The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II.
by Tobias Smollett
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As king William did not think proper to pursue the enemy, the carnage was not great. The Irish lost fifteen hundred men, and the English about one-third of that number; though the victory was dearly purchased, considering the death of the gallant duke of Schomberg, who fell in the eighty-second year of his age, after having rivalled the best generals of the time in military reputation. He was descended of a noble family in the Palatinate, and his mother was an English woman, daughter of lord Dudley. Being obliged to leave his country on account of the troubles by which it was agitated, he commenced a soldier of fortune, and served successively in the armies of Holland, England, France, Portugal, and Brandenburgh. He attained to the dignities of mareschal in France, grandee in Portugal, generalissimo in Prussia, and duke in England. He professed the protestant religion; was courteous and humble in his deportment; cool, penetrating, resolute, and sagacious; nor was his probity inferior to his courage. This battle likewise proved fatal to the brave Caillemote, who had followed the duke's fortunes, and commanded one of the protestant regiments. After having received a mortal wound, he was carried back through the river by four soldiers, and though almost in the agonies of death, he with a cheerful countenance encouraged those who were crossing to do their duty, exclaiming, "A la gloire, mes enfans; a la gloire. To glory, my lads; to glory!" The third remarkable person who lost his life on this occasion was Walker the clergyman, who had so valiantly defended Londonderry against the whole army of king James. He had been very graciously received by king William, who gratified him with a reward of five thousand pounds, and a promise of further favour; but his military genius still predominating, he attended his royal patron in this battle, and being shot in the belly, died in a few minutes. The persons of distinction who fell on the other side were the lords Dongan and Carlingford, sir Neile O'Neile, and the marquis of Hoequincourt. James himself stood aloof during the action on the hill of Dunmore, surrounded with some squadrons of horse; and seeing victory declare against him, retired to Dublin without having made the least effort to re-assemble his broken forces. Had he possessed either spirit or conduct, his army might have been rallied, and reinforced from his garrisons, so as to be in a condition to keep the field, and even act upon the offensive; for his loss was inconsiderable, and the victor did not attempt to molest his troops in their retreat—an omission which has been charged upon him as a flagrant instance of misconduct. Indeed, through the whole of this engagement, William's personal courage was much more conspicuous than his military skill.

{WILLIAM AND MARY, 1688—1701.}


King James no sooner arrived at Dublin than he assembled the magistrates and council of the city, and in a short speech resigned them to the fortune of the victor. He complained of the cowardice of the Irish; signified his resolution of leaving the kingdom immediately; forbade them, on their allegiance, to burn or plunder the city after his departure; and assured them, that, though he was obliged to yield to force, he would never cease to labour for their deliverance. Next day he set out for Waterford, attended by the duke of Berwick, Tyrconnel, and the marquis of Powis. He ordered all the bridges to be broken down behind him, and embarked in a vessel which had been prepared for his reception. At sea he fell in with the French squadron, commanded by the Sieur de Foran, who persuaded him to go on board one of his frigates, which was a prime sailer. In this he was safely conveyed to France, and returned to the place of his former residence at St. Germain's. He had no sooner quitted Dublin than it was also abandoned by all the papists. The protestants immediately took possession of the arms belonging to the militia, under the conduct of the bishops of Meath and Limerick. A committee was formed to take charge of the administration; and an account of these transactions was transmitted to king William, together with a petition that he would honour the city with his presence.


On the morning after the battle of the Boyne, William sent a detachment of horse and foot, under the command of M. Mellionere, to Drogheda, the governor of which surrendered the place without opposition. The king at the head of the army began his march for Dublin, and halted the first night at Bally-Breghan; where, having received advice of the enemy's retreat from the capital, he sent the duke of Ormond with a body of horse to take possession. These were immediately followed by the Dutch guards, who secured the castle. In a few days the king encamped at Finglas, in the neighbourhood of Dublin, where he was visited by the bishops of Meath and Limerick, at the head of the protestant clergy, whom he assured of his favour and protection. Then he published a declaration of pardon to all the common people who had served against him, provided they should return to their dwellings and surrender their arms by the first day of August. Those that rented lands of popish proprietors who had been concerned in the rebellion, were required to retain their rents in their own hands until they should have notice from the commissioners of the revenue to whom they should be paid. The desperate leaders of the rebellion, who had violated the laws of the kingdom, called in the French, authorized the depredations which had been committed upon protestants, and rejected the pardon offered to them on the king's first proclamation, were left to the event of war, unless by evident demonstrations of repentance they should deserve mercy, which would never be refused to those who were truly penitent. The next step taken by king William was to issue a proclamation reducing the brass money to nearly its intrinsic value. In the meantime, the principal officers in the army of James, after having seen him embark at Waterford, returned to their troops, determined to prosecute the war as long as they could be supplied with means to support their operations.


During these transactions, the queen, as regent, found herself surrounded with numberless cares and perplexities. Her council was pretty equally divided into whigs and tories, who did not always act with unanimity. She was distracted between her apprehensions for her father's safety and her husband's life: she was threatened with an invasion by the French from abroad, and with an insurrection by the Jacobites at home. Nevertheless she disguised her fears, and behaved with equal prudence and fortitude. Advice being received that a fleet was ready to sail from Brest, lord Torrington hoisted his flag in the Downs, and sailed round to St. Helen's, in order to assemble such a number of ships as would enable him to give them battle. The enemy being discovered off Plymouth on the twentieth day of June, the English admiral, reinforced with a Dutch squadron, stood out to sea with a view to intercept them at the back of the Isle of Wight, should they presume to sail up the channel, not that he thought himself strong enough to cope with them in battle. Their fleet consisted of seventy-eight ships of war, and two-and-twenty fire-ships; whereas, the combined squadrons of England and Holland did not exceed six-and-fifty; but he had received orders to hazard an engagement if he thought it might be done with any prospect of success. After the hostile fleets had continued five days in sight of each other, lord Torrington bore down upon the enemy off Beachy-head, on the thirtieth day of June, at day-break. The Dutch squadron, which composed the van, began the engagement about nine in the morning; in about half an hour the blue division of the English were close engaged with the rear of the French; but the red, which formed the centre, under the command of Torrington in person, did not fill the line till ten o'clock, so that the Dutch were almost surrounded by the enemy, and, though they fought with great valour, sustained considerable damage. At length the admiral's division drove between them and the French, and in that situation the fleet anchored about five in the afternoon, when the action was interrupted by a calm. The Dutch had suffered so severely, that Torrington thought it would be imprudent to renew the battle; he therefore weighed anchor in the night, and with the tide of flood retired to the eastward. The next day the disabled ships were destroyed, that they might not be retarded in their retreat. They were pursued as far as Rye; an English ship of seventy guns being stranded near Winchelsea, was set on fire and deserted by the captain's command. A Dutch ship of sixty-four guns met with the same accident, and some French frigates attempted to burn her; but the captain defended her so vigorously that they were obliged to desist, and he afterwards found means to carry her safe to Holland. In this engagement the English lost two ships, two sea-captains, and about four hundred men; but the Dutch were more unfortunate: six of their great ships were destroyed. Dick and Brackel, rear-admirals, were slain, together with a great number of inferior officers and seamen. Torrington retreated without further interruption into the mouth of the Thames; and, having taken precaution against any attempts of the enemy in that quarter, returned to London, the inhabitants of which were overwhelmed with consternation.


The government was infected with the same panic. The ministry pretended to believe that the French acted in concert with the malcontents of the nation; that insurrections in the different parts of the kingdom had been projected by the Jacobites; and that there would be a general revolt in Scotland. These insinuations were circulated by the court agents in order to justify, in the opinion of the public, the measures that were deemed necessary at this juncture; and they produced the desired effect. The apprehensions thus artfully raised among the people inflamed their aversion to nonjurors and Jacobites. Addresses were presented to the queen by the Cornish tinners, by the lieutenancy of Middlesex, and by the mayor, aldermen, and lieutenancy of London, filled with professions of loyalty and promises of supporting their majesties as their lawful sovereigns, against all opposition. The queen at this crisis exhibited remarkable proofs of courage, activity, and discretion. She issued out proper orders and directions for putting the nation in a posture of defence, as well as for refitting and augmenting the fleet; she took measures for appeasing the resentment of the states-general, who exclaimed against the earl of Torrington for his behaviour in the late action. He was deprived of his command, and sent prisoner to the Tower; and commissioners were appointed to examine the particular circumstances of his conduct. A camp was formed in the neighbourhood of Torbay, where the French seemed to threaten a descent. Their fleet, which lay at anchor in the bay, cannonaded a small village called Teign-mouth. About a thousand of their men landed without opposition, set fire to the place, and burned a few coasting vessels; then they re-embarked and returned to Brest, so vain of this achievement that they printed a pompous account of their invasion. Some of the whig partizans published pamphlets and diffused reports, implying that the suspended bishops were concerned in the conspiracy against the government; and these arts proved so inflammatory among the common people, that the prelates thought it necessary to print a paper, in which they asserted their innocence in the most solemn protestations. The court seems to have harboured no suspicion against them, otherwise they would not have escaped imprisonment. The queen issued a proclamation for apprehending the earls of Litchfield, Aylesbury, and Castlemain; viscount Preston; the lords Montgomery and Bellasis; sir Edward Hales, sir Robert Tharold, sir Robert Hamilton, sir Theophilus Oglethorpe, colonel Edward Sackville, and some other officers. These were accused of having conspired with other disaffected persons to disturb and destroy the government, and of a design to concur with her majesty's enemies in the intended invasion. The earl of Torrington continued a prisoner in the Tower till next session, when he was brought into the house of commons and made a speech in his own defence. His case produced long debates in the upper house, where the form of his commitment was judged illegal: at length he was tried by a court-martial appointed by the commissioners of the admiralty, though not before an act had passed, declaring the power of a lord high-admiral vested in those commissioners. The president of the court was sir Ralph Delavai, who had acted as vice-admiral of the blue in the engagement. The earl was acquitted, but the king dismissed him from the service; and the Dutch exclaimed against the partiality of his judges.


