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The History of England from the Accession of James II, Vol. 3 by Thomas Babington Macaulay

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and not a few of his countrymen were of the same mind. He made a
pompous entrance into Limerick; and his appearance there raised
the hopes of the garrison to a strange pitch. Numerous prophecies
were recollected or invented. An O'Donnel with a red mark was to
be the deliverer of his country; and Baldearg meant a red mark.
An O'Donnel was to gain a great battle over the English near
Limerick; and at Limerick the O'Donnel and the English were now
brought face to face.752

While these predictions were eagerly repeated by the defenders
of the city, evil presages, grounded not on barbarous oracles,
but on grave military reasons, began to disturb William and his
most experienced officers. The blow struck by Sarsfield had told;
the artillery had been long in doing its work; that work was even
now very imperfectly done; the stock of powder had begun to run
low; the autumnal rain had begun to fall. The soldiers in the
trenches were up to their knees in mire. No precaution was
neglected; but, though drains were dug to carry off the water,
and though pewter basins of usquebaugh and brandy blazed all
night in the tents, cases of fever had already occurred, and it
might well be apprehended that, if the army remained but a few
days longer on that swampy soil, there would be a pestilence more
terrible than that which had raged twelve months before under the
walls of Dundalk.753 A council of war was held. It was determined
to make one great effort, and, if that effort failed, to raise
the seige.

On the twenty-seventh of August, at three in the afternoon, the
signal was given. Five hundred grenadiers rushed from the English
trenches to the counterscarp, fired their pieces, and threw their
grenades. The Irish fled into the town, and were followed by the
assailants, who, in the excitement of victory, did not wait for
orders. Then began a terrible street fight. The Irish, as soon as
they had recovered from their surprise, stood resolutely to their
arms; and the English grenadiers, overwhelmed by numbers, were,
with great loss, driven back to the counterscarp. There the
struggle was long and desperate. When indeed was the Roman
Catholic Celt to fight if he did not fight on that day? The very
women of Limerick mingled, in the combat, stood firmly under the
hottest fire, and flung stones and broken bottles at the enemy.
In the moment when the conflict was fiercest a mine exploded, and
hurled a fine German battalion into the air. During four hours
the carnage and uproar continued. The thick cloud which rose from
the breach streamed out on the wind for many miles, and
disappeared behind the hills of Clare. Late in the evening the
besiegers retired slowly and sullenly to their camp. Their hope
was that a second attack would be made on the morrow; and the
soldiers vowed to have the town or die. But the powder was now
almost exhausted; the rain fell in torrents; the gloomy masses of
cloud which came up from the south west threatened a havoc more
terrible than that of the sword; and there was reason to fear
that the roads, which were already deep in mud, would soon be in
such a state that no wheeled carriage could be dragged through
them. The King determined to raise the siege, and to move his
troops to a healthier region. He had in truth staid long enough;
for it was with great difficulty that his guns and waggons were
tugged away by long teams of oxen.754

The history of the first siege of Limerick bears, in some
respects, a remarkable analogy to the history of the siege of
Londonderry. The southern city was, like the northern city, the
last asylum of a Church and of a nation. Both places were crowded
by fugitives from all parts of Ireland. Both places appeared to
men who had made a regular study of the art of war incapable of
resisting an enemy. Both were, in the moment of extreme danger,
abandoned by those commanders who should have defended them.
Lauzun and Tyrconnel deserted Limerick as Cunningham and Lundy
had deserted Londonderry. In both cases, religious and patriotic
enthusiasm struggled unassisted against great odds; and, in both
cases, religious and patriotic enthusiasm did what veteran
warriors had pronounced it absurd to attempt.

It was with no pleasurable emotions that Lauzun and Tyrconnel
learned at Galway the fortunate issue of the conflict in which
they had refused to take a part. They were weary of Ireland; they
were apprehensive that their conduct might be unfavourably
represented in France; they therefore determined to be beforehand
with their accusers, and took ship together for the Continent.

Tyrconnel, before he departed, delegated his civil authority to
one council, and his military authority to another. The young
Duke of Berwick was declared Commander in Chief; but this dignity
was merely nominal. Sarsfield, undoubtedly the first of Irish
soldiers, was placed last in the list of the councillors to whom
the conduct of the war was entrusted; and some believed that he
would not have been in the list at all, had not the Viceroy
feared that the omission of so popular a name might produce a

William meanwhile had reached Waterford, and had sailed thence
for England. Before he embarked, he entrusted the government of
Ireland to three Lords Justices. Henry Sydney, now Viscount
Sydney, stood first in the commission; and with him were joined
Coningsby and Sir Charles Porter. Porter had formerly held the
Great Seal of the kingdom, had, merely because he was a
Protestant, been deprived of it by James, and had now received it
again from the hand of William.

On the sixth of September the King, after a voyage of twenty-four
hours, landed at Bristol. Thence he travelled to London, stopping
by the road at the mansions of some great lords, and it was
remarked that all those who were thus honoured were Tories. He
was entertained one day at Badminton by the Duke of Beaufort, who
was supposed to have brought himself with great difficulty to
take the oaths, and on a subsequent day at a large house near
Marlborough which, in our own time, before the great revolution
produced by railways, was renowned as one of the best inns in
England, but which, in the seventeenth century, was a seat of the
Duke of Somerset. William was every where received with marks of
respect and joy. His campaign indeed had not ended quite so
prosperously as it had begun; but on the whole his success had
been great beyond expectation, and had fully vindicated the
wisdom of his resolution to command his army in person. The sack
of Teignmouth too was fresh in the minds of Englishmen, and had
for a time reconciled all but the most fanatical Jacobites to
each other and to the throne. The magistracy and clergy of the
capital repaired to Kensington with thanks and congratulations.
The people rang bells and kindled bonfires. For the Pope, whom
good Protestants had been accustomed to immolate, the French King
was on this occasion substituted, probably by way of retaliation
for the insults which had been offered to the effigy of William
by the Parisian populace. A waxen figure, which was doubtless a
hideous caricature of the most graceful and majestic of princes,
was dragged about Westminster in a chariot. Above was inscribed,
in large letters, "Lewis the greatest tyrant of fourteen." After
the procession, the image was committed to the flames, amidst
loud huzzas, in the middle of Covent Garden.755

When William arrived in London, the expedition destined for Cork,
was ready to sail from Portsmouth, and Marlborough had been some
time on board waiting for a fair wind. He was accompanied by
Grafton. This young man had been, immediately after the departure
of James, and while the throne was still vacant, named by William
Colonel of the First Regiment of Foot Guards. The Revolution had
scarcely been consummated, when signs of disaffection began to
appear in that regiment, the most important, both because of its
peculiar duties and because of its numerical strength, of all the
regiments in the army. It was thought that the Colonel had not
put this bad spirit down with a sufficiently firm hand. He was
known not to be perfectly satisfied with the new arrangement; he
had voted for a Regency; and it was rumoured, perhaps without
reason, that he had dealings with Saint Germains. The honourable
and lucrative command to which he had just been appointed was
taken from him.756 Though severely mortified, he behaved like a
man of sense and spirit. Bent on proving that he had been
wrongfully suspected, and animated by an honourable ambition to
distinguish himself in his profession, he obtained permission to
serve as a volunteer under Marlborough in Ireland.

At length, on the eighteenth of September, the wind changed. The
fleet stood out to sea, and on the twenty-first appeared before
the harbour of Cork. The troops landed, and were speedily joined
by the Duke of Wirtemberg, with several regiments, Dutch, Danish,
and French, detached from the army which had lately besieged
Limerick. The Duke immediately put forward a claim which, if the
English general had not been a man of excellent judgment and
temper, might have been fatal to the expedition. His Highness
contended that, as a prince of a sovereign house, he was entitled
to command in chief. Marlborough calmly and politely showed that
the pretence was unreasonable. A dispute followed, in which it is
said that the German behaved with rudeness, and the Englishman
with that gentle firmness to which, more perhaps than even to his
great abilities, he owed his success in life. At length a
Huguenot officer suggested a compromise. Marlborough consented to
waive part of his rights, and to allow precedence to the Duke on
the alternate days. The first morning on which Marlborough had
the command, he gave the word "Wirtemberg." The Duke's heart was
won by this compliment and on the next day he gave the word

But, whoever might give the word, genius asserted its
indefeasible superiority. Marlborough was on every day the real
general. Cork was vigorously attacked. Outwork after outwork was
rapidly carried. In forty-eight hours all was over. The traces of
the short struggle may still be seen. The old fort, where the
Irish made the hardest fight, lies in ruins. The Daria Cathedral,
so ungracefully joined to the ancient tower, stands on the site
of a Gothic edifice which was shattered by the English cannon. In
the neighbouring churchyard is still shown the spot where stood,
during many ages, one of those round towers which have perplexed
antiquaries. This venerable monument shared the fate of the
neighbouring church. On another spot, which is now called the
Mall, and is lined by the stately houses of banking companies,
railway companies, and insurance companies, but which was then a
bog known by the name of the Rape Marsh, four English regiments,
up to the shoulders in water, advanced gallantly to the assault.
Grafton, ever foremost in danger, while struggling through the
quagmire, was struck by a shot from the ramparts, and was carried
back dying. The place where he fell, then about a hundred yards
without the city, but now situated in the very centre of business
and population, is still called Grafton Street. The assailants
had made their way through the swamp, and the close fighting was
just about to begin, when a parley was beaten. Articles of
capitulation were speedily adjusted. The garrison, between four
and five thousand fighting men, became prisoners. Marlborough
promised to intercede with the King both for them and for the
inhabitants, and to prevent outrage and spoliation. His troops he
succeeded in restraining; but crowds of sailors and camp
followers came into the city through the breach; and the houses
of many Roman Catholics were sacked before order was restored.

No commander has ever understood better than Marlborough how to
improve a victory. A few hours after Cork had fallen, his cavalry
were on the road to Kinsale. A trumpeter was sent to summon the
place. The Irish threatened to hang him for bringing such a
message, set fire to the town, and retired into two forts called
the Old and the New. The English horse arrived just in time to
extinguish the flames. Marlborough speedily followed with his
infantry. The Old Fort was scaled; and four hundred and fifty men
who defended it were all killed or taken. The New Fort it was
necessary to attack in a more methodical way. Batteries were
planted; trenches were opened; mines were sprung; in a few days
the besiegers were masters of the counterscarp; and all was ready
for storming, when the governor offered to capitulate. The
garrison, twelve hundred strong, was suffered to retire to
Limerick; but the conquerors took possession of the stores, which
were of considerable value. Of all the Irish ports Kinsale was
the best situated for intercourse with France. Here, therefore,
was a plenty unknown in any other part of Munster. At Limerick
bread and wine were luxuries which generals and privy councillors
were not always able to procure. But in the New Fort of Kinsale
Marlborough found a thousand barrels of wheat and eighty pipes of

His success had been complete and rapid; and indeed, had it not
been rapid, it would not have been complete. His campaign, short
as it was, had been long enough to allow time for the deadly work
which, in that age, the moist earth and air of Ireland seldom
failed, in the autumnal season, to perform on English soldiers.
The malady which had thinned the ranks of Schomberg's army at
Dundalk, and which had compelled William to make a hasty retreat
from the estuary of the Shannon, had begun to appear at Kinsale.
Quick and vigorous as Marlborough's operations were, he lost a
much greater number of men by disease than by the fire of the
enemy. He presented himself at Kensington only five weeks after
he had sailed from Portsmouth, and was most graciously received.
"No officer living," said William, "who has seen so little
service as my Lord Marlborough, is so fit for great commands."757

In Scotland, as in Ireland, the aspect of things had, during this
memorable summer, changed greatly for the better. That club of
discontented Whigs which had, in the preceding year, ruled the
Parliament, browbeaten the ministers, refused the supplies and
stopped the signet, had sunk under general contempt, and had at
length ceased to exist. There was harmony between the Sovereign
and the Estates; and the long contest between two forms of
ecclesiastical government had been terminated in the only way
compatible with the peace and prosperity of the country.

