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his own illegitimacy; and then the ftern tyrant af fured him, that his crime was of fuch a nature, as could not be pardoned. The duke perceiving that he had nothing to hope from the clemency of his uncle, recollected his fpirits, rofe up, and retired with an air of difdain. He was followed to the fcaffold, with great compaffion from the populace. He warned the executioner not to fall into the fame error which he had committed in beheading Ruffel, where it had been neceffary to redouble the blow. But this only encreafed the feverity of his punishment, the man was feized with an univerfal trepidation; and he ftruck a feeble blow, upon which the duke raifed his head from the block, as if to reproach him; he gently laid down his head a fecond time, and the executioner ftruck him again and again to no purpose. He at laft threw the ax down; but the theriff compelled him to resume the attempt, and at two blows more the hed was fevered from the body. Such was the Tames duke of Monmouth, the darling of fh people. He was brave, fincere, and red, open to flattery, and by that feduced terprize which exceeded his capacity. or the infurgents, and fortue blood that was now fhed icient expiation for the late us army behaved with the the prifoners taken after the mediately after the victory ty prifoners, and was prons, when the bifhop of Bath im that thefe unhappy men tled to trial, and that their emed a real murder. Nineath in the fame manner at nel Kirke, a man of a favage n. This vile fellow, practifed A 5
in the arts of flaughter at Tangiers, where he fer-
But the military feverities of the commanders were ftill inferior to the legal flaughters, committed by judge Jefferies who was fent down to try the delinquents. The natural brutality of this man's temper was enflamed by continual intoxication. He told the prifoners, that if they would fave him the trouble of trying them they might expect fome favour, otherwife he would execute the law upon them with the utmost severity. Many poor wretches were thus allured into a confeffion, and found that it only haftened their deftruction. No lefs than eighty were executed at Dorchefter: and, on the whole, at Exeter, Taunton, and Wells, two hundred and fifty-one are computed to have fallen by the hand of juftice. Women were not exempted from the general feverity, but fuffered for harbouring their neareft kindred. Lady Lifle, though the widow of a regicide, was herfelt a loyalift. She was apprehended for having ineltered in her houfe two fugitives from the battle of
of Sedgemore. She proved that she was ignorant of their crime when he had given them protection, and the jury feemed inclined to compaffion: they twice brought in a favourable verdict; but they were as often fent back by Jefferies, with menaces and reproaches, and at laft were conftrained to give a verdict against the prisoner.
But the fate of Mrs. Gaunt was ftill more terrible. Mrs. Gaunt was an Anabaptift, noted for her beneficence, which fhe had extended to perfons of all profeffions and perfuafions. One of the rebels, knowing her humane character, had recourse to her in his diftrefs, and was concealed by her. The abandoned villain hearing that a reward and indemnity was offered to fuch as informed against crimi nals, came in, and betrayed his protectrefs. His evidence was inconteftible; the proofs were ftrong; against her; he was pardoned for his treachery,, and the burnt alive for her benevolence.
The work of flaughter went forward. One Cor-nish, a sheriff who had been long obnoxious to the court, was accufed by Goodenough, now turned a common informer, and in the pace of a week was tried, condemned, and executed. After his death, the perjury of the witneffes appeared fo Aagrant, that the king himself expreffed fome regret, granted his eftate to the family, and condemned the witneffes to perpetual imprisonment. Jefferies, on his return was immediately created a peer, and was foon after vefted with the dignity of chancellor. This fhewed the people that all the former cruelties were picafing to the king, and that he was refolved to fix his throne upon feve-rity.
It was not to be fuppofed that thefe flaughters could acquire the king the love or the confidence of his people; yet he thought this a very favourable juncture for carrying on his schemes of religion ̧ and
and arbitrary power. Such attempts in Charles, however unjust, were in fome measure politic, as he had a republican faction to contend with; and it might have been prudent then to overstep juftice, in order to obtain fecurity. But the fame defigns in James, were as imprudent as they were impracticable; the republicans were then diminifhed to an inconfiderable number, and the people were fenfible of the advantages of a limited monarchy. However, James began to throw off the mafk; and in the houfe of commons, by his fpeech, he feemed to think himself exempted from all rules of prudence or neceffity of diffimulation. He told the house, that the militia were found by experience to be of no ufe; that it was neceflary to augment the standing army; and that he had employed a great many catholic officers, in whofe favour he had thought proper to difpenfe with the teft, required to be taken by all entrusted by the crown: he found them useful, he raid, and he was determined to keep them employed. These ftretches of power naturally led the lords and commons into fome degree of oppofition; but they foon acquiefced in the king's meafures, and then the parliament was diffolved for their tardy compliance. This was happy for the nation, for it was perhaps impoffible to pick out another house of commons, that could be more ready to acquiefce in the measures of the crown. The parliament being difiniffed, the A. D. next step was to fecure a catholic interest 1686. in the privy council. Accordingly four catholic lords were admitted; Powis, Arundel, Belafis, and Dover. The king made no fecret of his defires to have his courtiers converted to his own religion; Sunderland, who faw that the only way to preferment was by popery, fcrupled not to gain favour at that price. Kochefter, the treasurer, was