William is said to have intercepted all the papers of his father-in-law and Tyrconnel, and to have learned from them not only the design projected by the French to burn the English transports, but likewise the undertaking of one Jones, who engaged to assassinate king William. No such attempt however was made, and in all probability the whole report was a fiction, calculated to throw an odium on James' character. On the ninth day of July, William detached general Douglas with a considerable body of horse and foot towards Athlone, while he himself, having left Trelawny to command at Dublin, advanced with the rest of his army to Inchiquin in his way to Kilkenny. Colonel Grace, the governor of Athlone for king James, being summoned to surrender, fired a pistol at the trumpeter, saying, "These are my terms." Then Douglas resolved to undertake the siege of the place, which was naturally very strong, and defended by a resolute garrison. An inconsiderable breach was made, when Douglas, receiving intelligence that Sarsfield was on his march to the relief of the besieged, abandoned the enterprise after having lost above four hundred men in the attempt. The king continued his march to the westward; and, by dint of severe examples, established such order and discipline in his army, that the peasants were secure from the least violence. At Carlow he detached the duke of Ormond to take possession of Kilkenny, where that nobleman regaled him in his own castle, which the enemy had left undamaged. While the army encamped at Carrick, major-general Kirke was sent to Waterford, the garrison of which, consisting of two regiments, capitulated upon condition of marching out with their arms and baggage, and being conducted to Mallow. The fort of Duncannon was surrendered on the same terms. Here the lord Dover and the lord George Howard were admitted to the benefit of the king's mercy and protection.


On the first day of August, William being at Chapel-Izard, published a second declaration of mercy, confirming the former, and even extending it to persons of superior rank and station, whether natives or foreigners, provided they would, by the twenty-fifth day of the month, lay down their arms and submit to certain conditions. This offer of indemnity produced very little effect, for the Irish were generally governed by their priests, and the news of the victory which the French fleet had obtained over the English and Dutch, was circulated with such exaggerations as elevated their spirits, and effaced all thoughts of submission. The king had returned to Dublin with a view to embark for England, but receiving notice that the designs of his domestic enemies were discovered and frustrated, that the fleet was repaired, and the French navy retired to Brest, he postponed his voyage and resolved to reduce Limerick; in which Monsieur Boisseleau commanded as governor, and the duke of Berwick and colonel Sarsfield acted as inferior officers. On the ninth day of August, the king having called in his detachment and advanced into the neighbourhood of the place, summoned the commander to deliver the town; and Boisseleau answered, that he imagined the best way to gain the good opinion of the prince of Orange, would be a vigorous defence of the town which his majesty had committed to his charge. Before the place was fully invested, colonel Sarsfield, with a body of horse and dragoons, passed the Shannon in the night, intercepted the king's train of artillery on its way to the camp, routed the troops that guarded it, disabled the cannon, destroyed the carriages, waggons, and ammunition, and returned in safety to Limerick. Notwithstanding this disaster, the trenches were opened on the seventeenth day of the month, and a battery was raised with some cannon brought from Waterford. The siege was carried on with vigour, and the place defended with great resolution. At length the king ordered his troops to make a lodgment in the covered way or counterscarp, which was accordingly assaulted with great fury; but the assailants met with such a warm reception from the besieged, that they were repulsed with the loss of twelve hundred men either killed on the spot or mortally wounded. This disappointment, concurring with the badness of the weather, which became rainy and unwholesome, induced the king to renounce his undertaking. The heavy baggage and cannon being sent away, the army decamped and marched towards Clonmel. William having constituted the lord Sydney and Thomas Coningsby lords justices of Ireland, and left the command of the army with count Solmes, embarked at Duncannon with prince George of Denmark on the fifth of September, and next day arrived in King road, near Bristol, from whence he repaired to Windsor.


About the latter end of this month the earl of Marlborough arrived in Ireland with five thousand English troops, to attack Cork and Kinsale in conjunction with a detachment from the great army, according to a scheme he had proposed to king William. Having landed his soldiers without much opposition in the neighbourhood of Cork, he was joined by five thousand men under the prince of Wirtemberg, between whom and the earl a dispute arose about the command; but this was compromised by the interposition of La Mellionere. The place being invested, and the batteries raised, the besiegers proceeded with such rapidity that a breach was soon effected. Colonel Mackillicut the governor demanded a parley, and hostages were exchanged; but he rejected the conditions that were offered, and hostilities recommenced with redoubled vigour. The duke of Grafton, who served on this occasion as a volunteer, was mortally wounded in one of the attacks, and died regretted as a youth of promising talents. Preparations being made for a general assault, the besieged thought proper to capitulate, and surrendered themselves prisoners of war. Besides the governor and colonel Bicaut, the victor found the earls of Clancarty and Tyrone among the individuals of the garrison. Marlborough having taken possession of Cork, detached brigadier Villiers with a body of horse and dragoons to summon the town and forts of Kinsale, and next day advanced with the rest of the forces. The old fort was immediately taken by assault; but sir Edward Scott, who commanded the other, sustained a regular siege until the breach was practicable, and then obtained an honourable capitulation. These maritime places being reduced, all communication between France and the enemy on this side of the island was cut off, and the Irish were confined to Ulster, where they could not subsist without great difficulty. The earl of Marlborough having finished this expedition in thirty days, returned with his prisoners to England, where the fame of this exploit added greatly to his reputation.


During these transactions count de Lausan, commander of the French auxiliaries in Ireland, lay inactive in the neighbourhood of Galway, and transmitted such a lamentable account of his situation to the court of France, that transports were sent over to bring home the French forces. In these he embarked with his troops, and the command of the Irish forces devolved to the duke of Berwick, though it was afterwards transferred to M. St. Ruth. Lausan was disgraced at Versailles for having deserted the cause before it was desperate: Tyrconnel, who accompanied him in his voyage, solicited the French court for a further supply of officers, arms, clothes, and ammunition for the Irish army, which he said would continue firm to the interest of king James if thus supported. Meanwhile they formed themselves into separate bodies of freebooters, and plundered the country, under the appellation of rapparees: while the troops of king William either enjoyed their ease in quarters, or imitated the rapine of the enemy; so that between both the poor people were miserably harassed.


The affairs of the continent had not yet undergone any change of importance, except in the conduct of the duke of Savoy, who renounced his neutrality, engaged in an alliance with the emperor and king of Spain; and, in a word, acceded to the grand confederacy. He had no sooner declared himself, than Catinat the French general entered his territories at the head of eighteen thousand men, and defeated him in a pitched battle near Saluces, which immediately surrendered to the conqueror. Then he reduced Savillana, Villa Franca, with several other places, pursued the duke to Carignan, surprised Suza, and distributed his forces in winter quarters, partly in Provence and partly in the duchy of Savoy, which St. Ruth had lately reduced under the dominion of France. The duke finding himself disappointed in the succours he expected from the emperor and the king of Spain, demanded assistance of the states-general and king William: to this last he sent an ambassador, to congratulate him upon his accession to the throne of England. The confederates in their general congress at the Hague, had agreed that the army of the states under prince Waldeck should oppose the forces of France, commanded by the duke of Luxembourg in Flanders; while the elector of Brandenburgh should observe the marquis de Boufflers on the Moselle: but before the troops of Brandenburgh could be assembled, Boufflers encamped between the Sambre and the Mouse, and maintained a free communication with Luxembourg.


Prince Waldeck understanding that this general intended to cross the Sambre between Namur and Charleroy, in order to lay the Spanish territories under contribution, decamped from the river Pieton, and detached the count of Berlo with a great body of horse to observe the motions of the enemy. He was encountered by the French army near Fleuras, and slain: and his troops, though supported by two other detachments, were hardly able to rejoin the main body, which continued all night in order of battle. Next day they were attacked by the French, who were greatly superior to them in number: after a very obstinate engagement the allies gave way, leaving about five thousand men dead upon the field of battle. The enemy took about four thousand prisoners, and the greatest part of their artillery; but the victory was dearly bought. The Dutch infantry fought with surprising resolution and success. The duke of Luxembourg owned with surprise, that they had surpassed the Spanish foot at the battle of Rocroy. "Prince Waldeck, said he, ought always to remember the French horse; and I shall never forget the Dutch infantry." The Dutch general exerted himself with such activity, that the French derived very little advantage from their victory. The prince being reinforced with the five English regiments, nine thousand Hanoverians, ten thousand from the bishopric of Liege and Holland, joined the elector of Brandenburgh; so that the confederate army amounted to five-and-fifty thousand men, and they marched by the way of Genap to Bois-Seigneur-Isaac. They were now superior to Luxembourg, who thought proper to fortify his camp, that he might not be obliged to fight except with considerable advantage. Nevertheless, prince Waldeck would have attacked him in his intrenchments, had he not been prohibited from hazarding another engagement by an express order of the states-general; and when this restriction was removed, the elector would not venture a battle.


