixwell put a stop to by telling him surely
they were good enough to take care of him. Which occasioned the King's
saying he found there was more civility among the common people than some
gentlemen, when he was returned to Whitehall.--_Dartmouth_.]

As soon as it was known at London that the King was gone, the 'prentices
and the rabble, who had been a little quieted when they saw a treaty
on foot between the King and the Prince, now broke out again upon all
suspected houses, where they believed there were either priests or
papists. They made great havoc of many places, not sparing the houses of
ambassadors. But none was killed, no houses burned, nor were any robberies
committed. Never was so much fury seen under so much management. Jeffreys
finding the King was gone, saw what reason he had to look to himself, and,
apprehending that he was now exposed to the rage of the people whom he had
provoked with so particular a brutality, he had disguised himself to
make his escape. But he fell into the hands of some who knew him. He was
insulted by them with as much scorn and rudeness as they could invent. And,
after many hours tossing him about, he was carried to the lord mayor, whom
they charged to commit him to the Tower, which Lord Lucas had then seized,
and in it had declared for the Prince. The lord mayor was so struck with
the terror of this rude populace, and with the disgrace of a man who had
made all people tremble before him, that he fell into fits upon it, of
which he died soon after.

Upon the news of the King's desertion, it was proposed that the Prince
should go on with all possible haste to London. But that was not advisable.
For the King's army lay so scattered through the road all the way to London
that it was not fit for him to advance faster than his troops marched
before him; otherwise, any resolute officer might have seized or killed
him. Though, if it had not been for that danger a great deal of mischief
that followed would have been prevented by his speedy advance; for now
began that turn to which all the difficulties that did afterward disorder
our affairs may be justly imputed. Two gentlemen of Kent came to Windsor
the morning after the Prince came thither. They were addressed to me; and
they told me of the accident at Feversham, and desired to know the Prince's
pleasure upon it. I was affected with this dismal reverse of the fortune
of a great prince more than I think fit to express. I went immediately to
Benthink and wakened him, and got him to go to the Prince and let him
know what had happened, that some order might be presently given for the
security of the King's person, and for taking him out of the hands of a
rude multitude who said they would obey no orders but such as came from the

The Prince ordered Zuylestein to go immediately to Feversham, and to see
the King safe and at full liberty to go whithersoever he pleased. But as
soon as the news of the King's being at Feversham came to London, all the
indignation that people had formerly conceived against him was turned to
pity and compassion. The privy council met upon it. Some moved that he
should be sent for. Others said he was king, and might send for his guards
and coaches as he pleased, but it became not them to send for him. It was
left to his general, the Earl of Feversham, to do what he thought best. So
he went for him with his coaches and guards. And, as he came back through
the city, he was welcomed with expressions of joy by great numbers; so
slight and unstable a thing is a multitude, and so soon altered. At his
coming to Whitehall, he had a great court about him. Even the papists crept
out of their lurking-holes, and appeared at court with much assurance.
The King himself began to take heart. And both at Feversham, and now at
Whitehall, he talked in his ordinary high strain, justifying all that he
had done; only he spoke a little doubtfully of the business of Magdalen
College. But when he came to reflect on the state of his affairs, he saw it
was so soon broken that nothing was now left to deliberate upon. So he
sent the Earl of Feversham to Windsor without demanding any passport, and
ordered him to desire the Prince to come to St. James' to consult with him
of the best way for settling the nation.

When the news of what had passed at London came to Windsor, the Prince
thought the privy council had not used him well, who after they had sent to
him to take the government upon him, had made this step without consulting
him. Now the scene was altered and new counsels were to be taken. The
Prince heard the opinions, not only of those who had come along with him,
but of such of the nobility as were now come to him, among whom the Marquis
of Halifax was one. All agreed that it was not convenient that the King
should stay at Whitehall. Neither the King, nor the Prince, nor the city,
could have been safe if they had been both near one another. Tumults would
probably have arisen out of it. The guards and the officious flatterers of
the two courts would have been unquiet neighbors. It was thought necessary
to stick to the point of the King's deserting his people, and not to
give up that by entering upon any treaty with him. And since the Earl of
Feversham, who had commanded the army against the Prince, was come without
a passport he was for some days put in arrest.

It was a tender point now to dispose of the King's person. Some proposed
rougher methods: the keeping him a prisoner, at least till the nation was
settled, and till Ireland was secured. It was thought his being kept in
custody would be such a tie on all his party as would oblige them to submit
and be quiet. Ireland was in great danger. And his restraint might oblige
the Earl of Tyrconnel to deliver up the government, and to disarm the
papists, which would preserve that kingdom and the Protestants in it. But,
because it might raise too much compassion and perhaps some disorder if the
King should be kept in restraint within the kingdom, therefore the sending
him to Breda was proposed. The Earl of Clarendon pressed this vehemently on
account of the Irish Protestants, as the King himself told me, for those
that gave their opinions in this matter did it secretly and in confidence
to the Prince. The Prince said he could not deny but that this might be
good and wise advice, but it was that to which he could not hearken; he
was so far satisfied with the grounds of this expedition that he could act
against the King in a fair and open war; but for his person, now that he
had him in his power, he could not put such a hardship on him as to make
him a prisoner; and he knew the Princess' temper so well that he was sure
she would never bear it: nor did he know what disputes it might raise, or
what effect it might have upon the Parliament that was to be called; he was
firmly resolved never to suffer anything to be done against his person; he
saw it was necessary to send him out of London, and he would order a guard
to attend upon him who should only defend and protect his person, but not
restrain him in any sort.

A resolution was taken of sending the Lords Halifax, Shrewsbury, and
Delamere to London, who were first to order the English guards that were
about the court to be drawn off and sent to quarters out of town, and when
that was done the Count of Solms with the Dutch guards was to come and take
all the posts about the court. This was obeyed without any resistance or
disorder, but not without much murmuring. It was midnight before all was
settled. And then these lords sent to the Earl of Middleton to desire him
to let the King know that they had a message to deliver to him from the
Prince. He went in to the King, and sent them word from him that they might
come with it immediately. They came and found him abed. They told him the
necessity of affairs required that the Prince should come presently to
London; and he thought it would conduce to the safety of the King's person
and the quiet of the town that he should retire to some house out of town,
and they proposed Ham.

The King seemed much dejected, and asked if it must be done immediately.
They told him he might take his rest first, and they added that he should
be attended by a guard who should only guard his person, but should give
him no sort of disturbance. Having said this, they withdrew. The Earl of
Middleton came quickly after them and asked them if it would not do as well
if the King should go to Rochester; for since the Prince was not pleased
with his coming up from Kent it might be perhaps acceptable to him if he
should go thither again. It was very visible that this was proposed in
order to a second escape.

They promised to send word immediately to the Prince of Orange, who lay
that night at Sion, within eight miles of London. He very readily consented
to it. And the King went next day to Rochester, having ordered all that
which is called the moving wardrobe to be sent before him, the Count of
Solms ordering everything to be done as the King desired. A guard went with
him that left him at full liberty, and paid him rather more respect than
his own guards had done of late. Most of that body, as it happened, were
papists. So when he went to mass they went in and assisted very reverently.
And when they were asked how they could serve in an expedition that was
intended to destroy their own religion, one of them answered, his soul
was God's, but his sword was the Prince of Orange's. The King was so much
delighted with this answer that he repeated it to all that came about him.
On the same day the Prince came to St. James'. It happened to be a very
rainy day. And yet great numbers came to see him. But, after they had stood
long in the wet, he disappointed them; for he, who loved neither shows
nor shoutings, went through the park. And even this trifle helped to set
people's spirits on edge.

The revolution was thus brought about with the universal applause of the
whole nation; only these last steps began to raise a fermentation. It was
said, here was an unnatural thing to waken the King out of his sleep, in
his own palace, and to order him to go out of it when he was ready to
submit to everything. Some said he was now a prisoner, and remembered the
saying of King Charles I, that the prisons and the graves of princes lay
not far distant from one another; the person of the King was now struck at,
as well as his government, and this specious undertaking would now appear
to be only a disguised and designed usurpation. These things began to work
on great numbers. And the posting of the Dutch guards where the English
guards had been, gave a general disgust to the whole English army. They
indeed hated the Dutch besides, on account of the good order and strict
discipline they were kept under; which made them to be as much beloved by
the nation as they were hated by the soldiery. The nation had never known
such an inoffensive march of an army. And the peace and order of the
suburbs, and the freedom of markets in and about London, were so carefully
maintained that in no time fewer disorders had been committed than were
heard of this winter.

None of the papists or Jacobites was insulted in any sort. The Prince had
ordered me, as we came along, to take care of the papists and to secure
them from all violence. When he came to London he renewed these orders,
which I executed with so much zeal and care that I saw all the complaints
that were brought me fully redressed. When we came to London I procured
passports for all that desired to go beyond the sea. Two of the popish
bishops were put in Newgate. I went thither in the Prince's name. I told
them the Prince would not take upon him yet to give any orders about
prisoners; as soon as he did that, they should feel the effects of it. But
in the mean while I ordered them to be well used, and to be taken care of,
and that their friends might be admitted to come to them; so truly did I
pursue the principle of moderation even toward those from whom nothing of
that sort was to be expected.

Now that the Prince was come, all the bodies about the town came to welcome
him. The bishops came the next day. Only the Archbishop of Canterbury,
though he had once agreed to it, yet would not come. The clergy of London
came next. The city, and a great many other bodies, came likewise, and
expressed a great deal of joy for the deliverance wrought for them by the
Prince's means. Old Sergeant Maynard came with the men of the law. He was
then near ninety, and yet he said the liveliest thing that was heard of on
that occasion. The Prince took notice of his great age, and said that he
had outlived all the men of the law of his time; he answered he had liked
to have outlived the law itself if his highness had not come over.

The first thing to be done after the compliments were over was to consider
how the nation was to be settled. The lawyers were generally of opinion
that the Prince ought to declare himself king, as Henry VII had done. This,
they said, would put an end to all disputes, which might otherwise grow
very perplexing and tedious; and they said he might call a Parliament which
would be a legal assembly if summoned by the king in fact, though his title
was not yet recognized. This was plainly contrary to his declaration, by
which the settlement of the nation was referred to a parliament; such a
step would make all that the Prince had hitherto done pass for an aspiring
ambition only to raise himself; and it would disgust those who had been
hitherto the best affected to his designs, and make them less concerned in
the quarrel if, instead of staying till the nation should offer him the
crown, he would assume it as a conquest.

These reasons determined the Prince against that proposition. He called all
the peers and the members of the three last parliaments that were in town,
together with some of the citizens of London. When these met it was told
them that, in the present distraction, the Prince desired their advice
about the best methods of settling the nation. It was agreed in both these
Houses, such as they were, to make an address to the Prince, desiring
him to take the administration of the Government into his hands in the
_interim_. The next proposition passed not so unanimously; for, it being
moved that the Prince should be likewise desired to write missive letters
to the same effect, and for the same persons to whom writs were issued out
for calling a parliament, that so there might be an assembly of men in the
form of a parliament, though without writs under the great seal, such as
that was that had called home King Charles II.

To this the Earl of Nottingham objected that such a convention of the
states could be no legal assembly unless summoned by the King's writ.
Therefore he moved that an address might be made to the King to order the
writs to be issued. Few were of his mind. The matter was carried the other
way, and orders were given for those letters to be sent round the nation.

