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character and as mischievous in its tendency. Three peers of the moderate party, the Earls of Holland, Bedford, and Clare, dissatisfied with the preponderance of the violent faction in the Commons, left Westminster, and came into the King's quarters (August); but they met with such ungenerous treatment that, although they fought in the royal army at Newbury, they found their position intolerably ignominious, and they returned certain to Westminster, after three months, with many expressions to the King, of repentance, and strong testimonies to the evil counsels but return. of Oxford. It was plain, after this, that any event of the war would fail to restore the blessings of peace and repose to the country, and that reconciliation between the King and parliament was simply impossible.*

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The royal proclamation against the parliament at once re-established union between the two houses, and on the 5th of July they voted in concert that commissioners should proceed to Scotland, to request their brethren in that country to send an army to the succour of the Protestants in England, in danger of falling Renewed under the yoke of the Papists. It was also resolved to energy of hold no negotiations with the King until he withdrew his Commons. proclamation. Entire union now appeared to reign among all parties in the capital; Essex's army was reinforced and fully equipped; Waller was publicly thanked for his courage, and treated with honour, notwithstanding his reverses; a new army was ordered to be raised in the eastern counties, under the command of Lord Manchester, with Cromwell as lieutent-general (July 22nd); Hotham was arrested at Hull before he had time to surrender that fortress, and brought to the Tower (June), and Lord Fairfax was appointed to his command. Everything that the parliament did, proved that they were resolved not to be defeated, and the citizens worked at the fortifications of London with the utmost enthusiasm. Yet the dangers which threatened the parliament still increased; the King's successes augmented in every direction; the commissioners named by the peers to go to Scotland refused, so that the four named by the Commons, Vane being one, had to go alone, and they could only go by sea, the roads in the north not being safe, and Fairfax not strong enough to give them an escort. In the meantime, the King published a milder proclamation, and on the 4th of August the Lords sent six resolutions to the Commons, to form the basis of a new treaty, declaring, in a haughty tone, that it was time to put an end to the calamities of the country. The Commons, on a * Hallam, I., 578-9.


division of 94 to 65, determined to take these resolutions into consideration, but the lord mayor, Pennington, whom the King had excluded from all pardon, procured an address from the common council against peace, and, backed by a tumultuous mob, a small majority was obtained against concurring with the other house. A few days after this, another mob, chiefly composed of women, endeavoured to turn the tables by similar violence; but the military were ordered out against them, and several were killed and wounded. It was in consequence of these intestine animosities that the lords above mentioned, as well as many of the Commons, went over to the King.

54. The relief of Gloucester, and the battle of Newbury. The war party, now victorious, proceeded with new vigour in their military preparations; and Essex, having had his army increased to 14,000 men, advanced, by forced marches, to Gloucester (August 24th), which the King had been closely blockading for the last fortnight. This city was the only place remaining to the parliament in the west; and the possession of it by the Royalists, would have enabled their south-western, northern, and eastern forces to communicate. But the sound of Essex's cannon broke upon them with surprise; they had been entirely ignorant of his approach, so rapidly had he marched; and they at once retired from the siege, determined to dispute his return to London. After relieving Gloucester, however, he turned aside to Tewkesbury, and made demonstrations as if he would advance to Worcester. By a forced march he then turned towards Cirencester, which fell into his hands; and, after sustaining a severe attack from Rupert's horse near Hungerford, he arrived at Newbury, where, to his surprise, he found the enemy occupying the town and neighbouring heights, and the road to London barred against him. An action was now unavoidable; and next morning (September 20th), at daybreak, Essex, at the head of his advanced guard, took the principal height; two regiments of the royal horse then attacked the London trainbands, and the battle became general. Essex, Skippon, Stapleton, Merrick, and all the Parliamentary officers, exposed themselves on foot like common soldiers; and the Royalists also charged with their accustomed daring and impetuous dash. The battle raged all day, and both armies passed the night in the field; but in the morning, the King allowed Essex to march through Newbury, and having ordered Prince Rupert to annoy the rear, retired with his infantry to Oxford. Four earls in the royal army fell in this battle, the

* Forster's Lives, VI., 111-116.


young Lord Sunderland and the accomplished Earl of Carnarvon being among them.

But the greatest loss which the Royalists deplored was that of Lord Falkland, perhaps the truest patriot of that age. He had no business in the battle, Death of but had volunteered to serve, notwithstanding the remonstrances of his Lord Falkland. friends. For some months past he had eagerly sought danger; the sufferings of the people, the greater evils he foresaw, the anxiety of his mind, the ruin of his hopes, and the dread he felt of either party succeeding, plunged him into bitter despondency, and entirely altered his character. Formerly, he was amiable and kind; brilliant, gay, and imaginative; simple and upright in his ways, and tasteful and elegant in his habits. But since the war had broken out, he had become fixed and sombre in his manner; had grown careless in his attire, and would sit amongst his friends, with his head buried in his hands, crying "Peace! Peace!" Only when a prospect of negotiations offered did he resume his former cheerfulness. He dressed with unwonted care on the morning of the battle, saying they should not find his body in foul linen. "I am weary of the times," he continued; "I foresee much misery to my country; but I believe I shall be out of it before night." He fell in the very beginning of the battle; his friends deeply mourned his fate; the Cavaliers were indifferent; and Charles felt himself more at ease in his council.*


