[Footnote 1: Carte's Letters, i. 338, 355. Whitelock, 430. Clarendon, iii. 343.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. March 15.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1649. August.]
Gottenburg under the Lord Kinnoul; but the winds and waves fought against the royalists; several sail were lost among the rocks; and, when Kinnoul landed[a] at Kirkwall in the Orkneys, he could muster only eighty officers and one hundred common soldiers out of the whole number. But Montrose was not to be appalled by ordinary difficulties. Having received[b] from the new king the order of the garter, he followed with five hundred men, mostly foreigners; added them to the wreck of the first expedition, and to the new levies, and then found himself at the head of a force of more than one thousand men. His banners on which was painted a representation of the late king decapitated, with this motto, "Judge and avenge my cause, O Lord," was intrusted to young Menzies of Pitfoddels, and a declaration was circulated through the Highlands, calling upon all true Scotsmen to aid in establishing their king upon the throne, and in saving him from the treachery of those, who, if they had him in their power, would sell him as they had sold his father to English rebels. Having transported[c] his whole force from Holm Sound to the Northern extremity of Caithness, he traversed that and the neighbouring county of Sutherland, calling on the natives to join the standard of their sovereign. But his name had now lost that magic influence which success had once thrown around it; and the several clans shunned his approach through fear, or watched his progress as foes. In the mean time his declaration had been solemnly burnt[d] by the hangman in the capital; the pulpits had poured out denunciations against the "rebel and apostate Montrose, the viperous brood of Satan, and the accursed of God and the kirk;" and a force of four thousand regulars had been collected
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1644. October.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. Jan. 12.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. March.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. Feb. 9.]
on Brechin Moor under the command of General Leslie, who was careful to cut off every source of information from the royalists. Montrose had reached[a] the borders of Ross-shire, when Colonel Strachan, who had been sent forward to watch his motions, learned[b] in Corbiesdale that the royalists, unsuspicious of danger, lay at the short distance of only two miles.
Calling his men around him under the cover of the long broom on the moor, he prayed, sang a psalm, and declared that he had consulted the Almighty, and knew as assuredly as there was a God in heaven, that the enemies of Christ were delivered into their hands. Then dividing his small force of about four hundred men into several bodies, he showed at first a single troop of horse, whom the royalists prepared to receive with their cavalry; but after a short interval, appeared a second, then a third, then a fourth; and Montrose believing that Leslie's entire army was advancing, ordered the infantry to take shelter among the brushwood and stunted trees on a neighbouring eminence. But before this movement could be executed, his horse were broken, and his whole force lay at the mercy of the enemy. The standard-bearer with several officers and most of the natives were slain; the mercenaries made a show of resistance, and obtained quarter; and Montrose, whose horse had been killed under him, accompanied by Kinnoul, wandered on foot, without a guide, up the valley of the Kyle, and over the mountains of Sutherland. Kinnoul, unable to bear the hunger and fatigue, was left and perished; Montrose, on the third day,[c] obtained refreshment at the hut of a shepherd; and, being afterwards discovered, claimed the protection of Macleod of Assynt, who had formerly served under him in the royal army. But the
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. April 25.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. April 27.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. April 30.]
fidelity of the laird was not proof against temptation; he sold[a] the king's lieutenant for four hundred bolls of meal; and Argyle and his associates, almost frantic with joy, passed an act to regulate the ignominious treatment to which their captive should be subjected, the form of the judgment to be pronounced, and the manner of his subsequent execution. When Montrose reached[b] the capital, he found the magistrates in their robes waiting to receive him. First the royal officers, twenty-three in number, were ranged in two files, and ordered to walk forward manacled and bareheaded; next came the hangman with his bonnet on his head, dressed in the livery of his office, and mounted on his horse that drew a vehicle of new form devised for the occasion; and then on this vehicle was seen Montrose himself, seated on a lofty form, and pinioned, and uncovered. The procession paraded slowly through the city from the Watergate to the common jail, whilst the streets resounded with shouts of triumph, and with every expression of hatred which religious or political fanaticism could inspire.
From his enemies Montrose could expect no mercy; but his death was hastened, that the king might not have time to intercede in his favour. The following day, a Sunday, was indeed given to prayer; but on the next the work of vengeance was resumed, and the captive was summoned[c] before the parliament. His features, pale and haggard, showed the fatigue and privations which he had endured; but his dress was
[Footnote 1: Carte's Letters, i. 345. Balfour, iii. 432, 439; iv. 8-13. Whitelock, 435, 452, 453, 454, 455. Clarendon, iii. 348-353. Laing, iii. 443. The neighbouring clans ravaged the lands of Assynt to revenge the fate of Montrose, and the parliament granted in return to Macleod twenty thousand pounds Scots out of the fines to be levied on the royalists in Caithness and Orkney.—Balf. iv. 52, 56.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. May 17.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. May 18.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. May 20.]
splendid, his mien fearless, his language calm, firm, and dignified. To the chancellor, who, in a tone of bitterness and reprobation, enumerated the offences with which he was charged, he replied, that since the king had condescended to treat with them as estates, it became not a subject to dispute their authority; but that the apostasy and rebellion with which they reproached him were, in his estimation, acts of duty. Whatever he had done, either in the last or present reign, had been done with the sanction of the sovereign. If he had formerly taken up arms, it had been to divert his countrymen from the impious war which they waged against the royal authority in England; if now, his object was to accelerate the existing negotiation between them and their new king. As a Christian, he had always supported that cause which his conscience approved; as a subject, he always fought in support of his prince; and as a neighbour, he had frequently preserved the lives of those who had forfeited them against him in battle. The chancellor, in return, declared him a murderer of his fellow-subjects, an enemy to the covenant and the peace of the kingdom, and an agitator, whose ambition had helped to destroy the father, and was now employed for the destruction of the son. Judgment, which had been passed in parliament some days before, was then pronounced, by the dempster, that James Graham should be hanged for the space of three hours on a gibbet thirty feet high, that his head should be fixed on a spike in Edinburgh, his arms on the gates of Perth or Stirling, his legs on those of Glasgow and Aberdeen, and his body be interred by the hangman on the burrowmuir, unless he were previously released from excommunication by the kirk. During this trying scene, his enemies eagerly watched his demeanour. Twice, if we may believe report, he was heard to sigh, and his eyes occasionally wandered along the cornice of the hall. But he stood before them cool and collected; no symptom of perturbation marked his countenance, no expression of complaint or impatience escaped his lips; he showed himself superior to insult, and unscarred at the menaces of death.
The same high tone of feeling supported the unfortunate victim to the last gasp. When the ministers admonished[a] him that his punishment in this world was but a shadow of that which awaited him in the next, he indignantly replied, that he gloried in his fate, and only lamented that he had not limbs sufficient to furnish every city in Christendom with proofs of his loyalty. On the scaffold, he maintained the uprightness of his conduct, praised the character of the present king, and appealed from the censures of the kirk to the justice of Heaven. As a last disgrace, the executioner hung round his neck his late declaration, with the history of his former exploits. He smiled at the malice of his enemies, and said that they had given. him a more brilliant decoration than the garter with which he had been honoured by his sovereign. Montrose, by his death, won more proselytes to the royal cause than he had ever made by his victories. He was in his thirty-eighth year.
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 13, 15, 16, 19-22. Wishart, 389. Clar. iii. 353-356. Whitelock, 456. Colonel Hurry, whom the reader has seen successively serving under the king and the parliament in the civil war; Spotiswood, the grandson of the archbishop of that name; Sir W. Hay, who had been forefaulted as a Catholic in 1647; Sibbald, the confidential envoy of Montrose, and several others, were beheaded. Of the common soldiers, some were given to different lords to be fishermen or miners, and the rest enrolled in regiments in the French service.—Balfour, iv. 18, 27, 28, 32, 33, 44.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. May 21.]
Long before this the commissioners from both parties had met at Breda; and, on the very day of the opening of the conferences, Charles had despatched[a] an order to Montrose to proceed according to his instructions, and to bear in mind that the success of the negotiation at Breda depended on the success of his arms in Scotland. A month afterwards[b] he commended in strong terms the loyalty of Lord Napier, and urged him to repair without delay to the aid of his lieutenant. It is impossible after this to doubt of his approbation of the attempt; but, when the news arrived of the action at Corbiesdale, his eyes were opened to the danger which threatened him; the estates, in the insolence of victory, might pass an act to exclude him at once from the succession to the Scottish throne. Acting, therefore, after the unworthy precedent set by his father respecting the powers given to Glamorgan, he wrote[c] to the parliament, protesting that the invasion made by Montrose had been expressly forbidden by him, and begging that they "would do him the justice to believe that he had not been accessory to it in the least degree;" in confirmation of which the secretary at the same time assured Argyle that the king felt no regret for the defeat of a man who had presumed to draw the sword "without and contrary to the royal command." These letters arrived[d] too late
[Footnote 1: Carte, iv. 626.]
[Footnote 2: Napier's Montrose, ii. 528. Yet on May 5th the king signed an article, stipulating that Montrose should lay down his arms, receiving a full indemnity for all that was past.—Carte, iv. 630. This article reached Edinburgh before the execution of Montrose, and was kept secret. I see not, however, what benefit he could claim from it. He had not laid down arms in obedience to it; for he had been defeated a week before it was signed.]
