In these instances, the recognition of the protector, and of the two houses, the royalists, with some exceptions, had voted in favour of the court, under the impression that such a form of government was
[Footnote 1: Journals, Feb. 18, March 28, April 5, 6, 8. Thurloe, 615, 626, 633, 636, 640, 647, Clar. Pap. iii. 429, 432. Burton's Diary, iii. 317-369, 403-424, 510-594; iv. 7-41, 46-147, 163-243, 293, 351, 375.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. March 10.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1659. March 23.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1659. March 28.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1659. April 8.]
one step towards the restoration of the king. But on all other questions, whenever there was a prospect of throwing impediments in the way of the ministry, or of inflaming the discontent of the people, they zealously lent their aid to the republican party. It was proved that, while the revenue had been doubled, the expenditure had grown in a greater proportion; complaints were made of oppression, waste, embezzlement, and tyranny in the collection of the excise: the inhumanity of selling obnoxious individuals for slaves to the West India planters was severely reprobated; instances of extortion were daily announced to the house by the committee of grievances; an impeachment was ordered against Boteler, accused of oppression in his office of major-general; and another threatened against Thurloe for illegal conduct in his capacity of secretary of state. But, while these proceedings awakened the hopes and gratified the resentments of the people, they at the same time spread alarm through the army; every man conscious of having abused the power of the sword began to tremble for his own safety; and an unusual ferment, the sure presage of military violence, was observable at the head-quarters of the several regiments.
[Footnote 1: Clar. Pap. iii. 429, 432. Thurloe, 647. Burton's Diary, iii. 448; iv. 255, 263, 301, 403, 429. One petition stated that seventy persons who had been apprehended on account of the Salisbury rising, after a year's imprisonment, had been sold at Barbadoes for "1550 pounds' weight of sugar a-piece, more or less, according to their working faculties." Among them were divines, officers, and gentlemen, who were represented as "grinding at the mills, attending at the furnaces, and digging in that scorching island, being bought and sold still from one planter to another, or attached as horses or beasts for the debts of their masters, being whipped at the whipping-posts as rogues at their masters' pleasure, and sleeping in sties worse than hogs in England."—Ibid. 256. See also Thurloe, i. 745.]
Hitherto the general officers had been divided between Whitehall and Wallingford House, the residences of Richard and of Fleetwood. At Whitehall, the Lord Falconberg, brother-in-law to the protector, Charles Howard, whom Oliver had created a viscount, Ingoldsby, Whalley, Goffe, and a few others, formed a military council for the purpose of maintaining the ascendancy of Richard in the army. At Wallingford House, Fleetwood and his friends consulted how they might deprive him of the command, and reduce him to the situation of a civil magistrate; but now a third and more numerous council appeared at St. James's, consisting of most of the inferior officers, and guided by the secret intrigues of Lambert, who, holding no commission himself, abstained from sitting among them, and by the open influence of Desborough, a bold and reckless man, who began to despise the weak and wavering conduct of Fleetwood. Here originated the plan of a general council of officers,[a] which was followed by the adoption of "the humble representation and petition," an instrument composed in language too moderate to give reasonable cause of offence, but intended to suggest much more than it was thought prudent to express. It made no allusion to the disputed claim of the protector, or the subjects of strife between the two houses; but it complained bitterly of the contempt into which the good old cause had sunk, of the threats held out, and the prosecutions instituted, against the patriots who had distinguished themselves in its support, and of the privations to which the military were reduced
[Footnote 1: Viscount Howard, of Morpeth, July 20, 1657, afterwards created Baron Dacre, Viscount Howard of Morpeth and earl of Carlisle, by Charles II., 30 April, 1661.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. April 6.]
by a system that kept their pay so many months in arrear. In conclusion, it prayed for the redress of these grievances, and stated the attachment of the subscribers to the cause for which they had bled, and their readiness to stand by the protector and parliament in its defence. This paper, with six hundred signatures, was presented to Richard, who received it with an air of cheerfulness, and forwarded it to the lower house. There it was read, laid on the table, and scornfully neglected. But the military leaders treated the house with equal scorn; having obtained the consent of the protector, they established a permanent council of general officers; and then, instead of fulfilling the expectations with which they had lulled his jealousy, successively voted, that the common cause was in danger, that the command of the army ought to be vested in a person possessing its confidence, and that every officer should be called upon to testify his approbation of the death of Charles I., and of the subsequent proceedings of the military; a measure levelled against the meeting at Whitehall, of which the members were charged with a secret leaning to the cause of royalty. This was sufficiently alarming; but, in addition, the officers of the trained bands signified their adhesion to the "representation" of the army; and more than six hundred privates of the regiment formerly commanded by Colonel Pride published their determination to stand by their officers in the maintenance "of the old cause." The
[Footnote 1: "The Humble Representation and Petition, printed by H. Hills, 1659."—Thurloe, 659.]
[Footnote 2: Thurloe, 662. Ludlow, ii. 174.]
[Footnote 3: The Humble Representation and Petition of Field Officers, &c. of the Trained Bands. London, 1659. Burton's Diary, iv. 388, note.]
friends of the protector saw that it was time to act with energy; and, by their influence in the lower house, carried the following votes:[a] that no military meetings should be held without the joint consent of the protector and the parliament, and that every officer should forfeit his commission who would not promise, under his signature, never to disturb the sitting, or infringe the freedom of parliament. These votes met, indeed, with a violent opposition in the "other house," in which many of the members had been chosen from the military; but the courtiers, anxious to secure the victory, proposed another and declaratory vote in the Commons,[b] that the command of the army was vested in the three estates, to be exercised by the protector. By the officers this motion was considered as an open declaration of war: they instantly met; and Desborough, in their name, informed Richard that the crisis was at last come; the parliament must be dissolved, either by the civil authority, or by the power of the sword. He might make his election. If he chose the first, the army would provide for his dignity and support; if he did not, he would be abandoned to his fate, and fall friendless and unpitied.
The protector called a council of his confidential advisers. Whitelock opposed the dissolution, on the ground that a grant of money might yet appease the discontent of the military. Thurloe, Broghill, Fiennes, and Wolseley maintained, on the contrary, that the dissension between the parliament and the army was irreconcilable; and that on the first shock between them, the Cavaliers would rise simultaneously in the
[Footnote 1: Thurloe, 555, 557, 558, 662. Burton's Diary, iv. 448-463, 472-480. Ludlow ii. 176, 178.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. April 18.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1659. April 21.]
cause of Charles Stuart. A commission was accordingly signed by Richard, and the usher of the black rod repeatedly summoned the Commons to attend in the other house.[a] But true to their former vote of receiving no message brought by inferior officers, they refused to obey; some members proposed to declare it treason to put force on the representatives of the nation, others to pronounce all proceedings void whenever a portion of the members should be excluded by violence; at last they adjourned for three days, and accompanied the speaker to his carriage in the face of the soldiery assembled at the door. These proceedings, however, did not prevent Fiennes, the head commissioner, from dissolving the parliament; and the important intelligence was communicated to the three nations by proclamation in the same afternoon.
Whether the consequences of this measure, so fatal to the interests of Richard, were foreseen by his advisers, may be doubted. It appears that Thurloe had for several days been negotiating both with the republican and the military leaders. He had tempted some of the former with the offer of place and emolument, to strengthen the party of the protector; to the latter he had proposed that Richard, in imitation of his father on one occasion, should raise money for the payment of the army by the power of the sword, and without the aid of parliament. But these intrigues were now at an end; by the dissolution Richard had signed his own deposition; though he continued to reside at Whitehall, the government fell into abeyance; even the officers, who had hitherto frequented
[Footnote 1: Whitelock, 677. England's Confusion, 9. Clarendon Papers, 451, 456. Ludlow, ii. 174. Merc. Pol. 564.]
[Footnote 2: Thurloe, 659, 661.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. April 22.]
his court, abandoned him, some to appease, by their attendance at Wallingford House, the resentment of their adversaries, the others, to provide, by their absence, for their own safety. If the supreme authority resided any where, it was with Fleetwood, who now held the nominal command of the army; but he and his associates were controlled both by the meeting of officers at St. James's, and by the consultations of the republican party in the city; and therefore contented themselves with depriving the friends of Richard of their commissions, and with giving their regiments to the men who had been cashiered by his father. Unable to agree on any form of government among themselves, they sought to come to an understanding with the republican leaders. These demanded the restoration of the long parliament, on the ground that, as its interruption by Cromwell had been illegal, it was still the supreme authority in the nation; and the officers, unwilling to forfeit the privileges of their new peerage, insisted on the reproduction of the other house, as a co-ordinate authority, under the less objectionable name of a senate. But the country was now in a state of anarchy; the intentions of the armies in Scotland and Ireland remained uncertain; and the royalists, both Presbyterians and Cavaliers, were exerting themselves to improve the general confusion to the advantage of the exiled king. As a last resource, the officers, by an instrument in which they regretted their past errors and backsliding, invited[a] the members of the long parliament to resume the trust of
[Footnote 1: See the Humble Remonstrance from four hundred Non-commissioned Officers and Privates of Major-general Goffe's Regiment (so called) of Foot. London, 1659.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. May 6.]
which they had been unrighteously deprived. With some difficulty, two-and-forty were privately collected in the Painted Chamber; Lenthall, the former speaker, after much entreaty, put himself at their head,[a] and the whole body passed into the house through two lines of officers, some of whom were the very individuals by whom, six years before, they had been ignominiously expelled.
