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"something of consequence in hand, to promote "the catholic cause:" but solemnly asserted, that "the particulars of it were not mentioned to him." Still he admitted, that " he was criminal, in not "revealing to government the general communi"cations which had been made to him, and there"fore pleaded guilty to the indictment."-On the scaffold he made the same protestations; and solemnly declared, that, "if he had known it, at first, to be so foul a crime, he would not have "concealed it to gain a world."
As soon as the particulars of the plot became generally known, the catholics universally expressed their horror of it. Blackwell, the catholic archpriest, and the other heads of their church, immediately circulated a pastoral letter, in which he called it, "detestable and damnable;" and assured the catholics, "that the pope had always con+ "demned such unlawful practices." They presented an address to the king, another to both houses of parliament, and a third to Cecil, the chief secretary of state; declaring, in each, their abhorrence of the plot, asserting their innocence, and urging inquiry*.
Soon after the archpriest and the leading clergy had published their letter, the former received a brief from the pope to the same effect on the receipt of it, he, with the leading clergy, published a second letter, in the same spirit as the preceding†.
* The Advocate of Conscience and Liberty, &c. p. 230. Since the preceding sheets were printed off, some important documents have come to the hands of the writer.
Whatever: were the circumstances of the plot, the consequence of it was, that the penal laws against the catholics were immediately carried into execution, with great severity. Eighteen priests, and seven laymen, suffered death, for the mere exercise of their religion. One hundred and twentyeight priests were banished; and the heavy fine of twenty pounds a month was exacted, with the
From these it appears that Clement the eighth, who, at the time of Elizabeth's decease, filled the papal chair, issued three briefs : one is dated the 12th of July 1600, and is addressed by his holiness to his nuncio at Brusselles. His holiness expresses in it his great desire that the successor of Elizabeth should be a catholic, and enjoins the nuncio, immediately on the death of Elizabeth, to prevail on the English catholics to compose the differences among themselves, and to unite in endeavours to seat a roman-catholic on the throne; but the brief does not contain the slightest intimation that they should proceed to violence, or to any unconstitutional or unlawful
It also appears that the nuncio, soon after the accession of James, addressed a rescript to Dr. Gifford, a catholic divine of eminence, who was then setting off for England, by which he enjoined the doctor, in the strongest terms, to exhort the catholics of England to demean themselves, towards the king and his government, with the most perfect loyalty; and to abstain from every thing that had even the look of disobedience: he also desires Dr, Gifford to wait upon the king and queen of England, in the name of his holiness, to congratulate his majesty on his accession to the throne, and to offer to him the sincere wishes of his holiness, that he might have a long and a quiet reign.
The brief of the pope to the nuncio, and the rescript of the nuncio to Dș. Gifford, are in the possession of the writer ; but he has not been able to obtain a sight of the two other briefs mentioned above.
utmost rigour, from every catholic who did not attend the service of the established church,
THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE FRAMED BY
JAMES THE FIRST.
THE temperate terms, which James used, in his address to the two houses of parliameut, upon
the discovery of the gunpowder conspiracy, are commended by Hume, and deserve the commendation which he bestows upon them. With the same conciliating spirit, his majesty caused to be inserted, in a statute of the same year, an oath of allegiance, to be tendered, under the provisions contained in that act, to all roman-catholic recusants. By a proclamation, issued at the same time, he also invited all his English subjects to take and subscribe it.
The circumstances attending this oath form one * Among the priests, who suffered death, was Mr. Drewrie, one of the thirteen who subscribed the excellent protestation of allegiance, inserted in a preceding page. Some days after his condemnation, he was commanded into court, and offered his life, if he would take James's oath of allegiance. To induce him to take it, a paper in his hand-writing was produced to him, in which he argued in support of its lawfulness. He observed, that this was a private opinion, which he would not affirm on oath: he therefore refused it, and suffered accordingly. Other priests were offered their lives on the same condition, but all refused the offer. See Howell's State Trials, vol. ii. p. 358.
of the most interesting events in the history of the English catholics, subsequent to the reformation. We shall present the reader, in this chapter, I. With a brief account of the motives, which induced James to frame the oath, and to direct it to be tendered to his catholic subjects: II. With a copy of the oath: III. And with a translation of the two briefs, by which pope Paul the fifth condemned it.
NOTHING, in the opinion of the writer, could be more wise, or humane, than the motives of James, in framing the oath. We shall first state them, in his own words; 2d, Then examine an allegation, which assigns different motives, if not to the monarch himself, at least to his advisers.
The Motives of James the first in framing the Oath.
1st. "What a monstrous, rare, and never heard of "treacherous attempt," (with these words he begins his apology for the oath)-" was plotted, within "these few years, in England, for the destruction "of me, my bed-fellow, and our posterity-of the "whole house of parliament, and a great number "of good subjects of all sorts and degrees, -is so "famous already through the world, by the infamy "thereof, as is needless to be repeated, or published, any more. The only reasons the plotters gave, for so heinous an attempt, was the zeal they "carried to the Romish religion; yet, were never "66 any of that profession worse used for that cause, "as by our gracious proclamation, immediately
" after the discovery of the said fact, doth appear.
Only, at the setting down again of the parlia"ment, there were laws. made, setting down some “ such orders, as were thought fit for preventing “ the mischiefs in time to come. Amongst which, “ a form of oath was formed to be taken by my “ subjects, whereby they should make a clear pro“ fession of their resolution, faithfully. to persist in “ their obedience unto me, according to their na“ tural allegiance. To the end that I might make “ a separation, not only between all my good sub
jects in general, and unfaithful traitors, that “ intended to withdraw themselves from my, ebe
dience ;--but especially to make a separation “ between so many of my subjects, who, though
they were otherwise popishly affected, yet re“ tained, in their hearts, the print of their natural “ duty to their sovereign. And those, who, being “ carried away with the like fanatical zeal, as the
powder traitors were, could not contain them“selves within bounds of their natural allegiance, “ but thought diversity of religion a safe pretext “ for all kinds of treasons and rebellions against “ their sovereign. Which godly and wise intent “God did bless accordingly; for very many of
my, subjects, that were popishly affected, as well priests as laics, did freely take the same oath ;
whereby they both gave me occasion to think “ the better of their fidelity, and thereby freed “ themselves of that heavy slander, that, although
they were fellow-professors of one religion of “the powder traitors, yet were they not joined