Billeder på siden

1685. ney, Sir Thomas Armstrong, Captain Walcot, Mr.

Hambden, &c. This was calld the Presbyterian or Protestant Plot; which most people look'd upon as the Contrivance of the Jesuits, in order to bafti the Popish Plot; and to crush the Ringleaders of that Party, who for several Years had so warml endeavour'd to prevent King James's Accession to the Throne. Many of these Conspirators had already been executed in King Charles's Reign, and the Court being now resolv'd to prosecute the rest, the Eloquent Pen of Dr. Sp--t(not long before made B---p of R-----ter) was industrioully set to Work to Varnish over, and Palliate the Flaws of Keeling

and the other Witnesses Dépolitions. Accor Dr.Sp-at's dingly in the beginning of June he publish’d

, A: Account of

Account of the Horrid Conspiracy against the lat the pretend. King, bis Present Majesty, and the Government ; 2 ed Presby. dorn’d with all those Flourishes of Oratory, which terian Plot. are so far from persuading, that they rather gire

Iruth an Air of Fiction ; but however, as Affairs were then managed, a Romance was as fft to serve the Court as a true Hiftory.

In October, Mr. Cornish, an Eminent Traderc: nith Exe. London, was committed close Prisoner to Nenogati. cuted. and about a Week after try'd upon an Indićtır.e

of High-Treason, for having promisod to be aisiliers to James late Duke of Moninouth, William Rutie Esq; &c. in their Treasons against Charles II. But the true Reason of this Prosecution was, that Mr. Cornish, when Sheriff of London, had been very Active against the Popill Confpirators, so that now his Blood mult expiate his Zeal for the Protestant Religion. The only witness against this Worthy Citizen was Colonel Rumsey, a flagitious Evidence; for as to Goodenough, what he depos'd did not af

. fect him: However, Mr. Cornilh was condemn'd and executed; much lamented by his Fellow-Citizens, as a Man unjuftly facrificed.

Soon after the Execution of the Duke of Manmouth, George Speak, Francis Charleton, John Wild. man, Esqs; Colonel Danvers, and John Trenchard, Efq; were fummond by Proclamation to appear, as being suspected of fomenting and carrying c!


Mr. Cor

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

Traiterous Designs against the King; but they 1685.
absconded ; however, the Earl of Stamford, the
Lord Brandon Gerrard, andthe Lord Delamere, were
taken and committed to the Tower. The Lord
Brandon Gerrard was try'd at the King's Bench-Bar,
Novemb. 26. for endeavouring to raise Rebellion, and
Depose Charles the Second, and being found Guilty,
receiv'd Sentence of Death ; but afterwards he
found Means to procure his Pardon. Charles Bate-
man, a Chirurgeon, was try'd, condemn'd, and exe-
cuted for the same Treason, which was thought a
Branch of the Meal-Tub Plot. John Hambden, Esg;

Decemn. was arraign'd for the same Mal-Iub Treason, and

the 30th. pleading Guilty, was immediately sentenc'd to Die, but afterwards pardon'd. The Lord Delamere be ing try'd by his Peers, ( Chancellor Jeffreys being Lord High Steward,) upon an Indictment of HighI reason,, for Conspiring to raise a Rebellion again!t James the Second, was honourably acquitted ; it manifestly, appearing, that Thomas Saxun, the principal Evidence againlt His Lordship, was Guilty of Perjury, for which he suffer'd condign Punishment. The Earl of Stamford, upon bringing his Habeas Corpus was admitted to Bail, and in the beginning of the Year 1686, he was pardon'd, and his Bail General discharg'd. About the beginning of March, when Pardon even over-Strain’d Justice could take Place no lon- March the ger, out came a Pardon, which was call'd General, 10th 1682. though the Number of the Persons Excepted, far exceeded that of those who were Forgiven ; and indeed that Amnesty was fo Abstruse, lo Intricate, in a Word, so ridiculously Merciful, that none had Benefit by it, but those that never offended.

King James had now triumph'd over all his open Enemies, and would certainly have proved the happiest Prince that ever sway'd the English Scepter, if he

King had not cherish'd more dangerous Foes in his Bosom,

James's and entertain'd the fond Delign of setting up the Po- making

Design of pish Religion, as the firmeft Basis for an Arbitrary Go-himself Abo vernment. He was no sooner seated on the Throne, folute, and but his High-spirited Bigotted Queen, his father introducing Confeffor, and some Ambitious Roman Catholicks Popery. about him, made it their Bufiness to infinuate to


[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

7685. him, that his Authority would be precarious and

unsettled, whillt the Fanaticks and Presbyterian.. who had formerly disputed This Title, were ftill able to disturb hiin ; that the seeming Loyalty c. the Episcopal Party was only an Effect of their Animolity against the Diffenters, and therefore he ought to procure a Standing Army, and advance the ho man Catholicks, on whose Fidelity he might depend, to Civil and Military Employments.

