Obrázky stránek

though Charles invariably declared that he was never married to that nobleman's mother. The discontent, however, which was felt at James's evident design to introduce popery into his kingdom, encouraged Monmouth to raise his standard against his uncle. He was assisted in his enterprise by the Earl of Argyle, who had long been in exile; but the scheme was ill prepared, and Argyle, who landed in Scotland, was taken and executed in Edinburgh. Monmouth collected some troops, but they dispersed at the approach of the royal army; and the duke was himself taken in the fields, with nothing but some peas in his pockets, the only sustenance which he had had for some days. He was beheaded on Tower-hill, to the great regret of the people, with whom he was generally a favourite.

The king was relentless, not only in the case of his nephew, but also in wreaking his vengeance on all who had assisted his rebellion. Judge Jeffries (who was soon afterwards made lord chancellor) was sent into the west, and behaved with the most savage insolence and cruelty in the trials over which he presided. In his circuit, which James always spoke of as "Jeffries' campaign," more than 250 prisoners were executed with dreadful severity, and vast numbers sent as slaves to the plantations.

Elated by his success in putting down Monmouth's rebellion, the king was less careful to conceal the purpose which he had in view. The army was filled with papists, and persons of the same persuasion were promoted to the highest offices in the state. The Church was next attacked in the universities, and on the death of the president of Magdalene College (Oxford), the fellows were commanded to elect one Anthony Farmer, a man of dissolute character, who had become a proselyte to the Church of Rome. The college disregarded this mandate, and elected Mr. Hough as their president. For this disobedience, twenty-five of the fellows, with Hough himself, who afterwards became Bishop of Worcester, were expelled from the university. The king issued an order in council, that a declaration which he had put forth in favour of liberty of conscience, should be read in all churches. Seven of the bishops refused to

5 Sancroft, archbishop of Canterbury; Lloyd, bishop of St. Asaph; Turner, bishop of Ely; Lake, bishop of Chichester; Ken, bishop of

obey this proclamation, and presented a petition to the king. James sent them to the Tower, and caused them to be prosecuted for sedition. As they were conducted down the river, the banks were lined with people, who fell on their knees, and implored the blessing of their spiritual fathers, who thus suffered for the truth. 66 The demeanour of the seven prelates strengthened the interest which their situation excited. On the evening of the Black Friday, as it was called, on which they were committed, they reached their prison just at the hour of Divine service. They instantly hastened to the chapel. It chanced that in the Second Lesson were these words: In all things approv ing ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments.' All zealous churchmen were delighted by this coincidence, and remembered how much comfort a similar coincidence had given, near forty years before, to Charles the First, at the time of his death." Notwithstanding the efforts of the court, the bishops were acquitted on their trial; and the acclamations of the people at their escape reached even to the camp at Hounslow, where the king was dining in the tent of Lord Feversham. Inquiring the cause of the shouts which he heard, he was told that they were nothing but the acclamations of the people at the acquittal of the bishops. Call you that nothing?" said the king; "but so much the worse for them."

[ocr errors]

The birth of a Prince of Wales (June 10, 1688) seems to have convinced the principal people in the country, that it was now necessary to act with energy, if the Church and liberties of England were to be preserved. An invitation was sent to William Prince of Orange, (the Stadtholder, and chief officer of the government of the Dutch provinces,) who was the son-in-law of James, as well as the grandson of Charles I., to request his aid in preserving the religion. and laws of the land from the danger which threatened them. Every thing was prepared for the arrival of the prince, before James was aware of the estrangement of his people. On learning it, he endeavoured to regain their affections by

Bath and Wells; White, bishop of Peterborough ; Trelawney, bishop of Bristol. Macaulay, Hist. of England, vol. ii. p. 367.

concessions which came too late. William landed in Torbay, Nov. 4, and was soon joined by the principal persons in the kingdom; among others, by the Princess Anne. When James was told of her flight, he exclaimed, “God help me! my own children are forsaking me." Finding himself unable to offer any effectual resistance, he tried to escape from the kingdom; but was recognized at Feversham, and brought back to London; where the people, who had so lately regarded him with mistrust, received him with acclamations. William ordered him to reside at Rochester, from which place he was able again to embark for France; and was cordially received by Louis XIV., who assigned him the palace of St. Germains as a residence.

On the king's flight a convention was assembled, by which it was declared that James had abdicated the government; and the crown was offered to William and Mary his wife, the daughter of James, jointly. They were proclaimed king and queen; but the royal power was declared to belong exclusively to William. In the event of their leaving no issue, the succession was settled on the Princess Anne and her children.