This happy turn in affairs is to be chiefly ascribed to the
errors of the perfidious, turbulent and revengeful Montgomery.
Some weeks after the close of that session during which he had
exercised a boundless authority over the Scottish Parliament, he
went to London with his two principal confederates, the Earl of
Annandale and the Lord Ross. The three had an audience of
William, and presented to him a manifesto setting forth what they
demanded for the public. They would very soon have changed their
tone if he would have granted what they demanded for themselves.
But he resented their conduct deeply, and was determined not to
pay them for annoying him. The reception which be gave them
convinced them that they had no favour to expect. Montgomery's
passions were fierce; his wants were pressing; he was miserably
poor; and, if he could not speedily force himself into a
lucrative office, he would be in danger of rotting in a gaol.
Since his services were not likely to be bought by William, they
must be offered to James. A broker was easily found. Montgomery
was an old acquaintance of Ferguson. The two traitors soon understood each
other. They were kindred spirits, differing widely in
intellectual power, but equally vain, restless, false and
malevolent. Montgomery was introduced to Neville Payne, one of
the most adroit and resolute agents of the exiled family, Payne
had been long well known about town as a dabbler in poetry and
politics. He had been an intimate friend of the indiscreet and
unfortunate Coleman, and had been committed to Newgate as an
accomplice in the Popish plot. His moral character had not stood
high; but he soon had an opportunity of proving that he possessed
courage and fidelity worthy of a better cause than that of James
and of a better associate than Montgomery.

The negotiation speedily ended in a treaty of alliance, Payne
confidently promised Montgomery, not merely pardon, but riches,
power and dignity. Montgomery as confidently undertook to induce
the Parliament of Scotland to recall the rightful King. Ross and
Annandale readily agreed to whatever their able and active
colleague proposed. An adventurer, who was sometimes called
Simpson and sometimes Jones, who was perfectly willing to serve
or to betray any government for hire, and who received wages at
once from Portland and from Neville Payne, undertook to carry the
offers of the Club to James. Montgomery and his two noble
accomplices returned to Edinburgh, and there proceeded to form a
coalition with their old enemies, the defenders of prelacy and of
arbitrary power.758

The Scottish opposition, strangely made up of two factions, one
zealous for bishops, the other zealous for synods, one hostile to
all liberty, the other impatient of all government, flattered
itself during a short time with hopes that the civil war would
break out in the Highlands with redoubled fury. But those hopes
were disappointed. In the spring of 1690 an officer named Buchan
arrived in Lochaber from Ireland. He bore a commission which
appointed him general in chief of all the forces which were in
arms for King James throughout the kingdom of Scotland. Cannon,
who had, since the death of Dundee, held the first post and had
proved himself unfit for it, became second in command. Little
however was gained by the change. It was no easy matter to induce
the Gaelic princes to renew the war. Indeed, but for the
influence and eloquence of Lochiel, not a sword would have been
drawn for the House of Stuart. He, with some difficulty,
persuaded the chieftains, who had, in the preceding year, fought
at Killiecrankie, to come to a resolution that, before the end of
the summer, they would muster all their followers and march into
the Lowlands. In the mean time twelve hundred mountaineers of
different tribes were placed under the orders of Buchan, who
undertook, with this force, to keep the English garrisons in
constant alarm by feints and incursions, till the season for more
important operations should arrive. He accordingly marched into
Strathspey. But all his plans were speedily disconcerted by the
boldness and dexterity of Sir Thomas Livingstone, who held
Inverness for King William. Livingstone, guided and assisted by
the Grants, who were firmly attached to the new government, came,
with a strong body of cavalry and dragoons, by forced marches and
through arduous defiles, to the place where the Jacobites had
taken up their quarters. He reached the camp fires at dead of
night. The first alarm was given by the rush of the horses over
the terrified sentinels into the midst Of the crowd of Celts who
lay sleeping in their plaids. Buchan escaped bareheaded and
without his sword. Cannon ran away in his shirt. The conquerors
lost not a man. Four hundred Highlanders were killed or taken.
The rest fled to their hills and mists.759

This event put an end to all thoughts of civil war. The gathering
which had been planned for the summer never took place. Lochiel,
even if he had been willing, was not able to sustain any longer
the falling cause. He had been laid on his bed by a mishap which
would alone suffice to show how little could be effected by a
confederacy of the petty kings of the mountains. At a
consultation of the Jacobite leaders, a gentleman from the
Lowlands spoke with severity of those sycophants who had changed
their religion to curry favour with King James. Glengarry was one
of those people who think it dignified to suppose that every body
is always insulting them. He took it into his head that some
allusion to himself was meant. "I am as good a Protestant as
you." he cried, and added a word not to be patiently borne by a
man of spirit. In a moment both swords were out. Lochiel thrust
himself between the combatants, and, while forcing them asunder,
received a wound which was at first believed to be mortal.760

So effectually had the spirit of the disaffected clans been cowed
that Mackay marched unresisted from Perth into Lochaber, fixed
his head quarters at Inverlochy, and proceeded to execute his
favourite design of erecting at that place a fortress which might
overawe the mutinous Camerons and Macdonalds. In a few days the
walls were raised; the ditches were sunk; the pallisades were
fixed; demiculverins from a ship of war were ranged along the
parapets, and the general departed, leaving an officer named Hill
in command of a sufficient garrison. Within the defences there
was no want of oatmeal, red herrings, and beef; and there was
rather a superabundance of brandy. The new stronghold, which,
hastily and rudely as it had been constructed, seemed doubtless
to the people of the neighbourhood the most stupendous work that
power and science united had ever produced, was named Fort
William in honour of the King.761

By this time the Scottish Parliament had reassembled at
Edinburgh. William had found it no easy matter to decide what
course should be taken with that capricious and unruly body. The
English Commons had sometimes put him out of temper. Yet they had
granted him millions, and had never asked from him such
concessions as had been imperiously demanded by the Scottish
legislature, which could give him little and had given him
nothing. The English statesmen with whom he had to deal did not
generally stand or serve to stand high in his esteem. Yet few of
them were so utterly false and shameless as the leading
Scottish politicians. Hamilton was, in morality and honour,
rather above than below his fellows; and even Hamilton was
fickle, false and greedy. "I wish to heaven," William was once
provoked into exclaiming, "that Scotland were a thousand miles
off, and that the Duke of Hamilton were King of it. Then I should
be rid of them both."

After much deliberation William determined to send Melville down
to Edinburgh as Lord High Commissioner. Melville was not a great
statesman; he was not a great orator; he did not look or move
like the representative of royalty; his character was not of more
than standard purity; and the standard of purity among Scottish
senators was not high; but he was by no means deficient in
prudence or temper; and he succeeded, on the whole, better than a
man of much higher qualities might have done.

During the first days of the Session, the friends of the
government desponded, and the chiefs of the opposition were
sanguine. Montgomery's head, though by no means a weak one, had
been turned by the triumphs of the preceding year. He believed
that his intrigues and his rhetoric had completely subjugated the
Estates. It seemed to him impossible that, having exercised a
boundless empire in the Parliament House when the Jacobites were
absent, he should be defeated when they were present, and ready
to support whatever he proposed. He had not indeed found it easy
to prevail on them to attend: for they could not take their seats
without taking the oaths. A few of them had some slight scruple
of conscience about foreswearing themselves; and many, who did
not know what a scruple of conscience meant, were apprehensive
that they might offend the rightful King by vowing fealty to the
actual King. Some Lords, however, who were supposed to be in the
confidence of James, asserted that, to their knowledge, he wished
his friends to perjure themselves; and this assertion induced
most of the Jacobites, with Balcarras at their head, to be guilty
of perfidy aggravated by impiety.762

It soon appeared, however, that Montgomery's faction, even with
this reinforcement, was no longer a majority of the legislature.
For every supporter that he had gained he had lost two. He had
committed an error which has more than once, in British history,
been fatal to great parliamentary leaders. He had imagined that,
as soon as he chose to coalesce with those to whom he had
recently been opposed, all his followers would imitate his
example. He soon found that it was much easier to inflame
animosities than to appease them. The great body Of Whigs and
Presbyterians shrank from the fellowship of the Jacobites. Some
waverers were purchased by the government; nor was the purchase
expensive, for a sum which would hardly be missed in the English
Treasury was immense in the estimation of the needy barons of the
North.763 Thus the scale was turned; and, in the Scottish
Parliaments of that age, the turn of the scale was every thing;
the tendency of majorities was always to increase, the tendency
of minorities to diminish.

The first question on which a vote was taken related to the
election for a borough. The ministers carried their point by six
voices.764 In an instant every thing was changed; the spell was
broken; the Club, from being a bugbear, became a laughingstock;
the timid and the venal passed over in crowds from the weaker to
the stronger side. It was in vain that the opposition attempted
to revive the disputes of the preceding year. The King had wisely
authorised Melville to give up the Committee of Articles. The
Estates, on the other hand, showed no disposition to pass another
Act of Incapacitation, to censure the government for opening the
Courts of justice, or to question the right of the Sovereign to
name the judges. An extraordinary supply was voted, small,
according to the notions of English financiers, but large for the
means of Scotland. The sum granted was a hundred and sixty-two
thousand pounds sterling, to be raised in the course of four

The Jacobites, who found that they had forsworn themselves to no
purpose, sate, bowed down by shame and writhing with vexation,
while Montgomery, who had deceived himself and them, and who, in
his rage, had utterly lost, not indeed his parts and his fluency,
but all decorum and selfcommand, scolded like a waterman on the
Thames, and was answered with equal asperity and even more than
equal ability by Sir John Dalrymple.766

The most important acts of this Session were those which fixed
the ecclesiastical constitution of Scotland. By the Claim of
Right it had been declared that the authority of Bishops was an
insupportable grievance; and William, by accepting the Crown,
had bound himself not to uphold an institution condemned by the
very instrument on which his title to the Crown depended. But the
Claim of Right had not defined the form of Church government
which was to be substituted for episcopacy; and, during the
stormy Session held in the summer of 1689, the violence of the
Club had made legislation impossible. During many months
therefore every thing had been in confusion. One polity had been
pulled down; and no other polity had been set up. In the Western
Lowlands, the beneficed clergy had been so effectually rabbled,
that scarcely one of them had remained at his post. In
Berwickshire, the three Lothians and Stirlingshire, most of the
curates had been removed by the Privy Council for not obeying
that vote of the Convention which had directed all ministers of
parishes, on pain of deprivation, to proclaim William and Mary
King and Queen of Scotland. Thus, throughout a great part of the
realm, there was no public worship except what was performed by
Presbyterian divines, who sometimes officiated in tents, and
sometimes, without any legal right, took possession of the
churches. But there were large districts, especially on the north
of the Tay, where the people had no strong feeling against
episcopacy; and there were many priests who were not disposed to
lose their manses, and stipends for the sake of King James.
Hundreds of the old curates, therefore, having been neither
hunted by the populace nor deposed by the Council, still
performed their spiritual functions. Every minister was, during
this time of transition, free to conduct the service and to
administer the sacraments as he thought fit. There was no
controlling authority. The legislature had taken away the
jurisdiction of Bishops, and had not established the jurisdiction
of Synods.767