The King being of a facile, manageable Temper and one who feldom resolved upon any thing by his own Determination, was easily led into a Prcject that flatter'd the Ambition, all Princes naturals

have of making themselves absolute. To put this DE klofettings. fignin Execution, even before Monmouth's Rebellion

, he began to Clotet Men, and by fair Words and are ple Promises endeavour'd to allure them to a Com pliance with his Intentions of favouring Popery; bu fill he touch'd that Point very gently, for he had

not yet forgot that his Brother had often, and parGood Ad- ticularly a little before his Death, advis'd hiin, m vice given to think of introducing Popery into England, it be the King by ing a thing that was both Dangerozes and Impract:his late ble. He also remembred, that Don Pedro Ronquille Brother. the Spanish Ambassador, who was no ordinary

Politician, at his first Audience after the Death ci
King Charles, having ask'd Leave to speak his

Thoughts freely upon that Occation, made bold By the Spa.

to tell His Majesty, That be faw several Priests about mith Amo him, whom he knew would importune him to alter the baffador. establish'd Religion in England; but be defir'd Hi

Majesty not to give Ear to ibeir #dvice, far if be did, be was afraid His Majesty would have reason to Ripent it. ?Tis reported that King James took ill the Liberty of the Spanilh Ambassador, and ask'd him in a Passion, Whether in Spain the Kings did not

advise with their Confefors? Yes, Sir, replied RarAnd by the quillo, they do, and that's the Reason our Affairs pope. go fo III. Nay, Pope Innocent tbe Xl. writ'a Letter

to King James, upon his Acceffion to the Crown, to this Effect, That be boas highly pleasd witla His Majestees Zeal for the Catholick Religion ; bet lae tras efraid Hu Majesty might push it too far, and infteade



of contributing to bis own Greatness, and to the Ad. 1685.
vancement of the Catholick Church, he might come to
do it, and himself, the greatest Prijudice, by attemp-
ting that, which bis Holiness was well assur’d by
long Experience, could have no Success. These things,
together with the Commotions which Monmouth
and Argile had rais'd, prevaild a while with King
James to contain his immoderate Zeal for the Ro-
mish Religion; but now being elevated with his
late Victories, and presuming inuch upon a House He caftsam
of Commons made up, for the mott part, of his own the Mask.
Creatures, he thought it high Time to cast off the
Mask, and to act without Disguile, what till then
he had, in some Measure, endeavour'd to diffem-
ble. But it appear'd upon this Occasion, what a
Tenderness and Affection English Men have for
their Laws and Liberties, and that a King of Eng-
land will ever find it a hard Matter to make a House
of Commons Accessary to the Enllaving of the Na-
tion. This Parliament had shewn a more than
ordinary Zčal in Attainting Monmouth, and had
readily granted the King a Competent Supply to
Suppress that Insurrection ; but at the same Time
to put His Majesty in mind of his repeated Pro-
miles, the lower House thought fit to pass
this Unanimous Vote: That they did acquiefce, and
intirely relye, and rest wbolly satisfied in His Ma-
jesties Word, and repeated Declarations to Support
and Defend the Religion of the Church of England,
as it is now by Law establib'd, which was dearer to
them than their Lives. This indeed they had Reason
to expect in Return to their Affection and Loyalty,
and the Contidence they repos'd in His Majesty;
but it seems they were mistaken: For King James
began to talk to them in a far different Strain than
he had done before. And in another Speech from
the Throne, gave them plainly to understand,
that he was now Master, and that for the future
he will not be Fetter'd by any Laws, but Govem
by his own sole will and Pleasure, supported by
a Standing Ariny; nay, an Army partly Commando
ed by Catholicks.

[blocks in formation]

1685. No part of the English Constitution was better

secur’d by Law, than that by which Roman Ca He makes tholicks were declar'd incapable of Places of Trul, a Speech to either Civil or Military in the Government: And the Parlia- the King himself, when Duke of York, was forc'd ment in do by the Test Ači to lay down his Orice of Highnother

Admiral, even at a time when he had not publickStrain,

ly own'd his Reconciliation to the Church of November

Kome. But now he attempted to break down this 9th 1685.

Barrier, and in his Speech to his Parliament told them : That after the Storm that seemid to be coming when he parted from them last, he was glad to meet them again in so great Peace and quietness, praising God Almighty, by, whose Blessing that Rebelion was Suppress'd, But when he reflečied what an inconfiderable Number of Men begun it; and how long they cat ried it on without any Opposition, he hop'd every Body was convinc'd, that the Militia, which had been much depended on, was not sufficient for such Occafrons

, and that there was nothing but a good Force of w disciplin’d Troops in constant Pay, that could defend him and them from such as either at Home or Abroad were dispos'd to disturb them. That his Concern for the Peace and Quiet of his Subjects, as well as far the Safety of the Government, made him think it necessary to encrease the Number to the Proportion be had done ; that it was for the Support of this great Charge, which was now more than double than what it was before, that he asked their Asistance in giving him a Supply answerable to the Expences; and that he could not doubt, but what he had begun fo much to the Honour and Defence of the Government, would be continued by them with all Chearfulness and

} Readiness. Then as to the main drift of his Speech, and to acquaint them with his fix'd Intentions, he added : Let no Man take Exception that there are some Officers in the Army not qualified, according to the late Tests, for their employment. The Gentlemen, I mult tell you, are most of them well known to me, and having formerly served me on several Occafions, and always approv'd the Loyalty of their. Principles by their Practices, I think them now fit to be employed under me ; and will deal plainly with you, that after having


« ForrigeFortsæt »