The King continued a week at Rochester. And both he himself and everybody
else saw that he was at full liberty, and that the guard about him put him
under no sort of restraint. Many that were zealous for his interests went
to him and pressed him to stay and to see the issue of things: a party
would appear for him; good terms would be got for him; and things would be
brought to a reasonable agreement. He was much distracted between his own
inclinations and the importunities of his friends. The Queen, hearing what
had happened, writ a most vehement letter to him, pressing his coming over,
remembering him of his promise, which she charged on him in a very earnest
if not in an imperious strain. This letter was intercepted. I had an
account of it from one that read it. The Prince ordered it to be conveyed
to the King, and that determined him. So he gave secret orders to prepare a
vessel for him, and drew a paper, which he left on his table, reproaching
the nation for their forsaking him. He declared that though he was going to
seek for foreign aid to restore him to his throne, yet he would not make
use of it to overthrow either the religion established or the laws of
the land. And so he left Rochester very secretly on the last day of this
memorable year and got safe over to France.


The convention for filling the vacant throne met on January 22d, when
Halifax was chosen president in the Lords; Powle speaker of the Commons. A
letter from William, read in both Houses, informed their members that he
had endeavored to the best of his power to discharge the trust reposed in
him, and that it now rested with the convention to lay the foundation of a
firm security for their religion, laws, and liberties. The Prince then went
on to refer to the dangerous condition of the Protestants in Ireland, and
the present state of things abroad, which obliged him to tell them that
next to the danger of unreasonable divisions among themselves, nothing
could be so fatal as too great a delay in their consultations. And he
further intimated that as England was already bound by treaty to help the
Dutch in such exigencies as, deprived of the troops which he had brought
over, and threatened with war by Louis XIV, they might easily be reduced
to, so he felt confident that the cheerful concurrence of the Dutch in
preserving this kingdom would meet with all the returns of friendship from
Protestants and Englishmen whenever their own condition should require

To this the two Houses replied with an address thanking the Prince for his
great care in the administration of the affairs of the kingdom to this
time, and formally continuing to him the same commission, recommending to
his particular care the present state of Ireland. William's answer to this
address was characteristic both of his temperament and his preoccupation.
"My lords and gentlemen," he said, "I am glad that what I have done hath
pleased you; and since you desire me to continue the administration
of affairs, I am willing to accept it. I must recommend to you the
consideration of affairs abroad which makes it fit for you to expedite your
business, not only for making a settlement at home on a good foundation,
but for the safety of Europe."

On the 28th the Commons resolved themselves into a committee of the whole
House, and Richard Hampden, son of the great John, was voted into the
chair. The honor of having been the first to speak the word which was on
everybody's lips belongs to Gilbert Dolben, son of a late archbishop of
York, who "made a long speech tending to prove that the King's deserting
his kingdom without appointing any person to administer the government
amounted in reason and judgment of law to a demise." Sir Robert Howard, one
of the members for Castle Rising, went a step further, and asserted that
the throne was vacant. The extreme Tories made a vain effort to procure
an adjournment, but the combination against them of Whigs and their own
moderates was too strong for them, and after a long and stormy debate
the House resolved "That King James II, having endeavored to subvert the
constitution by breaking the original contract between the King and people,
and by the advice of Jesuits and other wicked persons having violated the
fundamental laws and withdrawn himself out of the kingdom, has abdicated
the government, and that the throne is thereby vacant."

This resolution was at once sent up to the Lords. Before, however, they
could proceed to consider it, another message arrived from the Commons to
the effect that they had just voted it inconsistent with the safety and
welfare of this Protestant nation to be governed by a popish king.

To this resolution the Peers assented with a readiness which showed in
advance that James had no party in the Upper House, and that the utmost
length to which the Tories in that body were prepared to go was to support
the proposal of a regency. The first resolution of the Commons was then put
aside in order that this proposal might be discussed. It was Archbishop
Sancroft's plan, who, however, did not make his appearance to advocate it,
and in his absence it was supported by Rochester and Nottingham, while
Halifax and Danby led the opposition to it. After a day's debate it was
lost by the narrow majority of two, forty-nine peers declaring in its favor
and fifty-one against it.

The Lords then went into committee on the Commons' resolution, and at once
proceeded, as was natural enough, to dispute the clause in its preamble
which referred to the original contract between the King and the people. No
Tory, of course, could really have subscribed to the doctrine implied in
these words; but it was doubtless as hard in those days as in these to
interest an assembly of English politicians in affirmations of abstract
political principle, and some Tories probably thought it not worth while
to multiply causes of dissent with the Lower House by attacking a purely
academic recital of their resolution. Anyhow, the numbers of the minority
slightly fell off, only forty-six Peers objecting to the phrase, while
fifty-three voted that it should stand. The word "deserted" was then
substituted without a division for the word "abdicated," and, the hour
being late, the Lords adjourned.

The real battle, of course, was now at hand, and to anyone who assents
to the foregoing criticisms it will be evident that it was far less of a
conflict on a point of constitutional principle, and far more of a struggle
between the parties of two distinct--one cannot call them rival--claimants
to the throne than high-flying Whig writers are accustomed to represent
it. It would, of course, be too much to say that the Whigs insisted on
declaring the vacancy of the throne, _only_ because they wished to place
William on it, and that the Tories contended for a demise of the crown,
_only_ because they wished an English princess to succeed to the throne
rather than a Dutch prince. Still, it is pretty certain that, but for this
conflict of preferences, the two political parties, who had made so little
difficulty of agreeing in the declaration that James had ceased to reign,
would never have found it so hard to concur in its almost necessary
sequence that the throne was vacant.

The debate on the last clause of the resolution began, and it soon became
apparent that the Whigs were outnumbered. The forty-nine peers who had
supported the proposal of a regency--which implied that the royal title was
still in James--were bound, of course, to oppose the proposition that the
throne was vacant; and they were reënforced by several peers who held that
that title had already devolved upon Mary. An attempt to compromise the
dispute by omitting the words pronouncing the throne vacant, and inserting
words which merely proclaimed the Prince and Princess of Orange king and
queen, was rejected by fifty-two votes to forty-seven; and the original
clause was then put, and negatived by fifty-five votes to forty-one.

Thus amended by the substitution of "deserted" for "abdicated," and
the omission of the words "and that the throne is thereby vacant," the
resolution was sent back to the Commons, who instantly and without a
division disagreed with the amendments. The situation was now becoming
critical. The prospect of a deadlock between the two branches of the
convention threw London into a ferment; crowds assembled in Palace Yard;
petitions were presented in that tumultuous fashion which converts
supplication into menace. To their common credit, however, both parties
united in resistance to these attempts at popular coercion; and William
himself interposed to enjoin a stricter police of the capital. On Monday,
February 4th, the Lords resolved to insist on their amendments; on the
following day the Commons reaffirmed their disagreement with them by two
hundred eighty-two votes to one hundred fifty-one. A free conference
between the two Houses was then arranged, and met on the following day.

But the dispute, like many another in our political history, had meanwhile
been settled out of court. Between the date of the peers' vote and the
conference Mary had communicated to Danby her high displeasure at the
conduct of those who were setting up her claims in opposition to those
of her husband; and William, who had previously maintained an unbroken
silence, now made, unsolicited, a declaration of a most important and,
indeed, of a conclusive kind. If the convention, he said, chose to adopt
the plan of a regency, he had nothing to say against it, only they must
look out for some other person to fill the office, for he himself would not
consent to do so. As to the alternative proposal of putting Mary on the
throne and allowing him to reign by her courtesy, "No man," he said, "can
esteem a woman more than I do the Princess; but I am so made that I cannot
think of holding anything by apron strings; nor can I think it reasonable
to have any share in the government unless it be put in my own person, and
that for the term of my life. If you think fit to settle it otherwise I
will not oppose you, but will go back to Holland, and meddle no more in
your affairs."

These few sentences of plain-speaking swept away the clouds of intrigue and
pedantry as by a wholesome gust of wind. Both political parties at once
perceived that there was but one possible issue from the situation. The
conference was duly held, and the constitutional question was, with great
display of now unnecessary learning, solemnly debated; but the managers
for the two Houses met only to register a foregone conclusion. The word
"abdicated" was restored; the vacancy of the throne was voted by sixty-two
votes to forty-seven; and it was immediately proposed and carried without a
division that the Prince and Princess of Orange should be declared king and
queen of England.

It now only remained to give formal effect to this resolution, and in so
doing to settle the conditions whereon the crown, which the convention
had now distinctly recognized itself as conferring upon the Prince and
Princess, should be conferred. A committee appointed by the Commons to
consider what safeguards should be taken against the aggressions of future
sovereigns had made a report in which they recommended not only a solemn
enunciation of ancient constitutional principles, but the enactment of
new laws. The Commons, however, having regard to the importance of prompt
action, judiciously resolved on carrying out only the first part of the
programme. They determined to preface the tender of the crown to William
and Mary by a recital of the royal encroachments of the past reigns, and
a formal assertion of the constitutional principles against which such
encroachments had offended. This document, drafted by a committee of which
the celebrated Somers, then a scarcely known young advocate, was the
chairman, was the famous "Declaration of Right." The grievances which it
recapitulated in its earlier portion were as follows:

(1) The royal pretension to dispense with and suspend laws without consent
of Parliament; (2) the punishment of subjects, as in the "Seven Bishops'"
case, for petitioning the crown; (3) the establishment of the illegal
court of high commission for ecclesiastical affairs; (4) the levy of taxes
without the consent of Parliament; (5) the maintenance of a standing
army in time of peace without the same consent; (6) the disarmament of
Protestants while papists were both armed and employed contrary to law; (7)
the violation of the freedom of election; (8) the prosecution in the king's
bench of suits only cognizable in Parliament; (9) the return of partial and
corrupt juries; (10) the requisition of excessive bail; (11) the imposition
of excessive fines; (12) the infliction of illegal and cruel punishments;
(13) the grants of the estates of accused persons before conviction.

Then after solemnly reaffirming the popular rights from which these abuses
of the prerogative derogated, the declaration goes on to recite that,
having an "entire confidence" William would "preserve them from the
violation of the rights which they have here asserted, the Three Estates
do resolve that William and Mary, Prince and Princess of Orange, be and be
declared king and queen: to hold the crown and royal dignity, to them the
said Prince and Princess during their lives and the life of the survivor
of them; and the sole and full exercise of the royal power be only in and
exercised by the said Prince of Orange, in the names of the said Prince and
Princess during their lives, and, after their deceases, the said crown and
royal dignity of the said kingdoms and dominions to the heirs of the body
of the said Princess; and, for default of such issue, to the Princess Anne
of Denmark and the heirs of her body; and, for the default of such issue,
to the issue of the said Prince of Orange." Then followed an alteration
required by the scrupulous conscience of Nottingham in the terms of the
oath of allegiance.

On February 12th Mary arrived from Holland. On the following day, in the
Banqueting House at Whitehall, the Prince and Princess of Orange were
waited on by both Houses of convention in a body. The declaration was read
by the clerk of the crown; the sovereignty solemnly tendered to them
by Halifax, in the name of the Estates; and on the same day they were
proclaimed king and queen in the usual places in the cities of London and



A.D. 1689


It is the glory of Peter the Great to have changed the character of his
country and elevated its position among European nations. By opening Russia
to the influence of Western civilization he prepared the way for the advent
of that vast empire as one of the world's great powers.

