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The Life of John Milton Vol. 3 1643-1649 by David Masson

Part 11 out of 13

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disturbance or even reconsideration by any corporate authority whatever.
One of them was absolute freedom to all "in the matter of Religion and
the ways of God's worship"; but this was not to prevent the State from
setting up any "public way of instructing the Nation, so it be not
compulsive." In fact, here was the accurate essence of the _Army
Proposals_ over again, only distilled to a higher strength and more
fiercely flavoured. [Footnote: Rushworth, VII. 769, 770, 845-6, and 859,
860; Godwin, II. 423-428, and 436-450. One of the numerous incredible and
contradictory hypotheses about Cromwell is that it was he who, while in
treaty with the King for a restoration of his Royalty, was all the while,
by his secret grip of the Army-Agitatorships, hounding them on in their
ultra democratic tendencies. The Levelling Principle itself would be a
useful force in his hands, and he could well consent to being abused by
the Agitators while they were really working for his ends!!]

Cromwell's preserved Letters of this period are few, but one of them
contains a reference to the misconstructions to which he was then
subject. "Though, it may be, for the present," he says, "a cloud may lie
over our actions to those who are not acquainted with the grounds of
them, yet we doubt not but God will clear our integrity, and innocency
from any other ends we aim at but His glory and the Public Good."
[Footnote: Letter to Colonel Jones, Governor of Dublin, dated Sept 14,
1647; Carlyle's Cromwell, I. 237-8.] At length, however, he had to let it
be seen that he had broken off from Charles utterly. Who does not know
the picturesque popular myth at this point of Cromwell's biography?
Cromwell and Ireton says the myth, sat one night in the Blue Boar Tavern,
Holborn, disguised as common troopers and calling for cans of beer, till
the sentinel they had placed outside came in and told them the man with
the saddle had arrived; whereupon, going out, they collared the man, got
possession of the saddle he carried, and, ripping up the skirt of it,
found the King's letter to the Queen in which he quite agreed with her
opinion of the two Army-villains he was then obliged to cajole, and
assured her they should have their deserts at last. [Footnote: The story
professes to have come from Cromwell's own lips in conversation in 1649
with Roger Boyle, Lord Broghill, afterwards Earl of Orrery; but its
mythical character is obvious.].

It needed no such interception of a letter in the yard of a tavern to
convince Cromwell at last that Charles could not be trusted even in a
negotiation for his own benefit. All the while that he had been treating
with Cromwell and Ireton, in the sense of the Army Proposals, with a
Religious Toleration included, he had been treating with the Scots, both
by messages through the Earl of Lauderdale and by letters in his own hand
to the Earl of Lanark in Edinburgh, in a sense directly the opposite:
_i.e._ on the terms of a paction with the Scots for compulsory
Presbytery and suppression of the Sects in England, in return for the
armed assistance of the Scottish nation towards a restoration of his
kingship in all other respects. Late in October, Lanark and Loudoun had
come from Scotland to help Lauderdale in finishing this negotiation; and
the three Lords together, in conferences at Hampton Court, had assured
Charles that, "if he would give satisfaction in the point of Religion, he
was master of Scotland on what terms as to other things he would demand."
He had not quite given them all the satisfaction they wanted; but the
three Lords still remained loyally about him, with plans for his escape
to Berwick. Nothing of all this appeared, of course, in the public
communications of the Scottish Commissioners with the English Parliament.
The purport, however, had been entrusted to Ormond, Capel, and others of
the Royalists who were chief in the King's counsels; and Cromwell had his
means of guessing. [Footnote: For the interesting and instructive
correspondence of Charles with Lanark from June 1647 onwards, with
details of the negotiations after Lanark and Loudoun joined Lauderdale at
Hampton Court, see Burnet's Hamiltons, 401-412. See also Clar. 622-3;
Rushworth, VII, 850; and Lords Journals, Nov. 6.]

The mutinous disposition of so many Regiments, and its manifestation in
such tracts as _The Case of the Army_ and the _Agreement of the
People_, had greatly alarmed Parliament. The investigation of the
matter had been substantially left, however, in the hands of Fairfax and
the Council of War at Putney. That Council, with Fairfax and Cromwell
present in it, had appointed a special Committee of Inquiry, consisting
of twenty officers with Ireton at their head; and in a series of meetings
of this Committee and of the collective Council itself, extending from
Oct. 22 to Nov. 8, things were brought to a kind of adjustment. There was
to be a general Rendezvous of the Army for ending of disorder; and
meanwhile certain new Proposals were sketched out, to be presented to
Parliament as a summary of what might now be considered the opinions of
the chief representatives of the Army, reviewing their former Proposals
of Aug. 1 in the light of all that had since occurred. So far as the
Proposals _were_ sketched out, one observes in them a curious
combination of compromises. There is decidedly greater severity in them
to the King than in the original Army Proposals. On the other hand, there
is nothing about the abolition of Kingship or of the House of Lords, no
concession on these points to the ultra-democratic tendency of the
Levellers. The question of King or No King had been raised, it is said,
in the Council meetings by the Agitators, but had been quashed by the
chief officers. Again, rather strangely, the question of Liberty of
Conscience and the terms of the establishment of Presbytery is entirely
waived, unless we regard the provision that Delinquents should be obliged
to take the Covenant before being admitted to compound as a sign that on
this question too there was a recession from former liberality. On the
whole, the new Army Proposals look like a jumble of incongruities, and
rather disappoint one after the clear political comprehensiveness of the
original Proposals which Ireton had drafted, or even the rude
simplification of the same put forth by the democratic Agitators. The
reason probably was that the Army-chiefs desired at the moment to patch
up a concordat, suppressing all unnecessary appearance of difference
between the Parliament and the Army, and bringing both as amicably as
possible into the one direct track of the new set of Parliamentary
Propositions to the King. [Footnote: Rushworth, VII. 849-866; Godwin, II,

On the 10th of November, all the Propositions being ready, a very
emphatic Preamble to them was agreed upon by the two Houses. It was
intended that they should be presented to the King formally at Hampton
Court within the next few days. Before that could be done, however, his
Majesty had vanished.

The vicinity of Putney, with exasperated Levellers and Agitators all
about, had become really unsafe for Charles; and, after some meditation
and hesitation, he had himself arranged a plan of escape. It was put in
execution on Thursday the 11th of November. On the evening of that day
his Majesty, accompanied by Mr. Ashburnham, Mr. William Legge, and Sir
John Berkley, contrived to slip out of Hampton Court Palace, by the back
garden, unobserved. It was supper-time before he was missed by Whalley
and the guard; the night was excessively dark and stormy; and, though it
was ascertained that he and his companions had mounted horses near the
Palace, the route they had taken could not be guessed. For the next two
or three days, therefore, London was all anxiety. Meanwhile the
fugitives, guided by the King himself through the New Forest, had reached
the south coast, near Southampton, and in sight of the Isle of Wight. The
King's reasons for taking this direction appear to have been the vaguest;
nor is it certainly known that the Isle of Wight had been in his mind
when he left Hampton Court. No ship, however, having been provided for a
more distant voyage, and the King being in any case irresolute about yet
leaving England altogether, the island did now, if not before, occur to
him as suitable for his purpose. One inducement may have been that the
Governor, young Colonel Robert Hammond, was a person whom the King had
reason to believe as well disposed to him as any Parliamentarian officer.
Hammond, indeed, was the nephew of the King's favourite chaplain, Dr.
Henry Hammond; and, though he was one of Cromwell's admiring disciples,
and had married a daughter of Hampden, his uncle's reasonings, or other
influences, had begun of late to weaken his ardour. It had been with
undisguised pleasure that, but a week or two before, he had left his post
in the Army and gone to this quiet and distant governorship, where he
might live in retirement and without active duty. What, then, was his
horror when, on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 13, as he was riding along
the road near his residence of Carisbrooke Castle, in the centre of the
island, Sir John Berkley and Mr. Ashburnham presented themselves, and
told him that the King had fled in their company from Hampton Court and
desired to be his guest! "He grew so pale," says Berkley, "and fell into
such a trembling, that I did really believe he would have fallen from his
horse; which trembling continued with him at least an hour after, in
which he broke out into passionate and distracted expressions, sometimes
saying 'O gentlemen, you have undone me.'" He collected himself at
length, however, and accepted the duty which fate had sent him. Crossing
over, with Berkley and Ashburnham, to the earl of Southampton's house of
Titchfield on the mainland, where Charles had meanwhile been waiting with
Legge, he paid his homage gravely enough; and, after some conversation,
in which he promised to do all for his Majesty that might be consistent
with his obedience to Parliament, he returned to the island, with the
King in his charge, and Berkley, Ashburnham, and Legge in attendance.
His letter, narrating what had happened, and asking instructions, was
read in the two houses of Parliament on Monday, Nov. 15. [Footnote:
Berkley's Memoir, Harl. Miscell. IX. 479-483; Rushworth, VII. 871-874;
Clar. 624-7; Parl. Hist. III. 785-791. As usual, in the later Royalist
accounts, it is Cromwell that had contrived the whole affair of the
King's escape both matter and form. Hammond's appointment to the
Governorship of the island (Sept. 9) was Cromwell's doing, in
anticipation of what might be needed; then he had stirred up the
Agitators at Putney to threaten the King's life at Hampton Court; then he
had warned the King, through Whalley, of the designs of the Agitators, so
as to frighten him into flight; then, through Ashburnham or otherwise, he
had suggested the Isle of Wight as the very place for the King to go to,
and so had caught him in the prepared trap.]


Carisbrooke Castle, and the King's Letters thence. Parliament's New
Method of the _Four Bills_. Indignation of the Scots; their
Complaints of Breach of the Covenant--Army Rendezvous at Ware:
Suppression of a Mutiny of Levellers by Cromwell, and Establishment of
the Concordat with Parliament--Parliamentary Commissioners in the Isle of
Wight: Scottish Commissioners also there: the King's Rejection of the
Four Bills--Firmness of Parliament: their Resolutions of No Further
Addresses to the King: Severance of the Scottish Alliance--_The
Engagement_, or Secret Treaty between Charles and the Scots in the
Isle of Wight--Stricter guard of the King in Carisbrooke Castle: His
Habits in his Imprisonment--First Rumours of _The Scottish
Engagement_: Royalist Programme of a SECOND CIVIL WAR--Beginnings of
THE SECOND CIVIL WAR: Royalist Risings: Cromwell in Wales: Fairfax in the
South-east: Siege of Colchester--Revolt of the Fleet: Commotion among the
Royalist Exiles abroad: Holland's attempted Rising in Surrey--Invasion of
England by Hamilton's Scottish Army: Arrival of the Prince of Wales off
the Southeast Coast: Blockade of the Thames--Consternation of the
Londoners: Faintheartedness of Parliament: New Hopes of the
Presbyterians: their Ordinance against Heresies and Blasphemies: their
Leanings to the King: Independents in a struggling minority: Charge of
Treason against Cromwell in his absence--The Three Days' Battle of
Preston and utter Defeat of the Scots by Cromwell: Surrender of
Colchester to Fairfax: Return of the Prince of Wales to Holland: Virtual
End of THE SECOND CIVIL WAR--Parliamentary Treaty with the King at
Newport: Unsatisfactory Results--Protests against the Treaty by the
Independents--Disgust of the Army with the Treaty: Revocation of their
Concordat with Parliament, and Resolution to seize the Political Mastery:
Formation of a Republican Party--Petitions for Justice on the King:
The _Grand Army Remonstrance_--Cromwell in Scotland: Restoration of
the Argyle Government there: Cromwell at Pontefract: His Letter to
Hammond--The King removed from the Isle of Wight to Hurst Castle--The
Army again in possession of London.

Carisbrooke Castle, now mostly a ruin, but in Charles's time the chief
fortified place in the Isle of Wight, stands almost in the centre of the
island, close to the village of Carisbrooke, and near the town of
Newport, which, although really an inland town, communicates with the sea
by a navigable river. Here, with the verdant island all round him, and
fine views both of land and sea, Charles was to live for a whole year.
Though it was November when he came into the island, a lady, as he passed
through Newport on his way to Carisbrooke, could present him with a
damask-rose just picked from her garden; and he was to see all the circle
of seasons in that mild South-English climate, till November came round
again. [Footnote: Herbert, 55, 56.]

In a letter which Charles had left at Hampton Court, to be communicated
to the two Houses, he had avowed that, though security from threatened
violence was the immediate reason for his disappearance for a time into a
place of retirement, yet another reason was his desire to extricate
himself from a negotiation in which he felt that the "chief interests"
concerned were not all represented. In the same spirit of eclecticism,
with a word for each of the "chief interests," and a special show of
solicitude for the Army, is a Letter sent by the King to the two Houses
only four days after he had been in the Isle of Wight (Nov. 17). It gives
his Majesty's view of what would be the right kind of negotiation, and
conveys his definite offers. He cannot consent to the abolition of
Episcopacy, but he will assent to the experiment of Presbytery for three
years, if accompanied by a Toleration, but not for Papists, Atheists, and
Blasphemers; he will surrender the Militia for his own life, on condition
that it shall afterwards revert to the Crown; he will undertake for the
Arrears of the Army; and on other matters he will be ready to do his
utmost in a conclusive Personal Treaty in London. [Footnote: Rushworth,
VII. 871-2 and 880-833; Parl. Hist. III. 786-7 and 799-802; and King
Charles's Works (1651), 117-125.]

The two Houses retained their own ideas of the negotiation necessary;
and, while giving orders for the despatch of a sufficient guard to the
Isle of Wight, to be under Hammond's command, and also for the King's
household they were re-adjusting _their_ battery of negotiation for
the changed circumstances of its object.

