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his views were narrow, and his temper unaccommodating; and, though his character was exalted, he was proud and unbending, having only one object for his political conduct, the establishment of a republic in England. His religious belief passed as no more than Deism, although he sent for Presbyterian ministers, and had several communications with them at the close of his life. The one great stain upon his character, his relations with the French ambassador, Barillon, has never been removed.†

Of the other participators in this alleged conspiracy, Monmouth was ultimately pardoned; Armstrong was given up by the States of Holland, and executed, without a trial, upon his sentence of outlawry; Hampden was fined £40,000; Halloway, another of the conspirators, was taken in the West Indies, and executed (1684).


in Scotland

60. The closing circumstances of Charles's reign. The connection of the English Whigs with the discontented in Scotland Another gave birth to another terrible persecution in that enslaved persecution kingdom. All the forms of law were utterly set at nought. A troop of justiciaries, attended by soldiers, spread themselves over the country, and, being left entirely to their own discretion, committed the most terrible acts of violence. Torture was administered to suspected persons, as well as to those accused, with a ferocity exceeding even the times when the Duke of York superintended the process of the boot. Sentences of forfeiture were lavishly pronounced; the prisons were filled with Covenanters; fathers and husbands were made responsible for the submission of their wives and children to the test, and every one was called upon, under pain of fine or imprisonment, to attend the episcopal worship. Aberdeen opposed this last measure, and was superseded by Lord Perth, a Catholic, under whom Baillie, of Jerviswood, and others, the last of the Rye House conspirators, perished (December, 1684).

of York resumes

his offices,

In England, the Duke of York had openly succeeded to the chief administration of affairs, in reward for his consent to the The Duke marriage of his daughter, Anne, with the Protestant Prince George of Denmark; he had been restored to his contrary to offices of high admiral and privy councillor, in open violation of the Test Act. But this was not the only offence against the plain letter of the law which Charles committed; for three years had now elapsed since the dissolution of the Oxford parliament, yet no writs were issued, although the

the Test


* Hallam, II., 157.

+ Macaulay, I., 279; Lingard, XII., 327-332; Carrel, 175-177; Knight, IV., 372-374.


counties were, for the most part, Royalist, and the boroughs were all at the King's mercy.

The Oxford divines, moreover, had boldly aided in degrading the free monarchy of England into a despotism, by the publication of the celebrated university decree against pernicious books and damnable doctrines. They anathematised, and "consigned to everlasting reprobation," the seditious and impious principle that civil authority is originally derived from the people; that there was any implied compact between a king and his people: passive obedience was the only duty of a subject in respect to the government under which he lived. Other propositions followed, of the same description, taken from the works of Buchanan, Bellarmine, Milton, Goodwin, Baxter, Owen, Knox, Hobbes, Goodman, Cartwright, &c.* Sir George Mackenzie, the lord advocate of Scotland, published a treatise, in which he maintained that "whatever proves monarchy to be the best government, does, by the same reason, prove absolute monarchy to be the best government." Sir Robert Filmer's posthumous work, which had the honour of calling forth the refutation of its doctrines by Locke, went to the same extremes. Indeed, we can form no adequate conception of the jeopardy in which our liberties stood under the Stuarts, especially in this period, without attending to this spirit of servility which had been so sedulously excited.†


opposed to

These breaches of the constitution, and these slavish doctrines, were not, however, unanimously approved of, even by the King's ministers. Halifax, in particular, now lord privy seal, Halifax from the very day on which the Tories had, by his help, them. gained the ascendant, began to turn Whig; he had pressed the House of Lords to make provision against the danger to which the liberties and religion of the nation were exposed, by the prospect of a Roman Catholic successor; he now saw with alarm the violent reaction which had set in, and the servile doctrines which were preached; he detested the French alliance, and disapproved of the long intermission of parliaments; and he took every opportunity of resisting the establishment of absolute monarchy, and of advising the King to return to representative government. The Duke of York, and Hyde, Earl of Rochester, always opposed him; the court, in consequence, became the theatre of mysterious intrigues, and Charles, at last, was himself alarmed at the rapid strides his brother was making towards popery and absolute government. The King of France, seeing himself no longer in need of the alliance of the English King, withdrew his pecuniary aids, and allowed the publication He prevails of the secret treaty of 1670. At the same time, Charles upon the discovered the intrigues of the French ambassador with reject the his malcontent Commons. These circumstances induced the duke. him to listen to Halifax; he secretly sent for Monmouth from Holland, and resolved to entrust him with an important command, to convoke a parliament, and to banish his brother. Whether he

King to

* See Lingard, XII., 326-327; Carrell, 183. + Hallam, II., 163.
Hallam, II., 165; Carrel, 184-185.

Despotic doctrines preached at Oxford and elsewhere.



would have carried his resolutions into effect, can only be conThe King's jectured; for, while the hostile parties were anxiously awaiting his determination, he was suddenly seized with some extraordinary malady, in the midst of apparently perfect health, and, in a few days, he died (Friday, February 6th, 1685).


CHAPTER XIII. THE REIGN OF JAMES THE SECOND. JAMES II. Reigned three years and ten months, from February 6th, 1685, to December 11th, 1688. Born, 1633. Married (1) Anne Hyde, daughter of the Earl of Clarendon, November 24th, 1659; (2) Mary, daughter of Alphonso III., Duke of Modena, November 26th, 1673. Died at St. Germains, September 6th, 1701.