Peter I Alexeievitch was born in Moscow June 9 (N.S.), 1672. After a joint
reign with his half-brother Ivan (1682-1696), he ruled alone until his
death, February 8 (N.S.), 1725. He is distinguished among princes as a
ruler who temporarily laid aside the character of royalty "in order to
learn the art of governing better." By his travels under a common name and
in a menial disguise, he acquired fruits of observation which proved of
greater practical advantage in his career than comes to sovereigns from
training in the knowledge of the schools. His restless and inquiring spirit
was never subdued by the burdens of state, and his matured powers proved
equal to the demands laid upon him by the great formative work which he was
called to accomplish for his people.

The character and early career of this extraordinary man are here set forth
by Rambaud in a masterly sketch, showing the first achievements which laid
the foundation of Peter's constructive policies.

Alexis Mikhailovitch, Czar of Russia, had by his first wife, Maria
Miloslavski, two sons, Feodor and Ivan, and six daughters; by his second
wife, Natalia Narychkine, one son (who became Peter I) and two daughters.
As he was twice married, and the kinsmen of each wife had, according to
custom, surrounded the throne, there existed two factions in the palace,
which were brought face to face by his death and that of his eldest son,
Feodor. The Miloslavskis had on their side the claim of seniority, the
number of royal children left by Maria, and, above all, the fact that Ivan
was the elder of the two surviving sons; but unluckily for them, Ivan was
notoriously imbecile both in body and mind.

On the side of the Narychkines was the interest excited by the precocious
intelligence of Peter, and the position of legal head of all the royal
family, which, according to Russian law, gave to Natalia Narychkine her
title of czarina dowager. Both factions had for some time taken their
measures and recruited their partisans. Who should succeed Feodor? Was
it to be the son of the Miloslavski, or the son of the Narychkine? The
Miloslavskis were first defeated on legal grounds. Taking the incapacity of
Ivan into consideration, the boyars and the Patriarch Joachim proclaimed
the young Peter, then nine years old, Czar. The Narychkines triumphed:
Natalia became czarina regent, recalled from exile her foster-father,
Matveef, and surrounded herself by her brothers and uncles.

The Miloslavskis' only means of revenge lay in revolt, but they were
without a head; for it was impossible for Ivan to take the lead. The eldest
of his six sisters was thirty-two years of age, the youngest nineteen;
the most energetic of them was Sophia, who was twenty-five. These six
princesses saw themselves condemned to the dreary destiny of the Russian
_czarevni_, and were forced to renounce all hopes of marriage, with no
prospects but to grow old in the seclusion of the _terem_, subjected by law
to the authority of a step-mother. All their youth had to look forward
to was the cloister. They, however, only breathed in action; and though
imperial etiquette and Byzantine manners, prejudices, and traditions
forbade them to appear in public, even Byzantine traditions offered them
models to follow. Had not Pulcheria, daughter of an emperor, reigned at
Constantinople in the name of her brother, the incapable Theodosius? Had
she not contracted a nominal marriage with the brave Marcian, who was her
sword against the barbarians?

Here was the ideal that Sophia could propose to herself; to be a
_czardievitsa_, a "woman-emperor." To emancipate herself from the rigorous
laws of the terem, to force the "twenty-seven locks" of the song, to raise
the _fata_ that covered her face, to appear in public and meet the looks of
men, needed energy, cunning, and patience that could wait and be content
to proceed by successive efforts. Sophia's first step was to appear at
Feodor's funeral, though it was not the custom for any but the widow and
the heir to be present. There her litter encountered that of Natalia
Narychkine, and her presence forced the Czarina-mother to retreat. She
surrounded herself with a court of educated men, who publicly praised
her, encouraged and excited her to action. Simeon Polotski and Silvester
Medviedef wrote verses in her honor, recalled to her the example of
Pulcheria and Olga, compared her to the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth of England,
and even to Semiramis; we might think we were listening to Voltaire
addressing Catharine II. They played on her name Sophia (wisdom), and
declared she had been endowed with the quality as well as the title.
Polotski dedicated to her the _Crown of Faith_, and Medviedef his _Gifts of
the Holy Spirit_.

The terem offered the strangest contrasts. There acted they the _Malade
Imaginaire_, and the audience was composed of the heterogeneous assembly
of popes, monks, nuns, and old pensioners that formed the courts of the
ancient czarinas. In this shifting crowd there were some useful
instruments of intrigue. The old pensioners, while telling their rosaries,
served as emissaries between the palace and the town, carried messages and
presents to the turbulent _streltsi_[1] and arranged matters between the
czarian ladies and the soldiers. Sinister rumors were skilfully
disseminated through Moscow: Feodor, the eldest son of Alexis, had died,
the victim of conspirators; the same lot was doubtless reserved for Ivan.
What was to become of the poor czarevni, of the blood of kings? At last it
was publicly announced that a brother of Natalia Narychkine had seized the
crown and seated himself on the throne, and that Ivan had been strangled.
Love and pity for the son of Alexis, and the indignation excited by the
news of the usurpation, immediately caused the people of Moscow to revolt,
and the ringleaders cleverly directed the movement. The tocsin sounded
from four hundred churches of the "holy city"; the regiments of the
streltsi took up arms and marched, followed by an immense crowd, to the
Kremlin, with drums beating, matches lighted, and dragging cannon behind
them. Natalia Narychkine had only to show herself on the "Red Staircase,"
accompanied by her son Peter, and Ivan who was reported dead. Their mere
appearance sufficed to contradict all the calumnies. The streltsi
hesitated, seeing they had been deceived. A clever harangue of Matveef,
who had formerly commanded them, and the exhortations of the patriarch,
shook them further. The revolt was almost appeased; the Miloslavskis had
missed their aim, for they had not yet succeeded in putting to death the
people of whom they were jealous.

[Footnote 1: The streltsi were an ancient Muscovite guard composed of
citizens rendering hereditary military service in the different cities and
fortified posts. At this time many of them were ripe for revolt.]

Suddenly Prince Michael Dolgorouki, chief of the _prikaz_ of the streltsi,
began to insult the rioters in the most violent language. This ill-timed
harangue awoke their fury; they seized Dolgorouki, and flung him from the
top of the Red Staircase onto their pikes. They stabbed Matveef, under the
eyes of the Czarina; then they sacked the palace, murdering all who fell
into their hands. Athanasius Narychkine, a brother of Natalia, was thrown
from a window onto the points of their lances. The following day the
_emeute_ recommenced; they tore from the arms of the Czarina her father
Cyril and her brother Ivan; the latter was tortured and sent into a
monastery. Historians show us Sophia interceded for the victims on her
knees, but an understanding between the rebels and the Czarevna did exist;
the streltsi obeyed orders.

The following days were consecrated to the purifying of the palace and the
administration, and the seventh day of the revolt they sent their
commandant, the prince-boyar, Khovanski, to declare that they would have
two czars--Ivan at the head, and Peter as coadjutor; and if this were
refused, they would again rebel. The boyars of the _douma_ deliberated on
this proposal, and the greater number of the boyars were opposed to it. In
Russia the absolute power had never been shared, but the orators of the
terem cited many examples both from sacred and profane history: Pharaoh
and Joseph, Arcadius and Honorius, Basil II and Constantine VIII; and the
best of all the arguments were the pikes of the streltsi (1682).

Sophia had triumphed: she reigned in the name of her two brothers, Ivan
and Peter. She made a point of showing herself in public, at processions,
solemn services, and dedications of churches. At the Ouspienski Sobor,
while her brothers occupied the place of the czar, she filled that of the
czarina; only _she_ raised the curtains and boldly allowed herself to be
incensed by the patriarch. When the _raskolniks_ challenged the heads of
the orthodox church to discussion, she wished to preside and hold the
meeting in the open air, at the Lobnoe Miesto on the Red Place. There was,
however, so much opposition that she was forced to call the assembly in
the Palace of Facets, and sat behind the throne of her two brothers,
present though invisible. The double-seated throne used on those occasions
is still preserved at Moscow; there is an opening in the back, hidden by a
veil of silk, and behind this sat Sophia. This singular piece of furniture
is the symbol of a government previously unknown to Russia, composed of
two visible czars and one invisible sovereign.

The streltsi, however, felt their prejudices against female sovereignty
awaken. They shrank from the contempt heaped by the Czarevna upon the
ancient manners. Sophia had already become in their eyes a "scandalous
person" (_pozornoe litzo_). Another cause of misunderstanding was the
support she gave to the state church, as reformed by Nicon, while the
streltsi and the greater part of the people held to the "old faith." She
had arrested certain "old believers," who at the discussion in the Palace
of Facets had challenged the patriarchs and orthodox prelates, and she had
caused the ringleader to be executed. Khovanski, chief of the streltsi,
whether from sympathy with the _raskol_ or whether he wished to please his
subordinates, affected to share their discontent. The court no longer felt
itself safe at Moscow. Sophia took refuge with the Czarina and the two
young princes in the fortified monastery of Troitsa, and summoned around
her the gentlemen-at-arms. Khovanski was invited to attend, was arrested
on the way, and put to death with his son. The streltsi attempted a new
rising, but, with the usual fickleness of a popular militia, suddenly
passed from the extreme of insolence to the extreme of humility. They
marched to Troitsa, this time in the guise of suppliants, with cords round
their necks, carrying axes and blocks for the death they expected. The
patriarch consented to intercede for them, and Sophia contented herself
with the sacrifice of the ringleaders.

Sophia, having got rid of her accomplices, governed by aid of her two
favorites--Chaklovity, the new commandant of the streltsi, whom she had
drawn from obscurity, and who was completely devoted to her, and Prince
Vasili Galitsyne. Galitsyne has become the hero of a historic school which
opposes his genius to that of Peter the Great, in the same way as in France
Henry, Duke of Guise, has been exalted at the expense of Henry IV. He was
the special favorite, the intimate friend, of Sophia, the director of
her foreign policy, and her right hand in military affairs. Sophia and
Galitsyne labored to organize a holy league between Russia, Poland, Venice,
and Austria against the Turks and Tartars. They also tried to gain
the countenance of the Catholic powers of the West; and in 1687 Jacob
Dolgorouki and Jacob Mychetski disembarked at Dunkirk as envoys to the
court of Louis XIV. They were not received very favorably: the King of
France was not at all inclined to make war against the Turks; he was, on
the other hand, the ally of Mahomet IV, who was about to besiege Vienna
while Louis blockaded Luxemburg. The whole plan of the campaign was,
however, thrown out by the intervention of Russia and John Sobieski in
favor of Austria. The Russian ambassadors received orders to reëmbark at
Havre, without going farther south.

The government of the Czarevna still persisted in its warlike projects. In
return for an active cooperation against the Ottomans, Poland had consented
to ratify the conditions of the Treaty of Androussovo, and to sign a
perpetual peace (1686). A hundred thousand Muscovites, under the command
of Prince Galitsyne, and fifty thousand Little Russian Cossacks, under the
orders of the hetman Samoilovitch, marched against the Crimea (1687). The
army suffered greatly in the southern steppes, as the Tartars had fired the
grassy plains. Galitsyne was forced to return without having encountered
the enemy. Samoilovitch was accused of treason, deprived of his command,
and sent to Siberia; and Mazeppa, who owed to Samoilovitch his appointment
as secretary-at-war, and whose denunciations had chiefly contributed to his
downfall, was appointed his successor.