At first the notion was to pursue the King to the Isle of Wight with the
whole series of Propositions which the Houses had so carefully drawn out
for presentation to him at Hampton Court. Here, however, they encountered
the most obstinate opposition from the Scottish Commissioners. The mood
of these gentlemen (Loudoun, Lanark, Lauderdale, Sir Charles Erskine,
Hugh Kennedy, and Robert Barclay), sufficiently irritable before the
King's flight from Hampton Court, was now that of the Thistle in full
bloom. The King, they declared, had done right in fleeing from the hard
usage of the English. Could his Majesty be expected to endure longer the
insults, terrors, indignities, to which he had been of late subjected,
ending actually in danger to his life from the ruffians of an ill-managed
Army? Moreover, was not Charles also the sovereign of Scotland! Could the
Scottish nation be expected to bear the contempt shown it in these
"tossings" to and fro of their King, aggravated by the studied neglect of
all the previous Remonstrances of the Scottish Commissioners and Estates
on this very subject? No! let those Propositions which the English
Parliament had been preparing be thrown aside, and let the King be
invited to come to London, in safety and honour, for a Personal Treaty
with Parliament, in which all might be "voluntary and free"!--Partly to
please the angry Scottish Commissioners, partly to shake them off if they
would not be pleased, the two Houses did make an alteration in their
procedure. Instead of the entire prepared series of Propositions, or
rather as antecedent to them, it was resolved to send to the King "Four
Bills," embodying the Propositions "absolutely necessary for present
security." Bill 1 was for the power of Parliament over the Militia for
twenty years, or longer if necessary; Bill 2 was for confirmation of all
acts of the Parliament in the late war; Bill 3 was for the cancelling of
all Peerages conferred by the King since the beginning of the war, and
the creation of new Peers only with consent of the two Houses; and Bill 4
was for giving the two Houses the right of adjournment at their own
pleasure.--This change of procedure was first proposed in the Lords Nov.
25 (fifteen Peers present); there were divisions on it in the Commons
Nov. 26 and 27, in the last of which it was carried by 115 to 106 (an
unusually full House) to concur generally with the Peers in the matter;
and then, after debates and conferences on details, the Bills, as above
indicated, passed the Commons finally Dec. 11, and the Lords finally Dec.
14. It was also then arranged that the Earl of Denbigh and Lord Montague,
for the Lords, and Mr. John Bulkeley, Mr. John Lisle, Mr. John Kemp, and
Mr. Robert Goodwin, for the Commons, should be the Commissioners for
carrying the Four Bills, and the Propositions too, so far as not
superseded by the Bills, to the King in the Isle of Wight. They were to
require his Majesty's consent to the Four Bills within ten days at the
utmost; but the remaining Propositions were to be delivered to his
Majesty only as containing matters on which the Houses would send another
Commission to treat with him after he had assented to the Four Bills.
[Footnote: Parl. Hist. II. 799-804 and 823-826; Lords and Commons
Journals of days named; also (for a special Letter of the Scottish
Commissioners) Lords Journals, Nov. 18. For this Letter Charles thanked
Lanark, saying, "Seriously, it is as full to my sense as if I had penned
it myself." Burnet's Hamiltons, 416.]

If the two Houses had resorted at first to this changed method of
procedure with any idea of pleasing the Scots, they had found reason to
abandon that idea. The very day the Four Bills were finally passed (Dec.
14), the Scottish Commissioners, knowing well enough privately what they
were, applied formally to the Committee of the Two Kingdoms for a copy of
them. This being reported to the Commons, a discussion ensued, and Mr.
Selden (particularly active about this time, and at any rate always eager
for a brush with the Scots) was appointed chairman of a Committee to
prepare an Answer. The Answer, adopted by the Commons Dec. 16, was taken
up by Mr. Selden to the Lords the same day, and by them adopted also. It
was to the effect that, as it was against the custom of the English
kingdom to communicate Bills ready for the King's assent to "any other
whomsoever" until his Majesty's reply had been received, the Four Bills
could not be communicated to the Scottish Commissioners, but that, as for
the rest, it was intended to send these Bills to the King on Monday next,
together with those Propositions of which the Scottish Commissioners were
already cognisant, and that, if the Scottish Commissioners desired to add
any Propositions concerning Scotland, they had better make haste. As if
to increase the irony of this Answer, there was frankly included in it a
copy of the Instructions to the English envoys as to their procedure both
with the Bills concealed from the Scots and the Propositions known to
them. Matter and manner both, the Answer drove the Scottish Commissioners
mad. There may be yet read in the Lords Journals of Dec. 18 the Reply, in
nineteen printed folio columns, which they thundered in upon the two
Houses. We do not see such documents now-a-days, and even then it was a
marvel. The whole soul of Scotland, past and present, seemed to launch
itself upon the Londoners in this tremendous lecture, issued from
Worcester House "by command of the Commissioners for the Parliament of
Scotland," and signed by John Chiesley, their clerk. After a hint of the
indebtedness of England to the Scots for some years past, there was a
recapitulation of all the recent acts of contumely sustained by Scotland
at the hands of the English, followed by a summary of the reasons for
preferring the Scottish plan of a free Personal Treaty with the King to
the English plan of prosecuting him with peremptory and ready-made
Propositions. But, as the English Parliament _had_ communicated to
the Scottish Commissioners their new set of Propositions (though not the
Four Bills), there was a criticism of these Propositions, from the
Scottish point of view, collectively and _seriatim_. The largest
criticism was on the Religious question. Nearly one half of the entire
document was occupied with this subject. Was not the Religious question
the main one, the _unum necessarium,_ deserving the first place in
any national negotiation? Yet was it not made secondary in the
Propositions, brought in anywhere in the middle of them, as if to show
that the two Houses did not really care much about it, and would not be
so stiff in it as in matters of civil import? Tenacious in one's own
concerns, and "liberal in the matters of God"! Again, not a word in the
Propositions, or hardly a word, respecting the Solemn League and Covenant
itself, a vow that had been sworn to with uplifted hands by nearly the
whole generation of living Englishmen! Oh! what an omission was that! Was
the Covenant to be voted out of date, and buried in the ashes of
oblivion? But, apart from the Covenant, how did the Propositions treat
the cause of Presbyterial government in England and of conformity of
Church-rule in the two kingdoms? Most miserably! No pressing of
Presbytery to full purity and completeness, but rather a cynical
acquiescence in the imperfect Presbytery that had already been set up,
and a glee in not being committed even to that beyond three years!
Finally, even this Presbytery was turned into a present mockery by an
accompanying concession to the cry for Liberty of Conscience! The
Commissioners had never desired that "pious and peaceable men should be
troubled because in everything they cannot conform themselves to
Presbyterial government;" but they did "from their very souls abhor such
a general and vast Toleration" as one of the Propositions seemed to
provide. Unless they were mistaken, it was a Toleration to "all the
sectaries of the time," whether they were "Anabaptists, Antinomians,
Arminians, Familists, Erastians, Brownists, Separatists, Libertines, or
Independents;" yea it extended to "those Nullifidians the Seekers, to the
new sect of Shakers, and divers others;" and, though it professed not to
include "Antitrinitarians, Arians, and Antiscripturists," where was the
security that these might not at least print and publish their
blasphemies and errors? "Our minds are astonished, and our bowels are
moved, &c.!"--There is a story of an irascible and fluent man who, after
a torrent of abusive words addressed to a cool-tempered friend with whom
he had a difference, was brought to a stop by the calm request of his
friend that he would be so good as to repeat his observations. Something
of the kind happened now. The reply of the two Houses to the portentous
Paper of the Scottish Commissioners was that its length prevented
immediate attention to it; but that they were sensible of the
"aspersions" it cast upon them, and begged that such might be "forborne
for the future." This drew from the Commissioners a shorter letter (Dec.
20), in which they disavowed any intention of disrespect, and assigned
the gravity of the crisis as a reason why their expressions had been
"more pathetique than ordinarily." Nevertheless from that moment the
connexion between the English Parliament and the Scottish Commissioners
was totally severed. [Footnote: Lords and Commons Journals of Dec. 15-

What had become of the third party concerned, the English Army?--The
general Rendezvous resolved on by the Council of War at Putney, in
consequence of the Concordat between the Army and Parliament
(_antè_, p. 573), had been cleverly changed into a tripartite
Rendezvous, or distribution of the regiments into three brigades, to be
reviewed on different days and at different places. The first of these
Reviews was held near Ware in Herts, Nov. 15, the very day on which the
King's arrival in the Isle of Wight was known. At the head of each of
seven regiments then present according to order there was read a
Remonstrance by Fairfax, pointing out the evils of relaxed discipline,
condemning the recent excesses of the Agitators and their attempts to
make the men disaffected to their officers, declaring the resolution of
himself and the chief officers to maintain all the Army's just rights,
but protesting that he could not continue to head an Army which was
mutinous, and requiring therefore that the officers and men of each
regiment should subscribe an engagement of future obedience, As nothing
was said in the document about either King or House of Lords, but mention
only made of a guarantee of future Parliaments and a Reformed
Representative House, no offence was given to the Democratic instincts of
the regiments, and they at once acquiesced in what was but a fit
soldierly compact. There were, however, two regiments on the field that
had come without orders--Colonel Harrison's horse-regiment and Colonel
Robert Lilburne's foot-regiment. They had come in a wild state of
excitement, with copies of the _Agreement of the People_ stuck in
their hats. John Lilburne, recently released from the Tower, had come
down to Ware to see the result. It was decisive, but not in the way John
had expected. Harrison's regiment, on being reasoned with by Fairfax and
the other officers, at length good-humouredly gave way, tore the mutinous
emblem from their hats, and broke into cheers. Lilburne's, which had
driven away most of its officers, remained sulky and vociferous, till
Cromwell, riding up to them, ordered them also to remove that thing from
their hats, and, on their refusing, had fourteen of them dragged from the
ranks, three of these tried on the spot and condemned to death, and one
of the three shot. After this turn given to the first Review, the others
passed off pleasantly enough, and all that was farther needed was the
minor punishment of one or two of the mutineers among the common
soldiers, with temporary restraint or rebuke for Colonel Rainsborough,
Colonel Ewer, Major Scott, Major Cobbet, and Lieutenant Bray, the
officers who had been most implicated in the revolt.--So, at the expense
of but one life, had a dangerous Mutiny been quelled, and the ultra-
Democrats of the Army taught the lesson of the Concordat. That lesson was
that, in the opinion of Cromwell and Ireton as well as of Fairfax, it was
best for England that the Army should still serve the constituted
authority of Parliament, and not raise any political banner of its own.
No sooner had this lesson been taught, however, than Cromwell and Ireton
had hastened to obliterate all traces of the occasion there had been for
teaching it. Their intention had not been to struggle with the Democratic
spirit itself, but only with its mutinous manifestation; and they knew,
in fact, that the political tenets of the poor fellow whom it had been
necessary to shoot remained, and would remain, not the less the tenets of
two-thirds of the Army. Accordingly, through November and December the
great aim of Cromwell and Ireton, in the new Army head-quarters at
Windsor, had been to soothe ruffled spirits and restore harmony.
Rainsborough, Ewer, Scott, and the other ultra-Democratic officers had
been restored to their places, with even studied respect; and strong
recommendations had gone to Parliament that Rainsborough, who, before the
Mutiny, had been named for the post of Vice-Admiral of the Fleet (in
recollection of his original profession), should be confirmed in that
high appointment. At Windsor there had been Army-dinners and great
prayer-meetings of officers and men, in which Cromwell and Ireton took a
conspicuous part, winning all back by their zeal and graciousness into a
happy frame of concord, which the Parliamentary Commissioners with the
Army described as "a sweet and comfortable agreement, the whole matter of
the kingdom being left with Parliament." And so, while the two Houses
were arranging to send their Four Bills and the Propositions to the Isle
of Wight, the Army only looked on approvingly. [Footnote: Parl. Hist.
III. 791-799 and 805-822; Godwin, II. 462-8; Carlyle's Cromwell, I. 254;
Rushworth, VII. 951.]

On Friday, Dec. 24, the Earl of Denbigh and the other Commissioners of
the two Houses arrived in the Isle of Wight and delivered the Four Bills
and the Propositions to his Majesty. Next day (Christmas Day) Loudoun,
Lanark, Lauderdale, and the other Scottish Commissioners, arrived, and
delivered to his Majesty, in the name of the Kingdom of Scotland, a
Protest against the English Bills and Propositions. For the day or two
following, these Scottish Commissioners were more with his Majesty than
the English Commissioners; but on the 28th the English Commissioners
received from him in writing his Answer to the two Houses. It was utterly
unfavourable, declining to assent to the Bills or anything else except
after a complete and deliberate Treaty, and assigning the Protest of the
Scottish Commissioners as a sufficient reason for this had there been no
other. With this Answer the English Commissioners returned to London, and
it was read in both Houses on the 3lst. The effects were extraordinary.
On the 3rd of January, 1647-8, it was resolved in the Commons, by a
majority of 141 to 92, that no farther applications or addresses should
be made to the King by that House, that no addresses or applications to
him by any person whatsoever should be made without leave of the Houses
under the penalties of High Treason, that no messages from the King
should be received, and that no one should presume to bring or carry
such. On the 15th the Lords agreed in these Resolutions, only Manchester
and Warwick dissenting out of sixteen Peers present. Negotiation was thus
declared to be at an end; and the Army, delighted with the news, burst
into applauses of Parliament, and vowed to live or die with it in the
common cause.

One consequence of what had occurred was the dissolution of the peculiar
body which, under the name of "The Committee of the two Kingdoms," had
hitherto exercised so much power, and been in fact a common executive for
the Parliaments of England and Scotland (_antè_, p. 41). As Scotland
had broken off from England, this body had become an absurdity; and so,
on the same days on which the two Houses adopted the No-Address
Resolution, they resolved "That the powers formerly granted by both
Houses to the Committee of both Kingdoms, relating to the kingdoms of
England and Ireland, be now granted and vested in the members of both
Houses only that are of that Committee." In other words, Lords Loudoun
and Lauderdale and the other Scottish Commissioners were no longer wanted
in England, and might go home. These gentlemen, being themselves of the
same opinion, sent a letter to the Lords, Jan. 17, intimating that they
were about to take their leave. With great civility the Lords sent
Manchester and Warwick "to wish them a good journey," assure them that
any arrears of business between England and Scotland would be attended
to, and express a desire for "the continuance of the brotherly union and
good correspondency between the two nations." Actually, a few days
afterwards, the Commissioners left London; and on the 29th the Houses
appointed six Commissioners of their own to follow them to Edinburgh, and
allay, if possible, any ill feeling that might be caused there by their
representation of recent occurrences.

