Billeder på siden
[ocr errors][ocr errors]


[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

he should take his Life, 'twould be his own Blood 1685.
he should spill. The King was not so hard-hear,
ted as to tell him, That when he was troubled with
ill Blood, he gave his Arm to bis Surgeon to let it out;
as the barbarous Philip II. told his Son, Don Car-
los, whom he had condemn'd to Die ; but however,
he was not so generous as to suffer him to Live.
He answer'd, He was sorry for his Misfortune; that
his Crime was of too great Consequence to be left
unpunishd; and that he mult of neceility fall a
Victim to Reasons of State; and accordingly he was Mon-
sent to the Tower, where the next Day but one mouth
after his Arrival he was Executed, unheard, by beheaded
Virtue of an Attainder past upon himn in Parlia- July 16.
ment. 'Tis Remarkable, that before he submitted
his Neck to the Ax, he deliver'd a Paper, wherein
in a Prophetical Spirit, he plainly foretold the won-
derful Deliverance of the People of England,
which Providence has since wrought by King Wil-
liam. Thus ended his Days; James Duke of His Cha-
Monmouth, a Man of more Bravery than Conduct ;

who putting great Confidence in popular Affection
and Allistance, fram'd the Romantick Design of in-
vading a Kingdom; and who with a handful of
Men, without Arms, Provisions, Martial Disci-
pline, or any Place of Strength to retire to in case
of Accidents, had certainly bid fair for a Crown,
if the Treachery of the Lord Go-- had not occa-
fion'd his Defeat. He was extreamly Handsome.
and of noble Aspect ; Generous, AĦable, Conttant
in his Friendship, Just to his Word, and an utter
Enemy to all sorts of Cruelty. 'Tis true, he was
too eatie in his Nature, and too fond of popular Ap-
plause, and those over-weenings led him in-
sensibly into all his Misfortunes. In short, he was
unhappy, not only in the manner of his Death,
but the Education of his Youth; whereby he be-
came too much tainted wirh the Vices of the then
Court; but he said himself upon the Scaffold,
and acknowledgd it for a Mercy, that for two
Years before he had apply'd himself to Study and
the Practice of Religion in his Retirement; but
was unfortunately drawn into thac Conspiracy,


168.5 which cost him his Life. As for the Lord G.-

who certainly deserv'd the same Treatment, his Treachery pleaded for him with King James, who

soon after lign'd his Pardon. Bloody AF

The relt of the Rebels did not meet with the fizes in the

same Favour ; for whereas wise and good Princes West.

content themselves upon such Occasions with punishing the Ring-leaders, and some few of their Adherents ; by a Barbarity not to be parallelld in the Reigns of Nero, Caligula, and the most Celebrated Tyrants, not only those who had been actually in Arms with the Duke of Monmouth, but even those who had any ways allifted, or so much as harbour'd them, were equally involv'd in the Crime of his Insurrection. Considering how the severity of Englijh Laws is generally mitigated by the Mildness of the Judges, Pofterity will hardly believe the Cruelties committed by the Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys; who with four other Judges his Alliliants, and a Body of Troops commanded by Kirk, was sent into the West of England, with a special Commillion to try the poor Wretches. I wish I could spare my Reader the Horror which the Account of these Bloody Asīzes will certainly create in any Human Brealt; but the fevere Laws of History will not suffer me to pass over in Silence the following Particulars. At Winchester, Mrs. Alicia Lille, a Woman of extream Age, was try'd for concealing Mr. Hick's, a Non-Conformit Minitter, and Richard Nelthrop, (the latter being a Stranger, and the former in no Proclamation) and cho' the jury brought her in three times Not Guilty ; yet Jeffreys's Threats so far prevail'd, that she was at lait found Guilty of High-Treason, and Beheaded for it. From Winchester Jeffreys posted to Dor. chester, where understanding, there were Thirty Persons that had been found by the Grand Inquest, to have been atlifting to the Duke of Monmouth, he contriv'd this Stratagem to dispatch them: When they came upon their Trials, and before they had pleaded, he told them, That whosoever pleaded Not Guilty, and was found otherwise, should have little Time to Live ; and if any expecta ed Favour, they must plead Guilty. But the Pri- 1685. foners would not trutt him, though it had, in a manner, been all one to them, for of the 30, 29 were found Guilty, and soon after executed'; as : were also 80 more out of 243, who were deluded to plead Guilty to their Indictments by a Promise of Pardon. The same was done at Exeter to near as many, who were entrapt by the fame Decoy; as also at Taunton and Wells, where f-----ys finish'd his Bloody Asizes, and in which two Places, (in pur