[Footnote 3: Balfour, iv. 24, 25. Yet on May 15th Charles wrote to Montrose to act according to the article in the last note.—Ibid.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. March 15.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. April 15.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. May 12.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. May 25.]
to be of injury to the unfortunate victim, whose limbs were already bleaching on the gates of the principal towns in Scotland; but the falsehood so confidently put forth must cover with infamy the prince who could thus, to screen himself from the anger of his enemies, calumniate the most devoted of his followers, one who had so often perilled, and at length forfeited, his life in defence of the throne.
Charles had now no resource but to submit with the best grace to the demands of the Scots. He signed the treaty,[a] binding himself to take the Scottish covenant and the solemn league and covenant; to disavow and declare null the peace with the Irish, and never to permit the free exercise of the Catholic religion in Ireland, or any other part of his dominions; to acknowledge the authority of all parliaments held since the commencement of the late war; and to govern, in civil matters, by advice of the parliament, in religious, by that of the kirk. These preliminaries being settled,[b] he embarked on board a small squadron furnished by the prince of Orange, and, after a perilous navigation of three weeks, during which he had to contend with the stormy weather, and to elude the pursuit of the parliamentary cruisers, he arrived in safety in the Frith of Cromartie.[c] The king was received with the honours due to his dignity; a court with proper officers was prepared for him at Falkland, and the sum of one hundred thousand pounds Scots, or nine thousand pounds English, was voted for the monthly expense of his household. But the parliament had previously[d] passed an act banishing from Scotland several of the royal favourites by name, and excluding the "engagers" from the verge of the court, and all employment
[Footnote 1: Thurloe, i. 147.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. May 13.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. June 2.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. June 23.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. June 4.]
in the state. After repeated applications, the duke of Buckingham, the Lord Wilmot, and a few English servants, who took the covenant, obtained permission to remain with the king; many of the Scottish exiles embraced the opportunity to withdraw from notice into the western isles, or the more distant parts of the country.
It was the negotiation between the Scots and their nominal king that arrested Cromwell in the career of victory, and called him away from the completion of his conquest. The rulers of the commonwealth were aware of the intimate connection which the solemn league and covenant had produced between the English Presbyterians and the kirk of Scotland, whence they naturally inferred that, if the pretender to the English were once seated on the Scottish throne, their own power would he placed on a very precarious footing. From the first they had watched with jealousy the unfriendly proceedings of the Scottish parliament. Advice and persuasion had been tried, and had failed. There remained the resource of war; and war, it was hoped, would either compel the Scots to abandon the claims of Charles, or reduce Scotland to a province of the commonwealth. Fairfax, indeed (he was supposed to be under the influence of a Presbyterian wife and of the Presbyterian ministers), disapproved of the design; but his disapprobation, though lamented in public, was privately hailed as a benefit by those who were acquainted with the aspiring designs of Cromwell, and built on his elevation the flattering hope of their own greatness. By their means, as soon as the
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 41, 60, 61, 64, 65, 67, 73, 77, 78. Whitelock, 462. Clarendon, iii. 346, 356, 357.]
[Footnote 2: Whitelock, 438.]
lord lieutenant had put his troops into winter quarters, an order was obtained from parliament for him to attend his duty in the house; but he resumed his military operations,[a] and two months were suffered to elapse before he noticed the command of the supreme authority, and condescended to make an unmeaning apology for his disobedience.[b] On the renewal of the order,[c] he left the command in Ireland to Ireton, and, returning to England, appeared in his seat.[d] He was received with acclamations; the palace of St. James's was allotted for his residence, and a valuable grant of lands was voted[e] as a reward for his eminent services. In a few days followed the appointment of Fairfax to the office of commander-in-chief,[f] and of Cromwell to that of lieutenant-general of the army designed to be employed in Scotland. Each signified his "readiness to observe the orders of the house;" but Fairfax at the same time revealed his secret and conscientious objections to the council of state. A deputation of five members, Cromwell, Lambert, Harrison, Whitelock, and St. John, waited on him at his house;[g] the conference was opened by a solemn invocation of the Holy Spirit, and the three officers prayed in succession with the most edifying fervour. Then Fairfax said that, to his mind, the invasion of Scotland appeared a violation of the solemn league and covenant which he had sworn to observe. It was replied that the Scots themselves had broken the league by the invasion of England under the duke of Hamilton; and that it was always lawful to prevent the hostile designs of another power. But he answered that the Scottish parliament had given satisfaction by the punishment of the guilty; that the probability of hostile designs ought indeed to lead to measures of precaution, but that certainty was
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. Jan. 8.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. April 2.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. May 30.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. June 4.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1650. June 12.] [Sidenote f: A.D. 1650. June 14.] [Sidenote g: A.D. 1650. June 24.]
required to justify actual invasion. No impression was made on his mind; and, though Cromwell and his brother officers earnestly solicited him to comply, "there was cause enough," says one of the deputation, "to believe that they did not overmuch desire it." The next day[a] another attempt ended with as little success; the lord general alleging the plea of infirm health and misboding conscience, sent back the last commission, and at the request of the house, the former also; and the chief command of all the forces raised, or to be raised by order of parliament, was conferred on Oliver Cromwell.[b] Thus this adventurer obtained at the same time the praise of moderation and the object of his ambition. Immediately he left the capital for Scotland;[c] and Fairfax retired to his estate in Yorkshire, where he lived with the privacy of a country gentleman, till he once more drew the sword, not in support of the commonwealth, but in favour of the king.
To a spectator who considered the preparations of the two kingdoms, there could be little doubt of the result. Cromwell passed the Tweed[d] at the head of sixteen thousand men, most of them veterans, all habituated to military discipline, before the raw levies of the Scots had quitted their respective shires. By order of the Scottish parliament, the army had been fixed at thirty thousand men; the nominal command had been given to the earl of Leven, the real, on account of the age and infirmities of that officer, to his relative, David Leslie, and instructions had been
[Footnote 1: Whitelock, 460, 462. Ludlow says, "he acted his part so to the life, that I really thought him in earnest; but the consequence made it sufficiently evident that he had no such intention" (i. 272). Hutchinson, who was present on one of these occasions, thought him sincere.—Hutchinson, 315.]
[Footnote 2: Whitelock, 438, 450, 457. Journals, Jan. 8, Feb. 25, March 30, April 15, May 2, 7, 30, June 4, 12, 14, 25, 26.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. June 25.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. June 26.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. June 29.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. July 16.]
issued that the country between Berwick and the capital should be laid waste, that the cattle and provisions should be removed or destroyed, and that the inhabitants should abandon their homes under the penalties of infamy, confiscation, and death. In aid of this measure, reports were industriously circulated of the cruelties exercised by Cromwell in Ireland; that, wherever he came, he gave orders to put all the males between sixteen and sixty to death, to deprive all the boys between six and sixteen of their right hands, and to bore the breasts of the females with red-hot irons. The English were surprised at the silence and desolation which reigned around them; for the only human beings whom they met on their march through this wilderness, were a few old women and children who on their knees solicited mercy. But Cromwell conducted them by the sea coast; the fleet daily supplied them with provisions, and their good conduct gradually dispelled the apprehensions of the natives. They found[a] the Scottish levies posted behind a deep intrenchment, running from Edinburgh to Leith, fortified with numerous batteries, and flanked by the cannon of the castle at one extremity, and of the harbour at the other. Cromwell employed all his art to provoke Leslie to avoid an engagement. It was in vain that for more than a month the former marched and countermarched; that he threatened general, and made partial, attacks. Leslie remained fixed within his lines; or, if he occasionally moved,
[Footnote 1: Whitelock, 465, 466, 468. Perfect Diurnal, No. 324. See the three declarations: that of the parliament on the marching of the army; of the army itself, addressed "to all that are saints and partakers of the faith of God's elect in Scotland;" and, the third, from Cromwell, dated at Berwick, in the Parliamentary History, xix. 276, 298, 310; King's Pamphlets, 473.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. July 28.]
watched the motions of the enemy from the nearest mountains, or interposed a river or morass between the two armies. The English began to be exhausted with fatigue; sickness thinned their ranks; the arrival of provisions depended on the winds and waves; and Cromwell was taught to fear, not the valour of the enemy, but the prudence of their general.
The reader will already have observed how much at this period the exercises of religion were mixed up with the concerns of state and even the operations of war. Both parties equally believed that the result of the expedition depended on the will of the Almighty, and that it was, therefore, their duty to propitiate his anger by fasting and humiliation. In the English army the officers prayed and preached: they "sanctified the camp," and exhorted the men to unity of mind and godliness of life. Among the Scots this duty was discharged by the ministers; and so fervent was their piety, so merciless their zeal, that, in addition to their prayers, they occasionally compelled the young king to listen to six long sermons on the same day, during which he assumed an air of gravity, and displayed feelings of devotion, which ill-accorded with his real disposition. But the English had no national crime to deplore; by punishing the late king, they had atoned for the evils of the civil war; the Scots, on the contrary, had adopted his son without any real proof of his conversion, and therefore feared that they might draw down on the country the punishment due to his sins and those of his family. It happened[a] that Charles, by the advice of the earl of Eglington, presumed to visit the army on the Links of
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 87, 88, 90. Whitelock, 467, 468.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. July 29.]