Had the two Houses known all, their politeness would have been less! It
had not been only to give in a protest in the name of Scotland against
the English Bills and Propositions that Lanark, Loudoun, and Lauderdale
had made their Christmas journey to Carisbrooke in the wake of the
English Commissioners. The King had been in correspondence with them for
some time before on the subject begun with them at Hampton Court; and,
when they came to Carisbrooke, they had brought with them not only the
Protest against the English Bills, but also a secret document of a more
momentous nature, prepared for the King's signature. Actually on the 26th
of December, or two days before the English Commissioners were dismissed
with the unfavourable Answer to the English Parliament, this document had
been signed in Carisbrooke Castle by the King on the one part, and by
Loudoun, Lauderdale, and Lanark on the other. Not daring to bring it out
of the island with them, the Commissioners, Clarendon says, had it wrapt
up in lead and buried in a garden whence they could recover it
afterwards. And little wonder! It was A SECRET TREATY BETWEEN CHARLES AND
THE SCOTTISH COMMISSIONERS, in which his Majesty bound himself, on the
word of a King, to confirm the Covenant for such as had taken it or might
take it (without forcing it on the unwilling), also to confirm
Presbyterian Church-government and the Westminster Directory of Worship
in England for three years (with a reservation of the Liturgy, &c., for
himself and his household), and moreover to see to the suppression of the
Independents and all other sects and heresies; while the Scots, in
return, were to send an Army into England for the purpose of restoring
him, on these conditions, to his full Royalty in that kingdom! Thus at
last Charles had made a conclusive Treaty with one section of his
adversaries; and, as Queen Henrietta Maria had always advised, it was
with the Scots, all but absolutely on their own terms of the abolition of
Episcopacy and the establishment of strict Presbytery in England!!
[Footnote: Lords and Commons Journals; Parl. Hist. III. 827-837; Burnet's
Hamiltons (for correspondence between the King and Lanark) 412-423;
Stevenson's Hist. of the Church of Scotland, ed. 1840, p. 586 (for
Loudoun's account of the substance of the Treaty); Clarendon, 634-637.
Clarendon's account of the Treaty is full; and, though he condemns it as
"monstrous," he gives the apology that had reconciled the King to it in
his despair. It was that Lanark, Loudoun, and Lauderdale had themselves
argued that the Treaty would turn out mere waste paper. After the
Scottish Army should be in England, and the Royalists in England roused,
"there would be nobody to exact all those particulars, but everybody
would submit to what his Majesty should think fit to be done!"]

Until the decisive rupture with Parliament on the Four Bills, Charles had
been permitted to range about the Isle of Wight very much at his
pleasure, and the concourse of visitors to him had been as free as at
Hampton Court. From the moment of the rupture, however, all was changed.
Aware that an escape abroad was now meditated by Charles, and warned by
some stir about Carisbrooke itself for the King's rescue, Colonel Hammond
had at once taken precautions, but implored Parliament at the same time
either to remove the King to some other place or else to discharge
himself from an office the burden of which he found insupportable. With
this last request Parliament did not comply, and Hammond had to continue
in his painful trust, obeying the instructions sent him. His Majesty was
not to be allowed any longer to ride about the island, or to receive
unauthorized visitors; he was to be restrained to Carisbrooke Castle and
the line round it; Ashburnham, Legge, and other suspicious persons in his
service, including his chaplains Hammond and Sheldon, were to be
dismissed; and his remaining household were to be under very strict
regulation. These instructions having been carried into effect, Charles's
life in the Isle of Wight from January 1647-8 onwards was one of straiter
captivity and seclusion than he had experienced even at Holmby. He had
the liberty only of the Castle and its precincts; which, however, were
sufficiently large and convenient for the exercise of walking, with "good
air and a delightful prospect both to the sea and land." For his solace
and recreation in his favourite game, the barbican of the Castle, a
spacious parading ground beyond the walls but within the line, was
converted by Hammond into "a bowling-green scarce to be equalled," at one
side of which there was built "a pretty summer-house for retirement."
This at vacant hours became the King's chief resort both forenoon and
afternoon, there being "no gallery, nor rooms of state nor garden,"
within the Castle walls. Occasionally, notwithstanding the strict guard,
some poor stray creature troubled with scrofula, who had come to the Isle
of Wight for the Royal touch, would contrive to beguile the sentries and
obtain admission to the barbican. As at Holmby, however, the King had his
set times in-doors for his devotions and for reading and writing; and his
favourite books, catalogued and placed in the charge of Mr. Herbert, were
again in request. Though he still declined the services of any
Presbyterian clergyman, he rather liked the society of young Mr.
Troughton, the governor's chaplain, and had arguments with him daily on
theological points. Once, when a half-crazed minister, nicknamed Doomsday
Sedgwick, came all the way from London to present him with a book he had
written, suitable for his comfort and entitled "Leaves from the Tree of
Life for the healing of the Nations," he ordered him to be admitted,
received the book, glanced at some pages of it, and then returned it to
the author with the observation that surely he must need some sleep after
having written a book like that. And so day by day the routine flowed on,
and always at night the wax-lamp was kept burning in the silver basin
close to his Majesty's bed. [Footnote: Lords Journals, Dec. 31, 1647, and
of subsequent dates; Herbert's Memoirs of the Last Years of Charles, 57-
67 and 95-98; Wood's Ath. III. 894-6. Doomsday Sedgwick was not Obadiah
Sedgwick of the Assembly, but William Sedgwick of Ely.]

The Treaty with the Scots could not remain long secret. No sooner had the
Scottish Commissioners who had framed it returned to Edinburgh than they
were obliged to let the substance of it become known. This was done in
the Committee of Estates on the 15th of February, when Loudoun and
Lauderdale formally reported the result of their visit to the Isle of
Wight. Then ensued a most perplexed agitation in Scotland on the whole
subject. THE ENGAGEMENT, as the Secret Treaty was called, was universally
discussed, and with great diversity of opinion. In the Committee of
Estates, the Hamiltons, who had been the real authors of the Engagement,
carried all their own way. Nay in the Parliament, or full Convention of
the Estates, which met on the 2nd of March, the majority went
passionately with the Hamiltons. Four-fifths of the nobles went with
them; more than half the lairds; and nearly half the burgesses, including
most of the representatives of the larger Scottish towns. These were the
HAMILTONIANS or ENGAGERS. Not the less in Parliament itself was there a
strong opposition party, headed by Argyle, Eglinton, Lothian, Cassilis,
and some half-dozen other nobles, aided by Johnstone of Warriston; and,
as this party rested on the nearly unanimous support of the Scottish
clergy, it had a powerful organ of expression, apart from Parliament, in
the Commission of the Kirk. It was argued, on their side, that the
Commissioners to the Isle of Wight had exceeded their powers, that the
conditions made with Charles were too slippery, that he had in reality
evaded the Covenant, and that, though Scotland might have a just cause
for war against the English Sectaries, no good could come of a war,
nominally against them, in which Presbyterians would be allied with
Malignants, Prelatists, and perhaps even Papists. Declarations embodying
these views were published by the Commission; the pulpits rang with
denunciations of the Engagement; petitions against it from Provincial
Synods and Presbyteries of the Kirk were poured in upon Parliament; had
the entire population been polled, the PROTESTERS or ANTI-ENGAGERS would
have been found in the majority. Even Loudoun detached himself from the
Hamiltons, and publicly, in the High Church of Edinburgh, submitted to
ecclesiastical rebuke, professing repentance of his handiwork.
Nevertheless the Hamiltons persevered; two-thirds of the Parliament
adhered to them; and by the end of April 1648 it was understood, not in
England only, but also on the Continent, that an Army of 40,000 Scots was
to be raised somehow, in spite of Argyle and the Scottish clergy, for an
invasion of England in the King's behalf. The Army was to be commanded in
chief by the Duke of Hamilton himself, with the Earl of Callander for his
Lieutenant-general. [Footnote: Baillie, III. 24-46; Stevenson, 582-595;
Burnet's Hamiltons, 424-435.] Thus out of the Scottish Engagement with
the King in the Isle of Wight there grew what is called THE SECOND CIVIL
WAR, It was a much briefer affair than the first. That had spread over
four years; but the real substance of this was to be crushed into as many
months (May-Aug. 1648). The military story of these months shall concern
us here only in so far as it is interwoven with the political narrative.

The Engagement with the Scots had been communicated to Queen Henrietta
Maria at St. Germains, and gradually, with more or less precision, to all
those dispersed Royalists, at home or abroad, who might be expected to
take leading parts in co-operation with the promised Scottish invasion.
The programme, so far as it could be settled, was something after this
fashion:--(1) Risings were to be promoted in all parts of England and
Wales, to coalesce at last, if possible, into a great general rising in
which London should be involved. All the conditions seemed favourable for
such an attempt. Not only in every county were there eager and revengeful
remains of the old Episcopal Royalism, but the tendency even of the
Presbyterians throughout England had been of late decidedly Royalist. The
Presbyterians had never been anti-monarchical in theory; and large
numbers of them had begun of late to pity the King, and to question
whether the excessively hard terms imposed upon him by Parliament were
altogether necessary. Even if he were to be restored to larger powers in
some things than might be quite desirable, would not that be better than
continuing in the present state of uproar and confusion, with a
Democratic Army fastened vampire-like on the land, preying on its
resources, and poisoning its principles? For people in this state of mind
the promised invasion of the Scots in Charles's behalf was the very
pretext needed. Much of the Presbyterianism of England, including the
City of London, might be whirled, along with the readier Old Royalism,
into a rising for the King. To promote and manage risings in particular
districts, however, there must be leaders authorized from St. Germains.
Such leaders were found among eminent Royalists either already in England
or able to transfer themselves thither without delay. In the North, where
immediate co-operation with the Scots would be necessary, Sir Marmaduke
Langdale and Sir Philip Musgrave were to be the chief agents; and for the
West, the Midlands, and the South, there were the Earl of Norwich
(formerly Lord Goring), the Earl of Peterborough, Lord Byron, Lord Capel,
and others. The young Duke of Buckingham, and his brother Lord Francis
Villiers, who had not been concerned in the first Civil War, being then
but boys and on their travels abroad, had recently returned to their
great estates in England, and were anxious to figure as became the name
they bore. Strangely enough, in the midst of all these, as the
commissioned generalissimo of the King's forces in England when they
should be in the field, was to be the Earl of Holland. His veerings in
the first war had not been to his credit; but his long seclusion had done
him good; he had always been in favour with the Queen; and his
Parliamentary and Presbyterian connexions were an advantage. (2) There
was to be a gathering of all the Royalist exiles to accompany or follow
the Prince of Wales in a landing on the British shores. As early as Feb.
8, when only the vaguest rumour of the Scottish Engagement can have been
in circulation on the Continent, the report from the Hague had been that
it would be "no wonder to see 10,000 merry souls, then lying there, and
cursing the Parliament in every cup they drank, venturing over to make
one cast more for the King." Certain it is that in the following months
there was a stir in all the nests of English refugees in France and
Holland, and in the Channel Islands. Not only Prince Rupert, Percy,
Wilmot, Jermyn, Colepepper, Ormond, and others round the Queen and the
Prince in Paris, but the Earl of Bristol, Lord Cottington, Secretary
Nicholas, and others, in Rouen or Caen, and Hopton and Hyde in Jersey,
were all in motion. Money was the great want; they were all so wretchedly
poor; but that difficulty might be overcome so far as to make an
expedition to England at least possible. Mazarin might lend help; or, if
he did not, the Prince of Orange, the husband of Charles's eldest
daughter, and now Stadtholder of Holland, might be expected to do all he
could for his father-in-law consistently with the limited powers of his
Stadtholdership. A Dutch port might be more convenient than a French one
for the embarkation of the refugees collectively or in detachments. Most
would be bound for England; but the true sphere of some, as for example
Ormond, would be in Ireland. For the Prince of Wales himself what was
specially destined by the Queen was a voyage to Scotland. It was by being
among the Scots personally till their Army could be got ready, and either
remaining in Scotland afterwards or accompanying the Army into England,
that his Royal Highness would be of most use. On this point the Queen was
emphatic. [Footnote: Clarendon, Book XI., where the pre-arrangement of
the new Civil War from head-quarters, and the parts assigned to different
persons, are set forth more lucidly, and with better information, than
anywhere else. Dates are deficient, but the sketching is masterly. See
also Rushworth for Feb., March, and April, 1648.]

Such being the programme, what was the performance? It did not quite come
up to the programme, but it was sufficiently formidable.

The first rising was in Wales. There a certain drunken Colonel Poyer,
governor of Pembroke Castle, with a Colonel Powell and a Colonel
Laughern, also in Parliamentary employment, revolted as early as the end
of February. Ostensibly it was in resentment of an order of Parliament
for disbanding supernumeraries; but, before the end of April, the affair
became a Royalist outbreak of all Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and
Cardiganshire, spreading through the rest of South Wales. To suppress
this rising Cromwell was to go from London, May 1, with two regiments of
horse and three of foot; which, with the forces already in the region,
would make an army of about 8,000 men. Before he went, risings of less
importance had been heard of in Cornwall and Dorsetshire, and there had
been one tremendous tumult in London itself, to the cry of "For God and
King Charles!" (Sunday, April 9.) It had been suppressed only by street-
charges of the regiments quartered at Whitehall and Charing Cross.
Significant incidents of the same month were the revolt to the Irish
Rebels of Lord Inchiquin, hitherto one of the most zealous
Parliamentarians in Ireland, and the escape from London of the young Duke
of York. By the contrivance of a Colonel Bamfield the Duke was whisked
away from St. James's Palace (April 21), and conveyed, in girl's clothes,
to Holland. He was not quite fifteen years of age; but his father had
instructed him to escape when he could, and the fact that he had been
designated for the command of the Navy was likely to be useful.

All this before Cromwell had gone into Wales; but hardly had he gone when
there came the news that Berwick had been seized for the King by Sir
Marmaduke Langdale (April 30), and Carlisle by Sir Philip Musgrave and
Sir Thomas Glenham (May 6). Langdale and Musgrave had been staying in
Edinburgh, and the seizure of these two towns was by arrangement with the
Duke of Hamilton and in preparation for his invasion. Langdale, indeed,
announced himself as commissioned General for the King in the five
northern counties, and the business of watching against his advance lay
with Lambert, the Parliamentarian General in those parts, assisted by Sir
Arthur Haselrig, now Governor of Newcastle.