1. Early indications of James's policy. The first proceeding of the new monarch, after the death of his brother, was to assemble the council, and assure them of the integrity of his purposes with regard to the religion and liberties of the country.

promises to
the estab-
lished laws
and religion

"I have been reported," he said, "a man for arbitrary power, but that is not the only story which has been made of me. I shall make it my endeavour to preserve this government, both in church and state, as it is now by law established. I know the principles of the church of England are for monarchy, and the members of it have shown themselves good and loyal subjects: therefore I shall always take care to defend and support it. I know, too, that the laws of England are sufficient to make the King as great a monarch as I can wish; and as I shall never depart from the just rights and prerogatives of the crown, so I shall never invade any man's property."

This speech James said he spoke from his heart, without premeditation; Finch, the solicitor-general, put it down in writing, word for word, and James, little thinking that such gracious promises, when placed upon record, might afterwards be produced against him, signed the solicitor-general's report, and ordered it to be published. Prudence compelled him to have his coronation celebrated in the Protestant form, though he refused to partake of the sacrament. Hitherto he had attended the Romish worship privately, but on the second Sunday after his coronation, he went openly to mass, and shortly afterwards announced that his brother had died in the communion of the church of Rome. His filled with court swarmed with Romanists, and Father Petre, the Jesuit, Talbot, an Irish Roman Catholic, afterwards Earl of Tyrconnel, Jermyn, afterwards Lord Dover, and other papists, together with the unprincipled Sunderland, were his secret and confidential advisers. But Halifax, Godolphin, Sunderland, and

The court




the Earls of Rochester and Clarendon, the two sons of Lord Clarendon, and his brothers-in-law, were his ostensible ministers.

Under the guise of liberty of conscience and freedom of worship, the judges were ordered to discourage religious prosecutions, and to discharge all persons confined for the refusal of the oaths of allegiance and supremacy. But this relief only extended to Papists and Quakers, the only dissenters who refused to take them; and the real disposition of the government towards the Protestant dissenters was shown by the enactment, in the Scottish parliament, of new penalties against the Covenanters. The Those who preached in a covered conventicle, or attended Covenanters one in the open air, became liable to death and confisca- cuted. tion of property; and the wild Highland soldiers of Claverhouse were freely let loose upon the people, to kill and plunder* (May, 1685).

still perse

levies the

contrary to

In civil matters, James had not been three days on the throne before he committed an illegal act, in the unauthorised James levy of the customs, the grant of which had expired on customs the death of the late King. The proclamation which law. ordered this levy certainly summoned parliament to meet on the 19th of May; but the only legal method was, to collect the duties and keep them apart in the exchequer until parliament disposed of them, as the Lord Keeper Guildford advised. Thus early did James show that the promises he had made were of no worth, because he had made them to heretics.

2. Punishment of Oates. Trial of Richard Baxter. There were two remarkable trials in this early part of the reign, which must have had a considerable influence upon public opinion as regarded the royal intentions. The first was the prosecution of Titus Oates for perjury. Just as was the conviction of Oates, his punishment was most atrocious and blood-thirsty. He had already been in prison for some time, in default of the payment of a fine of £100,000, for libelling the Duke of York; he was now condemned to pay a further fine, to be stripped of his canonical habit, to be twice publicly whipped at the cart's tail from Aldgate to Newgate, and thence to Tyburn, and to stand five times in the pillory every year of his life. He went through both floggings, surviving even 1,700 lashes, to the disappointment of the judges, who regretted that the law did not allow them to condemn him to death. This would have been a merciful and a righteous judgment, for he was guilty of much innocent blood. Dangerfield also underwent a brutal flogging, and died at the end of it, though one + Hallam, II., 214,

* Lingard, XIII., 13-14; Macaulay, II., 70-78.


Francis was hanged for having murdered him, it was alleged, by a wound.

While the Papists were thus gratified with these barbarous Scourgings, the Puritans were terrified by the prosecution of Richard Baxter, the great Presbyterian minister. In a Commentary on the New Testament, he had complained, with some bitterness, of the persecutions which the dissenters suffered. He was, accordingly, tried for a seditious libel, and, when his counsel moved for time in which he might prepare a defence, Jeffreys, the chief justice, replied, "I would not give him a minute more to save his life. I can deal with saints as well as with sinners. There stands Oates on one side of the pillory; and if Baxter stood on the other, the two greatest rogues in England would stand together." Jeffreys would have ordered him to be flogged at the cart's tail; but the other judges overruled him. Baxter was fined and imprisoned for eighteen months. He was in his seventieth year.*

3. The first parliamentary session. When parliament met, James openly declared his policy. He was resolved, he told them, to maintain the established government in church and state; but he was apprehensive that they would dole out money to him from time to time, in the hope that he should be compelled to call them oftener together. But he would not be so treated, and if they wished him to meet them often, they must use him well; i.e. if they would not give him money as he wished, he would take it. The Commons received this strange speech with loud cheers; and they voted the continuation of the civil list granted in the late reign, in addition to the revenues which James enjoyed as Duke of York; in all, nearly two and a half millions.t

If the parliament will not grant money, James will take it.

Bold con


One member alone-Sir Edward Seymour, a Cavalier of the staunchest breed-had the courage to stand up against the government. He did not resist the grant, but he maintained duct of Sir that the first thing to do, was to ascertain who were legal Seymour. members of the house, especially when the laws and religion of England were in evident peril. No one ventured to second his motion, though many secretly approved of it, and the speech made a considerable impression upon the public mind. was notorious that the great majority of the members had obtained their seats by corruption; many had been returned by corporations which had no legal existence; the new charters which had lately

Macaulay, II., 65-69.

+ Macaulay, II.. 90; Hallam, II., 215; Carrel, 192; Knight, IV., 386; Fox.


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