Leith. He was received with shouts of enthusiasm by the soldiers, who, on their knees, pledged the health of their young sovereign; but the committee of the kirk complained[a] that his presence led to ebriety and profaneness, and he received a request,[b] equivalent to a command, to quit the camp. The next day a declaration was made, that the company of malignants, engagers, and enemies to the covenant, could not fail of multiplying the judgments of God upon the land; an inquiry was instituted into the characters of numerous individuals; and eighty officers, with many of their men, were cashiered,[c] that they might not contaminate by their presence the army of the saints. Still it was for Charles Stuart, the chief of the malignants, that they were to fight, and therefore from him, to appease the anger of the Almighty, an expiatory declaration was required[d] in the name of the parliament and the kirk.
In this instrument he was called upon to lament, in the language of penitence and self-abasement, his father's opposition to the work of God and to the solemn league and covenant, which had caused the blood of the Lord's people to be shed, and the idolatry of his mother, the toleration of which in the king's house could not fail to be a high provocation against him who is a jealous God, visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children; to declare that he had subscribed the covenant with sincerity of heart, and would have no friends nor enemies but those who were friends or enemies to it; to acknowledge the sinfulness of the treaty with the bloody rebels in Ireland, which he was made to pronounce null and void; to detest popery and prelacy, idolatry and heresy, schism
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 86, 89.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. August 2.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. August 3.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. August 5.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. August 9.]
and profaneness; and to promise that he would accord to a free parliament in England the propositions of the two kingdoms, and reform the church of England according to the plan devised by the assembly of divines at Westminster.
When first this declaration, so humbling to his pride, so offensive to his feelings, was presented[a] to Charles for his signature, he returned[b] an indignant refusal; a little reflection induced him to solicit the advice of the council, and the opinion of the principal ministers. But the godly refused to wait; the two committees of the kirk and kingdom protested[c] that they disowned the quarrel and interest of every malignant party, disclaimed the guilt of the king and his house, and would never prosecute his interest without his acknowledgment of the sins of his family and of his former ways, and his promise of giving satisfaction to God's people in both kingdoms. This protestation was printed and furtively sent to the English camp; the officers of the army presented[d] to the committee of estates a remonstrance and supplication expressive of their adhesion; and the ministers maintained from their pulpits that the king was the root of malignancy, and a hypocrite, who had taken the covenant without an intention of keeping it. Charles, yielding to his own fears and the advice of his friends; at the end of three days subscribed,[e] with tears, the obnoxious instrument. If it were folly in the Scots to propose to the young prince a declaration so repugnant to his feelings and opinions, it was greater folly still to believe that professions of repentance extorted
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 92. Whitelock, 469. "A declaration by the king's majesty to his subjects of the kingdoms of Scotland, England, and Ireland." Printed 1650.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. August 10.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. August 13.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. August 14.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. August 15.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1650. August 16.]
with so much violence could be sincere or satisfactory; yet his subscription was received with expressions of joy and gratitude; both the army and the city observed a solemn fast for the sins of the two kings, the father and the son; and the ministers, now that the anger of Heaven had been appeased, assured their hearers of an easy victory over a "blaspheming general and a sectarian army."
If their predictions were not verified, the fault was undoubtedly their own. The caution and vigilance of Leslie had triumphed over the skill and activity of "the blasphemer." Cromwell saw no alternative but victory or retreat: of the first he had no doubt, if he could come in contact with the enemy; the second was a perilous attempt, when the passes before him were pre-occupied, and a more numerous force was hanging on his rear. At Musselburg, having sent the sick on board the fleet (they suffered both from the "disease of the country," and from fevers caused by exposure on the Pentland hills), he ordered[a] the army to march the next morning to Haddington, and thence to Dunbar; and the same night a meteor, which the imagination of the beholders likened to a sword of fire, was seen to pass over Edinburgh in a south-easterly direction, an evident presages in the opinion of the Scots, that the flames of war would be transferred
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 91, 92, 95. The English parliament in their answer exclaim: "What a blessed and hopeful change is wrought in a moment in this young king! How hearty is he become to the cause of God and the work of reformation. How readily doth he swallow down these bitter pills, which are prepared for and urged upon him, as necessary to effect that desperate care under which his affairs lie! But who sees not the crass hypocrisy of this whole transaction, and the sandy and rotten foundation of all the resolutions flowing hereupon?"—See Parliamentary History, xix. 359-386.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. August 30.]
to the remotest extremity of England. At Dunbar, Cromwell posted his men in the vicinity of Broxmouth House; Leslie with the Scots moving along the heights of Lammermuir, occupied[a] a position on the Doon Hill, about two miles to the south of the invaders; and the advanced posts of the armies were separated only by a ravine of the depth and breadth of about thirty feet. Cromwell was not ignorant of the danger of his situation; he had even thought of putting the infantry on board the fleet, and of attempting to escape with the cavalry by the only outlet, the high road to Berwick; but the next moment he condemned the thought as "a weakness of the flesh, a distrust in the power of the Almighty;" and ordered the army "to seek the Lord, who would assuredly find a way of deliverance for his faithful servants." On the other side the committees of the kirk and estates exulted in the prospect of executing the vengeance of God upon "the sectaries;" and afraid that the enemy should escape, compelled their general to depart from his usual caution, and to make preparation for battle. Cromwell, with his officers, had spent part of the day in calling upon the Lord; while he prayed, the enthusiast felt an enlargement of the heart, a buoyancy of spirit, which he took for an infallible presage of victory; and, beholding through his glass the motion in the Scottish camp, he exclaimed, "They are coming down; the Lord hath delivered them into our hands." During the
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 94.]
[Footnote 2: Sagredo, the Venetian ambassador, in his relation to the senate, says that Cromwell pretended to have been assured of the victory by a supernatural voice. Prima che venisse alla battaglia, diede cuore ai soldati con assicurargli la vittoria predettagli da Dio, con una voce, che lo aveva a mezza notte riscosso dal sonno. MS. copy in my possession.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. August 31.]
night, he advanced the army to the edge of the ravine; and at an early hour in the morning[a] the Scots attempted to seize the pass on the road from Dunbar to Berwick. After a sharp contest, the Scottish lancers, aided by their artillery, charged down the hill, drove the brigade of English cavalry from its position, and broke through the infantry, which had advanced to the support of the horse. At that moment the sun made its appearance above the horizon; and Cromwell, turning to his own regiment of foot, exclaimed, "Let the Lord arise, and scatter his enemies." They instantly moved forward with their pikes levelled; the horse rallied; and the enemy's lancers hesitated, broke, and fled. At that moment the mist dispersed, and the first spectacle which struck the eyes of the Scots, was the route of their cavalry. A sudden panic instantly spread from the right to the left of their line; at the approach of the English they threw down their arms and ran. Cromwell's regiment halted to sing the 117th Psalm; but the pursuit was continued for more than eight miles; the dead bodies of three thousand Scots strewed their native soil; and ten thousand prisoners, with the artillery, ammunition, and baggage, became the reward of the conquerors.
Cromwell now thought no more of his retreat. He marched back to the capital; the hope of resistance was abandoned; Edinburgh and Leith opened their gates, and the whole country to the Forth submitted
[Footnote 1: Carte's Letters, i. 381. Whitelock, 470, 471. Ludlow, i. 283. Balfour, iv. 97. Several proceedings, No. 50. Parl. Hist. xix. 343-352, 478. Cromwelliana, 89. Of the prisoners, five thousand one hundred, something more than one-half, being wounded, were dismissed to their homes, the other half were driven "like turkies" into England. Of these, one thousand six hundred died of a pestilential disease, and five hundred were actually sick on Oct 31.—Whitelock, 471. Old Parl. Hist. xix. 417.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. Sept. 3.]
to the will of the English general. Still the presumption of the six ministers who formed the committee of the kirk was not humbled. Though their predictions had been falsified, they were still the depositaries of the secrets of the Deity; and, in a "Short Declaration and Warning," they announced[a] to their countrymen the thirteen causes of this national calamity, the reasons why "God had veiled for a time his face from the sons of Jacob." It was by the general profaneness of the land, by the manifest provocations of the king and the king's house, by the crooked and precipitant ways of statesmen in the treaty of Breda, by the toleration of malignants in the king's household, by suffering his guard to join in the battle without a previous purgation, by the diffidence of some officers who refused to profit by advantages furnished to them by God, by the presumption of others who promised victory to themselves without eyeing of God, by the rapacity and oppression exercised by the soldiery, and by the carnal self-seeking of men in power, that God had been provoked to visit his people with so direful and yet so merited a chastisement.
To the young king the defeat at Dunbar was a subject of real and ill-dissembled joy. Hitherto he had been a mere puppet in the hands of Argyle and his party; now their power was broken, and it was not impossible for him to gain the ascendancy. He entered into a negotiation with Murray, Huntley, Athol, and the numerous royalists in the Highlands; but the secret, without the particulars, was betrayed to Argyle,[b] probably by Buckingham, who disapproved of the project; and all the cavaliers but three received an order to leave the court in twenty-four hours—the
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 98-107.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. Sept. 12.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. Sept. 27.]
kingdom in twenty days. The vigilance of the guards prevented the execution of the plan which had been laid; but one afternoon, under pretence of hawking, Charles escaped[a] from Perth, and riding forty-two miles, passed the night in a miserable hovel, called Clova, la the braes of Angus. At break of day he was overtaken by Colonel Montgomery, who advised him[b] to return, while the Viscount Dudhope urged him to proceed to the mountains, where he would be joined by seven thousand armed men. Charles wavered; but Montgomery directed his attention to two regiments of horse that waited at a distance to intercept his progress, and the royal fugitive consented[c] to return to his former residence in Perth.