The reader will recollect that, on a former occasion, in the year 1648, the Presbyterian members of the long parliament had been excluded by the army. Of these, one hundred and ninety-four were still alive, eighty of whom actually resided in the capital. That they had as good a right to resume their seats as the members who had been expelled by Cromwell could hardly be doubted; but they were royalists, still adhering to the principles which they professed during the treaty in the Isle of Wight, and from their number, had they been admitted, would have instantly outvoted the advocates of republicanism. They assembled in Westminster Hall;[b] and a deputation of fourteen, with Sir George Booth, Prynne, and Annesley at their head, proceeded to the house. The doors were closed in their faces; a company of soldiers, the keepers, as they were sarcastically called, of the liberties of England, filled the lobby; and a resolution was passed that no former member, who had not subscribed the engagement, should sit till further order of parliament.[c] The attempt, however, though it failed of success, produced its effect. It served to countenance a belief that the sitting members were mere tools of the military, and supplied the royalists with the means of masking their
[Footnote 1: Ludlow, 179-186. Whitelock, 677. England's Confusion, 9.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. May 7.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1659. May 7.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1659. May 9.]
real designs under the popular pretence of vindicating the freedom of parliament.
By gradual additions, the house at last amounted to seventy members, who, while they were ridiculed by their adversaries with the appellation of the "Rump," constituted themselves the supreme authority in the three kingdoms. They appointed, first, a committee of safety, and then a council of state, notified to the foreign ministers their restoration to power, and, to satisfy the people, promised by a printed declaration[a] to establish a form of government, which should secure civil and religious liberty without a single person, or kingship, or house of lords. The farce of addresses was renewed; the "children of Zion," the asserters of the good old cause, clamorously displayed their joy; and Heaven was fatigued with prayers for the prosperity and permanence of the new government.
That government at first depended for its existence on the good-will of the military in the neighbourhood of London; gradually it obtained[b] promises of support from the forces at a distance. 1. Monk, with his
[Footnote 1: Journ. May 9. Loyalty Banished, 3. England's Confusion, 12. On the 9th, Prynne found his way into the house, and maintained his right against his opponents till dinner-time. After dinner he returned, but was excluded by the military. He was careful, however, to inform the public of the particulars, and moreover undertook to prove that the long parliament expired at the death of the king; 1. On the authority of the doctrine laid down in the law books; 2. Because all writs of summons abate by the king's death in parliament; 3. Because the parliament is called by a king regnant, and is his, the king regnant's, parliament, and deliberates on his business; 4. Because the parliament is a corporation, consisting of king, lords, and commons, and if one of the three be extinct, the body corporate no longer exists.—See Loyalty Banished, and a true and perfect Narrative of what was done and spoken by and between Mr. Prynne, &c., 1650.]
[Footnote 2: See the Declarations of the Army and the Parliament in the Journals, May 7.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. May 13.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1659. May 17.]
officers, wrote to the speaker, congratulating him and his colleagues on their restoration to power, and hypocritically thanking them for their condescension in taking up so heavy a burthen; but, at the same time, reminding them of the services of Oliver Cromwell, and of the debt of gratitude which the nation owed to his family. 2. Lockhart hastened to tender the services of the regiments in Flanders, and received in return a renewal of his credentials as ambassador, with a commission to attend the conferences between the ministers of France and Spain at Fuentarabia. 3. Montague followed with a letter from the fleet; but his professions of attachment were received with distrust. To balance his influence with the seamen, Lawson received the command of a squadron destined to cruise in the Channel; and, to watch his conduct in the Baltic, three commissioners, with Algernon Sydney at their head, were joined with him in his mission to the two northern courts. 4. There still remained the army in Ireland. From Henry Cromwell, a soldier possessing the affections of the military, and believed to inherit the abilities of his father, an obstinate, and perhaps successful, resistance was anticipated. But he wanted decision. Three parties had presented themselves to his choice; to earn, by the promptitude of his acquiescence, the gratitude of the new government; or to maintain by arms the right of his deposed brother; or to declare, as he was strongly solicited to declare, in favour of Charles Stuart. Much time was lost in consultation; at length the thirst of resentment, with the lure of reward, determined him
[Footnote 1: Whitelock, 678.]
[Footnote 2: Thurloe, 669, 670. Ludlow, ii. 199. Journals, May 7, 9, 18, 26, 31.]
to unfurl the royal standard; then the arrival of letters from England threw him back into his former state of irresolution; and, while he thus wavered from project to project, some of his officers ventured to profess their attachment to the commonwealth, the privates betrayed a disinclination to separate their cause from that of their comrades in England, and Sir Hardress Waller, in the interest of the parliament, surprised the castle of Dublin.[a] The last stroke reduced Henry at once to the condition of a suppliant; he signified his submission by a letter to the speaker, obeyed the commands of the house to appear before the council,[b] and, having explained to them the state of Ireland, was graciously permitted to retire into the obscurity of private life. The civil administration of the island devolved on five commissioners, and the command of the army was given to Ludlow,[c] with the rank of lieutenant-general of the horse.
But the republican leaders soon discovered that they had not been called to repose on a bed of roses.[d] The officers at Wallingford House began to dictate to the men whom they had made their nominal masters, and forwarded to them fifteen demands, under the modest title of "the things which they had on their minds," when they restored the long parliament. The house took them successively into consideration. A committee was appointed to report the form of government the best calculated to secure the liberties of the people; the duration of the existing parliament was
[Footnote 1: Carte's Letters, ii. 242. Clar. Pap. 500, 501, 516.]
[Footnote 2: Thurloe, vii. 683, 684. Journals, June 14, 27, July 4, 17. Henry Cromwell resided on his estate of Swinney Abbey, near Sohan, in Cambridgeshire, till his death in 1674.—Noble, i. 227.]
[Footnote 3: See the Humble Petition and Address of the Officers, printed by Henry Hills, 1659.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. June 15.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1659. July 6.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1659. July 18.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1659. May 15.]
limited to twelve months; freedom of worship was extended to all believers in the Scriptures and the doctrine of the Trinity, with the usual exception of prelatists and papists; and an act of oblivion, after many debates, was passed, but so encumbered with provisoes and exceptions, that it served rather to irritate than appease. The officers had requested[a] that lands of inheritance, to the annual value of ten thousand pounds, should be settled on Richard Cromwell, and a yearly pension of eight thousand pounds on her "highness dowager," his mother. But it was observed in the house that, though Richard exercised no authority, he continued to occupy the state apartments at Whitehall; and a suspicion existed that he was kept there as an object of terror, to intimate to the members that the same power could again set him up, which had so recently brought him down. By repeated messages, he was ordered to retire; and, on his promise to obey, the parliament granted him the privilege of freedom from arrest during six months; transferred his private debts, amounting to twenty-nine thousand six hundred and forty pounds, to the account of the nation, gave him two thousand pounds as a relief to his present necessities, and voted that a yearly income of ten thousand pounds should be settled on him and his heirs, a grant easily made on paper, but never carried into execution.
[Footnote 1: Declaration of General Council of Officers, 27th of October, p. 5. For the different forms of government suggested by different projectors, see Ludlow, ii. 206.]
[Footnote 2: Journals, May 16, 25, July 4, 12, 16.—Ludlow (ii. 198) makes the present twenty thousand pounds; but the sum of two thousand pounds is written at length in the Journals; May 25. While he was at Whitehall, he entertained proposals from the royalists, consented to accept a title and twenty thousand pounds a year, and designed to escape to the fleet under Montague, but was too strictly watched to effect his purpose.—Clar. Pap. iii. 475, 477, 478.]
[Sidenote: A.D. 1659. July 12.]
