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THE

TORY

OF

ENGLAND.

CHAP. I.

JAMES II.

A. D.

1685.

HE duke of York, who fucceeded his brother by the title of king James the fecond, had been bred a papift by his mother, and was ftrictly bigoted to his principles. It is the property of that religion almost ever to contract the sphere of the understanding; and until people are in fome measure difengaged from its prejudices, it is impoffible to lay a juft claim to extenfive views, or confiftency of defign. The intellects of this prince were naturally weak; and the education he had received rendered them till more feeble. He therefore conceived the impracticable project of reigning in the arbitrary manner of his predeceffor, and of changing the established religion of his country, at a time when his perfon was hated, and the eftablifhed religion paffionately loved. The people, though they defpifed the adminiftration of his predeceffor, yet loved the king. They were willing to bear with the faults of one, whofe whole behaviour was a continued inftance of affability; but A 2

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they were by no means willing to grant the fame indulgence to James, as they knew him to be gloomy, proud, bigoted, and cruel.

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His reign began with acts of imprudence. All the customs and the greater part of the excife, that had been voted to the late king for his life only, were levied by James, without a new act for that purpofe. He likewife went openly to mass with all the enfigns of his dignity; and even fent one Caryl as his agent to Rome to make fubmiffions to the pope, and to pave the way for the readmiffion of England into the bofom of the catholic church. These were but inaufpicious symptoms in the very beginning of his reign; but the progrefs no way fell short of the commencement.

He had, long before the commencement of his reign, had an intrigue with one Mrs. Sedley, whom he afterwards created countess of Dorchefter; but being now told that as he was to convert his people the fanctity of his manners ought to correfpond with his profeffions, Mrs. Sedley was difcarded, and he refigned himself up to the advice of the queen, who was as much governed by priests as he. From the fuggeftions of thefe men, and particularly the jefuits, all measures were taken. One day, when the Spanish ambassador ventured to advife his majefty against placing too much confidence in fuch kind of people, " Is it not the cuf "tom in Spain, faid James, for the king to con"fult with his confeffor?" "Yes, anfwered the "ambaffador, and that is the reafon our affairs. "fucceed fo very ill."

But though his actions might ferve to demonftrate his aims, yet his parliament, which was moftly compofed of zealous Tories, were strongly biaffed to comply with all the measures of the

own. They voted unanimously that they would ettle on the prefent king, during life, all the reve

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nue enjoyed by the late king, until the time of his decease. For this favour, James affured them of his refolution to fecure them in the full enjoyment of their laws; but no anfwer could be extorted from him with regard to religion, for that he was fecretly refolved to alter.

To pave the way for his intended converfion of the kingdom, it was neceffary to undeceive them with regard to the late rumour of a popish plot; and Oates, the contriver, was the firft object of royal indignation. He was tried for perjury on two indictments. One, for fwearing that he was prefent at a confultation of Jefuits in London the twenty-fourth of April 1679; and another, for fwearing that father Ireland was in London on the beginning of September of the fame year. He was convicted on the evidence of above two and twenty perfons on the first, and of twenty feven on the latter indictment. His fentence was to pay a fine of a thousand marks on each indictment, to be whipped on two different days from Aldgate to Newgate, and from Newgate to Tyburn. To be imprisoned during life, and to be pilloried five times every year. Oates, long accustomed to a life of infamy and ftruggle, fupported himself under every punishment that juftice could inflict. He avowed his innocence, called heaven to witnefs to his veracity; and he knew that there was a large party that were willing to take his word. Though the whipping was fo cruel, that it appeared evidently the intention of the court to put him to death by that dreadful punishment, yet Oates furvived it all, and lived to king William's reign, when he had a penfion of four hundred pounds a year fettled upon him. Thus Oates remains as a ftain upon the times in every part of his conduct. It is a ftain upon them that he was firft believed, it is a ftain upon them that he was carefled, that he was tyran

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they were by no means willing to grant the fame indulgence to James, as they knew him to be gloomy, proud, bigoted, and cruel.

His reign began with acts of imprudence. All the customs and the greater part of the excife, that had been voted to the late king for his life only, were levied by James, without a new act for that purpose. He likewife went openly to mass with all the enfigns of his dignity; and even fent one Caryl as his agent to Rome to make fubmiffions to the pope, and to pave the way for the readmiffion of England into the bofom of the catholic church. These were but inaufpicious symptoms in the very beginning of his reign; but the progrefs no way fell short of the commencement.

He had, long before the commencement of his reign, had an intrigue with one Mrs. Sedley, whom he afterwards created countess of Dorchefter; but being now told that as he was to convert his people the fanctity of his manners ought to correfpond with his profeffions, Mrs. Sedley was difcarded, and he refigned himself up to the advice of the queen, who was as much governed by priests as he. From the fuggeftions of these men, and particularly the jefuits, all measures were taken. One day, when the Spanish ambassador ventured to advise his majefty against placing too much confidence in fuch kind of people, "Is it not the cuf "tom in Spain, faid James, for the king to con"fult with his confeffor?" " Yes, answered the "ambaffador, and that is the reafon our affairs ** fucceed fo very ill."

But though his actions might ferve to demonftrate his aims, yet his parliament, which was moftly compofed of zealous Tories, were strongly biaffed to comply with all the measures of the

own. They voted unanimously that they would ettle on the prefent king, during life, all the reve

nue

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