The Start (so this adventure was called) proved, however, a warning to the committee of estates. They prudently admitted the apology of the king, who attributed[d] his flight to information that he was that day to have been delivered to Cromwell; they allowed[e] him, for the first time, to preside at their deliberations; and they employed his authority to pacify the royalists in the Highlands, who had taken arms[f] in his name under Huntley, Athol, Seaforth, and Middleton. These, after a long negotiation, accepted an act of indemnity, and disbanded their forces.
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 109, 113, 114. Baillie, ii. 356. Whitelock, 476. Miscellanea Aulica, 152. It seems probable from some letters published in the correspondence of Mr. Secretary Nicholas, that Charles had planned his escape from the "villany and hypocrisy" of the party, as early as the day of the battle of Dunbar.—Evelyn's Mem. v. 181-186, octavo.]
[Footnote 2: Balfour, iv. 118, 123, 129-135, 160. Baillie, ii. 356. A minister, James Guthrie, in defiance of the committee of estates, excommunicated Middleton; and such was the power of the kirk, that even when the king's party was superior, Middleton was compelled to do penance in sackcloth in the church of Dundee, before he could obtain absolution preparatory to his taking a command in the army.—Baillie, 357. Balfour, 240.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. Oct. 4.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. Oct. 5.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. Oct. 6.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. Oct. 10.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1650. Oct. 12.] [Sidenote f: A.D. 1650. Nov. 4.]
In the mean while Cromwell in his quarters at Edinburgh laboured to unite the character of the saint with that of the conqueror; and, surrounded as he was with the splendour of victory, to surprise the world by a display of modesty and self-abasement. To his friends and flatterers, who fed his vanity by warning him to be on his guard against its suggestions, he replied, that he "had been a dry bone, and was still an unprofitable servant," a mere instrument in the hands of Almighty power; if God had risen in his wrath, if he had bared his arm and avenged his cause, to him, and to him alone, belonged the glory. Assuming the office of a missionary, he exhorted his officers in daily sermons to love one another, to repent from dead works, and to pray and mourn for the blindness of their Scottish adversaries; and, pretending to avail himself of his present leisure, he provoked a theological controversy with the ministers in the castle of Edinburgh, reproaching them with pride in arrogating to themselves the right of expounding the true sense of the solemn league and covenant; vindicating the claim of laymen to preach the gospel and exhibit their spiritual gifts for the edification of their brethren; and maintaining that, after the solemn fasts observed by both nations, after their many and earnest appeals to the God of armies, the victory gained at Dunbar must be admitted an evident manifestation of the divine will in favour of the English commonwealth. Finding that he made no proselytes of his opponents, he published his arguments for the instruction of the Scottish people; but his zeal did not
[Footnote 1: See a number of letters in Milton's State Papers, 18-35.]
escape suspicion; and the more discerning believed that, under the cover of a religious controversy, he was in reality tampering with the fidelity of the governor.
In a short time his attention was withdrawn to a more important controversy, which ultimately spread the flames of religious discord throughout the nation. There had all along existed a number of Scots who approved of the execution of the late king, and condemned even the nominal authority given to his son. Of these men, formidable by their talents, still more formidable by their fanaticism, the leaders were Wariston, the clerk register in the parliament, and Gillespie and Guthrie, two ministers in the kirk. In parliament the party, though too weak to control, was sufficiently strong to embarrass, and occasionally to influence, the proceedings; in the kirk it formed indeed the minority, but a minority too bold and too numerous to be rashly irritated or incautiously despised. After the defeat at Dunbar, permission was cheerfully granted by the committee of estates for a levy of troops in the associated counties of Renfrew, Air, Galloway, Wigton, and Dumfries, that part of Scotland where fanaticism had long fermented, and the most rigid notions prevailed. The crusade was preached by Gillespie; his efforts were successfully seconded by the other ministers, and in a short time four regiments of horse, amounting almost to five thousand men, were raised under Strachan, Kerr, and two other colonels. The real design now began to unfold itself. First, the officers refused to serve under Leslie; and the parliament consented to exempt them from his authority. Next, they hinted doubts of the
[Footnote 1: Thurloe, i. 158-163.]
[Footnote 2: Baillie, ii. 353.]
lawfulness of the war in which they were engaged; and Cromwell, in whose army Strachan had fought at Preston, immediately[a] opened a correspondence with him. Then came the accident of "the start," which embittered and emboldened the zeal of the fanatics; and in a long remonstrance, subscribed by ministers and elders, by officers and soldiers, and presented[b] in their name to Charles and the committee of estates, they pronounced[c] the treaty with the king unlawful and sinful, disowned his interest in the quarrel with the enemy, and charged the leading men in the nation with the guilt of the war, which they had provoked by their intention of invading England. The intemperate tone and disloyal tendency of this paper, whilst it provoked irritation and alarm at Perth, induced Cromwell to advance with his army from Edinburgh to Glasgow, and Hamilton. But the western forces (so they were called) withdrew to Dumfries, where a meeting was held with Wariston, and a new draught of the remonstrance, in language still more energetic and vituperative, was adopted. On the return[d] of Cromwell to the capital, his negotiation with the officers was resumed, while Argyle and his friends laboured on the opposite side to mollify the obstinacy of the fanatics. But reasoning was found useless; the parliament condemned[e] the remonstrance as a scandalous and seditious libel; and, since Strachan had resigned[f] his commission, ordered Montgomery with three new regiments to take the command of the whole force. Kerr, however, before his arrival, had led[g] the western levy to attack Lambert in his
[Footnote 1: Baillie, ii. 350-352. Strachan was willing to give assurance not to molest England in the king's quarrel. Cromwell insisted that Charles should be banished by act of parliament, or imprisoned for life.—Ib. 352.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. Oct. 4.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. Oct. 17.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1650. Oct. 22.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1650. Oct. 30.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1650. Nov. 25.] [Sidenote f: A.D. 1650. Nov. 28.] [Sidenote g: A.D. 1650. Dec. 1.]
quarters at Hamilton; he was taken prisoner, designedly if we may believe report, and his whole army was dispersed. Soon afterwards Strachan, with sixty troopers, passed over to Lambert, and the associated counties, left without defence, submitted to the enemy. Still the framers and advocates of the remonstrance, though they knew that it had been condemned by the state and the kirk, though they had no longer an army to draw the sword in its support, adhered pertinaciously to its principles; the unity of the Scottish church was rent in twain, and the separation was afterwards widened by a resolution of the assembly,[a] that in such a crisis all Scotsmen might be employed in the service of the country. Even their common misfortunes failed to reconcile these exasperated spirits; and after the subjugation of their country, and under the yoke of civil servitude, the two parties still continued to persecute each other with all the obstinacy and bitterness of religious warfare. The royalists obtained the name of public resolutioners; their opponents, of protestors or remonstrants.
Though it cost the young prince many an internal struggle, yet experience had taught him that he must soothe the religious prejudices of the kirk, if he hoped ever to acquire the preponderance in the state. On the first day of the new year,[b] he rode in procession to the church of Scone, where his ancestors had been accustomed to receive the Scottish crown: there on his knees, with his arm upraised, he swore by the Eternal
[Footnote 1: With the exception of persons "excommunicated, notoriously profane, or flagitious, and professed enemies and opposers of the covenant and cause of God."—Wodrow, Introd. iii.]
[Footnote 2: Baillie, ii. 348, 354-364. Balfour, iv. 136, 141-160, 173-178, 187, 189. Whitelock, 475, 476, 477, 484. Sydney Papers, ii. 679. Burnet's Hamiltons, 425.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1650. Dec. 14.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. Jan. 1.]
and Almighty God to observe the two covenants; to establish the presbyterial government in Scotland and in his family; to give his assent to acts for establishing it in his other dominions; to rule according to the law of God and the lovable laws of the land; to abolish and withstand all false religions; and to root out all heretics and enemies of the true worship of God, convicted by the true church of God. Argyle then placed the crown upon his head, and seated him on the throne, and both nobility and people swore allegiance to him "according to the national covenant, and the solemn league and covenant." At the commencement, during the ceremony, and after the conclusion, Douglas, the minister, addressed the king, reminding him that he was king by compact with his people; that his authority was limited by the law of God, the laws of the people, and the association of the estates with him in the government; that, though every breach did not dissolve the compact, yet every abuse of power to the subversion of religion, law, or liberty, justified opposition in the people; that it was for him, by his observance of the covenant, to silence those who doubted his sincerity; that the evils which had afflicted his family arose out of the apostasy of his father and grandfather; and that, if he imitated them, he would find that the controversy between him and God was not ended, but would be productive of additional calamities. The reader may imagine what were the feelings of Charles while he listened to the admonitions of the preacher, and when he swore to perform conditions which his soul abhorred, and which he knew that on the first opportunity he should break or elude. But he passed with credit through the
[Footnote 1: See "The forme and order of the Coronation of Charles II., as it was acted and done at Scoune, the first day of January, 1651." Aberdene, 1651.]
ceremony; the coronation exalted him in the eyes of the people; and each day brought to him fresh accessions of influence and authority. The kirk delivered Strachan as a traitor and apostate to the devil; and the parliament forefaulted his associates, of whom several hastened to make their peace by a solemn recantation. Deprived of their support, the Campbells gradually yielded to the superior influence of the Hamiltons. Vexation, indeed, urged them to reproach the king with inconstancy and ingratitude; but Charles, while he employed every art to lull the jealousy of Argyle, steadily pursued his purpose; his friends, by submitting to the humbling ceremony of public penance, satisfied the severity of the kirk; and by the repeal[a] of the act of classes, they were released from all previous forfeitures and disqualifications. In April the king, with Leslie and Middleton as his lieutenants, took the command of the army, which had been raised by new levies to twenty thousand men, and, having fortified the passages of the Forth, awaited on the left bank the motions of the enemy.