But the principal source of disquietude still remained. Among the fifteen articles presented to the house, the twelfth appeared, not in the shape of a request, but of a declaration, that the officers unanimously owned Fleetwood as "commander-in-chief of the land forces in England." It was the point for which they had contended under Richard; and Ludlow, Vane, and Salloway earnestly implored their colleagues to connive at what it was evidently dangerous to oppose. But the lessons of prudence were thrown away on the rigid republicanism of Hazlerig, Sydney, Neville, and their associates, who contended that to be silent was to acknowledge in the council of officers an authority independent of the parliament. They undertook to remodel the constitution of the army. The office of lord-general was abolished; no intermediate rank between the lieutenant-general and the colonels was admitted; Fleetwood was named lieutenant-general, with the chief command in England and Scotland, but limited in its duration to a short period, revocable at pleasure, and deprived of several of those powers which had hitherto been annexed to it. All military commissions were revoked, and an order was made that a committee of nine members should recommend the persons to be officers in each regiment; that their respective merits should be canvassed in the house; and that those who had passed this ordeal should receive their commissions at the table from the hand of the speaker. The object of this arrangement was plain: to make void the declaration of the military, to weed out men of doubtful fidelity, and to render the others dependent for their situations on the pleasure of the house. Fleetwood, with his adherents, resolved never to submit to the degradation, while the privates amused themselves with ridiculing the age and infirmities of him whom they called their new lord-general, the speaker Lenthall; but Hazlerig prevailed on Colonel Hacker, with his officers, to conform; their example gradually drew others; and, at length, the most discontented, though with shame and reluctance, condescended to go through this humbling ceremony. The republicans congratulated each other on their victory; they had only accelerated their defeat.
Ever since the death of Oliver, the exiled king had watched with intense interest the course of events in England; and each day added a new stimulus to his hopes of a favourable issue. The unsettled state of the nation, the dissensions among his enemies, the flattering representations of his friends, and the offers of co-operation from men who had hitherto opposed his claims, persuaded him that the day of his restoration was at hand. That the opportunity might not be forfeited by his own backwardness, he announced[a] to the leaders of the royalists his intention of coming to England, and of hazarding his life in the company of his faithful subjects. There was scarcely a county in which the majority of the nobility and gentry did not engage to rally round his standard; the first day of August was fixed for the general rising; and it was determined[b] in the council at Brussels that Charles should repair in disguise to the coast of Bretagne, where he might procure a passage into Wales or Cornwall; that the duke of York, with six hundred veterans furnished by the prince of Conde, should attempt to land from Boulogne on the coast of Kent; and that the duke of Gloucester should follow
[Footnote 1: Journals, passim. Ludlow, ii. 197. Declaration of Officers, 6. Thurloe, 679. Clarend. Hist. iii. 665.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. June 4.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1659. July.]
from Ostend with the royal army of four thousand men under the Marshal Marsin. Unfortunately his concerns in England had been hitherto conducted by a council called "the Knot," at the head of which was Sir Richard Willis. Willis, the reader is aware, was a traitor; but it was only of late that the eyes of Charles had been opened to his perfidy by Morland, the secretary of Thurloe, who, to make his own peace, sent to the court at Bruges some of the original communications in the writing of Willis. This discovery astonished and perplexed the king. To make public the conduct of the traitor was to provoke him to farther disclosures: to conceal it, was to connive at the destruction of his friends, and the ruin of his own prospects. He first instructed his correspondents to be reserved in their communications with "the Knot;"[a] he then ordered Willis to meet him on a certain day at Calais;[b] and, when this order was disregarded, openly forbade the royalists to give to the traitor information, or to follow his advice.
But these precautions came too late. After the deposition of the protector, Willis had continued to communicate with Thurloe, who with the intelligence
[Footnote 1: Clar. Pap. iii. 514, 517, 518, 520, 524, 526, 529, 531, 535, 536. Willis maintained his innocence, and found many to believe him. Echard (p. 729) has published a letter with Morland's signature, in which he is made to say that he never sent any of the letters of Willis to the king, nor even so much as knew his name; whence Harris (ii. 215) infers that the whole charge is false. That, however, it was true, no one can doubt who will examine the proofs in the Clarendon Papers (iii. 518, 526, 529, 533, 535, 536, 542, 549, 556, 558, 562, 563, 574, 583, 585), and in Carte's Collection of Letters (ii. 220, 256, 284). Indeed, the letter from Willis of the 9th of May, 1660, soliciting the king's pardon, leaves no room for doubt.—Clar. Pap. 643. That Morland was the informer, and, consequently, the letter in Echard is a forgery, is also evident from the reward which he received at the restoration, and from his own admission to Pepys.—See Pepys, i. 79, 82, 133, 8vo. See also "Life of James II." 370.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. July 18.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1659. August 7.]
which he thus obtained, was enabled to purchase the forbearance of his former opponents. At an early period in July, the council was in possession of the plan of the royalists. Reinforcements were immediately demanded from the armies in Flanders and Ireland; directions were issued for a levy of fourteen regiments of one thousand men each;[a] measures were taken for calling out the militia; numerous arrests were made in the city and every part of the country; and the known Cavaliers were compelled to leave the metropolis, and to produce security for their peaceable behaviour. These proceedings seemed to justify Willis in representing the attempt as hopeless; and, at his persuasion, "the Knot" by circular letters forbade the rising, two days before the appointed time.[b] The royalists were thus thrown into irremediable confusion. Many remained quiet at their homes; many assembled in arms, and dispersed on account of the absence of their associates; in some counties the leaders were intercepted in their way to the place of rendezvous; in others as soon as they met, they were surrounded or charged by a superior force. In Cheshire alone was the royal standard successfully unfurled by Sir George Booth, a person of considerable influence in the county, and a recent convert to the cause of the Stuarts. In the letter which he circulated, he was careful to make no mention of the king, but called on the people to defend their rights against the tyranny of an insolent soldiery and a pretended parliament.[c] "Let the nation freely choose its representatives, and those representatives as freely sit without awe or force of soldiery." This was all that he sought: in the determination of such an assembly, whatever that determination might be, both he and
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. August 13.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1659. August 29.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1659. August 2.]
his friends would cheerfully acquiesce. It was in effect a rising on the Presbyterian interest; and the proceedings were in a great measure controlled by a committee of minister, who scornfully rejected the aid of the Catholics, and received with jealousy Sir Thomas Middleton, though a known Presbyterian, because he openly avowed himself a royalist.
At Chester, the parliamentary garrison retired into the castle, and the insurgents took possession of the city. Each day brought to them a new accession of strength; and their apparent success taught them to augur equally well of the expected attempts of their confederates throughout the kingdom. But the unwelcome truth could not long be concealed; and when they learned that they stood alone, that every other rising had been either prevented or instantly suppressed, and that Lambert was hastening against them with four regiments of cavalry and three of foot, their confidence was exchanged for despair; every gentleman who had risked his life in the attempt claimed a right to give his advice; and their counsels, from fear, inexperience, and misinformation, became fluctuating and contradictory.[a] After much hesitation, they resolved to proceed to Nantwich and defend the passage of the Weever; but so rapid had been the march of the enemy, who sent forward part of the infantry on horseback, that the advance was already arrived in the neighbourhood; and, while the royalists lay unsuspicious of danger in the town, Lambert forced the passage of the river at Winnington.[b] In haste, they filed out of Nantwich into the nearest fields; but here they found that most of their ammunition was still at Chester;[c] and, on the suggestion that the position was
[Footnote 1: Parl. Hist. xxiii. 107.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. August 16.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1659. August 18.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1659. August 19.]
unfavourable, hastened to take possession of a neighbouring eminence. Colonel Morgan, with his troop, attempted to keep the enemy in check; he fell, with thirty men; and the rest of the insurgents, at the approach of their adversaries, turned their backs and fled. Three hundred were made prisoners in the pursuit, and few of the leaders had the good fortune to escape. The earl of Derby, who had raised men in Lancashire to join the royalists, was taken in the disguise of a servant. Booth, dressed as a female, and riding on a pillion, took[a] the direct road for London, but betrayed himself at Newton Pagnell by his awkwardness in alighting from the horse. Middleton, who was eighty years old, fled to Chirk Castle; and, after a defence of a few days, capitulated,[b] on condition that he should have two months to make his peace with the parliament.
The news of this disaster reached the duke of York at Boulogne, fortunately on the very evening on which he was to have embarked with his men. Charles received it at Rochelle, whither he had been compelled to proceed in search of a vessel to convey him to Wales. Abandoning the hopeless project, he instantly continued his journey to the congress at Fuentarabia, with the delusive expectation that, on the conclusion of peace between the two crowns, he should obtain a supply of money, and perhaps still more substantial aid, from a personal interview with the ministers, Cardinal Mazarin and Don Louis de Haro. Montague, who had but recently become a proselyte to the royal cause,
[Footnote 1: Clar. Hist. iii. 672-675. Clar. Pap. iii. 673, 674. Ludlow, ii. 223. Whitelock, 683. Carte's Letters, 194, 202. Lambert's Letter, printed for Thomas Neucombe, 1659.]
[Footnote 2: Both promised to aid him secretly, but not in such manner as to give offence to the ruling party in England.—Clar. Pap. iii. 642.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. August.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1659. August 24.]
was drawn by his zeal into the most imminent danger. As soon as he heard of the insurrection, he brought back the fleet from the Sound, in defiance of his brother commissioners, with the intention of blockading the mouth of the Thames, and of facilitating the transportation of troops. On his arrival he learned the failure of his hopes; but boldly faced the danger, appeared before the council, and assigned the want of provisions as the cause of his return. They heard him with distrust; but it was deemed prudent to dissemble, and he received permission to withdraw.