To put an end to this anarchy was one of the first duties of the
Parliament. Melville had, with the powerful assistance of
Carstairs, obtained, in spite of the remonstrances of English
Tories, authority to assent to such ecclesiastical arrangements
as might satisfy the Scottish nation. One of the first laws which
the Lord Commissioner touched with the sceptre repealed the Act
of Supremacy. He next gave the royal assent to a law enacting
that those Presbyterian divines who had been pastors of parishes
in the days of the Covenant, and had, after the Restoration, been
ejected for refusing to acknowledge episcopal authority, should
be restored. The number of those Pastors had originally been
about three hundred and fifty: but not more than sixty were still

The Estates then proceeded to fix the national creed. The
Confession of Faith drawn up by the Assembly of Divines at
Westminster, the Longer and Shorter Catechism, and the Directory,
were considered by every good Presbyterian as the standards of
orthodoxy; and it was hoped that the legislature would recognise
them as such.769 This hope, however, was in part disappointed.
The Confession was read at length, amidst much yawning, and
adopted without alteration. But, when it was proposed that the
Catechisms and the Directory should be taken into consideration,
the ill humour of the audience broke forth into murmurs. For that
love of long sermons which was strong in the Scottish commonalty
was not shared by the Scottish aristocracy. The Parliament had
already been listening during three hours to dry theology, and
was not inclined to hear any thing more about original sin and
election. The Duke of Hamilton said that the Estates had already
done all that was essential. They had given their sanction to a
digest of the great principles of Christianity. The rest might
well be left to the Church. The weary majority eagerly assented,
in spite of the muttering of some zealous Presbyterian ministers
who had been admitted to hear the debate, and who could sometimes
hardly restrain themselves from taking part in it.770

The memorable law which fixed the ecclesiastical constitution of
Scotland was brought in by the Earl of Sutherland. By this law
the synodical polity was reestablished. The rule of the Church
was entrusted to the sixty ejected ministers who had just been
restored, and to such other persons, whether ministers or elders,
as the Sixty should think fit to admit to a participation of
power. The Sixty and their nominees were authorised to visit all
the parishes in the kingdom, and to turn out all ministers who
were deficient in abilities, scandalous in morals, or unsound in
faith. Those parishes which had, during the interregnum, been
deserted by their pastors, or, in plain words, those parishes of
which the pastors had been rabbled, were declared vacant.771

To the clause which reestablished synodical government no serious
opposition appears to have been made. But three days were spent
in discussing the question whether the Sovereign should have
power to convoke and to dissolve ecclesiastical assemblies; and
the point was at last left in dangerous ambiguity. Some other
clauses were long and vehemently debated. It was said that the
immense power given to the Sixty was incompatible with the
fundamental principle of the polity which the Estates were about
to set up. That principle was that all presbyters were equal, and
that there ought to be no order of ministers of religion superior
to the order of presbyters. What did it matter whether the Sixty
were called prelates or not, if they were to lord it with more
than prelatical authority over God's heritage? To the argument
that the proposed arrangement was, in the very peculiar
circumstances of the Church, the most convenient that could be
made, the objectors replied that such reasoning might suit the
mouth of an Erastian, but that all orthodox Presbyterians held
the parity of ministers to be ordained by Christ, and that, where
Christ had spoken, Christians were not at liberty to consider
what was convenient.772

With much greater warmth and much stronger reason the minority
attacked the clause which sanctioned the lawless acts of the
Western fanatics. Surely, it was said, a rabbled curate might
well be left to the severe scrutiny of the sixty Inquisitors. If
he was deficient in parts or learning, if he was loose in life,
if he was heterodox in doctrine, those stern judges would not
fail to detect and to depose him. They would probably think a
game at bowls, a prayer borrowed from the English Liturgy, or a
sermon in which the slightest taint of Arminianism could be
discovered, a sufficient reason for pronouncing his benefice
vacant. Was it not monstrous, after constituting a tribunal from
which he could scarcely hope for bare justice, to condemn him
without allowing him to appear even before that tribunal, to
condemn him without a trial, to condemn him without an
accusation? Did ever any grave senate, since the beginning of the
world, treat a man as a criminal merely because he had been
robbed, pelted, hustled, dragged through snow and mire, and
threatened with death if he returned to the house which was his
by law? The Duke of Hamilton, glad to have so good an Opportunity
of attacking the new Lord Commissioner, spoke with great
vehemence against this odious clause. We are told that no attempt
was made to answer him; and, though those who tell us so were
zealous Episcopalians, we may easily believe their report; for
what answer was it possible to return? Melville, on whom the
chief responsibility lay, sate on the throne in profound silence
through the whole of this tempestuous debate. It is probable that
his conduct was determined by considerations which prudence and
shame prevented him from explaining. The state of the southwestern shires was
such that
it would have been impossible to put the rabbled minister in
possession of their dwellings and churches without employing a
military force, without garrisoning every manse, without placing
guards round every pulpit, and without handing over some
ferocious enthusiasts to the Provost Marshal; and it would be no
easy task for the government to keep down by the sword at once
the Jacobites of the Highlands and the Covenanters of the
Lowlands. The majority, having made up their minds for reasons
which could not well be produced, became clamorous for the
question. "No more debate," was the cry: "We have heard enough: a
vote! a vote!" The question was put according to the Scottish
form, "Approve or not approve the article?" Hamilton insisted
that the question, should be, "Approve or not approve the
rabbling?" After much altercation, he was overruled, and the
clause passed. Only fifteen or sixteen members voted with him. He
warmly and loudly exclaimed, amidst much angry interruption, that
he was sorry to see a Scottish Parliament disgrace itself by such
iniquity. He then left the house with several of his friends. It
is impossible not to sympathize with the indignation which he
expressed. Yet we ought to remember that it is the nature of
injustice to generate injustice. There are wrongs which it is
almost impossible to repair without committing other wrongs; and
such a wrong had been done to the people of Scotland in the
preceding generation. It was because the Parliament of the
Restoration had legislated in insolent defiance of the sense of
the nation that the Parliament of the Revolution had to abase
itself before the mob.

When Hamilton and his adherents had retired, one of the preachers
who had been admitted to the hall called out to the members who
were near him; "Fie! Fie! Do not lose time. Make haste, and get
all over before he comes back." This advice was taken. Four or
five sturdy Prelatists staid to give a last vote against
Presbytery. Four or five equally sturdy Covenanters staid to mark
their dislike of what seemed to them a compromise between the
Lord and Baal. But the Act was passed by an overwhelming

Two supplementary Acts speedily followed. One of them, now
happily repealed, required every officebearer in every University
of Scotland to sign the Confession of Faith and to give in his
adhesion to the new form of Church government.774 The other
settled the important and delicate question of patronage. Knox
had, in the First Book of Discipline, asserted the right of every
Christian congregation to choose its own pastor. Melville had
not, in the Second Book of Discipline, gone quite so far; but he
had declared that no pastor could lawfully be forced on an
unwilling congregation. Patronage had been abolished by a
Covenanted Parliament in 1649, and restored by a Royalist
Parliament in 1661. What ought to be done in 1690 it was no easy
matter to decide. Scarcely any question seems to have caused so
much anxiety to William. He had, in his private instructions,
given the Lord Commissioner authority to assent to the abolition
of patronage, if nothing else would satisfy the Estates. But this
authority was most unwillingly given; and the King hoped that it
would not be used. "It is," he said, "the taking of men's
property." Melville succeeded in effecting a compromise.
Patronage was abolished; but it was enacted that every patron
should receive six hundred marks Scots, equivalent to about
thirty-five pounds sterling, as a compensation for his rights.
The sum seems ludicrously small. Yet, when the nature of the
property and the poverty of the country are considered, it may be
doubted whether a patron would have made much more by going into
the market. The largest sum that any member ventured to propose
was nine hundred marks, little more than fifty pounds sterling.
The right of proposing a minister was given to a parochial
council consisting of the Protestant landowners and the elders.
The congregation might object to the person proposed; and the
Presbytery was to judge of the objections. This arrangement did
not give to the people all the power to which even the Second
Book of Discipline had declared that they were entitled. But the
odious name of patronage was taken away; it was probably thought
that the elders and landowners of a parish would seldom persist
in nominating a person to whom the majority of the congregation
had strong objections; and indeed it does not appear that, while
the Act of 1690 continued in force, the peace of the Church was
ever broken by disputes such as produced the schisms of 1732, of
1756, and of 1843.775

Montgomery had done all in his power to prevent the Estates from
settling the ecclesiastical polity of the realm. He had incited
the zealous Covenanters to demand what he knew that the
government would never grant. He had protested against all
Erastianism, against all compromise. Dutch Presbyterianism, he
said, would not do for Scotland. She must have again the system
of 1649. That system was deduced from the Word of God: it was the
most powerful check that had ever been devised on the tyranny of
wicked kings; and it ought to be restored without addition or
diminution. His Jacobite allies could not conceal their disgust
and mortification at hearing him hold such language, and were by
no means satisfied with the explanations which he gave them in
private. While they were wrangling with him on this subject, a
messenger arrived at Edinburgh with important despatches from
James and from Mary of Modena. These despatches had been written
in the confident expectation that the large promises of
Montgomery would be fulfilled, and that the Scottish Estates
would, under his dexterous management, declare for the rightful
Sovereign against the Usurper. James was so grateful for the
unexpected support of his old enemies, that he entirely forgot
the services and disregarded the feelings of his old friends. The
three chiefs of the Club, rebels and Puritans as they were, had
become his favourites. Annandale was to be a Marquess, Governor
of Edinburgh Castle, and Lord High Commissioner. Montgomery was
to be Earl of Ayr and Secretary of State. Ross was to be an Earl
and to command the guards. An unprincipled lawyer named James
Stewart, who had been deeply concerned in Argyle's insurrection,
who had changed sides and supported the dispensing power, who had
then changed sides a second time and concurred in the Revolution,
and who had now changed sides a third time and was scheming to
bring about a Restoration, was to be Lord Advocate. The Privy
Council, the Court of Session, the army, were to be filled with
Whigs. A Council of Five was appointed, which all loyal subjects
were to obey; and in this Council Annandale, Ross and Montgomery
formed the majority. Mary of Modena informed Montgomery that five
thousand pounds sterling had been remitted to his order, and that
five thousand more would soon follow. It was impossible that
Balcarras and those who had acted with him should not bitterly
resent the manner in which they were treated. Their names were
not even mentioned. All that they had done and suffered seemed to
have faded from their master's mind. He had now given them fair
notice that, if they should, at the hazard of their lands and
lives, succeed in restoring him, all that he had to give would be
given to those who had deposed him. They too, when they read his
letters, knew, what he did not know when the letters were
written, that he had been duped by the confident boasts and
promises of the apostate Whigs. He imagined that the Club was
omnipotent at Edinburgh; and, in truth, the Club had become a
mere byword of contempt. The Tory Jacobites easily found pretexts
for refusing to obey the Presbyterian Jacobites to whom the
banished King had delegated his authority. They complained that
Montgomery had not shown them all the despatches which he had
received. They affected to suspect that he had tampered with the
seals. He called God Almighty to witness that the suspicion was
unfounded. But oaths were very naturally regarded as insufficient
guarantees by men who had just been swearing allegiance to a King
against whom they were conspiring. There was a violent outbreak
of passion on both sides; the coalition was dissolved; the papers
were flung into the fire; and, in a few days, the infamous
triumvirs who had been, in the short space of a year, violent
Williamites and violent Jacobites, became Williamites again, and
attempted to make their peace with the government by accusing
each other.776