By this time the emperor's son Joseph was by the electoral college chosen king of the Romans; but his interest sustained a rude shock in the death of the gallant duke of Lorraine, who was suddenly seized with a quin-sey at a small village near Lintz, and expired, not without suspicion of having fallen a sacrifice to the fears of the French king, against whom he had formerly declared war as a sovereign prince unjustly expelled from his territories. He possessed great military talents, and had threatened to enter Lorraine at the head of forty thousand men, in the course of the ensuing summer. The court of France, alarmed at this declaration, is said to have had recourse to poison, for preventing the execution of the duke's design. At his death the command of the imperial army was conferred upon the elector of Bavaria. This prince having joined the elector of Saxony, advanced against the Dauphin, who had passed the Rhine at Fort-Louis with a considerable army, and intended to penetrate into Wirtemberg; but the duke of Bavaria checked his progress, and he acted on the defensive during the remaining part of the campaign. The emperor was less fortunate in his efforts against the Turks, who rejected the conditions of peace he had offered, and took the field under a new vizier. In the month of August, count Tekeli defeated a body of imperialists near Cronstadt, in Transylvania; then convoking the states of that province at Albajulia, he compelled them to elect him their sovereign; but his reign was of short duration. Prince Louis of Baden, having taken the command of the Austrian army, detached four regiments into Belgrade, and advanced against Tekeli, who retired into Valachia at his approach. Meanwhile the grand vizier invested Belgrade, and carried on his attacks with surprising resolution. At length a bomb falling upon a great tower in which the powder magazine of the besieged was contained, the place blew up with a dreadful explosion. Seventeen hundred soldiers of the garrison were destroyed; the walls and ramparts were overthrown; the ditch was filled up, and so large a breach was opened that the Turks entered by squadrons and battalions, cutting in pieces all that fell in their way. The fire spread from magazine to magazine until eleven were destroyed; and in the confusion the remaining part of the garrison escaped to Peterwaradin. By this time the imperialists were in possession of Transylvania, and cantoned at Cronstadt and Clausinburgh. Tekeli undertook to attack the province on one side, while a body of Turks should invade it on the other: these last were totally dispersed by prince Louis of Baden; but prince Augustus of Hanover, whom he had detached against the count, was slain in a narrow defile, and his troops were obliged to retreat with precipitation. Tekeli however did not improve this advantage: being apprized of the fate of his allies, and afraid of seeing his retreat cut off by the snow that frequently chokes up the passes of the mountains, he retreated again to Valachia, and prince Louis returned to Vienna.


King William having published a proclamation requiring the attendance of the members on the second day of October, both houses met accordingly, and he opened the session with a speech to the usual purport. He mentioned what he had done towards the reduction of Ireland; commended the behaviour of the troops; told them the supplies were not equal to the necessary expense; represented the danger to which the nation would be exposed unless the war should be prosecuted with vigour; conjured them to clear his revenue, which was mortgaged for the payment of former debts, and enable him to pay off the arrears of the army; assured them that the success of the confederacy abroad would depend upon the vigour and dispatch of their proceedings; expressed his resentment against those who had been guilty of misconduct in the management of the fleet; recommended unanimity and expedition; and declared, that whoever should attempt to divert their attention from those subjects of importance which he had proposed, could neither be a friend to him nor a well-wisher to his country. The late attempt of the French upon the coast of England, the rumours of a conspiracy by the Jacobites, the personal valour which William had displayed in Ireland, and the pusillanimous behavour of James, concurred in warming the resentment of the nation against the adherents of the late king, and in raising a tide of loyalty in favour of the new government. Both houses presented separate addresses of congratulation to the king and queen, upon his courage and conduct in the field, and her fortitude and sagacity at the helm in times of danger and disquiet. The commons, pursuant to an estimate laid before them of the next year's expenses, voted a supply of four millions for the maintenance of the army and navy, and settled the funds for that purpose.


They proposed to raise one million by the sale of forfeited estates in Ireland: they resolved that a bill should be brought in for confiscating those estates, with a clause, empowering the king to bestow a third part of them on those who had served in the war, as well as to grant such articles and capitulations to those who were in arms, as he should think proper. This clause was rejected; and a great number of petitions were offered against the bill, by creditors and heirs who had continued faithful to the government. These were supposed to have been suggested by the court, in order to retard the progress of the bill; for the estates had been already promised to the king's favourites: nevertheless, the bill passed the lower house, and was sent up to the lords, among whom it was purposely delayed by the influence of the ministry. It was at this juncture that lord Torrington was tried and acquitted, very much to the dissatisfaction of the king, who not only dismissed him from the service, but even forbade him to appear in his presence. When William came to the house of lords to give the royal assent to a bill for doubling the excise, he told the parliament that the posture of affairs required his presence at the Hague; that, therefore, they ought to lose no time in perfecting such other supplies as were still necessary for the maintenance of the army and navy; and he reminded them of making some provision for the expense of the civil government. Two bills were accordingly passed for granting to their majesties the duties of goods imported, for five years; and these, together with the mutiny-bill, received the royal assent: upon which occasion the king observed, that if some annual provision could be made for augmenting the navy, it would greatly conduce to the honour and safety of the nation. In consequence of this hint, they voted a considerable supply for building additional ships of war,* and proceeded with such alacrity and expedition, as even seemed to anticipate the king's desires. This liberality and dispatch were in a great measure owing to the management of lord Godolphin, who was now placed at the head of the treasury, and sir John Somers, the solicitor-general. The place of secretary of state, which had remained vacant since the resignation of the earl of Shrewsbury, was now filled with lord Sidney; and sir Charles Porter was appointed one of the justices of Ireland in the room of this nobleman.

* This supply was raised by the additional duties upon beer, ale, and other liquors. They also provided in the bill, that the impositions on wines, vinegar, and tobacco, should be made a fund of credit: that the surplus of the grants they had made, after the current service was provided for, should be applicable to the payment of the debts contracted by the war: and, that it should be lawful for their majesties to make use of five hundred thousand pounds out of the said grants, on condition of that sum being repaid from the revenue.—Ralph.

{WILLIAM AND MARY, 1688—1701.}


Notwithstanding the act for reversing the proceedings against the city charter, the whigs had made shift to keep possession of the magistracy: Pilkington continued mayor, and Eobinson retained the office of chamberlain. The tories of the city, presuming upon their late services, presented a petition to the house of commons, complaining, That the intent of the late act of parliament, for reversing the judgment on the quo warranto, was frustrated by some doubtful expression; so that the old aldermen elected by commission under the late king's great seal still acted by virtue of that authority: that sir Thomas Pilkington was not duly returned as mayor by the common-hall: and, that he and the aldermen had imposed Mr. Leonard Eobinson upon them as chamberlain, though another person was duly elected into that office: that divers members of the common-council were illegally excluded, and others, duly elected, were refused admittance. They specified other grievances, and petitioned for relief. Pilkington and his associates undertook to prove that those allegations were either false or frivolous; and presented the petition as a contrivance of the Jacobites to disturb the peace of the city, that the supply might be retarded and the government distressed. In the late panic which overspread the nation, the whigs had appeared to be the monied men, and subscribed largely for the security of the settlement they had made, while the tories kept aloof with a suspicious caution. For this reason the court now interposed its influence in such a manner, that little or no regard was paid to their remonstrance.


The marquis of Caermarthen, lord president, who was at the head of the tory interest in the ministry, and had acquired great credit with the king and queen, now fell under the displeasure of the opposite faction: and they resolved if possible to revive his old impeachment. The earl of Shrewsbury, and thirteen other leading men, had engaged in this design. A committee of lords was appointed to examine precedents, and inquire whether impeachments continued in statu quo from parliament to parliament. Several such precedents were reported; and violent debates ensued: but the marquis eluded the vengeance of his enemies in consequence of the following question: "Whether the earls of Salisbury and Peterborough, who had been impeached in the former parliament for being reconciled to the church of Rome, shall be discharged from their bail?" The house resolved in the affirmative, and several lords entered a protest. The commons having finished a bill for appointing commissioners to take and state the public accounts, and having chosen the commissioners from among their own members, sent it up to the house of lords. There the earl of Rochester moved, That they should add some of their number to those of the commons: they accordingly chose an equal number by ballot; but Rochester himself being elected, refused to act: the others followed his example, and the bill passed without alteration. On the fifth day of January, the king put an end to the session with a speech, in which he thanked them for the repeated instances they had exhibited of their affection to his person and government. He told them, it was high time for him to embark for Holland: recommended unanimity; and assured them of his particular favour and protection. Then lord chief baron Atkins signified his majesty's pleasure, that the two houses should adjourn themselves to the thirty-first day of March.*

* In this year the English planters repossessed themselves of part of the inland of St. Christopher, from which they had been driven by the French.


William, having settled the affairs of the nation, set out for Margate on the sixth day of January; but the ship in which he proposed to embark being detained by an easterly wind and hard frost, he returned to Kensington. On the sixteenth, however, he embarked at Gravesend with a numerous retinue, and set sail for Holland under convoy of twelve ships of war commanded by admiral Rooke. Next day, being informed by a fisherman that he was within a league and a half of Goree, he quitted the yacht and went into an open boat, attended by the duke of Ormond, the earls of Devonshire, Dorset, Portland, and Monmouth, with Auverquerque and Zuylestcin, Instead of landing immediately, they lost sight of the fleet, and, night coming on, were exposed in very severe weather to the danger of the enemy and the sea, which ran very high for eighteen hours, during which the king and all his attendants were drenched with sea-water. When the sailors expressed their apprehensions of perishing, the king asked if they were afraid to die in his company? At day-break, he landed on the isle of Goree, where he took some refreshment in a fisherman's hut; then he committed himself to the boat again, and was conveyed to the shore in the neighbourhood of Masslandsluys. A deputation of the states received him at Hounslardyke: about six in the evening he arrived at the Hague, where he was immediately complimented by the states-general, the states of Holland, the council of state, the other colleges, and the foreign ministers. He afterwards, at the request of the magistrates, made his public entry with surprising magnificence; and the Dutch celebrated his arrival with bonfires, illuminations, and other marks of tumultuous joy. He assisted at their different assemblies; informed them of his successes in England and Ireland; and assured them of his constant zeal and affection for his native country.