Meanwhile the preservation of the peace in and near London was in the
hands of Fairfax, Ireton, and Skippon--Fairfax now no longer mere Sir
Thomas, but Lord Fairfax of the Scottish Peerage, as successor to his
father Lord Ferdinando, who had died March 13. These three were soon as
hard at work in their south-eastern region as Cromwell in Wales and
Lambert in the north. For the county of Surrey having followed the
counties of Norfolk and Suffolk in sending in a petition for the
disbanding of the Army and the restoration of the King "to the splendour
of his ancestors" (May 16), a new riot in London "For God and King
Charles" was the consequence, and in a short time there was more or less
of Royalist commotion north and south of London, through Norfolk,
Suffolk, Cambridge, Herts, Essex, Surrey, and Kent. The insurrection in
Kent was of independent origin, and was the most extensive and hence It
had been begun by the Kentish people themselves, roused by Roger
L'Estrange and a young Mr. Hales; but the Earl of Norwich had come into
Kent to take the lead. Canterbury, Dover, Sandwich, and the castles of
Deal and Walmer, had been won for the King; there were communications
between the insurgents and the Londoners, and in the end of May some
10,000 or 12,000 men of Kent, with runaway citizens and apprentices from
London in their ranks, were marching towards the City with drums and
banners. To meet these Fairfax and Ireton, with seven regiments, went out
to Blackheath, May 29; and, the insurgents then drawing back, the two
were at Gravesend May 31, and at Maidstone June 1. A few days of their
hard blows, struck right in the heart of Kent, sufficed for that county;
and the Earl of Norwich, with the Kentish fugitives, crossed the Thames
into Essex. Insurgents from other parts, including Lord Capel, Lord
Loughborough, and Sir Charles Lucas, having at the same time gathered
into that county, there was a junction of forces, with the intention of a
roundabout march upon London, by Suffolk, Norfolk, and Cambridge, The
swift approach of Fairfax out of conquered Kent (June 11) compelled them
to change their plan. They threw themselves into Colchester (June 12),
adding some 4,000 or 5,000 armed men to the population of that doomed
town. Doomed! for Fairfax, having failed to take it on the first assault,
resolved to reduce it by starvation, and so, the insurgents on their side
resolving to hold out to the last, inasmuch as the detention of Fairfax
in Essex till the Scots should be in England was the best hope, both for
themselves and for the general cause, the SIEGE OF COLCHESTER (June l2--
Aug. 28) turned out one of the most horrible events of the war.

An important episode of the Kentish Insurrection was the Revolt of the
Fleet. The main station of the Fleet being in the Downs, just off the
Kentish coast, Royalist emissaries had been busy among the sailors, and
with such effect that, when Vice-Admiral Rainsborough, who had been
ashore Defending Deal Castle against the insurgents, tried to go on board
his own ship, he was laid hold of and sent back. This was about the 27th
of May; and, though the Parliament immediately re-appointed the
Presbyterian Earl of Warwick to his old post of Lord High Admiral, and
sent him down to pacify the Fleet (May 29), the effort failed. The cry of
the sailors was, "We will go to our own Admiral," meaning the young Duke
of York in Holland. Actually, some ten warships, having ejected all their
Parliamentarian officers, did put to sea, and, after cruising about the
coasts of Kent, Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk, till the insurrection in
those parts was quashed, did cross to Helvoetsluys in Holland, early in
June, in search of the young Duke. It was a splendid accident for the
world of Royalist exiles on the Continent, for it supplied them with the
wooden bridge they needed for transit into the mother-country.
Accordingly, though the royal boy-admiral came at once from the Hague to
Helvoetsluys, went on board the Fleet, and was for a week or two the pet
of the sailors, the higher powers at Paris hastened to turn the accident
to the largest account. Mazarin refusing all help, some money was raised
otherwise, so as to enable the Prince of Wales, with Prince Rupert,
Hopton, Colepepper and others, to embark at Calais for Helvoetsluys. He
arrived there early in July, was received with acclamations by the Fleet,
and immediately relieved his younger brother in the command. The Prince
and Princess of Orange coming from the Hague to welcome him, there was a
joyful family-meeting, with much consultation, but a good deal of
difference, among all concerned, as to the ways and means.

About the time of the Revolt of the Fleet, Parliament had received other
bad news. Pontefract had been seized for the King, June 2, and other
important places in Yorkshire were taken or attempted soon after. Through
the rest of June there were risings or threats of rising in the Midlands,
so that in the beginning of July things looked very ill. There had been
successes, it was true, against the insurgents in Wales, and Cromwell was
hopefully besieging Pembroke; Lambert was doing well with his small
forces against Langdale in the north; Colchester was beginning to be
distressed in the grip of Fairfax; but still, with the whole of England
in Royalist or semi-Royalist palpitation, and the City of London actually
heaving with suppressed revolt, what could be expected when Hamilton and
his army of Scottish Presbyterians did cross the border? There had been
delays in the levy of this army, owing to the continued resistance of the
Argyle party, the clergy, and the western shires; and it had only been by
the most tyrannic exercise of power that it had been got together. At
last, however, it _had_ been got together; and now England was full
of the rumour of its coming. Lo! at the rumour the Earl of Holland, the
designated generalissimo of the English army of co-operation, could not
choose but start from his lethargy! With the young Duke of Buckingham,
young Lord Francis Villiers, the Earl of Peterborough, and the Dutch
Colonel Dalbier, in his company, and a following of 500 horse, he started
up at Kingston-on-Thames on the 6th of July; addressed a formal
Declaration of his motives to Parliament and the City of London, as well
as a letter of encouragement to the besieged at Colchester; and called on
all Surrey, Sussex and Middlesex, to join him. That bravado, however,
lasted but two days. On the 8th of July, a Parliamentary force under Sir
Michael Livesey attacked Holland's horse and routed them utterly. Lord
Francis Villiers and Dalbier were slain; the Duke of Buckingham and the
Earl of Peterborough escaped to London, and thence abroad; but Holland
himself, pursued into Hunts, was taken prisoner.

On the very day of the defeat of Holland in Surrey (Saturday, July 8) the
Scots did come into England. They came from Annan on the Solway Firth,
marching to Carlisle. They were not the expected 40,000, but the advanced
portion of an army which, when it had all come in, may have numbered
about 20,000. The Duke himself led the van with his Lifeguards in great
state, preceded by trumpeters "all in scarlet cloaks full of silver
lace;" Generals Thomas Middleton and William Baillie came next with horse
and foot; and the Earl of Callander brought up the rear. Joined by Sir
Marmaduke Langdale and his English, they marched on, or rather sauntered
on, to Penrith (July 15), and thence to Kendal (Aug. 1?), the wary
Lambert retreating before them, but watching their every motion,
skirmishing when he could, and waiting anxiously for the arrival of
Cromwell, who, having at length taken Pembroke and so far settled Wales
(July 11), was hurrying to the new scene of action in the north. Off
Kendal, a body of about 3,000 Scots, brought over from Ireland by Major-
general Sir George Monro, attached itself to Hamilton, with an
understanding that Hamilton's orders to it were to be directly from
himself to Monro. There was then a debate whether it would be best to
advance straight south into Lancashire, or to strike east into Yorkshire.
It was decided for Lancashire. On into Lancashire, therefore, they moved,
the poor people in the track behind them grieving dreadfully over their
ravages, but dignified papers of the Scottish Parliament preceding them
to explain the invasion. Scotland had made an Engagement to rescue the
King, free England from the tyranny of an Army of Sectaries, establish
Presbytery, and put down "that impious Toleration settled by the two
Houses contrary to the Covenant!"

While the Scots were thus advancing into the north-west of England, the
Prince of Wales had brought his Fleet from Holland, and (the Queen's idea
that he should go to Scotland having been postponed) was hovering about
the south-east coast. By fresh accessions the fleet had been increased to
nineteen sail; it had been provisioned by the Prince of Orange; and there
were 2,000 soldiers on board. On the 25th of July the Prince was off
Yarmouth, where a landing of the soldiers was attempted with a view to
relieve Colchester. That failing, he removed to the mouth of the Thames,
to obstruct the commerce of the Londoners, and make prizes of their
ships. Precisely at the time when the Westmorland and Lancashire people
were grieving over the ravages of the invading Scots, the Londoners were
in consternation over the capture by the Prince of an Indiaman and
several other richly-laden vessels. For the ransom of these by their
owners the Prince demanded huge sums of money, intimating at the same
time (Aug 8) that the block of the Thames would be kept up until the
Londoners declared for the King, or Parliament agreed to a cessation of
arms on certain loyal conditions. [Footnote: In the summary given
in the text of the incidents of the Civil War from March to August 1648,
I have tried to reduce into chronological connexion the information given
disconnectedly in Rushworth, VII. 1010-1220, and at large in Clarendon,
Book XI. There have been references, for dates and facts, to the
Parliamentary History and Journals, Burnet's Hamiltons, Godwin's
Commonwealth, and Carlyle's Cromwell.]

Through these four or five months of Royalist risings coalescing at last
in a Civil War as extensive as the first had been, and much more
entangled (April-Aug. 1648), what had been the conduct of Parliament? It
had been very odd indeed.

Nothing could have been bolder than the attitude of the two Houses, and
especially of the Commons, for a month or so after their famous No-
Address Resolutions of Jan. 1-15. Thus, on the 11th of February, the
Commons adopted, by a majority of 80 to 50, a Declaration, which had been
prepared in Committee, and chiefly by Nathaniel Fiennes and Henry Marten,
setting forth their Reasons for breaking off communication with the King.
They published the document without consulting the other House. It was
the severest criticism of the King personally that had yet been put forth
by either House of Parliament, severe even to atrocity. His whole reign
was reviewed remorselessly from its beginning, and characterized as "a
continued track of breach of trust to the three kingdoms," and there was
even the horrible insinuation that he had connived with the Duke of
Buckingham in poisoning his own father. After this tremendous document--
so tremendous that two Answers to it were published, one from the King
himself, and the other written anonymously by Hyde in Jersey--who could
have expected that the Commons would again make friendly overtures to his
Majesty? Yet such was the fact. The tergiversation, however, was gradual.
Through the rest of February, the whole of March and most of April, the
Commons were still in their austere fit, utterly ignoring the King, and
prosecuting punctiliously such pieces of business as the Reply to the
recent Declarations and Protests of the Scots, and the Revision of the
Westminster Assembly's _Confession of Faith and Larger Catechism_.
[Footnote: The Revision of the _Confession of Faith_ by the two
Houses was completed June 20, 1648, when, with the exception of certain
portions about Church-government held in reserve, it was passed and
ordered to be printed: not, however, with the title "Confession of
Faith," but as "Articles of Christian Religion approved and passed by
both Houses of Parliament after advice had with the Assembly of Divines
by authority of Parliament sitting at Westminster." The Revision, though
detailed, was much a matter of form, paragraph after paragraph passing
without discussion. On at least one point, however, there was a division
in the Commons (Feb. 18, 1647-8). It related to Chap. XXIV. of the
Confession, entitled _Of Marriage and Divorce_. The question was
whether the House should agree to the last clause of the 4th paragraph of
that Chapter--"The man may not marry any of his wife's kindred nearer in
blood than he may of his own, nor the woman of her husband's kindred
nearer in blood than of her own." For the _Yea_ there voted 40 (Sir
Robert Pye and Sir Anthony Irby, tellers); for the _No_ 71 (Sir
William Armyn and Mr. Knightley, tellers); in other words, the House by a
majority of 31 doubted the ecclesiastical doctrine of forbidden degrees
of _affinity_ in marriage.] The attendance during these months
ranged from about 70 to 190, and the Independents, or friends of the
Army, seemed still to command the majority. On the 24th of April,
however, on a call of the House, occasioned by the prospect of the
Scottish invasion and the signs of Royalist movement in England, no fewer
than 306 members appeared in their places, Many of these seem to have
been Presbyterian members, long absent, but now whistled back by their
leaders for a fresh effort in behalf of Royalty in connexion with
Presbytery. At all events, from this call of the House on April 24 the
tide is turned, and we find vote after vote showing renewed Presbyterian
ascendency with an inclination to the King. Thus, on the 28th of April,
it was carried by 165 votes to 99, that the House should declare that it
would not alter the fundamental government of the kingdom, by King,
Lords, and Commons; also, by 108 to 105, that "the matter of the
Propositions sent to the King at Hampton Court by consent of both
kingdoms" should be the ground of a new debate for the settlement of the
kingdom; also, by 146 to 101, that the No-Address Resolutions of January
should not hinder any member from propounding in the debate anything that
might tend to an improvement of the said Propositions. Here certainly was
a change of policy; and, if there could be any doubt that it was effected
by a sudden influx of Presbyterians, that doubt would be removed by a
stupendous event which followed, appertaining wholly to the Religious
question. On the 1st of May (the very day on which Cromwell was ordered
off to South Wales by Fairfax and the Council of War) there was brought
up in the Commons an "_Ordinance for the Suppression of Blasphemies and
Heresies_," which the Presbyterians had been long urging and labouring
at in committees, but which the Independents and Tolerationists had
hitherto managed to keep back. Without a division it passed the House
that day; next day it passed the Lords; and, accordingly, under date May
2, 1648, this is what stands in the Lords Journals as thenceforward to be
the Law of England:--

