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arians rise in London and are
acceptance of all these articles, not of one alone: he asked them time for consideration. Three days afterwards Cromwell returned them for answer, that "he did not find it in his duty to God and the country to undertake the charge under the new title which was given him." The house, however, refused to be satisfied with this reply; the former vote was renewed, and the members went to him in a body, and reminded him that it was his duty to listen to their advice. On this, he suggested that a conference should be held between him and a committee of the house, to discover some means of reconciling their opposite opinions on the question. This was on the 8th of April; and the next day all London was in a tumult. The Anabaptists and Fifth- The Millenmonarchy men had from the first vehemently opposed the proposed revival of the monarchy. In their creed, defeated. the protectorate even was an impiety, and kingship a sacrilegious assumption of the authority belonging to the only King, the Lord Jesus. They were his witnesses foretold in the Apocalypse; they had now slept their sleep of three and a half years; the time was come when it was their duty to rise and avenge the Lord. The opening day for the Millenium was fixed for the 9th of April ; it was to be proclaimed on Mile-end Green, by its great herald Thomas Venner, the wine cooper. The standard chosen was the Lion of Judah, and only 80 men composed the army of the Saints, but they were champions of Him who, "though they might be as a worm, would enable them to thrash mountains." They certainly had sought the aid of the Levellers, but the latter trusted too much to worldly wisdom for them; they wished to leave the issue of the struggle entirely to their Heavenly King. They were easily defeated by a troop of horse, and many of them made prisoners, but none were punished.
The conference proceeded but slowly, Cromwell showing much disinclination to enter upon the business at all. His real objection to the title was that "good men," by which he meant the army, "could not swallow it;" he was unwilling to offend these by an acceptance, or to offend the parliament by a refusal. To say that Cromwell did not desire the crown, when it was so much pressed upon him, would be to say that he was not human; but that he intrigued to obtain it, and that he planned all this "tedious farce" for the purpose, cannot be proved from any document that we are acquainted with. The truth is, that Cromwell knew that he would peril his greatest interests by accepting the dignity, and from the moment that he was convinced of this, his resolution was formed. The strongest argument used by the advocates of
the measure was, that by the law (11 Henry VII.), all the acts of a king de facto were good and valid, so that the security of all who obeyed the Commonwealth could only be obtained by a restoration of the monarchy; to which it was replied, that the terms king and civil magistrate were synonimous. At the end of two months, the Protector gave his final answer, absolutely declining the proffered dignity, but declaring his desire to accept all the other articles of the " Petition," as he had proposed they should be amended. This was agreed to, and on the 26th of June, he was solemnly inaugurated in Westminster Hall as Lord Protector.
fuses the crown, but the restora
tion of the office, with
out the title,
The supreme authority was vested in him as if he were the king; but instead of rendering it hereditary in his family, he was only empowered to name his successor. The two houses were restored with all their former privileges, and the power of nominating the members of the Upper House, or "other house," as it was called, was given to him, but in this first instance subject to the approval of the Commons. The appointment of state officers was also to be subject to the same tribunal; a The new confession of faith was to be drawn up, all dissenters from which were to government. be tolerated, unless they rejected the doctrine of the Trinity, the inspiration of the Scriptures, or professed prelatic, popish, or blasphemous doctrines. The yearly revenue was to be fixed at £1,300,000, of which no part was to be raised by a land tax. A million of this was to be devoted to the army and navy, and the rest to the civil list; but for the present prosecution of the war, an additional grant of £600,000 was voted for the three following years.
In all but the name, the three British nations were now one kingdom; and after having thus re-established the government on the basis of the constitution, the parliament adjourned for six months, that time might be allowed for the formation of the "other house."
30. Blake's last victory and death. Among the adversaries who opposed the Lord Protector's elevation to royalty, Lambert had been the most ardent and active. Cromwell gave him the Lambert opportunity of taking the new oath of allegiance; but as private life. he refused, he was deprived of his commission, and he retired to his country house at Wimbledon, on a pension of £2,000. About the same time, death removed two other enemies of the Lord Protector; viz., John Lilburne, who died at Eltham and Sexby. (August 29th), and was buried by the Quakers, whom he had latterly joined; and Sexby, the Leveller. This fanatic was impatient of the delays with which the Spanish court postponed the Royalist invasion of England, and nothing would satisfy his implacable spirit, but the life of the Protector. A daring pamphlet had recently been printed in Holland, entitled "Killing no Murder," recommending the duty of putting the tyrant Murder." to death, and stating that there were many, even amongst
fleet in the Santa Cruz.
the Protector's own attendants, who were ambitious to deliver their country by killing him. Sexby sent thousands of this pamphlet into England, where it created the most intense excitement, and when he considered that it had sufficiently prepared the way, he came over himself. But all his steps were watched, and just as he was about to return to Flanders, he was arrested, and sent to the Tower. He there feigned madness; but he freely confessed everything about himself, and that he had written the pamphlet. He revealed nothing further, however, and he died in the Tower (January, 1658).* But the bitterest enemies of the Protector, whatever they thought of his stern and vigilant watchfulness over them, felt that his rule was not an indolent one. The news came of a great victory, won by Blake, at Santa Cruz— one of those daring exploits in which there is the greatest Blake burns safety in what the timid call rashness. During the winter of 1656-7, Blake continued to blockade Cadiz. In the spring he learned that the Plate fleet from Peru had sought an asylum in the harbour of Santa Cruz, in the island of Teneriffe. There the merchantmen, 100 in number, were moored close to the shore, in the form of a crescent; while the six galleons in their front were anchored in deeper water. The guns of the castle commanded the entrance of the bay, and seven batteries the rest of the harbour. Blake, whom the Spanish governor had dared to come, was rather animated than daunted by this appearance; he examined the defences, proclaimed the customary solemn fast, and at eight the next morning (April 20th), the wind seconding his courage and blowing full into the bay, he entered the harbour under a tremendous shower of balls and shells. But his ships coolly took up their allotted stations; and after a terrible fight, which lasted four hours, every Spanish ship was in possession of the English, and in flames. The wind then suddenly shifted, the gallant English ships sailed safely out of the bay, and left the Spaniards in utter astonishment at the temerity of their audacious visitors. When the Protector heard of this daring feat, worthy of the most heroic days of Elizabeth, he sent Blake a jewel, in the name of himself and the parliament, and desired him to return home, but the noble seaman lived not to receive the congratulations of his country, and he died on board his own ship, the He dies St. George, within sight of Plymouth. His death was a wht of source of public grief to England; Cromwell publicly acknowledged his merit by honouring his bones with a pompous funeral, and interring them in Henry the Seventh's chapel, West* Lingard, I., 190-161; Carlyle, III., 315-316.
