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that justice could inflict. He avowed his innocence, called heaven to witness 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 stain upon them that he was firft believed, it is a stain upon them that he was careffed, that he was tyrannically punished, and that he was afterwards rewarded.
Monmouth, who had been, fince his laft confpiracy, pardoned, but ordered to depart the kingdom, had retired to Holland. Being difmiffed from thence by the prince of Orange upon James's acceffion, he went to Bruffels, where finding himself still pursued by the king's severity, he refolved to retaliate, and make an attempt upon the kingdom. He had ever been the darling of the people, and fome averred that Charles had married his mother, and owned Monmouth's legitimacy at his death. The duke of Argyle feconded his views in B 3 Scotland,
Scotland, and they formed the fcheme of a double infurrection; so that while Monmouth fhould attempt to make a rifing in the Weft, Argyle was alfo to try his endeavours in the North.
Argyle was the first who landed in Scotland, where he published his manifeftoes, put himfelf at the head of two thousand five hundred
A.D.1685. men, and ftrove to influence the people in his
caufe. But a formidable body of the king's forces coming against him, his army fell away, and he himself, after being wounded in attempting to escape, was taken prifoner by a peasant, who found him ftanding up to his neck in a pool of water. He was from thence carried to Edinburgh, where, after enduring many indignities with a gallant fpirit, he was publicly executed.
The fate of Argyle was but a bad encouragement to the unfortunate Monmouth, who was by this time landed in Dorsetshire, with fcarce an hundred followers. However his name was fo popular, and fo great was the hatred of the people both for the perfon and religion of James, that in four days he had affembled a body of above two thousand men. They were indeed all of them the lowest of the people, and his declarations were fuited entirely
entirely to their prejudices. He called the king the duke of York, and denominated him a traitor, a tyrant, a murderer, and a popish ufurper. He imputed to him the fire of London, the murder of Godfrey and Effex, and even the poisoning the late king.
The parliament was no fooner informed of Monmouth's landing, than they prefented an addrefs to the king, affuring him of their loyalty, zeal, and affiftance. The duke of Albemarle, raifing a body of four thousand militia, advanced, in order to block him up in Lyme; but finding his foldiers difaffected to the king, he foon after retreated with precipitation.
In the mean time the duke advanced to Taunton, where he was reinforced by confiderable numbers. Twenty young maids of fome rank presented Monmouth with a pair of colours, their handywork, together with a copy of the Bible. There he affumed the title of king, and was proclaimed with great folemnity. His numbers had now encreased to fix thousand men; and he was obliged every day, for want of arms, to difmifs numbers, who crowded to his standard. He entered Bridgewater, Wells, and Frome, and was proclaimed in all thofe places; but he loft the hour of action, in receiving and claiming thefe empty honours. B 4
The king was not a little alarmed at his invafion; but ftill more at the fuccefs of an undertaking, that at first appeared defperate. Six regiments of British troops were called over from Holland, and a body of regulars to the number of three thousand men, were fent under the command of the earl of Feverfham and Churchill, to check the progress of the rebels. They took poft at Sedgemore, a village in the neighbourhood of Bridgewater, and were joined by the militia of the country in confiderable numbers. It was there that Monmouth refolved, by a defperate effort, to lofe his life or gain the kingdom. The negligent difpofition made by Feverfham invited him to the attack; and his faithful followers fhewed what courage and principle could do against disciplíne and fuperior numbers. They drove the royal infantry from their ground, and were upon the point of gaining the victory, when the mifconduct of Monmouth, and the cowardice of lord Gray, who commanded the horse, brought all to ruin. This nobleman fied at the firft onfet; and the rebels being charged in flank by the victorious army, gave way after a three hours contest. About three hundred were killed in the engagement, and a thousand in the purfuit; and thus ended an enterprize, rafhly begun, and more feebly conducted.
Monmouth fled from the field of battle above twenty miles, till his horfe funk under him. He then alighted, and exchanging cloaths with a fhepherd, fled on foot, attended by a German count, who had accompanied him from Holland. Being quite exhaufted with hunger and fatigue, they both lay down in a field, and covered themselves with fern. The fhepherd being found in Monmouth's cloaths by the purfuers, encreased the diligence of the search; and, by the means of blood hounds, he was detected in his miferable fituation, with raw pease in his pocket, which he had gathered in the fields to fuftain life. He burft into tears when feized by his enemies; and petitioned, with the most abject fubmiffion, for life. He wrote the most fubmiffive letters to the king; and that monarch, willing to feast his eyes with the miseries of a fallen enemy, gave him an audience. At this interview the duke fell upon his knees, and begged his life in the most abject terms. He even figned a paper, offered him by the king, declaring his own illegitimacy; and then the ftern tyrant affured 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, rose up, and