At a solemn congress of the confederate princes, he represented in a set speech the dangers to which they were exposed from the power and ambition of France; and the necessity of acting with vigour and dispatch. He declared he would spare neither his credit, forces, nor person, in concurring with their measures; and that in the spring he would come at the head of his troops to fulfil his engagements. They forthwith resolved to employ two hundred and twenty-two thousand men against France in the ensuing campaign. The proportions of the different princes and states were regulated; and the king of England agreed to furnish twenty thousand. He supplied the duke of Savoy so liberally, that his affairs soon assumed a more promising aspect. The plan of operations was settled, and they transacted their affairs with such harmony that no dispute interrupted their deliberations. In the beginning of March, immediately after the congress broke up, the siege of Mons was undertaken by the French king in person, accompanied by the Dauphin, the dukes of Orleans and Chartres. The garrison consisted of about six thousand men, commanded by the prince of Bergue: but the besiegers carried on their works with such rapidity as they could not withstand. King William no sooner understood that the place was invested, than he ordered prince Waldeck to assemble the army, determined to march against the enemy in person. Fifty thousand men were soon collected at Halle, near Brussels: but when he went thither, he found the Spaniards had neglected to provide carriages, and other necessaries for the expedition. Meanwhile, the burghers of Mons, seeing their town in danger of being utterly destroyed by the bombs and cannon of the enemy, pressed the governor to capitulate, and even threatened to introduce the besiegers: so that he was forced to comply, and obtained very honourable conditions. William, being apprized of this event, returned to the Hague, embarked for England, and arrived at Whitehall on the thirteenth day of April.*

* A few days before his arrival, great part of the palace of Whitehall was consumed by fire, through the negligence of a female servant.


Conspiracy against the Government by Lord Preston and others..... The King fills up the vacant Bishoprics..... Affairs of Scotland..... Campaign in Flanneitt..... Progress of the Trench in Piedmont..... Election of a New Pope....The Emperor's Success against the Turks..... Affairs of Ireland..... General Ginckel reduces Athlone..... Defeats the Irish at Aghrim..... Undertakes the Siege of Limerick..... The French and Irish obtain an honourable Capitulation..... Twelve Thousand Irish Catholics are transported to France..... Meeting of the English Parliament..... Discontent of the Nation..... Transactions in Parliament..... Disputes concerning the Bill for regulating Trials in Cases of High Treason..... The English and Dutch Fleets baffled by the French..... The King disobliges the Presbyterians of Scotland..... The Earl of Breadalbane undertakes for the Submission of the Highlanders..... Massacre of Glencoe..... Preparations for a Descent upon England..... Declaration of King James..... Efforts of his Friends in England..... Precautions taken by the Queen for the Defence of the Nation..... Admiral Russel puts to Sea..... He obtains a complete Victory over the French Fleet off La Bogue..... Troops embarked at St. Helen's for a Descent upon France..... The Design laid aside..... The Troops landed at Ostend..... The French King takes Namur in sight of King William..... The Allies are defeated at Steenkirk..... Extravagant rejoicings in France on Account of this Victory..... Conspiracy against the Life of King William, hatched by the French Ministry..... Miscarriage of a Design upon Dunkirk..... The Campaign is inactive on the Rhine and in Hungary..... The Duke of Savoy invades Dauphine..... The Duke of Hanover created an Elector of the Empire.


A conspiracy against the government had been lately discovered. In the latter end of December, the master of a vessel who lived at Barking, in Essex, informed the marquis of Carmarthen that his wife had let out one of his boats to carry over some persons to France, and that they would embark on the thirteenth day of the month. This intelligence being communicated to the king and council, an order was sent to captain Billop to watch the motion of the vessel and secure the passengers. He accordingly boarded her at Gravesend, and found in the hold lord Preston, Mr. Ashton, a servant of the late queen, and one Elliot. He likewise seized a bundle of papers, some of which were scarce intelligible; among the rest, two letters supposed to be written by Turner, bishop of Ely, to king James and his queen, under fictitious names. The whole amounted to an invitation to the French king to assist king James in re-ascending the throne upon certain conditions, while William should be absent from the kingdom; but the scheme was ill laid, and countenanced but by a very few persons of consideration, among whom the chiefs were the earl of Clarendon, the bishop of Ely, lord Preston, his brother Mr. Graham, and Penn the famous quaker. Notwithstanding the outcries which had been made against the severities of the late government, Preston and his accomplice Ashton were tried at the Old Bailey for compassing the death of their majesties king William and queen Mary; and their trials were hurried on without any regard to their petitions for delay. Lord Preston alleged in his defence that the treasons charged upon him were not committed in the county of Middlesex, as laid in the indictment; that none of the witnesses declared he had any concern in hiring the vessel; that the papers were not found upon him; that there ought to be two credible witnesses to every fact, whereas the whole proof against him rested on similitude of hands and mere supposition. He was, nevertheless, found guilty. Ashton behaved with great intrepidity and composure. He owned his purpose of going to France in pursuance of a promise he had made to general Worden, who, on his death-bed, conjured him to go thither and finish some affairs of consequence which he had left there depending, as well as with a view to recover a considerable sum of money due to himself. He denied that he was privy to the contents of the papers found upon him; he complained of his having been denied time to prepare for his trial; and called several persons to prove him a protestant of exemplary piety and irreproachable morals. These circumstances had no weight with the court. He was brow-beaten by the bench, and found guilty by the jury, as he had the papers in his custody; yet there was no privity proved; and the whig party themselves had often expressly declared, that of all sorts of evidence that of finding papers in a person's possession is the weakest, because no man can secure himself from such danger. Ashton suffered with equal courage and decorum. In a paper which he delivered to the sheriff, he owned his attachment to king James; he witnessed to the birth of the prince of Wales; denied his knowledge of the contents of the papers that were committed to his charge; complained of the hard measure he had met with from the judges and the jury, but forgave them in the sight of heaven. This man was celebrated by the nonjurors as a martyr to loyalty; and they boldly affirmed, that his chief crime in the eyes of the government was his having among his baggage an account of such evidence as would have been convincing to all the world concerning the birth of the prince of Wales, which by a great number of people was believed supposititious.* Lord Preston obtained a pardon; Elliot was not tried, because no evidence appeared against him; the earl of Clarendon was sent to the Tower, where he remained some months, and he was afterwards confined to his own house in the country—an indulgence which he owed to his consanguinity with the queen, who was his first cousin. The bishop of Ely, Graham, and Penn, absconded; and a proclamation was issued for apprehending them as traitors.

* To one of the pamphlets published on this occasion, is annexed a petition to the present government in the name of king James's adherents, importing, that some grave and learned person should be authorized to compile a treatise, showing the grounds of William's title; and declaring, that in case the performance should carry conviction along with it, they would submit to that title, as they had hitherto opposed it from a principle of conscience. The best answer that could be made to this summons was Locke's book upon government, which appeared at this period.—Ralph.


This prelate's being concerned in a conspiracy, furnished the king with a plausible pretence for filling up the vacant bishoprics. The deprived bishops had been given to understand, that an act of parliament might be obtained to excuse them from taking the oaths, provided they would perform their episcopal functions; but as they declined this expedient, the king resolved to fill up their places at his return from Holland. Accordingly, the archbishopric of Canterbury was conferred upon Dr. Tillotson,* one of the most learned, moderate, and virtuous ecclesiastics of the age, who did not accept of this promotion without great reluctance, because he foresaw that he should be exposed to the slander and malevolence of that party which espoused the cause of his predecessor. The other vacant Sees were given to divines of unblemished character; and the public in general seemed very well satisfied with this exertion of the king's supremacy. The deprived bishops at first affected all the meekness of resignation. They remembered those shouts of popular approbation by which they had been animated in the persecution they suffered under the late government; and they hoped the same cordial would support them in their present affliction; but finding the nation cold in their concern, they determined to warm it by argument and declamation. The press groaned with the efforts of their learning and resentment, and every essay was answered by their opponents. The nonjurors affirmed that Christianity was a doctrine of the cross; that no pretence whatever could justify an insurrection against the sovereign; that the primitive christians thought it their indispensable duty to be passive under every invasion of their rights; and that non-resistance was the doctrine of the English church, confirmed by all the sanctions that could be derived from the laws of God and man. The other party not only supported the natural rights of mankind, and explained the use that might be made of the doctrine of non-resistance in exciting fresh commotions, but they also argued that if passive obedience was right in any instance, it was conclusively so with regard to the present government; for the obedience required by scripture was indiscriminate. "The powers that be are ordained of God—let every soul be subject to the higher powers." From these texts they inferred that the new oaths ought to be taken without scruple, and that those who refused them concealed party under the cloak of conscience. On the other hand, the fallacy and treachery of this argument were demonstrated. They said, it levelled all distinctions of justice and duty; that those who taught such doctrines attached themselves solely to possession, however unjustly acquired; that if twenty different usurpers should succeed one another, they would recognize the last, notwithstanding the allegiance they had so solemnly sworn to his predecessor, like the fawning spaniel that followed the thief who mounted his master's horse after having murdered the right owner. They also denied the justice of a lay-deprivation, and with respect to church government started tire same distinctions "De jure and de facto" which they had formerly made in the civil administration. They had even recourse to all the bitterness of invective against Tillotson and the new bishops, whom they reviled as intruders and usurpers; their acrimony was chiefly directed against Dr. Sherlock, who had been one of the most violent sticklers against the revolution, but thought proper to take the oaths upon the retreat of king James from Ireland. They branded him as an apostate who had betrayed his cause, and published a review of his whole conduct, which proved a severe satire upon his character. Their attacks upon individuals were mingled with their vengeance against the government; and indeed the great aim of their divines, as well as of their politicians, was to sap the foundation of the new settlement. In order to alienate the minds of the people from the interests of the reigning prince, they ridiculed his character; inveighed against his measures; they accused him of sacrificing the concerns of England to the advantage of his native country; and drew invidious comparisons between the wealth, the trade, the taxes, of the last and of the present reign. To frustrate these efforts of the malcontents, the court employed their engines to answer and recriminate; all sorts of informers were encouraged and caressed; in a proclamation issued against papists and other disaffected persons, all magistrates were enjoined to make search, and apprehend those who should, by seditious discourses and libels, presume to defame the government. Thus the revolutioners commenced the professed enemies of those very arts and practices which had enabled them to bring their scheme to perfection.