In the spring of 1689 the Muscovite and Ukranian armies, commanded by
Galitsyne and Mazeppa, again set out for the Crimea. The second expedition
was hardly more fortunate than the first: they got as far as Perekop, and
were then obliged to retreat without even having taken the fortress. This
double defeat did not hinder Sophia from preparing for her favorite a
triumphal entry into Moscow. In vain Peter forbade her to leave the palace;
she braved his displeasure and headed the procession, accompanied by the
clergy and the images and followed by the army of the Crimea, admitted
the generals to kiss her hand and distributed glasses of brandy among
the officers. Peter left Moscow in anger, and retired to the village of
Preobrajenskoe. The foreign policy of the Czarevna was marked by another
display of weakness. By the Treaty of Nertchinsk she restored to the
Chinese empire the fertile regions of the Amur, which had been conquered
by a handful of Cossacks, and razed the fortress of Albazine, where those
adventurers had braved all the forces of the East. On all sides Russia
seemed to retreat before the barbarians.

Meanwhile Peter was growing. His precocious faculties, his quick
intelligence, and his strong will awakened alike the hopes of his partisans
and the fears of his enemies. As a child he only loved drums, swords,
and muskets. He learned history by means of colored prints brought from
Germany. Zotof, his master, whom he afterward made "the archpope of fools,"
taught him to read. Among the heroes held up to him as examples we are not
surprised to find Ivan the Terrible, whose character and position offer so
much analogy to his own. "When the Czarevitch was tired of reading," says
M. Zabieline, "Zotof took the book from his hand and, to amuse him, would
himself read the great deeds of his father, Alexis Mikhailovitch, and those
of the Czar, Ivan Vasilievitch, their campaigns, their distant expeditions,
their battles and sieges: how they endured fatigues and privations better
than any common soldier; what benefits they had conferred on the empire,
and how they extended the frontiers of Russia."

Peter also learned Latin, German, and Dutch. He read much and widely, and
learned a great deal, though without method. Like Ivan the Terrible, he was
a self-taught man. He afterward complained of not having been instructed
according to rule. This was perhaps a good thing. His education, like
that of Ivan IV, was neglected, but at least he was not subjected to the
enervating influence of the terem--he was not cast in that dull mould which
turned out so many idiots in the royal family. He "roamed at large, and
wandered in the streets with his comrades." The streets of Moscow at that
period were, according to M. Zabieline, the worst school of profligacy and
debauchery that can be imagined; but they were, on the whole, less bad for
Peter than the palace. He met there something besides mere jesters: he
encountered new elements which had as yet no place in the terem, but
contained the germ of the regeneration of Russia. He came across Russians
who, if unscrupulous, were also unprejudiced, and who could aid him in his
bold reform of the ancient society. He there became acquainted with Swiss,
English, and German adventurers--with Lefort, with Gordon, and with
Timmermann, who initiated him into European civilization.

His court was composed of Leo Narychkine, of Boris Galitsyne, who had
undertaken never to flatter him; of Andrew Matveef, who had marked taste
for everything European; and of Dolgorouki, at whose house he first saw an
astrolabe. He played at soldiers with his young friends and his grooms, and
formed them into the "battalion of playmates," who manoeuvred after the
European fashion, and became the kernel of the future regular army. He
learned the elements of geometry and fortification, and constructed small
citadels, which he took or defended with his young warriors in those fierce
battles which sometimes counted their wounded or dead, and in which the
Czar of Russia was not always spared. An English boat stranded on the shore
of Yaousa caused him to send for Franz Timmermann, who taught him to manage
a sailing-boat, even with a contrary wind. He who formerly, like a true
boyar of Moscow, had such a horror of the water that he could not make up
his mind to cross a bridge, became a determined sailor: he guided his boat
first on the Yaousa, then on the lake of Pereiaslavl. Brandt, the Dutchman,
built him a whole flotilla; and already, in spite of the terrors of his
mother, Natalia, Peter dreamed of the sea.

"The child is amusing himself," the courtiers of Sophia affected to
observe; but these amusements disquieted her. Each day added to the years
of Peter seemed to bring her nearer to the cloister. In vain she proudly
called herself "autocrat"; she saw her stepmother, her rival, lifting up
her head. Galitsyne confined himself to regretting that they had not known
better how to profit by the revolution of 1682, but Chaklovity, who knew
he must fall with his mistress, said aloud, "It would be wiser to put the
Czarina to death than to be put to death by her." Sophia could only save
herself by seizing the throne--but who would help her to take it?
The streltsi? But the result of their last rising had chilled them
considerably. Sophia herself, while trying to bind this formidable force,
had broken it, and the streltsi had not forgotten their chiefs beheaded at
Troitsa. Now what did the emissaries of Sophia propose to them? Again to
attack the palace; to put Leo Narychkine and other partisans of Peter to
death; to arrest his mother, and to expel the patriarch. They trusted
that Peter and Natalia would perish in the tumult. The streltsi remained
indifferent when Sophia, affecting to think her life threatened, fled to
the Dievitchi monastery, and sent them letters of entreaty. "If thy days
are in peril," tranquilly replied the streltsi, "there must be an inquiry."
Chaklovity could hardly collect four hundred of them at the Kremlin.

The struggle began between Moscow and Preobrajenskoe, the village with the
prophetical name (the "Transfiguration" or "Regeneration"). Two streltsi
warned Peter of the plots of his sister, and for the second time he sought
an asylum at Troitsa. It was then seen who was the true czar; all men
hastened to range themselves around him: his mother, his armed squires, the
"battalion of playmates," the foreign officers, and even the streltsi of
the regiment of Soukharef. The patriarch also took the side of the Czar,
and brought him moral support, as the foreign soldiers had brought him
material force. The partisans of Sophia were cold and irresolute; the
streltsi themselves demanded that her favorite Chaklovity should be
surrendered to the Czar. She had to implore the mediation of the patriarch.
Chaklovity was first put to the torture and made to confess his plot
against the Czar, and then decapitated. Medviedef was at first only
condemned to the knout and banishment for heresy, but he acknowledged he
had intended to take the place of the patriarch and to marry Sophia; he was
dishonored by being imprisoned with two sorcerers, condemned to be burned
alive in a cage, and was afterward beheaded. Galitsyne was deprived of
his property, and exiled to Poustozersk. Sophia remained in the Dievitchi
Monastyr, subjected to a hard captivity. Though Ivan continued to reign
conjointly with his brother, yet Peter, who was then only seventeen,
governed alone, surrounded by his mother, the Narychkines, and the
Dolgoroukis (1689). Sophia had freed herself from the seclusion of the
terem, as Peter had emancipated himself from the seclusion of the palace
to roam the streets and navigate rivers. Both had behaved scandalously,
according to the ideas of the time--the one haranguing soldiers, presiding
over councils, walking with her veil raised; the other using the axe like
a carpenter, rowing like a Cossack, brawling with foreign adventurers, and
fighting with his grooms in mimic battles. But to the one her emancipation
was only a means of obtaining power; to the other the emancipation of
Russia, like the emancipation of himself, was the end. He wished the nation
to shake off the old trammels from which he had freed himself. Sophia
remained a Byzantine, Peter aspired to be a European. In the conflict
between the Czarevna and the Czar, progress was not on the side of the
Dievitchi Monastyr.

The first use the Czar made of his liberty was to hasten to Archangel.
There, deaf to the advice and prayers of his mother, who was astounded at
this unexpected taste for salt water, he gazed on that sea which no czar
had ever looked on. He ate with the merchants and the officers of foreign
navies; he breathed the air which had come from the West. He established
a dockyard, built boats, dared the angry waves of this unknown ocean,
and almost perished in a storm, which did not prevent the "skipper Peter
Alexeievitch" from again putting to sea, and bringing the Dutch vessels
back to the Holy Cape. Unhappily, the White Sea, by which, since the time
of Ivan IV, the English had entered Russia, is frost-bound in winter.
In order to open permanent communications with the West, with civilized
countries, it was necessary for Peter to establish himself on the Baltic or
the Black Sea. Now the first belonged to the Swedes, and the second to the
Turks, as the Caspian did to the Persians. Who was first to be attacked?
The treaties concluded with Poland and Austria, as well as policy and
religion, urged the Czar against the Turks, and Constantinople has always
been the point of attraction for orthodox Russia.

Peter shared the sentiments of his people, and had the enthusiasm of a
crusader against the infidel. Notwithstanding his ardent wish to travel in
the West, he took the resolution not to appear in foreign lands till he
could appear as a victor. Twice had Galitsyne failed against the Crimea;
Peter determined to attack the barbarians by the Don, and besiege Azov. The
army was commanded by three generals, Golovine, Gordon, and Lefort, who
were to act with the "bombardier of the Preobrajenski regiment, Peter
Alexeievitch." This regiment, as well as three others which had sprung from
the "amusements" of Preobrajenskoe--the Semenovski, the Botousitski, and
the regiment of Lefort--were the heart of the expedition. It failed because
the Czar had no fleet with which to invest Azov by sea, because the new
army and its chiefs wanted experience, and because Jansen, the German
engineer, ill-treated by Peter, passed over to the enemy. After two
assaults the siege was raised. This check appeared the more grave because
the Czar himself was with the army, because the first attempt to turn from
the "amusements" of Preobrajenskoe to serious warfare had failed, and
because this failure would furnish arms against innovations, against
the Germans and the heretics, against the new tactics. It might even
compromise, in the eyes of the people, the work of regeneration (1695).

Although Peter had followed the example of Galitsyne, and entered Moscow in
triumph, he felt he needed revenge. He sent for good officers from foreign
countries. Artillerymen arrived from Holland and Austria, engineers from
Prussia, and Admiral Lima from Venice. Peter hurried on the creation of a
fleet with feverish impatience. He built of green wood twenty-two galleys,
a hundred rafts, and seventeen hundred boats or barks. All the small ports
of the Don were metamorphosed into dock-yards; twenty-six thousand workmen
were assembled there from all parts of the empire. It was like the camp
of Boulogne. No misfortune--neither the desertion of the laborers, the
burnings of the dock-yards, nor even his own illness--could lessen his
activity. Peter was able to write that, "following the advice God gave to
Adam, he earned his bread by the sweat of his brow." At last the "marine
caravan," the Russian armada, descended the Don. From the slopes of Azov he
wrote to his sister Natalia[1]: "In obedience to thy counsels, I do not go
to meet the shells and balls; it is they who approach me, but tolerably

[Footnote 1: His mother died in 1694, his brother Ivan in 1696.]

Azov was blockaded by sea and land, and a breach was opened by the
engineers. Preparations were being made for a general assault, when the
place capitulated. The joy in Russia was great, and the streltsi's jealousy
of the success of foreign tactics gave place to their enthusiasm as
Christians for this victory over Islamism, which recalled those of Kazan
and Astrakhan. The effect produced on Europe was considerable. At Warsaw
the people shouted, "Long live the Czar!" The army entered Moscow under
triumphal arches, on which were represented Hercules trampling a pacha and
two Turks under foot, and Mars throwing to the earth a _mirza_ and two
Tartars. Admiral Lefort and Schein the generalissimo took part in the
_cortège_, seated on magnificent sledges; while Peter, promoted to the rank
of captain, followed on foot. Jansen, destined to the gibbet, marched among
the prisoners (1696).

