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1638, Lord Cottington writes to the Lord Deputy, "Our business of Scotland grows every day worse, so as we are almost certain it will come to a war, and that a defensive one on our side, and how we shall defend ourselves without money is not under my cap. . . . . The king will not hear of a Parliament." On the following 26th of January, Charles sent out a letter, "commanding all the nobles and gentry of England to attend his royal standard at York against the 1st of April, where he was to go to the border to oppose the Scots there." + But the Scots, instead of having a discontented commonalty to impede the exertions of the nobles and gentry, were all firmly banded together, peer and peasant, merchant and mechanic, to maintain a cause which they held to be the cause of God and their country. The whole land was full of military preparation. The nobles headed their forces in every shire. In every great town there were frequent drillings; "every


Tit. higher hill should be on the left

one, man and woman, encouraged their neighbours." The castle of Edinburgh was surprised by Leslie, one who had gained a large experience in the great Protestant war in Germany, and in whom all confided; for, says Baillie, "such was the wisdom and authority of that old, little, crooked soldier, that all, with ane incredible submission, from the beginning to the end, gave over themselves to be guided by him." Dumbarton castle was

* Strafford Letters, vol. ii. p. 246.





seized by the Earl of Argyle. Stirling was held by a Covenanter. Onward marched the king towards York. His army, under the lords Arundel Holland, and Essex, was very insufficient for attack or defence, though formidable enough for the plunder of their countrymen. "As for the forces of England, they failed like the summer brooks; the country was filled with their own grievances." In the same spirit Mrs. Hutchinson writes, "the, commonalty of the nation, being themselves under grievous bondage, were loath to oppose a people that came only to claim their just liberties." Wentworth made prodigious exertions to keep down the Scottish settlers in Ulster; and he sent some Irish to the king's army-" a matter of fifteen hundred ragged Arabians," says Baillie. The marquis of Hamilton sailed into the Frith of Forth; but his forces were quite unequal to subdue or even to awe an armed population; and the Scots appear to have despised his “five thousand land-sojours, taken up in a violent press." The marquis made war upon his countrymen in a merciful way. He fired no shot; and was content with intercepting supplies. His men, closely packed in their small ships, could obtain neither fresh meat nor water, for the shores were closely watched; and the old fortune of the miserable naval enterprises of this reign attended them. Leslie marched towards the border. The king had advanced to Berwick; and from his camp at the English side of the Tweed, saw "through a prospect " [telescope] twelve thousand Scots encamped on DunseLaw; the hill-top crowded with cannon; the gentle hill-sides stirring with experienced musqueteers and "stout young ploughmen and highlanders with their plaids, targes, and dorlachs."+ Before the tent of every captain was a colour bearing the Scottish arms, and a legend, in golden letters, "For Christ's Crown and Covenant." The camp was full of the kirkministers; and the soldiers were encouraged, not only by the presence of their nobles, but by "the good sermons and prayers, morning and even under the roof of heaven, to which their drums did call them for bells." The armies had looked upon each other, and certainly the English commanders had very substantial reasons for not risking a battle. A small body of the royal cavalry had fled before a smaller body of Scots. Some advances to pacification were made from the Scottish side. On the 6th of June, the earl of Dunfermline was sent to the royal camp with a petition that a meeting might be held between a few worthy men of each kingdom to settle the points in dispute. Charles returned an answer signed by his Secretary. The Covenanters required an answer under his own hand; and the signature was given, assenting to the proposal. On the 11th of June, the Scottish deputies-consisting of four nobles, with Alexander Henderson, Moderator of the General Assembly, and the Clerk-Register of that body, arrived in the camp. The king appointed his Commissioners; but during the proceedings he suddenly appeared amongst the negociators. His lofty tone, however, did not prevent a pacification being concluded on the 18th of June. The articles were very loosely expressed; and it soon became clear that the peace was a hollow one. Charles returned to London on the 1st of August. The Scottish army was disbanded. The fortresses were restored to the officers appointed by the Crown. But the conditions of

* Baillie.