* Beveridge was promoted to the See of Bath and Wells, Fowler to that of Gloucester, Cumberland to Peterborough, Moor to Norwich, Grove to Chicester, and Patrick to Ely.

{WILLIAM AND MARY, 1688—1701.}


The presbyterians in Scotland acted with such folly, violence, and tyranny, as rendered them equally odious and contemptible. The transactions in their general assembly were carried on with such peevishness, partiality, and injustice, that the king dissolved it by an act of state, and convoked another for the month of November in the following year. The episcopal party promised to enter heartily into the interests of the new government, to keep the highlanders quiet, and induce the clergy to acknowledge and serve king William, provided he would balance the power of Melvil and his partisans in such a manner as would secure them from violence and oppression; provided the episcopal ministers should be permitted to perform their functions among those people by whom they were beloved; and' that such of them as were willing to mix with the presbyterians in their judicatories should be admitted without any severe imposition in point of opinion. The king, who was extremely disgusted at the presbyterians, relished the proposal, and young Dalrymple, son of lord Stair, was appointed joint secretary of state with Melvil. He undertook to bring over the majority of the Jacobites, and a great number of them took the oaths; but at the same time they maintained a correspondence with the court of St. Germains, by the connivance of which they submitted to William that they might be in a condition to serve James the more effectually. The Scottish parliament was adjourned by proclamation to the sixteenth day of September. Precautions were taken to prevent any dangerous communication with the continent; a committee was appointed to put the kingdom in a posture of defence; to exercise the powers of the regency in securing the enemies of the government; and the earl of Home, with sir Peter Fraser and sir AEneas Macpherson, were apprehended and imprisoned.


The king having settled the operations of the ensuing campaign in Ireland, where general Ginckel exercised the supreme command, manned his fleet by dint of pressing sailors, to the incredible annoyance of commerce; then leaving the queen as before at the helm of government in England, he returned to Holland accompanied by lord Sidney, secretary of state, the earls of Marlborough and Portland, and began to make preparations for taking the field in person. On the thirtieth day of May, the duke of Luxembourg having passed the Scheld at the head of a large army, took possession of Halle, and gave it up to plunder in sight of the confederates, who were obliged to throw up intrenchments for their preservation. At the same time the marquis de Boufflers, with a considerable body of forces, intrenched himself before Liege with a view to bombard that city. In the beginning of June, king William took upon himself the command of the allied army, by this time reinforced in such a manner as to be superior to the enemy. He forthwith detached the count de Tilly with ten thousand men to the relief of Liege, which was already reduced to ruins and desolation by the bombs, bullets, and repeated attacks of Boufflers, who now thought proper to retreat to Dinant. Tilly having thus raised the siege, and thrown a body of troops into Huy, rejoined the confederate army, which had been augmented ever since his departure with six thousand men from Brandenburgh, and ten thousand Hessians commanded by the landgrave in person. Such was the vigilance of Luxembourg, that William could not avail himself of his superiority. In vain he exhausted his invention in marches, counter-marches, and stratagems, to bring on a general engagement; the French marshal avoided it with such dexterity as baffled all his endeavours. In the course of this campaign the two armies twice confronted each other; but they were situated in such a manner that neither could begin the attack without a manifest disadvantage. While the king lay encamped at Court-sur-heure, a soldier, corrupted by the enemy, set fire to the fusees of several bombs, the explosion of which might have blown up the whole magazine and produced infinite confusion in the army, had not the mischief been prevented by the courage of the men who guarded the artillery; even while the fusees were burning, they disengaged the waggons from the line, and overturned them down the side of a hill, so that the communication of the fire was intercepted. The person who made this treacherous attempt being discovered, owned he had been employed for this purpose by the duke of Luxembourg. He was tried by a court-martial and suffered the death of a traitor. Such perfidious practices not only fix an indelible share of infamy on the French general, but prove how much the capacity of William was dreaded by his enemies. King William, quitting Court-sur-heure, encamped upon the plain of St. Girard, where he remained till the fourth day of September, consuming the forage and exhausting the country. Then he passed the Sambre near Jemeppe, while the French crossed it at La Busiere, and both armies marched towards Enghien. The enemy, perceiving the confederates were at their heels, proceeded to Gramont, passed the Lender, and took possession of a strong camp between Aeth and Oudenarde; William followed the same route, and encamped between Aeth and Leuse. While he continued in his post, the Hessian forces and those of Liege, amounting to about eighteen thousand men, separated from the army and passed the Meuse at Naimir; then the king returned to the Hague, leaving the command to prince Waldeck, who forthwith removed to Leuse, and on the twentieth day of the month began his march to Cambron. Luxembourg, who watched his motions with a curious eye, found means to attack him in his retreat so suddenly that his rear was surprised and defeated, though the French were at last obliged to retire. The prince continued his route to Cambron, and in a little time both armies retired into winter quarters. In the meantime, the Duke de Noailles besieged and took Urgel in Catalonia, while a French squadron, commanded by the count d'Etrees, bombarded Barcelona and Alicant.

The confederates had proposed to act vigorously in Italy against the French; but the season was far advanced before they were in a condition to take the field. The emperor and Spain had undertaken to furnish troops to join the duke of Savoy; and the maritime powers contributed their proportion in money. The elector of Bavaria was nominated to the supreme command of the imperial forces in that country; the marquis de Leganez, governor of the Milanese, acted as trustee for the Spanish monarch; duke Schomberg, son of that groat general who lost his life at the Boyne, lately created duke of Leinster, managed the interest of William, as king of England and stadtholder, and commanded a body of the Vaudois paid by Great Britain. Before the German auxiliaries arrived, the French had made great progress in their conquests. Catinat besieged and took Villa-Franca, Nice, and some other fortifications; then he reduced Villana and Carmagnola, and detached the marquis de Feuquieres to invest Coni, a strong fortress garrisoned by the Vaudois and French refugees. The duke of Savoy was now reduced to the brink of ruin. He saw almost all his places of strength in the possession of the enemy; Coni was besieged; and La Hoguette, another French general, had forced the passes of the valley of Aoste, so that he had free admission into the Verceillois, and the frontiers of the Milanese. Turin was threatened with a bombardment; the people were dispirited and clamorous, and their sovereign lay with his little army encamped on the hill of Montcallier, from whence he beheld his towns taken, and his palace of Rivoli destroyed. Duke Schomberg exhorted him to act on the offensive, and give battle to Catinat while that officer's army was weakened by detachments, and prince Eugene* supported his remonstrance; but this proposal was vehemently opposed by the marquis de Leganez, who foresaw that if the duke should be defeated, the French would penetrate into the territories of Milan. The relief of Coni, however, was undertaken by prince Eugene, who began his march for that place with a convoy guarded by two-and-twenty hundred horse; at Magliano he was reinforced by five thousand militia; Bulonde, who commanded at the siege, no sooner heard of his approach than he retired with the utmost precipitation, leaving behind some pieces of cannon, mortars, bombs, arms, ammunition, tents, provisions, utensils, with all his sick and wounded. When he joined Catinat he was immediately put under arrest, and afterwards cashiered with disgrace. Hoguette abandoned the valley of Aoste; Feuquieres was sent with a detachment to change the garrison of Casal; and Catinat retired with his army towards Villa Nova d'Aste.

* Prince Eugene of Savoy, who in the sequel rivalled the fame of the greatest warriors of antiquity, was descended on the father's side from the house of Savoy, and on the mother's from the family of Soissons, a branch of the house of Bourbon. His father was Eugene Maurice, of Savoy, count of Soissons, colonel of the Switzers, and governor of Champagne and Brie: his mother was the celebrated Olimpia de Mancini, niece of Cardinal Mazarine. Eugene finding himself neglected at the court of France, engaged as a soldier of fortune in the service of the emperor, and soon distinguished himself by his great military talents: he was, moreover, an accomplished gentleman, learned, liberal, mild, and courteous; an unshaken friend; a generous enemy; an invincible captain; a consummate politician.