fuance of a Letter from King Jasnes, intimating,

That he was fain to be Chancellor binifélf, and therefore bad him dispatch the Business before him) he condemn'd above 508 Persons, whereof 239 were executed, and had their Quarters set up in the printcipal Places, and Roads of those Countries. However -----ys's Cruelty yielded often to the more prevailing Motives of his insatiable Avarice ; and he was not more hafty to hang up those that had no Money, than he was Zealous to procure Indempnity to those that were Rich. Pardons now were just as they are at Rome, not according to the Offences, but the Ability of the Person, from 10 Pounds to 14000 Guineas, which last Suin this Judge of Iniquity did not scruple to take from Mr. Sp--a-s, and with which he bought an Eliate, that may be juftly calld, Ile Field of Blood. Even the Taunton Virgins, whose only Crime was to have presented the Duke of Monmouth with Colours, were obligʻd to pay fome 50, 40, 30, 20, and others 10 Pounds, for their Pardons; in thort, if a great many lost their Lives, ’t was because few had Money enough to preserve them; and those poor Wretches, who could not purchase Pardons at Jeffreys's Rate, were fold for Slaves into the American Plantations. 'Tis said, that after this barbarous Expedition, Jeffreys; a Man of a Sarcastick Abufive Wit, was heard to boast with a sort of brutish Pleasure, That he had Hang’d more Men than all the Judges of England since William the Conqueror. A Boalt much like that of the Duke of Alva, whofe


Revolo Blood-thirstiness feem'd to be transfus'd into him. d'Angle Saine Roman Catholicks * affirm that King James serre.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1685. was no sooner inform’d of Jeffreys's Cruelties, bu mhe shew'd his Indignation at his unwarrantabı

Proceedings ; which however can hardly be recorThe Lord cild, with his making hiin soon after Lord Chan

: Jeffreys celor, in Confideration of the many Eminent and Fartemade Lord ful Services he had rendred the Crown, as well in the Chanceller, late King's Time, as since His Majesties Accesion te 16 Sept. 28. Crown.

'Tis true, Judge Jeffreys was not the only person that executed the King's Orders; for Colonel Kirt a Soldier of Fortune, and a Man of bold Spiri

: but loose Principles, did also act a considerable Par. in these horrid Tragedics. After the Duke's Defeat. he caus'd Ninety wounded Men at Taunton to be hang'd, not only without permitting their Relar: ons to speak to them, but with Pipes playin. Drums beating, Trumpets sounding, and all otha Military Rejoicings. At another Town he invited his Oificers to Dinner, near the Place where some of the condemn'd Rebels were to be Executed, ani ordered Ten of them to be turn'd off with a Heale to the King, Ten in a Health to the Queen, an Ten more in a Health to Jeffreys. These Crueltis he afterwards endeavour'd io palliate, by pretending he did nothing bilt by express Order from th King and his General ; But his decoying a fair Virgin to his Embraces, with the Promise of saving her Brother's Life, and nevertheless causing him to b hang'd on the Sign of the Houle where he had glutted his brutal Lufi, and prelenting the credulous abus'd Daniel with the barbarous Spectack,

this, I say, is such a piece of Treachery, as the Rc* Scipio.

man General, * fo tam'd in Story for his Continency, though a Heathen, would certainly have punilh'd wich immediate Death.

While things were thus carried on with a high

Hand in the West, by Virtue of this Extraordinary Danger

Commiition, they were not more moderate in the field try'd and sen

Administration of ordinary Justice in the Courts tenc'd, June

of Wiftminster. Thomus Danger field in his Depothe path fitions before the Parliament 1680, having reveal'd 1685.

that he was einploy'd by the Popish Party, and chiefly by the Lords in the Tower, and the Coun


tals of Powis, to kill the King, and was promis'd 1685 Impunity and a Reward, part of which he had receiv'd of the Duke of York;, was now prosecuted and try'd in Westminster-Hall, upon a Scandalum Magnatum, and as Juries went, found Guilty, and receiv'd judgment at the King's Bench-Bar, that he should stand twice in the Pillory, that he should be whipt from Åldgate to Newgate, and from Newgate to Tyburn ; and that he should pay a Fine of 500 Pounds. In his Return from Tyburn to. wards Newgate, after his whipping, being in a Coach, he had Reproachful Words given him, and was run into the Eye with a Tuck at the end of a Cane, by one Robert Francis, a virulent Papist, of which with the Pain of his whipping, he died

And killed soon after ; though it is still a Quellion whether he died of the Wound, or by the severity of his Punishment. However, Francis was justly executed for it, the Court thinking it would appear too plain a Partiality to pardon so foul an Ac. The Discovery that Dangerfield made, was that which was then calld the Meal-Tub-Plot, which was to have thrown the Popill, Plot upon the Presbyterians. His Narrative was order'd to be printed by the House of Commons on November ioth 1680, but not withitanding that Order, their Speaker, Mr. Williams, was afterwards find Ten Thousand Pounds for Licensing it to be printed, but came off with paying 8000 l. The same Term Dangerfield was try'd, Mr. Richard Baxter, a Worthy and Learned Divine among the Dissenters, was fined 500 Marks, and bound to his good Behaviour during Life, for Writing and Publishing some Annotations on the New-Teftament, which were by the Papists interpreted Seditious and Scandalous.

Towards the latter end of King Charles's Reigin, one Keeling made a lame Discovery of a Plot against the Government, only namning some mean Persons that were engag'd in the Delign, who being apprehended to save their own Lives, they threw the whole Weight of the Conspiracy upon the Duke of Monmouth, the Earl of Elexthe Earl of Shaftsbury, the Lord Rugel; Colonel Sid.

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »