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endure reproach; and perceiving his ruin predeter- BOOK mined, demanded, but was denied permiffion to fubmit implicitly to the mercy of the king".


ed to death,

During this important trial, the most folemn Condemnwhich the nation had ever witneffed, lord Lorn was employed to folicit favour for his father at court. He procured a royal mandate, not to profecute any public offences previous to the indemnity granted at Stirling, nor to pronounce a fentence, till the whole trial was fubmitted to the king. The first part of the order was imperfectly obeyed; the last, as expreffive of a mistrust in parliament, was recalled. The commiffioner, anxious that Argyle fhould fuffer as a regicide, to prevent the reftitution of his family to his eftate and honours, undertook the management of the debate in perfon, which he conducted as if forgetful of his own dignity, or the decency requifite in a public character. From the fecret confultations held with Cromwell, when invited to Scotland to suppress the engagement, he concluded that the interruption of the treaty at Newport, and the execution of the late king, had been concerted with Argyle. An attainder founded on fuch weak and remote prefumptions, was abhorred by many, and oppofed by prefident Gilmour with a force of argument that compelled the reluctant parliament to exculpate Argyle from all acceffion to the death of the king "2. Nothing but his compliance with the ufurpation re


State Trials, ii 418. vii. 379. Woodrow, i. 42. 2 Id. 54. Burnet, i. 174.





BOOK mained. While his conviction was ftill uncertain, Monk, with his accustomed baseness, tranfmitted to parliament fome confidential letters from Argyle, expreffive of a cordial attachment to the protector's government "3. They arrived after the evidence was finished, but were read by Middleton in the midst of the debate. The perfidious friendship of Monk, and the violation of every judicial form, excited general indignation; but the unexpected appearance of Argyle's correfpondence filenced his friends, who withdrew from an unavaling oppofition to his fate. Sentence of treason was immedi ately pronounced. He was condemned to be beheaded within two days, and his head affixed to the public prifon, to replace that of Montrofe, for whose remains a fplendid funeral was ordained. He requested in vain a refpite of ten days, till his fentence was communicated to the king, and complained in the spirit of enthufiafm, "I have placed "the crown upon his head, and this is my reward! "but he haftens me to a better crown than his "own; nor can you deprive me of that eternal indemnity which you may require yourselves." The interval between his fentence and execution was spent with the clergy, in religious exercises, and he prepared for death with a fortitude not ex, pected from the natural timidity of his character. On the morning of his execution, he wrote a letter to the king, to vindicate his own memory and implore protection for his fon. He dined with his

13 See NOTE I.

May 25.

And executed.

May 27.


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friends at noon, before afcending the fcaffold, and в OOK was accompanied by feveral of the nobility to the place of execution. His appearance on the scaffold was folemn but intrepid. He fpoke in vindication of his own innocence, deplored the times that were likely to enfue, and exhorted the people to fuffer rather than offend against their confcience, or aban don the covenant. After an interval of devotion, he fubmitted his neck to the block, and his head was feparated by the descent of the maiden ".


The public hatred which he had incurred while His fenalive, was converted into general commiferation at his death. His attainder was justly imputed to the enmity, his precipitate death to the impatience and infatiate defire of Middleton to procure a gift of his titles and estate; and as happens wherever a ftatefman fuffers, whether from national justice or revenge, his execution ferved to exalt and relieve his character, from the obloquy which would have continued attached to it had he been permitted to furvive. His letters to Monk are loft, and the records of his trial have been carefully destroyed. But we discover from Thurloe's papers, that he was obnoxious to Cromwell and to Monk himself, as a fufpected royalift, and excluded during the ufurpation, from employment or truft ". Under a jealous ufurpation, profeffions of the most zealous attachment were requifite for the prefervation of a fufpected royalift; and we must conclude that

14 Woodrow, i. 51. 157. Kirkton, MS. 26. Burnet, i, 179.
15 Thurloe's State Papers, vi. 341. vii. 584.





BOOK the letters employed for his deftrnction were ne ceffary to appeafe the fufpicions or refentment of Monk. His original fhare, as a chief inftrument in the civil wars, of which he was not convicted, is reprefented as fome apology for the fentence on which he was executed; but the apology becomes the more dangerous as a pretext that is never And cha wanting for judicial murder. Originally driven examined. into rebellion, by an infidious plan to invade and deprive him of a large part of his estate ", he incurred the imputation of whatever violent meafures it was neceffary to tolerate, or impoffible to prevent. But his character, impartially examined, was that of a better patriot than a fubject, more attached to the national religion than to the interests of the crown. His ambition was regulated by habitual prudence, penetration, experience, and confummate addrefs; but his fagacity was not always exempt from enthusiasm; his prudence was apt to degenerate into craft, and the apprehenfions which his fubtle dexterity excited, occafioned his deftruction. His fervices in the recall of Charles to Scotland, deserved a better fate; but his enemies were disappointed by Lauderdale's interceffion, and his fon was afterwards restored to a part of his titles, and the poffeffion of his eftate.

Guthry executed.

The next was Guthry, a clergyman accused of June 1. framing or promoting the western remonstrance, and protesting against the authority of the king, or the interpofition of the council, in ecclefiastical

1. See vol i. p. 147:


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affairs. To decline the authority of either was BOOK treafon, but the punishment, from its undue feverity, had never been inflicted; and the offence itself, if aggravated by the violence of his publications, was extenuated, and ought to have been obliterated, at the distance of ten years, by his refolute oppofition to the ufurper's government. But his real crimes were a fentence of excommunication which he had formerly pronounced against the commiffioner, and the report of fome perfonal indignities which he had offered to the king. His defence was firm, yet pronounced with fuch pathetic effect, that many withdrew from a concern in his fentence or death. He was executed with an obfcure deferter, and died with that unshaken fortitude and contempt of life which en, thusiasm infpires. Rutherford was removed by an opportune death; Gillefpie and other remonftrants were preserved by a confeffion of their guilt. Wariston, who had escaped to the continent, was attainted, and Swinton, who had turned quaker, acknowledged his offences with fuch ingenuous contrition, that he was recommended to mercy, but deprived of his eftate ".

17 Kirkton, MS. Burnet, i. 180.

Crawford, MS. Woodrow, i. 69.
Baillie, iv. 453.



July 12.

The parliament was at length adjourned, and Parliament the government again vested in the privy council. At once a court of justice and a council of ftate, in which policy must ever predominate over the laws, the institution neceffarily became tyrannical;

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