The miscarriage of the French before Coni affected Louvois, the minister of Louis, so deeply, that he could not help shedding tears when he communicated the event to his master, who told him with great composure that he was spoiled by good fortune. But the retreat of the French from Piedmont had a still greater influence over the resolutions of the conclave at Rome, then sitting for the election of a new pope in the room of Alexander VIII., who died in the beginning of February. Notwithstanding the power and intrigues of the French faction headed by cardinal d'Etrees, the affairs of Piedmont had no sooner taken this turn than the Italians joined the Spanish and Imperial interest, and cardinal Pignatelli, a Neapolitan, was elected pontiff. He assumed the name of Innocent, in honour of the last pope known by that appellation, and adopted all his maxims against the French monarch. When the German auxiliaries arrived under the command of the elector of Bavaria, the confederates resolved to give battle to Catinat; but he repassed the Po, and sent couriers to Versailles to solicit a reinforcement. Then prince Eugene invested Carmagnola, and carried on the siege with such vigour that in eleven days the garrison capitulated. Meanwhile the marquis de Hoquincourt undertook the conquest of Montmelian, and reduced the town without much resistance. The castle, however, made such a vigorous defence that Catinat marched thither in person; and, notwithstanding all his efforts, the place held out till the second day of December, when it surrendered on honourable conditions.


This summer produced nothing of importance on the Rhine. The French endeavoured to surprise Mentz, by maintaining a correspondence with one of the emperor's commissioners; but this being discovered, their design was frustrated. The imperial army, under the elector of Saxony, passed the Rhine in the neighbourhood of Manheim; and the French, crossing the same river at Philipsburgh, reduced the town of Portzheim in the marquisate of Baden-Dourlach. The execution of the scheme projected by the emperor for this campaign, was prevented by the death of his general, the elector of Saxony, which happened on the second day of September. His affairs wore a more favourable aspect in Hungary, where the Turks were totally defeated by prince Louis of Baden on the banks of the Danube. The imperialists afterwards undertook the siege of Great Waradin in Translyvania; bitt this was turned into a blockade, and the place was not surrendered till the following spring. The Turks were so dispirited by the defeat, by which they had lost the grand vizier, that the emperor might have made peace upon very advantageous terms; but his pride and ambition overshot his success. He was weak, vain, and superstitious; he imagined that now the war of Ireland was almost extinguished, king William, with the rest of his allies, would be able to humble the French power, though he himself should not co-operate with heretics, whom he abhorred; and that, in the meantime, he should not only make an entire conquest of Transylvania, but also carry his victorious arms to the gates of Constantinople, according to some ridiculous prophecy by which his vanity had been flattered. The Spanish government was become so feeble, that the ministry, rather than be at the expense of defending the Netherlands, offered to deliver the whole country to king William, either as monarch of England, or stadtholder of the United Provinces. He declined this offer, because he knew the people would never be reconciled to a protestant government; but he proposed that the Spaniards should confer the administration of Flanders upon the elector of Bavaria, who was ambitious of signalizing his courage, and able to defend the country with his own troops and treasure. This proposal was relished by the court of Spain; the emperor imparted it to the elector, who accepted the office without hesitation; and he was immediately declared governor of the Low Countries by the council of state at Madrid. King William, after his return from the army, continued some time at the Hague settling the operations of the ensuing campaign. That affair being discussed, he embarked in the Maese, and landed in England on the nineteenth day of October.

{WILLIAM AND MARY, 1688—1701.}


Before we explain the proceedings in parliament, it will be necessary to give a detail of the late transactions in Ireland. In the beginning of the season, the French king had sent a large supply of provisions, clothes, and ammunition, for the use of the Irish at Limerick, under the conduct of Monsieur St. Ruth, accompanied by a great number of French officers furnished with commissions from king James, though St. Kuth issued all his orders in the name of Louis. Tyrconnel had arrived in January with three frigates and nine vessels, laden with succours of the same nature; otherwise the Irish could not have been so long kept together. Nor indeed could these supplies prevent them from forming separate and independent bands of rapparees, who plundered the country, and committed the most shocking barbarities. The lords justices, in conjunction with general Ginckel, had taken every step their prudence could suggest to quiet the disturbances of the country, and prevent such violence and rapine, of which the soldiers in king William's army were not entirely innocent. The justices had issued proclamations denouncing severe penalties against those who should countenance or conceal such acts of cruelty and oppression: they promised to protect all papists who should live quietly within a certain frontier line; and Ginckel gave the catholic rebels to understand that he was authorized to treat with them, if they were inclined to return to their duty. Before the armies took the field, several skirmishes had been fought between parties; and these had always turned out so unfortunate to the enemy, that their spirits were quite depressed, while the confidence of the English rose in the same proportion.

St. Euth and Tyrconnel were joined by the rapparees, and general Ginckel was reinforced by Mackay, with those troops which had reduced the highlanders in Scotland. Thus strengthened, he, in the beginning of June, marched from Mullingar to Ballymore, which was garrisoned by a thousand men under colonel Bourke, who, when summoned to surrender, returned an evasive answer. But, when a breach was made in the place, and the besiegers began to make preparations for a general assault, his men laid down their arms and submitted at discretion. The fortifications of this place being repaired and augmented, the general left a garrison for its defence, and advanced to Athlone, situated on the other side of the Shannon, and supported by the Irish army encamped almost under its walls. The English town on the hither side of the river was taken sword in hand, and the enemy broke down an arch of the bridge in their retreat. Batteries were raised against the Irish town, and several unsuccessful attempts were made to force the passage of the bridge, which was defended with great vigour. At length it was resolved, in a council of war, that a detachment should pass at a ford a little to the left of the bridge, though the river was deep and rapid, the bottom foul and stony, and the pass guarded by a ravelin, erected for that purpose. The forlorn hope consisted of sixty grenadiers in armour, headed by captain Sandys and two lieutenants. They were seconded by another detachment, and this was supported by six battalions of infantry. Never was a more desperate service, nor was ever exploit performed with more valour and intrepidity. They passed twenty a-breast in the face of the enemy, through an incessant shower of balls, bullets, and grenades. Those who followed them took possession of the bridge, and laid planks over the broken arch. Pontoons were fixed at the same time, that the troops might pass in different places. The Irish were amazed, confounded, and abandoned the town in the utmost consternation; so that in half an hour it was wholly secured by the English, who did not lose above fifty men in this attack. Mackay, Tetteau, and Ptolemache, exhibited proofs of the most undaunted courage in passing the river; and general Ginckel, for his conduct, intrepidity, and success on this occasion, was created earl of Athlone. When St. Ruth was informed, by express, that the English had entered the river, he said, it was impossible they should pretend to take a town which he covered with his army, and that he would give a thousand pistoles if they would attempt to force a passage. Sarsfield insisted upon the truth of the intelligence, and pressed him to send succours to the town; he ridiculed this officer's fears, and some warm expostulation passed between them. Being at length convinced that the English were in possession of the place, he ordered some detachments to drive them out again; but the cannon of their own works being turned against them, they found the task impracticable, and that very night their army decamped. St. Ruth, after a march of ten miles, took post at Aghrim; and having, by drafts from garrisons, augmented his army to five-and-twenty thousand men, resolved to hazard a decisive engagement.