To reward Lambert for this complete, though almost bloodless, victory, the parliament[a] voted him the sum of one thousand pounds, which he immediately distributed among his officers. But while they recompensed his services, they were not the less jealous of his ambition. They remembered how instrumental he had been in raising Cromwell to the protectorate; they knew his influence in the army; and they feared his control over the timid, wavering mind of Fleetwood, whom he appeared to govern in the same manner as Cromwell had governed Fairfax. It had been hoped that his absence on the late expedition would afford them leisure to gain the officers remaining in the capital; but the unexpected rapidity of his success had defeated their policy; and, in a short time, the intrigue which had been interrupted by the insurrection was resumed. While Lambert hastened back to the capital, his army followed by slow marches; and at Derby the officers subscribed[b] a petition, which had been clandestinely forwarded to them from Wallingford House. In it they complained that adequate rewards were not conferred on the deserving; and
[Footnote 1: Journals, Sept. 16. Clar. Pap. iii. 551. Carte's Letters, ii. 210, 236. Pepys' Memoirs, i. 157.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. August 22.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1659. Sept. 14.]
demanded that the office of commander-in-chief should be given to Fleetwood without limitation of time, and the rank of major-general to their victorious leader; that no officer should be deprived of his commission without the judgment of a court-martial; and that the government should be settled in a house of representatives and a permanent senate. Hazlerig, a man of stern republican principles, and of a temper hasty, morose, and ungovernable, obtained a sight of this paper, denounced[a] it as an attempt to subvert the parliament, and moved that Lambert, its author, should be sent to the Tower; but his violence was checked by the declaration of Fleetwood, that Lambert knew nothing of its origin; and the house contented itself with ordering all copies of the obnoxious petition to be delivered up, and with resolving[b] that "to augment the number of general officers was needless, chargeable, and dangerous." From that moment a breach was inevitable. The house, to gratify the soldiers, had advanced their daily pay; and with the view of discharging their arrears, had raised[c] the monthly assessment from thirty-five thousand pounds to one hundred thousand pounds. But the military leaders were not to be diverted from their purpose. Meetings were daily and nightly held at Wallingford House; and another petition with two hundred and thirty signatures was presented by Desborough, accompanied by all the field-officers in the metropolis; In most points it was similar to the former; but it contained a demand that, whosoever should afterwards "groundlessly and causelessly inform the house against their servants, thereby creating jealousies, and casting scandalous imputations upon them, should be
[Footnote 1: Journ., Aug. 23, Sept. 22, 23. Ludlow, ii. 223, 227, 233, 244.]
[Footnote 2: Ibid., May 31, Aug. 18, Sept. 1]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. Sept. 22.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1659. Sept. 23.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1659. Oct. 5.]
brought to examination, justice, and condign punishment." This was a sufficient intimation to Hazlerig and his party to provide for their own safety. Three regiments, through the medium of their officers, had already made the tender of their services for the protection of the house; Monk, from Scotland, and Ludlow, from Ireland, wrote that their respective armies were animated with similar sentiments; and a vote was passed and ordered to be published,[a] declaring it to be treason to levy money on the people without the previous consent of parliament, a measure which, as all the existing taxes were to expire on the first day of the ensuing year, made the military dependent for their future subsistence on the pleasure of the party. Hazlerig, thus fortified, deemed himself a match for his adversaries; the next morning he boldly threw down the gauntlet;[b] by one vote, Lambert, Desborough, six colonels, and one major, were deprived of their Commissions for having subscribed the copy of the petition sent to Colonel Okey; and, by a second, Fleetwood was dismissed from his office of commander-in-chief, and made president of a board of seven members established for the government of the army. Aware, however, that he might expect resistance, the republican chieftain called his friends around him during the night; and, at the dawn of day, it was discovered that he had taken military possession of King-street and the Palace-yard with two regiments of foot and four troops of horse, who protested aloud that they would live and die with the parliament.[c]
[Footnote 1: Journals, Sept. 28, Oct. 5, 10, 11, 12. Ludlow, ii. 229, 247. Carte's Letters, ii, 246. Thurloe, vii. 755. Declaration of General Council of Officers, 9-16. True Narrative of the Proceedings in Parliament, Council of State, &c., published by special order, 1659. Printed by John Redmayne.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. Oct 11.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1659. Oct 12.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1659. Oct 13.]
Lambert mustered about three thousand men. His first care was to intercept the access of members to the house, and to prevent the egress of the militia from the city. He then marched to Westminster. Meeting the speaker, who was attended by his guard, he ordered the officer on duty to dismount, gave the command to Major Creed, one of those who had been deprived of their commissions by the preceding vote, and scornfully directed him to conduct the "lord-general" to Whitehall, whence he was permitted to return to his own house. In Westminster, the two parties faced each other; but the ardour of the privates did not correspond with that of the leaders; and, having so often fought in the same ranks, they showed no disposition to imbrue their hands in each other's blood. In the mean time the council of state assembled: on the one side Lambert and Desborough, on the other Hazlerig and Morley, appeared to support their pretensions; much time was spent in complaint and recrimination, much in hopeless attempts to reconcile the parties; but the cause of the military continued to make converts; the advocates of the "rump," aware that to resist was fruitless, consented to yield; and it was stipulated that the house should cease to sit, that the council of officers should provide for the public peace, arrange a new form of government, and submit it to the approbation of a new parliament. An order, that the forces on both sides should retire to their respective quarters, was gladly obeyed; the men mixed together as friends and brothers, and reciprocally promised never more to draw the sword against each other.
[Footnote 1: Whitelock, 685. Journals, Oct. 13. Clar. Pap. iii. 581, 590. Ludlow, ii. 247-251. Ludlow's account differs considerably from that by Whitelock. But the former was in Ireland, the latter present at the council.]
Thus a second time the supreme authority devolved on the meeting of officers at Wallingford House. They immediately established their favourite plan for the government of the army. The office of commander-in-chief, in its plenitude of power, was restored to Fleetwood; the rank of major-general of the forces in Great Britain was given to Lambert; and all those officers who refused to subscribe a new engagement, were removed from their commands. At the same time they annulled by their supreme authority all proceedings in parliament on the 10th, 11th, and 12th of October, vindicated their own conduct in a publication with the title of "The Army's Plea," vested the provisional exercise of the civil authority in a committee of safety of twenty-three members, and denounced the penalties of treason against all who should refuse to obey its orders, or should venture to levy forces without its permission. An attempt was even made to replace Richard Cromwell in the protectorial dignity;[a] for this purpose he came from Hampshire to London, escorted by three troops of horse; but his supporters in the meeting were out-voted by a small majority, and he retired to Hampton Court.
[Footnote 1: See Declaration of the General Council of Officers, 17. The Army's Plea for its Present Practice, printed by Henry Hills, printer to the army, 1659, is in many parts powerfully written. The principal argument is, that as the parliament, though bound by the solemn league and covenant to defend the king's person, honour, and dignity, did not afterwards scruple to arraign, condemn, and execute him because he had broken his trust; so the army, though they had engaged to be true and faithful to the parliament, might lawfully rise against it, when they found that it did not preserve the just rights and liberties of the people. This condition was implied in the engagement; otherwise the making of the engagement would have been a sin, and the keeping thereof would have been a sin also, and so an adding of sin to sin.]
[Footnote 2: Whitelock, 685, 686. Ludlow, ii. 250, 286, 287. Clar. Pap. 591. At the restoration, Richard, to escape from his creditors, fled to the continent; and, after an expatriation of almost twenty years, returned to England to the neighbourhood of Cheshunt, where he died in 1713, at the age of eighty-six.—Noble, i. 228.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. Oct 26.]
Of all the changes which had surprised and perplexed the nation since the death of the last king, none had been received with such general disapprobation as the present. It was not that men lamented the removal of the Rump; but they feared the capricious and arbitrary rule of the army; and, when they contrasted their unsettled state with the tranquillity formerly enjoyed under the monarchy, many were not backward in the expression of their wishes for the restoration of the ancient line of their princes. The royalists laboured to improve this favourable disposition; yet their efforts might have been fruitless, had the military been united among themselves. But among the officers there were several who had already made their peace with Charles by the promise of their services, and many who secretly retained a strong attachment to Hazlerig and his party in opposition to Lambert. In Ireland, Barrow, who had been sent as their representative from Wallingford House, found the army so divided and wavering, that each faction alternately obtained a short and precarious superiority; and in Scotland, Cobbet, who arrived there on a similar mission, was, with seventeen other officers who approved of his proposals, imprisoned by order of Monk.