Peter wished to profit by this great success to found the naval power
of Russia. By the decision of the _douma_ three thousand families were
established at Azov, besides four hundred Kalmucks, and a garrison of
Moscow streltsi. The patriarch, the prelates, and the monasteries taxed
themselves for the construction of one vessel to every eight thousand
serfs. The nobles, the officials, and the merchants were seized with the
fever of this holy war, and brought their contributions toward the infant
navy. It was proposed to unite the Don and the Volga by means of a canal.
A new appeal was made to the artisans and sailors of Europe. Fifty young
nobles of the court were sent to Venice, England, and the Low Countries
to learn seamanship and shipbuilding. But it was necessary that the Czar
himself should be able to judge of the science of his subjects; he must
counteract Russian indolence and prejudice by the force of a great example;
and Peter, after having begun his career in the navy at the rank of
"skipper," and in the army at that of bombardier, was to become a carpenter
of Saardam. He allowed himself, as a reward for his success at Azov, the
much-longed-for journey to the West.

In 1697 Admiral Lefort and Generals Golovine and Vosnitsyne prepared
to depart for the countries of the West, under the title of "the great
ambassadors of the Czar." Their suite was composed of two hundred seventy
persons--young nobles, soldiers, interpreters, merchants, jesters, and
buffoons. In the cortège was a young man who went by the name of Peter
Mikhailof. This _incognito_ would render the position of the Czar easier,
whether in his own personal studies or in delicate negotiations. On the
journey to Riga Peter allowed himself to be insulted by the governor, but
laid up the recollection for future use. At Koenigsburg the Prussian,
Colonel Sternfeld, delivered to "M. Peter Mikhailof" "a formal brevet of
master of artillery." The great ambassadors and their travelling
companion were cordially received by the courts of Courland, Hanover, and

Sophia Charlotte of Hanover, afterward Queen of Prussia, has left us some
curious notes about the Czar, then twenty-seven years of age. He astonished
her by the vivacity of his mind and the promptitude and point of his
answers, not less than by the grossness of his manners, his bad habits
at table, his wild timidity, like that of a badly brought-up child, his
grimaces, and a frightful twitching which at times convulsed his whole
face. Peter had then a beautiful brown skin, with great piercing eyes, but
his features already bore traces of toil and debauchery. "He must have
very good and very bad points," said the young Electress; and in this he
represented contemporary Russia. "If he had received a better education,"
adds the Princess, "he would have been an accomplished man." The suite of
the Czar were not less surprising than their master; the Muscovites danced
with the court ladies, and took the stiffening of their corsets for their
bones. "The bones of these Germans are devilish hard!" said the Czar.

Leaving the great embassy on the road Peter travelled quickly and reached
Saardam. The very day of his arrival he took a lodging at a blacksmith's,
procured himself a complete costume like those worn by Dutch workmen, and
began to wield the axe. He bargained for a boat, bought it, and drank the
traditional pint of beer with its owner. He visited cutleries, ropewalks,
and other manufactories, and everywhere tried his hand at the work: in a
paper manufactory he made some paper. However, in spite of the tradition,
he only remained eight days at Saardam. At Amsterdam his eccentricities
were no less astonishing. He neither took any rest himself nor allowed
others to do so; he exhausted all his _ciceroni_, always repeating, "I must
see it." He inspected the most celebrated anatomical collections; engaged
artists, workmen, officers, and engineers; and bought models of ships and
collections of naval laws and treaties. He entered familiarly the houses of
private individuals, gained the good-will of the Dutch by his _bonhomie_,
penetrated into the recesses of the shops and stalls, and remained lost in
admiration over a dentist.

But, amid all these distractions, he never lost sight of his aim. "We
labor," he wrote to the patriarch Adrian, "in order thoroughly to master
the art of the sea; so that, having once learned it, we may return to
Russia and conquer the enemies of Christ, and free by his grace the
Christians who are oppressed. This is what I shall long for to my last
breath." He was vexed at making so little progress in shipbuilding, but in
Holland everyone had to learn by personal experience. A naval captain told
him that in England instruction was based on principles, and these he could
learn in four months; so Peter crossed the sea, and spent three months in
London and the neighboring towns. There he took into his service goldsmiths
and gold-beaters, architects and bombardiers. He then returned to Holland,
and, his ship being attacked by a violent tempest, he reassured those who
trembled for his safety by the remark, "Did you ever hear of a czar of
Russia who was drowned in the North Sea?"

Though much occupied with his technical studies, he had not neglected
policy; he had conversed with William III, but did not visit France in this
tour, for "Louis XIV," says St. Simon, "had procured the postponement of
his visit"; the fact being that his alliance with the Emperor and his wars
with the Turks were looked on with disfavor at Versailles. He went to
Vienna to study the military art, and dissuaded Leopold from making peace
with the Sultan. Peter wished to conquer Kertch in order to secure the
Straits of Ienikale. He was preparing to go to Venice, when vexatious
intelligence reached him from Moscow.

The first reforms of Peter, his first attempts against the national
prejudices and customs, had raised him up a crowd of enemies. Old Russia
did not allow herself quietly to be set aside by the bold innovator. There
was in the interior a sullen and resolute resistance, which sometimes gave
birth to bloody scenes. The revolt of the streltsi, the insurrection of
Astrakhan, the rebellion of the Cossacks, and later the trial of his son
and first wife are only episodes of the great struggle. Already the priests
were teaching that Antichrist was born. Now it had been prophesied that
Antichrist should be born of an adulteress, and Peter was the son of the
_second_ wife of Alexis, therefore his mother Natalia was the "false
virgin," the adulterous woman of the prophecies. The increasingly heavy
taxes that weighed on the people were another sign that the time had come.
Others, disgusted by the taste shown by the Czar for German clothes and
foreign languages and adventures, affirmed that he was not the son of
Alexis, but of Lefort the Genevan, or that his father was a German surgeon.
They were scandalized to see the Czar, like another Gregory Otrepief,
expose himself to blows in his military "amusements." The lower orders were
indignant at the abolition of the long beards and national costume, and
the _raskolniks_[1] at the authorization of "the sacrilegious smell of

[Footnote 1: Dissenters from the orthodox church of Russia (Greek

The journey to the west completed the general dissatisfaction. Had anyone
ever before seen a czar of Moscow quit Holy Russia to wander in the
kingdoms of foreigners? Who knew what adventures might befall him among the
_niemtsi_ and the _bousourmanes_? for the Russian people hardly knew how to
distinguish between the Turks and the Germans, and were wholly ignorant of
France and England. Under an unknown sky, at the extremity of the world, on
the shores of the "ocean sea," what dangers might he not encounter? Then
a singular legend was invented about the travels of the Czar. It was said
that he went to Stockholm disguised as a merchant, and that the Queen had
recognized him and had tried in vain to capture him. According to another
version, she had plunged him in a dungeon, and delivered him over to his
enemies, who wished to put him in a cask lined with nails and throw him
into the sea. He had only been saved by a streletz who had taken his place.
Some asserted that Peter was still kept there; and in 1705 the streltsi and
raskolniks of Astrakhan still gave out that it was a false czar who had
come back to Moscow--the true czar was a prisoner at Stockholm, attached to
a stake.

In the midst of this universal disturbance, caused by the absence of Peter,
there were certain symptoms peculiarly disquieting. The Muscovite army
grew more and more hostile to the new order of things. In 1694 Peter had
discovered a fresh conspiracy, having for its object the deliverance of
Sophia; and at the very moment of his departure from Russia he had to put
down a plot of streltsi and Cossacks headed by Colonel Tsykler. Those of
the streltsi who had been sent to form the garrison of Azov pined for their
wives, their children, and the trades they had left in Moscow. When in the
absence of the Czar they were sent from Azov to the frontiers of Poland,
they again began to murmur. "What a fate is ours! It is the boyars who do
all the mischief; for three years they have kept us from our homes."

Two hundred deserted and returned to Moscow; but the douma, fearing their
presence in the already troubled capital, expelled them by force. They
brought back to their regiments a letter of Sophia. "You suffer," she
wrote; "later it will become worse. March on Moscow. What is it you wait
for? There is no news of the Czar." It was repeated through the army that
the Czar had died in foreign lands, and that the boyars wished to put his
son Alexis to death. It was necessary to march on Moscow and exterminate
the nobles.

The military sedition was complicated by the religious fanaticism of the
raskolniks and the demagogic passions of the popular army. Four regiments
revolted and deserted. Generals Schein and Gordon, with their regular
troops, hastened after them, came up with them on the banks of the Iskra,
and tried to persuade them to return to their duty. The streltsi replied
by a petition setting forth all their grievances: "Many of them had died
during the expedition to Azov, suggested by Lefort, a German, a heretic;
they had endured fatiguing marches over burning plains, their only food
being bad meat; their strength had been exhausted by severe tasks, and they
had been banished to distant garrisons. Moscow was now a prey to all sorts
of horrors. Foreigners had introduced the custom of shaving the beard and
smoking tobacco. It was said that these niemtsi meant to seize the town. On
this rumor, the streltsi had arrived, and also because Romodanovski wished
to disperse and put them to the sword without anyone knowing why." A few
cannon-shots were sufficient to scatter the rebels. A large number were
arrested; torture, the gibbet, and the dungeon awaited the captives.

When Peter hastened home from Vienna he decided that his generals and his
douma had been too lenient. He had old grievances against the streltsi;
they had been the army of Sophia, in opposition to the army of the Czar;
he remembered the invasion of the Kremlin, the massacre of his mother's
family, her terrors in Troitsa, and the conspiracies which all but delayed
his journey to the west. At the very time that he was travelling in Europe
for the benefit of his people, these incorrigible mutineers had forced him
to renounce his dearest projects and had stopped him on the road to Venice.
He resolved to take advantage of the opportunity by crushing his enemies
_en masse_, and by making the Old Russia feel the weight of a terror that
would recall the days of Ivan IV. The long beards had been the standard of
revolt--they should fall. On August 26th he ordered all the gentlemen of
his court to shave themselves, and himself applied the razor to his great
lords. The same day the Red Place was covered with gibbets. The patriarch
Adrian tried in vain to appease the anger of the Czar by presenting to him
the wonder-working image of the Mother of God. "Why hast thou brought out
the holy icon?" exclaimed the Czar. "Retire and restore it to its place.
Know that I venerate God and his Mother as much as thyself, but know also
that it is my duty to protect the people and punish the rebels."

On October 30th there arrived at the Red Place the first instalment of two
hundred thirty prisoners: they came in carts, with lighted torches in their
hands, nearly all already broken by torture, and followed by their wives
and children, who ran behind chanting a funeral wail. Their sentence was
read, and they were slain, the Czar ordering several officers to help the
executioner. John George Korb, the Austrian agent, who as an eye-witness
has left us an authentic account of the executions, heard that five rebel
heads had been sent into the dust by blows from an axe wielded by the
noblest hand in Russia. The terrible carpenter of Saardam worked and
obliged his boyars to work at this horrible employment. Seven other days
were employed in this way; a thousand victims were put to death. Some were
broken on the wheel, and others died by various modes of torture. The
removal of the corpses was forbidden: for five months Moscow had before its
eyes the spectacle of the dead bodies hanging from the battlements of the
Kremlin and the other ramparts; and for five months the streltsi suspended
to the bars of Sophia's prison presented her the petition by which they
had entreated her to reign. Two of her confidants were buried alive; she
herself, with Eudoxia Lapoukhine, Peter's wife, who had been repudiated for
her obstinate attachment to the ancient customs, had their heads shaved
and were confined in monasteries. After the revolt of the inhabitants of
Astrakhan, who put their waywode to death, the old militia was completely
abolished, and the way left clear for the formation of new troops.