Ross was the first who turned informer. After the fashion of the
school in which he had been bred, he committed this base action
with all the forms of sanctity. He pretended to be greatly
troubled in mind, sent for a celebrated Presbyterian minister
named Dunlop, and bemoaned himself piteously: "There is a load on
my conscience; there is a secret which I know that I ought to
disclose; but I cannot bring myself to do it." Dunlop prayed long
and fervently; Ross groaned and wept; at last it seemed that
heaven had been stormed by the violence of supplication; the
truth came out, and many lies with it. The divine and the
penitent then returned thanks together. Dunlop went with the news
to Melville. Ross set off for England to make his peace at court,
and performed his journey in safety, though some of his
accomplices, who had heard of his repentance, but had been little
edified by it, had laid plans for cutting his throat by the way.
At London he protested, on his honour and on the word of a
gentleman, that he had been drawn in, that he had always disliked
the plot, and that Montgomery and Ferguson were the real

Dunlop was, in the mean time, magnifying, wherever he went, the
divine goodness which had, by so humble an instrument as himself,
brought a noble person back to the right path. Montgomery no
sooner heard of this wonderful work of grace than he too began to
experience compunction. He went to Melville, made a confession
not exactly coinciding with Ross's, and obtained a pass for
England. William was then in Ireland; and Mary was governing in
his stead. At her feet Montgomery threw himself. He tried to move
her pity by speaking of his broken fortunes, and to ingratiate
himself with her by praising her sweet and affable manners. He
gave up to her the names of his fellow plotters. He vowed to
dedicate his whole life to her service, if she would obtain for
him some place which might enable him to subsist with decency.
She was so much touched by his supplications and flatteries that
she recommended him to her husband's favour; but the just distrust
and abhorrence with which William regarded Montgomery were not to
be overcome.778

Before the traitor had been admitted to Mary's presence, he had
obtained a promise that he should be allowed to depart in safety.
The promise was kept. During some months, he lay hid in London,
and contrived to carry on a negotiation with the government. He
offered to be a witness against his accomplices on condition of
having a good place. William would bid no higher than a pardon.
At length the communications were broken off. Montgomery retired
for a time to France. He soon returned to London, and passed the
miserable remnant of his life in forming plots which came to
nothing, and in writing libels which are distinguished by the
grace and vigour of their style from most of the productions of
the Jacobite press.779

Annandale, when he learned that his two accomplices had turned
approvers, retired to Bath, and pretended to drink the waters.
Thence he was soon brought up to London by a warrant. He
acknowledged that he had been seduced into treason; but he
declared that he had only said Amen to the plans of others, and
that his childlike simplicity had been imposed on by Montgomery,
that worst, that falsest, that most unquiet of human beings. The
noble penitent then proceeded to make atonement for his own crime
by criminating other people, English and Scotch, Whig and Tory,
guilty and innocent. Some he accused on his own knowledge, and
some on mere hearsay. Among those whom he accused on his own
knowledge was Neville Payne, who had not, it should seem, been
mentioned either by Ross or by Montgomery.780

Payne, pursued by messengers and warrants, was so ill advised as
to take refuge in Scotland. Had he remained in England he would
have been safe; for, though the moral proofs of his guilt were
complete, there was not such legal evidence as would have
satisfied a jury that he had committed high treason; he could not
be subjected to torture in order to force him to furnish evidence
against himself; nor could he be long confined without being
brought to trial. But the moment that he passed the border he was
at the mercy of the government of which he was the deadly foe.
The Claim of Right had recognised torture as, in cases like his,
a legitimate mode of obtaining information; and no Habeas Corpus
Act secured him against a long detention. The unhappy man was
arrested, carried to Edinburgh, and brought before the Privy
Council. The general notion was that he was a knave and a coward,
and that the first sight of the boots and thumbscrews would bring
out all the guilty secrets with which he had been entrusted. But
Payne had a far braver spirit than those highborn plotters with
whom it was his misfortune to have been connected. Twice he was
subjected to frightful torments; but not a word inculpating
himself or any other person could be wrung out of him. Some
councillors left the board in horror. But the pious Crawford
presided. He was not much troubled with the weakness of
compassion where an Amalekite was concerned, and forced the
executioner to hammer in wedge after wedge between the knees of
the prisoner till the pain was as great as the human frame can
sustain without dissolution. Payne was then carried to the Castle
of Edinburgh, where he long remained, utterly forgotten, as he
touchingly complained, by those for whose sake he had endured
more than the bitterness of death. Yet no ingratitude could damp
the ardour of his fanatical loyalty; and he continued, year after
year, in his cell, to plan insurrections and invasions.781

Before Payne's arrest the Estates had been adjourned after a
Session as important as any that had ever been held in Scotland.
The nation generally acquiesced in the new ecclesiastical
constitution. The indifferent, a large portion of every society,
were glad that the anarchy was over, and conformed to the
Presbyterian Church as they had conformed to the Episcopal
Church. To the moderate Presbyterians the settlement which
had been made was on the whole satisfactory. Most of the strict
Presbyterians brought themselves to accept it under protest, as a
large instalment of what was due. They missed indeed what they
considered as the perfect beauty and symmetry of that Church
which had, forty years before, been the glory of Scotland. But,
though the second temple was not equal to the first, the chosen
people might well rejoice to think that they were, after a long
captivity in Babylon, suffered to rebuild, though imperfectly,
the House of God on the old foundations; nor could it misbecome
them to feel for the latitudinarian William a grateful affection
such as the restored Jews had felt for the heathen Cyrus.

There were however two parties which regarded the settlement of
1690 with implacable detestation. Those Scotchmen who were
Episcopalians on conviction and with fervour appear to have been
few; but among them were some persons superior, not perhaps in
natural parts, but in learning, in taste, and in the art of
composition, to the theologians of the sect which had now become
dominant. It might not have been safe for the ejected Curates and
Professors to give vent in their own country to the anger which
they felt. But the English press was open to them; and they were
sure of the approbation of a large part of the English people.
During several years they continued to torment their enemies and
to amuse the public with a succession of ingenious and spirited
pamphlets. In some of these works the hardships suffered by the
rabbled priests of the western shires are set forth with a skill
which irresistibly moves pity and indignation. In others, the
cruelty with which the Covenanters had been treated during the
reigns of the last two kings of the House of Stuart is extenuated
by every artifice of sophistry. There is much joking on the bad
Latin which some Presbyterian teachers had uttered while seated
in academic chairs lately occupied by great scholars. Much was
said about the ignorant contempt which the victorious barbarians
professed for science and literature. They were accused of
anathematizing the modern systems of natural philosophy as
damnable heresies, of condemning geometry as a souldestroying
pursuit, of discouraging even the study of those tongues in which
the sacred books were written. Learning, it was said, would soon
be extinct in Scotland. The Universities, under their new rulers,
were languishing and must soon perish. The booksellers had been
half ruined: they found that the whole profit of their business
would not pay the rent of their shops, and were preparing to
emigrate to some country where letters were held in esteem by
those whose office was to instruct the public. Among the
ministers of religion no purchaser of books was left. The
Episcopalian divine was glad to sell for a morsel of bread
whatever part of his library had not been torn to pieces or
burned by the Christmas mobs; and the only library of a
Presbyterian divine consisted of an explanation of the Apocalypse
and a commentary on the Song of Songs.782 The pulpit oratory of
the triumphant party was an inexhaustible subject of mirth. One
little volume, entitled The Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence
Displayed, had an immense success in the South among both High
Churchmen and scoffers, and is not yet quite forgotten. It was
indeed a book well fitted to lie on the hall table of a Squire
whose religion consisted in hating extemporaneous prayer and
nasal psalmody. On a rainy day, when it was impossible to hunt or
shoot, neither the card table nor the backgammon board would have
been, in the intervals of the flagon and the pasty, so agreeable
a resource. Nowhere else, perhaps, can be found, in so small a
compass, so large a collection of ludicrous quotations and
anecdotes. Some grave men, however, who bore no love to the
Calvinistic doctrine or discipline, shook their heads over this
lively jest book, and hinted their opinion that the writer, while
holding up to derision the absurd rhetoric by which coarseminded
and ignorant men tried to illustrate dark questions of theology
and to excite devotional feeling among the populace, had
sometimes forgotten the reverence due to sacred things. The
effect which tracts of this sort produced on the public mind of
England could not be fully discerned, while England and Scotland
were independent of each other, but manifested itself, very soon
after the union of the kingdoms, in a way which we still have
reason, and which our posterity will probably long have reason to

The extreme Presbyterians were as much out of humour as the
extreme Prelatists, and were as little inclined as the extreme
Prelatists to take the oath of allegiance to William and Mary.
Indeed, though the Jacobite nonjuror and the Cameronian nonjuror
were diametrically opposed to each other in opinion, though they
regarded each other with mortal aversion, though neither of them
would have had any scruple about persecuting the other, they had
much in common. They were perhaps the two most remarkable
specimens that the world could show of perverse absurdity. Each
of them considered his darling form of ecclesiastical polity, not
as a means but as an end, as the one thing needful, as the
quintessence of the Christian religion. Each of them childishly
fancied that he had found a theory of civil government in his
Bible. Neither shrank from the frightful consequences to which
his theory led. To all objections both had one answer,--Thus
saith the Lord. Both agreed in boasting that the arguments which
to atheistical politicians seemed unanswerable presented no
difficulty to the Saint. It might be perfectly true that, by
relaxing the rigour of his principles, he might save his country
from slavery, anarchy, universal ruin. But his business was not
to save his country, but to save his soul. He obeyed the commands
of God, and left the event to God. One of the two fanatical sects
held that, to the end of time, the nation would be bound to obey
the heir of the Stuarts; the other held that, to the end of time,
the nation would be bound by the Solemn League and Covenant; and
thus both agreed in regarding the new Sovereigns as usurpers.

The Presbyterian nonjurors have scarcely been heard of out of
Scotland; and perhaps it may not now be generally known, even in
Scotland, how long they continued to form a distinct class. They
held that their country was under a precontract to the Most High,
and could never, while the world lasted, enter into any
engagement inconsistent with that precontract. An Erastian, a
latitudinarian, a man who knelt to receive the bread and wine
from the hands of bishops, and who bore, though not very
patiently, to hear anthems chaunted by choristers in white
vestments, could not be King of a covenanted kingdom. William had
moreover forfeited all claim to the crown by committing that sin
for which, in the old time, a dynasty preternaturally appointed
had been preternaturally deposed. He had connived at the escape
of his father in law, that idolater, that murderer, that man of
Belial, who ought to have been hewn in pieces before the Lord,
like Agag. Nay, the crime of William had exceeded that of Saul.
Saul had spared only one Amalekite, and had smitten the rest.
What Amalekite had William smitten? The pure Church had been
twenty-eight years under persecution. Her children had been
imprisoned, transported, branded, shot, hanged, drowned,
tortured. And yet he who called himself her deliverer had not
suffered her to see her desire upon her enemies.783 The bloody
Claverhouse had been graciously received at Saint James's. The
bloody Mackenzie had found a secure and luxurious retreat among
the malignants of Oxford. The younger Dalrymple who had
prosecuted the Saints, the elder Dalrymple who had sate in
judgment on the Saints, were great and powerful. It was said by
careless Gallios, that there was no choice but between William
and James, and that it was wisdom to choose the less of two
evils. Such was indeed the wisdom of this world. But the wisdom
which was from above taught us that of two things, both of which
were evil in the sight of God, we should choose neither. As soon
as James was restored, it would be a duty to disown and withstand
him. The present duty was to disown and withstand his son in law.
Nothing must be said, nothing must be done that could be
construed into a recognition of the authority of the man from
Holland. The godly must pay no duties to him, must hold no
offices under him, must receive no wages from him, must sign no
instruments in which he was styled King. Anne succeeded William;
and Anne was designated, by those who called themselves the
remnant of the true Church, as the pretended Queen, the wicked
woman, the Jezebel. George the First succeeded Anne; and George
the First was the pretended King, the German Beast.784 George the
Second succeeded George the First; George the Second too was a
pretended King, and was accused of having outdone the wickedness
of his wicked predecessors by passing a law in defiance of that
divine law which ordains that no witch shall be suffered to
live.785 George the Third succeeded George the Second; and still
these men continued, with unabated stedfastness, though in
language less ferocious than before, to disclaim all allegiance
to an uncovenanted Sovereign.786 So late as the year 1806, they
were still bearing their public testimony against the sin of
owning his government by paying taxes, by taking out excise
licenses, by joining the volunteers, or by labouring on public
works.787 The number of these zealots went on diminishing till at
length they were so thinly scattered over Scotland that they were
nowhere numerous enough to have a meeting house, and were known
by the name of the Nonhearers. They, however, still assembled and
prayed in private dwellings, and still persisted in considering
themselves as the chosen generation, the royal priesthood, the
holy nation, the peculiar people, which, amidst the common
degeneracy, alone preserved the faith of a better age. It is by
no means improbable that this superstition, the most irrational
and the most unsocial into which Protestant Christianity has ever
been corrupted by human prejudices and passions, may still linger
in a few obscure farmhouses.