From this moment the conduct of Monk will claim a considerable share of the reader's attention. Ever since the march of Cromwell in pursuit of the king to Worcester he had commanded in Scotland; where, instead of concerning himself with the intrigues and parties in England, he appeared to have no other occupation
[Footnote 1: Ludlow, ii. 237, 252, 259, 262, 300. Clar. Pap. iii. 591. Carte's Letters, 266.]
than the duties of his place, to preserve the discipline of his army, and enforce the obedience of the Scots. His despatches to Cromwell from Scotland form a striking contrast with those from the other officers of the time. There is in them no parade of piety, no flattery of the protector, no solicitation for favours. They are short, dry, and uninteresting, confined entirely to matters of business, and those only of indispensable necessity. In effect, the distinctive characteristic of the man was an impenetrable secrecy. Whatever were his predilections or opinions, his wishes or designs, he kept them locked up within his own breast. He had no confidant, nor did he ever permit himself to be surprised into an unguarded avowal. Hence all parties, royalists, protectorists, and republicans, claimed him for their own, though that claim was grounded on their hopes, not on his conduct. Charles had been induced to make to him repeatedly the most tempting offers, which were supported by the solicitations of his wife and his domestic chaplain; Monk listened to them without displeasure, though he never unbosomed himself to the agents or to his chaplain so far as to put himself in their power. Cromwell had obtained some information of these intrigues; but, unable to discover any real ground of suspicion, he contented himself with putting Monk on his guard by a bantering postscript to one of his letters. "Tis said," he added, "there is a cunning fellow in Scotland,
[Footnote 1: "His natural taciturnity was such, that most of his friends, who thought they knew him best, looked upon George Monk to have no other craft in him than that of a plain soldier, who would obey the parliament's orders, and see that his own were obeyed."—Price, Mystery and Method of his Majesty's happy Restoration, in Select Tracts relating to the Civil Wars in England, published by Baron Maseres, ii. 700.]
called George Monk, who lies in wait there to serve Charles Stuart; pray use your diligence to take him and send him up to me." After the fall of the protector Richard, he became an object of greater distrust. To undermine his power, Fleetwood ordered two regiments of horse attached to the Scottish army to return to England; and the republicans, when the military commissions were issued by the speaker, removed a great number of his officers, and supplied their places with creatures of their own. Monk felt these affronts: discontent urged him to seek revenge; and, when he understood that Booth was at the head of a considerable force, he dictated a letter to the speaker, complaining of the proceedings of parliament, and declaring that, as they had abandoned the real principles of the old cause, they must not expect the support of his army. His object was to animate the insurgents and embarrass their adversaries; but, on the very morning on which the letter was to be submitted for signature to his principal officers, the news of Lambert's victory arrived;[a] the dangerous instrument was instantly destroyed, and the secret most religiously kept by the few who had been privy to the intention of the general.
To this abortive attempt Monk, notwithstanding his wariness, had been stimulated by his brother, a clergyman of Cornwall, who visited him with a message from Sir John Grenville by commission from Charles Stuart. After the failure of Booth, the general dismissed him with a letter of congratulation to the parliament, but without any answer to Grenville, and under an oath to keep secret whatever he had learnt
[Footnote 1: Price, 712.]
[Footnote 2: Id. 711, 716, 721.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. August 23.]
respecting the past, or the intended projects of his brother. But the moment that Monk heard of the expulsion of the members,[a] and of the superior rank conferred on Lambert, he determined to appear openly as the patron of the vanquished, under the alluring, though ambiguous, title of "asserter of the ancient laws and liberties of the country." Accordingly, he secured with trusty garrisons the castle of Edinburgh and the citadel of Leith,[b] sent a strong detachment to occupy Berwick, and took the necessary measures to raise and discipline a numerous force of cavalry. At Leith was held a general council of officers; they approved of his object, engaged to stand by him, and announced their determination, by letters directed to Lenthall, the speaker, to the council at Wallingford House, and to the commanders of the fleet in the Downs, and of the army in Ireland. It excited, however, no small surprise, that the general, while he thus professed to espouse the defence of the parliament, cashiered all the officers introduced by the parliament into his army, and restored all those who had been expelled. The more discerning began to suspect his real intentions; but Hazlerig and his party were too
[Footnote 1: All that Grenville could learn from the messenger was, that his brother regretted the failure of Booth, and would oppose the arbitrary attempts of the military in England; an answer which, though favourable as far as it went, still left the king in uncertainty as to his real intentions.—Clar. Pap. iii. 618.]
[Footnote 2: Ludlow, ii. 269. Whitelock, 686, 689, 691. Price, 736, 743. Skinner, 106-109. Monk loudly asserted the contrary. "I do call God to witness," he says in the letter to the speaker, Oct. 20, "that the asserting of a commonwealth is the only intent of my heart."—True Narrative, 28. When Price remonstrated with him, he replied: "You see who are about me and write these things. I must not show any dislike of them. I perceive they are jealous enough of me already."—Price, 746. The fact probably was, that Monk was neither royalist nor republican: that he sought only his own interest, and had determined to watch every turn of affairs, and to declare at last in favour of that party which appeared most likely to obtain the superiority.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. Oct. 17.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1659. Oct. 18.]
elated to dwell on the circumstance, and, under the promise of his support, began to organize the means of resistance against their military oppressors.
Monk soon discovered that he was embarked in a most hazardous undertaking. The answers to his letters disapproved of his conduct; and the knowledge of these answers kindled among his followers a spirit of disaffection which led to numerous desertions. From the general of an army obedient to his commands, he had dwindled into the leader of a volunteer force, which it was necessary to coax and persuade. Two councils were formed, one of the colonels of the longest standing, the other of all the commissioned officers. The first perused the public despatches received by the general, and wrote the answers, which were signed by him as the chairman; the other was consulted on all measures respecting the conduct of the army, and confirmed or rejected the opinion of the colonels by the majority of voices. But if Monk was controlled by this arrangement, it served to screen him from suspicion. The measures adopted were taken as the result of the general will.
To the men at Wallingford House it became of the first importance to win by intimidation, or to reduce by force, this formidable opponent. Lambert marched against him from London at the head of seven thousand men; but the mind of the major-general was distracted by doubts and suspicions; and, before his departure, he exacted a solemn promise from Fleetwood to agree to no accommodation, either with the king, or with Hazlerig, till he had previously received the advice and concurrence of Lambert himself. To Monk delay was as necessary as expedition was desirable to his opponents. In point of numbers and experience the force under his command was no match for that led by Lambert, but his magazines and treasury were amply supplied, while his adversary possessed not money enough to keep his army together for more than a few weeks. Before the major-general reached Newcastle, he met three deputies from Monk on their way to treat with the council in the capital. As no arguments could induce them to open the negotiation with him, he allowed them to proceed, and impatiently awaited the result. After much discussion, an agreement was concluded in London; but Monk, instead of ratifying it with his signature, discovered,[a] or pretended to discover, in it much that was obscure or ambiguous, or contrary to the instructions received by the deputies; his council agreed with him in opinion; and a second negotiation was opened with Lambert at Newcastle, to obtain from him an explanation of the meaning of the officers in the metropolis. Thus delay was added to delay; and Monk improved the time to dismiss even the privates whose sentiments were suspected, and to fill up the vacancies in the regiments of infantry by levies among the Scots. At the same time he called a convention of the Scottish estates at Berwick, of two representatives from each county and one from each borough, recommended to them the peace of the country during his absence, and obtained from them the grant of a year's arrears of their taxes, amounting to sixty thousand pounds, in
[Footnote 1: See the Conferences of Ludlow and Whitelock with Fleetwood, Ludlow, ii. 277; Whitelock, 690.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. Nov. 19.]
addition to the excise and customs. He then fixed his head-quarters at Coldstream.
In the mean while the detention of Lambert in the north by the artifices of Monk had given occasion to many important events in the south. Within the city several encounters had taken place between the military and the apprentices; a free parliament had become the general cry; and the citizens exhorted each other to pay no taxes imposed by any other authority. Lawson, though he wavered at first, declared against the army, and advanced with his squadron up the river as far as Gravesend. Hazlerig and Morley were admitted into Portsmouth by the governor, were joined by the force sent against them by Fleetwood, and marched towards London, that they might open a communication with the fleet in the river. Alarm produced in the committee of safety the most contradictory councils. A voice ventured to suggest the restoration of Charles Stuart; but it was replied that their offences against the family of Stuart were of too black a dye to be forgiven; that the king might be lavish of promises now that he stood in need of their services; but that the vengeance of parliament would absolve him from the obligation, when the monarchy should once be established. The final resolution was to call a new parliament against the 24th of January, and to appoint twenty-one conservators of the public peace during the interval. But they
[Footnote 1: Price, 741-744. Whitelock, 688, 699. Ludlow, 269, 271, 273. Skinner, 161, 164.]
[Footnote 2: The posts occupied by the army within the city were, "St. Paul's Church, the Royall Exchange, Peeter-house in Aldersgate-street, and Bernet's Castle, Gresham Coledge, Sion Coledge. Without London, were the Musses, Sumersett-house, Whitehall, St. James's, Scotland-yeard."—MS. Diary by Thomas Rugge.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. Dec. 8.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1659. Dec. 17.]
reckoned on an authority which they no longer possessed. The fidelity of the common soldiers had been shaken by the letters of Monk, and the declaration of Lawson. Putting themselves under the command of the officers who had been lately dismissed, they mustered[a] in Lincoln's Inn Fields, marched before the house of Lenthall in Chancery Lame, and saluted him with three volleys of musketry as the representative of the parliament and lord-general of the army. Desborough, abandoned by his regiment, fled in despair towards Lambert; and Fleetwood, who for some days had done nothing but weep and pray, and complain that "the Lord had spit in his face," tamely endeavoured to disarm by submission the resentment of his adversaries. He sought the speaker, fell on his knees before him, and surrendered his commission.