Ginckel, having put Athlone in a posture of defence, passed the Shannon and marched up to the enemy, determined to give them battle, though his forces did not exceed eighteen thousand, and the Irish were posted in a very advantageous situation. St. Ruth had made an admirable disposition, and taken every precaution that military skill could suggest. His centre extended along a rising ground, uneven in many places, intersected with banks and ditches, joined by lines of communication, and fronted by a large bog almost impassable. His right was fortified with intrenchments, and his left secured by the castle of Aghrim. He harangued his army in the most pathetic strain, conjuring them to exert their courage in defence of their holy religion, in the extirpation of heresy, in recovering their ancient honours and estates, and in restoring a pious king to the throne, from whence he had been expelled by an unnatural usurper. He employed the priests to enforce his exhortations; to assure the men that they might depend upon the prayers of the church; and that, in case they should fall in battle, the saints and angels would convey their souls to heaven. They are said to have sworn upon the sacrament that they would not desert their colours, and to have received an order that no quarter should be given to the French heretics in the army of the prince of Orange. Ginckel had encamped on the Roscommon side of the river Sue, within three miles of the enemy: after having reconnoitred their posture, he resolved, with the advice of a council of war, to attack them on Sunday the twelfth day of July. The necessary orders being given, the army passed the river at two fords and a stone bridge, and, advancing to the edge of the great bog, began about twelve o'clock to force the two passages, in order to possess the ground on the other side. The enemy fought with surprising fury, and the horse were several times repulsed; but at length the troops upon the right carried their point by moans of some field pieces. The day was now so far advanced, that the general determined to postpone the battle till next morning; but perceiving some disorder among the enemy, and fearing they would decamp in the night, he altered his resolution and ordered the attack to be renewed. At six o'clock in the evening the left wing of the English advanced to the right of the Irish, from whom they met with such a warm and obstinate reception, that it was not without the most surprising efforts of courage and perseverance that they at length obliged them to give ground; and even then they lost it by inches. St. Ruth, seeing them in danger of being overpowered, immediately detached succours to them from his centre and left wing. Mackay no sooner perceived them weakened by these detachments, then he ordered three battalions to skirt the bog and attack them on the left, while the centre advanced through the middle of the morass, the men wading up to the waist in mud and water. After they had reached the other side, they found themselves obliged to ascend a rugged hill fenced with hedges and ditches; and these were lined with musqeteers, supported at proper intervals with squadrons of cavalry. They made such a desperate resistance, and fought with such impetuosity, that the assailants were repulsed into the middle of the bog with great loss, and St. Ruth exclaimed—"Now will I drive the English to the gates of Dublin." In this critical conjuncture Ptolemache came tip with a fresh body to sustain them, rallied the broken troops, and renewed the charge with such vigour that the Irish gave way in their turn, and the English recovered the ground they had lost, though they found it impossible to improve their advantage. Mackay brought a body of horse and dragoons to the assistance of the left wing, and first turned the tide of battle in favour of the English. Major-general Rouvigny, who had behaved with great gallantry during the whole action, advanced with five regiments of cavalry to support the centre; when St. Kuth, perceiving his design, resolved to fall upon him in a dangerous hollow way which he was obliged to pass. For this purpose he began to descend Kircommodon-hill with his whole reserve of horse; but in his way was killed by a cannon-ball. His troops immediately halted, and his guards retreated with his body. His fate dispirited the troops, and produced such confusion as Sarsfield could not remedy; for though he was next in command, he had been at variance with St. Ruth since the affair at Athlone, and was ignorant of the plan he had concerted. Rouvigny having passed the hollow way without opposition, charged the enemy in flank, and bore down all before him with surprising impetuosity; the centre redoubled their efforts and pushed the Irish to the top of the hill, and then the whole line giving way at once from right to left threw down their arms. The foot fled towards a bog in their rear, and their horse took the route by the highway to Loughneagh; both were pursued by the English cavalry, who for four miles made a terrible slaughter. In the battle, which lasted two hours, and in the pursuit, above four thousand of the enemy were slain and six hundred taken, together with all their baggage, tents, provisions, ammunition, and artillery, nine-and-twenty pair of colours, twelve standards, and almost all the arms of the infantry. In a word, the victory was decisive, and not above eight hundred of the English were killed upon the field of battle. The vanquished retreated in great confusion to Limerick, where they resolved to make a final stand in hope of receiving such succours from France as would either enable them to retrieve their affairs, or obtain good terms from the court of England. There Tyrconnel died of a broken heart, after having survived his authority and reputation. He had incurred the contempt of the French, as well as the hatred of the Irish, whom he had advised to submit to the new government rather than totally ruin themselves and their families.

Immediately after the battle detachments were sent to reduce Portumny, Bonnachar, and Moorcastle, considerable passes on the Shannon, which were accordingly secured. Then Ginckel advanced to Galway, which he summoned to surrender; but he received a defiance from lord Dillon and general D'Ussone who commanded the garrison. The trenches were immediately opened; a fort which commanded the approaches to the town was taken by assault; six regiments of foot and four squadrons of horse passed the river on pontoons, and the place being wholly invested, the governor thought proper to capitulate. The garrison marched out with the honours of war, and was allowed safe conduct to Limerick. Ginckel directed his march to the same town, which was the only post of consequence that now held out for king James. Within four miles of the place he halted until the heavy cannon could be brought from Athlone. Hearing that Luttrel had been seized by the French general D'Ussone, and sentenced to be shot for having proposed to surrender, he sent a trumpet to tell the commander that if any person should be put to death for such a proposal, he would make retaliation on the Irish prisoners. On the twenty-fifth day of August the enemy were driven from all their advanced posts: captain Cole, with a squadron of ships, sailed up the Shannon, and his frigates anchored in sight of the town. On the twenty-sixth day of the month the batteries were opened, and a line of contra-vallation was formed; the Irish army lay encamped on the other side of the river, on the road to Killalow, and the fords were guarded with four regiments of their dragoons. On the fifth day of September, after the town had been almost laid in ruins by the bombs, and large breaches made in the wails by the battering cannon, the guns were dismounted, the out-forts evacuated, and such other motions made as indicated a resolution to abandon the siege. The enemy expressed their joy in loud acclamations; but this was of short continuance. In the night the besiegers began to throw a bridge of pontoons over the river about a mile higher up than the camp, and this work was finished before morning. A considerable body of horse and foot had passed when the alarm was given to the enemy, who were seized with such consternation, that they threw down their arms and betook themselves to flight, leaving behind them their tents, baggage, two pieces of cannon, and one standard. The bridge was immediately removed nearer the town and fortified; all the fords and passes were secured, and the batteries continued firing incessantly till the twenty-second day of the month, when Ginckel passed over with a division of the army and fourteen pieces of cannon. About four in the afternoon the grenadiers attacked the forts that commanded Thomond-bridge, and carried them sword in hand after an obstinate resistance. The garrison had made a sally from the town to support them; and this detachment was driven back with such precipitation, that the French officer on command in that quarter, fearing the English would enter pell-mell with the fugitives, ordered the bridge to be drawn up, leaving his own men to the fury of a victorious enemy. Six hundred were killed, two hundred taken prisoners, including many officers, and a great number were drowned in the Shannon.


Then the English made a lodgement within ten paces of the bridge-foot; and the Irish, seeing themselves surrounded on all sides, determined to capitulate. General Sarsfield and colonel Wahop signified their resolution to Scrvenmore and Rouvigny; hostages were exchanged; a negotiation was immediately begun, and hostilities ceased on both sides of the river. The lords justices arrived in the camp on the first day of October, and on the fourth the capitulation was executed, extending to all the places in the kingdom that were still in the hands of the Irish. The Roman catholics were restored to the enjoyment of such liberty in the exercise of religion as was consistent with the laws of Ireland, and conformable with that which they possessed in the reign of Charles II. All persons whatever were entitled to the protection of these laws, and restored to the possession of their estates, privileges, and immunities, upon their submitting to the present government, and taking the oath of allegiance to their majesties king William and queen Mary, excepting however certain persons who were forfeited or exiled. This article even extended to all merchants of Limerick, or any other garrison possessed by the Irish, who happened to be abroad, and had not borne arms since the declaration in the first year of the present reign, provided they should return within the term of eight months. All the persons comprised in this and the forgoing article were indulged with a general pardon of all attainders, outlawries, treasons, misprisons of treason, premunires, felonies, trespasses, and other crimes and misdemeanors whatsoever, committed since the beginning of the reign of James II.; and the lords justices promised to use their best endeavours towards the reversal of such attainders and outlawries as had passed against any of them in parliament. In order to allay the violence of party and extinguish private animosities, it was agreed that no person should be sued or impleaded on either side for any trespass, or made accountable for the rents, tenements, lands, or houses he had received or enjoyed since the beginning of the war. Every nobleman and gentleman comprised in these articles was authorized to keep a sword, a case of pistols, and a gun, for his defence or amusement. The inhabitants of Limerick and other garrisons were permitted to remove their goods and chattels, without search, visitation, or payment of duty. The lords justices promised to use their best endeavours that all persons comprehended in this capitulation should for eight months be protected from all arrests and executions for debt or damage; they undertook that their majesties should ratify these articles within the space of eight months, and use their endeavours that they might be ratified and confirmed in parliament. The subsequent article was calculated to indemnify colonel John Brown, whose estate and effects had been seized for the use of the Irish army by Tyrconnel and Sarsfield, which last had been created Lord Lucan by king James, and was now mentioned by that title. All persons were indulged with free leave to remove with their families and effects to any other country except England and Scotland. All officers and soldiers in the service of king James, comprehending even the rapparees, willing to go beyond sea, were at liberty to inarch in bodies to the places of embarkation, to be conveyed to the continent with the French officers and troops. They were furnished with passports, convoys, and carriages by land and water; and general Gluckel engaged to provide seventy ships, if necessary, for their transportation, with two men of war for the accommodation of their officers, and to serve as a convoy to the fleet. It was stipulated, That the provisions and forage for their subsistence should be paid for on their arrival in France; that hostages should be given for this indemnification, as well as for the return of the ships; that all the garrisons should march out of their respective towns and fortresses with the honours of war; that the Irish should have liberty to transport nine hundred horses; that those who should choose to stay behind might dispose of themselves according to their own fancy, after having surrendered their arms to such commissioners as the general should appoint; that all prisoners of war should be set at liberty on both sides; that the general should provide two vessels to carry over two different persons to France with intimation of this treaty; and that none of those who were willing to quit the kingdom should be detained on account of debt, or any other pretence.—This was the substance of the famous treaty of Limerick, which the Irish Roman catholics considered as the great charter of their civil and religious liberties. The town of Limerick was surrendered to Ginckel; but both sides agreed that the two armies should intrench themselves till the Irish could embark, that no disorders might arise from a communication.


The protestant subjects of Ireland were extremely disgusted at these concessions made in favour of vanquished rebels, who had exercised such acts of cruelty and rapine. They complained, That they themselves, who had suffered for their loyalty to king William, were neglected, and obliged to sit down with their losses; while their enemies, who had shed so much blood in opposing his government, were indemnified by the articles of the capitulation, and even favoured with particular indulgencies. They were dismissed with the honours of war; they were transported at the government's expense, to fight against the English in foreign countries; an honourable provision was made for the rapparees, who were professed banditti; the Roman catholic interest in Ireland obtained the sanction of regal authority; attainders were overlooked, forfeitures annulled, pardons extended, and laws set aside, in order to effect a pacification. Ginckel had received orders to put an end to the war at any rate, that William might convert his whole influence and attention to the affairs of the continent. When the articles of capitulation were ratified, and hostages exchanged for their being duly executed, about two thousand Irish foot, and three hundred horse, began their march for Cork, where they proposed to take shipping for France, under the conduct of Sarsfield; but three regiments refusing to quit the kingdom, delivered up their arms and dispersed to their former habitations. Those who remained at Limerick embarked on the seventh day of November, in French transports; and sailed immediately to France, under the convoy of a French squadron which had arrived in the bay of Dangle immediately after the capitulation was signed. Twelve thousand men chose to undergo exile from their native country rather than submit to the government of king William. When they arrived in France they were welcomed by a letter from James, who thanked them for their loyalty, assured them they should still serve under his commission and command, and that the king of France had already given orders for their being new clothed and put into quarters of refreshment.