"For the preventing of the growth and spreading of Heresy and Blasphemy:
Be it ordained ... That all such persons as shall, from and after the
date of this present Ordinance, willingly, by preaching, teaching,
printing, or writing, maintain and publish that there is no God, or that
God is not present in all places, doth not know and foreknow all things,
or that He is not Almighty, that He is not perfectly Holy, or that He is
not Eternal, or that the Father is not God, the Son is not God, or that
the Holy Ghost is not God, or that They Three are not One Eternal God; or
that shall in like manner maintain and publish that Christ is not God
equal with the Father, or shall deny the Manhood of Christ, or that the
Godhead and Manhood of Christ are several natures, or that the Humanity
of Christ is pure and unspotted of all sin; or that shall maintain and
publish, as aforesaid, that Christ did not die, nor rise from the dead,
nor is ascended into Heaven bodily, or that shall deny His death is
meritorious in the behalf of Believers; or that shall maintain and
publish, as aforesaid, that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God; or that
the Holy Scripture, _videlicet_ [here comes in the entire list of
the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments], is not the Word of
God; or that the bodies of men shall not rise again after they are dead;
or that there is no Day of Judgment after death:--All such maintaining
and publishing of such Error or Errors, with obstinacy therein, shall, by
virtue hereof, be adjudged Felony: And all such persons [here is
explained the process by which they are to be accused and brought to
trial].. and in case the indictment be found and the party upon his trial
shall not abjure the said Error, and defence and maintenance of the same,

"Be it further ordained, by the authority aforesaid, That all and every
person or persons that shall publish or maintain, as aforesaid, any of
the several Errors hereafter ensuing, _videlicet_ [here a long
enumeration of _minor_ forms of Religious Error, such as "that man
by nature hath free will to turn to God," that God may be worshipped by
pictures and images, that there is a Purgatory, "that man is bound to
believe no more than by his reason he can comprehend," "that the
baptizing of infants is unlawful," that the observation of the Lord's Day
is not obligatory, or "that the Church-government by Presbytery is Anti-
Christian or unlawful"], shall be [ordered to renounce their Error or
Errors in public congregation, and, in case of refusal,] COMMITTED TO

Imagine _that_ going forth, just as the Second Civil War had begun,
as the will and ordinance of Parliament! One wonders that the Concordat
between Parliament and the Army, arranged by Cromwell and the other Army-
chiefs in the preceding November, was not snapped on the instant. One
wonders that the Army did not wheel in mass round Westminster, haul the
legislating idiots from their seats, and then undertake in their own name
both the war and the general business of the nation. The behaviour of the
Army, however, was more patient and wise. Parliament could be reckoned
with afterwards; meanwhile let it pass what measures it liked, so long as
it did not absolutely throw up its trust and abandon all to the King!
Till Parliament should do that, the fighting which the Army had to do at
any rate might as well be done in the name of the Parliament!

Really there seemed a chance that even the last extremity of faint-
heartedness would be reached, and that Parliament _would_ throw up
its national trust. Here, for example, were some of its proceedings in
June and July, of which Cromwell must have heard, with rather strange
feelings, in the midst of his hard work in Wales, Lambert in his watch
against the Scots in the north, and Fairfax and Ireton in their siege of
Colchester. June 3, 7, and 8, the two Houses, of their own accord, or on
earnest Petitions from the City, agreed to drop all the impeachments and
other proceedings voted in the preceding year at the instance of the Army
against members of their own body, and against City officials implicated
in the Presbyterian tumults in London, and in particular to invite the
Seven peccant Peers and the survivors of the Eleven peccant Commoners to
return to their places. June 30 and July 3 the proposal to re-open a
Treaty with the King was after much intermediate debating, brought to a
bearing by a formal agreement of the two Houses to rescind their No-
Address Resolutions of January, and by a vote of the Commons that the
Propositions to be submitted to the King for his assent before farther
treaty should be these three--Presbytery for three years, the Militia
with Parliament for ten years, and the Recall by the King of all
Proclamations and Declarations against the Parliament. Even this, so much
more favourable to the King than former offers, the Lords thought too
harsh; and they refused (July 5) to make the Treaty conditional on the
King's prior assent to the three Propositions. Nor was this the only
proof that the bravery of the Lords had evaporated even more completely
than that of the Commons. On July 14, when it was known that Hamilton's
Army of Scots was actually in England, the Commons did vote that the
invaders were public enemies, and that all Englishmen who should abet
them should be accounted traitors; but the Lords (July 18) refused to
concur in that vote. Were the soldiers of Parliament, then, to be
fighting against invaders whom one of the Houses did not regard as public
enemies?--In short, the fact had come to be that, in the beginning of
August, the forces of Fairfax, Lambert, and Cromwell, were conducting a
war in the name of Parliament which Parliament and the City of London
were taking every means to stop. A Petition of the Lord Mayor, Aldermen,
and Common Council of the City, presented to the Lords Aug. 8 (the last
of scores of Petitions in the same sense that had for a month or two been
poured in), expressed the general Presbyterian feeling. "The government
of the Church still unsettled; blasphemy, heresy, schism, and profaneness
increased; the relief of bleeding Ireland obstructed; the war, to their
great astonishment, renewed; the people of England thereby miserably
impoverished and oppressed; the blood of our fellow-subjects spilt like
water upon the ground; our Brethren of Scotland now entered into this
kingdom in a hostile manner, his Highness the Prince of Wales commanding
at sea a considerable part of the Navy, and other ships under his power,
having already made stay of many English ships with merchandise and
provisions to a very great value:"--these were the complaints; and the
Petitioners humbly conceived there was no visible remedy but the "speedy
freeing of his Majesty" from restraint, and "a Personal Treaty" with him
for "restoring him to his just rights." The City was to have its will.
The Commons (July 28) had abandoned, by a majority of 71 to 64, their
intention to require assent to the three Propositions in preparation for
a Treaty, and had agreed to a general and open Treaty, such as the Lords
desired; communications on the subject had been made to the King; and,
though his Majesty would have preferred to treat in London, he consented
(Aug. 10) that the place should be Newport in the Isle of Wight.--Note
also two contemporary incidents of deep significance. On the 2nd of
August Major Robert Huntingdon, Cromwell's former Major, presented to the
Lords, in the form of a Paper of "Sundry Reasons inducing him to lay down
his Commission," what was really a series of charges of High Treason
against Cromwell; the Paper was that day duly entered in the Lords
Journals for future occasion; and it was with the utmost difficulty, and
much contrivance of the Speaker, that the same Paper was kept out of the
Commons. Such was the first incident; the other is thus given by
Rushworth under date Aug. 14: "Colonel Denzil Holles came this day to the
House and sat." This means that the chief of the Eleven, the Arch-
Presbyterian of the House, the man who hated Cromwell worse than poison,
had come back at this juncture to re-assume the Presbyterian leadership.
After that Major Huntingdon's charges against Cromwell were not likely to
be kept long out of the Commons by any contrivance of the Speaker.
[Footnote: The facts in this account of the conduct of Parliament from
Feb. to Aug. 1648 are from the Parliamentary History, the Lords and
Commons Journals, and Rushworth. The dates given will indicate the exact
places in these authorities.]

If ever a General fought for his country with the rope round his neck,
that General was Cromwell, as he now fought for England. No one knew this
better than himself, when, with his hardy troops hurried north from their
severe service in Wales, he joined Lambert among the Yorkshire hills
(Aug. 10 or thereabouts), to deal with the army of Hamilton and Langdale.
Let him fail in this enterprise, let him succeed but doubtfully in it,
and, in the relapse into Royalism which would then be universal, the
first uproar of execration would be against _him_, and London would
either never see him again or see him dragged to death. Fail!-succeed but
doubtfully! When the wicked plot against the just and gnash upon him with
their teeth, doth not the Lord laugh at them and see that their day is
coming? It was in this faith that Cromwell, descending westward from the
Yorkshire hills after his junction with Lambert, hurled himself, with his
little army of not more than 9,000 in all, right athwart the track of
Hamilton and his 24,000 of mixed Scots and English advancing through
Lancashire. The result was THE THREE DAYS' BATTLE OF PRESTON (Aug. 17-
19), in which the Scots and their English allies were totally ruined.
About 3,000 were slain; 10,000 were taken prisoners; of the host of
fugitives only a portion succeeded in attaching themselves to Monro, who
had been lying considerably to the rear of the main battle and now picked
up its fragments for a retreat northwards; the rest were dispersed
miserably hither and thither, so that for weeks afterwards poor Scots
were found begging about English farmhouses, either pretending to be dumb
lest their speech should betray them, or trying vainly to pass for
Yorkshiremen. Hamilton, with a fraction of the fugitives, made his way
into Staffordshire, but had to surrender himself a prisoner Aug. 25.

The collapse of the King's cause, begun in Lancashire Aug. 17-19, was to
be absolute within the next fortnight. On the 28th of August the Prince
of Wales withdrew from his useless hovering about the south-east coast
and sailed back with his fleet to Holland; whence most of the ships were
recovered in due time, the officers remaining in exile, but the crews
only too glad to return to their allegiance to Parliament. On the same
day the town of Colchester, after a siege of more than six weeks, during
which the most hideous extremities of famine had been endured by the poor
townsmen, surrendered at mercy to Fairfax. Above 3,000 soldiers, with
their officers, thus became prisoners. Two of the chief officers, Sir
Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle, selected for special reasons, were
shot immediately after the surrender by order of the Council of War; the
others, including the Earl of Norwich and Lord Capel, were reserved for
the disposal of Parliament. [Footnote: Rushworth, VII. 1225-1248; Parl.
Hist. III. 992-1002; Lords and Commons Journals; Carlyle's Cromwell, I.

Thus, in the end of August 1648, the SECOND CIVIL WAR, with the
exception of a few relics, was trampled out. Events then resolved
themselves into two distinct courses, running parallel for a time, but
one of which proved itself so much the more powerful that at last it
disdained the pretence of parallelism with the other and overflooded the
whole level.

In the first place, there was the progress of that TREATY OF NEWPORT to
which the two Houses had pledged themselves while the war was going on.
Delays had occurred in arranging particulars with the King, and it was
not till Sept. 1 that the Commissioners of the two Houses were appointed.
They were, for the Lords, the Earls of Northumberland, Pembroke,
Salisbury, and Middlesex, and Viscount Saye and Sele, and, for the
Commons, Viscount Wenman (of the Irish Peerage), Denzil Holles, Glynn,
Vane the younger, William Pierrepoint, Sir Harbottle Grimstone, Sir John
Potts, John Crewe, Samuel Browne, and John Bulkley. Their instructions
were to proceed to the Isle of Wight, and there, all together or any
eight of them (of whom two must be lords), to treat with the King for
forty days on the Propositions formerly presented to him at Hampton
Court, taking these Propositions in a fixed order and doing their best to
get his Majesty to agree to them, but receiving any counter-proposals he
might make, and transmitting these to the two Houses. All demands on the
King and all answers or proposals from him were to be in writing; but the
debates might be oral between the Commissioners and his Majesty. Not to
partake in these debates, but to be present at them by permission, and to
form a kind of Council with whom the King might retire to consult on
difficult points, were to be a largish body of Royalist lords, divines,
lawyers, and others, to whom, at his special request, leave had been
given to repair to the island and to be in attendance on him throughout
the Treaty. Among these were the Duke of Richmond, the Marquis of
Hertford, the Earls of Lindsey and Southampton, Bishops Juxon, Duppa, and
Dr. Saunderson, Sir Orlando Bridgman, Sir Thomas Gardiner, and Mr.
Geoffrey Palmer. Finally, the King was to be on his parole not to attempt
an escape during the Treaty, nor for twenty days afterwards. More than
one attempt of the kind had been made during the four months of the Civil
War. The wonder is that, while the Prince of Wales was off the English
coast with his fleet, a rescue of the King had not somehow been effected.
[Footnote: Parl. Hist III. 1001-4; Commons Journals, Sept. 1.]

Not till Friday Sept. 15 did the Parliamentary Commissioners arrive in
the Isle of Wight. They were accompanied by Messrs. Marshall, Nye, Vines,
Seaman, and Caryl, from the Assembly of Divines. The Treaty began on
Monday the 18th, in a house in the town of Newport selected as the most
suitable for the purpose. At the head of a table, under a canopy of
state, sat the King; the lords, divines, and lawyers, permitted to be
present as listeners in his behalf, stood grouped behind his chair; the
Parliamentary Commissioners sat at the sides of the table, with a space
between them and his Majesty. It was hoped at first by the Commissioners
that the Treaty would be a short one. That the King would accept the
Propositions one by one, without criticism or demur, as fast as they
could be tabled, was the desire, above all, of Holles, Glynn, and the
other Presbyterian Commissioners. To their surprise, even to their
horror, Charles had never been more captious or guarded in his highest
kingliness than he was now found in the depths of his doubled ruin. Over
the Proposition first presented--that for annulling all declarations and
acts against Parliament--he was so dilatory that not till Sept. 25 was it
completely passed, and then only with the proviso that his assent to it
should have no force until the whole Treaty should be concluded. On the
Church question, also brought forward the first day, he was more
hopelessly unimpressible. The Proposition on this question being complex,
he framed his first Answer so as to include only some of the points and
evade the others. He consented to the establishment of Presbytery for
three years, but not to the perpetual alienation of the Bishops' lands;
and as to the abolition of Episcopacy and the obligation of the Covenant
he said not a word. Then, these points being pressed, he argued and re-
argued, day after day, conceding only that Episcopacy should be limited,
and the like, till the Commissioners, despairing of any full agreement on
that Proposition, left it, and passed to others (Oct. 9). On some of
these others, including that on the Militia, he chose to acquiesce at
once; but a second block occurred on the Proposition relating to
Delinquents (Oct. 13-17). All this while, the King was the sole speaker
on his side, retiring now and then to consult with his advisers, and of
course framing his written Papers with their advice, but always resuming
the oral debate himself, and showing an ability both in actual reasoning
and in the conduct of the business generally which surprised some of the
Commissioners. The necessity of continual reference to the two Houses
increased the delay. There had been various debates in both on the
progress of the Treaty as reported by the Commissioners, and on the 12th
of October the Commons had voted the King's answer on the Church question
unsatisfactory. The King, in consequence, revised his Answer on this
question, and offered, among other things, to consent to the abolition of
Archbishops and all other grades of the hierarchy, if the single office
of Bishops were preserved. This revised Answer the Commons voted
unsatisfactory, Oct. 26, the Lords agreeing substantially next day; and
on the 30th of October the Commons passed a similar vote respecting the
Answer on Delinquents. At this point, therefore, the Treaty may be
considered to have come to a stop. At the same time there came to a stop
a written controversy on the Church question, which had been going on
collaterally between his Majesty and the Divines of the Assembly
attending the Commissioners. The controversy was a repetition of that
between the King and Henderson at Newcastle. It had begun Oct. 2, and it
was wound up by his Majesty in a long last Paper Nov. 1.