In the mean while Cromwell had obtained[b] possession of the castle of Edinburgh through the perfidy or the timidity of the governor. Tantallon had been taken by storm, and Dumbarton had been attempted, but its defences were too strong to be carried by force,
[Footnote 1: Carte, Letters, ii. 26, 27. Balfour, iv. 240, 268, 281, 301. It appears from this writer that a great number of the colonels of regiments were royalists or engagers (p. 210, 213). The six brigades of horse seem to have been divided equally between old Covenanters and royalists. The seventh was not given to any general, but would be commanded by Hamilton, as the eldest colonel.—Ib. 299-301. It is therefore plain that with the king for commander-in-chief the royalists had the complete ascendancy.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. May 21.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1650. Dec. 19.]
and its garrison too honest to be corrupted with money. In February the lord general was afflicted[a] with an ague, so ruinous to his health, and so obstinate in its duration, that in May he obtained permission to return to England, with the power of disposing, according to his judgment, of the chief command. A rapid and unexpected improvement[b] induced him to remain; and in July he marched with his army towards Stirling. The Scots faced him in their intrenched camp at Torwood; he turned aside to Glasgow; they took[c] a position at Kilsyth; he marched[d] back to Falkirk; and they resumed their position at Torwood. While by these movements the English general occupied the attention of his opponents, a fleet of boats had been silently prepared and brought to the Queensferry; a body of men crossed the frith, and fortified a hill near Inverkeithing; and Lambert immediately followed[e] with a more numerous division. The Scots despatched Holburn with orders to drive the enemy into the sea; he was himself charged[f] by Lambert with a superior force, and the flight of his men gave to the English possession of the fertile and populous county of Fife. Cromwell hastened to transport his army to the left bank of the river, and advance on the rear of the Scots. They retired: Perth, the seat of government, was besieged; and in a few days[g] the colours of the commonwealth floated on its walls.
[Footnote 1: Balfour, iv. 229, 249, 296. Baillie, ii. 368.]
[Footnote 2: The council had sent two physicians to attend him. His answer to Bradshaw of March 24th runs in his usual style. "Indeed, my lord, your service needs not me. I am a poor creature, and have been a dry bone, and am still an unprofitable servant to my master and to you."—New Parl. Hist. iii. 1363.]
[Footnote 3: Balfour, 313. Journals, May 27. Leicester's Journal, 109. Whitelock, 490, 494, 497, 498, 499. Heath, 392, 393. According to Balfour, the loss on each side was "almost alyke," about eight hundred men killed; according to Lambert, the Scots lost two thousand killed, and fourteen hundred taken prisoners; the English had only eight men slain; "so easy did the Lord grant them that mercy."—Whitelock, 501. I observe that in all the despatches of the commanders for the commonwealth their loss is miraculously trifling.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Feb. 21.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. May 27.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1651. July 3.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1651. July 13.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1651. July 17.] [Sidenote f: A.D. 1651. July 21.] [Sidenote g: A.D. 1651. August.]
In the Scottish leaders the progress of the English excited the most fearful anticipations; to Charles it suggested the execution of what had long been his favourite object. The country to the south was clear of the enemy; and a proclamation[a] to the army announced his resolve of marching into England, accompanied by such of his Scottish subjects as were willing to share the fortunes and the perils of their sovereign. The boldness of the attempt dazzled the judgment of some; and the confidence of the young king dispelled the apprehensions of others. Their knowledge that, in case of failure, he must expect to meet with the same fate as his father, justified a persuasion that he possessed secret assurances of a powerful co-operation from the royalists and the Presbyterians of England. Argyle (nor was it surprising after the decline of his influence at court) solicited and obtained permission to retire to his own home; a few other chieftains followed his example; the rest expressed their readiness to stake their lives on the issue of the attempt, and the next morning eleven, some say fourteen, thousand men began[b] their march from Stirling, in the direction of Carlisle.
Cromwell was surprised and embarrassed. The Scots had gained three days' march in advance, and his army was unprepared to follow them at a moment's notice. He wrote[c] to the parliament to rely on his industry and despatch; he sent[d] Lambert from Fifeshire with three thousand cavalry to hang on the rear, and ordered[e]
[Footnote 1: Leicester's Journal, 110. Whitelock, 501. Clarendon, iii. 397.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. July 30.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. July 31.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1651. August 4.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1651. August 5.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1651. August 7.]
Harrison with an equal number from Newcastle, to press on the flank of the enemy; and on the seventh day led his army of ten thousand men by the eastern coast, in the direction of York. The reduction of Scotland, a more easy task after the departure of the royal forces, was left to the activity of Monk, who had five thousand infantry and cavalry under his command.
So rapid was the advance of Charles, that he traversed the Lowlands of Scotland, and the northern counties in England, without meeting a single foe. Lambert had joined Harrison near Warrington; their united forces amounted to nine thousand men; and their object was to prevent the passage of the Mersey. But they arrived[a] too late to break down the bridge; and, after a few charges, formed in battle array on Knutsford Heath. The king, leaving them on the left, pushed forward till he reached[b] Worcester, where he was solemnly proclaimed by the mayor, amidst the loud acclamations of the gentlemen of the county, who, under a suspicion of their loyalty, had been confined in that city by order of the council.
At the first news of the royal march, the leaders at Westminster abandoned themselves to despair. They believed that Cromwell had come to a private understanding with the king; that the Scots would meet with no opposition in their progress; and that the Cavaliers would rise simultaneously in every part of the kingdom. From these terrors they were relieved by the arrival of despatches from the general, and by the indecision of the royalists, who, unprepared for the event, had hitherto made no movement; and with the
[Transcriber's Note: Footnote 1 not found in the text]
[Footnote 1: Leicester's Journal, iii. 117. Balfour, iv. 314.]
[Footnote 2: Leicester's Journal, 113, 114. Whitelock, 502, 503. Clarendon, iii. 402.]
[Footnote 3: Hutchinson, 336.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. August 16.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. August 22.]
revival of their hopes the council assumed a tone of defiance, which was supported by measures the most active and energetic. The declaration of Charles,[a] containing a general pardon to all his subjects, with the exception of Cromwell, Bradshaw, and Cook, was burnt in London by the hands of the hangman; and a counter proclamation was published,[b] pronouncing Charles Stuart, his aiders and abettors, guilty of high treason. All correspondence with him was forbidden under the penalty of death; it was ordered that all persons known or suspected of attachment to his cause should be placed in custody, or confined to their own houses; and the militia of several counties, "tried and godly people," were called forth, and marched towards the expected scene of action. But Charles had to contend not only with the activity of his enemies, but with the fanaticism of his followers. The Presbyterians of Lancashire had promised to rise, and Massey, a distinguished officer of that persuasion, was sent before to organize the levy; but the committee of the kirk forbade him to employ any man who had not taken the covenant; and, though Charles annulled their order, the English ministers insisted that it should be obeyed. Massey remained after the army had passed, and was joined by the earl of Derby, with sixty horse and two hundred and sixty foot, from the Isle of Man. A conference was held at Wigan; but reasoning and entreaty were employed in vain; the ministers insisted that all the Catholics who had been enrolled should be dismissed; and that the salvation of the kingdom should be entrusted to the elect of God, who had taken the covenant. In the mean while Cromwell had despatched Colonel Lilburne, with his
[Footnote 1: Journals, Aug. 12.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. August 11.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. August 25.]
regiment of horse, into the county, and ordered reinforcements to join him from Yorkshire and Cheshire. Derby, with the concurrence of the royalists in Manchester, undertook to surprise Lilburne in his quarters near that town, but was himself surprised by Lilburne, who marched on the same day[a] to observe the earl's motions. They met unexpectedly in the lane leading from Chorley to Wigan. The heads of the opposite columns repeatedly charged each other; but the desperate courage of the Cavaliers was foiled by the steadiness and discipline of their opponents; the Lord Widrington, Sir Thomas Tildesly, Colonel Throckmorton, Boynton, Trollop, and about sixty of their followers were slain, and above three hundred privates made prisoners. The earl himself, who had received several slight wounds on the arms and shoulders, fled to Wigan with the enemy at his heels. Observing a house open, he flung himself from his horse, and sprung into the passage. A female barred the door behind him; the pursuers were checked for an instant; and when they began to search the house, he had already escaped through the garden. Weak with fatigue and the loss of blood, he wandered in a southerly direction, concealing himself by day, and travelling by night, till he found[b] a secure asylum, in a retired mansion, called Boscobel House, situate between Brewood and Tong Castle, and the property of Mrs. Cotton, a Catholic recusant and royalist. There he was received and secreted by William Penderell and his wife, the servants entrusted with the care of the mansion; and having recovered his strength, was conducted by the former to the royal army at Worcester.
[Footnote 1: Whitelock, 503, 504. Clarendon, iii. 399, 403. Memoirs of the Stanleys, 112-114. Journals, Aug. 29. Leicester's Journal, 116. Boscobel, 6-8. Boscobel afterwards belonged to Bas. Fitzherbert, Mrs. Cotton's son-in-law.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. August 25.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. August 29.]