The King was but half satisfied with the manner in which the
ecclesiastical polity of Scotland had been settled. He thought
that the Episcopalians had been hardly used; and he apprehended
that they might be still more hardly used when the new system was
fully organized. He had been very desirous that the Act which
established the Presbyterian Church should be accompanied by an
Act allowing persons who were not members of that Church to hold
their own religious assemblies freely; and he had particularly
directed Melville to look to this.788 But some popular preachers
harangued so vehemently at Edinburgh against liberty of
conscience, which they called the mystery of iniquity, that
Melville did not venture to obey his master's instructions. A
draught of a Toleration Act was offered to the Parliament by a
private member, but was coldly received and suffered to drop.789

William, however, was fully determined to prevent the dominant
sect from indulging in the luxury of persecution; and he took an
early opportunity of announcing his determination. The first
General Assembly of the newly established Church met soon after
his return from Ireland. It was necessary that he should appoint
a Commissioner and send a letter. Some zealous Presbyterians
hoped that Crawford would be the Commissioner; and the ministers
of Edinburgh drew up a paper in which they very intelligibly
hinted that this was their wish. William, however, selected Lord
Carmichael, a nobleman distinguished by good sense, humanity and
moderation.790 The royal letter to the Assembly was eminently
wise in substance and impressive in language. "We expect," the
King wrote, "that your management shall be such that we may have
no reason to repent of what we have done. We never could be of
the mind that violence was suited to the advancing of true
religion; nor do we intend that our authority shall ever be a
tool to the irregular passions of any party. Moderation is what
religion enjoins, what neighbouring Churches expect from you, and
what we recommend to you." The Sixty and their associates would
probably have been glad to reply in language resembling that
which, as some of them could well remember, had been held by the
clergy to Charles the Second during his residence in Scotland.
But they had just been informed that there was in England a
strong feeling in favour of the rabbled curates, and that it
would, at such a conjuncture, be madness in the body which
represented the Presbyterian Church to quarrel with the King.791
The Assembly therefore returned a grateful and respectful answer
to the royal letter, and assured His Majesty that they had
suffered too much from oppression ever to be oppressors.792

Meanwhile the troops all over the Continent were going into
winter quarters. The campaign had everywhere been indecisive. The
victory gained by Luxemburg at Fleurus had produced no important
effect. On the Upper Rhine great armies had eyed each other,
month after month, without exchanging a blow. In Catalonia a few
small forts had been taken. In the cast of Europe the Turks had
been successful on some points, the Christians on other points;
and the termination of the contest seemed to be as remote as
ever. The coalition had in the course of the year lost one
valuable member and gained another. The Duke of Lorraine, the
ablest captain in the Imperial service, was no more. He had died,
as he had lived, an exile and a wanderer, and had bequeathed to
his children nothing but his name and his rights. It was
popularly said that the confederacy could better have spared
thirty thousand soldiers than such a general. But scarcely had
the allied Courts gone into mourning for him when they were
consoled by learning that another prince, superior to him in
power, and not inferior to him in capacity or courage, had joined
the league against France.

This was Victor Amadeus Duke of Savoy. He was a young man; but he
was already versed in those arts for which the statesmen of Italy
had, ever since the thirteenth century, been celebrated, those
arts by which Castruccio Castracani and Francis Sforza rose to
greatness, and which Machiavel reduced to a system. No sovereign
in modern Europe has, with so small a principality, exercised so
great an influence during so long a period. He had for a time
submitted, with a show of cheerfulness, but with secret
reluctance and resentment, to the French ascendency. When the war
broke out, he professed neutrality, but entered into private
negotiations with the House of Austria. He would probably have
continued to dissemble till he found some opportunity of striking
an unexpected blow, had not his crafty schemes been disconcerted
by the decision and vigour of Lewis. A French army commanded by
Catinat, an officer of great skill and valour, marched into
Piedmont. The Duke was informed that his conduct had excited
suspicions which he could remove only by admitting foreign
garrisons into Turin and Vercelli. He found that he must be
either the slave or the open enemy of his powerful and imperious
neighbour. His choice was soon made; and a war began which,
during seven years, found employment for some of the best
generals and best troops of Lewis. An Envoy Extraordinary from
Savoy went to the Hague, proceeded thence to London, presented
his credentials in the Banqueting House, and addressed to William
a speech which was speedily translated into many languages and
read in every part of Europe. The orator congratulated the King
on the success of that great enterprise which had restored
England to her ancient place among the nations, and had broken
the chains of Europe. "That my master," he said, "can now at
length venture to express feelings which have been long concealed
in the recesses of his heart, is part of the debt which he owes
to Your Majesty. You have inspired him with the hope of freedom
after so many years of bondage."793

It had been determined that, during the approaching winter a
Congress of all the powers hostile to France should be held at
the Hague. William was impatient to proceed thither. But it was
necessary that he should first hold a Session of Parliament.
Early in October the Houses reassembled at Westminster. The
members had generally come up in good humour. Those Tories whom
it was possible to conciliate had been conciliated by the Act of
Grace, and by the large share which they had obtained of the
favours of the Crown. Those Whigs who were capable of learning
had learned much from the lesson which William had given them,
and had ceased to expect that he would descend from the rank of a
King to that of a party leader. Both Whigs and Tories had, with
few exceptions, been alarmed by the prospect of a French invasion
and cheered by the news of the victory of the Boyne. The
Sovereign who had shed his blood for their nation and their
religion stood at this moment higher in public estimation than at
any time since his accession. His speech from the throne called
forth the loud acclamations of Lords and Commons.794 Thanks were
unanimously voted by both Houses to the King for his achievements
in Ireland, and to the Queen for the prudence with which she had,
during his absence, governed England.795 Thus commenced a Session
distinguished among the Sessions of that reign by harmony and
tranquillity. No report of the debates has been preserved, unless
a long forgotten lampoon, in which some of the speeches made on
the first day are burlesqued in doggrel rhymes, may be called a
report.796 The time of the Commons appears to have been chiefly
occupied in discussing questions arising out of the elections of
the preceding spring. The supplies necessary for the war, though
large, were granted with alacrity. The number of regular troops
for the next year was fixed at seventy thousand, of whom twelve
thousand were to be horse or dragoons. The charge of this army,
the greatest that England had ever maintained, amounted to about
two million three hundred thousand pounds; the charge of the navy
to about eighteen hundred thousand pounds. The charge of the
ordnance was included in these sums, and was roughly estimated at
one eighth of the naval and one fifth of the military
expenditure.797 The whole of the extraordinary aid granted to the
King exceeded four millions.

The Commons justly thought that the extraordinary liberality with
which they had provided for the public service entitled them to
demand extraordinary securities against waste and peculation. A
bill was brought in empowering nine Commissioners to examine and
state the public accounts. The nine were named in the bill, and
were all members of the Lower House. The Lords agreed to the bill
without amendments; and the King gave his assent.798

The debates on the Ways and Means occupied a considerable part of
the Session. It was resolved that sixteen hundred and fifty
thousand pounds should be raised by a direct monthly assessment
on land. The excise duties on ale and beer were doubled; and the
import duties on raw silk, linen, timber, glass, and some other
articles, were increased.799 Thus far there was little difference
of opinion. But soon the smooth course of business was disturbed
by a proposition which was much more popular than just or humane.
Taxes of unprecedented severity had been imposed; and yet it
might well be doubted whether these taxes would be sufficient.
Why, it was asked, should not the cost of the Irish war be borne
by the Irish insurgents? How those insurgents had acted in their
mock Parliament all the world knew; and nothing could be more
reasonable than to mete to them from their own measure. They
ought to be treated as they had treated the Saxon colony. Every
acre which the Act of Settlement had left them ought to be seized
by the state for the purpose of defraying that expense which
their turbulence and perverseness had made necessary. It is not
strange that a plan which at once gratified national animosity,
and held out the hope of pecuniary relief, should have been
welcomed with eager delight. A bill was brought in which bore but
too much resemblance to some of the laws passed by the Jacobite
legislators of Dublin. By this bill it was provided that the
property of every person who had been in rebellion against the
King and Queen since the day on which they were proclaimed should
be confiscated, and that the proceeds should be applied to the
support of the war. An exception was made in favour of such
Protestants as had merely submitted to superior force; but to
Papists no indulgence was shown. The royal prerogative of
clemency was limited. The King might indeed, if such were his
pleasure, spare the lives of his vanquished enemies; but he was
not to be permitted to save any part of their estates from the
general doom. He was not to have it in his power to grant a
capitulation which should secure to Irish Roman Catholics the
enjoyment of their hereditary lands. Nay, he was not to be
allowed to keep faith with persons whom he had already received
to mercy, who had kissed his hand, and had heard from his lips
the promise of protection. An attempt was made to insert a
proviso in favour of Lord Dover. Dover, who, with all his faults,
was not without some English feelings, had, by defending the
interests of his native country at Dublin, made himself odious to
both the Irish and the French. After the battle of the Boyne his
situation was deplorable. Neither at Limerick nor at Saint
Germains could he hope to be welcomed. In his despair, he threw
himself at William's feet, promised to live peaceably, and was
graciously assured that he had nothing to fear. Though the royal
word seemed to be pledged to this unfortunate man, the Commons
resolved, by a hundred and nineteen votes to a hundred and
twelve, that his property should not be exempted from the general

The bill went up to the Peers, but the Peers were not inclined
to pass it without considerable amendments; and such amendments
there was not time to make. Numerous heirs at law, reversioners,
and creditors implored the Upper House to introduce such
provisoes as might secure the innocent against all danger of
being involved in the punishment of the guilty. Some petitioners
asked to be heard by counsel. The King had made all his
arrangements for a voyage to the Hague; and the day beyond which
he could not postpone his departure drew near. The bill was
therefore, happily for the honour of English legislation,
consigned to that dark repository in which the abortive statutes
of many generations sleep a sleep rarely disturbed by the
historian or the antiquary.800

Another question, which slightly and but slightly discomposed the
tranquillity of this short session, arose out of the disastrous
and disgraceful battle of Beachy Head. Torrington had,
immediately after that battle, been sent to the Tower, and had
ever since remained there. A technical difficulty had arisen
about the mode of bringing him to trial. There was no Lord High
Admiral; and whether the Commissioners of the Admiralty were
competent to execute martial law was a point which to some
jurists appeared not perfectly clear. The majority of the judges
held that the Commissioners were competent; but, for the purpose
of removing all doubt, a bill was brought into the Upper House;
and to this bill several Lords offered an opposition which seems
to have been most unreasonable. The proposed law, they said,
was a retrospective penal law, and therefore objectionable. If
they used this argument in good faith, they were ignorant of the
very rudiments of the science of legislation. To make a law for
punishing that which, at the time when it was done, was not
punishable, is contrary to all sound principle. But a law which
merely alters the criminal procedure may with perfect propriety
be made applicable to past as well as to future offences. It
would have been the grossest injustice to give a retrospective
operation to the law which made slavetrading felony. But there
was not the smallest injustice in enacting that the Central
Criminal Court should try felonies committed long before that
Court was in being. In Torrington's case the substantive law
continued to be what it had always been. The definition of the
crime, the amount of the penalty, remained unaltered. The only
change was in the form of procedure; and that change the
legislature was perfectly justified in making retrospectively.