minster; but in the next reign the coffin was taken from its vault, and deposited in the churchyard.*
of the new
31. The Protector's last parliament. On the 20th of January, 1658, the prorogued parliament re-assembled, with its reinforcement (by stipulation of the "petition of advice") of the hundred excluded republican members, and its addition of the "other house." This "other house" consisted of sixty-two members, and Composition comprised Cromwell's two sons, Richard and Henry, House of eight peers of royal creation, several members of the Lords. council, some gentlemen of fortune and family, with a due proportion of lawyers and officers, and a very scanty sprinkling of persons known to be disaffected to the government. Of the eight peers, two only attended; Lord Falconberg, who had recently married the Protector's daughter, Mary, and Lord Eure. Lords Warwick, Manchester, Mulgrave, and Wharton refused to attend. Whitelocke, Lisle, Glynn, Widdrington, Desborough, Jones, Fleetwood, Claypole, another son-in-law of the Protector's, were in this new house, as well as old Francis Rouse, Alderman Pack, and the late speaker, Lenthall. Haselrigg contemptuously refused to obey the writ, and insisted upon taking his place among the Commons.
The Protector opened the session after the ancient form; after which Nathaniel Fiennes, one of the commissioners of the great seal, made a long speech, commenting upon the new monarchical Protectorate, and advising unanimity and diligence in the despatch Discontent of business. But when the Commons began their proCommons. ceedings, they flatly refused to acknowledge the new house as a House of Lords; and they entered into a long debate concerning its rights and privileges, and the title which should be given to it. Cromwell endeavoured to soothe their angry spirits; he summoned the members to the Banqueting-house, and addressed them in a manly speech, pointing out to them the dangers from abroad, and the plots from within, which threatened the government, and, therefore, required that they should be unanimous.
If the present frame of government, he asked them, was not satisfactory, had they Cromwell any better model? The only security for their liberty was consistency to soothe and agreement at their meeting; in their union, he was ready to stand or fall with them, and he trusted, by the grace of God, to maintain that union according to the articles of government which he had sworn to observe; to preserve every just interest; to uphold a godly ministry; and to protect all men in their just rights, whether civil or spiritual.
This appeal," the words as of a strong, great captain, addressed
* Dixon's Life of Blake, 361-365.
in the hour of imminent shipwreck," produced no effect. Haselrigg and Scott were at the head of the majority in the house, and the members would proceed to no business, but persisted in debating about the "other house."
Never, perhaps, during his extraordinary career, was Cromwell involved in such great difficulties. But he soon resolved to end them; and on the 4th of February, on the tenth day of the debate, he went to the House of Lords, and summoned the Commons before him. His speech was short, but severe.
He had hoped, he said, that God would make the meeting of that parliament a blessing, and he believed that the Petition and Advice, adopted by the house, had established the government on a fixed basis, or he would not have accepted the Protectorate. "I did tell you," he continued, "that I which, he would not undertake it, unless there might be some other persons to the interpose between me and the House of Commons, and prevent parliament tumultuary and popular spirits. It was granted I should name another angry house. I named it of men of your own rank and quality, who should meet you wherever you go, and shake hands with you; and who will not only be a balance unto you, but to me and to themselves. * * * If there had been in you any intention of settlement, you would have settled upon this basis. * * Yet, instead of owning this actual settlement, you have not only disjointed yourselves, but the whole nation. And this at a time when the King of Scots hath an army at the water's side, ready to be shipped for England. And what is like to come upon this, but present blood and confusion? And if this be the end of your sitting, and this be your carriage, I think it high time that an end be put to your sitting. And I do dissolve this parliament. And let God be judge between you and me." Amen, answered some of the opposition members in audible indignation.†
32. Lambert's conspiracy. Threatened Royalist invasion. That afternoon Cromwell wrote to his captains of militia in the country to be most vigilant in suppressing any disturbance; and, two days afterwards, he summoned the officers to Whitehall, and asked them if they were willing, with him, to maintain the Instrument of Government. The majority answered that they would live and die with him; a few looked gloomy and silent, and these, with others that he suspected, he removed from their commands, although some of them had served him all their lives. These malcontents went and sought out Lambert, Lambert's who received them with open arms, expecting to be set ambition up by them in Cromwell's place. "His ambition," says Protector. Mrs. Hutchinson, had this difference from the Protector's; the one was gallant and great; the other had nothing but an unworthy pride, most insolent in prosperity, and as abject and base in adversity." His partisans immediately devised a plot for the assassination of Cromwell; but Colonel Hutchinson became acquainted with it by accident, and revealed it to the Protector,
* Carlyle, III., 347. + Ibid, III., 347-353.