It was mainly on the Episcopacy question that the Treaty was wrecked; or
rather it was on this question that the King had chosen that there should
be the appearance of wreck. For, in truth, the Treaty on his side, like
his former Treaties, had been all along a pretence. Though his doom was
staring him in the face, he could not see it, but had again been
mustering up wild hopes of some great turn of the wheel in his favour if
he could but procrastinate enough. Had not the Marquis of Ormond, for
example, effected a landing in Wexford, with a view to a junction with
the Irish Roman Catholic Confederates? Might not something come out of
that? Or might there not be some help yet from the Prince of Wales in
Holland, or from the Queen's and Jermyn's plottings at Paris, or from the
Scots after all? To take advantage of any or all of these contingencies,
a temporary refuge on the Continent might be necessary; and so, when the
time of his parole should be over, a means of escape must be devised!
Such having been Charles's mood when he began the Treaty, one does not
wonder at finding that he had been behaving with his usual duplicity
while it was in progress. "To deal freely with you," he had secretly
written to one correspondent on the day when he had accepted the
Proposition on the Militia question, "the great concession I made this
day was merely in order to my escape, of which if I had not hope, I would
not have done it." Again to the Marquis of Ormond in Ireland, "Though you
will hear that this Treaty is near, or at least most likely to be,
concluded, yet believe it not; but pursue the way you are in with all
possible vigour: deliver also that my command to all your friends, but
not in public way." With such a man, now as ever, a Treaty was absurd.

Parliament did not break off the Treaty, even when its failure had become
apparent, but allowed it to straggle on. The term of forty days first
fixed had been prolonged to Nov. 4, and on that day most of the
Commissioners left Newport on their return to London. Six of them,
however, remained behind, on the chance that his Majesty might yet see
his way to more complete concessions on the Church question. On this mere
chance the Treaty was prolonged to Nov. 18, and again to Nov. 25; and, as
his Majesty had begged Parliament that he might have the assistance of
such new advice on the Church question as could be given by Usher, ex-
Bishops Brownrigg, Prideaux, and Warner, and Drs. Ferne and Morley, leave
had been granted to these divines to proceed to Newport. Nothing to the
purpose came of their advice; for in the King's final letters from
Newport to the two Houses, dated Nov. 18 and Nov. 21, he is as firm as
ever on the necessity and Apostolical origin of the order of Bishops,
quotes 1 Timothy v. 22 and Titus i. 5 in that behalf, and protests that
he can go no farther than his previous offer of a reduction of Episcopacy
to its barest Apostolical simplicity. On Friday the 24th of November
these letters were voted unsatisfactory by both Houses, but it was
resolved (not without a division in the Commons) to allow the King two
days more. The Treaty was to be considered at an end on the night of
Monday the 27th, and on the next day, with or without satisfaction, the
Commissioners still on duty were to take their leave. By the King's
parole he would be bound not to attempt an escape from the island till
twenty days after that. Colonel Hammond, observing signs that the King
meant to assume that the terms of his original parole had ceased to be
binding, had prudently insisted on its public renewal. [Footnote: For the
account of the treaty of Newport my authorities have been--Parl. Hist
III. 1013-1133, with references at the chief dates to Rushworth and the
Lords and Commons Journals; Works of King Charles I. (1651), pp. 191-286
of third paging; Godwin, II. 608-618.]

Meanwhile, in utter disgust at this protracted play of negotiation
between Parliament and the King in the Isle of Wight, there had been
forming itself that other agency which was to interpose irresistibly, and
hurry all to a real catastrophe.

The reader knows the nature of the paction between the Parliament and the
Army-chiefs which we have taken the liberty of calling by the name of
_The Concordat (antè_, pp. 573-4, 583-4). It was the agreement of
the Army-chiefs, in Nov. 1647, to suppress for the time the democratic
manifestations of the Army and its pretensions to political dictation,
leaving the conduct of affairs wholly to Parliament. This Concordat, as
we saw, though it saved the country from the peril of an immediate
democratic revolution, was theoretically a clumsy one. The political
views of the Army were singularly clear and direct. A strictly
constitutional government of King, Lords, and Commons, with a large
increase of the power of the Commons, guaranteed Biennial Parliaments,
and a thoroughly Reformed System of Representation--such had been the
ideal of the Army-chiefs in their _Heads of Proposals_ of August
1647; the Levellers had gone a good deal farther in their _Agreement of
the People_ in Nov. 1647, and had proposed the abolition of hereditary
privileges, and the concentration of supreme power in a single
Representative House; but in both documents alike Liberty of Conscience
and Worship was laid down as axiomatic, with a demand that it should be
so recognised in the future law of England, for the benefit of
Episcopalian and Papist no less than of Presbyterian, Independent, and
Sectary. How could an Army burning with these notions bind itself to be
the silent servant of a Parliament whose behaviour hitherto, on the
religious question generally, and on the political question very often,
had been so muddled and fatuous? Better surely for the Army to raise its
own political flag and coerce Parliament into the right way! That this
had not been done had been owing partly to the unwillingness of Cromwell,
Ireton, and the other chiefs to take the responsibility all at once of
heading a movement in which the Levelling Principle would be let loose,
but partly also because hopes had been conceived that the balance in
Parliament had been turned in favour of the Independents. For several
months, accordingly, the Army had not repented of the Concordat.
Especially in January 1647-8, when the two Houses broke off their
abortive Treaty with the King on the Four Bills, and passed their No-
Address Resolutions, their boldness won renewed confidence from the Army.
But, in the succeeding months, when the rumour of the Scottish Engagement
with the King began to rouse Royalists and Presbyterians alike for a new
war, and the absent Presbyterians of the Commons came back to their
places to turn the votes, and these votes tended to a renewed Treaty with
the King on the basis of a strict Presbytery, the disbandment of the
Army, and the suppression of Sects,--then what could the Army do but
spurn the Concordat? Like their own previous dealings with the King
himself in the hope of winning him over, had not this Concordat been,
after all, but a piece of carnal and crooked policy? To hold certain
beliefs in the heart, and yet to consent to be the dumb instrument of
those whose views were wholly different, or only half the same, could not
be right in a reasoning body of free men, merely because they were called
an Army! What had become of Cromwell's principles, avowed so frequently
that the whole Army had them by heart--the principle "That every single
man is judge of just and right as to the good or ill of a kingdom," and
the principle "That the interest of honest men is the interest of the
kingdom"? Nay, had not the Levellers had more of the real root of the
matter in them than it had been convenient to allow, and had not the poor
fellow who had been shot as a mutineer at the Rendezvous at Ware been in
some sense a martyr? Now, at all events, would it not be necessary that
at least _something_ of the spirit of the Levellers, _some_ of
those proposals of theirs which had been lately suppressed as harsh and
premature, should be revived with new credit, and adopted into the
general creed of the Army?

That such self-reproaches for past mistakes, and such questionings as to
the course of future duty, had become universal in the Army before the
outbreak of the Second Civil War, is proved by very abundant evidence,
but nowhere more strikingly than in the record of the famous Prayer-
meeting of the Officers, with Cromwell among them, held at Windsor Castle
in March or April 1648. Adjutant-general Allen, the writer of this
record, had a vivid recollection of this meeting eleven years afterwards,
and could then look back upon it as an undoubted turning-point in the
history of the Army and of the nation. At that time, he says, the Army
was "in a low, weak, divided, perplexed condition in all respects" and
there were even some who, in the prospect of the Scottish invasion and a
new war at such vast odds, argued that the Army ought to resist no
longer, but break up, and change the policy of collective action into one
of individual passive endurance. Others, however, still thought that more
remained to be done in the way of active duty, and it was at their
instance that the meeting was called. It lasted three days, and with most
remarkable results. The first day was spent in prayer for light as to the
causes of God's renewed anger and their own perplexities. On the second
day Cromwell proposed, as the best method of inquiry among themselves,
that they should all simultaneously engage in silent retrospection, both
upon their own past "ways particularly as private Christians," and also
upon their "public actions as an Army." If they should each and all be
led, in such retrospection, to fasten on some one precise point of time
as that at which the Lord had withdrawn His former countenance and things
had begun to go wrong, might there not be a lesson in that unanimity? And
lo! on the third day it was so. They had all, in their silent review of
the past, fastened on one and the same point, as that at which their
departure from the straight path of truth and simplicity had begun. It
was a point beyond their Concordat with the Parliament, and lay among
those prior negotiations of the Army-chiefs with the King personally out
of which the Concordat had seemed a natural escape. It lay, says Allen,
in "those cursed carnal conferences our conceited wisdom, our fears, and
want of faith, had prompted us, the year before, to entertain with the
King and his Party." And with this unanimous agreement on the question
where the steps of error had begun there came a unanimous consent as to
the right course of future duty. "We were led and helped," says Allen,
"to a clear agreement amongst ourselves, not any dissenting, That it was
the duty of our day, with the forces we had, to go out and fight against
those potent enemies which that year in all places appeared against
us...; and we were also enabled then, after serious seeking His face, to
come to a very clear and joint resolution, on many grounds at large there
debated amongst us, That it was our duty, if ever the Lord brought us
back again in peace, to call Charles Stuart, that man of blood, to an
account for that blood he had shed and mischief he had done to his utmost
against the Lord's Cause and People in these poor Nations." [Footnote:
See Allen's striking narrative (written in 1659) quoted at length in
Carlyle's Cromwell, I. 263-266.]

This momentous resolution of the Army Officers, formed at Windsor most
probably in April 1648, or just before Cromwell went off to suppress the
Royalist rising in Wales, had lain dormant, but not wholly secret, in the
bosom of the Army through all the four months of the renewed Civil War
(May-Aug.). Not till the war was over, however, was the resolution
formally announced. Even then it was done gradually. The first hints came
from those Independents in the Commons who were in the confidence of the
Armychiefs. In the debates preceding the Treaty of Newport some of these
Independents had spoken with significant boldness, Mr. Thomas Scott for
one declaring that "a peace with so perfidious and implacable a prince"
was an impossibility; and, in fact, the Treaty was carried by the
Presbyterians against the implied protest of the Independents. Then, just
as the Treaty was beginning, there was presented to the House (Sept. 11)
an extraordinary document purporting to be "The humble Petition of
Thousands of well-affected Persons inhabiting the City of London,
Westminster, the Borough of Southwark, Hamlets, and places adjacent."
This Petition, said to have been penned by Henry Marten, was not merely a
denunciation of the Treaty; it was a detailed democratic challenge. It
proclaimed the House of Commons to be "the Supreme Authority of England,"
and declared that it was for this principle, and nothing short of this,
that England had fought and struggled for six years; and, after a severe
lecture to the House for its pusillanimity in never yet having risen to
the full height of this principle, it enumerated twenty-seven things
which were expected from it when it should do so. Among these were the
repudiation of any sham of a power either in the King or in the Lords to
resist the will of the Commons, the passing of a Bill for Annual
Parliaments, the execution of justice on criminals of whatever rank, the
"exemption of matters of Religion and God's worship from the compulsive
or restrictive power of any authority upon earth," and the consequent
repeal of the recent absurd Ordinance "appointing punishments concerning
opinions on things supernatural, styling some Blasphemies, others
Heresies." Such a Petition, signed by about 40,000 persons, in or near
London, hitherto pre-eminently the Presbyterian city, was a signal for
similar Petitions from other parts. On the 30th of September there came a
Petition in the same sense from "many thousands" of the well-affected in
Oxfordshire, and on the 10th of October there were Petitions from
Newcastle, York, and Hull, and from Somerset. [Footnote: Parl. Hist, III.
1005-11; Whitlocke, II. 413, 419.]

These civilian Petitions having prepared the way, the Army itself spoke
out at last. Since Sept. 16 the headquarters of the Army had been at St.
Alban's; and it was thence that on the 18th of October letters from
Fairfax announced to the House of Commons that Petitions from the
Officers and Soldiers of different regiments had been presented to him,
or were in preparation, some of which were of a political nature. One, in
particular, from General Ireton's regiment, called for "impartial and
speedy justice" upon public criminals, and demanded "that the same fault
may have the same punishment in the person of King or Lord as in the
poorest Commoner." Such petitions to Fairfax appear to have dropped in
upon him from regiment after regiment at St. Alban's during the next
fortnight. One Petition, however, heard of in London Oct. 30, was from
Colonel Ingoldsby's regiment, then in garrison at Oxford. It also
demanded "immediate care that justice should be done upon the principal
invaders of our liberties, namely the King and his party;" it demanded,
moreover, that "sufficient caution and strait bonds should be given to
future Kings for the preventing the enslaving of the people;" and it went
on to say that, as the Petitioners were almost past hope of these things
from Parliament, and regarded the Treaty then in progress as a delusion,
they could only pray his Excellency to "re-establish a General Council of
the Army" to consider of some effectual remedies. This, in fact, was the
practical conclusion on which the whole Army was bent, and to which all
the regimental Petitions pointed. If Fairfax had yet any hesitations
about complying, they must have been ended by what occurred in Parliament
immediately afterwards. Not only were the two Houses still looking for
some last chance from the Treaty of Newport, and extending the time of
the Treaty again and again in the vain chose of this last chance; but in
another matter, which lay wholly in their own power, their "half-
heartedness" became apparent. At the very time when the Independents of
London and other places, and the several regiments of Fairfax's Army,
were calling for exemplary justice on the chief Delinquents in the late
war, what were the punishments with which the Presbyterian majority in
the Parliament proposed to let off those of the Delinquents who were then
in custody? For the Duke of Hamilton (Earl of Cambridge in the English
Peerage, and so liable to the pains of English treason) a fine of
100,000_l._, with imprisonment till it should be paid; and for the
Earls of Holland and Norwich, Lord Capel, Lord Loughborough, and four
others, simple banishment! Resolutions to this effect passed the Commons
Nov. 10, and were sent up for the approval of the Lords. The Army, though
prepared for almost anything from the "half-heartedness" of the
Parliament, heard of this last exhibition of it with positive
"amazement." What else, it was asked, now remained than that the Army
itself as a whole should step forward, call its masters to a reckoning,
and either compel them to be the instruments of a better policy, or take
affairs into its own hands? Fairfax, with all his prudence, could not
decline the responsibility: and accordingly a General Council of the
Officers of the Army was held at St. Alban's under his presidency. It had
sat about a week when (Nov. 16) a GRAND ARMY REMONSTRANCE, to be
presented to the House of Commons, was unanimously adopted. [Footnote:
Rushworth, VII. 1297-8, 1811-12, and 1830; Commons Journals, Nov. 10
1618, Whitlocke, II. 436.]