The occurrences of each day added to the disappointment of Charles and the confidence of his enemies. He had summoned[a] by proclamation all his male subjects between the age of sixteen and sixty to join his standard at the general muster[b] of his forces, on the 26th of August, in the Pitchcroft, the meadows between the city and the river. A few of the neighbouring gentlemen with their tenants, not two hundred in number, obeyed the call; and it was found that the whole amount of his force did not exceed twelve (or according to Cromwell, sixteen) thousand men, of whom one-sixth part only was composed of Englishmen. But while a few straggling royalists thus stole into his quarters, as if it were to display by their paucity the hopelessness of his cause, the daily arrival of hostile reinforcements swelled the army in the neighbourhood to more than thirty thousand men. At length Cromwell arrived,[c] and was received with enthusiasm. The royalists had broken down an arch of the bridge over the Severn at Upton; but a few soldiers passed on a beam in the night; the breach was repaired, and Lambert crossed with ten thousand men to the right bank. A succession of partial but obstinate actions alternately raised and depressed the hopes of the two parties; the grand attempt was reserved by the lord general for his
[Footnote 1: They were lord Talbot, son to the earl of Shrewsbury, "with about sixty horse; Mr. Mervin Touchet, Sir John Packington, Sir Walter Blount, Sir Ralph Clare, Mr. Ralph Sheldon, of Beoly, Mr. John Washbourn, of Wichinford, with forty horse; Mr. Thomas Hornyhold, of Blackmore-park, with forty horse; Mr. Thomas Acton, Mr. Robert Blount, of Kenswick, Mr. Robert Wigmore, of Lucton, Mr. F. Knotsford, Mr. Peter Blount, and divers others."—Boscobel, 10.]
[Footnote 2: Cary's Memorials, ii. 361.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. August 23.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. August 26.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1651. August 28.]
auspicious day, the 3rd of September, on which twelve months before he had defeated the Scots at Dunbar. On that morning Fleetwood, who had advanced from Upton to Powick,[a] was ordered to force the passage of the Team, while Cromwell, to preserve the communication, should throw a bridge of boats across the Severn at Bunshill, near the confluence of the two rivers. About one in the afternoon, while Charles with his staff observed from the tower of the cathedral the positions of the enemy, his attention was drawn by a discharge of musketry near Powick. He descended immediately, rode to the scene of action, and ordered Montgomery with a brigade of horse and foot to defend the line of the Team and oppose the formation of the bridge. After a long and sanguinary struggle, Fleetwood effected a passage just at the moment when Cromwell, having completed the work, moved four regiments to his assistance. The Scots, though urged by superior numbers, maintained the most obstinate resistance; they disputed every field and hedge, repeatedly charged with the pike to check the advance of the enemy, and, animated by the shouts of the combatants on the opposite bank, sought to protract the contest with the vain hope that, by occupying the forces of Fleetwood, they might insure the victory to their friends, who were engaged with Cromwell.
That commander, as soon as he had secured the communication across the river, ordered a battery of heavy guns to play upon Fort Royal, a work lately raised to cover the Sidbury gate of the city, and led his troops in two divisions to Perrywood and Red-hill. To Charles this seemed a favourable opportunity of defeating one half of the hostile force, while the other
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Sept. 3.]
half was separated from it by the Severn. Leading out the whole of his disposable infantry, with the duke of Hamilton's troop of horse, and the English volunteers, he marched to attack the enemy in their position, and fought at the head of the Highlanders with a spirit worthy of a prince who staked his life for the acquisition of a crown. Fortune favoured his first efforts. The militia regiments shrunk from the shock, and the guns of the enemy became the prize of the assailants. But Cromwell had placed some veteran battalions in reserve. They restored the battle; and the royalists, in their turn, began to retreat. Still they remained unbroken, availing themselves of every advantage of the ground to check the enemy, and anxiously expecting the aid of their cavalry, which, under the command of Leslie, had remained in the city. From what cause it happened is unknown; but that officer did not appear on the field till the battle was lost, and the infantry, unable to resist the superior pressure of the enemy, was fleeing in confusion to the gate under the shelter of the fort. The fugitives rallied in Friar-street, and Charles, riding among them, endeavoured by his words and gestures to re-animate their courage. Instead of a reply, they hung down their heads, or threw away their arms. "Then shoot me dead," exclaimed the distressed prince, "rather than let me live to see the sad consequences of this day." But his despair was as unavailing as had been his entreaties; and his friends admonished him to provide for his safety, for the enemy had already penetrated within the walls.
We left Fleetwood on the right bank pushing the Scots slowly before him. At length they resigned the hope of resistance; their flight opened to him the way to St. John's, and its timid commander yielded at the first summons. On the other bank, Cromwell stormed the Fort Royal, put its defenders, fifteen hundred men, to the sword, and turned the guns upon the city. Within the walls irremediable confusion prevailed, and the enemy began to pour in by the quay, the castle hill, and the Sidbury gate. Charles had not a moment to spare. Placing himself in the midst of the Scottish cavalry, he took the northern road by the gate of St. Martin's, while a few devoted spirits, with such troopers as dared to followed them, charged down Sidbury-street in the contrary direction. They accomplished their purpose. The royal party cleared the walls, while they arrested the advance, and distracted the attention of the enemy. It was past the hour of sunset; and before dark all resistance ceased. Colonel Drummond surrendered the castle hill on conditions; the infantry in the street were killed or led prisoners to the cathedral; and the city was abandoned during the obscurity of the night to the licentious passions of the victors.
In this disastrous battle the slain on the part of the royalists amounted to three thousand men, the taken to a still greater number. The cavalry escaped in separate bodies; but so depressed was their courage, so bewildered were their counsels, that they successively surrendered to smaller parties of their pursuers. Many officers of distinction attempted, single and disguised,
[Footnote 1: These were the earl of Cleveland, Sir James Hamilton, Colonel Careless, and captains Hornyhold, Giffard, and Kemble.—Boscobel, 20.]
[Footnote 2: See Blount, Boscobel, 14-22; Whitelock, 507, 508; Bates, part ii. 221; Parl. Hist. xx. 40, 44-55; Ludlow, i. 314. Nothing can be more incorrect than Clarendon's account of this battle, iii. 409. Even Cromwell owns that "it was as stiff a contest for four or five hours as ever he had seen."—Cary's Memorials, ii. 356.]
to steal their way through the country; but of these the Scots were universally betrayed by their accent, whilst the English, for the most part, effected their escape. The duke of Hamilton had been mortally wounded on the field of battle; the earls of Derby, Rothes, Cleveland, Kelly, and Lauderdale; the lords Sinclair, Kenmure, and Grandison; and the generals Leslie, Massey, Middleton, and Montgomery, were made prisoners, at different times and in separate places. But the most interesting inquiry regarded the fortune of the young king. Though the parliament offered[a] a reward of one thousand pounds for his person, and denounced the penalties of treason against those who should afford him shelter; though parties of horse and foot scoured the adjacent counties in search of so valuable a prize; though the magistrates received orders to arrest every unknown person, and to keep a strict watch on the sea-ports in their neighbourhood, yet no trace of his flight, no clue to his retreat, could be discovered. Week after week passed
[Footnote 1: Thus the duke of Buckingham was conducted by one Mathews, a carpenter, to Bilstrop, and thence to Brooksby, the seat of Lady Villiers, in Leicestershire; Lord Talbot reached his father's house at Longford in time to conceal himself in a close place in one of the out-houses. His pursuers found his horse yet saddled, and searched for him during four or five days in vain. May was hidden twenty-one days in a hay-mow, belonging to Bold, a husbandman, at Chessardine, during all which time a party of soldiers was quartered in the house.—Boscobel, 35-37. Of the prisoners, eight suffered death, by judgment of a court-martial sitting at Chester. One of these was the gallant earl of Derby, who pleaded that quarter had been granted to him by Captain Edge, and quarter ought to be respected by a court-martial. It was answered that quarter could be granted to enemies only, not to traitors. He offered to surrender his Isle of Man in exchange for his life, and petitioned for "his grace the lord general's, and the parliament's mercy." But his petition was not delivered by Lenthall before it was too late. It was read in the house on the eve of his execution, which took place at Bolton, in Lancashire, Oct. 15, 1651.—State Trials, v. 294. Heath 302. Leicester's Journal, 121. Journals, Oct. 14.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Sept. 10.]
away; of almost every other individual of note the fate was ascertained; that of Charles Stuart remained an impenetrable mystery. At last, when a belief prevailed, both among his friends and foes, that he had met with death from the peasantry, ignorant of his person and quality, the intelligence arrived, that on the 17th of October, forty-four days after the battle, he had landed in safety at Fecamp, on the coast of Normandy.