It is indeed hardly possible to believe that some of those who
opposed the bill were duped by the fallacy of which they
condescended to make use. The feeling of caste was strong among
the Lords. That one of themselves should be tried for his life by
a court composed of plebeians seemed to them a degradation of
their whole order. If their noble brother had offended, articles
of impeachment ought to be exhibited against him: Westminster
Hall ought to be fitted up: his peers ought to meet in their
robes, and to give in their verdict on their honour; a Lord High
Steward ought to pronounce the sentence and to break the staff.
There was an end of privilege if an Earl was to be doomed to
death by tarpaulins seated round a table in the cabin of a ship.
These feelings had so much influence that the bill passed the
Upper House by a majority of only two.801 In the Lower House,
where the dignities and immunities of the nobility were regarded
with no friendly feeling, there was little difference of opinion.
Torrington requested to be heard at the bar, and spoke there at
great length, but weakly and confusedly. He boasted of his
services, of his sacrifices, and of his wounds. He abused the
Dutch, the Board of Admiralty, and the Secretary of State. The
bill, however, went through all its stages without a division.802

Early in December Torrington was sent under a guard down the
river to Sheerness. There the Court Martial met on board of a
frigate named the Kent. The investigation lasted three days; and
during those days the ferment was great in London. Nothing was
heard of on the exchange, in the coffeehouses, nay even at the
church doors, but Torrington. Parties ran high; wagers to an
immense amount were depending; rumours were hourly arriving by
land and water, and every rumour was exaggerated and distorted by
the way. From the day on which the news of the ignominious battle
arrived, down to the very eve of the trial, public opinion had
been very unfavourable to the prisoner. His name, we are told by
contemporary pamphleteers, was hardly ever mentioned without a
curse. But, when the crisis of his fate drew nigh, there was, as
in our country there often is, a reaction. All his merits, his
courage, his good nature, his firm adherence to the Protestant
religion in the evil times, were remembered. It was impossible to
deny that he was sunk in sloth and luxury, that he neglected the
most important business for his pleasures, and that he could not
say No to a boon companion or to a mistress; but for these faults
excuses and soft names were found. His friends used without
scruple all the arts which could raise a national feeling in his
favour; and these arts were powerfully assisted by the
intelligence that the hatred which was felt towards him in
Holland bad vented itself in indignities to some of his
countrymen. The cry was that a bold, jolly, freehanded English
gentleman, of whom the worst that could be said was that he liked
wine and women, was to be shot in order to gratify the spite of
the Dutch. What passed at the trial tended to confirm the
populace in this notion. Most of the witnesses against the
prisoner were Dutch officers. The Dutch real admiral, who took on
himself the part of prosecutor, forgot himself so far as to
accuse the judges of partiality. When at length, on the evening
of the third day, Torrington was pronounced not guilty, many who
had recently clamoured for his blood seemed to be well pleased
with his acquittal. He returned to London free, and with his
sword by his side. As his yacht went up the Thames, every ship
which he passed saluted him. He took his seat in the House of
Lords, and even ventured to present himself at court. But most of
the peers looked coldly on him; William would not see him, and
ordered him to be dismissed from the service.803

There was another subject about which no vote was passed by
either of the Houses, but about which there is reason to believe
that some acrimonious discussion took place in both. The Whigs,
though much less violent than in the preceding year, could not
patiently see Caermarthen as nearly prime minister as any English
subject could be under a prince of William's character. Though no
man had taken a more prominent part in the Revolution than the
Lord President, though no man had more to fear from a
counterrevolution, his old enemies would not believe that he had
from his heart renounced those arbitrary doctrines for which he
had once been zealous, or that he could bear true allegiance to a
government sprung from resistance. Through the last six months of
1690 he was mercilessly lampooned. Sometimes he was King Thomas
and sometimes Tom the Tyrant.804 William was adjured not to go to
the Continent leaving his worst enemy close to the ear of the
Queen. Halifax, who had, in the preceding year, been ungenerously
and ungratefully persecuted by the Whigs, was now mentioned by
them with respect and regret; for he was the enemy of their
enemy.805 The face, the figure, the bodily infirmities of
Caermarthen, were ridiculed.806 Those dealings with the French
Court in which, twelve years before, he had, rather by his
misfortune than by his fault, been implicated, were represented
in the most odious colours. He was reproached with his
impeachment and his imprisonment. Once, it was said, he had
escaped; but vengeance might still overtake him, and London
might enjoy the long deferred pleasure of seeing the old traitor
flung off the ladder in the blue riband which he disgraced. All
the members of his family, wife, son, daughters, were assailed
with savage invective and contemptuous sarcasm.807 All who were
supposed to be closely connected with him by political ties came
in for a portion of this abuse; and none had so large a portion
as Lowther. The feeling indicated by these satires was strong
among the Whigs in Parliament. Several of them deliberated on a
plan of attack, and were in hopes that they should be able to
raise such a storm as would make it impossible for him to remain
at the head of affairs. It should seem that, at this time, his
influence in the royal closet was not quite what it had been.
Godolphin, whom he did not love, and could not control, but whose
financial skill had been greatly missed during the summer, was
brought back to the Treasury, and made First Commissioner.
Lowther, who was the Lord President's own man, still sate at the
board, but no longer presided there. It is true that there was
not then such a difference as there now is between the First Lord
and his colleagues. Still the change was important and
significant. Marlborough, whom Caermarthen disliked, was, in
military affairs, not less trusted than Godolphin in financial
affairs. The seals which Shrewsbury had resigned in the summer
had ever since been lying in William's secret drawer. The Lord
President probably expected that he should be consulted before
they were given away; but he was disappointed. Sidney was sent
for from Ireland; and the seals were delivered to him. The first
intimation which the Lord President received of this important
appointment was not made in a manner likely to soothe his
feelings. "Did you meet the new Secretary of State going out?" said William.
"No, Sir," answered the Lord President; "I met
nobody but my Lord Sidney." "He is the new Secretary," said
William. "He will do till I find a fit man; and he will be quite
willing to resign as soon as I find a fit man. Any other person
that I could put in would think himself ill used if I were to put
him out." If William had said all that was in his mind, he would
probably have added that Sidney, though not a great orator or
statesman, was one of the very few English politicians who could
be as entirely trusted as Bentinck or Zulestein. Caermarthen
listened with a bitter smile. It was new, he afterwards said, to
see a nobleman placed in the Secretary's office, as a footman was
placed in a box at the theatre, merely in order to keep a seat
till his betters came. But this jest was a cover for serious
mortification and alarm. The situation of the prime minister was
unpleasant and even perilous; and the duration of his power would
probably have been short, had not fortune, just at this moment,
put it in his power to confound his adversaries by rendering a
great service to the state.808

The Jacobites had seemed in August to be completely crushed. The
victory of the Boyne, and the irresistible explosion of patriotic
feeling produced by the appearance of Tourville's fleet on the
coast of Devonshire, had cowed the boldest champions of
hereditary right. Most of the chief plotters passed some weeks in
confinement or in concealment. But, widely as the ramifications
of the conspiracy had extended, only one traitor suffered the
punishment of his crime. This was a man named Godfrey Cross, who
kept an inn on the beach near Rye, and who, when the French fleet
was on the coast of Sussex, had given information to Tourville.
When it appeared that this solitary example was thought
sufficient, when the danger of invasion was over, when the
popular enthusiasm excited by that danger had subsided, when the
lenity of the government had permitted some conspirators to leave
their prisons and had encouraged others to venture out of their
hidingplaces, the faction which had been prostrated and stunned
began to give signs of returning animation. The old traitors
again mustered at the old haunts, exchanged significant looks and
eager whispers, and drew from their pockets libels on the Court
of Kensington, and letters in milk and lemon juice from the Court
of Saint Germains. Preston, Dartmouth, Clarendon, Penn, were
among the most busy. With them, was leagued the nonjuring Bishop
of Ely, who was still permitted by the government to reside in
the palace, now no longer his own, and who had, but a short time
before, called heaven to witness that he detested the thought of
inviting foreigners to invade England. One good opportunity had
been lost; but another was at hand, and must not be suffered to
escape. The usurper would soon be again out of England. The
administration would soon be again confided to a weak woman and a
divided council. The year which was closing had certainly been
unlucky; but that which was about to commence might be more

In December a meeting of the leading Jacobites was held.809 The
sense of the assembly, which consisted exclusively of
Protestants, was that something ought to be attempted, but that
the difficulties were great. None ventured to recommend that
James should come over unaccompanied by regular troops. Yet all,
taught by the experience of the preceding summer, dreaded the
effect which might be produced by the sight of French uniforms
and standards on English ground. A paper was drawn up which
would, it was hoped, convince both James and Lewis that a
restoration could not be effected without the cordial concurrence
of the nation. France,--such was the substance of this remarkable
document,--might possibly make the island a heap of ruins, but
never a subject province. It was hardly possible for any person,
who had not had an opportunity of observing the temper of the
public mind, to imagine the savage and dogged determination with
which men of all classes, sects and factions were prepared to
resist any foreign potentate who should attempt to conquer the
kingdom by force of arms. Nor could England be governed as a
Roman Catholic country. There were five millions of Protestants
in the realm: there were not a hundred thousand Papists: that
such a minority should keep down such a majority was physically
impossible; and to physical impossibility all other
considerations must give way. James would therefore do well to
take without delay such measures as might indicate his resolution
to protect the established religion. Unhappily every letter which
arrived from France contained something tending to irritate
feelings which it was most desirable to soothe. Stories were
every where current of slights offered at Saint Germains to
Protestants who had given the highest proof of loyalty by
following into banishment a master zealous for a faith which was
not their own. The edicts which had been issued against the
Huguenots might perhaps have been justified by the anarchical
opinions and practices of those sectaries; but it was the height
of injustice and of inhospitality to put those edicts in force
against men who had been driven from their country solely on
account of their attachment to a Roman Catholic King. Surely sons
of the Anglican Church, who had, in obedience to her teaching,
sacrificed all that they most prized on earth to the royal cause,
ought not to be any longer interdicted from assembling in some
modest edifice to celebrate her rites and to receive her
consolations. An announcement that Lewis had, at the request of
James, permitted the English exiles to worship God according to
their national forms would be the best prelude to the great
attempt. That attempt ought to be made early in the spring. A
French force must undoubtedly accompany His Majesty. But he must
declare that he brought that force only for the defence of his
person and for the protection of his loving subjects, and that,
as soon as the foreign oppressors had been expelled, the foreign
deliverers should be dismissed. He must also promise to govern
according to law, and must refer all the points which had been
in dispute between him and his people to the decision of a

It was determined that Preston should carry to Saint Germains the
resolutions and suggestions of the conspirators, John Ashton, a
person who had been clerk of the closet to Mary of Modena when
she was on the throne, and who was entirely devoted to the
interests of the exiled family, undertook to procure the means of
conveyance, and for this purpose engaged the cooperation of a
hotheaded young Jacobite named Elliot, who only knew in general
that a service of some hazard was to be rendered to the good

It was easy to find in the port of London a vessel the owner of
which was not scrupulous about the use for which it might be
wanted. Ashton and Elliot were introduced to the master of a
smack named the James and Elizabeth. The Jacobite agents
pretended to be smugglers, and talked of the thousands of pounds
which might be got by a single lucky trip to France and back
again. A bargain was struck: a sixpence was broken; and all the
arrangements were made for the voyage.