Thus the Rump was again triumphant. The members, with Lenthall at their head, resumed[b] possession of the house amidst the loud acclamations of the soldiery. Their first care was to establish a committee for the government of the army, and to order the regiments in the north to separate and march to their respective quarters. Of those among their colleagues who had supported the late committee of safety, they excused some, and punished others by suspension, or exclusion, or imprisonment: orders were sent to Lambert, and the most active of his associates, to withdraw from the army to their homes, and then instructions were given to the magistrates to take them into custody. A council of state was appointed, and into the oath to be taken by the
[Footnote 1: Ludlow, 268, 276, 282, 287, 289, 290, 296, 298. Whitelock, 689, 690, 691. Clar. Pap. 625, 629, 636, 641, 647.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1659. Dec. 24.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1659. Dec. 26.]
members was introduced a new and most comprehensive abjuration of kingship and the family of Stuart. All officers commissioned during the interruption by any other authority than that of Monk were broken; the army was entirely remodelled; and the time of the house was daily occupied by the continued introduction of officers to receive their commissions in person from the hand of the speaker.
In the mean while, Monk, to subdue or disperse the army of Lambert, had raised up a new and formidable enemy in his rear. Lord Fairfax was become a convert to the cause of monarchy; to him the numerous royalists in Yorkshire looked up as leader; and he, on the solemn assurance of Monk that he would join him within twelve days or perish in the attempt, undertook to call together his friends, and to surprise the city of York. On the first day of the new year,[a] each performed his promise. The gates of York were thrown open to Fairfax by the Cavaliers confined within its walls; and Monk, with his army, crossed the Tweed on his march against the advanced posts of the enemy. Thus the flame of civil war was again kindled in the north; within two days it was extinguished. The messenger from parliament ordered Lambert's forces to withdraw to their respective quarters. Dispirited by the defection of the military in the south, they dared not disobey: at Northallerton the officers bade adieu with tears to their general; and Lambert retired in privacy to a house which he possessed in the county. Still, though the weather was
[Footnote 1: Journals, Dec. 26, Jan. 31.]
[Footnote 2: That the rising under Fairfax was in reality a rising of royalists, and prompted by the promises of Monk, is plain from the narrative of Monkton, in the Lansdowne MSS. No. 988, f. 320, 334. See also Price, 748.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1660. Jan. 1.]
severe, though the roads were deeply covered with snow, Monk continued[a] his march; and, at York, spent five days in consultation with Fairfax; but to the advice of that nobleman, that he should remain there, assume the command of their united forces, and proclaim the king, he replied that, in the present temper of his officers, it would prove a dangerous, a pernicious, experiment. On the arrival of what he had long expected, an invitation to Westminster, he resumed his march, and Fairfax, having received the thanks of the parliament, disbanded[b] his insurrectionary force.
At York, the general had caned[c] an officer who charged him with the design of restoring the kingly government; at Nottingham, he prevented with difficulty the officers from signing an engagement to obey the parliament in all things "except the bringing in of Charles Stuart;" and at Leicester, he was compelled to suffer[d] a letter to be written in his name to the petitioners from Devonshire, stating his opinion that the monarchy could not be re-established, representing the danger of recalling the members excluded in 1648, and inculcating the duty of obedience to the parliament as it was then constituted. Here he was met by two of the most active members, Scot and Robinson, who had been commissioned to accompany him during his journey, under the pretence of doing him honour, but, in reality, to sound his disposition, and to act as spies on his conduct. He received them with respect as the representatives of the sovereign authority; and so flattered were they by his attentions, so duped by his wariness, that they could not see through the veil which he spread over his intentions.
[Footnote 1: Price, 749-753. Skinner, 196, 200, 205. Journals, Jan. 6.]
[Footnote 2: Ibid. 754. Kennet's Register, 32.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1660. Jan. 12.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1660. Jan. 16.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1660. Jan. 19.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1660. Jan. 23.]
As he advanced, he received at every stage addresses from boroughs, cities, and counties, praying him to restore the excluded members, and to procure a free and a full parliament. With much affectation of humility, Monk referred the deputies to the two delegates of the supreme power, who haughtily rebuked them for their officiousness, while the friends of Monk laboured to keep alive their hopes by remote hints and obscure predictions.
To lull the jealousy of the parliament, Monk had taken with him from York no more than five thousand men, a force considerably inferior to that which was quartered in London and Westminster. But from St. Alban's he wrote[a] to the speaker, requesting that five of the regiments in the capital might be removed before his arrival, alleging the danger of quarrels and seduction, if his troops were allowed to mix with those who had been so recently engaged in rebellion. The order was instantly made; but the men refused[b] to obey. Why, they asked, were they to leave their quarters for the accommodation of strangers? Why were they to be sent from the capital, while their pay was several weeks in arrear? The royalists laboured to inflame the mutineers, and Lambert was on the watch, prepared to place himself at their head; but the distribution of a sum of money appeased their murmurs; they consented to march; and the next morning[c] the general entered at the head of his army, and proceeded to the quarters assigned to him at Whitehall.
Soon after his arrival, he was invited to attend and
[Footnote 1: Price, 754. Merc. Polit. No. 604. Philips, 595. Journals, Jan. 16.]
[Footnote 2: Price, 755, 757, 758. Jour. Jan. 30. Skinner, 219-221. Philips, 594, 595, 596. Clar. Pap. iii. 666, 668. Pepys, i. 19, 21.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1660. Jan. 28.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1660. Feb. 2.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1660. Feb. 3.]
receive the thanks of the house. A chair had been placed for him within the bar: he stood uncovered behind it; and, in reply[a] to the speaker, extenuated his own services, related the answers which he had given to the addresses, warned the parliament against a multiplicity of oaths and engagements, prayed them not to give any share of power to the Cavaliers or fanatics, and recommended to their care the settlement of Ireland and the administration of justice in Scotland. If there was much in this speech to please, there was also much that gave offence. Scot observed that the servant had already learned to give directions to his masters.
As a member of the council of state, he was summoned to abjure the house of Stuart, according to the late order of parliament. He demurred. Seven of the counsellors, he observed, had not yet abjured, and he wished to know their reasons, for the satisfaction of his own conscience. Experience had shown that such oaths were violated as easily as they were taken, and to him it appeared an offence against Providence to swear never to acquiesce in that which Providence might possibly ordain. He had given the strongest proofs of his devotion to parliament: if these were not sufficient, let them try him again; he was ready to give more.
[Footnote 1: Journals, Feb. 6. New Parl. Hist. iii. 1575. Philips, 597. Price, 759. The Lord-general Monk, his Speech. Printed by J. Macock, 1660.]
[Footnote 2: Gumble, 228. Price, 759, 760. Philips, 595. About this time, a parcel of letters to the king, written by different persons in different ciphers, and intrusted to the care of a Mr. Leonard, was intercepted by Lockhart at Dunkirk, and sent by him to the council. When the writers were first told that the letters had been deciphered, they laughed at the information as of a thing impracticable; but were soon undeceived by the decipherer, who sent to them by the son of the bishop of Ely copies of their letters in cipher, with a correct interlineary explanation of each. They were astonished and alarmed; and, to save themselves from the consequences of the discovery, purchased of him two of the original letters at the price of three hundred pounds.—Compare Barwick's Life, 171, and App. 402, 412, 415, 422, with the correspondence on the subject in the Clarendon Papers, iii. 668, 681, 696, 700, 715. After this, all letters of importance were conveyed through the hands of Mrs. Mary Knatchbull, the abbess of the English convent in Gand.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1660. Feb. 6.]
The sincerity of this declaration was soon put to the test. The loyal party in the city, especially among the moderate Presbyterians, had long been on the increase. At the last elections the common council had been filled with members of a new character; and the declaration which they issued demanded "a full and free parliament, according to the ancient and fundamental laws of the land." Of the assembly sitting in Westminster, as it contained no representative from the city, no notice was taken; the taxes which it had imposed were not paid; and the common council, as if it had been an independent authority, received and answered addresses from the neighbouring counties. This contumacy, in the opinion of the parliamentary leaders, called for prompt and exemplary punishment; and it was artfully suggested that, by making Monk the minister of their vengeance, they would open a wide breach between him and their opponents. Two hours after midnight he received[a] an order to march into the city, to arrest eleven of the principal citizens, to remove the posts and chains which had lately been fixed in the streets, and to destroy the portcullises and the gates. After a moment's hesitation, he resolved to obey, rather than hazard the loss of his commission. The citizens received him with groans and hisses; the soldiers murmured; the officers tendered their resignations. He merely replied that his orders left nothing to his discretion; but the reply was made with a sternness of
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1660. Feb. 9.]
tone, and a gloominess of countenance, which showed, and probably was intended to show, that he acted with reluctance and with self-reproach.