A.D. 1689


When the spirit of the English Revolution of 1688 crossed the Atlantic
and stirred the New England colonists to throw off the Stuart tyranny
represented by Andros, a long step was taken in the development of early
American self-government. The Charter Oak tradition, whether or not
resting on actual occurrences, correctly typifies the temper of that
self-government as it has ever manifested itself in the crises of patriotic
development in this country. And the ending of theocratic government,
as here recorded of Massachusetts, foreshadowed the further growth of
democracy in America.

Sir William Andros, an Englishman, was colonial governor of New York from
1674 to 1681, and of New England, including New York, from 1686 to 1689.
His rule "was on the model dear to the heart of his royal master--a harsh
despotism, but neither strong nor wise; it was wretched misgovernment and
stupid, blundering oppression." What poor success Andros had in his attempt
to force such a rule upon people of the English race who had already
accustomed themselves to a large measure of independence and
self-government Elliott's account briefly but fully shows.

While colonies are poor they are neglected by the parent state; when they
are able to pay taxes then she is quite ready to "govern them"; she is
willing to appoint various dependents to important offices, and to allow
the colonies to pay liberal salaries; she likes also to tax them to the
amount of the surplus production which is transferred to the managers
in the mother-country. Surprising as this is, it is what many call
"government," and is common everywhere. England has been no exception to
this, and her practice in New England was of this character till, in the
year 1776, the back of the people was so galled that it threw its rider
with violence.

At various times attempts had been made to destroy the Massachusetts
charter. At the restoration of Charles II, in 1660, the enemies of the
Puritans roused themselves. All who scented the breath of liberty in those
Western gales--all who had been disappointed of fond hopes in those
infant states--all who had felt in New England, too, the iron hand of
ecclesiastical tyranny, who chafed in the religious manacles which there,
as everywhere else, were imposed upon the minority--all united against
them; and in 1664 commissioners were sent over with extraordinary powers.
The colony withstood them to the best of its ability; but at last, in 1676,
a _quo warranto_ was issued, and judgment was obtained in England against
the Massachusetts charter.

In 1683 the quo warranto was brought over by Edward Randolph, who had been
appointed collector of the port of Boston in 1681, but had not been allowed
to act. He was the "messenger of death" to the hopes of the colony. The
deputies refused to appear in England and plead, and judgment was entered
up against them at last, in 1685, and the charter was abrogated. Charles
died, and the bitter and bigoted James II came to the throne in 1684. The
colonists then had rumors that Colonel Kirke, the fiercest hater of the
Nonconformists in England, was coming over as governor, which filled them
with dread. The colony now seemed to be at the mercy of the churchmen, or,
worse than that, of the papists, for such was James. Mr. Rawson, secretary
of the colony, about this time wrote, "Our condition is awful."

Mr. Joseph Dudley was appointed governor and acted for a short time, but
was succeeded by Sir Edmund Andros, who arrived December 19, 1686, with a
commission from James II, to take upon himself the absolute government
of all New England. Andros was supposed to be a bigoted papist, and he
certainly carried matters with a high hand; the poisoned chalice of
religious despotism, which these Pilgrims had commended to the lips of
Roger Williams, the Browns, Mrs. Hutchinson, Gorton, Clarke, and the
Quakers, was now offered to their own lips, and the draught was bitter.

First, the press was muzzled; then marriage was no longer free. The
minister Moody (1684) was imprisoned six months in New Hampshire for
refusing to administer the communion to Cranfield and others, according
to the manner and form set forth in the _Book of Common Prayer_. The
Congregational ministers were as mere laymen, and danger menaced public
worship and the meeting-houses. But this last extremity was saved them by
the necessity which James was under of securing the triumph of _his_ church
in Protestant England, the first step toward which was the proclamation
of religious toleration. This, of course, secured the colonists, and the
pilgrims were saved that fearful misery of being driven out from their
own cherished altars. Andros carried things with as high a hand in
Massachusetts as his master did in England; absolute subjection they both
insisted on. Besides the denial of political and religious rights, the
practice of arbitrary taxation was asserted by Andros, and all titles to
lands were questioned; in the brutal phrase of the time, it was declared
that "the calf died in the cow's belly"; that is, having no rights as a
state, they had none as individuals; so fees, fines, and expenditures
impoverished the people and enriched the officials. All seemed lost in

Andros went down to Hartford, in Connecticut, with his suite, and with
sixty troops took possession of the government there and demanded the
charter. Through the day (October 31, 1687) the authorities remonstrated
and postponed. When they met Andros again in the evening the people
collected, much excited. There seemed no relief. Their palladium, their
charter, was demanded, and before them stood Andros, with soldiers and
drawn swords, to compel his demand. There was then no hope, and the roll
of parchment--the charter, with the great royal seal upon it--was brought
forth and laid upon the table, in the midst of the excited people.
Suddenly, without warning, all lights were extinguished! There were
darkness and silence, followed by wonder, movement, and confusion. What
meant this very unparliamentary conduct, or was it a gust of wind which had
startled all? Lights were soon obtained, and then--

"Where is the charter?" was the question that went round the assembly.

"What means this?" cried Andros, in anger.

But no man knew where the charter had disappeared to; neither threats nor
persuasion brought it to light. What could Andros do? Clearly nothing, for
the authorities had done all that could be asked; they had produced the
charter in the presence of Andros, and now it had disappeared from his
presence. He had come upon a fool's errand, and some sharp Yankee (Captain
Wadsworth) had outwitted him. Where was the charter? Safely hidden in the
heart of the great oak, at Hartford, on the grounds of Samuel Wyllys. There
it remained beyond the reach of tyranny.

The tree known as the "Charter Oak" stood for over a century and a half
from that day. The Indians had always prayed that the tree might be spared;
they have our thanks.

Andros wrote on the last page of their records, _Finis_, and
disappeared--but that was not the end of Connecticut.

It was a dark time for liberty in New England, and a dark day for liberty
in Old England; for there James II and his unscrupulous ministers were
corruptly, grossly, and illegally trampling down the rights of manhood.
Andros was doing it in New England, and he found in Dudley, Stoughton,
Clark, and others, sons of New England, ready feet. In 1688 Randolph
writes, "We are as arbitrary as the great Turk"; which seems to have been
true. The hearts of the best men in both countries sank within them, and
they cried in their discouragement, "O Lord! how long!"

Thus matters stood when, during the spring of 1688-1689, faint rumors of
the landing of William, Prince of Orange, in England, came from Virginia.
Could this be true? It brought Andros up to Boston (April), where he gave
orders to have the soldiers ready against surprise.

Liberty is the most ardent wish of a brave and noble people, and is too
often betrayed by confidence in cultivated and designing and timid men.
Liberty was the wish of the people of New England; and for the want of
brave men then and since then they suffered.

When, on April 4th, John Winslow brought from Virginia the rumor of the
English Revolution and the landing of the Prince of Orange, it went through
their blood like the electric current, and thrilled from the city along the
byways into every home. Men got on their horses and rode onward to the next
house to carry the tidings that the popish King was down and William was
up, and that there was hope; through town and country the questions were
eagerly asked: "Shall we get our old charter? Shall we regain our rights?"
"What is there for us to do?" cried the people.

Andros put out a proclamation that all persons should be in readiness to
resist the forces of the Prince of Orange should they come. But the old
magistrates and leaders silently prayed for his success; the people, less
cautious and more determined, said to one another: "Let us do something.
Why not act?" and this went from mouth to mouth till their hatred of
Andros, and the remembrance to his dastardly oppressions, blazed into a
consuming fire.

"On April 18, 1689," wrote an onlooker, "I knew not anything of what was
intended until it was begun, yet being at the north end of the town, where
I saw boys running along the streets with clubs in their hands encouraging
one another to fight, I began to mistrust what was intended, and hasting
toward the Town Dock I soon saw men running for their arms; but before I
got to the Red Lion I was told that Captain George and the master of the
frigate were seized and secured in Mr. Colman's house at the North End; and
when I came to the Town Dock I understood that Bullivant and some others
were laid hold of, and then immediately the drums began to beat, and the
people hastened and ran, some with and some for arms," etc.

So it was begun, no one knew by whom; but men remembered yet their old
liberties and were ready to risk something to regain them; they remembered,
too, their present tyrants and longed to punish them. But in all this, men
of property took no part--they are always timid. It was the "mob" that

Governor Andros was at the fort with some soldiers, and sent for the
clergymen to come to him, who declined. The people and train-bands rallied
together at the Town House, where old Governor Bradstreet and some other
principal men met to consult as to what should be done. The King's frigate
in the harbor ran up her flags, and the lieutenant swore he would die
before she should be taken, and he opened her ports and ran out her guns;
but Captain George (prisoner in Boston) sent him word not to fire a shot,
for the people would tear him in pieces if he did. In the afternoon the
soldiers and people marched to the fort, took possession of a battery,
turned its guns upon the fort and demanded its surrender. They did not wait
for its surrender, but stormed in through the portholes, and Captain John
Nelson, a Boston merchant, cried out to Andros, "I demand your surrender."
Andros was surprised at the anger of an outraged people, and knew not what
to do, but at last gave up the fort, and was lodged prisoner in Mr. Usher's

The next day he was forced to give up the castle in the harbor, and the
guns of the battery from the shore were brought to bear upon the frigate.
But the captain prayed that she might not be forced to surrender, because
all the officers and crew would lose their wages; so she was dismantled
for present security. All through the day people came pouring in from the
country, well armed and hot with rage against Andros and his confederates;
and the cooler men trembled lest some unnecessary violence might be done;
so Captain Fisher, of Dedham, led Andros by the collar of the coat back to
the fort for safety.

On the 20th Bradstreet and other leading men met, and formed a kind of
provisional council. They carefully abstained from resuming their old
charter, partly from fear and partly from doubt, and called upon the
towns to send up deputies. When these met, on May 22, 1689, forty out of
fifty-four were for "resuming," but a majority of the council opposed
it, and time was spent in disputes; but at last the old Governor and
magistrates accepted the control of affairs, though they would not consent
to resume the charter. Thus the moment for action passed, and the colony
lost that chance for reestablishing its old rights.

Rhode Island and Connecticut resumed their charters, which had never
been legally vacated. Mr. Threat was obliged to take again the office of
governor of Connecticut, when the amazing reports of the revolution and
seizure of the Governor in Massachusetts reached them. They issued loyal
addresses to William and Mary, in which they said: "Great was that day when
the Lord who sitteth upon the floods did divide his and your adversaries
like the waters of Jordan, and did begin to magnify you like Joshua, by the
deliverance of the English dominions from popery and slavery."

Andros escaped, but was apprehended at Rhode Island, and sent back to
Boston, and in February, 1689, with Dudley and some others, he was sent
away to England.

Increase Mather, the agent of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, with the aid of
friends in England, endeavored to gain the restoration of the old charter
from King William, but was unsuccessful; a new one was granted (1691),
which contained many of the old privileges; but the King would not grant
them the power of appointing their own governor; that power was reserved;
and appeals from the colony courts to England were allowed. The Governor
and the King both had a veto upon all colonial legislation. By it all
religions except the Roman Catholic were declared free, and Plymouth was
annexed to Massachusetts.

Thus two important elements of a free government were lost to
Massachusetts; and powers which had been exercised over fifty years were,
for nigh a hundred years, taken away. In Connecticut and Rhode Island they
continued to elect their own rulers and to exercise all the powers of
government. The new charter was brought over by Sir William Phipps, the new
governor appointed by the King, who arrived on May 14, 1692.