Preston was charged by his friends with a packet containing
several important papers. Among these was a list of the English
fleet furnished by Dartmouth, who was in communication with some
of his old companions in arms, a minute of the resolutions which
had been adopted at the meeting of the conspirators, and the
Heads of a Declaration which it was thought desirable that James
should publish at the moment of his landing. There were also six
or seven letters from persons of note in the Jacobite party. Most
of these letters were parables, but parables which it was not
difficult to unriddle. One plotter used the cant of the law.
There was hope that Mr. Jackson would soon recover his estate.
The new landlord was a hard man, and had set the freeholders
against him. A little matter would redeem the whole property. The
opinions of the best counsel were in Mr. Jackson's favour. All
that was necessary was that he should himself appear in
Westminster Hall. The final hearing ought to be before the close
of Easter Term. Other writers affected the style of the Royal
Exchange. There was a great demand for a cargo of the right sort.
There was reason to hope that the old firm would soon form
profitable connections with houses with which it had hitherto had
no dealings. This was evidently an allusion to the discontented
Whigs. But, it was added, the shipments must not be delayed.
Nothing was so dangerous as to overstay the market. If the
expected goods did not arrive by the tenth of March, the whole
profit of the year would be lost. As to details, entire reliance
might be placed on the excellent factor who was going over.
Clarendon assumed the character of a matchmaker. There was great
hope that the business which he had been negotiating would be
brought to bear, and that the marriage portion would be well
secured. "Your relations," he wrote, in allusion to his recent
confinement, "have been very hard on me this last summer. Yet, as
soon as I could go safely abroad, I pursued the business."
Catharine Sedley entrusted Preston with a letter in which,
without allegory or circumlocution, she complained that her lover
had left her a daughter to support, and begged very hard for
money. But the two most important despatches were from Bishop
Turner. They were directed to Mr. and Mrs. Redding: but the
language was such as it would be thought abject in any gentleman
to hold except to royalty. The Bishop assured their Majesties
that he was devoted to their cause, that he earnestly wished for
a great occasion to prove his zeal, and that he would no more
swerve from his duty to them than renounce his hope of heaven. He
added, in phraseology metaphorical indeed, but perfectly
intelligible, that he was the mouthpiece of several of the
nonjuring prelates, and especially of Sancroft. "Sir, I speak in
the plural,"--these are the words of the letter to James,--
"because I write my elder brother's sentiments as well as my own,
and the rest of our family." The letter to Mary of Modena is to
the same effect. "I say this in behalf of my elder brother, and
the rest of my nearest relations, as well as from myself."810

All the letters with which Preston was charged referred the Court
of Saint Germains to him for fuller information. He carried with
him minutes in his own handwriting of the subjects on which he
was to converse with his master and with the ministers of Lewis.
These minutes, though concise and desultory, can for the most
part be interpreted without difficulty. The vulnerable points of
the coast are mentioned. Gosport is defended only by palisades.
The garrison of Portsmouth is small. The French fleet ought to be
out in April, and to fight before the Dutch are in the Channel.
There are a few broken words clearly importing that some at least
of the nonjuring bishops, when they declared, before God, that
they abhorred the thought of inviting the French over, were

Every thing was now ready for Preston's departure. But the owner
of the James and Elizabeth had conceived a suspicion that the
expedition for which his smack had been hired was rather of a
political than of a commercial nature. It occurred to him that
more might be made by informing against his passengers than by
conveying them safely. Intelligence of what was passing was
conveyed to the Lord President. No intelligence could be more
welcome to him. He was delighted to find that it was in his power
to give a signal proof of his attachment to the government which
his enemies had accused him of betraying. He took his measures
with his usual energy and dexterity. His eldest son, the Earl of
Danby, a bold, volatile, and somewhat eccentric young man, was
fond of the sea, lived much among sailors, and was the proprietor
of a small yacht of marvellous speed. This vessel, well manned,
was placed under the command of a trusty officer named Billop,
and was sent down the river, as if for the purpose of pressing

At dead of night, the last night of the year 1690, Preston,
Ashton and Elliot went on board of their smack near the Tower.
They were in great dread lest they should be stopped and
searched, either by a frigate which lay off Woolwich, or by the
guard posted at the blockhouse of Gravesend. But, when they had
passed both frigate and blockhouse without being challenged,
their spirits rose: their appetite became keen; they unpacked a
hamper well stored with roast beef, mince pies, and bottles of
wine, and were just sitting down to their Christmas cheer, when
the alarm was given that a vessel from Tilbury was flying through
the water after them. They had scarcely time to hide themselves
in a dark hole among the gravel which was the ballast of their
smack, when the chase was over, and Billop, at the head of an
armed party, came on board. The hatches were taken up: the
conspirators were arrested; and their clothes were strictly
examined. Preston, in his agitation, had dropped on the gravel
his official seal and the packet of which he was the bearer. The
seal was discovered where it had fallen. Ashton, aware of the
importance of the papers, snatched them up and tried to conceal
them; but they were soon found in his bosom.

The prisoners then tried to cajole or to corrupt Billop. They
called for wine, pledged him, praised his gentlemanlike
demeanour, and assured him that, if he would accompany them, nay,
if he would only let that little roll of paper fall overboard
into the Thames, his fortune would be made. The tide of affairs,
they said, was on the turn, things could not go on for ever as
they had gone on of late and it was in the captain's power to be
as great and as rich as he could desire. Billop, though
courteous, was inflexible. The conspirators became sensible that
their necks were in imminent danger. The emergency brought out
strongly the true characters of all the three, characters which,
but for such an emergency, might have remained for ever unknown.
Preston had always been reputed a highspirited and gallant
gentleman; but the near prospect of a dungeon and a gallows
altogether unmanned him. Elliot stormed and blasphemed, vowed
that, if he ever got free, he would be revenged, and, with
horrible imprecations, called on the thunder to strike the yacht,
and on London Bridge to fall in and crush her. Ashton alone
behaved with manly firmness.

Late in the evening the yacht reached Whitehall Stairs; and the
prisoners, strongly guarded, were conducted to the Secretary's
office. The papers which had been found in Ashton's bosom were
inspected that night by Nottingham and Caermarthen, and were, on
the following morning, put by Caermarthen into the hands of the

Soon it was known all over London that a plot had been detected,
that the messengers whom the adherents of James had sent to
solicit the help of an invading army from France had been
arrested by the agents of the vigilant and energetic
Lord President, and that documentary evidence, which might affect
the lives of some great men, was in the possession of the
government. The Jacobites were terrorstricken; the clamour of the
Whigs against Caermarthen was suddenly hushed; and the Session
ended in perfect harmony. On the fifth of January the King
thanked the Houses for their support, and assured them that he
would not grant away any forfeited property in Ireland till they
should reassemble. He alluded to the plot which had just been
discovered, and expressed a hope that the friends of England
would not, at such a moment, be less active or less firmly united
than her enemies. He then signified his pleasure that the
Parliament should adjourn. On the following day he set out,
attended by a splendid train of nobles, for the Congress at the

FN 1 Letter from Lady Cavendish to Sylvia. Lady Cavendish, like
most of the clever girls of that generation, had Scudery's
romances always in her head. She is Dorinda: her correspondent,
supposed to be her cousin Jane Allington, is Sylvia: William is
Ormanzor, and Mary Phenixana. London Gazette, Feb. 14 1688/9;
Narcissus Luttrell's Diary. Luttrell's Diary, which I shall very
often quote, is in the library of All Souls' College. I am
greatly obliged to the Warden for the kindness with which he
allowed me access to this valuable manuscript.

FN 2 See the London Gazettes of February and March 1688/9, and
Narcissus Luttrell's Diary,

FN 3 Wagenaar, lxi. He quotes the proceedings of the States of
the 2nd of March, 1689. London Gazette, April 11, 1689; Monthly
Mercury for April, 1689.

FN 4 "I may be positive," says a writer who had been educated at
Westminster School, "where I heard one sermon of repentance,
faith, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, I heard three of the
other; and 'tis hard to say whether Jesus Christ or King Charles
the First were oftener mentioned and magnified." Bisset's Modern
Fanatick, 1710.

FN 5 Paris Gazette, Jan 26/Feb 5 1689. Orange Gazette, London,
Jan. 10. 1688/9

FN 6 Grey's Debates; Howe's speech; Feb. 26. 1688/9; Boscawen's
speech, March 1; Narcissus Luttrell's Diary, Feb. 23-27.

FN 7 Grey's Debates; Feb. 26. 1688/9

FN 8 This illustration is repeated to satiety in sermons and
pamphlets of the time of William the Third. There is a poor
imitation of Absalom and Ahitophel entitled the Murmurers.
William is Moses; Corah, Dathan and Abiram, nonjuring Bishops;
Balaam, I think, Dryden; and Phinchas Shrewsbury,

FN 9 Reresby's Memoirs.

FN 10 Here, and in many other places, I abstain from citing
authorities, because my authorities are too numerous to cite. My
notions of the temper and relative position of political and
religious parties in the reign of William the Third, have been
derived, not from any single work, but from thousands of
forgotten tracts, sermons, and satires; in fact, from a whole
literature which is mouldering in old libraries.

FN 11 The following passage in a tract of that time expresses the
general opinion. "He has better knowledge of foreign affairs than
we have; but in English business it is no dishonour to him to be
told his relation to us, the nature of it, and what is fit for
him to do."--An Honest Commoner's Speech.

FN 12 London Gazette, Feb. 18. 1688/9

FN 13 London Gazette, Feb. 18. 1688/9; Sir J. Reresby's Memoirs.

FN 14 London Gazette, Feb. 18. 1688/9; Lords' Journals.

FN 15 Burnet, ii. 4.

FN 16 These memoirs will be found in a manuscript volume, which
is part of the Harleian Collection, and is numbered 6584. They
are in fact, the first outlines of a great part of Burnet's
History of His Own Times. The dates at which the different
portions of this most curious and interesting book were composed
are marked. Almost the whole was written before the death of
Mary. Burnet did not begin to prepare his History of William's
reign for the press till ten years later. By that time his
opinions both of men and of things, had undergone great changes.
The value of the rough draught is therefore very great: for it
contains some facts which he afterwards thought it advisable to
suppress, and some judgments which he afterwards saw cause to
alter. I must own that I generally like his first thoughts best.
Whenever his History is reprinted, it ought to be carefully
collated with this volume.

When I refer to the Burnet MS. Harl. 6584, I wish the reader to
understand that the MS. contains something which is not to be
found in the History.

As to Nottingham's appointment, see Burnet, ii. 8; the London
Gazette of March 7. 1688/9; and Clarendon's Diary of Feb. 15.

FN 17 London Gazette, Feb. 18. 1688/9

FN 18 Don Pedro de Ronquillo makes this objection.

