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Prelacy; but he had no success, and was very soon taken prisoner and put to death. But when King James, alarmed at the news that the Prince of Orange was coming, withdrew his troops from Scotland, the Covenanters rose up in arms, proclaimed William king at Glasgow and other towns in the west, and drove the episcopal ministers from their homes with brutal violence. Dundee, and some others amongst the chief men, especially in the Highlands, were ready to fight for King James, but they were few in number compared with those who wished to put an end to his government.
On the 11th April, 1685, the Scottish Parliament offered the crown of Scotland to William and Mary, and, at the same time, declared Prelacy to be unlawful. Presbyterianism now became the established religion in Scotland, and has continued so ever since.
Dundee, in the meantime, was raising a small body of Highlanders, and with these he advanced to meet William's troops; but on the 27th June he was mortally wounded while fighting gallantly at the Pass of Killiecrankie. He had gained the victory before he fell, but after his death there was no one in Scotland capable of upholding the cause of James; although many of the Highland clans remained faithfully attached to him and his descendants for the next sixty years: William therefore retained undisturbed possession of the crown.
In Ireland James had done everything he could to depress the Protestants, who were most of them descended from English settlers, and were by far the most industrious, civilized, and wealthy members of
SIEGE OF LONDONDERRY.
the community. There had not been much good feeling between the settlers and the men of Irish race before James came to the throne; but the enmity was rendered much more bitter and deadly by his misgovernment. He sent to Ireland as governor Lord Tyrconnel, a very bad, violent man, inspired with a furious zeal for popery. Tyrconnel turned all the Protestant soldiers out of the Irish army, dismissed the Protestant magistrates, and disarmed the Protestant militia: at the same time he armed all the popish peasantry.
In those days, the native Irish peasantry were as savage as the tribes of South Africa are now; they began to wander about the country, slaying the sheep and cattle by thousands, insulting, robbing, and murdering the Protestant inhabitants, who found themselves, unarmed and defenceless, at the mercy of a horde of barbarians. Very many of them abandoned their houses and lands, and took refuge in England: others repaired to Londonderry and Enniskillen, where the Protestants of the north of Ireland were preparing to fight to the last in defence of their families and their religion.
Tyrconnel had endeavoured to garrison Londonderry for King James; but, at the moment when the troops approached, thirteen young apprentices flew to the gates of the city, raised the drawbridge, and shut them out. The siege which followed is the most famous in the history of Ireland. In addition to its usual inhabitants, Londonderry was crowded with fugitives: and there was hardly any food in the city. It was closely blockaded for three months, so that no relief could enter, and those who died by famine were
very many more than those who were slain by the besiegers. But the citizens held out resolutely, under the direction of George Walker, an aged clergyman whom they had chosen for their leader. They lived upon tallow and salted hides, and when these were almost all gone, and there seemed no help for them now but to die by hunger or the sword, vessels from England, laden with provisions, broke through the blockade on the river, and Londonderry was saved. The besiegers withdrew in despair, for they could no longer hope to reduce the city by famine, and they knew that troops were coming to relieve it by force of arms.
Enniskillen did not suffer nearly so much, but the inhabitants were equally successful in repelling their assailants, and the resistance made by these towns entirely prevented James from possessing himself of the north of Ireland. He remained in the south until June, 1690, at which time William repaired to Ireland. The two kings encountered one another on the 1st July, at the Boyne, near Drogheda. William was wounded; but the army of James was utterly defeated, and he fled in haste from the field. Two days afterwards, he sailed for France, and never again returned either to Ireland or to Great Britain.
BATTLE OF BEACHY HEAD.
BATTLE OF BEACHY HEAD. CONCLUSION OF THE WAR IN IRELAND, OCTOBER, 1691.- VICTORY OF LA HOGUE, MAY, 1692.-DEATH OF QUEEN MARY, DECEMBER, 1694.-GREENWICH HOSPITAL.-THE NATIONAL DEBT.-PEACE OF RYSWICK, SEPTEMBER, 1697.-DEATH OF WILLIAM IIL, MARCH, 1702.-WHIGS AND TORIES.-GLENCOE.
(From 1690 to 1702.)
On the day before the battle of the Boyne, there had been an action in the English Channel which filled England with shame and vexation. A large French fleet, commanded by Admiral Tourville, entered the Channel, where was stationed the Dutch and English fleet under command of Torrington. Torrington had not so many vessels as Tourville, and did not choose to encounter him; and even when Queen Mary and the council sent him positive orders to give battle, he contrived to leave almost all the fighting to the Dutch, who maintained the action gallantly for many hours, till their ships were so much damaged that they could hardly keep afloat. Then Torrington fled into the Thames, leaving Tourville to range the Channel unmolested. This disgraceful action was called the Battle of Beachy Head. Tourville threatened to make a descent on the south coast, but at the thought of the French landing in England, men of all ranks rose up, eager to take arms and be led against them, and the French admiral ventured no further than to burn Teignmouth. It was a very poor little fishing town then, and not at all worth the trouble of attacking; but Tourville burnt the boats and cottages and sacked the church, and then the great French fleet sailed away.
The war in Ireland was not quite at an end yet; some towns, defended by French and Irish troops, held out till the autumn of the following year; Limerick was the last, it surrendered in October, 1691. From that time the Protestants in Ireland had the government in their own hands, and they made very severe laws to keep down the papists. So, year after year, the ill-will between Protestant and Papist continued, though it no more broke out in open war.
In the year 1692, there was a great battle at sea. The King of France had prepared a noble fleet and army to invade England, and restore James to the throne; James had come down to the coast, ready to embark, the troops were getting on board, and Tourville was there with forty-four men-of-war to convoy them to the English shore, when, on the morning of the 19th May, the combined fleets of England and Holland were seen covering all the sea to the eastward. Then began the battle of Cape La Hogue. It raged furiously for many hours, till the French ships were obliged to flee as best they could, and take refuge some in one harbour, some in another. Thither the English pursued them, and renewed the fight on four successive days, till the French fleet was destroyed.
This battle caused great joy in England; so complete a victory had not been won for many years; and the nation felt safe from all danger of invasion now. William was absent; but Queen Mary, in the midst of the general joy, was much distressed, because there was no proper place where the wounded sailors, who had fought so bravely, could be taken