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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 encreased the severity of his punishment, the man was feized with an univerfal trepidation; and he struck a feeble blow, upon which the duke raised his head from the block, as if to reproach him; he gently laid down his head a second time, and the executioner struck him again and again to no purpofe. He at last threw the ax down; but the fheriff compelled him to refume the attempt, and at two blows more the head was fevered from the body. Such was the end of James, duke of Monmouth, the darling of the English people. He, was brave, fincere, and good natured, open to flattery and by that feduced into an enterprize, which exceded his capacity.

But it were well for the infurgents, and fortunate for the king, if the blood that was now shed had been thought a fufficient expiation for the late offence. The victorious army behaved with the most favage cruelty to the prifoners taken after the battle. Feverfham immediately after the victory hanged up above twenty prisoners; and was proceeding in his


executions, when the bishop of Bath and Wells warned him that these unhappy men were now by law entitled to trial, and that their execution would be deemed a real murther. Nineteen were put to death in the same manner at Bridgewater, by colonel Kirke, a man of a favage and bloody difpofition. This vile fellow, practised in the arts of slaughter at Tangier, where he ferved in garrison, took a pleafure in committing inftances of wanton barbarity. He ordered a certain number to be put to death, while he and his company were drinking the king's health. Obferving their feet to shake in the agonies of death, he cried that they should have mufic to their dancing, and ordered the trumpets to found. He ravaged the whole country, without making any diftinction between friend or foe. His own regiment, for their peculiar barbarity, went by the name of Kirke's Lambs. A ftory is told of his offering a young woman the life of her brother, in cafe fhe confented to his defires, which, when he had done, he fhewed her her brother hanging out of the window. But this is told of feveral others, who have been notorious for cruelty, and may be the tale of malignity.

But the military severities of the commanders were still 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, otherwise he would execute the law upon them with the utmoft feverity. Many poor wretches were thus allured into a confeffion, and found that it only haftened their deftruction. No less than eighty were executed at Dorchefter; and, on the whole, at Exeter, Taunton, and Wells, two hundred and fiftyone are computed to have fallen by the hand of juftice. Women were not exempted from the general feverity, but fuffered for harbouring their nearest kindred. Lady Lifle, though the widow of a regicide, was herself a loyalist. She was apprehended for having sheltered in her house two fugitives from the battle 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



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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 distress, and was concealed by her. The abandoned villain hearing that a reward and indemnity was offered to fuch as informed againft criminals, came in, and betrayed his protectrefs. His evidence was inconteftible; the proofs were strong against her; he was pardoned for his treachery, and fhe burned alive for her benevolence.

The work of flaughter went forward. One Cornish, a sheriff, who had been long obnoxious to the court, was accused by Goodenough, now turned a common informer, and in the fpace of a week was tried, condemned, and executed. After his death, the perjury of the witneffes appeared fo flagrant, 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 soon after vefted with the dignity of chancellor. This fhewed the people that all the former cuelties were pleafing to the king, and that he was refolved to fix his throne upon feverity.


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It was not to be supposed that these 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 fchemes of religion 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 diminished 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 house 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 use; that it was neceffary to augment the standing army; and that he had employed a great many catholic officers, in whose favour he had thought proper to dif pense with the test, required to be taken by all entrusted by the crown: he found them useful, he faid, and he was determined to keep them employed. These stretches of power natural


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