As soon as the posts and chains were removed, Monk suggested, in a letter to the speaker, that enough had been done to subdue the refractory spirit of the citizens. But the parliamentary leaders were not satisfied: they voted that he should execute his former orders; and the demolition of the gates and portcullises was effected. The soldiers loudly proclaimed their discontent: the general, mortified and ashamed, though he had been instructed to quarter them in the city, led them back to Whitehall. There, on the review of these proceedings, he thought that he discovered proofs of a design, first to commit him with the citizens, and then to discard him entirely. For the house, while he was so ungraciously employed, had received, with a show of favour, a petition from the celebrated Praise-God Barebone, praying that no man might sit in parliament, or hold any public office, who refused to abjure the pretensions of Charles Stuart, or of any other single person. Now this was the very case of the general, and his suspicions were confirmed by the reasoning of his confidential advisers. With their aid, a letter to the speaker was prepared[a] the same evening, and approved the next morning by the council of officers. In it the latter were made to complain that they had been rendered the instruments of personal resentment against the citizens, and to require that by the following Friday every vacancy in the house should be filled up, preparatory to its
[Footnote 1: Journ. Feb. 9. Price, 761. Ludlow, ii. 336. Clar. Pap. iii. 674, 691. Gumble, 236. Skinner, 231-237.]
[Footnote 2: Journ. Feb. 9. Philips, 599.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1660. Feb. 10.]
subsequent dissolution and the calling of a new parliament. Without waiting for an answer, Monk marched back into Finsbury Fields: at his request, a common council (that body had recently been dissolved by a vote of the parliament) was summoned; and the citizens heard from the mouth of the general that he, who yesterday had come among them as an enemy by the orders of others, was come that day as a friend by his own choice; and that his object was to unite his fortune with theirs, and by their assistance to obtain a full and free parliament for the nation. This speech was received with the loudest acclamations. The bells were tolled; the soldiers were feasted; bonfires were lighted; and among the frolics of the night was "the roasting of the rump," a practical joke which long lived in the traditions of the city. Scot and Robinson, who had been sent to lead back the general to Whitehall, slunk away in secrecy, that they might escape the indignation of the populace.
At Westminster, the parliamentary leaders affected a calmness and intrepidity which they did not feel. Of the insult offered to their authority they took no notice; but, as an admonition to Monk, they brought in a bill[a] to appoint his rival, Fleetwood, commander-in-chief in England and Scotland. The intervention of the Sunday allowed more sober counsels to prevail.
[Footnote 1: Price, 765-768. Clar. Pap. iii. 681, 692, 714. Ludlow, 337. Gumble, 249. Skinner, 237-243. Old Parl. Hist. xxii. 94. Pepys, i. 24, 25. "At Strand-bridge I could at one time tell thirty-one fires; in King-street, seven or eight, and all along burning, and roasting, and drinking for rumps; there being rumps tied upon sticks, and carried up and down. The butchers at the May-pole in the Strand rang a peal with their knives, when they were going to sacrifice their rump. On Ludgate-hill there was one turning of the spit that had a rump tied to it, and another basting of it. Indeed it was past imagination."—Ibid. 28.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1660. Feb. 11.]
They solicited the general to return to Whitehall; they completed the bill for the qualifications of candidates and electors; and, on the day fixed by the letter of the officers, ordered[a] writs to be issued for the filling up of the vacancies in the representation. This measure had been forced upon them; yet they had the ingenuity to make it subservient to their own interest, by inserting a provision in the act, that no man should choose or be chosen, who had not already bound himself to support a republican form of government. But immediately the members excluded in 1648 brought forward their claim to sit, and Monk assumed the appearance of the most perfect indifference between the parties. At his invitation, nine of the leaders on each side argued the question before him and his officers; and the result was, that the latter expressed their willingness to support the secluded members, on condition that they should pledge themselves to settle the government of the army, to raise money to pay the arrears, to issue writs for a new parliament to sit on the 20th of April, and to dissolve themselves before that period. The general returned[b] to Whitehall; the secluded members attended his summons; and, after a long speech, declaratory of his persuasion that a republican form of government and a moderate presbyterian kirk were necessary to secure and perpetuate the tranquillity of the nation, he advised them to go and resume their seats. Accompanied by a great number of officers, they walked to the house; the guard, under the command of Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, opened to let them pass; and no opposition was made by the speaker or the members. Hazlerig, however, and the
[Footnote 1: Journals, Feb. 11, 13, 15, 17, 21. Price, 768-773. Ludlow, ii. 345, 351, 353. Skinner, 256-264. Clar. Pap. 663, 682, 688. Gumble, 260, 263. Philips, 600. The number of secluded members then living was one hundred and ninety-four, of members sitting or allowed to sit by the orders of the house, eighty-nine.—"A Declaration of the True State of the Matter of Fact," 57.]
[Sideline a: A.D. 1660. Feb. 17.] [Sideline b: A.D. 1660. Feb. 21.]
more devoted of his adherents, rose and withdrew—a fortunate secession for the royalists; otherwise, with the addition of those among the restored members who adhered to a commonwealth, the republicans might on many questions have still commanded a majority.
To the Cavaliers, the conduct of Monk on this occasion proved a source of the most distressing perplexity. On the one hand, by introducing the secluded members he had greatly advanced the cause of royalty. For though Holles, Pierpoint, Popham, and their friends still professed the doctrines which they had maintained during the treaty in the Isle of Wight, though they manifested the same hatred of popery and prelacy, though they still inculcated the necessity of limiting the prerogative in the choice of the officers of state and in the command of the army, yet they were royalists by principle, and had, several of them, made the most solemn promises to the exiled king of labouring strenuously for his restoration. On the other hand, that Monk at the very time when he gave the law without control, should declare so loudly in favour of a republican government and a presbyterian kirk, could not fail to alarm both Charles and his abettors. Neither was this the only instance: to all, Cavaliers or republicans, who approached him to discover his intentions, he uniformly professed the same sentiments, occasionally confirming his professions with oaths and imprecations. To explain this inconsistency between
[Footnote 1: Hutchinson, 362.]
[Footnote 2: Clar. Hist. iii. 720, 721, 723, 724; Papers, ii. 698.]
the tendency of his actions and the purport of his language, we are told by those whom he admitted to his private counsels, that it was forced upon him by the necessity of his situation; that, without it, he must have forfeited the confidence of the army, which believed its safety and interest to be intimately linked with the existence of the commonwealth. According to Ludlow, the best soldier and statesman in the opposite party, Monk had in view an additional object, to deceive the suspicions and divert the vigilance of his adversaries; and so successfully had he imposed on the credulity of many (Hazlerig himself was of the number), that, in defiance of every warning, they blindly trusted to his sincerity, till their eyes were opened by the introduction of the secluded members.
In parliament the Presbyterian party now ruled without opposition. They annulled[a] all votes relative to their own expulsion from the house in 1648; they selected a new council of state, in which the most influential members were royalists; they appointed Monk commander-in-chief of the forces in the three kingdoms, and joint commander of the fleet with Admiral Montague; they granted him the sum of twenty thousand pounds in lieu of the palace at Hampton Court, settled on him by the republican party; they discharged[b] from confinement, and freed from the penalty of sequestration, Sir George Booth and his associates, a great number of Cavaliers, and the Scottish lords taken after the battle at Worcester; they restored the common council, borrowed sixty thousand pounds for the immediate pay of the army,
[Footnote 1: Price, 773. Ludlow, 349, 355. Clar. Pap. iii. 678, 697, 703, 711.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1660. Feb. 21.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1660. March.]
declared the Presbyterian confession of faith to be that of the church of England, ordered copies of the solemn league and covenant to be hung up in all churches, offered rewards for the apprehension of Catholic priests, urged the execution of the laws against Catholic recusants, and fixed the 15th of March for their own dissolution, the 25th of April for the meeting of a new parliament.
Here, however, a serious difficulty arose. The House of Commons (according to the doctrine of the secluded members, it could be nothing more) was but a single branch of the legislature. By what right could it pretend to summon a parliament? Ought not the House of Lords, the peers who had been excluded in 1649, to concur? Or rather, to proceed according to law, ought not the king either to appoint a commission to hold a parliament, as was usually done in Ireland, or to name a guardian invested with such power, as was the practice formerly, when our monarchs occasionally resided in France? But, on this point, Monk was inflexible. He placed guards at the door of the House of Lords to prevent the entrance of the peers; and he refused to listen to any expedient which might imply an acknowledgment of the royal authority. To the arguments urged by others, he replied,[a] that the parliament according to law determined by the death of Charles I.; that the present house could justify its sitting on no other ground but that of necessity, which did not apply to the House of Lords; and that it was in vain to expect the submission of the army to a parliament called by royal authority. The military had, with reluctance, consented to the restoration of
[Footnote 1: Journals, passim.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1660. March 3.]
the secluded members; and to ask more of them at present was to hazard all the advantages which had hitherto been obtained.