This GRAND ARMY REMONSTRANCE of Nov. 1648 is another of those documents
from the pen of Ireton which deserve to be rescued from the contemporary
lumber with which they are associated, and to be carefully studied on
account of their supreme interest in English History. The document is of
most elaborate composition, and of a length about equal to fifty pages of
this volume; for, in fact, though formally addressed to the House of
Commons, it was intended as a kind of Pamphlet to the English nation,
setting forth the Army's views in a reasoned shape, and the programme of
action on which they had resolved:--There is first an exposition of the
rule _Salus Populi lex suprema_, a rule admitted to be capable of
abuse and misapplication, but declared nevertheless to have a real
meaning. Then there is a review of the relations between the Parliament
and the Army from the time of what we have called the Concordat. Fain, it
is added, would the Army have seen that Concordat perpetual; most
reluctant were they to break it. But what had happened? Had not
Parliament itself lapsed from those honest No-Address Resolutions of ten
months ago which expressed the true sense of the Concordat? Had they not,
within a few months after passing those Resolutions, utterly forgotten
them, and run after that wretched rag of delusive hope called "A Personal
Treaty with the King"? Nay, though events had again proved that the fears
that had partly swayed them in this direction were groundless--though the
Lord had again laid bare His arm, and that small Army which they had
ceased to trust and had well-nigh deserted and cast off, had been enabled
to shiver all the banded strength of a second English Insurrection, aided
by an invasion from Scotland--even after this rebuke from God, were they
not still pursuing the same phantom of an Accommodation? Here the
Remonstrants argue the whole subject most earnestly. Having laid down the
principle that in every State the care of all matters of public concern
must be in a Supreme Representative Council or Parliament, freely elected
by the whole people, they maintain that any Kingship or other such office
instituted in any State must be regarded as a creation of such Supreme
Council for special ends and within special limits, and that any one
holding such office who shall have been proved to have perseveringly
abused his trust, or sought to convert it into a personal possession, may
justly be called to account. They appeal to the entire recollection of
Charles's reign whether he had not been such a false King, a cause of woe
and war from first to last, a functionary guilty of the highest treason.
But, if the past could be considered alone, and there were reasonable
chance for the present and the future, they would not be relentless. "If
there were good evidence of a proportionable remorse in him, and that his
coming in again were with a new or changed heart," then, they say, "his
person might be capable of pity, mercy, and pardon, and an accommodation
with him, with a full and free yielding on his part to all the aforesaid
points of public and religious interest in contest, might, in charitable
construction, be just, and possibly safe and beneficial." But no such
ground for charity, leniency, or tenderness had been afforded by Charles.
Even now, while actually treating with the Parliament after his complete
second ruin, was he not the same man as ever, dissembling, prevaricating,
secretly expecting something from Ormond and the Irish Rebels? If such a
man were restored to power, under whatever bonds, promises, guarantees,
the consequences were but too obvious. All the credit, all the huzzas, of
the new situation would be his; he would figure for a while as the Father
of his People, the Restorer of would be forgotten, or would be remembered
only as implicated in the confusion that had ceased; and in a short time
there would be parties, factions, divisions, and the beginnings of a new
spider-web of Court-government and Absolutism. "Have you not found him at
this play all along? And do not all men acknowledge him most exquisite at
it?" So the Remonstrance proceeds, page after page, in long, complex,
wave-like sentences, every sentence vital, and the whole impressing one
with the grave seriousness of spirit, and also the political
thoughtfulness, with which it was drawn up.--Towards the end come the
specific demands which the Army made on the Commons, and which they were
resolved to enforce. These are divided into two sets:--I. _Immediate
Demands_. These are five. First of all, it is demanded "That the
capital and grand author of our troubles, the Person of the King, by
whose commissions, commands, or procurement, and in whose behalf and for
whose interest only, of will and power, all our wars and troubles have
been, with all the miseries attending them, may be specially brought to
justice for the treason, blood, and mischief he is therein guilty of."
Next it is demanded that a limited time be set wherein the Prince of
Wales and the Duke of York may return to England and render themselves:
with the proviso that, if they do not so return, they are to be declared
incapable for ever of any government or trust in the kingdom, and are to
be treated without mercy as enemies and traitors if ever afterwards they
are found in England; and also that, if they do return within the limited
time, their cases are to be severally considered, and their past
delinquencies (the Prince's being greatest, and "in appearance next unto
his father's") either remitted or remembered for penalty as may be found
fit; but that in any case all the estates and revenue of the Crown be
sequestered for a good number of years, and applied to public uses, with
reserve of a reasonable provision for the Royal Family and for old Crown-
servants. Then it is demanded that a competent number of the King's chief
instruments in the two Civil Wars may be brought, with him, in capital
punishment. With this satisfaction to justice the Remonstrants would be
content; and they recommend that there should be moderate and clement
treatment of other Delinquents willing to submit, but with perpetual
banishment and the confiscation of estates for those of them who should
remain obdurate. Finally, the special claims of the Army are brought
forward, and it is demanded that there shall be full payment of their
damages and arrearages.--II. _Prospective Demands_. These point to
the future Political Constitution of England. Under this head the Army
demand (1) a termination of the existing Parliament within a reasonable
time; (2) a guaranteed succession of subsequent Parliaments, annual or
biennial, to be elected on such a system of suffrage and of
redistribution of constituencies as should make them really
representative of the whole people; (3) the temporary disfranchisement
and disqualification of the King's adherents; and (4) a strict provision
that Parliament, as the representative body of the people, should
henceforth be supreme in all things, except such as would requestion the
policy of the Civil War itself, and such as might trench on the
foundations of common Right, Liberty, and Safety. In this last provision
it is definitely stipulated as a necessary item that, should Kingship be
kept up in England, it should be as an elective office merely, every
successive holder of which should be chosen expressly by Parliament, and
should have no veto or negative voice on laws passed by the Parliament.
[Footnote: See the entire Remonstrance (well worth reading) in Parl.
Hist. III. 1077]

This vast document, signed officially by John Rushworth, "by the
appointment of his Excellency the Lord General and his General Council of
Officers," was brought to the Commons, with a brief note from Fairfax
himself, on Monday, Nov. 20. It was presented in all form by a deputation
of officers, consisting of Colonel Ewer, Lieutenant-colonels Kelsay,
Axtell, and Cooke, and three Captains. The House was thunderstruck, and
for some hours there was a high and fierce debate. Some of the
Independents among the members spoke manfully in favour of the
Remonstrance; others were for temporizing; but the more resolute
Presbyterians, among whom Prynne was conspicuous, resented the
Remonstrance as an insolence "subversive of the law of the land and the
fundamental constitutions of the kingdom," and protested that "it became
not the House of Commons, who are a part of the Supreme Council of the
Nation, to be prescribed to, or regulated and baffled by, a Council of
Sectaries in Arms." Nothing of all this appears in the Journals of the
House, but only this entry: "Ordered, That the debate upon the
Remonstrance of the General and his General Council of Officers be
resumed on Monday next." That "Monday next" was the 27th of November, the
very day on which the Houses had agreed that the negotiations with the
King at Newport should finally cease. [Footnote: Commons Journals, Nov.
20, 1648; Whitlocke, same date; Parl. Hist. III. 1127-8 (where extracts
are given from a contemporary account of the in the _Mercurius

Cromwell, it is to be remembered, was not at this time in the immediate
scene of action. After his victory over Hamilton at Preston (Aug. 17-19),
he had remained in the north, to recover Berwick and Carlisle from the
Scots, dispose of the remnant of the Scottish invading forces under
Monro, and take such other measures against the Scottish Government as
that no more should be feared from that quarter.

His task had been easy. The "Engagement" with the King, and the
consequent invasion of England by a Scottish army in the King's interest,
had been, as we know (_antè_, p. 589), the acts only of the Scottish
party then in power, the party of Hamilton and Lanark; and they had been
vehemently opposed and disowned by the party of Argyle and Loudoun,
backed by the popular sentiment and by nearly the entire body of the
Scottish clergy. When, therefore, the news of the disaster at Preston
reached Scotland, the "Anti-Engagers" rose everywhere against the
Government of the existing Committee of Estates, assailed it with
reproaches and execrations, and prepared to call it to account. Lanark,
who had been left as the chief of the Government after the capture of his
brother, endeavoured for a while to hold his ground. He recalled Monro
and the relics of the Scottish army from England, and took the field with
their joint forces. Meanwhile, the zealous Covenanting peasantry of the
western shires, nicknamed _Whigs_ or _Whigamores_, having obeyed the
summons of Argyle, Loudoun, and the Earls of Eglinton and Cassilis, and
marched eastward to assist their brethren round Edinburgh, the forces of
the Anti-Engagers had swelled into an army of more than 6,000 men, the
command of which was assumed by old Leslie, Earl of Leven, with David
Leslie under him. For some time the two armies, or portions of them,
moved about in East Lothian, and between Edinburgh and Stirling; there
were some skirmishes; and a conflict seemed imminent. In reality,
however, most of the noblemen of the Committee of Estates had no heart
for the enterprise into which Lanark was leading them. They saw it to be
desperate, not only from the strength of the Whigamore rising in Scotland
itself, but also because Cromwell was at hand in the north of England, in
communication with Argyle and the other Whigamore chiefs, and ready to
cross the borders for their help, if necessary. Accordingly, after some
negotiation, a Treaty was arranged (Sept. 26). By the terms of this
Treaty, Monro was to return to Ireland with his special portion of the
troops; but otherwise both armies were to be disbanded, Lanark and all
who had been concerned with him in the Engagement retiring from all
places of trust, and the government of Scotland to be confirmed in the
hands of Argyle and the Whigamores, who had already constituted
themselves the new Committee of Estates _de facto_.

Although this arrangement had been effected without Cromwell's direct
interference, he was actually in Scotland when it was made, having
crossed the Tweed on the 2lst of September with an army of horse and
foot. The next day he had been met by Argyle, Lord Elcho, and others, as
a Deputation from the new Committee of Estates, bearing letters signed in
the name of the Committee by their Chancellor Loudoun. The new Government
of Scotland most handsomely surrendered to Cromwell the towns of Carlisle
and Berwick, with apologies for the conduct of their predecessors in
having seized them; and Cromwell, delaying some days about Berwick to see
all duly performed there, was able to write letters thence to Fairfax and
Speaker Lenthall (Oct. 2), praising Argyle and Elcho, and announcing that
there was a very good understanding between "the Honest Party of
Scotland" and himself. It was involved in this understanding, however,
that Cromwell should visit Edinburgh, and add the weight of his personal
presence to the re-establishment of the Argyle Government on the ruins of
that of the Hamiltons. On Wednesday, Oct. 4, therefore, he did enter
Edinburgh, with his officers and guard, and with Sir Arthur Haselrig in
their company. They were escorted into the city with all ceremony by the
authorities, and lodged by them in Moray House in the Canongate, the
finest mansion at hand for their reception. For four days the people of
Edinburgh, waiting in crowds outside Moray House, had the opportunity of
studying the features of the great English Independent as he came out or
went in, passing the English sentries on guard at the gate. For the
Whigamore nobles and those select citizens, including the magistrates and
city clergy, who had the privilege of calling on him, the opportunities
were, of course, still closer; and on the fourth day (Saturday, Oct. 7)
there was a sumptuous banquet in the Castle to him and his officers, at
which the old Earl of Leven presided, and the Marquis of Argyle and other
lords of the Committee of Estates were present.

So ended Cromwell's memorable first visit to Edinburgh; and, his real
object having been accomplished (which was to pledge, the new Government
of Scotland, and especially Argyle, to alliance in future with the
advanced English party), he began his return journey southwards on the
same day, only leaving Lambert, with two regiments of horse and two
troops of dragoons, to be at the service of the Argyle Government so long
as they might be wanted. A week later (Oct. 14) he was at Carlisle,
seeing after the surrender of that town; and in the beginning of November
he was at Pontefract in Yorkshire. Here he was to be delayed a while. The
Castle of Pontefract, a very strong place, commanded by one Morris, still
held out for the King, and was the refuge of much of the fugitive
Cavalierism of the surrounding district, now in a mood of actual
desperation. Sallies from the Castle for robbery and revenge had been
frequent; and, just as Cromwell was expected in the neighbourhood, a
party of the desperadoes, riding out in disguise, had gone as far as
Doncaster, obtained admission to the lodging of Colonel Rainsborough
there, under pretence of bringing him letters from Cromwell, and left him
stabbed dead (Sunday, Oct. 29). The business of pacifying Yorkshire,
which otherwise might have been left to Bainsborough, thus devolved upon
Cromwell. He summoned Pontefract Castle to surrender Nov. 9; and, the
surrender having been refused, he remained at Pontefract all the rest of
that month, superintending the siege. [Footnote: Burnet's Hamiltons
(edit. 1852), 465-482; Carlyle's Cromwell, I. 299-333; Rushworth, VII.
1314-15. The first open occurrence of the word _Whig_ in British
History was, I believe, in the circumstances described in the text at
p.621. The original _Whigs_ were the zealous Covenanting peasants,
or true-blue Presbyterians, of Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, and other western
Scottish counties; and the nickname was derived, it is supposed, either
from the sound _Whigh_ (meaning _Gee-up_) used by the peasantry
of those parts in driving their horses, or simply from the word
_Whey_ (in Anglo-Saxon _hwæg_), by comparison to the solemn
Presbyterians to the sour watery part of milk separated from the curd in
making cheese.]