Such is the event which is known in history as the English Revolution. It resulted from the deep attachment of the English to their national Church and civil liberties; and it is impossible to look back on it without admiring the calmness and moderation with which the great men who brought about this change in the government accomplished their purpose.



William III. Born at the Hague. Buried in Westminster Abbey. Mary II. Born at St. James's. Buried in Westminster Abbey. Reigned (together) 5 years. From A.D. 1689 to A.D. 1694. William III. (alone) reigned 8 years. From A.D. 1694 to A.D. 1702.

Archbishops of Canterbury. John Tillotson, A.D. 1691-1694. | Thomas Tenison, A.D. 1694-1715. THE prince who thus mounted the throne of England was one of the greatest men of the age. He had steadily opposed the ambitious designs of the King of France: and was

He had a

an able, though not often a successful general. strong sense of religious duty, and was upright, and generally correct in his conduct; though not devoid of faults from which his high principles ought to have induced him to abstain. He was, however, tenderly attached to his queen, who conducted herself with much piety and wisdom in the difficult duties which she had to discharge. William shared the cold and phlegmatic character which is usually ascribed to his countrymen; and his dry and unpleasant manners contrasted unfavourably with that winning affability, to 1 which the English had been accustomed in Charles, and which had engaged their affection to that monarch notwithstanding his many faults.

The limits of the royal prerogative were now defined and settled by the Bill of Rights, to which William gave his assent; embodying most of the points for which, even from the days of the Plantagenets, the country had been contending. The administration was in the hands of the Whigs, of whom the Earl of Shrewsbury, Lord Danby, and John Somers, were the chief. Danby, who had been minister to Charles II., and was impeached in that reign, became Duke of Leeds; and Somers was afterwards made Earl Somers and lord chancellor.

The oath of allegiance to William, which was now imposed, was declined by Archbishop Sancroft and several of the bishops, some of whom were the same men who had gone to the Tower rather than give way to James. These prelates were deprived of their sees; and many of the clergy for the same reason lost their benefices. This party among the clergy were called non-jurors'. However we may lament this division in the ecclesiastical body at such a time, it is impossible not to respect the conscientious and disinterested conduct of these prelates, who were content to suffer imprisonment for their resistance to James's illegal measures, and yet resigned their sees, rather than violate the oath of allegiance to that prince by which they

The non-juring bishops were, Sancroft, archbishop of Canterbury; Lloyd, bishop of Norwich; Turner, bishop of Ely; Frampton, bishop of Gloucester; Ken, bishop of Bath and Wells; White, bishop of Peterborough. They were deprived. Thomas, bishop of Worcester, and Lake, bishop of Chichester, were non-jurors also, but died before they could be deprived.

still thought themselves bound. Dr. Tillotson was made a archbishop of Canterbury, and the see of Salisbury was

conferred upon Dr. Burnet. historian of his own times.

The latter prelate became the
He was a man of active and

busy disposition, and had some ability; but his contemporaries do not speak highly either of his political integrity, or of his character as a divine.

The crown of Scotland was settled on William and Mary by a Scottish convention. An insurrection in the Highlands, in favour of James, was headed by Lord Dundee, who gained a victory at the pass of Killiecrankie; but was killed in the battle, and his troops dispersed. Episcopacy now ceased to be recognized by the State in Scotland: the Presbyterian system became established as the general persuasion of that nation; and the cathedrals and parish churches were put into the hands of the Presbyterians. But the succession of bishops was still preserved amongst the remnant who valued that institution, and it survived, as we shall see, even severer trials which followed. It may here be mentioned, that the suppression of disaffection in the Highlands was attended some little time afterwards by an act of cruelty which has left a stain on William's memory. This was a massacre of the clan or family of M'Donald in the vale of Glenco. The king too hastily signed a paper to authorize the extermination of "that set of thieves," as he denominated the inhabitants of that valley, in his ignorance of the Highland character and system of clanship. The execution of this order was entrusted to M'Donald's hereditary enemy, and was effected with great treachery and cruelty. The party came in the guise of friendship, and was hospitably entertained by M'Donald for fifteen days, at the close of which a complete massacre of his family took place. Children were butchered as they clung to the knees of the soldiers, and M'Donald was shot in the arms of his wife, who herself died in a state of distraction.

In Ireland the government of William was opposed with much determination. The people of that island were then, as now, generally members of the Church of Rome, and they received James, who landed at Kinsale (March 12, 1689), as their lawful king. In Ulster only could those who opposed Popery make head against him; and the city of Lon

« PředchozíPokračovat »