Thus ended the rule of the theocracy in Massachusetts, and from this time
forward the ministers and church-members possessed no more power than the
rest of the people.


A.D. 1689


Just after Count Frontenac's first administration of Canada (1672-1682),
when the colony of New France was under the rule of De la Barre and his
successor, the Marquis de Denonville, Montreal and its immediate vicinity
suffered from the most terrible and bloody of all the Indian massacres
of the colonial days. The hatred of the Five Nations for the French,
stimulated by the British colonists of New York, under its governor,
Colonel Dongan, was due to French forays on the Seneca tribes, and to
the capture and forwarding to the royal galleys in France of many of the
betrayed Iroquois chiefs. At this period the English on the seaboard began
to extend their trade into the interior of the continent and to divert
commerce from the St. Lawrence to the Hudson. This gave rise to keen
rivalries between the two European races, and led the English to take sides
with the Iroquois in their enmity to the French. The latter, at Governor
Denonville's instigation, sought to settle accounts summarily with the
Iroquois, believing that the tribes of the Five Nations could never be
conciliated, and that it was well to extirpate them at once. Soon the
Governor put his fell purpose into effect. With a force of two thousand
men, in a fleet of canoes, he entered the Seneca country by the Genesee
River, and for ten days ravaged the Iroquois homes and put many of them
cruelly to death. Returning by the Niagara River he erected and garrisoned
a fort at its mouth and then withdrew to Québec. A terrible revenge was
taken on the French colonists for these infamous acts, as the following
article by M. Garneau shows.

The situation of the colonists of New France during the critical era of
M. Denonville's administration was certainly anything but enviable. They
literally "dwelt in the midst of alarms," yet their steady courage in
facing perils, and their endurance of privations when unavoidable, were
worthy of admiration. A lively idea of what they had to resist or to
suffer may be found by reading the more particular parts of the Governor's
despatches to Paris. For instance, in one of these he wrote in reference to
the raids of the Iroquois: "The savages are just so many animals of prey,
scattered through a vast forest, whence they are ever ready to issue, to
raven and kill in the adjoining countries. After their ravages, to go
in pursuit of them is a constant but almost bootless task. They have no
settled place whither they can be traced with any certainty; they must be
watched everywhere, and long waited for, with fire-arms ready primed. Many
of their lurking-places could be reached only by blood-hounds or by other
savages as our trackers, but those in our service are few, and the native
allies we have are seldom trustworthy; they fear the enemy more than
they love us, and they dread, on their own selfish account, to drive the
Iroquois to extremity. It has been resolved, in the present strait, to
erect a fort in every seigniory, as a place of shelter for helpless people
and live-stock, at times when the open country is overrun with ravagers.
As matters now stand, the arable grounds lie wide apart, and are so begirt
with bush that every thicket around serves as a point for attack by a
savage foe; insomuch that an army, broken up into scattered posts, would be
needful to protect the cultivators of our cleared lands."[1]

[Footnote 1: Letter to M. Seignelai, August 10, 1688.]

Nevertheless, at one time hopes were entertained that more peaceful
times were coming. In effect, negotiations with the Five Nations were
recommenced; and the winter of 1687-1688 was passed in goings to and fro
between the colonial authorities and the leaders of the Iroquois, with whom
several conferences were holden. A correspondence, too, was maintained by
the Governor with Colonel Dongan at New York; the latter intimating in one
of his letters that he had formed a league of all the Iroquois tribes,
and put arms in their hands, to enable them to defend British colonial
territory against all comers.

The Iroquois confederation itself sent a deputation to Canada, which
was escorted as far as Lake St. François by twelve hundred warriors--a
significant demonstration enough. The envoys, after having put forward
their pretensions with much stateliness and yet more address, said that,
nevertheless, their people did not mean to press for all the advantages
they had the right and the power to demand. They intimated that they
were perfectly aware of the comparative weakness of the colony; that the
Iroquois could at any time burn the houses of the inhabitants, pillage
their stores, waste their crops, and afterward easily raze the forts. The
Governor-general, in reply to these--not quite unfounded--boastings and
arrogant assumptions, said that Colonel Dongan claimed the Iroquois as
English subjects, and admonished the deputies that, if such were the case,
then they must act according to his orders, which would necessarily be
pacific, France and England not now being at war; whereupon the deputies
responded, as others had done before, that the confederation formed an
independent power; that it had always resisted French as well as English
supremacy over its subjects; and that the coalesced Iroquois would be
neutral, or friends or else enemies to one or both, at discretion; "for we
have never been conquered by either of you," they said; adding that, as
they held their country immediately from God, they acknowledge no other

It did not appear, however, that there was a perfect accordance among the
envoys on all points, for the deputies from Onnontaguez, the Onneyouths,
and Goyogouins agreed to a truce on conditions proposed by M. Denonville;
namely, that all the native allies of the French should be comprehended
in the treaty. They undertook that deputies [others than some of those
present?] should be sent from the Agniers and Tsonnouthouan cantons, who
were then to take part in concluding a treaty; that all hostilities should
cease on every side, and that the French should be allowed to revictual,
undisturbed, the fort of Cataracoui. The truce having been agreed to on
those bases, five of the Iroquois remained (one for each canton), as
hostages for its terms being observed faithfully. Notwithstanding this
precaution, several roving bands of Iroquois, not advertised, possibly, of
what was pending, continued to kill our people, burn their dwellings, and
slaughter live-stock in different parts of the colony; for example, at
St. François, at Sorel, at Contrecoeur, and at St. Ours. These outrages,
however, it must be owned, did not long continue, and roving corps of
savages, either singly or by concert, drew off from the invaded country and
allowed its harassed people a short breathing-time at least.

The native allies of the French, on the other hand, respected the truce
little more than the Iroquois. The Abenaquis invaded the Agniers canton,
and even penetrated to the English settlements, scalping several persons.
The Iroquois of the Sault and of La Montagne did the like; but the Hurons
of Michilimackinac, supposed to be those most averse to the war, did all
they could, and most successfully, too, to prevent a peace being signed.

While the negotiations were in progress, the "Machiavel of the wilderness,"
as Raynal designates a Huron chief, bearing the native name of Kondiarak,
but better known as Le Rat in the colonial annals, arrived at Frontenac
(Kingston), with a chosen band of his tribe, and became a means of
complicating yet more the difficulties of the crisis. He was the most
enterprising, brave, and best-informed chief in all North America; and, as
such, was one courted by the Governor in hopes of his becoming a valuable
auxiliary to the French, although at first one of their most formidable
enemies. He now came prepared to battle in their favor, and eager to
signalize himself in the service of his new masters. The time, however, as
we may well suppose, was not opportune, and he was informed that a treaty
with the Iroquois being far advanced, and their deputies on the way to
Montreal to conclude it, he would give umbrage to the Governor-general of
Canada should he persevere in the hostilities he had been already carrying

The Rat was taken aback on hearing this to him unwelcome news, but took
care to hide his surprise and uttered no complaint. Yet was he mortally
offended that the French should have gone so far in the matter without the
concert of their native allies, and he at once resolved to punish them,
in his own case, for such a marked slight. He set out secretly with his
braves, laid an ambuscade near Famine Cove for the approaching deputation
of Iroquois, murdered several and made the others his prisoners. Having
done so, he secretly gloried in the act, afterward saying that he had
"killed the peace." Yet in dealing with the captives he put another and a
deceptive face on the matter; for, on courteously questioning them as to
the object of their journey, being told that they were peaceful envoys, he
affected great wonder, seeing that it was Denonville himself who had sent
him on purpose to waylay them!

To give seeming corroboration to his astounding assertions, he set the
survivors at liberty, retaining one only to replace one of his men who
was killed by the Iroquois in resisting the Hurons' attack. Leaving the
deputies to follow what course they thought fit, he hastened with his men
to Michilimackinac, where he presented his prisoner to M. Durantaye, who,
not as yet officially informed, perhaps, that a truce existed with the
Iroquois, consigned him to death, though he gave Durantaye assurance of who
he really was; but when the victim appealed to the Rat for confirmation of
his being an accredited envoy, that unscrupulous personage told him he must
be out of his mind to imagine such a thing! This human sacrifice offered
up, the Rat called upon an aged Iroquois, then and long previously a Huron
captive, to return to his compatriots and inform them from him that while
the French were making a show of peace-seeking, they were, underhand,
killing and making prisoners of their native antagonists.

This artifice, a manifestation of the diabolic nature of its author, had
too much of the success intended by it, for, although the Governor managed
to disculpate himself in the eyes of the more candid-minded Iroquois
leaders, yet there were great numbers of the people who could not be
disabused, as is usual in such cases, even among civilized races.
Nevertheless the enlightened few, who really were tired of the war, agreed
to send a second deputation to Canada; but when it was about to set out, a
special messenger arrived, sent by Andros, successor of Dongan, enjoining
the chiefs of the Iroquois confederation not to treat with the French
without the participation of his master, and announcing at the same time
that the King of Great Britain had taken the Iroquois nations under his
protection. Concurrently with this step, Andros wrote to Denonville that
the Iroquois territory was a dependency holden of the British, and that he
would not permit its people to treat upon those conditions already proposed
by Dongan.

This transaction took place in 1688; but before that year concluded,
Andros' "royal master" was himself superseded, and living an exile in
France.[1] Whether instructions sent from England previously warranted
the polity pursued by Andros or not, his injunctions had the effect of
instantly stopping the negotiations with the Iroquois, and prompting them
to recommence their vengeful hostilities. War between France and Britain
being proclaimed next year, the American colonists of the latter adopted
the Iroquois as their especial allies, in the ensuing contests with the
people of New France.

[Footnote 1: In 1688 Andros was appointed Governor of New York and New
England. The appointment of this tyrant, and the annexation of the
colony to the neighboring ones, were measures particularly odious to the

Andros, meanwhile, who adopted the policy of his predecessor so far as
regarded the aborigines if in no other respect, not only fomented the
deadly enmity of the Iroquois for the Canadians, but tried to detach the
Abenaquis from their alliance with the French, but without effect in their
case; for this people honored the countrymen of the missionaries who had
made the Gospel known to them, and their nation became a living barrier
to New France on that side, which no force sent from New England could
surmount; insomuch that the Abenaquis, some time afterward, having crossed
the borders of the English possessions, and harassed the remoter colonists,
the latter were fain to apply to the Iroquois to enable them to hold their

The declaration of Andros, and the armings of the Iroquois, now let loose
on many parts of Canada, gave rise to a project as politic, perhaps, as it
was daring, and such as communities when in extremity have adopted with
good effect; namely, to divert invasion by directly attacking the enemies'
neighboring territories. The Chevalier de Callières, with whom the idea
originated, after having suggested to Denonville a plan for making a
conquest of the province of New York, set out for France, to bring it under
the consideration of the home government, believing that it was the only
means left to save Canada to the mother-country.

It was high time, indeed, that the destinies of Canada were confided to
other directors than the late and present ones, left as the colony had
been, since the departure of M. de Frontenac, in the hands of superannuated
or incapable chiefs. Any longer persistency in the policy of its two most
recent governors might have irreparably compromised the future existence
of the colony. But worse evils were in store for the latter days of the
Denonville administration; a period which, take it altogether, was one of
the most calamitous which our forefathers passed through.