Thus, through the three months in which the English Army and Independents
were waxing more and more indignant at the Treaty with the King at
Newport, and determining to break it down, and to bring the King to trial
for his life with or without the concurrency of Parliament, Cromwell, as
we said, was away from the immediate scene of action. There is not the
least doubt, however, that he was aware generally of the proceedings of
his friends in the south, and that one of their encouragements was the
knowledge that Cromwell was with them. There are, however, actual proofs.
Thus, about the middle of September, or just after the presentation to
the Commons of the great London Petition asking the Commons to declare
themselves the supreme authority of England, one finds Henry Marten, the
framer of that Petition, on a journey to the north, for the purpose of
consulting with Cromwell, then on his way to Scotland. Their consultation
cannot have boon for nothing. At all events, after Cromwell returned into
England and engaged in the siege of Pontefract Castle, his letters attest
his interest in the proceedings of Ireton and the other Army officers at
St. Alban's. In one letter, dated "near Pontefract," Nov. 20, he
expresses his own anger and that of his officers at the recent lenient
votes of the Commons in the case of the Duke of Hamilton and the other
eminent Delinquents. On the same day he writes in the same sense to
Fairfax, and forwards Petitions from the regiments under his command in
aid of those which Fairfax had already received from the southern
regiments. When these letters were written Cromwell had not heard of the
adoption at St. Alban's of the Grand Army Remonstrance drawn up by his
son-in-law, or at least did not know that on that very day it had been
presented to the Commons. Before the 25th of November, however, he had
received this news too, and had a full foresight of what it portended.
For that is the date of one of the most remarkable letters he ever wrote,
his letter from "Knottingley near Pontefract "to Colonel Robert Hammond,
Governor of the Isle of Wight. This young Colonel, upon whom the sore
trial had fallen of having the King for his prisoner, was, as we have
said, one of Cromwell's especial favourites, and the long letter which
Cromwell now addressed to him was in reply to one just received from
Hammond, imparting to Cromwell his doubts respecting the recent
proceedings of the Army, and his own agony of mind in the difficult and
complicated duties of his office in the Isle of Wight. Cromwell's letter,
so occasioned, begins "Dear Robin," and is conceived throughout in terms
of the most anxious affection, struggling with a half-expressed purpose.
He reasons earnestly with Hammond on his doubts and scruples,
sympathizing with them so far, but at the same time combating them, and
suggesting such queries as these--"_first_, Whether _Salus Populi_ be a
sound position? _secondly_, Whether in the way in hand [_i.e._ the
Parliamentary rule as then experienced], really and before the Lord,
before whom Conscience has to stand, this be provided for?... _thirdly_,
Whether this Army be not a lawful Power, called by God to oppose and
fight against the King upon some stated grounds, and, being in power to
such ends, may not oppose one Name of Authority, for these ends, as well
as another Name?" [_i.e._ may not oppose Parliament itself as well as the
King.] He refers to the Grand Army Remonstrance, of the publication of
which he has just heard. "We could perhaps have wished the stay of it
till after the Treaty," he says, for himself and the officers of his
northern part of the Army; "yet, seeing it is come out, we trust to
rejoice in the will of the Lord, waiting His further pleasure." Again
returning to the main topic, Hammond's scruples, he pleads almost
yearningly with him: "Dear Robin, beware of men; look up to the Lord."
Had Hammond really reasoned himself, with other good men, into that
excess of the passive-obedience principle which maintained that as much
good might come to England by an accommodation with the King as by
breaking with him utterly? "Good by this Man," Cromwell exclaims,
"against whom the Lord has witnessed, and whom _thou_ knowest!" Then,
after a few more sentences: "This trouble I have been at," he concludes,
"because my soul loves thee, and I would not have thee swerve, or lose
any glorious opportunity the Lord puts into thy hand." [Footnote:
Rushworth, VII. 1265; Lords Journals, Nov. 21 (Hammond's Letter);
Carlyle's Cromwell, I. 333-345.]

Cromwell's letter to Hammond was too late for its purpose. At Fairfax's
head-quarters at St. Alban's it had been resolved that, until there
should be a satisfactory answer from the Commons to the Army's
Remonstrance, the Army must secure the main object of that Remonstrance
by taking the King's person into its own custody. For the management of
this business it was most important that the officer in command in the
Isle of Wight should be one of unflinching Army principles. Hence, as the
amiable Hammond's scruples were well known, and had indeed been
communicated by him to Fairfax as well as to Cromwell, it had been
resolved, partly in pity to him, partly in the interest of the business
itself, to withdraw him from the Isle of Wight at that critical moment.
Accordingly, on the 2lst of November, Fairfax had penned a letter to
Hammond from St. Alban's, requiring his presence with all possible speed
at head-quarters, and ordering him to leave the island meanwhile in
charge of Colonel Ewer, the bearer of the letter. This letter did not
reach Hammond till Nov. 25 (the very day when Cromwell was writing to him
from Yorkshire); and it was not then delivered to him by Colonel Ewer in
person, but by a messenger. The next day, Sunday, Nov. 26, Hammond wrote
from Carisbrooke Castle to the two Houses of Parliament, informing them
of what had happened, enclosing a copy of Fairfax's letter, and
signifying his intention of obeying it. This communication was brought to
London with all haste by Major Henry Cromwell, Oliver's second son, then
serving under Hammond, and was the subject of discussion in both Houses
on the 27th. Fairfax's intervention between Parliament and one of its
servants was condemned as unwarrantable; a letter to that effect, but in
mild terms, was written to Fairfax; and Major Cromwell was sent back with
a despatch from both Houses to Hammond, instructing him to remain at his
post. Before this despatch reached Hammond, however, there had been a
meeting between him and Ewer, and some intricate negotiations, the result
of which was that he and Ewer left the island together, Nov. 28, bound
for the Army's head-quarters (then removed to Windsor)--Hammond
entrusting the charge of the island in his absence, with strict care of
the King's person, to Major Rolph and Captain Hawes, his subordinates at
Newport, in conjunction with Captain Bowerman, the commandant at
Carisbrooke Castle. Ewer having thus succeeded in withdrawing Hammond
from his post, and having doubtless made other necessary arrangements
while he hovered about the island, the execution of what remained was
left to other hands, and principally to Lieutenant-colonel Cobbet and a
Captain Merryman. [Footnote: Lords Journals, Nov. 27 and 30; Parl. Hist.
III. 1133 _et seq._; Rushworth. VII. 1338 _et seq._ In most
modern accounts Ewer simply comes to the Isle of Wight, displaces
Hammond, and removes the King. Not so by any means. It was a complicated
transaction of seven or eight days; Ewer was _in_ the trans-action,
and perhaps the principal in it; but, except in his interview with
Hammond, he keeps in the background.]

Not till the evening of Thursday, Nov. 30, does any suspicion of what
was intended seem to have been aroused in the mind of the King. He was
then still in his lodgings in Newport. The Treaty had come to an end
three days before; the Parliamentary Commissioners for the Treaty had
returned to London; most of the Royalist Lords and other Counsellors who
had been assisting the King in the Treaty had also gone; only the Duke of
Richmond, the Earls of Lindsey and Southampton, and some few others,
remained. The stir through the island attending the close of the Treaty
and the departure of so many persons had probably covered the coming and
going of Ewer, his interview with Hammond, and certain arrivals and
shiftings of troops which he had managed. But on the Thursday evening,
about eight o'clock, the Duke of Richmond, the Earl of Lindsey, and a
certain Colonel Cook, who was with them, were summoned from their
lodgings in the town to the King's. A warning had that moment been
conveyed to his Majesty that there were agents of the Army at hand to
carry him off. Immediately Colonel Cook went to Major Rolph's room, and
interrogated him on the subject. The answers were cautious and
unsatisfactory. The fact was, though Major Rolph dared not then divulge
it, that he and his fellow-deputies, Captain Hawes and Captain Bowerman,
knew themselves to be superseded by Lieutenant-colonel Cobbet and Captain
Merryman, who had arrived that day with a fresh warrant from Fairfax and
the Army Council, empowering them to finish what Ewer had begun. Only
inferring from Rolph's uneasiness that something was wrong, Colonel Cook
returned to the King and the two Lords. There was farther consultation,
and a second call on Rolph; after which Cook volunteered to go to
Carisbrooke Castle for farther information. It was an excessively dark
night, with high wind and plashing rain; and the King consented to the
Colonel's going only after observing that he was young and might take no
harm from it. The Colonel, accordingly, groped his way through the dark
and rain over the mile and a half of road or cross-road intervening
between Newport and the Castle. His object was to see the commandant,
Captain Bowerman. After some considerable time, spent under the shelter
of the gateway, he was admitted and did see Captain Bowerman, but only to
find him sitting sulkily with about a dozen strange officers, who were
evidently his masters for the moment, and prevented his being in the
least communicative. Nothing was left for the Colonel but to grope his
way back to Newport. It was near midnight when, with his clothes drenched
with wet, he reached the King's lodgings; and there, what a change!
Guards all round the house; guards at every window; sentinels in the
passages, and up to the very door of the King's chamber, armed with
matchlocks and with their matches burning! Major Rolph, glad to be out of
the business, had gone to bed. They managed to rouse him, and to get the
sentinels, with their smoke, removed to a more tolerable distance from
the King's chamber-door. Then, for an hour or more, there was an anxious
colloquy in the King's chamber, the Duke of Richmond and the Earl of
Lindsey urging some desperate attempt to escape, but the King dubious and
full of objections. Nothing could be done; and, about one o'clock, the
Earl and the Colonel retired, leaving the King to rest, with the Duke in
attendance upon him. There were then several hours of hush within,
disturbed by sounds of moving and tramping without; but between five and
six in the morning there came a loud knocking at the door of the King's
dressing-room. When it had been opened, after some delay, a number of
officers entered, headed by Colonel Cobbet. Making their way into the
King's chamber, they informed him that they had instructions to remove
him. On his asking whither, they answered, "To the Castle;" and, on his
farther asking whether they meant Carisbrooke Castle, they answered,
after some hesitation, that their orders were to remove him out of the
island altogether, and that the place was to be Hurst Castle on the
adjacent Hampshire mainland. Remarking that they could not have named a
worse place, the King rose, was allowed to summon the Earl of Lindsey and
all the rest of his household, and had breakfast. At eight o'clock
coaches and horses were ready, and the King, having chosen about a dozen
of his most confidential servants to accompany him, and taken a farewell
of the rest of the sorrowing company, placed himself in charge of Colonel
Gobbet and the troop of horse waiting to be his escort. Having seated
himself in his coach, he invited Mr. Harrington, Mr. Herbert, and Mr.
Mildmay to places beside him. Colonel Gobbet, as the commander of the
party, was about to enter the coach also, when his Majesty put up his
foot by way of barrier; whereupon Cobbet, somewhat abashed, contented
himself with his horse. The cavalcade then set out, gazed after by all
Newport, the Duke of Richmond allowed to accompany it for two miles. A
journey of some eight miles farther brought them to the western end of
the island, a little beyond Yarmouth; whence a vessel conveyed them, over
the little strip of intervening sea, to Hurst Castle that same afternoon
(Dec. 1). The so-called Castle was a strong, solitary, stone blockhouse,
which had been built, in the time of Henry VIII., at the extremity of a
long narrow spit of sand and shingle projecting from the Hampshire coast
towards the Isle of Wight. It was a rather dismal place; and the King's
heart sank as he entered it, and was confronted by a grim fellow with a
bushy black beard, who announced himself as the captain in command. The
possibility of private assassination flashed on the King's mind at the
sight of such a jailor. But, Colonel Cobbet having superseded the rough
phenomenon, the King was reassured, and things were arranged as
comfortably as the conditions would permit. [Footnote: Rushworth, VII.
1344-8 (narrative of Colonel Cook); _Ib._ 1351 and Parl. Hist. III.
1147-8 (Letter to Parliament from Major Rolph and Captains Hawes and
Bowerman); and Sir Thomas Herbert's Memoirs of Charles I. 112-124. The
day of the King's abduction from Newport has been variously dated by
historians. It was really Friday, Dec. 1.]

Meanwhile Fairfax and the Army, by whose orders, all punctually written
and dated, this abduction of the King had been effected, were on the move
to take advantage of it. On Monday the 27th of November, the Commons,
instead of taking up the consideration of the Grand Army Remonstrance as
they had proposed, had again adjourned the subject. On Wednesday the
29th, accordingly, there was a fresh manifesto from Fairfax and his
Council of Officers at Windsor. After complaining of the delays over the
Remonstrance and of the continued infatuation of the Commons over the
farce of the Newport Treaty, they proceeded. "For the present, as the
case stands, we apprehend ourselves obliged, in duty to God, this
kingdom, and good men therein, to improve our utmost abilities, in all
honest ways, for the avoiding those great evils we have remonstrated, and
for prosecution of the good things we have propounded;" and they
concluded with this announcement, "For all these ends we are now drawing
up with the Army to London, there to follow Providence as God shall clear
our way." This document, signed by Rushworth, reached the Commons on the
30th. They affected to ignore it, and still refused, by a majority of 125
to 58, to proceed to the consideration of the Army's Remonstrance. Next
day, Friday Dec. 1, the tune was somewhat changed. The advanced guards of
the Army were then actually at Hyde Park Corner, and the City and the two
Houses were in terror. Saturday, Dec. 2, consummated the business.
Despite an order bidding him back, Fairfax was then in Whitehall, his
head-quarters close to the two Houses, and his regiments of horse and
foot distributed round about. London and Westminster were, in fact, once
more in the Army's possession. Nevertheless both Houses met that day in
due form, and there was a violent debate in the Commons over the Treaty
as affected by the new turn of affairs. The debate broke off late in the
afternoon, when it was adjourned till Monday by a majority of 132 to 102.
The news of the abduction of the King to Hurst Castle had not yet reached
London, and Cromwell was still believed to be at Pontefract. [Footnote:
Commons and Lords Journals of Nov. 27 to Dec. 2, 1648: Parl. Hist. III.
1134-1146; Rushworth, VII. 1349-59.]



The two years and four months of English History traversed in the last
chapter were of momentous interest to Milton at the time, were preparing
an official career of eleven years for him at the very centre of affairs,
and were to furnish him with matter for comment, and indeed with risk and
responsibility, to the end of his days. While they were actually passing,
however, his life was rather private in its tenor, and we have to seek
him not so much in public manifestations as in his household and among
his books.


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