The reduction of Ireland being thus completed, baron Ginckel returned to England, where he was solemnly thanked by the house of commons for his great services, after he had been created earl of Athlone by his majesty. When the parliament met on the twenty-second day of October, the king in his speech insisted upon the necessity of sending a strong fleet to sea early in the season, and of maintaining a considerable army to annoy the enemy abroad, as well as to protect the kingdom from insult and invasion; for which purposes, he said, sixty-five thousand men would be barely sufficient. Each house presented an address of congratulation upon his majesty's safe return to England, and on the reduction of Ireland: they promised to assist him to the utmost of their power, in prosecuting the war with France; and, at the same time, drew up addresses to the queen, acknowledging her prudent administration during his majesty's absence. Notwithstanding this appearance of cordiality and complaisance, a spirit of discontent had insinuated itself into both houses of parliament, and even infected great part of the nation.

A great number of individuals who wished well to their country, could not, without anxiety and resentment, behold the interest of the nation sacrificed to foreign connexions, and the king's favour so partially bestowed upon Dutchmen in prejudice to his English subjects. They observed, that the number of forces he demanded was considerably greater than that of any army which had ever been paid by the public, even when the nation was in the most imminent danger; that instead of contributing as allies to the maintenance of the war upon the continent, they had embarked as principals and bore the greatest part of the burden, though they had the least share of the profit. They even insinuated that such a standing army was more calculated to make the king absolute at home, than to render him formidable abroad; and the secret friends of the late king did not fail to enforce these insinuations. They renewed their animadversions upon the disagreeable part of his character; they dwelt upon his proud reserve, his sullen silence, his imperious disposition, and his base ingratitude, particularly to the earl of Marlborough, whom he had dismissed from all his employments immediately after the signal exploits he had performed in Ireland. The disgrace of this nobleman was partly ascribed to the freedom with which he had complained of the king's undervaluing his services, and partly to the intrigues of his wife, who had gained an ascendancy over the princess Anne of Denmark, and is said to have employed her influence in fomenting a jealousy between the two sisters. The malcontents of the whiggish faction, enraged to find their credit declining at court, joined in the cry which the Jacobites had raised against the government. They scrupled not to say, that the arts of corruption were shamefully practised to secure a majority in parliament; that the king was as tender of the prerogative as any of his predecessors had ever been; and that he even ventured to admit Jacobites into his council, because they were known tools of arbitrary power. These reflections alluded to the earls of Rochester and Kanelagh, who, with sir Edward Seymour, had been lately created privy-counsellors. Rochester entertained very high notions of regal authority; he proposed severity as one of the best supports of government; was clear in his understanding, violent in his temper, and incorrupt in his principles. Ranelagh was a man of parts and pleasure, who possessed the most plausible and winning address; and was capable of transacting the most important and intricate affairs, in the midst of riot and debauchery. He had managed the revenue of Ireland in the reign of Charles II.; he enjoyed the office of paymaster in the army of King James, and now maintained the same footing under the government of William and Mary. Sir Edward Seymour was the proudest commoner in England, and the boldest orator that ever filled the speaker's chair. He was intimately acquainted with the business of the house, and knew every individual member so exactly, that with one glance of his eye he could prognosticate the fate of every motion. He had opposed the court with great acrimony, questioned the king's title, censured his conduct, and reflected upon his character. Nevertheless, he now became a proselyte, and was brought into the treasury.


The commons voted three millions, four hundred and eleven thousand, six hundred and seventy-five pounds, for the use of the ensuing year: but the establishment of funds for raising these supplies was retarded, partly by the ill-humour of the opposition, and partly by intervening affairs that diverted the attention of the commons. Several eminent merchants presented a petition to the house against the East-India company, charging them with manifold abuses; at the same time, a counter-petition was delivered by the company, and the affair referred to the examination of a committee appointed for that purpose. After a minute inquiry into the nature of the complaints, the commons voted certain regulations with respect to the stock and the traffic; and resolved to petition his majesty, that, according to the said regulations, the East-India company should be incorporated by charter. The committee was ordered to bring in a bill for this establishment; but divers petitions being presented against it, and the company's answers proving unsatisfactory, the house addressed the king to dissolve it, and grant a charter to a new company. He said it was an affair of great importance to the trade of the kingdom; therefore, he would consider the subject, and in a little time return a positive answer. The parliament was likewise amused by a pretended conspiracy of the papists in Lancashire, to raise a rebellion and restore James to the throne. Several persons were seized, and some witnesses examined: but nothing appeared to justify the information. At length one Fuller, a prisoner in the king's bench, offered his evidence, and was brought to the bar of the house of commons, where he produced some papers. He obtained a blank pass from the king for two persons, who he said would come from the continent to give evidence. He was afterwards examined at his own lodgings, where he affirmed that colonel Thomas Delavai and James Hayes were the witnesses for whom he had procured the pass and the protection. Search was made for them according to his direction, but no such persons were found. Then the house declared Fuller a notorious impostor, cheat, and false accuser. He was, at the request of the commons, prosecuted by the attorney-general, and sentenced to stand in the pillory; a disgrace which he accordingly underwent.

A bill for regulating trials in cases of high treason having been laid aside by the lords in the preceding session, was now again brought upon the carpet, and passed the lower house. The design of this bill was to secure the subject from the rigours to which he had been exposed in the late reigns: it provided, That the prisoner should be furnished with a copy of his indictment, as also of the panel, ten days before his trial; and, that his witnesses should be examined upon oath as well as those of the crown. The lords, in their own behalf, added a clause enacting, That upon the trials of any peer or peeress, for treason or misprison of treason, all the peers who have a right to sit and vote in parliament, should be duly summoned to assist at the trial; that this notice should be given twenty days before the trial; and that every peer so summoned, and appearing, should vote upon the occasion. The commons rejected this amendment; and a free conference ensued. The point was argued with great vivacity on both sides, which served only to inflame the dispute, and render each party the more tenacious of their own opinion. After three conferences that produced nothing but animosity, the bill was dropped; for the commons resolved to bear the hardships of which they complained, rather than be relieved at the expense of purchasing a new privilege to the lords; and without this advantage, the peers would not contribute to their relief.

{WILLIAM AND MARY, 1688—1701.}


The next object that engrossed the attention of the lower house, was the miscarriage of the fleet during the summer's expedition. Admiral Russel, who commanded at sea, having been joined by a Dutch squadron, sailed in quest of the enemy; but as the French king had received undoubted intelligence that the combined squadrons were superior to his navy in number of ships and weight of metal, he ordered Tourville to avoid an engagement. This officer acted with such vigilance, caution, and dexterity, as baffled all the endeavours of Russel, who was moreover perplexed with obscure and contradictory orders. Nevertheless, he cruised all summer either in the channel or in soundings, for the protection of the trade, and in particular secured the homeward-bound Smyrna fleet, in which the English and Dutch had a joint concern amounting to four millions sterling. Having scoured the channel, and sailed along great part of the French coast, he returned to Torbay in the beginning of August, and received fresh orders to put to sea again, notwithstanding his repeated remonstrances against exposing large ships to the storms that always blow about the time of the equinox. He therefore sailed back to soundings, where he continued cruising till the second day of September, when he was overtaken by a violent tempest, which drove him into the channel, and obliged him to make for the port of Plymouth. The weather being hazy, he reached the Sound with great difficulty: the Coronation, a second-rate, foundered at anchor off the Ram-head; the Harwich, a third-rate, bulged upon the rocks and perished; two others ran ashore, but were got off with little damage; but the whole fleet was scattered and distressed. The nation murmured at the supposed misconduct of the admiral, and the commons subjected him to an inquiry: but when they examined his papers, orders, and instructions, they perceived he had adhered to them with great punctuality, and thought proper to drop the prosecution out of tenderness to the ministry. Then the house took into consideration some letters which had been intercepted in a French ship taken by sir Ralph Delaval. Three of these are said to have been written by king James, and the rest sealed with his seal. They related to the plan of an insurrection in Scotland, and in the northern parts of England: Legge, lord Dartmouth, with one Crew, being mentioned in them as agents and abettors in the design, warrants were immediately issued against them; Crew absconded, but lord Dartmouth was committed to the Tower. Lord Preston was examined touching some ciphers which they could not explain, and, pretending ignorance, was imprisoned in Newgate, from whence however he soon obtained his release. The funds for the supplies of the ensuing year being established, and several acts* passed relating to domestic regulations, the king on the twenty-fourth day of February closed the session with a short speech, thanking the parliament for their demonstrations of affection in the liberal supplies they had granted, and communicating his intention of repairing speedily to the continent. Then the two houses, at his desire, adjourned themselves to the twelfth day of April, and the parliament was afterwards prorogued to the twenty-ninth day of May, by proclamation. [035] [See note H, at the end of this Vol.]

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