At the time we have now reached in this history an unexpected as well as
unwonted calm pervaded the country, yet the Governor had been positively
informed that a desolating inroad by the collective Iroquois had been
arranged, and that its advent was imminent; but as no precursive signs of
it appeared anywhere to the general eyes, it was hoped that the storm, said
to be ready to burst, might yet be evaded. None being able to account for
the seeming inaction of the Iroquois, the Governor applied to the Jesuits
for their opinion on the subject. The latter expressed their belief that
those who had brought intelligence of the evil intention of the
confederacy had been misinformed as to facts, or else exaggerated sinister
probabilities. The prevailing calm was therefore dangerous as well as
deceitful, for it tended to slacken preparations which ought to have been
made to lessen the apprehensions of coming events which threw no shadow

The winter and the spring of the year 1688-1689 had been passed in an
unusually tranquil manner, and the summer was pretty well advanced when the
storm, long pent up, suddenly fell on the beautiful island of Montreal, the
garden of Canada. During the night of August 5th, amid a storm of hail and
rain, fourteen hundred Iroquois traversed Lake St. Louis, and disembarked
silently on the upper strand of that island. Before daybreak next morning
the invaders had taken their station at Lachine in platoons around every
considerable house within a radius of several leagues. The inmates were
buried in sleep--soon to be the dreamless sleep that knows no waking, for
too many of them.

The Iroquois wait only for the signal from their leaders to fall on. It is
given. In short space the doors and the windows of the dwellings are
driven in; the sleepers dragged from their beds; men, women, children all
struggling in the hands of their butchers. Such houses as the savages
cannot force their way into, they fire; and as the flames reach the persons
of those within, intolerable pain drives them forth to meet death beyond
the threshold, from beings who know no pity. The more fiendish murderers
even forced parents to throw their children into the flames. Two hundred
persons were burned alive; others died under prolonged tortures. Many were
reserved to perish similarly, at a future time. The fair island upon which
the sun shone brightly erewhile, was lighted up by fires of woe; houses,
plantations, and crops were reduced to ashes, while the ground reeked with
blood up to a line a short league apart from Montreal city. The ravagers
crossed to the opposite shore, the desolation behind them being complete,
and forthwith the parish of Le Chenaie was wasted by fire and many of its
people massacred.

The colonists for many leagues around the devoted region seem to have been
actually paralyzed by the brain-blow thus dealt their compatriots by the
relentless savages, as no one seems to have moved a step to arrest their
course; for they were left in undisturbed possession of the country
during several weeks. On hearing of the invasion, Denonville lost his
self-possession altogether. When numbers of the colonists, recovering from
their stupor, came up armed desiring to be led against the murderers of
their countrymen, he sent them back or forbade them to stir! Several
opportunities presented themselves for disposing of parties of the
barbarians, when reckless from drink after their orgies, or when roving
about in scattered parties feeble in number; but the Governor-general's
positive orders to refrain from attacking them withheld the uplifted hand
from striking.

In face of a prohibition so authoritative, the soldiers and the inhabitants
alike could only look on and wait till the savages should find it
convenient to retire. Some small skirmishing, indeed, there was at a few
distant points between the people and their invaders. Thus a party of men,
partly French and partly natives, led by Larobeyre, an ex-lieutenant, on
the way to reënforce Fort Roland, where Chevalier de Vaudreuil commanded,
were set upon and all killed or dispersed. More than half of the prisoners
taken were burned by their conquerors. Larobeyre, being wounded and not
able to fire, was led captive by the Iroquois to their country, and roasted
at a slow fire in presence of the assembled tribe of his captors. Meantime
the resistance to the barbarians being little or none in the regions they
overran, they slew most of the inhabitants they met in their passage; while
their course was marked, wherever they went, by lines of flame.

Their bands moved rapidly from one devoted tract to another; yet wherever
they had to face concerted resistance--which in some cases, at least, put a
fitting obstacle in the way of their intended ravagings--they turned aside
and sought an easier prey elsewhere. In brief, during ten entire weeks or
more, did they wreak their wrath, almost unchecked, upon the fairest region
of Canada, and did not retire thence till about mid-October.

The Governor-General having sent a party of observation to assure himself
of the enemy having decamped, this detachment observed a canoe on the Lake
of the Two Mountains, bearing twenty-two of the retiring Iroquois. The
Canadians, who were of about the same number, embarked in two boats and,
nearing the savages, coolly received their fire; but in returning the
discharge, each singled out his man, when eighteen of the Iroquois were at
once laid low.

However difficult it may have been to put the people of a partially cleared
country, surrounded with forests, on their guard against such an irruption
as the foregoing, it is difficult to account for their total unpreparedness
without imputing serious blame to Denonville and his subalterns in office.
That he exercised no proper influence, in the first place, was evident, and
the small use he made of the means he had at his disposal when the crisis
arrived was really something to marvel at. He was plainly unequal to the
occasion, and his incapacity in every particular made it quite impossible
for his presence, as chief of the colony, to be endured any longer. There
is little doubt that had he not been soon recalled by royal order, the
colonists themselves would have set him aside. The latter season of his
inglorious administration took the lugubrious name "the Year of the

[Footnote 1: The Five Nations, being at war with the French, made a sudden
descent on Montreal, burned and sacked the town, killed one hundred of the
inhabitants, carrying away a number of prisoners whom they burned alive,
and then returned to their own country with the loss of only a few of their
number. Had the English followed up the success of their allies, all Canada
might have been easily conquered.--ED.]

The man appointed through a happy inspiration to supersede M. de Denonville
had now reached the Lower Canadian waters. He was no other than the Count
de Frontenac. It appears that the King, willing to cover, with a handsome
pretext, the recall of Denonville, in a letter dated May 31st, advertised
him that, war having been rekindled in Europe, his military talents would
be of the greatest use in home service. By this time De Frontenac was
called to give counsel regarding the projects of the Chevalier de
Callières, and assist in preparing the way for their realization if
considered feasible. Meanwhile he undertook to resume his duties as
governor-general of New France; but a series of events delayed his arrival
in Canada till the autumn of 1689.

He landed at Québec on October 18th, at 8 P.M., accompanied by De
Callières, amid the heartiest demonstrations of popular welcome. The public
functionaries and armed citizens in waiting, with torch-bearers, escorted
him through the city, which was spontaneously illuminated, to his quarters.
His return was hailed by all, but by none more than the Jesuits, who had,
in fact for years before, labored to obtain his recall. The nobles, the
merchants, the business class, gave him so hearty a reception as to
convince him that real talent such as his must in the end rise superior
to all the conjoined efforts of faction, public prejudices, and the evil
passions of inferior minds.

War was declared against Britain in the month of June. M. de Frontenac,
on resuming the reins of government, had to contend both against the
Anglo-American colonies and the Five Nations. His energy and skill,
however, overcame all obstacles; the war was most glorious for the
Canadians, so few in number compared with their adversaries; and far from
succumbing to their enemies, they carried the war into the adversaries'
camp and struck at the heart of their most remote possessions.


A.D. 1689-1690


Londonderry, capital of the county of the same name in Ireland, is a city
of historic celebrity by reason of the successful defence there made
(April-August, 1689) by the Irish Protestants against the besieging forces
of James II. The battle of the Boyne (July 1, 1690) is of less importance
in a military sense than for the reason that it virtually ended the war
which James II carried into Ireland in his unsuccessful attempt to regain
his throne from William and Mary. On account of this result, and still more
by reason of the hereditary antagonisms which have so long survived it,
this battle still retains a peculiar fame in history.

In Ireland, where the Roman Catholics were numerous, there was strong
opposition to the government of William and Mary. The fugitive James II had
supporters who controlled the Irish army. Some resistance was made by the
English and Scotch colonists in Ireland, but little head was made against
the Catholic party, which supported James, until William entered the
country with his forces.

In the following narrative Smollett speaks of an "intended massacre" of the
Protestants at Londonderry. The people of that city were of Anglo-Saxon
blood. Although belonging to various Protestant churches, they were united
in their hostility to the Irish and to the Catholic faith. They were
alarmed at the close of 1688 by rumors of a plan for their own extirpation
by the papists. News of the approach of the Earl of Antrim with a regiment,
under orders from the Lord Deputy, filled the city with consternation. What
followed there is graphically told in the words of the historian. A better
account of a military action than that which Smollett gives of the Battle
of the Boyne it would be hard to find.

On the first alarm of an intended massacre, the Protestants of Londonderry
had shut their gates against the regiment commanded by the Earl of Antrim,
and resolved to defend themselves against the Lord Deputy; they transmitted
this resolution to the Government of England, together with an account of
the danger they incurred by such a vigorous measure, and implored immediate
assistance; they were accordingly supplied with some arms and ammunition,
but did not receive any considerable reënforcement till the middle of
April, when two regiments arrived at Loughfoyl under the command of
Cunningham and Richards.

By this time King James had taken Coleraine, invested Kilmore, and was
almost in sight of Londonderry. George Walker, rector of Donaghmore, who
had raised a regiment for the defence of the Protestants, conveyed this
intelligence to Lundy, the governor; this officer directed him to join
Colonel Crafton, and take post at the Longcausey, which he maintained
a whole night against the advanced guard of the enemy, until, being
overpowered by numbers, he retreated to Londonderry and exhorted the
governor to take the field, as the army of King James was not yet
completely formed. Lundy assembling a council of war, at which Cunningham
and Richards assisted, they agreed that as the place was not tenable,
it would be imprudent to land the two regiments; and that the principal
officers should withdraw themselves from Londonderry, the inhabitants of
which would obtain the more favorable capitulation in consequence of their
retreat; an officer was immediately despatched to King James with proposals
of a negotiation; and Lieutenant-general Hamilton agreed that the army
should halt at the distance of four miles from the town.

Notwithstanding this preliminary, James advanced at the head of his troops,
but met with such a warm reception from the besieged that he was fain to
retire to St. John's Town in some disorder. The inhabitants and soldiers in
garrison at Londonderry were so incensed at the members of the council of
war who had resolved to abandon the place that they threatened immediate
vengeance. Cunningham and Richards retired to their ships, and Lundy locked
himself in his chamber. In vain did Walker and Major Baker exhort him
to maintain his government; such was his cowardice or treachery that he
absolutely refused to be concerned in the defence of the place, and he was
suffered to escape in disguise, with a load of matches on his back; but he
was afterward apprehended in Scotland, from whence he was sent to London to
answer for his perfidy or misconduct.

After his retreat the townsmen chose Mr. Walker and Major Baker for their
governors with joint authority; but this office they would not undertake
until it had been offered to Colonel Cunningham, as the officer next in
command to Lundy; he rejected the proposal, and with Richards returned to
England, where they were immediately cashiered. The two new governors, thus
abandoned to their fate, began to prepare for a vigorous defence: indeed
their courage seems to have transcended the bounds of discretion, for the
place was very ill-fortified; their cannon, which did not exceed twenty
pieces, were wretchedly mounted; they had not one engineer to direct their
operations; they had a very small number of horse; the garrison consisted
of people unacquainted with military discipline; they were destitute of
provisions; they were besieged by a king, in person, at the head of a
formidable army, directed by good officers, and supplied with all the
necessary implements for a siege or battle.

The town was invested on April 20th; the batteries were soon opened, and
several attacks were made with great impetuosity, but the besiegers
were always repulsed with considerable loss; the townsmen gained divers
advantages in repeated sallies, and would have held their enemies in the
utmost contempt had they not been afflicted with a contagious distemper,
as well as reduced to extremity by want of provisions; they were even
tantalized in their distress, for they had the mortification to see some
ships, which had arrived with supplies from England, prevented from sailing

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