Encouraged by the downfall of the republicans, the royalists throughout the country expressed their sentiments without restraint. In some places Charles was proclaimed by the populace; several ministers openly prayed for him in the churches: the common council, in their address, declared themselves not averse to his restoration; and the house itself was induced to repeal[a] the celebrated engagement in favour of a commonwealth, without a single person or a house of peers, and to embody under trusty officers the militia of the city and the counties, as a counterpoise to the republican interest in the army. The judges of the late king, and the purchasers of forfeited property, began to tremble. They first tempted the ambition of the lord-general with the offer of the sovereign authority. Rejected by him, they appealed to the military; they represented the loss of their arrears,
[Footnote 1: Clar. Pap. iii. 704. Ludlow, 364, 365. Price, 773.]
[Footnote 2: Gumble, 270. Two offers of assistance were made to the general, on the supposition that he might aspire to the supreme power; one from the republicans, which I have mentioned, another from Bordeaux, the French ambassador, in the name of Cardinal Mazarin. On one of these offers he was questioned by Sir Anthony Ashley Copper in the council of state. If we may believe Clarges, one of his secret advisers, it was respecting the former which Clarges mentioned to Cooper. With respect to the offer from Bordeaux, he tells us that it was made through Clarges himself, and scornfully rejected by Monk, who nevertheless consented to receive a visit from Bordeaux, on condition that the subject should not be mentioned.—Philips, 602, 604. Locke, on the contrary, asserts that Monk accepted the offer of the French minister; that his wife, through loyalty to the king, betrayed the secret; and that Cooper put to the general such searching questions that he was confused, and, in proof of his fidelity, took away the commissions of several officers of whom the council was jealous.—Memoirs of Shaftesbury, in Kennet's Register, 86. Locke, ix, 279. See note (K).]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1660. March 10.]
and of the property which they had acquired, as the infallible consequences of the restoration of the royal exile; and they so far wrought on the fears of the officers, that an engagement to oppose all attempts to set up a single person was presented[a] to Monk for his signature, with a request that he would solicit the concurrence of the parliament. A second council of officers was held the next morning;[b] the general urged the inexpediency of troubling the house with new questions, when it was on the point of dissolving itself; and by the address and influence of his friends, though with considerable difficulty, he procured the suppression of the obnoxious paper. In a short time he ordered the several officers to join their respective regiments, appointed a commission to inspect and reform the different corps, expelled all the officers whose sentiments he had reason to distrust, and then demanded and obtained from the army an engagement to abstain from all interference in matters of state, and to submit all things to the authority of the new parliament.
Nineteen years and a half had now elapsed since the long parliament first assembled—years of revolution and bloodshed, during which the nation had made the trial of almost every form of government, to return at last to that form from which it had previously departed. On the 16th of March, one day later than was originally fixed, its existence, which had been illegally prolonged since the death of Charles I., was terminated[c] by its own act. The reader is already acquainted with its history. For the glorious stand
[Footnote 1: Philips, 603, 606. Price, 781. Kennet's Reg. 113. Thurloe, vii. 852, 859, 870. Pepys, i. 43. Skinner, 279-284.]
[Footnote 2: Journals, March 16.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1660. March 14.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1660. March 15.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1660. March 16.]
which it made against the encroachments of the crown, it deserves both admiration and gratitude; its subsequent proceedings assumed a more ambiguous character; ultimately they led to anarchy and military despotism. But, whatever were its merits or demerits, of both posterity has reaped the benefit. To the first, we are indebted for many of the rights which we now enjoy; by the second, we are warned of the evils which result from political changes effected by violence, and in opposition to the habits and predilections of the people.
Monk had now spent more than two months in England, and still his intentions were covered with a veil of mystery, which no ingenuity, either of the royalists or of the republicans, could penetrate. Sir John Grenville, with whom the reader is already acquainted, paid frequent visits to him at St. James's; but the object of the Cavalier was suspected, and his attempts[a] to obtain a private interview were defeated by the caution of the general. After the dissolution, Morrice, the confidential friend of both, brought them together, and Grenville delivered to Monk a most flattering letter from the king. He received and perused it with respect. This was, he observed, the first occasion on which he could express with safety his devotion to the royal cause; but he was still surrounded with men of hostile or doubtful sentiments; the most profound secrecy was still necessary; Grenville might confer in private with Morrice, and must consent to be himself the bearer of the general's answer. The heads of that answer were reduced to writing. In it Monk prayed the king to send him a conciliatory letter, which, at the proper season, he might lay before the parliament; for himself he asked
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1660. March 10.]
nothing; he would not name, as he was desired, his reward; it was not for him to strike a bargain with his sovereign; but, if he might express his opinion, he advised Charles to promise a general or nearly general pardon, liberty of conscience, the confirmation of the national sales, and the payment of the arrears due to the army. As soon as this paper had been, read, he threw it into the fire, and bade Grenville rely on his memory for its contents.
By Charles at Brussels the messenger was received as an angel from heaven. The doubts which had so long tormented his mind were suddenly removed; the crown, contrary to expectation, was offered[a] without previous conditions; and nothing more was required than that he should aid with his pen the efforts of the general; but when he communicated the glad tidings to Ormond, Hyde, and Nicholas, these counsellors discovered that the advice, suggested by Monk, was derogatory to the interests of the throne and the personal character of the monarch, and composed a royal declaration which, while it professed to make to the nation the promises recommended by Monk, in reality neutralized their effect, by subjecting them to such limitations as might afterwards be imposed by the wisdom of parliament. This paper was enclosed[b] within a letter to the speaker of the House of Commons; another letter was addressed to the House of Lords; a third to Monk and the army; a fourth to Montague and the navy; and a fifth to the lord mayor and the city. To the general, open copies were transmitted, that he might deliver or destroy the originals
[Footnote 1: Clar. Hist. iii. 734-736. Price, 785. Philips, 605. Clar. Pap. iii. 706, 711. From the last authorities it is plain that Mordaunt was intrusted with the secret as well as Grenville—also a Mr. Herne, probably a fictitious name.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1660. March 26.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1660. April 2.]
as he thought fit. Notwithstanding the alterations made at Brussels, he professed himself satisfied with the declaration, and ordered[a] Grenville to keep the papers in his custody, till the proper season should arrive.
In the mean while, the writs for the new parliament had been issued; and, as there was no court to influence, no interference of the military to control the elections, the result may be fairly taken to express the sense of the country. The republicans, the Cavaliers, the Presbyterians, all made every effort in their power to procure the return of members of congenial sentiments. Of the three parties, the last was beyond comparison the most powerful, had not division paralyzed its influence. The more rigid Presbyterians, though they opposed the advocates of the commonwealth because they were sectaries, equally deprecated the return of the king, because they feared the restoration of episcopacy. A much greater number, who still adhered with constancy to the solemn league and covenant, deemed themselves bound by it to replace the king on the throne, but under the limitations proposed during the treaty in the Isle of Wight. Others, and these the most active and influential, saw no danger to be feared from a moderate episcopacy; and, anxious to obtain honours and preferment, laboured
[Footnote 1: Clar. iii. 737-740, 742-751. Price, 790. Monk had been assured, probably by the French ambassador, that the Spaniards intended to detain the king at Brussels as a hostage for the restoration of Jamaica and Dunkirk. On this account he insisted that the king should leave the Spanish territory, and Charles, having informed the governor of his intention to visit Breda, left Brussels about two hours, if Clarendon be correct, before an order was issued for his detention. The several letters, though written and signed at Brussels, were dated from Breda, and given to Grenville the moment the king placed his foot on the Dutch territory.—Clar. 740.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1660. April 10.]
by the fervour of their present loyalty to deserve the forgiveness of their past transgressions. These joined with the Cavaliers; their united efforts bore down all opposition; and, in most places, their adversaries either shrunk from the contest, or were rejected by overwhelming majorities.
But the republicans sought for aid in another direction. Their emissaries penetrated into the quarters of the military, where they lamented the approaching ruin of the good old cause, regretted that so many sacrifices had been made, so much blood had been shed in vain, and again insinuated to the officers, that they would forfeit the lands which they had purchased, to the privates, that they would be disbanded and lose their arrears. A spirit of discontent began to spread through several corps, and a great number of officers repaired to the metropolis. But Monk, though he still professed himself a friend to republican government, now ventured to assume a bolder tone. The militia of the city, amounting to fourteen thousand men, was already embodied under his command; he had in his pocket a commission from Charles, appointing him lord-general over all the military in the three kingdoms; and he had resolved, should circumstances compel him to throw off the mask, to proclaim the king, and to summon every faithful subject to repair to the royal standard. He first ordered[a] the officers to return to their posts; he then directed the promise of submission to the new parliament to be tendered to