The narrative of his adventures during this period of suspense and distress exhibits striking instances of hair-breadth escapes on the part of the king, and of unshaken fidelity on that of his adherents. During the night after the battle he found himself in the midst of the Scottish cavalry, a body of men too numerous to elude pursuit, and too dispirited to repel an enemy. Under cover of the darkness, he separated from them with about sixty horse; the earl of Derby recommended to him, from his own experience, the house of Boscobel as a secure retreat; and Charles Giffard undertook, with the aid of his servant Yates, to conduct him to Whiteladies, another house belonging to Mrs. Cotton, and not far distant from Boscobel. At an early hour in the morning, after a ride of five-and-twenty miles, they reached Whiteladies;[a] and while the others enjoyed a short repose from their fatigue, the king withdrew to an inner apartment, to prepare himself for the character which he had been advised to assume. His hair was cut close to the head, his hands and face were discoloured, his clothes were exchanged for the coarse and threadbare garments of a labourer, and a heavy wood-bill in his hand announced his pretended employment. At sunrise the few admitted to the secret took their leave of
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Sept.]
him with tears, and, summoning their companions to horseback, rode away, they scarcely knew whither but with the cheering hope that they should draw the attention of the enemy from the retreat of the king to the pursuit of themselves. In less than an hour a troop of horse from Cotsal, under the command of Colonel Ashenhurst, arrived at Whiteladies; but the king was already gone; a fruitless search only provoked their impatience, and they hastily followed the track of the other fugitives.
Charles was now in the hands, and entirely at the mercy, of four brothers (John, the fifth, had taken charge of the Lord Wilmot), labouring men, of the name of Penderell, and of Yates, his former guide, who had married a sister of the Penderells. He could not conceal from himself that their poverty might make them more accessible to temptation; but Derby and Giffard had conjured him to dismiss such thoughts; they were men of tried fidelity, who, born in the domain, and bred in the principles of a loyal and Catholic family, had long been successfully employed in screening priests and Cavaliers from the searches of the civil magistrates and military officers. By one of them, surnamed the trusty Richard, he was led into
[Footnote 1: The Penderells, whom this event has introduced to the notice of the reader, were originally six brothers, born at Hobbal Grange, in the parish of Tong. John, George, and Thomas served in the armies of Charles I. Thomas was killed at Stowe; the other two survived the war, and were employed as woodwards at Boscobel. Of the remaining three, William took care of the house; Humphrey worked at the mill, and Richard rented part of Hobbal Grange. After the Restoration, the five brothers waited on the king at Whitehall on the 13th of June, 1660, and were graciously received, and dismissed with a princely reward. A pension was also granted to them and their posterity. In virtue of which grant two of their descendants, Calvin Beaumont Winstanley, and John Lloyd, were placed on the pension list on the 6th of July, 1846, for the sum of twenty-five pounds to each.]
the thickest part of the adjoining wood, while the others posted themselves at convenient stations, to descry and announce the approach of the enemy. The day was wet and stormy; and Richard, attentive to the accommodation of his charge, who appeared sinking under the fatigue, caused by his efforts in the battle and the anxiety of his flight, spread a blanket for him under one of the largest trees, and ordered the wife of Yates to bring him the best refreshment which her house could afford. Charles was alarmed at the sight of this unexpected visitant. Recovering himself, he said, "Good woman, can you be faithful to a distressed Cavalier?"—"Yes, sir," she replied, "and I will die sooner than betray you." He was afterwards visited by Jane, the mother of the Penderells. The old woman kissed his hands, fell on her knees, and blessed God that he had chosen her sons to preserve, as she was confident they would, the life of their sovereign.
It had been agreed between the king and Wilmot, that each should make the best of his way to London, and inquire for the other by the name of Ashburnham, at the Three Cranes in the Vintry. By conversation with his guardian, Charles was induced to adopt a different plan, and to seek an asylum among the Cavaliers in Wales, till a ship could be procured for his transportation to France. About nine in the evening they left the wood together for the house of Mr. Wolf, a Catholic recusant at Madeley, not far from the Severn; but an accidental alarm lengthened their road, and added to the fatigue of the royal wanderer.
[Footnote 1: The mill at Evelyn was filled with fugitives from the battle: the miller, espying Charles and his guide, and afraid of a discovery, called out "rogues;" and they, supposing him an enemy, turned up a miry lane, running at their utmost speed,—Boscobel, 47. Account from the Pepys MS. p. 16.]
They reached Madeley at midnight; Wolf was roused from his bed, and the strangers obtained admission. But their host felt no small alarm for their safety. Troops were frequently quartered upon him; two companies of militia actually kept watch in the village and the places of concealment in his house had been recently discovered. As the approach of daylight[a] made it equally dangerous to proceed or turn back he secreted them behind the hay in an adjoining barn, and despatched messengers to examine the passages of the river. Their report that all the bridges were guarded, and all the boats secured, compelled the unfortunate prince to abandon his design. On the return of darkness he placed himself again under the care of his trusty guide, and with a heavy and misboding heart, retraced his steps towards his original destination, the house at Boscobel.
At Boscobel he found Colonel Careless, one of those devoted adherents who, to aid his escape from Worcester, had charged the enemy at the opposite gate. Careless had often provoked, and as often eluded, the resentment of the Roundheads; and experience had made him acquainted with every loyal man, and every place of concealment, in the country. By his persuasion Charles consented to pass the day[b] with him amidst the branches of an old and lofty oak. This
[Footnote 1: This day Humphrey Penderell, the miller, went to Skefnal to pay taxes, but in reality to learn news. He was taken before a military officer, who knew that Charles had been at Whiteladies, and tempted, with threats and promises, to discover where the king was; but nothing could be extracted from him, and he was allowed to return.—Boscobel, 55. This, I suspect, to be the true story; but Charles himself, when he mentions the proposal made to Humphrey attributes it to a man, at whose house he had changed his clothes.—Account from the Pepys MS. p. 9.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Sept. 5.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. Sept. 6.]
celebrated tree, which was afterwards destroyed to satisfy the veneration of the Cavaliers, grew near to the common path in a meadow-field, which lay in the centre of the wood. It had been partially lopped a few years before, and the new shoots had thrown round it a thick and luxuriant foliage. Within this cover the king and his companion passed the day. Invisible themselves, they occasionally caught a glimpse of the red-coats (so the soldiers were called) passing among the trees, and sometimes saw them looking into the meadow. Their friends, William Penderell and his wife, whom Charles called my dame Joan, stationed themselves near, to give warning of danger; he pretending to be employed in his duty as woodward, and she in the labour of gathering sticks for fuel. But there arose no cause of immediate alarm; the darkness of the night relieved them from their tedious and irksome confinement; and Charles, having on his return to the house examined the hiding-place, resolved to trust to it for his future security.
The next day, Sunday,[a] he spent within doors or in the garden. But his thoughts brooded over his forlorn and desperate condition; and the gloom on his countenance betrayed the uneasiness of his mind. Fortunately in the afternoon he received by John Penderell a welcome message from Lord Wilmot, to meet him that night at the house of Mr. Whitgrave, a recusant, at Moseley. The king's feet were so swollen and blistered by his recent walk to and from Madeley,
[Footnote 1: Careless found means to reach London, and cross the sea to Holland, where he carried the first news of the king's escape to the princess of Orange. Charles gave him for his coat of arms, by the name of Carlos, an oak in a field, or, with a fesse, gules, charged with three royal crowns, and for his crest a crown of oak leaves, with a sword and sceptre, crossed saltierwise.—Boscobel, 85.]
[Sidenote: A.D. 1651. Sept. 7.]
that he gladly accepted the offer of Humphrey's horse from the mill; nor did the appearance of the monarch disgrace that of the steed. He wore a coat and breeches of coarse green cloth, both so threadbare that in many places they appeared white, and the latter "so long that they came down to the garter;" his doublet was of leather, old and soiled; his shoes were heavy and slashed for the ease of his feet; his stockings of green yarn had been much worn, were darned at the knees, and without feet; and an old grey steeple-crowned hat, without band or lining, with a crooked thorn stick, completed the royal habiliments. The six brothers attended him with arms; two kept in advance, two followed behind, and one walked on each side. He had not gone far before he complained to Humphrey of the heavy jolting pace of the horse. "My liege," replied the miller, "you do not recollect that he carries the weight of three kingdoms on his back."
At Moseley, cheered by the company of Wilmot, and the attention of Whitgrave and his chaplain, Mr. Hudlestone, he recovered his spirits, fought the battle of Worcester over again, and declared that, if he could find a few thousand men who had the courage to stand by him, he would not hesitate to meet his enemies a second time in the field. A new plan of escape was now submitted to his approbation. The daughter of Colonel Lane, of Bentley, had obtained from the governor of Stafford a pass to visit Mrs.
[Footnote 1: Mr. Whitgrave had served as lieutenant, Hudlestone as gentleman volunteer in the armies of Charles I. The latter was of the family at Hutton John, in Cumberland. Leaving the service, he took orders, and was at this time a secular priest, living with Mr. Whitgrave. He afterwards became a Benedictine monk, and was appointed one of the queen's chaplains.]
Norton, a relation near Bristol. Charles consented to assume the character of her servant, and Wilmot departed on the following night to make arrangements for his reception. In the mean time, to guard against a surprise, Hudlestone constantly attended the king; Whitgrave occasionally left the house to observe what passed in the street; and Sir John Preston, and two other boys, the pupils of Hudlestone, were stationed as sentinels at the garret windows. But the danger of discovery increased every hour. The confession of a cornet, who had accompanied him, and was afterwards made prisoner, divulged the fact that Charles had been left at Whiteladies; and the hope of reward stimulated the parliamentary officers to new and more active exertions. The house of Boscobel, on the day after the king's departure,[a] was successively visited by two parties of the enemy; the next morning a second and more rigorous search was made at Whiteladies; and in the afternoon the arrival of a troop of horse alarmed the inhabitants of Moseley. As Charles, Whitgrave, and Hudlestone were standing near a window, they observed a neighbour run hastily into the house, and in an instant heard the shout of "Soldiers, soldiers!" from the foot of the staircase. The king was immediately shut up in the secret place; all the other doors were thrown open; and Whitgrave descending, met the troopers in front of his house. They seized him as a fugitive Cavalier from Worcester; but he convinced them by the testimony of his neighbours, that for several weeks he had not quitted Moseley, and with much difficulty prevailed on them to depart without searching the house.