Ibid. p. 212-13.





the Covenant were inflexibly maintained in the General Assembly, and in the Parliament which met in August. Moreover, that Parliament demanded privileges which appeared to weaken the royal authority; and the king's Commissioners decided upon its prorogation. The members held that such prorogation was illegal without their own consent. On either side of the border the note of preparation for war was again heard.

Lowered in the eyes of his English subjects by the pacification of Berwick; the prestige of eleven years' pretensions to absolute power dissipated; without financial resources for military purposes, unless new exactions had been attempted, besides the old demands,-Charles at length summoned an English Parliament. It met on the 13th of April, 1640; it was dissolved on the 5th of May. In this Session of three weeks the great question of grievances preceding supplies was renewed with a vigour proportionate to the invasions of public liberty since 1629. But there was a moderation in the language of the Commons which was perhaps the best evidence of the steadiness of their resolves. The king demanded twelve subsidies in three years-a sum equivalent to about 840,0007.; and he offered to relinquish ship-money, which was estimated to produce 200,0007. a year. The Commons would hear of no compromise of such a nature. Ship-money was the opprobrium of the government; the Crown had claimed the right of taxation independent of the Commons; the people had been unconstitutionally taxed; the judgment of the Courts must be annulled, and the judges punished. The Commons would then enter upon the business of Supplies. The table of the House was covered with petitions against the abuses of the State and of the Church. The clouds were gathering all around; and the king thought to avert the tempest by dissolving the Parliament. The Convocation of the Clergy continued to sit; and large assistance was voted to the king. In that assembly Canons were framed which were well calculated to render the government of the Church more and more odious. No Englishman of sense, and especially no honest Puritan, would sanction the attack upon Laud's palace åt Lambeth on the 11th of May. But they would regard his Canons, which preached passive obedience to the divine right of kings and subjected Protestant dissentients to the same penalties as Popish recusants, as an offence against the ancient liberties of Englishmen. Many of the Clergy would look forward to the time when this new yoke should be shaken off, by which the tenure of their livings was made to depend upon taking an oath offensive to their consciences-the et cætera oath as it was called. Meanwhile, members of the Commons were again imprisoned. Shipmoney was more rigorously enforced. Citizens were punished for refusing a loan. The counties were subjected to novel charges for the troops that were levied for another Scottish campaign. On the 4th of June, a month after the dissolution of Parliament, the earl of Northumberland, a courtier, said in a letter, "It is impossible that things can long continue in the condition they are now in; so general a defection in this kingdom hath not been known in the memory of any."*

The contest between the king and Scotland-we cannot call it a contest between England and Scotland-had for some time assumed the character of

* "Sidney Papers," quoted by Mr. Hallam.


a war.



Trade with Scotland had been prohibited. The English cruisers seized Scottish merchant-ships. In March and April levies had been called out by the Covenanters. On the 2nd of June, the Parliament met in Edinburgh, and put forth manifestoes which were of more effect than the royal proclamations denouncing the Scots as rebels and traitors. The Parliament imposed levies, which were not, however, very promptly paid. They formed a Committee of Estates which held the executive power of the realm. It was resolved to march to England with a petition, supported by an army of twenty-five thousand men. On the 20th of August they crossed the Tweed at Coldstream, wading through the river. Montrose, afterwards so prominent in another cause, was the first to pass the river on foot. They marched at leisure through Northumberland. Lord Conway, the English general of the horse, had been in cantonments between the Tweed and the Tyne since the end of July. On the day that Leslie crossed the Tweed, Charles, having received news of the advance of this great army, hastily left London for York. He called all the tenants of the Crown to his standard. He offered by proclamation to forgive the Scots, if they would crave pardon for the past as penitent delinquents. Strafford had raised troops in Ireland that had joined the king's forces. Altogether twenty thousand men were in arms under the royal standard. There was no zeal in this army. There was little discipline. The courtiers, "merry lads," as Sir Philip Warwick names some of them, with a ready loyalty made no inquiry as to the principle of the war. The common soldiers "questioned in a mutinous manner whether their captains were papists or not," and uttered "in bold speeches their distaste of the cause, to the astonishment of many, that common soldiers should be sensible of public interest and religion, when lords and gentlemen seemed not to be." * The queen had recommended the Roman Catholics to make contributions to carry on the war against the Scottish Covenanters, and “with more noise and vanity than prudence admitted, they had made public collections of money to a considerable sum."+ To oppose the old campaigner Leslie, a man of many battles, was selected lord Conway,-one who had seen some service, such as it was, but who is described by Clarendon as "a voluptuous man in eating and drinking, and of great license in all other excesses;' and who was said by sir P. Warwick to "lay under some reflection since the action of the Isle of Rhé." Strafford (Wentworth was now earl of Strafford) was to have taken the command; but sickness prevented him from joining the army till after it had sustained a perilous defeat, in what Clarendon terms "that infamous irreparable rout at Newburn." On the 27th of August, the Scots had reached the left bank of the Tyne about five miles above Newcastle, and on that night their camp fires blazed with the coal of the adjacent pits. The next day they occupied the town of Newburn. There appears to have been little disposition to come to an engagement; and the Scots had made some English welcome who visited their camp. But one of their officers having been killed by a shot from the opposite bank of the river, the artillery on both sides opened their fire. At low water two Scottish regiments crossed the Tyne. The English horse fled, and the whole army moved in great disorder to Newcastle. There was only one effort made