In the following month, Cromwell, Fairfax, and Manchester performed many signal acts of service in Lincolnshire, Battle of and the neighbouring counties. The forces of these Field. three leaders effected a junction at Boston on the 9th of October, and, on the 12th, they defeated a numerous body of Cavaliers at Waisby Field, near Horncastle, with such decided success, that Charles, when he heard of it, is reported to have said, "I would that some would do me the good fortune to bring Cromwell to me alive or dead." +

55. The Solemn League and Covenant. Vane and his fellow commissioners arrived at Edinburgh on the 9th of August, where they were received by the kirk and the parliament with great honours. The Scots, however, with their natural wariness, suspected the sincerity of the English parliament in their professed devotion to the kirk; and they resolved that, in any compact which should be concluded, the covenant should be adopted upon oath. Accordingly, when the negotiations began, Henderson, the moderator of the general assembly, submitted this covenant to the consideration of the parliamentary commissioners.

Its terms bound the two nations to prosecute incendiaries and malignants; to preserve the King's life and authority in defence of the true religion and liberties of both kingdoms; to extirpate popery, prelacy, heresy, schism, and profaneness; and to establish a conformity of doctrine, discipline, and church government throughout the island.

The last clause alarmed the commissioners, for, although the

* Clarendon's Rebellion, Book VII.; Guizot's Eng. Rev., 205. † Forster's Lives, VL, 122.


majority of the Parliamentarians were inclined to Presbyterianism, yet there was a numerous and active party amongst them fast rising into importance, who considered all ecclesiastical authority an invasion of the rights of conscience, and who were, therefore, resolutely opposed to the forced establishment of any ecclesiastical system. These were the Independents, the earliest and most strenuous assertors of religious toleration, and Vane was one of their foremost men. The commissioners, therefore, objected to this last clause; and, after considerable discussion, the agreement was drawn up in such a happy ambiguity of language as to suit all parties, and, through the obstinacy of Vane, it was styled “a solemn league and covenant," so as to prevent its assuming the character of a purely religious compact.

In this new form, it provided that the kirk should be preserved in its existing purity, and that the church of England should be "reformed according to the Word of God," which the Independents would interpret in their own sense, and "after the example of the best reformed churches," among which the Scots naturally gave theirs the first place.

The league was unanimously approved of; and next day (August 18th), Scottish commissioners set out for London, where both houses, after having consulted the assembly of divines, also sanctioned it (September 18th). A week after, in the church of St. Margaret, in Westminster, all the members of parliament, comprising 228 commoners, and from 20 to 30 peers, stood uncovered, and, with hands raised to heaven, took the oath of adhesion to it, first verbally, and then in writing.


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56. Triumph of the Presbyterian party. The joy of the Presbyterians was now at its height. Their chief, the Earl of Essex, had saved the parliament by his late triumphs; the Scottish army, 20,000 strong, which was to cross the borders as soon as the new year set in, promised them unfailing support, and they therefore looked forward to the acquisition of supreme power over all their opponents, when they might, at their discretion, dispose of reform and of war, and suspend either. The covenant was immediately imposed upon all civil and military officers, and upon all the beneficed clergy. The assembly of divines was ordered to prepare a plan of ecclesiastical government; four Scottish ministers were called upon to aid them; and committees were appointed to investigate, in each county, the conduct and doctrine of the clergy. Nearly 2,000 beneficed clergymen were ejected from their livings;*

*Neal's Puritans, III., 111-113.



many who had hitherto co-operated with the Presbyterians, as the Anabaptists, the Brownists, the Independents, Deprivation found themselves suddenly subjected to persecution and oftas imprisonment, and all who refused to subscribe the clergy. covenant were deprived of holding any office, and of exercising the simplest rights of citizenship. The parliament, from the beginning of the war, had ordered all theatres to be closed, Austerity but they now extended the prohibition to all the popular of the Presgames which had been practised for ages on the Sundays rule. and holidays throughout the kingdom, and if even children infringed the order by any natural ebullition of infantine mirth, their parents were fined for each offence. While the Presbyterians thus manifested a remorseless and indiscriminate bigotry in matters of religion, they displayed an ardent zeal for war. Holles, Glynn, Maynard, and others of their leaders who had shortly before meditated retirement from public life, or had been advocates of peace, now excited the people to greater efforts; their party had never appeared so energetic, or so certain of the permanent possession of power. But their downfall was nigh at hand. From the very first they had been agitated by contrary feelings. In the church they sought a reform ardently and sincerely, Causes of and the Presbyterian system they considered as the only its decline. legitimate church government which could exist by divine right, · or the laws of Christ. Hence they insisted upon the establishment of this system without any limitation, and at whatever price. In politics, on the contrary, their ideas were vague and their intentions temperate. They sought not the destruction of the monarchy, though they fought against the King; they were not opposed to a limited prerogative, nor to the existence of an aristocracy. Having no men of genius or ability amongst their ranks who could act as leaders in a crisis like the present, they had been compelled to ally themselves with the political reformers or Constitutionalists, who, being inclined to a moderate Episcopacy, were opposed to their views of religious revolution. Their union with this party, the leaders of which were amongst the greatest men of the age, comprehending such men as Pym, Hampden, Rudyard, St. John, and Hyde and Falkland until the war broke out, was therefore only complete on the question of political reform. But at the end of 1643 all legitimate political reform was accomplished; abuses no longer existed, and there was consequently no further work for the two parties to transact in union. The religious revolution, however, had scarcely begun. The crisis had therefore arrived when the internal defects of the dominant

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