[Footnote 1: Though ignorant of the quality of the stranger, the boys amused the king by calling themselves his life-guard.—Boscobel, 78.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Sept. 9.]
That night[a] Charles proceeded to Bentley. It took but little time to transform the woodcutter into a domestic servant, and to exchange his dress of green jump for a more decent suit of grey cloth. He departed on horseback with his supposed mistress behind him, accompanied by her cousin, Mr. Lassells; and, after a journey of three days, reached[b] Abbotsleigh, Mr. Norton's house, without interruption or danger. Wilmot stopped at Sir John Winter's, a place in the neighbourhood. On the road, he had occasionally joined the royal party, as it were by accident; more generally he preceded or followed them at a short distance. He rode with a hawk on his fist, and dogs by his side; and the boldness of his manner as effectually screened him from discovery as the most skilful disguise.
The king, on his arrival,[c] was indulged with a separate chamber, under pretense of indisposition; but the next morning he found himself in the company of two persons, of whom one had been a private in his regiment of guards at Worcester, the other a servant in the palace at Richmond, when Charles lived there several years before. The first did not recognise him, though he pretended to give a description of his person; the other, the moment the king uncovered, recollected the features of the prince, and communicated his suspicions to Lassells. Charles, with great judgment, sent for him, discovered himself to him as an old acquaintance, and required his assistance. The man (he was butler to the family) felt himself honoured by the royal confidence, and endeavoured to repay it by his services. He removed to a distance from the king two individuals in the house of known republican principles; he inquired, though without success, for a
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Sept. 11.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. Sept. 14.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1651. Sept. 15.]
ship at Bristol to carry him to France or Spain; and he introduced Lord Wilmot to his chamber at the hour of midnight. There they sat in council, and resolved[a] that the king should remove the next day to the house of Colonel Windham, a Cavalier whom he knew, at Trent, near Sherburn; that a messenger should be despatched to prepare the family for his arrival; and that to account for the sudden departure of Miss Lane, a counterfeit letter should be delivered to her, stating that her father was lying at the point of death. The plan succeeded; she was suffered[b] to depart, and in two days the prince reached[c] his destination. The following morning[d] Miss Lane took her leave, and hastened back with Lassells to Bentley.
In his retirement at Trent, Charles began to indulge the hope of a speedy liberation from danger. A ship was hired at Lyme to convey a nobleman and his servant (Wilmot and the king) to the coast of France; the hour and the place of embarkation were fixed; and a widow, who kept a small inn at Charmouth, consented to furnish a temporary asylum to a gentleman in disguise, and a young female who had just escaped from the custody of a harsh and unfeeling guardian. The next evening[e] Charles appeared in a servant's dress, with Juliana Coningsby riding behind him, and accompanied by Wilmot and Windham. The hostess received the supposed lovers with a hearty welcome; but their patience was soon put to the severest trial; the night[f] passed away, no boat entered the creek, no ship could be descried in the offing; and the disappointment gave birth to a thousand jealousies
[Footnote 1: This lady received a reward of one thousand pounds for her services, by order of the two houses.—C. Journals, 1660, December 19, 21.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Sept. 17.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. Sept. 18.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1651. Sept. 19.] [Sidenote d: A.D. 1651. Sept. 20.] [Sidenote e: A.D. 1651. Sept. 23.] [Sidenote f: A.D. 1651. Sept. 24.]
and apprehensions. At dawn of day the whole party separated; Wilmot, with a servant, going to Lyme to inquire after the master of the vessel; Charles, with his companions, proceeding to Bridport to wait the return of Wilmot. In Bridport he found fifteen hundred soldiers preparing to embark on an expedition against Jersey; but, unwilling to create a real, by seeking to eschew an imaginary, danger, he boldly pushed forward to the inn, and led the horses through the crowd with a rudeness which provoked complaint. But a new danger awaited him at the stable. The hostler challenged him as an old acquaintance, pretending to have known him in the service of Mr. Potter, at Exeter. The fact was that, during the civil war, Charles had lodged at that gentleman's house. He turned aside to conceal his alarm; but had sufficient presence of mind to avail himself of the partial mistake of the hostler, and to reply, "True, I once lived a servant with Mr. Potter; but as I have no leisure now, we will renew our acquaintance on my return to London over a pot of beer."
After dinner, the royal party joined Wilmot out of the town. The master of the ship had been detained at home by the fears and remonstrances of his wife, and no promises could induce him to renew his engagement. Confounded and dispirited, Charles retraced his steps to Trent; new plans were followed by new disappointments; a second ship, provided by Colonel Philips at Southampton, was seized[a] for the transportation of troops to Jersey; and mysterious rumours in the neighbourhood rendered[b] unsafe the king's continuance at Colonel Windham's. At Heale, the residence
[Footnote 1: A reward of one thousand pounds was afterwards given to Windham.—C. Journals, Dec. 17, 1660.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Sept. 25.] [Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Oct. 8.]
of the widow Hyde, near Salisbury, he found a more secure retreat in a hiding-place for five days, during which Colonel Gunter, through the agency of Mansel, a loyal merchant, engaged[a] a collier, lying at New Shoreham. Charles hastened[b] through Hambleton to Brighton, where he sat down to supper with Philips, Gunter, Mansel, and Tattershall the master of the vessel. At table, Tattershall kept his eyes fixed on the king; after supper, he called Mansel aside and complained of fraud. The person in grey was the king; he knew him well, having been detained by him in the river, when, as prince of Wales, he commanded the royal fleet in 1648. This information was speedily communicated to Charles, who took no notice of it to Tattershall; but, to make sure of his man, contrived to keep the party drinking and smoking round the table during the rest of the night.
Before his departure, while he was standing alone in a room, the landlord entered, and, going behind him, kissed his hand, which rested on the back of a chair, saying at the same time, "I have no doubt that, if I live, I shall be a lord, and my wife a lady." Charles laughed, to show that he understood his meaning, and joined the company in the other apartment. At four in the morning they all proceeded[c] to Shoreham; on the beach his other attendants took their leave, Wilmot accompanied him into the bark. There Tattershall, falling on his knee, solemnly assured him, that whatever might be the consequence, he would put him safely on the coast of France. The ship floated with the tide, and stood with easy sail towards the Isle of Wight, as if she were on her way to Deal, to which port she was bound. But at five in the afternoon, Charles, as he had previously concerted with Tattershall,
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Oct. 14.] [Sidenote b: A.D. 1651. Oct. 15.] [Sidenote c: A.D. 1651. Oct. 16.]
addressed the crew. He told them that he and his companion were merchants in distress, flying from their creditors; desired them to join him in requesting the master to run for the French coast; and, as a further argument, gave them twenty shillings to drink. Tattershall made many objections; but, at last, with apparent reluctance, took the helm, and steered across the Channel. At daybreak[a] they saw before them the small town of Fecamp, at the distance of two miles; but the tide ebbing, they cast anchor, and soon afterwards descried to leeward a suspicious sail, which, by her manner of working, the king feared, and the master believed, to be a privateer from Ostend. She afterwards proved to be a French hoy; but Charles waited not to ascertain the fact; the boat was instantly lowered, and the two adventurers were rowed safely into the harbour.
The king's deliverance was a subject of joy to the nations of Europe, among whom the horror excited by the death of the father had given popularity to the exertions of the son. In his expedition into England they had followed him with wishes for his success;
[Footnote 1: For the history of the king's escape, see Blount's Boscobel, with Claustrum Regale reseratum; the Whitgrave manuscript, printed in the Retrospective Review, xiv. 26. Father Hudleston's Relation; the True Narrative and Relation in the Harleian Miscellany, iv. 441, an account of his majesty's escape from Worcester, dictated to Mr. Pepys by the king himself, and the narrative given by Bates in the second part of his Elenchus. In addition to these, we have a narrative by Clarendon, who professes to have derived his information from Charles and the other actors in the transaction, and asserts that "it is exactly true; that there is nothing in it, the verity whereof can justly be suspected" (Car. Hist. iii. 427, 428); yet, whoever will compare it with the other accounts will see that much of great interest has been omitted, and much so disfigured as to bear little resemblance to the truth. It must be that the historian, writing in banishment, and at a great distance of time, trusted to his imagination to supply the defect of his memory.—See note (E). See also Gunter's narrative in Cary, ii. 430.]
[Sidenote a: A.D. 1651. Oct. 17.]
after his defeat at Worcester they were agitated with apprehensions for his safety. He had now eluded the hunters of his life; he appeared before them with fresh claims on their sympathy, from the spirit which he had displayed in the field, and the address with which he had extricated himself from danger. His adventures were listened to with interest; and his conduct was made the theme of general praise. That he should be the heir to the British crowns, was the mere accident of birth; that he was worthy to wear them, he owed to the resources and energies of his own mind. In a few months, however, the delusion vanished. Charles had borne the blossoms of promise; they were blasted under the withering influence of pleasure and dissipation.