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by a gallant few to oppose the passage of the Scots across the river. Newcastle was itself abandoned at midnight. On the morrow, writes Baillie, "Newcastle was rendered to us; the soldiers and chief citizens had fled out of it in great haste." There they found stores of provisions and of arms. In Scotland, the Covenanters were equally successful; and Dumbarton, "questionless the strongest place in Britain," capitulated. The castle of Edinburgh also surrendered to Argyle. The king was coming on and had reached Allerton, when he heard of the rout of Newburn; and he returned to York. Newcastle was put by the Scots under contribution; and there they quietly sat down whilst some attempts were made for a pacification.

After these occurrences, the king, having adopted what Clarendon calls "a new invention," or rather "so old that it had not been practised in some hundreds of years," called a Great Council of Peers to attend him at York on the 24th of September. The first decision of the Council was to appoint a Commission of sixteen Peers to treat with the Scots at Ripon. After various vain attempts to come to a final understanding, a cessation of arms, for two months, was agreed to, on the 26th of October, that the demands of the Covenanters might be discussed in London by the Commissioners. It had become known that the king had proposed to the peers again to summon a Parliament. During this cessation of arms the Scottish army was to be maintained by a payment of 8501. per day. The Parliament was to meet at Westminster on the 3rd of November.

For the fifth time during the reign of Charles the people are looking to a Parliament, that should establish the just distinctions between an absolute monarchy and a free monarchy. The barriers between Liberty and Despotism had been rudely thrown down. It is no vain difference about a theory. It is a vital question which has come home to every man. There is no falling off in the popular sentiment as to the character of those who have contended in former parliaments against the insolent claims of prerogative. These men are returned for county and borough, without a doubt that they have pursued the right course. A very short time had been given between the issue of the writs and the elections ;-an advantage to the court party. Yet the elections had so completely gone against that party, that Clarendon says the House was packed by decisions upon controverted returns. This is one of the loose assertions of that historian, for there were only eight returns that were contested. He says also, "There was observed a marvellous elated countenance in many of the members of parliament before they met together in the house; the same men, who, six months before, were observed to be of very moderate tempers, and to wish that gentle remedies might be applied." Thus, in this dreary November season, have the Peers, and five hundred and six members of the House of Commons, come up from every shire and borough, to take their sides in the great battle for constitutional rights and liberty of conscience. Travelling in those wintry days to parliament was costly and not very agreeable. Principal Baillie, who was to go to Westminster from Newcastle on the Covenant business, with a safe conduct under the Great Seal, was eight days on the road; and on the eighth day he came from Ware to London, "all well, horse and men, as we could wish; divers merchants and their servants with us, on little nags.' The whole journey was perilous in his eyes: "The way extremely foul and deep, the

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