FN 19 London Gazette, March 11 1688/9.

FN 20 Ibid.

FN 21 I have followed what seems to me the most probable story.
But it has been doubted whether Nottingham was invited to be
Chancellor, or only to be First Commissioner of the Great Seal.
Compare Burnet ii. 3., and Boyer's History of William, 1702.
Narcissus Luttrell repeatedly, and even as late as the close of
1692, speaks of Nottingham as likely to be Chancellor.

FN 22 Roger North relates an amusing story about Shaftesbury's

FN 23 London Gazette March 4. 1688/9

FN 24 Burnet ii. 5.

FN 25 The Protestant Mask taken off from the Jesuited Englishman,

FN 26 These appointments were not announced in the Gazette till
the 6th of May; but some of them were made earlier.

FN 27 Kennet's Funeral Sermon on the first Duke of Devonshire,
and Memoirs of the Family of Cavendish, 1708.

FN 28 See a poem entitled, A Votive Tablet to the King and Queen.

FN 29 See Prior's Dedication of his Poems to Dorset's son and
successor, and Dryden's Essay on Satire prefixed to the
Translations from Juvenal. There is a bitter sneer on Dryden's
effeminate querulousness in Collier's Short View of the Stage. In
Blackmore's Prince Arthur, a poem which, worthless as it is,
contains some curious allusions to contemporary men and events,
are the following lines
"The poets' nation did obsequious wait
For the kind dole divided at his gate.
Laurus among the meagre crowd appeared,
An old, revolted, unbelieving bard,
Who thronged, and shoved, and pressed, and would be heard.
Sakil's high roof, the Muses' palace, rung
With endless cries, and endless sons he sung.
To bless good Sakil Laurus would be first;
But Sakil's prince and Sakil's God he curst.
Sakil without distinction threw his bread,
Despised the flatterer, but the poet fed."
I need not say that Sakil is Sackville, or that Laurus is a
translation of the famous nickname Bayes.

FN 30 Scarcely any man of that age is more frequently mentioned
in pamphlets and satires than Howe. In the famous petition of
Legion, he is designated as "that impudent scandal of
Parliaments." Mackay's account of him is curious. In a poem
written in 1690, which I have never seen except in manuscript,
are the following lines
"First for Jack Howe with his terrible talent,
Happy the female that scopes his lampoon;
Against the ladies excessively valiant,
But very respectful to a Dragoon."

FN 31 Sprat's True Account; North's Examen; Letter to Chief
Justice Holt, 1694; Letter to Secretary Trenchard, 1694.

FN 32 Van Citters, Feb 19/March 1 1688/9

FN 33 Stat. I W.&M. sess. i. c. I. See the Journals of the two
Houses, and Grey's Debates. The argument in favour of the bill is
well stated in the Paris Gazettes of March 5. and 12. 1689.

FN 34 Both Van Citters and Ronquillo mention the anxiety which
was felt in London till the result was known.

FN 35 Lords' Journals, March 1688/9

FN 36 See the letters of Rochester and of Lady Ranelagh to Burnet
on this occasion.

FN 37 Journals of the Commons, March 2. 1688/9 Ronquillo wrote as
follows: "Es de gran consideracion que Seimor haya tomado el
juramento; porque es el arrengador y el director principal, en la
casa de los Comunes, de los Anglicanos." March 8/18 1688/9

FN 38 Grey's Debates, Feb. 25, 26, and 27. 1688/9

FN 39 Commons' Journals, and Grey's Debates, March 1. 1688/9

FN 40 I W. & M. sess. I c.10; Burnet, ii. 13.

FN 41 Commons' Journals, March 15. 1688/9 So late as 1713,
Arbuthnot, in the fifth part of John Bull, alluded to this
transaction with much pleasantry. "As to your Venire Facias,"
says John to Nick Frog, "I have paid you for one already."

FN 42 Wagenaar, lxi.

FN 43 Commons' Journals, March 15. 1688/9.

FN 44 Reresby's Memoirs.

FN 45 Commons' Journals, and Grey's Debates, March 15. 1688/9;
London Gazette, March 18.

FN 46 As to the state of this region in the latter part of the
seventeenth and the earlier part of the eighteenth century, see
Pepys's Diary, Sept. 18. 1663, and the Tour through the whole
Island of Great Britain, 1724.

FN 47 London Gazette, March 25. 1689; Van Citters to the States
General, March 22/April 1 Letters of Nottingham in the State
Paper Office, dated July 23 and August 9. 1689; Historical Record
of the First Regiment of Foot, printed by authority. See also a
curious digression in the Compleat History of the Life and
Military Actions of Richard, Earl of Tyrconnel, 1689.

FN 48 Stat. I W.&M. sess. I. c. 5.; Commons' Journals, March 28.

FN 49 Stat. I W.& M. sess. I. c. 2.

FN 50 Ronquillo, March 8/18. 16S9.

FN 51 See the account given in Spence's Anecdotes of the Origin
of Dryden's Medal.

FN 52 Guardian, No. 67.

FN 53 There is abundant proof that William, though a very
affectionate, was not always a polite husband. But no credit is
due to the story contained in the letter which Dalrymple was
foolish enough to publish as Nottingham's in 1773, and wise
enough to omit in the edition of 1790. How any person who knew
any thing of the history of those times could be so strangely
deceived, it is not easy to understand particularly as the
handwriting bears no resemblance to Nottingham's, with which
Dalrymple was familiar. The letter is evidently a common
newsletter, written by a scribbler, who had never seen the King
and Queen except at some public place, and whose anecdotes of
their private life rested on no better authority than coffeehouse

FN 54 Ronquillo; Burnet, ii. 2.; Duchess of Marlborough's
Vindication. In a pastoral dialogue between Philander and
Palaemon, published in 1691, the dislike with which women of
fashion regarded William is mentioned. Philander says

"But man methinks his reason should recall,
Nor let frail woman work his second fall."

FN 55 Tutchin's Observator of November 16. 1706.

FN 56 Prior, who was treated by William with much kindness, and
who was very grateful for it, informs us that the King did not
understand poetical eulogy. The passage is in a highly curious
manuscript, the property of Lord Lansdowne.

FN 57 Memoires originaux sur le regne et la cour de Frederic I,
Roi de Prusse, ecrits par Christophe Comte de Dohna. Berlin,
1833. It is strange that this interesting volume should be almost
unknown in England. The only copy that I have ever seen of it was
kindly given to me by Sir Robert Adair. "Le Roi," Dohna says,
"avoit une autre qualite tres estimable, qui est celle de n'aimer
point qu'on rendit de mauvais offices a personne par des
railleries." The Marquis de La Fork tried to entertain His
Majesty at the expense of an English nobleman. "Ce prince," says
Dohna "prit son air severe, et, le regardant sans mot dire, lui
fit rentrer les paroles dans le ventre. Le Marquis m'en fit ses
plaintes quelques heures apres. 'J'ai mal pris ma bisque,' dit-
il; 'j'ai cru faire l'agreable sur le chapitre de Milord . . mais
j'ai trouva a qui parler, et j'ai attrape un regard du roi qui
m'a fait passer l'envie de tire.'" Dohna supposed that William
might be less sensitive about the character of a Frenchman, and
tried the experiment. But, says he, "j'eus a pert pres le meme
sort que M. de la Foret."

FN 58 Compare the account of Mary by the Whig Burnet with the
mention of her by the Tory Evelyn in his Diary, March 8. 1694/5,
and with what is said of her by the Nonjuror who wrote the Letter
to Archbishop Tennison on her death in 1695. The impression which
the bluntness and reserve of William and the grace and gentleness
of Mary had made on the populace may be traced in the remains of
the street poetry of that time. The following conjugal dialogue
may still be seen on the original broadside.

"Then bespoke Mary, our most royal Queen,
'My gracious king William, where are you going?'
He answered her quickly, 'I count him no man
That telleth his secret unto a woman.'
The Queen with a modest behaviour replied,
'I wish that kind Providence may be thy guide,
To keep thee from danger, my sovereign Lord,
He which will the greatest of comfort afford.'"

These lines are in an excellent collection formed by Mr. Richard
Heber, and now the property of Mr. Broderip, by whom it was
kindly lent to me; in one of the most savage Jacobite pasquinades
of 1689, William is described as

"A churle to his wife, which she makes but a jest."

FN 59 Burnet, ii. 2.; Burnet, MS. Harl. 6484. But Ronquillo's
account is much more circumstantial. "Nada se ha visto mas
desfigurado; y, quantas veces he estado con el, le he visto toser
tanto que se le saltaban las lagrimas, y se ponia moxado y
arrancando; y confiesan los medicos que es una asma incurable,"
Mar. 8/18 1689. Avaux wrote to the same effect from Ireland. "La
sante de l'usurpateur est fort mauvaise. L'on ne croit pas qu'il
vive un an." April 8/18.

FN 60 "Hasta decir los mismos Hollandeses que lo desconozcan,"
says Ronquillo. "Il est absolument mal propre pour le role qu'il
a a jouer a l'heure qu'il est," says Avaux. "Slothful and
sickly," says Evelyn. March 29. 1689.

FN 61 See Harris's description of Loo, 1699.

FN 62 Every person who is well acquainted with Pope and Addison
will remember their sarcasms on this taste. Lady Mary Wortley
Montague took the other side. "Old China," she says, "is below
nobody's taste, since it has been the Duke of Argyle's, whose
understanding has never been doubted either by his friends or

FN 63 As to the works at Hampton Court, see Evelyn's Diary, July
16. 1689; the Tour through Great Britain, 1724; the British
Apelles; Horace Walpole on Modern Gardening; Burnet, ii. 2, 3.

FN When Evelyn was at Hampton Court, in 1662, the cartoons were
not to be seen. The Triumphs of Andrea Mantegna were then
supposed to be the finest pictures in the palace.

FN 64 Burnet, ii. 2.; Reresby's Memoirs. Ronquillo wrote
repeatedly to the same effect. For example, "Bien quisiera que el
Rey fuese mas comunicable, y se acomodase un poco mas al humor
sociable de los Ingleses, y que estubiera en Londres: pero es
cierto que sus achaques no se lo permiten." July 8/18 1689.
Avaux, about the same time, wrote thus to Croissy from Ireland:
"Le Prince d'Orange est toujours a Hampton Court, et jamais a la
ville: et le peuple est fort mal satisfait de cette maniere
bizarre et retiree."

FN 65 Several of his letters to Heinsius are dated from Holland

FN 66 Narcissus Luttrell's Diary; Evelyn's Diary, Feb. 25

FN 67 De Foe makes this excuse for William

"We blame the King that he relies too much
On strangers, Germans, Huguenots, and Dutch,
And seldom does his great affairs of state
To English counsellors communicate.
The fact might very well be answered thus,
He has too often been betrayed by us.
He must have been a madman to rely
On English gentlemen's fidelity.
The foreigners have faithfully obeyed him,
And none but Englishmen have e'er betrayed him."

The True Born Englishman, Part ii.

FN 68 Ronquillo had the good sense and justice to make allowances
which the English did not make. After describing, in a despatch
dated March 1/11. 1689, the lamentable state of the military and
naval establishments, he says, "De esto no tiene culpa el
Principe de Oranges; porque pensar que se han de poder volver en
dos meses tres Reynos de abaxo arriba es una extravagancia." Lord
President Stair, in a letter written from London about a month
later, says that the delays of the English administration had
lowered the King's reputation, "though without his fault."

FN 69 Burnet, ii. 4.; Reresby.

FN 70 Reresby's Memoirs; Burnet MS. Hart. 6584.

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